What do Supporters Expect?

Written by Gooner in Exile

Two days away from the start of the season and with Big Raddy set to make a triumphant return (I hope) for tomorrows pre match I thought it would be time to ask what the minimum we should expect from the first 6 games.

13th August – Newcastle (PL) A

16th August – Udinese (CLQ) H

20th August – Liverpool (PL) H

24th August – Udinese (CLQ) A

28th August – Man Utd (PL) H

10th September – Swansea (PL) H

So for me the bare minimum for us is qualification for the Champions League proper, in addition to 7 points.

Thats right my worst case includes one defeat and a draw, but it probably would as I am a pragmatic fellow, some would say a defeatist, who will accept that losing at Old Trafford will not be the end of the season, neither will drawing with Liverpool at Home or Newcastle Away.

Yes I would love to start the season with six straight wins and laugh in everyones faces who has written us off, but I am also not prepared to set my hopes so high and I would encourage fellow Gooners to do the same. This season is going to be a rough ride at times full of highs and lows, its where we set our expectations that will allow us to cope with failureΒ in a more restrained way than last season.

Anyway what are your expectations/hope for the first month of the season, is it as make and break as everyone thinks?

And while you’ve all got your thinking hats on maybe today is also a good day to celebrate your favourite Cesc moment/moments. He may not be an Arsenal player by the end of the weekend but he has given us some moments of pure joy in the years that we’ve watched him grow up. I went looking for a video of best Fabregas goals but also found this great video of his assists, that’s what we’re going to miss the most, those magic passes that he could slip through to an on-running player – carving open a defence.

As London keeps reminding us the Fat Lady Hasn’t Sung Yet and so lets enjoy our Cesc Fabregas on the eve of a new season. Cesc is our Captain, our talisman and the one who can drive us on and for as Β long as he is with us we are a better side with him than without.

Roll on news of Arsene’s press conference today, no doubt he will be facing further probing into the state of the Arsenal Transfer Nation. It feels like there will be a change in the guard at Arsenal, some will welcome it, some will be distraught, but Arsenal endures.

Dig out as many videos as you can find and lets celebrate our Fab 4.

Also, if you want to join our Fantasy Football League click on the button in the side-bar and enter the following code 1144006-264632

211 Responses to What do Supporters Expect?

  1. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Top billing for me! Good, thought-provoking post too.

  2. WiganGooner says:

    Great post GiE, I love the optimism. I’m really looking forward to just getting back to the real football and out of this bubble we put ourselves in for the summer.

    WG

  3. Camberwell Gooner says:

    My hopes and expectations are as follows:

    Newcastle: win (3-1?)
    Udinese: win (2-0 perhaps)
    Liverpool: scrape a win or maybe more realistically get off with a draw (1-1? Hmmm)
    Udinese away: could live with a 1-0 loss
    Man IOU: btw this is an away game – would be made up with a 1-1 (and a red card and 3-match ban for Rooney)
    Swansea: got to be a win (how about 4-2?)

  4. WiganGooner says:

    I think we will beat the Barcodes 2:0
    Beat Udinese 2:0
    Beat Liverpool 2:1
    Beat Udinese 2:1
    Draw ManYoo 2:2
    Beat Swansea 3:0

    Fingers crossed.

    WG

  5. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all just to clarify up to this question “Anyway what are your expectations/hope for the first month of the season, is it as make and break as everyone thinks?” was me, not sure who needs credit for second half of post.

    Anyway I’m off on a stag weekend will pop in from timeto time and see you all on Sunday for the post match analysis.

  6. Slice says:

    Sorry, you sound that kid at school who pulled a bird 2 years above, boasted about feelin her tits to his mates then when she embarrassingly fliers with bigger lads and then dumps you you embarrass yourself further by going on about her continuously while your mates pity you and go sit somewhere else.

    Fuck Cesc, he signed a contract and has walked out. After being given pay rises continuously that would sort the average family out for a year. Fuck him. Put some Tony Adams clips up there if you want to restore some feel good factor.

  7. WiganGooner says:

    @GiE

    It was a joint effort between myself and Peaches. πŸ˜€

    WG

  8. 13th August – Newcastle (PL) A D1-1

    16th August – Udinese (CLQ) H W2-1

    20th August – Liverpool (PL) H D0-0

    24th August – Udinese (CLQ) A D1-1

    28th August – Man Utd (PL) H L0-1

    10th September – Swansea (PL) H W1-0

    i can see us only winning 1-0 at swansea due to the manchester utd result will knock us a bit.

  9. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Yeh fuck Cesc. He’s the first footballer in history not to see out his contract. And how dare he want to play for his hometown.

    Turncoat!

  10. WiganGooner says:

    @Slice

    Can you not just enjoy the times we’ve had with Cesc, he hasn’t gone yet. That is all we are saying. Give the guy some credit for what he has done for us.

    Why be so negative?

    WG

  11. Steve says:

    at what point did this ever become the attitude between us all?

    ‘its where we set our expectations that will allow us to cope with failure in a more restrained way than last season.’

    C’mon Arsene-al we know you can pull this off…

  12. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Nottingham – Your predictions have me stroking my chin and saying, “Hmm” while staring off into the middle distance. Interesting I thought.

  13. WiganGooner says:

    @Steve

    The Premier League is a fight from the first game to the end. We might be up there challenging for it, we might not, but its about the journey. Every football fan wants to be supporting the Title-Winning team but it doesn’t always work out.

    I believe we can achieve great things this season, without Cesc and Nasri. I’m not deluded, nor an AKB but a fan who can see positive things in the way we are playing and it can only get better.

    WG

  14. Karl says:

    Hello!
    Yes what are the expectation for these six up coming games…qualify for the Chmp L definately – yes,
    newcastle away….tough game, a draw and I’m sorry to say that we will draw against pool as well and then lose to man utd…finally a win against swansea which would make it 5 points…..:-( but I hope that the team will suprise me with 10 points instead (win against new, pool and swan and a dra to man utd!!!)

  15. mujaddid says:

    Very sad day for me and gooners, but arsenal must go on. Full support for the new arsenal team. So long Fab and Nasri!

  16. 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.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Thankyou for the heads up and the usual top quality post.

    You are right to be optimistic, despite the exodus and the injuries we continue to have a very good side,

  18. WiganGooner says:

    Welcome back BR!

    We currently have no pre-match, so if you would like to write one and send it in that would be great.

    WG

  19. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Wigan – “Why be so negative?” You and I both know the depressing answer to that question…

  20. Camberwell Gooner says:

    I should change my name to Camberwell Doomer when talking to ‘fans’ like Slice.

  21. WiganGooner says:

    @CG

    I do get the feeling that in the last few years there has been a shift in the mentality of some of the fan base, where frustration and impatience have formed together and formed a new negative vibe that the media love to live off of.

    We all love to read about the next car crash waiting to happen in the league and the red-tops love telling us its Arsenal.

    I don’t believe it and the players will prove me right.

    WG

  22. Mickeyk says:

    Good footballers come and go in this age.I hope cesc leaves asap .thier is no loyalty in football anymore get over it .this is the modern era money is king within ten years footballers will change clubs every two seasons except for clubs like Manu barca real Madrid .arsenal is a business not a local club anymore and what a business .the most expensive club to watch in world football 60.000 a week in a reccesion and they still but the prices Up.who’s running it penny pinching leting nasris contract run out .mined you they most probley done it on purpose to get the money.the trouble over buying players is embarrasing and we can’t even give the crap we’ve got at the club away.arsenal should now be called arsenal football business .

  23. Vinay says:

    We will get 7 out of 9 points in the league in august, we will not qualify to the UCL( financially bad, but could be a blessing in disguise), swansea we will win.

  24. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cheers for comments.

    Welcome back BR that’s two predictions correct in 24 hours. πŸ˜€

    Steve just to clarify I don’t expect failure or hope for it,and I put in italics to illustrate it as a “some may call it” kind of way. The Naysayers will tell you they expect nothing good at the start of the season and then get really angry at the end when we have overachieved against their predictions but not won something.

    I admit that answer barely makes sense.

    Again offski see you all later.

    Me and London both going in the JGs this season….. πŸ™‚

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh well here goes:
    Hopes: Win all four at a canter.
    Expectations: Draw Toon. Draw Udinese. Lose both Pool and Utd.
    Still, on the bright side, we will lose the cretin contingent from The Emirates and I won’t have to get cross during games.

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, Ahoy BigRaddy, welcome aboard.

  27. Slice says:

    Camberwell, debate with me by all means but please save the offensive and patronising labelling of ‘fans’ just cos I have a different outlook to you. I’ve been a fan home and away since 1990 and that’s long enough to know that what is happening at the club i love is absolutely unacceptable. Complete mismanagement. I’ve never been embarrassed to support the arsenal before. It’s an emperor nero situation we have on our hands. And you ask why I’m feeling negative?! Oh, and from my years as a goona, i’ve found 9 out of 10 occasions someone ignorantly labels someone negative as a “fan”, it’s they have something plastic or new age to hide.

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Now I know what you were up to between 5:30 and 7:30. Great work and I hope you are laughing in the face of this Doomer when we meet up in The Tavern for the Pool game. I so what to eat some of the humble stuff.
    Hungry just thinking about it.

  29. London says:

    Good post GIE

    Six games, how many points will we get? No brainer………..18…….obviously, doh.

    BR

    Welcome back, I was getting worried that we wouldn’t have our reliable pre-match.

  30. WiganGooner says:

    @Slice

    I struggle to see how consistently achieving a top-four position in one of the toughest leagues in the world without significant investment indicates mismanagment.

    The Nasri situation can easily be down to broken promises by the player and the Cesc situation is not of Arsenal’s doing.

    Perhaps you need to look at the fortune of other clubs such as the Totteringham masses, or Aston Villa whose fan’s turn up and sing regardless of their lack of silverware.

    WG

  31. Red Arse says:

    I have watched Arsene’s press meeting and my reaction is;

    1) He used his linguistic skills to answer tricky questions with his own questions.
    He said it was a pre-match conference and he wanted to look forward to the game.
    He said he has no problems with either Cesc or Nasri as they had behaved in a ‘professional’ way. One was unfit (Cesc)and the other was sick (Nasri), which is why they would not be travelling with the squad to Newcastle.

    2) He answered questions exactly in the way you would expect from a diplomatically inclined manger.
    He said, he did NOT expect any players to leave in this transfer window!
    This is confusing, because I thought he had previously said that Bendy, Eboue and Almunia WOULD leave the club this Summer, so do we now expect them to stay?? Que?
    He went on to repeat; there is no news on transfers (out) and he was not prepared to make comments about either Citeh or Barcelona vis a viz their alleged ‘tapping up’ –.

    He also said he could not say the transfers (out) of Cesc or Nasri would not happen, but said ‘if’ they did, the press would be told.

    3) Interestingly, he said altho’ his ‘(back up) team’ were looking at possible transfers (in), there was nothing to say on this, and in any case we already have a big enough squad.

    In other words we were told as much as Arsenal can say while negotiating — which in reality is bugger all! πŸ™‚

  32. WiganGooner says:

    @RA

    Morning RA, great summary of the goings on. Totally agree with your conclusions.

    WG

  33. Slice says:

    I’ve got better things to do than list the areas this club has been mismanaged over the last 3 years, Christ if you can’t see the encyclopaedia of lies, u turns, hypocrisy and let-them-eat-cake ethos that has been all pervading then you’ll never see it.

    And don’t draw parallels with those clubs, we are the arsenal, we have higher expectations and a win in a derby isn’t the highlight of our season, although that is exactly what it will be now.

    The average age at a match is 50, those clubs have tickets available and affordable to new and younger fans. This all contributes to atmos.

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA Bonjour,
    Have just watched the interview. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how unhaggered Arsene was looking. I am increasingly thinking we have a problem in Gazidis.
    There is no doubt at all in my mind that we are not as settled as we should be going into this game. Hoping the away form gives us a positive start.

  35. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Slice, fair enough. “Fan” comment withdrawn.

    My take on it is this. Cesc has given this club some fantastic years and absolutely outstanding performances, he was given the armband and made a good fist of it and all I’m saying is, on that basis, do you really think it’s fair – or reasoned – to say “Fuck him”? Do you really think that passes for considered debate?

  36. Red Arse says:

    Hi Micky,

    Ca va?

    I think you are right. AW did look in total control, but this situation would be a nightmare for any manager this close to the start of the season. Quick 3 points tomorrow and all will be well. πŸ™‚

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Camberwell Hi,
    My take is that this is a two way arrangement. We have given Cesc some fantastic years. He has been given a key role under the guidance of Arsene. I doubt there is another club where he could have developed so freely.
    On a sad note, I am less than convinced he gave us 100% last season. Still some great memories.
    Footnote: the way I’m feeling about Gazidis, the conclusion to any deal shall remain in doubt unti its done.

  38. Red Arse says:

    Hi WG, πŸ™‚

    You have a nice touch on the ’tiller’, and also great patience.

    GIE, sorry I did not say well done for your Post. Realistically, I would be happy with your forecast! πŸ™‚

  39. WiganGooner says:

    @Slice

    I agree with your statement about the hypocrisy and the u-turns. Promised transfers haven’t worked out and that I’m afraid is the nature of the beast, a perfect example this summer is Wesley Verhoek the winger from Holland who had both Rangers and Notts Forest vying for his signature, the price was agreed between the clubs and the player came to sign personal terms.

    All looked ok and then suddenly the player decided he didn’t want to sign for either because he decided he didn’t want to leave Holland.

    How do you counter for that?

    Player power, the global market and the financial football landscape changes on a weekly basis. Purchasing players isn’t as easy as you think.

    That said however, if you aren’t prepared to state where you feel the club is not performing then there isn’t much to debate I guess.

    WG

  40. gunnern5 says:

    I thought this was a reasonable article on where things stand at Arsenal. I have cut and pasted it from BBC Sports.

    By Sam Lyon
    BBC Sport Wenger cuts the figure of a man under pressure ahead of the new season For a man regarded by many as the best manager in Arsenal history, Arsene Wenger cuts an increasingly isolated figure at the club ahead of the 2011-12 season.

    The Frenchman has won more trophies than any other Arsenal manager, presided over more games than any other Arsenal manager, and is universally accredited with instilling a footballing philosophy at the club that is envied the world over.

    And yet many believe Wenger is a man under severe pressure as he prepares for his 16th season in north London.

    Trophyless for six years and counting, a recent transfer record best described as book-balancing, and now having to cope with the likely departures of two of his biggest stars, Wenger is dealing with disillusionment and frustration among the club’s support on a scale he has never had to before.

    Simply put, is this Wenger’s make-or-break season?

    “This is a period of real uncertainty at the club,” former Gunner Nigel Winterburn told BBC Sport. “No-one has the divine right to win anything, but it has been far too long since Arsenal won any sort of trophy and the fans are getting restless.

    “There’s a sense of real worry around the club.

    WENGER AT ARSENAL
    Continue reading the main story
    Premier Lge: ’98, ’02, ’04
    FA Cup: ’98, ’02, ’03, ’05
    C’ty Shield: ’98, ’99, 02, ’04
    Games: 848
    Won: 490
    Drawn: 196
    Lost: 162
    Win %: 57.78

    “The building process of the last few years looks to be faltering, the team is breaking up and the club have so far failed to make any great waves in the transfer market.

    “I believe Arsene is still the right man for the club – but I can also see it from the other side and appreciate the fans’ frustrations.

    “Arsene and the club need to win a trophy very, very quickly.”

    The disaffection of a large section of Arsenal supporters was evident at the end of last season when the team were booed off after their season-ending match against Aston Villa – following a campaign that had seen the club go so near and then fall short in all four competitons – and again when the team was jeered during a recent pre-season friendly draw against the New York Red Bulls.

    But it is quite a turnaround for Wenger – a man who, not long ago, appeared untouchable at the club, when his early successes combined with a footballing revolution that cast the dour and pragmatic “boring, boring Arsenal” image firmly into the past to help lend the Frenchman almost unrivalled security.

    With Thierry Henry leading the eulogies, and then vice-chairman David Dein claiming Wenger had a “job for life”, few could have imagined then a time when the former Monaco coach would not be universally adored on the Gunners’ terraces.

    Things change quickly in football, though.

    “Never forget that Arsene is a winner – that is his biggest quality – and he has done an amazing job,” Lee Dixon told BBC Sport.

    “But there’s no doubt the fans are getting more and more restless. There needs to be an improvement this year and no-one knows that better than Arsene, I’m sure.”

    For many, the frustration is a result of Wenger and the club’s spending policy.

    Working under the club’s restrictions of self-sufficiency, Wenger has steadfastly refused to spend beyond the club’s means, preferring instead to rely on developing the young players at the club and breeding an ethos of a team collective.

    Few could argue the results have not at times been good to watch – but recent frustrations appeared to prompt something of a rethink this summer, with Wenger pledging to be “very active” in the transfer market, a sentiment echoed by chief executive Ivan Gazidis who predicted it would be “a very busy close season”.

    So far, however, just Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and youth defender Carl Jenkinson have been added to the squad, leaving Arsenal fans bemused by the club’s failure to add defensive signings to the ranks.

    “Looking at where Arsenal have let themselves down in the past couple of seasons, it’s clear where their frailties lie: defensively,” added Winterburn.

    “You look at the back four, the keeper, the protection in front of the defence – it just isn’t good enough. I compare this side to the Arsenal team I played in and while the current one undoubtedly has more ability, in terms of desire, organisation and strength it is way behind.

    “Arsenal absolutely need to strengthen in the next month otherwise they are going to struggle.”

    Alex Fynn, author of “Arsenal – The Making of a Modern Superclub”, told BBC Sport: “The defects have been palpably obvious for some time, more than two years, and still those areas haven’t been addressed.

    “Fans and experts alike are agreed: why hasn’t Wenger strengthened the defence?

    “And it’s not just that, either. What concerns fans are the missed opportunities. The opportunity to sign Mark Schwarzer or Shay Given was passed up. The opportunity to sign Xabi Alonso was passed up. The opportunity to sign an English-type centre-half has been passed up year after year. A lot of fans are worried.”

    It would be unfair to assume all is lost for Arsenal and Wenger, of course.

    The departures of Nasri and Fabregas could hit Arsenal hard this season Winterburn remains a firm believer that Wenger is still the right man to manage the club, Neville calls the Frenchman “one of the very best”, while Dein – Wenger’s biggest ally during his time at the club until 2007 – echoed those sentiments on BBC Radio 5 Live last Sunday.

    “People have to remember what he’s achieved,” he said. “You under-rate Arsene at your peril.”

    Publicly, too, the 61-year-old has the backing of the club, even if new owner Stan Kroenke has remained tight-lipped. In his stead, Gazidis has said the board “100% supports” Wenger.

    But making matters more concerning is the break-up of the current squad.

    Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri appear certain to leave the club, while Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner and Manuel Almunia could also follow already-departed Gael Clichy and Denilson out of the exit door.

    “I’m sure one of the reasons [Arsenal have yet to make major moves in the transfer window] is because Wenger was waiting to see what was going to happen with Fabregas and Nasri,” said Dixon.

    “With those two apparently now leaving, there is work to be done [in rebuilding the squad] quickly. They need to sign a player – or players – with experience who can lead a lesser-experienced team, players they can look up to in the dressing room.”

    Not that Wenger should be held solely responsible for the club’s transfer activity – or lack thereof – says Fynn.

    “As far as the board is concerned all is well,” the former consultant to the Football Association told BBC Sport. “If you look at the complete turnover of the club they are among the biggest clubs in the world.

    “That is where the club want to be. Winning trophies is a bonus, but it’s secondary for the board.”

    Still, the club’s frugality in the market appears even more marked when placed in contrast to the north Londoners’ rivals.

    ARSENAL’S PREMIER LEAGUE RECORD SINCE 2003-04
    Continue reading the main story
    2003-04 – champions
    2004-05 – second
    2005-06 – fourth
    2006-07 – fourth
    2007-08 – third
    2008-09 – fourth
    2009-10 – third
    2010-11 – fourth

    Since January of this year Arsenal have spent about Β£23m. Compare that to Manchester United (Β£53.8m), Chelsea (Β£100m – when Romelu Lukaku is confirmed), Manchester City (Β£80m) and even Liverpool (Β£102m).

    “Arsenal are two to three players away from making that extra step,” former Manchester United defender Gary Neville said this week. “They have been close and then faded away.

    “They need to hang on to the players they have got or invest in new ones.”

    All of which leaves Wenger at something of a crossroads – abandon the style that has won plaudits but not trophies, or risk the continued frustration of the club’s fans with a youth-first approach that has defined his recent years.

    In a survey conducted by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust this summer, 76% of supporters are “less than satisfied” with the club’s performance in recent years.

    Even more worryingly for Wenger, just 40% say he should remain in charge of the club if they fail this season for the seventh successive campaign to win a trophy, while 69% believe the manager’s football philosophy takes too much precedence over winning trophies.

    “I think in order to win the Premier League you have to have a game plan when you don’t have the ball – and I’m not sure the team is good enough in that department,” added Dixon.

    “There needs to be a change in mentality to work harder collectively to try and win the ball back earlier. It’s not just about personnel – it’s about old school coaching.”

    It all adds up to a time of real concern for the club.

    With disillusionment growing quickly among supporters, and Gazidis himself admitting that the manager’s future will ultimately be decided by the fans, Wenger has much to prove to those who believe he has lost the magic touch that brought Arsenal three league titles and four FA Cups in his first nine years of his tenure.

    “The time is now for Arsenal and Wenger, they need that monkey off their back that says they’ve not won a trophy for so long,” said Winterburn. “Already for many supporters the wait for something to fall their way has gone on too long.”

    A fascinating season in prospect for Wenger, then, in anyone’s eyes.

  41. WiganGooner says:

    @RA

    Challenge for the day, try and work in as many sailing analogies as you can πŸ˜€

    Sometimes when dealing with comments I feel like I am tacking against a stiff wind, but I will endure πŸ˜€

    WG

  42. Camberwell Gooner says:

    MickeyDI: Have to agree with you about last season. I’m no behavioural psychologist so I’m not going to start deconstructing his body language and facial expressions, but there were a few performances that were firmly in the ‘must try harder’ bracket.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cut him some slack Wigan.

  44. Camberwell Gooner says:

    WG – just watch me…

    Now first of all, seeing as you’re at the helm I expect you to run a tight ship.

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Camberwell,
    Naturally, I am a world leader in Behavioural Psychology, and I agree with you.

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shiver me timbers, I need to do some work. Casting off for the moment.

  47. Camberwell Gooner says:

    MickyDI: me too. Full steam ahead! Actually, does that work here?

    Perhaps this would be better: I’m off down below to the engine room. And while I’m gone, batten down the hatches and keep a good watch.

  48. London says:

    That Alex Fynn sounds like a right little toe rag to me.

    β€œAnd it’s not just that, either. What concerns fans are the missed opportunities. The opportunity to sign Mark Schwarzer or Shay Given was passed up. The opportunity to sign Xabi Alonso was passed up. The opportunity to sign an English-type centre-half has been passed up year after year. A lot of fans are worried.”

    Passed up, passed f………..g up what a load of rubbish. It’s toe rags like this that drag our club down the result of which is that people like “Slice” believe this nonsense and start spreading it further.

  49. Garthy says:

    I think lose all bar the Swansea game which will be a draw

  50. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Slice

    You say the club has been mismanaged.

    This is a club that in the last few years years has had to up sticks and deal with all the consequences arising from that move. The dismantling of the 2004 team is often quoted as a direct result of the move to Ashburton but this only true in part. The Directors and the manager had the fore sight to see that with players wages increasing to unaffordable levels, the procurement of young players with resale vaule was the way to go. This strategy is now beggining to be copied by other clubs.

    There has been tactical mistakes along the way, this happens at all clubs. There are external factors that are beyond the clubs control, the Arab purchase of Man City springs to mind.

    Look at comparable rivals like Liverpool and Spurs and see what they are trying to do. They are trying to copy the mismanaged Arsenal.

  51. London says:

    I haven’t seen the Wenger interview but from RA’s excellent summary I am left thinking that everything makes sense except the part that Nasri is sick…………sick……….sick with what?

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just as I become a fully signed up plastic cricket fan, down comes the rain.
    Terry Mancini Hair Transplant,
    Outstanding name.
    London,
    GiE says you’ve gone Junior Gunners. I know where that was at Highbury, but which Block at Ems?

  53. Red Arse says:

    Hi London, πŸ™‚

    Probably a diplomatic ‘sickness’ contracted while playing for France, but maybe to make sure he is one piece before sale to Citeh.

    I’m just not sure what is going on, to be honest.

    Arsene did make reference to all the players in tomorrow’s team giving him their full commitment. (I’m no expert, in manager-speak, but does that mean that Cesc and Nasri – not in the team – are not giving their full commitment?)

    As you know, I speak my mind, right or wrong, and I just am not good at deciphering coded messages – or even knowing whether they are coded messages. It leaves me all at sea! πŸ™‚

    WG, that last nautical sentence was for you! πŸ™‚

  54. gunnern5 says:

    London,

    You got it all wrong………Wenger is sick of Nasri…………..

  55. Red Arse says:

    WG,

    Got to go, but I have just read your Wigan Gooner Post, on your own site, and it is excellent.

    Maybe you could ‘lend’ it to AA altho’ that might be sailing too close to the wind! πŸ™‚

    Laters.

  56. London says:

    Gn5

    Lol

  57. London says:

    RA

    Cesc was never going to play tomorrow but no Nasri is very odd.

  58. Rasp says:

    Tasty little nugget of a post GiE. My expectation is similar to your own although I expect us to get 8 points from the first 4 games – cannot predict a losss against any opposition.

    London,
    I hate to poo poo your optimism regarding ArsΓ¨ne’s Press Conference, but the short version is: “I don’t want either of them to go, it is out of my hands, but don’t be surprised if they both leave”

    RA,
    When it comes to their ability to tell the truth whilst still doing their jobs, managers are politicians are estate agents are used car salesmen πŸ˜›

  59. WiganGooner says:

    RA

    I certainly don’t mind re-publishing my article on here, depends what all you guys think? Do you guys mind?

    WG

  60. London says:

    So the midfield lacks:

    Cesc
    Nasri
    Diaby
    Wilshere
    Ramsey limped off in the week so we are not sure about him.

    That being the case the midfield will be made up of Song, Rosicky and another. I am so glad that Denilson is no longer at the club, not becasue I think he is that bad it’s just that I am sick to death of the scape goatism. He would be vilified and yet it is plain to see that such an injury list would not be his fault at all.

    Anyway, If Ramsey is unfit it could force Wenger to play Arshavin next to Rosicky both in front of Song. Something that many of us have wondered why such a formation hasn’t been used before.

  61. Camberwell Gooner says:

    WG – Do it! Would like to see your mad skills.

  62. WiganGooner says:

    I’ve put it in drafts, if there is a day when we are struggling for a post I will publish it πŸ™‚

    Thank you for the encouragement CG, I have done a few posts on here before, but I hope this hits the spot.

    WG

  63. London says:

    Ok here is the Wenger interview for all those who have not seen it.

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/wenger-claims-nasri-and-fabregas-will-stay-arsenal-14909189/

    I am back with my original expectations that sadly Cesc will leave but Nasri is going nowhere.

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    I would love to see your formation of AA and Rosicky in front of Song. Reading between Arsene’s lines, I don’t think he has any intention of budging from 4-3-3 and I am very happy about that. If the silver lining of this particular injury crisis is seeing AA central, I will be delighted.

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Do you have Nasri inked in to take over the Cesc role?

  66. critic says:

    arsenal will never be the same without fabregase.

  67. WiganGooner says:

    @Critic

    Arsenal existed before Cesc, Arsenal won trophies before Cesc. Arsenal will endure.

    Gooners not Goners.

    WG

  68. goonermichael says:

    Just read that Cesc has gone. Hope judas nasri goes soon too. Never be the same? get a grip.

  69. WiganGooner says:

    @Micky

    I don’t think Nasri can play the Cesc role, he likes to hold onto the ball and dribble too much. I think he is destined to be more in the withdrawn striker/Bergkamp role with the ability to break forward, beat a man or three and finish.

    WG

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wigan,
    Its because he never closes his mouth!
    The best I saw him play was from wide left, and I agree he is wrong for the Cesc role. Use the Cesc cash on Fernando from Porto. Apart from the fact he is brilliant, he is also a dead ball maestro.

  71. Rasp says:

    I agree Nasri can’t play the Cesc role. As far as I can see from the current squad, Ramsey and AA are the most obvious candidates to try to fill Cesc’s shoes.

    Although I don’t want him to go, I feel that Nasri is a bit overrated after half a good season. There are elements of Hleb about his short dribbling game that actually slow our attacks down sometimes. I like the pace and directness of The Gerv. By this time next season, if the Ox, Ryo and Gerv develop, Nasri may not even find himself as an automatic choice for the first eleven.

  72. London says:

    Micky

    Yes, I do think that Wenger has pencilled in Nasri to play the Cesc roll, although, I also think Wenger will force him to fight for it with Ramsey which will be quite interesting.

    GM

    It’s Guillem Balague being an Anglo Saxon expletive again.

  73. WiganGooner says:

    @Rasp, Mickey

    Totally agree with the both of you πŸ™‚

    WG

  74. London says:

    For Nasri to play the withdrawn striker role Wenger would have had to change the formation to 4.4.2 do you anticipate that he will do that or am I missing something?

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    With Ramsey out, it will be a very interesting line up for tomorrow.

    AA RvP Gerv
    ……..Rosicky
    Song Frimpong

    or maybe

    Gerv RvP Theo
    …….AA
    Song Frimpong

    I like B, with AA ordered never to track back or tackle!

  76. Rasp says:

    Hi London, I do think far too much is made of ‘the system’. Surely the essence of Wengerball is fluidity, constant movement etc etc – how does that equate with set positions?

    As far as I can see, the centrebacks and the GK are the only ones who remain ‘in position’, the wingbacks remain wide, but the rest of the team move around as the situation dictates. The idea of 4:3:3 and 4:5:1 relies on a target man and although RvP is our best striker, I don’t see him as that. From what I’ve witnessed so far, The Gerv also likes to keep moving, sitting on the shoulder of the last defender is not his game.

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Who do you think Arsene will go for in midfield if he does not move AA central ie Rosicky, Song and ?

  78. WiganGooner says:

    @London

    I don’t think Arsene will ever put Nasri up there, it seems he is tired of 4-4-2, but that is where I see Nasri’s future, he excels when given space to run into with the ball, central midfield is too congested and I think 4-4-1-1 with Nasri in the hole would bring out the best in him.

    However, I think Arsene is happy with 4-3-3 and won’t change, which is a shame because I like the idea of us being able to chop and change our formation to suit.

    WG

  79. Red Arse says:

    Have to say that I agree with the Rasper.

    The fluidity of modern football and particularly Arsenal’s mean that formal structures 4,4,2 or 4,3,3 are somewhat irrelevant, as players frequently play in unexpected positions making 4,2,4 or even 4,1,5

    I’m going to sit down now and work out what the hell I’m talking about!! πŸ™‚

    I see that Cesc has been given the No:4 shirt and Bendy the No:52, whereas Eboooooooie has not been given one, or a shirt number! πŸ™‚

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Good day All. Thanks for the “hello’s”

    WG. Pre-match will be in sometime before 9 a.m..

  81. WiganGooner says:

    @BR, Thank you very much πŸ˜€

    Welcome back RA πŸ™‚

    WG

  82. London says:

    Rasp

    I slightly disagree, not a toys out the pram situation just a minor point.

    “4.3.3 Relies on a target man” Well, is that true, the best proponents of this are Barcelona with Villa, Messi and Pedro interacting with each other all the time but not a target man amongst them.

    I believe that Wenger still dreams of emulating this and hopefully surpassing it with Arshavin, RVP and The Gerv. As you say they were very fluid in pre-season but I would add no real target man.

    In a 4.5.1 well maybe, but Van Persie was always given the nod to play the one last season although I suspect that The Gerv could play up front on his own if needed.

    But everything I saw in pre-season says to me that Wenger is more convinced than ever that 4.3.3 is still the way forward.

  83. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy,
    Great to have you back. Peaches is away next week and I am just running from pillar to post all the time. I will be around at times but WG is doing a great job and I shall be assisting whenever I can.

  84. London says:

    Micky

    I think Wenger might even give Lansbury a chance.

    ———Song

    Lansbury, Rosicky

  85. WiganGooner says:

    @London

    I agree with you re: target man, I do think if required we could put Chamakh up there and RvP on the right with the Gerv on the left.

    It will be similar to the way RvP plays for Holland and it works for him and he still scores plenty of goals.

    Regardless of some perceptions of Chamakh, he is a good player and he will rediscover his form.

    WG

  86. WiganGooner says:

    @London

    I’d love to see Lansbury get a shot this season, I think he’s talented and he could be a really good addition to the first team given games.

    WG

  87. goonermichael says:

    Welcome back Raddy. I trust you had a nice time in Italy.

  88. WiganGooner says:

    The problem with all this transfer speculation is that it leaves the squad all at sea with who is doing what and where. The sooner the season starts the better.

    Come on you Gooners!!

    WG

  89. Red Arse says:

    I feel a little sense of disappointment today.
    All the media reports have been about Cesc and Nasti leaving or not leaving — OK at least one leaving – and one probably leaving — maybe — definitely — possibly — blah, blah — bollox!

    This has been accompanied by the rather nauseating gloating of the usual cabal of Barca players and delight from malignant Spuds, Mancs and Chavs.
    But did it have to be all one sided like this?

    It would probably take someone like Rocky to dig out the relevant quote, but didn’t Arsene say, this time last week, that he hoped to announce the signing of not just a quality player — but a super quality player next week. (that is to say this current week).
    Was he simply referring to OxyMarmalade?

    I have no doubt Oxbow will become a very good player in time, but at the moment, he is just an inexperienced kid.
    I had been hoping for Mata or someone of similar quality which would have counteracted the long expected departure of our best player, Cesc, and given us a chance to reconcile the bad news with the good.

    If Arsene did mean Oxley Doxley, then I suggest he should learn to ameliorate his hyperbole when signing youngsters, and avoid over-egging the transfer, which inevitably leads to disappointment ….. for me at least! 😦

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM,
    Its the Dolce Vita for our BR.
    I might hide next summer.

    London,
    Lansbury eh, hadn’t thought about that. Got to say, I still like my Frimpong/Song Big Man double act in the middle allowing AA to work his magic. Won’t happen I know.

  91. WiganGooner says:

    @RA

    I suspect he was hoping to be rid of Nasri or Cesc to allow him to bring in Mata.

    I really don’t think he was referring to O-C

    WG

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    I am going to immediately start “ameliorating” anything or anyone in my way. I have no idea what it means, but I am going to sound brilliant for the first time in my life.
    ps I have never understood where all this Mata business comes from, besides, another attacking left sider?

  93. Red Arse says:

    The “where would we play Mata” question is a good one Micky, even the “do we need Mata” question has merit too.

    I have gone (hopefully temporarily) doolally and would accept the acquisition of a really, really expensive tea lady to show we are re-investing the transfer funds, and shutting up the whingers! …… Doh! Does that make me a whinger too?? πŸ™‚

  94. evonne says:

    Hi Raddy, the Holiday King πŸ™‚
    GiE – Russian classics used to be my favourite read, but I seem to read more of your stuff these days πŸ™‚

    Cesc and Samir situation is becoming a tad embarassing to all parties, surely it is not that complicated – they either stay or go, stop the soap that provides nothing but venom to the journos

  95. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, Micky, πŸ™‚

    Ameliorate means to improve or make better.
    I have been trying, for some months, to curb or ameliorate my vocabulary in order not to sound like a walking, talking, poncey dictionary.

    Like Arsene’s transfer business ….. I don’t always succeed! πŸ™‚

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I count myself well and truly ameliorated.
    You keep right on you big walking, talking, poncey dictionary you (-:

  97. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    GIE sent me a message, by telepathy, to say to you that he was grateful to learn you like his writing, but as his last missive was at 10:19 this morning, can you read a bit quicker, please!!

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Me bloody smileys have stop yellowing themselves, or facing for that matter.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yikes, work calling.

  100. Red Arse says:

    Micky, you have inverted your smileys. – possibly painful!

    It should be : – ) desist with the ( – : immediately! πŸ™‚

  101. Rasp says:

    Hi London, I guess you’re right about 4:3:3 the way Barca play it …… but I think they and we, are more like a 4 followed by a swarming 6 πŸ™‚

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Before the day is out, I want one taker for my formation:
    Gerv Robin Theo
    ……AA
    …Song Tintong

    Solid as rock with the heavies in the middle, allowing the front boys to verve, swerve, thrust and move however they like.

  103. WiganGooner says:

    I like the idea of AA through the middle, he can shoot and he’s got a great eye for a pass.

    I’d give it a shot.

    WG

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wigan,
    That’s not the vote of confidence I was looking for. You must approve the Tington/Song Wall theory.

  105. London says:

    I like the idea of Song being there Micky if that helps.

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I like the positioning of RvP

  107. oz gunner says:

    @ Micky

    i love the idea of the ‘pong song’ duo. Whats not to like when AA has an excuse not to track back, gibbs can run forward with reckless abandon, and you have two african walls in your way protecting the back four (the defence can always do with a little extra cover. Oh please come back pull team press…how i miss thee!!!)

  108. oz gunner says:

    *full team press

  109. Jamie says:

    Good luck Cesc, thanks gor the memories.
    Good luck Eboue, thanks for the laugh.
    Good riddance Nasri, you money grabbing idiot, you will be an Adebayor in twelve months.
    Gervinho Van Persie Walcott
    Wilshere Ramsey
    Song
    Gibbs Vermarlen Koscielny Sagna
    Szchesny
    That is the best we have and they might be good enough to make the top four. He won’t change the system and we don’t have the players to do it anyway.

    Stop playing around and buy a centre back, this is gross incompetence.

    No centre back, no Cesc or the money grabber, a weak board and a PR department that North Korea would be proud of.

    As I said last Sunday you had a week and you had to get it right. We haven’t done that.

    Instructions for Arsene:

    1) Centre back
    2) Tell the board to get off the purse strings
    3) Get some midfield cover because we are worryingly light already
    4) Stop smiling when there is nothing to smile about, it used to charm me, reassure me, now you just remind me of Gordon Brown it’s creepy.
    5) Get someone in the can take a free kick or corner, there are pub players that have mastered this and we don’t have one.
    6) don’t give the captaincy to our striker, it has never worked, everyone who has ever played at any level knows you can’t do it.
    7) make Ramsey or Vermarlen captain.
    8) if RVP doesn’t like it tell him to find one manager or pundit that thinks a striker as captain works.
    9) be gutsy again, be bold. Not just with signing but tactics, if you really can’t teach them to defend then let your wingers of the leash instead of tying Arshavin to the touchline, play him where he can score some bloody goals. Did you tie Overmars down like that, I don’t think so. I didn’t put him in my team because he is not at his best in our style of play.
    10) remind us why we idolise you, it wouldn’t hurt.

  110. oz gunner says:

    @ Jamie

    well said, love the rant, and agree with most of your points

  111. Jamie says:

    8) is for Nasri, make sure he knows what a traitor he is.

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz,
    You are the second wisest man on here. From here on, I blog Australian time. These English, pah, they know nothing about football! πŸ™‚

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The BR humour is back and in working order. RvP only eh, and to think he was the only doubt in my formula. You and I are going to come to blows over your selection tomorrow πŸ™‚
    Do we still get the Rock and Roll links or have we moved on to culinary associations?

  114. harry says:

    And the predictions are:

    13th August – Newcastle (PL) A – : 1-4

    16th August – Udinese (CLQ) H-: 3-1

    20th August – Liverpool (PL) H-: 2-1

    24th August – Udinese (CLQ) A-: 2-2

    28th August – Man Utd (PL) A-: 2-2

    10th September – Swansea (PL) H-: 5-0

    Right I have been thinking about this all day, I managed to read your article this morning but didnt get a chance to respond in the end, firstly good read GIE and a thought provoking one indeed….

    The question, do I want to celebrate Cesc’s good moments?

    My thoughts drift to His first goal against Wolves, his performance and goal against Juve, his goal away v Milan, his double versus villa, his goal against Spurs when he ran from the half way line……And numerous assists, too many to mention…….Do I want to celebrate? right now NO I dont, that moment when he came over to me last week at members days I wish i could have again…………

    I wouldnt be rude, but what I would say……..

    ” Cesc you have been fantastic and I have enjoyed watching you play for my team, I understand your need to rejoin your boyhood club and I knew it would come one day. But your silence and distinct lack of honesty over this affair during the summer has left a bitter taste and I now have a profound sense of high disappointment with you.”

    Whereby NONE of us truly knows what goes on behind the turnstiles and what promises he was made by Le Boss, but his supposedly strong desire to leave is so strong he is not holding Arsenal to the contractural T&C’s which dictate he is entitled to 1million pound per year of his contract left if we sold him……..

    Well so generous, considering that you have asked for a transfer, because otherwise you wouldnt be getting sold and we have if reports are correct sold you on the considerable cheap………

    Wenger believed in cesc when barca didnt, he brought him over and nurtured him, right now, wenger needs you to give him one season more and I think we’d all be thankful for that and wish you well…….But they way you have used others to speak above your silence and allow this to prolong far too long is quite simply disappointing…………..

    Nasri, all I have to say to you is Bye………No brainer, you have strung wenger along and made him look foolish at best. To get anywhere near 20million is a great piece of business, above that amount is amazing……….and too much to turn down. I feel as an individual you again have let down someone who gave you a real chance……..

    RANT OVER>………..

    Bring on the Barcodes…….More than confident…….4-1, RVP (2), Walcott and Gervinho…..with an own goal by us in last 5 minutes just to give everyone something to moan about………

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok I’m no cricket buff, but 710 runs does seem a bit vulgar.
    Anyway, this morning I predicted draw, draw, loss, loss for the first four. As the excitment of the new season comes to the boil and our new found team spirit simmers, I’m going for win, win, win, loss. There is time and money to ammend the last prediction.

  116. Red Arse says:

    Harry,

    I feel your hurt and I too am very disappointed in the whole deal. 😦

    However, the rational side of my brain says these guys, however brilliant they are at football, are not really a part of the club in the way fans are, and therefore they act the way they do because they are professionals.

    Am I being unkind to them? No, I don’t think so.

    In the same way a lady of easy virtue, given a certain sum, can give you a whale of a time physically, (I understand) πŸ™‚ she will not and cannot give you love.
    It’s simply on to the next punter — there’s money to be made.

    These footballers can perform magic on the field for the team, but usually they do not love the team or the club they represent.

    It’s not personal — there is more money to be made at another club. It’s just business. Where’s my agent?

    The fans invest their love in the club and in the team, in a very special and passionate way and will remain fans for the rest of their lives.
    Most players don’t and won’t!

    (There are exceptions, of course, but they are few and far between).

  117. Red Arse says:

    So, Micky, your fickle forecast foibles are amenable to money? πŸ™‚

  118. kelsey says:

    I know you hate rumours but Sky have twice reported in the last hour that van persie has handed in a transfer request.
    With regards to predicting the above results i would go as far as to say Wenger’s future depends on them being good.
    I have always supported the club, but what has gone on since we imploded and the hourly rumours about discontent in the camp, wenger contradicting himself frequently makes me fear for this season,possibly wenger will be the next to go.

  119. Rasp says:

    My main regret over Cesc is that we couldn’t have conclude the deal a lot earlier. Whether his departure is tomorrow or not, the situation will stil cast a shadow over our game.

  120. London says:

    Sky News: Van Persie hands in a transfer request.

    They really know how to kick us when we are down don’t they?

  121. London says:

    Rasp

    Blame Barcelona.

  122. SharkeySure says:

    I;m sure its agood post GIE, but I’v enot really read it yet!

    Just watched that Fabregas video and had to comment on it. The thing that makes Fabregas stand out is that he does all that he does whilst making it look so effortless.

    He isn’t that quick, that strong, or laden with amazing tricks, he just sees everything so much quicker than all around him, and his understanding of angles would put Pythagoras to shame.

    Most of all, his ability to completely outwit opponents with his oh so subtle feints and ability to disguise his intentions is better than I’ve ever seen in any player.

    Cesc, many thanks for the wonderful memories and for reminding us all that playing football well is primarily about intelligence.

  123. London says:

    “his understanding of angles would put Pythagoras to shame.”

    Oh Sharkey, when you’re good you are very good.

  124. goonermichael says:

    Have we bought Jadson and Campbell? I’m just skimming through some of the headlines on NN

  125. Red Arse says:

    Apart from the RVP comment, Sky also said that the Gerv is upset, because if he had known how bad things were he would not have joined us.

    The whole thing from the gloating Barca players to the biased media over here and the baseless rumours that swill around makes me really cross.

    The whole thing creates an unearthly smell like cabbage boiled in fart water, as they say in Kansas!!

  126. London says:

    Harry

    A heart felt plea, but I am confused. Every paper both here and in Spain have reported that Fabreagas has waivered all signing on fees, as well as agreeing a reduced salary. I, of course, can’t be certain but when every paper agrees?

    My hunch as to why Nasri is not playing this weekend is that the club are now showing him that they are prepared to play hard ball. There is no way in the world they are going to to let him run his contract down, no way what so ever.

  127. goonermichael says:

    Barca are inbred scum
    Sky are lazy, wankers.

    I despise all of them.

  128. London says:

    GM

    You are able to capture the mood so much more succinctly than I lol

  129. goonermichael says:

    skay = sky

  130. gunnern5 says:

    In the last 3 seasons Cesc has missed 35% of our EPL games.

    During his Arsenal career we have won 1 FA Cup and a couple of league cups.

    It could be said that if he had played 100% of the games we might have won something – but who knows?

    Yes, some wonderful highlight clips and a whole bunch of “what ifs”

    But it seems to me that all we will miss is the illusion of potential greatness and not the reality.

    I can’t see us missing him, but I sure liked to see him play.

  131. evonne says:

    GM – I listened to Talkshite radio this afternoon and I instinctlively knew I was listening to the egghead with syphilis; I didn’t recognise his speech impediment, but the vile content made me think that it was Barcelona’s rent boy. He was justifying how much Barca need Cesc, how ridiculous it is to suggest he will be on the bench, and on and on and on, even before the player is formally signed by the Spaniards. Disgusting.

  132. evonne says:

    We have supposedly agreed terms with J Campbell, a 19 year old stricker, not an experienced defender

  133. gunnern5 says:

    The Joel Campbell signing has been announced on Arsenal .com, suject to formal agreements and processes.

  134. RockyLives says:

    Another one in!
    Time to update the top right corner Rasp!

  135. harry says:

    London, not sure but have you misread what I said, your comment at 8.22pm has lost me a tad, yeah he has waivered his fees and took a reduced wage, thats all part of my disappointment with him…….

    Yeah we have offcially announced Joel Campbell’s sigining, slighlty early as some formalities are still required but AFC.com have it so there you go…….It already has the mass anti wengerites bitching about defenders, yawn…….Ok I would rather he sign one now, but the window aint shut yet, when it does we shall then be able to make comments on what he has and hasnt done……..

    The one thing that is destroying our club is our fans………..

  136. harry says:

    I do not believe for one second that RVP has requested a transfer….

  137. Big Raddy says:

    Perhaps RvP feels threatened by the Campbell purchase. Bungs in a request to make sure he is wanted 😎

    AW has clearly not abandoned his Project Youth. In 5 years we will have a fantastic team and all under 25 (almost) ..

    Chesney
    XXX Bartley Miguel Gibbs
    Ramsey Song JW Myachi (?)
    Theo Campbell Chamberlain

  138. RockyLives says:

    Gn5
    “it seems to me that all we will miss is the illusion of potential greatness and not the reality.”

    I’m not sure I agree with that Gn5, but it has sure given me pause for thought.

  139. RockyLives says:

    BR
    your XXX is Jenkinson…

  140. RockyLives says:

    Good post in difficult circumstances GiE

    My prediction:
    13th August – Newcastle (PL) A W 1-4

    16th August – Udinese (CLQ) H W 3-0

    20th August – Liverpool (PL) H W 3-0

    24th August – Udinese (CLQ) A W 1-2

    28th August – Man Utd (PL) H W 2-1

    10th September – Swansea (PL) H W 3-1

    This is not me being silly. These are genuinely how I expect the results to go…

  141. harry says:

    Big Raddy, Good to have you back old boy…….

    Add to that lot – Wellington, Botelho, Afobe, Anekes (He is quality), and also it will be frimpong and not song…….

    then theres Bellerin, Harper-Toral, Coquelin, sunu, freeman, henderson, Hajrovic (lots of promise there) and then ozyakup dutch starlet……….

    As long as Wenger brings in a Defender and 1 midfielder of a good standard then we will be fine this season……..

  142. harry says:

    Rocky I too have optimism, the united game is away by the way……thats why i went for the draw……..

  143. dandan says:

    Said Arsene to the journalist, why must you ask of Cesc,

    You already know my answer, so why do you persist.

    Said the journo Mr Wenger, I have to seek the truth.

    Barca tells me he is returning home, to the land he left as a youth.

    To right the wrongs that arsenal did by luring him with gold.

    When he was just a innocent youth, a mere 16 years old.

    The truth you say? Says Arsene; somehow I find that funny,

    We too hear this truth from Barca, but never see their money.

    They make a lot of claims, Oh yes; they say he’s in their dream

    I don’t suppose they ever mean, to just upset our team.

    No doubt you will print their version, saying we have no rights at all.

    Your like the guy in the Looney bin, banging his head against the wall.

    He doesn’t like what he’s doing, its just he’s in a strop

    And it not just it gets him noticed, but its so nice when he stops

    …………………………………..

    Goodbye Cesc, thanks for the years, the goals and your breathtaking skills.

  144. California Gooner says:

    Hey BigRaddy,
    welcome back… I’m looking forward to your next post and thoughts on Arsenal. I lead with a big question: do you see Arshivin at the point of a midfield three?

  145. London says:

    Harry

    Reading back it seems I picked up the wrong end of the stick.

  146. London says:

    I am trying to fathom how this Joel Cambell is going to get a work permit?

  147. harry says:

    London, it was probably my bad english………

    Cannot wait for the match…….smash them up………

  148. barumgooner says:

    Just a thought but… Clichy left supposedly because we didnt win anything whilst he was at the Arsenal, so will Samir ( and it’s not for the money… honest!!) Cesc is going back home to be a sub at Barca. So my question would be what exactly have we lost ? ……..

    Three players who are incapable of winning maybe. Just maybe the fact that our barren years have co-incided with the inclusion of these superstars should not be overlooked. I’m not saying that Cesc is a bad player or that somehow now he is suddenly evil just because he will play for someone else but maybe before these players run down the club that made them they should take a long look in the mirror and realise that it is they who have let the club down and not the other way around. When Fabregas took over the mantel at the Arsenal we were a winning force, six or seven years later and here we are. If I were in his shoes i’m not sure I could leave with my head held high. I’m sorry but history will show Francesc Fabregas to be a complete failure as captain of Arsenal FC. In the cold light of day have we lost winners or offloaded losers ?

  149. harry says:

    Tweeted………by..

    @ManuelAlmunia: 4 those asking, my move to malaga is a loan.

    that went under the radar…….

    Denilson, Almunia, clichy, Bendtner, eboue………

    Wenger said he be busy……….

  150. oz gunner says:

    @ Rocky

    i to share your optimism. Its not me being biased i genuinely feel thats how the results will go. What of all these scary fixtures coming up? i don’t think they are. Yes we won’t have cesc (we are used to that now) and in Gerv we have a replacement for nasri. Udinese are minus their best player so if we shackle di natale (kozza pocketed messi, so i don’t see why he cant do it to this fellow) it should be a straight forward win. Toon (a roundup of newly acquired sub-par french signings) will be easily as they need time to settle in, and do not have nolan, enrigue (walcott will have a field day without him) and carrol. Liverpool: are we supposed to be scared of henderson, adam, and downing? yeah they cost alot but give sanchez no room and don’t play eboue we will win. Manure: alot less scary without VDS saying their arses in alot of games (maybe this time the ref will see vidic handle the ball).

    Add a midfielder and defender and the season will be alot brighter than alot of fans are predicting!

  151. oz gunner says:

    @ barumgooner

    well said, but i feel a switched on cesc is a natural born winner who gives it his all, unfortunently he lost that desire towards the end. I do find it rich however when players like nasri, clichy and denilson whinge when they were apart of the problem. The more i hear about nasri the more he pisses me off, where was he when we needed him most in the second half of the season?he was injured riddled when he first joined so we didn’t get much out of him then either. 22-25 million is great business and i feel gallas was right on this one!

  152. oz gunner says:

    the almunia move was very stealthy. No almunia (we might actually we able to beat west brom now) and no denilson…oh happy days!

  153. barumgooner says:

    True Oz but I cant help but feel more disappointed by the loss of Samir than Cesc. As great a player as Cesc is he is not a leader and him going will hopefully pave the way for TV to take on the captaincy. I hear a lot of noise about how crap we will be this year but I tend to feel the opposite. This could be a blessing in disguise and bring out the best in the remaining players. Lets not forget that we have a great team and just maybe now the little russian will take centre stage…… I think in a years time a couple of players will be regretting their decisions to leave.

  154. barumgooner says:

    I have said it before and will say again that I am worried about left-back though. With Mr Gibbs seemingly made of Balsa wood we are only left with Traore ( a player we only still have because no-one else wants him)…….Please Arsene buy Leighton Baines.

  155. oz gunner says:

    tough call on traore, i was worried and definently was marching to the tune of Baines coming (set pieces alone would be of great help) but i think we have two very good LBs ready to fight it out for the position. I hope gibbs does stay fit because from last years exploits i thought if someone sneezed in the front row he would injury his ankle. But i feel we are covered in that area.

    I agree with your comment about the team coming together and stepping up with the departure of cesc. Lets not forget most fans and pundits predicted the end of the world when henry left and we replaced him with eduardo! Players stepped up and we were still popping in goals for fun. I feel that sometimes when you have a world class player for too long you rely on them too much. Classic example was henry in his last season, players would just pass it to him and expect him to work the magic even though it wasn’t the best option. Same story with cesc, i felt that players would just pass it to him as a get out of dodge pass, jack included. Now players can lift together and excel once again

  156. oz gunner says:

    @ London

    isn’t it because he is an international therefore he automatically gets a work permit?! sorry if i’m wrong but i thought that was one of the ways we were hoping to get ryo in (hoping he became an international player)

  157. RockyLives says:

    Oz
    Think you’re right about Campbell – he has a number of international caps so should be no problem getting his permit.
    It’s a silly system though – I would imagine that the fifth best Argentinian CB, who might never win a cap in his life, would be better than the first choice Qatari CB, who may well have 100 caps to his name. The second would get a work permit, the first wouldn’t. Silly.

    I am glad you are so optimistic too Oz. I have a feeling that the rest of the players are going to be absolutely fired up to show that Arsenal are not a one-man or two-man team.

  158. London says:

    Hmmmmm, I like this point to prove idea.

    I really should go to sleep.

  159. RockyLives says:

    Good God London – what time is it in Blighty?
    Kids keeping you up?

  160. RockyLives says:

    Peaches, Rasp
    I have tweaked my Cesc post to make it non time sensitive. It will only be relevant if he actually leaves, at which point you could put it out any time in the ensuing days if you’re short of a post.

  161. RockyLives says:

    The Sun reporting that we’ve asked for Carlos Tevez in exchange for Nasri.

    In his career at Man City Tevez has 43 goals in 63 appearances – which is phenomenal.

  162. oz gunner says:

    @ Rocky

    i agree the team will be fired up, and if their not i would question what they are really made of. I would love someone like vermaelen to come out with a hard (but fair) tackle to make a statement saying ‘we are not going to be pushed around this season!’ (similar to the one scott parker did to joe cole)

    Tevez would be good but he wants to go home, no point trying to get another want-away player. Yes hes professional but typical sun reporting junk

  163. oz gunner says:

    and great point on the work permit situation.

  164. dandan says:

    Have heard strong rumour Barca’s Fabergas wants to join Arsenal. where we gonna play him πŸ™‚

  165. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning anyone.
    Here we go again. 5:30 KO. Rubbish for travelling fans, great for Dad’s who want to take their children surfing.
    Favourite rumour so far….errr…don’t have one as none include Fernando or Subotic. Crazy one has to go to Tevez but then again, its a mighty odd window.

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry dandan,
    Didn’t see you there. morning.
    You’re a wise sagely sort. What do you make of this intensive reinforcing of the front line with youngsters, when some might argue some defensive experience might have been a reasonable idea?

  167. dandan says:

    Mickey when you gonna smile its footy season again, Win or lose its the Arsenal live yeahhhhhhhh

  168. dandan says:

    The defender will come this week, trust me. Even Rasp thinks we will buy one, Christmas is coming LOL Today is my favourite day, bugger the doomers, we are on our way.

  169. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Always smiling underneath it all, dandan. Cannot wait for KO. I even ammended my doomist score predictions yesterday to tally with my everpresent optimism when the action starts. You don’t catch me dooming outside of a transfer window.

  170. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Am I right in thinking Ramsey is fit?

  171. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If he is, then I fully expect 11/11 from the Big Raddy line up. If not, then it could be interesting.

  172. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There is going to be a new AA Positive Thinking Mantra soon, which will begin: “Even Rasp and Micky think….” πŸ™‚

  173. dandan says:

    Bloody hell Mickey you are talking miracles here. LOL
    I can get off my knees at last πŸ™‚

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No “e” in Micky dandan. I cannot spell, but this is one of the rare occasions on which I’m on solid ground!

  175. dandan says:

    Micky I should know better my son is a Michael lOL

  176. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh no, your son will be a Mickey traditional style.
    “Micky Did It” were the exact words and spelling on a baseball cap that Micky Thomas was wearing around town on May 27, 1989.

  177. evonne says:

    Morning Early Birds – I checked all the press, Cesc is still ours πŸ™‚
    I said long time ago to demand Tevez for Nasri, after all it was Wenger that ‘found’ him before the Hammers

  178. MickyDidIt89 says:

    dandan,
    I believe you are one of the site elite with the power to delete and erase unwanted comments, so perhaps effect those skills on this one before Rasp wakes up. Can’t have him turning all gloomy on a day like today:
    β€œWe will have a new centre-back by the end of the transfer window – because Vermaelen only played five games last year,” he said.
    Quick…control, shift, delete !

  179. evonne says:

    Aha, I was wondering about ‘MickyDidIt’, but didn’t want to appear ignorant πŸ™‚ Who on earth is Micky Thomas πŸ™‚

  180. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha its the German Walker. Good Morning and I hope you are feeling more happier today.

  181. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    It is actually a bit obtuse. Might change it.

  182. “We will have a new centre-back by the end of the transfer window because Thomas Vermaelen only played five games last year. To buy just for the sake of buying – you won’t find me there. If I’m convinced the player has the quality, I will always do it if he’s better than the players we have.”

    Like a new signing then

  183. evonne says:

    Yeah, I am looking for a new identity too…..

    No Micky, I am not better, still gutted, cannot think about Cesc without a tear; I genuinly grew to love that lad and to think that he desperately wants to leave us makes me so very sad..

    A few years ago, on 22nd June 2007 my husband left me and went to live in Ireland. I was sad, but managed to get through the morning. And then I heard on the radio TH14 famous ‘That’s it guys….’. I broke down, I stayed in bed for few days grieving, not for my husband πŸ™‚

    Cesc is going to be even harder for me

  184. evonne says:

    GM – please don’t say that, please say AW will buy a defender….

  185. OMG it’s here, football is back πŸ™‚

    Morning all

    I don’t expect Cesc will do anything as classy as Thierry’s ‘That’s it guys ………’ and even if he did I wouldn’t want to listen to it 😦 Look evonne, you’ve made me cry just thinking about it 😦 Don’t smash up that photo

    Players are fickle – although I’m pretty certain that Thierry will be a gooner until the day he dies – I was shocked to hear Vieira saying in an interview this week that ‘we believe we can win the title’!!!! We, as in Man City!!!!!!!!!!

    Just had a proof read of Raddy’s post and the bar-codes had better watch out cos we’re coming to get ya.

  186. evonne says:

    Morning Peaches – I won’t smash the photo, but it has to go to the attic, or even worse to the garage. Well, until I get over the loss and resurect it

    Are you really EXCITED about today? I am struggling to lift the mood up 😦

  187. oz gunner says:

    watching henry after the emirates cup game was amazing, i watched his lap of honour and interview with keown again. You will not find a more genuine and honourable player than him. I hope he comes back in some sort of coaching role when his time at the red bulls is up. Campbell, Ox, Afobe, Walcott and Gerv could benefit alot from his mentoring

    Vieras comments are a let down, as for cesc he has handled it very poorly and is nowhere near as classy as henry, good riddance i say.

  188. I am excited because it’s a new season and I’m full of hope. Whether I feel the same at 7.30 this evening remains to be seen. Sad that those scummers aren’t playing, it’s always good to enjoy their poor results πŸ™‚

    I’m just a meany really ………..

    What a drab, miserable day, I’ve even got jeans on 😦

    Did you dig up those Hemerocallis?

  189. barumgooner says:

    Morning all. I for one am confident for the new season. Out go a couple of big-name superstars and in come some youngsters looking to prove themselves. Gibbs, jack, Rambo and Henri are the key to our future and it starts today. 3-nil to the Arsenal.

  190. Rasp says:

    Morning,

    He’s got two good feet and knows where the goal is….

  191. Rasp says:

    Campbell is the signing I’m most excited about.

  192. Where’s the smiley face then, your comment should be littered with them πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜†

  193. Morning Rasp πŸ˜›

  194. Rasp says:

    Morning peaches,

    Micky and I are entitled to be optimistic and fervent in our support of the new ‘New Arsenal’ even though we have been far more accurate in our predictions than the majority on here πŸ˜› πŸ™‚ πŸ˜• 😳

  195. oz gunner says:

    Bugger Rasp you beat me to the punch. I just watched that a couple of minutes ago and was going to upload it.

    Youtube can make anyone look good, but there is genuine skill shown by campbell, some of his strikes are amazing. I can’t wait

  196. Rasp says:

    Can anyone confirm/deny for me whether Almunia has been sold/is out on loan/is wanted by nobody – I’ve just added JC (that will be my term for our new saviour) to our list of ins and outs and don’t really want to waste my typing skills on Affable Al.

  197. Both Micky and you were unlikely not to be enthusiastic once the day came, its all about the football now πŸ™‚

    Is the defender coming though do you think? Campbell looks like a real find, no wonder you’re excited about him πŸ™‚

  198. Rasp says:

    Hi oz,

    My understanding is that JC cost us less than 1m, and so does not represesent a huge financial risk. This boy has precocious skills and loves scoring so he’ll inject some youthfull disrespect into the squad and may chip away at the complacency that has seeped into our game on occasion.

  199. Almunia is in the squad and has the number 1

    Eboue is the only player without a number ……..

  200. Rasp says:

    Peaches, no-one wants to be wrong more than me. If we sign a top CB and a powerful creative midfielder I will be (cue the football cliche) over the moon πŸ˜› – I really don’t know if Scott Dann is the answer, but he will be a hell of a lot better than Squillaci.

  201. ‘youthfull disrespect’ love it Rasp – we need more of that. There’s too much ‘after you, no after you’ all round in our game

  202. Well, we’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.

    evonne is going to be inconsolable if we don’t sign a defender in addition to Cesc moving on ………

  203. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Rasp and Peaches,
    Well here we ago. After a disasterous close season, I am up for it and ready.
    (Before anyone barks at me, I know the flippin’ window is still open but we are not going into the season settled).
    The close season Micky has left the building. All hands to man the Cannons. Blast them all to kingdom come. Harrah!

  204. Excellent approach Micky πŸ™‚

    Did you rescue your lobster pots?

  205. oz gunner says:

    agree peaches. The last few seasons there hasn’t been enough of the fringe players grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck and taking their chance ala jack the lad. I hope players like the ox, campbell and especially lansbury really give it all they’ve got and push the starting lineup

    Surely a CB will be coming otherwise we would not have loaned out bartley again (after all he is better than squidge. Didn’t someone say almunia wrote on his twitter saying he is going to malaga on loan?!

  206. oz gunner says:

    @ Micky

    settle down the flippin’ window is still open!

  207. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Full/new moon next week, so we’re back in the water, but no is the answer. I imagine they are half way across the Atlantic by now, but replacements are primed and ready.

  208. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz,
    Leave close-season-Micky alone. He is back in his box.

  209. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Drum roll…here comes Raddy

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