A Continent of Discontent

As I write this, Arsenal Football Club stand on a precipice of doubt, a mountain range of negativity, a continent of discontent.

In comparison to last summer, we have been positively flying in the transfer market, signing so far no less than three first-team players with more promised. Gervinho, Jenkinson and Oxlade-Chamberlain (whose contract terms were agreed in January). We’ve seen Miyaichi gain his work permit and been earmarked for the first-team and players like Frimpong, Lansbury, Afobe all promoted to the first team fold.

But then, we are facing an exodus this summer never before seen at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger. A clear-out of almost epic proportions.

So far we’ve seen Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Gael Clichy, Cesc and Mark Randall amongst the players leaving the club with Clichy fleeing to the North-West’s answer to Chelski and it’s become Arsenal’s dumping ground of falling stars – Man Citeh. Bendtner, Almungo and Eboooooue are all looking for new clubs and are yet to be successful.

Amongst the comings and goings, we’ve endured the relentless and eventually successful pursuit of Cesc, our Captain, our little Spanish genius and the boy we had allegedly stolen/kidnapped from Barcelona. It’s been clear over the years that he has suffered from Stockholm Syndrome and fallen in love with Arsenal and us, Arsenal’s dedicated, loyal fans, his captors. Clearly he was hoodwinked into signing such long contracts with us and shame on Arsenal for tying their best player down on a long term deal and letting him pocket the signing on fee.

I refuse to be bitter towards Cesc, instead I revel in the wonderful things he has done for us on a week by week basis and I feel almost apologetic about the condition that we allow him to return to the Barcelona fold. His battered and bruised husk and dodgy hamstrings don’t sum him up as a man or as a player, but they might just determine the rest of his career.

In truth I hope not. I hope that he continues to have a wonderful career and completely out-shine Xavi and Iniesta so that everyone knows what a wonderful player he is.

Bless Arsene for trying again though, signing Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral Harper from Barcelona and accelerating them into the under-18s squad. I do hope we aren’t just setting ourselves up for a Groundhog day.

We’re also faced with the possible departure of Nasri, the mercurial French dribbler, whose quick feet, pace and determination made him a fan favourite and really stamped his authority in the first half of the season. He has a year left on his contract and it appears that we are struggling to tie him down (in the contractural sense, though perhaps a more literal application of the term might be appropriate to ensure the contract negotiations complete in a satisfactory manner).

Citeh have by all accounts tabled a bid or two and it is being considered. I do expect if we lose Cesc, which looks likely then I expect the board to throw a big deal on the table in front of Nasri to make him stay.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, after a pre-season littered with excellent first half performances and shattered by disjointed second halves the new players, Gervinho and Jenkinson have fitted in really well and I think they are assets to the squad. Gervinho has excellent pace and an ability to get in the right place at the right time. Jenkinson, a fresher, younger talent has the raw attributes to be an excellent right back in the mould of Lee Dixon. He’s strong, has a good range of passing and heads the ball well.

With the recent addition of Oxlade-Chamberlain we have an astonishing amount of players who can play out wide. With the promotions from within we have a veritable shedload of central midfielders too so if Bendtner leaves to get first team football our squad deficiencies are clear, we need a defender and we will need another striker.

Too many people write off Chamakh, who is a proven goal-scorer at all levels, in the Premier League and Champions League but if Bendtner leaves there is a vacancy up front and I think Theo Walcott will fill it.

I think if we lose both Cesc and Nasri we will still have a good squad and with quality additions at the back and in midfield I can see us challenging. I think the combination of Wilshire, Rambo, Gervinho, Arshavin and Walcott would easily score 30 goals between them. If RvP keeps up his impressive goal-scoring form and barring any long-term injuries it might not matter if we concede two goals if we score 4.

A big problem with the way we play is that if it breaks down we are often exposed at the back because we are impatient. With Gervinho, Arshavin, Miyaichi and Oxlade-Chamberlain we have real wingers who like running into space and pushing the opposition defence about. With that kind of attacking intelligence up front I can see a lot of goals against the “park the bus” teams. Something that has been lacking in the last season or two.

We are more solid than last season. Defensively and Offensively. I think we will do well this season, whether we will be able to topple Citeh and that beast Aguero is yet to be seen, but I’m excited by the chase.

It’s important to get perspective, to be positive. There will be up’s and down this season, but we are Gooners, not Goners. We are Arsenal.

WG

Republished from http://www.wigangooner.co.uk – originally published on 12/08/2011 – updated on 17/08/2011 due to Cesc transfer

210 Responses to A Continent of Discontent

  1. chas says:

    Nice post, WG.

    Your description of the summer transfer does make it sound very busy indeed, as was promised.

    You highlighted the aspect of our play that makes us look most fragile, that when a pass goes astray we look really vulnerable. It happened several times last night and we were slightly fortunate to get away with them.

    Side note – dearth means scarcity. Is that what you meant?

  2. goonermichael says:

    That’s very well written Wigan. I can’t see us challenging this season though. I hope I’m wrong and the window isn’t closed so you never know.

  3. WiganGooner says:

    Can’t believe I made that schoolboy error.

    Already fixed 😀

    WG

  4. goonermichael says:

    It was still very well written wigan! 🙂

  5. chas says:

    Haha, WG.
    Love the replacement. 🙂

  6. Chris Surrey Gunner says:

    Wenger has still not addressed the most important area, defence, by now he could have signed Samba, Cahill and paid the going rate. We look far too fragile at the back, with all hope laying heavily on the shoulders of Vermalen, you cannot spend £12 million on a 18 year old, who is untested in the EPL and will most likely sit on the bench, while we leak goals at the back. This is madness, what has happened to Arsene, can he not see what everyone elase does, or has he become so stubborn that he cannot ever admit his failing.

  7. WiganGooner says:

    Thanks guys 🙂

    Right, I really have to go out. Catch you all later

    WG

  8. boyo says:

    I don’t see how we are stronger than last season? Are you saying that Gervinho, Jenkinson and Chamberlain are better than Clichy, Fabregas and Nasri?

    I am no expert but that seems odd

  9. Big Raddy says:

    WG. I cannot agree that we are more solid than last season. IMO we have taken 2 steps forward and 3 back.

    The natural development of Szczesny has been immense for the defence and it is only the foolish pundits who cannot see AFC’s GK fragility has finally been resolved (and Fabianski is a very good no.2).

    TV is as always the leader of the defence and has already shown what we lost with his injury, but apart from that I fail to see how any team that loses it’s best player can be said to be more solid. Song, Ramsey and JW will become the pre-eminent midfield in the PL, but that is for 2-3 years time, What of the meantime?

  10. kelsey says:

    Ah,
    this time we agree BR

    When it comes down to the fact that a kid who was on loan at Eastbourne last season is your only back up at left back when he is a right back,it shows the depth of squad at the moment.

  11. Cpt BlackBeard says:

    Considering we are spoilt for choice in terms of wide players, whyu not give Theo a try upfront? We know he has pace and can usualkly finish when through on goal. However playing him out wide isnt working, he cannot deliver good enough balls into the box and foten finds himself at the by-line with nowhere to go.

    We need a 1 or 2 tried and tested players, not youth promotions,. The fact that we bring in younger players is great, but its common knowledge that finding a balance including expereinced players is important.

    I know Wenger hates spending, but the team comes first and we need a defender, why doesnt he just bite the bullet and pay the asking price? Even if thats the only other pruchase we make, it would settle nerves. Does Arsene deem our defence adequate? Is he insane?

  12. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post WG, I cannot argue with it’s spirit but agree with Raddy that we are vulnerable in several areas.

    We need reinforcements. Squads win things, not teams and our squad is lacking in depth and in some cases quality.

    There is no need to go over our propensity to lose key players through injury, that is happening already, if we do not buy wisely in the next two weeks we will be a mid table side IMO.

  13. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    It hasn’t been too bad a start to the season IMO. I saw a bit of George Graham style in the win over Udinese. We score in the return leg, they have to score 3.

    Arsenal can beat Liverpoo because the same old fancy footie style that has been so predictable to counter with the parking of the bus @ The Emirates, has gone.

    Arsenal won nothing with Cesc Fabregas. That is a big fat zero. So IMO it can only get better. But the gaffer will have to bring in a talisman to help out RVP. And who better than Tevez.

    I tell ya, if Arsenal signed Tevez, it will be Cesc who?

  14. Gooner In Exile says:

    WG nice post, love the optimism.

    I like others see the problem of losing our playmakers (Cesc and Nasri). However I also see the benefit of a more solid midfield three from Song/Frimpong/Wilshere/Ramsey it’s interchangeable and more protective than including a player like Cesc or Nasri who let’s face it did not concern themselves too much with defending last season. Especially if we sit Frimpong and Song together for certain games. I thought Song had a stormer last night defensively and shouldered his responsibilities well.

    This only works if Theo/Gerv/RvP/AA23 are allowed to roam free.
    up front, and we allow teams to come on to us more as I feel we did last night, unfortunately

    Kelsey why do you constantly refer to Jenkinsons loan spell at Eastbourne, that was likely brought about due to injury at Eastbourne and Charlton doing them a favour rather than any reflection of his ability. I thought he looked very comfortable last night and think he will make a very good reliable backup defender this year. How about we refer to him as Finland u21 International.

    Also I think the comings and going this year have made us taller and bigger, we certainly looked it last night with only Theo and TR7 representing the Dwarves.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi WG, a great post that you should evaluate and re-write again at the end of the transfer window. Then we will know whether we kept Nasri (unlikely) and whether new signings were made. How many teams can cope with the absence of Nasri, Wilshere and Cesc in midfield during the first two games of the season? We can and did, but it is clear we need another creative and 15 goals-a-season midfielder, especially if Nasri is indeed to leave. Also, still, agree with you on the need for another CB: we are getting very close again to having to use Squilly and we all know which risks are involved with that!

    I agree with London that yesterday’s game was poor and that we we looked like a Championship team (at times). Confidence is everything, and a good performance/win against Les Dippers would go a long way. Hopefully, before Saturday the Nasri situation is resolved and we have made another important signing.

  16. RedandDread says:

    I fear it will become a universe of discontent should Arsene not sign the players we need. A defender, a creative midfielder and a very good striker and possibly a left back.

    Still 2 games, 2 clean sheets but last night’s game showed worrying signs of some of the weaknesses that scuppered our campaign last season.

    Until the cavalry rides in this team needs to play SOLID, cohesive football, keep as many clean sheets as possible and play as intelligently as we can.

  17. Red Arse the Langoustine says:

    Well done WG, 🙂

    There are so many positive AA’ers that I am reassured the ‘positive – negative’ talk that flew around a couple of nights ago was just an aberration. You are a shining light in this respect and your straight talking has cheered me up no end!

    Last night’s result was “job well done” with an important clean sheet -and a win.
    As with all football matches the fickle finger of fortune points as it will, and I suspect that it was pointing in our favour last night.
    Udinese can count themselves a little unfortunate not to have scored at least once and could well have scored 3, if it was not for Chezzer and the bar!

    We may not be so fortunate in the away leg, so fingers crossed.

    I like to think of myself as being a ‘positive’ fan, but that is a vague term so what does that mean?
    For me it means giving the benefit of the doubt, where any doubt exists, to the manager, the players and the club as a whole, rather than give credence to the worst possible interpretation of events.
    It does not mean I blindly agree with everything I see, hear or am told, by the media, is the club’s transfer policy. I question things with an open mind, and try to see the mitigating factors. 🙂
    Positive? Well, you decide after reading the following.

    I admit to watching the game from the edge of my seat with my nerve endings screaming out for the release of another goal.

    Forget the stats – Chamakh was truly awful. What other top 6 club would have him in their side?
    Theo, for all his exuberant running about, is just so inconsistent, other than in consistently falling over, being shrugged off the ball or attempting to cross it off the defenders shins. He really should have scored another 2 goals – no excuses at this level.

    The major weakness of the team lies in the lack of a sustainable midfield strategy. There is no apparent cohesiveness between Song, Rambo, Rosicky and the defence.
    When attacks breakdown because Song or Rambo, supporting the attack, misplace a pass, for example, there are huge gaps between the attack/midfield and the defence, who are then left with little or no cover. On at least two occasions Udinese could and should have scored, because of this failing.

    Despite this and the forced substitutions the defence played their hearts out – all of them!

    Am I being too critical? Not intentionally. I know the upheavals we have experienced would have unseated ANY other team or club.

    Last night, losing the services of Cesc, Nasti, Clichy, RVP, Bendy,Jack and AA from what would have been pretty much our first team last year, means that nearly 80% of that team had been replaced in one go, for a critically important Champions League qualifier, coupled with the introduction of players who have recently returned from serious injuries and one (Jenkinson – who played very well) who was a complete novice.

    In those circumstances I repeat, a positive result – “Job well done”

    Bring on the ‘Pool! 🙂

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, another good analysis! I especially agree with you on your point re ‘sustainable midfield strategy’. That is also for me the big issue and surprise this season. The triangle of Song, Rambo and the boy called Mozart is not working well at all at the moment. It will hopefully all be a lot better once Wilshere returns. However, we need cover and you can see why Wenger does not want Nasri to leave.

  19. Double98 says:

    Arsenal have won every game since Cesc left.
    Long may it continue.

    🙂

  20. SPECTRUM says:

    Jon Toral Harper
    Hector Bellerin
    Serge Gnabry
    Carl Jenkinson
    Gervinho
    Oxlade-Chamberlain
    Joel Campbell
    Seven new players in. And six of them under 19 years old. What does that tell us ? We have 100 million to spend, but Wenger intends to continue with the failed Project Youth. And you thought he’d change ?
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  21. tommystout says:

    good post WG i thought it would have been met with plenty of negetives but so far the board remains pretty positive.
    Anyway i’m as always remain a positive gooner, we rode our luck last night but everything at the moment is against us. wengerless yet still uefa have to have a go, it was obvious the missing wenger had a massive effect on us. Teamed with losing RVP & LJW & nasriuggghhh, the odds were stacked against us against a very good udinese side who competed toe to toe with AC & inter last season.
    I agree that we are more solid this season (defensively i mean), i always thought that TV and Kozzer would team up well and so they are, sagna as always is super, chezzer has come of age probably 5 years earlier than he ought to (thank you.) LB is sorted provided Gibbs stays fit. Defense wont be the problem this year, offensive however could be – wenger is getting murdered for looking at creative players rather than CB’s, i think he is right to.
    Spend some money Mr Wenger on some experience and creativity and a 40 goal a season striker, get chamach some counselling and promote walcott to hang on the shoulder – sorted.
    Mind you he wont spend until our Champions league future sorted.
    In arsene we TTTTTTTTTrust (Mr Spectrum) 🙂

  22. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I thought it was an exceptable result last night considering the loss of(as TotalArsenal said) Nasri/ Jack/ Cesc and also RVP, not conceding was crucial.
    I hope to see 3 of those back for the return, yes! even Nasri, if he is not sold!.
    I agree with GIE,about Song and Frimpong sitting in front of the back four. we have to be hard to beat!.
    As for Le Prof, i`m leaving my judgement `till the end of the transfer window, in ever hope of the “super quality” signing he promised.
    Hopefully 3 steps back, 4 or 5 forward Big Raddy.

  23. fed up says:

    Can’t believe we signed the 2 barca kids.
    After the cesc debacle I wouldn’t touch another Catalan with a barge poll.

    In fact I’d full out refuse to deal with them ever again, and so should the rest of Europe after their underhanded tactics driving prices down.

    Unless we send them anthrax, I could deal with that

  24. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I used to go out with a girl called Anne Fracts, and she gave most people a dose( a lucky escape for me,wouldn`t have liked a blog name of gunner rear!) so yes, fed up, stick her in cesc`s luggage.:)

  25. kelsey says:

    GIE,
    my point was for a club with title ambitions instead of buying some experience for cover for Sagna and now in fact with clichy gone a left back is a must, we yet again go into the bargain basement and buy a lad who may or maynot turn out to be as asset to the club in the future.
    I will rephrase anything to do with jenkinson in the future,my apologies.

    The gist is that we need to bolster the squad now with experience and that might cost money, not continually look to the future.

  26. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey I agree some experience would be good, what kind of experience? Mid table PL experienced or Winners elsewhere experienced? We will be unable to sign winners from the PL.

    Unfortunately our squad is looking (especially against Newcastle) thin due to the players that we the fans demanded were shown the exit door.

    Last night though I thought we coped with a team that would have dispatched 80% of the PL teams and given a good game to the rest. If we manage the win in Italy I would put money on Udinese to win the Europa League. We coped without JW and RvP we need one CB especially with JD picking up a knock.

    This is going to be a huge transitional year and it is imperative we all cone together to achieve what we all want as Arsenal fans.

    If we don’t sign anyone else I will be demanding answers from the Board or Wenger as to who is preventing the spending. I just can’t see that Wenger is willing to base his hopes on the current squad.

    That said I also think there was an extra level of responsibility last night as they know they have no one else to rely on. A win is a win how it looked is not reflected by the end of the season.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi all,
    I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the support that could be heard on the TV. I was expecting some bad stuff.
    If Nasri goes and we don’t buy in any more, ending up anywhere higher than eighth I would regard as an achievement given the squad. Going to be a fascinating couple of weeks.

  28. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I see, according to ESPN, that Arsene told Sky Sports,” he would buy a player of quality up to £40 million”.
    I know i have said in previous posts, that Arsene said he was going to buy a” super quality player”, well seeing as i`ve got nothing better to do,I wondered who? do you AAers think are classed as “super quality players”.
    I can only think of 2 above super quality,Messi and Ronaldo(any more?).
    Here`s my Top Ten of Super Quality(I may struggle,its been a long shift down the treacle mine)
    In no particular order(I`ve always wanted to say that!)

    1: Cesc,shit he`s gone
    1:Hazard.
    2:Sneider.
    3:Tevez.
    4:Aguero.
    5:Rooney.
    6:shweinsteiger.
    7:Villa.
    8:Xavi.
    9:Iniesta.
    10:Neymar.
    I know, there`s no Goalies or Backs but it`s only my oppinion and I was struggling.
    There were others i thought about, but they only got in the quality list.
    Love to know your list`s AA`ers.

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GLiC,
    I think we’d be lucky to sign Eboue.

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Seriously, I’m bracing myself for a very disappointing transfer window, and this way anything will be a bonus. From where I’m sitting the only way is up (obviously). Things can only get better.

  31. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Micky, cant say he didn`t at least put a smile on my face!(:

  32. Red Arse the Langoustine says:

    Hi GLIC, 🙂

    Don’t worry, I have telephoned Arsene and said it’s simple – buy Benzema!

    He told me he would consider it —– now how do you say in Engleesh? ah, yes — eff off! I think I am getting thru to him, or it might have been the tea lady. We’ll see. 🙂

  33. Red Arse the Langoustine says:

    Micky,

    — “The only way is up”? Not if, like Oz Gunner you are in ………….. Oz!

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Look here Langoustine, the only people who can possibly go less up than Oz are working in a research unit at the South Pole.
    Bloody crustaceans.

  35. oz gunner says:

    great analysis RA

    Experience and a true desire to win is a must. Players who will leave everything out on the pitch to win a game. There seem to be too many players that just go through the motions waiting for their next paycheck. If nasri does indeed leave then Cahill, parker, creative midfielder and a striker should be bought in, the squad is to bare at the moment. I do feel sorry for young jenkinson because if traore and gibbs don’t pull up hes going to thrown into the lions den against liverpool (then again some players thrive on the big stage e.g wilshere against barca). Goodluck to the lad

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz, Very true. I cannot see where the leaders are to pull as through tough games at Bolton, Everton and so on.

  37. Red Arse the Langoustine says:

    Hi Oz, 🙂

    Totally agree. I like the look of Jenks, he is tall and athletic, a nice change from our gang of midgets! 🙂

    Micky,

    We crustaceans know all about you. “He seems to be a nice guy” said my best mate ….. and then you put a spear up his jaxi and told all the AAers how nice he tasted! 🙂

  38. oz gunner says:

    haha good call RA and Micky. You may have the football but at least we have the weather, the cricket team, the rugby team, the lawn bowls team (i think) and no tottenham scum (just manure fans who only support them because they think beckham is still there).

    @ GLIC:

    i’d grab 3,4, and definently 6

    i’d probably chuck vidic on that list tbh

  39. Red Arse -- The Where is 26 May Society says:

    Oz,

    Thank you for your earlier comment on my view of the team and last night’s game. Only you and TA ever read my stuff, so you are in good if minimal company!! 🙂

    Now you know why I won’t write Posts anymore. 🙂

  40. London says:

    Kelsey

    I remember you being unhappy about the experienced back up we had for Sagna saying we should get a youngster, now we have got a youngster you are moaning that we need experience. How does that work?

  41. Red Arse -- The Where is 26 May Society says:

    Oz, not that I have an axe to grind for the Limeys, and I agree with most of your claims.

    But the cricket team? I assume you do not mean the “Best Team in the World” — England are No.1 aren’t they? 🙂

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, slow down Oz,
    I only meant up in a geographical sense. It was that stupid Crustacean winding me up. I have nothing against Australia. Well other than that nasty hot weather of yours. 🙂

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahoy London,
    Can I disagree with whatever it is you are about say as I fancy a ding dong 🙂

  44. Red Arse -- The Where is 26 May Society says:

    He was about to say how nice you are, Micky. 🙂

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    If I remember correctly, which is most unlikely, 26 is in the holiday camp with Peaches and Chary.

  46. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I think Arsene is being brainwashed into a Manc!
    The last sentence on his Sky Sports chat, he says “Football is difficult enough if you are united. If you are not united,you have no chance”.
    Unless you are Citeh,that is, maybe chavs! 🙂

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    London thinks I’m a doomer 😦

  48. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    i’ll always read and respect everyones opinion especially if they’ve taken the time to write a long winded one, but i feel your opinion along with Rocky and TA seem to mirror mine some what so i can relate to it better

    Australia had a rough patch but they will be back at number 1 in due time

  49. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Song`s got a 3 match ban 😦

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oi Oz,
    I’m always bloody agreeing with you 🙂
    Or is it because I think we’ll finish around 7th that you’ve stopped agreeing with me?

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GLiC
    Uh Oh

  52. London says:

    RA

    I have just read your 11:15 carfully and I feel the need to tell you that I thought you captured the situation perfectly.

  53. London says:

    Hi Micky

    Are you feeling a bit bored, I will do my best, what shall we disagree on?

  54. jo'se' says:

    Frank Ribery might be comming to Arsenal fellas.

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Here’s my opening gambit. Rosicky is utterly pointless if you are trying to win at football against a reasonable team.

  56. MickyDidIt89 says:

    jo’se’,
    Excellent. A winger 🙂

  57. London says:

    Hmmm, the trouble is I don’t disagree enough, the problem with Rosicky is Ramsey and the problem with Ramsey is Rosicky if either one of those two played ahead of Song and Wilshere which I expect will happen for ninty five per cent of the season then things would be an awful lot better.

  58. London says:

    We could have

    Gibbs
    Wilshere
    Ramsey
    Fimpong
    Walcott

    in the same team this Saturday, that would mean that the lingua franca of the majority would be English……something that hasn’t happened in a long, long time.

  59. Red Arse -- 26 May is on his Hols says:

    Crikey, London, 🙂

    re your 3:14, High praise indeed! Thank you for reading it. 🙂

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    Good point London.

    I like Jenkinson in there too (if Gibbs isn’t fit)

    Who is Jedson Silva? We’re about to sign him apparently…clever defence opener who RvP would live off (Brazilian) who has been in Ukraine according to Tim Vickery

  61. Red Arse -- 26 May is on his Hols says:

    Oz,

    I’m even more impressed that you read my long winded comment. Hope it wasn’t too taxing for you. 🙂
    Uni undergrads eh? Still, I think I was more interested in the females of the species at the time! 🙂

    If your into short winded one liners, then Micky is your man – unless you are a crustacean in which case you are more likely to be his lobster! 🙂

  62. Herb'sArmy says:

    Good day Gooners,
    liked your appraisal RA, very accurate.
    There were positives last night, we won, and Jenkinson stepped up well.
    Disagree with you GiE. Song had a stormer? We were over-run in midfield, and as usual he lost possession far too easily. And his continual lack of discipline now means he misses the games against Liverpool, Man Utd and Swansea. Not good enough. Frimpong needs to curb his enthusiasm too. On another night against better opposition, those silly free-kicks he gave away could be costly.
    But at least we have a lead to take to Italy, which is more important than slating individuals.

  63. Red Arse -- 26 May is on his Hols says:

    GIE,

    Isn’t he Jadson from Shaktar Donetsk, the one who when AW was asked if we were interested in signing him said “No, we are not interested in him”?

    I heard the exchange myself in his Monday press conference.

  64. WiganGooner says:

    Hi all,

    I think we are more solid this year and I hope to show you why.

    1) Defensively we haven’t conceded a soft goal for a while now (I know it’s still early in the season, but at first glances it’s looking good).
    2) We have a more solid, reliable Goalkeeper, I’m not as nervous about high balls into the box and his shot-stopping and positioning is good.
    3) Our midfield appears to have more bite about it, Song is performing very well in tidying up and tracking back and Rambo is also doing well. I think with the return of Wilshire we will be more creative going forwards and that will in turn lead to more goals.
    4) We have lots of young players in the squad that are hungry to step up, the likes of Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Frimpong all have much to prove and certainly Jenkinson and Frimpong impressed last night.

    That said, I did note above that with quality additions at the back and midfield I believe we will be a lot more solid. I don’t think we need strikers as it is time for Theo to go up front. I also don’t think B52 will leave – noone seems to want him at the moment. So in terms of strikers we are looking good.

    WG

  65. Red Arse -- 26 May is on his Hols says:

    Hi Herb, 🙂

    Thanks for the comment.

    I am seriously tickled, that I have had a response today, because I like to take my time, calm down and write an honest appraisal (although subjective – because I am a total Gooner) 🙂

    Usually, the comment swims in the ether unacknowledged, by anyone, except 26 – that’s why I like him – even tho’ he is a lawyer 🙂

    Oz is probably right. Too long winded and AA’ers can’t be arsed to read them — and who could blame my bloggy friends! 🙂

  66. Red Arse -- The Seriously Chuffed says:

    Herb,

    By the way, I agree with the rest of your 3:48 and especially the last point.

  67. Herb'sArmy says:

    Perhaps you should re-think your stance on writing posts.

  68. Red Arse -- The Seriously Chuffed says:

    Hi WG,

    Good points. However I cannot agree with you re Theo and Bendy. (That makes a change!) 🙂

    I am not going to go on about Theo other than to say that he himself said in his autobiography, that Fabio told him he would ‘kill’ him if he kept ‘cutting inside’ despite being told not to. Theo’s response was that he did not know what Capello wanted and he was confused and hurt.
    { A little clue here Theo — don’t cut inside – take and pass your man down the wing!}
    (Really, if he finds that difficult to understand, it tells you all you need to know about Theo frankly)

    Bendy does not want to stay at Arsenal and has made that clear. He is here only because he cannot find a club who wants HIM.
    If Chamakh keeps being is chosen over him, as he was last night – it does not say much for what AW thinks of him, does it?

    Still, Bendy over Chamakh, I suppose – the lesser of two evils.

    My wish? A proper forward like Benzema or that class of player.

  69. Red Arse -- The Seriously Chuffed says:

    Herb,

    No Post writing for me, not while we have so many skilled and interesting authors available.

    My writing style veers between esoteric and didactic, with an admittedly tongue in cheek humour that is not everyone’s cup of tea! 🙂

    I have said before, that your knowledge, experience and views definitely chime with many on here, when you are not being too despondent, and you really should give it a go. 🙂

    This is a footie blog, so it does not matter a tinker’s whatsit about typing skills or grammar as Rasp or Peaches do the necessary ‘tweaking’. The Rasper has often wrecked my prose — err sorry — helped my prose!! 🙂

    Actually, you write so well that would not be a problem anyway. Give it a go!

  70. kelsey says:

    London \@ 2.29. i don’t remember saying that.Anyway off to play lawn bowls this evening.

  71. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Where has Benik Afobe been loaned out to ?,I thought he was playing for the reserve`s the other night!

  72. Rasp says:

    On the topic of posts (and Red Arse’s excuses as to why he can’t submit one 🙂 ) …. the cupboard is bare 😦

    The raven haired warrior princess would not be pleased – we don’t want her thinking that us chaps can’t run things without her, so let’s have some posts …. Arshavin style is fine (short and sweet)

  73. Herb'sArmy says:

    RA,
    thanks for the generous compliment.
    Writing is very much dictated by the individual’s mood, and too often my glass is half-empty rather than half-full regarding our club at the moment.
    I think it’s important to gauge the mood of the blog on any given day too. Admittedly in the past, the mood has been quite light-hearted, and I’ve jumped on board with a ‘doomer’s’ attitude, dropped a bombshell and brought everyone down.
    After watching last night it would have been an easy option to have done the same today, but we all need a break from negativity, and in the final analysis, I’m grateful that we won.

  74. Rasp says:

    Song’s been banned for 3 games – apologies if someone else has already flagged this up. He’s a twit, I hope he learns his lesson this time and the cost to the team is not too expensive.

  75. Red Arse -- The Seriously Chuffed says:

    It is a worrying time for Arsenal and us Gooners at the moment.
    Elation at keeping a clean sheet last night, and winning 1:0, is mixed with a genuine concern over how things will work out next week.

    I worry that the loss of approximately £30m in revenue might lead to a reduction of that sum from the transfer funds.

    But leaving that aside for the moment, my lovely little Eboue brought a big smile to my face when it emerged, during his interview at Galatasary, that Spurs had tried to buy him, and he had turned them down. Absolute classic!

    That was typical of Eboue. I will miss him. He had a fabulous dribble and could go from one end of the pitch to the other in a flash, only to ruin it all by falling over at the death, or diving, or making an exquisite pass to a defender. If only he could have produced an end result we would never have wanted him to leave.

    He was a genuine Gooner himself and loved the club, and together with his infectious and bubbly personality he will be missed by the other players, for that if nothing else.

    Bye, Bye Emanuel — I will miss you! 🙂

  76. Red Arse says:

    Well said, Herb.

    We all get down at times and we can all benefit from someone else being stoic and cheering us with a reminder of how lucky we are to support the Arsenal, even if that person is privately hurting too! 🙂

  77. WiganGooner says:

    @RA

    Thats the thing about Eboue, we should have kept him and replaced GunnerSaurus with EboooooooeSawUs!

    He’s a great guy, I met him once and he was an absolute gent and had a laugh.

    Shame Sagna is ten times the player he is, but if you cut Eboue in half he was red and white through and through.

    WG

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    “..short winded one liners, then Micky is your man”.
    I average two lines for your information!
    While we are on the subject of my contributions, I would like to refer you back to one of my posts about Our Aura and my suggestion about Cannons. Now look at the pic of todays’ post.
    Thank cue

  79. harry says:

    Afternoon all, Nice positive spin WG on an interseting post……

    Havent had a chance since I returned from last nights match to check in:

    Positives:

    1. Clean Sheet (For moral, supress opinion and 2legged euro tie)
    2. Szczesny was the man, I have total faith in him, his confidence is even higher, he has a competitive edge and his distribution is better.
    3. The atmosphere was alot better than I expected, still not awesome,but better. A couple of boos for B52, at one stage, which i told a few off for. It did get strained towards the end when we decided that we didnt want the ball anymore and kept giving it away.
    4. We won 1-0, score 1 and they need 3.
    5. RVP plays next week!!!!!

    Negatives:

    1. Chamakh is dreadful.
    2. We tired alarmingly in the 2nd half.
    3. Jenkinson is not ready at this level and if he has to play, stick him where he is more comfortable, fair play been confident enough, but Sags should have come across. TV was doing two mans work for last 20mins…….
    4. Lack of Praise for Rosicky, albeit his engine only goes for about 65-70mins these days.
    5. I just worry about TV getting injured all the time.
    6. Movement in final 3rd is poor.
    7. Fans shouting shoot when there is no clear shot on. But i’ll agree that we dont shoot enough……..
    8. Pattern of play is too predictable and I feel like we are stuck in a rut.
    9. We sat back way too much at the end, theo should have sat on half way if we are going to do that and use his speed down middle.
    10. Frimpong, needs to curb his enthuasism, he was like a battering ram, use your power, but dont just knock people over.

    WG: Not convinced as yet to your conclusion as to solid squad?, lets see what the boss brings in before 31aug……….

  80. Red Arse says:

    I never met Eboue in person, WG, but I would have liked to.

    He contrasts very well with Nasri, but sadly he just isn’t/wasn’t as good.

    I don’t have any particular beef with Nasri actually. He is a professional footballer, a bit like the old American cowboys with ” a gun for hire”, and happy to work for the top dollar.

    None of us can claim to be surprised he wants to go where he can double his ‘wages’. Indeed, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger cannot claim to be surprised either.

    For some reason they allowed him to run down his contract until there is only one year left, leaving us in this difficult position.

    His contract should have been sorted last year and if he did not sign a new one, he should have been told to go. We could have demanded a higher transfer fee, and it would not have clashed with the inevitable sale of Cesc this year.

    We will never know the why’s and wherefore’s of these things, but if I am being honest, and not wanting to be provocative, I would have to look askance at Arsene’s so called business acumen for allowing this to happen. Perhaps he allowed his avuncular feelings for the player interfere with his business judgement?

  81. Red Arse says:

    Micky, 🙂

    You are surely not suggesting that any Arsenal player would leave an asphyxiating cloud of toxic and sulphurous fart gases trailing in his wake?

    Aura indeed! 🙂

  82. 2 points

    some extremely dodgy agent on sky this afternoon sad to replace cesc and nasri we’d have to be looking at the worlds best players like sniejder and ozil but Arsenal “can’t” buy that type of player.

    Although a lot of people don’t rate Song if you watch the move where he gave the ball away and thier player ran through our midfield and defence he kept up with him and made the block. I used to thing Gilberto was shit and I definitely wasn’t alone. Since he’s gonme he’s been elevated to one of our best players. I think the same will happen yo Song.

  83. I think nasri is a judas. If my wife left me for a richer man I don’t think I’d have any nice thoughts about her. I hope he fails big time.

  84. Gooner In Exile says:

    Even in the Sourh of France Peaches is able to get her claws in to us…apparently I’m writing a post for Thursday, which is tomorrow so time to start typing I guess.

  85. Red Arse says:

    You know you love it GIE. 🙂

    Being bossed by a peach of a woman? You naughty boy. 🙂

  86. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I have done an Eboue requiem – it is in posts. Just so you don’t choose that subject

  87. London says:

    Kelsey

    You slagged off Eboue mercilessly saying we should get a youngster with potential. Now we have a youngster with potential you are not happy that we no longer have experienced back up. I am curious to know how this works?

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Just been on Newsnow. How is there so much crap written about our club? Even the headlines are nonsense.

    Won’t be doing again that for sometime ….

  89. London says:

    I still think Nasri will stay.

  90. Herb'sArmy says:

    Good to see you back BR, hope you enjoyed your break.
    Good call on last night’s starting XI too! Kudos to you.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London, if he does go is there anything on the menu?

  92. Jamie says:

    The back four and keeper that started yesterday are very good. They got little protection because Song spent the game chasing shadows. I don’t know why Wenger persists with that. He is a top quality anchor, let him play it.

    We still have problems at the back, though Jenkinson did a turn last night.

    Traore, Jenkinson, Squillaci and Djourou is the worst cover backline in the top six. We are already faced with Squillaci playing against Liverpool as Traore, Gibbs and Djourou (or as they are better know, the colney three, due to the time they spend on the treatment table) are all injured again.

    We are short of numbers in midfield Song, Ramsey and Wilshere are good Frimpong promising but that is four players for three spots. Rosicky and Diaby can’t be counted on. We need a dependable centre back to compete with the two we have, a midfielder to give something different and another forward option aswell.

    Team is good, overall the squad players are injury prone, too raw or just not up to it.

    Fabianski, Jenkinson, Traore, Squillaci, Djourou, Frimpong, Rosicky, Diaby, Chamberlain, Chamakh, Bendtner.

    That is not good enough cover.

  93. London says:

    Why would he bother tweeting the message that he is still an Asrenal player if he he had made up his mind to leave.

    If I had made up my mind to leave and I heard my name being abused by the fans of the club I was signed to I would send a message saying:

    And I should stay at Arsenal why?

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    Kept meaning to say how jealous I was of your extended summer lockdown. I am already roaming Europe to find a longer term summer base for next summer.

  95. London says:

    Micky

    If Nasri goes you will be able to recognise me very easily at the games, I will be the one walking around wearing just my red and white boxers.

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Talking of rumours, Nic to PSG sounds quite possible.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In that case London, absolutely no more bets then!

  98. London says:

    Definitely no more.

  99. London says:

    Micky

    I concur, Nik to PSG sounds like it could fly.

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I actually hate the idea as I have a feeling that given a long run at CF he might turn out to be a good ‘un. That isn’t going to happen with us, but couldn’t a loan work?

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have just joined my son and I up as Red Members. If you buy tickets at the last moment (still thinking about Pool) where do you pick them up?

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, there’s a great choice of tickets avaiable.

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    10 mins left on ebay. I’ve just pulled out. Superb 50’s leather ball (now £130) and 50’s leather boots (now £60). Make a great collection.

  104. Gooner in Exile says:

    Micky you can’t unfortunately get tickets without your membership card. There is no picking up tickets anymore. You may have more luck if you call the Ticket Office and ask nicely.

    I heard recently that Season Ticket members cannot put tickets on the Exchange until games sell out to normal members or on General Sale.

  105. Irishgunner says:

    Schweinsteiger scores. What a player, what I would give to see him in an Arsenal shirt …

  106. neamman says:

    Jenkinson impressed me, still young but considring who was against.. an attacking capable side.. he did well. We do have Traore as a back up LB who must have been injured.

  107. Irishgunner says:

    Traore got injured in a reserves match against Mancs the other night. Hamstring.

  108. Irishgunner says:

    Citeh going to pay Nasri £200k a week. Suppose if I got that for sitting on a bench I’d sign up as well.

    He’ll be like Adebayor, off to the Spuds in a season or two 😆

  109. Rasp says:

    Nasri is gone London, its already gone past the point of no return – better get your boxer shorts fur lined.

    Hi Irish, do you think the renaissance of Tomas can continue?

  110. Irishgunner says:

    Sadly not Rasp, he can’t last a full 90mins, never mind a full season. He is a good squad player to have imo, but not a starter.

  111. Rasp says:

    I agree Irish.

    Two questions: do you think we will sign a quality midfielder? and if yes, who?

  112. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp, I can only say I hope so, we desperately need one now. As for who? Who knows.

    I really don’t mind if we have never heard the name as long as he is good. Koscielny is far, far better than I thought he would be, although he is not flawless, but a great buy. So if its another “unknown” like that, that is fine.

  113. Rasp says:

    Again I agree, I can’t see us paying for Hazard, Wenger would never go for a player like Scott Parker, there are various other clever vertically challenged prospects, but as far as I know, we haven’t made an offer on any.

    If he’s serious about Jagielka, now’s the time to get him with the fixtures we have ahead.

  114. Irishgunner says:

    Wenger needs to tie up deals in the next few days. We won’t have anyone (new) for Liverpool, and Udiense looks unlikely. Time is running out. And with the European games already started, a few names may be ruled out cos they are cup tied.

  115. kelsey says:

    London,

    I slagged off Eboue for years as being a cheat and I stand by that.Replacing him with Jenkinson as a back up for Sagna doesn’t fill me with confidence for now,maybe in the future and II could go on about other players that we have held on to for too long and now we are facing a crisis unless quality players are brought in, note not necesarily expensive players.
    I see a first team which has been depleted and a lot of inexperience players to play at this level but more than ever others who AW has remained faithful to given them high wages and now can’t sell them.
    Do you think Walcott(who I also don’t rate) will stay next season when he enters the last year of his contract.
    in 6 months we have gone from fighting on 4 fronts to now fighting to even get forth.
    There is no longer a top 4 it is a top 3 and without replacements which were promised months ago by AW and gazidis we now enter the final two weeks of the transger team with a far far weaker squad than last year..I hope you prove me wrong.

  116. Rasp says:

    Irish, we both know that’s not going to happen 😦

  117. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – Any faith I have in Wenger will have evaporated if he doesn’t have signings lined up. He had to have known Cesc and Nasri were going, absolutely no-one is surprised by their moving on.

  118. Rasp says:

    Do you think that AW has already decided he won’t be signing a new contract as manager and that his actions are being affected by the knowledge that this is his last year? On the face of it, that would seem extremely unlikely. You’d think he’d want to go on a high note and so bring in some players that might get him the holy grail of the CL.

  119. Irishgunner says:

    Kelsey – I’m giving him the two weeks, after that I may be making some of the moaning noises about Wenger.

  120. Rasp says:

    You are not alone Irish, many will find it hard to maintain their support if he allows the transfer window to close without decisive action. The next transfer news we hear will be Nasri’s exit I suspect, but again, I think the club will time the anouncement to create the minimum of bad feeling.

  121. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – I wouldn’t think so. Wenger will want to go out winning a trophy.

  122. Micky – what sort of tickets are you thinking of buying, if you don’t have your card yet you’ll need plenty of time to queue at the box office to get paper tickets.

  123. irish @ 8.44 – agree 100%, I don’t get where some are saying he can do the Cesc job.

    I believe, however wonderful ‘wengerball’ is/was we have to return to 4-4-2 now – we can still be very attack minded just more organised.

  124. chas says:

    I have a spare for the Liverpool game if any AA’ers are interested.

  125. I’ve nagged GiE and Harry, both now elevated to ‘favourite blogger’ status and they will hopefully be writing something to publish thurs/fri.

    Are there any volunteers for the Liverpool match report? If not, I shall pick someone ……..

    The Raven Haired One has spoken 🙂

  126. Rasp says:

    Thanks peaches, Raddy has also written a tribute to Eboue which we should use whilst still topical.

  127. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp use Raddy’s tomorrow…..writers block here

  128. Rasp says:

    OK GiE, thanks, maybe you can come up with something for the weekend?

  129. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp I’ll try and get something down tomorrow night.

  130. Gooner In Exile says:

    Btw I think giving Wenger two weeks is harsh. If he doesn’t sign anyone he must think his squad is good enough.

    Therefore we can only fairly judge that view after a couple of months at least. At the end of the day there’s no point removing a manager at the end of a Transfer Window it will be too late. The board and Kroenke either trust him implicitly or won’t give him the funds to buy.

    I find it difficult to believe Wenger wouldn’t like at least one more new signing.

    If this is all we have we can’t go for the Carling Cup in the same way as last year or the FA Cup if we hold any hopes for the League or CL.

    The Americans gave Dalgleish the £80m from Torres plus more to strengthen, it seems we have just about used up the Cesc money on Gerv, Jenkinson and Oxlade-Chamberlain. So if we are to buy is it from the proceeds of Clichy and Eboue £19m? Not going to buy a lot in today’s market. For me it’s all about a playmaker to pick out the runs of Gerv, Theo and RvP. Is that man Ramsey or Wilshere we will have to wait to find out.

    I don’t mind us buying young players as long as they will be used.

  131. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Will the real Red Arse please stand up 🙂

  132. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, WG, Peaches,

    I have emailed a post to you a few minutes ago. Please use it whenever you see fit.

  133. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, another good comment by you! Wenger’s departure before the end of the TW could still be wholly voluntarily (my biggest fear at the moment).

  134. RockyLives says:

    Moving house at the moment so I won’t be around much for a few days, but I will just say this: I find it inconceivable that AW won’t buy at least two more players before the window closes. And one of them will be a name to make us all feel warm inside (and I don’t mean Dietmar Porridge).

    We may not get them until closing day, but they will come. Keep the faith and keep London clothed!

    Oh, and I should add: great piece Wiggy.

  135. highaimer says:

    “We are more solid than last season. Defensively and Offensively. I think we will do well this season”

    Decent post. However, this just sounds blinkered to say the least. What are you basing this on exactly? is it 1 goal in two games against lesser team defenses or the clean sheets against two lesser-teams’ forgiving offenses? Wouldn’t it be much more well informed to make such bold statements after, we have actually qualified for the champs proper and played pool and Man u?

    I would love to sound as optimistic as you but losing your two most influential players, relying on injury prone (left)full backs, a donkey striker(chamakh) and no dominant creative midfielder does not strike me as being more solid defensively OR offensively. Did u also not watch preseason?? we were conceding stupid goals left, right and center! Just because we haven’t slipped up does not mean we should ignore the highly possible banana skins awaiting us…

    I’m not saying things can’t improve. They can. However, three teenagers and a raw striker/winger minus a cesc, clichy, nasri etc does not show we are heading in the right direction.

    Anyone who looks at arsenal with an objective perspective can see there are many things wrong at Arsenal FC and that it is being run in a backwards manner. A big club is a club consisting of big players and is not one that consistently sells them or considers youngsters as “super quality” – check Alcantara for details.

    In addition to this, for the average player it is a honor to play for us but for the big players they do not see the benefit of committing to us FACT! The day a big club cannot keep its star players is the day the term big club can no longer be used to describe that club (well yes history wise but not so in mentality and ambition).

    Unless we can stop inflating the pockets and egos of kids and start bringing in highly competitive and quality individuals to strengthen this team properly then i think the only thing we can do is hope and pray….

    So support our team with all your might – just don’t forget to pray for them also!

  136. WiganGooner says:

    Good morning highaimer,

    Thanks for your comments. I certainly am positive about Arsenal, though I wouldn’t say blinkered.

    I did suggest in the post that we would be more solid with quality additions at the back and in midfield – allowing Theo to move upfront.

    I am basing my opinion on the way we’ve been playing, not the results. We are defending better. We are retrieving posession better and our collective team work-rate is better.

    Therefore we are more solid. Injuries aside, the defence we’ve seen these last two games has already proven itself more determined and focussed than last season. Our Goalkeeper looks even better and that also calms nerves. Importantly, when we have lost players to injury we haven’t looked more fragile, Jenkinson and Djourou(pre-injury) both slotted in and performed very well.

    WG

  137. Morning all

    WG and Rasp – there’s also a post from TA in arsenalnuts that I’m just transferring to drafts.

    What’s happened to Eboue?

  138. Change that, there are photos in TA’s post and I can’t move them so can I ask one of you to do that please.

    I’m going to email Wonderman to see if he’ll be around to write the match report for L’pool unless anyone else has offered ……..

  139. Here I am missing glorious Cote d’Azur sunshine and my early morning swim and no-one is talking to me 😦

  140. London says:

    Morning GIE

    You do some outstanding work around midnight; your 12:02 really makes me feel good that there are other people out there that take the time to try and understand the difficulties that face the club and most importantly address the reasons why.

    Highaimer’s well worded comment shows perfectly what happens when fans fail to grasp or worse don’t even bother looking for the reasons as to why so many of the problems that are befalling us right now are happening.

  141. WiganGooner says:

    Hi Peaches

    I’ve already mailed Rasper about TA’s post, I’ll process it later today 🙂

    Unfortunately I’ll not be able to do the match report – its my birthday on Sunday so its a busy-busy weekend 🙂

    WG

  142. Ooops, just realised I’m an hour ahead 😳

    Morning London

  143. Hi WG, Happy Birthday for Sunday 🙂

    I’ll go ahead and email Wonderman then and let you know what he says. Jamie likes writing match reports too, is he not around at the moment?

    Has someone bought Eboue and what about Nik? I’ll be so sorry to see Nik plying his trade at another club.

  144. WiganGooner says:

    Peaches, get out in the sun girl 🙂 it’s gloomy as hell here!!

    WG

  145. Thanks,
    Why Cesc went to Barca?

  146. WiganGooner says:

    Hi Peaches,

    Eboue has gone to Galatasaray, apparently Nasri will sign for Citeh today and rumour has it B52 is off to PSG

    WG

  147. WiganGooner says:

    @Logorealmadrid

    Because all of his friends and Barca wouldn’t shut up and leave him alone. Instead they acted like spoiled brats that lost their favourite toy and harassed him week after week until he felt obligated to return.

    If only UEFA had the balls to take Barca to task on it.

    WG

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning you two,
    Wigan, Very sorry I never said thanks for the very good post yesterday although at this point I don’t share your optimism 😦
    Peaches, Galatassaray. I know he had a likeable side, but he also had the cheaty bit, so I am not sorry to see the back of him.
    On the plus side to my doomy outlook, we clearly operate within the confines of balancing the books with regards to player movements, so if the Nasri stories are true, I am looking forward to the next two weeks and I expect every penny from sales to be leaving the account 🙂

  149. London says:

    Good Morning Peaches

    I hope you are having a relaxing time in the South of France.

  150. kelsey says:

    WG and all just to compound things jack has an achilles problem and AW says he will miss the next 2 to 3 games.(We all know what that means.)

  151. WiganGooner says:

    @Micky

    We do need additions, but there are things to be positive about. Trust me, we will do well this season.

    WG

  152. Rasp says:

    Don’t let us fool ourselves here. It is great to lift the spirits with rallying cries and no-one is suggesting that they will stop supporting Arsenal, but we have known all summer that Cesc and Nasri are leaving.

    There has been plenty of time for contingency plans and to research new players. The injuries and suspensions have come early.

    We will be negligent if we do not make a serious attempt to plug the gaps in the squad by bringing in at least two players.

  153. WiganGooner says:

    Morning Kelsey,

    I had an achilles injury, I actually managed to carry on playing throughout, it was just the recovery was painful and uncomfortable. Not every achilles problem is like TV’s – which incidentally wasn’t a problem with the actual achilles but another nerve/cartilage that was causing discomfort.

    I hope Jack recovers soon, but I do expect Arsene to be active, as has been said above, we all knew Cesc was leaving, we all felt Nasri would too, Arsene might have rose-tinted specs but he isn’t daft.

    I expect swift movements in the transfer market.

    WG

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wigan,
    Assuming Nasri is gone, and if we don’t sign anyone, I would expect us to finish around seventh, which would be perfectly acceptable given the squad.

  155. Hi kelsey – that news that Jack has an achiles problem has just made my blood run cold – 2-3 weeks and the rest!!!!!!!!

  156. London says:

    I place very little emphasis on the comments made by his now fellow team mates, not one of them went out of their way to start a Cesc conversation, all of them were asked if they would like to see Cesc back at Barcelona, what are they supposed to say: no I hope the little scroat stays in London. They are too polite for that.

    For me it was the simple calling of home, coupled with a fear that his fitness was only going to get worse from now on and had those ham strings gone again he might have lost his dream for ever of playing for his home town.

    If I played for Barcelona and I had a chance to play for Arsenal and give my Dad a chance to watch me from the stands, I would have crawled over hot coals to do so.

  157. WiganGooner says:

    @Micky

    I find it difficult to guess at the moment, We haven’t seen Miyaichi or Oxlade-Chamberlain in the Prem yet and they might prove to be answers to some of our issues.

    However, with appropriate investment in the right areas we can challenge for the title. I am basing that on what our collective team dynamic looks like at the moment. Of course, we looked like world-beaters in feb til it all fell apart – so its all conjecture.

    WG

  158. WiganGooner says:

    Gotta go to work all – be back on in 45mins or so

    WG

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Its 9am with you and if you don’t get out and make the most of that sun, you will regret it within one day of getting home. Enjoy the heat.

  160. Micky – did you get tickets for the L’pool game? I left you a message last night. Arsenal are happy for you to book seats with your new membership number but you need the card to get into the ground.Rasp’s daughter has my Red membership card and she’s going to the game so if you needed to use my number you could.

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Imagine the pressure off Cesc’s shoulders as he watched his team mates yesterday. I don’t blame him one bit. As London says, who here wouldn’t do anything to play for The Arsenal.

  162. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just considering the loss of Nasri which seems to be imminent

    2010-11 :

    Nasri P-46 G-15 Assts-5
    Walcott P-38 G-13 Assts-8

    That’s right Walcott per game stats are better.

    But what worries me more is Wengers quote earlier in the window:

    “Imagine the worst situation – we lose Fabregas and Nasri, You cannot convince people you are ambitious after that. You cannot pretend you are a big club.

    A big club holds onto its big players and gives a message out to all the other big clubs that they just cannot come in and take [players] away from you.”

    Several fans will use this as evidence of Wenger lying to us again, but i believe that perhaps this is him as subtly as possible in public having a dig at the Board.

  163. GiE – I think that quote should be filed away somewhere, under the floor boards perhaps ……. not sure how it can be defended 😦

    Now if we’d have got players in exchange from either Barca or Citeh or both that might have gone some way towards making us feel – ‘look it had to happen, but we got ………. and so it might not be so bad’

  164. London says:

    Morning GIE

    And that is why I said that I expect Nasri to stay………still do.

  165. Off to the sun now, have a lovely day all, be back later xx

  166. Rasp says:

    GiE, Wenger constantly shoots himself in the foot with his statements – it can’t be denied.

    If he was having a dig at the Board i.e. trying to push them into releasing the funds for new players, why would he come out and say “I’m not afraid to spend £40m on a player”

    These are not clever ploys to an ultimate end, just confusing rhetoric that as far as I can see achieves no purpose since we have only 2 ‘next weeks’ left and so far no action.

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    I certainly agree that there are very mixed signals. Who knows what is really going on. We had gaps to plug at the end of last season and that was before the selling. The Gerv has already gone some way to addressing the loss of Nasri but that still leaves much work to do.

  168. Gooner In Exile says:

    Also we should be thankful that Mourinho has never been associated with our club anyone who hasn’t seen his ear tweak after losing to Barca last night have a look at SkySportsNews.

    Our media slate Wenger for storming down the tunnel and not shaking hands, rather that than the pathetic actions of Jose last night. Think his time at Madrid will end soon.

    Cesc set up Messi’s winner with a cross, he cane on as 82nd minute sub.

  169. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I have a horrible feeling that we are being teed up for the “It has been impossible to get players at their true value when selling clubs know we have the money from sales. The market becomes artificially inflated for us”.

  170. London says:

    I’ll defend it, there are a couple of ways to look at it:

    One, as GIE say is that it is a small dig at the board and lets be clear here, there is no doubt that Wenger wouldlike Nasri to stay; he needs all the quality he can get in that squad right now.

    Or,two, Wenger knew Nasri was likely to leave and made that statement in the hope od getting as much money as possible that he would in theory be able to spend.

  171. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all by the way.

    London – I hope you’re right

    Rasp – I think Wenger has always toed company line so would be difficult to for him to break loyalty now. Altho he also needs to make sure his current squad don’t get made to feel worthless by saying I need three players, if he doesn’t get the new signings we will have players thinking the manager has no faith in them when they take the pitch.

  172. London says:

    Rasp

    It is the order he makes these statements that is important.

    On Sunday Fabregas was an Arsenal player, hence statement of we hope to keep our best players, this helps the board get as good a price as possible.

    Monday Fabregas is a Barcalona player and hence I am not afraid to spend 40 mil.

  173. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Not sure that Wenger is putting out signals as a negotiating tactic when he says silly stuff like “we will spend £40m on a player”.

  174. London says:

    Micky

    Don’t ignore the order that the statements were made.

  175. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I guess the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Two weeks left.

  176. evonne says:

    Hiya Peaches! I can see you are really having a break away…not 🙂

    Cesc has done well for Barca last night 😦

    London – I don’t know what you look like, but I will go to the Emirates to see you in your boxers only after you ate all other Arsenal paraphernalia. Nasri is going, defo.

  177. London says:

    I agree with GIE’s 8:28

    He says exactly what I think but explains it a whole lot better.

  178. London says:

    If Nasri leaves and we get absolutely no new signings even I will call for Wenger’s head……but that won’t happen.

  179. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    London will be drinking indoors on saturday next to the radiator.

  180. London says:

    All ye of little faith.

  181. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I like to be pleasantly surprised. I will be chuffed to bits to finish fourth, whereas some of you think we will even without additions.
    I am in a win win situation.

  182. evonne says:

    GiE at 8:28 – I agree, but there are players who will be unhappy because AW doesn’t buy to reinforce the squad and they are left struggling. It is a fine balancing act to satisfy all. So how does Fergie do it??

  183. evonne says:

    Micky – I still think that the rabbit will be pulled out of AW’s hat. He did plea with the fans to trust him, so I do. But the clock is ticking, 2 weeks left of my faith

  184. Rasp says:

    Yes, I have little faith and I have been proven correct many times in the past.

    Shoot me for saying it, but Redknapp manages to discuss player movements seemimgly without any attempt to mislead. He tells it like it is (I’d like to sign Adebayor) and as far as I can see he is successful.

    Maybe our attempt to overcomplicate transfer negotations is about as successful as the way we overcomplicate our football sometimes.

    No-one keeps a diary of Wenger’s statements, they have lost all veracity as we all know they are calculated to mislead or redirect the thinking.

  185. evonne says:

    Morning Rasp – I listened to Arry yesterday and liked what he said about taking a gamble on Ade ‘you have to take a gamble “It is a gamble but, unless you’re going to pay £35m for Sergio Aguero and pay him £250,000 a week, you’ve got to take a chance.” Wheeler dealer

  186. Rasp says:

    Hi evonne,

    I have to admit to having a sneaking admiration for ‘arry’s no nonsense approach. I love AW’s cultured demeanour, but it is possible to be too clever.

  187. kelsey says:

    London and others
    I admire your positivity, but it’s time for a reality check. Cesc said quite clearly that he told AW that he was leaving 2 months ago and actually we have not received a penny more than the offer in February.

    I don’t get this that we cant critise the club for to me it means we support them more than ever.
    Gazidis is absolutely useless as a PR man, he may want to give Arsenal more of a world wide appeal as the far east tour was a first but he has got his priorities wrong.Negotiating to get quality players should have been his first priority knowing for months we may lose nasri,cesc and Bendtner etc.
    I would be very surprised if Nasri stays and i think the damage has been done with him and the fans.

    We may still buy the “super player “AW has spoken about, and surely that is not enough.
    The midfield and defence is depleted in th first week of the season.lady luck was with us on tuesday but at cost of two further injuries.By the way jack has a protective boot on.

    I think the likes of lansbury,frimpong,jenkinson and others will be thrown into th first team and like Mickey I see us really struggling this season,at least the opening period.
    I wonder who one should really point the finger at.Kroenke,gazidiis or Wenger.
    I don’t care where we finish i have seen far worse and far better sides but we need committed players.Everyone available can’t play for thetop 3.
    I would put a cheeky bid in for drogba,but then again that is a short term policy.
    The balance of the side is lopsided and when you consider that rosicky and Arshavin are in the over 30 situation they will o next season.
    Rosicky needs an MOT he is good for 60 minutes, chamakh and arshavin have lost form, and i still don’t understand why Arshavin didn’t come on for rosicky,as it appears we were tring to hold on to a 1-0 lead against a tiring italian side.this slender lead makes u favorites to go out next week,and then the fireworks will start.
    going back to eboue,Wenger’s love child.Why sell him now, he could have gone 2 years ago ?.
    project youth has failed and now we are back to an experiment stage, low confidence and unfortuately far too many injury prone players. sad but was unavoidable.
    I would love to know what kroenke is thinking.

    actually that could have been a post but many of you would call it a rant 😉

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    I try to see things as they are not what they might be in a fluffy world. I happen to agree that we will sign players and for no other than bottom line financial reasons. Stan knows that his investment will not look too clever if we drop out of the top four. Not only will corporate/club level ticket sales fall but also CL money and sponsorship.

  189. evonne says:

    Micky and Kelsy – wise words!
    Well spotted Kelsey – despite lenghty negotiations we didn’t get more for Cesc
    Yes Micky, Stan is a businessman and probably has recognised the warning signs – booing, fall in ticket sales, negative vibes all around. I don’t agree with some that we are a club in crisis, but could become one if they don’t buy this summer.

  190. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Hi evonne

    So how does Fergie do it?? He doesn’t manage with accountants eyes 😯

  191. evonne says:

    GG9 – I hate Fergie for obvious reasons, but he is a genius, well, in my opinion. Plus, he has always had more money to spend that AW

  192. London says:

    Rasp

    Please stop saying “We” it is only you and everyone on Le Grove who think Wenger purposely tries and mislead us the fans.

    Although, you have brought the biggest smile to my face this morning by speaking so highly of Rednapp…….hilarious, and I thought I was losing credibility.

    Rednapp has never had such talents as Fabregas and Nasri and is unlikely to ever do so which begs the question how do you know how he would act if he felt that he could lose such talents.

  193. Rasp says:

    London, I have absolutely no affiliation with LG. My views are my own.

    I know Wenger deliberately issues misleading statements, I don’t know what he hopes to achieve, but I do know that he does it so frequently that many people now pay them no heed – myself included.

  194. London says:

    Kelsey

    You are proabably right in your prerception of what you call the reality.

    But tell me this, I am fortunate enough to be a season ticket holder, what should I do? Give it up becasue things aren’t quite as perfect as I would like, or find a way of thinking that things will improve?

    I go to every game, it makes no sense to do so with a moany groany attitude, that’s not to say you shouldn’t find fault in everthing but please understand why I don’t.

  195. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    kelsey. As you say, it could have been a post. I cannot agree that Project Youth has failed. Yes, it has so far failed to win trophies, but performance v cost indicates a resounding success. And it is not over – JW, Song, Chesney, Ramsey, Theo, etc are all members of the project.

    And as a financial project it has paid off very well 🙂

    London. Far be it from me to defend Harry, who I find a detestable scrote, Bale and Modric are top class players. Hopefully they will be leaving soon.

  196. evonne says:

    London – Luka Modric? Berbatov?

  197. evonne says:

    No, not Berbatov, he left before Arry, didn’t he?

    But Luka Modric?

  198. London says:

    Ahhh, we are making some progress, I stopped taking Wenger’s statement seriously about five years ago when I realised that they are not aimed at the fans. His statements are aimed at other clubs, players and thier agents. I find things make far more sense when this is realised.

  199. kelsey says:

    If i still lived in london and was healthy i would still go without hesitation, london.

    I have maintained a stance for monhs that something is amiss at the club, if anything the fans need to get behind the club more than ever but i fear many won’t.

    Wenger is the best manager we have ever had but I feel he has become a bit like Winston Churchill in a footballing sense.As I said i think AW is extremely loyal but things have changed dramatically with the board construction and of course the arab money at City, and maybe for various reasons we have had our best days with him.having said that a change of manager will not necesarily mean a change of fortunes.

  200. London says:

    Evonne

    Yes, Modric but it is a double edged sword: on one hand I am wrong because he is a quality player that I had forgotten about but on the other Rasp is wrong because Rednapp has said all the same things that Wenger has: we are not a big club if we sell such players blah, blah, blah.

    Frankly, with hindsight I suspect Rasp regrets that comparison.

  201. Big Raddy says:

    London. 9.21. What a good way to look at life as a whole.

    Arsenal will have a decent season full of highs and lows as always. Whether we win trophies or not will not mar my enjoyment.

  202. Gooner In Exile says:

    And that London is the only way to attend games. Like you I find little self value from attending games thinking we will lose.

    Afterall football is about a rollercoaster ride of emotions, if you go in flat and go out flat you’ve had no ride. I’d rather go positive and suffer disappointment.

    Saturday is the first big domestic test, home against Liverpool we can’t lose, mainly because I have too many friends and family who chose to be plastic Scousers in the 80’s.

  203. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. Spot on. Things are in flux at Arsenal. Wenger has seen us through the biggest developments at the club since the 30’s. However, it doesn’t mean that he will be able to continue his sterling work.

    I expect him to retire this summer (hopefully staying at AFC) and right now we should be lining up his replacement – but that is another major discussion.

  204. Rasp says:

    London, my ‘admiration’ is not for Redknapp, but his ability to conduct his transfer business with a reasonable level of success without the need to mislead.

    As I have said before, if AW’s statements are not for the fans but ‘aimed at other clubs, players and their agents’ as you say, then that is particularly naive. They are professionals, they know how AW plays the game – he is fooling no-one.

  205. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey/BR,
    Something that unites us all on this site is that it is primarily geography that prevents us from attending and nothing to do with results/trophies. For me saturday is still up in the air as a nine hour round trip combined with a few pre-matchers with mates and the game itself means leaving home at 9am and getting back at 11pm and I have children who are aware that the only sunny day predicted this week is saturday, and that means they want to surf the whole day!! Am I the only one praying for rain?

  206. Rasp says:

    New post …….

  207. Gooner In Exile says:

    On ‘Arry his comments have been aimed at getting players in, Adebayor is going to break their wage structure even at 50% of his weekly.

    To get him they might be forced to sell Modric and release wages.

    But ‘Arry has a history of leaving clubs in financial ruin, Levy knows this so won’t give him carte blanche, also we shouldn’t forget ‘Arry is the media darling (for the England job) and we don’t watch every press conference he gives.

  208. highaimer says:

    Good afternoon wigangooner,

    “Thanks for your comments. I certainly am positive about Arsenal, though I wouldn’t say blinkered.”

    Sorry, up most of the night and being up after 5 made me far more critical that one should be of someone just trying to be positive. I apologize if i came across harsh.

    “I did suggest in the post that we would be more solid with quality additions at the back and in midfield – allowing Theo to move upfront.

    I am basing my opinion on the way we’ve been playing, not the results. We are defending better. We are retrieving posession better and our collective team work-rate is better.

    Therefore we are more solid. Injuries aside, the defence we’ve seen these last two games has already proven itself more determined and focussed than last season. Our Goalkeeper looks even better and that also calms nerves. Importantly, when we have lost players to injury we haven’t looked more fragile, Jenkinson and Djourou(pre-injury) both slotted in and performed very well.”

    I hear what you are saying here but don’t Arsenal always start to look like they can cope early on in the season? Then when we get past the points of no return i(sept 1st & feb 1st) we start to fall apart for the reasons that don’t get addressed. Like i said before, it can get better. It will not happen by itself though and, although talented, our youngsters will not mature over night into the reliable, top class consistent performers we so desperately need. Ok, Szchezny is doing really well and i do like his character but to think all our young bucks are “jack ready” would be foolish of Le prof with the greatest respect to him.

    I will be supporting as usual but I really am a broken hearted Arsenal fan commenting here. It feels like six years in the wilderness with this team and i just wanna see top players at the club along with the electric and effective Wenger ball of old. Is that so much to ask? Unfortunately, I just don’t pride myself on playing “barcelona-like” football – we have our own identity.

    “Highaimer’s well worded comment shows perfectly what happens when fans fail to grasp or worse don’t even bother looking for the reasons as to why so many of the problems that are befalling us right now are happening”

    London, trust me, i could spend all day talking about the reasons why Arsenal have the problems the have but that just serves to depress me. The reality of it is none of our opinions change anything; its just nice to get the burden off our chests once in a while. Plus, what do i know really? I haven’t worked a day in football… 😉

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