Lambs to the slaughter

It’s a very slow Arsenal news day today, maybe it’s not such a good idea for the internationals to be played on a Friday as it makes the non-football weekends feel even longer.

I can’t help revisiting how the game at OT last Sunday panned out. As conspiracy theories go, I know that this one is rather tame but there are questions to be asked about the team and the tactics and the massacre that was witnessed.

It was bad enough going into the start of the season shorn of the recently departed Cesc, Clichy and Nasri – who’s departures were bound to have an adverse effect. In addition we were without the injured Jack Wilshere, Vermaelen and Koscielny, the poorly Bacary Sagna and the suspended Gervihno and Song and yet our inexperienced team walked onto the pitch charged with the task of ‘playing our game’. Afterwards, it felt like a Carling Cup fixture that we weren’t that bothered about. Lesser teams than ours have gone to OT and managed not to lose 8-2 so why did we?

Was the fact that the manks were rampant a good enough reason for us not to bother to defend as a team? I’ve watched many games when we’ve been rampant and the opposition eventually finds a way to keep us at bay. It’s not our style to park the bus but surely sometimes needs must, I felt that 3-1 at half time considering the players that were missing was not too embarrassing and yet ………………. are we incapable of  sitting men behind the ball? What would you have told the players to do in your half-time team talk?

Of course, it’s possible that  AW felt the need to send a massive message to the BoD to encourage them to open the purse and that’s why the defending rule book was largely ignored.Who knows?

I do wonder how many of our new signings were already in the pipeline before last Sunday, it’s amazing how much business was able to be done in three days where usually our signings take forever.

Did our wily old manager pull a rabbit out of the hat with his tactics or did the naivety of our team play into his hands?

Written by peachesgooner needing a post

98 Responses to Lambs to the slaughter

  1. Sorry guys, it was either this or a ‘Learning to live without Cesc’ counselling session

  2. evonne says:

    Peaches – you are right, we all need counselling. It is bloody ridiculous – I see a picture of Cesc in his new shirt and start crying!! With all the sad things in the world, I cry over some footballer!!

    Well, not some, the best 😦

    Great post, thank you!! Perhaps AW made the boys play the way they did to convince the board? No, he looked terrible, I felt for him, but was devastated for the lads. I do hope they can recover

  3. Nyamazenga says:

    nice article

  4. Nyamazenga says:

    even catalona defend some times i wonder why arsenal finds it diffiult to defend in numbers when needed

  5. chas says:

    Well done, peaches.

    Here’s that photo of Wilshere in the protective boot……

    http://www.mobypicture.com/user/KeithTheGooner/view/10332059

  6. pat says:

    the injury gods toy with us – jack out for 3 months now?

    Arteta will get the chance to be the new hero

  7. Love that pic Rasp 🙂

  8. While I’m here, we are going to need some posts for this coming week.

    I’ve noticed that we’ve attracted some really good new posters – belated congrats to FGG for his debut on Friday – so don’t be shy, if you want to write something send it through to arsenalnuts@live.co.uk

  9. 26may1989 says:

    Morning all. Thanks for the write-up Peaches. Always tough on these bloody international breaks. Still, at least these are real fixtures, not pigging friendlies.

    In catching up on some of the African matches, I noticed some good news for us: without getting into the intricacies of the ACN qualification system, it’s looking tough for Cameroon to qualify. Meaning we wouldn’t lost Song in Feb/March, including for the return match vs Man Utd. The final ACN qualifiers are in early October, so we’ll know then.

  10. Looking back at the transfer window final days, it is fairly obvious that the the deal for Arteta must have been some way along as there was no talk of a last minute medical medical. It is inconceivable that a club with Arsenal’s depth of knowledge concerning injuries would have signed a player, not without the odd injury himself, without taking the precaution of running the rule over him first.

    If, as reported, the deal was off at 21.00 and back on at 22.30 the medical must have already been completed.

  11. alireza fayyazmanesh says:

    I don`t think Wenger is naive but he and the board as well has learnd something important than saveing money. and every credit to Fregie and copmany made thier eyes opened and showed them importance of spend money in football today ( NO MONEY NO HONEY) you want good players you have to pay the price, and i hope they do that again in winter transfer window.

  12. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post peaches on ‘tumblewed Sunday’.

    I think the truth is somewhere between AW wanting to keep his team playing his way and the knowledge that a heavy defeat would strengthen the club’s resolve to bring in reinforcements.

    Whichever way you look at it, the type of player we purchased marks a departure from the old Arsenal way and smacks of compromise and pragmatism.

    Arteta is a great buy, but he and the other 29/30 year olds that bring experience will have little or no sell on value.

    The cost of a player must be assessed in 3 parts: purchase price, wages and potential resale value. So in effect, Cesc and Nasri cost us nothing (some sort of profit was made on them), but Benayoun and Arteta and Santos will, on the balance sheet be a loss – of course in real terms they won’t because we will get the benefit of their talent.

    So it looks to me that we got the blend right, Gervinho, Jenkinson and the Ox will all be profitable (in purely financial terms) and we benefit from the experience of the older players too.

  13. Peaches and Evonne,

    He’s gone, he aint coming back, it’s time to move on.

    Just like when your favourite goldfish dies and leaves an empty space in the fish bowl, you just have to go along to the fairground and get another one.

    From way back in the mists of time there is a long list of players who have burst onto the Arsenal team, shone brightly for a season or four and then dissapeared to be wrapped in another clubs colours.

    Look back at the good times if you must, but also look forward to the better times still to come.

  14. Fatgingergooner says:

    Our first choice players don’t defend that well, so what could we really expect from players of lesser experience and ability? Afterall, they all train with the same coaches and go through the same drills. Our defending as a team needs a serious overhaul. Better coaches and tactics is the only way to achieve this, though having the experience of people like Per and Santos will help, but only when they are fit.

    On the whole I think it was a mixture of naivety, from the manager and players, and a lack of belief, that resulted in the thrashing.

    With the way that Arsenal transfers are done these days, I don’t for one second believe that the result impacted our purchases. The lateness of the Cesc, Nasri deals and the fact we had to qualify for the CL are what made the transfers happen late. The fact they came after that OT mauling is just coincidence. Or maybe I’m as naive as our players…..

  15. gunnie says:

    I know that I am repeating myself: if Cesc was that good, why did we win nothing with him?
    And was his break up with Carla one of the reasons to leave London?

  16. evonne says:

    gunnie – did you not know that a football team consists of 11 players?

  17. WiganGooner says:

    Nice post Peaches on this barren news day. Thoughtful and insightful it ensured that as I finished reading I continued thinking about it.

    Of course the timings of the signings is to be questioned. The availability of these players throughout the summer is something we’ve all been aware of with the exception perhaps of Santos and Arteta.

    I am really positive about the signings we’ve made. There are experienced winners, players who have played at the highest level for years.

    Arteta is one of the most under-rated midfielders in the Premier league. Mertesacker is a proven international class player and he can only add to Vermaelen and Koscielny.

    I am really excited about Santos. The other players add experience, height and numbers where we are short, Santos gives us another attacking outlet. Add to that the vibrant Park and we’re looking very strong.

    It’s important not to look back now. Cesc will always be a Gooner, but like Henry he is no longer with us and we have to move on. Nasri’s saga was frustrating, but he’s not a player who we cannot replace.

    I wish we were playing Swansea today, I want to see us back on the pitch and silencing the critics as I know we can.

    Come on you Gooners!!

    WG

  18. WiganGooner says:

    My opinion of Cesc’s time at Arsenal is this;

    Cesc was handcuffed by his own ability.

    Because he has amazing vision, a great range of passing and the ability to move the ball through his feet and retain posession he became the fulcrum of the team.

    He was the gear that made us turn. With Henry at the club there was his personality and the attacking threat of Henry to take the attention off of Cesc.

    Without Henry, Cesc became the target. He lost time and space. He was moved forwards in a midfield three and stopped being the link player and became an attacking playmaker. He cared so much that he wanted to be where he could influence the most, where he could create the most goal-scoring opportunities. This worked as he became more productive in terms of assists and goals, but saw him get more knocks and crunching tackles.

    Cesc was that good and cared so much he sacrificed his body every game.

    He deserves to be at Barca. He deserves to win things.

    WG

  19. Rasp says:

    Hi WG,

    I agree re Cesc. I also believe that a totally committed Arteta who still has much to prove will be better for Arsenal than the Cesc of last season.

    I said several times last season that Cesc’s heart was not in it. Whenever there was a break in play, he would be staring at the ground, hands on hips. Contrast that to the Barca Cesc where he is all smiles and artistry again.

    I don’t doubt for one minute that Cesc did his best for us last season, but I strongly believe that his state of mind meant he was not able to perform consistantly to his optimum.

  20. VCC says:

    WG Spot on regards to Cesc. His heart was no longer in it. We needed to move on. Like Henry he will be hard to replace, but we are The Arsenal.

  21. kelsey says:

    Peaches,
    Firstly i don’t like the title of your post ;).

    There have been so many conspiracy theories about THAT game that I find it laughable.

    On the positive side taking into account the team we had available it wasn’t pretty to watch but we scored 2, should have been 3 as it was a poor penalty and could have had 4 against the mighty United.

    We have to get on with it and personally I don’t want to hear about the players we nearly bought.

    What is unbelievable is that poor Almunia has been declared in both oor PL and CL squads, not what I call a cost cutting exercise.

    It will be interesting to see how this new team gels because basically it is 75% new personnel if you take vermaelen as a new signing and Szscney as our new number one.

  22. gunnern5 says:

    I simply do not understand those who hold Cesc in a god like place.

    For all of the hyperbole surrounding him for 6/7 seasons all he ever did was to make some good passes and score a few nice goals.

    He achieved the sum total of – nothing – and should be considered a flop as a contributing player and as a captain.

  23. London says:

    Hi Folks

    Thanks for giving us something to read Peaches on a no news Sunday.

    I don’t buy into the theory that Arsene purposely played an open game to send a message to the board. Not at all.

    I have my own slightly different conspiracy theory.

    In my view Wenger played to win the manu game and I love him for it, things might have been a whole lot different had Van Persie scored that penalty but as he missed his confidence plummeted and he was the one man who the young fragile team had to look to for confidence. The second and third were unstoppable goals and yet Arsenal found a way of getting on the score sheet, which brings us to half time.

    If things stayed as they were we would have lost so quite rightly Wenger obviously said: let’s go and try and get those two goals back. Arsenal took the game to united for the start of the second half and had Arshavin squared it to Walcott it would have been 3-2 but the greedy little Russian dwarf took the shot on himself and missed.

    With the score line remaining at 3-1 we were still forced to push up and the rest is just a world of pain.

    The conspiracy theory is this: the whole of the youth system that Arsene so rightly places so much emphasis to only keeps working if the up and coming players are given a chance to play first team football. Wenger always, always takes this opportunity when it arises.

    The CL is usually the most obvious time. On more than one occasion we have needed just one more win to qualify at the top of the group and what does he do, he gives the squad players a chance. The same is true in the CC and the FA cup but we are more forgiving of those situations.

    Wenger has to find a way of giving the young squad players pitch time or they will want to leave. This has two possible results: firstly they turn into Wilshere or Szczesny the other is that they have a chance to realise that they are not quite as good as they thought they were and do not cause a revolution if and when new more experienced players were brought in. Traore is a perfect example of this: that man cannot think to himself that he was not given a fair crack at the whip of playing at THOF; he left knowing that he was not going to make the grade and that ladies and gentlemen if you are still reading this is my explanation as to what happened during the manu game and why the new players came in as and when they did.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Today is SO dead that I have a choice of the World Tractor Pulling competition or a Spanish Cycling tour-

    I chose a cruise around Youtube footie vids.

  25. London says:

    This made me smile.

    “all he ever did was to make some good passes and score a few nice goals.”

    But some of us loved going to the games to see those passes, those passes were the best we have had since Bergkamp and I for one will really miss them.

    I will get over it, I am looking forward to Wengerball MK3 but in the same way as I miss the unbelievable talent of Bergkamp’s passes I miss Fabregas’.

  26. Gooner in Exile says:

    Nice post Peaches, it certainly is a quiet weekend, it’s probably good that the international break givestime for the dust to settle.

    GN5 that’s a hard sell to most on here. I think it’s difficult to assess his time with us on trophies delivered as some of the failures were beyond his control.

    His impact on the team was purely inspirational at times, but then there were moments last year like the pre match cuddles at the Nou Camp and subsequent back heel that left me scratching my head.

    I personally think the captaincy affected his performances as much as the players around him. For me he was never a captain, without it at Barca and without the pressure of being “the” playmaker and having others create for him as well he is flourishing.

    I’m afraid we put all our eggs in one basket and the beauty of our teams of the past was that they could all create for each other, something we have missed for the last couple of years.

  27. London says:

    Hey BR watch La Vuelta, there are two Brits vying to be winners of the tour and we haven’t had two potential winners of a grand tour in errrrrrr ever.

    Bradly Wiggins and Chris Froome.

    Don’t tell me who won today I have it recorded.

  28. Rasp says:

    Football is all about memories and the feeling that a player/team gave you. I have wonderful memories of Cesc, he has won the World Cup and already a minor trophy with Barca. For whatever reason he couldn’t be a winner with us, but surely his genius is unchallenged. He could go on to be regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

    Do you remember when Arsenal always had 2 or 3 candidates in the list for goal of the month? I hanker for the day when we can score amazing goals month in month out again.

  29. Wow, I drew the short straw for a blog today – lowest number of comments for weeks 😦

    Just seen this on twitter – poor Jack

    JackWilshere Jack Wilshere
    I can confirm I will be out for around 2-3 months! I am working hard in the gym to stay fit and I am gutted but I will be back stronger!

  30. Blimey Rasp – I’d just like to look forward to watching MOTD again

  31. London – interesting theory, I’m going to consider my response to you.

  32. neamman says:

    Nothing on Tv here either. Time to dig out a good footie book to read.

  33. The point is that I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say that Cesc wasn’t a visionary nor that we weren’t lucky to watch him week in week out. The problem as I see it is that most of the other parts of the system were already at Barcelona and however hard we tried we just didn’t have enough skillful players around him to do him justice.

    Just as I still love to watch Thierry play I’ll always love watching Cesc play and there I’m welling up again 🙄 😦

  34. neamman says:

    Im still worried about our attack. If RVP gets injured ..a VERY good bet.. where are our goals going to come from? Theo maybe for 15.. assuming he stays fit.. but Chamakh and Gervinho are 10 goals a season people.. our midfield isnt exactly awash in goals.. we could have all thge possession and little end product again.

  35. Rasp says:

    Hi neamman, I’m not sure you’re right, I reckon we’ll get more goals as long as the midfield does its job. Cesc didn’t get that many goals last season.

    Nasri’s goalscoring rate was 1 in 5 which is the same as our new LB. Gervinho will score and so will Arteta, Benayoun and Park. I’m hoping the new team dynamic will also create more opportunities RvP and Theo.

  36. gunnern5 says:

    For the sake of clarity, I thought that individually Cesc was a joy to watch, most likely in my all time top ten Arsenal players.

    But he and the team achieved nothing during his tenure, his head was elsewhere for the best part of his last two seasons and his captaincy was an abject failure.

    I consider him to be a flop as great players achieve great things and he (and us) achieved nothing during his years.

    Look at the effect Henry had as both a player (and although not as great) as a captain. I remember the time when Henry had all five of the top five goals of the week – great players do great things.

    Cesc had great moments and nothing more.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    That will do for today’s sport. A mad, mad Gooner becomes World Champion running in Arsenal shoes!

    Well played Mo Farah.

    London. The winner of La Vuelta was …

  38. VCC says:

    Peaches. did you get my email?

  39. kelsey says:

    peaches did you get a post from VCC

    When I mentioned a few days ago about jack, one or two didn’t believe it.I wish it wasn’t true myself, but i don’t invent things just for the sake of it.

  40. Hi VCC,

    Yes thanks very much, I have your email and look forward to welcoming you as our latest new author.

  41. Barca chief Bartomeu says after seeing the 24-year-old in action on the pitch and in training he believes he is worth closer to the €60m (£53m) price tag originally bestowed on him by the Gunners.

    Sorry but I’ve just read this and it has really pissed me off. I hate those catalans and cesc is one of them. I don’t think of him fondly at all. I’d have the spuds over that lot any day. wankers

  42. Kelsey. I didn’t think It it was true about Jack. I’m not that botherd though as we’ll have Arteta and benny. He needs a rest the boy.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    GM. Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home. As you say, the man is a twat and I believe AFC got the best deal they could in the circumstances.

    GN5. It is difficult to compare a midfield genius to a forward genius. TH and CF are both phenomenal players and I am privileged to have seen them both in the red and white.

    Frank McLintock was also a wonderful player and apart from actually lifting the Cups I cannot recall any of his great moments whereas Charlie George, who in my opinion couldn’t hold a candle to Frank, had many memorable moments. Why? because forwards get the glamour and MF’s and defenders do the graft.

  44. Raddy
    We don’t even get the money in one go. It’s in instalments and add ons.

  45. I don’t think I have the prettiest wife. She’s prettier than cesc though.

  46. London says:

    Neamman

    I will start this by saying that I am one of the Boy Wonder’s biggest fans but I am actually very excited about the possible formation without him there.

    Often RvP plays in the target man position but he isn’t really a target man which means that sometimes the attack is a bit lumbering.

    Now think of what it would be without him.

    Arshavin, Gervinho, Walcott.

    Gervinho, Park, Walcott

    Park, Gervinho, Benayoun.

    Benayoun, Gervinho, Walcott.

    Any one of these combinations gives us a very fast, exciting, fluid attack.

    Ooooohhhhhh I can’t wait.

  47. London says:

    GM

    We paid five hundred thousand for him and we didn’t even have to do that, apparently it was a gesture.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    London. Could you negotiate a similar gesture for me?

  49. London says:

    Kelsey

    As someone who has always been cautious of your “sources” I feel I should acknowledge your comment that told us that Wilshere was going to be out for more than a couple of weeks.

    Conspiracy theory number two of the day.

    The club have known this for a while and because of which went after Arteta.

    For someone who is as prolific a tweeter as Wilshere he must have been told to keep his tweets down during the end of the transfer window which he did.

    It all makes sense now, the club knew of Wilshere’s injury which enabled Wenger to phone Arteta and reassure him that he will be playing CL football if he joins. Wilshere’s injury also explains why the club paid so much for a 29 year old.

    I have to say I am glad they did.

  50. London says:

    BR

    David Dein made that gesture, maybe Peaches could lean over the garden fence and have a word.

  51. Rasp says:

    Hi VCC,

    I’m having trouble adding your sound track. We really need a URL – can you help with a web address?

    If you can, please let me know on here but don’t post it on here, email the address to arsenalnuts if pos.

  52. Camberwell Gooner says:

    GM

    Right with you on that. The spuds may be Lillywhite c*nts but at least their team is not full of loud-mouthed, arrogant divers. We may hate ‘Arry but off the pitch at Barca they have a full team of conniving, slimy little spivs.

    At a push you can even have grudging respect for Manure underneath the layers of hate, but Farca? Sorry, completely lacking in class, respectability, honesty, fair play, sportsmanship, the lot…a thoroughly rotten club from top to bottom.

    I don’t begrudge Cesc going there but the sight of him smiling and joking with slags like Xavi and Alves makes my blood boil.

  53. neamman says:

    Yes I forgot about Park, lets hope he amazes.. I think that apart from RVP we have several potential 10 goal scorers but I will be amazed if we get a full season out of Arteta, RVP and Theo. History suggests they will be injured… :<(.

    As an aside how do you get emoticons in the message..maybe Im blind but I cant see the sign for them?
    Raddy
    I agree aboiut McLintock against George but my favorite was…. yep Radford. Like Nic B he didnt have the best control and was never a prolific scorer..12-15 a year ussually.. but he was my hero.. and he was alway played his heart out.

  54. neamman says:

    On an unrelated subject i was just looking at the conference. For oldies like us there are a few familiar names now.. Gateshead, Barrow, Workington I think ..York some old divison 3 north teams we havent seen for years. It would be nice to see one of them get back into league 2 this year.

  55. kelsey says:

    Thank you for the acknowledgement London. I don’t have many sources and I rarely try and give false information.

    Danny Fiszman was a source and I know for a fact that there is boardroom unrest and that kroenke via his advisers is taking a much more hands on approach now to protect his investment.how that pans out with wenger we will see.
    I have another source at Fulham as you know and I can state categorically that we did not lose buying Scwarzer through our offer.Hughes wouldn’t release him,it’s as saimple as that.
    I have one other connection with the club and I am not going to fall into the trap of predicting anything,but something huge might happen in January according to how the team performs.

  56. neamman says:

    Wow kelsy, you have good sources!! i onceknew someone who was a friend of a minor player and he got me tickets to the players lounge and player worn shirts. Sadly the player left around 8 years ago and that was that!

  57. kelsey says:

    neamann,
    of course there was good old Stan Flashman.

  58. From Little Jack’s Twitter:

    Hear a lot of people giving our Medical team stick? I can assure I am in very safe hands and we have top class physio’s and masseurs! #AFC

    From a random Twitter:
    L’Equipe France ratings v Albania: Lloris 8; Reveillere 5 Kaboul 3 Abidal 5 Evra 6; Diarra 4 M’Vila 8; Malouda 4 Nasri 3 Ribery 5; Benzema 8

    Now that just makes me happy because Nasri got 3 😀

    Interesting read on the precipice that football is currently peering over

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/269085/Bankruptcy-looming-for-all-top-clubs

  59. I had the chance to meet Arteta yesterday as he may be renting a friends’ house – I could have asked him when he knew we were interested in signing him ………………. silly me 😦

  60. GiE – why are you surprised, he’s only interested in playing for City now 🙂

  61. Peaches admit it you were too busy looking into those Spanish eyes…I’m thinking he has replaced TR7 for you girls?

  62. By all accounts Gervinho scored two and assisted three in the Ivory Coast 5-0 win, anyone got a vid link?

  63. kelsey says:

    Cesc Fabregas Is Worth At Least 60 Million Euros (Goal.com)

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain…as-josep-maria

    ‘Cesc Fabregas is worth at least €60m’ – Barcelona’s Josep Maria Bartomeu claims Arsenal’s original asking price was fair
    The Catalans’ vice-president has expressed his delight with the capture of the midfielder and feels they got their man on the cheap

    Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu has voiced his belief that Cesc Fabregas is worth at least €60 million and feels that the Catalans did a great piece of business to lure the Spain international to Camp Nou on the cheap.

    The 24-year-old midfielder returned to his boyhood club this summer for an initial fee of €29m after an eight-year spell with Arsenal and Bartomeu is very pleased with Fabregas’ transfer.

    “The transfer of Cesc was a very good deal for us. Normally his price wouldn’t have been €29m, but he lowered his value by saying that he really wanted to go to Barcelona. His real price was what Arsenal initially asked. He’s worth at least €60m in my opinion,” Bartomeu told Sport.

    “Transfer negotiations are like poker. Ideally, nothing is leaked to the press, but that seems to be impossible because of all the parties that are involved.

    “The fact that we announced in advance that we would only spend €45m this summer worked to our advantage. Clubs were already well aware of our stance.”

    bastards !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. kelsey says:

    Anyone think cesc was innocent in all this ?

  65. harry says:

    Hi all, eveing Warrior Princess, good to see you knocking a post out….

    It would be interesting to know who was in the pipeline before the United game. And what decisions were made, post CL v Udinese, and what decisions were made after the debacle of Old trafford, did wenger intentionally set us up knowing that a beating was on the cards, (albeit I dont think he’d want us to lose so badly), who knows, but I know one thing when he finally leaves us and writes his memoirs I cannot wait to read them………

    Lol, GIE, NA$ri gets a 3……quality……

    Bad news about Jack, but at least we do have some strength in depth now and some various options………

    For me V Swansea I would love to see this team: (taking into account injuries and suspensions)

    Worlds No1

    Sagna Metz Verm Santos

    Mikel Frimpong

    Rosicky Van Persie Arshavin

    Walcott

    Peaches you at the Swansea match?

  66. harry says:

    Its difficult really Kelsey to say, we were in a corner, unhappy player or sell at less……Could we have kept him? Personally I would have with Na$ri going…….called his bluff a bit more, I would love to understand the complete deal, add ons and sell ons etc……

    He seems so more happier now, would he have played that way with us?> this season…….Cannot see it…….

    Without knowing all the facts we cannot say for sure, unless your sources know more………

  67. SharkeySure says:

    Evening all

    My fave two lines today:

    ‘his genius is unchallenged’

    ‘the sight of him smiling and joking with slags like Xavi and Alves makes my blood boil’

    Night all

  68. London says:

    It seems to me that Barcelona are simply confirming what everybody already knew.

  69. Oh boy, this hurt is not going to go away for a while, what did you do to us Cesc 😦

    Footie can’t come soon enough, shall we drink to his health next Saturday or party for our own good fortune to come ……….

  70. Harry – wild horses would not be able to keep me away, I’m so looking forward to it. What time shall we meet 🙂

  71. barumgooner says:

    Barcelona are only continuing in the same distasteful and dis-respectful way they have handled the whole affair since the word go. Everybody knows that they dont need Cesc but they wanted him so they could somehow prove that he belongs to them. At the end of the day every man and his dog knows that we sold at far from his true value to AFC but ultimately we took a kid from Barca for next to nothing, turned him into a worldclass player and then sold him back to them for 30m plus, because they demanded it…. no….out of respect for the player ! There is only one club who came out of this business looking respectable and loyal and it aint Barca. I genuinely wish Cesc the best in his future but to put it into perspective we have lost a player who didnt actually achieve anything with us and whatever he or Nasri says they failed at the Arsenal, Arsenal didn’t fail them.

  72. Gooner in Exile says:

    Barum I like that last line.

    I think Cesc did achieve for us though, maybe not silverware but without him could we have stayed as competitive? It’s a question we can’t answer, I also don’t think Cesc has said anything too untoward since leaving unless I have missed something, Nasri on the other hand can jog on.

    Kelsey clearly Cesc wasn’t going to be happy to stay, that the Barca president can say things can’t stay out of the press is a bit of a joke. I’m sure Guardiola will come out and quiten those comments. Of all the people at Barca he comes out of it as well as Cesc in my opinion….but maybe he (Guardiola) knows one day he will have to leave Barca and it’s good not to burn every bridge.

  73. chas says:

    Haha, had a quick look for Gerv’s goals and this is all there seems to be!
    You can’t really see which team is which let alone The Swerve’s goals…

  74. chas says:

    Looks like the fifth goal was Gervinho’s.

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Chas and all,
    Some great posts and comments since my last visit. Thanks all.
    So, another dull week ahead.
    I have two questions. Given all fit, what is our strongest midfield line up, and for the sake of this one, there are two options. Two defensive mid’s and one AM, and the other is one DM with two advanced.

  76. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I know it’s easy to say move on and no player is bigger than a club but the Fabregas situation seems to rumble on.

    We obtained him as a trainee at 16 (though I don’t know what conditions if any where attached to the deal) and we have all gone over and over again about why it would be natural for him to return home one day.

    it makes good media news but all it does is bring the name of Arsenal Football club down, as clearly cesc wanted to return but barca were calling all the shots .

    Some believe he was told by our club not to say anything but there is no doubting his football ability which most probably would have developed at barca(if given the chance) or with us, but most probably quicker with us as his first team experiences came quicker than it would have at barca at his young age.
    He is a great footballer but the biggest mistake in hindsight was to give him the captain’s arm band though I know why Wenger did it.it was a parting gesture but his mindset over he last few months and the things he did by walking out at half time at the Emirates Cup and other things before, did him no favours to be remembered as one of the great Arsenal captains.player no doubt a huge success and when fully fit a maestro.

  77. London says:

    Morning Micky

    That is an interesting question but almost impossible to answer without knowing the opposition, so, how about if we were playing manu away again this coming Saturday.

    -=——-Szczney

    Sagna, Merte, Vermaelen, Santos

    ——Arteta, Song, Wilshere

    —-Walcott, RvP, Gervinho

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey morning,
    Arsene and Captain Selection have never been a happy marriage. We now have RvP for goodness sake. Hardly a fist clenching shouty type.

  79. kelsey says:

    Is Song available and does gervinho still have one game to go via his red card.

  80. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all.

    Do you need to be a shouty type to be a good captain? I admit presently I’m trying to think of an example of a non shouty captain and all I can think is SteveGerard. Although Viera wasn’t a shouty man was he?

    I think RvP put a few players in their place coming off at OT as he grabbed them to tell them to go and acknowledge the away fans. He carries himself like a captain too head held high and chest out. Although there will be more eyes on that now.

    For me a small question remains around his fitness as he seems to be on energy conservation mode when we don’t have the ball.

    One for TA probably I’m sure I read that RvP played in a traditional no 10 role for Holland, is this true, did he do well?

  81. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey for Swansea?

    If so Song and Gerv have one more game out, Frimpong is available again (as long as injury free) Jenkinson also out.

    Micky interesting strongest 11 question, Without seeing Yossi or Park play yet I’d have to agree with Londons team, but I can see Walcott being pushed for a spot and by the end of the season can see Frimpong potentially freeing Alex Song or replacing him.

  82. London says:

    GIE

    They are good problems to have I am sure you would agree.

    I just realised that in the team I selected there would be EIGHT different players from the one that played in the last game.

  83. kelsey says:

    Thanks GIE, yes for Swansea.

  84. Gooner in Exile says:

    Very good problems London 🙂

    As I stated on the day after Transfer Deadline we now have two starting elevens, one stronger than the other but they both contain players who are as yet unvictimised (real word?) by the faithful and still had 4/5 players left over.

  85. Big Raddy says:

    One positive from the season so far has been the form and attitude of Theo.

    He looks hungry for goals and is putting in a far more involved and energetic performance. It bodes well for the future.

    I disagree about Frimpong being ahead of Song at season’s end, Song is still learning and will IMO be one of the world’s best DM’s. He has the physique, the passing ability and the ball skills; what he lacks is tactical awareness which hopefully will come with training and experience

  86. Illybongani says:

    Morning all…I hate international breaks and this weekend has seemed excessively long. However, I don’t think it has come at too bad a time for us – players will have had the chance to get away from the madness following THAT result. I think most, if not all, have ended up on winning sides which should give them a bit of a boost.Indeed there can’t be many players who have been on the wrong end of an 8-goal mauling in one game and on the right end of an 11-goal massacre the next!

  87. Big Raddy says:

    Illy. Good observation.

  88. dandan says:

    Morning all, the Cesc situation is of academic interest only now,but today in the French press he quashed the rumour that the board forced his sale, indeed it seems quite the opposite he says they wanted to keep him but Arsene forced the sale through. So that tell us who is in charge doesn’t it. Maybe if the board had listened earlier AW’s spending would have been different
    Time to move on now and live with what we have got.

  89. London says:

    Illy

    New Barnet…………..you must be a regular at the Alex?

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    For many here children are back to school and its monday so again many are back to work. We should see a healthy increase in the volume of comments.
    What does this say about our priorities?
    1. Family.
    2. Arsenal.
    3. Work.
    Quite right, I say.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    I’ve only just spotted your answer to my line up question.
    I asked for two midfield formations in line with your question about who the opposition may be. We could call them “Barca away first leg” and “Swansea at home”.

  92. kelsey says:

    sorry don’t believe that dandan.Why would arsene l force the sale through at a rock bottom price just because cesc was homesick.

  93. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    New post ………

  94. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Rasp, is anyone on the case because I might be able to cobble one together…

  95. large breastbone

    Lambs to the slaughter | Arsenal Arsenal

  96. facebook says:

    Thanks for finally writing about >Lambs to the slaughter
    | Arsenal Arsenal <Loved it!

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