Have we found our Park?

From the title, most people will think I’m going to big up our own Chu Young Park based on his impressive performance in the Carling Cup against Bolton, but actually, I want to take this opportunity to mention an unsung hero from the same game, Yossi Benayoun.

Man United have utilised Ji Sung Park as an attack based defender for the last few years now to great effect. It may seem harsh to class Park as a defender as he also had undoubted attacking ability, but let’s be honest, he would not have won these trophies with Man U had he not been able to use his immense fitness and attitude to such great effect. If he was at United for his attacking play alone he would have been moved on long ago.

Now, the reason I bring up this United workhorse is because, based on what I have seen of Yossi so far this season, I believe we could have our very own defending attacker. Yossi is an intelligent player with good movement and a great instinct for attacking the box, but it’s his workrate and defensive attitude that I have been impressed with so far this season. Something I didn’t know he possessed!

United’s Park is the first name on the team sheet when they play any big European or Domestic tie. This is due to his ability to harass the full backs and also the way he occupies the popular DM position with his strict attitude and positioning.

I believe we could have found a niche for our Israeli raider, and hopefully Wenger will see this too. With big games coming up without Sagna available, Yossi could be the man to protect our young Carl Jenkinson.


128 Responses to Have we found our Park?

  1. kelsey says:

    To avoid confusion this post needs a bit of tweaking as will be apparent when read.

  2. Nyambati says:

    This is a late article, anyway we went ahead without yossi and beat chelsea 5-3.

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the heads up – I’ve made the appropriate changes.

  4. Thanks FGG and morning all- Raspers was saying exactly this in The Tavern on Tuesday night and I had to confess to not really noticing this side of Benny’s play.
    :Like most paraonid gooners the only thing I think of with Benny is when he’ll be injured next – shame on me!

  5. kelsey says:

    Thanks for the post and although I am pleased that we have improved from our terrible start there are one or two things that i don’t understand.Arteta joined us age 29 on a 4 year deal and allegedly took a pay cut.how often do we sign a player who will be 30 next birthday and give them such a long contract.Benayoun is a one year loan deal.both players have above average injury periods.
    This over 30 rule seriously needs examining,as it different for every player.
    Arshavin,Rosicky and Squillacci come into this category and then next year we have RVP and Walcott and one other (can’t remember who) entering the last year of their contracts.
    Park is on a two year deal, so to me the question is how long is a transition period,when it appears we are not, in the next few years going to have, a settled squad.
    The gengeral concensus of opinion is that RVP is waiting not to see how we do this year but if we buy some quality to compliment him in the Summer.
    We have 5 keepers on the books as well.it’s all a bit of a mish mash at the moment.
    Vermaelen is a huge plus as will the rising talent of Wilshere,Ramsey and Song, but I still think we need a better balance of more experienced players in the 25 to 30 age group for a better balanced squad.
    The club have made their plans clear.just stating the facts as they have been outlined..Right or wrong there is an elite top tier in the Pl, then us and a few others, and the rest just hoping to maintain PL existence .
    Nothing to do with the good times or support as if you look through history of any club the bad and average times always outweigh the good times.
    We are making progress as i said previously, but two steps forward and one back.Top 4 is feasable and IMO can’t see us doing any better than that, though I hope i am wrong.This transition period may take longer than some expect., and the club is weighing heavily on the fact that the FFP rule benefits us in the long term.

  6. brian says:

    Agree with you about Benayoun but it seems to me that Wenger is up to his old tricks again by keeping certain players sidelined too often.I thought that for various reasone that Benayoun was a pretty certain starter against Maeseilles and was surprised when this was not the case and amazed when he was not brought on as a sub to add a bit of guile to our predictable efforts to break them down.I can understand a player not being part of our strongest starting eleven in a crucial match but he is a serious candidate to play a huge part when rotation is used which should definitely have been the case on Tuesgday.


    Nice write up FGG. Benny is a bit of a work horse aint he, i like it.

    Kelsey, you make a great point about the over 30 rule. You mentioned the other day that players are treated as assets that are depreciated over the life of there contracts. This of course is all about the bottom line. young player gets near the end of his contract, resale vaule (Na$ri), old player gets near the end of his contract, not a lot of dosh.

    In general i agree with the clubs policy, and many clubs are now following our model, but some flexibility is required and i think the club is now acting accordingly.

  8. Rasp says:

    Interesting post FGG.

    The first thing that struck me about Benny was his work rate – it kinda makes the age thing look like a red herring when a player of 30 is running around more than some 20 year olds. At first he was just chasing the ball, I’m hoping his energy will be more effectively directed once he builds an understanding with his teammates.

    I love his tweets after the chav victory so he can do no wrong in my book.

  9. Morning all interesting read FGG I’d also put Arteta in the same bracket of surprising work rate and defensive responsibility (apart from the second goal at Stamford Bridge).

    Others have raised interesting points about young v old in fitness stakes, the youngsters are very quick but tire the more experienced know how to last ninety minutes. Then again some youngsters like Jenks have a Duracell battery for energy levels and never stop.

    The over 30’s contract stuff has always been once they are in their 30’s as I have said many times before Bergkamp didn’t mind it. One cannot say we shouldn’t have signed Arteta but should sign RvP, it’s either right or it’s not. At the moment RvP must be worth close to£50m get him on contract extension and all it does is up the value at which others would have to pay to get him from us. Cesc had four years left but it counted for nothing in the end.

    Players have also got wise and don’t put transfer requests in anymore this results in Arsenal breaking the contract to sell and being liable to pay future bonuses, image rights etc. Cesc gave these up hence the lower selling price as if he hadn’t we would have had to pay out on various clauses as he didn’t request to be sold. I’m not saying that’s right but it’s the state of the game and until something is done to give power back to the clubs we are going to have this problem going forward.

    Bit of admin from the tail end of yesterdays post the source of the team dining change was Yellow Boots On podcast and it was Keith “She Was Nice” Dover who spoke of it. Don’t know how reliable that is.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Thank you for an interesting post.

    My take is that AW was concerned about JW and Diaby’s long term injury prospects and signed a stop gap MF. IMO he couldn’t have done better than Bennie.

  11. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Very interesting about the contracts, I had no idea a player could continue to claim bonuses from the selling club if the contract was terminated

  12. Illybongani says:


    “as he didn’t request to be sold” – not so sure about that one. So we only sold him because we needed the money?

  13. Illybongani says:

    For those of you that are not sure about our new Brazillian LB – in 7 games he has equalled the goal scoring record Of Gael Clichy achieved over 7 years.

    The fact that he can’t defend is irrelevant! Let’s be honest, Clichy was no Winterburn or Sansom was he?

  14. Illybongani says:

    I was just messing about with a few formations (it’s my lunch break and I’ll damn well do as I like!) and stumbled on a 5-4-1. Verm, Mert and Kos as a back 3, Santos and Jenk as the Flying Wingbacks, Arteta and Song pulling the strings in the middle of the park, Gervais and Theo supporting The Boy Wonder. I quite like the look of that.

  15. Rasp says:

    Hi illy,

    Yes that looks like a formidable formation that gives more lattitude to the fullbacks. Of course you know its not going to happen as our ‘system’ is coached the same way from the juniors right up to the first team.

  16. And_Arsene_Said... says:

    ‘I believe we could have found a niche for our Israeli raider, and hopefully Wenger will see this too.’

    We are humbled by your astute technical observation. You are the answer to our defensive frailties.

    Ha ha, Get over yourself.

  17. gunnern5 says:

    Arshavin: I’ve been average

    November 3, 2011

    By ESPNsoccernet staff

    Arsenal midfielder Andrei Arshavin has conceded that his performances for the club have been no better than “average”.

    Despite a good start to his Arsenal career after moving to the club in the winter transfer window in the 2008-09 campaign, which included a four-goal haul in a 4-4 draw at Liverpool, he has failed to live up to the promise of his displays for Zenit St Petersburg and Russia.

    The £15 million signing has come in for much criticism from the fans this season, with his display at Marseille in the Champions League two weeks ago highlighted by some as his worst-ever performance for the Gunners.

    “Speaking honestly, I think my performances for Arsenal have been average,” Arshavin said. “I’ve done some good things, but I don’t assess my game on goals or assists. I look at the whole picture.

    “Normally when I’m on the pitch I take control of a game but I haven’t really done that here. I’m an extra tool in the team rather than the main one, so it’s been difficult. Ideally, I’d like to play closer to a forward.”

  18. Rasp says:


    I’m leaving your comment up so everyone can appreciate what a moron you are. The author at no point suggests that Benny is the answer to our defensive frailties but merely offers up his assessment of his worth defensively to our squad as a topic for discussion.

    So kindly take your sarcasm somewhere else, we don’t need you.

  19. A_A_S LOL, I am not laughing with you but AT you.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    AAS, no need to be cynical. Are you telling me you have a clear picture of Bennayoun’s ideal position/ how we could use him best in our team? Try to add some value to this blog by given us your astute technical observations.

  21. gunnern5 says:

    From BBC Sports.


    Gunners firing blanks without Van Persie

    Phil McNulty | 06:46 UK time, Wednesday, 2 November 2011

    Robin van Persie’s absence made the hearts of Arsenal fans grow fonder as the feast of Chelsea was followed by famine in his absence against Marseille.

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, with a caution shaped by Van Persie’s chequered injury history, restricted the hat-trick hero of Saturday’s 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge to the role of substitute rather than offer him the full Champions League experience at Emirates Stadium.

    And in doing so, Wenger laid bare the dilemma that will face him and his team as the importance – some might say indispensability – of Van Persie was exposed by this drab draw that denied Arsenal the opportunity to secure early qualification from the group phase.

    Wenger said starting Robin van Persie on the bench was “a gamble that didn’t come off”. Photo: Getty
    Wenger explained the thinking behind his decision not to start Van Persie as he said: “It was a gamble. You can say tonight that it didn’t come off. Robin was tired, that’s why I left him out. It was down to fatigue. He cannot play 50 games.”

    There is sound logic in Wenger’s argument, although hindsight suggests a better ploy might have been to start with Van Persie and use the wave of brilliant form he is currently riding to apply early pressure to Marseille in an attempt to establish a winning position before removing him.

    Instead, the arrival of the team-sheet more or less set the tone for the evening. Arsenal’s fans turned up on a high after Saturday but there was an almost instant sense of deflation when he was only listed among the substitutes.

    Van Persie received a roar markedly more resounding than any of his team-mates when his name was read out, while even a gentle jog down the touchline, especially in one the many turgid passages during this group game, was greeted like the arrival of a conquering hero.

    It was almost as if this game would not be complete until Van Persie made his entrance, which he did just after the hour. But when he arrived the pattern was set and Arsenal had lost momentum to such an extent that even he was unable to effect a change.

    On the field at least, in the absence of injured Jack Wilshere and even with the rapidly developing Aaron Ramsey, Van Persie carries the hopes of this club.

    It is disrespectful to those two talents and others besides to suggest Arsenal are a one-man team, but there is no doubt Van Persie’s quality means he now wields a lop-sided influence.

    So while there must be full understanding of the balancing act Wenger has to perform with this precious but occasionally fragile talent, it was a night that emphatically underlined why Van Persie now lines up just behind his manager as Arsenal’s most influential figure.

    And it also illustrated the potential consequences should Van Persie suffer more frailty with his fitness. At the sharp end of Arsenal’s game the Netherlands striker is starting to look irreplaceable, especially when statistics such as 28 goals in his last 27 Premier League games and 33 in his last 37 all told are presented.

    Van Persie may have missed Arsenal’s best chance of the game 13 minutes from time when he failed to get enough height on his attempted chip over Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda, but he carries an air of menace no other striker at Wenger’s disposal comes close to giving off.

    Gervinho was hard-working but unsure of touch against Marseille, while the South Korean Ju-Young Park looked a work in progress, off the pace and a marginal figure.

    Andrey Arshavin emerged as a substitute with no impact and has undergone a rapid decline in performances, while the injured Marouane Chamakh’s recent displays have provoked the jibe that he is the free transfer that looks increasingly like a waste of money.

    Should Van Persie suffer an absence of any length – and his class alone means no-one with Arsenal or the Premier League’s best interests at heart would want this – that particular cupboard looks bare.

    Wenger would have to mix-and-match should that happen and even then he may have to consider strengthening in January, never the ideal time to add real quality to a club with ambitions in the Champions League and Premier League.

    At least, while Wenger keeps his fingers crossed that his finest player stays in his current rude health, Arsenal kept a clean sheet despite a disappointing performance and remain in control at the top of their Champions League group.

    They will have high hopes of topping the group and avoiding the most hazardous opponents in the knockout phase, while another player of great importance returned to show his quality.

    Thomas Vermaelen was captain in Van Persie’s absence and showed the authority that has been sorely missed in his battle to recover from an Achilles injury.

    He coaxed a more assured performance from his central defensive partner Per Mertesacker, and a happier conundrum for Wenger will be how to accommodate that pair and Laurent Koscielny, outstanding at Chelsea but sitting alongside Van Persie on the bench on Tuesday.

    The Belgian may yet end up at left-back as Andre Santos once again showed he is a real talent with the ball at his feet but has a very loose interpretation of his description as a defender. The Brazilian, still looking short of fitness, covers plenty of ground but much of it is when he is out of position.

    Santos is a wing-back masquerading as a left-back, too prone to indisciplined runs upfield and too often the cause of gaping holes on the left side of Arsenal’s defence. He is, to put it kindly, a free spirit when it comes to positioning.

    He will undoubtedly be fun, but Wenger’s task is to harness natural gifts on the ball to the structure of his team to ensure he is fun in a good way for Arsenal.

    No serious damage was done to Arsenal’s Champions League aspirations by this result but it was an opportunity missed to confirm qualification.

    This can be achieved with a point at home to Borussia Dortmund later this month, but history and last season’s exit to Barcelona will tell Wenger finishing at the head of Group F has to be top priority.

    Van Persie is central to all those ambitions as the one reliable, ruthless attacking weapon Wenger has in his armoury.

    Arsenal supporters, understandably frustrated on Tuesday, may point to the talent elsewhere in Wenger’s squad but reality, the sort of reality they saw against Marseille, will tell them Van Persie is the man they need to stay fit.


    Thats not very nice of you AAS.

    By the way, just to big up FGG, i probably agree with his views on the game more than any other poster, ive often thought after reading his thoughts that he is right on the button.

    Ha ha, ive just realised with my extreme views in thinking that we have the best team in the Universe, that might not be seen as a compliment.

    But we do have the best team in the premeirship, and we will prove it.

  23. LB says:

    Couple of interesting comments that have just caught my eye.

    Kelsey, the club have always said regarding the 30 year old thing that they deal with it on a player by player basis. Surely, the signing of Arteta is a classic case of desperate times call for desperate measures.
    Arsenal found out that Wilshere was going to be out for much longer than first thought and realised they had to act and act they did, very decisively in my opinion, in the form of Arteta.

    The other thing is RvP: you do not make clear if you agree with your suggested general consensus but for this reason I certainly do not, just put yourself in his shoes for a minute, surely if you were he you would advertise the fact that you will be coming on the market soon? He did exactly this by saying that he will not start contract negotiations yet. Next, wouldn’t you assess the possibilities available i.e. financial package and length of contract and then finally make your decision.

    The idea that players make their decisions based on who the club buys makes absolutely no sense at all — this is a blog world creation; site’s like Le Grove float these ideas because that can get so much mileage out of them: Van Persie has made it clear that he will only stay if Arsenal make big signings! Who do you think we should buy? Van Persie would have stayed if Wenger had acted decisively, its absolute bollacks, if Van Persie leaves it will be because someone was prepared to offer him a five year contract.

    Exactly the same thing happened with Vieira, Inter offered him at the age of 30 a five year deal with outrageous money to go with it, I mean WTF he was becoming more and more injured how could we have expected him to spend huge amounts of time on the bench while we brought Fabregas through – we couldn’t hence his departure.

    Van Persie is family man who knows he has got only one more opportunity to dictate the length of his contract and I would suggest that it is this and only this that governs where he ends up next season.

  24. chas says:

    I really like Benayoun’s attitude. It’s difficult to imagine him giving less than 100%.

    This is my favourite Benayoun goal in his career to date. Just shading his goal for us against Shrewsbury.

  25. chas says:

    Ooops, forgot to thank you for an interesting post, Fgg.
    Perhaps Yossi will get some game time on Saturday.

  26. goonermichael says:

    I agree LB. If we’d signed Mata, Hazard and Messi Nasri would still have taken the 190k at shitty.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi London/LB 🙂 I don’t know RvP personally of course, but I reckon his main focus is on winning a few major prices in his career. He is at that age now where he needs to make the right decision or he could end up without the quantity and quality of silverware that should go with his talents.

    Yes, he seems to be a ‘family man’, but he will judge Arsenal on its ability to win those prices with him. I think that money or stability i.e. length of contract, although not unimportant to him, will not be the main drivers for him to sign a new contract. Whether the club/Arsene will be able to convince him to stay, is the big question.

    However, there is not much we can do about it other than to show our appreciation for him, and who knows, maybe he’ll sign a new contract soon 🙂

  28. kelsey says:


    sorry for the delay. I just stated that 2 o 3 players are entering their final year of their contracts next year and understandably there is some nervousness around that we might not hold on to some of these players for different reasons.I honestly believe that players join a club like ours to win trophies first and foremost and also the heritage of putting the Arsenal shirt on, but maybe I am living in days long gone by and cash is now king.
    Arteta looked by all accounts a desperate buy but we will know by the end of the season if it was a good buy.
    IMO we still lack one or two stand out class players and personally I don’t think RVP is the same case as either Fabregas or Nasri.I think he relishes being captain, they team appear to respect him and he. will stay under better wages conditions.
    I agree, if you break it down, contracts don’t really mean anything anymore and AW evaluates each case as you say when a player reaches 30.he doesn’t always get that right as project youth has perhaps not turned out as was expected some 5 years later.

    A lot is guesswork but I firmly believe that the club knew and actually sanctioned in Fabreagas’s case, that he and nasri would be off way before it became public knowledge and I am sure that AW spent weeks or even months trying to get whoever he earmarked but most probably transfer fee and wages were the stumblinmg block in many cases.
    benayoun only came to us on loan at literally the last minute because bellamy went to liverpool, and it will be interesting to see if his loan period is extended or that we might even buy him.

  29. kelsey says:

    I have said previously that i don’t always express myself clearly with the written word (unlike RA 😉 ) but this is a blog about opinions and nothing to do with supporting or not supporting the direction the club wishes to take.

  30. LB says:

    Interesting thoughts Kelsey

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Kelsey, surprised to read you need to wait till the end of the season to see whether Arteta was a good buy: what is there not to like / how much does he need to do to convince you? He is been one of our best players since he joined.


    Just like to add something to players contracts and the over 30’s debate. We must all remember that Arsenal do not generate sufficent profits to buy players without selling first. This of course is all linked in to the project youth, players approaching 30 and been sold etc. What Kelsey and LB have been saying is pretty spot on. Players like Van Persie approach a certain age and know that its there last chance for a big contract, and conversly the club knows its the last chance to get a big fee for that player. Following this logic, both club and player will be bucking a recent trend if Robin stays.

  33. RockyLives says:

    Interesting piece FGG
    One (slightly paranoid) thought about the over-30 rule (which seems now to have been ditched).
    Was it brought in partly so that the club could guarantee getting a good return on our top players, rather then seeing them run down their careers to the point where there was no onward sale value?

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    I also don’t understand why you believe that contracts do not mean anything anymore. If Nasri had not been on a contract, we would have received nothing for him, nada. Same with Clichy. If Arsenal wanted to keep them, they would have gone nowhere. Cesc’s contract would have made it perfectly legal for Arsenal to keep him to its obligations but, as far as I know, Wenger honoured a gentleman’s agreement to let him go this summer, despite not getting market value for him. But maybe I am missing something 🙂


    Forgot to add, that waht is feeding all of this is the upward pressure in terms of players wages. Since the inception of the Premer league clubs have generaly increased there revenues year upon year, with the extra funds generated been goobled up by the players.

  36. evonne says:

    Hiya Ginga, thank you for the post.

    It is difficult not to be impressed with Yossi’s work ethic, formidable. He is exactly the type of player that would lead the younger team mates by example. If he can run for 90minutes, then there is no excuse for 20-year olds walking the pitch. It is time they had someone showing them some professionalism

  37. Hi everyone,

    I’m home after an arduous day on site! Thanks for a Benny good post FGG.

    Calling all authors – we need a post for tomorrow – short and sweet is fine. Neither I or Rasp are about so anything however brief would be greatly appreciated.

  38. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. Thank you for the vid. Superb music. I go to that station a few times a week and no-one mentioned the event.

    Memory Lane today. I was in Kongs Nytørv in the centre of CPH and the place was mobbed with thousands of drunken Hanover fans – I mean thousands. Then the police closed the square (something learned from the British police) and herded the fans onto the route to the Parken which is about 4 kms from the centre, Because I was in the crowd having a beer and a chat to the Hanover fans, I was forced to join them which was fine because I live 400m from the Parken. There was singing and chanting and flares and drums and all the usual away fans malarkey …. it was great.

    Why memory Lane? Well …. the first time I ever came to Denmark was with the lads for the 1994 Cup Winners Cup final v Parma, and exactly the same thing happened.

    A brilliant day that will stay in the memory forever.

  39. evonne says:

    Raddy – you are welcome, I owe you for all the great pre-matches xx

  40. Irishgunner says:

    Nice post.

    I was glad we signed Benayoun. Personally, in an attacking sense, I always saw him as somewhat similar to Hleb in how he can control the ball in tight spaces and draw players towards him. Nice loan signing imo.

  41. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – I’ll throw a post into drafts for you and ye can use if needed.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi BR, nice story. It must be nice to see Copenhagen a bit wild once in a while?!

  43. Illy in answer to your earlier question about Cesc and did we sell him for the money, he never put in aformal transfer request, neither did Nasri.

    But I did like your 5-4-1 altho I’d tweak slightly as an option to still be 4-3-3 but with Verm playing in front of the centre backs for protection.

    TA the reasons many of us (incl Wenger) feel contracts are not what they were is not the benefit of the club in terms of resale value but in squad building, many years ago contracts meant commitment from the player to the team as top teams paid similar wages. Now teams will tempt away for silly money.

    Raddy I understand that if the player does not hand in transfer request they are entitled to loyalty bonuses that would have been due for seeing contract to its end and image rights that were in contract. Hence why Cesc deal was more valuable than some imagine when looking at numbers as Cesc gave up on those payments to get his move, this made the net return the same as if we’d taken £40m and paid out his clauses.

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, I see where you are coming from. Contracts have not lost their value and ability to keep players with the club, but players can earn more somewhere else now and are less likely to sign a new contract / extension as a result of it. Therefore, Arsenal are at risk of players running down their contracts. I guess we are just experiencing what the vast majority of football clubs have experienced for many years.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. No wonder the players drive fancy sports cars!

  46. harry says:

    Hi FGG, nice angle on Benayoun……..

    I like Yossi and was well happy when we signed him, he gives a real option from the bench when things are tight and I must admit to be been surprised he didnt get on the picth the other night.

    I understand where you coming from FGG, as Yossi is very efficient with the ball, can work in tight areas and rarely panics. He sees and blocks danger as well, he had an excellent match against Bolton.

    He adds that bit of depth and certainly bringing him on when we are trying to close a game out wouldnt be a bad idea either……..

  47. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Total @9:57pm yesterday, yes the “award winning garden” bit was a joke but it is a nice or was a nice garden before the Bulls arrived, Landscaping is one of my other loves, so it hurt to see the damage.
    Talking of other loves, I do a bit of running, 5 times a week, I dont race anymore, the last proper run was a Gloucester half marathon when I was 40yo , done in under 1 &1/2 hours, So when these footballers cant put in a decent shift for 90 odd mins, they pee me off, there is no excuse, they have the facilities and the science, what do they do 10km per match ?, I can do that in half a match at 55, so no excuses for them AAers,some of the lazy buggers need to pull their fingers out !. Ability, confidence and top fitness = success.

  48. kelsey says:

    it is well documented that gervinho and Nasri are friendsand that nasri persuaded Gervinho that joining Arsenal would be a good move.He didn’t say, “you come to Arsenal as i am buggering off because I can gets loads of dosh at City”. Therefore even with a year left on his contract he had abolutely no intention of renegotiating.
    There has been a patter with a few Arsenal players in the last few years never seen before.Flamini,Hleb,Adebayor,Gallas, Fabregas to an extent ,bendtnerand then Nasri.Would this have happened if Dein was still at the club.

  49. evonne says:

    Raddy – not all of them. TV has an old banger and Santos drives a Smart car

    Kelsey – if Na$ri and Gerv are mates, then the former probably said – ‘Get a short contract at Arsenal, work your socks off for a couple of seasons and then I will help you to move to Shitty’ – fat french troublemaker

  50. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I seem think and agree with most of the stuff you write ! are you some kind of mind reader ! 🙂

  51. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Do you think Gerv chose AFC because of Nasri or was he a childhood fan? Of course not, he came because AFC offered him the best package on offer and they are in London.

    If you are suggesting Dein could have persuaded Cesc to stay, I cannot agree at all.

    All the others apart from Flamini were moved on because we didn’t want them anymore. £20+m for Ade – great business. As was £13m for Hleb. Gallas was sold because he stank out the dressing room. NB is still an AFC player. And Flamini left becasue AFC couldn’t match AC Milan’s wage offer, which would happen today as well.

    To me the only mistake was Lassana Diarra and that was totally understandable prior to Flamini’s treachery.

  52. In reference to the could Dein have kept…

    He couldn’t keep Cole, or Viera, or Overmars, or Petit, or perhaps most famously Anelka….

  53. kelsey says:

    I am glad we disagree Raddy 😉

    I wonder what would have happened if City hadn’t been bank rolled. I just think that a character test on some players apart from ability would be advisable.Dein took a lot of the weight of AW’s shoulders with transfer negotiation (leaving aside the pro and anti dein camp with regards to leaving the club)

    I think the cesc affair was dealt in an unarsenal way.

    gervinho and nasri are friends not as childhood friends.

    Adebayor put a gun to the club after one good season and the club took the money.nasri the same based on half a good season.
    flamini is a difficult one for me,as I can’t form a definite opinion.

    bendtner has an ego problem but we persisted with him out on the wing.Was that punishment ?now we have chamakh on a free.

    we as a club often make the wrong decisions to quickly whist others drag on until enternity.

    Everything is money orientated at the club now,financial stability rules on never mind if it reduces the quality on the pitch. A happy medium should be found.

    even kroenke has paid for the shares with I.O.U.’s a sort of pledge.

    As i said before we are not a top club anymore,we are in the second tier with 4 or 5 others and the rest just aim to stay in the PL.

    The next few years hopefully will right that and we have some great young talent on display but i don’t want them to reach a peak and then get gobbled up by one of the mega rich clubs.

  54. kelsey says:


    of course DD wasn’t a messiah and every club has players that leave regardless of talent,

  55. Irishgunner says:

    I think Nikki B would still be here if he was guaranteed more playing time.

  56. kelsey says:

    Does any Arsenal fan want to hear what Arshavin said yesterday.I posted it yesterday morning.

    Alenka’s brother wanted him away and he was the agent but of course we made fortunes.he turned out to be another one with character problems.i suppose it’s just hard luck that we attract that kind of player more so these last 10 years or so than for a long time, but I accept money has changed the game dramatically

  57. Irishgunner says:

    I think Anelka regrets what he has done to be honest, I reckon he realizes he could have made enough money by staying put at a club for a considered time and showing his best. He’s one that got away imo, not just from Arsenal but from football in general, a far better player was in there that what we ever saw.



    We are not a top club? Ime not having that. You are wrong. We are only second to Utd in terms of generated revenue. We are an example to football clubs all over the world and everything is in place for future success, very soon we will be reaping the benefits of the last few years whilst many others will be jumping hurdles due to there short term outlook.

  59. “even kroenke has paid for the shares with I.O.U.’s a sort of pledge.”

    Sorry Kelsey you know full well that the reason Nina Bracewell-Smith asked for loan notes not cash, if not you have not studied the deal.

    He offered cash or loan notes for the rest, sellers choice because he had to under Company Law.

    As for most of the other stuff you are entitled to your opinion. I agree about NikB but I doubt we would find many other Arsenal fans agreeing with us.

  60. gunnern5 says:

    Top clubs attract and keep top players and they win the majority of competitions they enter IE. Barcelona who have won 12 out of the last 15.

    The only top club in England are Man U. winning 12 EPL titles, the rest of the teams have simply made up the numbers with a few, including Arsenal, winning the occasional competition..

    Personally I am a lover of football and although trophies are great to win, along with the bragging rights, they are not, to me, the be all and end all.

    I agree with Kelsey and do not consider Arsenal to be a top club as the successes in our history have been sporadic and inconsistent.

    I cannot ever see that changing as we now appear to be shrinking into a second tier club, who may spring the occasional surprise – but don’t hold your breath for too long…………..

  61. dandan says:

    Kelsey, DD had some good times at Arsenal, but he had a win double, a well paid job he loved,, whilst he grew the company and then sold his shares for a good profit, not a million miles from what several guys on here did is it.

    The first aim of any company surely is to make money isnt it? christ look what is happening with the markets at the moment there must be a lot of chairmen who go to bed with what we used to call a threepenny bit, half crown backside and a lot of them will be football cl;ub chairmen.

    We are well placed to hold our place as a top club, What is far more concerning from my point of view is who will be left to play us if things keep going as they are.

    Kroenke was interesting backing the Glaziers, he knows we need the Utds of this world and the revenue our rivalrys will drive. So he tried to talk them up. Lets hope he succeded.



    How long did Utd go before they won the league in 93?
    How many years have Liverpool gone without winning the league?
    How many Europeon cups for Barca before this era?

    Arsenal are a top club, and big trophies will come soon.

  63. dandan says:

    TMHT you sir are a man after my own heart, As the man in the movie said, though I never saw him say it, WE will be back 🙂

  64. gunnern5 says:


    The facts speak for themselves we are at best the 3rd most successful club in England, the only top club is Man U.
    We, at this stage, are nothing more than a wish and hope it gets better……


    Nice one Dan.

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Not a top club, a second tier club?

    1. 14 years of CL
    2. For every CL championship we are in the top ‘bowl’
    3. Top-4 finish in PL for how long?
    4. Worldwide fanbase, with a style of football loved on all continents
    5. State of the Art stadium in which Brazil prefer to do their Europe based friendlies
    6. Leading our CL group at the moment (neither Chelsea, MU or MC are doing any better than us)
    7. All done on the principle of sustainability
    8. Only team – with Hercules – in Europe to beat Barcelona
    9. Just beat Chelsea at their turf, who spend a staggering £100m since January (and not selling anybody to fund this)
    10. Wengerball



    We are nothing more than a wish and hope? We are one of the greatest clubs in the world, and have the potential to be the greatest.


    I was wondering were you were TA? ha ha.

  69. Oh to add to TAs list our manager got nominated for the Coach d’Or

    Anyone else think UEFA will come down like a ton of bricks on Chelsea fans for their singing about Anton Ferdinand in the Genk match?

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    We could get ourselves a very rich, charitable new owner tomorrow (I am sure we have one waiting in the wings…). He will spend somewhere between £500-999m on the club and very soon we’ll start to win cups. Would THAT make us a top-team? Statistically yes – if winning cups is what defines ‘top’ for you. To become a true top-club, one that establishes the status of immortality, they would need to play by the rules of ethics and common (financial) sense and build their successes from a vision, a system of football and a group of players that have been nurtured and developed by that club. If that then leads to success, as in winning many major cups, then yes they become TOP clubs.

    In that sense – the historic sense – we are not a top club but then only very few are. Only the likes of RM, Bayern, Liverpool, Milan, Ajax have established themselves as true top clubs, and now Barca is in the process of establishing the same status. And one day, Arsenal will belong to this unique group of immortals as well 😉

  71. oz gunner says:

    @ FGG

    great post, for me yossi is an example of a complete footballer. His work rate is immense, he has heart, attacks well, and fights in defence. A few seasons ago Rosicky said if needed he could play as a defensive midfielder (obviously not against the bigger bodied teams) but he like yossi could pull it off. I love the fight that they show, and with them we are closer to getting the full field press that everyone wants to see. Personally i think it was a great loan move and i hope he stays on for a couple of seasons after that, as he is a great role model to any young player coming up through the team.

    @ TMHT + TA

    very well said, not a big team? says who? we will be the best and biggest!

    Someone mentioned flaminis departure was due to wages offered by milan. I feel it was more down to us offering him up to birmingham (who declined) instead of offering him a new contract. Then he has a great season and we offer him a bigger contract and he walks. I think he loved arsenal through and through but it broke his heart when we offered him up to a lower club. Part of the reason he had a big breakout year because he was showing other teams what he could do and what arsenal will miss. If that what motivate you nothing will.

    The season he offered up was probably the best season from a player i’ve ever seen (in terms of giving everything to the cause, and fighting non-stop). The last player i’ve seen get into the box at all costs to help an attack

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    I assume it was racist slander then GiE? Unbelievable and sad.

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Oz, yep Flamini was a great player for us. You said you live in Western Australia: Perth by any chance?

  74. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Historically, we are the 3rd most successfull club after Manu and Liverpool, fact, a great achievement given how many league clubs there have been, but unless we change or something is done about the “money clubs”, the future will be a blue moon rising!.
    It is commendable how optimistic a lot of gooners are, but not realistic, If you really think we will rise to the top again, then you must believe FFP will work with all loopholes covered. Many “experts” believe it wont work, so do some of the gooners on here know something differant ?. Please let us into the secret if you do!.
    “we cant be considered a top club, if we let our best players go”, sound familiar.

  75. oz gunner says:

    oh how i miss seening him play for this great team.

    Quick question, if you had a choice who would you choose to be the defensive midfielder for arsenal:

    1. Song or flamini

    2. Song or flamini or gilberto

  76. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Only TMHT`s Gordon Brown is an Alien bet will save us ! 🙂

  77. oz gunner says:

    hi TA, yep that’d be the one

  78. oz gunner says:

    about an hour out but thats the area

  79. neamman says:

    i choose flamini, but all 3 are great

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    GLiC, that is an award winning comment 🙂

    Of course it has become even more difficult since the arrival of the ‘mega-money clubs’, and no, I have not got much confidence in FFP, but we still have a chance. If we can keep Wenger and keep hold of our talents from now on we continue to have a chance to make the final step. It just a feeling GLiC: sooner or later we are going to have that bit of extra luck to make the final step to winning cups again.

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Oz, I have been told that Perth is a very fine city to live in? Proper four seasons as well?

    I also like all 3 DM’s but I believe that Song will have the best career of them all.

  82. Gilberto….simply no question …unsung hero.

    TA well it was a strange one, apparently they sung:

    ” Anton Ferdinand – You know what you are”

    It’s on the line that one, but UEFAsaid they would investigate immediately. Monkey chanting in Spain and still too much in Eastern Europe gets a slap wrist fine, will be interesting.

  83. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    it is a very fine city indeed, not much going on in terms of things to do but weather wise its great, top notch beaches, safe, no snow in winter and rarely drops below 17/18 degrees. The ultimate goal is to move up to north london with work but the miserable weather may be a stubbling block for me, and il definently be retiring in perth.

    I agree song will have the best career (amazing how good hes come along over the years), if flamini had of stayed i think he would have, but in a poorer league and injury troubles he has declined

  84. oz gunner says:

    @ GiE

    that is ridiculous, how could fans chant that, not to mention how would chelsea players like ramires, cole, malouda, mikel ect feel?

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, ‘You know what you are?’: I guess it will be hard for UEFA to ‘proof’ the racist link of such a generic chant?!

    Oz, I mixed Perth up with Melbourne then (in terms of the 4 seasons experience). You know damm well there is something in North-London that will make you forget about the weather, that will warm your hard come rain or shine 🙂

  86. oz gunner says:

    there you go GiE. unsure why you would call it ‘invisible wall’ yet only show him scoring goals. I hate when they do that with defenders aswel. You want to see what they are good at.

  87. Oz there’s probably not many vids of him defending he was of course Invisible 🙂

    But he rarely had to make last ditch tackles because he read the game so well. I think he maybe got one booking in all his time in the PL. But of course that just came under the “we’re too nice” media pundits rather than the “oh my god Another Red Card under Wenger” media.

  88. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    yeh probably Melbourne then. I’ve been there during winter and i thought it was awful, had to waltz around with double layers of pants and jackets. But your right, arsenal cures all (don’t know why those religious fanatics take their sick and dying family members to the birthplace of mary, when the emirates produces more miracles).

    What about off-season TA?

  89. Just checked I’m wrong he had more than one yellow but twice went for 45 games without getting booked.

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, I am sure you know that London is full of Aussies and Kiwis. Within my small HR Team alone, there were two Kiwis and one lady from Yorkshire who was married to an Aussie (from Perth…).

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    Gilberto was phenomenal GiE – a true professional and we let him go too early imo.

  92. On the Chelsea chants its documented here:


    Turns out UEFA have not reported so are not going to investigate, contrary to reports on TalkShite yesterday morning.

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Off-season??????? European Championships…. World Cup (often in Europe) and within 1-3 hours flights you can sample the best of European culture, cuisine, beaches, landscapes/mountains, etc. I would focus on the latter though, when trying to convince your lady of love to come over with you 🙂

  94. Unfortunately TA we probably did, but we probably thought we were keeping Flamini. He left rather a large hole to fill.

    Song is getting there but it’s the reading of the game that comes with experience that Arteta, Merts and others show that he needs to improve on.

    Although I’d say one of the best readers in our current squad is Kozzer who tends to intercept rather than tackle and the way he does it means he then has forward momentum with the ball to start counter attacks.

  95. oz gunner says:

    Gilverto silva:

    02/03 – 44 starts (7 as a sub),1 yellow card (community shield)
    03/04 – 39 starts (6 as a sub), 5 yellow cards (only 2 in 32 PL games)
    04/05 – 17 starts, 0 cards
    05/06 – 47 starts (1 as a sub), 5 yellow cards, 1 red
    06/07 – 46 starts (1 as a sub), 3 yellow cards, 1 red
    07/08 – 17 starts (17 as a sub), 2 yellow cards

    that is a very fine discipline record indeed, for his role in the team its amazing. They are striker stats haha. I still remember when that scum savage got him sent off early against blackburn, yet we still went on to win 0-2. As they have always said a red card to an arsenal player just evens up the odds.

  96. Oz fine stats, now what are Songs?

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    They are all good players GiE. Song’s reading of the game seems to get better the longer he is on the pitch and his interceptions seem to improve likewise. The partnership between him and Arteta could become worldclass with either Jack or Ramsey in front of them.

  98. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    no convincing needed haha shes in, her parents are already looking at retiring over there. Couldn’t have more differing reasons though, my #1 reason is arsenal, her #756 reason to move to north london= seeing arsenal haha.

    Cuisine doesn’t phase me much TA, give me a snag in a bun and im happy, or some fish and chips. Half the time when people talk foods on here im lost. I’d love to see the landscapes though

  99. Oh god I’m looking myself they are not pretty!!

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    What’s a snag in a bun?

  101. Gilberto 16yellows 2red from 210 starts (32sub)
    Song 40yellows 1red from 149starts (62sub)


  102. oz gunner says:


    05/06 – 6 starts (3 sub), 0 cards
    06/07 : arsenal – 4 starts (2 sub), 3 yellow cards
    : charlton – 12 starts, 3 yellow cards
    07/08 – 8 starts (1 sub), 0 cards
    08/09 – 37 starts (10 sub), 9 yellow cards
    09/10 – 35 starts (1 sub), 13 yellow cards (haha)
    10/11 – 43 starts (3 sub), 8 yellow cards, 1 red
    11/12 – 11 starts, 4 yellow cards

    Song= 144 starts (19 sub), 37 yellow cards, 1 red
    a card every 4.3 games

    Gilberto= 210 starts (32 sub), 16 yellow cards, 2 red
    a card every 13.4 games

  103. oz gunner says:

    thats in all competitions playing at arsenal according to espn.com

  104. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    a beef sausage in a bread roll. Australias answer to an american hotdog. We do it better!

  105. Glad you asked that TA…I had no idea either.

    My Sister in Law has just moved to Northshore (near Sydney) seems very expensive out there….but they did decide to rent a $1000 a week property which seemed a bit excessive….I think if I was going to live in a foreign country the last thing I would spend my income on would be rent, I’d be living like a hermit 5 days a week in a shoebox to explore the country every weekend.

    Other than going to Italy on our honeymoon me and the wife have not holidayed anywhere other than the UK. Normally Wales, Cornwall or Devon. For me there is no place to compare.

  106. Mine were from statbunker.com but was trying to add up in my head, not good at 12:40 post curry and beer.

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, I like the sound of that. In Glasgow you can get a deep-fried mars bar and in Holland you can get a Frikandel Speciaal: deep fried ‘meat’ (anything left over….) sausage opened up in the middle to add raw, thinly sliced onion, (Dutch) mayonaisse and a spicy tomato curry sause. European cuisine caters for everybody…. 😛

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, they are all great places to go, but my favourite is the Highlands of Scotland.

  109. oz gunner says:

    @ GiE

    sydney is a very expensive place to live, especially in the city.
    We have a big double storey in a quiet community yet only pay $430 a week

    @ TA

    mayonaisse how could you?is it true you dip your chips in mayonaisse in europe? thats a criminal offense down here, its tomato sauce or a jail term. Alot of our fish and chip shops do deep fried mars bars, personally i can’t do it, just the thought of it clogs my arteries. i like the sound of the Frikandel though

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    Bed’s calling. Night all. Looking forward to IrishG’s post tomorrow 🙂

  111. oz gunner says:


    110 starts (43 sub), 21 yellow cards, 0 red
    average: card every 7.3 games

  112. oz gunner says:

    better go do something with my day, farewell all

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Amsterdam May 2008 - Frikandel Speciaal

  114. RockyLives says:

    Rasp, Peaches
    I’ve popped a post in drafts. Not especially time sensitive so use if and when you feel like…

  115. oz gunner says:

    Ballon D’or Nominations:

    Éric Abidal (France)
    Sergio Agüero (Argentina)
    Karim Benzema (France)
    Iker Casillas (Spain)
    Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
    Dani Alves (Brazil)
    Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon)
    Cesc Fàbregas (Spain)
    Diego Forlán (Uruguay)
    Andrés Iniesta (Spain)
    Lionel Messi (Argentina)
    Thomas Müller (Germany)
    Nani (Portugal)
    Neymar (Brazil)
    Mesut Özil (Germany)
    Gerard Piqué (Spain)
    Wayne Rooney (England)
    Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
    Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
    Luis Suárez (Uruguay)
    David Villa (Spain)
    Xabi Alonso (Spain)
    Xavi (Spain).

    One obvious exclusion…Robin Van Persie. Guess 28 goals in 27 goals doesn’t make you good enough! Muller, Ozil, Nani, and bloody abidal come off it!

    But Szczesny was stunned by the omission of the Gunners’ captain and current Premier League top scorer.

    “I think it’s ridiculous [that Van Persie is not on the shortlist] – he’s probably got the best goalscoring record at the moment,” Szczesny told Sky Sports News.
    “We know how good he is – even at Chelsea when they equalised late on, we still felt like we were going to go on and win.

    “He just came up with two goals right at the end, and I believe he is at the moment the best striker in the world.”

    Van Persie has scored more Premier League goals than any other player in 2011, with 28 notched in just 27 games. He leads this season’s scoring charts with 10 goals scored in as many matches.

  116. kelsey says:

    Again I appear to be in the minority and also misunderstood.
    When I said we are not a big club I wasn’t refering to our financial standing as one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the world.
    I am fully aware of the achievements especially in the years under AW and to an extent I doubt any other manager could have captained the ship as it moved from highbury to the Emirates.
    I am talking about NOW and respect the clubs direction which is primarily aimed at reducing debt and at the same time trying to keep us in the CL for an additional income of approx 25 million pounds.
    My worry is that regardless of the dire economic situation which IMO will continue and most probably get worseover the next few years, how the club will cope without making reasonable investments to bolster the squad.
    many think that our present squad when fit is a match for anyone and I don’t disagree but how often does that happen.We have had long term injuries to so many players in recent years and that obviously disrupts the squad.
    Wilshere wouldn’t have played so many games last season if cesc was fit.
    We are no doubt an improving side since the start of the season but i say again when did we last play really well and convincing with confidence in a number of consecutive games.
    We are second tier through no fault of our own and I am totally against our club being bank rolled by the russian.
    kroenke is in it for the long term and we will see if being over frugal reaps benefits to the club and to the fans who want to see us win trophies again.
    To me there are too many question marks about certain players in the squad and we definitely have not addressed quickly the short comings in certain positions, Almunia being the best example.we now have a first class keeper,still a bit raw around the edges but a more experienced was available three years ago,
    The world’s number one has a different back four in front of him nearly every time we play and without a solid defence which is a priority we will struggle.
    Anyway i know most of you don’t agree with me but that’s how I see it.

  117. Kelsey its not that I think our squad is a match for all but our first eleven is pretty damn fine, and we have some pretty good replacements.

    I was chatting to a ‘Pool fan last night and we were going through the merits of the top teams and to be fair they didn’t worry us and we decided there was probably 2 places up for grabs in the top 4 possibly 3.

    City are clearly out on their own.

    United were poor last year and I honestly believe poorer this year, of all their players I’d only take Vidic and Rooney. Chelsea have aged dramatically and of their whole squad i’d take Mata and Cole. Spurs I’d find it difficult to take any of them but I do like Modric. Liverpool I’d take Suarez and possibly Enrique.

    For me any three of five could make the CL spots. Teams have taken points of each other and for me it’s wide open.

  118. kelsey says:

    I agree with your last paragragh GIE and Good Morning.

    Chelsea are the interesting case as they really need to spend dramatically and also have the restrictions of a a much smaller gate receipt than us. One man and one man only has to make that decision. i would love to know what they have paid with numerous compensations to the endless number of managers they have had since Abramovich took over.

  119. Red Arse says:

    Morning early birds, 🙂

    Kelsey, I am not sure, having just read last night’s comments, that people necessarily disagree with you.

    What I mean is that unless there is a clear definition of “top club” everyone has their own understanding of what that means, with the inevitable misunderstandings of what each is referring to.

    To different people, ‘top’ can mean — Financially? Successfully (Trophy winning)? Morally or ethically? Fan friendly? Size of fan base? Community based? etc, etc., none of which is mutually exclusive, so that you can all be ‘right’.

    It was a good debating point, in any event, and you all seemed to enjoy having your say. What was clear to me as an observer is that there is nothing between any of you in your love and support of the Gunners!

    Well done you!! 🙂

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