Too many cooks?

I was speaking to an old friend recently, who is also a fan of the Arsenal, and he was pleading the case for us to sign Gary Cahill in the January window. An idea which he seems to share with many of his fellow Gooners (or so it seems looking at blog world!), and this got me thinking about the current squad and the strengthening options open to Arsène come January 1st.

Personally, I would put my house on Cahill NOT coming to the Emirates! We currently have 3 centre backs battling for 2 starting places with back up offered by Djourou and youngsters coming through in Miquel and Bartley. With the current wage structure and the way that Wenger likes to develop young talent, could we really justify bringing in another first choice CB, and, more importantly, would Cahill want to be at a club where he plays half the games a season with Euro’s coming up? Personally, I think not.

Now, if you look at the rest of our squad with the equation of 2 players for each position and 1 youngster coming through, then it becomes obvious which areas need to be addressed in January.

GK
Szscesny and Fabianksi are clearly first choice with back up through Mannone. Almunia can be sold.

FB
Sagna, Gibbs, Santos and Jenkinson are first choice with emergency back up provided by Djourou and Vermaelen and youngsters coming through.

CB
Koscielny, Vermaelen, Mertersacker, Djourou are first choice with back up through Miquel and Bartley. Squillaci can go.

DM
Song and Coquelin are first choice with Frimpong backing up.

CM
Wilshire, Ramsey, Arteta and Rosicky are first choice with Benayoun and Diaby in reserve.

LW
Gervinho and Arshavin first choice with Ryo as the young talent.

RW
Theo and Oxo as first choice with Benayoun an option if desperate.

CF
RvP and Chamakh first choice with Park and Campbell as cover.

based on that assessment I can only see a couple of areas we could realistically strengthen. Firstly, our CM cover is currently provided by a 30 year old loanee and a lanky Frenchman who we all fear may never get back to his best. If Benayoun is allowed to go back to Chelsea and Denilson and Diaby are released, then we will definitely need another body in there. Will it be a £30m Goetze? I doubt it, but a signing would be required.

Secondly, Arshavin has been under performing ever since that magical first 6 months he had at the club. His wages are huge and could be put to much better use (RvP’s contract!?). Ryo is not ready yet so a gifted winger would be a bonus. Hazard? We can dream.

Lastly, Chamakh is looking like a shadow of his former self of late and has lost all confidence. It would be very easy to get rid and buy someone else, but with a red hot RvP, 2 new signings in Park and Campbell, and only 1 position to fight for, I can’t see Wenger buying any strikers just yet.

There are other arguments to be made, could we trust Coquelin or Frimpong in a big game? Do we have enough full back cover? Is Fabianski cut out for Arsenal?
Only time will tell wether these players have what it takes to become first choice.

Fans are crying out, as always, for Wenger to buy big in January, but looking at the squad right now, I think we could be in for a relatively quiet month come crazy season!

Written by FatGingerGooner

108 Responses to Too many cooks?

  1. Mothafukkah says:

    agree 100%!!!
    i would like a DM but will that make Frimpong and Coquelin leave? and is that a bad thing? not too impressive but they are okay.
    the only thing i would like is a player in for Yossi!

  2. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Fine summing up of the situation and I agree we will not sign anyone. with the proviso that should one of our long term targets (whoever they are) become available AW will buy.

    Let us not forget our loanees either – Lansbury is doing wellat WHU and could well feature next season. Though he will be unhappy at being understudy to AR, MA and JW

  3. g clarke says:

    there must be room for tallent coming up no point in youth otherwise one signing to quite the unseeing a lot must go

  4. we realy need to buy eden hazard in january

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    FGG,
    Big mistake saying you would “put your house” on anything, when as everyone else here knows, you only bet “Rasp’s House” on anything. Its soooo much cheaper.
    Great post, back to comment later.

  6. Fatgingergooner says:

    Btw, apologies all for the early mention of the dreaded JTW, but with it being interlull and with Xmas shopping on the brain I just couldn’t help myself!

  7. cupsui says:

    I don’t thnik we really need a DM right now song is class (a new contract would be so handy), frimpong has huge potential as he works his socks off and wants it bad…obviously has to work on his distribution a lot…Le coq is showing huge potential, i hope he gets some games or a prem loan in jan. Djourou is definitely cover here now with 3 very good CB ahead of him, it is his original and preferred posi. Fullbacks looks solid hopefully no injuries before sagna’s return, but i’m very impressed with jenko fett!! Striker is a concern as Chamakh just can’t quite get back to top quality, maybe CYP is the answer…i hope so cause i like his touch and work ethic, seen him a lot in Asian qualifers being from Oz.
    I agree with the author CAM/LW is the spot that might need filling and i can see sign of arsharvin drifting away. For me Goetze can fill both holes and would be perfect. I’m not fussed on Hazard he seems all ego and will be calling for a move in no time (he does look class tho but we don’t need more handbags). Goetze ticks all the boxes, creative, scorer, great teamwork, incredible off the ball movement (something the germans seem to be amazing at at the moment), committed, determined, and bags of potential. GET HIM NO ONE ELSE.
    The back up option for me is Rues…another german. he looks classy although i must admit i haven’t seen a lot.
    I have a feeling we are a chance for Goetze as Arsene wants him and if reports be true he did bid big…an outside chance but a chance…he is the one i think will take us to that next level. Otherwise happy with a committed and determined squad!

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey, does that sound wrong. I don’t mean Rasp’s house is cheap, I mean its cheaper to gamble his house than your own. Panic.
    Coat.

  9. kelsey says:

    January might be more interesting than in previous years FGG

    .Traditionally we don’t buy at that time but it is feasable that there could be 7 teams challenging to be in the top 4 though two of those aren’t in the CL but one is in the EC.
    Demand will outstrip supply therefore most probably any player targeted will most probably go for an over inflated price.

    It will be interesting to see what happens but to out guess AW is nearly impossible.

  10. A decent synopsis FGG, trouble is who the hell is going to want to buy any of Squillaci, Almounia, Diaby and Denilson, the only one attracting any interest is Chamakh, who Bordeaux want to re-sign, probably on a free.

  11. kelsey says:

    Off topic the Euro 2012 draw.

    We can all look forward to the draw on Dec 2nd in Kyiv,My prediction will be that Rep Of Ireland,Portugal,Italy or Spain and Greece will be drawn together in the ‘Group Of Debt’.

  12. Rasp says:

    Morning, interesting post FGG.

    I know I should change the record, but I wouldn’t be at all upset if Chamakh left in January and we brought in another striker.

    Cahill is a non starter, we don’t need him but I think our interest in M’Villa is genuine although nothing would happen on that front until the summer.

    We won’t buy Hazard and Goetz is only just in budget as long as none of the money bags are interested in him.

    On a separate note, I have created a ‘Match Tickets’ widget for anyone who has spares they are looking to place. We have a blogger with 2 spares each for the Dortmund and Fulham home games if anyone is interested.

  13. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Back for another very fleeting visit as I continue my schedule of all work. Fancy that, eh? Actually having to do what I’m paid for during business hours!

    The ‘favourite goal ever’ debate could run and run, and the old staples are all there in the comments (for what it’s worth, my top 3 are probably TH14 vs the Sp*ds, DB10 vs the Barcodes and maybe Theo’s breakaway and pass to the Meerkat vs the Pool), but I thought special mention should go to an almost completely unsung goalscorer who didn’t score them much but when he did, some of them were real peaches.

    Ladles and jellyspoons, I give you our very own Romford Pele, Mr Raymond Parlour! The belter he scored against the Chavs from the bus stop is really a thing of delicious top-corner quality…

  14. Gooneraside says:

    Fine ideas, FGG, but do we really need to worry?
    As a stand-by LW, we can use either Gibbs or Santos. Yes, I know that having them both on the field at once isn’t perfect, but as a stand-by.
    And we still have new striker options. Did you manage to see Campbell’s goal for Costa Rica against Spain last night? Coolly taken long-range shot placed by the post instead of straight at the keeper. Bodes well.

  15. Fatgingergooner says:

    LG, it’s a good question! I think we will have to cut our losses and just ask for basement prices and hope that someone sees something in these players. I think a club could be found for Denilson and if Diaby can get reasonably fit then a season loan could see him back to his best (a long shot I know). The problem lies with the ageing players like Squillaci and Almunia, but surely they will have to accept lower wages or risk rotting in the reserves. There’s also Bendtner to get rid of who isn’t exactly lighting it up in Sunderland. Hopefully he has a cracking Euros and some newly rich idiots like PSG or Malaga come knocking.

    I thought that Goetze and Hazard would get plenty of mentions today but I just feel we may have missed the boat on these two. Everyone will be sniffing around, espescially Goetze, and we will be outbid.

  16. chas says:

    Nice post, FGG.
    I don’t think we’ll buy anyone in January.

  17. brooklyn147 says:

    i feel that walcott will be our striker, not necessarily now, but for now third choice when needed. So we need a winger..just descent and a team player till aoc grows as we n ger like

  18. allezkev says:

    Interesting Post.
    I like Gary Cahill, and i’d like to see him at Arsenal, but i agree with FGG, i don’t think he’ll come now.
    One player who could be get-able this January and who could play in 4 or 5 positions, is Jan Vertonghen.
    Worth a punt imho.

  19. Nice post FGG, I don’t expect a big fee star transfer, or even one of the upcoming talents.

    To be honest we have only done this once in extreme circumstances (Arshavin). So I believe if we are in the Top 4 by January I do not expect any outrageous expenditure.

    And if anything I would back similar players to Arteta, Benayoun ages as they will only be good for youngsters coming through and not provide too much of a block.

  20. Chas I need time to study the quiz. A few easy a few tough and a few questionable….nice quiz 😀

  21. LB says:

    “The group of debt”

    Very clever, I am surprised no one else picked up on it.

  22. LB says:

    Chamakh out in January, new striker in is about the only thing that I can see remotely happening.
    Wenger must know that he has got to act early on this one, RVP could leave in the summer which would leave us right up the Swanny.
    Maybe Arshavin to find a new home is also a possibility.

  23. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. 😀

    chas: Eddie McGoldrick or Anders Limpar?. As GiE says. Some easy and a few diffiicult but I think I get 85+%

  24. gunnern5 says:

    From the Highbury & Islington Gazzette, it’s a few days old but still a nice read.

    ………………………………………………………………………………….

    Carl Jenkinson explains why he’ll always give that little bit more for the Gunners

    I have to pinch myself sometimes,” admits Carl Jenkinson, and when you listen to the story of his improbable, miraculous rise from non-league to Premier League in the blink of an eye then it is not hard to see why.

    This time last year the defender was on loan from League One Charlton Athletic to struggling Conference National outfit Eastbourne Borough – then just eight months later he was playing in the Champions League.

    If that doesn’t already sound like the stuff of far-fetched dreams then add in the fact that the 19-year-old comes from an Arsenal-mad family and had been supporting the Gunners for as long as he can remember.

    “It is crazy, sometimes I do have to pinch myself if I think where I was this time last year,” Jenkinson tells the Gazette after helping shut out West Brom on Saturday.

    “I was on loan at Eastbourne Borough in the Conference, playing on some horrible pitches and then here I am now playing for the club I love.

    “A lot has gone on in the past year but I am thankful it has happened. At the start I had some tricky times, but I have settled in a bit now, found my feet, and am just trying to give my best in every game for the club.”

    Those ‘tricky times’ Jenkinson alludes to would probably include getting sent off in the traumatic 
8-2 defeat at Old Trafford, and being unfairly scapegoated for his part in Arsenal’s worst start to a season for 58 years.

    While there was widespread criticism aimed at the club and Arsene Wenger for that, the teenage defender who appeared woefully out of his depth also seemed to receive an awful lot of it.

    For many fans and pundits, the fact Arsenal were having to call on a player of such limited experience seemed to exemplify just how the club had deteriorated since the days of the ‘Invincibles.’

    Two months on, and while perhaps not having made those critics eat their words, the opinion of Jenkinson has changed dramatically. The player himself is not afraid of addressing the issue.

    “Of course the criticism hurts, you never want to hear negative things about you but I have always believed in myself,” he says without a trace of arrogance, but with a touch of inner steel that is perhaps what prompted Wenger to dip into the lower leagues for a player who very few people had ever heard of.

    “I always believed I could play at this level, at the top. That’s my belief and I am hoping that now I am starting to show that,” adds Jenkinson.

    “In football there’s always people who doubt you and say you are not good enough. It’s the same with every player. It’s up to me to work hard and prove those people wrong.”

    Gradually he has been doing just that. In the last three games he has started, two in the Champions League against Marseille and then on Saturday, Arsenal have not conceded a goal.

    “We have looked a lot more solid defensively for the past few games,” he says. “At the start of the season players have left and then we have signed players, but we have got our squad now. It takes a little bit of time for that to gel together.

    “We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time and we have to make sure we keep doing what we are doing now and winning games.”

    Jenkinson would probably not be getting the chance to redeem himself so soon if Bacary Sagna had not broken his leg in last month’s north London derby defeat at White Hart Lane.

    With no other regular right-back at the club, Jenkinson came back into the side and his displays since have erased the early-season trauma for both player and fans.

    “It is very disappointing that Bac has got injured, he’s a world-class right-back but I suppose it does give me a chance and I’ve got try and take it,” he says.

    “I am just trying to work hard and take my chance. It’s not going to be easy, I know that, there’s going to be some tough games and there will be ups and downs.

    “But I am just working hard to do my best. Everyone knows I will always give 100 per cent for this club. It’s the club I love and the club I have supported all my life.”

    Many new signings down the years claim to have supported or had a soft spot in their youth for the club they join but Jenkinson, who grew up in Buckhurst Hill in Essex, is the real deal.

    “Some people don’t believe how much of an Arsenal fan my dad is, he’s been an Arsenal season-ticket holder for 40 years. If you walk in our living room at home we’ve got all these programmes in folders going back 40 years.

    “Our family is a massive, massive Arsenal family. Everyone is a Gooner in my household. It’s a cliche but it is a dream come true for me to play for Arsenal and I will never take it for granted.

    “I think every fan in the stadium would want to be on the pitch and I’m lucky enough to be doing that and representing those people, and trying to make them proud.”

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Don’t you think we did enough shopping over the summer? 🙂

    The main worry we have is a long-term injury to RvP (stating the bleeding obvious!). Can we buy a direct replacement for him in January – one that can score a goal per game on average? Nope.

    We did not get Mata, which makes me think that if we are to buy anybody at all, it will be another class winger.

    72 hours till kick-off!

  26. Big Raddy says:

    LB. That is a very good point. Does AW sign a top striker which would stop RvP’s agent blackmailing AFC or does he hope Robin will sign if offered more money?

  27. gunnern5 says:

    BR; With all due respect I don’t see it as blackmail but purely the realism of supply and demand. This will be RVP’s last opportunity to maximize his salary for the final 3/5 years of his career and like any one of us would – he will want and demand the maximum and why not?

    The best in class should be paid the most and if AFC cannot afford him then he has every right to look elsewhere,.

  28. Rasp says:

    The offers haven’t started pouring in for RvP yet, but you can bet your bottom dollar that he will be targetted by many clubs come May if he hasn’t signed a new contract.

    RvP is irreplaceable in the same way Cesc was, the cost of a world class striker close to RvP’s quality is beyond our budget.

    I think Song’s reported refusal to accept a new contract offer which includes a pay rise when there is 3 years to go on his current deal is a stronger indication of the player looking elsewhere than Robin’s situation which is understandable under the circumstances.

  29. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. I am not suggesting that RvP will blackmail the club, I am saying his agent will. And you are right that it is the agents job to maximise his client’s potential earnings.

    No-one knows if RvP will sign or not, but even contemplating his departure after the club supported him through injury after injury infuriates me.

    And …… let us assume RvP will be offered ₤6m a year and a 3 year contract. That is ₤18m bloody Quid and even at a time when sterling is weaker than watered down Heineken it remains a substantial amount of money.

    Does he really need another few mill after tax to become just another player at Barca or MC?

    What price loyalty? Or is it just a one way street?

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. We should buy Rodwell and tell Alexander Song Billong to sign or sling his hook. (just kidding ….. I think …. Rodwell looks a monster of a player but has MU written all over him)

    That said, I don’t believe the story and he will stay for at least a couple more years. AFC made him and he will flounder elsewhere.

  31. gunnern5 says:

    BR, «it seems we are saying basically the same thing.

    But what if Man C rid themselves of Tevez and his salary and then offer RVO 250 a week – that`s 13 million a year.

    Is loyality to your employer worth the difference of 21 million quid – I know my answer, goodbye AFC.

  32. fatgingergooner says:

    totally agree g5,

    it was a point i was trying to make the other day. this is RVP last chance to demand a massive contract and who would blame him for taking his time with the decision?

    i just hope that we can get some silverwear this year to at least show him we are moving in the right direction

  33. oz gunner says:

    Sagna out in JTW haha

    It is amazing to think that if sagna had not been injured what we would think of jenks right now! Thank you for the article G5, it is great hearing a player think like that. Hopefuly he continues the improvement and becomes an arsenal legend!

    I feel we have missed the boat on goetze and hazard. 30+ is what it will take with hawks like real, chelsea and man city roaming about

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy, I agree about Rodwell. Looking at the way things inevitably pan out with Arsenal, I can see Song leaving because he thinks he’s Zidane and us buying M’Villa who is coming down in price as he nears the last year of his contract.

  35. Chairman Gallant says:

    Arsenal need to sign one top striker in January to make the team complete,and reduce over dependant and over use of RVP.
    But i would’nt bet my salary on it that AW will buy any player come Jan.But rather,i think Arsenal will be busier selling the unneeded players such as Squillachi,Almunia,Charmarch,Diaby,etc,etc.

  36. oz gunner says:

    i’m with BR on this one. Yes others will offer him more but he could end his career as a club legend with a group of fans that love and adore him. Money is not everything, and trading in a club that was VERY loyal to him would be wrong in my eyes.

    ‘Is loyality to your employer worth the difference of 21 million quid – I know my answer, goodbye AFC.’

    You ask Jenkinson the same thing, i think selling out says alot about a persons character. Same goes for Song, but that doesn’t worry me because i think coquelin is a destroyer, or perhaps the purchase of the very promising M’vila

  37. oz gunner says:

    @ BR and Rasp

    he does look like a very good player in the making (didnt manu put in a cheeky 15mil bid but moyes said he wants 25?)

    What position do you think he will end up playing. I’ve got a few mates who love everton and they think it’ll be CB. Hes played everywhere for Everton. I think it’ll be DM

  38. gunnern5 says:

    Oz,

    Having a good character doesn’t fund the future of your family but a good salary does.

    Loyalty can be misplaced, but don`t get me wrong – I really hope that RVP does stay, but I fear not, at Man C he will earn more plus have a far greater opportunity to win some hardware.

  39. Rasp says:

    Hi oz,

    Going by his England performance last night you’d think he was an attacking midfielder, but he is officially listed as a DM. At 6ft 2in, it would appear he can play pretty much anywhere in the defence or midfield.

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    havent man city already declared interest in M’Vila thus ruling out anyone else in world football!!!?

    when i said i agree with G5 it was to do with the fact that this is RVP last big deal, not that he should leave for the extra money, though i wouldnt really blame him. he does have a family to think about aswell.

  41. oz gunner says:

    That is true, but that normally applies to regular joe’s not people earning that sort of money. I just don’t think man city could land him, why would you go to a team who already has super mario (looking very promising lately), aguero, and dzeko. Surely you would want to spend the remaining years playing as number 1, not rotating on and off the bench

  42. gunnern5 says:

    Have to go and see a man about a dog, bye for now.

  43. Rasp says:

    As a general comment, it would appear that in the modern game, positional specialisation is becoming blurred. Look at how TV and kozzer surge forward on occasion and RvP defends. A good engine, strength and pace are valued in all positions and systems are becoming more amorphous and fluid in their interchange.

  44. Rasp says:

    Hi fgg,

    I get the impression that city just ‘express an interest’ in a player to keep them on hold or prevent them going elsewhere whilst they make their minds up. I can’t see how M’Vila would get into the current city side but he could sit holding hands on the bench with his french national teammate.

  45. oz gunner says:

    @ Rasp

    i completely agree. With training being helped by science and studies athletes are faster, stronger, and more agile so they can pretty much do anything. Soon we are going to be flooded with 6’2 Rodwells who can play anywhere and run all day.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, you just described the essence of total football – a concept developed 40 years ago. Next to a good engine, strength and pace you can add; good first touch, great passer of the ball, team player and (ideally) vision.

  47. LB says:

    BR

    I just wanted to add something to the RVP loyalty issue.

    We probably both agree that RvP will see this as his last opportunity to achieve a big pay rise but equally he will almost certainly try and secure a contract to last as long as he possibly can.

    Arsenal will most likely offer him a three year deal which will take him to 32 but someone else will surely offer him a five year contract, Arsenal don’t want RvP for another five years, they only want him for three so in this situation who is being loyal?

    If you cast your mind back the same thing happened with Vieira.

    For all the stick the board take I think they are a bit more forward thinking than many give them credit for that being the case they would have already realised that there is a serous possibility that RvP could leave in the summer; is Chamakh the answer? I find it difficult to think that Wenger believes so; that being the case, he has to start now to find a replacement, although, I don’t think the motive will be to reduce the possibility of RvP’s agent blackmailing the club but more to do with absolute necessity of having someone ready to go should RvP decide to take the five year contract.

  48. LB says:

    Now that is an interesting thought.

    Rasp I think that is the first time anyone has spotted that, very clever in my humble opinion @ 1:33

    But your theory on Song: goodness knows where you are coming from on that one, the man still has three years on his contract only a fool would agree an extention this early.

  49. Chas are you sure they are all Arsenal players in your picture quiz? looks like they must play for The Headless Chickens.

  50. Big Raddy says:

    LB. I agree and had written something to that effect but deleted it.

    If RvP is offered a 5 year contract elsewhere we have to match it. FC cannot be seen as a feeder club to the 5 or 6 super-rich teams. But how to do so in this football climate is a problem that I nor AFC cannot solve.

  51. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I must have been playing Total football before the Dutch ! Skill, Fitness/stamina and confidence, 50 years ago! 🙂
    Since coming on this site, the thing I`ve banged on about most of all is the lack of stamina/ fitness. Players might be stronger and faster but imo lack the stamina,they may have the sports science but the most simple thing is Hard work, costs nothing!. I`ve said this before, does anyone know if Arsenal do any milege running in training ?, If they do, AA must be hideing behind a bush !.
    I know from experience that other teams hate pace and players who dont stop running!

  52. Rasp says:

    Hi LB,

    I think the club are offering Song a decent pay rise as part of the extention of his contract this early because they are aware of the interest in him from the usual poachers.So if he was committed to staying he’d have no reason to decline.

    It is obvious and only human nature that players would want to keep their options open and that is what RvP is doing, but in his case, as Cesc pointed out, it is his last chance to make a ‘big move’ – the same could not be said for Song.

  53. chas says:

    Oz, did you notice this goal you posted yesterday is an edit of more than one goal?

  54. chas says:

    Here’s the original with Wrighty twisting and turning in the corner followed by another belting finish.

  55. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, did you also notice that Arsène is chewing gum in that clip? …. I’m glad he got out of that habit.

  56. chas says:

    I didn’t notice that at all, Rasp.
    Thank god he didn’t turn into Fat Sam or the violet-beaked Govanite. 🙂

  57. Rasp says:

    Hi glic, I’m pretty sure the club are up to date on all the modern techniques of training including endurance/stamina. They have recently invested in tracking devices for the players which produces volumes of data and allows them to see every move the player makes, how much ground he covers, how fast he runs etc etc.

  58. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hi Rasp, In that case, do you think Arsene gives a disapproving shake of the head when he reads Arshavins data ? or is he someone who looks lazy but runs more than we think. I remember George Graham being peed off a bit with the name Stroller, He said , He worked a lot harder than people thought He did !

  59. LB says:

    “It is obvious and only human nature that players would want to keep their options open and that is what RvP is doing, but in his case, as Cesc pointed out, it is his last chance to make a ‘big move’ – the same could not be said for Song.”

    Well, yeah, apart from the glaring obvious difference in their age.

    You seem to want to run with this one……….enjoy.

  60. Rasp says:

    Good question glic. From my experience of management, you can only steer people, not change them. AA is a little genius, but like most he is flawed. I suspect that if you forced him to run his socks off every day in training you’d get less out of him in games.

    His total honesty when assessing his own performance and that of others is refreshing but also unsettling. I don’t question his desire to do well, but maybe his team ethic when he is not the main attraction.

  61. Rasp says:

    LB, it was the point about his age that I was making – I just didn’t spell it out, I don’t think we’re disagreeing on this one.

    Look the club have offered Song a new contract (extension) when there is 3 years left to go on his existing deal – doesn’t that tell you something? He’s an asset they want to secure for the long term, but there are indications that he’s looking elsewhere.

  62. Rasp says:

    ….. or maybe that’s what his agent would like us to believe?

  63. fatgingergooner says:

    I dont believe we should be slating AA for his lack of running, its his poor distribution that we should be moaning about.

    He wasnt bought to go chasing full backs and wingers, he was bought to create and score chances, and to link up with strikers. The area that is letting him down at the moment is his passing. If he was finding his own players on a more regular basis then we wouldnt be moaning at him for not getting back when he has given the ball away.

    His job is to pass to team mates, and at the moment he is failing to do that.

  64. Rasp says:

    Good point fgg, he tries things that most other players wouln’t even attempt, but unfortunately they’re not coming off at the moment. He is an open book and his head goes down when a clever flick fails – usually accompanied by a chorus of groans from the crowd.

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    Rasp/LB, if your employee said here is a payrise, all you have to do is continue working at your current level, and if someone wants to poach you from another business then it just means they will have to pay us more for your services, would you take it?

    the contract extension will have no effect whatsoever on Song apart from his bank balance will be bigger. Even if he wanted to move he could still force one in 3 years, it just means that the club will get a higher fee. Surely he wouldnt begrudge that of the club that made him?

  66. Rasp says:

    Hi fgg, I think you’re forgetting that in most cases (not city), a higher purchase price often means a lower wage offer, so what benefits the selling club may not be to the player’s advantage.

    Its all speculation and I agree with your points. If Song were to sign a contract extension, then that would be very good for Arsenal. The point I am making is that such early offers are usually an indication of other pressures.

    In the case of young emerging players like Jack, in the space of 1 year he went from a promising youngster to an England International and it was only right we should increase his salary.

  67. LB says:

    FGG

    Hmmmmmm, interesting view, I shall have to think about this.

  68. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    fgg, Running and workrate are essential,( aswell as distribution ).
    Give me Ten George Armstrong`s against Ten Arshavins anyday, I know who would win !. Even though Arshavin probably had/has more talent .

  69. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC. I agree

    Arshavin is a talent, Armstrong was a talent and a hard worker. He would be superb in this team.

    We have had some fantastic players in AA’s position – Armstrong, Overmars, Pires, Rix, Limpar, and sadly, I would take any of them over Andre´.

  70. Now look chaps, I’ve been out shovelling and spreading 20 tonnes of soil today while some of you have been nice and cosy in front of your computers. While I don’t wish shovelling soil on anyone it would be nice to have someone write a post for tomorrow so that I can relax.

    Also we’re gonna to need a volunteer to ‘publish’ in the morning as Rasp won’t be around either.

    Who wants to be in my good books then ………… 🙂

  71. Hmmmn this is a bit of a worry, seems Sepp Blatter thinks any racist comment can be brushed off with a shake of the hand afterwards

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/15757165.stm

    Twitter has gone mad with comments about his statement

  72. harry says:

    Interesting article FGG………

    We dont need Cahill and as you say, he wont come……..But if i was in charge, i’d go and get him!!

    Madness? No, I’d move Vermaelen into DM slot…………Especially with Song off to ACN…………..Even Kozzer could play there……..

    But to be honest, its not always about lining up our squad and saying well we have 2 there and 2 there, but only 1 there etc, as many of players are very versatile……….

    What we truly need to buy in December is a player that will add that extra edge to our play…….

    Hazard is a good example or maybe Benzema……..

  73. harry says:

    Hi peaches!!

    Yeah hopefully this is the beginning of the end for the fool…………

  74. fatgingergooner says:

    i understand what your saying GLIC,

    but i dont believe AA is the running around type of player and therefore shouldnt be judged on it. If he was the type to harass and annoy defenders then he would definately be loved more by the fans and would be a better player, but that isnt him.

    i wouldnt judge a gk on his heading ability, but if he was great in the air, then hes obviously better than if he wasnt good in the air!!!

    does any of that make sense! 🙂

  75. Irishgunner says:

    JackWilshere Jack Wilshere
    Everybody follow @Frimpong26AFC feel sorry for him the banter I give him at training is really getting to him cheer him up please 🙂
    6 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    Frimpong26AFC Emmanuel Frimpong
    @JackWilshere Jack how’s ur captain JT is he alright?

    @Frimpong26AFC RVP is my captain and I will be yours one day so show me some respect Frimmers!

  76. Irish I was just gonna post that…..so funny, love Jacks confidence “I will be your captain one day”

  77. Irishgunner says:

    GIE – Yeah ha ha I love Jack, proper Gooner, always good banter between him and Frimpong

  78. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    fgg, I do get what your saying. I just find it frustrating that someone with that ability is not fullfilling his true potential. They probably play a bit differant positional wise but look at Tevez ( the player ), I`d say they were on a par talent/skill wise, but the work rate of Tevez sets him apart, It`s a crying shame really. :`(

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. If a post arrives I will publish it – but it may be a little early as I have to go to the dentist in Sweden (it’s cheaper)

    If no-one mans up I will cobble a couple of paragraph’s together, I haven’t been offensive about our N17 friends for a few weeks

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Captain after RvP? Has to be Ramsey – he has a huge future at THOF

  81. Irishgunner says:

    By the sounds of it, Rambo will be only vice captain if Jack has his way 🙂

  82. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Harry, I dont think that Cameroon have qualified for ACN, Song wont be lost ! 🙂

  83. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC.

    I know I am in the minority but I would have sold AA in summer alongside Nasri and Cesc. AA frustrates me so much because ,,,,,,,

    AW is building a team that is based upon 11 players working hard for each other attempting to creating something greater than 11 talented players. If one player doesn’t work his socks off he lets the whole team down and AA has given less than 100% many times over his AFC career. It is not good enough. There is no other Arsenal player who does that – even Theo has learned to become a more complete player by concentrating on helping his fullback.

    He needs to be sold in the JTW in order to create space for Ryo and to allow AA the opportunity to work towards the Russia WC in a less physical environment.

  84. Big Raddy says:

    In a fight I would take the Welshman to KO Little Jack inside 2 rounds.

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi GLiC, you don’t ask a tiger to join a gang of wolves. Arshavin, as FGG is rightly pointing out, is not the sort of player you want him to be. But a goal scoring record of 0.25 goals is fantastic for a ‘winger’, add to that an 0.25 assist per game record and you are talking about a top player in that position. . Ribery, Theo, Nani, Valencia, Bale, etc etc all have a worse scoring and assist record. He just has to regain his form and ‘melancholy de vivre’ again. Let others do the chasing and running, let Andrey do the things that matter upfront.

  86. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hi Total, Sorry I`m in the Big Raddy camp, “players who work their sock`s off ” for the team. I bet Tevez has a better scoring rate. ( I bet your scurrying about looking at stats now) 🙂 But if he didn`t work so hard, it would be less.
    I have seen some great players be average and some average players be great. Arshavin is too long in the tooth to change. Tevez must have had that great work ethic instilled from an early age.
    You cant tell me Arshavin wouldn`t be a better player, if he had the same work rate, plus us fans would love him more.
    The great Liverpool side`s first defender was Ian Rush, Team work !

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    GLiC, I bet it is nice and cosy in the Big Raddy camp 🙂 Tevez is not doing anything for his club anymore; he refused to play – says it all to me. He does not work his socks for the team, but for himself as he wants to remain marketable – he is clever and calculated like that.

    The Stoke players all show great work ethic, and yes it makes a bunch of average players a little bit less average. Big deal though: football is more than work ethic alone. I prefer Gervinho to Arshavin anytime, but I still appreciate the added value that the little Russian offers to us in our team.

  88. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Total, I must stress that I have no liking for the offield Tevez, he`s acting like a twat, onfield is a differant matter, I`m not so cynical of him. Your right , The Orc`s have a great work ethic, probably the only thing they have in common with Barcelona !. 🙂
    Nite all, Off to the land of the Orc`s tomorrow, plenty of driving to do. lucky me. 😦

  89. Morning all

    Off to move another 20 tonnes of top soil. I’ve scheduled the post to publish itself but I need someone to fanfare it please at 9.30 …….

    Thanks, have a nice day all 🙂

  90. Need a post for Friday please ……………….

  91. California Gooner says:

    A little aside from all of the angst-ridden speculation about transfers (which seems to put many of the AA’s off their normally positive mood, and bring out their negative side).

    I want to make quick comment on the FA actually charging Suarez with racism: it makes them (and the English) look ridiculous. From what I understood, he was calling Evra “negrito” during the game. South Americans will give nicknames based on appearance, something that sometimes offends Anglos. But someone who speaks South American Spanish fluently, I can tell you that is absolutely not demeaning. Literally it means “my little black one”, but it is the kind of thing that a woman would say to her lover or an aunt to her favorite nephew! It is generally used as a term of endearment.That is why, apparently, De Gea and Chicharito us it as well. The idea that Suarez would be charged as a racist when it is such a run-of the mill cultural misunderstanding is just mind boggling and somewhat Kafkaesque. Disproving that you really didn’t mean something you didn’t mean is always more difficult.

  92. evonne says:

    Ginger – love the post and agree – no new arrivals in Jan. I would love to see another striker, as there isn’t enough cotton wool in the world to wrap around RvP to protect him from injuries, but we know the score – unless absolutely necessary, they won’t buy

  93. evonne says:

    Irish and GiE – cannot wait for our Jack to wear the skippers armband, the lad brings a smile to my face

    Peaches – i am sorry, I am such a useless friend, cannot help 😦

  94. California

    It is difficult for the FA, they must bring the charge otherwise they appear weak on racism, Suarez can then have his chance to clear the air. Wiki agrees with your definition.

    My only word of warning is it has to be looked at in context. Calling someone black is not derogatory if used as a description.

    eg…
    have you seen that new guy at work?
    No what does he look like?
    He is black, tall……

    It is only when used as a string of abuse, like John Terry is apparently saying to Ferdinand that it becomes abusive and unacceptable. So if Suarez says to Evra “you Negrito bastard” there is no endearment present. I haven’t read up on exactly what’s been accused by Evra but if as you say that is the sole accusation and it is not one word from a string of abuse then he will surely be cleared.

  95. oz gunner says:

    Mr arsenal has resigned as manager.maybe its time to snatch him up to help out in some form.can never have to many ex arsenal greats at the club.

    Sorry peaches wish I could help out

  96. chas says:

    CG,
    I don’t understand why the FA would charge Suarez if his defence had been phrased in the terms which you use.
    Unfortunately the FA as an organisation have earned as little respect in this country as FIFA and the ridiculous Sepp Blatter have earned around the world. I doubt anybody would stand up in their defence.
    However, your implication that the “English” look ridiculous too, I do find offensive. It’s the same as saying that Sepp Blatter speaks for you an American because the USSF is part of FIFA.

    Btw, is De Gea’s nickname crapbeardito?

  97. chas says:

    I won’t be around at 9.30 either peaches.
    Perhaps the first person to see the new post can put a comment on this one?

  98. evonne says:

    Peaches and Chas – I will do the honours

  99. evonne says:

    Oz – do you mean Tony Adams coming back to UK?

  100. evonne says:

    GiE – I understand what you are saying, but it is worrying when we notice skin colour before anything else.
    I remember my son coming back from some kids party and complaining about that horrible little boy called Elton. I asked if he was a black boy. My Nick didn’t know, he couldn’t remember the boy’s colour. That was a revelation to me, he didn’t notice the colour of the skin, he just knew Elton was an annoying little fecker. Marvellous, that’s how it should be

  101. California Gooner says:

    GiE, that’s the point. Organizations doing something idiotic so as ‘not to look weak’. If the waitress at your favorite dinner says “Here’s the check dear”, you don’t accuse her of sexual harassment. We all know that a residue of guilt hangs around clearing one’s name. Instead of sitting the players down, the guy gets ideologically linked to a bunch of really nasty beliefs that I doubt he holds.

    Chas, sorry to offend you. I realize you don’t feel identified with the FA and how it works.

  102. California Gooner says:

    My point is that the FA’s decision feels to me like one made by small-minded officials with no real interest in promoting a better understanding. In the U.S., this would call for a beer summit.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi CG, I appreciate you want to vent your views on Suarez being charged with racism, but tell me, do you know the facts i.e. did you see the investigation report? Best is not to jump to conclusion when you don’t know the facts.

    Re your interpretation calling somebody negrito – my little black one – is an endearing nickname and nothing else, you are on dodgy ground. It does not matter that much what his intentions were – and it all remains to be seen whether Suarez had genuine pleasant intentions with his opponent from the other side, which I think would be foolish to believe – what matters is what the other person i.e. Evra (would) make(s) of it, and whether Suarez should have known that calling him Negrito in that particular context would cause serious offense. I am sure, the FA will be looking at it from that angle.

  104. evonne says:

    At the third stroke the time sponsored by Rasp and Peaches wil be………. New Post time !!!

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