Who is Arsenal’s Best Centre Back? (Poll)

When was the last time you heard the words “Wenger must buy” followed by any of the following: Jagielka, Cahill, Samba, Hangeland?

It seems only weeks ago that were as many headlines linking us with other clubs’  defenders as there are stars in the sky or skeletons in John Terry’s closet.

Now… nothing. They are as a rare as a Howard Webb follicle or an Alan Hutton brain cell.

The manager who was “past it” and “can’t pick defenders” suddenly seems to have made the centre back position one of the strongest at the club. You certainly don’t hear anyone now crying out for a Jagielka or Cahill.

Although injuries to our four leading full backs have played havoc with team selection of late, there is no question that we currently have three excellent centre halves at the club, with several strong back-ups behind them.

What’s interesting is how different the three of them are.

I’m expecting to get shot down for this, but when we had that amazing threesome of Adams, Bould and Keown, they were all (to my eyes) fairly similar players.

They had different strengths and qualities to some degree, but overall their approach was broadly the same: they were big, hard men who bossed the opposition forwards, enjoyed putting themselves in where it hurt, were dominant in the air and strong in the tackle. They were defenders first, footballers second.

But our first choice CBs this year are far less homogenous. Let’s look at their individual styles:

Thomas Vermaelen (the Lion of Flanders)

TV’s absence for most of last season was a huge blow. We’ll never know whether his presence would have steadied the ship enough to enable us to have a real tilt at the title or win the Carling Cup – but it might have done.

He is an out-and-out warrior and, in his style of play, is the closest to the Adams/Bould/Keown mould. He repeatedly wins aerial duels against taller opponents purely on the basis of power, determination and technique. When we’re on the back foot, he’ll be the one throwing his body in the line of fire and encouraging those around him by example. As he showed against Manchester City, he can also be a real handful when he marauds into the opposition half and already has a decent goal haul since joining us.

Per Mertesacker (the Big FOOTBALLING German)

A lot of assumptions were made about big Per when he joined us. With the height of a small office block, it seemed a no-brainer (aka a “Hutton”) that he would add a previously undreamt-of level of aerial dominance to our defending and would be a huge attacking threat at set pieces.

By those lights he has somewhat disappointed. Although tall, he does not have a big jump and, whether paired with Koscielny or Vermaelen, is often the one less likely to be making the aerial challenges. He also made a few costly blunders as he adjusted to the pace of the Premier League and has seemed slow on the turn.

However, from a footballing point of view the BFG is the best central defender we have had for a very, very long time. In fact I would say you have to go back to David O’Leary at his best to find someone who was as good.

Mertesacker’s reading of the game is second to none, which means he often snuffs out moves before they become perilous. It’s less spectacular than the last ditch tackle, but a lot easier on the old ticker.

Further, he is just SO comfortable on the ball. I watched him very carefully in the Villa game – a game in which we came under a great deal of pressure at times. Whenever Per got possession at the back he was able to find space and time and play really intelligent balls to the midfield or attack. He never loses possession and always chooses the right out ball. I don’t want to go over the top, but his time on the ball and his distribution are reminiscent of Bobby Moore.

You would not want two Mertesackers as your CB pairing, but one BFG paired with a more combative and mobile CB is a match made in N5 (Heaven).

Laurent Koscielny (The Limo*)

I don’t want to seem clever after the fact, but I have been trumpeting Kozzer’s qualities since he first joined us.

He can man mark as well as Martin Keown, but he’s as nippy as a winger and has the turning circle of a London taxi on ice. Famously, he had a 100% tackle success rate in his last season in the French Ligue 1. You’re never going to win all your tackles in the EPL, but he is an astonishingly good tackler – technically almost perfect.

Added to that he is ludicrously brave. Last season he seemed to get brutally clobbered in every single game – sometimes by an opponent, but often by the head, boot or fist of one of his own team mates. He would lie pole-axed for a while, shake his head, then enter the fray. Despite this, he never pulls out of a challenge with leg or head, which must mean he is staggeringly courageous or staggeringly stupid. Hopefully the former. Like Vermaelen he regularly triumphs in aerial battles he has no right to win.

Finally, he is also a pretty decent ball player. In fact one thing all three of our first choice CBs have is a footballing ability that puts them a level above Adams/Bould/Keown.

In Conclusion

The obvious point to make is that we are fortunate to have three such excellent CBs (and fortunate to have a manager capable of seeing their qualities and signing them).

But, when our full backs have returned, it does raise the question as to which two should be in our starting line-up. Obviously all three will get games, but when it comes down to that big, big match-up against either of the Manchesters or the Spuds, which two should get the call-up?

When Rasp did an overview of selection issues in various areas of the team in early November, he ran a poll on this very subject. Over 70% of respondents thought that Vermaelen/Koscielny should be our first choice pairing. Vermaelen and Mertesacker scored just over 25% and Koscielny/Mertesacker just under 4%.

I want to frame this poll somewhat differently.

I’m starting with the idea that we choose an out and out first choice CB, with whom either of the other two can play. Is it Vermaelen with one of the other two? Or Mertesacker? Or Koscielny?

I’ll admit to a bias in doing this. Although I love Vermaelen and Koscielny, I feel that Mertesacker has to start in our strongest line-up because of the immense calmness and control he brings to our back line and our ability to transition out of defence. So for me it would the BFG plus either of the others.

What do you think?

*Koscielny hails from the Limousin region of France.



229 Responses to Who is Arsenal’s Best Centre Back? (Poll)

  1. Red Arse says:

    Good morning People, and especially you Rocky. 🙂

    I was talking to the lovely Peaches, yesterday about recognizing my own inability to write anything cogent or worthwhile, and once again, Rocky, you have shown me that in my own way I can occasionally be quite sensibly realistic!

    If I could write – the above Post would be what I would like to achieve — well done Rock man, again!! 🙂

  2. Rob says:

    Completely agree that the BFG is a huge asset in defence, and my first choice pairing would be TV and PM, with LK a brilliant option on the bench.

    However, his ability to add an attacking option (in my dreams his last minute shot against Man City went in) puts him ahead of PM as the first name on the team sheet!

  3. olumide says:

    Vermaelen/koscielny any day

  4. Arsenal says:

    why is squillaci not an option

  5. Morning, great post Rocky.

    Totally agree with you about the calmness that Mertesacker offer.
    I think LB also said the same after Villa match (December 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm) about how Mertesacker avoid sent off (which could led us losing to villa if we play with 10 men after they score). Top defender, very clever. 😉

  6. andrew says:

    it will always go back to arsene to assess the oponent for teams like barca, koss is better but stoke its Par

  7. http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2011/12/23/2814574/tevez-cahill-tiote-more-the-list-of-premier-league-stars-who

    Chance of leaving this January TW for Chamakh only 10%, that’s just about the same as his scoring record this season. 😉

  8. Red Arse says:

    Reading thru the chat last night, I am a little bit sad that Herb, a committed and passionate Gooner, and other equally committed and passionate Gooners managed to get at cross purposes with each other.

    In an unlamented Post I wrote, many moons ago, on the subject of communication, I mentioned that what can be an engrossing, friendly and interesting discussion in a pub, can become a stilted and hot under the collar moan when debated over the internet, because we cannot see each other and get visual and voice tone signals which are such an important part of face to face communication between us in day to day life.

    I am pleased that you all seemed to amicably agree to differ and move on.

    My take? We should all laud both Chapman, Wenger and many others who have contributed so much to the history of Arsenal.

  9. fanboy says:

    If we are talking strictly about defending then Kozzer is the best for me, although Vermaelen has attacking flair and ability to organize the defence

  10. @Arsenal 10.06, Actually if you vote “Don’t Know” there is small chance that Squillaci’s name could replace the “Don’t Know” option after you hit the vote button. XD

  11. Red Arse says:


    As a footballing dilettante and a lover of Rock(ing) Posts, it is a little bit disrespectful of me to start with a comment you made at the end of your Post, but as others above have already expressed their views on it, I hope you will forgive me, my friend.

    I guess we all practice obscurantism from time to time, in that when we feel strongly about something we can deliberately restrict debate by expressing ourselves in such a way as to make any contrary view appear to be a baseless nonsense not worth discussing.
    I know you won’t do that to me, so here goes.

    I do not think Mertesacker should be the first name on the roster.

    Let me go further and say that this is not an opinion set in stone, and if his performances continue to improve, he may well aspire to that exalted position.

    We could, indeed, list Per’s undoubted prowess in certain areas and his perceived shortcomings in another list and then do the same for TV and Kozzer.
    A comparison of these pro’s and con’s, might, you would think, lead us to arrive at the best CB pairing for Arsenal.
    Not so, in my opinion, because the lists would be so subjective and agreement so hard to come by, that all three players would have retired before we achieved consensus!

    My favoured pairing and my ‘first name’ on the team roster would be TV and Kozzer, with Kozzer first on the sheet. Per would be my favoured backup, ahead of Djourou, Squillaci, Miquel or Bartley.

    Let battle commence!! 🙂

  12. salihu abduljali says:

    i think both tv and kos are gud defenfers but i wil go g tv bcos of hi agility and compusure at d bk…….gunners g ever

  13. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Thanks for a surprisingly challenging post Rocky. I was just about to vote for TV without thinking and then I remembered how good kozzer has been, and how intelligent the BFG has been and had to stop to think long and hard.

    Is TV a closet midfielder? Is kozzer the best all-round defender? Is the BFG quietly the real reason our defence has been lore solid? …. I’d have voted for all 3 😛

  14. Rocky you should be getting a salary for your brilliant posts. I’m with RA why even bother when you have the likes of you, GiE, TA and co. Don’t worry RA if you choose to write one ive got the ‘RA dictionary’ ready, it’d probably take a dayt or two to sort it out but i’d get there!

    @ Sharkespeare

    you hit the nail on the head in regards to last nights debate. Who cares who was better? They are both legends, and to put one down in favour of the other is boring and pointless.

    @ all

    TV and Kozza for me, next season once BFG has fully settled in i would have to flip a coin to decide. All bring great qualities so it’s hard to decide, and for that reason it depends on the opposition. Tommy gun will always be my favourite because i love adams, but Kozza is fast becoming one of the best defenders i’ve ever seen.

    As for backups (not counting the top three) my vote goes to song over the others because everytime he has played there he has been great. Including his baptism of fire against man united.

    Arsene can’t find defenders???…ERRONEOUS ERRONEOUS ERRONEOUS on all counts!

  15. chas says:

    Super post, Rocky.
    How you produce such excellent posts at short notice is beyond me.

    I voted for Tommy not because he’s necessarily our first choice centre back but because he’s one of the three or four I’d always put on the team sheet first, especially if he raises the performance of everyone around him by that extra 5 or 10 per cent.

    Rasp, I think Tommy might be a closet striker. 🙂

  16. aaron says:

    Verm n Kos

  17. haha cheers for the clip chas

    i agree with BFG the best thing is the food

    Vito Mannone recounts one of his previous christmas experiences:

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas,
    Da whole house was mella
    Not a creature was stirrin’,
    Cuz I had a gun unda my pilla.

    When up on da roof
    I heard somethin’ pound,
    I sprung to da window,
    To scream, “YO! Keep it down!”

    When what to my
    Wonderin’ eyes should appear,
    But da Don of all elfs,
    And eight friggin’ reindeer!

    Wit’ slicked back black hair,
    And a silk red suit,
    Don Santa wuz here,
    And he brought all da loot!

    Wit’ a slap to dare snouts,
    And a yank on dare manes,
    He cursed and he shouted,
    And he called dem by name.

    “Yo Tony, Yo Frankie,
    Yo Vinny, Yo Vito,
    Ay Joey, Ay Paulie,
    Ay Pepe, Ay Guido!”

    As I drew out my gun
    And hid by da bed,
    He flew troo da winda
    And slapped me ‘side da head.

    “What da hell you doin’
    Pullin’ a gun on da Don?
    Now all you’re gettin’ is coal,
    You friggin’ moron!”

    Den pointin’ a fat finga
    Right unda my nose,
    He twisted his pinky ring,
    And up da chimney he rose.

    He sprang to his sleigh,
    Obscenities screamin’,
    Away dey all flew,
    Before he troo dem a beatin’

    Den I heard him yell out,
    What I did least expect,
    “Merry Friggin’ Christmas to all,
    And yous better show some respect!”

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The bollocks of a post again Rocky, thanks.
    Just fantastic that it so far from clear cut.
    Had to mention “turning circle of a london taxi on ice” 🙂
    My first name down on team sheet? Mmmm… Verm, and yet I’m not entirely convinced he’d automatically be in my first choice pairing. Now that’s having real choice.

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha Chas,
    Gotcha. Are we good to go for the Wolves pair on tuesday? If so, meet at The Tavern?

  20. chas says:

    Yes sir. We should be there from 1pm.

  21. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brilliant. Same seats as last time? Front row Royal Box with blankets and willy warmers included?

  22. chas says:

    That’s the ones. 🙂
    You’re right it can be bloody parky in those seats. Wrap up warm.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t know whether you’ve sat there recently, but there’s an ever growing and very vocal little group right below. I noticed them when I sat there with Evonne, then at the last game, I was a couple of blocks along into the North Bank and saw how it was now up from one very large bloke and two or three chums to about 15 or 20 bouncing up and down.
    Even GiE would be proud.

  24. chas says:

    It’s a while since I’ve sat there, Micky, but whenever I have, there’s been a fairly good atmosphere down below. Hopefully there’ll be plenty of bouncing about on Tuesday. It’s great that the supporters that want to sing and cheer are getting more tickets.


    Brilliant stuff Rocky. I would class Kos as the best defender and Verm as the best player but i agree with you that the Big German has to play, especialy against sides with a big physical presence.
    Sometimes what a player brings to the table is hard to quantify, almost intangible if you like, and that, at the moment, is why i feel Mertacker shoild play.

    I must say its refreshing having this debate. It seems ages ago now when fans were screaming for Cahil and the like, long may it continue.

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We should have the same debate and poll about our strikers tomorrow.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually, that’s a really bad idea 😦

  28. chas says:

    Nice video, but perhaps a good idea to turn the sound down!

  29. VCC says:

    Rocky, great post Maestro.
    Tough choice now for Wenger, what a lovely position to be in. I finally went for Verm and Kos.

    RA 10:21. Spot on. We are all Gooners together, more respect.

  30. Spend some fucking money says:

    I am from highbury.com in korea.

    Per Mertesacker is best centre back of arsenal.

  31. chas says:

    strange choice of blogging name for an Arsenal supporter!

  32. kelsey says:

    As usual a very interesting post RL.

    I am a firm believer in a settled back 4 and a keeper who has an understanding with his defence (something that has been lacking for a few years until the boy wonder appeard) and with that things evolve to make a team stronger, have a better understanding with each other and then everything on the field flows from that.

    to lose all 4 backs at the same time wasn’t expected and hardly seemed feasable, so allowing for that we have coped pretty well but i find your question as the best two pairing difficult to chose.
    last season kos came in raw, made more mistakes than Per but has grown in stature by all recognition this season.maybe it is that he has adjusted to the PL or it is that plus the presnce of vermaelen.
    Mertsacket can’t be a mug, just look at all the caps he has, but though definitely better than at the start of the season i am not yet convinced he is the ideal answe to be paired with vermaelen so I will reserve judgement on him.
    Djourou is a huge disappointment where ever he plays and we could certainly find a home for him at another club along with the Squid IMO

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Poor chap’s lost. Took a wrong turning at sign for gutter press/blog.

  34. Spend some fucking money says:

    I would not believe AW when he is in transfer market.

    so I choiced this name.

  35. Spend some fucking money says:

    This ‘Poll’ was introduced in korea

    so many korean pans are coming here

  36. chas says:

    I certainly don’t want to drag last night’s debate up from the bottom of Lucifer’s hole, but I just wanted to say that I misunderstood what it was about.

    I thought it had nothing to do with comparing Wenger to Chapman nor with trying to establish who made Arsenal one of the biggest clubs in the world.

    I thought it was about why we now think anything less than CL qualification is failure and how we have come to think about it in this way. This considering that in most of our supporting lives, we have seen plenty of seasons where reaching an equivalent position to a current CL qualification position, has been unobtainable.

    I think Micky’s right and you have taken a wrong turning somewhere. However, I’m still interested in why you think the BFG is our top centre back?

  37. dandan says:

    Tv carried the squad when all the unrest was evident, playing his heart out and defending for his life, those qualities have not lessoned and he together with Arteta , RVP and Chesney has unleashed a degree of confidence and determination that is now spreading throughout the squad. For those reasons alone, when fit his name would be the first defender to appear on the team sheet for every important game.

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mr Money,
    Check out that clip that Chas just put uo of Kos. Seriously impressive stuff. Arsene has certainly unearthed a gem.
    Genuine question: can someone remind me what we payed for him?

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I 100% agree with what you say about the understanding between GK and defence, and I also go along with your comments about The German. However, I’m being converted with every passing game and due to our FB situation, all three are getting playing time which can only be a good thing.

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have the “who’s favourite player” on a regular basis with my 11 yr old. He simply won’t budge on Sagna and I won’t budge on Verm. We can’t even harmonize and agree on Robin!

  41. Red Arse says:

    Fr OZ ty

    Loved the poem. 🙂 Is it one of yours?

    I am tickled that you have thought about having a dictionary handy when reading my rubbish. That is one of the reason I decided to retire myself from writing Posts.

    My chat probably strikes my lovely AA friends as pretentious bollocks, but believe it or not — I do try to ameliorate both my prose and vocabulary so that it is more blog friendly – without success!! 🙂

    Chas, the video is really good and just right for a pre-Christmas Friday.
    You are such a nice guy, don’t get too friendly with the Micky, he will have you paying for his lunch and copious Peroni consumption next, before doing a flit to Canada! 🙂

  42. VCC says:

    Kelsey 12:12. Agree with you on Djourou and Squill.
    I think Wenger needs to clear some dead wood out this January(if he can)

  43. Red Arse says:


    Could you have a word with your software, please?

    I wasn’t sure if I had voted in the poll, so thought I would register a vote, just in case.
    The cheeky programme told me to ‘foxtrot oscar and stop cheating’! Well I never!! 🙂 Well OK I did, but it could have been a little more polite. It’s Xmas and even rotten cheats should be shown some respect. Don’t you agree? 😦

  44. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, 🙂

    Good comment!

    I am reasonably happy with Per because he himself has recognised that he needs to improve his play and he is getting better the more familiar he becomes with the Arsenal style of play.

    My reservation is more one of shading. To the Rock he brings a certain calmness to the defence, which is fair enough, to me he sometimes seems to do a a good impersonation of a giraffe on mogadon. (I know, I know, I can almost hear you saying, “look who’s talking!” 🙂 )

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Foxtrot Oscar 🙂

  46. chas says:

    Don’t tell everyone but if you delete your whatnots, you can vote again. Shhhhhhhhh.

  47. goonermichael says:

    Herb are you there?

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    So that’ll be you in there with the eight votes for JD then!

  49. i wish i did RA. You are to modest, with your prose and vocabulary you should be writing books and essays. When it comes time to write my thesis i’m going to have to hire you so it goes from oh to woah haha.

    I think mid-season is to early to trim the fat, and can be problematic if injuries strike. Fair enough AA and MC (if replacements are brought in), but a clean out should be done EARLY into the pre-season, with replacements brought in EARLY to work with the team so we hit the ground running.

    Scrap heap:

    possibly djourou if his confidence doesn’t return

    plus diaby if he can’t get his body right by the end of the season. It’s a shame because he has undoubted talent but will we ever see it properly?

  50. gunnern5 says:

    gunnern5 says:

    December 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    RockyLives says:

    December 22, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    The trouble with Herbert Chapman v Arsene Wenger is that it is so difficult to compare people from such different eras. It’s a bit like comparing apples and orang utans.

    All you can safely say is that each one, in their own era, was a phenomenally positive force in Arsenal’s history and each one brought great success to the club.

    If you add in Billy Wright and Georgie G, you could say we have had four such figures (although Herbie and Arsene probably stand above the other two).


    Rocky – what are you thinking?

    Billy Wright was esteemed for one reason only!

    He was right up there alongside the WORST managers in our history. He arrived just as Spurs were lauding all over North London, and believe me he did nothing to improve our mood.

    In his tenure we won squat and I was one of the unfortunates that saw every one of his home games.

    Imagine how we felt going into a season with nothing more than a wish and hope?

    His abymismal record was–

    P168. W64, T41, L63, GF307, GA309 – winning % = 46.2.
    Under his “leadership” we finished 7th, 8th, 13th and 14th.

    Bah Humbug….

  51. Afternoon all, top post Rocky. For me the first CB name on the team sheet would be Kozzer.

    The reason is I simply love his attitude and heart. He is a pure warrior on the pitch but does it in such an unaggressive way he seems to play without emotion and that for me is the key to a good centre back.

    That said I don’t care which two of three play as long as they all play losing any of them because they are not getting games would be unthinkable.

  52. allezkev says:

    I know that i shall probably be in the minority, but for me the improvement in Arsenal’s defensive solidity, organiation and discipline has coincided with the arrival of Per Mertesaker.
    I love Koscielny and Vermaelen, they are fantastic defenders, but for me Mert has brought that German professionalism and resilience that we’ve lacked since the Old Guard retired.
    Great post btw.

  53. Red Arse says:


    I agree your clear out proposals and would add Eastmond, Hoyte, Mannone, Fabianski, Denilson, Watt, Lansbury, all who have hovered in or around the first team squad.

    But what about Galindo, Botelho, Wellington who seem to have been out on loan overseas for years and show no sign of ever making it?

    Incoming tfr fees plus salary savings would surely put a few bucks in the kitty?

    We seem to collect an awful lot of ‘nearly’ players who in different circumstances could have had a career at Arsenal, but are just not quite good enough! 😦

  54. gunnern5 says:

    Oh dear!


    Gibbs out for month after groin surgery

    December 23, 2011

    Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs will be sidelined until the end of January after undergoing an operation on his groin, deepening the Gunners’ defensive crisis.

    Gibbs, 22, had been out of action since October following surgery to remove a hernia but recently returned to training and was expected to be involved over the hectic Christmas period.

    However, the England international has now suffered a fresh setback, and a specialist has ruled that he faces another month out of action.

    “Kieran Gibbs has had surgery on his left groin and he will be out for a month,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed.

    “It was a blow, but first what is important is if he cannot play you have to make the decision that we had to make yesterday and have surgery for him. Hopefully it will only be one month because Andre Santos will not come back before March.”

    The Gunners have a significantly depleted defence at present, with Johan Djourou, Andre Santos, Carl Jenkinson and Bacary Sagna also sidelined.

    Those injuries have forced Wenger to field centre-backs Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny at left and right full-back respectively.

    Djourou came off last weekend at Manchester City with a groin strain that was expected to keep him out until the new year, but Wenger revealed that the Swiss defender is recovering ahead of schedule and could feature against Wolves on Tuesday.

    First-choice right-back Sagna broke his leg in October, but has started running again and is on course for a return next month.

    “He is a long way ahead of schedule,” Wenger said. “I saw him still limping a little bit so we have to be careful but physically he will be ready very quickly because he worked very hard in the gym. We think the end of January is a reasonable target for him

  55. wellington definently needs to go, if JET had a poor attitude and given the flick so should he. It’s a shame about hoyte, he had real promise a few seasons ago and was always rated the better brother, he just never came on. I agree with them all except lansbury, he is a great player. He won’t stick around because he can get first team football elsewhere but i love how he goes about it, he reminds me of parlour in alot of ways. Not to mention his goal against the scum last season!

    Denilson can’t even get a game in the brazilian league so hopefully he never EVER comes back. He is my most hated arsenal player of all time. Complete waste of space.

    Having just watched the chelsea v spurs game, i definently agree with the individual (GiE?) who said modric and bale were overrated. What does modric have that young jack, arteta, or ramsey don’t? I’d take those three any day of the week

  56. Thankfully arsene bought santos because gibbs proves once again he can’t be relied upon. He makes diaby look like a picture of perfect health. You name it he’s injured it

  57. Red Arse says:

    Quite right Oz.

    I too like Lansbury, as, again, I watched him a lot in the youth and reserve teams, until he caught glandular fever, which took a lot out of him (actually – not so much the reserves when I think about it) and he was probably the best player in the youth set up before Jack W.

    But for whatever reason, and despite Arsene saying he rates him, he never gets a go in the first team squad, (even that no-hoper Eastmond has got in ahead of him, and that’s a crime).

    So being realistic, maybe it is time for him to go and make a career elsewhere, and he would certainly bring in £5 million.

  58. It was Harry Oz.

    Although I did say I couldn’t see what made teams so fearful of Bale. A good defender would put him in his pocket. He shows so much of the ball when dribbling (it’s hardly close control and tricks) but he does it at pace which I guess is what scares defenders as mistime it and you’re in the book. But I guess that’s why he was quiet in the NLD this year Sagna had him under control. I also think Koscielny and Verm would make light work of facing him as their timing of tackle is what stands out for me especially Kozzer he seems to know when to commit.

    Modric I do think is a player and I would not be surprised to see Chelsea make another bid in the Summer or United.

  59. Lansbury is learning this year at the coal face with West Ham lets see what happens next year as I think he could replace some of the “squad” players like TR7 or Benny if we don’t find a way to extend his time with us.

  60. Red Arse says:

    Hope you are right, GIE.

  61. harry says:

    Rocky, interesting article, you could argue this, three different ways from sunday, and individually argue the opposite each time, the margins in benefits is so slim.

    This is the best 3 CB’s we have had for a very long time, just maybe, they’ll equal the mantle that was Adams, Keown and Bould in the long term…..

    I understand the comments about BFG and his calmness, and the comments as to his awareness at Villa ring true. I think it literally depends on whom we are playing as to the best pairing we should use.

    For me against the top teams I would always go for KV, against the roughhouse teams, i would go for VM, so that says to me that Vermaelen gets the nod the other two share the spot.

  62. harry says:

    Red arse, your 10.21 is spot on………..AT times we need to be more understanding of views…………….

  63. RockyLives says:

    Good day all and thanks for the comments.

    My thinking for this post was a bit convoluted:

    I believe TV and LK are the best defenders, but I think they are both improved by playing alongside the BFG.

    So even though I would rank Per as third out of three for out-and-out warrior-type defending, I would make him first choice with either of the other two.

    And if you really pushed me as to who should be his partner I would have to say (takes deep breath…) Laurent Koscielny, who is fast emerging as one of the finest defenders in the EPL.

    But the trouble with that plan is that (if our FBs are fit) it means leaving TV on the bench – that can’t be right, can it?… agh, my brain hurts.

    One point of disagreement I have with a few comments is that if we really need two warriors to battle the hoofing physical teams like Stoke, Blackburn and Chelsea 🙂 I would go with LK/TV. I think people fall into the trap of assuming that Per will be good in those games just because he’s tall, but of the three of them he seems to use his physicality the least.

  64. RockyLives says:

    “We should have the same debate and poll about our strikers tomorrow.” 😀 You are so naughty. Funny, but naughty.

    Thanks for the pictures.

    Thanks for the team Christmas message – sweet.

    Great pastiche of the Night Before Christmas. Did you make it up?

    Enough of all these convoluted excuses for not writing posts. We all love your verbal pyrotechnics. Time to ‘fess up: you won’t write one because (as Kevin the Teenager would say) “you can’t be bothered”.

    You’re right, we are lucky to have three such good CBs and the opportunity to debate which two would be first choice. The poll results so far don’t surprise me. I knew TV would be way out in front. Eight votes for Djourou – I didn’t know his parents and siblings were AA readers.

    I have to hang my head in shame. Someone threw Billy’s name into the debate last night and mentioned that he’d built the team that went on to win the Double under Bertie Mee. Clearly his overall record does not put him up among the Arsenal legends, although Tom Whittaker deserves an honourable mention.

    It’s hard to disagree with your view of Djourou – but do you remember how he bossed Drogba in the 3-1 home win over the Chavs last season? Wonder what happened to that bloke? I’m not sure I agree with you and VCC about getting rid of him and the Squid. We’re never going to get players as good as LK/TV/PM willing to play 4th and 5th string, so those two are OK as back-up for me.

  65. The great thing is this discussion is in the main who should we pick not who should we buy. Which is a blessing considering the last few seasons.

    However would I have been satisfied without investment at CB had you asked me in June I would have said yes. We had TV and Koz and JD had shown glimpses of his potential during games last year, and also even Alex Song had filled in at the back to much praise.

    Where we needed and still need investment is up top. But to do that the price of a good backup is still more than we spent in the TW on any of our signings. Board has to sanction and we need to be at least shopping at Sainsburys or Waitrose if we can’t afford Fornum and Masons.

  66. RockyLives says:

    Amen to that. I’m secretly holding out hope that AW will shock us all with a really big signing.

    Right, off to do some Christmas shopping 😦

  67. fatgingergooner says:

    Great stuff RL,

    I’ve voted for TV. I think he is first name on the team sheet when fit. We missed him badly last season and he’s a wonderful footballer with a peach of a left foot and he jumps like a salmon. He’s the perfect modern day centre back. Quick, good in the air, scores goals, and can play like a midfielder.

    I think the pairing depends on who we are playing, as has already been said. Against Barca, its Koz n Verm, Against Stoke, it’s Per n Verm with Koz at right back!!!

    We are lucky to have such a good mix of CB. Like you said, Keown, Bould and Adams were all similar, but that is exactly the type of defender that was needed 15 years ago to cope with the likes of Duncan Ferguson, Les Ferdinand etc.

    Could you imagine Keown and Adams stood 30 yards from goal with arms aloft against the modern Barcelona!?

    By the same token, could you imagine Koz n Co dealing with Big Dunc n Les Ferdinand!!!

    The 3 defenders we have are perfect for the modern game and unlike the team of Gallas and friends we have a mixture that can deal with all the styles and tactics out there

  68. harry says:

    Christmas shopping pretty much all done…………

    Actually the reason Rocky that I plump for BFG against the roughhouse teams is more to do with his concentration and calmness, he doesnt get flustered……..when they are in our faces I see him remain steady……….

    The reason I go for TV as my main one is that he adds 10% to everyone else, his confidence is supreme……….

    Although I do really rate Kozzer, ever since barca last season when he had messi in his pocket, he lacks a nasty streak, he can be too nice at times, add that and he would be an awesome defender……..

    Lol, Rocky ;love the comment about Djourou relatives…….

    And dont forget on top of these three, we have Miquel and Bartley….to return……

  69. SSFM says:


    I have thinked our team’s backfour become stable more than last season because of his experience. so I comented that.

    don’t speaking English well, I have limitations in understanding your words and in answering you. Please be understanding.

  70. Red Arse says:


    We understand you.

    We do not like your tag NAME.

    The word “f—–g” is not acceptable on this site.
    It is an offensive English word, and we have women and young people on here.

    Please change it, and you will be welcome!

  71. KPOP MAN says:


    oooooh, very thanks … @_@

    I have changed my name.

    I wil try to study english more for using this site.

  72. Red Arse says:

    You are welcome.

    And your English is OK. Where are you from?

  73. Red Arse says:

    Who, I wonder, edited my comment? 🙂

  74. kelsey says:

    Who indeed 😉

  75. KPOP MAN says:

    nobody edited your commen. ‘ ‘)

    I am from south korea.

    There are a lot of arsenal fan site.

    I am difficult to read all text. H H H

  76. chas says:


    Your English is one million times better than my Korean. 🙂

  77. Jeff Blockley>messi says:

    What sort of site do you call this !. I demand to be in the poll !.

    Oh, great post Rocky.

    Spot on Redders @10:21.

  78. chas says:

    There were rumours about us signing The Sack the summer before last.
    Who knows, perhaps with the pressure off The Squid and the man with the big, friendly face, we might have finished last season on top.

  79. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey, you rogue!! 🙂

  80. Jeff Blockley>messi says:


    How many shirts has Ju-Young Park sold for us ?.

  81. Hi all

    Thanks Rocky for a really interesting and thought provoking post. I had trouble choosing between Kozzer and Vermaelen and eventually plumped for Vermaelen. I’m also going to stick my neck out here and say that I told whoever would listen that Kozzer was destined to be a legend after the Swansea home game. His commitment to the cause is awesome but Vermaelen adds leadership too so hard choice.

    The post has had over 4000 hits but less than a thousand people have voted in the poll which I thinks means that a lot of people had trouble making a choice.

  82. chas – have you got time to put together a top (insert number) of Robins goals from this calendar year for a quick post for tomorrow?

    Either Robin’s goals or favourite games – or maybe we could do a countdown of favourite games – that’ll fill up a few days 😉

  83. chas says:

    She Who Must Be Obeyed,
    I’ll have a crack at something like that if you have no other offers.

  84. Nothing else so far, Robin’s goals is probably easier, you can choose your favourites with videos – you how we love your videos 😆

  85. Obviously, Vermaelen takes the crown for me but Koscielny has come on leaps and bounds this season. His excellent reading of the game has always been there but he’s seems so much more commanding this season. I honestly think Vermaelen and Koscielny will form one of the strongest defensive partnerships in the league when our full-backs return.

  86. Great post about Arteta on The Arsenal Feed, if you click on his name it’ll take you there.

  87. Jeff Blockley>messi says:

    What a weird dream i had last night !. I was sitting on Santa`s knee, but Santa was chas! and Santa chas asked what my wish was, I said, I`d like to be a cuddly wombat snuggled up in Nigella`s bosom !. Next thing I know, I`m hanging upside down in Katie Price`s cavenous Wombe in Oz. F**king spooky !. Then Peter Andre slips in and covers me in ectoplasm ( I think thats what it was) whilst singing ” Mysterious girl”, what a weird bushtucker trial !.
    I dont think I`m ever going to recover from that experience, It was horrible, you`ll never understand how terrible an ordeal Andre`s singing was !.
    Any of you peoples on other site`s wishing to get rid of “Le Prof”, be carefull what you wish for !.

  88. chas says:

    My knee’s not big enough for your award-winning posterior.

  89. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I`d better go on a bushtucker diet then ! 🙂

  90. glic – did you get all your slate chippings spread? I laughed when I saw your post, I’d just shifted 40 tons of shingle – not single handed though 🙂

  91. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    Jeff Blockley…..What sort of site is this?
    I demand to be in the poll too.

  92. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    24 tons in the end but not single handed, I used two hands ! 🙂
    looks nice though !, the first time i used the quarry ( about 8years ago ) it was £12 per ton, last time doing a job a year ago it was £26 per ton, now it`s £30 per ton. How does that compare up your end ?

  93. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    GLiC.. I would suggest you leave Peaches end alone.


    Received a great compliment today. My Spurs season ticket supporting neighbour reckons ime the most annoying Arsenal fan hes ever met. hahaha, over the moon.

  95. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Gus ceased up,
    We have been blessed with some magical players, but also some comically bad ones, maybe we should have a poll of our worst one`s in each position`s. Obviously not including Jeff and Gus! 🙂

  96. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    What did you do to upset him TMHT…Breathe?

  97. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    GLIc good call. That would be fun.

  98. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    gus, I knew as soon as i pressed “post comment” ,I had made a gaff inuendo ! 🙂

  99. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    Here’s a start.
    Gus Ceaser
    Jeff Blockley
    Glenn Helder


    After hes given it the bigun, i wait till they screw up, then wait outside his house to he turns up from work and let him have it. He never tries anything on me coz hes a decent bloke….ime not. hahaha

  101. GLIC,

    What sort of a rude boy are you?

    Peaches shifts 40 tons of shingle, and you arsk ‘how’s that up your end!’

  102. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    GLiC. Send her some swarfega, it will help.

  103. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    TMHT. Your a bad boy…..

  104. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    the fans of teams who win more trophy`s than their tiny neighbours are always going to be more annoying, I think it`s called jealousy !

  105. Look, I know I was slow off the mark, but it took me 15 mins to self censor my original post, which was much funnier, but Peaches would have permanently banned me from AA.

  106. Gus, Gus what are we going to do with or to you?

    You were a terrible defender, but an inability to spell your own surname? Suck MerryT’s big toe ……. t o e!!

  107. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I know Redders, even when i try to be serious it doesn`t work ! 🙂

  108. KPOP MAN says:


    Park did’t come arsenal for selling shirt

    Park is coming arsenal for hitting bench.

  109. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    Oh Blollocks. Crap defender and now Illiterate.
    Not got a lot going for me av eye.

  110. KPOP MAN says:


    Korean want to be perpect to do whatever underneath.

    It is secret for that korean have those characteristic.

  111. What are you asking av eye Cohen for, Gus?

  112. TMHT,

    Did you give Gus permission to use your photo as his gravatar? 🙂

  113. Red Arse says:

    I deny participating in any of the foregoing. Complaints should be addressed to my legal beagle 26M.

  114. KPOP MAN says:

    many korean gooners want to back David dein and Jack

  115. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    RedArse. That’s MerryT on his olidays

  116. KPOP MAN says:

    hey guys, what is av?


    hahaha, no Redders i didnt, and thats me on a good day.

  118. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    Merry T , thats you on an exceptionally good day. Peaches told me you should see him on a bad day!!!!!!

  119. KPOP MAN says:

    why do you faith BFG?, I think arsenal shoude be sining more german players.

  120. KPOP MAN says:

    do -> don’t

  121. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I can see why you had no trouble pulling the GILF`s in Brentwood !

  122. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    David Cameron has announced he intends to make it more difficult to claim benefits.

    From next Monday the forms will only be printed in English.


    Gus, women do seem to be fascinated by my hideously orrible appearence, i often get, “never mind, its whats on the inside that counts”, either that or a swift kick to the nether regions. hahaha.

  124. Red Arse says:


    You ask “what is av?” It is a bit difficult to explain.

    At 7:26, Gus made a deliberate mistake and instead of asking “have I?” at the end of a question, he said “av eye?” (sounds similar).

    The response was a pun on the name “Avi Cohen” (a famous Liverpool player) — “av eye Cohen”.

    You will probably not understand, but never mind! 🙂

  125. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    “Morning Sex”

    She was standing in the kitchen, preparing our usual
    Soft-boiled eggs and toast for breakfast, wearing only
    The ‘T’ shirt that she normally slept in.
    As I walked in, almost awake, she turned to me and said
    Softly,”You’ve got to make love to me this very moment!”

    My eyes lit up and I thought, “I am either still dreaming
    Or this is going to be my lucky day!”
    Not wanting to lose the moment, I embraced her and then
    Gave it my all; right there on the kitchen table.

    Afterwards she said, “Thanks,” and returned to the stove,
    Her T-shirt still around her neck.

    Happy, but a little puzzled, I asked,
    “What was that all about?”

    She explained, “The egg timer’s broken.”

  126. fatgingergooner says:

    Anyone else think its convenient that Santos (spelt very much like Santa!) has got himself injured over the Xmas period!?

    He’s got the same frame as Santa aswell?

    All a little bit suspicious if you ask me….

  127. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    they both wear red and white as well , both like pies, santa`s a bit fitter though !

  128. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Dont worry, those of you who have no chimney`s, Santa will come up your back passage instead !

  129. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    . http://www.flixxy.com/lucky-day.htm

    Thats what you call lucky.

  130. KPOP MAN says:


    I don’t enough understand but you are best kind user of the world


    Chas,Bloody hell, lucky gits.

    Cornwall, i aint got a chimney hahaha.

  132. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Add another one to the Redders fan club ! 😆

  133. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry, thats VCC ! 🙂

  134. KPOP MAN says:

    CG’s joke is very sexual.

    Does it permit this site? : <

  135. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I`d love to have been in the inquiry room and seen them sheepish Police officers explaining that (last part of vid ) 🙂

  136. harry says:

    Thats a cracking article on arteta Peaches, he really is an oustanding player for us,……

  137. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hope you`ve got CCTV up your back passage to keep an eye on him, I think your gunner need more than a glass of milk and cookies!


    VCC, bloody hell, i thought you were part of the sensible brigade, now i know better hahaha.


    Cornwall, hahahahaha, brilliant.

  140. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    I am MerryT. (thats before I’ve hit the vino tinto)


    KPOP MAN@ 8.39, hahaha, comment of the day.

  142. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    ok, what is KPOP ?


    Hard to beat a Vino Tinto VCC.

  144. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry ,
    and I thought , you ,me and redders were the only unsensible one`s !.

  145. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    MerryT. Think you might like this one?


    VCC tonked up on Vino is a right laugh. I was wondering about KPOP to? i demand an answer.

  147. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    GLiC…Terry…..Redders….. I’ve had half a bottle of vino, can I join your gang?

  148. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    what do you reckon, is KNOP for real or a very funny wind up ?

  149. KPOP MAN says:


    I want to be interested HAHAHA


    KPOP is Korean Popular Music that Korean delude European like.

  150. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    Being a modest man, when I checked into my hotel on a recent trip, I
    said to the lady at the registration desk … “I hope the porn channel
    in my room is disabled.” To which she replied, “No, it’s regular porn,
    you sick bastard.”

    NOT SURE weather I have posted this before, forgive me if I have.
    Boring old fart when I’ve had a drink.

  151. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    The more loon`s in our bin ,the better, you will have to be inducted up Terry`s back passage though !

  152. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    GLiC I think KNOP is Redders in disguise.

  153. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    induction or seduction ? I’m dyslexic.


    Are you up for it VCC? haha.

    KPOP, are you realy John Smith from Basildon?

  155. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    That did come to my mind VCC and was checking the gravatars earlier ! and Redders is a big guy with a huge chopper ( he`s behind you ) aka KNOB MAN . 🙂

  156. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    Your passage can be monitored on cctv. I can install it if you want.
    \you only have to supply the petroleum jelly.

  157. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    or a syrup wearing GILF trannie from Brentwood !

  158. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    GLiC. OH NO he isnt.
    The only “behind” in question on here is Terry’s

  159. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    dont forget the cookies and milk for gratitude

  160. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Im off, keep it goonerish


    Cornwall, VCC, Redders/KPOP, its been a pleasure, off to irrigate myself for Santa. Night all.

  162. Gus Ceaser, greatest Arsenal defender says:

    nite ya’wll.
    Terry I will monitor your back passage for any strange movements during the night.

    All finding will be reported to Mr.Arse.

    Gone Like It’s Crap will invoice you manana .

  163. chas says:

    Post sent to Arsenal nuts.

  164. Well done Chas….once more into the breach. 🙂 you’re becoming quite the Peachers Pet, do you take an apple to the Tavern 🙂

  165. 26may1989 says:


    Great post, and based on an indisputable truth, that we have three excellent CBs, each with his own different qualities. I also really liked your point that Mertesacker is the new O’Leary – I hadn’t spotted that but it makes so much sense.

    It’s great that we have three excellent CBs, and behind them (setting aside Djourou and Squillaci, who are no better than ok) there is the burgeoning talent of Miquel, who already looks an accomplished defender, and Bartley.

    No, that Arsene Wenger, just as he can’t do tactics or training, really can’t pick a defender. 😉

    Harry: I haven’t found a home for those tickets for the Wolves game yet, just let me know here or (via Peaches or Rasp, assuming they’re happy to text or mail me – thanks P&R!).

  166. chas says:

    It’s a bit rubbish though, GIE, and I don’t like letting the side down with poor quality.
    Might have to go back to what I do best, posting videos and pictures. 🙂

  167. chas says:

    By the way did you sort your stag do or Wolves dilemna?

  168. bloody hell the jokes come on here thick and fast. Nearly spat my cereal out onto the screen.

    You sure KPOP isn’t Park trolling around the arsenal blogs reminding us all that he still plays for us?!
    His comment at 8.39 is definently comment of the day.
    That and VCC 7.01

  169. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, super job. I’ve imported it into wordpress – is that the title you want us to use?

  170. SharkeySure says:

    (Yep, still on auto paste !) Cracking post Rocky.

    Kozzer gets my vote. He’s supreme in his ability to win every challenge. That stat about winning 100% of challenges in his last season in France is kinda crazy…but you really can see how he could achieve it.

    Forest fans used to sing ‘you’ll never beat Des Walker’

    For us to have three of the best CBs in the PL is pretty amazing. Then if you recall Djourou’s purple patch last season, plus the potential that Miquel has shown this season, then its all looking blooming rosy.

    Koz – too thin, Verm – too short, BFG – too slow…LOL

    I remember one (self?) esteemed blogger writing a hefty article on the prime height and weight for a PL CB based on some (shite?) research with lots of (very poor?) stats, and dismissing Kozzer on the strength of it.

    This was about a month into the season !! His debut at Anfield showed me all the potential I needed to see. He completely nullified (the good) Torres that day, bossed him from start to finish.

  171. SharkeySure says:

    FrOZty 11.06 – Cheers pal.

    It’s Boxing Day already for you right..?? How was your Xmas,..? Get any nice presents..??


  172. SharkeySure says:

    Just watched Gus’s ‘lucky day’ vid.

    A massive ‘Oh dear’ at the cops looking for the bank robbers.!

  173. reminds me of the post from the start of the season when someone compared man united’s CB’s against our very own. It caused alot of outrage from our invading man united friends (or if your chary, our invading so and so’s).

    Lets compare:


    Man united:
    crocked rio
    hapless evans

    I know which set i’d choose

  174. haha sharkespeare don’t wish away my xmas that quickly. I still race downstairs with a grin on my face hoping for that brand spankn’ new red bike! Only to be disappointed by socks and jocks!

  175. SharkeySure says:

    Same here Oz.

    Got my 11 yr old his first ‘adult’ bike as he’s outgrown his last one. I’m actually jealous. Its currently hidden in the cellar…and I find myself wanting to go and have a sit on it.

    On Xmas day I’ll be wanting a spin on it (after him of course), but I’ll just have to restrain myself. I’ll leave it a few days, wait til he’s out with my wife or something !!


  176. @ RA

    in terms of lansbury, 5 million would be good business and probably better for his career. However, in a couple of years time when arteta and rosicky have moved on i’d love to see the young core stick together of Ramsey, Wilshere, Lansbury, Frimpong, and Coquelin. He may not start but realistically when you play for arsenal you will get games due to the large number we play and injuries we always seem to suffer from. I like how he goes about it, and coming off the bench (why he even started on the bench is beyond me) in the under 21’s showed just how much potential he has.

    But i’m a dreamer, i’ll always dream of seeing miquel, jenks, coquelin, frimpong, lansbury, afobe ect ect all stay and the gunners and develop into world class players. In a perfect world RVP plays out the rest of his career for the club that absolutely adores him, the worlds number 1 retires at aged 40 after 19 years of being our keeper, wilshere and ramsey stay with us just like gerrard has done with liverpool, frimpong bullies every player in the league, and jenks continues to live his dream whilst becoming a legend in the process! ah…to be a gunner, what a wonderful world!

  177. RockyLives says:

    That second paragraph is pure poetry.
    I’ll drink to that!

  178. evonne says:

    Morning all

    I wrote a looooong comment and it has disappeared 😦

    So in a nutshell – sorry I didn’t respond to some or return comments. The She Devil keeps me incredibly busy, no time to blog, no time for footy 

    Rocky – fantastic article, as usual, as expected  Thank you Sir! Koscielny is the best CB for me, but BFG the best looking 

    Sharkey – I mailed you at home

    Chas – you are FAR too modest, really!

    GiE – I think there is too much John Terry for anyone! The thug should go

    So many new names, woz up??

  179. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Way too early, but anyway:
    What is Yossi’s best position?
    The reason I ask is firstly I don’t know, and second, I think we have a secret gem waiting in the wings.

  180. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Evonne,
    Verm is far better looking.

  181. evonne says:

    Harry – we chatted about Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago. I watched 5 Polish lads returning home from Afghanistan for Christmas in wooden boxes, their children awaiting at the airport. No words to describe how I feel about it

  182. An apt stat from the Guardian:

    Arsenal have conceded the lowest percentage of headed goals this campaign (8%)

  183. evonne says:

    Fucking hell, fucking hell, fucking hell!!!!!!!!!!!!! I JUST GOT MY CHRISTMAS PRESENT – OUR TEL TO PLAY FOR US APRIL AND MAY ON 2 MONTH LOAN DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAKE UP YOU LOT!!!

  184. evonne says:

    Micky – you have a good point, Tommy is gorgeous but I love ginga hair. And don’t think I forgot the pointed hat

  185. Morning all.

    Micky I haven’t figured that out for Yossi yet. I’d guess wide or with front man, he is a clever passer and dribbler.

  186. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s a depressing subject for this time of day. Dreadful I agree. I am going for New Year’s Eve dinner party with friends. He’s a Colonel in The Royal Marines and has done many tours over there. I asked him a few weeks ago what he thought was the reason for being there so long. He shrugged his shoulders, and said they woould only work out the “right” answer once it was all over. Now that is depressing.

  187. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Really Evonne? Woweeeee!!!!!

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m wondering whether Yossi shouldn’t slot into the AM role.

  189. evonne says:

    Micky – it was on BBC News and they are pretty reliable as media go. PLEASE Santa let it be true!!!

  190. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Next question, when does Gerv clear off to Africa? You see, I am plotting my FB’less, Gerv’less Jan/Feb.

  191. evonne says:

    Micky – you should ask the Colonel why are British and Polish fighting a war in Afghanistan??!!! Why, what for?!!!!

  192. chas says:

    Use whatever title you think is appropriate.

    Morning all,
    If Terry comes back, we defo won’t buy a striker in Jan.

  193. Benayoun plays as an attacking midfielder, often occupying the space just behind the striker


    Arsene Wenger is set to consider a move to secure Thierry Henry on a short term loan deal over the next seven days.

    The New York Red Bulls striker has been training with Arsenal following the end of the MLS season in America.

    And, while Wenger is yet to make an enquiry or discuss the possibility of a temporary return to north London with the former France international, the Gunners boss has admitted it could be an “ideal” solution for the club.

    “That’s why I have Christmas Day off – I have to think about that,” Wenger told reporters.

    “Short-term is ideal for us, but I haven’t made any enquiry yet. Thierry is not here at the moment. It has never come up in conversation!

    “The first of January is the vital date for us. We have seven days to make decisions and I will make a decision in the next seven days on players.”

    Arsenal are set to lose Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho at the start of 2012, as the pair are set to take part in the African Cup of Nations with Morocco and the Ivory Coast respectively.


  194. As Arsenal progress quietly and effectively into the Christmas period there is a growing feeling that our marquee summer signing from Lille is truly making an impact already this season.

    He has become a firm fan favourite in his short time at the Emirates and his contribution on the pitch has been meaningful. Many from French football, even the great Robert Pires, have taken their time to settle in the English top flight, so his return in the Premier League of 3 goals and 5 assists in only 12 starts is impressive.

    However, the goal against Wigan was important to our tricky Ivorian winger as there was a slight sense that confidence in front of goal was wavering. I truly think Gervinho will kick on now and deliver even more, so it is a slight concern that the team will lose this growing influence for sometime in January and possibly February when he travels to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea with his national side for the African Cup of Nations.

    There are several aspects to explore when we consider the negative impact this could have on Arsenal’s strong recovery and progress into the second half of the season:

    Firstly, how long might we be without his services, given that the Ivory Coast are hot favourites at about 6/4 to lift the trophy? I think we have to assume that he will be asked to leave a week before the opening group game on the 22nd of January, which means he will certainly miss Swansea away on the 15th.

    Given that their group is far from threatening, with the opponents being Sudan, Burkina Faso and Angola, we can also assume that Manchester United on the 22nd, the FA Cup fourth round on the 28th and Bolton away on the 31st will also be missed by Geo, as well as Blackburn at home on the 4th of February when the forward should be helping his country win a quarter-final.

    The semi-final, assuming Ivory coast make it that far, will see Geo also away for Sunderland on the 11th, and should he make the final on the 12th, he would be hard pushed to make the first-leg of our Champions League match on the 14/15th of February.

    Therefore, on the face of it, it is likely that Gervinho could miss as many as 7 games. But if we are honest, looking at the matches for which we will be without him, the fixture list could have been considerably less friendly to us. On paper it is only the Manchester United fixture in the league that stands out as a real challenge and of course potentially our knock out opener in the next phase of Europe.

    Matches against Swansea, Bolton, Blackburn and Sunderland should all be winnable with one or more of our readymade replacements and right now I am not certain that even United at home is as daunting a prospect as it might have seemed even a month or so ago

  195. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great summary.
    I have asked him. I didn’t make myself clear. The sad thing is even people out their losing their lives have absolutely no idea. They will leave, the Taliban will be back along with the training camps. Horrendous.

  196. evonne says:

    Hiya Chas – do you believe the TH rumour then? I WANT to believe it 🙂

  197. morning all,

    cheers rocky

  198. evonne says:

    Micky – yes, horrendous. If you can watch ‘9th Company’, by far the best war film I have ever seen portraying Russians in Afghanistan. Couldn’t sleep for days after

  199. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Optimistically liking the sound of: “The first of January is the vital date for us”.

  200. evonne says:

    I know what LB would say about TH14 rumour – this is to warn other clubs that we are not prepared to pay silly money for strikers, coz we have Thierry now, right LB ?

  201. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not needed, thanks. I watch re-runs of Anfield ’89 🙂

  202. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Jeepers Evonne,
    That really is Londonesque thinking. Furry-thonged-up as well are you?

  203. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Saw a news report the other day about a woman who has set up her own business in Afghanistan employing largely women, and she knows exactly what will happen to her when The Taliban return.
    That’s worse than any war film.

  204. It sh*ts me when we scrimp out on players, and only loan people. It reminds me of when arsene could of got alonso if he only coughed up a million or so more!


  205. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I know exactly what you are trying to do there Oz!

  206. Morning all on Thierry can we just stop and think for a second.

    What would we say if Wenger signed a 34 year old striker from the MLS on £70k a week? Just because this one happens to be the most gifted striker we’ve ever seen at the Emirates should we sign him? This isn’t a Lehman emergency keeper signing, Sol was the same. Yes it will provide cover when Cham and Gerv go but we all want longer term. If Afobe isn’t likely to get a look in over the next two seasons then we should be paying money for a striker who can do the job for a few years (or even fill RvPs boots in a couple of years.)

  207. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Dead right GiE. Any ideas, or are you in the Podolski camp? Where does that link come from. He is the name on so many people’s wish list. Is he dirt cheap? Has his agent openly stated that his man wears Arsenal underwear?

  208. I agree GiE, but will any team part with their striker mid-season. Realistically it might be the best possible solution until the next transfer window were we can really load up and grab a few players, whilst also culling a few.

    @ Micky

    haha sorry couldn’t resist

  209. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I guarrantee that if Spurs decided they wanted a striker in Jan, they would get one.

  210. Podolski seems like an arsene type striker (can play across the front 3), plays for koln who wouldn’t knock back a large sum of money, he isn’t world class therefore the likes of chelsea and man city won’t price us out. It seems logical, he’s gone back to koln for passionate reasons, now it’s time to step up to the big leagues again and play with the mighty arsenal. We may not be linked with him but i can see why people are crying for him, he ticks the arsene transfer boxes

  211. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Tragically, in terms of allocating whatever budget we have, I think we should address the LB situation. We have Sagna back end of Jan on the right, but Santos, who knows, and we cannot ever rely on Gibbs. So Baines it is.

  212. I question that Micky. The scum have been on the hunt for a couple of seasons now (including offering big big money) but they have been knocked back time and time again! They had to settle for a striker on loan in which they pay next to nothing for. Even when champions league was guaranteed for them no-one came.

  213. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There is every chance that at around 1:00 pm on Tuesday, I will be sitting opposite Rasp and a sizzling Kebab. Without doubt, I’m in for another Podolski stlye propaganda bashing, and I’m desperate for some ammo. I have precious little time to unearth my transfer target. My maestro will be able to play anywhere across the front, be a twenty goal a season man, and so that I win my bets with both Rasp and Raddy, will be a current International and be signed, not loaned, in Jan.

  214. i agree micky, out with gibbs (sorry but he is ridiculously injury prone) and in with baines!

  215. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh alright. Then make that Sunderland or someone!
    Now come on, think up, who’s my man. A French International front man?

  216. Sounds like a good buy micky, whoever he is i hope he is signed quick smart!

  217. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha,
    Just googled “French Strikers”. Guess what? The public sector lot appeared.
    However, on the bright side, so did this little gem.
    Loïc Rémy (born 2 January 1987) is a French international footballer who plays for French club Marseille in Ligue 1. Rémy primarily plays in the lead striker role, but also operates on the wings and as a second striker.
    There we go. Plays everywhere. I win all bets.

  218. Leave it with me Micky, by this time tomorrow you will have your answer. I will leave no stone unturned! I will search all corners of the globe! My results will then be emailed on through to gunnersaurus, who with then hand it over to pat rice, who will deliver it to arsene’s ‘IN’ tray. Once arsene reads it…it’ll be binned!

  219. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, off to youtube the man and convince myself he is the solution to all my problems.

  220. good shout Micky, he is a gem. We should of grabbed him when we were linked to him a couple of seasons ago. Liverpool were heavily linked with him before suarez. Remy is a bit inconsistent but he is ready to take the next step up. Could be relatively cheap at around 12-15 million but worth every penny i think.

    Search has concluded well done

  221. Rasp says:

    Morning all……

    ….. New post…..

  222. I have no opinion on who we should sign but judging by this summers TW dealings we should not go with our choice. Anyone seen how Cahill has played this year?

    Surprised Chelsea are actively pursuing him.

    For me if you are English and in the PL at 20-21 and it’s not with one of the big teams there is a reason that you get to 24-25 without any of the big clubs signing you.

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