Have you heard the one about the future?

In recent transfer windows and recent seasons we constantly hear Wenger and the Board remind us that we are building a team for the future, a club for the 21st century, one that does things differently promotes from within and doesn’t need to pay huge transfer fees to compete.

Some fans have countered this reasoning (fairly) that without a present the future means nothing, and that the future has as little guarantee as signing a £50million striker or a £35million striker depending on which team you prefer laughing at the most.

As we reside in 7th place and the season looks to be disappearing from our grasp taking Champions League football and our Captain with it its time to take a look forward and see if what we are aspiring to is better than what we have at the moment.

According to most our current squad has 11 first team players and the rest are disposable, I would actually say that we have maybe 9 players of sufficient and proven quality, 6 others with potential (some already proving it), and maybe 5 senior pros who should when asked be able to do a job. (List at the bottom of the blog to keep you guessing)

Thats 20 players who I think should be able to be relied upon to get the job done. Admittedly they need at least five of the proven quality players on the pitch to help them, but we see United week in week out with all sorts of squad changes able to get the job done.

So in one sense I am asking what is so wrong with what we have now. Is it good enough? How much better are others? Or are we just so bereft of confidence as a team and as supporters of our team that no matter who is in the team the season would end in failure anyway?

As for the future what are we building to, what is the dream, we seem to be awash with young talent, but for whatever reason the young talent brought forward over the last few years has yet to fulfil its promises. Some of that talent has gone from the club, some never achieved the level it was hoped they would.

Should we be more optimistic about the current crop of youngsters coming through the system, if we should why should we?

Recently we have felt too much of a disconnect between us and the players, maybe its age maybe its just modern football, but I think its because of where they have come from. Some have arrived as eager faced 16-18 year olds straight into the reserves, plucked from the youth system of a club on the continent and given an Arsenal tracksuit and pay packet to match. Some have arrived with the knowledge that younger players get game time at Arsenal and under Arsene Wenger, only seeing it as a stepping stone to the biggest clubs and pay-packets.

I see a huge difference between the youth team players coming through now and those that have been used in the last few years, and the main difference is pride of wearing the red and white shirt and a cannon on their heart. The youngsters now coming through the system have been at the club for many years, they have had to work hard to not only be the best in their age groups but to be the best at the club to have a chance of getting a professional contract. When they have taken the field they have played with so much passion and desire and whilst they are young and inexperienced if you could take some of that desire and love for the club and inject it into those that have come before I don’t think the likes of Bendtner and Denilson would be moaning about sitting on the bench, they would realise how lucky and privileged they are to sit there and be part of this great club we all love.

So do I buy into the hype about the future? Yes, wholeheartedly. Do I think it will be better on the pitch than what we have now? I honestly couldn’t tell you, but one thing I think they will all do is leave it out on the pitch and show us fans that they care, every week, every game.

I also think that we are building a squad now of 18-21 year olds that will come to fruition together and we will not be in our current position of world class forward on pitch, average forward on bench.

Just take a look at this group of youngsters in our Reserves and tell me you don’t have a warm feeling about seeing those lads progress.

Current Squad Breakdown

Proven quality:

Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Song, Arteta, Wilshere, Gervinho, Van Persie.


Coquelin, Frimpong, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson, Gibbs

Good enough:

Rosicky, Walcott, Arshavin, Santos, Mertesacker

Written by Gooner in Exile

201 Responses to Have you heard the one about the future?

  1. pat says:

    “the main difference is pride of wearing the red and white shirt and a cannon on their heart”

    As long as they have that and give their all the current players are good enough – attitude is 90% of the battle and is won or lost in the mind…

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well written and a great read GiE. Thank you.
    I absolutely agree that there appears to be a real togetherness amongst the youth (how anyone can live without Twister, I have no idea).
    I have to disagree about one small point, and that is our season disappearing. 3 points behind Chelsea with 42 points to play for and our team getting stronger by the week.

  3. Thought provoking post GiE, I’m yet to be convinced about Gervinho and since suffering a second cruciate ligament injury there must, sadly, be a huge doubt about Frimpong.

  4. Wonderman says:

    Morning GIE,

    Very good food for thought and debate mate, I agree with the quotation Pat has highlighted. I would add Yennaris to the potential list, even though we haven’t seen much of him, I thought he brought much more ‘attitude’ to right back than Djourou did.

    Football is changing as a result of economic and rule changes, consequently the players you produce will have a major effect on your achievements. We are well placed providing the youngsters can handle the pressure when given their chance

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, thanks for a fine post that fits nicely with the one I wrote yesterday. I cannot argue much with you on the names you put into the three categories of your squad breakdown. Maybe you could have split ‘potential’ into imminent-potential and future-potential. This would have allowed to incorporate the likes of Ryo, Miquel, Campbell, Fabianski and one or two others.

    I love the look of the squad though. If only three of the six potentials work out, we have a first team squad of 17 players for next season. Something to build on. The worrying thing is you only included the one keeper and the one out-and-out striker, and I think you were right to do so.

  6. TeeCee says:

    It doesn’t matter who the playing staff are, when we have a manager who is devoid of any tactical nous and zero motivational skills, the future can only be bleak. Arsenal are a spent force under Wenger and that won’t change until the awful man has gone.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonneski, when you asked TA are you there, earlier this morning, were you looking for our legend, the all-time king of CB’s, or could it be true you were asking for me, your humble blog-writing servant?!

  8. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Another example of the high standard of posts on AA. Great read.

    Reading between the lines your post suggests that there are players outside of the 20 above who need to be moved on. I would agree and hopefully the income garnered from their transfers will fund a couple of new signings.

    What excites is the prospect of having a group of players who have grown up together and are the nucleus of the side.

  9. Big Raddy says:

    TeeCee. This is not a forum for Mancs/Spuds. Try Spurs Community,

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    TeeCee: ‘awful man’?

    Isn’t democracy great?! You can say what you like, however unfounded, and just move on to the next blog and say something brilliantly impulsive again, and again.

    Don’t forget to occasionally pay your respect to the WW1 and WW2 dead soldiers who fought against facism and other woes so you can freely say things like ‘ Arsenal are a spent force under Wenger and that won’t change until the awful man has gone.’

  11. goonermichael says:

    Norfolk Gooner says:
    February 9, 2012 at 10:05 am
    Thought provoking post GiE, I’m yet to be convinced about Gervinho and since suffering a second cruciate ligament injury there must, sadly, be a huge doubt about Frimpong.

    Did you see his winner for the Ivory Coast yesterday? He just needs to relax and get some confidence.

  12. Bradster says:

    Shew Tee that’s a bit extreme. I agree with you that he is one dimensional tactically and feel that he protects the players too much but let’s allow him the season to prove he can bring us back or that he’s a failure and should move on.
    I do worry if the next few games become a major set back and Blackburn was actually a once off gel and that Blackburn really played crap with no motivation at all like a team that should be bottom.

  13. goonermichael says:

    Great post. I agree about Yannaris and Campbell. They both look good players.

  14. pat says:

    Hello – Tony where are you? Anybody seen Tony? last seen managing a football team in Azerbyjan – come home and save the England Team! Dont let Arry, Pyscho or Woy take over!

  15. goonermichael says:

    I wan’t arry to be England boss

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Interesting point there Bradster.
    I do wonder whether AWs over protectiveness/loyalty to some players damages the confidence of those waiting in the wings.

  17. pat says:

    Does anybody think that if somebody like Mertesacker gets a goal things are just gonna go beserk? I really want him to get a goal – really think it will help with the confidence – we are due to get some more off the set piece FKs.

    Good that Gerv is hitting the back of the net – need other players to get in on the goals – will improve the confidence of the whole team and worry of the opposition if the goals get shared. However saying that I hope RVP keeps scoring at his current rate – if one or two other guys get in on the action we will be looking good.

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think you have a valid point for discussion on both tactics and motivation, but “awful man” is unnecessary. Nearly a polite comment.

  19. pat says:

    GM – yup arry’s a triffic manager, just triffic!

  20. Red Arse says:


    The best accolade I can give to your excellent Post was that I thought for a time that I was reading a TA ‘special’! Awesome. 🙂

    I know there will be those who do not understand the evolving nature of football clubs, and would rather have the McDonalds or Kentucky Fried approach to buying players off the shelf, rather than the carefully and beautifully prepared haute cuisine of young players nurtured by a caring club, but there are a number of others coming thru’ strongly behind those you have listed, or suggested by others above……

    Benik Afobe, Chuks Anneke, Ozyacup, Ebicillio, Kyle Bartley, Bellerin, Gnabry, Olsen and many more!

    We just need to stick with it and TerryM’s enthusiasm will prove to be correct!! 🙂

  21. slimgingergooner says:

    For all those people out there (maybe like TeeCee) who are English Arsenal supporters, who feel that Arsene Wenger is an ‘awful man’ or ‘tactically inept’ (you don’t become one of footballs great managers by being tactically inept by the way) or ‘should die in his sleep’, I wonder whether your thoughts would change if the man became the England coach?

    I would put my house on a large number of these so called fans changing tact very quickly and actually loving Arsene as England manager. Just a thought.

  22. pat says:

    A humble RVP talking about Walcott – “He has given me so many assists. And for me, if you give an assist then it is worth a goal, especially if you give a great assist. It is as important as scoring a goal. For me he gave two simple tap-ins. That makes it more his goal than my goal.”

    I hope Walcott takes this to heart and focus on providing those tap ins – might not be as easy as vs Blackburn but I can see what RVP is talking about, still had to stick it in the net though!

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    TeeCee coming on here with a one comment calling AW an “awful man” is a bit like me climbing into a crash hat, going on Legrove and shouting “Wenger Forever” and then running like hell.

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t forget the “Icefield”.

  25. Rasp says:

    Excellent post GiE, of course we always need to be bringing through young players. A production line of emerging talent is essential for the future of the club.

    As far as planning a team is concerned, I stick to my points yesterday that we can only really plan for this season and the next, and that we should be careful not to reward fringe players with lucrative contracts/salaries until they have really proved their worth.

    I agree with Micky, I cannot help thinking that there has been an overreaction to TeeCee’s comment. His main points were reasonably expressed and although none of us would agree with the description of AW as awful, there are many bloggers out there who would have used far more abusive terminology.

  26. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, thanks for the comments.

    Regarding the current squad list I went for players in the PL squad regularly who have played a few games. I think there are many who will eventually make it through the ranks too.

    And Micky with regard to our current predicament this post was written before Blackburn and after Bolton. And there was the future v present debate on the blog.

    If Lansbury doesn’t make the first team grade he will be squad grade, is it better to have Lansbury as a squad player than say a Denilson?

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    But then again, those kind of bloggers to whom you refer are just complete fucking wankers 🙂

  28. Red Arse says:

    So that’s telling you Raddy! 🙂

    I happen to agree with you – so I had better watch my step too!!! 🙂

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:


  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha. If that is when you wrote this, then hat off Sir. At that point I went all doom and had us struggling against relegation 🙂
    Really off.

  31. Wonderman says:

    @Mickey 11:01 lol so true

  32. Red Arse says:


    I know this will not sit easily with some, but I just do not buy into this ‘squad’ player descriptor.

    Any player who is so described is basically living down to a reputation of being a ‘plodder’, and I am sorry, but they do not belong at Arsenal.

    All our players should aspire to being the best – the top man — and if that proves to be impossible, they should move on and leave room for the next aspiring top class football, otherwise we are committing to stagnation, which is another word for death of ambition.

    [About to bugger off for a while Micky, you will be pleased to read!! 🙂 ]

  33. Red Arse says:

    You are right, Micky, I should have given a name check to IcyFeel in the list of up and coming lads. 🙂

  34. goonermichael says:

    Theo Paphitis just drove past my shop in the wierdest silver car. Number plate RYM4N. Must enjoy the attention 🙂 Is he a friend of Kelsey? Seem to remember reading something oin here

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    I read this today which made me laugh:

    “I could cry when In think of the years I wasted accumulating money, only to learn that my cheerful disposition is genetic”.

    GLiC, it somehow made me think of you! 😀

  36. afcwils says:

    I agree with what you say to a degree. Haven’t we been looking at our reserves for a good few years now and thought how good they’ll be? I’m now of the opinion that the experiment hasn’t worked. That said, if we get lucky and get one generation come through who actually fulfil potential then we coulda well be the nuts for years.

  37. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA I agree, I’m not saying he is a squad player but that he could do a job when coming off the bench with desire and live for the club as much as the fans do.



    Great article.

    This is the sort of post that half way through reading i imagine ime transported to some sandy beech, were the sun is shining, the beer is flowing and ime surrounded by a bevy of lovely ladies.

    The reason for my joy is simple. At the crux of the matter is “project youth”. This philosophy of creating teams, by aquiring young talents and nurturing them through into the first team is something all the big clubs will see as there number one goal in the years ahead.

    The great thing is, we are ahead of the game and will reap the benefits very soon. It dosn’t matter if a club is super rich and has a great team at present, lack of foresight, living for the moment and bad strategic choices overall will lead to decline. I forsee great times ahead for the club both on and off the pitch.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rasper, you might have been referring to me when you wrote about a possible overreaction to TeePee’s comment. I have no problem with ‘awful man’ in terms of it being ‘abusive terminology’ as you call it. I could not care less.

    I have a problem with ghost-bloggers/keyboard heroes just venting their views without bothering to explain them. Just silly, opinionated one-liners to have a dig at somebody, irriate the hell out of me. I know I should not react to them, but sometimes cannot help myself, and yes, overreact as a consequence.

  40. slimgingergooner says:

    ‘Arry to England
    Bale to Barca
    Modric to Chelsea
    Spurs to mid table
    Arsenal to champions

    Next year is Gunner be a belter!!!!

  41. slimgingergooner says:


    I know this is a site that prides itself on hearing all sides of the story etc

    But sometimes you just have to call a spade, a spade, and that TeeCee was definately a spade!

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry, a ‘bevy of lovely ladies’: I love that phrase, especially the word ‘bevy’ – it does not leave much to the imagination, does it? It is a new word for me, but I like the sound of it: It is very prosaic – to the point! 🙂

  43. slimgingergooner says:


    Great article with one exception,

    Arshavin is definately not ‘good enough’.

    He’s 30, had numerous chances and is a) earning a fortune that could be used elsewhere, and b) unwilling to adapt his game to suit his newfound lack of pace.

    I would rather keep Diaby on the hope that he may get his fitness back.

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    hi Slim-Shady, fully agreed, sometimes you have to call spude a spude 🙂

  45. chas says:

    Great post, GIE.

    I so hope your optimism about the current crop of youngsters having Arsenal in their hearts is well-founded.
    We certainly have to weed out the ones with bad attitudes early on in their careers. I still think rat-face Bentley could have been a player if he’d had more than two brain cells between his ears. JET is another one, looking so promising moving on and disappearing.

    Bunjaku seems to be the latest who thinks he’s bigger than the club. Apparently he left in December expecting to be offered a pro contract elsewhere and is now back because the expected interest wasn’t there. (the second one is just on a message board so may not be accurate)



    I hope Ozyakup develops as we’d hope and Icefield too.


    ime delighted to have introduced you to a new word TA……Just wish imagination would become reality more often. hahaha

  47. John says:

    Does this mean then that ‘project youth’ is a success (or are we now on project youth mk2)? I keep reading everywhere, and not only on hater’s blogs, that project youth has failed.

  48. Rob Lucci says:

    Damn, Ozyakup looks very good in that video..


    Hi John

    Success is relative, but if we are talking about winning the league, then yes it did fail. Ive always believed the policy was sound, but in football as in life there are many unpredictables, and the main one for us was the arrival of the Suger Daddy Clubs. In addition to those rich owners i do think that Arsene and the Board underestimated the, want for a better word, “Greed” of players and there agents. If we track our minds back a few years, every time Arsene and members of the Board were asked about players leaving for money, the answer was that it was not a concern because we paid players handsomly making them extreamly rich and offered them a footballing paradise. This notion proved to be false. If we had kept the likes of Cesc, Nasri, Flamini and Adebayor we would be top of the league now. The challange going forward is to keep our current players, for if we do, we will win everything.

  50. gunnern5 says:

    From BBC.

    The top 7 teams are unchanged from last year.

    Deloitte Football Money League

    1. Real Madrid: 479.5m euros
    2. Barcelona: 450.7m euros
    3. Man Utd: 367m euros
    4. Bayern Munich: 321.4m euros
    5. Arsenal: 251.1m euros
    6. Chelsea: 249.8m euros
    7. AC Milan: 235.1.m euros
    8. Internationale: 211.4m euros
    9. Liverpool: 203.3m euros
    10. Schalke: 202.4m euros

  51. Red Arse says:


    I am tickled that you like the word ‘bevy’. It does a have a certain sound and look to it. 🙂

    It originally meant (and still does) a group of animals or a flock of birds.
    “Birds” in slang means women, so the transition to a bevy of beauties (women) makes sense. But it can also mean a bevy of men — so be careful!! 😉
    It can also means an alcoholic drink in slang as in “I am off to the Pub for a bevy”. Most people would mean a pint or two – TMHT would mean a bird or two, i.e. women if his Mrs was not watching him!

    The English language, eh? 🙂

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    From BBC website:

    “He says that, when he meets up with the squad in a month’s time, he will be able to speak English,” relayed his assistant. If that appeared a remarkable claim at the time, it seems even more fanciful now. Capello not only never mastered English, he seldom sounded as if he wanted to. His compatriot Carlo Ancelotti cracked it in half the time while at Chelsea. Coincidentally or not, Ancelotti also won trophies. As it was, it seems apposite that Capello’s last interview as an England manager was also in Italian.”

    Capello, over 4 years in charge, at a reportedly £14k per day. Just shocking!

  53. Red Arse says:


    We lost a lot of turnover in 2011 (£256m) compared to 2010 (£380m) otherwise we would have been 3rd.

    The drop reflected a drop in property sales (which will keep dropping) and a drop in player sales, because the Cesc and Nasti transfer fees (as well as the last minute tfr purchases) were not included, and will help the current years turnover figures.

    Interesting – especially as we will eventually finish the terrible shirt sponsorship deals we are committed to at the mo’, and replace thenm with much better commercial deals.

  54. Gooner In Exile says:

    John I think it depends on what we define as Project Youth. For many people it ended with Cesc and Nasri leaving, and the failure of NikB, Vela and others.

    But this is where I believe the difference is, none of those (except Cesc) was really with us for a long time. Bendtner arrived aged 17, Vela 16 (but straight out on loan only really arrived 18), Denilson 18. And they joined a squad of bought in players.

    The core of our youth prospects now have been raised from the age of 7-10 (players like Wilshere, Frimpong, Bartley, Aneke to name a few) and those are the players that for me are the real Project Youth.

  55. John says:

    Thanks, tmht; I’m still struggling to work out what ‘project youth’ now actually is/was. Is is the establishment of a youth academy which produces 1 or 2 players for the PL squad every year? I don’t think you can hope for more. Maybe a nice idea for an article, comparing the Arsenal academy with established ones such as Ajax and others.

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers RA. If I ever were to meet up with Terry on a beach in say Crete or Rhodes and he would say: ‘let me introduce you to a bevy of girls’ I would know now what to expect. I can almost smell the cheap, sweet perfume indiscrimately sprayed over well-oiled bodies, and envisage clearly the easy smiles and opening arms – only for Terry to say: they are all mine Total – you can look and talk, but I am the one with Telescope here 😉

  57. chas says:

    Jack and Frimmers
    Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong and friends

    Under 9’s 2001 inc Aneke, Afobe, Yennaris
    Arsenal Academy Under 9's 2001/2

    The Ox
    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the spotlight

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA you are the man GM! That must be the epitomy of a bevy! You are one lucky man 😀

  59. chas says:

    Flippin Noras.
    Where are your hands, GM?

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Right, I am off to Tesco for some bevvy… Till later!

  61. Red Arse says:


    This is another example of British humour. They are genuine adverts placed in local newspapers. (I may have shown them before) 🙂

    These are classified ads, which were actually placed in U.K. Newspapers:

    8 years old,
    Hateful little bastard.

    1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbor’s dog.

    Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.
    Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

    Also 1 gay bull for sale.

  62. Red Arse says:

    And how about this one, from the Yorkshire Post (I think)!

    Complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica, 45 volumes.
    Excellent condition, £200 or best offer. No longer needed.
    Got married, wife knows everything.

  63. Red Arse says:

    GM, you jammy B. 🙂

  64. goonermichael says:

    Funny enough I’ve had better jobs. I did a hair seminar once and shared a dressing room with another stylist. We had 6 models each and when we finished thay all took thier clothes off as quick as possible so I had 12 topless models in a tiny room . it was murder. I didn’t know who to stare at first 🙂

  65. Wonderman says:

    Gm now you’re showing off 🙂

  66. goonermichael says:

    It’s actually quite annoying Wonderman. Like being in a sweet shop with no money.


    GM, Are you trying to torment me? hahahaha

  68. Wonderman says:

    Gm lol I hear ya mate

  69. gunnern5 says:

    For Sale — Eight puppies from a German Shepherd and an Alaskan Hussy.

  70. WiganGooner says:

    Great Job GiE, Love the post.

    I think it’s actual fact that the likes of Wilshire, Frimpong, Lansbury all love the club, they’ve grown up with it and they realise what they have been given and they give everything.

    Others, like Szczesny, Djourou were brought in at a young age and have been nurtured and loved by Arsenal and they also realise how special Arsenal is and love the club back.

    Unfortunately, in all walks of life there are the mercenaries, the realists and the romantics.

    I think our ethos is based on romanticism, Arsene wants them to live, love and strive for Arsenal FC and each other.

    Other clubs like Chelski, Citeh are the polar opposite, they dont care for the romance, they arent interested in whether the players enjoy playing for the club. They are pushed to excel or be shipped out. They play for their lives, not for their club.

    What way is more effective? As a fan I prefer the Arsenal way, but who am I to say what is right and what isn’t.


  71. gunnern5 says:

    Used Cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!

  72. gunnern5 says:

    2 female Boston Terrier puppies
    7 wks old, Perfect markings
    555-1234. Leave mess.

  73. gunnern5 says:

    A superb and inexpensive restaurant.
    Fine food expertly served by
    waitresses in appetizing forms

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    Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery.
    Try us once — you’ll never go anywhere again.

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    Widower with school-age children requires
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    Must be capable of contributing to growth of family.

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    Girl wanted to assist magician in cutting-off-head illusion.
    Salary and Blue Cross provided.

  77. gunnern5 says:

    For sale: an antique desk suitable for
    lady with thick legs and large drawers.

  78. Red Arse says:

    GN5, you are recycling my jokes faster than I can get them out!! 🙂

    A guy is sitting in the bar in departures at a busy airport.
    A beautiful woman walks in and sits down at the table next to him.
    He decides because she’s wearing a uniform, she’s probably an off-duty flight attendant, so he decides to have a go at picking her up by identifying the airline she flies for, thereby impressing her greatly.

    He leans across to her and says the British Airways motto
    ‘To Fly. To Serve’.
    The woman looks at him blankly.

    He sits back and thinks up another line.
    He leans forward again and delivers the Air France motto:
    ‘Winning the hearts of the world’.

    Again she just stares at him with a slightly puzzled look on her face.
    Undeterred, he tries again, this time saying the Malaysian Airlines motto:
    ‘Going beyond expectations’.

    The woman looks at him sternly and says:
    ‘What the F * ck do you want?’

    ‘Ah!’ he says

    Seems about right!! 🙂

  79. gunnern5 says:

    Tired of cleaning yourself?

    Let me do it!

  80. gunnern5 says:

    Our bikinis are exciting.

    They are simply the tops.

  81. Red Arse says:

    The boss walked into the office one morning not knowing his zipper was down and his fly area wide open.
    His assistant walked up to him and said, ‘This morning when you left your house, did you close your garage door?’ The boss told her he knew he’d closed the garage door, and walked into his office puzzled by the weird question.

    As he finished his paperwork, he suddenly noticed his fly was open, and zipped it up. He then understood his assistant’s question about his ‘garage door.’

    He headed out for a cup of coffee and paused by her desk to slyly ask, ‘When my garage door was open, did you see my Hummer parked in there?’

    She smiled at him sadly and said, ‘No, I didn’t. All I saw was an old mini van with two flat tires..

  82. critic says:

    Szczesney is not a proven player in my opinion. He’s yet to learn many things. I will put him in potential category.

  83. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches and Evonne take a day off the blog and you lot turn in it to some backstreet sawdust floored boozer atmosphere where a pint pot is passed round to fund the entertainment…..I miss working in Clerkenwell 😦

  84. Gooner In Exile says:

    Critic it’s fair comment that one. Szczesney is the most proven goalie we’ve had for a while tho and as far a long as England’s No 1 Hart.

  85. LB says:

    GIE excellent read.

    I have a question:

    the claim above that Wenger and the Board are constantly reminding us that they are building a team for the future — have you ever heard any one of them actually say that — because I haven’t.

    To me it is an urban or a blog myth. If, however, you have simply used it as I premise to write a post, then I understand completely and retract the question.

  86. WiganGooner says:

    Not wanting to cross-pollenate blogs, I’ve knocked up an article based my comments above.


    It spiked some thoughts that I just had to put down somewhere 🙂


  87. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB admittedly they have never explicitly said “building a team for the future” but it can be inferred from comments like Gazidis made in a recent interview about building teams and making players rather than buying them etc. Having it highlighted in bold probably makes it more emphatic but I think I was more looking at club direction overall in the opening paragraph.

    And also when signing the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rambo, Campbell, and others rather than buying “proven” stars they are justified (when they are criticised by fans who havent seem them play) by being one for the future (as was Eisfield in January).

    So while they haven’t specifically said they are building a team for the future they have a habit of buying players for the team of the future 🙂

    But my inference radar maybe off and as I said to Mickey earlier it was hastily written whilst we were debating the future vs now in the slump after the Bolton game.

  88. WiganGooner says:

    @ GiE

    Gazidis is a businessman who recognises a winning formula. He knows that the Arsenal FC PLC doodah business will always turn a profit under Arsene because Arsene takes kids and turns them into valuable stars (more often than not).

    Those stars are then sold at a very healthy profit.

    They won’t break that formula because it works at a business level. The on-pitch performances aren’t Gazidis’s remit and whilst the business would benefit from a successful side, that isn’t and never will be while Arsenal is a business.

    Chelski, Citeh are also businesses, but their business model doesn’t involve real-world economics, they don’t have to turn a profit to survive because some Oligarch/rather rich person will always bail them out.


  89. evonne says:

    GiE – very good post! I missed reading this blog and was glad that yours was first to read after my holidays.

    Fair comment about me and Peaches off and mice playing. Well, I am back, so GN5 – behave!

    I had a scary thought – Harry leaves the Scum, but they get Maureen next season, not a good prospect

  90. evonne says:

    TA – you are so funny! Of course I was looking for you 🙂 I wanted to buy a jacket for my next skiing trip and they only had them in Norwich Go Outdoor shop. But I found and bought it elsewhere now.
    Thanks for getting back 🙂 I was telling my mate about you, she was very impressed. She speaks fluent German, but I told her about your English and she was jealous, her written Deutch is not perfect

  91. evonne says:

    Has anyone heard about Elite Player Progress Programme implemented by the FA? It is the first time I have heard about it today.

  92. WiganGooner says:


    Never heard of it!

    More buzzwords designed to make it look like the FA is doing something probably,


  93. Gooner In Exile says:

    I think Evonne it’s the new scheme that allows PL clubs to get round the “1 hour rule”, and also to pick Youth players out of academies for literally peanuts (Ox would have cost us about £200k under the new rules i believe).

    Wonderman will be the man in the know I may well be talking utter crap above. 🙂

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne no need to worry about Maureen I think he has already stated what he would need to do to return to the PL, think it was

    A) no interference
    B) £100-150 m to spend

  95. Red Arse says:

    Hi Evonne, 🙂

    I have copied the relevant provisions of the EPPP for you – hope it is not repeating someone else’s work!! 🙂

    The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) is a youth development scheme, proposed by The Premier League. The intention of the EPPP is to free up movement of younger players by establishing a hierarchy of football academies in the UK, and fixing the transfer fees between academies.

    The EPPP was accepted by the 72 member clubs of The Football League on 20 October 2011. The EPPP is expected to start for the 2012/2013 season.

    The Premier League has published the following list of principles upon which the EPPP has been designed[2].

    -Increase the number and quality of Home Grown Players gaining professional contracts in the clubs and playing first-team football at the highest level
    -Create more time for players to play and be coached
    Improve coaching provision
    -Implement a system of effective measurement and quality assurance
    -Positively influence strategic investment into the Academy System, demonstrating value for money
    -Seek to implement significant gains in every aspect of player development

    Changes from current academy system

    The principal changes from the current academy system are:

    Abolition of the “90-minute” rule – Currently academies are only allowed to sign players aged under 18 if they reside within 90 minutes travel of the training facility.
    This has historically provided each club with a “catchment area”. There were some exceptions to the rule to provide for players living in remote areas.
    Larger clubs were prevented from taking youth players away from home at a young age for training.

    A four-tier academy system – It is proposed that there will be four gradings of academies, with the highest rated academies being able to sign the best players and command the largest fees.

    Category 1 academies will have high contact time with young players, require a minimum of 18 full-time staff and an operational budget of £2.5 M. Academies will be reviewed every two years and re-categorised if necessary.

    A fixed tariff for transfers of players under 18 – The proposed tariff is:

    aged 9–11 Fixed Fee: £3,000 * Number of years
    aged 12–16 Fixed Fee: £12,000 – £40,000 depending on academy category

    This will replace the current system of an independent tribunal for compensation.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

  96. Gooner In Exile says:

    I was right. Praise the lord!

    Heard a coach from a League One calling it the death of the smaller clubs. They have to allow the PL scouts in to their clubs.

    And all this because the FA decided that the PL should award training and development grants, so the PL said you can have money for your academy if you agree to these terms. A load of bollocks in my opinion and a further proof if any was needed of how little the smaller clubs are regarded.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    First I have heard of the EFPP. I cannot understand why 72 League clubs would accept it – it is like Turkeys voting for Xmas.

    Like GIE says,, it tells all about the FA’s interest in grass roots football. Or perhaps I have misunderstood their intentions

  98. kelsey says:


    GM: yes a friend of mine of over 30 years. The number plate denotes him buying Ryman’s(and Athena) from the administrators for next to nothing and then selling the shops off but keeping the prime locations and also added the retailers Partners to become the biggest in the UK
    That monster german car is a Maybank.

  99. Ade David, a Nigerian Gooner says:

    GIE, just back from work, gone thr the post, and say it is a beautiful write-up. I quite agreed with your grouping of some of our players but I ‘ll put Theo in d group of potential. We haven’t seen yet d quality of this boy. Theo has good quality. My fear is that will d fans and the critics not send him away from Arsenal? Will RVP stay if we dont qualify for champion league? This is d question another Gooner asked me this afternoon. I told him I dont know. Will our players in potential group not see Arsenal as a stepping stone to the so called big clubs? What a beautifuf solo effort goal Gevinho scored yesterday. Oh boy come back here and score more of that for us. Up Arsenaaaal.

  100. kelsey says:

    Right read he post and potential needs defining and timing.

    By the way dandan’s wife is still very very poorly.

  101. evonne says:

    RA – thank you! Sounds like more bureaurocracy and hindrance for less afluent clubs. Let’s wait and see

    GiE – I hope you are right about Maureen, he is perfectly capable of pushing Scum right to the top

  102. goonermichael says:

    Thanks Kelsey. My Colleageue (who likes cars) said it was American. It’s right hand drive though and the wierdest finish I’ve seen.

  103. goonermichael says:

    My vowels are all over the place 🙂

  104. evonne says:

    GM – you should see me trying to spell bereaurocracy, even I had to laugh 🙂

  105. goonermichael says:

    I hope it goes ok for dandan.

  106. evonne says:

    Peaches – now or never. My mob is playing silly buggers

  107. evonne says:

    GM – what’s up with Dandan? I wasn’t around much

  108. allezkev says:

    Good upbeat post.
    Know it’s a bit late in the day but i agree with Pat 10.43.
    Once BFG gets his first goal, he’ll off and running.

  109. evonne – I’m not feeling very well so I may wait for one of the owners to come and get him …….. is your email working?

  110. Big Raddy says:

    DD’s wife has pleurisy. Very nasty. My prayers are with her

  111. Big Raddy says:

    The idea of having Stuart Pearce as England manager is beyond farcical – even as caretaker.

    Surely the England manager must be proven at Club level? A poor record at Man City – 2 seasons and a best of 15th, is hardly International standard.

    It must be better for the FA to use Venables, Mclaren, Hoddle or Taylor, all of whom have experience in the job and all of whom are available, to see us through the Euro’s and then appoint a long-term man.

  112. goonermichael says:

    They have all had thier reputations crucified by the press. I’m sure even Bobby Robson was torn apart by them.

  113. goonermichael says:

    The treatment of Hoddle was scandalous. Wally with the brolly. Turnip. Terrible

  114. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Evonneski, thanks for the compliment 🙂 German is very hard to write, so your friend should not feel too bad about herself. How is your German (the language, not the dog!)?

    I would have loved to get that outdoor jacket for you. No wonder they still had some in the Norwich store: it is so flat here nobody will ever buy a ski jacket!

    RA, thanks for the funny adverts earlier 🙂

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The colour of his car is Jewish Racing Gold.

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is Pearce really in the running? I heard the bookies are no longer taking bets on arry

  117. evonne says:

    TA – thank you, next time I need something from there I will feel brave to ask

    Peaches – email works. Need be I will get him, shall I ?

  118. Big Raddy says:

    The press shouldn’t be the arbiter of whom should be England manager, nor should the MITS (man in the street).

    Hoddle was a decent man ridiculed for having beliefs outside the norm.

    BTW. Anyone notice that Bayern Munich have signed Shaqiri from Basel? This will lead to either Robben or Ribery leaving in summer. Either would be great.

  119. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Pearce has been confirmed as Caretaker. I would let him take care of one of my old Bic Biros let alone the England team.

  120. Red Arse says:


    The FA have announced that Stuart Pearce is going to be the interim manager until at least the next international match. (Don’t remember which one that is).

    If ‘Arry, or other ‘suitable’ applicants do not want to take up the poisoned chalice — Pearce it is!! Good luck with that! 🙂

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You have a bias towards players beginning with an R.

  122. RockyLives says:

    Great post GiE – it has prompted a really good discussion today.

    Many people seem to assume/think that if there is such a thing as ‘Project Youth’ it is an approach that has been driven by necessity (due to lack of funds, stadium move etc etc).

    Actually, I think the focus on developing a team from a young age is an ideological thing with Arsene, not a financial one.

    I believe it was always AW’s plan to turn Arsenal into an English Ajax. One of the first things he did when he arrived in North London was to overhaul the youth set-up (which had declined in the later Graham years), build new youth training facilities and set up a world class scouting system.

    Even if we hadn’t moved stadiums and had loads of dosh to spend on transfers, I reckon he would still prefer to do it this way.

    However, through selling on too many of our Invincibles too quickly (partly because of that silly over-30s rule) AW left the squad too low on experience for a few years. That’s one of the reason for the habitual late-season collapses.

    Whether by accident or design I now feel we have the best combination of experience (BFG, Arteta, RvP, Verm etc) and stunningly talented youth (Szcz, Oxo, Jack, Rambo, Coq) that we have ever had.

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Incidentally, that comment about his car colour were his own not mine.

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That learned Micky!
    I really must get out more 🙂

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Rshavin, Robin, Rteta, Ramsey, Rtesacker, Rmaelen, Rxlade Chamberlain, Rosicky, etc etc

  126. RockyLives says:

    You clearly don’t know your Rs from your elbow 🙂

  127. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. What in this weather – which reminds me of the old Moercambe and Wise joke…..

    Nice out today?

    Yes, now put it away please.

  128. Big Raddy says:

    Starting to prepare for the Sunderland pre-match. Any input?

  129. RockyLives says:

    I have taken the liberty of tinkering with your “quality” grid:

    Proven quality:
    Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Song, Arteta, Wilshere, Van Persie, Mertesacker

    Potential (either through being young or not having had time to prove themselves fully since joining the club):
    Szczesny, Coquelin, Frimpong, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Gervinho, Santos, Miquel, Yennaris

    Good enough:
    Rosicky, Walcott, Djourou, Benayoun, Fabianski

    Shape Up or Ship Out:
    Arshavin, Almunia, Squillacci, Park, Chamakh

  130. RockyLives says:

    We could do with a win.
    Does that help? 🙂

  131. goonermichael says:

    Hoddle’s views were about Karma and reincarnation. A third of the worlds population (including me and Chary) have those beliefs. The gutter press made it seem like he was mentral. He had a problem with the players (shearer) but he seemed to have an idea about changing tactics as the game went on. I don’t mind hoddle (for a spud) He was a great player, shit singer though. The press are scum.

  132. goonermichael says:

    You’ll have to find two inventors from sunderland now Raddy

  133. Red Arse says:


    Not sure what you were looking for but how about this?

    Sunderland was once “asunder-land” so called because the land was cut asunder, separated or put to one side, perhaps as waste land. Sunderland is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. Nevertheless by 1100 there was a fishing village at Sunderland.

    Sunderland was made a town in 1154 when it was granted a charter. (A document granting the townspeople certain rights such as the right to hold a weekly market). Sunderland slowly grew. However it only had a population of a few hundred in the Middle Ages. It would seem tiny to us but settlements were very small in those days.

    Sunderland, like all other towns in England suffered severely from the Black Death in 1348-49 when perhaps half the population died but it soon recovered.

    By the 14th century salt was being made in Sunderland. Seawater was heated in iron vats until it evaporated leaving behind the salt. Shipbuilding also began in Sunderland in the 14th century.

    Since the formation of Sunderland AFC by a bunch of teachers in 1879, the club has won six First Division titles—in 1892, 1893, 1895, 1902, 1913, and 1936—and the FA Cup twice, in 1937 and 1973.

    I am crap at pre-match info, but I did try to help! 🙂

  134. FrothingInarticulateLoon says:

    Arshavin !!!!!!!

    Where’s Chamakh then ??

  135. kelsey says:

    I agree with RL except benyahoun as we haven’t seen much of him. Anyone know how much playing time he has had ?

  136. Nick says:

    Sourced from ESPN

    Sunderland’s Nicklas Bendtner and Lee Cattermole have been charged with criminal damage after cars were allegedly vandalised close to the home of their arch rivals.

    Striker Bendtner and club captain Cattermole will face magistrates later this month following an alleged incident in Newcastle city centre in December.

    Northumbria Police said the team-mates, who both live in Ponteland, Northumberland, will face five charges of criminal damage relating to cars parked in Stowell Street in Newcastle’s China Town.

    The street is packed with restaurants and is a popular haunt with fans on their way to Newcastle’s stadium.

    The damage was alleged to have been caused at around 10pm on December 6, two days after Sunderland lost 2-1 at Wolves.

    Bendtner, a 24-year-old Denmark international, is spending a year on Wearside on loan from Arsenal. Both he and Cattermole, 23, have missed recent games due to injury.

    They will appear before Newcastle magistrates on February 27.

    I wonder if this will sit well with Arsene? NB52 who has to ask for money for a pizza and pull the “don’t you know who I am” routine.
    Can we terminate his contract based on conduct or something? He’s no ‘Arry so he won’t get off!

  137. RockyLives says:

    Hello Kelsey
    I haven’t totted up Benny’s minutes (he hasn’t played that much) but I do know he scored a decent winner in the away league game at Villa.

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In your 6:37 you say: “The gutter press made it seem like he was mentral”.
    I cannot work out whether you put in extra “r” by mistake, or you left out an “s” by mistake!
    Naturally I always thought Glenda was a bit girlie, so I’ll take it you meant the latter.

  139. Red Arse says:


    I thought you were a figment of my imagination, who only came out around lunch time, to be frothing, inarticulate and loony! 🙂

    I have come over all unnecessary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  140. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Great Post GiE,

    We certainly have some great young talent coming through, but the next generation ?. According to Rohan Ricketts ( with a diseased name like that I might take It with a pinch of salt ) on the Hawksby and Jacobs show today ( approx` 15:28, if you want to re-listen ) the Spuds are in a better condition youthwise, He has been training at both clubs to help his fitness, Said he spoke to a Coach at Arsenal and that the Coach was not sure about our recruitment of younger players !, as i said pinch of salt !.

    gm @ 12:59, that puts you to the Top of Legend status, Terry`s telescope must have blown a fuse !

  141. Gooner In Exile says:

    FIL Come down now, I didn’t want to have the post about the strengths of the squad really which is why i left it at the bottom. And I wouldn’t want to start a feeding frenzy over the corpses of the dead wood so i left them unmentioned.

    As Rockster shows it can be interpreted many different ways, actually Rocky i agree with much of your list today, that goes to show how subjective we as football fans can be I suppose 😀

  142. Gooner In Exile says:

    Big pinch of salt from young Rohan as he was talking to Hawksby the Spud 😀

  143. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    It must be an oversight that I haven`t seen your name on the Cuckoo Club Register, I shall rectify It. 😯

  144. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I know GiE and the other one`s a Chav, Thats why I usually refer to It as “the Chav and Spud show” ! 🙂

  145. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking write up GiE.

    Merts is in the top quality box for me. It was Wonderman that really pointed me towards to what a great footballer he was. This was at a time when I felt he was playing teamm mates into trouble with delayed and risky passes.

    In time it became clear that he wants every pass out of defence to be the impetus for an attack, and I guess the understanding with those around him has improved as well.

    He really is a class act. Ok he’s not quick by any measure…but what a quality footballer. So composed and well balanced for such a tall player. Love him.

  146. SharkeySure says:

    Yeah stick him on GLIC.

    He’s prob a candidate for Honorary Chairman !!

  147. RockyLives says:

    Well said Sharkster
    I can’t believe that big Per is still routinely referred to as a dud on certain other sites.

  148. SharkeySure says:

    Aaah cuckoo club..lol

    Man walks into pub on Blackstock Rd – “Cuckoo cuckoo”..??!!

    Its Monday lunchtime.

    Oh dear

  149. dandan says:

    Firstly may I thank all you Regular AA’s for your kind wishes regarding my wife, she is still pretty poorly, but the morphine has the pain under some kind of control and we seem to be making progress. Seeing her carried out the front door last week with all the blue lights flashing outside was a pretty sobering experience.
    But never the less during my absence the football world has kept turning and our heroes have to my great delight, up and shoved seven good ones in the Emirates onion bag. Of course a chorus of it was only Blackburn will no doubt run round White Hart Lane tomorrow, well that’s as maybe, but I remember GG saying 11 dustbins can make life difficult just by getting in the way and chances have to be taken. Evidently we made as many chances against Bolton but were unable to profit from them.
    Football can indeed be cruel to those who love her and week on week throughout the season, sport with their emotions, dragging them from high to low and all stages in between.
    Arsenal fans have over the years been shamefully spoiled of course, with more than a fair share of trophies coming their way, including doubles and unbelievably the invincible’s but still we lust for more and some indeed view the fact that we may not make the top four as some kind of disaster.
    Luckily bloggers of the quality of TA and GIE have over the last two days brought a sense of perspective to the argument and AA has as usual presented an optimistic face to the traumas that are the bane of a football fans life. Thereby underlining and promoting the fact that we support a club that has sound prospects, Quality young players coming through and the likelihood that once this season is through.
    We face a new season with new Fifa rules, a fully fit squad (With the exception of poor Frimpong) and the very real chance, that we are about to enter a new era of Arsenal dominance.

  150. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I must admit , I do like FIL`s name, It gives me a good chuckle ! 😆

  151. SharkeySure says:

    I know Elvis…its mad isn’t it.

    Yet they are prob still raving about Cahill.

    They nothing about football or the importance of having ball playing CB’s for a side like Arsenal.

    I think there was an article here (or Arsenal Untold?) that highlighted how our fortunes changed one year when we lost (I think) Gallas and Kolo from CB, ie two players with good feet. Our attacking play really suffered.

  152. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I hope that little light at the end of the tunnel becomes such a blazing brightness that you`ll need some “shades” ! 🙂

  153. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Sharkster , Wasn`t you walking upto a mirror on Monday ? 🙂

  154. SharkeySure says:

    GLIC – I happen to know (don’t ask how or why) that its a name first given ‘life’ by the one and only Red Arse.

  155. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    An anagram of “another site” is Leg Over ! 😉

  156. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I had a feeling It was another of his pseudonyn`s, and he`s already in the Cuckoo Club. It`s ok, more members !. 🙂

  157. VCC says:

    The anagram of another site is “The arse on it”
    Red Arse should know all about that.

  158. SharkeySure says:

    Thats fantastic news DanDan. Onwards and upwards 🙂

  159. SharkeySure says:

    Mirror Monday..?? To check if I really did look like a hot monkey bitch..??

    I’m stll not happy with CorkyElvis about that !! ;-(

  160. VCC says:

    This one ain’t bad GLiC

  161. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    That got to be Terry with his telescope, he had no control of It ! 🙂

    I`m getting confused, That FIL`s gravvy avvy thing is the same as your`s, You are now a member of the Cuckoo Club hence with ! 😯 ( Secret Cuckoo stare )

  162. RockyLives says:

    Glad to hear of Mrs Dandan’s improvement.

  163. SharkeySure says:

    FIL’s not Red Arse….but if I tell you anymore I might have to kill you.

    Honestly Ive said too much already. Just pretend like you never saw me today.

    Whaddya mean you don’t actually have to pretend..??

  164. SharkeySure says:

    Gravvy avvy same as mine..?? Lol..

    I’m admitting nothing.

    I know nothing

  165. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Dont worry Frothing Shark, as long as you can do the secret Cuckoo stare 😯 no one will know and It will be our (club members) secret as It Is invisible to normal AAers ! 😯

  166. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC 🙂 don’t you just wanna rub off those patches of sand?!

    DanDan, good to hear your wife is getting a bit better and thanks for your upbeat assessment on Arsenal’s position in your last comment. Hope your wife will fully recover soon. I am sure with your care she is in the best possible hands. Looking forward to your next, nostalgia-rich post, whenever you are ready for it of course!

  167. VCC says:

    TA 🙂 you bet ya.

  168. TotalArsenal says:

    VVC what happened to your ‘shoulder’ tattoo? And how is your wife doing at the moment?

  169. VCC says:

    DanDan my prayers will be with you and your family tonight.

  170. VCC says:

    TA…..9:55 I tried to be a smart arse and join GLiC’s cuckoo club anonymously, lol. (don’t tell him, I will keep trying) It back fired a little.

    Thanks for asking about my wife. She has had the all clear from the MRI scan results. We are having a one night stay away (friday 10th, have to get back for the Arsenal game) to celebrate the good news.
    Still not clear what occurred, but waiting for more investigative work to be done.

  171. TotalArsenal says:

    Great news VCC and have a good day out tomorrow.

    Hope to meet up with you again soon for another game!

  172. SharkeySure says:

    Best wishes to Mrs VCC…..

    And we all take our football so seriously. Lol??

    Night all

  173. VCC says:

    Cheers TA. Really nice of you.
    So excited about our future after seeing some positive performances from our back up boys recently. Arsene Wenger will have a nice dilemma soon. The jig saw is coming to fruition. Have backed the boys for an away win on Saturday. Booked my seat at the local already.
    As TMHT says, we are looking good for next season.
    I enjoy this site, and you guys so much, looking forward to meeting up again in the not too distant future.
    AA has so many diverse bloggers, its compelling reading.
    Here’s to an Arsenal win on Saturday.

  174. VCC says:

    Nite Nite Sharkey, and many thanks for the best wishes.

  175. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, am feeling positive about the game on Saturday as well. Now that we have some of our injured players back, and with Sunderland’s recent resurgence, I feel this is a real ‘barometer’ game: a real test for where we are with this squad. If we win, and perform well, it should be seen as a bit progress again. And then it is the San Siro… 🙂

  176. Jamie says:

    GIE – I like your breakdown of the squad very much and agree entirely with it.

    I would like to see us boost with three players.

    I watch a lot of games around Europe and there are some really good players that don’t envolve breaking the bank. Three good quality players. 10m – 12m buys coukd make all the difference to this team

  177. TotalArsenal says:

    ‘Just received a text message: Harry Redknapp has said that he thinks he can handle the Euros – as long as they’re unmarked and untraceable’ 🙂

  178. VCC says:

    TA, I have several bets on my Ladbrokes slip. Most include an away win for Arsenal. The way we have played recently I am so confident we will win this game, regardless of the Martin O’Neill factor for them. He will want to attack us at home, which will play right into our hands. Whether we play both Walcott and the Ox , or start with only one and bring the other on at the 60-70 mark stage. I like the look of Coq and Ox, they have played with a swagger and confidence that we need right now. As you say, with the return to fitness of some players = we are cooking with gas.
    i just hope this current squad (and Manager) can stay together and push onto the next level (2012-2013) together. If this is the case, then we are in for some serious arse kicking.
    What a joy to be a Gooner.

  179. TotalArsenal says:

    So true VCC!

    Off to bed now, night night!

  180. VCC says:

    Good night TA.
    Nice chatting with you, as always.

  181. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great news about your wife. Well done for taking her away to celebrate, and to being back in time for the game!

    One day, a man came home and was greeted by his wife dressed in a very Sexy nightie. ‘Tie me up,’ she purred, ‘and you can do anything you want.’ So he tied her up and went to The Arsenal.

    One for the Ladies:

    A woman came home, screeching her car into the driveway, and ran into the house. She slammed the door and shouted at the top of her lungs, ‘Honey, pack your bags. I won the lottery!’
    The husband said, ‘Oh my God! What should I pack, beach stuff or mountain stuff?’ ‘Doesn’t matter,’ she said. ‘Just get out.’

  182. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Friday on my mind

  183. evonne says:

    Morning all
    I am praying the game is not called off tomorrow – North London is snowed under and I suspect North UK is even worse. Can we please have some sunshine?

    Dandan – can you please tell Ania that I have just come back from Krakow and the city is beautiful. Lots of money has been spent on renovating and it is showing – awesome. Sadly, people have not changed much, prejudices and ignorance are shocking

    VCC and Dandan – bestest wishes for both Mrss xx

    TA – I like the joke about dirty Arry handling Euro 🙂

  184. evonne says:

    Legs – don’t you think our GM looks like Bowie?

  185. Gooner In Exile says:

    VCC and DanDan as others have said thoughts are with you both.

    How many other blogs would people share their personal lives so freely, it’s what in my opinion makes this place extra special.

    VCC you are so right about the swagger that both those young men play with. Comfortable on the ball, not just head up but more importantly chest up players.

  186. evonne says:

    GiE – who are they, Ox and Coq?

  187. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No, just supremely smug from the pic he posted on here yesterday 🙂

  188. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne yes them two plus Jack.

    Micky 😀

  189. chas says:

    Fun, fun, fun, mmmmmmmmmm, partying.

  190. VCC says:

    Cheers guys for all your well wishes.

    GIE …Your so right, this site is so special, feels almost like an extended family. I had the pleasure of meeting up with a few at the QPR game recently, all great people. So welcoming and warm and with intellect too Its a complement to the admins on here who run a fantastic site.AA is the first on my favourites list. I have tried many others but keep coming back, cream always rises to the top. The wit on here is fantastic, I have to have my daily fix on AA. Will be taking the iPad on our one day’er and have a sneaky check as er in doors gets ready in the shower (lol).

    DanDan, thinking of you.

  191. Big Raddy says:

    Friday is my day of rest (apart from AA!) Hence …..

  192. Morning all

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