Has Arsène Finally Found The All-Conquering Formula?

Youth + Wenger-Gems + Established Quality Players =

The All-Conquering Formula! (But we need to hold on to our players….).

We at the Academy, feel that Arsene could have given some of the kids a chance and maybe put them on the bench and given them a run-out, especially in games where you’re winning 3-0, but I also understand he has to get results and he’s super-cautious.

Liam Brady – Head of Youth Development at Arsenal (at some time back in 2003, maybe earlier).

Recently, I have been reading ‘The Glorious Game: Extra Time’, by Alex Fynn and Kevin Whitcher in order to relive the early years of Arsene Wenger once more. The above quote by Brady made me realise again how different Arsene’s approach had been regarding creating, building and choosing his squad as well as his first team, back in the first half of his managerial time at Arsenal.

Nowadays, Arsene gets regularly criticised for putting his faith far too much in young players, for not dumping underperforming youngsters (quickly enough), and for not buying enough experienced, top-quality players. But back then it was quite the opposite, as young talents where given very few opportunities to break through into the core squad:

“The immediate future was shaped not by the produce of the Academy, but the manager’s activity in the transfer market. On one level, this predilection for experience was perverse as Arsene Wenger had been instrumental in the development of the Academy.” Fynn, Whitcher.

There is a strong belief among fellow Gooners that Arsene’s decision to start building his teams for a large part with the outputs of the Youth Academy from the mid-Noughties, was born out of necessity. The build of the new stadium meant there was very little money available for Arsene to buy the calibre of players he was able to afford before, and so he was left with no other option than to reap the harvest of Liam Brady and co’s hard labour at the Youth Academy, in order to somehow compete with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and a few others, whilst the financial impact of building the new stadium was being smoothed out.

Although I believe there is a considerable amount of truth in that view, I am also convinced that Wenger always wanted to build his team bottom upwards: manned by the best outputs from the Youth Academy and build around a philosophy/style of football that is quintessentially Arsenal – a variant of total football, based on a Wengeresque interpretation.

Wenger wants to build something at the club with longevity, with strong roots: a system based around a philosophy that will remain the foundation for future successful teams, for decades or more to come – perhaps comparable with other former great Frenchmen like Louis XIV and Francois Mitterand who had a similar desire to leave something behind for perpetuity – in their cases, through great building schemes: ‘Les Grands Projets’ as Mitterand liked to call them.

The Youth Academy has produced some very fine outputs in the last decade or so. For good order, I must state that I consider any player who joined Arsenal before the age of 21 as a product of our Youth Academy/Policy, whether it is Wilshere who was at Arsenal from a very young age, or Walcott, Ramsey, the Ox, or even Van Persie, who all joined Arsenal at a later age. The key principle is that Arsenal is always looking for players who can (still) be moulded into players who will fit very well within the Arsenal system/philosophy of football and subsequently become top class players.

Whether Arsene had no other option than to build his recent teams around our best talents, or whether he would have done it anyway, what we can say is that Arsenal is now starting to see the benefits of investing in the Youth Academy/Policy.

Despite Arsenal having had to sell/let go, for various reasons, the likes of Adebayor, Flamini, Nasri, Clichy, Fabregas, etc recently – an unprecedented loss of talent by a English top club in such a short period of time – the current core team still shows a strong representation of Youth Academy/Policy outputs: Szczesny, Song, Theo, Van Persie, Wilshere are all first team players now, whilst the likes of Gibbs, Ramsey, Coquelin, Jenkinson, Miquel and the Ox played a considerable number of games in the first team already, and are likely to become regular first-team starters in due course.

And there is more talent in the pipeline!

On top of the successes of our Youth Academy/Policy comes Wenger’s ability to buy a rare, and yet very affordable, gem. The so-called Wenger-gems are one of the main reasons Arsenal has been so successful since the arrival of le Professeur. Even in recent times, Arsene has been able to add a number of gems: Koscielny, Sagna, Vermaelen, and Santos come to mind, and he will always be able to find them. That is not to say he never gets it wrong, but that goes for every manager.

For me, the combination of a qualitatively strong output of our Youth Acadamy/Policy and Arsene’s ability to find very good players that nobody else seems to detect, is already a strong formula for success in the near future.

It is absolutely paramount though that Arsenal hold on to their best players as much as possible, and recent comments by Gazidis to review the pay-structure/policy in order to accommodate a number of players on high/competitive salaries, would make a big difference imho.

On top of the two above mentioned pillars for sustained success, Arsene seems now able to buy a number of experienced, quality players who might not provide the club with a substantial future sales value, but do add real and immediate value to the team. There has been a change in policy since last summer as, with the exception of Arshavin, Arsene has not been buying established, fully matured (26+ years old), quality players, for years now. You could argue that he seldom or never bought such players in the first place.

But, we have all seen the difference Arteta, and to slightly lesser extent, Mertesacker have made to our team this season, and it seems Wenger will continue down this line, as per the purchase of Podolski a few months ago. It looks like Arsenal continue to be in the market for one or two more established-quality players this summer, and there is a good chance that we will be able to continue this policy for years to come.

So here you have it:

Youth + Wenger-Gems + Established Quality Players = The All-Conquering Formula.

It is also the only acceptable panacea against the deadly poison of petro-dollars being pumped limitlessly into the game by you know who.

It is very hard, and it takes a long time, to replicate what Arsenal have set up with our Youth Academy, and it is also very difficult for our competitors to find a manager who can find affordable, yet very talented gems, like Arsene does. This sets us apart and very soon we will be able to reap the rewards we all have been longing for.

Once this formula starts working properly, it will be very hard for our competitors to catch up with Arsenal again in a fair and proper way.

Manchester United will probably be there with us for the foreseeable future, although it remains to be seen how AF will be able to cope with a reduced budget and stiff competition. The likes of Chelsea and Man City will do everything to stay ahead of us through shameless and limitless financial doping, but Arsenal will be a force to reckon with as a result of its All-Conquering Formula coming to full fruition.

The biggest challenge Arsene and Gazidis face now is convincing the likes of Theo, Song and RvP that the future is blindingly bright at Arsenal, and to get them to sign new contracts.

Let’s see what will happen during this summer and beyond, but there is every reason to be very positive about both our immediate and long-term futures.


(With a big thanks to TMHT who, with his well-reasoned and never flailing belief in a bright future for Arsenal, has inspired me to write this post!).

And the truly great thing is that most, if not all, of the above players are likely to get better every year, and that so for the foreseeable future.


283 Responses to Has Arsène Finally Found The All-Conquering Formula?

  1. […] Has Arsène Finally Found The All-Conquering Formula? […]

  2. Scott says:

    Great post.
    Of course there is plenty to look forward to,if people are willing to open their eyes.

  3. oz gunner says:

    brilliant TA, I’m in agreeance with every word of it! It really is the perfect mix, and there is no better way to fast track a youngster then to stick him around experienced players.

    Youth + Wenger-Gems + Established Quality Players = The All-Conquering Formula + Trophies!!!!

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rasp, Peaches, please can you edit the post by putting the last paragraph:

    “And the truly great thing is that most, if not all, of the above players are likely to get better every year, and that so for the foreseeable future.”

    below the last picture (Gibbs, Ox, Jenk)

    Many thanks!

  5. Bojangles says:

    Erm, it’s what Barcelona have been doing for years. There’s no Wenger magic formula here. Sure, we have less money to spend, but we’re not such paupers that we couldn’t have afforded to strengthen some obvious weaknesses over the last few years for sure.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    You guys from OZ are very quick to respond! 🙂

    What’s the time in your area(s)?

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Bojangles,

    Fair point but then Barcelona did not have to build a new stadium in the last decade, and were able to more or less buy who they wanted.

    Re strengthening weaknesses, I agree to some extent, and I feel that we have now moved into a new era (the third component of the ‘formula’).

  8. henrychan - indonesia says:

    TA.. How can we confince RvP to stay.. if we buy two new strikers already and still go for Lewandoski and Burak Yilmaz..???

    If we want RvP to stay.. Make sure that Walcott and Song is also stay.. If we can’t make walcott stay than bring Affalley and Dempsey.. That’s enough..

    Not every good striker can fit in EPL.. What we need is an EPL proven.. I prefer Kalou or Hoilett for free.. than any striker from other league..
    Look what happen to Gervinho.. (Chamakh and maybe Park also..)
    Even Benayoun and Vermaelen skors more than all of them..

    I agree that we must give our youngster more chances..
    They look okay.. And they just need time to play..
    Look what happen to AOC.. He become stronger day by day..
    He will be our new AM.. more than a winger..

    Go Gunners..

  9. Bojangles says:

    Hi TA,
    Your point is also valid but doesn’t detract from mine as I acknowledged that we had less to spend anyway. It’s the decisions around choosing not to buy certain players for just a million here or there that have potentially cost us the likes of Phil Jones, Smalling,Gary Cahill and some others I can mention … and all were at prices that were within our budgets. Not saying we should have bought them all of course, but part of me can;t help thinking we took this financial tightening thing too far at times. We were hardly going to break the bank or go bust with some of these, but we dallied too much. Now yes, by the sounds of it, after POdolski and Giroud looking imminent, we’re moving in the right direction.

  10. Alata 1 says:

    It’s tru if RVP & song & thio sain a new contract @ arsenal + the podoski & giraud & tow mor player 2o come i belive arsenal will win dobel nex year.

  11. Slimgingergooner says:

    Fergie did exactly the same with his all conquering team of Giggs, Becks, Scholes, Butt, Neville’s etc. it is the perfect way to build a team due to the fact the core players will have all played together for 5/10 years before hitting the first team and therefore will not only understand the tactics, but also the values of the club. Most of them will feel loyalty towards the club too (unless your Spanish!), making them the perfect, low cost players. Add to them the correct experienced superstars and you can create a world class team.

    Wengers downfall has been 2 fold, firstly, it’s very rare that you come across a bunch of youngsters of top quality all maturing at the same time. I think with the likes of Ox, Szscesny, Gibbs, Wilshire and Jenkinson, this is arguably the best group we have had in a long while.

    Secondly, he hasn’t had the money to bring in the class of experienced player needed to take the group to the next level. Too mamy of the likes of Hleb, Gallas, Almunia, Arshavin, Rosicky, Squillaci, Chamakh etc have mis-fired and not been good enough. This cannot be an excuse for much longer though as Wenger should now have sufficient funds to dominate the transfer market outside of the mega rich. If players like Podolski, Giroud, M’Vila, Vertonghen etc are available to those not fortunate enough to have a sugar daddy, then a considerable force can still be made if the right blend of youth and experience is put together.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Henry, are you looking fwd to Oranje v Deutschland tonight?! Stupid question hehehe 🙂

    Can you tell us a bit more about Burak Yilmaz (you have an eye for quality players).

    Bojangles, all agreed. 🙂

    It really looks Arsene/al have made a conscious decision to buy some experienced players who can add to the team straight away. Kroenke must obviously be happy with the thought that these players (Arteta, Mertesacker, Podolski) will probably not have much sale-on value at the end of their contracts.

    May I ask where you are based?

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Slim,

    How is life treating you? I seem to remember you are getting married this year – is that correct?

    I agree with most of what you say. Our youth academy/policy costs a lot of money, especially in wages, so I don’t think we can call the players who come through as ‘low cost players’.


    Brilliant article TA. Been honest i am hughly flattered and slightly embaressed that suck a knowledgable football person as yourself would quote me as an inspiration for your article.

    On the points you make TA, i couldnt agree with you more. As you say, the youth policy was not just enforced on us, its also a matter of choice. A nice combination of Wenger gems and a functioning conveyor belt of youth will see Arsenal emerge as a genuine title contender in the next few years. With Wenger at the helm, and a management and Board courages enough to stick to its principles we will soon reap the benefits which i believe will take the Club to the very top.


    Such, not suck. hahahaha

  16. Bojangles says:

    I’m based in London.
    Agree with what you say re Kroenke’s take on the re-sale value. Seems we’re going to be less hell-bent of making a profit trading players every season as has been the case in thelean years.

  17. djtarranafc says:

    couldn’t agree more, people fail to realize we are almost debt free and able to negotiate new sponsor contracts,

    i feel once we have paid for the stadium and the revenue generated for that goes into the club and not debt added with the new sponsor contracts on par with utds etc we will also have some money to compete for the experience or talented youth, and it will also guarantee our future is in our hands and not the debt collector or sugar daddy who could get bored of his play thing.

    The Futures Bright, The Futures Red and White

  18. henrychan - indonesia says:

    TA.. Of course I do.. hehehe..

    Even here in Indonesia, the game play at two o’clock early in the morning.. Half of Indonesian people (and that means 130 million.. another half are children and women who not really like football.. hehehe..) will certainly watch this games.. cause Holland and Germany are two team that had the biggest fans in Indonesia..
    And I hate to say that Holland is in danger.. Draw tonight will send them out.. Win or leave.. And I hope Oranje win..

    I think they will if Robben and Huntelaar rest a while, and Narsingh and Luuk De Jong play..
    The new and fresh player will make Germany shock..
    The both are awsome also.. just like Jetro Willems did..
    Robben is very selfish player (as you said).. with Huntelaar, many germany have known very well their style..

    Yilmaz is awsome strikers.. One of the best.. And rumours said that he interest to Arsenal move.. But again too many strikers already..
    We need more midfielders.. That’s our main problem..
    But if RvP really gone.. than we must bring at least two to replace him.. One Girroud is not enough..

    By the way.. is M’Villa really an Arsenal already..???

  19. glic says:

    As I was reading this post I was thinking , ” Is ArisTotal transforming into Stavros, an AriStavros ” and there at the end, you supply your inspiration. Great post, you both are an inspiration to me, helping ( guiding ) me to see our Arsenal in a much clearer and optimistic light, as before I came on this site, the light at the end of the tunnel was not so visible, Thank you guys.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry, the embarrassment is mutual! 🙂

    Your ghost story inspired a lot of AA ghost stories last night. I am amazed how many people have had an encounter with a ghost, or something similar.

    I am not a sceptic, neither have I ever encountered a ghost or do I want to do so. Just looking Adrian Chiles is scary enough for me!

    Well said, djt!

    Bojangles, is your name a reference to the former tap dancer, the film, or the food franchise, or something else?! (just curious).

  21. glic says:

    Haven`t seen any ghosts or ghoulies either but having a Zombie-in- Law living next door is scary enough !.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Zombie-in-law! 😆 You are by far the funniest Gooner on AA, GLiC!

  23. evonne says:

    TA – excellent post, thank you very much. I am going to read it again later, it is so good

  24. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Frankly, I think I’ve picked a very good day to end my unintended hiatus. We are approaching the near perfect blend, and for me our final jigsaw piece is as per Mickeys excellent Sunday post…a real leader. The sort of leader who can be seen cajoling and encouraging his team mates. More than that he should be the one screaming at team mates to do better when the going gets tough.

    I’m torn between the tales of Arsene not allowing ‘aggressive communication’, and the stark reality that you just couldn’t win all that he has done by fostering a crèche like atmosphere.

    Ps. Fantasic Polska – Russki game last night. Thoroughly enjoyed it from the first minute to the last.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow, Henry, I didn’t realise football was that popular in Indonesia! I think Van Marwijk will stick with the same formation upfront. The likes of RvP and Robben will have had a few very bad days since the last game, and the trainer must give them an opportunity to put things right. However, if after 60 minutes they have not produced, new blood has to come on. You can be assured that Holland will be super motivated tonight and give their all.

    As far as I know, Mvilla has not been signed and if you ask me it will not happen, but that’s only a gut-feeling.

    I will check Yilmaz out, thanks. 🙂

  26. oz gunner says:

    Comes out over here at 430 in the arvo. During exams I refresh the screen about 50 times between 4.30 and 4.31 hanging out for the new post! The perfect break.

    And a TA masterpiece…great break!

    @ Bojangles

    ‘Phil Jones, Smalling,Gary Cahill’

    I’m glad we did on situations like that because In fairness would you really take any of these players over kozza, verm or the BFG?

    But you are correct, i mean 1 million more and we would of had alonso!

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Evonne, Sharkey 🙂

    Good to see you back Sharkster. Your point re Leadership is interesting. I thought RvP has been a perfect leader this season – team leadership that is.

    On top of that, we need area-leadership and I feel we have plenty of that at the back; Szczesny, the Mert, Sagna, TV and Koscielny are all good at taking responsibility and the game by the scruff of the neck. In midfield, we could do with a bit more extrovert leadership but I feel that both Arteta and Song can develop this and maybe this is the area in which we could do with a senior, very experienced addition for one or two season (our mate Seedorf would be perfect imo). The addition of JW will help tremendously and Ramsey will undoubtedly continue his delayed development.

    Upfront, we have RvP and by the looks of it Podolski is a real character, who will bring a lot of additional leadership to the team. I am also hoping Gervinho will come loose a bit and Theo will continue his development as a dominating winger.

  28. Scott says:

    TA,it’s 8.44 pm atm here in Oz,and all is well.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, sorry to be a bit stupid about this, but is it already Thursday where you live (I should really google this, but am too lazy)?

  30. henrychan - indonesia says:

    TA.. yeah.. Football is the most popular sports..
    Altough we had a very bad history in football.. not like Badminton or heavy lifting that had give us medals in Olympic.. but still football is the # one..

    And you know.. we never pay any single peny for that..
    Our TV shows have his own sponsors and we just watch all for free.. And that do the same also with all league.. England, Germany, Spain, Italy all for free.. Lucky us..

    I’m afraid so.. Van Marwijk will play the same players.. But Van Bombel can’t play can he? That make VDV go to first place..
    RvP must play instead of huntelaar..
    Just hope Robben will be more cooperative this time..

    Will see want happen soon..

  31. oz gunner says:

    You take some alka-seltzer for that gut feeling TA because he is as good as ours!


    TA, yes, that ghost story took a life of its own. dandans story was brilliant. Its a good day to talk about football, so i will leave the tale about “The night i was abducted by Aliens” for another time. hahahaha

  33. oz gunner says:

    haha nah TA still Wedsday, we are 7hrs ahead of you, and then 8hrs during day light sayings. Scott is further because he would be on the east coast.

    Bang on with the leadership, that’s why i like the idea of a leadership group (a few vice captains) as opposed to just leaving it all for the captain. That way at training different huddles can form based on position to air any problems or to give pointers ect. Brings more team unity into as well

  34. Hi all, can’t stop but if any of you guys renewed your memberships on line in the last few weeks I’d check your statments – my membership fees went out 3 times by mistake and one is not best pleased.

    Perhaps they are extracting more cash from us to cough up for Robins new improved deal ?

  35. Scott says:

    Central coast of NSW Oz,where are you??

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, thanks for clarifying that – I feel utterly stupid now 😳

    Re, MVilla – you might well be right!

    Terry, whatever next hahaha! 🙂

  37. GunnerN5 says:



    Police in Highbury have discovered a bomb outside a mosque.

    They’ve told the public not to panic as they have managed to push it inside.
    Hope this does not offend anybody.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    How sad is this?


    I just read that a dwarf in London got pick pocketed.

    How could anybody stoop so low?

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    I have this mate who is really suicidal.
    He was really depressed. So I pushed him under a steam train.
    I thought he would be chuffed – but all he did was huff and puff.

  40. Scott says:

    I had a mate that’s a Spuds fan….nothing funnier than that!!!!

  41. Scott says:

    Actually,he’s an associate!!!

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Henry, I knew about badminton being very popular in Indonesia. The thing with Robben is he will score eventually (he has an 0.33 goal per game career average) but it is difficult to decide between taking a chance yourself – for which he needs a strong ego – or passing to another, better-positioned player. Hopefully he gets it right tonight!

    Van Bommel is very important tonight as he will battle it out against the likes of Ozil, Kadhira and Schweinsteiger with his mates De Jong and Sneijder: this is promising to be a phenomenal battle tonight. Cannot wait! 🙂

  43. Alien Gooner says:

    One day I will tell you about the night I was abducted by a spurs fan and tortured by tales of 1961 .Like him I often have flashbacks, it`s as clear as black and white !.

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    GLiC 😀

  45. GunnerN5 says:

    Two Asian heroin addicts have injected themselves with curry powder by mistake – both are in intensive care…
    One has a dodgy tikka and the other one is in a korma.

  46. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all, fine post TA, oozing your usual heartfelt optimism 😛

    On an associated point, I was alarmed but not surprised to read this quote from Cesc regarding his transition from Arsenal to Barca…..

    ……. “I went from playing with complete freedom of movement to Barcelona where the game is more positional,”

    ‘complete freedom of movement’ …… yep, that’d be about right, no-one really knowing their job in midfield.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rasp 🙂

    Did Cesc mean this to be a negative comment, or merely an observation. Do you know the context?

    I guess when you have somebody like Messi in a team the ‘free role’ will go to him.

  48. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    TA – Robin has been a very good leader, but I’m not convinced he has been a great one*. As a kindly captain he’s great and keeps the team together and genuinely shares out the credit for his goals/great season. On the getting players to pull their socks up, I don’t think he was so noticeable.

    Maybe I needed to get to more games and keep a closer eye on him..??

    Anyone convinced that Giroud is almost ours..??

    * I do lean a bit towards the no forwards as captains rule.

  49. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    “‘complete freedom of movement’ …… yep, that’d be about right, no-one really knowing their job in midfield.”

    I completely disagree on that point. As a playmaker you are free to roam around the front man and on either wing…ie find space and use it to good effect.

    The other two of the MF 3 have greater constraints placed upon them.

    Song, Wilshere, Cesc…provided a great platform for a talent as gifted as Fabregas, and I’d be very surprsed if anyone really thought that MF3 didn’t understand their roles completely.

  50. Scott says:

    Vermaelen would be a sensational skipper,I reckon.

  51. oz gunner says:

    @ Scott

    West Oz.

    @ GLIC

    that is a fate worse than death! Especially when you were starkers itching for the probe to get under way haha

  52. Rasp says:

    Hi Sharkey, well what other reason can you give for the frequent malfunction of our midfield – always intensified when Arteta was absent. A degree of positional discipline works for Barca and they have the players that have the quality to roam, we were disorganised in midfield at times last season.


    Sharkey, exactly right.


    Rasp, thats true but isnt this more a question of balance rather than players having total freedom?

  55. Rasp says:

    I have/had no problem with Cesc being given the free role, that makes perfect sense for our set-up, but it does rely on the other midfielders being disciplined and covering a lot of ground.

  56. oz gunner says:

    @ Sharkespeare

    sure am sharkespeare, signed up as my striker in January when Micky and I went hunting.

    My two strikers of pod and giroud with RVP as an attacking midfielder has come true!
    Chuck in Schweinsteiger to partner Jack in midfield and I’m three for three. If only my abilities extended to lotto numbers instead of useless video games!

  57. Alien Gooner says:

    Being a gooner is quite new to me, I previously supported Real Quercus from the Stepanovs Galaxy.
    One night whilst hovering around area called Bounds Green, I was fascinated by this creature wearing a red and white hat , scarf and rosette ,waving a rattle in one hand and a telescope in the other. Probing this creature was a must out of my curiosity.
    My tractor beam was playing up ( bloody bloody farmers ) and only managed to beam up a curious part of this Earthlings head ( which I now know to be a ” syrup ” ) , a lifeless piece of fur, I tried my best to revive it , but realised this symbiote needed it`s partner to co-exist.
    I eventually managed to find the screaming ouzo induced earthling at Mr Popperlopperdouses Kebab joint and re-unite the symbiotes.
    This earthling managed to change my life, scanning his tiny brain ,I was overwhealmed by the crazy optimism, loyalty, belief and possitivity of something called , “The Arse”.
    I now had to have ” The Arse “. I am now a convert (and just waiting for verification on a non- european residentcy permit ) and enjoy watching the best football in the Universe. Thank you earthling Terry.

  58. Rasp says:

    Hi TMHT, absolutely it’s a question of balance, that’s why unless there is no other option, players should not be played out of position.

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    AG@1.23: supurb! Oh how to be a ghostly Gooner…


    Your wellcome Alien Gooner. Ime glad we managed to finaly clear up what was meant by the “Arse Probe”. hahahaha

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Shakey – Like you I prefer a hairy-arsed, verbal rollocking kind of captain, but I think it would not suit Arsenal any more. RvP is your typical modern, motivational leader, but I would prefer him to play closer to the midfield, ideally in the hole-role’.

  62. Alien Gooner says:

    Total, I`ve just noticed your exquisite avartar , I suppose using the probe would be out of the question !.


    Rasp, i accept your premise about players been played out of position. For me, the loss of Cesc was a massive blow of which we are still searching for solutions. I quite like Oz’s idea of dropping RVP deeper but there is a lot of work to be done this summer for us to get past the Cesc syndrome.

  64. Alien Gooner says:

    Yes , Earthling Terry , I`m glad Greece helped !.

  65. Rasp says:

    Hi TMHT, I agree. We don’t have a top class playmaker (there are very few around and they cost a fortune). Wilshere will be immense, but we shouldn’t expect him to come back and be fantastic straight away. I do think he functions better as a deep lying MF and so the idea of RvP being the deep player in an attacking triangle is very interesting.

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    According to BBC Arsene wants to play the Pod, RvP and Giroud as a three upfront – BOOM BOOM BASTIC!!


    Sagna – Mertesacker – Koz/TV – Santos/Gibbs (not sure about LB)



    RvP———————–Giroud———————————the Pod

  67. Rasp says:

    All very well TA, but you’ve put ol chocolate leg on the right, every defender will know he’ll want to cut inside. Is Giroud 2 footed/right footed?

  68. glic says:

    If that could be our line up at the start of the season, we could be off to a flyer and the 1st home game will be a sell-out !.

  69. glic says:

    RVP dropping into the hole at times Mmmmmm, cushdie. Now we just need it to happen !.

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    or Micky’s 3-5-2:


    The Mert —————-Song——————-Koz/TV


    ——————The Pod———–Giroud——————–

    Boom Boom BASTIC!!


    Rasp, sticking to the midfield, i noted your observations on Alex Song the other day. Correct me if ime wrong, but i think you called him a very good player not a great one. If we find a solution for the more advanced midfield role and presuming Jack returns from injury, would you leave Alex out of the team? The reason i ask is that i find the “Song question” has me torn. Can we realy afford to ommit a guy that has drive, power (one of the strongest players in the league) and a good assist ratio out of the team to accomodate a midfield triangle which would probably be more positonaly disciplined and techniquely better on the ball. I have pondered this one and cant make my mind up.

  72. TotalArsenal says:


    It looks like Giroud is the ideal link-up striker and that’s why I would put him in the middle. He seems predominantly left footed, but as per video-link he can score goals with his right foot as well.

  73. oz gunner says:

    @ GLIC

    bloody hell that was hilarious, haha syrup!

    @ Rasp

    I’m pretty sure he is left because there have been a few articles saying we will have a one dimensional strike force with three left footers. However, didn’t we have 3 right footers in Henry, wiltord and kanu? We will have 2 rocket shooters with a powerhouse in the middle to pick up the scraps! Oh happy days!!!!!

  74. Rasp says:

    Hi TMHT, if we bought M’Vila and Jack and Arteta were fit, and with RvP pulling the strings up front, (so many ifs) then I wouldn’t start with Song for every game. The player we are all forgetting is Gervinho – how does he fit into the system? He may become the new ‘Chamakh’ if we’re not careful.

  75. Rasp says:

    Thanks oz and TA, we surely can’t play with 3 lefties up front – cue the Ox?

  76. Rasp says:

    Just looked at the clip, if he’s got a right foot he doesn’t use it much 😦

  77. GunnerN5 says:

    The Telegraph are normally quite conservative when reporting rumors with such vehemence, so it looks like this might well be a done deal already. It is, however, likely that both clubs are waiting for France’s next fixture—against hosts Ukraine on Friday—to get out of the way before making an announcement.

    There is the obvious subplot to this rumor—the future of Robin Van Persie—and while Arsenal seem to be insisting that Van Persie will stay, I believe they might be omitting the words “for the present.”

    Giroud is predominantly left-footed, as is Arsenal’s other new striker, Lukas Podolski. And while it is plausible that three left-footed strikers could play together, it is probably unprecedented

  78. oz gunner says:

    There is no problem Rasp, Van Persie has two (admittedly he doesn’t use the right often) but when you can score the goal like he did against spurs what can you do? Everyone knows he’s left footed but you tell that to the opposition teams he scored 30+ goals against. Giroud is more of a power header/poacher anyway. He is Chamma + Power + A shot

  79. LB says:

    Try looking at it like this: it is understandable that most people think of Arteta as being a superior player to Alex Song and I suspect that the same people would write the name of Arteta on the team sheet before they wrote the name of Song but does it follow that those same people would pick three Arteta’s and no Alex Song?

    People with very little understanding of how a midfield works might but most followers of football realise that three Artetas would make for a very weak midfield, defensively speaking.

    The importance of a balance is why people like me try and point out the defensive steel that Song brings to our midfield and the integral role he plays in enabling Arteta to flourish.

  80. jnyc says:

    WOW TA, one of the best posts ive ever seen. You captured what makes me feel that our team is special. This is why i am so optimistic about our future. An important signing here and there, among our own boys, and we are good to go. This summer is so important, we need to add some to satisfy our players that we are willing to push for trophies. ——-
    —– and im sure you are right about arsene, he wants to and will leave an amazing legacy.

  81. LB says:

    It looks like the signing of Giroud is going to happen, I find it fascinating that it is likely to go through before the deal with van Persie is complete.

    If Giroud puts pen to paper it will give the club a huge lever in the in the van Persie negotiations.

    The message will be clear: if you do not want to accept our very attractive offer Robin we can afford to loose you.

  82. Rasp says:

    Arteta played most of last season behind Song. I have never heard of the theory of a player letting another flourish by playing in front of them? Arteta allowed Song to develop his playmaker instincts – not the other way round. Arteta was the lynchpin of the midfield when Song was on the pitch. Song does not run the midfield, he’s a good strong tackler and he’s shown that he can be an effective AM.

  83. glic says:

    If we do get ” Giro ” and M`villa, I`m not too worried about Rasp`s ” Gerv = Chammy ” problem, I just see it as getting a more quality deep squad, which we are always crying out for .

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Gn5@2.10: that does make sense, although I hope it is not true.

    Hi and thanks Johnny, are you brewing on a new post at the moment?

    LB – spot on. Song and Arteta need each other – if we can keep them together then next season they will become an ever stronger duo.

  85. LB says:

    I went to every single home game last season and Song did not play ahead of Arteta he played along side him and they alternated in the same way as he played along side Wilshire in the previous season.

    That’s to say that if the play was such that Song was best positioned to go forward he would and visa versa.

    No one is saying that Song runs the midfield.

    Song is a defensive midfielder who has been forced to play a more advanced role to accommodate Wilshere last season and Arteta this season.

    Some would note that he has added sublime passes to create goal scoring opportunities this season which if my memory serves was not there last.

    Note I am not saying that “Song is so good” I am trying to point out the integral role he plays in the midfield and dispel the idea that he is undisciplined.

  86. GunnerN5 says:

    One would have thought that plans would have been made to sell our “surplus” = “superfluous” players prior to the end of the season, yet here we are close to two weeks into the transfer window and no news?

    I hope the doesn’t mean no takers.

  87. GunnerN5 says:


    Song is Good he’s just not Great – yet.

  88. LB says:


    I agree, but summing it up in one short sentence takes the wind out of my sails a bit too quickly.

  89. oz gunner says:

    @ LB 2.22

    I agree it definitely would help in negotiations. However, i hope its not a situation where RVP doesn’t want to sign but for the benefit of the club he is keeping quiet until we find replacements. Simply because if he wanted out clubs would know we need a striker therefore would hold out for more money.

  90. oz gunner says:

    Personally i think Song and Wilshere will be the duo that work best. Both will compensate each other beautifully. But hey as GLIC said let’s all take this thought of a bigger squad in for a second! We struggle injury wise and play a hell of a lot of games so a bigger squad seems bloody fantastic to me!

  91. Red Arse says:

    As per usual, O Mighty Viking, a cracking good Post. 🙂

    I raise my titfer to you! [I hope ‘titfer’ means hat — I have a sneaking suspicion my cheerful “cor blimey guv” paperboy might have set me up!] 🙂

  92. Red Arse says:

    At the moment Song is essential to the team.

    He performs a role that no one else in the squad can, especially when we come under pressure. He is young, strong, hard tackling, always gets stuck in and to add a cherry on the ice cream he lays on spectacular passes for RVP to score.

    Can’t see much wrong with that.

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA, as long as it is not titfer tat, I am happy 🙂

    Song would be my first player on the team-sheet in midfield, every time. Arteta is very good, Song is great.

  94. Rasp says:

    Song played more or less level with Arteta when we were in a defensive phase, but when we moved into a more attacking phase, Arteta allowed Song to go forward by staying back mostly.

    I do not see Song as more essential to the team than many other players RA. A lot of the time when he is impressing us with his strength, he should not have been in that position in the first place. Better to move the ball on (acurately) than to dwell and be surrounded by the opposition.

  95. Rasp says:

    TA, you and I watch completely different games from completely different perspectives 😆

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    So true Rasp, I am just happy I have met you and know what a great guy you are – it really stops me from responding with drawn daggers 😆

  97. Rasp says:

    Thanks TA, the admiration is mutual 😛

  98. glic says:

    Yes Ozzy, Quality strength in depth is what we envy of the trophy winners, once applied to us, a new era beckons !.

  99. Just to be pedantic Redders, I thought TotalA was dutch and not scandinavian/viking ? 🙂

    Really off now.

  100. Red Arse says:

    Hi Charyb, 🙂

    My reference to “Total Viking” was part artistic licence as he strikes me that way. Not literally, of course. 🙂

    It is true that the Vikings were originally from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. But their travel lust coupled with a bit of rape and pillage on the side meant they visited and conquered many tribes (celtic, pict and saxons, including those in Ireland and what is now Britain) so their genes are widespread.

    Did you know that a province of France [Normandy] was originally a celtic settlement until the Norsemen beat them up and gave their name to that province?

    I am sounding didactic again. Damn!! 🙄

  101. We all liek a bit of artistic licence Redders, my liking for AA and disliking of Diaby are not totally rational as I’ll admit.

    Anyway, really, really off now. 🙂

  102. Red Arse says:

    Djourou is saying the following on twitter;

    “I just want to deny what has been [said] in the press about my transfer.

    “It isn’t true at all. I have been at Arsenal for 10 years now and I am always committed.”

    Rasp, you misunderstood my reference to ‘essential’, because you took it out of context.

    What I said was; —- “At the moment Song is essential to the team.
    He performs a role that no one else in the squad can, especially when we come under pressure.”

    I went on to explain why I am of this opinion.

    Saying you don’t agree because, in your opinion, he is not playing it well, is fine (tho’ I disagree) — that does not argue against my base point that he is essential to the team, because no one else in the squad can play that particular role as well as him, or has his physical qualities.

    We have not met, but regardless of that, I trust my opinion can be expressed as well as any other?

  103. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Rasp 1.15. You talk about Arteta’s absences…??

    I did suspect that your comment related more to this season than Cesc’s time at the club.

  104. Rasp says:

    Hi RA, what particular role are you referring to? He wasn’t the best DM of last season IMO, he may have been the best AM. I do not see him any more essential than say Sagna, TV or SZ and I would class him as less important to the team than RvP, kozzer and Arteta.

    I’ve read my previous comment again and it’s not censorious in its tone. I never have a problem with you or anyone else expressing their opinions As many have demonstrated, agreement with my way of thinking is far from a prerequisite of being on AA …. quite the opposite as TA will attest 😆

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha RA, I can assure you there is very little Viking blood in me, although there was a time when I was desperate to look all Vikingy, as that was the best way to attract the Heavy Metal chicks. 🙂

  106. Rasp says:

    Hi sharkey, my beef is not with any player but the emphasis of our training – particularly clarity of function in the midfield. We can look magnificent part of a game and then the same set of players can fall apart when we concede a goal. They do not appear to have a ‘safe mode’ that they can revert to when things are not going our way.

  107. Red Arse says:

    Rasp, I will have one more go.

    I said; — “He performs a role that no one else in the squad can, especially when we come under pressure. He is young, strong, hard tackling, always gets stuck in and to add a cherry on the ice cream he lays on spectacular passes for RVP to score.”

    That does not preclude others in the team being essential in THEIR roles.
    RVP is a CF, Song is not; Chezzer is a GK, Song is not; Kozzer and TV are CBs, Song is not; Sagna is a right back, Song is not.
    In turn Song performs a role they and others in the squad cannot do as well as him.

    So there is no exclusivity in the description; — “He performs a role that no one else in the squad can, especially when we come under pressure. He is young, strong, hard tackling, always gets stuck in and to add a cherry on the ice cream he lays on spectacular passes for RVP to score.”

    I know I have not mentioned Arteta in the above — best not go there, as it adds nothing to what I said.

    I am sure you must be as bored of this as I am.

    If I have to keep explaining myself, I am not communicating clearly.
    If you are reading something into my comment I did not say, or intend, then neither are you.

    For both our sakes perhaps we should leave it there.

  108. glic says:

    Two stories on Sky sports.

    1) Italian striker Antonio Cassano has apologised for ` Homophobic ` comments regarding team mates. He said that,” he hoped there were no homosexual players in the squad “. It`s all ok now, they kissed and made up behind closed closet doors !.

    2) Our Park has said he will be doing his National Service, aparrantly he was dropped from the South Korea squad for trying to delay it beyond two years. I just hope we have recovered the transfer fee and wages from the shirt sales . I`ve got to say , that is the most curious signing ever imo.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Lovely post and I agree this is the way forward, particularly with FFP around the corner.

    One question …. How does the signing of 2 foreign adults affect our 25 man squad?

  110. glic says:

    Talking of Song, according to Goal.com he was attacked by some bitter young “fans” whilst returning from a training session. They accused him of being responsible for Cameroon`s 2-1 defeat to Lybya .

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Brilliant nights football ahead.

  112. Shard says:

    Big Raddy

    Last season’s squad..Do your own subtraction and additions, and note that we have to add Ramsey and Szczesny as registered over 21 players, both of whom will count as HomeGrown.

    I think we might lose as many as 7 non homegrown players from last year.. and maybe one (Mannone) or two( Djourou) from the homegeown list. So basically..Lots of room, if we can get rid of the players we want to sell.

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Raddy, that is a very good question and the best man to answer it lives in Norwich and is as big as brown bear.. 🙂

    If you shout ‘Red Army’ a few times, he might come out and give you the answer! 🙂

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Shard

  115. Red Arse says:

    Surprising news that Di Matteo has been given a 2 year contract as Chelsea manager!

  116. glic says:

    This is from arseblog news via newsnow.
    IG in far East.
    ” We have to take a stepfurther and win the PL or CL thats what our goal is. We added an important player in Poldolski and we have the return of Jack Wilshere this year, which will be a boost to the team.
    We are also talking to people in this summer`s transfer market. I think there will be something exciting for our to be happy about “.

    What do do reckon ?

  117. glic says:

    * for our fans to be happy about *

  118. evonne says:

    Raddy @ 4:54 – not so brilliant for the Danes:(

  119. Big Raddy says:

    Not enjoying watching DK being ripped asunder by an average Portugal side. We have played with no fluency or attacking intent- Eriksen has to get in the game.

  120. evonne says:

    My Nick!!!! Hey, lovely jubly, game on

  121. evonne says:

    Raddy – we? You is English!

  122. RockyLives says:


  123. Red Arse says:

    Just a brief recap of the squad rules:

    Total of 25 Squad Players;

    Maximum of 17 Non Home-grown:

    If maximum of 17 Non-Home Grown players included, then there can only be 8 Home Grown players over 21 years of age.

    If say the HGPs over 21 y.o amount to (say) 12, there can only be 13 Non-HGPs, et seq. [We are a long way from that].

    Homegrown players over 21 y.o., in 2011/12:

    Johan Djourou (?)
    Kieran Gibbs
    Vito Mannone (?)
    Alex Song
    Theo Walcott

    Non-homegrown players:

    Manuel Almunia (?)
    Andrey Arshavin (?)
    Mikel Arteta
    Yossi Benayoun (?)
    Marouane Chamakh (?)
    Abou Diaby
    Lukasz Fabianski
    Laurent Koscielny
    Per Mertesacker
    Chu Young Park (?)
    Tomas Rosicky
    Bacary Sagna
    Andre Santos
    Sebastien Squillaci (?)
    Robin van Persie
    Thomas Vermaelen

    Therefore we had a squad of 22 players + a whole bunch of under 21 HGPs.

    From what we know/suspect, Almunia, Arshavin, Benayoun, Chamakh, Chu Chu Park, and Squillaci will be leaving (?) = 6

    I cannot be arsed to work out the ages of the players who qualified as U21 last season, who might now be over 21 and will be added to the 5 current over 21s, who might be reduced by the sale of Djourou and Mannone (?).

    In any event, we can easily absorb 3 new Non-HGPs.

    AW might shock us all by keeping everybody!! 🙂

  124. RockyLives says:

    I can’t stand the cheating, diving, acting Portuguese. I hope they lose every game.

    They have some great players but cheating and feigning injury appears to be “in their DNA”.

  125. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, my man, did I see you trying to pinch my Roman ghost story, yesterday?

    I suppose we could square the circle by recognising my lot set off from Ermine Street, walking 2 feet above the current floor, and by the time they got to York, what you took as them marching 2 feet below the floor level, was because they had worn their legs down to the knee, as there was no M1 to take the strain! 🙂

    Anyway, clear off and find your own story! 🙂

  126. Big Raddy says:

    You can see Postiga spent time at Spurs. Dreadful cheat.

  127. evonne says:

    RA – slight correction – it is the other way round – there must be a minimum of 8 home grown, the rest can be either, home or foreign crop

  128. Red Arse says:

    Appalling play acting. The Eastern Europeans (some of them – not Poland, Evonne) are much the same.

    How is it they cannot see how unmanly it is to see grown men flopping around holding their ‘broken’ legs and squealing like pigs?

  129. Red Arse says:

    I am sorry to disagree, Evonne.

    If you were right, we would have been fielding an illegal squad last year with only 5 HGPs over 21 y.o in the squad.

    The Non-HGPs are set at a – ‘maximum’ – of 17, and if we chose to leave it at that, we would have a squad of 17.

    We chose a squad of 17 Non-HGPs and only 5 over 21 y.o. HGPs.

    Alternately, we could, if we chose to, have had a squad of 25 over 21 y.o. HGPs and NO Non-HGPs.

  130. evonne says:

    ha ha ha, he missed it ha ha ha

  131. evonne says:

    MY NICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  132. glic says:

    Get in Bendy, his valuation has just gone up !. 🙂

  133. GunnerN5 says:

    In a Nick of time………………….

  134. evonne says:

    RA – hm, need to ask the expert, where is GiE?

  135. Big Raddy says:

    That is a sickener….

    evonne. When England play aren’t they “we” for you? And if not, why not?

  136. 2 NIL DOWN AFTER 5 MINUTES says:

    So far the star man of this European Championships has been Arsene Wenger. Players under his tutorlige both past and present have shown there class. More evidence to have faith in our project. if we can hold the squad together and hopefuly add one or two, we will give everyone a jolly good thrashing

  137. Big Raddy says:

    Who would have thought it ….. Bendntner 2 chances, 2 goals. Ronaldo 2 easy one on ones – no goals.

  138. Rasp says:

    Red Arse @ 4:29, I haven’t got a clue what you’re getting so excited about – you appear to be having an argument with yourself … I have nothing to drop!

  139. evonne says:

    Raddy – it’s not ‘we’ for me when England play, because of JT, fat Frank, Ca$hley, Young. I cannot support them, I simply don’t want those guys to do well. Plus, I love my adoptive country, but I am only English until I open my mouth 🙂

  140. Red Arse says:

    Evonne, I agree it might be better to speak to GIE, 🙂

    This is the official Arsenal.com comment which went with their squad list for 2011/12 which I showed earlier. 5 HGPs + 17 Non-HGPs.

    — “Arsenal has submitted a 22-man squad [for 2011/12] to the Premier League in accordance with new rules which came into force last season.

    Top-flight clubs must register a squad of up to 25 players for league games, which must include no more than 17 ‘non-homegrown’ players.

    ‘Homegrown’ players are defined as those who, irrespective of nationality or age, have been affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for a period of three seasons or 36 months prior to their 21st birthday.”

    You can look that up on the Arsenal website.

    If my memory serves me well, there was a ‘phasing in’ period stipulated by UEFA, and that might account for the different interpretation. (I have not looked at the original for a couple of years).

    GIE, will, no doubt, know. 🙂

  141. Red Arse says:

    OK, Rasp, whatever.

  142. chas says:

    All hail the All-Conquering formula, TA.
    I so hope you are right. 🙂

    Personally, I’d like to see a slightly more cohesive defensive strategy, especially at crucial times in games, added to the Wengeresque commitment to playing open, attractive football. I really see this as the last element in Arsene’s footballing alchemy turning platinum into gold.

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all.
    So that result means even if Total’s mob lose, they can still qualify by beating Portugual if Denmark lose to Germany. I think.
    Great posts while I was away. Proper catch up tomorrow.
    Giroud eh? That’ll be the hard scouting work done myself and Oz 🙂

  144. evonne says:

    Micky and Oz signed Giro

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Evonne,
    He’s nothing compared to the sensation I have scouted. Off to watch an epic. I’ll reveal all in the morning.

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops, just got it Evonne. “signed giro”… durrrr 🙂

  147. evonne says:

    Micky – I try to be as funny as you, but it does not come naturally to me 😦

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Really hoping that the Dutch have had just a little “shmoke” to relax them 🙂

  149. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, stellar post TA and my first thought was “you *+#*#%+#” because I had in mind to write a similar piece albeit looking at the age mixes of PL winning teams.

    I think we are getting to that perfect mix of youth experience and quality. Especially comparing to Uniteds early title winning sides.

    Enjoyed the Portugal Denmark game, NikB showed again why I would have preferred him from the bench than what we were left with. People still forget how young he was when a lot was asked of him, it’s a shame he felt the need to burn bridges but I can’t say I blame him given treatment he has received at times.

  150. GunnerN5 says:

    Manchester, England.

    A family were all killed when a tree fell on them.
    The local council stated that they were apologetic but they had no idea the family were living in the tree.

  151. GunnerN5 says:

    Could be an interesting convesation between Podolski and Van Persie.

    Pod – Looking forward to playing along side you next season.

    VP – Well er er er.

  152. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’m not getting involved on the PL Squad rules.

    I think it’s time for me to create a definitive list that Rasp can put up as a handy widget.

  153. Gooner In Exile says:

    Is that a joke GN5? The tree one?

  154. chas says:

    Is it good for Arsenal if Robin has a stinker of a tournament and goes home early?
    I keep looking at Robin and instead of seeing an Arsenal player through and through, I’m seeing a player who might want to leave. Perhaps the last few summers have left an indelible mark.

  155. Who wants a player that plays in a team that loses to Denmark and Germany Chas?

    We’ve got Pod and NikB!

  156. glic says:

    One and a half games and I`m waiting to see what Poldolski does !. Mind you ,If he does nothing and we win games like Germany do , then fair enough !.
    Holland need to inject some manic pace to the game, time to bring on Transit Van Driver.
    Maybe they dont understand their coach`s instrutions, with all their players from either Holland, England and Germany, they need someone who is multi-lingeral in all these languages. Now wheres Steve McClaren !.

  157. chas says:

    Haha GIE.
    Robin on the wing. Interesting,

  158. GunnerN5 says:


    Obviously not a funny one……………………

  159. Big Raddy says:

    Dreadful first half from Holland. Heitinga has been trained in the School of Stepanovs

  160. Red Arse says:

    Ta will be disappointed with the first half. 😦

    A Holland goal and the game will light up. Come on you Oranges.

  161. Gooner In Exile says:

    Holland play like 11 individuals, such a shame all that quality on the pitch but no unity. They should take a leaf out of their fans books

  162. Gooner In Exile says:

    The German I’d really like to sign is Muller, for the way he wears his socks alone

  163. Red Arse says:

    There is absolutely no shape to the Dutch team, and no closing down.

    RVP very unlucky.

  164. GunnerN5 says:

    The Dutch and being “peeled” apart.

    At this rate Van Persie is not doing his transfer possibilities any good at all.

  165. Red Arse says:


    If he wears his socks alone he will get arrested.

    Different in Norfolk, Glic told me.


    Feel sorry for TA, but the Germans look realy good. Apart from Ozil, who looks like an insect.

  167. evonne says:

    Dutch are twice as old as the Germans.

  168. GunnerN5 says:


    And half as good………….

  169. Scott says:

    Is there any chance at all,if RVP leaves,that Bendtner may stay??
    Mouth and ego aside,I don’t care what anyone says,he guy can play.
    If Citeh can kiss and make up with Tevez,then it’s a pretty tame situation for us to do the same.

  170. 😀 RA my turn of phrase bites me in the arse again!


    yeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssss, the brilliance of RVP

  172. Red Arse says:

    What sort of insect TerryM. You are obviously hanging out with some very strange bugs.

    GOOOOOOOOOOal, Van Perse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  173. GunnerN5 says:

    The thing that is very noticable about the Gerrman side is that they are playing as a team with none of them are trying to be an individual star.

  174. The Chocolate Leg!!!

  175. evonne says:

    he scores when he wants !!!!
    Come on Holland!!

  176. glic says:

    RVP Yesssssssssss

  177. GunnerN5 says:

    What a shot with his standing leg.

  178. Scott i like NikB too but i fear his relationship with the fans will not be rebuilt

  179. GunnerN5 says:

    Scot, you can’t be serious?


    Redders, he looks like a Locust. i havnt seen Bug eyes like that since i was chased by a grasshopper a few years back

  181. Red Arse says:

    Funny tho, GIE. 🙂

    Personally, I like your phraseology!! 🙂

  182. Red Arse says:

    Ghostly one, Terry? Or just a Greek eating one? 🙂


    not sure Redders, damn ugly …..still better looking than Ozil though hahahaha

  184. glic says:

    Has the Pod made a forward pass or took someone on ? . I`m already lookiing to swap him for Lahm !.

  185. glic says:

    Did you bin yourself Raddy ? 🙂

  186. GunnerN5 says:


    He’s saving his strength for us…………..

  187. Scott says:

    Why not N5??
    Do not pretend for one second that fans wouldn’t love him if he came back and scored goals.
    He’s always performed when played the right way.
    If RVP stays and we get Giroud,we don’t need him though.

  188. Scott says:

    Theyre taking Holland on straight up the middle and succeeding.

  189. GunnerN5 says:


    The “right way” is where the manager wants him to play, he’s been on loan because he couldn’y play the “right way”

  190. goonermichael says:

    Twitchy has left the spuds apparently

  191. goonermichael says:

    He’s been sacked

  192. GunnerN5 says:


    Did he get a sack of Spuds as a severance?

  193. Red Arse says:

    Where did you hear that GM?

    BTW are you Michael the Gooner on twitter? 🙂

  194. glic says:

    It`s not his strength I`m worried about !.
    I`d like to see some skill or something !.
    Not impressed so far !. 😦

  195. goonermichael says:

    It’s all over twitter
    I’m @goonermichael RA

  196. Can’t be Michael the Gooner, he doesn’t use Peaches Mum Banned Words 😀

    So Holland beat Portugal 3-0, Germany beat Denmark, Holland still go through right?

    Its not over for the Oranje yet TA 😀

  197. GunnerN5 says:


    One game does not make a player ?

  198. Red Arse says:

    I’ll have to follow you GM, when I get a chance.

  199. goonermichael says:
  200. Scott says:

    N5,that would be presuming I rate the guy on one game which is crap!!

  201. glic says:

    Thats 2 games now GN5 🙂

  202. GunnerN5 says:

    I can’t find anything on the internet about Arry’s sacking.

  203. Red Arse says:


    From memory.

    Germany beat Denmark 1:0 = DM goal difference 3 – 4

    Holland beat Portugal 2:0 = Holland 3 – 3, Portugal = 3 – 5

    Or have I got my scores wrong? 🙂

  204. Big Raddy says:

    Huntelaar was very poor and reminded me of why we let Nik go to Sunderland. First time control is not good enough.

    Germany much the better team and deserved the win (sadly).

    Crap evening for BR with both his teams losing

  205. Red Arse says:

    It’s not all over yet Raddy.

    Apart from Holland getting thru as above, it is possible that Denmark could beat a relaxed Germany. Footie is funny that way.

  206. Red Arse says:

    Sky Sports is reporting ‘Arry has gone.

  207. LB says:

    Can someone explain what exactly Podolski does?

  208. glic says:

    I`ve not seen anything anywhere about `arry, seems like twiiter brings a lot of front bottom stuff just like the Jack drug stuff.
    May be it should be called Twatter !.

  209. GunnerN5 says:


    Picky, picky one games two games ?

    Both his league and International record speak for themselves.

  210. LB says:


    Love that 9.43.

  211. chas says:

    Podolski allows Song to play.

  212. glic says:

    Absolutely LB, He`s on the wing for two games, I thought wingers took people on. AA was stuck out of position on the wing , but at least he takes them on !.

  213. LB says:


    Very good, I doff my hat to that one.

  214. Gooner In Exile says:

    I reckon Twitter Arry rumours are borne out of recent headlines and the fact Arry has come out saying he doesn’t want to go into the last year of his contract, he rubbished rumours that he was leaving yesterday but effectively gave an ultimatum to give him a new contract. Wonder of Mr Levy pointed to Arsene and said but he always signs a new one towards the end of his existing ones.

    LB I reckon Pod is asked to play differently for Germany than for his club….as GN5 pointed out earlier the Germans are more about the team than one or two stars.

    This news about Giroud could see the answer to the AM problem Micky presented us….how’s this for midfield to front:


  215. glic says:

    Sorry GN5, I`ve only seen him twice and he looked out of place on the wing, lets hope Arsene has not bought him as a winger !, Gibbs would be better !.
    Hope he proves me wrong, but he wont as a winger !.

  216. LB says:

    Woooo, that is radical.

    Quite shocking at first sight and yet, somehow quite appealing.

  217. LB says:


    If Pod is being asked to play differently for the National team how and where does he normally play?

  218. chas says:

    Strong and powerful. No longer a team of skilful midgets.

  219. chas says:

    Chamberlain for Theo though.

  220. Red Arse says:

    The 7 dwarfs on steroids, Chas? 🙂

  221. chas says:

    Moyes to the spuds. Now we’ll see how good he is.

  222. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB more attacking, still cutting in from left tho, and definitely with a remit to score goals.

    Chas I tried not to include too many youngsters to keep Rasp happy 🙂

  223. chas says:

    Pumpy, Meaty, Rumpy, Stumpy, Chunky, Bulging and Thug.

  224. chas says:

    Has Rasp gone off Project Yoof?

  225. glic says:

    So chas, these are the names of the girls you dated !.

  226. Gooner In Exile says:

    The more I look at my line up the more I’m reminded of:


    Who said that team was cosmopolitan it looks very traditional.

  227. glic says:

    I suppose thats what happens when you go dogging in Sherwood Forrest ! 🙂

  228. chas says:

    Haha glic. They were the nice ones.

  229. oz gunner says:

    @ LB and GLIC

    Podolski is a striker, no doubt about it. For club he plays there and thrives, for country he does also (always been out wide to accommodate for Klose, and now Gomez). He is not as effective out wide because he does not have the speed, so i’d say he plays as more of a left forward in the German set up if anything. Not as effective but hey his international goal record isn’t to be scoffed at. Also part of the reason why he never succeeded at Bayern Munich (people like to beat him over the head for that one, but he was young and playing out of position what do you expect? Bit like Bendtner you could say in that aspect).

    And GLIC he is a great signing for a very low price, fear not.

    @ TMHT

    Your right about Ozil, he reminds me of something out of men in black! Be careful he might want your “syrup” back for more testing

  230. Rasp says:

    I’ve never said that? If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. Quality is more important than age. My problem would be if we continued at this stage to overpay young players, it is not necessary and it doesn’t work = we can’t sell them on.

  231. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just teasing Rasp 🙂

  232. Gooner In Exile says:

    Anyway Harry’s departure confirmed on the Beeb.

    I’m not sure if this is good or bad. It’s definitely funny if Spuds board now see CL as a minimum requirement, they better hope the rules are expanded to allow 6/7 teams per country otherwise they will get through a lot of managers

  233. Gooner In Exile says:

    I don’t think Arry could of taken them any further so would it have been better if he stayed. Will their better players now take the opportunity to up sticks as they won’t be upsetting their mate ‘Arry?

    On the flipside will they appoint a new manager, they’ve actually left it a bit late with the best young managers already installed in mid table teams, will they go for Villas Boas? Or hope someone like Klinsmann will take the job or a national manager who gets dumped after the Euro’s? Capello would be funny.

  234. oz gunner says:

    I agree GIE, arry wasn’t going to take them any further so i’d rather he stayed on. Plus we will be without funny videos and photos of him twitching. Hopefully the new appointment flops even further.

    @ Micky

    oh so that’s how it is is it? Hoping to discover another target on your own so as to look like the better scout in Arsene’s mind?! huh? huh? huh? Whatever Grimandi is better than you anyway!

  235. oz gunner says:

    Barcelona learnt it from the best! Pep vs Grimandi at 2.12

  236. RockyLives says:

    Poor ‘Arry.
    Six months ago the Spuds were going to win the league and ‘Arry was going to be the next England manager.

    Mind you, I reckon Spuds are muppets for sacking him. He managed to get a perennially underperforming team into the ECL positions twice in three years. Big gamble, whoever they appoint.

    Christian Gross is available…

  237. goonermichael says:

    moyes is going to be spuds manager

  238. RockyLives says:

    Confirmed, GM?
    Or your best guess?

  239. chas says:

    Spud managers since 1996

    1994 Gerry Francis
    1997 Chris Hughton (C)
    1997 Christian Gross
    1998 David Pleat (C)
    1998 George Graham
    2001 David Pleat (C)
    2001 Glenn Hoddle
    2003 David Pleat (C)
    2004 Jacques Santini
    2004 Martin Jol
    2007 Clive Allen (C)
    2007 Juande Ramos
    2008 Harry Redknapp
    2012 David Pleat ?

    Arse managers since 1996

    1996 Arsene Wenger

    The spud fans singing at the NLD on 26th Feb 2012, “Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay”.

  240. chas says:

    …was a “f*ckin football manager”

  241. chas says:

    Made by a spud. Hahaha.
    (Mind you if I was a spud, I’d be a doomer)
    Beware bad language

  242. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nothing better than a swift one from you to start the day.
    Apparantly there’s always been problems between Arry and Levy, but you have to say puds are nut. How high do they realistically expect to finish?

  243. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Classic comment about Song and Podolski Chas 🙂
    And well done LB for the reply 🙂

  244. chas says:

    Morning, Micky.
    Agreed, win percentage wise, he’s their 4th best manager ever.

    1 Frank Brettell 1898–1899 63 37 58.73
    2 Arthur Turner 1942–1946 49 27 55.10
    3 John Cameron 1899–1907 570 296 51.93
    4 Harry Redknapp 2008–Present 123 63 51.22

    Thank Dennis we don’t sack our manager for “failing” every year. 🙂

  245. chas says:

    Robin van Goal

  246. evonne says:

    who will they appoint now? Bring Martin Yol back, he was good

  247. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Gerald Ratner would be a good fit.

  248. Gooner In Exile says:

    TalkShite’s “moose” gets his pants pulled down by Evertons communications man:

  249. chas says:

    I’d prefer Santini, Gross or Ramos.

    As long as it’s someone whose name fits in to the ‘she’s a wh*re’ song, I don’t care. 🙂

  250. Big Raddy says:

    Disappointing all round for Raddy last night.

    Harry was a perfect fit for the cave dwellers. We will miss him.

  251. chas says:

    Ratner, perfect. The Venky’s as owners, perhaps. They would like chicken badge

  252. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Awsome combo Chas 🙂

  253. Scott says:

    Good on Paul Tyrrell,whoever he may be….someone from Everton,I gather??
    These media arseholes take cover behind…it’s my understanding,rumours have it and the like.
    What a way to shut him up lol.
    Evening all.
    Sorry,to you on the wrong side of the planet….morning all!!

  254. Scott says:

    It’s been rumoured……Spuds are after Wenger,or so reports have it,at least,that’s my understanding!!!

  255. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We know about you and Denmark and also about your Dutch roots, but dig deep today and I’m sure you can unearth some winning DNA. For tonight’s games, look no further than your great uncle Xavi and that rather cowardly third cousin Gianlucca.

  256. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nurse will be along shortly 🙂

  257. evonne says:

    I am cracking up, why do I get all sentimental seeing Ox signing autographs in Poland? Big deal, ha

  258. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I own a piece of Italy land and pay Italian taxes (one of the few 🙂 ).

    I guess that gives me grounds to support them.

    Hope the hotel in Mancheter was luxurious and relaxing

  259. Morning all

    A good day for having a jolly good larf at the cave-dwellers methinks 🙂

    chas – great comment about Song and the Pod last night and as Micky has already said well done LB for not exploding 🙂

  260. Gooner In Exile says:

  261. Would Levy have kept him if they’d been in the Champs Lge next season or was he always out the door?

    Maybe Daniel Levy started the rumour about ‘arry for England to get rid of him?

  262. Gooner In Exile says:

    MindTheSack was trending on Twitter last night 😀

  263. evonne says:

    Will Arry recover his position in EPL or will he be selling second hand cars in East End?

  264. evonne says:

    TA – this is not the end of the world! There is still a chance for your guys, come on, cheer up!!

  265. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What an International Man of Mystery you are.
    Manchester Hotel? Club Level room with Club level lounge with free drinks and nibbles from 5-8pm, so brilliant for early evening match!!
    Manchester itself…naaah
    Relaxing? No, full on work.

  266. Big Raddy says:

    evonne- Harry doesn’t need money, he has been on the take for decades – just ask Rosie. He will become another dreadful pundit on the BBC.

  267. Scott says:

    Sorry for the delay in replying,Micky….just getting my nightly sponge bath!!!!

  268. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    I reckon Arsene may have decided that when he goes, he is going to go out swinging. Which will mean a PL Title @ the very least.

  269. LB says:

    I have just finished laughing about spuds impoding once again but on a slightly more serious note can anyone explain why he has left, I don’t quite understand why it happened?

  270. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    But I can’t say the same 4 old ‘Arry. He’s just, well, gone……………………………………. 😆

  271. chas says:

    LadyArse has a go at explaining……

  272. Gooner In Exile says:

    To my mind LB Levy and Arry have never seen eye to eye on players/acquisitions front. Arry wanted an extension to his contract expiring in 2013, Levy didn’t want to give it.

    Despite Arry getting off his tax charge I think his defence has seen him lose the England job and now the Spuds job. Would you employ a manager that can only read and write like a 5 year old as the manager of your club.

  273. LB says:

    Thanks chas

    That’s is not a bad attempt at an explanation from LadyArse — they want to be like us makes a lot of sense.

    But as I read it, it struck me that Harry (he can have his H back now, might have wanted to force his own exit just a little bit, after all there really is only one direction that that team is going next season and it aint up. Rednapp may have anticipated a decline and got himself pushed, I say this becasue if he had walked he would not have got the reported 3 mil pay off.

  274. LB says:

    “Would you employ a manager that can only read and write like a 5 year old as the manager of your club.”


  275. New Post …………….

  276. vancouver real estate

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