Is Jack the New Rosicknote?

I don’t want to place too much store in tabloid rumours, but the suggestion that Jack Wilshere will not return to first team action until at least the middle of September is quite alarming.

We all saw how Tomas Rosicky missed over 18 months of first team action with complications relating to a hamstring tendon injury.

His comeback was frequently mooted and just as frequently postponed and it is only really in the last 12 months that we have seen anything like a return to the form he first showed for us.

Wilshere’s injury – a stress fracture of the ankle – occurred in a pre-season friendly last summer and he was scheduled to be out for four-to-five months. In the end we didn’t see him at all for the rest of the season.

Disappointing, of course, but at least we could console ourselves with the fact that he would be fit and raring to go for the start of the 2012/13 season.

Now that possibility appears to have gone South too. His return is slated in for mid September – by which time we may well have played four EPL fixtures and a Champions League group game.

And that’s if he even makes it back on that time scale.

Following the experience with Rosicky and, more recently, the luckless Abou Diaby, it would not be an earth shattering surprise to find Jack’s return delayed further.

Naturally I hope that’s not the case, but an injury (or series of injuries) that keeps a fit young man off the field of play for more than a year cannot be taken lightly.

And we cannot assume that his path back to match fitness will not be trouble-free.

All of which raises a very important question for our club:

Should we be signing a creative midfielder to cover a potential longer-term absence for Jack Wilshere?

The tactical Posts of recent days here on AA – and the excellent comments they spawned – have thrown up ways in which we may not need to directly replace Jack (RvP dropping back to a Number 10, with Giroud or Podolski in front, for example).

And given that many of us expect Wilshere to be the most gifted young player of his generation it’s not as if we can pick up a replacement for pennies (or easily find someone who is prepared to play for a couple of months then drop to the bench when Wilshere returns).

But I am coming round to the idea of us moving for an attacking midfielder in this summer’s window.

Don’t ask me who that player should be (there are many player-watchers on this site who are infinitely better informed than me). But I’m imagining an older player – someone around the 30/31 age range, who has played in Italy or Spain at a less fashionable club but has the guile needed for the role.

They won’t be as good as Cesc Fabregas or as good as we hope Jack Wilshere is going to be, but they will have the technique and touch that was so patently lacking among the English squad at the Euros.

And they’ll be happy to be at Arsenal, even though they know they may not be an automatic starting pick in the longer term

Tall order, I know.

Am I worrying too much?

Can we get by another season (if the worst comes to pass) without being really badly affected by having no Wilshere?

Should we sign a replacement?

If so, who could it realistically be?

Over to you…


161 Responses to Is Jack the New Rosicknote?

  1. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA quick reply to your late comment, I dont think Arsene will regret his comment. It’s not like the whole world was saying any different, Spain just decided to go out and play the fast attacking variant of possession football.

  2. Hi all, just repeating my comment form earlier:
    “Hi RobbinURP – I agree with your 7.23am, except I imagine Ivan & Co. lubed themselves up beforehand.

    Every time I see Cesc playing an injury free game for his “hometown DNA club” I feel his betrayal dragging through the Arsenal heart like a big fist reaching into the chest cavity of the Club.

    I’m still angry about his trechery now, his back stabbing killed us last season, we rallied but we only made 3rd thanks to Fulops’s Almunia style keeping in the last game.”

    And GiE – dam WordPress !

  3. […] Is Jack the New Rosicknote? […]

  4. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky four words for you:

    “He’s Five Foot Four”

    Seriously why couldn’t he? He wants to play there, he has the ability to play there, he is the best opener of defences in our current squad, he can run at players, and he can shoot.

    Two solid defensive midfielder performances from Song and Arteta and we are sorted.

  5. The Rock – I reckon we cna safely assume we won’t see an in form Jack much before Xmas/new year, so I agree we do need short term cover otherwise we can look forward to another poor start to the season.

    I hate to sound negative(no, I really do) but I do worry if we lose Arteta to injury early on and have no midfield general.

  6. robbo says:

    Havent we potentially got this in Arteta, if we buy a defensive midfileder that we need anyway?

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Like GiE, a quick response to TA.
    Total, I don’t agree that Spain won because of a superior system. Its a great system for sure, but it works so well because of the phenomenally talented players at their disposal. The signings of Podolski and Giroud definately indicate a move away from tippy-tappy. Either that, or simply a Plan B.

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn, damn, damn. One of my tasks today was going to be doing my bit for the site and penning a post. The subject…Jack!!

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi GiE, it is the bit about the Spanish betraying their philosophy that sounded foolish to me. It seemed obvious to me that they were lacking form and sharpness, but never lacked the desire to play attacking football.

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Its a terrifying thought that Jack may be following in the footsteps of Rosicky and Diaby.
    However, my biggest question that relates directly to your post is whether or not Jack is an AM in the first place.
    If not, we’re covered, whereas if that is where AW sees him, then yes we have a massive problem if it turns out to be a long term injury.

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky,

    You can still write your post about Jack from the angle of ‘his best position’ …. please 😕

  12. Gooner In Exile says:

    Perhaps TA.

    In truth I have admired their football throughout, why is it a bad thing to win a game 1-0 and not let the opposition get a kick. Watching England its easy to see they can’t even make 3 passes without starting to panic as they get closed down and the ball just goes back. Listening to British Journos/Pundits criticise Spain’s ability to keep ball as boring is why we can’t move on as a footballing nation.

    Like Micky I hope our signings reflect Arsenes move back towards a strong pacy size that plays “push and rush” in the way it was originally imagined and how he brought it to Arsenal when he wanted physically strong, fast and tall players, but got them to play it on the floor. We are starting to look a lot taller as a team which can only be a good thing for PL football.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Micky, they are phenomenally good footballers and through their academy they will produce these sort of players as easily as a bocadillos de queso. The rest of us can adjust to/replicate their system of football or find an alternative, and I hope you are right that Wenger is on the case with another Wengerball masterplan! 🙂

  14. Songinho says:

    I think we should sign Dempsey.Apart from replacing Benayoun by his workhorse qualities,he can provide the guile that Jack offers to the team.This will go a long way to ease pressure on Jack as well as Ramsey.
    This will boost the team as there will be another match winner which this Arsenal side badly needs.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Good post Rocky 🙂

    It is not sounding that good about JW at the moment, but he is young and in the best possible hands at Arsenal, so there is hope he will fully recover in the next few months.

    As others have said, it is important to find out what sort of system we are going to play. If we are going to play with RvP in the hole position then I can see the Ox as his first replacement, and we will miss JW as cover/competition for Arteta’s role. But then I believe Ramsey will be a good alternative as he will have learned form last season and come out better and stronger next season.

    I said a few months ago, we could do with a very experienced head at Arsenal, just for one or two seasons. Somebody with CL-winning experience. Seedorf would have been a good addition in my view, just for the odd game here and there, and for his influence in the training ground and dressing room. But he just signed for two years at a Brazilian club.

  16. rhyle says:

    Gutted for Jack if this turns out to be true…he’s still just a kid and this should be when he’s enjoying his football most having established himself as both a first XI player for the Arsenal and as an England International.

    Micky raises a good point – is Jack an AM? Certainly his vision and passing ability means he can play in that role, but AW has tended to play him in the box-to-box role that Arteta took last year (as robbo mentioned) rather than in the hole. It’s easy to overlook Jack’s other qualities as a player for his more obvious, impactful ability to pick a pass but his aggression was something our midfield missed at times last season too.

    So…for me…stick with Arteta. A midfield of new DM, Arteta and Wilshere will work just fine for me as soon as possible…for now? Well…Denilson’s coming back…or Diaby…lol…but I think I’d stick with Song for now. He wants a more forward facing role and playing box-to-box alongside Arteta in front of a disciplined DM will let him do that…

  17. Did anyone see the Sky Sports numptie reporter this morning eulogising about the Euros ?

    I’m glad they are over as pretty much every game I followed went the wrong way and as for the final winners – what a bunch of cruds !

    From the questionable behaviour of the fans off the pitch to the theatrics of the spanish/portugese divers I am not sorry this whole sorry escapade is over.

    What a load of shite that was.

  18. richie says:

    Jack had the type surgery in May that would normally take 3 months to recover from, so that meant ordinarily he’d only heal up end of August, then it would be an issue of fitness. Is it only me that thinks septober is right on schedual for Jack?

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rhyle 🙂

    JW did a good job at the box-to-box MF role, but we don’t know whether Wenger played him there because he still had Cesc playing in the hole. Last season, JW did not play at all, but if he had been fit, I reckon he would have played in the hole position and what a difference it probably would have made.

    Jack is an architect. He can also lay floors and build walls, but his biggest skills are in the creative/designing department.

  20. Vokes 25 says:

    Yeah i think we need a creative midfielder regardles of whether jack’s fine or not,n i wud go 4 clint dempsey coz he’s gud n also cheap,at £10million he’s nt bad.

  21. supreetkini says:

    Good post there.
    Yes, it is rather concerning, that a player, still so young, has been out of the game for over a year. Doubts whether he will ever be the same again, cue Ramsey, will be asked. I think we have enough midfield cover at the moment, to allow JW slowly to find his feet back in the team.
    Concern of course will be over how he will be able to handle the demands of the Premier League. The league has become much more pacier, competetive and fierce in the span of a season, and we can expect that to be on the rise again. Of course, no one knows better than AW, and he will know JW will take his time. Even a month with the reserves, and a few Carling Cup starts, till say November, and then we can have him slowly drifting into the side.

  22. JM says:

    For CM/OM-SS positions:

    Song – Regular starter (CM)
    Arteta – Regular starter (CM/OM)
    RvP – Regular starter (OM-SS)(If he signs a new contract extension, he can play @OM-SS and MS)

    Wilshere – injured/squad player (likely to be slowly eased into competitive matches even if he has recovered, ie. playing in patches)
    Ramsey – available/squad player (CM/OM)
    Rosicky – injured/squad player (likely used more frequently as backup OM)
    Coquelin – available/squad player (with Sagna out injured as well @ the start of season, he could be playing at covering RB for some time)
    Frimpong – injured/squad player(likely to go out on loan for more play time)
    Diaby – injured/squad player(hopefully to go out on loan for regular play time before accessing his future @club)
    AoC – available/squad player(can play @OM but more likely used @RW/LW rotating with Walcott/Podolski/Gervinho)
    Lansbury – returned/squad player (CM)(This could be the break he needs to be part of the 1st team, should Arsene, Bould etc allow it)

    Denilson – returned/likely to go out on loan or sold
    Arshavin – returned/likely to be sold (if not out on loan again)

    Arsene could also promote from our reserves squad: Chuks Aneke, Nico Yennaris, Conar Henderson, Serge Gnabry & Thomas Eisfeld

    Therefore, for our midfield trio, we could see:

    (i) Song-Arteta-RvP (with Rosicky, Ramsey & Lansbury as backups)
    (jj) Song-Arteta-Rosicky (with Ramsey, Lansbury & a newly promoted player from our reserves)

    Our creative midfielder or Shadow/Second striker position shall need to be good @ assisting, key passes, link up play between midfield & attack as well as having the ability & accuracy to shoot on target (to share the burden of our main striker & wingers).

    IMHO, Arteta is our closest player to “Pirlo”, Jack shall become our “Xavi” & AoC shall become our “Iniesta”.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You let on yesterday that you read The Guardian so we know you are in the group huggy smokey dopey camp but “lay floors and build walls” wow. 🙂

  24. Rasp says:

    Morning JM,

    Rather too many injured/squad players in that list for me. In you, I may have found the other gooner who is as appreciative of what Arteta brings to the team 😛 I think he was our most influential player last season.

  25. is Miquel already promoted?

    How about Arshavin finally be able to play CAM and if he is crap loan him in January when everyone is fit

  26. rhyle says:

    TA…Agree that if we choose to have a player in the hole that Jack is pretty much our only proven option (‘cos I certainly don’t expect Andrei Arshavin back – though the Ox could tempt me to reconsider). Will we play that way, though? For me, dropping a player in the hole implies a return to 4-4-2 (or 4-4-1-1) which I just don’t see! Think we’ll stick with 4-1-2-2-1…

    JM – interesting post – does anyone have any insight into the reserves you mentioned promoting? Seen a bit of Henderson and Yennaris and heard some good things about Aneke but Gnabry and Eisfeld are unknown quantities to me…

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi JM 🙂

    I like the way you make your comments. You give us a lot of detail and then you come up with overall conclusions at the end. I might not agree with them all, but I like your style!

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky, it is you who is in the smokey business my fwiend! 🙂

  29. richie says:

    p.s. I know Jack has had set backs but it seems that those came about because his original injury hadn’t healed, something his last surgery was to correct. It was a successful opp so we’ve been told. just a footnote excuse the pun.

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    When I suggested it may be a great business for you on your Scotish Island, I had no idea how appropriate an idea it really was.

  31. richie says:

    @ Rasp I couldn’t agree more with you about Arteta being the main man for us last season. Totally born out by the stats we couldn’t win without him.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rhyle,

    I think you are right: if we are to play RvP in the hole we are more likely to play either 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1, and I am not so worried about our options in the centre of midfield, although a long term injury to either Song or Arteta (Chary’s point earlier) would be a big worry. RvP would be a nr10 ala Bergkamp, or Rooney at MU.

    If we stick to 4-2-1-3, I can also see RvP do the ‘1’ position, but JW would probably be the better option. If this is Arsene’s plan, it looks like Rocky is right in asking for another signing.

    If we go for 4-1-2-3, we would possibly need another DM, but would have plenty of options for the two attacking midfielder roles (The Ox, Ramsey, Arteta, Song, Wilshere, Diaby, Rosicky, even RvP or the Pod etc).

  33. Rasp says:

    Hi richie, yes, Arteta would be my first name on the teamsheet.

    In some ways, next season is going to be Arsène’s greatest test. He has such a mix of players to choose from and so many that ‘should start’ …. forming them into a balanced team whilst keeping the squad happy is quite a challenge.

  34. oz gunner says:

    good article Rocky, an issue we all want to disappear because it happens all to often at Arsenal. It really does mystify me how our players continually have set backs, i mean vermaelen, rosicky, diaby, van persie, and now wilshere. As mentioned earlier stress fractures (although tricky in the ankle/foot region) should not take this long to mend.

    I agree with TA, Jack’s position is AM. Didn’t Arsene say it himself last season? when he mentioned something along the lines of ‘he’s playing deep so he learns the game more and becomes a more complete player’ hinting that it will not be his natural position?!
    AM’s don’t grow on trees and are pretty hard to find (for the right price), and there isn’t really a point in getting someone who like yossi will want game time in the twilight of their career (as opposed to being benched once jack comes back). For that reason i say send the OX in! He has been slowly groomed into more game time and others suggest his head is switched on to take the pressure, so lets see him have a break out season like Jack did.

    Also stuff you Fabregas, i hate your guts!

  35. I believe the conclusion we are coming to is that Wenger should plan not to have Jack available before Xmas – if he is available, it’ll be a bonus, but unlikely.

    My worry is the point I made a while back about why Jack will always be susceptible to injury may well be coming true,

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky, you are a man of amazing talents, one of them being your excellent fish-gut-feeling! 😉

  37. Peter King Oloo says:

    Say wat u may about his attitude problems and all but i think we already have a good replacement for that….ladies and gentlemen, put ur hands together for…. Andrey Arshavin.

    All he ever needs is confidence, which i imagine he has got back from his time on loan and Euro.

  38. JM says:

    Morning/Afternoon to all (Rasp, rhyle, TA),

    @Rasp, unfortunately that has become a norm for the club in recent years (the injury bug/ a long list of players in sick bay). That is one thing that the clubs’ trainers/coaches/doctors/physios must look into surely to improve the well being of our 1st team players (Was it our rehabilitating procedures incorrectly administered? Was it our training pitches? training regime – e.g. more core strength training exercises etc? players lifestyle off pitch – e.g. late nights/little recuperating time b/w matches?)

    @rhyle, you can view clips of Serge Gnabry & Thomas Eisfeld on youtube. Both are Germans, the former was a youth player from VfB Stuttgart while the latter was an academy player at Borussia Dortmund. Both are highly rated & recommended by our youth coaches.

    (Profile review of Serge Gnabry from Arsenal website)

    (Profile review of Thomas Eisfeld from Arsenal website)

    Thanks for your compliments, it is good to share opinions which
    will hopefully benefit the Gunners community & the club (if any of the management/backroom staff or players/coaches do read unofficial Arsenal blogs/forums)

  39. Josh says:

    Jack’s luck! I read an article where Jack played AM for u-18’s scored 13 goals. I wish to see him do that for th seniors

  40. Rasp says:

    Apologies Rocky for not addressing the main point of your article.

    I share your concerns as to whether Jack is always going to be injury prone as both ankles have given way.

    My answer is yes, we should be signing an AM if we are letting Arsh go and Diaby and Rosicky are injury doubts.

    Montolivo would be a good signing but I’m not sure he’s still available.


    Thanks for the post Rocky.

    In answer to your questions, No we should not look for a replacement, and No, Jack is not another Thomas. Wilshere will come back next season, stronger, wiser, and better than before.

    I was depressed last night. Not because Spain won the euros, good luck to them. but because in the morning i was greeted with the lovely news in the daily rags that Jack will take longer than expected to return. As the day passed i started feeling better, only to be downed again by witnessing a masterclass from little Cesc.

    Oh what could have been?, with a midfield of Cesc and Jack. i still mourn that passing. But just like i said to my first wife when she left me “Who do you think i am, Glen Helder?, i will bounce back and climb that table”, so it shall be with us. Jack will return, and it will be to a Title winning team.

  42. Rasp says:


    Your points are always well made and challenging – could I tempt you into expanding your thoughts into a headline post for the site?

  43. glic says:

    Loads of time to bring in a ” Super Quality ” AM . I raised my concerns about Jack being a crock Months ago ( no insight, just a bad feeling ) and raised it again yesterday. Get the chegue book out Arsene before one of the smaller clubs get in before us and buy a “Modric or so ” whilst we are asleep dreaming about our strength in midfield then wake up to realize their all sending in sick notes . Jack, Diaby ,Frimpong, Rosicky, Arteta ( last I heard he was out injured, you lot know something I dont ), Benny`s gone, Ramsey`s shot of confidence , Arshavens a lazy bastard. I suppose we could always bring back Denilson, whats that ? , he`s back ….nooooooooo!. Maybe the Pod can play midfield, cant be worse than his wing play !.
    Yes ,on paper, every year we look formidable, but instead of it being on the pitch, we end up with a formidable looking treatment table !.
    One thing you can guarentee is, we will get more injuries before the injured come back.
    Quickly get rid of the dross, dont worry about the fee`s, just think of the wage saving`s and bring in a Top Marque player, I think we`re all secretly crying out for one, not a secret with me though as i`m always begging for one.
    As Jean – Luc Picard would say ,” make it so ” !. 🙂

  44. richie says:

    @ G in exile I can’t see us going back to any form of push and rush if we ever played that style under Wenger? The signings made are both technical players, Giroud may be the player Arsene wanted when we signed Chamakh (for free remember) I think AW always wanted a target man who can head and hold the ball up (a la smudger) so we can change our game plan a bit (Ade buy bye was supposedly bought to give us that dimention). I still see us playing essentially the same way, one touch pass and move I just hope the final third is played at greater speed. I think we are at our best when we play fast one touch attacking football.

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I would hope that Montelivo is built of stern stuff, because we are sure as hell capable of breaking players 😦

  46. Rasp says:

    Hi richie, great comments today. I’d like to add your name to our list of authors too if you can be tempted.

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    All first time posters on this site get front row club level all expences paid trip for eight to a game of your choice.
    At least I think that’s what Rasp said.

  48. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, what did you think of Montolivo?

    He reminded me a bit of Ozil (without the scary eyes). Italy played him predominantly on the left but I believe he prefers it in the centre. He can play the killer through balls but also spray long passes accurately diagonally to change the focus of attack – something we don’t do often enough.

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo boy, going to be an expensive day for our leader 🙂

  50. Rasp says:

    😆 Micky, you are correct, just email us your credit card details ……

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Never hear of him.
    Sign him up I say.

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:


  53. Rasp says:

    Forget Montolivo 😦 he is out of contract this summer and Milan have announced he will be joining them on a free …. shame

  54. glic says:

    Some of you laughed when I imformed robbin of Oz that it would take 35mins by car from the Ems to Wimbledon, but is it funnier than the report that Juventus have offered £8 million for RVP. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahaahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    This has all the making `s of the Cesc deal, £ 8 million is their final offer, expect him to be sold for £5 million with Denilson thrown in free to clean his boots and also Chamakh for hair care advise !.

  55. robbinURpersie says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  56. JM says:


    Firstly, Montolivo has signed with Milan on a free.

    As for writing a headline post, I guess not. I was taking a break from work & catching up on the Euros for the past month. It is back to busy schedules again (along with whatever available free time to browse online). Thanks for the invitation nonetheless.

    Thanks on elaborating on the good deal for 1st time posters.


    A couple of websites to introduce on insights in transfers/players performance data/stats (if you are interested to know) – which I will read up on if I have free time on my hands:

    (1) (transfermarkt) – A quite accurate look on transfers & rumours + players data.

    (2) (whoscored) – A more in depth look into players’ performance data throughout a season (more details are published for the 5 major leagues in Europe: EPL, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga & Ligue 1)

    Likewise, skysports, LSE(London Evening Standard) & ESPN-soccernet are my news read. Occasionally, Bild(German) & L’Équipe(French).

  57. Rasp says:

    Thanks JM, I realised that when I researched him on wiki …. we tried to sign him in January but he wasn’t interested.

    No worries about the post although don’t get the idea it has to be an epic. Just a couple of paragraphs to get a debate rolling is all that is required over the summer.

  58. Anyone else notice how on Giro is in the First team squad page, but the Pod isn’t ?

    Yossi is also still showing in rhe squad even though his loan deal officially finished on Saturday. Sloppy from

  59. LB says:

    “Should we be signing a creative midfielder to cover a potential longer-term absence for Jack Wilshere?”

    Wenger already did, his name is Miguel Arteta.

    And Rasp, everyone appreciates Arteta, if you ran a poll you would almost certainly find that the vast majority thought he was the most influential midfield player last season.

  60. Rasp says:

    Hi chary,

    Maybe the Pod’s inclusion depends on what happens with AA. is one of the last places I go for up-to-date infromation on Arsenal 🙄

  61. Raspers, but the Pod is no less of an Arsenal player than Giro – if one is in, logically both should be.

    But you are right, expecting to be up to date…what was I thinking ?

  62. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, if that is the case, it is the discipline and movement of the other midfielders around Arteta that needs to be focused upon.

    I’m not a Ramsey basher, but he really didn’t know how to play off Arteta and they ended up getting in each other’s way. We can still learn a lot from watching Spain/Barca. Yes they have a fluid midfield full of exceptional players, but it is also disciplined and hard working – therein lies the brilliance.

  63. Nick says:

    I definitely think we need cover! I like to remain hopeful and optimistic while at the same time being pragmatic. If jack does make it back in Sept he’s been out a long time and will need a couple months to get back into 100% in terms of match fitness and that edge you only have when playing consistently (that thing players like Chamakh have to have to show any co fidence). There’s also the dreaded “setback” “flair up” etc that will likely occur given our luck and history with injuries (I’m really starting to wonder about our medical staff!). It would be crazy and a 100% repeat of last summers clown-shoes crazy transfer malaise to not go after an experienced quality signing in the CAM role to not only cover for Jackie boy but also to help provide leadership and help teach our young midfielders a thing or 2.
    I’d be delighted to see Pirlo or Kaka fill the role.

  64. Rasp says:

    Maybe they just forgot chary 😆

    The Pod was the first buy so he was the one we really wanted you’d think. He must feature in AW’s thinking – presumably to the detriment of Gervinho.

  65. Rasp says:

    Shame we couldn’t broker a deal to keep Yossi for one more season …. his contribution may well have made the difference that saved us from 4th spot……

  66. Gooner In Exile says:

    Richie I think you need to remind yourself of the early days of Arsene, quick speedy counter attacking. But the ball was played on the floor, and players moved at speed towards the opponents goal.

    I think we want the same thing. Your pass and move at speed is my push and rush.

    The only question is how we can encourage the opposition to break their double banked lines of defence. For me it’s to start delivering crosses from deeper which with Giroud as a target hopefully means opponents will want to pressure any chance of early delivery which then gives space for pass and move round the box and into channels.

  67. richie says:

    @Rasp I’ll do my best to pen something worth of your trust. Don’t hold your breath though Hope you’ll be patient. Re the “mount of olives” I like him as a player but he’s an Italian. Hasn’t anyone else taken note. Name me one of the Italian squad playing outside Italy?
    Its rare for good Italian players to play abroad, only mediocre players leave when they’re young. And only at the end of their playing careers in Italy have a few greats ventured abroad. Like Zola GLV etc but check the stats its rare. The mounts Milan bound.

  68. Rasp says:

    Good point richie about Italians abroad.

    Your comments today could easily be used as a post in themselves so don’t beat youself up trying to produce some lenghty epic (unless you want to) a few words to set a direction for the day’s debate is all that is required.

  69. Gooner In Exile says:

    Er Mario Balotelli?

  70. LB says:

    Oh come on someone: Balotelli is the exception that proves the rule.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Thinking GLV. What a breath of fresh air he was during the Euro’s. His English was far superior to his English co-presenters and he had both humour and humility. Top bloke.

    RL. JW will be fine. Trust me ……

  72. Rasp says:

    In fairness richie did say “Its rare for good Italian players to play abroad” and I tend to agree. Balotelli is an exception in many ways.

    He was fostered to a jewish couple in Italy and was a sickly baby. He has many demons, but his talent is undoubted and I personally enjoy his colourful personality.

  73. Nigel De Jong? Experienced in the Premier league, Strong and Technically good. Him along side Song would allow Rosicky or Arteta to play a more forward role.

  74. Big Raddy says:

    Re: Italians. Zola was 26 when he came to Chelsea. Ravanelli 27, Di Canio 27, Di Matteo 26

    A good point made considering how many French players come in their prime.

    How many English players go abroad? In the past there wereGazza, Brady, Wilkins, Hughes,Macca, Lineker ++ . Not many nowadays

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Norfolk. Good call.

  76. Rasp says:

    Hi NG/Raddy, are city looking to offload De Jong?

  77. LB says:


    The reason Arteta isn’t already playing futher forward is because he no longer has the legs; he neither has the stamina nor the speed. But he certainly still has the brain and that is way he is paired with Song who can cover him when he does venture forward.
    I expect the Spaniard to alternate with Wilshere when he returns.

  78. Sandas says:

    We obviously nid 2 signe n avoid dis uncertainty cos nobody is sure of his return @ dat slated tym. we should signe j. Matinez.

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The picture in the post.
    Check out the eyes on that No20.
    Good party trick.

  80. jk says:

    Alan dzagoev final year of contract wenger be mad to let that opportunity go by according to reports 13 million will get him even if wilshere was fit we shud by another creative midfielder and on talent and prie dzagoev is a must!!

  81. what u guys think about Nuri Sahin, his talent is rotten away on the bench at Madrid

  82. RockyLives says:

    Hello All and thanks for all the thoughtful replies.

    Micky – well done for pointing out that there is not yet a consensus on Jack’s best position, although I do think it will end up being AM.

    I thought Arshavin had one good game in the Euros and, in the final group game, looked completely knackered after about 30 minutes. I can’t see him having the stamina to do the job in the EPL, week in week out and, anyway, AW has consistently resisted playing him there.

    Arteta, for me, is already in the right position – slightly deeper than an AM, but with licence to roam forward. I would not want to lose his defensive discipline and intelligence by pushing him forward.

    One interesting option might be to have Arteta sitting alongside a DM, with Song in the AM role…. any takers?

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    26May, where are you mate?! 😦

    Come out and play, and let’s analyse the Euros for a while. Nobody on here does that better than you! 🙂

    And where is Redius Arsius?

  84. Chas says:

    Chary, I can’t bear it when someone says we only got 3rd because of Fulop. We got third because we got 70 points, all 70 of equal value. Why wasn’t it the point we got at Newcastle on the opening day of the season that enabled us to get one more point than the spuds!! I saw a comment on another site that Fulop was our player of the season because he got us CL football. Absolute bollix.
    Off to read the post.

    Off to read the post.

  85. GunnerN5 says:

    Maybe it’s just me but my biggest concern is with goalkeeping.

    Szczesney has been mostly steady, rarely spectacular, but steady turned to uncertain towards the end of the season. He’s very young for an EPL keeper but he displays a huge desire – however is he our number one before his time?

    It’s not just Szczesney that concerns me but our other 1st team goalkeepers do little to inspire our confidence. we have Fabianski and Manonne (who was on loan last season) and they have both had spells in the 1st team without really shining,

    In our junior squad we have Charles-Cook at 18 years old, Martinez at 19 and Shea, an Islington boy, at 21 – so all need time to develop.

    I would like to see a seasoned EPL keeper brought in as backup while our youngsters are given time to mature. I don’t even want to think of what would happen if Szczesney were to get injured.

  86. Chas, by saying what I did I meant that we were only guaranteed 3rd place on the last game of the season by Fulop’s calamity keeping; while I won’t go as far as to say that he was our player of the season, without his ineptitude we would be looking at Thursday night football this season.

    The point you raise about why should not points gained earlier in the season be not seen as equally vital is that then there were still fixtures left during which we could regain lost ground; by the time we got to West Brom there was no room for maneouvre it being the last game of the season, hence my assertion that Fulop’s howlers were significant.

    I guess how you view this question depends on how you assess the value of each point gained.

    I know AA is largely hated on this site yet his goal against Swansea at home gave us 3 points, yet no one will say he confirmed our Champions League place.

  87. Chas says:

    Each point is of equal value. That was the whole point of my comment.

  88. RockyLives says:

    I saw a report this morning that we might be bidding for the French keeper, Lloris. Could be newspaper rubbish though.

    I haven’t seen much AA hate on here. If anything, people really like him but are disappointed that he didn’t live up to the promise he showed in his first half season.

  89. The Rock – I guess “hate” is probably too strong a word, more like “I wish he would get sold, he’s no good” is the predominant feeling.

    Chas – I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. 🙂

  90. Big Raddy says:

    I don’t hate AA but I do think he has flattered to deceive and been a waste of money. For such a talented player he has under-performed.

    I know this has been said before but there must be major concerns that Theo has not signed a new contract. There remains the possibility that both RvP and Theo will leave.

    The next few weeks will be very interesting

  91. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. I would give AA away. A big earner who is unlikey to get more than 10 games next season.

  92. The news about Jack coming in September is old recycled news and nothing but lazy journalism….The most recent news about him was that he is on course to start the season,directly quoted by him(on Twitter I think)…however I feel Wenger will just use him as a sub in a few initial games just to be sure.
    If we indeed need to sign an ‘older’ CAM as ROcky suggests, I feel Dempsey is the best option…or depending on how Ramsey performs and Diaby’s fitness…we can use them too for the initial games.

  93. LB says:

    Song – attacking midfield? Noooooooooooooooooooo 😉

  94. maxy6331 says:

    We should sign another AM

  95. LB says:

    Every single person on here watched the game last night and every single person saw how important it was to every single Spanish player to do his utmost to get the ball back when possesion had been lost. The result is the impression that Spaniards care about the team they are playing for.

    By contrast Arshavin does not do that and becasue of which he leaves himself open to such jibes as he does not care about Arsenal and that is what leads to the “hatred”.

  96. Bug Daddy, I would guess he(AA) is on his way out, unfortunately he won;t have helped us get a decent price for him with his patchy performances at the Euro’s.
    London – perhaps I wasn’t wrong to say there was a hatred for AA after all.

  97. Rasp says:

    Hi Sagar,

    Jack closed his twitter account on 13th June because he was fed up with the malicious tweets alleging he had failed a drug test.

    I think it is highly unlikely he will be available for the start of the season. He will probably be eased back into games some time in September assuming he doesn’t suffer any more setbacks.

  98. Rasp says:

    Hi Chary, AA also upset the sponsors of his current team with some injudicious remarks to the point that they are unlikely to want to keep him.

  99. LB says:


    I am on the fence in ths one, Arshavin does not do himself any favours.

  100. LB says:


    What injudicious remarks?

  101. London/Raspers – there is a bit of the maverick about him, but just ‘cos he can be an awkward character that doesn’t mean he is beyond all hope.

    In any case he is gone so there’s probably no point me bringing him up. Anyway, we will have Diaby back, and all will be well, ha ha.

  102. Rasp says:

    Hi LB,

    I can’t find the exact quote now, but the gist was that his behaviour had not endeared him to the Zenit hierarchy and they were no longer interested in keeping him. I think he said something unwise when interviewed shortly after Russia were knocked out of the Euros

  103. Rasp says:

    I like what Arshavin can do, I quite like his ‘mavertick attitude’ as chary says, what I don’t like is his inconsistency.

    Having said that, his poor form has lasted about as long as Torres’ and he too seemed to be coming out the other side

    But I agree he can’t run for 90 minutes which is propbably why he often appears to be taking ‘a rest’ in the middle of games 😕

  104. Hi Rasp,
    Point noted. However, I follow his FB page as well…and there was a quote saying this “Only had 5 days off. Just been keeping my head down and training everyday at the training ground. Proper graft. Looking forward to pre-season now.” Can’t confirm if it was a direct quote or not since what I follow is I guess a fan page. Anyways, Wenger isnt foolish enough to start him every game even when he’s fit.

    As a personal wish, I would like Diaby ,for once, to have an injury free, RVP-level season this year, he’s monstrous when he’s in full flow 😀

  105. Rasp says:

    I agree Sagar. Diaby is a player with huge potential, we have never really seen what he could achieve after a run in the side. Every now and then we get a tantalizing glimpse of his talent shortly followed by a fresh bout of injury – very sad.

  106. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s your fault we were knocked out! Arshavin under fire after arguing with fans.

    By Ashley Gray

    PUBLISHED:23:01 GMT, 17 June 2012 | UPDATED:23:01 GMT, 17 June 2012

    Andrey Arshavin is facing widespread calls to be axed from the Russia team after reportedly arguing with fans after the country’s Euro 2012 exit.

    The Arsenal forward struggled to keep his cool when confronted in the lobby of Warsaw’s luxury Bristol Hotel after the shock 1-0 defeat by Greece, according to Oleg Koshelev, a journalist with Russian media outlet Gazeta.

    ‘The fact that we didn’t meet your expectations is not our problem – it’s your problem,’ he reportedly told fans.

    The honorary president of the Russian FA Vyacheslav Koloskov strongly condemned the 31-year-old.

    ‘Such words are not worthy of the captain,’ he said. ‘Arshavin has never been in the position of traveling across the country to support the team at his own expense.

    ‘The whole team should bow down to these guys. Fans come to see good football, total commitment from players and the willingness to stand up for their country.

    ‘Instead, the captain says it’s not the players’ problem, but the fans’ problem.

    ‘I believe that such a captain should not be in the team.’

    During the exchange, Arshavin was apparently made aware that he was talking to a member of the Russian parliament.

    Arshavin is said to have replied: ‘When I am at the Duma I will present a report in front of you.

    ‘We lost because we didn’t score and Greece scored. Nothing will change because of these discussions.’ Fans, coaches and former players reacted with anger to the report, and former Spartak Moscow striker Valery Reingold said: ‘Arshavin is impudent and a lout, a person who reached the limit of insolence.

    Shock: Russia were stunned by Greece in the final group game

    ‘The team suffers for his antics. A coach like Viktor Ponedelnik would kick him you know where and send him back to Arsenal, or wherever he’s playing now.

    ‘This is a spoiled kid who can’t plow a field.’

    The Russian FA’s former press spokesman called for current FA president Sergey Fursenko to quit and said Arshavin should be ‘permanently deprived of the right to play for the national team’.

    Arshavin has returned to Moscow with team-mates but is yet to respond. His usual post-match interview on his official website said simply: ‘So far I have nothing to say.’

    None of the players would speak to journalists and virtually all snubbed fans as they checked out of the Bristol Hotel on Sunday morning.

    Alan Dzagoev was one of the few to be praised, receiving shouts of ‘good lad’ as he boarded the team bus, but he looked glum on what was his 22nd birthday.

    Arshavin refused to speak to journalists on arrival at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport. Dzagoev was the only member of the squad who would answer questions. No fans arrived to greet the team.

    Arshavin did however tell Sport-Express: ‘Of course I wanted to play better in the tournament. ‘People like to point fingers. Throughout my career, so much has been poured on both on me and my teams that another bucket doesn’t make a lot of difference.

    ‘Every man will find the explanation that he wants to find (for our failure).

    ‘I definitely want to be in the fight to get to the World Cup.’

    ‘I’m going to relax for a week. I have a valid contract (with Arsenal), so the question of my employment is not so acute. But it is possible there will be options.’

  107. jnyc says:

    Hey Rocky, i hope jack wont be a continuing health problem, but of course, most important is not to take any chances. Its a long season. I have been re watching alot of matches from last season,and some classics also. The more i watch from last season, the more i see the subtle, but incredible work put in by arteta. He did everything so well. His anticipation as well as decision making were brilliant. Although i think he needed a little more rest over the season. Our record without him says alot also. —
    —- but i noticed how sharp he was when he came forward, and i have been saying that he can help out alot at AM. I would like to see that, especially if we get a killer DM, which im hoping.

  108. I see Ramsey has been picked for the GB Olympic team, it’ll be nice for him to play in front of a crowd that’s not booing him.

  109. glic says:

    I cant bear it when someone on a Totnumb site says they only got 4th because of Fulop , seems that man has a lot to answer for, I blame him for the Chavs winning the CL aswell !. 😆
    I`m surprised no body has mentioned JT doing a lap with the Spanish boy`s last night, must be a picture somewhere !.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Glic. 🙂

  111. chas says:

    I could agree with you, then we’d both be wrong. 🙂

  112. chas says:

    Timely post, Rocky.

    Surely Jack can’t have another mystery injury which keeps causing other injuries a la Diaby, Rosicky and Vermaelen?

    If there’s any chance he’s going to be out for much of the season we should be looking at someone else.

    Top three was even more of an achievement with one of our top three players out.

  113. chas says:

    Agreed glic,
    It’s like saying we wouldn’t have needed the 3rd goal against the baggies if the linesman had raised his flag against Shane Long.
    Or that the spuds collapsed because of Harry. We all know it was after their 5-2 drubbing at the home of the righteous.


    chas, i agree with you 100%, we finnished 3rd coz we deserved to. But Flop is still a hero. a very generous man, better than Father Christmas. Even more giving than the lady with the red light at number 36. All hail the Flop.

  115. glic says:

    Ahh, the 5-2 drubbing, I had Sky plussed it and pressed the blue keep button on it, but my box went kaput and when we got a new upgrade HD box it disappeared ! 😥
    Did we make a DVD of it ?.

  116. glic says:

    In honour of the Flop, when you sign in at number 36, do you sign in as Mr Flopolopodopolous ?.


    No, but strangly enough ime know as Mr Floppy for short there. hahaha

  118. glic says:

    You all probably know, but just in case you dont, all Arsenal`s pre-season tour games of Asia are Live on Arsenal Player .

  119. Hi all

    Need a post for tomorrow guys, it doesn’t have to be mega just something to start off the days debate ……… any ideas ………

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:


  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That means I’ll do a quick post in the morning first thing.
    My new tactical bollocks post must wait. I was ready to do it last week, and then everyone else and their dogs got in before me and I reckon we’re a little tacticked out. Then I had a brilliant idea…”I’ll do one on Jack” and in rocks Rocky.
    So it’ll be something completely different, although I will return to tactics!

  122. Thanks Micky, you’re a star. Catch up with you in the morning 🙂

  123. Scott says:

    I reckon Wenger has had the plan to play RVP as a true #10 all along.
    He plays deeper than most strikers anyway,and has enough vision and a good enough passing game to be sensational….especially with quality strikers in front of him.

  124. richie says:

    A day late and a dollar short, I left you all in the lurch at midday to get some work done only to return at midnight to assess the damage. Guys I did realise Balotelli was the exception to the rule! But for very obvious reasons he’s a maverick. I mean I love Italy and I’ve got good Italian mates, (that Holiday in Yard with me) ( -: Bloody hell I’ve even got family that I haven’t seen in 30 years somewhere in Ostia (Port of Rome).

    Seriously It must have been Hell for Mario growing up Brescia I mean Italy is seriously racist. As evidence by my recently popular wine post I love Spain, but Madrid ain’t a fun place even if you are only “Cafe au lait” or “Cafe Sombra” as the Spanish would have it Milk with a dash of Coffee.
    Through no fault of his own Mario Balotelli must feel like an outsider in his own country (Shades of the 50’s&60’s in England come to mind).

    GIE I know Ravinelli, Di canio, Di Matteo all arrived after 26 having played for long spells in Seria A but out of that bunch only Zola was a real stand out. The others only stood out just for exactly the reasons English players still fail “technique” or lack of it, no real ball control. Which nicely brings me on to your earlier point. You and I are talking semantics. Kick and Rush in my mind conjures up everything thats wrong with football in this country. It certainly doesn’t bring to mind Arsene’s class of 98 – Sure we had speed in abundance young Anelka was a greyhound and Overmars was “Meep Meep” or “the road runner” but at 10 was Bergy and slightly behind him was Vieira Petit and Parlour. Anelka a clairefontaine academy graduate was technical, both Dennis & Marc ex Ajax had the technical ball skills, they weren’t exactly the hoof it and charge brigade. As with Henry after it was lighting fast but all done with superb little dinks and Pirlo style through balls, it was artistry. I think kick and rush I think Bolton and Allardyce.

    As for Shava as a player I think he’s shot! For me he’ll always be a case of “if only”. He had so much but as with Gazza every piece of the jigsaw has to be there, if your missing even the smallest piece its never gonna be a picture. All that talent needs application, if its not applied its not realised. We are almost full circle Balotelli has the talent, now all that talent needs channeling, in Mario’s case all his frustrations and understandable anger needs to show itself through his footballing skills. If not and it manifests itself in other ways (as he has a tendacy towards) it will be a shame and a waste of undiniable talent. Arsharvin had the undiniable talent, for me he just lacked the final piece of the puzzle, application.

  125. Gooner In Exile says:

    Richie, as I said earlier we agree, kick and rush is Stoke, I am certainly not suggesting we play like that or ever did under Arsene, although I do remember when we did under GG.

    The push as I said is the ball played on the floor. The rush is an intelligent run at speed. Unfortunately “push and run” was invented by those cretins in N17 when they won the league in black and white and worshipped by everyone who has a fondness for the club so I can’t use that phrase so has to be “push and rush”.

    Actually our counter attacks were sometimes more reminiscent of a three man weave in basketball than any footballing tactic previously seen.

  126. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bloody hell Peter Hill-Wood doesn’t put his size 10’s in it:

    “As far as I am aware, nobody has made any offer for him (RvP) and he is away so we are not in any dialogue at all.”

    “We are not in the remotest bit interested in selling him.”

    This in the Mirror today, maybe he got fed up with his man at the Star, or maybe he has moved to the Mirror.

  127. Gooner In Exile says:

    And it seems Joel Campbell is out on another loan as no work permit gained so he is off to Betis for the season.

  128. Big Raddy says:

    Richie 2.53. Great comment. I agree re: Arshavin.

    GIE. I thought you were too young to watch the dreadful late GG teams which were totally dependent upon Wrighty to score goals !

    Tuesday is a good day for some transfer activity. Who will go first? My guess is Bendtner.

  129. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. AT last PHW says something sensible. However, It is worrying similar to what he said about Fabregas 😦 .

  130. robbinURpersie says:

    “Actually our counter attacks were sometimes more reminiscent of a three man weave in basketball than any footballing tactic previously seen.”

    Can it be put any better than that?…. i dont think so..

    i miss those days…

  131. Big Raddy says:

    Robbin/GIE. I know nothing about American sports.

    Can you explain what a 3 man weave is?

  132. robbinURpersie says:

    Morning Big Raddy,
    in regards to Bendtner..i think it might take a while to offload him, for the simple reason that he might end up collecting the most amount of interest..but it wouldnt suprise me if you were correct..

    my guess is Vela is almost sorted and we shall deal with all Spanish clubs first…like i said, my ‘guess’ 🙂

  133. LB says:

    It seems that AVB has been confirmed as spud manager, the funny thing is that during all his time at Chelsea I didn’t realise that his mother had such loose morals.

  134. robbinURpersie says:

    The 3 man weave is, in my opinion,primarily a transition drill geared at developing the finer points of the primary break. It is not simply a passing drill where a player passes and goes behind the person he or she passes to.

    Since it is a transition drill,the three man weave should be run with specific rules in place that emulate the primary break.

    #1 The first and most important rule is: The weave should be completed in no more than three passes. Why? If more than three passes are completed, players are no longer emulating game conditions: they are simply “passing and going behind” in a pattern that will never be used in a game. Have you ever seen a team advance the ball up the floor using a three man weave, as in figure A.? Advancing the ball in that way would lead to a turnover in every game I’ve ever coached or played, period. Even if there wasn’t a turnover, weaving the ball up the floor and that manner would certainly never be part of a structured attack.

    Have you ever seen a team advance the ball in a game situation using a 5 man weave, as in figure B.? If not, I think it is important to ask yourself if running a five man weave has any real value being run in a practice. Some might argue that running a five man weave is a good way to loosen up before practice and that it is a good warm-up drill; this may be so,but I can think of dozens of drills of the top of my head that can loosen the team up while also working on fundamental game skills.

    Have you ever seen a team advance the ball using 3 passes during a game, as in figure C.? Aggressive fast break teams routinely score in this manner because it emulates game conditions. If the weave is completed in 3 passes, then the player who started the drill in the middle line (1 in fig. C.) will always score.

    1 emulates grabbing a rebound, completing a quick outlet pass, sprinting the outside lane, and being rewarded for his efforts with a fast break

    Players 2 and 3 emulate receiving the outlet pass, centering the ball in transition by passing to a cutter up the middle, and sprinting the entire length of the floor on the fast break – which provides the opportunity or an offensive rebound in the event of a missed shot.

    #2 The second rule for running the 3 man weave properly is: The ball should never touch the ground. We are working on executing while playing at full speed; we must sprint the lanes, catch the ball on the move, and lead the receiver with the pass (pass the ball ahead of the receiver so that he/she catches it in stride without breaking momentum).

    For the return trip down the floor (Figure d.) to emulate a fast break situation, 2 must rebound as the ball leaves the net in order to be successful (On made shots, to emulate game situations, 2 can rebound as the ball leaves the net, step out of bounds and to the side of the backboard (“clearing the glass“) and pass the ball in to the outlet – all within 3 seconds or less.

    Fig A. 3 man weave – 4+ passes

    Fig B. 5 man weave

    Fig C. Weave – 3 passes

    Fig D. Weave – return trip

    To enforce the rule that the ball cannot touch the ground, each time it does touch the ground, the group of 3 players completes 10 quick pushups after they have completed the drill. At the high school level and below, several teams struggle through an adjustment period of turnovers, exhaustion, and several pushups as they struggle to complete the weave in 3 passes without the ball hitting the floor.

    #3 – The third rule for the 3 man weave is very often overlooked, but I believe it is critical: Do NOT pass the ball backwards.

    From time to time, a player will fall behind in the weave. His teammates will often have a tendency to stand and wait for him to catch up to receive the pass, or to pass the ball laterally or backwards as the player struggles to catch up.

    We Always have to remember to Emulate game situations. We would not pass the ball backwards on a fast break in a game. We also would not stop the break near mid-court to wait for a slow player in a game. So, we certainly do not want to prepare for games by doing these types of things.

    In a game, we want to look to complete the fast break. As a result, if a teammate falls behind in the 3 man weave, the player with the ball must recognize the situation and take the ball straight to the basket for a lay-up with the dribble. This is the only time during the weave that we allow the ball to touch the ground.

    The 3 man weave is an invaluable tool for teaching fast break basketball. When run correctly, it is a thing of beauty. By following these simple rules, the coach can ensure that the team gets the intended benefit by simulating game conditions, rather than developing bad practice habits.

  135. robbinURpersie says:

    sorry i cheated there Big Raddy, and cant copy diagrams..

    think how quick and precise our counter attacks used to be when we would turn our defence into attack in just 3 flowing moves.. Bergkamp, Overmars to Anelka or Paddy to Bobby to Henry…any more than 3 moves or passes gives the other teams players enough time to get back and set up…

    oh i give up….GIE…HELP

  136. Shard says:


    Basketball was my first love. The first game I really fell in love with. And I agree with the analogy of our counter attacks in football being similar to the 3 man weave.(GIE’s analogy I see) In fact, I sort of incorporated Pires’ running/dribbling style where he was almost always on the half turn even while running (gliding would be a better term), while playing in the 3 position in basketball. And to good effect 🙂

  137. robbinURpersie says:

    MICKY, my 8.12am-
    now thats what you call tacticall bollix(bollocks) 🙂

  138. Big Raddy says:

    Robbin. Thank you for the help but I have to admit I didn’t understand a word. It seems to be written in a language that looks like English but clearly isn’t!

    LB 🙂 Worrying signing by Spurs, let’s hope he repeats his Chelsea results

  139. Shard says:

    IF.. if we need a replacement for Jack, I wish it would be a loan deal. Last year we bid for Lucho Gonzalez on a one year loan but Lyon rejected the approach. We were apparently also in for Kaka. Someone like that on a loan deal so as to allow Jack to settle back in, and give the likes of Eisfeld, Gnabry and Aneke another year to develop would be ideal. Though I think we’d be better off buying a defensive minded midfielder, someone who can play alongside/replace Song. We have a stand-in for Arteta in Coquelin, but no direct replacement for Song who will probably go to the ACN. Frimpong isn’t ready yet. Having another DM, gives us the option of moving Arteta up front, or of course we could play RVP there as well. There are more solutions for the AM spot, than there are for the DM spot.

  140. Gooner In Exile says:

    Robbin I think you did a pretty good job 🙂

  141. robbinURpersie says:

    Hey Shard,

    Gliding is the better term :-). his control of the ball whilst in motion was superb..its like he had the ball on a string..

  142. Gooner In Exile says:

  143. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. . Assuming (and it is a huge assumption) Diaby is fit next season, he and Rosicky will take the AM role.

    Furthermore, should RvP stay and play the #10, between them they will negate the need for another signing in this area.

  144. robbinURpersie says:

    sorry i didnt reply directly to your fantastic post, but i did give my answer when replying to TA’s post.. i believe that the AM or hole position is made for RvP, especially with the potent attack we have now…
    i also think Jack will be alright..he is a different beast compared to Ramsey and Rosicky..

    Although i would never complain when strengthening the squad…Kaka on loan? Yes please..

    Everything depends on our moves in this window..

    AA23 can also play there for 5-6 games…( i didnt say that 😉 )

  145. LB says:

    This is the second time in two days I have read suggestions of moving Arteta further up field to a more attacking midfield role.
    If you just put yourself in Wenger’s shoes for a moment you will realise that that possibility is glaringly obvious. The reason he hasn’t already done that is because Arteta no longer has the legs; he neither has the speed nor the stamina to cover the amount of ground necessary to play that role, hence his paring with Song whose engine is bigger and fresher and is able to make up for Arteta’s lack of mobility. (And I have to read on here that Song is undisciplined, really?).
    As for Coquelin being Arteta’s replacement, don’t be confused, he did so towards the end of last season out of necessity but the Frenchman is far more defensive minded and therefore better suited to replacing Song should he be injured. Jack will alternante with Arteta this season.

  146. Shard says:

    Big Raddy,
    I agree. I don’t think we absolutely need someone to fill in for Jack. Diaby being fit is something I’ll believe when I see. I don’t want to give up on him, but realistically I don’t think we can count on that happening. Rosicky might have some difficulties being/staying fit even at the start of the season. Jack was always going to miss the start. Ramsey will be going to the Olympics. That leaves Diaby alone, which is scary. But Arteta can play there too (as can Robin of course). I still prefer Arteta in the deeper role, but I think we need a signing in the defensive midfield position more than an AM. Arteta can move up, and Song can be rested at times. I think Song’s performances tailed off at the end because of fatigue.

  147. robbinURpersie says:

    if its only for a month or two, cant we bring the almighty one back,in the same fashion as Sol Campbell

    Dennis Be Thy Name 🙂

  148. Shard says:

    I think Wilshere will play AM eventually. Whether that is this season or not is different. But who plays the attacking midfield, creative role then? Ramsey, Diaby, Rosicky? Not bad, but I think Song-Arteta-Jack are automatic starters when everyone is fit. I think Diaby can play similar to Arteta (with a bit more forward thrust).

    I disagree that the reason Arteta wasn’t pushed forward was due to any lack of mobility on Arteta’s part. Arteta’s role in the side was exactly what Denilson was supposed to be. He could play higher up, but we have no one else who can do the Xavi role, picking the simple passes, keep us ticking over, know where to be, and having the ability to pick the thread-the-needle passes. I think Coquelin is a similar sort of player. He’s more Flamini than Arteta but still, I think his role will be close to Arteta’s role.

    Song is…unique.. He’s strong, a decent tackler, hard to shrug off the ball, he can dribble, he can pick the long lofted passes. I don’t think there’s any other midfielder like him in the world. He’s sort of Alex of all trades, but I think he has it in him to be among the most complete midfielders in the world. He doesn’t play a traditional DM and I think Wenger wants it that way. To replace Song, Arteta and Coquelin will not be enough. Not for a length of time as much as 2 months. Arteta and Jack might be, but then we’d lack options for rotation. Hence, I think we need a DM (for lack of a better term)

  149. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. I agree – a DM who can cover as a RB would be excellent . Add a backup GK, and we are good to go….

  150. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. 9.06. With the front line sorted (Gerv, Pod, RvP, Giroud, Theo) . Where does the Ox play?

  151. Shard says:

    Big Raddy
    Coquelin is the midfielder covering at RB. I think that’s all we’ll get in that regard.

  152. robbinURpersie says:

    Shard, is there anyone on the market or within reason that you particularly prefer for the DM role?

  153. Big Raddy says:

    Coquelin has a big season ahead of him 🙄

  154. Shard says:

    Oh yeah..Ox can play AM too. Good point. I still think of him as a winger but he’s not of course. I don’t think he’ll be a regular starter just yet. Maybe as the season progresses. That might prove an unpopular view with the masses since Ox is the saviour and all, but I think he still needs some work. Of course with our AM injuries, he might start there for a while. Song/Jack-Arteta/Coquelin with Ox as AM might work, but I’m still loathe to see that team without Song in there. Jack/Arteta/Ox will lack muscle and size against the likes of Stoke and the ‘don’t like it up em’ brigade.

  155. LB says:


    Your comment is not that clear so forgive me if I have slightly misinterpreted it.

    Last year you like all of us must accept that the AM was not utilised as well as we would have liked: Ramsey did not live up to expectations.

    That being the case Arteta could have been a possible replacement and yet Wenger chose not to try that, why?

    I am sorry to play this card but I went to every single home game and I saw Arteta struggle to get back into position after an advanced sortie and it was not pretty (they don’t show those bits on telly). The man no longer has the legs but there is no doubt he still has the brain.

    As for Coquelin what was his best game last season?

    Spuds away, when he replaced Song. This is undisputable.

    If you are saying from a fans point of view that you would like Arsenal to sign a new DM like I would like the club to sign Messi than yeah absolutely great but if you are being practical then we already have Song, Coquelin, Frimpong and even Diaby and Vermaelin so I would say it ain’t going to happen.

  156. Shard says:


    Not But this article here might interest you.

  157. Shard says:


    I think Wenger didn’t try Arteta higher up the field because there was no one else to play the role he currently does. Arteta’s injury has a very strong correlation with poor results for us. Of course, it isn’t JUST down to him, but there is no doubt that his not being there disrupted our entire midfield set up. Ramsey struggled later on, after which Rosicky was given a chance, which he grabbed. I don’t see why Arteta needs speed to be able to play the creative role. Cesc was never the quickest, nor is Jack for that matter. All of them always seem to have time on the ball though.

    As for Coquelin, I didn’t say he can’t play in place of Song. I just think that over any length of time, Coquelin and Arteta in the deeper roles will get found out.

    Will it happen. Will we buy a DM, it depends. It depends on what news Wenger has regarding Diaby’s injury. How much he’s planning to count on him. What is the update on Jack. How many full games does he think Rosicky can last. It also depends on whether he sees Jack playing deeper, or in the AM slot. If needs be, we can get by without another DM in there. If we add a DM, we’ll have a very strong midfield. (with Sagna’s injury, Coquelin might need to fill in at RB too)
    Song, Theo and Robin’s contracts are the other ‘spoilers’ in there, and as such I think those need to be sorted out before we buy anyone else (not least because of their impact on our budget), and by then the medical situation should be clearer regarding the earlier mentioned players. I don’t expect another midfield signing just yet. But I think with Song going to the ACn (I think he will), we will struggle in his absence, unless we get someone else in.

  158. Morning all

    New Post …………………….

  159. […] And I hope that is a positive sign. Hopefully he should be back in the first team by October end. He is still very young, and has missed an entire season of the demands of the Premier League. We all know what happened to Aaron Ramsey. He was out for a long time, and made his return to the […]

  160. richard morgan says:

    look the club have not pencilled Wilshere in for a return date so not to get the fans hopes up he is up and running and doing ball work but rush his comeback and he might break down again. he did his ankle and there were recurring problems with that then he had surgery on another injury to the knee and this kept him out for the rest of the season. The club have said they doubt he will feature for englands two autumn internationals which is in early september but that does not mean he will not feature for the club necessarily it might do but lets wait and see

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