Time To Get Tough With The “Already On The Way Down” Brigade?

I watched a lot of football over the weekend: Manchester United versus Fulham, in which some Dutch bloke scuffed the ball over the line; Chelsea v Newcastle, a mid table clash between the fifth and sixth best teams in England; Stoke v Arsenal, in which a party of brave adventurers including at least one dwarf travelled to Mordor, failed to slay some Orcs and came home again; and, finally, a mugging in Liverpool (I know that’s not news, but this one was a footballing mugging, with the away team stealing an undeserved point).

There were many talking points from those games (including Wayne Rooney experiencing a nasty old gash; the usual bovine booing of Aaron Ramsey by the Stoke herd and Martin Skrtel demonstrating why you can never afford to be sloppy with an exposed rear).

But the incident that really caught my eye was Chelsea’s first goal in their 2-0 victory over Newcastle United.

It was scored by Eden Hazard from the penalty spot after Torres was deemed to have been tripped in the box by Newcastle’s sweetly named midfielder Anita.

The problem is that to me, at least, it was not a penalty. Torres jinked into the box and pushed the ball past Anita who looked as if she (sorry, he) was going to stick out a leg.

Anticipating the contact, Torres instantly tipped into the two-footed “Sniper*” fall and went down.

The only trouble was that Rita, after starting to dangle out a foot, quickly pulled it back again. There may have been slight contact, but only because Torres’ legs were spread out to the sides in the first stages of the “Sniper”.

Certainly the contact would not have been sufficient to upend the Spaniard if he had carried on running instead of playing for the penalty.

The referee was Phil Dowd and all Arsenal fans will remember from a certain 4-4 draw at St James’s Park that he is perfectly capable of awarding a penalty for nothing.

But I am not going to lay the blame on Fat Phil for this one. The fact is that many in the game today would argue strongly that the incident was a foul and deserved a penalty. They would point to the fact that there was some contact, however little, and that Juanita stuck her leg out, even though she quickly withdrew it.

In my book it’s a form of cheating and bad sportsmanship, although some pundits would describe Torres’ behavior as “clever” for having won the penalty; and certain players would no doubt say that they go down in anticipation of the challenge to avoid injury (I wonder what their domestic lives are like: Wife: “What ARE you doing?” Player: “Er… going down in case of injury?” Wife: “That’s funny, that’s exactly what John Terry said yesterday… Oops”).

Newcastle manager Punchy Pardew was being restrained when he said afterwards that Torres “made a meal” of it.

As it happens, in this game I don’t think it made any difference. Chelsea, I’m afraid to say, were on top for the whole game and would certainly have won it with or without the penalty. Their new creative signings have made them a force to be reckoned with. We can only hope that, as the older “stars” like Lampard and Terry start to get edged out, the usual discord will follow and will act like dry rot in the London Oilers’ edifice.

To go back to my point, I believe Torres expected to be fouled and started to fall before the foul happened, rather than falling as a result of being fouled. It’s a subtle but crucial difference. Across the season we will see many, many more such penalties, some of which will help decide the destination of silverware

Some of the shocking dives last season by the likes of Ashley Young and Gareth Bale were defended on the grounds that they were “anticipating” the fall.

Simple sportsmanship dictates that you don’t go down without being forced to. The Titanic did not “anticipate” the iceberg and plunge head first into the icy Atlantic seas before making any contact with the ‘berg.

Effects need causes otherwise they become causes in themselves.

The only solution to this cheating is – as with so many problem areas in modern football – the use of retrospective video evidence to punish offenders. At the moment this can’t happen because of the ludicrous rule that if the referee witnessed the incident his decision cannot be second guessed. Because referees, like the Pope, are infallible.

I would suggest a panel of ex players and referees should sit in judgement of such incidents. Their decision would not affect the result of the game, but they could award a ban to anyone found to be cheating. If they are not unanimous, the benefit of the doubt would go to the striker.

Of course to an Arsenal supporter this is mostly academic (no penalties awarded to us at home during all of last season, remember). But even if referees are allergic to awarding spot kicks for us, we know they’ll be happy enough to dish them out to our opponents.

Clamping down on the “already on his way down-ers” would benefit not just us, but the game as a whole.


*The Sniper is so called because it looks as if the player has been shot in the back from behind, sending his upper body forward while his legs fly out to the sides. The Sniper is believed to have been the subject of a Trademark dispute between Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, both of whom claim they invented it. The dive is now sold under licence in several countries including Spain, where Dani Alves holds the rights.

261 Responses to Time To Get Tough With The “Already On The Way Down” Brigade?

  1. Duraglit silverware polish says:

    when you referred to the chelsea v newcastle game as a mid table clash, you forgot to mention that it was between the fifth team and sixth team (European Champions, FA Cup holders). Any particular reason? i suppose that after winning sweet fa for seven years, its best not to mention trophies, as most of your readers wont know what they are.

  2. ERIK B says:

    @Duraglit silverware polish
    Chelsea won the CL and FA cup fair deuce to them but hey we haven’t won any trophy for 7 years,the club is financially stable, i see trophies down the road this season and remember on two occasions in the league were arsenal could have won but due to the loans and investment in youth we collapsed. Arsenal still will be right up there this season and break the dock with a trophy this season.
    As long as we are trying we would get it right and bring back glory days.

  3. edtfe says:

    wateva Ass-nil fans

  4. Candid gunner says:


    I also guess the Champions’ league and FA cup triumph changed their league position from 6th to 1st?

    If only you understand simple english, and there’s a basic comprehension of the piece.

    Superb work Rocky!

  5. LB says:

    “I believe Torres expected to be fouled and started to fall before the foul happened, rather than falling as a result of being fouled.”

    Can’t imagine anyone who should rightly be on this site would have any reason to disagree with the statement above.

  6. Jarrod says:

    If Chelsea v Newcastle is a mid table clash I would be smart to assume this weeks fixture between Liverpool and Arsenel is a fight to stay out of relegation.

    Fact; Good players get penalties.
    Conclusions; Arsenel have no good players

  7. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rocky, The “diving panel” panel is a good idea but would be unnecessary if the referees grew some balls. most of them appear gutless in the face of the protests from players and managers alike. The media don’t help with the morons employed as “pundits”, who have no conception of the Laws of Football or sportsmanship, trotting out the puerile rubbish about “there was contact” at the merest featherlight touch, they show themselves up when referring to a player “winning a penalty”.

    It’s high time that the cheats were castigated on national television for their actions which bring the game into even more disrepute than does the antics of players like Terry etc.

  8. Shard says:


    I assume you are using the word ‘players’ to bring to mind the thespians of this world. In which case I agree with you.

  9. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Jarrod, depends on your definition of “good”. If by “good” you mean good at cheating them I’m glad that Arsenal have the players we do.

  10. deejay says:

    Duraglit silverware polish….. is it chelsea or the spuds (or both?) that went 50 years between titles prior to oil being found at stamford bridge (and manchester)

  11. Shard says:


    And Chelsea’s first title in 1955 owed a little bit to Arsenal too. Their manager was Arsenal legend Ted Drake.

  12. elkieno says:

    Me neither! So ruined it for both

    Good article for sure. 
    Duraglit: he is talking about the league mate. In the league Chelsea finished 6th (or 5th don’t care or look that far down) not talking bout FA or CL cups. Which Chelsea won fair and square no doubt, but remember how and why, RDM had to take over and thru lack of a good side he decided to do what Stoke and Sunderland do when playing a better team on all aspects, park a bus. 
    You won your cups by parking the bus haha funny cos it’s true. Flash in the pan indeed, you like us won’t be at the top forever, but thru our policies we will still be around to take our rightfull place at top end, remember currently the 3rd most successfull club in England. Chelsea will eventually go back to where history shows where they came from, occasionally winning the FA cup but largely making up the numbers. 13 league titles, 10 FA cups buddy! 
    It’s time that shows us what a real great club is, not oil men and there toys, you will see soon enough. 
    @ Author:
     In the article you say ‘decisions would be unanimous’ so someone can be retro punished. I reckon if it was say Rooney, Gerard that dived, they wouldnt be punished at all. Whereas Eduardo would be banned for maximum time. I have no faith in anyone of the powers that be to make EPL fairer. 
    Chelsea: they have started out on fire, but can hazard keep up his form all year? Eventually new ones form will dip and that is where a good manager comes in, I don’t know if hd could get them up like Fergie could (would say Wenger too, but 7 years I’d longtime now). 
    We saw RDM last year fail in league so threw it all in the cups and prayed. Very possible to happen again. I would much rather a slow start getting basics down first then building from there, time will tell again.
    May the best side win without help from refs!

  13. Red Arse says:

    Really, excellent and apposite Post, Rock Feller! 🙂

    I am amused by the term “Sniper’s Fall” to describe the diving of Torres, and it is instantly recognizable in the splayed legs of all the other main culprits.

    There is a problem, as I see it, with the solution you suggest of a post-match conflab of ex-players or any other ‘experienced’ parties, because, with the best will in the world, they would never reach consensus.

    Even on AA there has been disagreement between some of the cognoscenti, as to whether or not Torres dived, and therefore whether or not the penalty was awarded correctly.

    This does not mean that biase, stupidity or some other factor affecting ex-players has occurred, but I believe, and here I go again, that human physiology can come into play.

    I won’t go into the why’s and wherefore’s too much, but imagine you are driving your car in a city center. You can see a huge panorama of signs, people, traffic signals, adverts, white lines, the sky, turnings etc etc.
    In fact what the eye homes in on is the main object of particular interest to you at any given moment, be that a road sign, a person crossing the street, or whatever.
    You may be aware, in a general way, of everything going on around you because the brain is trying to give you context from your initial brief overall glimpse.

    Now when Torres, for the sake of argument, dives – unless you were exclusively watching him at the precise moment he ‘snipes’, and you had a good view, you will not truly know whether he dived or not.

    So, you might say, we will review the televisual evidence, instead. But the two dimensional image is notoriously inconclusive. How many times do we hear “It does not……. from this angle, but look at this other camera angle and it does………….”. The ‘jury’ would in effect be voting on which camera angle to believe.

    Evidence of the difficulty of deciding on ‘fact’ as provided by television replays is provided by your own game of cricket.
    I sometimes watch certain ‘test’ (?) games, and frequently there is a review of whether a ball hit by the batsman has ‘carried’, straight into a fielders hands, or whether it has bounced first or whether it has hit the ground and the fielders hands at the same time.

    The results are always contentious with some ex-players saying it was definitely ‘Out’ while others say it was definitely ‘In’. Someone is usually very peeved by the decision either way.

    Until Super Ultra definition, 3D TV is available covering all angles, and how likely is that, the divers will cheat their way into undeserved penalty goals, or unjust sendings off of the opponent to the justified anger of many.

  14. Candid gunner says:

    Jarrod’s the genius of the Chelski folds! Lmao…

  15. Candid gunner says:


    You forgot Luis ‘c*nt’ Suarez in the ‘diving list’..

  16. Slimgingergooner says:

    Agree with all this Rocky and had a discussion about the exact same incident on Sunday where me and a friend both agreed that it was an absolute disgrace! There are no consequences in place to put the attacker off from diving, and this is the problem. A booking or a small fine means fuck all to these cheating pricks. I wonder how many players would dive, and also how many managers would encourage it, if points were deducted after the games where people are seen to be diving?

  17. Dick Swiveller says:

    It just shows how ridiculous it is to see things in black and white combined with some serious tunnel vision, any contact is apparently a penalty and any touch on the ball (even with no noticeable deflection of the balls line) excuses anything in the area.

    There is only one group of people that can stop it from happening, the players and managers, and they won’t stop it as long as it brings results. Some may claim that managers can’t stop it (the ‘Pulis defence’) but we see maybe 2 or 3 dives a season from Arsenal players and our manager is a dirty cheating foreigner, so imagine how much more effective British mangers would be at stopping their players from flopping down in preference to playing football.

    Incidentally, Gerrard’s style is the ‘Starfish’, it looks like a sniper but the arms and legs have to splay out of the four corners of the torso at the same angle, it’s a tough one but very effective when combined with being an England starter.

  18. Stan says:

    At first I had a bit of trouble with your article, with being a Chelsea supporter, being at the game and howling in approval at the award of the penalty. However on more mature reflection (and remembering 30 years of playing in the most old fashioned of centre half styles), you are totally right.

    Pundits talk about “contact” but when did football become a no contact sport? Why do referees fall for it every time? I know penalties are the biggest reward decisions but you just know that in every race for the ball the moment one player gets in front of the race they fall over and get a free kick.

    It is a bit easier to get a bit holier than thou when you are not a reciepient of this largesse from refereees but you must remember your invincables wouldnt have been so without a couple of very dodgey penalties awarded to them

  19. Alex Ballantyne says:

    I am more concerned with the insidious talk that”Arsenal are No longer a big club” latest ffrom the dancing. Footbller Robbie Savage who as far as I know never played in or for a “big club” in his life at least no team with ” Brucie” in it. But here we are being forced to listen to a. 3rd rate dance who ( and who sanctioned this ??) has landed a plum job at the BBC to whom I have threatend a “Fergie” no speak by Arsene
    What trt

    do u think



  20. Slimgingergooner says:

    Anyone who has played a competitive game of football will know that 70% of what are deemed as ‘fouls’ in the modern game are actually just players falling over too easily or 50/50 collisions, both of which do not require the referee to blow his whistle. If you think that is an unfair assessment then I advise you to go watch a Sunday League game or a game from as early as the nineties and see how much things have changed for the worse in the last decade. It’s a cancer of the game and it is actually ruining football as an enjoyable spectacle.

  21. Duraglit silverware polish says:

    my little arsenal chums. let me answer a few of your little digs above.
    – yes, it took the romans money to give us that extra leg up. we were hovering about in the top 5 for many years before he came. mega bucks were needed to give us that final quick push.
    – we needed the oil money. nothing wrong in having a rich benefactor. look back in your history, check out why you were called the bank of england club.you werent called that for nothing. check out how much dough the hill woods pumped into the illustrious marble halls. check out how much danny the dodgy dealer pumped in. check out henry norris ( there’s one for google)
    – someone mentioned terry bringing the game into disrepute. check out adams, merson, peter storey, david hillier ( might be wrong there, but one of your heroes got done for stealing suitcases at the airport) and for those of you that have limited memories, check out the bloke that got done earlier this month for dangerous driving.
    – so youve never been out of the top division, check out the 1912/13 season.
    – corruption? no smoke without fire some say. check out henry norris and the bribery affair.
    All part of your illustrious history that,funny enough, never gets mentioned.
    keep on being happy with a top 5 place. celebrate coming third, because while youre doing that, we’re laughing at you. how the mighty have fallen.


    Thanks Rocky. Diving is a serious problem. Cant see it going away overnight. Players and managers have to take responsibility so i wont be holding my breath.

    Duraglit, i have no problem with Chelsea. Your club has to do what youve got to do and our club has to to do the same. But please put away this jealousy. How ever much money Roman puts in or trophies you win you will never be Arsenal. Just accept this fact and enjoy your current success.

  23. evonne says:

    Stan – I have never known a Chelsea supporter to be as honourable as you, very refreshing, thank you for your comment.

  24. evonne says:

    Rocky – very good piece of writing, thanks for that. My fav bit is the addendum re sniper, classic 🙂

  25. 26may1989 says:

    Agree 100% with you Rocky, except for the bit about Torres not being fouled!

    As RA points out, it’s often in the eye of beholder stuff to classify one event as a genuine foul, another as simulation. And while Anita was in the process of trying to withdraw his leg, to my eye he did still trip Torres. I wouldn’t say Anita was just dangling a leg, he made a deliberate and rapid movement towards Torres, then realised quite how stupid that was, and began to pull back. But too late. As I said over the weekend, I hate Chelsea more than any other club (hello there Duraglit), and would love to indulge my habit of slagging them off by calling their No 9 a diver, but this isn’t the right example. To my eye, Torres was fouled; at the very least, that is a strong possibility.

    But of course I agree with the basic point, diving such as that of Suarez, Young etc is one of the most insidious, embarrassing things in the game, and if we can find effective ways to attack it, let’s go for it.

    But slightly to speak as devil’s advocate, there are situations where the fouled player can be simulating to an extent AND where the fouling player is still culpable. Think of all those times when we’ve seen one of our own (Arshavin or Walcott for example) battle to stay on his feet when he had been fouled and could quite legitimately have gone down and earned a penalty – usually, the foul is missed by the referee and goes unpunished. Sometimes, as Teddy Sheringham used to say, the player needs to show the referee that he’s been fouled.

    One thing thath is annoying is that referees are not using the tools available to attack diving: for example, Jermaine Pennant clearly dived on Sunday to try to sucker the ref into awarding a penalty against Keiran Gibbs, and the ref rightly refused to award a penalty – but then didn’t follow through and book Pennant. Why not? Looked a pretty obvious dive to me. And even if not in that case, how rarely are players booked for diving? Hardly ever happens, despite diving being routine and often pretty obvious.

    But in-match bookings are only part of the answer, there should, as you say, be harsh post-match punishments to attack the obvious examples. Relying on the consciences of players and coaches is clearly never going to work.

  26. 26may1989 says:

    Duraglit, I think you’ll find there are plenty of people here who know all about Henry Norris’s role in the history of Arsenal, no need to lecture us! If memory serves, it was a post WWI collaboration between Norris and Chelsea that ensured they were in the new Div 1 at the expense of Spurs. Plenty of historical muck to share!

    So to a degree you’re right, albeit that you have to go back 100 years to find club-level rubbish about our club, whereas it is a current fact for your club.

    As for dodgy players, yup, Adams, Merson, Hillier and Storey are all off-the-field scandals in our recent past. And there have been one or two others along the way (Raphael Meade and Glenn Helder come to mind). I’m surprised you didn’t mention George Graham getting caught with his hand in the till. But I’m not sure any of them clocked up quite as much as Mr Terry, whose efforts at feeding the tabloids have been on an epic level. However,when was the last time your club offered to replay a cup-tie because it had been decided by a legal but unethical goal (Kanu vs Sheff Utd)? Or went against the football authorities in the aid of an opponent whose fans had just suffered in a tragedy (Arsenal and Liverpool resisted FA pressure in 1989 to play their fixture in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster, risking points deductions)? Or had a player convince a referee to change his mind about awarding a penalty in his favour (Arshavin vs Portsmouth in 2009)?

    Face it, Arsenal have class, Chelsea just have the pots that Roman bought. Class is permanent, Roman is not.

  27. 26may1989 says:

    Oh and I don’t think Danny Fiszman put a penny into the club, he just bought shares from David Dein. And the Hill-Woods? I very much doubt they put much in at all, certainly not this side of WWII – Norris did though, you’re right about that one. Trouble is it was back in the 1910s and 1920s, Arsenal failed to succeed with the money, and only got going in the 1930s, after Norris was removed and the club was using its own resources.

  28. Total says:

    Hi Rocky, love the post! 🙂

    Other than video-refereeing I cannot see how diving will be stamped out. RA made some very valid points re the difficulties of implementing video-refereeing, but it would, nevertheless, improve the level of (perceived) fairness tremendously. A penalty-decision should only be allowed to stand if and when the panel has no doubt it indeed was a pen. Simples.

    The only other option that could work is penalising ‘divers in the box’ with a straight red rather than a yellow. That would equal somewhat the level of award with the level of punishment, to be gained or risked, from attempting a dive.

    Norfolk G – fine comment today and I totally agree. 🙂

  29. Red Arse says:

    Hi 26, 🙂

    I am afraid you are talking to the selectively deaf in Mr Duraglit.

    I have been meaning to engage you in further discussion of the UEFA FFP regs, and the proposed and currently postponed 6:5 rules, as I am once again very concerned with the implementaion of Mssr Platini’s ‘great idea’.

    Perhaps when their is a quiet moment we can get to it!! 🙂

  30. GoonerB says:

    Good post and you may well be right Rocky that this decision may not have affected the result overall. It is difficult to be entirely sure though because if it is still 1-0 later in the game Necastle have the players to cause a late shock so we can never really know. I am not sure if anyone has mentioned it above and I missed it but if we are talking more specifically about Chelsea then the allowed Torres offside goal late in the Reading game IMO definitely changed the result. Their break-away 4th doesn’t happen if Reading haven’t committed everyone including the keeper up the pitch tor try and get the draw. They do look good this year but that is still definitely 2 points they have been handed on a plate and possibly more depending on whether Newcastle could have salvaged something. The pundits are already salivating about Chelsea but they are already getting a helping hand from the officials and that is criminal.

  31. Total says:

    ‘Class is permanent, Roman is not’ 🙂 Well said 26!

    I would like to add – inspired by LB’s recent comment on the matter: ‘Class is permanent, Chelsea is a helicopter crash away from imploding into oblivion.’

    And for the Chavs visiting us today: buying a few cups with £1bn+ is meaningless in the long term. Nobody ever talks about Blackburn’s PL win and soon the same will happen to your bought successes. Utterly meaningless.

    Having said that, you have played the best football until now this season, and well done for RDM to leave behind the park-the-bus footie (at least for now). On 29 September you will get a proper test though – that’s when you will meet the Impenetrables! 🙂

  32. Red Arse says:

    High TA, 🙂

    The problem I have with the retrospective decision making to penalize a ‘diver’, is that human nature being what it is, there are bound to be some miscarriages of justice, with potentially disastrous consequences for the innocent player who genuinely did not commit an offence.

    Panels smack of kangaroo courts to me, and if they were staffed by ex-players of limited intellect, lacking in common sense or who had dubious career histories themselves, I would fear the worst, and the consequence could be perennial bad blood between the clubs and the players – past and present.

    Damn! I am sounding more like a ’26er’ than an accountant, but then I would make a good barrack room lawyer! 🙂

  33. 26may1989 says:

    HI RA. My concern about where FFP is going is less to do with implementation (though I still worry that UEFA may not be as aggressive with City, PSG, Chelsea etc as they should); my worry is that the massive new TV deals for the EPL will give enough genuine and legitimate cover to our English opponents to allow them to comply. Of course, I couldn’t complain if they did comply, but it would be very frustrating to see our good-housekeeping not adequately rewarded.

    Anyway, as you say, perhaps one for a fuller discussion another time. 🙂

  34. 26may1989 says:

    You know you want to be a lawyer, RA – it’s not too late, you can still be saved from the bean-counting! Maybe you could join my firm as a trainee – now that would be a laugh! 🙂

  35. Slimgingergooner says:

    I think one of the issues with diving is that people justify someone falling on the floor if he’s been touched. It may be the case that Torres got touched by Anita in this example, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t dive. If he was genuinely trying to stay on his feet then he would’ve tried to put out his leg to stop himself falling over, but what he actually did was fling his legs out backwards so that it was impossible to stay on his feet. The longer that people keep justifying this play acting as clever, the longer diving and cheating will stay in the game.

  36. LB says:

    “Class is permanent, Roman is not.”

    Love this.

  37. goonersteve says:

    Simple solution.

    A player dives once – he loses a testicle
    He dives twice – he loses the other one
    He dives a third time and then his Cock is lopped off.

    if they want to act like women then let’s make them women.

    For al, the Chelsea ‘fans’ commenting.
    Where were you when you were shit?
    Glory hunters the lot of ya

  38. Total says:

    Hi RA 🙂

    Apologies, I was referring to video-refereeing during the game, whilst you were talking about retrospective punishment. I agree with you there is a risk of kangaroo-style rulings.

    How are you doing in terms of health my friend?

  39. Red Arse says:


    Yes, perhaps we can look at FFP again, another time. Your point is well made, in that the new super dooper TV deal does give the big spender more wriggle room.

    My concern relates more to the ‘reach’ of the FFP rules and the practicality of the penalties for non-compliance.
    I will keep my powder dry until a more appropriate time.

    I like your idea of a career change! 🙂

    As for becoming a trainee working for you, I think you would find me insufferable.
    As you will have seen on AA, I am a real ‘know it all’, and worse, I am a show off. You would have to keep beating me with a large stick to keep me quiet!! 🙂

  40. Total says:

    Goonersteve, I would rather see a testicle added every time a player dives. Can you imagine what the shorts of the Granny Shagger would look like? 😆

  41. Total says:

    ‘As you will have seen on AA, I am a real ‘know it all’, and worse, I am a show off. You would have to keep beating me with a large stick to keep me quiet!!’

    RA, my dear fellow, you have got the job; when can you start? 🙂

  42. Red Arse says:


    Still plugging along. I have come to terms with things and have adjusted my expectations, so I manage my impatience a little better.

    Thanx for asking. 🙂

  43. Red Arse says:


    @1:22 ……………………..yeuk!! 🙂

    @ 1:24 …………………….26 would never forgive you!! 🙂

  44. Total says:

    RA, good to hear you being philosophical about your health situation. I guess it’s the only way to deal with any longer term health issues.

    I have met 26 and I can categorically state he is the exception to the rule! 🙂

  45. GunerN5 says:

    Looks like Henri Lansbury is being sold to Nottingham Forest for 1 million. Yet another arrow leaves the quiver?

  46. Bryan says:

    I would not mind a panel to look at diving but I would also like to see the other side of what annoys me in football dealt with too, shirt pulling stamped out.
    You could also debate that a striker diving for a penalty is his fight back against the constant shirt pulling, that normally goes unpunished even in the penalty area & I can garantee you that a player wins a penalty less than he gets his shirt tugged in the penalty area.
    Don’t get me wrong I hate diving , it is cheating but so is shirt pulling.
    Football has changed a lot for the worst, when it comes fouls in the last 15 years or so, free kicks & bookings are handed out for nothing these days. It is no surprise that there are so many sending offs & they normally spoil games.
    A panel that totally accesses every part of the game would be fine by me & could hand out punishments for all wrong doings in games but it is opening a can of worms.
    As someone said if you sent a player off for diving, you would start with a lot of red cards but eventually the diving would reduce & the same can be said, that if pens were awarded every time a player had his shirt pulled in the box, there would be loads of penaltys but eventually the pulling would cut down. Sometimes severe punishments are the only way to stem the tide of cheating & at first it would probably be a pain in the ass but eventually it would alter the problem for the better 😉

  47. RockyLives says:

    Good day everyone and thanks for the comments on a subject that is not Arsenal-centred but, nevertheless, affects us.

    I’m not quite sure why the Post attracted so many chavmungous types earlier on given that it doesn’t mention Chelsea or Torres in the headline but, hey ho. Recognising humour is clearly not their strong point (although Stan was an honourable exception).

    In fact I thought I was quite complimentary about their team, a few jokes aside.

    Redders and NG raised the good point that a “panel of experts” might actually comprise a bunch of dubious old soaks who would always favour the British players and who, in any case, would find it hard to reach consensus. I agree, in which case maybe only the most egregious cases (Ashley Young last season) would get punished. But it would still send out a message.

    The fact that 26 has watched the same footage as me and feels that Torres was fouled shows just how difficult it is to reach consensus.

    Total suggested red cards for diving in the box. My only worry about that is that at least half the times the refs dish out a yellow for diving they get it wrong. The speed and intensity of the game make it extremely difficult for refs to make the right decisions in real time – hence my preference for retrospective reviewing and retrospective punishment. Imagine the furore if a striker gets sent off for diving in the box, when replays show he was definitely fouled. The affected team has not only missed out on a penalty, they’ve also gone down to 10 men.

    Or we could just take the goonersteve approach and lop off their nadgers 🙂

    And thankyou Total for reminding us of LB’s very insightful observation: “Chelsea is a helicopter crash away from imploding into oblivion.” I can’t think of any sentence that better sums up the risks of the sugar daddy model of ownership.

    GoonerB – I hope you’re right about the Chavs. At the moment they look a bit scary.

    Bryan – I’m with you 100% on the shirt pulling – in fact I would limit my post-match video reviews to incidents of “unsporting or violent behaviour.” The former would include shirt pulling and, again, retrospective cards and bans would be dished out.

    Finally a word for Alex Ballantyne, who started off making what sounded like an interesting point about Robbie Savage, but whose comment then descended into what I can only describe as experimental free verse. Or else he was murdered while typing and his hand slipped down the keyboard as he slumped to the floor. Alex – can you let us know you’re OK?

  48. Shard says:

    I thought the Torres penalty was a dive as well. I disagree that it made no difference to the result. We’ve spent our two matches dominating sides but not being able to find a breakthrough. If Chelsea hadn’t scored, who knows what would have happened. The better side won, isn’t really an argument enough to take away from the importance and effect of such a decision.

    I also have issues with ex pros and referees review panel. Panels, largely offer people an escape. They can escape accountability because they are usually anonymous, who appoints them is unknown, and if you add unanimity as a clause, everyone will just wash their hands of any responsibility. I think it should be reviewed, but by the referee after the match, who should be given the chance to explain his decisions, and equally, to admit that he made a mistake and hence reverses his call. Although a referee will be loath to accept his own culpability, if he is to maintain credibility, he’ll have to do the right thing.

    That way, the referee maintains his authority over the game (something FIFA et al insist is essential) but justice is still done.

    Slightly off topic, but I’d like to propose a rule change. Time wasting, instead of leading to a yellow card, should just lead to a free kick being awarded to the opposition. How many keepers would be willing to risk a free kick from within their 6 yard box, just to slow the game down by 30 seconds? Not many I bet.

  49. RockyLives says:

    Oh, and hello to evonne, Slim, Gn5, Terry, Candid and Dick.

    Gn5 – I’m sorry to see Lansbury go, but on the occasions I saw him I was never convinced he quite had the class for us. He couldn’t hold down a starting place at Norwich last season. Better for him to go on and make a good career elsewhere. Also, the problem with our quiver is that FA and UEFA rules limit the number of arrows we’re allowed. Something has to give…

  50. RockyLives says:

    Hello Shard
    Very good idea about the ref reviewing his own performance. If he tries to stick by an obviously incorrect decision he just looks a moron.

    It will only work, however, if we can get away from the idea pedalled by the refs’ association that they are infallible. As has been piointed out above, when we can’t agree on an incident after watching it in slo-mo from five different angles, what chance have the refs got with one angle in real time?

  51. RockyLives says:

    Glad to hear you’re bearing up.

  52. Slimgingergooner says:

    The common consensus is that it’s the players and managers who are to blame, but there are many occasions where the refs should shoulder the blame too. If you did a survey on players about diving, I imagine the phrase ‘if I don’t go down then the ref might not give it’ would crop up time and time again. I watched Carlton Cole get fouled in the box towards the end of last season, but because he managed to stay upright, the ref didnt give anything and he lost his shooting opportunity. Had he fallen then he wouldve got a spot kick, but then technically he would’ve also dived, even though it was actually foul! It’s a thin line!

  53. Shard says:

    Hello Rocky,

    I agree. Which is why I think it’s strange that video evidence is not allowed to be used. Retrospective punishment is good, but will still not stop it, since in important games/cup finals, the prize of a penalty will be worth any later ban. I would ideally like there to be use of video in the match through an appeal system. You could even have a separate video ref who examines the incident under question, and the game only stopping if the wrong decision was made.

  54. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky, Lansbury is a home grown player, if he does leave then we will be down only 10 home grown players.

    So our 8 home grown would have to come from this group.

    1. Djourou
    2. Gibbs
    3. Mannone
    4. Szczesny
    5. Ramsey
    6. Walcott
    7. Bendtner
    8. Eastmond
    9. Watt
    10. Shea.

    Bendtner will most likely leave which would leave us with 9, Shea is a goalkeeper and it’s doubtful he will be named so to achieve our 8 we would have to include Watt and Eastmond.

    If we don’t name the latter two then we can only have a squad of only 23 players and not the maximum 25.

    Also what if Walcott does not sign.

  55. RockyLives says:

    Hmmm – that’s interesting Gn5. You clearly have a much better grasp of the home grown rule than me (it just leaves me confused).

    But shouldn’t it also include Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson etc?

  56. RockyLives says:

    And don’t the likes of Coquelin count as home grown because they’ve been with us since a young age?

  57. Shard says:

    Those players dont have to be included in the 25 yet Rocky. They count as U21 players.

  58. Shard says:

    Which actually means that being able to name only 23 is no bad thing. If you can still play Wilshere without registering him, that is good. Especially because 1 or 2 years down the line, we’ll need space to register them.

    Another reason why loan deals might become more popular among clubs. Better to loan someone to fill a gap than buy them and put them on a 4 year contract and not have enough squad space to accommodate them.

  59. RockyLives says:

    OK – got it. Thanks Shard.

  60. chas says:

    Watt and Shea still count as under 21 as they were only 20 on January 1st 2012.

    “An Under 21 player is defined as one who is under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences. For the 2012/13 campaign Under 21 players will have been born on or after 1st January 1991.”

  61. chas says:

    Great post, Rocky.

    I can’t bear those who go down before there is any contact. In effect they are initiating the contact.
    Blatant cheating as far as I’m concerned.

  62. Shard says:

    Coquelin and Conor Henderson will have to be registered next season. Wilshere MIGHT need to be registered next season too. I’m not sure because he’s born on the 1st of Jan and will turn 21 on new year’s day 2013. Not sure if he’ll need to be registered for the 2013-14 season or the 2014-15 season.

    But we’ll need to find space for these youngsters or let them go. Or of course keep loaning them out for a few years till squad space becomes available.

  63. chas says:

    One of my favourite real names ever is Anita Harris.

  64. Shard says:

    Ok chas. Then I guess Wilshere still has 2 seasons before he has to be registered.

    2012-13: Ramsey, Szczesny
    2013-14: Coquelin, Henderson, Watt
    2014-15: Frimpong, Jenkinson, Wilshere, Ryo, Miquel, Martinez, Meade

  65. evonne says:

    Rocky – I didn’t read all of the comments, so apologies if somebody has already suggested this. I like the idea of the panel, preferably presided by Gary Neville, who seems to be the most honest, knowledgable and respected ex-footballer around. But I would go one step further, ie I would punish the manager, not the player. This is becasue I believe that they are the root cause of the problem. I am not suggesting that they encourage diving or any other form of cheating, but becasue they do not do enough to stam it out in their team. It is not coincidental that certain teams are notoriously bad offenders, Pullis and Murinho being prime examples. Slap some £100k fines on them each time their player offends and we will soon see a better game

  66. RockyLives says:

    chas 🙂
    Didn’t she marry Hugh Janus?

  67. chas says:

    I think that’s correct, Shard i.e. Jack’ll still count as under 21 next season (2013/4).

  68. chas says:

    Yep, he was the step-brother of Egbert Nobacon.

  69. chas says:

    Who was married to Lydia Dustbin.

  70. chas says:

    Sister of Tania Hyde.

  71. RockyLives says:

    …who was married to Teresa Green.

  72. evonne says:

    what about dr Chisholm Ogg who won the best lawn in UK this year. Not only he is called Chisholm Ogg he spends 8 hours a day tending to his lawn. Bad? Criminal

  73. evonne says:

    My tickets for the Pool game have just arrived. I am beginning to be nervous, very nervous. What have I done?? I don’t want to go there and seat with the enemy. God I hope we win!!

  74. RockyLives says:

    the one you should feel sorry for is Chisholm’s brother, Ward.

  75. Shard says:

    Not more sorry than for his friend, Yuri Nater.

  76. RockyLives says:

    Shard, that’s just taking the p*ss…

  77. Red Arse says:

    Chas, Rocker, 🙂

  78. Shard says:

    His business partner,Drew P. Weiner never could understand why people never took them seriously.

  79. evonne says:

    just as well I guys don’t know my real name 🙂

  80. 26may1989 says:

    Re the PL squad, the rule is that a player counts this season as under-21 (and therefore doesn’t go towards the quotas) if he is born on or after 31 January 1991. And to be homegrown, the player must have spent 36 months before his 21st birthday “affiliated” to an English or Welsh club.

    I think our squad profile remains healthy, in large part because we still have a fair few youngsters playing first team football. But it must be a tricky one to manage over time.

    Assuming that Bendtner, Chamakh, Park, Arshavin, Lansbury and Squillaci are sold this week, I predict that our PL squad would be as follows:

    Homegrown (max 8)
    1. Walcott
    2. Ramsey
    3. Szczesny
    4. Djourou
    5. Mannone
    6. Gibbs

    Non-homegrown (max 17)
    1. Diaby
    2. Sagna
    3. Vermaelen
    4. Koscielny
    5. Rosicky
    6. Fabianski
    7. Arteta
    8. Giroud
    9. Santos
    10. Mertesacker
    11. Cazorla
    12. Podolski
    13. Gervinho

    Plus all of the other reserves other than Eastmond (who’s over 21).

    Obviously, any of Bendtner, Chamakh, Park, Arshavin, Lansbury and Squillaci who have not been sold by the end of this week could be slotted into any remaining spaces in the quotas (Bentner and Lansbury would count as homegrown)). But more likely, at least one or two of those slots will be filled by further recruits.

    I think all of the current U21 players would meet the homegrown player criteria, including Coquelin, since he’s spent three of his four seasons since joining us actually at Arsenal (the other one being on loan at Lorient). If our homegrown quota fills up, then players who could count as homegrown would simply fill slots in the non-homegrown quota.

    “Confused? You won’t be, after this week’s episode of…Squads.”

  81. chas says:

    Mike Hunt said in a London accent is virgin on the ridiculous.

  82. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry, my typo: as Chas said, it should be “the rule is that a player counts this season as under-21 (and therefore doesn’t go towards the quotas) if he is born on or after 1 January 1991.”

  83. evonne says:

    you guys, not I guys. That new keyboard is rubbish 🙂

  84. Red Arse says:


    A little bird told me that you have the very good Polish name Drupee Drawarz. 🙂

  85. LB says:

    Ah, that helps, so homegrown can take up the slots of non-homegrown.

    Which I suppose makes sense as the object of the exercise must be to have as many homegrown players as possible.

  86. RockyLives says:

    your ex hubby was not the noted Polish circumcision surgeon
    Ivor Nakonikinemov was he?

  87. LB says:

    Actually can someone confirm that: in theory the squad could be made up of 25, over twenty one year old, homegrown players?

  88. chas says:

    Whoops too slow.

  89. Red Arse says:

    The squad rules seem straightforward and well explained, 26. 🙂

    I think the confusion arises from the term ‘maximum’ and is sometimes interpreted as ‘must be’.

    The Non-Home Grown (foreign) quota is a ‘maximum’ of 17, but it would be possible to have 23 Home Grown players over 21 in the squad, and in that case either none, 1 or 2 Non-Home Grown.

    Or, I suppose, if we had very gifted youngsters we could have a squad of NIL, and only field teams composed of all Under 21 players.

    Unlikely, but possible.

  90. lexxytweetz says:

    What a post, nice one

  91. chas says:

    That’s my understanding, LB.

  92. Red Arse says:

    Rock Man,

    Ivor Nakonikinemov. Wassat?

    I’ve Nako-nik-in-emov —- Explain yourself — or admit that’s rubbish! 🙂

    Ivor Nikeditov? Now your talking. 🙂

  93. 26may1989 says:

    LB @4.51pm: Correct – the point is to ringfence eight spots in the 25 for homegrown players, not to require teams to have at least 17 non-homegrown players. And yes, in theory, you could have a squad of 25 homegrown players – our weekend oppo, for example, may only have a few non-homegrown players (Palacios, Begovic, Cameron, Jones, Sorenson). I think even Huth counts as homegrown, having been at Chelsea and Boro.

  94. 26may1989 says:

    And Red Arse, the scenario you outline (a squad of only itsy-bitsy U21s) doesn’t look so far-fetched with the clubs that have knackered finances: obviously PL rules don’t apply to them, but just look at the teams that Pompey and Rangers are fielding right now.

  95. evonne says:

    Rocky – he is Irish 🙂

    Just as well GiE is not around today, he’d go mad with us; after explaining it so many times we are still unsure 🙂

    But I think that the rule was introduced to increase/force number of home grown players and 8 is the bare minimum. That happened a few years ago when certain North London teams had no English players on the pitch

  96. RockyLives says:

    I’ve a nack of nicking them off…

  97. Red Arse says:

    Then what you needed oh wise one was to introduce an ‘eff’ so to speak! 🙂

    Ivor Nakonikinemov = Ivor Nakofnikinemov

    Then you would not have any problems with pedants like ……………… err, like me!! 🙂

  98. RockyLives says:

    You’re probably right Redders – I was being a bit Cockney about it:
    “I’ve a knack o’ nickin’ ’em off”.

  99. Red Arse says:

    Just teasing you Rocky. 🙂

    I think Evonne is still trying to work out Drupee Drawarz. 🙂

  100. Red Arse says:

    I have never really been into Twitting, but if any of you guys (Chas?) know anything about it, I just received this as an ‘alert’.

    Jack Nesbitt ‏@Jack_Nesbitt

    He reckons the Toon have accepted a bid by Arsenal for Cabaye.
    It seems very iffy to moi. 🙂

  101. evonne says:

    RA – Evonne is depressed not stupid and my underwear is a very private matter sir

  102. chas says:

    RA, there are so many ITK wallahs on twitter it’s impossible to sort a chaff from the wheat tweet.
    p.s. I bet you know more about twatter than me.

  103. Red Arse says:

    Oddly enough, Chazzer, despite my ‘loud’ persona on AA, I am a very private person, so as I don’t give much away on twit, I feel a little uncomfortable about being privy to other people’s waffles! 🙂

    I enjoy the cutting wit and the lunacy tho’. 🙂

  104. Goonergonmad says:

    Good evening everyone

  105. Red Arse says:


    I am really sorry you are feeling depressed, but with all the friends you have on AA, hopefully they will cheer you up.
    I will stop trying to be humorous and just shut up!

    Actually, Drupee Drawarz is really Glic’s name when he goes to certain clubs! 😉
    Serves him right for not being on AA when I am here!! 🙂

  106. Red Arse says:

    Good evening back, Goonergonads, 🙂

    Have we been introduced?

  107. chas says:

    Have you read Rusty Bedsprings by I.P. Knightly?

  108. chas says:

    Or Accidental Cliff Falls by Eileen Dover?

  109. chas says:

    I dip in and out, too. 🙂

  110. Goonergonmad says:

    Hi RA – no we haven’t. Im a girl so be nice. Lol. Anyway I read your blog almost daily so I thought it would cool to say hi

  111. glic says:

    I know he`s a detestable person, but that was some horrific gash on Rooney`s thigh, quite unusual really, normally he has an horrific looking grannie`s gash sitting on his face !.

  112. Red Arse says:

    Oh bugger, I am sorry Goonergonmad, my ‘accidental’ typo looks a little misplaced as would the gonads!! Mea Culpa!! 🙂

    Anyway, if you have gone mad, as your avatar indicates, and that must be the case if you read this blog daily, you are very welcome and should feel right at home. 🙂

  113. Red Arse says:


    I wrote a very apologetic comment to you, which taxed my limited brain power to the max, but it has evaporated into the aether with all my comedic genius, which is either the work of the AA censor or that bloody Word Press demon! 🙂

    Anyway, I am sorry for my highly intended typo concerning your blog name.

    I have now reformed and will be nice to you!! 🙂

  114. Red Arse says:


    And now, GGM, the missing missive turns up and makes me out to be a fibber, regarding my comedic genius.

    That Chas will pay for this! I don’t know how he did it but I won’t let facts get in the way!! 🙂

  115. Red Arse says:

    Hi Glicster, 🙂

    Like a Genie you turn up when I mentioned your name. Now I have to pop out, so see you later, hopefully!! 🙂

  116. RockyLives says:

    Welcome goonergonmad
    Nice to have you aboard.

  117. Goonergonmad says:

    Thanks RA n Rocky. I love the Arsenal and when I read about your passion here everyday, it inspires me. With the player changes and staff ( 1 ‘ go to the ball ‘ rice – whom I do love), it does feel like a new Arsenal. I think Im now immune to the media so I looking foward to a strong season.

  118. glic says:

    Hi Redders 🙂
    I dont get much time on here at the moment, lots of work to do and trying to get tickets for the Soton game on the ticket exchange ( no fibbing, I was on the exchange for 6 hours non stop yesterday clicking on the refresh button and still couldn`t get two seats together , great footballing club ,but effing shite in other areas ) has kept me very busy.. Some establishments were begging for my services, they wanted the handsome bastard who put the buns in the oven or was it the chap who delivers the cakes ?.

  119. Goonergonmad says:

    Thanks RA n Rocky. I love the Arsenal and when I read about your passion here everyday, it inspires me. With the player changes and staff ( 1 ‘ go to the ball ‘ rice – whom I do love), it does feel like a new Arsenal. I think Im now immune to the media so I’m looking foward to a strong season.

  120. jnyc says:

    Good article Rocky, retrospective video review is the best answer, not perfect. But an improvement. I agree with goonerB, its really bothering me that chelsea is racking up points with alot of help from refs. They already have alot of talent, this just makes our job that much harder.

  121. evonne says:

    Chas and RA are like 2 naughty boys

    Joey Barton not going to Marseille after all. Poor lad says to be ‘heart broken’ and made to train with kids and Al Quada soldiers??

  122. chas says:

    Latest twatter rumour is that Theo has refused to sign a new contract.
    Don’t you just love our players.

  123. Rasp says:

    Evening all,

    Excellent post Rocky, I’m in favour of retrospective action for blatant diving and other acts defined plainly as cheating I doubt Torres’ dive would have resulted in any action as it is not clear cut although I agree he bought the penalty.

    It should also be possible to have second yellows that lead to a red to be reviewed.

  124. Well if Theo goes I’ll have accept that we’re weaker 😦 😦 😦

  125. Supermarket dash coming up …………

  126. LB says:

    Theo to go to pool and Affally to arrive at THOF, you heard it here first folks.

  127. Rasp says:

    I’d take Afellay for Theo. They are different types of player in terms of their ability. We have suffered from retaining players whose heart is not at the club and if Theo is thinking that way then we’re better off without him.

  128. LB says:

    If Theo has refused to sign a contract are we now allowed to dis him.

    I need an expert’s advice, GM is the man for these sort of situations.

    Is it thumbs up or thumbs down GM?

  129. I just saw Affelly to us on twitter LB – the dutchman will be upset hahahaha

    Irish has just reminded me that Ox is better than Theo 😳

  130. LB says:

    She knows her football that Irishgunner.

  131. LB – how will your mate feel that you sit with if Theo becomes a traitorous scumbag 😆

  132. I think it’s safe to say that the kid gloves are off and probably in a bin somewhere.

  133. LB says:

    It’s funny you should say that because to my surprise out of the blue just before the Sunderland game Benwell said to everyone in earshot that if Theo doesn’ t want to stay at Arsenal he can sling his hook.

  134. Rasp says:

    I agree, the new tougher stance on players who try to call the tune is long overdue and should send out a message to any others who think they are too good for the Arsenal.

  135. 26may1989 says:

    Oh for the love of sweet Jesus, do we have to lose every single player this summer?? Won’t just one of these mercenary bastards show some faith in us??

    OK, huff over. But for all the slagging of Theo’s abilities (which, as many of you know, I do not buy into….) from what I’ve seen, I don’t think Afellay is all that.

  136. Slimgingergooner says:

    Theo isn’t what we need at the moment. We need someone like Affelay or Ox who can take on defenders and has the ability to win a game on their own. We have carried him for too long and he doesn’t deserve to be one of the highest paid players at the club.

    I can’t see City, United or Chelsea being desperate to sign him and I think that shows we can do better.


    Never fear 26, let him go if he wants.

    I remember 2 years ago when we went on a great run, before our colapse in March, how Hansen and Shearer were raving on MOTD how this Arsenal team could win the league. the six players outside of the backline were Fabregas, Van Persie, Nasri, Song, Walcott and Wilshere. Four gone, one possibly to go, and the other injured.

    That is the power of Arsenal. In my opinion we have a better chance now than we did then. The leavers will get there money and we will get our glory, leaving everybody else scratching there heads as to how we done it.

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not here at all, but thank you Rocky, and thank you Rasp for this RE Afellay and Walcott:
    “They are different types of player in terms of their ability”
    ROLF bloody LAMOW

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’ll dis the little shit if its true 🙂

  140. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m, I do agree that Theo looks more dangerous than Gervinho and on purely footballing terms would not be my first choice to go, but as many have said, if he doesn’t want to play for the Arsenal or simply overvalues himself, he can go. I am very impressed with the work rate of all 3 of our new signings, we need players who are committed.

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If Afellay can stay within five feet of the sodding touchline when asked to, then he can half the bleeding talent and still be twice as useful.
    Nitey nite all.


    Exactly Slim. Theo is a good player and nice lad, but if he believes his future is elsewere then hes not fit to wear the proud shirt. That applies to all these wankers who crave playstation glory, money and believe there own ridiculous hype. The Club is beggining to show what we have always known, thats its bigger than the lot of there big heads put together, and those heads are very big and very vacuous.

  143. goonermichael says:

    Players who go down like they’ve been shot should be shot with rubber bullets (or tasered) so they know what it feel like.

    Funny with the chavs on here. Stan is a proper fan.

    I’m not fussed about Theo. Of he has refused we better move him on quick. I wouldn’t pay him anywhere near 100k

  144. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, I could have made myself clearer 😕 What i meant was that they are both talented players but with differing attributes. Theo has pace and the ability to get behind defenders, Afellay will add more to the defence, is a good passer of the ball and can trick his way past defenders.

  145. 26may1989 says:

    Seriously, Theo is way better than he’s given credit for – 13 assists and 11 goals last season was a very respectable performance last season. His pace gives us something we don’t get from anyone else, and his technique and teamplay are very good.

    And we just don’t need any more transitions.

    Of course, if he wants to go, he has to – unlike with RvP, who I thought there was a case for keeping him in his final year, I don’t see Theo as being good enough to run that risk. But it would be damaging to lose what he has to offer, and to lose yet another significant player.

  146. Rasp says:

    Should we bring in Afellay in place of Theo, we will have replaced more than half the team in two years – that is more of a revolution than a transitional period

  147. goonermichael says:

    Mike litoris is actually a real name

  148. goonermichael says:

    It would be a step towards putting an experienced side together.

    Lansbury went today.

  149. Total says:

    Evening all, not surprised at all re Theo refusing to sign a new contract. Another one who does not believe in paying back to us what we put into him. C’est la vie.

    If he is indeed to be sold, I reckon he will go to the Northern Oilers. He’ll warm the bench until the opposition need to attack and leave space behind them, so Theo can kill them off. That’s what he is good at and a very rich club can afford to pay him high wages for just that job.

    I have gone totally cold on Affelay as I reckon he has attitudinal problems, and I would like us to have a group of players who fight for each other and without any prima donnas.

    I’d stick with the Ox, Gerv and the Pod on the wings and Rosicky or Eisfeld as back up. Just a DM with balls and experience would be very welcome.

  150. Slimgingergooner says:

    There’s no doubt Theo has pace, and his stats are pretty good, but there are players out there who could do a lot more with the amount of games that Theo plays for us each year. With Ox now banging on the door, I have no problem with Theo leaving the club. Get the £15m in and blow it on Affelay, Dzagoev or Isco and another midfielder and we would be stronger.


    Cant agree 26. If theo wants out then he is another fool that believes his own hype. Rasp is right. Committed players with a winning attitude is what we need. If we pack the team out with guys of the right attitude then within the Arsenal and Wenger framework anything is possible.

  152. RockyLives says:

    I’m with 26 on this (even though he thinks Torres was fouled 🙂 ).

    I would be sad if we lost Theo – but if he’s holding out for ridiculous money and refusing to sign, I suppose the only thing we can do is get tough.

  153. Slimgingergooner says:

    If he leaves then I think Liverpool would be straight in for him. Rodgers loved having Lacey wingers at Swansea in Sinclair, Dyer and Routledge, and he could be the answer for them with Sterling on the left and Suarez through the middle.

  154. Slimgingergooner says:


  155. Total says:

    26 @9.37 spot on!

  156. Total says:

    Slim, you are expecting far too much of the Ox this season. He is nowhere near ready to make us forget Theo – or to make up for his goals and assists. The one who should do that is Gervinho.


    If he wants out then he is not worthy mentaly or as a person we want representing our club. In all seriousness guys, these fools have let Arsene down badly, and i get a feeling hes had enough of these losers. At times they all lacked effort and commitment, there was something fundamentaly wrong wrong for quite a while.

    We are entering a new era and we need comittment and passion to the cause, not a bunch of idiots planning there next contract talks or believing they are Pele when there more like Raphiel Mead.

    We will come out stronger for this, thats for sure.

  158. 26may1989 says:

    Hi Terry. I do agree that we shouldn’t keep Theo if he’s not committed. I just pray that it doesn’t come to that.

    Our squad would be significantly weakened to lose him – yes, Oxlade-Chamberlain is special but he’s still raw. Poldi will be needed up front at least as often as he’s on the wing. Gervinho has a lot to prove. We have to assume Rosicky’s career will start to tail off. We didn’t renew Yossi’s loan or try to sign him. Arshavin ain’t a winger, is clearly finishing his career and will likely leave. Miyaichi might be great one day but who knows if and when? Ditto Eisfeld.

    We need Theo to sign a new contract this week. Replacing him in the last few days of the transfer window would be expensive and/or ineffective. Dzagoev? Looked good in patches in the Euros, but would take months to bed in. Isco? I don’t know much about him, other than he’s played fewer than 40 senior games.

    I may be in a minority on this one, but I think in a summer where we’ve lost another two senior players losing Theo as well would be very damaging.

  159. 26may1989 says:

    Terry and I may take different lines on Theo to stay or go, but I’m thinking of printing and framing his 9.54pm comment, that perfectly and succinctly makes many points about what’s happening at our club right now – it may be forced on us, but there is something good happening.


    Dont often disagree with you 26 but i do on this one. What we are seeing is a cull. These guys had all the ability but they let us and Arsene down There is a new found ruthlesness at the club and about time to. I remember a period about 18 months ago when a 19 year old Jack wilshere was putting in more effort than the rest of these fools put together. Quite simply he embarresed them. We are going in the right direction and will be stronger for it.

  161. 26may1989 says:

    CL play-offs tonight: Anderlecht, BATE Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb, Malaga and Stuttgart all through, Udinese and Braga playing extra time.

    And nice to see Stoke losing at home in extra time to Swindon in the League Cup (15 mins to go).

  162. Slimgingergooner says:


    I don’t expect too much of Ox, in fact I don’t think he will start more than 15 games in the league this year, that’s why I said we should replace Theo. but having Ox coming through certainly softens the blow.

    If he wants out, then he should be sold.

  163. RockyLives says:

    Are there any EPL experienced wingers potentially on the radar if Theo goes?

    There’s no guarantee how quickly a foreign based winger will bed in.

  164. 26may1989 says:

    I guess we could go for Ben Arfa. Or we could go for Dempsey so as to give Podolski more scope for playing on the wing.

    After that, it would be Stewart Downing…….


    I will be the first to admit that i got it completely wrong about all these fools. To my dying day i will always believe that if Flamini, Adeybeyor, RVP, Nasri, Song, Cesc, had all stayed together then they could have been crowned champions but what i didnt anticipate was there weakness and selfishness of charachter. How many left before they reached there peak? Nearly all of them. Leaving a great Club like Arsenal and betraying all the faith and trust that Arsene gave them. What does that tell you about them?

  166. Slimgingergooner says:


    There were 2 not so long ago in Johnson and Moses but we’ve missed that boat!

    Dembele looks a class act but not sure he’s a winger. Ben Arfa is the best bet I think.

  167. goonermichael says:

  168. Total says:

    Slim, ok fair enough you did say that, and agreed; if he wants out he should be sold.

    I just think you are a little naive in thinking he is easy replaceable by the players you mentioned. Just like brave sir robin’s and Song’s departures, Theo will leave a gap behind if he leaves us this week. Theo’s stats are good and he will only get better over the next few seasons. It will be really hard for Wenger to find somebody would can better Theo’s contributions for the sort of money that will be made available to him, and that’s why I believe we will not buy another winger this week. In the short term, the loss of Theo would be bad for us.

  169. Slimgingergooner says:

    Sinclairs move to City has gone cold by the looks of it too, but I’m not a big fan.

  170. SharkeySure'sGhostOnAOneDayLag says:

    Cracking match report TA. I think we are now send the trade off between all out attack and retaining our shape to stay compact and solid.

    GiE. Cracking spot re the Gallic nonchalance and self confidence of Giroo and the fact that Kozzer was/is exactly the same

  171. 26may1989 says:

    Great news re Stoke! Braga have just knocked out Udinese on penalties.

    Unsurprisingly, I agree completely with Total at 10.21pm.

  172. Slimgingergooner says:


    Fortunately for all of us it’s Wenger who has to find his replacement and not me! I agree the timing isn’t great, and had it been at the beginning of the window we would’ve had more time and options, but I honestly think that if he goes then Wenger will get someone in. The books are already balanced and any money earned from the sale would be his to spend, plus Arsene seemed pretty adamant that he wanted Theo to sign, meaning he needs a right winger of some description if he leaves.

  173. SharkeySure'sGhostOnAOneDayLag says:

    h and GM’s Gail Modric…ohdear.

    I had to call Mrs SharkeySure’sGhostOnAOneDayLag in to see that one.

  174. 26may1989 says:

    Maybe we should go for Aaron Lennon!

  175. goonermichael says:

    Dembele is going to da spuds

  176. 26may1989 says:

    Sharkey, is this going to take all night?? 🙂

  177. Slimgingergooner says:

    Theo split opinion when he was playing so no surprise it’s the same when he’s leaving! Wouldn’t shock me if we came back with a new offer in the next few days and he signs.

    The worst thing about this is that it gives more fuel to the media and fans to shit on us. Not that they need it!

  178. 26may1989 says:

    Slim, I agree, Theo’s agents and the club are playing chicken. Being sold in such a short space of time wouldn’t be that comfortable for him either. But the club showed they have some balls when they sold Song rather than cave to his demands to rewrite his contract early. Trouble is, Theo will have some viable options: City, Pool and Juve. The club’s bargaining position isn’t fantastic.

    We shall see how it pans out.

  179. glic says:

    Let me get this right, Theo wants £100k a week, we`ve offered £75k a week ( he`s currently on £60k a week ). So if we pay him what he wants compared to what we want, then he will cost an extra £6.25M over 5 years ( also higher sale value due to longer contract ). Question : Will we find a better winger for £6.25m ?. a quality one will cost what £10m plus, plus wages, anyone in mind ?.
    Pay him the money !.
    As for Pod on the wing………he`s shit from what I`ve seen , the mans not a winger !.

  180. goonermichael says:

    I don’t think City would want him. They don’t buy everyone.

  181. 26may1989 says:

    With the TV deals coming on line, within another year or two, £100k a week isn’t even going to look that shocking. Not that I want anyone holding the club to ransom.

  182. johnnie nyc says:

    you all know im not too worried about losing and replacing Theo (could easily be an upgrade), but i am worried about the time window and options disappearing. i have been asking for weeks now what is going on with Walcott.. if we were that far apart, we could have set a deadline for talks earlier..at least a few weeks back. if it’s too late to get a replacement, maybe we need to give him the higher number he wantsfor a shorter term..with the understanding that we will try to move him on in january or next summer.

  183. goonermichael says:

  184. goonermichael says:

    I think it would be mad to pay Theo more than Santi and podolski


    Hes not good enough for City GM. If i was Arsenal and he rejected 80k a week i would then make another offer, 2 Bob and a 12 year old White transit as a parting gift.

    Cornwall, were you been? i missed out on southamption to, applied to late. Got my tickets today for the QPR game though.

  186. goonermichael says:

    Are you going to the chelsea game Terry?

  187. johnnie nyc says:

    i just dont want to lose him(theo) for nothing.. and i dont want a weak replacement. but i would also like to see more ox over there on the wing this season, and a little Eisfeld maybe. i know Ox’s future seems to be in midfield, but if we are mostly healthy, he will get less playing time than i would like.. i think he will be happy to get minutes anywhere. best outcome would be a nice surprise from Arsene..i hope he has planned for this contingency somehow..if we are caught off guard, it would be shameful…i have faith that we have a plan..

  188. 26may1989 says:

    Johnnie, who knows what’s been happening behind closed doors over the past weeks and months? No point second guessing those conducting negotiations when we cannot know.

  189. goonermichael says:

    Serge Gnabry


    Got a ticket GM, but coz of family commitments might have to watch it on the box. Will know one way or another in the next few days. Realy want to watch that one, reckon were gona thrash them.

  191. goonermichael says:

    I’m going Terry. First of the season for me. I’m taking a Saturday off also a first 🙂

  192. goonermichael says:

    Spurs have Dembele. I like him. He bossed the mancs

  193. 26may1989 says:

    The kids are looking good: http://football-talk.co.uk/67666/video-u21-highlights-arsenal-3-0-blackburn-eisfeld-on-target-for-impressive-young-guns/?.

    Aneke, Eisfeld and Miquel looked especially impressive.

  194. RockyLives says:

    Dembele is a good move for them.

  195. glic says:

    I tell you what`s mad, my new game called Mad Cluedo. The victim can be any traitorous former gooner and the suspects ?…………AAers !. I`ll start the ball rolling and If you want, you can think of some characters yourselves.

    Who Killed Cock Robin ?
    The suspects…………. Was it our Crazed Crimper….gm with his blunt to the point 7″ Matsuzaki cutting remarks ?.

    Was it our sideburned Cyclepath…LB….in the bike shed with his aerodynamically shaped helmet, ringing his bell with pump in hand ?.

    Was he slain with a recovered iPad…..by a Desperate DanDan ?.

    Was he battered with a Dictionary of Unpronouncable words by Prof Red Arse in the ” Library” ?.

    Was it TMHT with a variety of methods, suffocated with the syrup or just stretched to the limit by the `scope ?.

    Did he die of Hearkbrake after watching a chas video which showed Mrs VP being entertained by her new Manc neighbours ?, First there were the Toure brothers Kolo and Ya Ya and Ya Ya`s twin brother Yo Yo who was filmed going up and down on Mrs VP like a …….. well….. YoYo !. Then Gael Clichy was filmed leaving the house well worn out !, I know it sounds like a worn out cliche……but……he was a worn out clichy !.
    After viewing the evidence of Robins Ruptured Rectum, I have come to a conclusion……………….Micky Did It in 89…….. thrusts with his live and kicking Red Lobster !.

    Right, who wants a go at….Who killled Little Theo ?.

  196. glic says:

    Where have I been Terry ?, Hours upon hours on Arsenal ticket exchange…………… 😥

  197. Total says:

    Hi Johnnie, I am sure there is a plan and you are right to expect Wenger to have foreseen this possibility of Theo not agreeing a new contract. But if he is leaving this week, it will be another gap for us to fill, and whoever Wenger will bring in, they will need time to settle, especially as they are not slotting into a well-established attacking formation.

    Hi Rocky, I would have loved Dembele coming to us. Hard one to swallow.

  198. Total says:

    Glic, it was Evonne who suffocated him from behind with her keyboard. 🙂

  199. Total says:

    loved the video, 26. Eisfeld’s positioning is sublime and he takes his chances with great calmness and focus. Time to add him to the big boys, me thinks.

  200. tomstoned says:

    Evenin All….. all well Total ?

    Someone should just come out and say this…im amazed that so many gooners still….blame the players who leaves…must be some sort of selfdenial..
    we should really pay more attention…this is The New Arsenal…we are downsizing wages and will son run this team on a bare minimum…we’re living the American dream..for gods sake wake up and smell the coffee..
    cesc..nasri..clichy..***…walcott..song..all have more or less stated that the reason for leaving isnt the money…its the way The New Arsenal are being run…its been clear to me for a long time…ever since Kroenke took over..this was heading for what i call disaster..

    the club is responsible…not one individual player…what will those who say its players leave again next summer say…i remember quite a few gooners who have after every sale..said this was it..no we can go on…cant you see..this will never stop..its the way of The New Arsenal…didnt anyone believe Wenger when he said he was dependent on sellig players for about 20-25M every year…

    get kroenke and his henchman gazidis out of The Arsenal and at least get someone in who even cares about football….

    we sell Lansbury and keep Chamakh…or Park..or Squillacci..or Bendtner…great…thats our soul out the window…

    start listening to what the players tells us..!!!!!!!!!!

    and dont just look the other way as we are being manhandled by economic interests…

  201. Total says:

    The Guardian usually write with some accuracy about our transfer negotiations. Theo is likely to be goner and to me it reads like it is going to be the Northern Oilers:


  202. goonermichael says:

    Man City won’t want him

    Like usmanov Tom?

  203. tomstoned says:


    ill be direct i sure as h*ll dont like Kroenke mate..
    and why is it…we always get in that kind of a discussion..who wants the bad guy Usmanov or not…im not running this club i just have been in love woth The Arsenal for forty odd years..and i just say it as i see it…
    and blaming the players who leaves..well ye s if it had been one or maybe two…c’mon players are running for the door

  204. Total says:

    Hey Tom, how are you doing mate? Back home now with your wife and daughter or back hugging ice bears in Svalbard? 🙂

    It is definitely very disappointing that we are losing our key players at such a high rate every summer. The lure of (much) more money and being able to join a team with a perceived better chance of winning something is, apparently, too big.

    But we are living within our means and the club is being run responsibly which in the long term is the most important thing for us. Are you not excited about the new signing and youth players coming through? I am!

    Let’s hope we can start with a clean sheet with all our key players now on a long-term contract and more money coming in in the next few years to compete a bit better on the salary front.

    Hoping for Kroenke to leave or him putting a lot of his own money into the club is understandable, but we are in no position to demand it.

  205. tomstoned says:

    citeh’s wing deal just crashed…what better player for mancini to buy..heck he is already bedded in the team of former Arsenal players mate..wouldnt surprise me abit…

  206. Total says:

    I am 95% certain Walcott will be off to Citeh. Maybe LB would be interested in doing a small bet with me?

  207. RockyLives says:

    These things are cyclical.
    You’re old enough to remember the tumbleweed years in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s when we were finishing mid table on occasion.
    Yet no-one in those days said “sack the board”. In fact we didn’t really pay much attention to the doings of the board at all.
    It’s this modern age of information overload that leads so many fans to be so unsettled.
    It will come good this year or the next, you’ll see.

  208. tomstoned says:

    Total…all well here Thanks for asking.. back for a week and then its off again mate..but im able to put in a few post from the land of ice too…and listen to bbc which saves my saturdays Total :)cazorla is a great buy from what i*ve heard and i watched Giroud many times last year…he will be a force…podolksi im not sure about…i think our start has been promising…and you know im all for having players that bleeds for us..still its worrying ..more than worrying..where does the money go Total..where?????..

    but i do understand that becoming fourth will be like a trophy for us these days…and relying on the ffp..Oh My…if IF the ffp was even close to coming good why does clubs like citeh and chelski buy…because there are loopholes and of course capitalism will always find a way..like in the non football world too…the richer gets richer..there’s no stopping that..im worried…what kid will want to be a gooner in the future as we all know stars attracts fans…not an american business model..this is very very serious Total..there used to be hords of young Norwegians who was Arsenal fans..cesc…nasri..rvp..nope im disheartened

  209. goonermichael says:

    Gooners have been slating Theo for ages. I nearly left a game at half time because it was so depressing. Now he’s “one of our best players”

    I don’t know if you’ve read why Theo may be going. He’s asked for more money and they’ve told him he can’t have it. he hasn’t asked to leave. he is not worth 100k. If city want to pay that then that’s up to them they can piss money as they didn’t earn it from football.

    Did you read anything that Song said? Running for the door?

    usmanov is the alternative and you said “someone who cares about football”

  210. tomstoned says:

    Rockylives i sincerly hope so…but i must admt that back here in Norway our Arsenal Union has been reduced we dont seem to be able to attract the younger generation…you know kids..give em a hero :)and this makes me very sad…we should be that club they could look up to…its easier for us old goats ;)who loves The Arsenal no matter what…
    im just worried thats all and Norwegians like to be straight to the point..no dizzle dazzle..and NO lies 😉

  211. Evening all….fantastic post Rocky its definitely an issue that needs to be resolved and as you say its pundits and commentators that set the tone of debate and their logic is bollix!

    Only skim read the comments, seems an interesting day we even managed to find a couple of Chelsea fans….wonders never cease, didn’t think they could use a computer.

    Last time on squad rules:

    Maximum 25 players (over 21)
    Maximum 17 non home grown

    As many under 21 on 1st January 2012 as you like.

  212. tomstoned says:

    first Usmanov cares more about football than a certain kronke..thats for sure
    and i must say i dont believe the Arsenal mediamachine anymore..they arent always honest mate..like Song..why didnt they just come out and tell us earlier this summer…dont believe for a sec that Song was to blame…its to easy…
    and i know we differ in opinions mate..i have no prbs with that..but in my humble opinon…something is wrong..
    and how come we always blame the players..i for one would love to know..the reason..real reason why f.ex *** left..what was it that he meant was going the wrong way…but im sure he had to sign a clause that forbid him to tell…

  213. goonermichael says:

    Oh well Tom . see you later. I don’t mean to be confrontational if it comes across that way. 🙂

  214. Total says:

    Tom, hope you are having a good time with your family. I guess ‘summer’ will be over soon for you now?

    A friend of mine (a season ticket holder), like you, keeps telling me that American business owners are the worst that could happen to the club. But, I believe he is doing the right thing. It is the Chavs and Oilers who are being allowed to buy titles with outrages amounts of cash which is unacceptable. Like you, I am not sure FFP will make much difference, but I trust our wise friend Terry when he says it will/it already is working.

    However, it is what it is and I am not so worried about winning anything this year. I just want our team to play with passion and try to win every game. Who knows were it will end, but let’s enjoy the dance in the process.

    I had similar doubt re Podolski but he has impressed me against the Orcs.

    Re Svalbard: do you do any stargazing when you are there?

  215. tomstoned says:

    Goonermichael…no probs mate..all well..its always good to get another opinion…and heey once in a while ill even change my own opinion ;)listening to Gooners who seems to have the knowledge like yourself..:)just dont count on it to often mate :)take care mate

  216. goonermichael says:

    Personally I don’t think that usmanov cares any more about football than Kronke. I didn’t blame Song at all. If you read anything he or his agents say he wasn’t “running for the door” Theo isn’t “running for the door” either

    The situation we are in now is the same it’s been since we moved. Kronke has only had control for 2 years.

    We won’t compete with City or Chelsea unless usmanov takes over and ffp can’t be upheld. That’s the sad truth. I’d be gutted if that happened. Can’t say I’m happy now but it’s not as bad as you make it out. We’ll do well this season.

  217. goonermichael says:

    I don’t have any knowledge Tom. I don’t pretend to. I don’t think it’s as bad as you make out. Thank god you don’t support liverpool. I’d worry about you

  218. tomstoned says:

    Well its getting colder in Norway to Total..summer if we could call it that(im always positive;)seems to be over…but thats ok…and been shopping with the Family today so all is well in the House Total..misses and daughter are fast asleep..im just doing some paperworks..having a small glass of glenfiddich and a cigar mate..
    and i do agree Total its the long run who should be important….hope it will be good and that we some day will be able to see the result of what we’re doing right now..but i doubt it..things will change..the ffp wont be something to rely on..and we could be loosing a big part of our fanbase all over the workld…
    The sky is amazing Total..and its so peaceful and the wilderness well brings you bak to life…ill try and fin some great pictures and maybe put up on the net next time i get home Total..i have a very good one ..of the ice bear markeed in red…darn looks just like peter storey 😉

  219. goonermichael says:

    Glenfiddich and a cigar sound fantastic Tom. enjoy it. I’m going to join you with a small cigar and Havana Club

  220. goonermichael says:

    see you all later.

  221. tomstoned says:

    no worries Goonermichale..pool..i rather be dead ;)..heres something we disagree upon..i believ that it was in fact a pact if you may call it that between our board and Kronkers…as far back as 07..cant prove it…but there has been indications..and well i think that the Dein situation rose from that..*gentlemans agreement between Our board and Kronkers..

  222. tomstoned says:

    Take care Goonermichael..see we could easily share a cigar and a smal glass…and look at some good old Radford goals…be well mate

  223. Total says:

    Tom 🙂 🙂

    I am truly jealous of your night sky experiences amongst real wilderness and would love to see pictures you took/take. It would be great if you could email them to Peaches, whom I am sure would be willing to send them on to me. Maybe one day you could do a post on being a Gooner based in Svalbard! 🙂

    Are you planning to come to London soon and watch a game of the mighty Arse? If so, let us know when you are coming and we’ll try and meet up. 🙂

    Of to bed now.

  224. tomstoned says:

    Will do Total..im off too..have a great week and we’ll catch up soon…be safe mate..:)

  225. If you are still there Tom my last thought (for today)

    people have been saying similar things to you for longer than kronke has ben here.

    Cashley, Diarra, Flamini, Gilberto, Cesc, Nasri, Hleb, Hleb. Henry. I could go on.

    The only clubs to finish above us have been
    City = oil money
    Chavs = gas money
    Mancs = biggest sports club in the world
    and Liverpool once.

    If Newcastle or the spuds do it then I’ll be concerned

  226. I said hleb twice 🙂

  227. 26may1989 says:

    Total, I see your Guardian article and raise you an Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/sign-or-be-sold-arsenal-get-tough-over-new-walcott-deal-8084856.html

    Not that any journalist can be relied on, but the Independent’s take on the negotiating dynamics at play between Theo and the club rings true to me, principally that Theo won’t allow himself to be pushed out of the door in a few days unless it suits him. The truth is, players hold the cards in negotiations, they can say when they’ll negotiate and when they won’t, and there’s little their clubs can do about it.

    If Theo wants to leave this week, he will. But if he doesn’t, how could the club enforce an ultimatum to sign a deal or be sold? Answer, they can’t. If he wants to stay, he’d do well to dig his heels in now, and wait to negotiate after the deadline, when his position will be even stronger.

  228. 26may1989 says:

    I see that Maureen has said Ricardo Carvalho isn’t in his plans for the season. Bets on him donning the red and white (and horrible dark collar, still not happy about that…) by the weekend?

  229. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC makes the most sense on the Theo issue. If it is a question of 6m over 4 years then AFC should swallow the hit.

    Either we dine at the top table or we don’t. Holding out against agents who know they can get the money for their clients will not work anymore – the players and agents have the better negotiating position. Especially in Theo’s case.

    It is all very well asking for the club to play hardball but if we want to improve then we have to concede ground on the wage issue. If not we will continue to bleed players.

    Theo is a first choice player, both for England and Arsenal. He is improving year on year and is coming into his prime. Just pay him Arsene.

    p.s. Leaving the negotiation until the last week was cunning work by TW’s agent. May his testicles wither.

  230. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Raddy,
    I wrote a post last season called something like “Is Nasri right?”.
    I was referring to his comment that there were players at Arsenal simply turning up for their wages. I put Walcott and Billong into this bracket.
    In Arteta, Podolski, Santi, Giroud, (Benny), we clearly have players who want to be at The Arsenal.
    I was seething about TW’s performance against Sunderland. I suggested he was not following orders, and I harboured a secret theory that he was moving central to find himself a goal (not for Arsenal, but for Theo Walcott) simply to attract buyers.
    I think I was right.

  231. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off out for 20 mins.

  232. chas says:

    I think you are right, too, Micky.

    Walcott will always be a dangerous player because of his speed, but I’m sick of him jumping out of tackles and hiding behind defenders. He’s not the sort of player I like to support at all.

    We will always bleed players to teams who can pay so much more. In that sense we don’t dine at the top table. Theo isn’t worth £100k a week. It would set off a domino effect if he became our top earner. We must set a line in the sand for those who are more interested in their pay than in the red and white shirt.

  233. Red Arse says:

    Morning Guys, 🙂

    I am pretty sanguine about Walcott going.

    He can be brilliant but he mostly trips over, runs into the defender, checks back, gets into the wrong position, hits the first defender with his crosses, hardly ever uses his pace, yada, yada, yada.

    But, if he stays, that’s fine.

    What I despise is this well worn tactic of making excuses starting with two years to go in the player’s contract, when they are ‘too busy’ or ‘concentrating on playing’ and can’t find time to discuss a new contract, but saying ‘I do intend to stay’.

    It is not just Theo who has gone down this agent inspired route, because we have seen this before with Flamini, RVP, Nasri, Clichy etc etc.

    Two years out, the club should say; – “sign the f’cking contract or play in the reserves for a year or find a new club! End of. Enough already!!”

    None of them are worth this grief and annual upset. Screw Walcott and all the others who play around like this!!!

  234. Big Raddy says:

    chas. It is all very well saying we should only attract players who are interested in playing for AFC and not the money but let’s talk turkey here …. apart from homegrowns, who else plays for anything but money.

    An exclusion is players coming to the end of their careers looking to play CL football.

    If you could earn 25+% more by changing jobs wouldn’t you do so?

    Arsenal have to face up to losing their best players if they do not pay wages in line with other top clubs. We have been punching above our weight for some time thanks to Mr Wenger but even he cannot make a player stay anymore.

    But on this one we can agree to differ. I want Theo to stay because he is an effective player.

  235. Gooner In Exile says:

    If the Guardian article is right and we have offered Theo £75k a week does anyone think that’s not fair? Although according to that Alex Forty Nine blog last year he is already on £70k a week. Either we are being really tight, or as expected the wage figures bandied about as fact are way off the mark.

    The Song comments infuriate me, he signed his contract in 2009/10 season, so how long has he been asking to sit down and sign a new one, or correction, how long has his agent been telling him he could earn more elsewhere.

  236. Red Arse says:

    I’m actually in a good mood this a.m. — but it is not in my personality make up to put up with being messed around.

    Let me negotiate the players’ contracts for Arsene, and I would make them offers they could not refuse!! 🙂 [they would not run too well on one leg] 🙂

  237. Big Raddy says:

    True RA. As I said earlier, may the testicles of TW’s agents’s wither, but in the words of The Jam (a 3 piece pop-combo from the 80’s) This is The Modern World.

  238. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Do you think Walcott works hard?
    I know what you are saying about money and loyalty, but some people have a good work ethic and some do not.

  239. 26may1989 says:

    Got up at a very non-26 time of 6am to bring the kids to watch the arrival of the paralympic torch relay at the local sports centre, only to find it’s going to arrive two hours late. Oh well….

  240. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If stories are true about the figures, then Arsene thought Persie was worth £140k a week to The Arsenal, and he thinks Walcott is worth £75k a week to The Arsenal.
    I agree with Arsene.

  241. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I also agree with AW’s assessment but is it worth losing a major asset for a million a year?

    It is different to the Song situation where we had so much cover because Theo is our only real right sided attacker. Gerv can play there but he is not as effective as Theo. O-C is wasted as a winger. Ryo is a leftie as is Podolski. and AA

  242. chas says:

    I can understand players leaving if their money is doubled, that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
    If we bend over and allow the players to shaft us in wage negotiations, it will never end. It has to be for us to decide how much a player is worth paying.
    If you want to double your money at citeh, the chavs, PSG or Anzhi, then feck off.

  243. Big Raddy says:

    As to work ethic – yes I think TW works hard. He has improved his game in almost all areas – particularly as defensive cover.

  244. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “He’s not the sort of player I like to support at all.” I’ve always thought there was a good reason why there is such mixed reactions to Walcott. On the one hand, there are impressive stats, on the other, there is a player that elements in the crowd believe does not pull his weight for the team.
    The crowd always warm to, and get behind, players with limited talent when they see said player works his nuts off.
    That’s me done on Walcott.

  245. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey lads,
    I read a brilliant story last night that Drogba and Anelka are up for sale ,as the Chinese owners have had a major bust up. Great story if true.

  246. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Meanwhile we see the chances of winning silverware disappear into the distance.

    How does FFP fit into this? Will it help the clubs or the players?

  247. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Selling Walcott will not be a major problem, but selling Walcott and not bringing a player who can add something to our attacking play would be a major error.

  248. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just a suggestion, City are looking to sign Sinclair, what if we sell City Theo for £15m and pick up Sinclair for £7m? Or whilst we are shipping at Swansea I’d actually take Nathan Dyer too

  249. Big Raddy says:

    If we took Laudrup as well I could be guaranteed to get Arsenal on Dansk TV every week!

  250. chas says:

    None of the mercenaries who’ve left for more money helped us win any silverware. I feel happier about the team now than I have done for ages.

    As an aside.
    The collar backs of Stoke’s new shirts have 1863-2013 on them. Celebrating 150 years of mediocrity.
    How lucky we’ve been!

  251. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey, you’d think they’d have picked up a thing or two about football by now.

  252. Big Raddy says:

    chas 8.27 Me too. Exciting times ahead.

  253. Big Raddy says:

    Work beckons – and then a sushi lunch 🙂

  254. MickyDidIt89 says:


  255. LB says:

    The idea that we have offered Theo 75 and should we increase it to 100 then he would stay has an awful lot of holes in it.

    Most notably is the fact that no matter how much we offer City could increase it and increase it substantially to what, 200 a week?

    If you put yourself in AW’s position a tipping point exist, a point when the club feels it could get better value for the money.


    I wouldn’t take your bet. Walcott is perfect for City, as someone said above they could afford to have him on the bench only bringing him on when the game is stretched.

    We, on the other hand, have to kiss his butt and play him when he is better suited to be on the bench, the Sunderland game being a good example.

    I am not a Theo lover, not because I don’t believe he is an asset to the club and agree with all the defence 26 gives above but it could so easily be better, we could and should have someone who can opperate not only when the game is stretched but when space is tight as well.

  256. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I’d be sorry to see Theo go because he has always seemed to be a nice bloke, ready to play whatever role Wenger wanted him to, perhaps that was the trouble, too nice and no steel. Apparently he is a fan of the bindippers so maybe it’s his scouse DNA that’s calling him home.

    No doubt there is a deal in the pipeline for a Walcott replacement, although The Ox is ready and waiting to take up the role or even Gnabry could do the job.

  257. Rasp says:

    Morning all …….

    ….. New post ……

  258. Tegisha says:

    Arsenal have became a small club no trophy in seven yrs plus no champions ligeu in thier history

  259. Slimgingergooner says:


    I agree with all of your 9:02. For all Theo’s good stats (not amazing though), he goes missing in far too many games. When the opposition defence play deep, which is happening more and more against us, he offers very little for long periods. I get the feeling that if the Ox was a year or 2 further on in his development then we would be more likely to let Theo leave, so do we give him the money knowing we could get shut in 2 years if performances don’t improve and Ox comes through? Or do we take the hit now and let Gervinho play in his natural position of wide right, where he played at Lille?

  260. Wengerfan says:

    I’m starting to become ur fan Rocko.. Great writing from a brilliant Gunner!

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