Arsenal recipe for change

Let me start as I often do. Admitted Arsène lover here. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do some things differently. Here’s a few, in no particular order.

I would give Podolski some rest. It seems he’s nursing a slight injury and can’t go all out. As he is, he’s certainly not helping the team. Even with Gervinho’s injury, we still have options. Arshavin, one of the kids, or Santi, with Arsh or Jack behind striker. If it’s not an injury, maybe we should consider trying Pod more centrally.

Ramsey would generally not start in midfield, except in an emergency- I would not start him on the wing ever. He would be an energetic, versatile, late substitute only. I like him, but i’m not sure it’s going to work out. I have been a defender of his previously.

I see no reason why we can’t go with Sagna at LB, Jenks on right against tougher opponents. I would consider Santos vs lesser teams. I’m not sure he can’t do the job, but I’d hold him to a high standard.

Honestly I’m fine with our 3 top CB’s. We just need to get the most out of them. I can forgive the occasional mistakes by any of them..they deserve that because they play hard. I’m ok with Vermaelen as Captain, but i’m not happy with his affection for van Persie, this might still be a problem in future matches. He needs to be more cold ( as does the rest of the team) – this comes from Arsène being classy, and basically too nice.

I would give Theo the raise he wants or close to it, to lock him down for a while – we could move him on in the future if needed. Some other team would still take him at that salary. Unfortunately, I think it’s too late though. Obviously, I would have done it sooner, or sold him and scooped up Moses, Mirallas, or someone else. But right now, I’d get him signed if possible. I think it’s worth another 1 or 1.5 million a year to avoid the possible disaster of him going elsewhere and turning out great, especially as a striker. If that were to happen, we would really be laughed at, and it will be impossible to keep any of our players. After the RVP debacle, it’s the safer choice. We must fix this salary structure that doesn’t let us retain our stars.

I would have the deal done today, for Huntelaar in January. So many people say he’s too similar too Giroud. I don’t buy that. He’s an extremely talented, proven scorer – right footed, inexpensive, and still in his prime. For the little he would cost, you don’t have to worry about sell on value. Of course I would be looking at other improvements in the market, mostly up front.

I wouldn’t mind a bit of competition between Sczezsney and Vito, though I still lean towards the Pole.

If we get healthy in midfield, I’d give some rest to Santi, and use him on the wings sometimes in a more agressive set up.

If we need to shake things up, I would consider some of the young kids. Yennaris, Eisfeld, Gnabry. Just not all at the same time. But they would certainly not lack effort.

I would make sure the team looks at matches like Old Trafford as a great opportunity. Not much to lose considering our recent record there. No reason to dread the match, or feel pressure. Much weaker teams get results there occasionally, and we should feel we can beat anyone, anywhere. It’s a shame we lost the high from the Capital One Cup so quickly.

I still prefer the unknown of Usmanov to Kroenke. I don’t know if it can ever happen because of the Board, but I don’t understand the fans who don’t want him. Why would he want to spend all that money to own a team, and not at least TRY to win trophies. I don’t blame him for trying to influence his way into control with public statements, or whatever. The board is using any little technicality to keep him out. Rich owners do sometimes make great player purchases, they don’t all have to be like Torres. They also can bring in top Managers. Even Man city, with all of their waste, are still spending to build an academy system. Money is not necessarily bad, if you use it wisely.

Johnnie nyc


102 Responses to Arsenal recipe for change

  1. VCC says:

    Nice post Johnnie, a lot of sence.

    We seem to have lost our impetus, drive and energy lately, not sure I can put my finger on it. If you look at the late clip Chas put up this morning we were flying at one stage, what has gone wrong?

    I agree about trying on or two youngsters against “lesser” teams and giving players a rest, Podolski in particular.

    Perhaps try Eisfeld and Meade this Saturday and have back up on the bench if it does not work out, at least try and freshen things up a little.


  2. Amcor says:

    Kelsey and Big Raddy, following up your conversation earlier.

    You might be interested to read this interview: (I have changed the offending word to ‘Y’.

    EXCLUSIVE: David Baddiel – Tottenham fans chanting ‘Y’ Army’ sustains anti-Semitism
    • Jewish comedian believes Spurs supporters are not entitled to use term
    • ‘It’s doubtful more than five per cent at White Hart Lane are actual Jews’
    • ‘I know I’m a Chelsea fan but there has to be zero tolerance’
    PUBLISHED: Daily Mail: 9 November 2012
    David Baddiel has dismissed claims that ethnic origin entitles Tottenham fans to call themselves the ‘Y’ Army’ by insisting only ‘three or four per cent’ are Jewish.
    Tottenham rallied around their supporters, after Society of Black Lawyers chairman Peter Herbert urged police to prosecute those who hold aloft banners bearing the name ‘Y’ Army’ and chant it during games.
    Club bosses welcomed the police response that there was ‘no deliberate intent to cause offence’ and that it was more a form of self-parody by a predominantly Jewish support.
    But Baddiel, the comedian and writer who is himself Jewish and a fervent Chelsea fan, is adamant such a line of defence was factually incorrect and that anti-Semitic abuse should be stamped out wherever it occurs.

    ‘The idea that Spurs fans are reclaiming the Y-word and are entitled to because so many of them are Jewish is simply not true,’ he said. ‘There are only 250,000 Jews in Britain as a whole and I’d say about three or four per cent of Tottenham’s crowd is Jewish.
    ‘That means well over 90 per cent of those chanting “Y” Army” are not actually Jewish and that is just one of several reasons why it cannot be right. If, for instance, there was a team in Brixton called Brixton United, and they had a mainly white support who adopted the N-word as their badge of honour and went round chanting “N***** Army”, they would be closed down tomorrow.
    ‘At Tottenham, the club’s “Jewishness” is just an historical association with the area. It’s doubtful that there are more than five per cent actual Jews in the ground at home games (only 0.4 per cent of the UK is Jewish). So the argument “but it’s just like Snoop Doggy Dogg using the N-word” does not apply to most Spurs fans.’

    Although some Tottenham fans may view ‘Y’Army’ as nothing more than a label identifying which team they follow, Baddiel has experience of why the term has more sinister undertones.
    ‘I was at a Chelsea match with my brother Ivor two years ago,’ he said.
    ‘It wasn’t even Tottenham we were playing. It was Villa, but news that Tottenham were losing at Hull appeared on the big screen and this bloke sitting behind us started saying “F*** the ‘Y’s! F*** the ‘Y’s!” followed by “F*** the Jews!”. If there was any doubt about it being an anti-Semitic term, rather than a name for a group of fans, that answered it.

    ‘The thing to remember about ‘y’ is: it’s a race-hate word. It was daubed across the East End by Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts.
    ‘The only possible reason why a culture which has tried to dismiss other race-hate words to the margins of language would consider it acceptable is if the racism of which it is a part is somehow less offensive, somehow less significant, than other racisms.
    ‘This is actually what the normalisation of the word at football has led to. It might seem strange that the fan at Chelsea could have shouted “F*** the ‘y’s!” without a steward intervening: racist abuse at football grounds is supposed to lead to an immediate ban.
    ‘But a friend of mine, a Watford fan, who once heard his fans chanting the Y-word, with menaces, at Spurs fans, on complaining to a steward was told, “I don’t hear any racism”.
    ‘That’s why I decided to bring out a video on the subject and there was one objective — to make this sort of racism heard, above the chanting.

    Football fan: Baddiel supports Chelsea
    ‘The only fans shown in the film chanting the Y-word are Chelsea and Arsenal ones; the fans shown extemporising from yiddo into a song celebrating Auschwitz are Chelsea ones. This is important, as the debate seems to have got mired into being just about Tottenham fans.
    ‘The chant, and associated anti-Semitic abuse, exists far beyond White Hart Lane, at the above-mentioned clubs, at Millwall, at West Ham, even at Ajax.

    ‘Tottenham, of course, can lay claim to be the only club chanting it in support of their team. I respect and acknowledge that. But there are reasons why that, too, has to be addressed.
    ‘Although Spurs fans consider they are just responding to racist taunts, the continuing use of the Y-word by Spurs fans informs and sustains the racist abuse aimed at Spurs by other fans. The more Spurs do it, the more it comes back.

    ‘Many opposing fans feel they are justified in using the chant (and associated anti-Semitic abuse) because “The ‘Y’s is what Spurs call themselves”.
    ‘Additionally, we cannot mount a campaign aimed at stopping fans chanting anti-Semitic abuse and using anti-Semitic language while saying, “But of course, it’s OK for this one set of fans”.
    ‘It has to be zero tolerance. And, as I have said, most Spurs fans are not in fact Jewish. If we are going to have zero tolerance, it has to be a level playing field, applied to all forms of racism.’

  3. richie says:

    @Rasper4:25 from last blog; From your comments it sounds like you are disparate for a sugar daddy for us. So what if another 10 sugar daddies arrive in the prem? Let’s go our own way, let’s do the right thing. The model for success against financial might was put into place years ago, at Ajax. PSV are backed by the money of Phillips, Ajax only had its academy, whenever Ajax left its soul behind and tried to follow the buying brigade they crashed and burned. What brought them back time after time? Their academy! As you’ll know many of their academy players play in top teams all over Europe, so yes they are a selling club we bought TV5 not so long ago, but as a club they don’t have a problem competing against the financial might of the CD inventors. As for us generating a huge financial turnover I refer back to the article below which contradicts that assertion and clearly states that we as a club will have to continue to sell players for the next few years if we want to break even.

    @J NYC Apologies I’m always a day late and a dollar short
    but having got that off my chest I’ll now read your article.

  4. dd says:


  5. Rasp says:

    richie I really don’t know where you get this from. I have repeatedly answered your point by making it very clear that I am not advocating getting into massive debt or even trying to compete with the big three.

    I have NEVER asked for a sugar daddy and am completely opposed to Usmanov being allowed to throw millions into the club.

    We have had the debate about our finances many times on AA in our 3 year history and I have written headline posts explaining why Arsenal should not and cannot throw away its financial model – but that doesn’t mean we are executing it perfectly or that there is not room for improvement and adaptation as landscape of football finances changes.

    I can only assume that you read stuff elsewhere and transpose your answers to their views onto this site.

    We set up AA so that everyone of every opinion can be heard and then others can respond without ridicule or aggression. If someone writes an article that we disagree with it provides the perfect opportunity to air the alternative view – it’s how we work.

  6. chas says:

    Thanks for the post, johnnie.

    You raise so many points……

    Pod does look like he needs a break……it must be all that running up and down the left wing. 🙂

    Rambo isn’t a first choice in midfield, as you say, Diaby, Caz and Arteta looked good at Liverpool. With Jack back he will get less chances to start and with Diaby only 2 or 3 weeks away………

    I like the idea of Sagna at left back, right-footed or not.

    The Theo situation is now out of our hands to a large extent. At least his form should stay high if he’s flashing his arse in the shop window.

    Another centre forward in January looks possible. I’m not sure Podolski would be too happy though!

    Who knows why we were so lame at OT? Fear of getting battered on the counter, maybe? They seemed to open us up regularly anyway.

    Usmanov or Kroenke? I think it’s a real shame Danny Fitzman isn’t still with us.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks for the post Jnyc. You echo my thoughts. Either play Pod centrally for a game or two alongside OG or give him a break.

    Trouble is we have so many injuries in midfield I cannot see it happening for some time. This is where we need Rosicky.

    As to the “Y” debate. I am very sorry I brought it up. Amcor thank you for your wise comment, but let’s leave it there.

  8. Rasp says:

    Excuse me Johnnie, forgot my manners – thanks for expressing your concerns so coherently and honestly.

    A couple of points ; I hope that Podolski’s form is due to injury and can be rectified by a rest. He is a very good hardworking player but I wonder whether we have found the best way to exploit his talent. I agree we are still searching for the best blend of our front 3. Pod is having to a lot of work defensively and that may be why AW tends to take him off after 70 mins.

    I wouldn’t go for Huntelaar, at 29 I can’t see him as out ‘top striker solution’. I am in favour of bringing in and older experienced keeper (Friedel would have been perfect) to work with and offer an option to Sz and Vito.

    I think Eisfeld is very close to being ready for first team action, but Gnabry although obviously destined to be a great player is not ready yet IMO

  9. Thanks for the post, johnnie.

    I would like the idea of Sagna at left back, if he were to be two-footed, which of course most professionals are disgracefully not. They’ll grasp money with either, or both, hands, but can kick a ball with only one foot!

    We were lame at OT for many reasons, some seemly, unfathomable. One reason is, and I’ve been pushing this point for yonks, that we need a ‘true’ defensive midfielder, which Arteta is not; in fact he isn’t really even a ‘holding’ midfielder’ even though he’s doing a decent job.
    I still maintain Wenger hasn’t gone cold on the idea of shoring up the midfield; has he really gone cold as regards M’Vila?

    As for playing youngsters, if they ain’t ready they ain’t ready.

  10. kelsey says:


    A fine post. I believe ramsey is out and szsney is playng today. Fulham are dangerous at high balls in the goal mouth and are in pretty decent form.Berbatov will have to be watched.
    even so a game we should win though with injuries we are limited to who plays. i would like to see arshavin start and pod just behind giroud and don’t be surprised to see chamakh get game time at some point.

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Overweight Buddhist

  12. @JNYC great post, you touched on every concern and solution in my opinion, good stuff.
    @Richie @ Rasp i don’t think anybody here wants a sugar daddy, and most want the financial model to work, we were very close to prem success a couple of times and flirted with CL too. We just seem to have drifted a little off the mark recently and that what brings our model in to question. Better management of resources and better tactics could go along way to addressing the issues.
    @Kelsey fulham have screwed us before with lesser players, this aint gonna be a walk in the park.
    We are desperate for a formation change, if Arsene is still a top manager then he must be a tactics expert so why does he continue with the 4.3.3 when its quite obvious that our current personnel cannot execute the system.
    I’m dying to see a or a 3.5.2 will it ever happen?

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Johnnie,
    No time just yet to attempt an intelligent comment.

  14. Whoops Mickey
    Didn’t realise we had to do “intelligent”
    Thats obviusly where i’m going wrong! 🙂

  15. chas says:

    As far as the club announcing when players are due back from injury, I think it’s time the ‘two or three weeks away’ malarkey is done away with. It’s used as another stick with which to beat the club.

    The ‘news’ today about Diaby is that he still hasn’t returned to jogging yet. Perhaps people might have more respect if the club just said, ‘we haven’t got a clue what’s wrong with him’. 🙂

    We were all happy when Jack seemed to be back ahead of schedule. Maybe AW could say that we hope Diaby will be back for the start of next season, then if he starts jogging again before that, we’d be pleased. It’s all about managing expectations. 🙂

  16. Amcor says:

    M’Vila banned by France for 2 years after U21 naughtiness in breaching curfew.

    Wenger right to avoid?

  17. richie says:

    Hi Johnny flood water survivor

    IMHO The Pod doesn’t need the type of rest that missing a game will bring. He wants and needs to be rested from being used as a winger in a 4-5-1. As you mention he wants to play where he is most effective. If we play 4-3-3 then on the left of the front 3 would suit him fine, its just that on the left of the 5 man midfield he has massive defensive duties to perform (as Slim’s last blog pointed out) especially if Gibbs isn’t around because Santos is inclined to move forward into a wing back position which is the spot the Pod is being asked to occupy. Our poor old “storm troopers” energies are being wasted flying up and down the wing, tracking flighty full backs or covering for the advancing Santos.

    I’m totally with you re-Rambo. When he and Jack broke into the first team we had two young midfielders with massive potential, unfortunately since his injury he’s gone backwards almost as quickly as Jack has gone forwards. The problem’s been exasperated by the fact that since Arteta and more recently Cazorla arrived we now have a technical midfield. What does that mean? Well the ball gets pinged around at pace and the other players almost have to have a telepathic connection. Its all one touch, give and go. Jack although he’s more combative and likes to dribble fits into that set up perfectly as evidenced on his first day back. Rambo doesn’t; He takes 2 touches before he looks up, by that time he’ll have an opponent giving him close attention, unlike Jack he doesn’t have great close ball control, so hell panic pass in an effort to find an outlet. The end result almost inevitably is lost possession. I don’t know what the solution is for Rambo? Big Raddy thinks he should understudy Arteta and that’s where his future lays, but I’m not so sure.

    Santos I like but not so much as a full back, he’s a Brazilian so he plays as Brazilians play, with great freedom. As a wing back he’s fine and he tackles really well, I wonder if he wouldn’t be better for us as a midfielder? It’s strange but when all are fit we seem to have a set of players that would suit a 4-4-2 but that’s for another day.
    Reading between the lines, forgive me if I’m wrong J but I think you are saying lets practise deception on Theo? Let’s sign him up on a 4 year deal and then sell the contract on for as much as we can get? Which is fine by me except when an agent like Dein (the son) instructs his client to run down their contract with the club, it’s usually because the client wants something and the agent has figured out how to get it for him. I think this business about Theo’s almost 2 year stalling on signing a contract extension has nothing to do with him wanting to play as a striker; Arsene carefully answered that recently by saying “I too think Theo will be a striker”. No that’s just a rouse to explain away why he’s not signing, so he’s off. Break the wage structure for him, no because if he’s offered £120K he won’t sign. I don’t want us to break the wage structure for anyone £100K should be our max! No one is worth more!

    Like you I wouldn’t be afraid to use the kids, but no way would I want the Manchester United supporting Uzbek Usmanov anywhere near our board! He bought up Arsenal shares for no other reason than to make a profit (said by him) which is fine when he sells them he’ll make plenty. Too many of our own have a sudden hatred for Kroenke because they are wrongly comparing him to Abromovich & Sheikh Mansour. They are the the “We want our own Sugar Daddy Brigade”
    I’m not part of that! And it’s not on my Xmas wish list.

  18. richie says:

    @Rasper no I’m not a mass blogger I read and contribute to very few blogs. AA AV & Desi G Most of the others I can’t take seriously. I just find it hard to accept when it’s stated repeatedly like it’s a fact “we are a rich club” and therefore should be doing much better? When the facts tell us something else. I enjoy reading other people’s views especially on AA even if I consider them misguided, because at least they are informed views. When someone states something and it gets repeated as “Chas pointed out last blog” eventually the statement becomes accepted as a fact. I consider it a duty to challenge something I believe is factually wrong especially when a regular on here directs everyone to a very well researched article that very few can find fault with, as in the Swiss Ramble. It may be true that the club is holding £70Mil in reserve, but surely that’s as it should be, just in case the nightmare scenario of non qualification for the CL actually happens one day. Also it should be pointed out that those institutions that hold a reserve hold on to stability. I.e. A bank with a reserve can lend from other banks at a better rate than one without. We currently don’t have a problem with high interest’s vis-à-vis our stadium loan repayments very possibly because our creditors take into account our prudence.

  19. richie says:

    @Chas “right on” with that comment re injuries. On the official AFC web page there uded to be a progress report on injuries but thats been pulled? I was the same with Jack, Arsene in a press conference said “after the summer” A blander statement couldn’t have been made; Immediately post his statement the speculation started as to when in September? Being myself I said oh well we wont see him till at least “Octember” then. Managing the expectation concerning Diaby injuries would need a book written. I think if I got on a flight to Paris and Abu was on it, I’d ask to leave, thats one unlucky fella! He’s got his own cloud raining on him constantly.

  20. richie says:

    IMHO Hunterlaar ain’t the solution, a young fast kid would fit the bill!

  21. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Your: “The ‘news’ today about Diaby is that he still hasn’t returned to jogging yet” could be very good news indeed. You see, given that “jogging” is in fact Abou’s Top Speed, he could in reality be just a few short moments away from a return to action.
    What was that you said to me about half full glasses 🙂

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Johnnie,
    Still no time for an intelligent comment from me. Hoping to shut down for the week in an hour or so.

  23. Rasp says:

    @ richie, I have always understood and appreciate where you are coming from – I’m not sure you are getting the drift of what I am saying in response.

    I regularly read the Swiss Ramble and believe it to be factually correct. I’m the one on here who has repeatedly stated that we have needed to make a profit on player sales to break even in recent years – and several of the accountants on here have told me I’m wrong.

    I attended Arsenal’s AGM a couple of weeks ago and I can categorically say that some or all of that £70m is available to AW if he chooses to spend it.

    I shall be attending the AST meeting on Monday which is packed with accountants and they will spell out Arsenal’s present and projected financial situation – and that will be in line with the club’s report – maths is an exact science, interpretation is a human variable..

    What may differ is the willingness to use the money on players and maybe go against the manager’s preference and restructure the pay scales so we can attract the top players whilst not increasing the wage bill significantly.

    Times are changing, Ivan Gazidis says so. We have extra money coming in from the new TV deal and the large sponsorship deals are up for renewal in the next two years and should be far more lucrative. We’ve swapped the Summer Austrian jaunt for more profitable Far Eastern trips … all this promises to increase our income dramatically.

    If we lose 3 more games between now and the new year it will be very hard to secure 4th place. We can do nothing about it until January, but if we are still in with a shout and Theo is sold we should try to bring in a player who will bring us a few goals (accepting the obvious risk). We can afford it.

    The £30m lost through failing to get into the CL is not the only downside. There is the loss of status,the inability to attract new players who want CL action and the reduction of our draw to new fans due to perceived failure.

  24. richie says:

    @ the Rasper 3:16 O.K. My friend I too have a better understanding of where you are coming from post your post – I’ve also heard the £70 mil figure quoted, as available for Arsene spend on players. However I take it as a little bit tongue in cheek, in other words as has been said in the past when funds weren’t available. You can expect the CO to say “no funds are available”, because as you say how do the club (as a business) attract new fans or keep existing fans happy without the prospect or at least the possibility of big new signings?

    Of course I’d love us to sign an (immediatley ready) RvP replacement but I’m realistic enough to know that there probably isn’t another one anywhere, so I’ll settle for a quick young kid with potential. I’m also synical about IG saying changes are coming because everyone and his dog knows changes are coming in the shape of more funding for all prem clubs. Is that what he’s refering to? Also I expect us to spend the new Ad deal money as and when we recieve it, not before.

    As for breaking the wage structure or incuring debt to keep hold of players that say I want £150k because thats what I’d get if I was a Chelski player, no! Sell the greedy bastards because I don’t want any player, and I do mean any player holding us to ransom! If we give in they’ll only want more next week it would be I want £175K coz thats what I could get at Money Citeh! Agents will constantly keep the pot boiling, and the more time we spend in their kitchen the worse things will get. Anyone thinks the grass is greener over there? Send us a post card when your there!

    I’d rather have a group of kids that want to play for us than a squad of prima donna’s, too many players value themselves by the size of their wage packets and not what they can do with a ball. Well IMHO anyways!

  25. Rasp says:

    Thanks richie, I agree an off the shelf RvP replacement is not just waiting somewhere to sign for us.

    Falcao, Llorente and Neymar are top strikers who we could not compete for, but I’d hope we could aspire to more than ‘another young kid with potential’, we have those in the squad already and that is a good thing. This may be where we differ. We can afford to set our sights higher if we choose.

  26. Amcor says:


    I trust after all my efforts to interpret the Accounts for AA you are not including me in the ‘several accountants’ comment! 😀

    Looking back I have cast iron evidence that my summary was met with your agreement that what I wrote agreed with what you had heard at the AGM – including the statement that the ‘surplus on player sales was necessary for AFC to break even’ and that cutting costs (certain player salaries) and increased commercial revenues were the solution, together with the benefits accruing from the new global Premiership deal with Sky, the BBC and others. 😆

    Resistance is futile – surrender to this accountant!! 😈

  27. Rasp says:

    Hi Amcor – do I know you by another blogname?

    I’m not sure, but I think your last comment was agreeing with me agreeing with you? 😛

  28. Red Arse says:

    OK you lot, it’s Friday so no excuses for going so quiet.

    As Glic came out of a chip shop in Cornwall with a meat and potato pie, large chips, mushy peas & a jumbo sausage, a poor homeless man sitting there said “I’ve not eaten for two days.”
    Glic told him “I wish I had your will power.”

    Then he walked past a scruffy kid sitting at a bus stop as he went into the bank. When he came out, the kid looked at him and said “Any change?” And the Glicster said “No, you’re still scruffy”.

    What? You have a better one? 😆

  29. Red Arse says:

    You do indeed, Rasper. 😀

    That other avatar is my late night blog name for the NY Giants who would not understand my Arsenal devotions!

    And yes we did agree, altho’ there were other ‘interpretations’ but you know I always steer you right!! 🙂

  30. jnyc says:

    Thanks Richie. Enjoyed your comments. I am one who agrees with Raddy about ramsey understudying arteta, i have been starting to doubt whether he will be able to do that welk enough. My fear is that he will be a solid player for a mid table team, which i hope wont be us. ——— also, i dont understand why in big matches like our last two, ( though now fulham is probably going to be a battle ) Arsene doesnt use jenks right and sagna on left. Why leave out the guy who has been one of our best and most consistent performers? Unfortunately now every match is a big one. lesser teams are seeing us as vunerable. I want santos to get some work, but there are enough opportunities. Jenks is plenty rested now. Frustrating.

  31. Sav from Australia says:

    Isn’t Usmanov part of Abromavich’s Russian mafia clique? Kroenke is a money making American, but I would take that over the nasty guys who took over all Soviet assets, including what seems to be a third of the natural wealth of Asia.

  32. evonne says:

    johnnie – great post, thank you very much.

    The last para is close to heart, many a time have I argued here that the intristic dislike of Usmanov is completely unfounded. The reason I prefer him to Kroenke are two

    1 he is considerably richer than Kroenke and therefore will be more likely to spend, spend, spend
    2 he’d be desperate to do better than Abramovitch, which on the pitch translates to more trophies

    The rumours about his jail sentence are unfounded and unclear. As I said before – in communist Russia innocent people were thrown to jails by true crooks.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all,
    There are those who simply mistrust any massive individual investor because of the damage they could do to our club by leveraging, dumping debt and flogging when bored.
    Suppose Spuds, Villa, Toon and Pool all Daddied-Up, and condemned us to eternal mid tabledom, would I change my mind if a big smiley type of sqillionnaire rolled into town?
    Mmmmm.. nasty thought, but yes.

  34. jnyc says:

    Chas, jonathan. One of the reasons i threw these ideas together, is that its all fairly easily possibe. These are small realistic adjustments. when i feel like things need to be shaken up a bit, it frustrates me that we dont try to be proactive more. Especially because i think we have enough talent in most areas.

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Johnnie,
    My biggest concern right now is the lack of goals. I really thought that with Santi in the gang, we’d be creating far more chances.

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahhhh, friday…everyone’s down the boozer 🙂

  37. chas says:

    Abou’s top speed. 😆

    A small realistic adjustment getting Usmanov in! 🙂

  38. kelsey says:

    I just read that Santi has to play for Spain in Panama next Wednesday and then be ready for Spurs early kick off on Saturday.

  39. chas says:

    – Cazorla has been one of the few Arsenal players to gain praise from the critics this season, and he teamed a technically good performance against United with a fantastic work ethic. He covered 7.05 miles, the eighth highest total from any player this season.

    – Cazorla’s mileage was the highest from any Arsenal player this season, while the 64.45 miles covered by the Gunners as a team was also their highest of the season.

    – Much of Arsenal’s attacking threat in recent weeks appears to be going through the diminutive Spaniard as well. He’s had 20 shots on goal so far this season, his nearest rival being Olivier Giroud with 13.

    – Mikel Arteta has been pulled up by the referee 22 times this season, more than any other Arsenal player.

    – Prior to his injury, Kieran Gibbs was doing more than enough to enhance his international credentials. He has a tackle success rate of 85%.

  40. glic says:

    Thank you Johnnie
    I cant understand why Sagna is not at LB while Gibbs is injured. Pardon me if I`m mistaken, but he has played there before.

    I agree with your two points there e va va vonne about Uzzy, especially the second one, I think he would love to get one over Abramobitch !. Even though I like the way we are run and I have great hope for FFP, I secretly wish Uzzy had the 60 odd percent shares instead of Stan. I fantasise that we have Hazard , Mata and Oscar instead of the Chavs and RVP is still leading the line !. hahaha

  41. Hi Johnny, thanks for the post some interesting thoughts, for me one of the main problems of our 4-3-3 is the narrowness of the 3 in the middle, this results in the side becoming a 4-5-1, this is further hampered by full backs bounding on which results in our 2 wide men of the front 3 coming back to play the wide 5.

    What if our fullbacks stayed at home more, what if due to that more solid defensive base our 3 in midfield could spread out more when we have possession to cover for any loss of possession, and what of our front 3 could stay as a front 3.

    Unfortunately without Gilberto Silva we have never had someone disciplined enough to play that central midfield lynchpin role, Arteta has been good but not as good as Silva was.

    This would then require Jack to play left of the midfield three and Santi to play right of the midfield three, they wouldn’t have to bomb up and down all game because Gibbs and Sagna behind them wouldn’t be bombing on.

    This means Pod is then not required to work so hard defensively, which would be good for our knackered German.

    As for Theo i am probably one of the few totally non plussed by his situation, i think we should have sold him, i think if he didn’t sign a contract we would like to have sold him before this season (Nasri, RvP) so i can only deduce no one tried to sign him, and therefore they will only take him on a free. He has been one of the many failures of the last 7 years, and i don’t see that he has enough about him to be worried about joining another team, he will always be inconsistent, he will only ever be a good impact sub. £120k a week? Not for me.

    As to Usmanov, he has never said that he would never take dividends, he can say all he wants about what he would do when he owns the club, for all we know he could just let the club continue to make profit and instead of re investing or investing in players instead decide to pay it all out as dividend.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    I am happy with the current squad and believe we would be top if we were injury free.

    And you can’t prove otherwise 🙂

  43. jnyc says:

    Evonne, micky, usmanov seems rich enough not to worry about leverage and debt. And wouldnt it be nice, to be able to pay our best players so they dont have to go to the competition, and surround them with enough talent to challenge for titles. Im not looking for ridiculous torres type money on fees. Just to retain our special players that we have developed. Like rvp. A competitive offer and a couple nice signings and he might have stayed. He is the example i use, because i didnt think nasri was worth what he was asking. He doesnt fall into that special category for me. Theos price, while a bit high, is not unusual for an england international, and im sure that our competition would afford it. Though he definitely doesnt fall into that special category, at least yet, if ever. I just dont want to give him away because we waited and mishandled the situation. Some occasional inveatment isnt so bad. Its not going overboard or selling our souls.

  44. jnyc says:

    hi glic, sagna has played lb before for us. And GIE, I like your comments and ideas on the formations and tactics, as usual. 🙂

  45. chas says:

    On this day 1997….

  46. LB says:

    I can’t ever remember Sagna playing LB.

    Jenks has played there.

  47. Gooner In Exile says:

    Agreed LB, but a non left footer at left back is an accident waiting to happen whoever plays there.

  48. LB says:

    Yep, GIE, I agree with that.

  49. evonne
    You are so wrong about usmanov. Dodgy pasts can also get erased in the fallout from communist Russia. Russia now is as corrupt, possibly more so than it was under communism.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    To my friends at AA

    After my comment was first taken off the blog and then edited without my consent this morning, I have decided it is time to move on for good. In the end, blogging should be fun and it requires adults to act like adults.

    I would like to say a big thank you to all you fellow blog writers for the great blogs you have written, and a big thank you to many regulars who had the patience to read my blogs and with whom I had the pleasure to debate everything Arsenal in great depth. I learned a hell of a lot of you all.

    I would also like to thank the blog founders for allowing me to post my blogs in the past.

    Hope our team wins.

  51. chas says:

    Denis Irwin was a fairly decent left back

  52. chas says:

    cheers TA and good luck

  53. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just watched that Crossroads video, it does seen like something changed sometime between Chavs and Schalke home.

  54. chas says:

    chavs and Schalke home, GIE?

    Between those two we had
    Olympiacos home unconvincing but good result.
    West Ham away am little iffy in places but finished in style and
    Norwich away which was simply appalling.

  55. Rasp says:

    I agree GiE, but what could it have been? The imbalance caused by just one injury? the loss of Diaby, the end of the honeymoon period for the new signings? the burden of expectation after a good start?

  56. Brigham says:

    I will be missing our game tomorrow as I am at the Royal Albert Hall for the Festival of Remembrance and NO, my phone will not be on for the entire time of the ceremony (1400-1600).

    I hope you all remember to respect the two minutes silence for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, some of them were mates in 1982.

    As for Arsenal, a 3-1 win for us!

  57. Rasp says:

    Hi Brigham, of course. Did you see that I put up a remembrance banner last year when there was opposition to paying respect at the grounds

  58. Brigham says:

    Rasp, I did mate and respect to you and thanks from me. This time of year is always hard for me, always!

  59. richie says:

    @TA well my friend AA will be the poorer for your absence! I didn’t expect nor did I think this was a fascist site ‘au contraire’ I thought this was an open blog which is why I was so happy to stumble upon it. I have only ever had one experience of a fascist blog. I had no previous knowledge of the blog in question and indeed my knowledge of blogs in general is very limited, I posted only once on Arsenal Truth a factual rebuttal of what was being said. My post lasted the best part of 20mins before it was removed. Needless to say I’ve never returned to post on the site.

    Obviously I can’t imagine the contents of your post but while bloging I believe one gets a certain feel for fellow bloggers and I can’t imagine you posting either a racist comment or something outrageously offensive or controversial. Indeed others on this site read your post and didn’t seem shocked or accuse you of sailing too close to the wind. I am shocked to hear that those in control of this site operate in this heavy handed manner. If objections were raised to something you said, surely those in control could have brought whatever those objections were to your attention and asked you for a variation or modification, no?

    I think freedom of speech is paramount because although I may fervently disagree with what you say, I will defend your right to be able to say it!

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    Richie in the main there is no editing on this site and self censoring the order of the day.

    Only in extreme cases of posters using extreme foul language or vile insults do any with admin privileges get heavy handed.

    I have no idea what caused TAs post to end up in trash bit if you look at TL Raddy restores it as soon as made aware.

    Sometimes comments end up in spam as they have too many links (even if poster is regular).

    Chas and Rasp it was a guess (a wide one 🙂 ) personally think the game against Chelsea could probably cause a bit of upset in the camp, especially the way the goals were conceded. We struggled a bit in first half against Olympiakos, and as you say Chas also those other games, altho we got a result against West Ham it required a lot of effort. And then the international break.

    This whole thing about players wanting to play in certain positions has got to stop, I go back to the game at OT, Rooney £200k a week and a gifted footballer was asked to dispense with his normal game and man to man mark Arteta, he did it. Ok he is on £200k a week he should do what ever he is asked, and he is one of the few players who probably would play wherever a manager asked him. The most worrying aspect is that SAF showed everyone else how to really castrate our current team, it’s not to stop Cazorla playing it’s to stop Arteta getting the ball from the centre backs, we really are a bit clueless at that point, it’s them that experience comes into the game, Arteta should move away and others like Jack and Santi should provide the passing options from defence.

  61. richie says:

    Hi GIE TA says his post wasn’t restored it was first edited? Then partially restored and for that reason he’s quitting AA. I can’t imagine him being 1) either offensive or 2) racist and his blog must have been fiddled with otherwise why would he quit this site? I’ve found TA to be a very reasoned blogger so I’m shocked!

  62. richie says:

    @GIE Re-the last part of your comments “stopping Arteta stops Arsenal”. SAF knows his game! We’ve become one dimensional in that sense. When playing out from the back Arteta has become the carrier because he’s the one player that’s always showing out and making himself available. Maybe that’s the crossroads Diaby gets injured and everything therefore starts to flow through one man we are too predictable. Tactically it’s easy to block us.

  63. richie says:

    @GIE again I couldn’t agree more “No player has the right to demand where he plays” Which is why I think (as many others on here do) the Theo “central” demand is a red herring. Arsene commented yesterday that the reason the Pod isn’t playing as well as he could be, is simply he’s shocked about his new work load and the intensity of the prem. It was easier in the bundasleaga! Arsene said the Pod has 101 caps and of those 101 all were played on the left. He’ll come good he just needs time to adjust to the prem it’s not about him being played in the centre.

  64. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I honestly don’t know what happened with your post yesterday morning but just in case you might be thinking I had anything to do with it, I assure you that I didn’t.
    I am not very stable at the moment with the serious illness of my daughter and the last thing on my mind is to interfere with anyone’s post.

    I hope you reconsider but anyway good luck.

  65. kelsey says:

    Imperative we win today but is anyone really confident ?

    Perry Groves last night on Radio 5 Live has had a bet that Jack will leave by the end of next season. Another ex player putting doubt in fans heads.

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Kelsey,
    Spain playing in Panama on wednesday! Let’s hope we are three up and Santi gets a knock 🙂
    Perry Groves said what?????
    As for your question about a win today. Of course I’m confident 🙂

  67. oz gunner says:

    All the best Kelsey, I hope your daughter shrugs it off soon!

    I’m confident. Fulham’s record away from home is quite poor, and in 26 meetings at our ground Fulham have never once beaten us. The old dangers of Johnsn and Zamora no longer exist, schwarzer is no longer capable of game saving, and most of all Arsene’s call to arms with incite the crowd today to give one hell of a advantage!

    Perry Groves can bugger off. I’m sick of the media spreading stories. I thought they were going to ride the Sagna way until he signed/left but jumping on jack very annoying

  68. oz gunner says:

    Good post JNYC, cheers.
    Disagree that Huntelaar is inexpensive. He commands a big salary also, something we would never pay. Giroud and Podolski as strikers are good enough for me.

    I agree it’s time to get the youth more involved. Freshen things up a little

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Oz,
    Desperate for an early goal to really set the players and the crowd up for a great afternoon. My biggest concern is an aerial ball finding Berbetov in acres of space.

  70. oz gunner says:

    @ Chas

    quality match report the other day. Very well written

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really do miss The Ox option. Am I right in thinking he’s still not ready? He’s one of those players, like AA, who st on the bench and you know there is a game changer in the house.

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh sod off Oz.
    Do you know how many people banged on about Chas this, and Chas that, and “Ooooo what a well written report Chas, aren’t you clever”, and zip about my brilliant Schalke Fan bit.

  73. Gooner In Exile says:

    Last season their fans were singing “we’re winning away you must be shit”, which was quite amusing but also backs up the stats.

    From memory TV5 scored a cracking OG by slide tackling Riise and precisely putting it I bottom corner. 😳

    As for Perry I did not listen to the programme but its normally a pretty light hearted affair with him Colin Murray and Pat Nevin finding some fun in football. Strange that an Arsenal player and fan has that bet with a Dipper fan, and an expro from Everton and Chavs.

  74. oz gunner says:

    Hi Micky. I agree we really do need an early settler. But after the last game against Fulham I really think we need an early double settler.
    It will be interesting to see if they go with Berb or with the quicker option rodallega. I’m more worried about Ruiz and Duff attacking Vermaelen.

    Such a different Fulham to previous times though. no dempsey and dembele also. I’d like to Hangeland no have a good game against us for once!

  75. oz gunner says:

    He sure did GiE, he pulled a Kozzer special by scoring at both ends.

    Oh yeah, I forgot you did that part, I suppose you did alright too Micky haha.

    Fitness test for Ox. I’d like to see him start and give podolski a much needed rest. I’d also settle for AA though

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Verm scored both last in that game GiE, and morning to you too.

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Alright” !!!
    Don’t worry Oz, I’ll be seeing Chas in The Tavern pre match in just six short hours, and I promise to buy him extra crisps with his beer for being so much cleverer than what I’m not.
    Fitness test for Ox eh? Now that is brilliant news. My son has just appeared, and he’s pissed off enough as he can’t come today, so I will not rub salt into the already deep wound by telling him there’s a sniff of a chance The Ox might play.

  78. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all

    I had forgotten that he grabbed the equaliser…I was there too 😕

    Agree an early goal would be good, think the team will need the fans to be on their side today, our nerves translate to the players, must stay positive.

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    AA left, Pod central and Ox right would be fun.

  80. oz gunner says:

    Perhaps a pen and paper also Micky to take notes haha

    Good idea, because Ramsey has one also so you don’t wantto be rubbing it in only to find out he is playing instead. Coquelin in for Wilshere and Ox for Podolski…make it happen ARSENE!

  81. oz gunner says:

    I’d love to see that Micky

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:


  83. Gooner In Exile says:

    For the record young Jack has been busy lauding his love of Arsenal, the club, and wants to make as many appearances as TA6 etc.

    One commenter on the article on YahooEurosport said this:

    “he will never get near to tony adams, his to accident prone and too many red cards”

    Accident prone? I think we can safely say Tone was definitely a bit of that!

    A good read

    “Cesc wanted to go back to his family and friends. My family and friends are 20 minutes away. It’s perfect.”

  84. Gooner In Exile says:

    Anyone else notice Corporal Jenkinson has switched to England and should also be in the squad next week if FIFA get their paperwork sorted out:

    Hodgson is also hoping to add Arsenal full back Carl Jenkinson to the squad before they meet in Manchester on Sunday evening.

    Jenkinson, who represented Finland at Under 21 level, has switched allegiances and has decided to commit his international future to England.

    Hodgson was forced to leave him out after a bizarre mix-up over his paperwork last month, but he expects FIFA to give the all-clear before the weekend.

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas, Peaches, Rasp and anyone else going, see you there.
    Everyone else, enjoy the win.
    Hopefully catch The Raddy on the train.
    Bye all.

  86. chas says:

    See you later, Micky.

  87. chas says:

    Tommy’s Fulham goal at 1:50.

  88. evonne says:

    No Kelsey, I am not confident. We are just above Fulham on slim goal difference. Martin Jol is a good manager and knows how to play Arsenal. I can sense another bad day in the office

  89. oz gunner says:

    Fear not evonne, Martin Jol has only beaten Arsene once in the 9 games they have played and that was January. He couldn’t even do it at Tottenham. Even after they scored a goal when they refused to kick the ball out whilst 2 of our players were done needing medical attention. It’s okay though, these days you get a yellow card!

  90. chas says:

    I asked Mal the referee who was on here a few months ago for his opinion on the ref stopping the game when the Schalke defender was injured not a head injury) and Podolski was just about to shoot.

    Without seeing the incident, his reply was that a serious injury other than a head injury could cause the ref to stop the play. His follow-up questions were about the player down, was he play acting, did he receive lengthy treatment and was he substituted?

    The player was subbed 2 minutes after the incident after hobbling back on to the pitch and being unable to carry on.

    The screen print shows the linesman correctly positioning himself with the prone defender. The ref has his whistle in his mouth in the act of blowing as the ball leaves Santi’s foot. Podolski is clearly onside (from the grass cut lines) without the help of the injured defender. In the protest that followed the ref clearly indicates the deeper offside line caused by the injured defender as the reason for blowing his whistle.

  91. evonne says:

    look Oz, you are a very nice guy, but a compulsive liar. You told me on more than one occassion that we were going to win and we didn’t. I don’t trust you.

  92. LB says:

    Morning all

    Could someone put my mind at ease. There seems to be a mix up with a comment that TA posted. I can understand that it might accidently find its way in spam for no good reason (WordPress) but what I find impossible is that it was edited and then re-posted (as he claims above) Could someone confirm or deny this.

    Thank you.

  93. evonne says:

    LB – huge loss to AA if true. TA is one of the most passionate bloggers here, and a great guy

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All. Love the morning before battle.

  95. Red Arse says:

    Morning Peeps,

    So what is the story behind TA’s comment being altered, without his consent, that has led him to feel he has to leave AA?

    Has there been a misunderstanding?

    He has so many friends on here, and I cannot believe anyone would want him to go, surely this is a mistake.

    I cannot believe the censors scissors has been at work, surely this is not the case? 😦

  96. Rasp says:

    Richie, LB, evonne and others:

    TA’s comment criticizing the site and richie’s ‘fascist site’ comment remain for all to read. Accusations of being ‘heavy handed’ are way off the mark. We cannot defend ourselves in an open forum without damaging something we hold dear.

    TA had an exchange off of the blog with a site administrator and knows exactly why his comment was taken off. To then come back on later and dramatically resign was a further illustration of his agenda and has been successful in making him the topic of conversation. We would not go on another site and post in such a way.

    We have remained true to our aims and are unique in the blog world although others seek to replicate what we do. We are disappointed by the reaction from some quarters but trust that those who know us will realise that we have only ever acted to protect our bloggers and to do our best to make this site accessible to all.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Thanks for the explanation.

  98. Rasp says:

    Back to business…….

    …… New post ……

    Look forward to seeing Micky, chas and others at the Tavern

  99. richie says:

    I can see Today’s London derby game being particularly difficult, we aren’t looking either fluid or confident and they’ll be looking to stay at their lofty height in the table. On paper we should win comfortably, Fulham having conceded twice as many as us, but that’s on paper, and they’ve scored only 2 less than we have, so all things considered we’re pretty evenly matched. We just need our class to shine through and hope we create the chances that thus far we haven’t. Well that and hope our forwards take their chances when they come. I’m hoping for a solid 2-0 confidence builder as a spring board for what’s up next.

  100. kelsey says:

    Arsenal: Mannone, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Coquelin, Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud.

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