Arsène Wenger – The grooming of England’s future Super Stars.

Much has been written about Arsène Wenger’s penchant for foreign players – French players in particular. Over the years he has been ridiculed for playing teams full of foreigners and for his seeming adversity to English youth. This culminated in a league match against Crystal Palace on 14 February 2005 when Arsenal named a 16-man squad that featured no British players for the first time in the club’s history.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor felt that this was the beginning of a worrying time for English football”. In March 2006, Alan Pardew chimed in with – “Arsenal’s Champions League success was not necessarily a triumph for British football” Arsène disagreed and said that he saw the issue of nationality as irrelevant and stated, “When you represent a club, it’s about values and qualities, not about passports”

Other pundits including Trevor Brooking director of football development at The Football Association defended Arsene, he felt that a lack of English players in “one of England’s most successful clubs” was more of a reflection on England’s limited talent pool rather than on Arsene.

Arsène preferred players that were nimble, adept at passing and those that displayed a high level of technical ability. Using his uncanny knowledge of worldwide players he brought in players like Petit, Vieira, Henry, Pires, Van Bronckhorst, Overmars, Toure, Gilberto, Wiltord, Anelka, Ljungberg, Silvinho, Lauren, and Edu, these players formed winning teams the likes of which had not been seen at Highbury since Herbert Chapman’s teams of the 30’s.

His explanation for not buying British players has always been that few “local” players displayed the attributes that he was looking for and those that did were overpriced in comparison to European players. More recently, with the riches of Chelsea and the Manchester teams Arsene was not able to compete on a level playing field for the British players he admired or for the better foreign players so he was forced to turn his attention to youth players, both foreign and British.

Today, in his youth and under 21sides he has a squad of 30 English and 19 foreign players many of whom already have international experience at various levels.

In Theo Walcott, Carl Jenkinson, Alex Oxlaide Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere he has five full England internationals, these players might well form the core of the English team for years to come. With another 25 English youth players in his care who can say just how many more will make the international team?

Who would have thought that Arsène Wenger might be the man to turn around England’s fortune by developing the nucleus of the English team?

He is a multi faceted man that should not be counted out.


205 Responses to Arsène Wenger – The grooming of England’s future Super Stars.

  1. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Nice post, GN5.
    All hail Arsenal’s English spine.

    p.s. I’m not sure I would have gone with the g word in the title. It has different connotations these days.

  2. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning, GN5,

    Excellent recapping of yet another ‘Wenger First’, and, of course, since then (tho’ I do not have the stats) many other clubs have put out teams with few or no English players.

    Visionary? Yes.

  3. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Chelsea were the first to do it (starting X1, that is), but that wouldn’t fit in with the media’s anti-Arsenal slant, would it?

  4. Red Arse says:

    I had not noticed that until you said, Chas, but now I look at it, you are right.

    A dreadful reflection on society, or the shitty perverts hiding in the shadows.

  5. Red Arse says:

    Well, color me ‘naive’, Gonad. I would have out money on Arsenal being the first club to put out a ‘non-English’ team.

    The media obviously reeled me in!

  6. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    It’s only because I’ve seen the same word used elsewhere wrt AW. 😦

  7. DoubleDoubleDouble says:

    @Red Arse

    Just to clear up the confusion:

    Arsenal were the first club to field a matchday squad with no British players.

    Chelsea had previously named a team with no British players (but they had English subs) and, many years before that, Liverpool had named a team with no English players (though it had British players in it).

  8. DoubleDoubleDouble says:

    I type way too slowly.

  9. Red Arse says:

    Thanks, D3, 🙂

    And don’t worry about the typing speed – you should see me, with my two fingers pecking away like a Woodpecker with two beaks!

  10. Manthan says:

    Plenty of more youth coming in next year…. Miquel,Gnabry,Eisfield,Henderson… Arsenal future is bright,….. How many youth player are der in citeh,spud or chesky playing in thier first team….. Not much 1 or 2… That is what make a team no doubt why pep choosed bayern ahead of chelsea…

  11. Wonderman says:

    Morning all, bearing in mind we have had a Swede and an Italian managing our national team isn’t it a bit hypocritical for any domestic team to be singled out for the nationality of its players?

    In my opinion Wenger and his staff( many of whom are English) have performed a miracle with our academy . How many of the top 6 clubs can boast so many players to have gone from academy to playing top level football. We have produced so many, other clubs are reaping the benefit. Off the top of my head …in our first team Gibbs, Wilshere, Frimpong,Wallcot. Elsewhere Bartley, Sidwell, Bentley,Pennant,Laarson,Jerome Thomas ….

    They must be doing something right

  12. Manthan says:

    Truly said AW is the man who grooms children and make them star… How many players who had left arsenal has told anything bad about AW take song,nasri,BSR for example all treat him as his father…. This was make him the coach of decade….

  13. Merseforever says:

    While this youth development is a credit to Arsene, let’s not kid ourselves. In terms of actual English talent coming through our academy under his tenure the only 3 who have made the jump to regular first team action are Cole, Jack and Gibbs.

    Furthermore in years gone by, several outstanding talents came through our academy and we’ve always been known as a club to give our youth a fair shot. I would still say George’s young Guns were the best crop of youth players we produced simply because of the volume. From Charlie George and Ray Kennedy, to Adams, Merse and Rocastle, to Jack today Arsenal have always been good at bringing young players through. It’s nothing new.

  14. Grooming probably wasn’t a good choice.Great post though.

  15. GoonerB says:

    Excellent and thought provoking article GN5 and echoes my thoughts on this subject. Must go out for a bit to do some things before the roads get too treacherous. Will check back later.

  16. Red Arse says:

    And how many Charlie George, Ray Kennedy, Magic Hat, Adams or Rocastle’s are there out there today?

    That is why AW and others were saying, that the pool of English talent was not too deep in the late 90s, and those who were cost a fortune, that’s why he had to look elsewhere.

  17. It’s snowing in London now. I wonder if it’s worth buying a ticket for West Ham. I bet it’s called off

  18. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  19. vp says:

    Nice article. These players are destined to be England players in years to come, and I agree, the host nation owes Arsene a big thank you (who would have thought). They’ve been nurtured in the right way and there seems to be a unerring togetherness about these players. With this being said, they are no longer boys. They are young men; the grooming phase is thus over, and aspiration takes precedence. The departures in the not too distant past demonstrate the fact that the club has lost its ability to inspire and this will be the key to whether these players will see out their prime years at the club. It would be extremely presumptuous of us to expect this to be the case, particularly given the club’s antipathy to investment and risk acceptance. It is only a matter of time before the young ins put this to the test.

  20. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Walking in a Wilshere Wonderland

  21. dandan says:

    Matt Law ‏@Matt_Law_SM
    Finally – Walcott new contract fully done. 3.5 years, 100k a week and big signing on fee

  22. I can’t get my head around Walcott being the highest paid player at Arsenal. It sends out a message that we can keep players though

  23. vp says:

    Here goes to the three and half year EXPERIMENT of playing Theo Walcott upfront.

  24. We can play him where we want now 🙂

  25. vp says:

    Breaking the bank to keep Theo Walcott at the club until 2016. What is going on at this club?

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    Afternoon all, -9c and snowing here in London, Ontario.

    Sounds as though Theo may have signed but still nothing official on

    I hope it’s true, about time AW won one of these transfer saga’s – it might be yet another sign of change afoot at Arsenal.

  27. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Afternoon all
    Nigel Atkins been spaced at the Saints wats going on.
    Theo’s is on how much a week I read £60k and a 3 million signing on fee.
    Much love in snowy swansea.

    Sheep Hagger™❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄⛄🏂

  28. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Sacked not spaced ,sorry

  29. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all, terrific post GN5, I want top players at Arsenal, I suppose being British is a bonus – at least they won’t be off to the ACN 🙂

    The sacking of Nigel Adkins is an absolute disgrace. I hope the Saints fans make their feelings known, unlike the spoilt chavs, they have due cause to complain.

  30. LB says:

    Most people know the story about Tesco’s burgers having horse meat in them but what most people don’t realise is that Tesco’s weren’t joking when they refered to their meat balls as being the Dogs Bollacks…..

  31. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    A cow walks into a bar. Barman says ‘why the long face?’ Cow says
    ‘Illegal ingredients, coming over here stealing our jobs!’

  32. Bryan says:

    I think it is a good thing, that we are paying Theo the money, sends out a few messages, we will no longer sell our best players (I hope) & that we will pay top players big wages, so hopefully can entice some big name signings.
    It had to happen sooner or later & if chamach was worth paying 60k a week I think Theo is worth 100k

  33. Rasp says:

    I agree Bryan, if Theo doesn’t produce the goods we can sell him any time in the next couple of years for £15m+ and protect our asset. I don’t expect him to play centrally that often particularly if we buy that world class striker that’s rumoured 🙄

  34. LB says:

    The average striker at City earns about 180k per week and we are offering Walcott 90k

    Top players careers last 10 years but by going to City it would be the financial equivalent of having a career that lasted 20 years.

    Forgive my cynicism but if Theo stays it is simply conformation that no one else wanted him.

  35. LB says:

    It still amazes me that people comntinue the believe that the only reason Walcott hasn’t signed up until now is becasue the club refused to pay him 100k per week.

    100k a week at Arsenal

    180K a week at City

    Walcott isn’t an Arsenal supporter as we are, he has no reason to be loyal, only a fool wouldn’t have shopped around and Walcott is not fool.

  36. vp says:

    LB you took the words right out of my mouth. If anyone else wanted him he would have been long gone by now. Its the club’s fault for leaving it so long and had no choice to play ball with his demands in order to protect their balance sheet interests (as Rasp pointed out). He’s neither a world class winger nor worldclass striker- what are we going to do with him?

  37. LB says:

    Or at least his agents are no fools.

  38. LB says:


    Pray he gets better.

  39. I think you are right about no one wanting him. By no one you meant the top clubs.

  40. vp says:

    I just pray that his generous remuneration package doesn’t restrict our ability to sign further players at a high wage, or further reward our better existing players.

  41. Would you have been ok with him going LB?

  42. If we were to buy a player now for 25m and give him 100k a week would you rather put that with Walcott’s money and have a 35m player on 200k a week instead of Walcott and a new signing. I would.

  43. evonne says:

    Walcott Walcott Walcott
    signed the ting
    signed the ting!!!
    I am delighted

  44. Red Arse says:

    Well, Evonne, for those of us who are not convinced, at least it is over, at last! [I have always said he would stay – his agent’s tactics have been obvious from the get go!]

    Where was it reported?

  45. Red Arse says:

    Just seen it on the BBC, Evonne!

  46. arthur mullard's left gonad says:


    Did you have anyone in mind in the £25m bracket or the £35m bracket come to that?
    Perhaps having one player on at least double the rest are on might cause a little Alan Ball style unrest? (not that I’m a socialist 🙂 )

  47. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    £35m player……now let me think, who’s been bought for that much recently?

  48. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    200 carrots a week maybe.

  49. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  50. No chas I was being hypothetical 🙂

  51. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    I know, gm.
    It just struck me as odd that we no longer talk about players and their respective abilities but more about how much they’d cost in transfer fees and wages. 🙂

  52. LB says:


    I share your way of thinking.

  53. 20/20Vision says:

    I was musing about creating a blog called…’the daily arsehole’ full of selective quotes, half truths, spin, biased opinion and downright lies all about talksh!t radios’ afternoon resident ginger pubed Arsenal bater, what do you all think?

  54. Big Raddy says:

    20/20. You are too late, it/they already exist (just under different names)

  55. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Fine read. It is brilliant that England’s best young talents are at AFC. Watching England is always dull unless there is one of ours playing.

    Ox and JW will be the fulcrum of both club and country

  56. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  57. 20/20Vision says:

    I did wonder about that BR. I hoped he’d permenantly lose his annoying nasally voice as karma for saying…’the way to stop Thierry Henry’ is to injure him’ that time!

  58. GunnerN5 says:

    Now it’s official.

    No terms are released – so anything else that is written is pure speculation.


    Theo Walcott signs new long-term contract

    Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Theo Walcott has signed a new long-term contract.

    The 23-year-old forward has already made 244 first team appearances since joining Arsenal from Southampton in January 2006, during which time he has scored 56 goals.

    Walcott has also established himself as a regular England international during his time with Arsenal. Having signed for the Club at the age of 16 from Southampton, Theo soon won a call-up to England’s 2006 World Cup squad. Later that year, he became the country’s youngest-ever full international at 17 years and 75 days when he faced Hungary. Walcott currently has 30 international caps.

    The lightning-fast forward is enjoying another good season and is currently Arsenal’s leading goalscorer with 14 goals in all competitions. This tally includes two hat tricks – at Reading in the 7-5 Capital One Cup victory and also against Newcastle United in the 7-3 Premier League victory at Emirates Stadium.

    Manager Arsène Wenger said: “We are all delighted that Theo has signed a new contract. He joined us as a 16-year-old and since then has developed very well to become an extremely important player for both Arsenal Football Club and England.

    “Theo is a strong player and also a great person, and the combination of his ability and pace always make him such a valuable asset either from the flanks or down the middle. Theo’s contract extension now gives us a strong nucleus of ambitious young players who have committed to the Club and want to be successful with us as a group.”

    Theo said: “I am very happy to have signed a new contract here at Arsenal. Thanks to everyone for their continued support, especially the manager, everyone at the club and most importantly the fans. I have made it clear from the start that I wanted to stay at Arsenal so I am pleased we have agreed a deal that everyone is happy with. What’s important now is for the team to realise its potential and win trophies.”

    Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is looking forward to Theo’s continued contribution for the Gunners in the forthcoming years.

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Great news that Theo has signed. Not just because he is an essential player of the squad but because of the message it sends out.

    Had TW left the repercussions would have been unpleasant

  60. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  61. I agree BR. I hope we sign a couple more too.

  62. GunnerN5 says:


    The England team could become a carbon copy of the Spanish team who are dominated by Barcelona players. I hope to see a time when Arsenal players will be the main stay of Englands team and that their understanding of each others play will be of major benefit to England.

  63. evonne says:

    Was I the first to report TW’s decision on AA??
    Ha ha ha, one step ahead of RA, great!

  64. GunnerN5 says:

    Evonne, Dandan was 1st @12:27

  65. evonne says:

    😦 GN5 😦

  66. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Jenks wore shorts at today’s training session!

  67. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    I think you’ll find arthur mullard did on 16th Jan.

  68. jnyc says:

    N5 its fun to think about. I think jenks and gibbs will be very good, im hopeful for the ox, and jack will be the pride of England and Arsenal, i predict. —-
    Also, We are right to secure theo, to show that we can at least keep our younger talents, and that we can afford it. And RASP is right, we could always sell him in the future if needed, rather than lose him for nothing. By the way, Walcotts stats from last year and this are pretty good. If Arsene uses him right, it can be a very good deal.

  69. LB says:

    It’s Just Like Having A New Player.

    There’s ya transfer market done and dusted for another 6 months boys.

    Chary loads gun and puts barrel in his mouth, no Chary, don’t do it, don’t do it, if you think about it with Diaby’s return it is like having two new players……Chary pulls trigger……Bang

  70. jnyc says:

    Now we need to concentrate on getting a cl spot! I believe in our talent and future prospects, but our poor play this season could leave us with a huge setback. This would be a bad time in our development to lose the income.

  71. Ha ha London, I was about to bet your last posing pouch that Wenger would say that his business is done till June.

    Of course Wenger likes to LANS about Vasiriki each time he returns from injury….so that’s 345,796,789,342,456 times so far and counting.

    Nice psot N5 but I have to say if we tagged Spurs on that post all the Spuds would have made hay about the “G” word. More shame on them though to be honest, a sad reflection on current day thinking.

  72. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    We’ve got two weeks to buy two players for £60 mill now that Theo’s sorted. 🙂

  73. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    LG would too

  74. Red Arse says:

    The deal is done, and I am prepared to put my doubts aside and give Theo my total support, as if he is a ‘new’ player.

    This could be the making of a more mature Theo, at 23, as he might play as if turbocharged with all that lovely lolly in his back pocket! 🙂

  75. Red Arse says:

    I wonder if Rocky’s ‘plane got off at lunchtime?

    Anyone know?

  76. Too right AM’s left gonad.

    Thought I’d add a rude bit to my profile name in a different language just like GM 🙂

  77. GunnerN5 says:


    It’s a sad thing that anybody would even want to bring it up.

  78. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  79. Oh dear, GM, I’d better change my squiggles then before I offend our eastern gooners….

  80. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Sorry for bringing it up, GN5.

  81. I just watched the lead up to shitty’s first goal. he definitely played the advantage then brought it back. Remember against Schalke (I think) when when Pod was through and the wanker in black stopped play. I wish they’d be consistent.

  82. Big Raddy says:

    GM. It is as you say “the wanker in the black”. I am stunned Dean is still ref on Sunday

  83. Funny Pardew piped up with that Wenger jibe about “Arsenal’s Champions League success” was not English, when you look at the way his team and us lined up last time around, which team had the most English in their squad ? The one in red and white you dancing fool !

  84. I find it strange that they don’t demote him for 1 week for making an obvious mistake that they overturned. I think it’s dodgy to have the same ref twice on the trot anyway. We should have video refs like they do in American football. It should be a level playing field which it obviously isn’t

  85. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ve just created an Excel spreadsheet showing the remaining games for us, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton, Liverpool and West Brom.

    I’ve made my own predictions and it’s going to be very tight but I’ve got a good feeling that we can get up to even 3rd.

    If anybody would like a copy I could send it to Rasp and he could forward it on.

  86. evonne says:

    GM – do you want back the picture of TW you gave me last year 🙂 I’ve got it on the kitchen table now

  87. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Perhaps Dean will have seen the articles saying we’ve only won 7% of games when he’s been reffing and unconsciously favour us…..or maybe I’m the king of wishful thinking.

  88. For those who’ve seen the pictures of squad training/cavorting in the snow today, that IS Tel there isn’t it ?

  89. GoonerB says:

    I am happy about Theo. It gives us time to see if he can become that first rate striker rather than speculating and worse case scenario we have protected an asset from a financial aspect. Do we know the length of contract. 3 1/2 years would seem a little strange to me as we would be in exactly the same situation by the end of next season in having to renegotiate a new contract again.


    GN5, thanks for a fine post, which has iceing on the cake with theo staying.

    At last we have a player staying that Arsene Wenger wanted to stay.

    The signing up of our British quintent now folowed by the siging of Theo is the best things to happen to the club in ages. Theses boys have oodles of talent yet are no were near there prime. It means of course they will get beter and beter, Wenger has a stable template to work with, and constant dsiruption is eleminated.

    Have faith. Find me a manager who you can say develops and identifys young player better than Wenger and i would be surprised.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stiring

  91. No don’t be silly evonne.

    Yes it is chary. Jenkinson had got shorts on

  92. Big Raddy says:

    GoonerB. Do you have any inkling about why it is 3 1/2 years.? All I can think of is that it takes him to a season’s end

  93. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Andre Santos and Thierry Henry in the snow

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. If AW should decide to throw in the towel (which he won’t), Benitez will be available by the end f Jan.

    A loss or draw with us and then Swansea and he is toast.


    Raddy, Mr Benitez spent his whole time whilst at Liverpool deriding Chelsea and its model. He has effectivly sold out his principles so i will not shed a tear when his delighfuly caring boss fires him

    I must say i am very excited about our future. Slowly but surely Wenger is building a spine that will stay for a long time. Lets see what he and the Club can do.

  96. AM’sLG – thought so; GM – it must be his Finnish half that makes Jenks impervious to cold.

  97. Big and Randy Tim makes the point over here that 2 years from the end of this deal is a good time to decide if he needs to be paid more or sold as then he will be approaching his prime.

  98. LB says:

    I am surprised that no one has floated the idea of:

    Thierry Henry was instrumental in persuading Theo Walcott to stay.

  99. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Not everyone has your perspicacity, LB. 🙂

  100. GunnerN5 says:


    Your positive comments about our club are always welcoming to read. I’m frequently shocked by the amount of negativity that comes with a few adverse results or a few trophy less years.

    To some of us a trophy is purely the icing on the cake and to others a cake without icing is not worth eating.

    Here’s to those of us who can see that the icing is only a facade and it’s what’s inside that counts!.

  101. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  102. LB says:

    I am taking pills for that and was trying to keep it private, now everyone knows. lol

  103. Shard says:

    Hello folks,
    How’s it going? Snowy in England I see. AA though appears as warm and cheery as ever. Great article from GN5, some great posts, Terry’s still at it with the stirring ghosts, and RA is still talking about woodpeckers haha..

    It’s good to be back.
    Chary, why did you choose Hindi as the short-lived addition to your name? Is it to do with your parents being from India?

  104. GoonerB says:

    Raddy. I honestly don’t know about the contract length. I have heard 5 years also but 3 1/2 seems to be the more consistent report at the moment which obviously takes it to the end of a season. I personally would prefer it if it was slightly longer.

  105. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  106. Yeah, that’s true Shard; both my boys go to hindi classes in the nearest mandir, although it’s not that near and due to the snow they’ll miss tomorrow’s lesson. Got to teach them the importance of Jai hind and all that…

  107. Shard says:


    That’s cool. Seriously… Although shastragaar is the sort of archaic word I doubt many people would know. I had to struggle to make sense of it, but obviously knowing the context helped 🙂

  108. You can tell I just stuck it through google translate Shard as I have a western keyboard and can’t type devanagari script.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. Good to see you back. Been a roller coaster ride of late!

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. Shame on you – not having a devanagari keyboard


    GN5, could not agree with you more. Football is about the experience. That dosnt mean i am not desperate for the club to win, i am. As ive said before, i have no problem when people get upset when we dont get results, were all different.

    Forgive me GN5, but i believe you posses the most experience on this site in terms of following the Club. That experience should be valued and appreciated on here. Quite simply, when you post i am heartened.

  112. GunnerN5 says:

    Cheers Terry…………..

  113. Red Arse says:

    I am relieved you have surfaced again, Shard!

    The last we heard about you, before your disappearing act, was that 26M was threatening to visit you on his recent trip to India.

    I feared the worst — he is a lawyer!!! 😀

  114. Shard says:

    Big Raddy,

    Isn’t it always with our wonderful club? 🙂

  115. slime says:

    Great news about Theo.

    Maybe now the squad can be added to, hopefully in Jan, in the knowledge that Wenger can build whatever team he likes. Not knowing if certain players are going to be at the club much longer must make it very difficult to go into the transfer market with an exact idea of what type of player you need for a certain position.

  116. Shard says:


    Lawyers are ok. It’s the accountants that worry me.. Especially accountants that talk about their peckers and fingers in holes..haha

  117. Shard says:


    I couldn’t type it in devnaagri either, so we’re ok there. I should have known it was google at work. It says ‘Arsenal up’ and makes no grammatical sense..but you’ve gotten rid of it now. Anyway. How’s your guitar stuff going? Didn’t you put up a video on youtube? what name was that under? added any more since?

  118. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    If the Jimmy Savile and Lance Armstrong cases have taught us anything it is this:

    Don’t trust people that do lots of charity work.

    Much love
    Sheep Hagger

  119. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I have now got as many Tour de France titles as Lance Armstrong & only been cycling since the summer!


  120. LB says:

    Clever stuff Mr Sheep.

  121. LB says:

    I wonder how Oz is feeling about what has happened with Lance?

  122. Shard I put my guitar lesson under the charybdis1966 name on youtube (it’s here and I did toy with the idea of a second, I shot it too but I was less than happy with the result, it was going tt be of this track:

    I play more for fun and to relax than anything else, I’m not very good and some days I’m totally shite, but I am enthusiastic. The proper guitar player here is Rasp, although he does prefer folksy/hippy stuff, tunes for the beards and sandals brigade(only kidding Rasper !)

  123. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Chary is that u playing the guitar,if so fair play I’m impresses the only thing I can play is a X Box.
    I enjoyed watching that I’m also a leftie

  124. goonerjake says:

    Bad joke of the day:
    Just been to the doctors.
    He said you should watch what you eat.
    So I booked tickets for the grand national in april.

  125. Yes, that’s me Sheepy(with the Essex accent showing a bit too much) although I slightly regret the village people-esque jacket; I went for the combat jacket for my attempt at Steeler, but that will remain an unseen video haha.

  126. dandan says:

    Chary you dont mean Rasp likes great stuff like this do you, wonderful singer from a magic group (band to you 🙂 For me it was Saturday and Tues the Arsenal, Thursdays the folk club.Have a listen

  127. evonne says:

    Sheep – absolutely, the good-doers are responsible for a lot of bad things in this world

    LB – I am sooooo gutted about Armstrong. I like Tour de France, I read his book, believed every word of it, he was my hero for a number of years. And it turns out that the front bottom cannot even bring himself to say sorry, despeakable

  128. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    If anybody wants to watch the lance interview it’s on @20.00 uk time on the discovery channel

    Much love

  129. I think so DD, although the beard, and half hearted attempt at sandals, isn’t up to the usual look for Raspers tastes 🙂

    It’s very sedate, rather like the quiet bits of early Sabbath and I kept waiting for the power chords to come crashing in.

    Very relaxing though.

  130. Shard says:

    there is an old Chinese proverb/saying that appreciation is better than understanding, and enjoyment is better than appreciation, in relation to music. So play away, and have fun. That’s the whole point.That’s what I do, or try to. And I think my musical tastes are closer to yours than the video that dandan put up 🙂 and don’t worry about the jacket. You look badass 🙂

  131. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Chary mrs sheep is asking why can’t she see your face on ur u tube guitar playing she can only see ur neck


  132. I deal in extremes Shard and nothing in between, for my aggressive side there is the metal, for the reflective side there’s the Bruckner:

    – both epic types of music in different ways.

    Sheepy, that was intentional – a lot ManUre/Stoke fans are after me ha ha.

  133. Shard says:


    Oh I didn’t mean that I’m confined to just metal. I like what I like. I don’t put any labels on it. I do like a lot of classical music (both Western and Hindustani). Though my awareness on that sort of music is quite poor.

  134. LB says:


    How can I put this kindly.

    I told ya.

  135. evonne says:

    LB – you did indeed 😦 But then again you told me that Cesc and FFBW were going to stay 🙂 So…

  136. Oh right Shard, most of my taste in music, like most peoples, comes from chance events and people we know who influence us and leave their mark.

    I was supposed to be off to a pub in Eton to see a band tonight, but the snow has put paid to that idea. 😦

    It’s these guys, as you can see their axeman(Pars Evrenos) is a Gooner…

    London how about saying “I informed you thusly” ?

  137. RockyLives says:

    Evening All

    Thanks for a fine Post GN5. It certainly is encouraging (and very timely with the Walcott news today).

    I will take a lot more interest in England in the future when the Arsenal boys are at the heart of the team.

    As for Theo… I’m delighted. I really rate him – it’s clear other teams don’t like playing against him and he has a great eye for goal.

    But best of all, the deal has stopped the rot. Losing Theo would not have been as bad as losing Cesc or BSR – more like losing Clichy, Nasri or Song. But it feels like a statement from the club.

    I don’t necessarily buy the idea that he only stayed because no-one else wanted him. It’s possible that neither of the big moneybags teams were after him (Chavs and ManChavs), but I wouldn’t be surprised if the likes of ‘Pool and ManUre were interested.

  138. LB says:

    Not quite Evonne, I argued that City couldn’t be so stupid as to take Clichy — I was wrong and I expected that Arsenal would do with the FFBW what they have just done with Walcott — wrong again.

    But, I did expect Cesc to return to his Catalan roots.

    BTW I know the player you are talking about but what does FFBW stand for?

    I have got Fat French Bastard but “W” ? I am going to take a punt and go for “Wanker”.

  139. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for your thought!

    I switched to the 9am flight so I got out before the snow really started.

    Has it snowed much in London tray?

  140. evonne says:

    Rocky!! Were you away?

  141. evonne says:

    yes, London is snowed under, beautiful, just the way I like it

  142. evonne says:

    Bench Warmer, of course 🙂

  143. RockyLives says:

    Fat French Bench Warmer 🙂

    Was in London for two days – managed to get to the Swansea win. Excellent night!

  144. RockyLives says:

    Sorry to hear you’re snowed under (but at least you’re beautiful, according to evonne 🙂 )

  145. LB says:

    Hi Rocky

    I should have been clearer when I said I thought that if Walcott signs it will mean that no one else wants him. I am of course talking about the financial heavy weights.

    I find it difficult to believe that Manu and Liverpool would have offered more than we were prepared to pay, therefore I think my point stands.

    He shopped around and realised that the grass is greener under his feet.

    But I do agree that his loss would not have been as bad as BSR or Cesc but at least we are not having to make excuses about how we didn’t care when really we would have.

  146. LB says:

    Subtle but clever. lol

  147. LB says:

    “I informed you thusly.”

    Nah, I’m going with, I told you so.

  148. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Not much White stuff in Jackland tonight is all melted.

    Char don’t let them worry u man spew fans or poke fans they are all fools.
    Mention to them u have a mate in the Soul Crew and they will walk away.

    Much love
    Sheep Hagger ™

  149. evonne says:

    Is anybody EVER going to take me seriously??

    Let’s pray that the Sunday game is not called off, Chavs are on their knees at the moment

  150. Evonne, I always take you seriously, not just because you ARE beautiful(as Rocky says) but you talk a lot of sense.

    I have to duck and dive against all the southern ManUre fans around Sheepy 🙂

    London, I did rip that off one Sheldon Cooper to be honest.

  151. Manu wouldn’t have wanted him as a striker.

  152. I’ve been watching Schalke hannover for 10 minutes and there’s been 4 goals

  153. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    <<<<<<<<<———- Watching snooker .
    Us welsh were good at that at one time.

    What do us welsh call an I Pad .?
    Much love

  154. Terry Griffiths the campest man in snooker Sheep

  155. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    A little bit about terry for u gonner

    He won the world championship as a outsider he was a part time postman at the time.

    He owns a snooker hall in Llanelli,he’s a nice man not big headed at all.

    His son is a semi pro golfer and there was a rumour many years ago about terry being GAY.
    And he was having an affair with A male hairdresser when he was younger.
    Don’t know if thats true.
    And he’s a bit ,boring on tv
    Much love
    Sheepy xx

  156. evonne says:

    chary, flattery is going to get you very far with me 🙂
    GM – do you want that picture you gave me back?

  157. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Dai pad?

  158. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    How old u Evonne,tell me to feck off if u wish ,

  159. evonne says:

    Dear Sheep, old enough to be your mother 🙂 I have a 5 year old grandchild

  160. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    ……with 4 legs, sheepy, just how you like them.

  161. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Arthur got it I’ve a dai pad and a dai pod
    Well done Arthur
    Much love
    Sheep H

  162. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I don’t thnk ur old enough to be my mother if ur r u must be u in ur late 60s.
    The sheep is 49 in July
    Much love
    Terry Griffiths 👍

  163. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Lol Arthur

  164. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Time I left I’ve got to get my sheep in before snow comes or I won’t find them in the morning,

    Much love
    Sheep Hagger ™

  165. neamman says:

    Did city ever really want or need Theo? Who would they drop to play him? I think it was all paper talk.I am happy he has signed.. now we need a Diaby type midfield player but with a Scholes or Giggs fitness!

  166. I have one of the best gaydars in the business.

  167. oz gunner says:

    Cheers for the great read G5, like Terry I always enjoy your work!
    Theo signing is great news, now he just needs to knuckle down and keep improving. As GM said we can play him anywhere now 🙂 , back to the RW theo, Giroud is our striker!

    @ LB

    absolutely gutted. He’s been my idol for around 12 years. I’ve got signed pictures, a whole host of Livestrong clothing, $350 sunnies, all his books ect ect.

    The worst part is he ruined peoples lives if they ever questioned him. As far as I’m concerned he can burn in hell, how you can be so adamant one week and then change your story the next is beyond me. If there is any justice in the world he would go bankrupt and serve jail time.

    It will take a long time for cycling to recover after this

  168. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, interesting post GN5, I have no real care for where a player has come from. But I do like to see youngsters promoted from within the club, they don’t have to be English to be loyal servants (Liam Brady).

    The reason I think we are starting to see more English players from Arsene because the players now reaching senior age have been at the club as long as Arsene. Brought up playing a certain type of football.

    Rasp/Peaches thanks for making George a star!! 😀

    Some bad news for us Mrs Exile and George back in hospital, George ok but Mrs Exile has developed an infection which now requires IV antibiotics. 😦

  169. Gooner In Exile says:

    Also I hate that media separate non English and non British, for the PL we should really be talking Non English or Non Welsh. If they are Scottish or Irish they are foreign to the EPL.

  170. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oh and Theo….if the 3 year contract is correct we can assume that contract length was the issue not money. We need to start negotiating again at the end of 2013/14 season to avoid this saga replaying.

  171. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Here’s hoping Mrs GIE and George are back home fighting fit, tout de suite.

  172. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Jack and Santi bamboozle John Terry….

  173. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Loving the George widget. 🙂

  174. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Where’s DidIt?

  175. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I echo Arthur’s sentiments

  176. Big Raddy says:

    Arthur. I read that Didit has a new cable satellite system, and you know what that means to a middle aged man who is living in the countryside?

    No …. not porn ……. that he hasn’t worked out how to use it.

    Let us hope all is well in MickyWorld

  177. Big Raddy says:

    6.31 Love the thing with the leg – we used to do that at school!

  178. oz gunner says:

    @ GiE

    Best wishes to your Mrs, hope it gets sorted out quickly and your all back to 100% health soon

  179. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cheers lads, hopefully they get it sorted first time, we’ve been up and down GPs all week and they’ve prescribed penicillin and keep being told it was ok. Mrs Exile is a bit of a trooper and doesn’t like a fuss. Midwife saw it yesterday sent us back to GP who then sent us to hospital. As Mrs Exile said when health professionals screw up their face and say “ewww” you know something has gone awry.

    I would like to add I’ve always been a fan of the NHS doctors and nurses (not necessarily the admin side)….but they have exceeded my expectations 100 fold with their care and kindness whilst surrounded by talks of cuts.

    Poor midwives do home visits and have to write up all notes in triplicate, because they are not allowed a laptop or iPad etc. and at the hospital I see admin staff with the sole job of pushing paper around….(literally in big trolleys!).

  180. oz gunner says:

    I’ll never get tired of this

  181. Big Raddy says:

    GIE Agree 100% about the doctors and nurses in the NHS.

    When I think of the fantastic work they do for very little reward and compare that to the vastly overpaid parasitical Bankers it makes my blood boil 👿

  182. Red Arse says:


    Glad you got away OK. Thousands of passengers were stranded yesterday! 🙂

  183. Red Arse says:


    An unwanted worry for you, re Mrs GIE, anyway hope all is resolved quickly and she is home fit and well soon.

  184. evonne says:

    Dear Sheep – I am the same age as Rocky and too old for Chas 🙂

    Morning all, the game is still on; let’s hope it doesn’t snow any more

    Oz- me too, gutted. The worst thing about Armstrong is that he still did not say sorry and states that he wants to take part in competitive sports again!!! The arrogance is astounding

  185. evonne says:

    Chas – the four legged grandchild is only 3.

  186. evonne says:

    Four legged!! like a kitchen table? ha ha ha ha

  187. 26may1989 says:

    Morning everyone.

    Some interesting discussions yesterday, prompted by an insightful post from one of the Canadian contingent. Thanks GN5.

    To state the obvious, Theo’s signature is good news, on numerous levels. Hopefully, as Wenger predicted, now that is in the bag there will be some real transfer action. I always felt optimistic he would sign but it is also clear that his agents’ strategy has paid dividends. I’m sure that lesson will be observed by other players, agents and clubs – players have not generally exploited the negotiating strength the post Bosman regime offers them.

    Although I’ve always thought Walcott is underrated by many, I don’t think he will ever be world class. And having defended their asset (at a price), I also think there is a possibility the club might sell Theo within the next two years.

    On India, good to see Shard back. I’ll definitely try to meet up with him one day – wasn’t possible during my lovely two part holiday in Kerala and Gujarat. (Shame to see England struggling in the ODIs again though.)

    On Lance Armstrong, I understand the anger but to it’s a misjudgment to say cycling today is in bad shape. No sport is completely clean but cycling has been reformed over the past few years and is cleaner now than it ever has been (and I mean ever, drugs have been in cycling since it was first organised in the early 20th century). Armstrong’s admission is very important and needs to be followed with more detail on who else was involved in the institutionalised doping in cycling’s worst period (1990s to 2000s). But Armstrong is right to say pretty much everyone was cheating. That’s no excuse, and Armstrong was a leader so had extra responsibility, but to put all the blame on any one person isn’t right.

  188. Rasp says:

    Morning all, sorry to hear Mrs Exile is unwell GiE, glad you like the widget 😛

  189. That’s a lovely picture of George!

  190. oz gunner says:

    @ Shard

    Good to see you back, it was hard tracking you done on the blogosphere but untold Arsenal led me straight to you 🙂

    @ 26

    I definitely think it’s in bad shape. Lance easily took the sport to the next level, he gave it international acclaim. To have it dragged through the mud like this will do irrefutable damage. For years and years people are going to question winners, they may pass test after test but as we’ve seen that means nothing. Drug use will always be ahead of the curve!
    You are right the blame shouldn’t all be on him but he should take a fair whack of it! Look how many people looked up to him, they are gutted. He ruined peoples careers, not only those people he sued but those hard working people at Livestrong. Jobs will be lost and the charity will come in to question as more and more probes seek out Lance’s affairs. Already people questioned his use of fundraisers money for flights ect ect.
    If he cooperates and answers all the questions, gives up names ect the sport will topple like a house of cards

  191. evonne says:

    I have only seen ‘A Gooner is born’ ahhhhhh….me tearful, what a beautiful baby, and he is ours 🙂

    26may – Armstrong was a leader and according to ex-team mates he demanded that they took drugs. Some did, some refused. But why none of them blew a whistle years ago??

  192. being a whistle blower can end your career and make you almost unemployable evonne. Especially if the whole sector is riddled with it. I’ve always seen cycling as doping sport. I don’t follow it but it seems everytime TDF is on they’re throwing teams out for cheating.

  193. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    GIE hopefully Mrs GIE will be home in no time

    Not sure about the weather in london but the only reason they might call the game off would be for Health and Safety reasons, frozen stairways etc.

  194. Gooner In Exile says:

    Lance Armstrong was held in very high esteem by me, I read his first book, (it’s not about the bike), and was in awe of what he achieved, I also took his line about White Bloodcell count hook line and sinker with regard to them being high because of his illness.

    But his nearest competitor in many of those TDFs has also been discredited….as have many others during the era. Was Armstrong cleverer or was their manipulation higher up.

    And I also wonder whether many of the TDF riders from that era (especially the big players) competed at the Olympics, would the Olympics drug testing team have got them?

    I feel for the likes of Wiggins and Cavendish as this casts a bad light on their sport which they now claim to be clean….I hope it is, I assume because those lads ride in the Olympics and so are subject to UK Sports monitoring that they are clean.

    Are there significant time differences over like for like stages when comparing Wiggins and Armstrongs TDF? Is it even possible to do that?

  195. They’ve had plenty of time to put salt down Kelsey.

  196. evonne says:

    there you are GM – I keep on asking you and getting no reply – do you want back the picture of TW you gave me?

  197. I replied when you first asked me evonne. Pay attention in class 🙂
    Of course I don’t

  198. Rasp says:

    Morning all, today’s new post was written before Guardiola announced he was joining Bayern. This topic is being discussed by gooners in pubs across the country, and know that’s where we all talk the most sense 😕 – so don’t take it too seriously 🙂

    ….. New post ……

  199. GoonerB says:

    Morning all. Best wishes to Mrs GIE. Battled my way to work today like an old school polar explorer. Perhaps Raddy will use me in his next pre-match.

  200. 26may1989 says:

    Exile, it’s not always easy to compare, given that Tour de France routes vary, but all the cycling observers say times are markedly slower now than they were ten years ago.

    Cycling got into a very bad way but it is already much, much better than it was. We should be proud that British competitors and a British team are at the forefront of that revolution. Even someone who succumbed to the temptation, David Millar, has become an inspiration for creating a new, clean sport. It’s not just Brits of course, Thomas Voeckler is part of re revolution, as is Cadel Evans and there were a few truly clean riders back in the bad old days. But the sport is already far better than it was, and arguably better than numerous other, more complacent sports. Armstrong’s confession is a symptom of that improvement and evidence of what cycling was, not what it is.

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