Arsenal’s Greatest Forwards – Day 2

Continuing our Summer series of articles in search of Arsenal’s greatest ever team, this week we begin our quest for the greatest forwards to include in our team.  Don’t forget to take the opportunity to choose your personal favourite striker from an earlier era by voting in the poll at the end of the week.

4. Alex James: 1929-1937.

Alex made 261 appearances over an 8 year period and scored 27 goals.

Born in Mossend, Lanarkshire, Alex started his career with local youth clubs.

Alex joined Raith Rovers in 1922, where he spent three seasons, recording nearly one hundred League appearances, before moving to Preston North End for £3,000 in 1925.

Alex JamesHe spent four years at the Second Division side, scoring 55 goals in 157 appearances; however towards the end of his stay there he fell into several disputes with the club’s management, partly over wages – at the time, the Football League operated a maximum wage of £8 a week – and also because Preston refused to release him for international duty with Scotland.

Alex left Preston and joined Arsenal in 1929 for £8,750, making his debut against Leeds United on 31 August 1929. In order to circumvent the maximum wage rules, Arsenal arranged it so that his employment at the club was supplemented by a £250-a-year “sports demonstrator” job at Selfridges, the London department store. James had an unremarkable first season at Arsenal, in part due to the recovery from injuries he had accrued playing in the Second Division; however, he played in Arsenal’s 1930 FA Cup Final win against Huddersfield Town, scoring the first in a 2-0 win to give Arsenal their first major trophy.

Over time he settled into his role and became part of the dominant side of English football in 1930s. Playing deep as a supporting player, he scored relatively few goals for Arsenal – only 27 in 261 appearances – but created many times that number. Alex’s passing and vision supplied the ammunition that David Jack, Cliff Bastin, Ted Drake and Jack Lambert all put into the net.

He helped Arsenal to their first ever First Division Championship win in 1930-31, but was injured during the title race in 1931-32; without him, Arsenal finished second behind Everton and lost the 1932 FA Cup Final against Newcastle United. He had been passed fit before injuring himself in a pre-match photo call for the press, without him, Arsenal lost 2-1. He recovered to help Arsenal to a second title in 1932-33, as Arsenal scored 118 goals in the League that season. Another spate of injuries marred his1933-34 season, as Arsenal retained their title but scoring far fewer (75) goals in the process, but when he recovered they won a fourth, and their third in a row in 1934-35, with Ted Drake scoring 42 league goals that season, many of them supplied by Alex. The following season he won a second FA Cup winners’ medal, captaining the Arsenal team to their 1-0 win over Sheffield United.

He was famed for the excellent quality of his passing and supreme ball control, leading many modern-day comparisons with Arsenal forward Dennis Bergkamp. His rheumatism meant he wore “baggy” shorts to hide the long johns he wore to keep warm; the baggy appearance became his trademark.

Despite his form for his clubs, he won just eight caps for Scotland, partly due to Preston’s reluctance to release him for international matches. He made his international debut on 31 October 1925 against Wales, which Scotland won 3-0, his short international career included an appearance for the legendary “Wembley Wizards” team that thrashed England 5-1 at Wembley in 1928, with Alex scoring two goals.

With age and injuries taking their toll in the last two seasons of his career, Alex retired from playing in the summer of 1937. During World War II he served in the Royal Artillery, and after the war he became a journalist, as well as running a football pools competition. In 1949 he was invited back to Arsenal to coach the club’s youth sides.

Alex was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of his contribution to the English game.

He died suddenly, of cancer, when he was just 51 years of age.

5. Joe Hulme: 1926-1938.

Joe made 374 appearances over a 12 year period and scored 125 goals.

Born in Stafford, Staffordshire Joe usually played as a right-winger. He played for Stafford YMCA before starting his career in non-League football with Midland League side York City, he then moved to Blackburn Rovers for a fee of £250. He spent two years at Ewood Park and made 74 league appearances, scoring six goals.

JoeHulme_Profile.ashxHe moved to Arsenal in 1926, becoming one of Herbert Chapman’s first major signings.

Joe made his Arsenal debut on 6 February 1926 away to Leeds United, and remained a regular for the rest of that season. That led him to be picked for the Football League XI that season, and the following season, 1926–27, he made his full England debut, against Scotland at Hampden Park. In between 1927 and 1933 Joe won nine caps for England. That same season he also played in his first FA Cup final, against Cardiff City, which Arsenal lost 1–0.

He remained first choice on the right-wing at Arsenal up until the 1932–33 season, combining with Cliff Bastin (who joined Arsenal in 1929) to form a pair of highly-paced wingers with Joe scoring18 goals in 1931–32 (including hat-tricks against Sunderland and Middlesbrough) and 20 in 1932-33. During this time Joe and Arsenal started winning trophies, taking the FA Cup in 1929–30, and followed it up with a pair of First Division titles in 1930–31 and 1932–33. Injuries deprived him of another title-winning medal, as he only made eight appearances (but still scored five times) in Arsenal’s 1933–34 title-winning season. He returned to the Arsenal side the following season, 1934–35, and won his third league winners’ medal with 16 appearances, although by now injury and losses of form meant he was not an automatic first choice, sharing duties with Pat Beasley and Alf Kirchen.

In 1935–36, Joe played 28 times in the league and cup winning his final honour with Arsenal, a second FA Cup medal after Arsenal beat Sheffield United 1–0 in the final, making him the only player to have played in all of Arsenal’s first four cup finals. He spent his final two seasons at Arsenal (1936–37 and 1937–38) as a bit-part player, making just ten appearances in one-and-a-half years. His final appearance came against Liverpool on 18 December 1937. He scored 125 goals in 374 appearances for the Gunners, making him the club’s tenth-top scorer of all time.

He left Arsenal for Huddersfield in January 1938, where he saw out the rest of his career, picking up an FA Cup runners-up medal in the 1937–38 season before retiring from football at the end of that season. Joe was also a fine all-round cricketer, playing 225 times for Middlesex between 1929 and 1939 as an aggressive middle-order batsman and medium-fast bowler. Capped by Middlesex in 1930, he scored his first century that year, 117 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. He first passed 1,000 runs for the season in 1932, and in 1934 made his highest aggregate, 1,258 runs at 34.94, including four hundreds. He was an excellent fielder in the deep, and a good runner between the wickets. In 225 matches he made 8,103 runs at an average of 26.56, the highest of his twelve hundreds being 143 against Gloucestershire at Bristol. His useful right-arm medium-pace bowling brought him 89 wickets at 36.40, with a career best of 4 for 44, and he held 110 catches.

After World War II, which he spent working as a policeman; Joe became manager of Arsenal’s fiercest rivals, Tottenham Hotspur from 1945 to 1949. He achieved little actual success at the time, but he did lay the foundations for their championship-winning side of 1950–51. After that, Joe left football altogether, to become a successful journalist.

He died at the age of 87, in 1991.

6. Ted Drake: 1934-1945.

Ted made 184 appearances over an 11 year period and scored 139 goals.

Born in Southampton, Ted started playing at Winchester City, whilst continuing to work as a gas-meter reader. He nearly joined Tottenham Hotspur as a schoolboy, but missed the trial match with an injury. In June 1931, he was persuaded by George Kay to join Southampton, then playing in Division Two. He made his Saints debut on 14 November 1931 at Swansea Town, and signed as a professional in November, becoming first-choice centre-forward by the end of the 1931–32 season. In the following season he made 33 league appearances, scoring 20 goals.Ted Drake

After only one full season, his bravery and skill attracted the attention of Arsenal’s Herbert Chapman, who tried to persuade him to move to North London. Ted rejected the chance of a move to Highbury and decided to remain at The Dell. He started the 1933–34 season by scoring a hat trick in the opening game against Bradford City, following this with at least one goal in the next four games, thereby amassing eight goals in the opening five games. By early March he had blasted his way to the top of the Football League Division Two goal-scoring table with 22 goals.

Arsenal, with George Allison now in charge, renewed their interest and Ted eventually decided to join the Gunners in March 1934 for a fee of £6,500. Saints had declined several previous offers, but eventually were forced to sell in order to balance their books. Ted made a total of 74 appearances for Southampton, scoring 48 goals.

He scored on his league debut against Wolves on 24 March 1934, in a 3–2 win. Although he joined too late to qualify for a League Championship medal in 1933–34, he would win one in 1934–35, scoring 42 goals in 41 league games in the process, this included three hat-tricks and four four-goal hauls. With two more goals in the FA Cup and Charity Shield, Ted scored 44 in all that season, breaking Jack Lambert’s club record, one that still holds to this day.

His exploits at club level brought him recognition at international level, and he made his England debut against Italy in the “Battle of Highbury” on 14 November 1934; one of seven Arsenal players in the side, he scored the third goal in a heated 3–2 win. In total he won five caps, scoring six times.

The following season, 1935–36 he scored seven in a single match against Aston Villa at Villa Park on 14 December 1935, a club record and top flight record that also still stands. Ted claimed an eighth goal hit the crossbar and went over the line, but the referee waved away his appeal. Drake would go on to win the FA Cup in 1935–36 (scoring the only goal in the final) and the League again in 1937–38.

Despite being injured regularly (he was a doubt up until the last minute for the 1936 Cup Final), his speed, fierce shooting and brave playing style meant he was Arsenal’s first-choice centre forward for the rest of the decade, and he was the club’s top scorer for each of the five seasons from 1934–35 to 1938–39. The Second World War curtailed Drake’s career, although he served in the Royal Air Force as well as turning out for Arsenal in wartime games and also appearing as a guest player for West Ham United later in World War II. However, his career would not last long into peacetime; a spinal injury incurred in a game against Reading in 1945 forced him to retire from playing. With 139 goals in 184 games, he is the joint-fifth (along with Jimmy Brain) all-time scorer for Arsenal.

After retiring as a player, Ted managed Hendon in 1946, and then Reading from 1947. He led the club to the runners-up spot in Division Three South in 1948-49 and again in 1951–52, though at the time only the champions were promoted.

He was appointed manager of First Division Chelsea in 1952. Upon his arrival at Chelsea, he made a series of sweeping changes, doing much to rid the club of its previous amateurish, music hall image. He discarded the club’s Chelsea pensioner crest and with it the Pensioners nickname, and insisted a new one be adopted. From these changes came the “Lion Rampant Regardant” crest and the Blues nickname. He introduced scouting reports and a new, tougher, training regime based on ball work, a rare practice in English football at the time.  Within three years, in the 1954–55 season, Ted had led Chelsea to their first-ever league championship triumph. In doing so, he became the first person to win the league title both as player and manager. However, he never came close to repeating that success and left Chelsea to become reserve team manager at Fulham, later becoming a director and then life president.

Ted died aged 82, on 30 May 1995.

Written by GunnerN5 and compiled by Gooner in Exile

87 Responses to Arsenal’s Greatest Forwards – Day 2

  1. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Thank you GN5, you resurrected a memory with today’s post, whenever I talked about modern forwards with my late Father he would always say “Ahh but you should have seen Ted Drake”.

  2. GunnerN5 says:

    Good morning to me – where are you all?

    These are 3 of our absolute legends, as a youngster I was in total awe of their reputations. My Dad also likened Alex James to Denis Bergkamp and felt he was the greatest player maker he had ever watched.

    There you go MD89 Joe Hulme – an out and out classic Number 7 and he scored an amazing 125 goals from the wing – and our # 9 all time top scorer.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Really interesting GN5. So enjoying reading these posts. Thank you.

    Indeedy, a Winger 🙂

    I know we’re not picking a team as such, and therefore actual positions are not part of the selection process, but I’m a fair man, and know it would be easy to judge forwards on goals.

    We would therefore have Henry, Wright and Bastin as top three all time scorers. However, I’m never voting for Henry, which leaves me a gap, and I’d like to recognize the forward contribution of a wide boy.

    Hulme is an outstanding candidate.

  4. Drake’s 42 goals in 41 league games, 3 hatricks and 4 four goal hauls…not impressive. Thats over half his goals in 7 matches, meaning the rest of the season he only 17 from 34 matches…..so basically a bit like Giroud 😀

    Never really knew much about James (the name yes the style not so much) so was interesting reading that he was a No 10 type…..he looks about 50 in the picture i found.

  5. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky,

    You will also get to read about Doug Lishman – another classic #7.

  6. GunnerN5 says:

    GIE:

    Ted Drake was one of my Dad’s idol’s he never stopped telling me about his 7 goals in one game – and away from home at Aston Villa – who fielded 6 internationals.

    You can see some of the goals on Arsenal – Player

  7. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    I posted a comment at about 09.35 this morning but like several yesterday it has disappeared into outer space, so I shall try again.

    Thank you GN5 you have ressurected a memory for me. Whenever I discussed modern day forwards with my late father he would always say “Ahh but you should have seen Ted Drake”.

  8. johninnorfolk says:

    I’m fast losing patience with WordPress, I’e been trying to post a comment on and off all morning but nothing is appearing. I’ve tried e mailing arsenalnuts@live.co.uk with no response.

    I’ll send this comment using a different name and e mail address to see if anything happens.

  9. johninnorfolk says:

    Well! Hallelujah! That worked.

    Thank you GN5, you have ressurected a memory for me. Whenever I talked about modern players with my late father he always said “Ahh but you should have seen Ted Drake”.

  10. evonne says:

    johninnorfolk – don’t take it personally, it happened to me recently too, no idea why.
    Funny comment about your late dad 🙂

  11. neamman says:

    I will certainly choose Drake as one of my strikers

  12. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Gn5
    Three more great players (even if Hulme did subsequently manage the Spuds 😦 ).

    Alex James, from all I’ve heard and from what you chaps are saying, was clearly something special. A player of whom you imagine Arsene would approve.

  13. Gooner In Exile says:

    John I will check Spam etc to see if anything is occurring I assume its you NorfolkGooner?

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky,

    Ted Drake’s strike rate was an incredible .755 per game. That is an extraordinary achievement.

  15. johninnorfolk says:

    GIE, Thanks, yes it’s me.

  16. Gooner In Exile says:

    Don’t know what’s occurring with Norfolk and Evonne seems the sites spam filter believes you both to be spammers.

    I rescued quite a few of Evonnes from yesterday too.

    If you could both try again I’ll see if they go to spam still.

  17. GN5 i was only pulling a leg about Ted, i just imagine in today’s media he would be questioned as only able to do it against the small clubs….or inconsistent 😀

  18. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Gie, This is try out on the regular log in.

  19. GunnerN5 says:

    GIE;

    Either yourself or Chas are great at posting videos. If either of you can find the one of Ted Drake on Arsenal Player, depicting some of his goals against Aston Villa, it would be a treat for everybody to see just how powerful a forward he was with s shot out of an (Arsenal) canon.

    I realised that you must have been jesting – after all why would an Arsenal stalwart, like yourself, belittle his achievements.

  20. evonne says:

    there you are GN5

    Ted Drake vs Aston Villa

  21. evonne says:

    I am a spammer??!! Bet you any money DidIt did it, devil! He wants to get rid off me so he and Chas can turn this site to a soft porn blog

  22. Well it seems you are both rescued from spamdom 😀

  23. evonne says:

    pssshhhhh….

    ces1ne would have not seen my reply to him though

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you Evonne.

    Wow, what a legendary player, a true Arsenal great.

    This weeks forwards scored 1052 goals between them. Choosing only 3 will seem almost disrespectful to the achievements of the other 7 but whoever we choose the choices will be great.

    Next weeks group of 19 scored 1257 and the choices will be equally difficult.

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    group of 19 should read 10.

  26. Ian Ure Face says:

    The long running saga of quality continues !. Superb !.

  27. dandan says:

    About 60 years ago I played for a church football team, we were gifted a set of shirts by the Arsenal, mine had the name Alex James embroidered on the tail.
    Fast forward ten years or so and my younger sister is playing football at school takes my Arsenal shirt from the airing cupboard to use and cuts the tails off for a better fit. It still makes me weep not just for the memory’s, but for how much it would be worth today.
    Girls dont you just love em. 🙂

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    Dandan, I would have cut off her pig tails!!!

    Have you any news from Kelsey

  29. Gooner In Exile says:

    Pig tails? I would have cut off her legs for a better fit I into the smallest packing crate I could find and addressed it to Australia.

  30. Gooner In Exile says:

    That was weird Evonne because I did originally see that one, and then somehow the spam filter decided no after the event.

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    GN5
    I’ll send Kelsey an email, unless Dandan reports back first.

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Who here has the best piece of Arsenal Memorabilia?

    Anyone buy anything from closing of Highbury?

    I have a late 70’s training top. Blue, red and white trim, with embroidered yellow Cannon and AFC.

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    GN5
    Just sent Kelsey a message saying we’re all concerned.

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Thinking of memorabilia (and I may have mentioned this before) but I heard of a City supporter buying a piece of Old Trafford Turf when they were re-laying the pitch. When asked by a Mate what the hell he thought he did that for:

    ” I’ve sewn it into the grass verge outside our front drive. It gives me much pleasure, as every morning it’s where I take my dog for his No. 1’s and 2’s”.

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky,

    I’d have put a picture of Red nose on it and tell everybody that I trod on the sod every day.

    Hope all is well with Kelsey, thank you.

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    GN5
    🙂

  37. Gooner In Exile says:

    I always fancied GG’s bottom drawer but only in the hope there was a false bottom and undiscovered brown envelopes 🙂

    I don’t have any great memorabilia, my dad has a signed photo from Vieira and a programme with most of the Invincibles signatures on that was organised for him when he retired from his bank. I’ve probably mentioned before my Dad had various dealings with the club and supported various community schemes and Junior Gunner events. Was a Canadian bank and the only link was my Dad was a fan andim charge of sponsorship deals.

  38. Ian Ure Face says:

    I have some of Jeff Blockley`s finger nails from when I tortured the bastard !.

  39. dandan says:

    I spoke to Kelsey a couple of days ago, things are very tough for him and his family health wise at present, I will convey your concerns to him when next we speak.

  40. RockyLives says:

    I’ve mentioned this before, but I managed to grab Vieira’s baseball cap when he chucked it into the crowd at Old Trafford after we won the league there in ’02.

    Some of the players were wearing “Barclaycard” caps handed out by the sponsors at the end of the game and when they came over to us supporters Paddy threw his into the mob and I was lucky enough to get it.

    I suppose he only wore it for a few minutes, but hey ho.

  41. chas says:

    Great stuff, GN5.

    Alex James (and a nice photo of the North Bank)
    http://twitpic.com/d1xovv/full

  42. Gooner In Exile says:

    I never remember the AFC ArtDeco motif on the front of the North Bank? Was that roof changed or am I going insane?

  43. chas says:

    Ted Drake signature (amongst others)
    Love that notepaper.

  44. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just answered my own question going back to look at some old photos, I guess when I was little in JGs I never looked up and when I was older I was stood under it.

    How much did I love that place…..

  45. chas says:

    Joe Hulme

  46. chas says:

    From the JGs, GIE.

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks for the update dandan.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    I was /am a huge fan of Alex James. When I first started going to Highbury all the old boys said he was the best player of all time (including di Stefano – though they may have been biased).

    He was always the first name in my Subbuteo team and will be in my all-time first X1.

    And the story of Ted Drake’s 7 goals was ft repeated in our household. Interesting to read GIE comment about 17 from 34 – never thought of that before.

  49. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas that was JGs post all seater, in the old days it was under West Lower and Family Enclosure was the West Lower block nearest the North Bank.

    I used to stand as close to the entrance to the JGs as possible as that also left us as close to the North Bank.

    Beauty of JGs was all kids were down the front and parents stood at the back of the section, can’t imagine what it’s like to take them into Ems as unless the banking is steeper in Fam Enc some poor kid is gonna get stick behind me and not see a thing!

  50. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy I was being cheeky but you can imagine how current media would say.

  51. chas says:

    GIE,
    I never really knew where the JGs are/were. That view as far as I’m concerned was what we called the schoolboys enclosure. Maybe in the 1970s before your time. 🙂

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    “School Boys, School Boys, gis’a’wave,
    School Boys, gis’a’wave”

    Always made me ROLF.

  53. chas says:

    Haha, Micky.
    Much Rolfing.

    Anyway, let’s discuss our plans to turn this into a soft porn site.

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    A Female Cellist…..ahhh, you know how to tickle my bits 🙂

    This one is for Evonne. I am convinced the musician here is definitely not a Lesbian.

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooo rikey, Chas
    .
    In the name of Evonne and Research, I just youtubed “Lesbian”.

    I may well have just been converted 🙂

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Quick, someone’s coming

    Football talk, football talk, Arsenal formations, 4-4-2, 2-3-5, new signings, Arsenal Arsenal blah blah……

    Right, where were we?

  57. Red Arse says:

    I am a lesbian!

    Chas and Micky are Hasbians!!

    Oh, and Good Morning to you all. 🙂

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Good Heavens, it’s RA

    If you are anything like the Lesbians I’ve just seen, then Chas would love to hear from you on 07949 7751224

  59. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    (In case you get the chance to get on to AA) — a special Good Morning to you, and your family.

    I am sorry to read DanDan’s update on your problems, and I hope the health matters improve for your family in the very near future!!

    Chin up.

  60. Red Arse says:

    Hi Micky,

    I already have Chas’ number — so many of us do! 🙂

    He is not ready to come out just yet — he was arrested last time he did! 🙂

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha Ha 🙂

  62. chas says:

    Will today get as far as Big John Radford?
    (swiftly returning to fitba)

    I read out the barechested cycle advertising comment at work the other day and was asked the question by a young lady, ‘does he know you?’. I said yes and the reply came back, ‘thought so, he’s pretty much got you summed up’.
    What’s it called when perceptions and reality are light years apart? 🙂

  63. chas says:

    see you anon.

  64. mickydidit89 says:

    I had quite the most terrifying thought the other idea, and it concerned you together with a younger Earnest DidIt. Nothing and No-one would be safe….

  65. Gooner In Exile says:

    Today is one name we all know and three I had never really heard of

  66. Big Raddy says:

    who’s anon?

  67. Red Arse says:

    I think he meant ‘a nun’, Raddy — spelling you know!! 🙂

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Never realised how much I dislike the sound of the cello.

    Nothing of interest on the football front. Lezzer discussion understandablle and cogent.

  69. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy

    “Anon” is his alter ego. The pleasant, considerate and thoughtful Chap.

    Saying goodbye to him occurs at precisely this moment every morning, as our thonged-up bicyclist makes his sleazy way workwards, via the queues at Bus Stops 73, 28, 16 and 12b. Then, with traffic lights on his side, he has time to detour left, just as the Ladies who work in Lingerie and Perfume at Debenhams are awaiting door opening.

    Metronomic with his “exercise routine” is our Chas.

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    RA
    ‘a nun’ ROLF
    The Man knows no boundaries 🙂

    Daddy
    Dislike the Cello? I asked my children specifically for Cello CD’s for my birthday last year.

  71. Morning all

    Can someone announce the New Post at 9.30 please as neither Rasp nor I will be around ………………..

  72. Gooner In Exile says:

    Nothing of interest?

    Tevez got to replace 250 hours community service with a £3000 fine? Fair? I think not what the f*** is wrong with our legal system where they allow him to do that?

    The prosecution for driving while banned he had plenty of time to serve that order since conviction (April) and before he was sold. I’m sure he would have been asked to do youth group football rather than clean graffiti. But he walks off effectively scot free. If he was on £200k a week (as most reports suggest) surely they could have worked out the 250 hours on his hourly rate?

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Poor parenting IMO. You should have asked them for Judas Priest Live

    It is the Jazz Festival at the moment – two weeks of serious fellows twiddling away on their instruments. Went to an AC Jobim tribute concert last night. Not a cellist in sight.

    Love that image of chas. Have to say that cycling in hot weather in Copenhagen has many distractions – most of them blonde.

  74. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Don’t start me …….

  75. evonne says:

    Raddy – me too, such a morbid sound.
    Micky – WHAT makes you think she is not one of them?

    Right, football. Does anybody else think that lovely Martinez stitched Wigan up to improve his CV? Would they avoid relegation if he didn’t throw everything at Shitty?

  76. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne think they were long gone before the FA Cup final, they just had too many injuries at the back in the run in.

    Right quick search around the gossip pages:

    1) We are missing out on Cesar as he may go on Season long loan to Napoli

    2) We are putting together a deal for the return of Cesc

    3) Real Madrid are “hijacking” our bid to sign Suarez

    So truth time:

    1) Not interested in Cesar

    2) Gossip balderdash Cesc is staying put

    3) Real Madrid have always been on the hunt for Suarez and that is where the player wants to go.

  77. Big Raddy says:

    So … the merry go round will begin IF RM get Suarez.

    Perhaps Gazidis is thinking “If we put in a big bid for Suarez, then his agent will agitate for a move and RM will get concerned they may lose their man. So RM will bid over €30m for the biter and thus have an extra striker in Higuian who will be used to balance the books”. Then Gazidis will go in with a formal bid.

    Must be so difficult with so many greedy egos involved

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy
    It’s easier for high earners to tax dodge here than in Spain, where I reckon it’ll get worse. Could swing things our way when a player is weighing his options.

  79. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Gie,

    The Homesick Spaniard story is ludicrous, could he really be contemplating sneaking into London Colney with his tail between his legs?

  80. Big Raddy says:

    New Post ……

  81. evonne says:

    Norfolk – no, nay, never. He bought a huge house in Barcelona in Messi’s neighbourhood only a couple of months ago. He loves it in Spain, why would he want to come back here?

    Raddy – you might be right about Gazidis cunning plan, I like it.

  82. Julian I. Warren says:

    I don’t know. Arsene is an extremely intelligent man and done phenomenal things at Arsenal, but is it too late into his career to be suddenly winning the top prizes again? The biggest problem is while we’re clearing the dead wood from the squad, the quality that’s left isn’t good enough. In seasons gone by, we had top players like Cesc, Van Persie, Henry, etc. that you knew were good enough but now we have players (and no disrespect to them) who aren’t in the same league. Giroud, Podolski, Gervinho et al are not Premier League winning class. We only have a handful of players (Wilshere, Gibbs, Sagna, Arteta and Mertesacker) who I truly believe would be good enough to get into the other Top Four clubs starting elevens.

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