Arsenal’s Greatest Forwards – 5th Day

AContinuing our Summer series of articles in search of Arsenal’s greatest ever team, this week we will end our quest for the greatest forwards to include in our team.  Don’t forget to take the opportunity to choose your personal favourite striker, this weeks posts will bring us bang up to date and there will be a vote on Saturday.

14. Frank Stapleton: 1972-1981.

Frank appeared in 300 games over a 9 year period and scored 108 goals.

Frank was born in Dublin, he started his career with Arsenal, joining them in 1972 as an apprentice, after he was turned down by Manchester United. He made his first-team debut in 1975 against Stoke City, and went on to form a potent striking partnership with Malcolm Macdonald; the two scored 46 goals between them in 1976–77. He was Arsenal’s top scorer for the three following seasons, and helped the Gunners reach a trio of FA Cup finals; he scored one of the goals in Arsenal’s 1979 FA Cup Final 3–2 win over Manchester United, and scored 108 goals in 300 appearances in total for the Gunners.

gun__1340791845_stapleton_frank

Frank moved to Man United in 1981 for £900,000 (a fee set by tribunal after the two clubs could not agree). He helped United win the 1983 and 1985 FA Cups. It was in the first of those finals, when he scored against Brighton, in which he made history by becoming the first man to score for two different clubs in FA Cup Finals. He left United in 1987, after scoring 78 goals for the club in 365 matches.

He went on to play for Ajax Amsterdam, before returning to England with Derby County, Blackburn Rovers, Aldershot, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City, where he spent three seasons after a brief period at Le Havre in France.

After being sacked as Bradford’s player-manager in 1994, he had a brief spell at Brighton & Hove Albion in the 1994–95 season, playing two games before finally announcing his retirement as a player.

He also won 71 caps for the Republic of Ireland, scoring a then record 20 goals. he made his international debut under then player-manager Johnny Giles in a friendly against Turkey in Ankara in 1976 at 20 years of age. He scored after only three minutes of his debut when he headed home a Giles free-kick at the near post. Frank was committed to international football insisting that an “international release clause” be inserted into all of his contracts so that he could be released to play in international games for Ireland. He played a significant role in Ireland’s attempt to qualify for the World Cup in Spain in 1982. However his goals against Cyprus, Holland and France in the qualifying matches were not enough as Ireland were denied a place at the World Cup by a superior French goal difference. He was made captain of the national team for the qualifying campaign for the 1986 World Cup though Ireland failed to emulate their fine performance in the 1982 qualifiers. Frank captained the Irish team to the 1988 Euro finals and played in all of their matches during the competition including Ireland’s famous victory against England.

Frank moved to the United States to coach Major League Soccer side New England Revolution in 1996. In the 2003–04 season he briefly returned to English football as a specialist coach of Bolton Wanderers. The Bolton manager Sam Allardyce wanted Stapleton to enhance the skills of the strikers at the club and saw the Irishman as an ideal candidate, given his successful playing career. 

15. Alan Smith: 1987-1995.

Alan appeared in 347 games over an 8 year period and scored 115 goals.

Alan was born in Hollywood, Worcestershire. Alan started his career at non-league Alvechurch in north Worcestershire. He then signed professional forms with Leicester City in June 1982. In his first season, he scored 13 goals in a psmithartnership with Gary Lineker, as the Foxes won promotion to the First Division. He spent five seasons at Leicester, scoring 84 goals in 217 appearances, before he was transferred to Arsenal in 1987.

During his time with the Gunners the team won all three major domestic trophies – two League Championships, the FA Cup, the Football League Cup (in their 1993 ‘Cup Double’) and in Europe the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. He scored the first goal in Arsenal’s League Championship winning victory at Anfield in May 1989, and the only goal of the 1994 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final victory against Parma. He was Arsenal’s top scorer for four consecutive seasons, and the top scorer in the First Division in the 1988-89 season with 23 goals

In eight seasons at Highbury, he scored a total of 86 league goals, averaging at just over 10 goals per season. His first league goals for the club came on 29 August 1987, when he netted a hat-trick in a 7–0 game versus Portsmouth at Highbury. His last came on 12 December 1994 in a 2–1 win over Manchester City in the FA Premier League at Maine Road. As well as his goals in the 1989 title clinching game and the European triumph of 1994, he scored a hat-trick against Manchester United in the First Division on 6 May 1991.

He only received one yellow card throughout his entire career. He retired from professional football in July 1995. Several clubs, including Watford, had expressed an interest in signing Alan just before he announced his retirement from playing

He is currently a regular co-commentator and sometimes studio pundit for various television shows. In 2011 he commentated on the Champions League final alongside Martin Tyler. On June 30, 2011, EA Sports announced that Smith would replace Andy Gray as Martin Tyler’s partner in commentating in FIFA 12. This partnership continued in the subsequent instalment of the series, FIFA 13

Smith is married to his childhood sweetheart, Penny and they live with their two daughters Jessie and Emily.

16. Paul Merson: 1982-1997.

Paul appeared in 425 games over a 15 year period and scored 99 goals. 

Paul was born in Harlesden, North West London, and started his career at Arsenal, joining the club as an apprentice in 1984. After a loan spell at Brentford, then under manager Frank McLintock, he made his debut for the Gunners in November 1986 against Manchester City.

mersonGradually he established himself in George Graham’s successful Arsenal side of the late 1980s. By the 1988–89 season he was a regular on the right wing, at the end of which Arsenal secured the First Division title with a last gasp Michael Thomas goal in the final game of the season against Liverpool. Paul scored ten times that season; he made his debut for the England U21 side, and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year.

With Arsenal, Merson bagged another league championship in 1991, both the FA Cup and League Cup in 1993 (scoring equaliser in League Cup Final v Sheffield Wednesday) and the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994. He also made his debut for the full England side, in a friendly against Germany on 11 September 1991.

Paul’s career was put on the line in November 1994 when he admitted to being an alcoholic and cocaine addict. The Football Association arranged for him to undergo a three-month rehabilitation programme and he returned to the side in February 1995, just before the dismissal of George Graham as manager. Under caretaker manager Stewart Houston, he helped Arsenal reach the Cup Winners’ Cup final for the second season in a row.

In 1995–96, Paul remained a regular first team player under Arsenal’s new manager Bruce Rioch and continued to play regularly during the 1996–97 season following the appointment of Arsène Wenger. In a somewhat surprising move, at the end of the 1996–97 Premiership campaign, in which Arsenal finished third, Paul was sold to relegated Middlesbrough in a £5 million deal – making him the most expensive player ever signed by a non-Premiership club. Whilst Arsene Wenger had offered a new two year contract, Middlesbrough offered double the salary available at Arsenal.

In the autumn of 1998, Paul was sold to Aston Villa for £6.75 million after wishing to be nearer to his family in the South. Subsequently he signed for Division One club Portsmouth on a two-year contract, and was instrumental in the club’s promotion to the Premiership in 2002–03.

Paul first played for the England national team in 1991, being called up by Graham Taylor. He also participated in the 1992 European Championships in Sweden.  1998 marked the end of his international career after 21 full caps in seven years, in which he scored three times.

GunnerN5

101 Responses to Arsenal’s Greatest Forwards – 5th Day

  1. Apologies for the confusion this morning …………. this is the right place for comments now.

    Micky, GiE and GoonerB – you can move your comments over to this page if you like.

  2. chas says:

    Ahh, my comments on this post have now been erased.
    They’re not worth re-typing though.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas

    I can refresh for you if that helps.

    chas says:
    July 17, 2013 at about 10:40 ‘ish am (all in blue)
    “They are all Twats”.

  4. chas says:

    Cheers Micky.
    You must have seen it. 🙂

  5. chas says:

    ………though your version is far more eloquent.

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    I take a more mature view than Chas, and appreciate the enormous contribution made by all three. Two of them, being Anfield ’89’ers, puts them straight in to the Voteable bracket.

    The other one is filed alongside Persie, Henry and Fabregas who would rather play for another club, and therefore Unvoteable 🙂

  7. mickydidit89 says:

    Just trying to be helpful Chas ROLF

  8. chas says:

    “I take a more mature view than Chas”.
    Not really saying a lot, is it?

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    Between You and I, the margins are very fine on that level.

  10. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    I am beginning to think that we really ought to review our attitudes. This site is crawling with incredibly sensible people.

  11. chas says:

    Perhaps you’re right.
    Though I’m afraid my ADHD means I’ve never actually got to the bottom of one of the incredibly sensible GoonerB’s comments.

  12. GoonerB says:

    Whahey, I am back. Peaches has had me spammed for a while. I am prepared to forgive her but it will probably take a can of tennants super and a packet of bacon fries before full reconciliation can be achieved.

  13. chas says:

    That’s more like it GoonerB. 🙂

  14. GoonerB says:

    This was my belated comment from the last post :

    Morning all
    Firstly although I have not commented so often can I say what a sterling job GIE and GN5 are doing. I have read them all and have been voting.
    On all the transfer discussions I think we need one of Higuain, Rooney or Suarez. Each has subtle differences but they are all top level forwards that are able to score 30+ goals a season and have the technical ability to link with players around them. Rooney and Suarez are both what look like free roaming number 10′s but who can play up top. I think this is perfect for our system because I believe AW wants to play with a free scoring rotating forward 3 where the players can dovetail with each other.

    This certainly makes sense when you look at Walcott who likes to come infield and and play centrally off the last defender at times, and with his ever increasing finishing ability I would want to encourage this. Having a player up top who has the footballing brain to recognise when this is happening and have the ability to drop slightly to free Theo up and become the link player is what will make our forward line world class. Rooney fits this perfectly for me and with us he would be a first choice central striker where he is dovetailing between the number 9 and number 10 role.

    Giroud will also get better and will see plenty of action even with the arrival of one of these 3. I would prefer to see the Ox start to play more as one of our attacking CM’s and if Gervinho leaves I would like one more very skillful and quick wide player. I really like the look of Bernard.

    I don’t really believe the Santi story as he has often said how much he is enjoying it with us but you can never be totally sure, and maybe there are say family reasons that might see him wanting to go home. Interestingly the only way (numbers wise) I could see us accomodating Cesc again would be with a high profile departure of one of Wilshere, Santi or the Ox. I would be very sad to see Santi leave but if Cesc was the replacement we would certainly not drop a level quality wise and I still love Cesc and would hate to see him in a Utd shirt. As long as we got roughly as much for Santi as we have to put down on Cesc I could accept this scenario.

  15. chas says:

    Micky,
    Just imagine if we were as incredibly sensible as Rasp.
    Oh what fun we’d have.

  16. Gooner In Exile says:

    GoonerB unfortunately Micky doesn’t like the roaming front three far too cosmopolitan for his tastes, hence why he wants Giroud up front, he’d prefer us to revert to Smudger days of yore hoofing the ball up to the big man 😀

    On the three today I liked Smith as a player and liked him in his early days as a pundit but like Merse has become swayed by media story and are quite happy to take their money and pander to the Arsenal are shite story.

    Stapleton went to ManUre….dead to me.

    As for Merse he was also one of my heroes on the pitch, loved watching him play, it’s such a shame he has struggled to find good things to say about us since.

  17. chas says:

    Thanks to GN5 for more glorious summer fun.

    Off out for a cheeky beer. 🙂
    I’ll leave you with one of peaches’ favourite clips.

  18. GoonerB says:

    Re the excellent post GN5 :

    I have vague recollections of Stapleton but it was when I was a lot younger and only starting to take a serious interest in the Arsenal.

    My feelings Smith was that he was not a prolific scorer of goals but that he did score important goals. Maybe it was a reflection of the George Graham era which was defensive solidity first and hey presto it is 1-0 to the Arsenal. I don’t know if he would have been a more prolific goal-scorer in the more free attacking AW era but he seemed the right fit for George’s teams.

    Merson also wasn’t a prolific scorer of goals but did score a few. His big strength for me was his natural creative talent. I often wonder if he could have been regarded as one of the best creative players of this era had he not had his off field problems. Despite still being an excellent player did he only reach 70% of his potential?

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Look here GiE, if you carry on having a go at my clever ideas, we are going to have one hell of a falling out, resulting a no-speaks impasse that could last… Ooo I dunno….probably ten minutes. At least.

    How many times do I need to say it. Option One to Ollie is along the floor. 🙂

    And if you don’t believe me, I’ll start linking vids at you.

  20. Red Arse says:

    Me? I like Smudger. A much more cultured player than GI Joe gives him credit for. 🙂

    I think I might just be able to get to a pre-match punch up between Micky and GIE, while Chas entertains us with a blow by blow commentary. 🙂

    That man, Mickydeemus, talks a great deal of sense — and his tactical bollix is the best bar none — such as a big booming ball along the ground to Olive Oyl — a la Smudger Smiff, and seems appropriate to a connoisseur of exquisite things – like me.

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    RA

    I’d win the fight easily as I’m a Master Exponent of the Ancient Eastern Marital Art Form known as Ti Sue, where one Kleenexes one’s opponent while they’re doing their poofy warm up routine.

    In its earliest form, it was obviously developed for the handbagged husband, but I have developed and honed it for use in the wider field of combat.

  22. Gooner In Exile says:

    Whereas I know Pi Lon, basically Chas kneels behind Micky a quick push then I go for the submission hopefully joined by a few other AAers. 🙂

    Micky I actually agree re Giroud this thought that he is big so must be a good header of the ball is a bit old hat. His goals in Ligue Une were predominantly hammer shots, a little work on composure in front of goal and we will see a lot more like the pearler against Brighton.

    It’s a bit like people thinking BFG should be better in the air than Koscielny coughRAcough.

    Has no one watched Peter Crouch play?

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    Pi Lon ROLF

    Or this one from last week

  24. Thanks for putting up the Fever Pitch clip chas …….. it brings a lump to the throat every time I watch it 😉

    ……….and Giroud’s goal from that game in Indonesia!!!!!!! Love it love it love it ………….. 😆

  25. Half-time and Giroud has a hat-trick 3-0 to the good guys 🙂

  26. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good day to you all.

    I couldn’t possibly vote for any of today’s candidates, one deserted to the horrible Mancs and the other two can never find a good word to say about Arsenal.

    Mickey and GiE, you two need to cool it, it’s just too hot to be talking about fighting, take a refreshing drink and think nice things about each other.

  27. Red Arse says:

    Enjoyed the first half, and Giro has put the ball away very well. 🙂

    Mert is excellent in the air, GIE, when doing the Duck Dance!! 🙂

  28. Hi NG

    Did you get onto the site ok today?

    I hate to throw cold water on a testosterone fuelled debate but knowing chas and Micky as I do they are seriously unlikely to come to blows ……. no need to worry NG 😉

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    Afternoon all,

    Just like the UK we are in the midst of a heat wave here – yesterday it peaked at 34c or 94.3F = bloody hot. We are in for more of the same for the next 3/5 days, our air conditioner is on continuously.

    From next Tuesday onward Peaches and Rasp will be looking for daily articles, so put on your thinking caps and get writing guys and gals – it’s your turn…….

  30. Red Arse says:

    In defence of the Micky and GIE, it was my wicked self that suggested a little set to betwixt them.

    Of course Micky’s suggestion of some marital arts involves some moaning, retaliation, concessions and finally a little supine making up!

    Ummm, that last bit is beginning to scar my imagination!! 🙂

    Perhaps a kebab and a pint in the Tavern before the game might be best after all! 😀

  31. GN5 – I have to declare in public how enjoyable your articles have been in keeping us entertained during the summer. Rasp and I know that it would have been difficult to keep the site going with such a high standard of articles without you.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you

  32. ……………and now I think I need a picture of that Handsome French Bloke that’s scored 5 in 2 games ……..

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    Looks like Giroud is taking the “Red Top” gossip about a new striker seriously and is showing AW that he should remain as our 1st choice.

  34. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Hi Peaches, no trouble today, I had a busy morning, sanding down woodwork and getting an undercoat on before it got too hot. Then I had to spend a couple of hours recovering under a parasol with the morning paper.

    Hope the gremlins have been defeated.

  35. This one will do ……….. three for the price of one

    Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal

  36. NG – that’s good. I had a look at the forum this morning and most of the feedback was good so they must have fixed the problem.

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s been my pleasure Peaches, now I have to concentrate on preparing for our move at the end of August, we move into our new home the first week in September.

    At the end of September we are going to spend 2/3 weeks in Palm Coast, Florida and will be joining family from England – they are fanatical Liverpool supporters, who smuggled me into many games at Anfield. They have a Condo there – so we may stay even longer, although that depends on the football coverage

  38. evonne says:

    the Cazorla to AM are gaining pace. I know, I know, I know it is utter nonsence, BUT if there was a grain of truth in it, would you swap Santi for Cesc?

    I still have Fabregas’ picture hanging on the wall and resisted temptation to pain vertical blue lines on his red shirt, that’s how I love Cesc. But would I prefer him over Santi? hm, probably not 😦

  39. RockyLives says:

    I’m not sure any of today’s three would feature in an all time squad, but they all have merits.

    Despite big Frank’s defection to ManUre I remember him fondly for all those goals he scored for us (and for being part of the team that beat ManU in the Cup Final in 1979 while I was in the crowd).

    Merse was never the sharpest knife in the block so I don’t take his post-Arsenal comments seriously. When he played he was a true Gooner and was central to most of the great moments of the GG years.

    Smith – under-rated as a striker: his hold-up play was second to none (Olly G could do with watching some vids of Smudger – it might cure him of his habit of trying too many first-time lay-offs with difficult-to-control passes). But one of our greatest ever? Nah.

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    Thought you might like to know that I’ve communicated with Kelsey and he is having a bit of a trying time with family health issues. I hope he can be back soon because I know that we all miss his insightful inside knowledge.

    I hope that your issues can be resolved soon Kelsey, I wish you an yours the very best of good health as you adjust to your new surroundings.

    Keep in touch, you are missed here on AA.

  41. RockyLives says:

    The way the striker merry-go-round is shaping up I am increasingly convinced that Kelsey gave us the real news weeks ago – the striker we’ll be signing this summer is Torres.

    Rooney will go to the Chavs.
    Suarez will go to Real Madrid.
    Higuain will go to someone else in Europe or (Dennis forbid) the Spuds.

  42. evonne says:

    GN5- your September could turn very cold and tricky if Suarez joines Arsenal. I will be looking for a new tenant that can cook for me, if the rodent comes to THOF. Scourcers worship him at Anfield.

    Now, would I prefer Suarez or cooking lessons? Suarez, without a second thought 🙂

  43. RockyLives says:

    That was strange – I posted my comment about Kelsey – and up it came right after Gn5’s update on the Bowling Wonder.

    All the best Kelsey – we are all wishing the best for you and your family.

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky.

    They will not be my choices either, but all three were worthy of being profiled and all had their individual merits, I particularly liked Merson’s spirit and energy and will forever remember Smith’s glancing headed goal at Anfield – which Chas allowed us to re- live today.

  45. evonne says:

    Tottenham is not in Europe 🙂
    are you sure RL?

  46. evonne says:

    oh dear, everyone is checking the wherebout of Tottenham. It is the blot on the landscape in london’s swamps in N17

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    Giroud has played only 70 minutes and has scored 5 goals = I every 14 minutes.

  48. GunnerN5 says:

    Oops maybe he played for 90 minutes = 11 every 18 minutes.

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    1 every 18

  50. Great stats GN5 🙂

    So…………. if Rooney goes to Chelsea does that mean Torres will want to move?????

    It looks to me like there aren’t enough star strikers if we want one too 😦

    But we’ve got Olivier Giroud and he can be lethal …….. 😉

  51. GunnerN5 says:

    Peaches,

    Giroud and the up and coming Chuba Akpom he’s scored 3 in 90 minutes of pre – season games.

  52. dandan says:

    Have just spoken to Kelsey he is indeed struggling but is aware of your concerns and thanks you for them. GN your emails too are a comfort please keep up the good work.
    Will keep you all as updated as I can.

  53. Gooner In Exile says:

    Need to watch the game against Vietnam by all accounts this young kid we found us a bit special, the first tweet below is from the scout who brought him to us, the rest are fans who appreciate talented youth.

    https://twitter.com/fatgingergooner/status/357496341028544512

    https://twitter.com/bergkampflick/status/357494160833515522

  54. evonne says:

    clips please

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks for that link Face, I’d forgotten all about Arsenal IPlayer.

    At some point I’m expecting someone to announce that DidIt was right all along about that Ollie Bloke.

  56. Gooner In Exile says:

    It was only Vietnam Micky…. 😀

    Need to watch the full game to see the youngsters full range or wait until someone has done one of those YouTube touch compilations.

  57. RockyLives says:

    Incidentally, when did Vietnam (rhymes with ‘spam’) become Vietnarm (rhymes with ‘arm’). The commentators on Arsenal player constantly use the latter, but when I was growing up the country (in England at least) was always pronounced with the ‘spam’ ending.

    I blame those American war moves.

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahhhhh, the excuses 🙂

    From the highlights, the Young Guns looked mighty impressive.

    Still don’t think we need to sign anyone really. Oooer, that kind of attitude would go down a storm on another site 🙂

  59. RockyLives says:

    One of the things I love about this site is that we don’t censor debate.

    Hang on a minute… did anyone else hear that? It sounded like a muffled voice coming from a locked cupboard. Bit of a Sniffer Norris smelly whininess about it…

    Nah, probably just my imagination.

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    😀 Rocky to be fair Sniffer doesn’t understand the concept of a discussion or debate so it’s not stifling its just shutting up a moron.

  61. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky that’s not too ridiculous is it? The squad looks pretty full with the youngsters coming through like Akpom, Eisfield, Miquel, Gnabry etc Cazorla is not there so add him to the mix.

    Reckon 1 big signing to give fans and players a lift might suffice.

    Ox seemed to be playing in the role he did against Toon at times today, definitely another option from midfield centrally.

  62. RockyLives says:

    I almost agree with Micky.

    Squad wise we are actually in good shape with what we have. However, I can’t help feeling that the psychological effect of a real superstar signing might be just what we need to push us on to glory.

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Rocky and GiE

    I agree with both. Ok, Ollie aside who I have bigged up since his Montpellier days, and genuinely believe he should be first choice and will only improve, I do get the point about adding one big signing.

    It would refresh the whole set up from players to fans to sponsors.

    One heck of a lot of team spirit must have been built up over the last ten games, the defence is finally developing the understanding, Ramsey, Jack and Ox will be absolutely phenomenal, so we are in good shape.

    Still left wing for me. In the short Vietnam clips, I noticed how effective Pod was when he drifted central, which is no great surprise.

    Now, if we were to lump all of our transfer kitty, however much that is, on one top quality goalscoring left front man, who could that be?

    Oh no, I can only think of two. Not surprising they are in such demand. 😦

  64. Red Arse says:

    Morning Fellas,

    I am not immune to wishful thinking, but my attitude of it will happen (transfer) when it happens, has been borne out by the latest RM edict.

    Having pretty much agreed a deal with Arsenal for £23m Higuain, the latest is that they are saying he will now cost £37m.

    Presumably this is because Napoli are supposedly also interested in him flush with a pile of cash from the Cavani sale.

    It’s RM’s right to set a figure as they see fit, but it highlights how difficult they are to deal with — and no doubt Arsene will take all the blame when we do not get him!

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Help me out here RA

    With your large cerebral cortex, and extensive diet of oily fish, I’m sure you can tell me who are the alternatives to Bale and The Ladyboy

  66. chas says:

    Great board, Micky. Just needs a cannon on it.

    Morning, RA.
    If only we hadn’t dithered over that extra fiver for Schwartzer. 🙂

  67. chas says:

    What about Steve?

  68. evonne says:

    RA – GiE explained the Higuain shenaningans yesterday, here it goes:
    ‘Right Evonne, this is how I see it….trying to read between the lines.

    As i understand the course of events:

    Madrid let clubs speak to Higuain knowing they wanted to let him go and sign Suarez. Higuain chose Arsenal and terms were agreed in principle between Arsenal and player.

    Suarez wants to go to Madrid, but Liverpool are holding out for high price to recoup losses on Carrol and get back to more than the starting point Torres gave them (especially when you add up Dalglish waste). Madrid started to raise price on Higuain, not sensible as we appear to walk away from the table and the player only wants to leave Madrid for us.

    The story concocted by the media about us wanting Suarez was a convenient smokescreen for Liverpool to make use of and hold Madrid to higher price, and it aids us because Madrid will start to worry that we will not sign Higuain. As do rumours about Torres and Rooney.

    Liverpool hold the key to us signing Higuain, if we will not meet Madrids inflated price for Hig we will not meet it for Suarez who lest we forget has a 6 match ban to serve….not very good for the fast start we require this season.

    All that said Rooney appears to be very unhappy so if we are dropping our bid for Higuain and if so many fans can overlook Suarez’s on field antics it is hard to understand why Wayne’s off field antics should give cause for concern? Rooney also satisfies Micky’s wish to keep Giroud as main focus if attack and should provide goals from deeper that we have craved.’

  69. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    I have previously said we have a pretty good squad now.

    What will not happen, as you previously intimated, is any liklelihood of getting Ronaldo, Cavani, Falcao, Bale, Higuain or Suarez.

    We should be looking at the next generation of very promising players — and they are there – and that is where Arsenal’s scouting system should earn their corn. [Me no know!] 🙂

    Chas, it’s infuriating that we are so stingy. Apparently, if we had agreed to supply Schwartzer with a daily Latte coffee the deal would have been done.

    Anyway, to dither over an extra £14m for Higuain shows AW was just selling an extra £5m in season tickets. Obvious – innit? 🙂

  70. evonne says:

    watched a CL qualifier yesterday, Welsh champs vs Polish league winners. Not a great spectacle, but the guys in red and white shirts won 1:3, happy dayz.
    What I don’t understand is how come Swans and Cardiff play (occassionally) in EPL rather than their own Welsh league. What’s that all about, is Sheep around to explain?

  71. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just a thought for you Micky on the left sided cut in and score player…..haven’t we already got him, and to that we also have one who can play on the right cut in and score? Theo and Pod, problem is they are playing on the wrong wing currently.

    Even though I have suggested one signing would have a positive effect on the players you have to remember that one player will be demoted as a result.

    Really like BFGs comments on Arsenal.com about the strength of the group, I’m sure the man is captain material.

  72. Red Arse says:

    Morning, Evonne, 🙂

    I think that GIE should write a detective novel. His logic is ‘unusual’ and would stand him in good stead as no one would ever work out ‘who dun it’! 😀

    I think it must be the heat. 🙂

  73. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne it’s just historical I think, and we shouldn’t complain because Rambo counts as homegrown as a result 😀 If he was Scottish and raised at Rangers or Celtic he would be foreign.

    There is also Wrexham in the English leagues.

    Talking of Swansea I see young Meade has got himself a years contract there, hope he can make a go of it as I was very impressed with him at Arsenal, just too many players in front of him (Monreal and Gibbs) to allow him to stay.

    And talking of left backs is Santos still our player?

  74. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I have enjoyed watching the pre-season friendlies, which are just training routines really, but, and I know I am singing an old tune here, the most disappointing thing for me was the lack of progress with Theo.

    He still gives the ball and hares off straight into a defender(s), presumably for the return ball, or hits hopeless balls into Row Z, and blames the color of the grass.

    That sounds critical, but I mean it like a friend who worries about a mate – if that makes sense. 🙂

  75. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA my logic has been swayed by the years of Campbell spin doctoring and I have become accustomed to reading between the lines or behind the words to get to the real facts.

  76. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA if it wasn’t for Theo’s goal scoring I think I would find it very difficult to pick him in my first XI. Even with his goals I believe he stunts out play a little too much. I would happily see Rooney replace him and play on the left and Pod can then play on the right where I believe his left foot would be more useful.

  77. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    Your question about Welsh teams in English leagues is a good one.

    Way back, when football was first organized, Welsh and English clubs played in local regional leagues because travelling was difficult.

    The Welsh FA was formed later, but clubs like Swansea and Cardiff refused to join it, and remained part of the (English) FA — and have done so ever since.

    In turn, Swansea, Cardiff etc, are not allowed to play in the Welsh leagues. Seemples! 🙂

  78. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    Just teasing — and who is to say your Campbell influenced scepticism is wrong? 🙂

  79. evonne says:

    RA – GiE can do anything he wants, he is that clever 🙂

    Poor old Podolski didn’t have much luck in Vietnam, tried so hard that he was barely alive at the end 🙂 The French bloke looked awesome, but I was most impressed by Ox’s goal and his assists/cooperation with Chumpa. The future looks bright, the future is red and white

  80. Running Man :D says:

    Hi Rocky,

    “Vietnarm” because that’s closer to how the Vietnamese would say it 🙂 The r has to be silent, however.

  81. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    You are right – GIE is clever – and I suppose you are also implying that I am not — and you would also be right there too. 🙂

  82. evonne says:

    RA – you silliness 🙂 of course you are clever! You knew about the Welsh League! Thank you for the explanation.

    Shame that Swans refused to join the Welsh league, we would have a few points more last season if they didn’t

  83. Gooner In Exile says:

    Some people say clever, others say opinionated 😀

    If you state an opinion with confidence others believe it, and if its not what they’ve been thinking then they think you are clever. Or in football world “in the know” 😀 it’s why newspaper hacks seem to be believed.

    I would love to do an exercise during the next window listing all the “targets”, “bids”, “done deals”, “want away” etc and then compare them to the actual transfers to see what the journo’s hit rates are.

  84. Gooner In Exile says:

    Running man it’s strange as when I read you comment my head went Vietna-r-m but then Vietna-a-mese.

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    Evonne,

    Rooney’s best position is no 10’ish, central behind a striker. Do I want to replace Santi with a foul mouthed yob who needs to go to Fat Camps?

    Not particularly.

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    GiE,

    “If you state an opinion with confidence others believe it”

    They sodding well don’t when I state away 🙂

  87. mickydidit89 says:

    GiE,

    You’re right about Theo, but I’ve avoided that side of the field as I believe Ox may oust him during the course of the season.

    Before finally moving to AM in a couple of years 🙂

  88. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    I know you were not being rude — it’s just my sense of humour. 🙂

    Actually, I am able to absorb useless bits of information that clog up my brain — but clever? No.

    Chas is clever because he can get right to the nub of things, and also do things with Vids that I do not comprehend; Micky is clever because he has a very nice work/family balance and enjoys life with his sense of humour; GIE is clever because he is both knowledgeable and analytical and applies those attributes to work and footie; you are clever because you speak at least two languages and always ask questions that keep us on our toes!
    Now all of you are clever!! 😀

    Me? I am off for a bacon butty (roll?) and a cup of strong coffee. Duh! 🙂

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    Sign Steve 🙂

  90. evonne says:

    Micky – what have I done?? Did I suggest Santi for Wayne replacement? Surely i didn’t!! That’d be madness. I meant Santi for Cesc, which in my opinion would be a mistake

    RA 🙂 you are just a sweet nutter 🙂 or a charming extrovert for the posh bloggers

  91. evonne says:

    GiE – you are just a perfect bloke. You know about football, played the game, hold a demanding job, fathered George, are a handsome hunk, smoke, drink, can give Scummers verbal abuse….can do no wrong

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