Could This Arsenal XI Beat The Top Three Premier League Teams?

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly Arsenal supporters will chuck their toys out of the pram.

Indeed reports from the Islington Gazette suggest unprecedented numbers of passers-by suffering teddy bear related injuries in recent days – and a spate of car windshields shattered by flying rattles.

The reason? Arsène Wenger telling journalists that we’re not close to signing anyone yet.

Despite the fact that the squad has been touring the Far East for the last few weeks; and despite the fact that the Premier League does not begin for over three weeks; and that the transfer window does not close for almost five weeks… it seems that Arsène’s comments have tipped some fans into near despair.

Don’t get me wrong – I understand it. The perception that we have handled the last two summer transfer windows with all the finesse of Ryan Shawcross doing flower arranging (“bad dahlia – me punch you”) is pretty widespread.

It happens to be wrong. We did partly screw up the summer before last, but still managed to acquire Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (two great players and one great player-to-be). Last year we landed Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud (one smash hit and two qualified successes).

And now supporters think this is going to be another summer without a “big name” signing.

I happen to think there are still some surprises to come this summer and that we will be among the teams making a big move in the market: not necessarily for the players with whom the press are linking us, but top players nonetheless.

In the meantime I would suggest that fans be more aware of how the media are playing them like a prize fiddle.

But let’s play what many would consider to be the “worst case scenario” game and consider how we would shape up against our major rivals if we DON’T buy any top players before the window closes.

In those circumstances I suggest our first choice first eleven might look like this:






Is this team good enough to beat a full strength Manchester United, Manchester City or Chelsea?

My feeling is that it’s a team that could beat any of those three on its day – but I have a couple of reservations.

Starting from the back, I think there are still question marks about both Szczesny and Fabianski. However, it’s possible that the younger Pole’s spell on the bench last season has cut out any complacency issues and this may be the season where he starts to fulfill his potential.

I’m not worried about the rest of the defence, which showed in the latter part of last season how focused and stingy it can be. In the BFG and Kozzer I believe we have the best centre back pairing in the EPL.

But reservation number one comes in when we move forward to the holding midfield position(s). It was clear last year that we had not quite worked out how to use Jack Wilshere. But use him we must – he is going to be one of the greatest English players for decades.

I can see him starting alongside the ever-reliable Arteta as part of a double-pivot, both of them tasked with snuffing out opposition attacks, but also with allowing each other to get forward when opportunity arises.

Ahead of them, Cazorla has already shown what he can do in the attacking midfield position, so there are no worries there.

Then we come to the front three: if Theo Walcott has as good a season as he did last year we will have no room for complaint. If he does even better, then we can truly celebrate his coming of age.

On the left hand side, Lukas Podolski had a bit of an in-out season and did not convince everyone that he’s a wide player. However, he is a fantastic finisher and was carrying a long-term injury which (he says) is now fixed. Again, we expect him to step up in his second season in England.

Finally we come to the spearhead of our attack (and the subject of yesterday’s impassioned Post from Mickydidit), Olivier Giroud.

The hunky Frenchman has been on fire in our pre-season tour and should also be ready to move up a notch in the new campaign. However, is he going to turn out to be the prolific goal grabber that most title-winning teams have in their ranks?  Can he do for us what Brave Sir Robin did for ManUre? Or what Aguero did for Man City? Or Drogba for the Chavs? I would love to believe it, but this may be the one area where we a little bit short in the 2013/14 season.

And before you shout, I have not forgotten about squad depth. Even if you think this first eleven can be a match for anyone, we all know that injuries and suspensions will take a toll and that we will have to rely on other players frequently.

We have some very strong players in our wider squad: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Rosicky, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Monreal to name but six. But we could certainly do with some back-up on the striking front and, possibly in defence too.

My conclusion is that we are not strong enough to seriously compete for the title without at least one key addition in attack and a couple of other squad players. I don’t care whether the new striker is the most famous player in the world or is someone of whom we have never heard (remember the young Nicolas Anelka?) provided he does the business in front of goal.

What do you think?

Can we compete without top class additions?

If our current squad stays mostly fit, can we do it?

Over to you.


157 Responses to Could This Arsenal XI Beat The Top Three Premier League Teams?

  1. kelsey says:

    Wilshere 🙂

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks Kelsey, I’ve amended the typo 🙂

  3. Shard says:

    This fits in fairly nicely, so I’m going to paste my comment from the last post here

    If Bale goes for that amount of money (Some are saying there’ll be swap deals for Angel Di Maria and Coentrao included), Arsenal sign Suarez and 2-3 players in other positions. ManU get a midfielder like Modric or Gundogan. Liverpool use our money to strengthen well, and Chelsea get Rooney. Along with the signings City have made, it could make for a really tight race for the title.

    Some like Liverpool will probably only play the role of spoilers at best. Their squad isn’t great and Rodgers as yet to prove himself. Ditto for Moyes at ManU, although they’ll be contenders. Spurs..You wouldn’t think it possible, but there;s a chance they can challenge. That leaves City, Chelsea and Arsenal. I give us a real chance if we get our business done. It could be a fantastic season of football.

  4. kelsey says:

    me too 🙂

    I certainly wouldn’t entertain him for the reasons many have mentioned and I would have thought or even hoped that Wenger doesn’t need another player who will cause him more heartaches than it’s worth. Maybe Wenger is testing the water and maybe so is Suarez by waiting if Arsenal progress into the CL proper. In the unlikely event that we would sign him and say reach the quarter finals of the CL and nothing else,you can bet your bottom dollar he would have a clause whereby he could move on again.Leopards don’t change their spots and I am talking about both AW and Suarez,so to me it’s not a match made in heaven. He is such a gifted footballer but one must weigh up his history and in Arsenal’s case the last thing they would want is to lose money if things turned sour.

  5. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rocky, All fit, all on top of their game, yes they can beat any team in the world.

    But…. we know that Szczesny is likely to blow a gasket at some point, Gibbs will suffer an injury (or three), Wilshire, we can only hope he will remain both fit and red card free. Podolski, Giroud and Walcott will have to be at a consistently higher level than previously if they are to amass the goals total required for Premiership winning season.

  6. Shard says:


    I don’t want Suarez primarily because I think he goes against the ethos of the club, and is a risk. But I also think that he won’t act out as much at Arsenal. He might to get a move away, but I don’t think he’d be the constant annoyance he is at Liverpool.

    He’s been considered a top player, but when has he had teammates of the quality and personality that he’l find in the Arsenal squad. He’s by far the best player at Liverpool. They know it, he knows it, and so he pushes the boundaries and they bend over. Acting as enablers. That will not happen at Arsenal. Wenger will not bend over for him. Players like Arteta, Mertesacker, even Wilshere, will not take his nonsense. He still might be unstable, but I don’t think he’ll feel empowered enough to act the fool all the time. Also, I don;t think Arsenal will agree to silly clauses. We would rather let the deal collapse than compromise on that.

    But yes. He is a flight risk. He’d want out to Madrid or Barca as soon as they come calling. But if we have him on a long enough contract, I think we can extract more money than we paid for him.

  7. pete says:

    Thats the same team as lasy year…we struggled to 4th……

  8. Shard says:

    I don’t think, realistically, we can win the title with that team. I agree with you Rocky. We need a few additions. However, I also think the same team we have will be better than last season. Teams don’t improve just through the transfer market.

    We also have some good young players coming through who, in my opinion, deserve a chance to show what they can do. They will add to our squad depth, and allow us to rotate, and rest the first teamers, for certain matches.

  9. evonne says:

    yes we can!! defo

  10. Manthan says:

    HI RL,

    Very good article ;).. I feel we need a left winger because we don’t have backup to Poldi.. we are very strong in Midfield with likes of arteta,Ramsey,Jack,TR7 and arsene might promote young players even he said Miyachi gonna play for arsenal next season.. IF we add two good players no matter if they are big names or small but two players who suits Arsene style then we are the team to beat.. Anyways time will tell what will happen next….

  11. Morning
    The squad is not good enough and yet again we will be chasing 4 th.
    Yet another trophy less season unless we spend simples,it’s not rocket science.
    Sheep Hagger.

  12. Manthan says:

    Other day Rasp was telling to for Roberto Soldado instead of Suarez but it looks like he heading to Spurs for 30m fee,,

  13. Shard says:


    I wish you hadn’t said that. ‘It’s not rocket science’ is one of those cliches that really annoys.

    Rocket science is relatively simple because it has very few variable factors. Not so in building a successful football team. Much more complicated.

    However, we are in agreement about this squad not currently being good enough to win the title.

  14. sam says:

    we seriously need new faces… It inspires/motivates the team.

  15. Suarez has a temper look.
    The Liverpool forward Luis Suárez is back in the spotlight after biting the Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, before then going on to score a late equaliser. Here we look at 10 previous controversies surrounding the Uruguayan forward.

    November 2007

    Joined Ajax from Groningen but he was later suspended by the Amsterdam club after a half-time dressing-room altercation with his team-mate Albert Luque.

    July 2010

    During the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Suárez prevented Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off (his second international dismissal after being shown a red card on his Uruguay debut in February 2007). A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan as Suárez celebrated on the sidelines. Uruguay eventually went through to the last four on penalties.

    November 2010

    Suárez was handed a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting the PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.

    October 2011

    Following his move to Liverpool in January 2011, he was involved in a tackle with Everton’s Jack Rodwell and went down with apparent minimal contact. Rodwell was then sent off.

    October 2011

    Suárez was alleged to have racially abused Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a Premier League match. Suárez was later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission and banned for eight matches and fined £40,000.

    December 2011

    Was seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans. At this time he had already been charged by the Football Association over the Evra incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one-match ban for the gesture.

    February 2012

    United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, but more controversy ensued as Suárez refused to shake Evra’s hand before kick-off.

    October 2012

    Celebrated a goal in the Merseyside derby by diving in front of the Everton manager, David Moyes, who had earlier claimed that “divers such as Suárez are putting fans off the English game.”

    January 2013

    Handled the ball prior to scoring Liverpool’s winner in the FA Cup third-round tie at Mansfield.

    March 2013

    Suárez appeared to punch the Chilean defender Gonzalo Jara after tussling with him during a World Cup qualifier for Uruguay. The referee failed to see the incident, with Fifa launching an investigation that could yet lead to retrospective punishment.

  16. Arron says:

    we only “struggled to 4th” because we had a bad start to the season! If Arsenal can play with a similar consistency as they did at the end of last season then of course they can challenge – but yes we do need another top quality middle man to compete with/compliment Giroud and another CB to back up Merts/Kos/TV5 – please dont write him off – he’s awesome

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, well, well Rocky.

    Let’s retrace our steps shall we, to about a week ago. Remember you calling me “Camp”?

    Now, let’s move on to today then shall we. What do I see before me, ah yes, Rocky referring to Ollie G as “The hunky Frenchman”!

    Mmmm, I, for one, am asking questions 🙂

  18. Had says:

    My starting line up would be (at least for the beg of the season and based on what we’ve seen so far from pre season tour):

    Jenko Mert Kos Gibbs
    Arteta Ramsey
    Walcott AOC

    1. Sagna for RB CB
    2. Cazorla for CAM
    3. Wilshere for Arteta / Ramsey)
    4. Podolski for AOC / Giroud
    5. Gnabry for Walcott
    6. Miquel for CB / LB
    7. Fabiansky

    This line up takes into consideration:
    – Wilshere still on the way to get fit
    – Cazorla catching up with late pre season
    – Jenko playing more LB and Sagna used a CB

    This is also a worst case scenario where no new signigns would be made however we all know we will reinforce our squad with at least one winger to replace Gervinho and one striker. I do believe the back 4 is solid enough.


    Morning all

    Yes, Rocky we can and will compete without signings. People underestimate the quality and scope for improvement within the current squad, especialy the young players.

    The key for me is the trio of Jack, Ox and Ramsey. If they can take a step up this season and translate there ability into scoring and making goals we will go close.

    We probably need a striker who can play both in the box and on the half way line to complete the picture. Suarez fits the bill. If we can add him i believe we will edge the title.

    As for the Troll, though i admit he annoys me at times, i say let him post. He likes to call me nasty names like imbecile or cretin, i have no idea why, i have never been near his wife.

    Maybe hes one of those i swindled out of a lot of money in one of my charity scams, i dont know, but let the Git post.

  20. Richard morgan says:

    Nice article. I think key to our season is those first eleven games, now I am not saying these will decide the title but the other top six sides face three or four other top six teams we face two and Liverpool too. This should give us a chance to have a strong chance of going on this season. However, we have the hardest ten games run in of the top six teams with four top six teams to face and three of them on the trot. I believe we can make top four again this season but I feel without additions we won’t make a title challenge. I take us to be in a final or two also with our first trophy also to come this season.

  21. kelsey says:

    I lke debating with you Shard as generally we hold opposite viewpoints 🙂

    Is the present squad good enough to win a trophy ? No because we lack two quality players who do not have a history of being injury prone, as Diaby,Rosicky,Arteta and Gibbs cannot guarantee any of us a prolonged run in the team and Wilshere needs to be eased back slowly.

  22. evonne says:

    Terry – troll has no wife 🙂 he is a schoolboy and unfortunately we will see much more of him during the summer holidays.

    Sniffer is sick and sadly he gets his perverted kicks from annoying us. He knows he irritates us because we respond to his jibes. Sometimes it is hard not to respond, especially when we are not sure it is him. But by NEVER responding we will take his excitement away from him, so we must collectively try to keep schtump

  23. Kyagulanyi robert says:

    It can win if God is the 12th player.

  24. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rockadillo, 🙂

    Here I am reading your lovely Post and you are still snuggled under the duvet!! 🙂

    I found myself nodding my head at your reasoned summation of our possible team for next season and the attributes those players bring to the party. Rather like I, and others, would do if we were listening to you in the pub over a beer or two.

    Disregarding possible transfers in the pipeline, there is nothing much to disagree with then!

    Well that would make boring blogging, so I am going to advance an alternative message to highlight a different point of view (and don’t worry – as I have said previously, no bugger reads my rubbish, unless, like GIE, they do but are so horrified they do not know how to respond!) 🙂

    As regards the GKs, Szczeney has had a pretty torrid time over the last couple of seasons, and I am not sure he is good enough, at the moment. All top EPL teams need a top GK, and altho’ I am hopeful Chezzer will come good, I am not at all sure he is there yet.

    In the pre-season friendlies, Flappy has played in the majority of games, and I have the strong feeling that he is now our No.1 GK.
    That sends shivers up my spine. He has been better recently, that’s true, but a GK who showed his sporting mental frailties does not suddenly recover from a latent trauma too easily, and given any undue stress, or intense pressure he could well revert to type.

    NG has already covered a number of concerns relating to injuries and ill discipline with certain of our players and I will not revisit that, again.

    Instead, I will voice a concern that I have had for a number of seasons, and which I think is still material for next season.

    We are short in the ‘physicality department’!

    What do I mean? Using The Invincibles as an example, they showed that they could play top quality football with the best of them, but when they met up with rough house tactics, epitomised by, say, Roy Keane, they could also mix it with the best (or worst) of them.

    The team you show in your Post has some problems in that respect.

    For example, I think, admirably skillful tho’ he is, Mikel Arteta was beginning to show his age towards the end of last season, and indeed in this summer’s pre-season games. He has never been the speediest of players, and once a forward gets past him, it is painful to watch him try to turn and get back into position.

    You will already know of my reservations regarding Theo and his inability to modify his game to avoid running into defenders, or to stop passing sideways and backwards when the obvious choice should be to run with the ball.
    He is the fastest – but you would not always know it from the number of short distance lay offs to other players in worse positions, which he is prone to do.

    That is not the problem I refer to tho’.

    He is the worst tackler or attempted tackler I have ever seen play for Arsenal, and he gives scant support or back up to whoever plays at right back or in midfield.
    He reminds me of a comedy cowboy film I once saw, in which, as a sub-plot, the US 7th Cavalry, with a toot of the bugle came charging in from screen left to save the day against those pesky injuns, only to be always just too late. 🙂

    Theo is like that. He never quite gets his tackle in, and the sneaky snake of cynicism sometimes makes one wonder about his resolve or bravery.

    Look, this is taking too long, and altho’ there are other examples relating to the relatively short arsed physicality of a number of our best players, which gravely worries me, in the final analysis I am concerned that when the going gets tough, against the likes of Ryan Shawcross and his ilk, we will come up short, or fall back on Jack to exact retribution with the inevitable yellow and red cards being issued. That is not what Jack is about – there needs to be a specialist, or two, in the team to make good the problems with older players running out of puff, or standing toe to toe with Shawcross and others when the need arises.

    Of course I want you to be right — I fear you will not be.


    Your right evonne, hes best ignored.

    I don’t think hes a schoolboy though, he just dresses like one.

    In future I will try to ignore him, but he has a terrible habit of insulting the two people most dear to me, Arsene Wenger and myself. hahaha,

  26. Ian Ure Face says:

    I like a Rocky Monday post, its not Rocky Silence !.

    Personally, I don’t mind the troll commenting and don’t like censorship as he hasn`t to my mind been using expletives !.

    The only scouting Arsene has done is in Holland for some good drug dealers, otherwise how on earth would he think this squad could compete for anything other than 4th !. hahaha

  27. Ian Ure Face says:

    Stretch, the Trollvestite really seems to `ave it in for you for some reason, maybe you fiddled with more than his/her tax return or something !. Or maybe you diverted his/her racing pigeons to your loft ?.

  28. Had says:

    I kinda disagree with some of you here saying that this squad cannot compete.
    This squad has won 2-0 againt Bayern (CL winners)
    unbeaten since March

    Current squad’s has even improved as some players will now play injury free and level of understanding between everyone has also increased. On top of that, it seems that our squad is getting into a winning mentality.
    So yes, few signings will make us stronger but please do not underestimate our current squad !!

  29. kelsey says:

    Hence the phrase “what are you smoking”

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:


    “Rocket science is relatively simple because it has very few variable factors. Not so in building a successful football team. Much more complicated”

    Classic. Right up there with my Tactics Bollocks. Get a tube. Stick men in it. Point it at the Moon, make an explosion under it, and whoosh. No need to worry about all that radiation and orbital pull bollocks. Simples 🙂

  31. I’m currently smoking 20 bensons 🚬👍

  32. Etim says:

    It’s tru on a gud dy dos boys cn bit any team bt wat of bad dy dn’t u tink a gud plyer cn tun ur bad dy 2 gud, pls wenger shld mak gud signin

  33. Rasp says:

    Super post Rocky. That starting eleven could beat any team in the EPL on its day if on top form. If the other teams were also on top of their game, I wouldn’t expect us to win them all.

    Without being boring, I don’t expect us to buy Suarez, but I would like to see a front man that gives us a different option to OG.

    I don’t believe the squad is good enough to win the title unless we bring in 3 players. It seems likely we could buy Ashley Williams and Julio Cesar if we so choose – as for a front man …. that’s anyone’s guess.


    I am currently smoking an electronic cigarette, have several nicotine patches attached to strange parts of my body, chewing nicotine gum, and have electrodes attached to my head……..but am dying for a fag.

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky, thanks for the post.

    My simple answer is No.

    There was a 16 point gap between us and Utd, and given that all the teams around us will strengthen, then even with our improved understanding at the back, maturing younger players and the unrealistic hope of an injury free season, then to challenge for the title we are two top quality signings short in my book.

  36. RockyLives says:

    Morning All
    Thanks for the comments.
    Some really good points – and it’s especially nice to hear from less frequent posters like Aaron, Had and Richard Morgan, who have all made an excellent contribution. Please keep chatting chaps (or chapesses).

    Yes, that reference to Ollie was a bit ‘light in the loafers’, wasn’t it? 😀

    NG (and Richard M and Kelsey)
    You are absolutely right about the likelihood of injuries, loss of form etc (which was why I went on to talk about the squad). It will be interesting to see if one or two (Eisfeld? Zelalem? Miyachi? Miquel? Sanogo?) step up this year. Richard and Had – I agree the squad will certainly go into the new season with a lot of confidence. Nevertheless it will be interesting to see how they react if (when) they get a knock-back or two.

    If Gerv the Swerve goes, we will be light in the left forward area. Is Miyachi right sided?

    Interesting idea to start with TR7 instead of Santi. Don’t you think Santi will be rested and ready by the start of the campaign? Mind you, I haven’t seen any of our tour games. Has Rosicky looked good?

    Thankyou for (sort of) agreeing with me but taking issue anyway for the hell of it 🙂 Like you I don’t think the squad/team is good enough for a serious title challenge as is, although (as you know 🙂 ) I have a higher opinion than you of our Theo. I think you make a good point about physicality. I notice we are being linked again with Fellainio. Probably just newspaper bollix, but I’m guessing he would tick your box (oo-er).

    Are you definitely in the “no thanks” camp when it comes to the Uruguayan biter then?

    Sticking up for Sniffer? I like you’re style 🙂
    But evonne’s right – we should “starve him of the oxygen of publicity” as someone once said.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “light in the loafers” ha ha, never heard that one before.

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:


    “The key for me is the trio of Jack, Ox and Ramsey”

    Add Jenks and Verm to that list, and I’m with you.

    Certainly with you on the E-Cigs. Love them myself. Very handy when travelling in trains, planes and automobiles 🙂

  39. RockyLives says:

    I learnt that from someone on here (can’t remember who – maybe Kelsey).

    One of those old-fashioned euphemisms that just feels kind of sweet these days 🙂

  40. RockyLives says:

    How do you light an e-cig?

    Do you have a box of e-matches?

  41. As u have rightly state,it will be pertinent to bring in the most suitable players that will sooth our partern of play and work effectively and efficiently with the team so as to be able to accomplish our goal but not necessary to be a famous player that will put us into crisis.thank u.

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:


    You are right about team spirit and players that “fit”. Vital.

  43. RockyLives says:

    I take it that you would not like us to get Suarez, because of his potential for trouble making?

  44. Had says:

    hi RockyLives,

    Thanks for the post, so far I was reading “only” post here but never really dared to post and get in the discussions. i like the way people interact here always being constructive and pretty rational, I used to be more active on “justarsenal” blog but it’s all about being pessimist and I feel that’s not what we need…

    regarding the CAM spot, for now I think TR7 has been amazing so far and jack may have to get some playing time under his belt before being considered in the starting XI
    Also important to keep in mind that with the 2 legs CL qualification, the whole squad will have to focus and contribute (I see Cazorla playing a key role as I would expect him to be fit more or less for this first leg which will help filling a strong squad still avoiding fatigue).
    Though, as soon as Santi is fully fit, I reckon the CAM slot will be his.

    For me the key point will be to really start with a win in order to avoid all the criticism from the media. If we loose the first match, the press will kill straight our ambitions and I believe this will really affect the winning mentality our squad is currently building. I hope Wenger will really have the team focus as we should avoid being too complacent due to strong pre season and end of season run (maybe a loose during the emirates cup could make us some good and work as a reality check so the team will put more focus on the 1st game)


    Can you smoke them on planes Micky? i was told no so had to use nicorette inhaler instead.

  46. Manthan says:


    I am not sure about miyachi position.. But in FIFA 13 he plays in Right wing 😀 😀 😀

  47. RockyLives says:

    I agree. If we don’t make any significant signings, the media will be waiting to slaughter us (and especially Arsene) as soon as we lose a game or two.

    How we react to defeat will be very important.

  48. Rasp says:

    Morning Had and welcome to the comments section 🙂

    You make some very good points. Personally I think the club has laid itself open to some of the media criticism by creating a high expectation of big signings. Had they said ‘we’ve already got some great players and we will only bring in additions if the right player is available at the right price’ then the pressure is off.

    It won’t be a disaster if Sanogo is our only acquisition, but as Rocky says, it will mean that we will be relying on the important players staying fit for most of the season.

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I think you are spot on about the importance of a good start. It’s amazing how results in key matches can start a good run. I am thinking back to Munich, while although the result saw us exit the competition, the performance, and win on the night, had a major impact on the remainder of the season.


    Very nice comment Had

    On paper we have a nice start so ime hoping we can get the early wins and thus build the confidence

  51. Rasp says:

    Rocky, apologies for changing the wording of the title of todays post. If we’d named the clubs in question it would have come up on their NN page and we’d have been besieged with comments that required moderation and I wasn’t sure who’d be around today.

  52. the king says:

    some of our fans are a disgrace.

    we have a chance to have one of the best strikers in the world
    in our average team.

    yet people still are not happy ?

    how on earth do people think giroud is a player that can score against big teams, or can score week in week out is beyond me,.

    our current squad is not good enough to fight for the league.
    if anyone thinks our current squad is better then city, or chealses then please think again.

    we need suarez and a few other big players.
    jack wilshare is no saint but we love him.
    suarez on the pitch is one of the best in the world.

    our current team is only enough to get 4th place.

    and in all honesty with spuds getting 17m paulhinho
    26m saldado. they are getting better.

    getting 4th by a single point in the last days is not what a big club like us should be doing.

  53. GoonerB says:

    Nice post Rocky

    I am in the camp that this team could beat any of the other top teams on the day and is likely good enough to win some silverware this year but needs a bit extra to win the EPL or ECL, which is the sort of squad we should be aiming for.

    I believe that the Keeper, CD and DM department can be properly upgraded to title challenging level without huge funds spent on it. Players like Williams and Cesar shouldn’t bust the bank but will significantly improve our strength. Luis Gustavo I believe is fairly reasonably priced and there must be a couple more like him out there that will use less of the budget than the £23m needed to get Feillaini (even though I do like him).

    I have even questioned whether we need to get a DM. I still wonder if we bought someone like say Williams whether that would allow us, when needed, to play one of TV, LK or Williams in front of the back 4 as a lone DM almost like an advanced sweeper. Could a big lad like Chuks Aneke be converted to and developed into a deeper lying powerhouse midfielder. He has the ball skills and passing range and he has the physical size. Does he have the nasty attitude to be a top DM?

    I think the big buy needs to be the mercurial world class forward and on a pure footballing level I can’t see any better than Suarez. Some forwards are more pure number 9’s and some are more withdrawn strikers but Suarez is both a number 10 and number 9 in equal measure so as well as adding a world class match winner to our ranks but an adaptable one. That could be equally as important if we need to change our forward style according to certain opposition or because of injuries. i agree with Forlans view that just him alone would make us title challengers. If we added another 2-3 like those mentioned above we would surely be amongst the favourites.

    I know some don’t think we need a forward and are happy to go with what we have, so this next question is more for those that feel we do need an upgrade in this department but aren’t keen on Suarez. I would ask, if not Suarez, which other top forward is out there and potentially (within reason) transferable who would be in that world class bracket that could push us onto the next level.

  54. Afternoon Mr Rock, the straight forward answer to your question is “No” as looking at our results against the top 3 we only managed 2 points out of a possible 18 for the six League fixtures against those 3 sides (that’s a measly 11% return).

    Yes, we had certain players out at certain time but these factors affect all teams so we shouldn’t think we won’t have those same issues of key players being unable to play.

    In conclusion keeping the same squad as last year ( minus the exitees:Arshavin, Santos, Coquelin, Djourou) will not make the gap between us and the top teams any less.

  55. Had says:

    Strong start will lift the team for sure ….

    One question :
    Who do you see getting playing time in capital one cup / FA cup between Akpom and Sanogo ?
    I see a bit of a dilemma here …. Eventhough I’m French, I wouldn’t know what to do as I think Sanogo is more advanced in his development but Akpom is still really young but the fact that he is English could also be key.
    I’d like to see the 2 strikers training staying with Arsenal for the first half and then have one out of the 2 being loaned out to an EPL team while the other one will get to play in the cups games… Don’t know who should be loaned out and who should stay there (Lukaku’s loan turned out to be a real plus !)

  56. It takes a brave man these days to openly declare that Arsenal can win the title, and there’s no faulting your loyalty and optimism that comes poring out of your fine post Rocky Lives. The same should be said for Terry Mancini’s Hair Transplant. But…
    Arsenal don’t have to win the title, so they’re not geared-up for a serious title challenge. Arsene Wenger will not compete with the two Manchester’s or Chelsea because he doesn’t have to.
    Even this whole Luis Suarez thing smacks of AW desperate to prove that he can still attract a big name to The Emirates.
    Arsenal are currently being mis-managed on a scale that leave many of their fans fearing for the long-term future. To say we’ve come through a difficult period very intelligently is to gloss over some very big financial mistakes that have crippled us before a ball was kicked. Financial errors that in any other walk of life would see the perpetrator go to prison.
    Realistically, we’re top four contenders, and as we’ve virtually given up trying to win the Cups, CL, FA and League/Capital One, we’re in for another roller-coaster ride from the peripherals, ready to celebrate wildly as if we’ve won the CL, if we secure fourth spot and watch others collect the prizes, because that’s what we do now.

  57. Rasp says:

    Hi GoonerB, you often manage to say the same things as me … only in 4 times as many words 😆

    I’ve made it clear that I would take Suarez despite his baggage – but I really can’t see us paying that sort of money. Soldado is expected to be on his way to the totts to appease the fans when Bale swings into another tree …. but he’d be a good fit at the Arsenal.

  58. Rasp says:

    Hi Had, Sanogo, Aneke, Eisfeld, Zelalem and Gnabry are all great prospects and some of them will make the grade in the next couple of years, but it would be foolish to expect any of them to be able to contribute much to the first team in the big competitions this season.

  59. Shard says:

    We are the Arsenal

    If Wenger doesn’t buy big name players then he’s labelled as not wanting to win. If he does (seemingly) try and buy big name players like Suarez, then he’s desperate to prove something? He can’t win can he? And I don’t mean on the field with Arsenal. I mean the battle that he seemingly loses before his team even take to the field.

    What are these financial errors that would, in any other walk of life would see the ‘perp’ go to prison?

  60. Anyone hoping the Cutch dunt turns his ankle over and snaps a few ligaments playing in the mud bath in Hong Kong right now ?

    So, it’s just me then. 🙂

  61. Shard says:


    It would be better if he waits till September to return to the treatment table.

  62. 2 minutes into the first league fixture after the transfer window closes Shard, hahahha.

  63. Rasp says:

    You’re incorrigible chary 😆 I’d rather he just suffered a complete lack of form a la Torres and couldn’t hit Rooney’s head with a banjo

  64. Shard says:

    Jumps up and deflects the ball into goal while defending a corner and snaps his ligaments when he lands. Not too much to ask, is it?

  65. You are being very modest in your request Shard.

    Raspers, that would be funny too, that kind of loss of form could send him potty(Michael Bentine would have been interested in that case) and turn those glory-hunting plastics against him.

    It’s a win-win situation. 🙂

  66. Hi Shard.
    Which of these would you consider clever investments:
    Andrei Arshavin; Mikael Silvestre; Sebastian Squillaci; Andre Santos; Marouane Chamakh; Park Ju Sung; Abou Diaby? There are many more examples, as you know, like choosing Theo Walcott over Gareth Bale, or waiting until after an 8-2 humiliation before paying over the odds for Mikel Arteta when two months prior to that he could have bought Scott Parker for half the amount. Whether it’s an improvement on the field is another debate, but none of those signings, or any since have been done with the objective of turning Arsenal into winners and taking them up to the next level.
    The club allowing itself to be held to ransom by letting players contracts run down and selling them to direct rivals, such as Clichy, Nasri, and just last year when we handed MU the title by selling them RvP.
    This is an Arsenal model that Ivan Gazidis gushingly compares with that of Bayern Munich. Maybe that’s the case, but Bayern have numerous titles and FIVE CL on their CV. Bayern have failed to win anything in only two years of the last eighteen. The Dortmund side which got to the CL Final this year cost less than Fernando Torres.
    So are you saying that we sould applaud Arsenal’s business model?

  67. Red Arse says:

    I was interested in your stance of agreeing to let the Troll comment, and by ignoring him he would eventually go away.

    Not sure myself — didn’t work when I ignored both you and Le Syrup.

    Doh! Now I have spoken to you — you’ll be back!! 😀

  68. GoonerB says:

    Rasp @ 1.18, I was always fascinated when we first got regular Italian football on the back of Gazza. I used to watch the Italian players being interviewed and speaking very quickly for about 30 seconds. You would sit and think “my god he is proposing an alternative to Einstein’s theory of relativity”. Then the translation of that 30 seconds would come up as “Yes it was a great goal”. Since then I have always made it my mission to say simple things in as long winded way as possible.

  69. Shard says:

    Yes. I am saying that we should applaud Arsenal’s business model. You are looking exclusively at some instances of ‘failures’ shall we say, although they are not really unqualified failures, and in one case (Arteta’s) is a massive success, and it’s bizarre that you create a choice between buying Arteta or Scott Parker for the sake of 2 or 3 matches (presuming that you are even correct about that). One is a fantastic footballer. Among the best midfielders in the league. The other gets by because he’s English and has a biggles hairstyle.

    Bayern were always a massive club. Since the 70s at least. If Arsenal have reached in the territory where we can be comparable, then that is to their credit. Both Bayern and Dortmund also do not exist in the environment of the sugar daddy. I mean, these are basic differences that ought to have some bearing on any analysis? Don’t you think?

  70. Manthan says:

    WE are the arsenal:: I am amaze you are comparing Arteta and Parker.. Arteta is far better then Parker.. People do mistakes after all we are human beings some signings will be hit some will be flop but we cannot blame anybody for that..

  71. Regarding how good last season’s team are I think it apposite to point out that we went out of the domestic cups to lower league opposition – one of them was Bradford ! Bradford, reallly ??

    Yes, that still hurts and subsequently losing to Championship Blackburn seemed a total “non-surprise” to me.

  72. How has Arteta been a massive success? What exactly has he achieved at Arsenal? Where’s the winners medals? He was already at his perfect club before we signed him. And to call Arteta ‘fantastic’? At least let’s be grown up here, Arteta has never been fantastic. He did a turn for Rangers and Everton, and he fits perfectly into our system with his neat side-ways passing game. Hardly one to set the pulses racing. If you want to know whether the Scott Parker thing is true, ask Bob Wilson.
    Bayern have always been a massive club? So have Arsenal. No, the Bundesliga doesn’t have ‘sugar-daddies’, but they encounter clubs in CL that are funded by them, and they’re still out-performing them. Part of that must be down to clever use of their money.

  73. Red Arse says:


    For the sake of good order, it is best if you simply agree to disagree with WATA.

    The discussion has all the hallmarks of a discussion of the deaf, with minds firmly made up, and ‘facts’ are irrelevant. 🙂

  74. Shard says:

    Or maybe the fact that they have the highest commercial income in the world? Or that Arsenal’s resources have been diverted towards paying off the stadium. Although Bayern have a new stadium as well they didn’t have to pay for it the way we did, and they didn’t haveto compete domestically with oil rich clubs.

    It’s all a question of timing anyway. When we were winning titles undefeated, Barcelona were finishing 6th in their league in he middle of a 6 year trophy drought. Bayern Munich despite being able to outspend everyone in their league were, a few years ago, finishing behind clubs like Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg. Were they that terrible then? Arsenal had less resources yet WON more.

    Although titles are thereto be won every year, business cycles (and sporting clcles) go on in the longer term. What Bayern have done recently is fantastic. But that doesn’t take away anything from what Arsenal have done.

    As for Arteta not being fantastic because he’s won no medal. I guess Shearer was a terrible footballer. Matt Le Tissier didn’t even have many England caps so he obviously didn’t now how to play. Cesc Fabregas and Van Persie weren’t fantastic players when they were in our shirt. Please. Think a little about what you are saying.

    Ultimately, if you are saying that Arsenal cannot be doing things right because they don’t have a trophy to show for it yet, you are too limited in your world view to debate with.

  75. Hi Red Arse,
    if you or anyone else can produce cast-iron facts that Arsenal’s self-sustaining model has been an unqualified success, then I will be happy to tip my hat and concede defeat.
    Arsenal have been prudent, which is the kindest thing I can think of to describe it.
    They haven’t shown bravery, they haven’t been pro-active in closing the gap that exists between us and the top three, and if there’s no significant improvement this season, next summer Chelsea, MC/MU will be sniffing around young Jack Wilshere.

  76. Shard says:

    Trophies are only the final output of doing things right. Not the proof. Saying that is to ignore everything that goes into getting that trophy.

    As for Arteta, not that it’ll make a difference to you WATA, but maybe you should read this

  77. Ian Ure Face says:

    Fifty Shades Of Transplant

    ” Terry looked across at the hunky e-mail in his bed and lit his e-cigarette with an e-match contemplating what to do with such an e-normous e-rection ! “

  78. Ben Harrison says:

    Really good article – good appraisal of Arsenal’s strengths and shortcomings as the squad currently looks.

    I’ve made my own attempt to bust some myths about the Gunners that are often thrown about. This article makes the case that they are not in decline, are mentally strong and that Wenger is not stuck in his ways.

    All comments / feedback welcome.

  79. Shard says:

    Are you a basketball fan WATA? I’ll give you another example of how teams can do everything right, but just not be able to win. The Utah Jazz of 97 and 98. Reached two NBA FInals with a fantastic team. They had a great passes, great 3 point shooter, and in Karl Malone one of the best players in the league. They lost, both years to a Michael Jordan led Bulls. If the Jazz had the exact same team, the exact same players, and played exactly as they did a year later, they would have won. It just so happened that they peaked at the wrong time.

    They didn’t win the championship. But they didn’t do anything that wasn’t ‘right’. Now if you argue that Arsenal still need to make the final step, I will agree with you completely. But to argue that Arsenal are doing things completely wrong because they don’t have a trophy to show for it, is not worth debating because that is a closed minded view to take.

    Anyway, I think I’ll take RA’s advice and leave it at that. For now.

  80. There’s a huge difference between not winning trophies and not trying to win them. Because not contesting is an insult to every supporter who proudly wear Arsenal colours and have the club embedded deeply in their soul. The current Arsenal hierarchy have opted out of competing, unless you have evidence that suggests otherwise.

  81. Shard says:

    You need to make your case better WATA, or else the defense rests.

  82. I don’t care whether Mikel Arteta was ‘Arsenal’s player of the year’, that only helps support my theory even more about how far standards have been allowed to fall at Arsenal. Arteta is the perfect AW proto-type, he can pick a pass. Is he a crowd-pleasing match-winner, or likely to come off the field showing the blood sweat and scars of battle? No, all those elements are long gone.

  83. I don’t need to make any case, Shard, you defend the indefensible until you’re blue in the face, the facts are there for all to see.
    Are Arsenal successful? No.
    Do Arsenal look like challenging any time soon? No.
    As I pointed out the other day, Fiorentina paid *£15m for Mario Gomez, and they’re paying him *£80,000 a week wages (*sourced from various media out-lets). Far and above better than anyone currently in our squad, and a signing that would definitely have signalled an intent that we’re ready to challenge for the title and CL. Not necessarily win any of them, but at least look like we want to. Clever use of money. Get that bit right and you don’t need sugar-daddies financing your club.

  84. RockyLives says:

    I liked your article.
    Which team do you support?

  85. Red Arse says:


    I am sure you are a decent guy, but I would hate to face you in Court.

    “RA, you stand accused of a heinous crime, somewhere, on someone, at some time — unless you can prove otherwise!”

    Luckily, life is not like that — if you are trying to convince other bloggers about something, you have to have supportive evidence not expect the other party to prove you wrong.

    Your line of reasoning follows the old ‘when did you stop beating your wife?’

    As I pointed out earlier — if you make a negative statement about Arsenal, that’s up to you — but it is not for me, or Shard to prove you wrong, however much in error the statement you are making.

    The way it works is that you will need to convince me and others of your case, not simply make generalised comments.

    Anyway, I must decline your invitation to ‘produce cast iron facts’ to prove you are wrong, because I will only get myself into problems with my AA colleagues for hounding or bullying when/if I lose patience.

    And I am not prepared to do that.


    Thanks for not ignoring Redders. I have every intention of ignoring the man with a thousand names but shall not be named by one. The problem is the syrup wont take no for an answer

    Terry “Leave it Syrup, he aint worth it”

    Syrup “Eff of Mancini, no one talks to me like that”

    Terry “But that’s what he wants you stupid sap, reaction”

    Syrup ” Ile give him reaction alright, envelope my self round his bloody face”

    Terry ” You selfish bastard, your gona get me nicked again”

    Syrup “Oh shut up you big poof and go bring that glue, one of my strands is coming off”

  87. Shard says:


    Your timely missive probably saved me from being labelled as such because I was half way through failing at counting till ten and praying for strength. Sheesh.. Real Madrid look like amateurs at shifting goalposts right about now.

  88. RockyLives says:

    I can’t stay around to debate because work calls 😦

    But my view is that Wenger’s achievement in keeping us in the Champs League positions year after year while spending net zero on transfers was nothing short of astonishing.

    Far from making financial mistakes, Wenger and the club have been performing financial miracles, but this fact is only apparent to people who take the long view of the club’s position, as Shard has alluded to.

    Yes, that meant taking risks on players in the bargain basement and not all worked out (Santos, Park). But AW’s record of buying players who turn out to be successful stands comparison with any other manager in the EPL.

    This year, for the first time since the stadium move, we are entering a period when we can spend if we want to.

    It will be interesting to see if this new spending power leads to greater competitiveness. I hope so (and believe so).

    One of the common pieces of nonsense that you tend to hear spouted is that the club is only interested in achieving fourth place. Frankly, that’s an opinion that – from a business and economic standpoint – is illiterate.

    Stan Kroenke owns Arsenal and his investment will become worth exponentially more if we start winning the big prizes. Do you really think that, as a successful businessman, he does not want that?

  89. Mr Rock, I believe the perception is Kroenke doesn’t want to risk the higher investment required to get above 4th.

  90. No worries, Red Arse. So if I align myself to yours and Shard’s line of thinking, this time next year we’ll have the PL title, the CL trophy, and AW will have Arsenal on the brink of world domination.
    That’ll be a pleasant change for the global Arsenal masses.
    I thought we were all in danger of being hypnotised, but from what you’re suggesting, it seems the Emporer really does have new clothes. It had me fooled.

  91. Shard says:


    If Kroenke doesn’t want to risk the higher investment, what is in it for him? At least as far as is known, he doesn’t have any stake in keeping money in Arsenal’s accounts. The only way it makes sense for him to do that (that I can think of) is that either he’s leveraging his other assets against them, or that he’s fattening up a cash rich club to sell.

    Both of those are plausible enough, but lack any evidence. So much so that it always surprises me that they aren’t labelled as conspiracy theories (at least the first one). I have nothing against so called conspiracy theories. I support some of them. But surely it comes under the same category. However, just because it is popular to disparage Arsenal among the mainstream media, it seems alright to spread all sorts of unsubstantiated theories, lies, and more damaging, half truths about Arsenal. A lot of people believe them and take them as facts rather than the theories that they are.

  92. Red Arse says:


    You are incorrigible!! And as for that Syrup …… well I think he/it has a certain class!! 🙂

  93. Shard, he is presumably happier with lower returns based on a lower risk profile; not every investor wants to risk significantly more to step up to the next level.

    I heard that his US sports franchises are generally mid tier giving him modest returns thus leading some to believe he is happy for that to be the case for Arsenal.

    Of course no one knows for sure and my thoughts on this are pure conjecture – but that is the basis for blogging most of the time anyway.

    As outsiders we can only speculate on the motives and drivers of the people in charge based on what we see on the pitch and the results thereon.

  94. Red Arse says:


    As I said, your views are understandable, and you are not alone in making them, it is simply that you need a stronger case to support them. 🙂

    Anyway, you have generated a lot of discussion on AA, and that is the whole point of the blog.

    I have no doubt you will have other opinions, and maybe we will agree on some of them! 🙂

  95. That’s pretty much the way a lot of Arsenal supporters are thinking charybdis1966. I imagine Stan Kroenke treats Arsenal like his sports franchises over the pond, and they’re not basking in sporting success either.
    We don’t even have a five-year or ten-year vision mapped out for us, we’re hanging in there hoping that FFP will be our salvation from all those nasty big clubs who dare to spend and show their fans what real ambition is.

  96. WATA – some pretty major things have to happen to show that is not the case, in the absence of any actual definite fact.

    But as I say, we are just speculating without anything tangible.

    However we can’t really do anything about it – the BoD are there and we are powerless to have any influence on them.

  97. True Chary, maybe the tipping point will be if they fail to perform on the park, although I get the impression that many Arsenal fans will still be delighted if all we get next season is fourth place.

  98. True Chary. The tipping point might come if they put a few inept performances in at The Emirates against the lower sides, although I get the impression many Arsenal fans will still be delighted if all we get next season is fourth again.

  99. Ooops! Sorry everyone, the first one disappeared before I posted the second.

  100. WATA – ah, blog stammering ! I’m not sure what the reaction will be if our transfers in are done for the window and we struggle early on.

    The shame of it is I’m sure I heard Gazidis say around May we intended to do our business early(I’m not going into the “we can spend with the big boys now” argument right now) so new arrivals could be integrated into the team early.

    As it stands we are less than 3 weeks away from kick off and we only have Sanogogogogogogo to show for it.


  101. Shard says:


    I was inviting you to put forward a theory, not slating you for indulging in conjecture. As for low risk, moderate reward. My point was, unless putting forward more money from Arsenal’s accounts risks Arsenal’s standing as a business, why would it represent any risk to Kroenke personally? The only reason for not spending in that case, must be because he, and the BoD, feel that the club can’t afford it. Whether that is true or not is a separate issue, and a judgment call, but the thinking behind it can’t be condemned surely. In this case Kroenke’s selfish motives and the good of the club coincide.

    Of course, it might not be the case anyway. And now, I think we know that we have significant amounts of cash, and crucially – because this is an aspect which is overlooked when slating the club- we now know how much we are assured to get over the next few years. That should lead to a loosening of the purse strings. Arsenal’s statements through Gazidis were not the same old statements of before, although they are often misrepresented as such. They show, either the club being completely stupid (the season ticket renewal theory was debunked by RA recently), or represents a desire to back themselves through the money that they have acquired. I think it makes more sense for it to be the latter. But maybe I am missing something. I’d like to know what, if anyone can suggest something.

  102. Shard, I don’t know enough to put together a theory, all I can see up to now is that Kroenke stewardship of AFC to date has been in a similar vain to his US sports franchises. I didn’t think you were slating me, I was merely pointing out I wasn’t presenting my opinions as fact in any way.

    True it appears his(Kroenke’s) and the BoD’s motives coincide hence their symbiotic relationship.

    My worry is that the longer the delay at getting targets in, the more seller clubs are reluctant to let go of their players as they themselves will have less time to find replacements.

  103. Shard says:


    I agree with that worry. My reading of the situation (based on conjecture) is that we’re looking to tie up our most expensive signing (probably Suarez now) first so that we know how much we can spend on other targets. That we’ve already done the background checks on who is available for how much, and so when the signings arrive they will be in a glut. I guess that’s just the optimist in me talking, and I recognise the dangers in that strategy with prices being raised at the last minute, but I’m surprisingly calm about this. We’ll buy good players. They’ll still spark outrage of how they aren’t good enough or not what we need, but we’ll have a good squad going into the season.

  104. You are made of sterner stuff than me Shard ! I am worried and think we are passing up the opportunity to get ahead of the chasing pack.

    My nightmare scenario is Saurez goes to Madrid, Rooney goes to Chelsea and we get no one else in. if that happens I suspect the gooner fanbase will not be happy – but, hey, maybe I’ve read the mood all wrong and I’m a lone voice in that respect.

    Out of the other top 3 sides only ManUre haven’t strengthened much, so to me ManShitty look the biggest threat with a Maureen-Yo inspired Chavski battling for the title with them.

  105. jnyc says:

    Rocky, We have good talent. Not great. Good bunch of guys, great coaching. As it is spuds may be catching up. We cant stand still.
    – and we have heard recently, but not talked about our own players, koz, jack, and most strongly, our leader Arteta asking to please bring in some world class talent to show that we really care about winning.
    i think these guys and cazorla will be very disappointed if we dont succeed in the transfer market. —- then we will have the same old problem with wantaway players in coming transfer windows. Remember the phrase statement of intent. Lack of intent can have serious consequences.

  106. Shard says:


    You make a good point. I think there is genuine belief in the squad that they can truly make a run for the title provided a few more quality players are added. I am of the same view. It would be a shame to not build on what we have because we have the makings of a great side. It’s just missing a few pieces. With the resources at our disposal, we should be able to get most of them, if not all.

  107. Red Arse says:


    Manure have tried to sign big players, not least Cesc, but without success as yet.

    I wonder if their fanbase slag off the manager and the Slaters for not having ambition?

    I doubt it, primarily because they won the Premier at a canter last season, but it just goes to show that presenting a similar set of information on two separate clubs will produce two different answers, not withstanding their respective past performances, ipso facto the ‘lacking ambition’ catch all based on transfer activity (with 5 weeks still to go) is clearly flawed.

    I said above, that if Arsenal should miss out on Suarez because of all the murky Machiavellian forces set against us, it does not hold that we will not bring anyone in.
    There are other players out there waiting to be ‘discovered’ possibly at fees between £15m and £25m (conjecture, I know) 🙂 and perhaps it is fate that someone we know nothing about will belatedly come in, instead of Suarez, and lead us to the Premier League and European Championship.

    [Well, if everyone else can speculate on a looming ‘disaster’ and ‘lack of ambition’, I can too — just with a different slant. 😀

  108. Shard says:


    I like the way you think, you ipso fatso.

  109. evonne says:

    Rocky – I just finished reading the post and only one thing I disagree about – the league starts in LESS than 3 weeks!! Villa at home on the 17th 🙂

    I am glad you mentioned Anelka, but Italian ‘Donkey of the Week’ Bergkamp was even better business.

    you are right, last 2 seasons disastrous transfers had seen players like Per, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud arriving at the Ems. Terrible, really bad business. Tell it to other clubs’ fans and I guarantee you that they’d give up their wives to see players like that arriving on their manor. The lack of gratitude and contentment is like a disease seeping through supporters.

    My favourite is ‘we missed out’ on a player that the Club never confirmed any interest in!! Where is the logic in that?

    I don’t think we can win the league with this squad, we might finished 2nd or 3rd, but probably not first. But strengthening the squad with at least 1 terrific striker can give us the edge we need. Manyoo would not win the EPL in a million years with the team they had last season if not for one terrific striker.

  110. evonne says:

    I forgot – what I really hate is fans saying ‘buy someone, anyone’. Ffs. Retail therapy might be a good cure for frustrated housewives (moi), but not for a football club like ours.

  111. Red Arse says:

    Hi Evonne, 🙂

    I am worried that it takes you from 9:30 a.m. until now to get through reading Rocky’s Post.

    Let me tell you a secret, if you don’t move your lips when reading it really speeds up the process. Didit told me that!! 🙂

  112. neamman says:

    what I really hate is fans saying ‘buy someone, anyone’.

    I think what we want to see is a statement of intent that now, with money, we will start to be aggressive. I actually think we are pretty well set although I would love to see a dominating DM but up front, I think OG especially will surprise many this year. We need a big buy not for the fans but for Theo, Jack etc so that they can see we have ambition.

  113. kelsey says:

    One thing is for sure this isn’t le Grove 🙂

  114. evonne says:

    neamman – there is nothing that would make me happier than seeing Suarez, Rooney, Torrez and Ronaldo playing for Arsenal, so I am in agreement with you that unless they are going to buy a BIG striker, there is no point; we already have 3 great potentials.

    RA – are you suggesting that me is slow 🙂 I read the article quickly in the morning, but digested the content carefully over a nice cup of coffee in the afternoon, is that all right with you?

  115. Red Arse says:


    I thought you meant it took you all day to read the Post!

    That’s a relief. I have been trying to translate it into Polish for you.

    [Co za ulga. I starali się przełożyć je na język polski dla Ciebie.] 🙂

  116. RockyLives says:

    I knew you had many talents, but I didn’t realise that Pole Denouncing was one of them 🙂

  117. evonne says:

    ha ha ha ha, you never fail to cheer me up, do you RA?
    ‘I starali sie’ 🙂

    Actually, I do read slowly 🙂 But look, I was the only one that noticed the fatal mistake that Rocky made – over 3 weeks!!!!

  118. RockyLives says:

    maybe I wrote this Post two weeks ago 🙂

  119. Red Arse says:


    I will come clean.
    It was my wish to match make you and Rocky.

    You have admitted moving your lips while taking all day to read his Post, and Rocky has admitted he takes two weeks to write it, with his tongue sticking out.

    Imagine what wonderful kids you both would have.

    Ymmh whhaah hummbbbily! 🙂

  120. RockyLives says:

    I’m in 🙂

  121. evonne says:

    deal 🙂 🙂

  122. Red Arse says:

    Dirty devils!! 😀

  123. evonne says:

    I cannot believe Spurs are standing their ground and not selling Bale. Fair play to them, with the new stadium and arrival of Paulinho you’d think they’d want to cash in on the monkey, but clearly they are gunning for the top 4

  124. evonne says:

    aaaaa…Rocky got cold feet 🙂 Don’t worry, we can practise for a bit before we have those babies

  125. neamman says:

    Im amazed at the price, hes a 30 – 40MM player tops.

  126. evonne says:

    neamman – who? Bale?

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Shard, WATA, RA and Chary, great conversation. Thanks.

    Brilliantly summed up by our Kelsey: “One thing is for sure this isn’t .. …..” ROLF

  128. RockyLives says:

    Let’s call our firstborn RedArse

  129. evonne says:

    No, sorry Rocky. It’s DB10 or the deal is off 🙂

    Did I tell you that in fact I am expecting my first granddaughter? I probably did, but I am so happy that I will probably tell you again before 9th November 🙂

  130. Jamietheleftback says:

    Well, good post but I think we need an experienced goalkeeper like Cesar and we need a new right back, Sanga is overrated and had an awful season and same with Wilshire, infact our only players who had a DECENT season were: Koscielny, Mertesacker ( IN THE END!) Cazorla, Arteta.
    Some were alright, Gibbs, Podolski etc.

    If I have missed any out plz reply


  131. Jamietheleftback says:

    I think we need to involve The Ox more

  132. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, in truth Rocky that team…..actually that team minus Jack but including Rambo had a very good run at the end of last season, if we start as well as we finished there is no reason to believe we can’t.

    The missing ingredient is belief among the players themselves, they need to look around at each other and be able to trust each other. Maybe that’s what BSR have United a belief that they were now complete. Well maybe for us it’s Jack and its Ox reaching their potential.

    On the way home this evening John Cross was on TS (post 7pm it’s not too bad a broadcaster).

    Anyway they were talking about Reina going to Napoli, and my mouth dropped open when they revealed he is reportedly on around £100k a week!!!! Seriously football never ceases to amaze me….probably explains why we didnt land him a couple of seasons back, he would have been our highest paid player!

    Cross has been in Asia with Arsenal he seemed to think there were very strong noises that we would get Suarez, but also seemed to think as I believe RA mooted awhile back, that once Suarez starts upsetting the apple cart he will go for less than is currently offered as Rodgers will decide he can’t manage him. He also said it makes sense for the buyers whether us or Madrid to leave it until 2 Sept so we are not paying wages when he can’t play.

    I am not really for signing Suarez, I don’t like him…for numerous reasons. I would much prefer one of Wenger’sspecial purchases, for those who don’t think he can still find them you have to ask yourself why we were so upset to see players he signed get sold (Nasri, Cesc, BSR…….etc).

    Final thoughts for today:

    We sold Adebayor and Toure for down payments on our stadium.

    Spuds look likely to sell Bale for theirs.

    Who did the better business?

  133. RockyLives says:

    If we sign Suarez, do you think his song will be: “He is a cannibal – He plays for Arsenal…”?

  134. Gooner In Exile says:

    “He Eats When He Wants”

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky and GiE

    ROLFING my bloody socks off 🙂 🙂

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Let Rodgers and Pool stew until Sept is a cunning plan. As long as we’ve had a chat with his agent and ensured a bigger bung than RM for example, he’s ours for a bargain.

  137. kelsey says:

    If we sign Suarez the old familiar song wil be sung on the terraces.
    “same old Arsenal, always cheating ” 😉

  138. kelsey says:

    I like this bit of gossip.Ian holloway wants to bolster his attack at Crystal Palace by signing Chamakh or at least have him on loan.

    Sticking point is Palace players are on 10K a week and Chamakh is on 65K a week.

  139. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well £50k a week, but still a huge distance.

    Don’t think Palace will be doing much business as they will be using unexpected PL windfall and parachute payments into stabilising club finances. By all accounts new owners are more sensible than many and have decided the financial security that the step up to PL brings is more important than risking it all for survival….QPR. They will also learn lessons from QPR who are presently trying to off load way too many big money players.

  140. Gooner In Exile says:

    Actually thinking of QPR what do we think of Remy? Thought he showed good finishing skills.

  141. Morning all

    GiE – is there a post from you and GN5 today?

  142. evonne says:

    the most ridiculous gossip I read in my life:
    “Suarez apparently asked the Spanish speaking Arsenal figurehead (Arteta) for advice over which area his family should live in as well as the best schools for his children to attend. If the reports are accurate then it could only be a matter of time before Arsenal submit another bid.”

    I am surprised they did not report Suarez asking where he can have a bite to eat

    utter tosh

  143. LB says:


    You noticed and pointed out to us a few months back now that Liverpool had already spent the money from the sale of Suarez and I think you were right then and right now.

    I would add though that I think the deal is done – Suarez will be an Arsenal player.

    There is a pattern to this: the club never seem to announce a signing while a pre-season tour or tournament is taking place.

    My guess is that AW doesn’t like to disrupt what he is involved in.

    If you think about it, this makes sense; he would be trying to encourage all the players on the brink of breaking into the first team and the one thing that would crush their enthusiasm more than anything during such a tournament would be to find out that the club have signed an experienced player in their position.

    For what it is worth I would be very happy if he joined the club; he virtually guarantees 20 goals for us this coming season.

  144. LB says:

    A short comment on Chamakh: if Palace are prepared to pay 10k a week for him we would reduce our loss to 55k a week rather than losing 65k a week to have him sit on our bench.

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB I don’t think he guarantees anything. Don’t get me wrong I see his merits as a footballer but like Kelsey I wonder whether he really wants a move in the PL and would prefer Spain, and whether he will be too much to handle. Liverpool have given him endless support but he is prepared to turn his back on them.

    I think we will lose Cham somewhere eventually.

  146. Gooner In Exile says:

    Actually thinking on about the likes of Bendtner and Chamakh we Arsenal fans don’t help the issue constantly highlighting that they are not up to scratch…..maybe we should start a new method of helping our failures leave by singing their praises but just saying unfortunately they do not fit our style 🙂

    Peaches, you’re right, I’ve got it just needs fleshing.

  147. LB says:


    There is a slight contradiction there: why would Liverpool have spent the sale money from Suarez months ago, as you suggested, if they really wanted to keep him?

    I think they are sick to death of him and want rid.

    I agree that as a Spanish speaker he would naturally prefer Spain but he is not going to get a move to Real or Barcelona this season and all the rest would only be able to pay half the wages we can, so I think he has worked out that a couple of years with us might be the best way to get his dream move to Real in the future.

  148. LB says:

    Oo, and I do think that certain players guarantee a certain amount of goals and Suarez is one of those players.

  149. Gooner in Exile says:

    Sorry LB, i mean they want to sell him since his announcements during the Confederations Cup, but up until that point they had gave him unconditional support.

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi GiE
    Suarez is a definite 1stXI ‘er.
    Remy a squaddie 🙂

  151. kelsey says:


    did you understand the point about Chamakh to Palace 🙂

  152. kelsey says:

    Bendtner will be the hardest to get rid of. he most probably will sit his contract out, dropping his pants, smashing up fast cars and screwing the odd princess.

    Goood work if you can get it 🙂

  153. LB says:

    Morning Kelsey

    Err, did I miss something re Chamakh?

    I am confused, what was it?

  154. Rasp says:

    Remy is a very good finisher, he’s quick and can score from outside the box, we could do a lot worse. Certainly if Suarez and Soldado are pipe dreams, Remy would come close to the top of the list of other alternatives.

  155. Morning all

    Welcome back LB

    We have a New Post …………………….

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