Arsenal’s DM requirements.

I am going to call Arteta a DM, although while he does not fit my profile of a DM, I recognize that he did a great job for us, but, can he endure another long season?

Last season, I felt Coquelin was being groomed as first choice back-up. Now I learn the Fella has been shipped out on loan. I think signals can be read into this. What if Arteta were to sustain a long term nasty?

Two options.

First: No dedicated DM, rather a defensive midfield duo. Jack and Rambo, although I have to say that The Ox looked supremely comfortable there when asked to step in at the end of last season (can’t remember the game).

Second option:  We need a dedicated DM. Arsene is going shopping.

Noises surrounded Lars Bender earlier in the window, and I understand this, but inevitably, any purchase must fit in with the overall transfer budget, and therefore priorities must be addressed.

For me, a top class DM is THE priority, but it must be a player who adds a different dimension. In the same way that I prefer a Suarez “type” to a Higuain “type” to add real alternatives to Ollie, I feel a new DM should add height, on top of the usual attributes of mobility, intercerteptiness, tacklely, fearless and fightsome.

I’m not saying a great DM should necessarily be a Big ‘Un, but the height could add to both our defensive as well as offensive options.

In your opinion, where does a DM sit in your list of priorities?

Written by MickyDidIt

173 Responses to Arsenal’s DM requirements.

  1. Red Arse says:

    I hope you will allow me to post a comment that missed the cut, as it is relevant to the chat that consumed us this morning.

    — “Any purchases of players in this TW will come into next years accounts, and may indeed involve a staggered payment schedule.
    So, there will undoubtedly be an increase in sponsorship money available next year and the years after, and it is this that the club are no doubt relying on to fund, in part, the fee for Suarez and others.

    Every company uses ‘working capital to make the financial wheels turn, or even to allow a manageable accounts loss, so let’s not get too despondent about not having any money!!

    We can afford to buy. 🙂

  2. chas says:

    Nice post, Micky.

    Quick comment from me before I go out.
    I don’t think you can play with a dedicated DM in a 4-3-3 system.
    Double pivot, innit?

    But if we are going to buy one, then it sits second in my list of priorities behind a goal machine. 🙂

  3. Hartie says:

    Looks like we’re already having a look at one from South

  4. Red Arse says:

    I liked the Post, and share your concerns about Arteta, Micky.

    A good player who has done an excellent job for the gunners, but not really a DM, and I think tempus fugit will start to bear down on him sooner rather than later, sadly.

    I read this morning that we have a 20 year old Columbian defensive midfielder, Luis Perez (?) starting a week’s trial with us next Monday, with a view to a £5m permanent transfer.

    May be Arsene shares our concerns. Who knows? 🙂

  5. Just saw on Sky Sports that , Arsenal have signed Korean Midfielder Fu-Kin-No-Wan.
    Sheep Hagger ™

  6. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all.

    In answer to your final question Mickey, a long way behind the need for a 30 goal per season striker and a solid reliable ‘keeper.

    I think some are writing Arteta off a little too soon, there are options aplenty, should the Spaniard need resting, Wilshere, Ramsey, The Ox and why not Vermaelen? Oh! and don’t forget there is always Diaby, He’ll be just like a new signing. 🙂

  7. Macky says:

    DM Should be a top priority because we need a shield of some sort for the back four to break up opposition flair…we still need a goal poacher..these two positions are vital in our team.

  8. Gooner In Exile says:

    There is also Frimpong to at a proper break up role although he does not fulfil the height department, he certainly has a physical presence.

    Arteta has made a good DM because he reads the game well, and that’s half the battle, he doesn’t have to make late sliding tackles or have immense speed, if he is already a step ahead of the opposition he already has the battle won.

    This is similar in my view to goalies. Keepers that have to make a number of dramatic saves were probably badly positioned in the first place. Seaman wasn’t the best Arsenal goalkeeper because of performing constant heroics, he was our best goalkeeper because he very rarely got caught out of position and having to make the photo opportunity save.

  9. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Off subject for a moment.

    Good news for MotD viewers, the awful Mark Lawrenson has been dropped, BUT has been replacecd by even worse C List “celebrities” Robbie Fowler, Les Ferdinand and Robbie Savage.

    so we can look forward to evenings spent in the company of the man with ears the same shape and size as the handles on the FA Cup, the bloke proud to display his lobotmy scar on his forehead, the unspeakable ex striker from the North East and at least one of the three stooges mentioned above.

    Wont that be fun?

  10. Norfolk Gooner says:


    Seaman seldom caught out of position? Ask Nayim! 😀

  11. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky, the need for a strong DM is not going to be filled by a 20 year old Columbian this season (and probably not next either) but I agree it would provide a defensive shield.

    God forbid Per or kozzer get injured because that would leave Sagna as our other CB option and although he’s good, can we rely on Sagna and Jenks staying fit?

    If money was no option, we’d reinforce spine of the team and bring in a GK, CB, DM and striker – most will disagree on priority but I guess a DM would be wisest if we are not to get a GK or CB

  12. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Has Vermaelen left the building Rasp?

  13. Rasp says:

    Hi NG, he’s injured at the moment and who knows whether he will regain his form and confidence. I like him as a man and his first 2 years with us were pretty good. We have sent Djourou out on loan so unless Miquel has been elevated we are a CB short and one injured.

  14. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Mickey,….and Ronaldinho 2002 World Cup qualifier.

  15. Gooner In Exile says:

    Norfolk, as I said rarely….and anyway he was in the right position when Nayim had that ball, as he was for Robaldinho, in both instances a bit of individual brilliance meant that the 1 in a 100 option was taken by the attacker.

  16. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp I know you have promoted the need for a CB, hard to disagree when looking at the group of 4 especially with Verm injured but I guess Arsene is planning Bacary as back up there?

  17. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, yes I read that Arsene had identified BS as a stand in CB and I think he’s very good in the role – but that then means we are relying on Jenks staying fit at RB

  18. Norfol Gooner says:


    There’s no denying that Seaman was a very good ‘keeper, as to his positioning, particularly for the Nayim goal, we must agree to differ.

  19. kelsey says:

    I know I appear to pick bones alot of the time but Arteta did a stirling job for us last season but he isn’t getting any younger and is sometimes off the pace and especially at Everton had quite a lot of injuries.
    He more than anyone tends to give away free kicks in dangerous areas,either because he is not timing the tackles correctly or because of age. We certainly need a back up. Frimpong is a liability at the moment as one always gets the impression he will get red carded when he plays.

  20. Shard says:

    Now that Aneke is heading out on loan, we know he’ll not be filling in at DM for us. That leaves Frimpong. I doubt he’ll be getting a go there, and I don’t think he’s good enough. I’m fairly sure we’re looking to bring in a DM. I still like Coquelin, and I think he could still be a long term option. So I don’t know whether we’ll be looking to buy an established DM in the 25-28 range, or someone in the 20-23 age range. I suspect it’ll be the latter.

    I actually think a DM sould be a priority at least on par with a striker. We have a lot of midfield options, especially if you include the youth, but Wilshere, Rosicky, Diaby, and even Arteta are all injury hazards to some extent. If we can get a winger, or promote one of Ryo or Gnabry, we can move Podolski to striker which’ll mean we’ll have Giroud, Podolski, (occasionally Walcott) Sanogo and Akpom as options at striker too.

    What I’m saying, in a roundabout way, is that I think both DM and striker are essential, but if I had to pick one, I think I’d just about go for a DM.

    If you give me the option of it being a DM who can also fill in at CB, then that is the best option.

  21. Hello all,

    amidst the furore concerning the Chomper(or any other striker we get in) our need for a back up for Arteta has been forgotten so thank you MDi89 for pointing it out.

    Of course we ned another DM to rotate Arteta and stop him having to play in the red zone otherwise a long injury lay off could result.

    Just following Wenger’s presser and he has come ut with this one of his standard quips/cliches “Our young players are on the way up. They have experience in the Premier League and they will be better”.


    Excuse me, the young players in EVERY other team will be better also – how do we then hold any advantage over them ? This just preserves the stauts quo and won’t help us improve.

    I wish he wouldn’t say stuff like that as it just gives his detractors more fuel for their fire.

    Oh, and Vermaelen is out for 6 weeks – so Sagna at CB anyone ? That’s what will happen if Per or Kozzer get injured before October.


  22. Gooner In Exile says:

    I suppose one question is as Chas said earlier do we need a DM…..if we play a true 4-3-3 there surely isn’t as much need for the wing backs to join in, if the wing backs don’t join in surely 4 on 2/3 with midfielders tracking back is enough to deal with most opponents. However if we are going to continue committing men forward then yes a DM is necessary.

    Kelsey I’m going to dig out some stats on Arteta but I think that he was sensible enough to give free kicks away far enough from goal when he did foul….I think there were others more likely to foul in silly areas, one of the worst offenders in this regard was Vermaelen.

  23. Another pearl from the press conference: “If you can give me names better than the players we have, I am ready to talk about it.”

    Double face-palm !

    Seems to me Wenger is digging his heels in about not spending.

    It’s looking more and more like we have concluded our transfer business for the summer (barring any further departures, eg Geronimo).

  24. kelsey says:

    I agree with both posts chary.

    All this bolloxs about improving from the end of may until the middle of August wilst yentzing in puerto banus.

    Yes GIE, vermaelen and Kos as well but to me Arteta is the worst. Vermaelen seemed to do this more when he lost his form,and Kos before he became a powerhousee.

    Latest rumour is that Gazidis and Wenger have fallen out about spending or not, who knows.At least we are always in the limelight.

  25. It really doesn’t look that good at this point in time does it Kelsey ?

    With just a fortnight till the season kicks off we are dangerously thin squad wise in many areas, except perhaps up front if we intend to use NB52 and Chamakh, lmao.

  26. LB says:

    Still find it hard to believe that Fellaini will be an Everton player at the beginning of the season.

  27. LB says:


    What does this mean? Is it verb? Is alcohol involved?

  28. Actually, I may have to back peddle about the “Wenger not buying” bit as Wenger has said he wants to sign the Chomper: “We want to [sign the player] if it is feasible in an amicable way.”

  29. Shard says:

    The only interest I have in Wenger’s statements are those that he doesn’t make every time. These standard quotes about young players improving etc don’t mean anything in my view, although I completely understand why people worry about them.

    What I found interesting was that Arsene apparently spoke about Luis Suarez. And said Arsenal are working hard not just on him, but other signings.

    Now the last part of that is what he’d say anyway, but to specifically speak about Suarez is something you wouldn’t normally expect Wenger to do. Of course, he said he didn’t want to speak about him, while doing so 🙂

    “I don’t want to speak about Suárez because that’s between Liverpool and Arsenal,” Wenger told a news conference on Friday ahead of this weekend’s Emirates Cup.
    “We will completely respect what Liverpool want to do – [and] we want to do that in an amicable way if it’s feasible.
    “I’m a great believer that you have to keep as much confidentiality as possible and that is quite difficult in the modern world.
    “We work very hard not only on the case you named [Suárez] but other different cases.”

    And Wenger admits that the controversial forward would have to fully respect the “values” of the north London club should he join the Gunners this summer.
    “We have values that we want our players to respect, no matter where they come from,” he continued. “We will of course be very tough on that.
    “This club has built a reputation, not only during my period here, but during 130 years – and the values that are very important for this club have to be respected by every player, no matter where he comes from. That will be the case with every potential signing.”

  30. Shard says:

    Liverpool have triggered the release clause of Douglas Costa from Atletico Madrid, at around 22m pounds. They are adamant that this doesn’t mean they are going to sell Suarez. I’m not so sure that is the truth.

  31. Shard, you can see the tabloid headlines now “Wenger lays down the law before Saurez arrives”.

  32. Shard says:

    (Dick) Law paves the way for Wenger to lay the law down to Suarez

    At which point Luis becomes a Priest fan and starts ‘Breaking the Law’

  33. Ha ha Shard – didn’t think of it that way, Saurez can definitely say if he doesn’t get CL football:
    “I’ve had every promise broken, there’s anger in my heart”

  34. Shard says:

    Liverpool say Suarez is going to Costa lot more

    Man, I should have been a headline writer for the trash rags.

  35. Shard says:

    So much for the golden future, I can’t even start
    I’ve had every promise broken, there’s anger in my heart
    You don’t know what it’s like, you don’t have a clue
    If you did you’d find yourselves doing the same thing too

    Breaking the law, breaking the law

    That’s Suarez’s “hi guys” letter right there Chary 🙂

  36. That’s what I thought Shard, his calling card as it were.

  37. Shard says:

    And we’re being linked with Luiz Gustavo of Bayern Munich. Is Luis the new Emmanuel?

  38. evonne says:

    GiE – did you read comment addressed to you, last of the morning session?

  39. kelsey says:


    ask peaches what yentzing means 🙂

  40. RockyLives says:

    OK, lots to discuss. First – today’s Post.

    Very well argued, although I would still put the need for a 30-goal-a-season striker ahead of a DM (and, as you rightly say, a striker who complements Ollie’s skills rather than mirrors them).

    Arteta was our player of the season for me last year and there’s no reason to believe his form will plummet in the season ahead.

    This young South American DM who is having a trial with us at the moment could also be interesting and may be the answer.

    Rasp says that – at 20 – the lad is too young to be considered for the first team squad this year or possibly even next. Thank goodness Rasp was not in charge of team selection when a certain 20-year-old midfielder called Patrick Vieira joined us in 1996 🙂

    Which brings me on to Rasp, and yesterday’s Post.

    Earlier this morning you seemed to think your Post had caused extreme reactions on the blog. I have to say I’m baffled by this. Yesterday’s was a brilliant day’s blogging with lots of great points made, representing a wide range of views.

    Yes, there was a little bit of tetchiness late last night but so what? Blogging is a relatively uncontrolled medium (all the better for it) so you’re always going to get a few frayed tempers. But to write off the other 99% of yesterday’s blogging seems (I humbly suggest) a bit of an over-reaction and a bit of a slap to the people who spent the day blogging sensibly with each other.

    Anyway, enough said. It was one of the best ‘discussion’ Posts of the summer.

    Now to Shard… I think I’ll do that in another comment box…

  41. RockyLives says:

    Shard wrote a comment late yesterday that was a brilliant ‘leveller’ in the debate about whether Arsenal have or have not been competitive since the stadium move.

    We hear plenty of voices saying how rubbish we’ve been, but not many pointing to the positive achievements of that period.

    I’m going to copy it below, but Rasp/Peaches: can I suggest that you run Shard’s comment as a Headline Post? Up to you, of course, but it’s well written, factual and interesting.

    Anyway, here’s what Shard said:

    “2006- Scraped 4th with players like Henry, Pires and Gilberto in the team, apart from a young Cesc and RVP. Reached CL final to lose to 2 errors by 2 goalkeepers, and one error by the linesman. (I didn’t expect us to win. It just didn’t feel like it was our time yet) Also reached SF of League Cup.

    2007- Sold Pires, Henry basically out of the team. Finished 4th, and reached the final of the CC with kids, who nearly defeated Drogba’s Chelsea.

    2008- Sold Henry, but team largely stable. Should have won the title. Robbed by referees, and by our 2nd leg break in as many years.

    2009- Hleb gone. Flamini gone. Rosicky out. New rebuilding job.4th. SF of FA Cup. SF of CL.

    2010- Lost Adebayor and Toure. Finished 3rd but for a while looked like we could win the league.

    2011- Stable team. In a chance for all 4 competitions. Refs kept screwing us in the league. Ref screwed us in the CL with the red (and Bendtner missed his chance) ‘Fans’ such as the AST turned on the team mid-season, and the team eventually gave up on itself.

    2012- Fabregas, Nasri gone. Rebuilding required. Accusations of a one man team (when earlier accusation was what Arsenal lack is a 30goal striker) Finished 3rd.

    2013- Further destabilisation by said one man. But brought in good players to replace him by sharing the load (and now accusations again of lacking a 30goal striker) Finsihed 4th

    2014- Stable squad. The last time we had that was going into 2007-08, and 2010-11. Both seasons we genuinely challenged. It is underestimated how much a stable squad means. Still, the critics will point to no trophies (when they claim they want us to challenge that’s all) We fell short. Due to various reasons. Some of our own doing, some not.

    It’s become accepted fact that Arsenal don’t even challenge for trophies. That is simply not true. In these 8 years, we’ve had CL final and SF. League CUp Finals and SF. FA Cup SF, and been trumped in the league twice or thrice by not as big a margin as is generally thought. Those that claim that all they want is for Arsenal to challenge and are upset because we don’t aren’t really talking facts. We’ve challenged a plenty despite building the stadium and paying it off. We’ve just not gotten over the line. Also. We’ve not challenged in the transfer market, which is where this perception comes from. No one cares about the game anymore. It’s the show that everyone is dazzled by.

    Do I think we should strengthen? Yes. Do I think we will? Yes. Do I think we’ll challenge next season? Yes.”

  42. RockyLives says:

    Thankyou for your explanation of where any summer spend will likely sit in the club’s accounts. very helpful, and left me feeling positive.

    Wenger’s decision to confirm today that we are in for Suarez was no accidental or off-the-cuff remark. There is real traction to this story and I now fancy we’ll get the biter after all.

  43. RockyLives says:

    Three and out – bloggus farticus 😀

  44. Red Arse says:


    Are you suggesting we should all stop kvetching and start yentzing? 🙂

  45. RockyLives says:

    Isn’t ‘yentzing’ a river in China?

  46. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocker, 🙂

    I agree with you about Shard’s comment on Arsenal’s recent history of near misses which could so easily have gone the other way and given us a very creditable bunch of trophies, but what would the moaning minnies have done then?

  47. Ha Ha Redders, you are Maggie Thatcher re-incarnated !

  48. Red Arse says:

    You are right, again, Rocky, I seem to remember The Yentzing Incident where British sailors were having sex with Juicy Lucy all the way down the river.

  49. RockyLives says:

    Smudger Smith just as upbeat as ever in his assessment for our coming season:


    Like a grieving widow, Arsenal are still trying to get over the loss of RVP to rivals Manchester United last summer. The club are attempting to nab Luis Suarez from Liverpool and I’m sure they’ll get a bite sooner or later. Luis did claim not so long ago that he was keen to get away from the nasty British press so a move to London seems the ideal choice. It’s a bold move from the Gunners and there is a danger that having Suarez at the club will cause problems. Still, there’s plenty for Arsenal fans to be excited about this year.

    Last season: 4th. Prediction for this season: 4th.”

  50. Red Arse says:

    Am I, CharyB, why is that?

  51. RockyLives says:

    “like a grieving widow”

    Is he serious?

    Are any of us grieving for Brave Sir Robin? Not me.

  52. RockyLives says:

    I think he’s spotted your handbag 🙂

  53. Redders, your use of the phrase “moaning minnies” first popularised by the Blessed Thatch herself way back in the ’70s. 🙂

  54. kelsey says:

    Well RA everything else seems to be fecked up 🙂

  55. GunnerN5 says:


    I’ve just sent a new post to Arsenal.nuts.

  56. Red Arse says:


    And there was me thinking it was a WW2 term used to describe the sound of an air raid siren which moaned — bit like bloggers in 2013! 🙂

  57. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne just went back and read it £500k a week sounds a lot, well it’s £25milllion so it is a lot, considering our wage bill was £150m in 11-12 when all the players who have left were present. So do we think Arshavin and the other players above accounted for 17% of the Wages? Seems a lot but maybe right.

  58. It may well be an air raid siren noise too Redders, but I first heard it used by the Thatch when I were a lad.

    I haven’t heard that phrase used for over 30 years and it gave me cause to let out a wry chuckle.

  59. Red Arse says:

    Arsene sounds quite upbeat in his latest interview,

    ““We have signed Sanogo, he has not made the headlines. Why? Because he is not £50m to £100million, but I am quite confident he will make them soon on the pitch, and that for me is the most important,” the Arsenal boss said.

    “We can still strengthen the squad, there is one month to go. We are at the beginning of August, the transfer window finishes on August 31 (Sept 2).

    “We are working very hard to strengthen our squad.”

    Wenger added: “I am confident. You look at many teams around us. Nothing has happened until now. This team with financial potential as well.

    “At the moment the market hasn’t moved a lot. Apart from Man City, nobody has done anything.”

    Despite the clamour for him to raid the Emirates Stadium war chest, said to be the best part of £100m, Wenger remains “pretty relaxed” about the whole situation.

    “I always try to make the decision I feel is right for the club,” he said.

    “That doesn’t mean I always manage to do it, but I work with that conscience.

    “If you say we are under pressure to spend money then yes we are, but I feel more under pressure to spend the money in the right way. That is what I will try to do.”

    Wenger revealed Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla, who missed the Asia Tourafter playing at the Confederations Cup, and Sanogo would get some game time over the weekend, with Sunday’s friendly against Galatasaray.

    Defender Nacho Monreal is set to return to training on Monday, while club captain Thomas Vermaelen continues his rehabilitation from a stress fracture in his back which is expected to take around six more weeks

    Well we were asking for some clarification from the boss and we have now got it.

  60. Red Arse says:


    I must have heard it used somewhere more recently, and because it is alliterative it just stuck.

    I know nothing about Mrs Thatcher’s sayings, but until I looked it up, I knew nothing about it being used about sirens either! 🙂

  61. RockyLives says:

    So is it a reference to WW2 sirens? I always imagined Thatch had coined it herself.

  62. Thanks for the post, MDI89, replacing Vieira and Gilberto has been one of our achillies heels, and hasn’t properly been addressed for some time.
    Hi RockyLives, I did indeed read Shard’s comment regarding our challenge for trophies, which proves that it’s all about perception.
    2007 – We didn’t ‘nearly’ beat Drogba’s Chelsea in the CC final, they let us play a while and then over-powered us, as they did for years against Drogba and Chelsea.
    2008 – Without doubt our unluckiest season with Eduardo’s leg-break and the melt-down at Birmingham. It all escalated downhill from that game, but definitely the work of dark external forces.
    2009 – SF of both FA Cup and CL. Seriously? Does that qualify as competing? Arsenal don’t beat big sides when there’s something resting on the game. I knew we wouldn’t get the better of Hiddink’s Chelsea, we’re not savvy enough. As for the CL semi-final, men against boys. If that semi-final proved anything, it was that Arsenal and MU are miles apart in philosophy, and Arsenal are a long long way behind them in terms of quality.
    2010 – Looked like we could win it for a while…until the business end of the season came round.
    2011 – Glossed over the complacency and the lack of passion that handed Birmingham the CC Cup, I see. Unlucky against Barcelona, but again poor team attitude meant we were left playing the season out going nowhere. In fact our run-in was so poor, MC came from nowhere as we gifted them third place.
    2012 – our biggest humiliation in living memory at OT. We were never in the title race, nor in the mix for CL success. Not us, despite having had a much bigger head-start, we’d rather Chelsea were the first London club to win the European Cup.
    2013 – We bought adequate players to replace our last remaining world-class player, and fourth place target was hit. Never in serious contention for the four competitions we entered.
    If you consider that to be seriously contending for trophies, you have considerably lower expectations than me.

  63. Shard says:

    Wow.. Rocky deeming my comment worthy enough to post it again. That’s high praise indeed. Thank you.

    RL and RA. Are you both referring to the Yangtse River?

    To add to Smudger Smith’s suggestions, Ian Wright is at it again, saying that Gerrard has a point about why Suarez should move to Arsenal, and throws out the 8 years without a trophy live, only 4th place line, and says who would Suarez be excited about playing with. He says he’d love Arsenal to sign Suarez and then says,

    “But they’re running out of time and I don’t think, at the moment, they’ve got the ability to attract those players because they haven’t won anything in such a long time. This is why Arsenal are in serious trouble right now.
    “I would like to see them go as far as they can to get Suarez, but they can’t just buy him and not replenish the rest of the team. I think they need a goalkeeper, two centre-halves, two full-backs – for both left-back and right-back positions – another midfielder and two strikers.
    “It doesn’t make sense buying Suarez for that money and not backing it up with other signings of the same stature.”

    So that’s 8 signings of Suarez’s stature that Arsenal need, but are in big trouble because they can’t attract these names. He’d love Suarez to sign for Arsenal but says “But if I was Suarez, when you look at everything, it does seem strange he would want to go to Arsenal. I would give Liverpool another season.”

    Compare that to all the ex-Liverpool players showing outrage at Arsenal daring to bid for one of their players. Why are our former players such sad gits?

  64. RockyLives says:

    Hi WATA
    I understand your interpretation of our performance over those years, but my interpretation is closer to Shard’s. Agree to differ, I guess…

  65. Irishgunner says:

    Evening Guys,

    Just popping in to say “hello” and I’ll be at the Tavern at 1 tomorrow if anyone is around pre the Napoli game. Hope to see Evonne there anyway 🙂

    Gotta go pack and head to the airport.

  66. Shard says:

    Aahh WATA. So reaching a final in 2007 is not competing because we were ‘overpowered’ in the end? I’m sure they let us play for a while out of the goodness of their hearts. Arsen’t you just proving my point about how the complaint is about the result rather than the lack of challenge?

    As for the 2011 final. Szcz shoul have been more passionate about cuddling the ball. And Koscielny could have been more passionate about kicking the ball. Or maybe you should be less passionate and accept that bad things happen. In any case. That is besides the point. My post meant to show that it is not true that Arsenal haven’t challenged at all. It’s been less frequent than we’d like. The result has surely not been what we’d like. But we have challenged, and in some cases, deserved to win.

    I didn’t ‘gloss over’ anything. As I said, it was a comment to show that the people taking about not competing are complaining not because of that. If you never believed in your team winning that doesn’t mean they weren’t competing. They quite clearly were in contention. People are complaining because we didn’t get over the line. Which is fair enough. But call it like it is, instead of the we just want Arsenal to compete line. But that won’t happen because nobody wants to be accused of being a ‘glory hunter’. It’s easier to portray things a certain way, and since it can’t be their fault for feeling let down, the other option is to highlight every flaw – whether real or imagined – in the functioning of the club, and externalising the problem.

    WHich brings me to the ‘show some ambition’ line. If Wenger had spent 50m on players in 2010-11 (regardless of whether we could afford them or not), and still finished exactly where we did, would you say we showed ambition and competed? My guess is, you would. Which was my other point. Nobody cares what is done on the field anymore. That doesn’t signal intent, or having challenged. Only buying players for mega bucks does that apparently. The sideshow has overtaken the main event for so many people.

  67. Shard says:

    PS. I also wanted to highlight the importance of having a stable squad with few disruptions, and how it can be inferred that the years we kept our squad settled, we tended to challenge better.

  68. Red Arse says:


    Moaning Minnies was just a phrase that sprang to mind as I typed – as is the way with these things.

    Because of CharyB’s comment I looked it up (I was sure Mrs Thatcher had nothing to do with it, unless it was subliminal) 🙂 and I decided to look the term up.

    Apparently, it was first used in 1876, albeit in French, as it was the sad sighing noise made by a certain type of bullet (minie).

    Again in WW1 it was ‘verbally’ used by Yankee Doodles to describe the sound of certain German munitions, but there was no written confirmation.

    Then in WW2 it was apparently used to describe the wailing sound of sirens, and also the noise certain German dive bombers made when dropping bombs, as well as the noise batteries of rockets used by both the German and Russian armies made.

    It was only a ‘speed read’ as I was puzzled by what CharyB said, so the above is a loose summary of what I read. 🙂

    Do not ask me any more questions, or I will sit on you!! 😀

  69. Norfol Gooner says:

    The term “Moaning Minnie” was certainly used by Margaret Thatcher and may have been used during WW11 to describe the air raid sirens, but it was first used as the name given, by British troops, to the Minenwerfer, literally Mine Thrower, a trench mortar introduced by the German Army during the winter of 1916/17 on the Western Front.

  70. Red Arse says:


    Rocky and I were only joshing about a yiddish word ‘yentzing’ used by Kelsey, and pretended to misunderstand its meaning (altho’ with Rocky you never know – ex-journalist, you know).

    The Yangtse is the name of the Chinese river, and not the Yentzing which refers to having sex. 🙂

  71. RockyLives says:

    Well, I had no idea that ‘moaning minnie’ had such an exotic history!

    Why do you keep threatening to sit on me? Have you been reading 50 Shades of Grey?

  72. RockyLives says:

    Too late Norfolk 🙂

    Redders has already traced the term back to 1876!

    I might have a dig around myself and see if I can get it back to the Napoleonic Wars 🙂

  73. Hi Shard, if Wenger spent £50m on players in 2010/11 – never likely to happen – to still finish exactly where we did, I’d feel pretty much as I do now. We’re the biggest club he has managed, sadly he isn’t the elite manager many like to profess.
    Let me ask you this, Shard, or anyone who can offer a reasonable explanation.
    After the CL 2nd leg semi-final at The Emirates in 2009, what do you think Arsene Wenger learnt from that game? Do you think he saw the huge gulf in quality that was so glaringly obvious to the rest of the watching world? Because within the time-frame of just 16 months, we went from that CL football lesson, to that dark day in August 2011, which showed we had learnt nothing, only that we were even further behind them.
    If our manager is the all-knowing visionary tactician many would have us believe, how or why did we fall so dramatically in such a short space of time?

  74. Red Arse says:

    Shard, I have responded to your question at 4:17, but it has thrown me into ‘moderation’.

    Yanqui discrimination!! 🙂

  75. Red Arse says:

    Anyone who bugs me is punished by having c 19 stone deposited on their person when next we meet.

    It means I do not get arrested for overt physical retribution, but ensures the culprit is adequately chastised!! 😀

    Many have been threatened with the said retribution, but I usually relent when I remember I like the culprit! 🙂

  76. Shard says:


    I’m sorry. I’m not feeling up to debating under constantly changing parameters. I thought what we were discussing was whether Arsenal challenged for trophies or not, and that my contention was that we have been challenging, on and off, and the the real cause of complaint is that we didn’t end up winning.

    Whether Wenger is an ‘elite manager’, learned anything, or why we haven’t closed the gap, is beyond that discussion, and ironically has an answer (of sorts) that lies beyond the boundaries you’d be willing to accept. So let’s just leave it at that for now, shall we?

  77. Red Arse says:

    Hi WATA, 🙂

    You know I have a respect for your opinions, even if I do not agree with all of them.

    But please, for everyone’s benefit, lighten up, and change the topic, because the impression you are giving to many on AA is one of unrelenting criticism, which is no fun, and some regulars, as you must know, find it very provocative.

    Anyway, you must choose to engage in less controversial topics, or not, as you wish, but the current thread is not very productive — for anyone.

  78. Red Arse says:

    Is Norfol Gooner at 4:56 the same well loved and admired blogger known as Norfolk Gooner? 🙂

  79. That was the discussion Shard, our perceived reflections on whether or not we have seriously challenged, which we’ll have to agree to disagree.
    The follow up was just a question that you can offer an explanation or not. And with respect, if it’s a truthful, honest appraisal, why would I have a problem with it?

  80. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rocky, Sorry but the Napoleonic wars wont do.

    The original Moaning Minnie was a Roman traitor named Marcellus Mineaes. He was forced to jump from The Tarpeian Rock in the third century BC. His screams of terror were muffled, to “an unearthly moaning”, by the end of his toga which was forced into his mouth by his executioner.

    RA yep it is I. A thunder storm forced my PC to shut down, and in my anxiety I missed the all important k.

  81. Hi Red Arse, yes it is criticism of the highest order, and I don’t expect everyone to agree with my view, I was merely responding to RockyLives who re-produced a point Shard made during the early morning banter, which was in response to my perception that we don’t properly challenge.
    Shard then responded to my reply, to which I had to answer, and not in anyway intended to ruin your day’s blogging, so apologies if that’s the case 🙂

  82. RockyLives says:

    Excellent – we all seem to be agreeing to disagree in a most convivial manner 😀

    Norfolk 😀
    It’ll have to be the ancient Greeks then…

  83. Red Arse says:


    I am worried about your prolonged absence searching for the reference to Moaning Minnies.

    Here’s the reference I found, not that any of them, or Mrs Thatcher was in my mind when I used the term today!! 😀

    “In 1847, (even earlier than I thought) 🙂 Claude Étienne Minié, a captain in the French Army, introduced a soft lead bullet which came to be known as the Minié (or minnie) ball (or bullet). These bullets were distorted by the action of firing them from a rifle, causing them to whirr in flight, and make a moaning sound.
    There are many references to minnie balls in print in the second half of the 19th century. None of them included any mention of moaning, or moaning minnie, and this is unlikely to be the source of the term.

    Moaning Minnie:- In WWI the German Army used a type of trench mortar called a Minenwerfer. This was nicknamed the ‘minnie’ by the Allied forces. The first record in print of it being called that is in the book “From the Fire Step” – a WWI memoir by the American soldier and author Arthur Guy Empey, published in 1917:

    He wrote: “A German ‘Minnie’ (trench mortar) had exploded in the next traverse.”

    We don’t find any mention of Moaning Minnies during WWI, although a similar term – Mournful Mary (or Maria) was coined then as the name of a type of siren.

    This is cited in the US newspaper The Independent, June 1918:
    They wrote:-
    “The sentry… sounds ‘Mournful Mary,’ a siren with a sob in her voice.”

    This is further defined in Fraser and Gibbons’ Soldier & Sailor Words, 1925:

    “Mournful Maria, a nickname given to the Dunkirk siren, employed to give warning of enemy air attacks and long range shelling.”

    Despite all of the above, which seem not too far distant from Moaning Minnie, and the fact that it is widely thought to be a WWI term, there are no printed citations of the term until WWII.
    If it really were a WWI term the huge amount of printed records and reminiscences of the war would surely have turned up at least one reference to it.
    It turns out that the first known record of it dates from WWII and relates to an air-raid siren.

    That was in the novel by the English writer Robert Greenwood – “Mr. Bunting in Peace and War”, in 1941:
    He wrote:-
    ‘One up now,’ said Chris, listening to the drone of an engine. ‘Hope Moaning Minnie doesn’t sound, and bring mother downstairs.’

    Soon after that come references to the German Nebelwerfer mortar. These were widely used by German forces in WWII and the loud screeching sound of their shells prompted US and UK soldiers to give the mortar various nicknames, including Moaning Minnie.
    These were recorded in a piece in The New York Herald Tribune, in February 1945:
    They wrote:-
    “The nebelwerfer is a six-barreled projector firing six-inch rockets… The rockets, not very accurate, are variously called ‘screaming meemies’ and ‘Moaning Minnies’, but, like most Army slang terms, these names are also applied to other enemy explosives.”

    The term was also in use to denote the mortar, not later than April 1944, when it was referred to in Hutchinson’s Pictorial History of War:

    “When the Germans beat a hasty retreat from Cagny among the material they abandoned was this multiple mortar, or ‘Moaning Minnie’.”

    Thatcher the Snatcher of Moaning Minnies! 🙂 As a child and as a young adult she may well have become familiar with the term used at that time.

    OK, come back Rocket, aka Moaning Minnie. 😀

  84. Red Arse says:


    You did not ruin my blogging, I was more concerned for your enjoyment on the site, for the reasons I gave! 🙂

  85. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rocky, I’m researching an early civilisation that existed on the planet Mars, it died out about half a million years before the planet became uninhabitable due to severe global warming brought about by all the hot air prioduced on a website called called Munitions Store Munitions Store, an early forerunner of Arsenal Arsenal. 😀

  86. Red Arse says:

    I did not want to use my trump card this early in the piece, Rocky and Norfolk, but the real instigator of the name was Adam.

    He was minding his own business in the Garden of Eden (east of Suez) when Eve started to drive him bonkers with ‘do this, do that, and have you shaved this morning”, and so on, so he turned to her and yelled, “Stop being a bloody Moaning Minnie” and with that she stormed off in a huff and took a huge bite of the apple.

    And the rest is history — just ask Evonne!! 😀

  87. RockyLives says:

    I suspect the sound of the universe bursting into existence and exploding apart in the first microseconds after the Big Bang prompted God to say “what a bloody moaning mini (universe)”.

  88. Shard says:

    ok WATA

    About the 8-2 loss. I don’t really think of it as a terrible performance. I lived through the 6-1 all those years ago, and that was by far the worse of the two performances. Remember that the score was 3-1, and that Van Persie had also missed a penalty (the treacherous skunk) at 1-0 I think.

    AT 3-1, Wenger took off Francis Coquelin and brought on Chamberlain. Why? Because he did not want to lose that game. In other words, he showed some ambition.He went for it. You can criticise that if you like, but I won’t.

    It was a game where Young and Rooney just scored some goals they are unlikely to score again. Certainly not many more. Their shooting percentages of that game were the sort that even Messi would dream about having. Everything they touched just turned to gold. It was a perfect storm. But it wasn’t as dark a day, performance wise, as you suggest.

    The starting teams 2009 to 2011.

    Almunia – Szczesny
    Sagna – Jenkinson
    Toure – Koscielny
    Djourou- Djourou
    Gibbs – Traore
    Fabregas- Ramsey
    Van Persie-Van Persie

    3 players were common to both teams. Do you think that sort of squad overhaul would not affect teams? In the short space of ‘just 16 months’ , as you yourself put it? And It’s not like those squad moves were entirely down to the manager’s wishes either.

    And yet, this has happened to Arsenal numerous times in these 8 years. The breakup of the Invincibles started in 2005 with Vieira, and was pretty much confirmed by the time Henry left. Gilberto and Toure remained but it was a new team. in 2008-09, with 3/4ths of our midfield changed, it was another new team. Following which we lost our 30 goal striker Adebayor and Toure. However, the team stayed largely stable. Then came that team’s chance at glory, which they fell short of. Following which, within 2 years, that team has completely changed as well. We haven’t had the same team for a period longer than 2 years really. And yet the manager has cobbled together enough to get us CL, and also challenge intermittently in the interim. Elite? I don’t know what that means. I don’t care. I know that Arsene Wenger is a fantastic manager, and it is not unfair to say that many, even more celebrated, managers would have failed to do what he has done (including putting the good of the club ahead of their personal glory), or would have walked away to utilise their reputation to gain employment elsewhere. Arsenal are lucky to have him at the helm. Sadly, some will not recognise that because they don’t have everything they dream of.

  89. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, Norfolk.

    This reference to little green men is, of course, true, but it is well known that before the great drought, they had a penchant for cheese, and often popped over to the moon to get some from the cheese mines.

    The term you are confusing with Moaning Minnies, is understandable, but wrong, because they were actually called Mining Mooners!

    QED 😀

  90. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Dictionary definition…Morning Minger…overnight companion who doesn’t look half as good as she did the night before.

    And with that I’m off out for dinner, with my very own Eve. 😀

  91. Shard says:

    ANd with that..I’m off for a bit.. RA, I’ll come back to see if you can give me a proper answer.You know, one that I can understand. 🙂

  92. Gooner In Exile says:

    I think I have the most recent definition of a Moaning Minnie 😀

  93. OMGArsenal says:

    I heard a story that the term ¨moaning minnie¨ came from an incident during the first ever Association Football rules match played in Birmingham where a young lady spectator accidentally sat on a splinter protruding from the stands and whose moaning was heard above the referees whistle!

  94. There’s a big difference between moaning and expecting one of the world’s biggest football club’s to perform better, Gooner In Exile.
    Your maths this morning didn’t really explain how Norwich, Swansea, Cardiff, Aston Villa etc can bring in players, but Arsenal can’t. Every club has operating costs, what a lot of them don’t have is the same stature or resources that we do.

  95. Rasp says:

    Hi WATA, folks are just having fun with the derivation of ‘moaning minnie’ they’ve moved on from the earlier debate.

    Rocky: thanks, I read your comment earlier. I shall continue to do it the Rasp way then 😀

    Shard: you’ve placed some excellent comments these last few days, I’m going to get my PA to see if she can knit them into a post 😉

    Redders: your diplomacy skills make Henry Kissinger look like a novice 🙂

  96. kelsey says:

    The question is, does our manager and board want another season fighting off Spurs, Liverpool etc or do we finally want to start closing the gap to City, Chelsea and United?

    Watch this space.

  97. jnyc says:

    I hope we really are working on some things. I dont want to have to talk about our exhausted midfield——( aging arteta rosicky, injury prone jack)or anemic scoring, or God forbid something happens to per or kos– let alone getting a match rest. or talking about a twenty year old in a super important position like dm. —
    – i thought early on that 19 mil bid for bender was serious. But now we know illaramendi went in mid 30’s. Same for javi martinez last year.
    — we must adjust to the real world of big clubs and what it takes to keep up. Or just admit we are not trying to be a big club. We barely stayed in champs league the past few seasons. Its a thin line we are walking. Maybe a tightrope.

  98. RockyLives says:

    Can I stop watching yet?
    My eyes are hurting…


  99. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bloody hell people are sensitive, I was talking about my wife being shocked that I couldn’t do all she does in a day and look after George. But then she doesn’t care about the Ashes…what did she expect?

  100. GunnerN5 says:

    I can attest that the article below is 100% accurate because I listened to it on


    Arsene Wenger has said Real Madrid’s proposed €100 million transfer of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale makes a “joke” of Financial Fair Play, while describing Arsenal’s talks with Liverpool for Luis Suarez as “amicable”.

    Real have reportedly lodged what would be a world-record fee for Bale, who is said to be angling for a move to the Bernabeu after an award-winning season at White Hart Lane.

    Wenger has gained a reputation for spending frugally at Arsenal since he took over in 1996, although this summer the club have bid £40,000,001 for Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.

    Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Emirates Cup, Wenger said of Bale’s mooted switch to Real in relation to Financial Fair Play: “It’s quite amazing in the year when Financial Fair Play comes in, world football goes completely crazy.

    “You wonder what kind of impact and effect it has on the football world. It looks like it has made everybody worse than before. It makes a joke of it.”

    The French coach was also asked about the Gunners’ interest in Suarez, who Liverpool are keen to keep hold of despite the player making no secret of his wish to leave.

    “I don’t want to speak about Suarez, because that is between Liverpool and Arsenal. We will completely respect what Liverpool wants to do. We want to (sign the player) if it is feasible in an amicable way,” Wenger said.

    “I am a great believer you have to keep as much confidentiality as possible, which is quite difficult in the modern world.

    “But we work very hard, not only on the case you name, but on other different cases.”

    Suarez is currently serving a domestic ten-game ban imposed by the Football Association for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic at the end of last season.

    The Uruguay international had previously received an eight-match suspension and £40,000 fine from the FA for racially abusing Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra in December 2011.

    Wenger indicated, should the striker become an Arsenal player, such future behaviour would not be tolerated.

    The Gunners boss said: “We have values that we want our players to respect. No matter where they come from, we will be very touchy on that of course.

    “This club has built a reputation, not only during my period here but over 127 years, and the values that are very important for this club have to be respected by every player, no matter where he comes from. That will be with every potential signing.”

  101. evonne says:

    My brother and I were on the Piccadilly line going past the Arsenal station. I told him that it is customary to stand up and take a bow in honour of the great club. So we both stood up and took a bow.

    We went separate ways. He was coming back on his own and has just had a go at me that on the way back nobody stood up saluting Arsenal 🙂 🙂

  102. Evonne – you’re wicked 😆

  103. RockyLives says:

    Peaches – no she’s not. That custom should always be followed!

  104. GunnerN5 says:

    Peaches did you notice that I’d sent a new post to Arsenal.nuts?

  105. GunnerN5 says:


    accompanied by the chant ” Stand up Stand up for Arsenal”

  106. RockyLives says:

    Exactly Gn5, exactly.

  107. Gn5 – thank you, I’ll have a look now 😉

  108. Actually as the tube pulls into Arsenal station I always have the urge to chant ‘Arsenal Arsenal’ at the top of my voice ……..

  109. neamman says:

    for me its number one. I am quiet comfortable with our strikers,

  110. kelsey says:


    Interesting debate with Herb and others in the case of Chapman v Wenger. Obviously different eras but I am confinced we have had the best of Wenger the game has outgrown him.

    He mentioned yestersay the FFP something I harked about the other days. Maybe Platinni and co will look at each country differently.

    Strange that two of the biggest countries in Euroland who are economically in the shite are at the moment spending the most in this transfer window., and we are talking big bucks and then there is PSG and the tax haven Monaco,and don’t kid yourself france is also nearing economic catastrophy.

    Nothing will convince me other than that we are only making a profit which this year is a loss because our better players leave to win trophies and at least double their wages.
    if Walcott is now alleged to be or highest earner,heaven help us.
    Gazidis is giving us the spin yet again and as always Wenger is careful with his words.
    Yes we have a more settled squad as of today but still far to many injury prone players and Vermaelen is out for 6/8 weeks.

    I may come over as pessimistic but I just hope we have at least 2 players lined up before the season starts,which is never the ideal preparation.Wenger always talks about beddingin as he won’t buy from within the Pl and there are playersavailable at our sort of budget level.
    The bid for Suarez is completely out of character by Wenger and say we buy hm and he bites someon’e finger of, you are looking at at least a 3 month ban.great player,appaling track record and if that sort of money is available forget him and buy 2 20/25 million pound players.
    if we get nearer to the top three this season that is fine, if not the next one to make waves will be Wilshere.

    Forget about an english spine of Arsenal players in the National squad as England are also rans and let’s concentrate on Arsenal Mr.Wenger.
    There ends my rant for today though i cannot see the justification in TMHT’s optism, be a bit more realistic.Yes the club will continue to sell out regardless of empty seats and this weekend’s games will be a better test to see our strengths and weaknesses.

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Kelsey

    Impossible to judge the window until it’s closed. The fans will then judge the outcome based on results of first six games or so.

    No more signings, and the pressure to get off to a good start would be enormous. A wobbler and home defeat to Spuds and AW would be hounded out.

    For this reason, I remain convinced of a big name signing as it provides a huge pressure valve.

  112. kelsey says:


    of course Spurs have always been or arch enemy but so many families that I know have allegence to both clubs by different members of their famly and I don’t think there is much credence as to how our season pans out if we lose or draw to Spurs.

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Something you won’t be aware of (and for good reason, I know) is the change in attitude of the fanbase. There is an ever increasing, and seriously poisonous element at home games, and the noise from the “spend some ……… money” brigade would be venomous and deafening in the worst case of my example above.

    We really do need to get off to a good start, and that begins this weekend.

  114. Shard says:


    Good morning. The part about us only making a profit due to player sales is true, but is now likely to be a thing of the past. In fact Wenger said that we started from a position of needing to make 15m every year.The reason we were in such a situation was because while our expenses went up, our commercial income was stuck at 2004 levels. At least in terms of the two major sources. There have been many more ancillary commercial deals signed across the globe as our marketing profile expands. Along with the opportunity to continue growing in new markets, the new shirt deal and kit sponsorship deal kick in from next year. A portion of that money has also been paid to us up front. I see no other reason to have that money paid early, unless the club were looking to spend in the transfer market.

    What is generally ignored is that in the past few years, we’ve spent money on renewing contracts, and with the exception of Sagna, I think the entire squad is pretty much signed up. We’ve also already spent money on upgrading the stadium, the training and medical facilities and our injury prevention equipment. We’ve now let go of a lot of second string players, and much of the unwanted first teamers (including by paying them off) I really cannot see what else we would want to do with our money except strengthen the squad.

    Oh, and Walcott being our highest earner is strange, but it is a result of our wage structure (and ‘ceiling’) being in the process of change.

  115. kelsey says:

    Morning Shard.

    You explain things better than I do but nevertheless I have doubts over kroenke’s real intentions. is it purely to make more and more profit for the club or to have a manager who will really invest when necessary and not to hold on to players for years who are not up to the expectation of a club such as Arsenal.
    I really think Wenger has too much power at the club and in recent seasons his judgement has been more questionable than before, and I am taking into accont the vast amount of money being injected by at least 5 clubs apart from United,they being city,Chelsea,napoli,PSG and Monaco

  116. Shard says:

    Also, I think contracts are not as simple as they are made out to be. I think Walcott’s commercial prospects would also partly explain why Arsenal are willing to pay him a little more than his ability would warrant. I believe Manchester United utilise their sponsors to, in a sense, subsidise their wages. Which is what the hopeful have been inferring with predictions of Fabregas joining us next year because we’ll be wearing Puma (his sponsors)

    The benefits to a company of having a top class player as brand ambassador, playing in a team also branded by them, and having good prospects of winning, could be enough to get them to pay some extra money to the player for joining said team. This would result in the team needing to pay the player less, because the player just gets paid indirectly. (This would help in FFP calculations too) I think this is the reason ManU’s wage bill isn’t quite as high as you would expect. But of course, I only have flimsy evidence of that. Still, it makes sense to me.

  117. kelsey says:

    Well Suarez certainly doesn’t fit the bill.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Every single US Billionnaire is dropping domestic stocks and bonds, and that includes Warren Buffet. It is no surprise to me to see US investors finding secure foreign homes for some of their portfolio in Prem Clubs.

    Forget the bottom line, stocks rise at Arsenal, and the UK is the most accommodating place for foreign cash in terms of tax incentives!!!

    Look at the amount of Russian, Middle Eastern and increasingly US cash sloshing about the square mile.

  119. kelsey says:

    Maybe it is just because I am old scholl and don’t in general like the way our national game has changed and the transfer money and wages is now quite frankly obscene.

  120. kelsey says:

    Oh so they are just moving their money to what they believe is a safer haven,but how does that improve Arsenal on the field Micky 🙂

  121. Shard says:


    I don’t implicitly trust Kroenke. But that doesn’t man I mistrust him without cause either. If it could be shown to me how Kroenke would benefit by simply keeping the club’s money in its coffers then perhaps I’d be more worried about it.

    In my head, 2014 was always going to be the year when we could finally throw off the shackles. We’re a year ahead of schedule as far as I’m concerned. Now, if in the next 2 years, we don’t show increased spending on building and retaining the team, then I would worry. But till then, I see us progressing to a plan. I don’t think inciting a fan revolt (by proclaiming how rich we are and then not backing it up) is part of that plan, nor is it likely to help Kroenke’s vested interests. Which is also why I believe we will spend. In what universe was it ever possible for Arsenal to even have bid 40m for the second highest goalscorer in the league? That it’s happening is quite clearly a signal that we are looking to spend that money.

    As for Wenger’s decisions. If you mean the transfer market, let me explain how even when it’s not about money being an issue, it still is. Let’s take Gervinho for example. A talented player, if still raw, but lacks the mentality I suppose. He ‘only’ cost us about 11m (although Wenger once angrily said he was 8m) That is easily within our bidget so it wasn’t lack of money that made us sign him.

    But let’s look at it differently. Here’s a talented 23-24 year old who has just won the league in France. We need a left winger and we are scouting the globe for suitable candidates. From the same team, there’s Hazard, and though we establish contact, we get outbid on wages. We look at Gotze, but he is not for sale. We also scout other mid range players. If we scout these players for too long, we run the risk of bigger money clubs coming in. To minimise that risk, we need to move quickly. Meaning sometimes a rushed decision has to be made. So, even though nobody outbid us for Gervinho, the fact that there would have been richer clubs snooping around, meant that our decision had to be made quickly.

    If we have more spending power, we can still take the rich clubs on in the market for a specific player, based on how much we want them (and how much the other club wants him)

    This is how having money itself can help, without even spending it. This is where Arsenal were in the early Wenger days. Never quite top of the tree, but able to compete. And this basically where we’ll find ourselves now.

  122. kelsey says:


    I hope you are right and I accept generally that world class players obviously cost more and are game changers especially in attack,but there are exceptions.

    I understand your point quite clearly but in th last few seasons the percentage of players that we have bought who have been pretty average (to be kind) is higher than at any other time since the invincibles broke up, and IMO that was done to quickly.

    How long do you think Monreal will be with us ?. Me, maybe one more season.

  123. Rasp says:

    Morning Shard, you are a truly admirable supporter in your positivity and conviction.

    I marvel at the way you can knit a string of less tham impressive events together to produce a positive outcome 😆

    I think our performance in the transfer market over the last 4 or 5 years has been average at best. For every Cazorla there has been a Chamakh or Park. For every target we have secured we have probably missed out on 5. That level of performance is probably similar in other clubs, but it does not make us look particularly astute in our transfer dealings.

  124. kelsey says:

    Ignore me again, Rasp 🙂 i just said more or less the same thing as you.

  125. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey, I’m not ignoring you – I was joining in your debate 😛

  126. chas says:

    “Missed out on 5”, Rasp?
    Didn’t we go through this the other day and most Arsenal “targets” are just press fabrications?

  127. chas says:

    Morning kelsey. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  128. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I’m afraid there is a very good case to be made why the club wouldn’t invest the money in players.

    In short, it’s about the risk policy. Given the self-sustaining financial model, the simple question is this. Keep cash in the vaults in case of dropping out of top four with the resulting drop in revenue, or invest in players for what end? Seriously challenge the Citys and Chelseas?

    How to keep the break-eveness and long term stability could be the goal.

  129. kelsey says:

    That’s why i think Wenger is juggling too many jobs at the club. He should put all his effort on to the players and tactics.

    I know the far east tour was for revenue, but AW himself has often said the recovery time from these far away paces is quite long

    if we had a bigger better squad the impact wouldn’t be so great.

  130. chas says:

    I’m astounded by the way some can wake up each morning feeling miserable about our club. Everything is dark and depressive. Pointing out positives makes no difference at all.
    There’s no way I would carry on if I felt like that, but then you all know how I feel. 🙂

  131. Rasp says:

    The bigger the club, the more likely they are to be successful in securing players they target.

    The idea that we can snap up a top player by getting in quickly is naive – agents aren’t going to allow that to happen. Unless we want to bring in a player for purely mercenary reasons, we have to present ourselves as a club that is going places. If we don’t do that, some players will treat us as a stepping stone – or worse still, if they lack ambition, as an easy wage.

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah Rasp and Chas, Morning.

    Rasp: “I think our performance in the transfer market over the last 4 or 5 years has been average at best”

    Unsurprisingly to me, our transfer performance has been bang on fourth 🙂

  133. Rasp says:

    Morning chas, I’m not miserable, I find the whole debate very interesting. I’m going to the Emirates Cup tomorrow and am very much looking forward to seeing how the new ‘happy Arsenal’ performs 🙂

  134. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky, if that is how you judge league position, at the moment, the spuds are destined for 4th 😕

  135. chas says:

    Yesterday or the day before someone was saying how come Swansea, Stoke and West Brom could get players in and we couldn’t. (something like that).
    Almost as if it doesn’t matter who you buy as long as you buy someone. Weird weird logic.

  136. kelsey says:


    I hardly sleep, am up at 3.30 and am having a difficult time on a personal level and maybe i am taking my frustration out ,on the blog. I can’t be more honest than that,but nevertheless I still feel i have a few valied points.

    if it was possible i would love to attend games,meet you guys but unfortunately I can’t.

  137. chas says:

    Pessimistic then, Rasp?

  138. chas says:

    You always have valid points. My apologies if it seemed I was implying otherwise.

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “but then you all know how I feel”
    Frisky at all times? 🙂

  140. Rasp says:

    Hi again chas, I think the missed out on 5 is a modest assessment and is probably equally high with other clubs. I’m not talking about actually getting as far as putting in an offer, but identifying a player, scouting them and inquiring if they would be interested in a move to Arsenal.

    I know many choose not to believe anything they read, but I am prepared to accept that we were ‘interested’ in Jovetic, Higuain and Bernard for instance

  141. chas says:

    “For every target we have secured we have probably missed out on 5.”
    Rasp, why would you repeat this cyber myth and add to its size?

  142. chas says:

    Frisky, positive and positively sordid.

  143. chas says:

    Ah, so missing out on a target includes those we never even bid for.
    I understand now. 🙂

  144. chas says:

    Enough from me anyway.
    I’m even getting on my own nerves. 🙂

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I was quite happy to leave it at a pleasant and acceptable Level 2 Frisky, but no, you have to take things one step further don’t you.

    Level 4 Smut 🙂

  146. Rasp says:

    No not pessimistic, that’s just a label like ‘deadwood’. Those who think like me endure names like pessimist, doomer, glass half full etc etc. I never pigeon hole anyone with a tag of the opposite persuasion. I have been consistent over the last 3 or 4 seasons and written headline posts on the topic and so far events have proved my take on things to be correct.

    I can now see that the acquisition of Suarez is a possibility as the club has invested its credibility in the transfer, but I believe it would be driven by IG and AW is reluctantly going along with it.

  147. Rasp says:

    The bid is the final part of the process. No club just bids for a player, there is a complex and lengthy process that takes place before a bid is made.

  148. Shard says:


    “The idea that we can snap up a top player by getting in quickly is naive – agents aren’t going to allow that to happen”

    That is not at all what I said. I said to get in some players, we have to move quickly before top level clubs register their interest. Otherwise ther will be more missing out. I also meant that this means that we can’t scout a player as thoroughly as we’d like. Also of course, having a team ripped apart every 2 years and trying to find players to bridge that loss isn’t easy. That takes away from the depth in which we can scout players anyway.

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thinking back to DM’s, it was about three years ago at The Ems Cup that the star player was one Mr Frimpong. Mmmm, thinks.

    It’s not showing on liveonlinefootie. Any ideas?

  150. Shard says:


    Yes. That is a legitimate and believable reason for not spending money. In that case, I do not agree with the club’s stance. Because that means we are ultimately going to just keep dropping down the order.

    I also believe that that is not what Arsene Wenger will sign up for. I don’t think he’s endured all the years of hardship and prudence, to not enjoy the fruits of that labour and aim to be the best again. Much as he’s derided, I do not believe that to be his character. And if Wenger goes, there will probably not be another manager who can achieve what Wenger has done. Basically, that is a plan doomed to fail.

    I don;t think Arsenal are that stupid, or unambitious. Having transformed the club to being among the true elite in the world, off the field, I don’t think they’d like to throw it all away by not bringing that output onto the field. If it weren’t Arsenal we were talking about, and hadn’t been subjected to the years of theorising and screaming about where we stand as a club. Say we were talking about Dortmund of 5 years ago. Or Spurs now. Would we have the same doubts or would we feel that they are now poised to strike? Arsenal are different. But I don’t think they are that different.

  151. Rasp says:

    Thanks Shard,…………” we have to move quickly before top level clubs register their interest.” the scouting of every top club is vast and detailed. They will have a file on just about every player around and will not miss out on any potential target – it just doesn’t happen. Players like kozzer are the only ones which may get under their radar but he is the exception and was bought on the strength of AW believing in his potential.

  152. Gooner In Exile says:

    Has everyone watched Sanogos YouTube highlights? I think he may surprise a few people, it also seems Arsene has some hopes for the lad given his recent comments…..Rocky mentioned Sanogo in the same breath as Anelka the other day, as in “we didnt know what we were getting when he arrived either”.

    Now I’m really looking forward to see Sanogo over the next couple of days.

    Chas’s point about buying anyone is valid, the other thing about those clubs is they have all been happy to operate at a loss for many years in the hope of future revenues to pay off….something my parents called living on the never never.

    The fact that Madrids offer for Bale also includes a number of players suggest they haven’t really got the cash….I think they are trying to put Spuds in a position of a player wanting to leave and therefore reducing price.

    Like you Kelsey I don’t want Suarez, for the reasons you state.

  153. Red Arse says:

    Morning Guys, 🙂

    Well, well. I thought I had mistakenly dropped in on DA, so much dejection and repetition of concerns.

    Anyone ever heard of self fulfilling prophecies! 🙂

    [Of course there are some notable exceptions] 🙂

    Come on guys, it’s a lovely sunny day and these things usually work out OK. You will feel better tomorrow!! 😀

  154. GoonerB says:

    Sorry to interrupt the flow of this mornings debate but I just wanted to say nice thought provoking post Micky.

    I feel a powerful DM is not a necessity but would give us maybe a key adaptability. What the hell am I talking about? At the moment I think we are solid in a 2 man deeper lying midfield system with this so called pivot shift system but I don’t think any of our midfielders are specialist enough to play the lone deep role and therefore release the other 2 CM’s.

    This prevents us from forming up in a 4-1-2-3 and restricts us to the 4-2-1-3. The player to allow us to switch to this for me should be very mobile and quick across the ground as well as being strong and powerful, but we could sacrifice some technical ability as the player would be more a midfield destroyer and we then gain an extra CAM anyway if he can do the job properly.

    I would still consider the acquisition of someone like Williams and then having the option of him, TV or LK playing in front of the other 2 CD’s as an option.

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Must go, but in short, I don’t think Arsenal are either stupid or unambitious either. I just don’t think their risk policy allows them to challenge the three teams above on a level playing field.

  156. Shard says:


    I think it isn’t as simple as that. Arsenal were notoriously careful in their scouting. Sometimes scouting a player over a period of 2 years. They were supposed to be looking at not just the player, but talking to physios, doctors, and youth coaches all through the players career, and try to get a profile of his attitude as well as his abilities.

    Though clubs are generally aware of players, how aware they are differs. In fact, these days, there are people who run professional agencies keeping tabs on players. These agencies then , for a fee and/or commission, allow clubs to access their files. And then you have the real drivers of the transfer market. The agents. Certain agents have better links with certain scouts, managers, clubs. They maintain a relationship because it is profitable to them in the long run, and as well as establishing an ease of doing business. Clubs do not all have access to the same information about all the players. That is simply not true.

  157. Red Arse says:

    Hi GIE, 🙂

    I saw Sanogo in the U21’s tournament playing for France. I think it might be a bit too early to judge him yet as it could lead to disappointment.

    He is tall, and looks athletic, but when I saw him he also appeared to be having difficulty getting into the game, and he looked pretty slow.

    That may be because there were one or two other French players who looked real stars and over-shadowed him.

    He has potential, and after all those injuries I guess it will take time for him to adjust but I wasn’t too worried and am hopeful he will make a difference — he looks a bit like Diaby! 😀

  158. Rasp says:

    Thanks Shard, the top clubs will have access to the necessary information, but at a lower level, individuals and their contacts can make a difference – Carr at Newcastle is such an example.

    In general, I think your last comment means we agree 😀

  159. Shard says:


    Wenger is the leveler in that regard. By a metric designed by Tim at 7amkickoff, Wenger adds about 100m pound worth of transfer value to his team. But I suppose we’ll see.

  160. Shard says:


    If you say so….but I’l be watching you closely, mister 🙂

  161. Red Arse says:

    By Arsene’s own admission he has missed out on some top talent.

    The one usually mentioned is Ibramovich who was asked to come for a week’s trial and took umbrage.

    There was a young Nigerian international who complained, a couple of weeks ago, that Wenger was not showing him respect – telling AW to take a hike.

    I understand the players reaction, but I cannot fault Arsenal’s caution either. It is not easy.

    This morning I heard that Arsenal are back in for Williams. Now I am totally underwhelmed by that news, but I was also disappointed in the reasons given.

    Apparently, we believe it is important to shore up our CB position, and Williams is the man to do it, but not at £10m.

    Now it is possible he is available at £8.5m and that makes it OK.

    Is this an example of Arsenal’s parsimony — we seem to be prepared to forgo a transfer of what they see as a quality player, for a position that needs it, for the sake of a million or so.

    I hope that is a misreporting of the situation — but ……………

    There has to be better players than Williams out there, and none of the other clubs seem to be breaking the doors down to get him, can we not identify a top player, negotiate the price — and pay it, not go looking for more bargain basement 28 or 29 year olds?

  162. Rasp says:

    Watch and learn Shard 😆

  163. Shard says:


    I would be quite happy with Williams. A player who is more than decent, and according to his numbers, apparently is a closer replacement for Per than for Kos. Not that that’s going to convince you of all people, but I would like it, because as of now, Per is irreplaceable in our team.

    Would we want to break up Mertscielny by bringing in another CB who’d expect to be first choice, especially in a world cup year. Would our club captain Vermalen accept being relegated to clear 4th choice? Will that have an effect on team morale?

    We’ve missed out on Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho (work permit issues), apparently Messi too, when we got Fabregas. We identified Cech but 7m was more than we could pay for a GK. We looked at Tim Howard but his health issues (epilepsy I think) gave us the jitters (Sorry, but haha) Ronaldo the slimeball proved impossible because Lisbon and ManU had a tie up. Makelele wasn’t bought because we had Vieira and Petit. The list goes on and on. It doesn’t matter. These things happen regularly I’m sure. Terry Neill said he tried to sign Platini and Maradona for Arsenal and that he was close, but nothing came of it in the end.

  164. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, I actually think Williams may be exactly what we need. He is unlikely to displace kozzer or Mert (who I am very happy with as a pairing) as first choice CB, but is of the quality to be able to rest either of them in a rotational sense and cover for injury. he’d be a massive improvement on Squilaci who was intended for the same role.

  165. Rasp says:

    Haha, there you go shard, we do agree 😆

  166. Red Arse says:

    I hear you guys, but remain totally unconvinced — setting our sights to say Williams is better than Squillaci says it all. 🙂

    But actually, what i was really disappointed with was the philosophy of ‘knowing’ you need a player but letting him go because of the dough! 🙂

  167. Gooner In Exile says:

    Williams doesn’t seen the slenderist of fellows and at 28 metabolism is slowing….and we are taking a regular starter (and therefore maintained fitness) and expecting him to be able to sit on the bench….did we not learn anything from Squillacci? What has he had two PL seasons? If I was the player I’d want game time at the top table too so wages would have to be high to compensate.

    I’d rather have kept Bartley. If we end up with Williams and they promote Bartley to the first team I think they got the better deal!

  168. Rasp says:

    On a more contentious note Shard, it is interesting that you list the reasons why we failed to buy some players with such authority when the ‘media evidence’ for those assertions should be treated with the same level of skepticism as the current transfer rumours which apparently are mostly rubbish. So on the same topic, what is your take on why we didn’t sign Mata?

  169. Rasp says:

    Gotta walk the dog now, hopefully there will be a new post when I return so I can give you all a rest 🙂

  170. Rasp – are you still there?

  171. We have a New Post …………………

  172. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Woof woof, snarl Peaches bark whine.

    Translation…No Peaches he’s taking me for a walk.

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