Yes, Arsenal Can Win The Title

Dontcha just hate those last minute panic buys :-D?

Now I don’t want to seem parochial, but it’s impossible to separate the closing moments of the transfer window from the North London Derby that took place barely 24 hours earlier.

Before the game against the Shadow People, the cacophony of premature triumphalism from N17 was deafening.

The Spuds’ fans were eager to tell us how they had spent more than £100m on new players while our outlay made Scrooge look profligate. Inevitably (according to their logic) we would be drowned by a tsunami of banknotes when they pitched up at The Emirates.

But character is never eclipsed by cash, nor class outshone by gaudy trinkets: Arsenal 1, Totteringham 0.

Imagine being a Spud this morning.

It’s like you’ve spent the past week going round to your next door neighbour, giving it large:

Spud: “I’ve got a new bicycle. Let’s have a race.”

You: “No thanks.”

Spud, the next day: “I’ve got a new bicycle and now I’ve got a new horse. Let’s have a race.”

You: “No thanks.”

Spud, the next day: “I’ve got a new bicycle and a new horse and a new moped. Let’s have a race.”

You: “No thanks.”

Spud, the next day: “I’ve got a new bicycle and a new horse and a new moped and a new Ford Fiesta. Let’s have a race.

You: “No thanks.”

Spud, the next day: “Er… hello.”

You: “I’ve got a Ferrari. Let’s do it.

Answer me this: would you swap the £109m of New Potatoes that have arrived in N17 this summer for Mesut Ozil?

I wouldn’t.

Ozil is a world class player of a calibre that has not been signed by Arsenal since the arrival of a certain Dutch deity back in 1995 (yes, nearly 20 years ago).

Other Arsenal players have turned into superstars after joining us (Henry, Vieira, Fabregas, Brave Sir Robin) but Ozil is the first player to join as a bona fide genius since Dennis walked across the Caledonian Canal and into the Marble Halls, pausing only to distribute loaves and fishes to the masses.

So now we know the squad we have for the season ahead (notwithstanding the potential for reinforcements in January).

I would not say I’m 100% happy with it. I would have preferred an extra centre back and another centre forward to provide cover for Ollie G. But on balance I feel we’re in a good place.

Here are our main options:

Goalkeeper: Szczesny, Viviano, Fabianski.

Fullback: Sagna, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Monreal (Flamini).

Centre Back: Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen (Sagna).

Midfield: Wilshere, Rosicky, Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Flamini.

Attack: Giroud, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Walcott, (Sanogo/Bendtner).

Good enough to win the league?

You bet!

It doesn’t mean we WILL win the league: there are far too many variables for that to be said with any confidence. But I feel convinced that in this campaign, when it comes to the business end of things, we will be in the mix for top three, not for fourth/fifth.

Despite the angst of most Gunners, I would have been feeling modestly confident even if we had signed no-one yesterday.

Even before Ozil’s arrival our first 11 was becoming a match for anyone. The players are on an amazing run (only one defeat since March 3rd) and their belief is starting to become self-reinforcing: they work for one another and they trust one another. They have started to refuse the notion of being defeated. I’m sure our young British core (all re-upped in their contracts during last season) are central to this resurgence, supported by the experience and character of players like Arteta and Mertesacker (and now Flamini).

Of course, we can’t win the league if other teams are better than us. So how have our rivals fared in their summer transfer dealings and how are they shaping up for the challenge ahead?

Let’s consider them all, even the not-really-rivals like the Spuds and Liverpool.

Totteringham: they have lost their best player and replaced him with lots of half-decent players who will take a considerable time to adjust to the EPL and to playing alongside each other. I expect them to come good after Christmas, but by that time they will have dropped too many points to be anything other than outsiders for the Champions League positions. They are still crying out for a top creative central attacking midfielder or number 10.

Liverpuddle: whoop-de-doop! They have won their first three games of the season! This could be their year, right? Wrong. Their manager is a plank and their frailties will become apparent soon enough. Any team that thinks Kolo is the answer has clearly not been listening to the question.

ManUre: this could be a great year for the ManUre-haters (hello Chary). Their inept performance in the transfer window shows that the club has lost any remaining pull since the departure of the aubergine-hootered Jock. To be honest, United’s stock was already on the slide in Europe before Ferguson’s exit because, despite their domestic successes, it was obvious to everyone that they were no longer capable of competing with the top teams from Spain, Germany and Italy. There is nothing about Gollum that suggests he is any way suited to halting the slide. Fellaini is an OK signing – but he’s not what they need (indeed, as I said recently, he’s not as good as Ramsey). They needed Fabregas and he told them to eff off. They needed Ozil but he took a good look at the individuals alongside whom he would be playing and chose Arsenal instead. I expect United to fall out of the top four this year.

Chavski:  the Special Needs One is back and it would be a brave gambler who would bet against Chelsea having a decent season. They will definitely be in contention and will be one of our biggest rivals, even with Will-I-Am playing attacking midfield.

ManCiteh: they have a well respected coach, an embarrassment of riches on the playing side and gazillions of money. I happen to think that they will be neck and neck with Manchester United for the “who can fall out of the top four fastest” contest. As Arsenal showed against the Reprobates – money can’t buy you team spirit.

Conclusion: “It’s up for grabs now.”

And this is where the Mesut Ozil signing comes in: it’s not just about making a brilliant addition to our squad. It’s about providing a huge lift to those amazing Arsenal players who have been doing so well week in and week out for 15 matches.

Arsene Wenger has said to those players: “I trust you – but to enable you to reach the highest heights I am adding a true superstar.  I want to match the ambitions you have for yourselves and for our club.” Ozil will make the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey and Walcott even better.

I am glad there is no Cabaye. My faith is in Ramsey, Wilshere, Arteta, Flamini et al.

I am sort-of glad there is no Benzema, whose presence (and no doubt insistence on playing time in a World Cup year) would relegate the ever-improving Giroud to the bench.

Meanwhile, Ozil’s signing also makes a statement to our rivals: no defender will feel comfortable when they see him lining up against them in the EPL. After all, who wants to be next in the Nutmeg Hall of Shame that makes up any Ozil YouTube compilation?

So, has Arsene played the transfer window in a masterful way?

I doubt it. With the thin-ness of our squad and the swathe of early season injuries it doesn’t take too much of a leap of the imagination to think we could have failed to qualify for the Champions League (in which case, no Ozil) and might have struggled against Fulham and the Spuds.

Next season I would be much happier if the major business was done before the start of the season, not before the end of the window.

But somehow our professorial leader has ended up the winner in this summer of frenzied speculation and occasional action.

His late, emphatic move for Ozil makes Villas Boas look like a spendthrift hoarder of cheap tat and makes Moyes look like a boy trying to sit at the men’s table while secretly weeing himself with fear.

I’m not a great one for “I told you so”, but after the general gloom that followed our opening day defeat to Aston Villa I wrote a Post urging people to keep things in perspective. All teams – even the greatest – occasionally lose games that they shouldn’t. I just felt people were reading too much into one defeat that was largely down to dodgy refereeing, and unnecessarily writing off our season before it had begun.

However, I did add: “I am also confident that good players will be brought in (if they are not, I will be singing a different tune).”

Since then, Flamini, Viviano and Ozil have arrived.

For me, the song remains the same.

The title is there to be won. Let’s do it.

RockyLives

188 Responses to Yes, Arsenal Can Win The Title

  1. Had says:

    Such a great article, so true, the race is open, I see Chelsea City and Arsenal ahead of Spurs Pool and ManU.
    Yesterday I was watching live coverage of deadline day on SSN and it was amazing to see fellow gooners enjoying themselves once Ozil signings was confirmed, I couldn’t believe it myself.

    This gives us suddenly great depth in our squad, if you look at numbers, you may think that’s not the case, but thanks to versatility of our players, we do not need any other player (I’m glad we’ve not signed Cabaye). I actually did not understand when we did not sign Gustavo but now I do understand, Flamini is at least as good as since he knows Arsenal already and speaks decent English he can bring this confidence and leadership towards the team, which Gustavo would have not been able to do (at least not in his first seasons).

  2. MikeM says:

    Hahahahaha. Funny bloke 😀

  3. Had says:

    That leaves us with 2 very strong starting XI

    Szczesny
    Sagna BFG Kosc Gibbs
    Wilshere Ramsey
    Walcott Ozil Cazorla
    Giroud

    Fab / Viviano
    jenko Sagna Verm Monreal
    Arteta Flamini
    Gnabry Rosicky The OX
    Podolski

    We should also select the youngsters we want to see develop into potential first teamers, I would say Gnabry / Zelalem / Sanogo should play as much as possible when we lead the game by 2 goals

    Can’t wait for the next fixture !

  4. Jo Rugger says:

    Great article. But I think the Aston Villa highlights Arsenal weaknesses. Villa were in Arsenal s face. Forcing players to pass early. Exposing Ramsey/Wiltshire defensive deficiencies. There was possibility some complacency through the team ‘its only Villa’ and some bad refereeing. The team has greatly improved over the 4 subsequent games. Fellani and Mignolet/Berkovic would have made life a lot more secure. But the team has to show their fighting spirit in every game. Ozil can be the catalyst.

  5. Had says:

    If we had Flamini for Vila game it would have been a different story.
    Flamini is one player who can toughen his game if needed which Ramsey / Wilshere / Ozil / Cazrola are less likely to do

  6. Andy says:

    You are having a laff

    you needed a world class keeper, at least 2 decent defenders, and another striker and you buy a winger !!!! Ozil will not save you when you are under pressure at the back. Get real, Wenger needed to strengthen all over the pitch and you will be out of the running by Christmas.

    Expect 6th or 7th at best

  7. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all.

    The transfer window has slammed shut, safely inside the Arsenal Family is one of the best players in the world. German International, and former luminary of Real Madrid, Mesut Ozil. At just 24 years old he has his very best years in front of him and he will spend them in the red and white of Arsenal.

    Now that we have a “marquee” signing, maybe, just maybe the doomers will get off Wenger’s back and start supporting the club rather than constantly sniping at it.

    Was the transfer window a success? In my opinion yes and no, yes because of the positives, Ozil and Flamini, no because we got neither the 30 goal per season striker we had all hoped for nor the top ‘keeper. However, the squad has been made significantly stronger and there is still money in the kitty should it be needed for reinforcements in January.

    There is of course the added bonus that Bendtner is back.

  8. Simon says:

    I think it’s a bit optimistic to say we can challenge for the title, I think we will finish in the top four. Chelsea and man city will be the ones for the title, and the other two spots will be fought for by us, Liverpool, Man u and spurs. I have to disagree slightly with Rocky, Liverpool have a good squad, Kolo will be back up to the back up now they have signed a couple of extra defender’s, they also are yet to have Suarez back. I think they will be the ones to watch.

    I have to agree with your thoughts on the spuds though, their defence was all over the place for our goal, and that came about because the midfield didn’t know what they were doing.

    Until Moyes decides to play kagawa, the lack of a creative midfielder will hurt them. Why cleverly plays is beyond me!

    Don’t hold me to it but I think we’ve got 3rd, a fair way off the top two, and just ahead of Liverpool, spurs and man u.

    It will be interesting to see who misses out because of ozil when everyone is fit, I wouldn’t be surprised if wilshire and rosicky and podolski are dropped, with cazorla on the left, ozil in the centre, Walcott on the right and arteta and Ramsey providing the base of midfield.

  9. Shard says:

    😯 Who’s that? Mesut Ozil!!!!!!!!

    We’ve got one of the best midfielders in the world. And we’ve got Cazorla. Ozil and Cazorla beats Cesc and Nasri. We’re back baby!!

    Another striker would have been great but why buy a mediocre striker for 4 years when we’ve already got one for this year (Bendtner), and elite strikers will be lining up to play for us in front of Cazilla…

    This should make the people questioning our ambition take a step back and think again. It doesn’t solve all our problems. It’s not perfection just yet (Invincibles?) but it’s a big big step, and hopefully it is the start of a new era where money is less of a worry. We’re getting there. We’re getting back to the top, and if this signing is any sort of indication (along with the signing of Flamini) then Wenger and Arsenal should give the fans confidence that we can still be great.

    I saw some negative comments on the web yesterday and it made me sad. But today, I am one happy gooner. Happy and proud.

  10. Sheep Hagger says:

    Great post rocky yes I’m happy with new players Ozil class act don’t know much about the new keeper

  11. Big Lebowski says:

    This signing is really going to piss off the AAA

  12. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, loving it Rocky.

    Simon did you watch City play Cardiff and Hull, with no Kompany and having released Toure they look very light at centre back.

    Andy you miss the point somewhat, if Ozil had been in the team that faced Villa we would have conceded 3 and still won 😀

    NG Giroud has 4 goals in 5 games…..surely that’ll be 30 goals 😉

    I don’t want to put you in the same boat as Souness who after Sundays game questioned Ramsey saying “what is he? An attacking midfielder, 1 goal in 36 says no…..” Seeming to forget this seasons stat of 3 goals in 4.

    Anyway today is a day for an Arsenal love in….Ozil is a class player who I wanted before he went to Madrid and we were losing Cesc. 24 years old too…..can’t wait for the next game.

  13. Shard says:

    Rocky

    Can we win the title? I would place Chelsea as favourites. They have the best squad. I think we’re up there with them, but squad depth, and referees, will be an issue.

    ManCity will get better although they’ve looked shaky as of now. ManU will also be challengers, because they will always get the referees to help them out just when they need it, although I suspect it might be slightly less this year.

    Liverpool are interesting. I think they’ve done well. Sturridge is a good player, and if Suarez is motivated, then they have a chance at the top 4. Rodgers is a muppet but he has gotten his team playing some better football. I think much like Tottenham, Liverpool are betting the increased tv money and making a ‘final push’ of sorts to get into the top 4. Still. They got lucky against Stoke, and although they beat ManU, both teams looked very very average. I really wish ManU fall out of the top 4, while we break our trophy duck. I’ve been wanting to celebrate and prove RVP wrong since their title celebrations last year. I said last year that since he’s on a 5 year contract, we have 4 more chances to prove him wrong. This year is a big chance.

    As for our transfer window. I class it as a success. The fact that it could have gone wrong is neither here nor there. It was a gamble. The fact that we’ve won all our games bar one decided by a referee, and that we’ve got a player like Ozil, makes the window a success. Doesn’t make it a perfect window, but it’s pretty damn good.

  14. Beano says:

    Absoluetly smashing post, im of the opinion that we have made the best signing of any premier league team!

  15. fatgingergooner says:

    Epic post RL to celebrate a signing of epic proportions!

    This is a massive statement of intent from Arsenal and puts us back at the top table. I said a few days ago we just needed one big player to agree to join us and the rest will follow, it doesn’t get much bigger than Ozil. Imagine the team we will have if we add one player of this calibre every window for the next few seasons, and our young British core continues to develop?

    I’m dribbling on my phone thinking about it! 🙂

    As regards a song for our new goggle-eyed toy, how about instead of

    ‘Big F*cking German’

    we go with

    ‘Best F*cking German, we’ve got the Best F*cking German’

    🙂

  16. kelsey says:

    Very amusing post Rocky 🙂

    Well with the hundreds of players linked to us by the media not one mentioned the world class Ozil until near the death,it was always benzema or De rosseo. Obviously a lot hinged on the bale transfer and I believe barry Silkman when he stated that the bale deal was tied up two weeks ago and to put it politely Levy tried to make it hard for us.

    No doubt Ozil will play a major part and linking up with his other two countrymen is a good move and maybe we will see a change of tactics as Giroud can’t play every game and Sanogo is an unknown raw quantity and from the little I have seen of him he may initially be used for the CC games.
    I am happy with the keeper though I thought fabianski might go out on loan initially.

    Can players still be loaned out after the window closes ?

    So we have smashed our transfer record and even allowing for wages against wages saved for those who have departed we appear to have spent well under the 70 million that was muted allover the place and it seems our budgt was in fact less as the Demba ba offer was for a loan deal.

    I hope the club now learn once and foreall not to sell to rivals,in other words put the boot on the other foot.

    One could see from the crowd outside the Emirates how ecsatic they were,that finally we have layed down a marker.

  17. fatgingergooner says:

    It’s no coincidence that our current team is now loaded with German and Spanish players. Who are the best teams in the world right now?

    It was the same when France were dominating the world.

    For all the grief AW gets, he certainly does have a plan when it comes to the TW.

    Just one little worry I want to add about Ozil before we all combust! He isn’t the hardest worker! When we play with Cazorla or Rosicky as the AM they still put in a hell of a shift tracking back and helping the midfield. We probably won’t be seeing much of that from Ozil. That’s why I would like to see either Flamini or Arteta on the pitch when Ozil starts.

    Just a thought.

    Carry on with your celebrations! 🙂

  18. 26may1989 says:

    Well said, Rocky, in your effervescent style, you make the point very well. We have a chance to go for it this season, there are real grounds for optimism. Not that everything’s perfect but we have a talented, well established team that’s now been supplemented with a player of the highest quality and one who may well be able to slot in quickly. Onwards and upwards!

    I would quibble on the point about not having signed an established genius since the great Nonflying Dutchman: a certain Sol Campbell comes to mind. On the creative side I would probably agree, though I remember feeling very chuffed about beating Real to the signature of Pires.

    I also think City will be the ones to beat this year. They finally have a proper manager and have a good spread of high quality players.

  19. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey I think they can be loaned to teams outside the PL domestically (ie Championship) and I think a PL team can make emergency loan signings.

    I also think some TW’s stay open a bit longer than ours, so whilst we can’t buy anyone we could still sell.

    Just imagine if Spanish window closed after 2 September, Levy could really have screwed us!

  20. Great post Rocky
    Mega excited for next match now….
    Kelsey>
    Hopefully Suarez or Rooney are still at odds with their clubs and we can loan one of them 🙂

  21. Gooner In Exile says:

    FGG stop being a doomer 😉 workrate, schmerkrate

  22. 26may1989 says:

    Ooh, FGG, I have to disagree there, Özil works bloody hard, I doubt we’ll find fault with him on that score. After all, when was the last time someone got into the German side without busting a gut?

  23. fatgingergooner says:

    Sorry, sorry, I’m ever the pessimist!

    Seen him a lot for Real and his tracking back wasn’t great, but then maybe that’s because they kept him up field for those lightening counters.

    Like you rightly say though, who’s gives a sh*t aslong as he’s creating 20 goals a season!!!

  24. Bryan says:

    Am I one of the only gooners that feels a little underwhelmed with our transfer business.
    I am really happy with the signing of Ozil & do think he is the best player signed in this TW but I just think we needed at the very least 2 more & one of them being top quality too.
    At one stage it looked like we may get Di Maria & Ba, that would of been nice but I do not agree that we have 2 great teams to put out.
    I think we have a very thin squad of players & we seem to suffer from injuries quite a lot over the last 5 years.

    Ozil is fantastic great signing but we needed more to really challenge

  25. kelsey says:

    Bryan

    I obviously don’t know the answer but maybe as I suggested above our kitty was stretched with Ozil’s signing and to have bought another super super player was more than either AW,the Board or both thought was too much of a stretch.

  26. Shard says:

    kelsey

    I think we would have been able to buy another super player (maybe for about 25-30m) but that such a player wasn’t available. Ba on loan makes sense because he fills a need brought about by Podolski’s injury. But not as a permanent signing because he’s too similar to Giroud (wenger’s own words)

    Angel Di Maria makes sense because he’s apparently a top class player (although for some reason I think he’s not as good as that) who plays left wing, which also allows Podolski to play striker when he comes back, or Cazorla to go in the middle and Ozil right so Walcott can play striker. But he was not for sale.

    None of the forwards who are considered top class could be bought. Suarez, Benzema. Higuain (although, if it was between Higuain and Ozil, I’m glad we got the latter) And if we were going to buy an average striker like Hernandez maybe, then it’s better to just keep Bendtner, and Park (?) rather than put someone else average on the wage bill for 4 years. Especially since we’ve also got Sanogo, Akpom, Afobe, and Campbell who can stake a claim for next season, and hopefully contribute a bit this season.

  27. Bryan says:

    I can’t see that Kelsey, each & every year we have made money from transfers & also this year we have dramatically down sized our salaries.
    Hillwood even mooted we had 130M for transfers when he left, of course that could be bullshit.
    Maybe as someone said to me we are taking “baby steps” at becoming a very strong team again & we need a little more patience 😉

  28. Rasp says:

    Great post Rocky. This is the way we must all feel now – we have the quality to win any of the comps. I certainly feel a lot more confident about getting through the group stages of the CL now.

    I would honestly prefer Ozil to Bale so on that premise, we’ve bagged a bargain.

    This is what I posted this morning before today’s article was published …..

    ……. Morning all, fantastic signing, brilliant player, excellent work by Arsene and the IG etc.

    Everyone seems to be placing Oz centrally and Santi on the left ….. No no, Oz on the left and Santi in the middle for me. Europe’s top of the assists swapping wings with Theo and Santi knitting it all together for me 😛

  29. evonne says:

    Rocky you crafty old man!! You could not have written that post overnight, admit it – you were signing AW’s praises all along, just left blank spaces to slot in a brilliant signing that came our way. Which this time happened to be Ozil 🙂

    You’ve done well, great read! Thanks

    And, I am sure you are right about us winning the league, no problem

  30. Shard says:

    Apparently, we also bid for Rooney, Benteke, and Pastore yesterday. Pastore is an AM, or at least I thought, but maybe he can also play as striker.

  31. evonne says:

    Gosh, with such strong squad I can imagine Micky will be having indecent dreams about positions and formations 🙂 Rasp too 🙂

  32. meaner says:

    Well said. But you don have to put Toure down just because he left us. He was booted out.

  33. Rasp says:

    All we need now is to be lucky and not suffer multiple injuries in the defence and for Giro to remain fit at least until the Pod is back.

  34. Rasp says:

    Just a thought, we spent many years ‘Walking in a Bergkamp wonderland’ hopefully we’ll be skipping down the yellow brick road with the ‘Wizard of Ozil’ 😕

  35. Bryan says:

    I’m with you Rasp,
    I always feel Santi is half the player when he is not in the middle & as for Ozil, he’s so good, can play any where 🙂

  36. Morning all, well that was a curious transfer window with the full gamut of emotions suffered by Gooners being put through the wringer.

    We’ve had a couple of days where the fanbase is less divided than it has been for a while, firstly to unite and larf at the N17 swamp dwellers then the record breaking arrival of Ozzy last night.

    Putting aside my disappointment in not getting a striker in to stand in for Olly make no mistake our acquisition of the Germano-Turk is a signing that makes a statement.

    Not only have we broken the Tiny Totts transfer record but we’ve tripled our own, this one signing is clearly a Bergkamp like statement of intent.

    Always great to get a name check from the great man in a Mr Rocker headline post and I’m still chortling at ManUre’s botched attempts to sign Herrera last night, even if they were just ManUre imposters.

    Gollum has the face of a man who has emerged from nodding off in an over chlorinated swimming pool and having to pay an extra £4m(over what he could have got him for before the buy out clause expired) can’t have removed that permanently pissed off look from his face. He does seem to be a man who, as the twitter meme that’s been doing the rounds all summer says, feels “I don’t know what I’m doing”.

    No player of any standing wants to play for Gollum at Old Toilet and I wonder what the Cutch Dunt is thinking now…”I’ll have Screetch and Cleverly laying up chances for me and I’m working under Moyes while living in a northern shithole” ha ha hahahhahahahaha.

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi chary, I agree with a your views on manure. My prediction for the top four (in my preferred order 🙂 ) is Arsenal, city, chavs and pool. I’m pretty sure manu will be playing on Thursday nights next season.

  38. Shard says:

    Chary

    I think the truth about the Herrera deal is not what is reported. Here’s the report in the Mirror.
    ——————————————————————————–

    Manchester United’s attempts to land Ander Herrera ended in farce after a group of imposters helped to scupper the deal.

    United insist they pulled the plug because they were unwilling to pay the £30.5million fee to trigger his release clause from Athletic Bilbao. But reports from Spain say three men posing as United officials visited the La Liga offices in Madrid claiming they were there to finalise a move for the playmaker.

    Herrera had been told United were ready to complete the deal but the bogus officials left when they were required to make the payment.

    The Spanish star, 24, was even ready to undergo a medical but saw his dream move to England dashed when United decided to end their interest.

    Old Trafford sources claim they pulled out because the buyout clause in his contract did not match their valuation of the player.

    Although United boss David Moyes was keen on Herrera, his preferred option was always Marouane Fellaini.

    United ended up securing Fellaini but indicated they remain keen on Herrera, with the prospect of a fresh bid in January.

    ————————————————————————————

    Now leaving aside the fact that the preferred option was definitely not Fellaini, or else they’d have triggered his release clasue of 23m instead of paying 27.5m for him, I think the story that ManU pulled out of the deal and the guys who showed up were imposters is also false.

    I was on a ManU blog yesterday (because it was congratulating Arsenal on Ozil’s signing.) and they linked to some site (which I didn’t go on) and said that the guys weren’t imposters. Rather the local agents that ManU sent to do their business did not have the required licenses to complete the deal. This would show much more incompetence than just saying ‘we pulled out because the player didn’t match our valuation’ and I think it is PR at play here.

  39. Rasp says:

    It is a shame we didn’t manage to secure the services of a back up striker on loan – particularly now the Pod is out for 3 months. The chavs were never going to let us have Ba or Lukaku – but have loaned Lukaku to a team who could inflict damage on its rivals with him in the side.

    I never thought I’d say this, but I’d prefer to see Bendy on the bench than Sanogo simply because of his experience …. but he’d have to be 100% fit, not the tub of lard I’ve seen in recent photos.

  40. Shard says:

    And also..As I went to sleep last night, I was under the impression that ManU have signed Fabio Coentrao on loan. Today I wake up and see that the deal fell through because the paperwork wasn’t completed in time.. hahahaha

  41. Ha ha, I only saw what the Sky Sports reporters were saying last night Shard and it was a bit confusing what exactly happened about Herrara – end result ManUre look like a bunch of muppets, which we can all larf at. 🙂

    Add to that the Coentrao debacle then yes, the wheels are coming off at Old Toilet I reckon Raspers. 🙂

  42. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bryan I think you have bought in to one of the media fabrications about our club.

    In the last three seasons our net received on transfers has been around £3m in.

    The last season we had big net windfalls was 2009/10 (when Kolo and Barndoor left) up until that point it was all re invested in the stadium, so an ageing Henry, Toure and Barndoor basically paid for our new home (or at least helped us move forward on the football side)

    Since then nearly all proceeds have been spent/reinvested, much in the same way that Levy has done with Modric and Bale over last two seasons. Funny thing is we got slaughtered for it.

    What we have been controlling and still does need controlling is wages, just think what it would have cost to keep the big names who left over the last three summers.

  43. evonne says:

    Ronaldo had it given to him on a plate

  44. Bryan says:

    GIE

    Not worth really getting but
    The fact that a team like us should have 30M to spend each year before we sell & money coming in from our yearly sales of our best players (not this year ;-)) you are probably right that our transfer money was spent on the stadium but we were told that this was not the case

  45. Bryan says:

    “really getting into” that should of been 😉

  46. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bryan rest easy this is the start of our real financial strength we have only had the TV money and some of te new kit sponsorship deal this season, next season we will have the new kit manufacturer deal on too, allegedly Puma has already been signed up (although I don’t think that has been announce by the club) and a signing like Ozil will go a long way to proving to the prospective sponsors that we have the kind of side to justify a big increase.

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    The reason i think a lot of Arsenal fans have become disillusioned with Wenger is not because we haven’t won trophies, but because it feels like we haven’t tried to win trophies. I still think its too early for this squad to win the PL, but if they are still challenging come April, then i reckon most fans will consider it massive progress.

    Wenger may have finally managed to move the club forward enough to keep fans happy, whilst also allowing himself the opportunity to do what he loves to do, develop players. The likes of Sanogo, Ryo, Szscesny, Rambo, Ox, Jenks, Gibbs, Zelalem, Wilshere, Akpom and Gnabry give Wenger something to work on, whilst Ozil, Arteta, Koscielny, Monreal, Vermaelen, Mertersacker, Sagna, Flamini, Giroud, Rosicky, Podolski and Walcott add experience and quality. It may not be this season, but exciting times lay ahead.

    The balance of the squad is almost there, with us maybe just lacking one forward and one defender. Every position now has experience, quality and youth on its side.

  48. Rasp says:

    I’m surprised no one came up with the headline ‘Finding Nemo’ (Nemo was the Real supporters nickname for Ozil for those that didn’t know)

  49. Red Arse says:

    Look, I am not usually given to febrile statements, but on Monday evening I had a “hallelujah” moment – an epiphany if you will – while trudging disconsolately around Hell’s Kitchen in NY by my lonesome.

    My cell chirped and in the cacophony of sound that encapsulates pedestrians in that great city I heard a tiny voice saying, “you’ve got Ursula!!”

    All sound faded away to nothing for a moment as I came to terms with more TW madness. We have signed Ursula the Gooner bike? How could that be of any interest to a god fearing man like me? [OK a little parsimony there – I have my reputation to think of]. lol

    Then the craziness of the German umlaut crashed into my almost insensate brain. Not ‘Ursula’ – but Ozil, pronounced in that Germanic way!!!

    Cathedral bells pealed, canons fired, the 1812 Overture cascaded thru my brain, rockets illuminated my mind – We had signed the best midfielder in the world. Oh my sainted aunt.

    Semi delirious I stumbled into a bar and celebrated in the way that has become the norm for me these days ‘I need a large cold Coke’ i said with great relish, and explained to anyone unfortunate to ask why I was grinning like tipsy baboon that we had bought a pop-eyed little guy who would win the English soccer championship.

    With exquisite manners most returned my bonhomie in kind and then asked what was in the coke.

    Oh, howdy guys, and great Post, Rockafella! 😃

    Get back on your foot soon 26!! lol

  50. Rasp says:

    😆 Redders, welcome back.

    As you say, the correct pronunciation is ‘erzil’ (rhyming with Persil) but that just makes everyone sound like a Brummy headbanger … should be ok for chary then 😕

  51. RockyLives says:

    Morning all (well, it is where I am!) and thanks for the comments.

    Re-reading the Post I was obviously in a bit of a euphoric mood last night, fuelled by a few nice beers.

    This morning I still feel great about our TW business although, as others have said, it feels like we are a striker short: maybe something that will be rectified in January.

    After the NLD I feel almost as excited about our group of young players as I do about the arrival of Mesut.

    Here’s my suggestion for a song (to the tune of We Wish You A Merry Christmas):

    You wish you had Mesut Ozil
    You wish you had Mesut Ozil
    You wish you had Mesut Ozil
    Well f— off he’s ours!

    A but unsubtle, but hey ho…

  52. RockyLives says:

    Welcome back Redders 🙂
    We were getting worried about you!

    How long are you in NY for?

  53. Red Arse says:

    Not really back, Rasper, Wichita next stop.
    I am reading the Posts when I get a chance but busy busy at the moment and have had to put my apartment [flat] on the market.

    I feel so British now, that it is taking me time to readjust to the US. Lol

    Ta ra for now.

  54. Sai says:

    A cheerful read Rocky! But we should be a little bit thankful for the unsolicited aid from Neighbours with half-decent squad. They have sold their best player to Real and in the process facilitated Ozil move in our direction and in turn conceding defeat on and off the pitch!

    I was excited with the way our team was performing, especially in the counter-attacks and defense. But after Ozil’s move, I am super excited.

    Can’t agree more about Chavs being our main rivals in the season run-in, but I want to see Moureen’s ego shatter this season. But considering that he’ll move on club to club, I’d be happy to seee Chavs finish out of top three.

  55. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, I’m very happy about our transfer business even though, like you, I think we really need a half decent back-up striker.

    Although technically I won the bet because we didn’t sign Suarez, I think you won the argument because I didn’t think we’d pay that kind of money …. so I’m very happy to be proved wrong and waive my claim to the Peronis and will insist on buying you one when next we meet up 🙂

  56. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks Redders (or should that be Rëddërs?).

    As The Rock says, I think we’ll see some TW action in January, in particular for another striker option (and so that we can finally let Bendy go and realise his destiny, whatever that would be).

    But even before then, I feel very good about what we have. Once Podolski’s off the sick bed, we effectively already have the alternative to Giroud that we need, with the gangly youngster and Theo providing further options. Would have been better to have one in now but to me the crucial thing was to get an attacking mega talent in, so that we add to the artistry of that side of the game. And Özil more than fulfils that requirement. I predict we will score just as many extra goals with Özil as we would’ve done by recruiting a top striker.

    Of all the names that were kicking around this summer, the only one I might have preferred in terms of pure footballing qualities was Suárez, but taking into account his baggage, even with him, I’d have plumped for the bug eyed one. I still can’t believe Real and Man U have conspired, with Tottenham’s help, to let us get Özil.

  57. RockyLives says:

    Rasp 🙂 🙂
    A bet’s a bet my friend and the Peronis will be furnished (including the one I owe you from last season’s Chamakh bet!).

  58. Rasp says:

    Haha Rocky, I’d be on my back after 3 Peronis, so maybe you’ll have to help me drink the rest.

    I shall be very interested to see how our wage bill compares to the spuds next time round. I reckon theirs must have gone up by around £400k a week whereas ours should have dropped by £250k a week even with Ozil’s wages – that makes a difference of £33m a year.

    The marketing and merchandising value of Ozil will also boost our finances … so its all good 🙂

  59. Raspers, I’m just going to call him Özzy – just like an actual Brummy headbanger, lol.

  60. Rasp says:

    Brilliant chary, and have you seen his missus ….. a step up on Sharon 😕

  61. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocket

    Just tying up loose ends then off to Wichita and onto Vegas for unexpected family matters.

    This coincided with GIE’s comment a while ago that made me realise I was no longer enjoying blogging and enough was enough, or as the French say ‘un oeuf est un oeuf’. Lol

    I was having coffee in the hotel when I went to read your Post, and suddenly you started to read it out loud to me!!!

    I did not know ‘Sirius’ could do that and as it was not intentional I could not figure out how to shut you up. Lol

    Anyway, all in earshot were given the pleasure of listening to your excellent and somewhat whimsical prose!! lol

    Anyway, keep well, everyone, and maybe we will chat again one day, when the moaning Minnie’s have subsided.

    Hasta la vista.

  62. Bryan says:

    Rocky
    I like that Ozil song & would be more than happy to shout/sing that one at the emirates or at shite fart pain 😉

  63. Yes, I’ve seen Ozzy’s other half Raspers, the WAGS of today are another level.

  64. fatgingergooner says:

    Midday and I’m still buzzing! Who needs drugs when you’ve got Ozil!? 🙂

    It’s been a while since its felt this good to be an Arsenal fan.

    Have we decided on nickname and song yet?

    So far we’ve had Ozzy, Nemo, Oz, Ursula, and I’m going to throw in the Germanator just for the hell of it!

  65. 26may1989 says:

    Just a side note re the additional striker thing: interestingly, after Higuain’s sale, Benzema is Real’s only established, out and out striker (the other forwards being Ronaldo and two youngsters).

  66. fatgingergooner says:

    The Ozil signing could prove to be a blessing for the likes of Flamini, Sanogo, Viviano, Gnabry and Ryo. It should take the limelight away from them and give them the opportunity to bed into the side. An opportunity that hasn’t been afforded to many of our recent signings.

  67. Big Raddy says:

    New Potatoes 😀

  68. Gooner In Exile says:

    Not considering Bale then 26?

    I’m sure everyone has seen the lads unveiling at Madrid.

    Amongst other things he spoke in Spanish….well done, kissed the badge….vomit, and then whilst juggling (with one foot) tried to balance the ball on the same foot and failed……laugh.

    He is undoubtedly a good PL attacker, powerful, and fast, and a good shot. For me he hasn’t proved himself with close ball control or the killer pass. Both of which you need when you’re going to play for Madrid especially in Europe.

  69. Gooner In Exile says:

    The Rouge Derrière is back 😀

    Good to see you RA.

  70. fatgingergooner says:

    26,

    That’s true, but Morata looked very useful at the U21 tournament. I think big things are expected of Jese Rodriguez too. Still surprising though for a team that size to have the one striker.

    If its good enough for them then its good enough for us!

    🙂

  71. Rasp says:

    OK you smart arses, someone tell me how you get the dots above the ‘o’ in erzil 🙂

  72. GoonerB says:

    Nice one Rocky. I haven’t had time to look at all the comments above but I have a question if one of you fine AA’ers can answer it. With the TW shutting at 11.00pm yesterday is that for permanent transfers only or does that also include loan deals (and does it further matter which league you are looking to loan someone from)? I had this nagging feeling that loan deals had a different window or does that only apply to the championship?

  73. Mike says:

    Thanks Rock

    A few things have been more or less or proven.

    Firstly, Kronke is not some con man out to hoard cash. The first time money is available, we spend.

    Secondly,Arsene is not frightened of spending big. Depending on resources and player availability he will go for it.

    Thirdly,Gazidis and Law are not as incompetent as some thought

    For me, the Ozil signing is not just about the quality of player, its about much more. Its a sign of our new renewed strength of the pitch and confirmation of our determination and ambition on it.

    We are on the right path, and our greatest assets are stability and the little matter of having one of the best, if not the best, managers in the world.

  74. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    oopps,

  75. 26may1989 says:

    @Rasp: Nö!

    🙂

  76. Shard says:

    Yaay.. RA is back.. Although strangely with a multitude of lols added to his vocabulary. Is this the the effect of the ‘coke’??

    Terry Mancini.. I thought that sounded an awful lot like you. Hi Mike 🙂

  77. Shard says:

    Rasp..Buy me a Peroni next time I’m in the UK and I’ll tell you 🙂

  78. 26may1989 says:

    Ok, Rasp. On an iPhone, accented letters like O with an Umlaut (Ö) are very easy – you just hold the unaccented letter down and then a series of accented options, and voilà!

    Otherwise, on Word etc, I think you’d have to get a symbol up but someone may know better than I do.

    So Terry is Mike, fancy that!

    And GoonerB, loans to PL clubs close at the same time as permanent transfers, unless there’s an emergency (all goalkeepers ate dodgy lasagne etc). Deals may be announced late but the basic paperwork has to be filed on time. So the only way a PL club can really get someone in now is to sign an uncontracted player.

    I read yesterday that the Italians have deadline day in a single hotel, so everyone is on hand to get everything done immediately. Very efficient system, and potentially quite an amusing set up.

  79. RockyLives says:

    I think I read that Yossi is out of contract. Although I suppose the last thing we need is another midfielder.

  80. Shard says:

    “We welome the statement of intent Arsenal have made with the signing of a world-class player like Mesut Ozil.
    “It is a transformational signing for the club in terms of both transfer fee and wages paid.
    “It is however frustrating that once again a window has closed with over £50m left unspent. The AST would like to see all available resources put toward strengthening the team.”

    I know some people don’t see them as such, but I fully agree with Peter Hill-Wood’s description of the AST as idiots.

  81. RockyLives says:

    The AST view seems to be that if you money, you are obliged to spend it NOW!

    If the AST won the lottery they would presumably take the view that becaus they have a big pile of money, it must be spent as quickly as possible.

    They’d end up being featured in The Sun five years later in a story about “how I blew my lottery millions and am now on the dole.”

  82. jnyc says:

    great post Rocky.
    its so refreshing that this world class player may have turned down a bigger offer from psg sheiks and mercenaries for actual footballing desire ! makes him worth even more to me !!! nice to see there are a couple players out there who can resist the greed and easier path.
    could be key to the future recruitment of top players..
    he can honestly say:
    I did Madrid, flourished, I said no to the oilers, then I came to Arsenal for real football and team spirit.
    btw, I also am happier with Flamini than I would have been if we paid 15 mil or so on either Gustavo or Cabaye. Money very well NOT spent- then put towards our superstar signing, and maybe even the next big name we bring in
    🙂

  83. Rasp says:

    Thanks 26m. Shard, you can have one of the Peronis Rocky owes me 🙂

  84. Shard says:

    Apparently we bid for Rooney, Benteke, Pastore, Di Natale, and Ba yesterday. I’d say we’re more than willing to spend the money that we feel we can as long as we get the requisite quality to go with it.

    Reading an article on Ladyarse (that sounds kinky) , there is the interesting suggestion that despite the window being shut, we could sign players on a free. (Which will be worth it just to outrage the AST) Suggestion given there are the earlier linked, former Schalke player Ciprian Marica, as well as Carlton Cole (as a joke)

  85. Shard says:

    Rasp.. Spend some effing money 🙂

  86. Shard says:

    Anyway..you press the Alt key + 153 on the number pad for the capital O, and 148 for the small case o.

  87. Rasp says:

    Shard, I will only buy you a super super quality beer. I am working very hard looking for suitable beers, rest assured there will be plenty of action on the beer procuring front, but remember just because you can pay a lot of money for a beer, it doesn’t necessarily taste better than one you’ve brewed yourself 😛

  88. Shard says:

    Rasp 😀

    But I’d rather not try ‘Warmpiss’, thank you very much. You can keep your umlaut and your money, unless it’s this Peroni (the super super quality beer) that I keep hearing about, that you are willing to buy.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    The Nutmeg Hall of Fame 😀

  90. arnie says:

    Fantastic, Rocky, great read and fantastic comments. Rocking all the way …. The important thing is that we have made a huge statement of intent. And hopefully sent most of the whingers burrowing into their holes.

    I am following all of your comments with a smile on my face, even if I am somewhat quiet. Busy day ….

    A few observations for the moment.

    I agree with your assessments of our EPL competitors, with a small difference. I think Shitty will probably be quite good. Good manager, plenty of money and players, probably will build a good team. Chelski, ditto. The Special One has what it takes to be successful at this level.

    So, in practical terms, we should aim (and expect) to take full points, home and away, against ManUre, Pool and Spuds, and win at home against Chelski and Shitty.

    CL should really be smooth sailing until the QF, and then we will see …

    On transfers, Ozil and Flamster are fantastic, and Sanogo and Viviano will do for the moment. By the way, FGG, I love the BFG-squared call. ha ha ha

    I think with Flamster in, and with a settled combination at CB, we are doing OK at the back. And, as the NLD shows, we can provide all hands on board …

    From what I have seen on YouTube (and the stats forwarded by Evonne), Viviano has very good reflexes and is a great stopper at point blank range. 3 penalty stops (out of 19) as well. The problem is, I think, he is a bit erratic. I see Viviano really as a 3rd choice. Hopefully he will get enough practice in CapitalOne, and international duty will be good as well, as understudy to Buffon.

    Cover for Giroud is the main problem. Until Poldi returns, Bendtner will probably have to provide that, and I will be quiet and allow him a chance to redeem himself. Would Ba have been better? Yes, but not getting him is not teh end of the world. maybe, Sanogo will develop somewhat in the process.

    All in all, looking forward to good times.

  91. Rasp says:

    Hmmm, hardly a glowing endorsement from Bendy, it would have been more convincing if he hadn’t included these paras ….

    …… “It’s no secret that Arsenal and myself had agreed that I could leave the club during the 2013 summer transfer window subject to an agreement between all parties.

    “An agreement had been reached with more than one club this week but as Arsenal were unable to secure the services of another striker, they reserved their right to not sanction any deal to be concluded…

    “Naturally, I was very disappointed as I was looking forward to a new challenge, with a new club and a fresh start in English football.

  92. arnie says:

    Rasp:

    How can someone be so daft as to repeatedly shoot himself in teh foot …..

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Adebayor, Defoe, Lemon = Big wages for no return. I guess no-one would buy them.

    Nice to see NB52 tell us ” I am looking forward to working hard to regain full fitness and doing my very best to help to the team and the Manager fulfil our objectives and ambitions this season.”

    but says that AFC prevented his transfer (must be because we couldn’t sign a striker)

    The man is getting €3m a year from us!!

  94. wally says:

    Ozil = Very Good Business.
    That was indeed a surprise.
    If we can keep Giroux healthy and continue to show great resilience and commitment in defence I think we are in with more than a chance.
    A long ways to go yet and many ifs but i feel much better today than i have for the last 45.

    Can’t fathom what manure are trying to create. They need creative midfielders and won’t play kagawa or bid on Ozil? That’s brain dead to me. And glad for it!

  95. Sav from Australia says:

    Top post Rocky!

  96. Sav from Australia says:

    @ Shard says:
    September 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Do you have the link for the Man U blog? That is a very interesting story and if it is what is suggested, hints at big problems at the PGMOL’s favourite club.

  97. Shard says:

    Sav

    I’ll try and find it again. It should be in my history somewhere.

  98. Sav from Australia says:

    “They’d end up being featured in The Sun five years later in a story about “how I blew my lottery millions and am now on the dole.”

    ROFL!

  99. Reddawn says:

    Arsene in his wisdom changed Van Persie into a formidable striker, therefore, why not Ozil. It fits well with the Arsenal way of using players in more than one position.

  100. fatgingergooner says:

    So Ramos and Arbeloa saying how surprised they are that Ozil was sold and how good a player he is. Also saying he’s a massive loss to the changing room and he’s a good guy.

    Sounds good to me! 🙂

  101. Shard says:

    Sav

    I went and saw again. I’ll link you to all the stiff in a minute. I might have made a mistake in understanding it (it was 4am) but I might have not. I still don’t understand what went on there.

    The original blog itself quoted sky as saying those 3 men were imposters. One comment said imposters was not the word used by Balague. Both blog and comment seemed to link the story back to AS, where it was suggested that the men who were at LFP offices did not have power of attorney from Herrera. And when they contacted Herrera’s lawyer to get it, at this point ManU backed out of the deal. Nowhere is it mentioned that the representatives were not from ManU.

    On the reporting of it later on Goal.com (I know – but that’s all I can find) the story is that these 3 persons did not have the authority of the club. However, they state that these people were not random imposters, but people who were well connected to negotiations.

    ManU have since put out the story that they were imposters, but Sid Lowe of the Guardian has denied that this is true. He says it is more a case of a ‘major communication breakdown’, and that the word imposter gives a false impression. Mentions something about lawyers for players and laywers for the club, not knowing someone doesn’t make them an imposter etc etc on his twitter timeline.

    The blog
    http://www.thebusbybabe.com/2013/9/2/4687516/manchestser-united-deadline-day-ander-herrera-impostors

    AS story
    http://as.com/diarioas/2013/09/02/english/1378135016_075138.html

    Goal.com story

    http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2892/transfer-zone/2013/09/03/4234659/herrera-fellaini-farce-typical-of-manchester-uniteds-woeful?ICID=HP_HN_1

  102. nijwm says:

    great article mate. i love the spurs and arsenal fans’ conversation. and ‘special needs one’, that was great. mourinho is like the proverbial fox tempting and disappointing arsenal with demba ba. it’d be great to see john terry fall on his face again with ozil spraying a perfect through ball to walcott who scores. 5-2 to the gunners.

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    Anyone think that Wenger won’t sign a contract now we’ve gone and blown £42.5m on Ozil?

    Surely it’s just the start?

  104. Lovely comment about Özzy from the Germany general manager Bierhoff: “Firstly, I am very happy for Mesut that he has joined such a great club. I believe that he will develop further in London, both athletically but also personally.

    “After three years of Spain, and the departure now, I think he has established himself well. And now it is another country, a new mentality, a different way of playing football, an outstanding traditional club with a great coach who can deal well with young people.

    “And a team that might not have the glamour of Madrid, for now, but in which he can take on more responsibility.”

  105. arnie says:

    Who are the jokers at AST? I am considering moving my “public enemy no 1” tag from Alan Hansen to the AST lead joker no 1.

  106. chas says:

    Lovely stuff, Rocky.

    Dennis walking across the Caledonian canal into the Marble Halls, pausing only to distribute loaves and fishes to the masses. Had me beaming, even if I didn’t understand the context. 🙂

    It seems wonderful to have a German core just as their club football is on top of the world and their international side is second only to the Spanish. We just need Mesut, Per and Lukas to persuade Bastian that he needs a new challenge in England and we could rule club football for the next 5 years. 🙂

  107. chas says:

    Bendy also said,

    “I still feel very strongly about Arsenal Football Club and following positive talks with the manager, I am looking forward to working hard to regain full fitness and doing my very best to help to the team and the manager fulfil our objectives and ambitions this season.

    “I have learnt a lot from my loan experiences at Sunderland and Juventus, and I want to assure all Arsenal fans that I will give everything I have to contribute to what I believe will be a successful season for the club.”

    I just thought I’d add that for balance.

  108. 26may1989 says:

    I’m a lifetime member of the AST, but have become increasingly pissed off at the way they have changed the original purpose of the organisation into becoming a mouthpiece for certain people to push their own views. That wasn’t the purpose originally.

    I wrote to them to complain about this earlier in the summer but didn’t get a response. Time for me to turn up at one of their meetings in order to make the point directly. And then resign my membership.

  109. Arnie i agree wholeheartedly, i’m actually surprised the AST and BSM have not come out with statements saying “no need to thank us, we did it for our love of the club, our actions have finally made them realise the errors of their ways”.

    Where as those of us with any sense will know the club had to change course soon, and that it has done when most of us have predicted (ie when the sponsorship deals were renegotiated), and with CL football secured.

    If we had finished 5th I guarantee we would have done business earlier but without the stellar name, and if 3rd we would have done it earlier with the stellar name. 4th puts us in no mans land, as you have not qualified for CL proper, losing at the qualification stage relegates you to zero european football as it does not provide entry to Europa at that stage. So i was unsurprised we waited to spend. Levy obviously made us wait longer, he would have been shitting bricks had Ozil started against them Sunday, lets be honest if you were a Spud fan, would you prefer Ozil to Capoue and Paulinho combined? I think you would, and i can’t imagine Madrid didn’t offer him. But my guess is Ozil said “in welcher Liga, sind sie nicht nur ein kleines Team in London?”

  110. fatgingergooner says:

    Personally I don’t ever want to see Bendtner in an Arsenal shirt again. I would prefer Akpom or Sanogo in front of him, but even that would take injuries to Giroud, Podolski and Theo, so I don’t think that will happen.

    The unity of our team right now is outstanding. I don’t see any point in risking that for a mediocre player who is leaving the club in June. Stick with the youngsters and lets look onwards and upwards. Bendtner is a needless reminder of the mediocrity that crept into our squad during the stadium move.

  111. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    Agree wholeheartedly with every point you just made, but just to let you know you do go into Europa League if you lose in CL qualifier.

  112. Shard says:

    26m

    My view on the AST is that they started off as an organisation that did do some good things in getting some of the fans’ views across to the club. Also, that the club gave them some legitimacy by involving them, and interacting with them. A lot of the stadium and ticketing issues just after the move were credited to the process of communication between the AST and the club.

    It was in 2011 that I saw the first sign of change in that regard. We’d lost the League Cup and FA cup, but were still fighting for the league title, when they felt the need to open their mouths and basically kick the team when they were down. This is when Hill-Wood referred to them as idiots (and rightly so, not least because they had been accorded a semi-official status by Arsenal, and that brings with it certain responsibilities) The media portrayed it as Hill-Wood calling Arsenal fans idiots. Since then, the AST have always had Tim Payton up front, and speaking for all Arsenal fans, rather than their organisation. They’ve used every opportunity to undermine the club and indulged in self aggrandisement (including claiming some sort of credit for freeze in ticket prices, and as I recall, for increase in commercial deals being their idea) with the media lapping it up, and making them the face of ‘disgruntled’ Arsenal fans.

    There might be a few members of the AST on AA like yourself, and I mean no offense to anyone on here but I seriously hate that organisation and all its done to spread negativity over the last 2 and a bit years.

  113. evonne says:

    Rasp – is the ‘Spend some f****g money’ ready for Room 101 🙂

  114. Big Raddy says:

    26. I wish I were a member of AST so I could resign.

    Who the hell are they to suggest they represent the Arsenal fans? Could they be Spud infiltrators?

  115. So who’s going to the Stoke game ? I am and am now looking forward to it a whole lot more than I was a few days ago.

  116. Shard says:

    chary

    Is it the 2014-15 season yet? 😛

  117. evonne says:

    and do you know what is bestest thing about Ozil?
    HE TURNED DOWN MANU to join us 🙂 gotta luv him

  118. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. Thanks for that explanation about AST.

    Tim Payton is sometimes on the Arseblog Podcast and he doesn’t come across as dis-content but as an intelligent Gooner. Strange.

  119. Oi, stop it Shard, that’s enough gloating there 🙂

  120. chas says:
  121. arnie says:

    26may: I think you should make your point but resignation does not help. I guess it will just be accepted sheepishly without even a thanks. But it is worth making the point at every forum possible that AST does not represent the views of a large number of Arsenal fans. A positive statement from them would have been nice, but this will not come I am sure. It seems AST is potentially an useful organisation that has landed into wrong hands. Their influence is very negative for sure.

  122. chas says:

  123. FGG I’ve had it in my head for years that CL qualifiers don’t end up in Europa League, it seems it was never the case 😳

  124. chas says:

  125. chas says:

  126. arnie says:

    Lead joker no 1:
    https://twitter.com/sjc1951

    ha ha ha

    Even has a picture of Arsene on his twitter page. what a j***.

  127. arnie says:

    Dynastic as well. Apparently his “able” son is waiting in the wings as well ….

  128. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Great stuff from you this evening. The Arsenal player video was superb, as is article about the TW at Em’s. But those pics have really had me laughing. I love the Michael Arkwright

  129. Big Raddy says:

    arnie.The AW pic and his background is from an Arsenal mousemat which can be bought at The Armoury. I have one on my desk as I write.

  130. JM says:

    “Revealed: How Arsenal & Real Madrid outwitted Tottenham to seal Ozil deal”

    http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2892/transfer-zone/2013/09/02/4233160/revealed-how-arsenal-real-madrid-outwitted-tottenham-to-seal

    Quote:
    “Frustrated by Spurs dragging their feet in the final stages of negotiations for Gareth Bale, Madrid colluded in a covert operation with Arsenal that would end with Ozil moving to London almost immediately after he was replaced at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    In addition to allowing Ozil to grow acquainted with his new Arsenal surroundings, it is understood that Blancos chiefs had reached an agreement with their north London counterparts that the German would not play for the Spanish giants in their league match against Athletic on Sunday, which they won 3-1.”

  131. JM says:

    “Athletic Bilbao not so innocent in Herrera to Manchester United collapse, claims Spanish journalist”

    http://sportwitness.ning.com/forum/topics/athletic-bilbao-not-so-innocent-in-herrera-to-manchester-united-c

    Quote:
    “Other than talks of the deal breaking down over the release clause, it appears there was an obstacle that even Bayern Munich struggled to overcome when they attempted to sign Javi Martinez.

    Lartaun de Arizmendi, a journalist for Cadena COPE (the radio station who first broke the news that Manchester United were interested in Ander Herrera), has revealed in a post on his personal blog that, irregardless of the reported clause, the Herrera deal was near impossible to complete and that Bayern Munich needed external help to force through the Javi Martinez transfer.

    He says that after much reflection on the Javi Martinez case, Athletic Bilbao came to realise that the player depositing the cheque on Bayern Munich’s behalf (even if Athletic were against the move) wasn’t enough to make the deal 100% go through. Once they had discovered this detail, Athletic used it to their advantage and told Bayern Munich that for a unilateral deal like this one to go through, the club has to agree to receive the fee in their bank account.

    If Bilbao refuse to receive the money, and there was no obligation for them to do so, the will of the paying club (Bayern Munich) and the player (Javi Martinez) counted for nothing. In order to force the deal to go through, Munich contacted the Financial Council in Bilbao to tell them that this offer was being refused. The Financial Council, who would benefit from this deal going through, pressured Athletic Bilbao in accepting the money by telling them that if they did not do so, they would be required to immediately pay all the debts they owed the Financial Council and would not receive anymore help from them in the future.

    It is only after this happened that Athletic Bilbao accepted the offer for Javi Martinez and have the money placed in their bank account.

    Returning to the Herrera deal, it appears that there was never any panic on Athletic Bilbao’s side and it was reported many times that they were confident the deal would not go through. If what Lartaun de Arizmendi has written is true, Bilbao knew that Manchester United would never have the time to get the Financial Council on their side in time for a similar process to happen.

    If Bilbao refused to accept the money in their bank account, this would explain why the three Laffer lawyers were turned away at the LFP headquarters yesterday evening.”

  132. chas says:

  133. chas says:

  134. chas says:

  135. chas says:

  136. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    Just sharing stuff linked to on twitter.

    The Özil cigarette card looks as though the Arsenal Gent has used a picture of Marty Feldman intentionally. 🙂

  137. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Forgie me if i am wrong here, but arnt the AST, Black Scarf movement etc esentialy all pressure groups.

    By claiming to represent large sections of support they logicaly feel that there views could exert more weight on the Arsenal Hiarachy.

    I have no problems personaly with such groups, however, i am an individual and make my own mind up. I dont need or want any one to represent me in matters Arsenal.

    In many ways thats exactly what Wenger and the Board have for the last 20 years been doing, essentialy ignoring other views and sticking to there mantra.

    This winds people up, and they get upset. Theres nothing worse than been ignored. I was once so wind up by a women i desired that i confronted her and demanded acknowledgment.

    She told me i had the personality of a golf ball and that i was visably unplesent to the eye. Some how, this made me feel better,

    This is what the AST want and desire, acknowledgement. I am convinced that if Gazidis was to make a public statement that they are now a dangerous and banned group, they would feel great.

  138. Shard says:

    I was laughing at the Arteta card the hardest. So much for his lego hair 🙂

    And chary.. I promise not to tease you about that anymore..

    And when I do, I can just say ‘I LIED!’ like that internet meme 🙂

  139. Hi all

    So with all excitement I forgot to start nagging for posts …… we have none in the cupboard and need 10 days worth until we can ooh and aah at our shiny new toy strutting his stuff.

    Love the story about RM colluding with Arsenal while Daniel Levy thought he was getting the better of us 😆

    26 – are you up to some writing?

  140. Shard says:

    Hi Mike 🙂

    You should see some of the stuff that is said in regards to these two organisations on sites like Le Grove sometime. They genuinely would be happy about being called dangerous groups, because they like to play at being rebels against an oppressive regime, fighting for freedom, plotting to bring down an evil dictator for the good of all. I’m not kidding. When they planned the march sometime last season, or was it two seasons ago, I saw comments like that everywhere.

    My problem with them is that they thrive on feeding negativity into the narrative of the club, in which the media is a very willing participant, and in some cases instigator. For instance, they approach the AST or Pedro from Le Grove to get the view of ‘Arsenal fans’ because it fits the story they want to tell, instead of interviewing TMHT from AA… who would tell them all about his haunted underpants, and how seeing Amy Lawrence causes some stirring in them. I’d much rather read that story than the one that AST and BSM put out..

  141. Shard says:

    JM @ 6.26

    Thank you for that explanation. Bilbao really found a b***** of a loophole. I wonder if Liverpool did something similar in regard to Suarez?? Just a passing thought.

    Still shows ManU in a poor light if Bilbao had done this only last season to Bayern, and I still think that the imposter story is ManU’s PR trying to hide their incompetence.

    But whatever..ManU’s hilarity in the transfer market is just a bonus. I’m well pleased with Arsenal right now.

  142. arnie says:

    Shard: agree 100%

    Terry: I like the idea of pressure groups as well, putting pressure on the “evil despot” and all that. But they are even less accountable than the likes of AW or IG or SK, They lose their utility if they are not adequately self-regulated. And then they go on spewing negativity like its nobody’s business, which the press laps up, because negativity sells ….

    This is the problem. If there was a way to fairly place into the public domain the balance of opinion that Arsenal fans represent, none of us would mind. But, how?

  143. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, they only have to ask Shard. I am always more than happy to discuss the spirit of my underpants.

    In fact, if some of these Troll types or Le Grove freaks spent more time rejoycing in there own pants they might feel a lot better about themselves.

    Why waste time and energy slagging Arsene and the Board when they can stare at there pants.

    Literally, pants can save all.

  144. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Perhapes we can start our own group arnie?. But then we would become a collective and end up with our own agenda.

    Genuine pressure groups should effectively be disorganised and anarchic in nature. This gaurantees there authenticity and makes them very dangerous

    Especaily if they believe in the power of pants

  145. IanRealGunner says:

    The advantage of just having returned to Africa is the endless repeats of Prem Games – just watched the NLD for the third time, solely to hear David Pleat’s line in commentary as the ball is launched by Sz to end the game….

    “They’ve got it…….they’ve got it”

    Priceless

  146. GoonerB says:

    Just come back and breezed through the comments. I loved your Arsenal Gentleman cards Chas. You should do one for every player and send them in to the club officially.

    Terry, are you really thinking of setting up an underpants pressure group. If so count me in as I have been waiting for someone to do this for ages. Will there be any rules, and are budgie smugglers allowed, or is it just a wear what style of underpants you like type of group with lots of group chanting and standing one legged on the windowsill?

  147. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    GB, hahahaha, “standing one legged on the windowsill”.

    I like that. Definately going in the Articles of Association.

  148. chas says:

    GoonerB,
    There is a twitter chap called Arsenal Gentleman who has made the cards. They are nothing to do with me, (wish they were), all I’m doing is posting a link to the tweet.

  149. Shard says:

    Let’s go Gunners!

  150. Gooner In Exile says:

    “I’m looking forward to taking on the league”

    Micky just had an emotional accident 😀

  151. Gooner In Exile says:

    Terry I have no issues with fans group, RedAction gets my vote, they at least try to engage with the club and from what I’ve seen are Gooners I can relate to.

    Some of the AST spokespeople appear to be financial big wigs, lawyers etc and whilst that shouldn’t be an issue if they speak without consulting with their members (and I mean a ballot of some sort) they are speaking for themselves, they have tied themselves closely to BSM as a more vocal group and some would say that they are using them to do their dirty work while trying to retain relations with the board.

    26 has said he is a member….wouldn’t it have been wise to canvas opinion of the members before releasing the statement? Because in reality the AST isn’t speaking, a man who sits up on the AST is.

    26 also said he has written letters with no reply….hmmm they sound as accountable as the Board of Arsenal itself then?

  152. chas says:

    I really like Rocky’s, ‘you wish you had Mesut Ozil’

    Along the lines of DB10 and the second coming all I could think of was,
    We’ve got Mesut Ozil,
    We’ve got Mesut Ozil,
    La, La, La, La, Ooo,
    La, La, La, La, Ooo.

  153. 26may1989 says:

    I have spent the last couple of hours of my recuperation exchanging emails with the AST Secretary, so there is at least some form of discussion.

    As a member of the organisation, my complaint isn’t that views are being expressed; rather it is that the AST set itself up to address specific issues relating to ownership of the club, finances and facilitating fan involvement and representation. It was not meant to be an organisation for pushing views about how the footballing aspects of the club are run, but that has how it has gone in the last few years.

    Having gone into that territory, they expose themselves to complaints by the likes of me, that their mission has crept and they’re now saying things some members (and good members of the broader Arsenal community) don’t like.

  154. dandan says:

    Stewart Robson on Talk sport tonight, “I am not an Arsenal fan I come on here as a Pundit, Arsenal have brought a player they didn’t need just to say they bought big” whilst they players the needed have not been found.

  155. evonne says:

    Where is Micky? Thinking formations no doubt 🙂

    Chas and Rocky – I think my Turkish Delight song was the best. In fact I might take songwriting up professionally.

    11 days till we see Mesut playing, my patience has been pushed to its limit

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Really, really sorry not around today.

    What a superb post. Thanks Rocky.

    And equally superb, interesting, and hilarious comments.

    Fantastic reading. Must offski.

  157. fatgingergooner says:

    Stewart Robson is so ridiculously pathetic that its actually quite funny to watch him try and antagonise Arsenal fans.

    He has made himself into a joke. Long may it continue!

  158. IanRealGunner says:

    Dan Dan,
    Stewart Robson is the gift that just keeps on giving!!!! I wonder if they could get Tony Gayle on as well just to really milk the anti-Arsenalness (if there is sucha word!!!)

  159. arnie says:

    26May: Fantastic, let us see how your discussions go. If you find some resonance, it may be worthwhile pointing out to them what some supporters think of them.

    Terry and GiE: My votes go for anarchists and pressure groups as well. At the very least, they bring forward alternate views and responses. At the moment, outside AA it is all one way traffic, and this is boring.

  160. VCC says:

    “Santi to the left of me…….Ozil to the right……stuck in the middle Giroud”.

  161. RockyLives says:

    VCC 🙂

  162. Gooner In Exile says:

    Arnie Tim Payton is on twitter…I think he will know what people think 😀

    The thing is he has had more press coverage and appearances on R5 Live and TalkShite since taking a contrary view to the Board, it has served his ego well, of he suddenly started agreeing with the club again he knows he would get a few less calls.

    A discussion on the merits of the AST could be the subject of a post I guess….Shard and 26 seem to have strong opinions and 26 has revealed he has time on his hands….an insomniac in hospital…..means lots of posts for Peaches 🙂

  163. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’d rather a post on where the squad is at now.

    By the way there was some discussion that we could bring in out of contract players….I’m not sure that’s true for the PL because I think the 25 man squad has to be named now…and I don’t think it can change til January. Could be wrong though.

  164. arnie says:

    GiE: Yes, a post at some point will be good. With the TW gone, there will be more space in the near future I am sure. Poor 26, he must be bored to madness in hospital ….

  165. fatgingergooner says:

    To the tune of U.G.L.Y – Daphne & Celeste:

    O Z I L
    Best player in the EPL,
    He’s Ozil,
    He’s Ozil!

    You could do loads of these!

    O Z I L,
    Your jealous he’s at Arsenal,
    Mesut Ozil,
    Mesut Ozil!

    🙂

  166. fatgingergooner says:

    O Z I L
    He’s got a name that Spuds can’t spell,
    He’s Ozil
    Mesut Ozil

    🙂

  167. Rob Lucci says:

    Ozil is the same ages as Tom Cleverley!
    Let that sink in for a minute!

  168. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Good Morning

    No, dont worry, i am not joining the Breakfast Club

    This is what happens when you have a first wife that continues to take and an estranged second that has also discovered the sweet delight of revenge

    You wake up at unfathamble hours in a cold sweat from disturbing dreams about money and security.

    20 minutes ago whilst fast asleep i met Mesut Ozil. He came round my house and i thanked him for joining us and asked how his arrival would blend in with Santi

    He answered he wasnt interested in that, explaining how he was acting for Mrs Mancini and i was to give him money. I said “What, your joking arnt yer?, your an Arsenal player”

    “Yes Mancini, but for pleasure in my spare time i act as a Baliff, and i want all your money”

    In this dream i was tired and exhausted. “Yes Mr Ozil, here is my cash, sorry its only £17.23. I also have a chair, which doubles as my bed, and a Ford Capri which needs a new engine, please take the keys. Do you now want me to bend over and take off the pants?”

    “No that will not be nessecary Mancini. Besides, you have a extremley disturbing face, i very much doubt you do any bending”

    As he was leaving i shouted after him “fantastic you joined us Mesut, i reckon your the man to push us to the title. cant wait to see you play”

    I waved as he attempted to start the Capri, observing his anger as the engien failed to start.

    Waking up relieved, i counted my money. £17.23, all there, and looked out of the window to see the Capri, nicely parked down hill all ready for a push start.

    Mesut Ozil, what a signing. hahaha

  169. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    TMHT. 😀 I love your imagination.

    I have been through the same bank account emptying experience. Fear not, they may have your money, but you have your Arsenal.

    As I have said many times over the years, wives come and go but Arsenal are forever.

    Beautiful car, a Capri. Looks lovely sitting outside the house, why do you need an engine?

  170. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Raddy

    The engien dont work so i push the car everywere, even on the motorway

    Takes ages to get to my destination and is very exhausting, sort of defeats the object really.

    Work calls, so got to go. Two hours pushing ahead.

  171. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all. Rob you’ve amazed me, the way Cleverly is talked of as a “prospect” in the media I figured he was the same age as Jack.

    Goes to show Arsenal is the place for youngsters….

    Gibbs 23
    Theo 24
    Ramsey 22
    Jack 21
    Ox 20
    Jenkinson 21
    Szczesny 23

    and now Ozil 24

    We’ve got a very very enjoyable future 🙂

  172. Gooner In Exile says:

    Talking of Szczesny

  173. evonne says:

    anybody that I asked thought Ozil is about 27-28, just like me.
    That’s because he has been playing at the highest level for a longtime now

    Rosicky is 32, would you believe that?

  174. evonne says:

    szczesny 🙂 iam beginning to like the boy 🙂

  175. Big Raddy says:

    It is amazing how much these young kids put into their lives.

    Can you remember back to when NB crashed his car? Then has a baby with a Danish Countess, then goes out on loan to all those clubs including a season in Italy.

    He is just 25!

  176. Gooner In Exile says:

    The other funny thing is there is quite a difference between Spuds and Madrid on the price paid for Bale.

    Levy has told everyone £86m but that is only one side of the story….Madrid say £78m ok it’s only £8m but for everyone at Madrid they literally can’t say it’s more than Ronaldo.

    Who do we believe? Levy has been lauded throughout the summer, whilst we have taken a beating in the press. Very similar to last season where AVB is great and Arsene was rubbish.

    I think we should wait until the end of the season before we judge our summers.

  177. 26may1989 says:

    “Wait until the end of the season before we judge our summers”? Where’s the fun in that?? Spoilsport.

    🙂

  178. Morning all

    We have a New Post ……………….

  179. Shard says:

    Good morning everyone..

    Evonne.. I didn’t realise you were in your twenties 😀

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