A bench made out of ‘deadwood’ or untapped talent?

I would like to take a good look at our squad. We are on a great run of games and everything is looking rosy but we’ve all forgotten about our so called “deadwood”. These are the players who are old enough for the first team but aren’t playing as much as anybody would like:

1. Abou Diaby: Injuries have almost destroyed the poor guy’s career. With the signing of Flamini and Ozil, there is no space even on the bench for Abou, so when he eventually returns from injury (if he stays fit for longer than his unveiling as our “new signing”)he wont have much time to get back to his best and might have to be sold or loaned out or his career may end prematurely.

2. Emmanuel Frimpong: Our bench General has been on the bench for virtually all our matches this season and no appearance so far. You don’t need to be Einstein’s twin to tell that he doesn’t feature much in Arsene’s plans. He does what he does well i.e. warm the bench, and a player like him is invaluable during an injury crisis but he might have to move on to get some playing time.

3. Nicklas Bendtner: The big Dane is an average player at most and IMHO and the only reason I think we should play him at all is to up his transfer price. I think Poldi should be played more as CF and Bendtner should be given the boot at the first opportunity that presents itself.

4. Park Ju-Young: With an admirable 1 appearance under his belt, there is not much I can say about our Korean forward, and considering his 3 goals in 21 apps for Celta Vigo, he is far from world class so I would loan him out till his contract expires and then release him. Done and dusted.

5. Joel Campbell: When we signed him in 2011, I thought he would be the long-term successor to RVP. Now, I’m not too sure. A bunch of loan moves and 7 goals in over 60 club apps later, he is not looking too good. And with the signing of Sanogo, and the explosion of Akpom, he seems to have his work cut out for him.

6. Francis Coquelin: I personally think he’s our best future prospect at DM, and with one or two more loan spells, he would be ready to play for us on a weekly basis, but I’m not sure he is patient enough to wait that long, although I hope he waits long enough.

There are other players like Wellington Silva (remember him), Benik Afobe, Thomas Eisfeld and what happens to Gnabry when Theo and AOC return?

Last summer, we let a few players leave, but it seems we need to let go of a few more. What do you think? Which other players do you think deserve a chance to shine?

Written by Jamie

206 Responses to A bench made out of ‘deadwood’ or untapped talent?

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:


    From earlier: “the days of integrity died with The Kinks”

    Love it 🙂

  2. chas says:

    Good stuff, Jamie.

    The funny thing about Diaby is that when he’s fit, he goes straight into the first team because he is that gifted. I feel so sorry for him.

    I’d imagine Eisfeld and Gnabry have strong futures with the club. Not sure about Afobe, he seems plagued with injuries, too.

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Excellent work Jamie, thank you.

    My biggest concern surrounding our squad players and future stars, is the lack of central defenders coming through.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:


    How do you rate Coquelin and Miguel’s long terminess?

  5. chas says:

    I’d have thought both would have made it into the first team squad by now if they were going to.
    But what do I know?

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Fine debut Jamie.

    Frimpong is an oddity – he isn’t the typical AW player and yet he has been kept at the club ahead of Coquelin. My guess is that AW sees something in him that we can’t as yet.

    Why do we sign players like Joel Campbell – they never come off. Wellington, Vela etc much of a muchness. Who knows he may come good

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. re: CB’s Have you read my upcoming post??

  8. Anonymous Ozil says:

    Serge Gnabry is going to be the next world class beast talent to come through le boss’ tutelage. Coquelin has a chance if he stays grounded and patient. Sanogo is one for the future. Eisfeld is a future German International….. as for the Bendtner Diaby park and Frinpong they should have gone with the rest of the summers deadwood imo

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:


    “Frimpong is an oddity – he isn’t the typical AW player and yet he has been kept at the club ahead of Coquelin”

    Interesting. Frimpong, if I remember correctly, was the star of the show during the Emirates Cup games a few years ago, but would appear to have stagnated.

    I wonder if AW sends out on loan his real prospects, and keeps at home for the CL players he wants to up the value of

  10. evonne says:

    ‘The learning curve’ was a blatant provocation and you know it.
    The Y axis is time.
    I agree with with using an adjective to describe the learning curve.

    No time to read the post, sorry Jamie, speak l8r

  11. Umar says:

    I watched joel videos while on loan he never plays as a striker,he is a right winger now having appearances and skills like zaha.he has speed and skills with good crossing and goalscoring ability.i fancy him getting matured on the right wing.He has a good defensive awareness also.For me he is better than both miyaichi and gnabry.with time expect him to start ahead of walcott because he does the things theo does while also taking on defenders directly.he is made for the premier league but i don’t know how he will fare.

  12. LB says:

    That was your first post? Wow, great insight and all good thought provoking stuff.

    Your assessment of Bendtner made me chuckle, as I was reading it I was making a mental note: don’t get on the wrong side of this guy in a debate; he is capable of putting forward a very strong argument.

    Thanks for a good read Jamie.

  13. Chas says:

    “blatant provocation”

  14. GoonerB says:

    Nice one Jamie and congratulations on passing your A.A initiation ceremony. You can come down off the window-ledge now and role your left trouser leg down. Did Peaches make you chant the A.A motto in the pink Toga like she has done with so many others?

    You are quite correct Jamie with some of the more obvious players you have mentioned. I think 1 or 2 of the younger players mentioned will have a future but it depends, as you say, on their patience. The Arsenal of 5-6 years ago would have seen 1st team spaces open up for them more readily, but we have a far stronger squad now, so if the younger players want to make it with us they may have to bide their time more and knuckle down and learn their trade. The plus side of this is that it will likely be only the best young players with the best fighting spirit and most committed attitude that graduate.

  15. dhakka09 says:

    imo Coquelin deserves a fair chance, not sure about other though. Nice write-up Jamie

  16. 26may1989 says:

    Nice post, Jamie. Overall, I agree with your take.

    We have a lot of quality young players, several of them are established already in the first team. And even beyond them, there are Gnabry, Zemalem, Eisfeld, Akpom, Sanogo, Yennaris, Bellerin, Hayden, Olsson, Ryo, etc. Plenty of reason to feel optimistic about one or two of them making the grade.

    I still consider Miquel to be a potential break through player, and, in order to allow him a chance to get more playing time, Wenger has taken a bit of a risk in terms of the cover our squad needs. I’ve always liked watching Miquel play but for him to become an Arsenal player will require real progress soon.

    I’ve also been a fan of Coquelin for some time, and was impressed with a lot of his work last season. But I try to watch the weekly Bundesliga highlights, and Coquelin hasn’t looked very good in the bits of Freiburg’s games that get shown. To be fair to him, I think he’s been played out of position a lot (on the left wing) – sound familiar? – but all the same, I’d hope he does better in the remainder of the season.

    The signing of Park remains a real mystery – even if there was (and I don’t necessarily believe there was) a supermarket dash at the end of that summer’s transfer window, he clearly has never got close to convincing the manager to invest any time in him. I don’t buy into the usual generalisations about Asian players being signed for marketing reasons, there are lots of good Asian players who are signed on merit. But Park isn’t one of them.

    I like Frimpong and Diaby, and will wish them the best when they move on, as they surely will in the not too distant future.

    PS: I know it’s just a headline, and I know I’m being pedantic, but none of the players we are discussing would make it onto the real Arsenal bench.

  17. evonne says:

    I could hardly resist disagreeing with you. I have no chance of the football relating topics, but maths and physics I think I stand a fair chance of winning 🙂

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Wow, they’re playing Coquelin on the wing eh?

  19. The Cockie Monster says:

    ” Curves “… ” Axis “…Science stuff etc….I`m your man !.
    When not munching away on SexandMe Street, I`m usually patrolling the heavens….I have an NVQ in Astrophysics !. Quite clever really and not the fruit cake you think I am, so not sure any of you will get my intelligent spud theory of irrelatively !.

    How many Spud fans does it take to change a light bulb ?.

    Actually it is all quite irrelevant !.
    Arsenal`s Shadow is more dense than a Black Hole. A region of Spacetime from which gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping !.
    In layman`s terms…..Spuds, don’t waste your money on the light bulbs !.

    Professor Monster.

  20. Jamie says:

    Thanks for all the kind words guys.

    Umar, I admit that this was a poorly researched post. And I didn’t realize that Campbell was being played on the wing. Maybe his stats aren’t that bad for a winger.

  21. evonne says:

    🙂 madman 🙂

  22. Jamie says:

    Gooner B,
    yes she did but the only reason I agreed was because I was told that the Toga wasn’t pink but Mauve. How embarrassing…:)

  23. Red Arse says:

    Nice debut Post, Jaime, thank you.

    It is early morning here so I will get back to you when I have properly woken up.

    Chas, speed reading the comments on the Breakfast Club, I noticed your question/beef about the meaning of “learning curves’ and it does seem to fit in with ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘thinking outside the box’ type of expressions.

    To be fair tho’ it is often used, in business, in terms of a task in a process and how long it takes for someone to become proficient at it.

    So Micky might have been set the task of catching, preparing and cooking some poor unsuspecting lobster for your breakfast.

    When he first did it, (the task that is) it perhaps it took him 12 hours to accomplish to your satisfaction.

    After x number of attempts, it may now only take him 4 hours.
    Why? perhaps experience has shown him where the lobsters can be most reliably found. Instead of using his bare hands, he might have noticed using a knife improved the time taken to de-shell the crittur and he might have set a timer to boil the pot at an optimum time.

    We use Micky as an exemplar of task improvement as a result of experience, and it has become known as the ‘Micky lobster learning curve’. 🙂

  24. The Cockie Monster says:

    Ah, my learned friend and colleague e va va vonne, maybe we can discus Black Holes over a glass of the milkyway and cookies !. hahaha

  25. arnie says:

    Is this really your first post, Jamie? I thought I had seen your name on another post, was it last year? In any case, fantastic work, and I am glad you have drawn attention to this.

    First, to the more general issue. The way Arsenal use the Academy, there is bound to be deadwood. When you sign a player at a young age, the returns are very uncertain. Hence, you sign more players at that age than you would ultimately need, and you can afford to do so because they are not so expensive.

    Do young players like to come to Arsenal, and if so, why? Well, certainly till about 2-3 years back, they would just jump in. Arsene would provide opportunities for them, not on the League Cup, but also in rotation. The results are the young brigade at Arsenal, and their quality is for all to see, admire and enjoy. The question then is, what happens if you do not make it? Does Arsenal bear a moral responsibility to help them find an appropriate home where they can play, perhaps regularly? I do not know, this is a matter for judgment.

    On the present crop, yes, I too feel sorry for Diaby, very sorry indeed. And he could have been fantastic for Arsenal. Frimpong, somewhat likewise. He flattered to deceive in loan spells but always returned injured.

    Gnabry surely has a future in Arsenal, and I would be somewhat hopeful for Coquelin and Eisfeld as well. But even if they were not playing regularly, what is the harm in their being on the team. There is the moral issue I mentioned earlier, but otherwise they do not cost that much in terms of money or potential disharmony within the team, except perhaps for a certain Dane. So, in my view, the verdict is not clear.

  26. arnie says:

    BTW, I do not like Jack’s interview on the Beebs this morning. He is under a lot of pressure, and he is taking on a bit too much upon himself. Maybe, he should stay away from strategic/ policy issues and focus on his game?

  27. arnie says:

    On other news: The Premier League has turned down a role on the commission to improve the England team, says Football Association chairman Greg Dyke. This is turning out to be a bit of a tussle. Probably good for Arsenal, but may not be good for the future of national football in England.

  28. Red Arse says:

    Raddy, afore I go and shower, I noted your comment regarding the relative merits of Frimpong and Coquelin, and why Arsene might prefer one over the other.

    When I watched the pair of them in the youth teams, which now seems a long time ago, Frimpong was a powerful defensive unit, full of running and seemed destined for the first team squad from an early age, and to that end he achieved that to a certain extent.

    Sadly, as a youngster, he suffered one injury after another, and that problem has continued into his first team career, and like Diaby may curtail his professional career if it continues.

    Coquelin on the other hand, seemed a much silkier, technically gifted player who seemed rather ephemeral and did not have the ‘steel’ some of us thought he would need to succeed.

    For reasons I have never understood, he was seen as a ‘defensive beast’ when he got into the first team squad, and that belied the rather frail physique he actually had as a kid and still has as an adult.

    He is not as skilful as so many other midfield players we have, and I doubt Arsene sees him as a midfield ‘enforcer’ and I doubt he will stay with us in the longer term.

    So there you have it, from my perspective, two very different types of player, the one who may not force his way into regular first team games because of a propensity to injuries, and the other who may not make it as a ‘physical’ defensive midfielder, and who just has too many better and more skilful players ahead of him.

    My views have been fashioned by watching these two and others, for many years, from their junior days up to first team involvement, but I freely admit I am not the best judge of a player’s attributes and am happy to leave such things to AW, but, for what it is worth, it is a layman’s honest appraisal. 🙂

  29. evonne says:

    Cockie – nay, i am into the Higgs particle now, absolutely fascinating stuff 🙂

  30. arnie says:

    Evonne: Your point yesterday about RM’s finances was good. Perhaps we should have a post on finances (not only of Arsenal) one of these days.

  31. evonne says:

    good idea arnie – when can you start writing it 🙂

    cockie – plus, there is absolutely no fun winning an argument with someone as nice as you


    Nice post Jamie

    There’s always risks with players. Be it whether they come through the youth system or procured through the transfer market

    Its interesting to me, that with the exception of Park, all the players on your list either came through the ranks or were purchased at a very young age.

    I can only conclude that developing young players has a higher percentage drop out than buying established players.

    I liken it to relationships. If you marry your childhood sweetheart the risk is that once you both mature you find that the compatibility you shared no longer exists at later stages. This is what I think happened with Bendtner and Arsene.

    Nicklas was a fine young man and at one stage Arsene obviously loved him. Buying him gifts and promoting him to the first team squad, but then Nicklas changed. He started to scorn Arsenes advances and believed he was bigger and better than he was. These inherent character traits are difficult to analyse at a young age.

    Conversely, there’s no guarantee that hooking up with a seen it done it type will always be fruitful either. Take Arshavin.

    When he first came Arsene drooled over “i am gooner” and Andrei reciprocated this affection with wonderful performances.

    However, once he got his feet under the table he let himself go. “Does my arse look big in this” was surely a frequent question, and eventually Arsenes love diminished to the point were he wanted rid.

    Yes, its a difficult process nurturing and bringing the best out of a player. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, so despite lingering feelings, you just have to let go.

  33. chas says:

    But if Micky got better at de-shelling lobsters at an even rate, then it would be a learning ‘straight line’ not curve.
    It’s the ‘curve’ bit I object to, because it tells us nothing.

  34. evonne says:

    jamie – thank you for a great post! It is a sad reality that many excellent prospects never become the real deal. But it is one thing to buy potential stars and if they fail to shine, move them on and completely different ballgame to buy stars and ruin their careers by sitting them on the bench.

    Chavs are guilty of destroying SWP, Scott Parker, Duff and now Mata. That’s wrong; what they are doing is buying players if they need them or not, and one of the reasons is to weaken the opposition. Hopefully and eventually GiE’s FFP will deal with this unpleasant business.

    I cannot remember who wrote a passionate post about the youngsters who failed to make it to the first XI and have to deal with it – accept it, tell friends and family, move on. Yes, it is sad, but inevitable. Not everyone has makings to be the next above mentioned Einstein. But let’s not call them deadwood and wish them best for the future

    Once again – thank you for a great post.

  35. ärnie says:

    Evonne: I think I am not qualified, dont know enough. But will keep in mind!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  36. chas says:

    You know more about football than I do.

    This is the best example of a learning curve that fits Micky’s de-lobstering.

  37. chas says:

    Isn’t time on the x axis here?

  38. The Cockie Monster says:

    chas @12:37pm

    Re: the chart…..the height of awareness there looks like the bulge I had in my trousers when we bought Ozil !. hahaha

  39. Jamie says:

    Nicklas Bendtner says the birth of his son has had a
    profound impact on his life and has caused him to
    “change a lot”.
    The Denmark international has spent the previous two
    seasons out on loan, at Sunderland and Juventus
    respectively, but is back in the Arsenal squad this
    Bendtner exclusive
    The 25-year-old believes he is a different person now
    and puts this down to becoming a father and his
    experiences away from the Club.
    “First of all I had a baby, which changed me a lot,”
    Bendtner told Arsenal Player. “I think a lot of people
    say that you have babies and they change you but for
    me I could really feel a big difference to my life.
    “Being abroad showed me a lot of different things and
    different aspects of how to live and how to cope with
    problems and things like that. I think that has given
    me a lot more as a man.”
    Bendtner insists that the wider perception of him is
    wrong, and feels that some of his previous statements
    have been misinterpreted.
    “I don’t like that I keep getting put up on comments
    I’ve made which have been wrongly said – that I still
    to this day have to see it and listen to it,” he said.
    “If people don’t like me, that’s fair enough. If people
    can’t accept that sometimes you’re young and make
    mistakes and move on, that’s not up to me.
    “I try to do my best and that’s basically all I can do
    for my family and my friends and everyone around
    the Club.
    Being abroad showed me a lot of different things
    and different aspects of how to live and how to
    cope with problems and things like that
    Nicklas Bendtner
    “I think every football player wants to achieve the
    [most] within what he can do. That’s what makes you.
    If you have a dream and try to do everything you can
    to be the best that you can, that’s you trying to make
    the best out of your job or what you do.
    “I basically said that I think that anybody who plays
    football in the world would love to be the best. I think
    that’s a normal statement and that got [changed] to
    me saying that I was the best player in the world.
    “I don’t know where that came from. I still listen to it
    now and again and still see it. If people want to believe
    that, then that’s that.”
    Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission
    to use quotations from this article is granted subject to
    appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as
    the source

  40. evonne says:

    only the second one is the learning curve. it is good to disagree with you again 🙂

  41. jnyc says:

    Great article Jamie. I hope some of these guys can make it someday, and end up helping our team. I think we are at the beginning of something good as a club.


  42. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all…nice post Jamie, good discussion starter.

    I think part of the problem with our youth talent is that we have too great an expectation, after all Cesc had what was needed at 17 why shouldn’t Akpom or Ox, one other factor that decides whether players are loaned out or not will be their age if over 21 they will occupy a PL squad berth, or not get one at all. If you have an over 21 not in the PL squad you have to ask what’s the point.

    The other thing is that there is a difficult balancing act when squad building, is it better to replace from within your own academy and give chances to those coming through or buy the best player to replace the senior player retiring/moving on.

    Take Arteta and Rosicky, both key members of the current team, both now the wrong side of 30, do we wait til they retire and buy a new 26 year old or keep the youngsters like Coquelin and Eisfield and hope they can replace when the time comes?

  43. dhakka09 says:

    haha, nice one cookie; found this online, a bit old but still quite enjoyable:

    Alex Ferguson was curious to learn how Arsenal completed the double, so he decides on a visit to London to see how Arsene Wenger coaches his team. During the visit, he is not really impressed by the training practices, so he asks Wenger how he gets his players so sharp. ‘Well it is simple. I sometimes ask my players a difficult question, and that way they stay really sharp mentally’. Of course Fergie wants an example, so Wenger asks Bergkamp to come over to the sidelines. He asks: ‘Dennis, he is not your brother, but still he is your father’s son. Who is he?’ ‘That is not difficult’, Dennis answers immediately, ‘Of course that is me’. ‘You see? That’s the way you keep them sharp’, Wenger says to Fergie. Ferguson, who wants to win the double too, decides to bring this into Manchester United’s practice the next day. He calls David Beckham over to the sidelines. ‘David, I have a question for you’, he says, ‘He is not your brother, but still he is your father’s son, who is he?’ ‘That is a tough one to answer coach’, Beckham replies ‘Can I sleep on that one night, and why do you ask me these questions?’ Fergie explains it has to do with some continental coaching trick and agrees with the one night postponement. So that night Beckham decides to call Jaap Stam. He has played on the continent, maybe he knows something about these continental coaching methods. ‘Jaap, maybe you know the answer to this question, he is not your brother, but still he is your father’s son. Who is he?’ ‘That is easy, that is me!’ says Jaap Stam. So the next day David walks full of confidence to Ferguson. Fergie asks: ‘David, do you know the answer to my question now?’ ‘Yes it was actually very easy’, he says, ‘Is it Jaap Stam?’ Ferguson answers: ‘No of course not, you stupid bastard. It’s Dennis Bergkamp.’

  44. ärnie says:

    Fantastic, Dhakka, I will keep smiling rest of the day. 😀 😀 😀

  45. Gööner In Exile says:

    Arnie I assume you are referencing Jacks comments on nationality, where he says

    “Just because you have lives here for 5 years doesn’t make you English”

    Which in the context in which he was asked the question is a justifiable position that most right minded people would agree with…remember the media reaction when it was suggested Almunia could be invited to play for England.

    This is not the same as discussing someone like Mo Farah, here through refugee status and grown up in this country. We are talking about players arriving at 16/17 staying for 5 years and declaring they will represent England, obviously this has come about because of Januzai.

    One headline apparently suggested “Wilshere wades in to nationality debate” whereas what actually happened was he answered a question posed because he was in a press conference.

    The media complain that there are no characters in football and all they get is harmless answers carefully worded to avoid offense….well this is why, what would the headline have said if Jack had said “yes that’s fine”…..”Wilshere says it’s ok to import foreign talent to England….read on to see how Jack thinks young English players should be shelved in favour of the best foreign talent”.

    It really is bollox, attempting to create stories from nothing and create an unhealthy atmosphere around the England camp so when they fail they can write whatever bile they like at Hodgson

  46. TT says:

    Regarding Wenger keeping Frimpong home and letting Coquelin go out, this could be a reflection of the players’ preference and situation as well.

    If we can believe reports in the press, and if my memory is reliable, Coquelin wants more playing time. At some point there were talks of him leaving Arsenal altogether. In the end he was loaned out.

    Frimpong on the other hand was recovering over the summer from a knee surgery. Even if he wanted to, it seems unlikely Arsenal could arrange a loan spell for him.

  47. Thanks Jamie, it’s been a problem at Arsenal for quite a few years.
    Are you a Chelsea fan, evonne?
    In his three years at Chelsea, Shaun Wright-Phillips picked up a PL winners medal, an FA Cup and League Cup winners medal (2007)
    Damien Duff won back to back titles and a League Cup winners medal (2005).
    Juan Mata has won the Euro’s, World Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and an FA Cup.
    Compare those ‘destroyed’ careers with Abou Diaby who picks up in excess of £2.5m a year for contributing nothing, and has no winners medals.

  48. ärnie says:

    GiE: Agree fully that the media is devious in winding a young guy up, and then create headlines out of it, but surely one can be a bit mature and say: “That is not my concern. I am here to do my best when I get the call for England”. This is an option that one has to consciously exercise. Wilshere surely wants to become a core member of the team. What would be the answer that a senior member of the team would give? If you want to invite pressure upon yourself, what can you do? I am simply a bit disappointed. I think he has a great future, and should focus on his football.

    This may be unpleasant, but character is important, particularly in young people, including players. I say this with a measure of dissatisfaction, and at the risk of drawing some wrath from AA-ers. But I seriously think this is important.

  49. Dhakka, that would have been more amusing if it was factually accurate.
    Ferguson did the ‘Double’ in 1994 and 1996, and a season after AW’s first ‘Double’ in 1998, he bettered it by adding the CL and winning thr treble.

  50. ärnie says:

    I should have said: “a measure of disappointment”, not “a measure of dissatisfaction”

  51. chas says:

    From Wiki, Wright-Phillips career highlights.

    “On 17 July 2005, Wright-Phillips completed a £21 million move to Premier League champions Chelsea, returning to his native London. He joined the club on a five-year contract after agreeing to personal terms and passing a medical. He had previously said he would not leave Manchester City. His appearances were initially limited, starting only fifteen times for Chelsea in the 2005/06 season and struggling to find scoring form.

    His first goal for the club came in a 2–0 Champions League win over Levski Sofia on 5 December 2006, almost 17 months after his transfer. An unhappy first season with Chelsea culminated in him missing out on the opportunity to travel to Germany with the England squad for the 2006 World Cup.”

    “Wright-Phillips did not even figure in the 2007 League Cup final win over Arsenal, but still got a medal, while he had already been substituted in that season’s FA Cup final when Didier Drogba poached the winner against Manchester United.”

  52. evonne says:

    yes WaTA, of course I am a Chav, how did you guess 🙂
    Those players won trophies, true, but wasted their best years sitting on the bench. I guess that’s all a matter of perspective.
    I had a discussion with parents of my granddaughter about van Judas. I hope he is hurting seeing our team now and not being a part of it; parents thought that he does not give a monkey’s cashing #200k week in week out. I am not a materialistic person and would prefer to play with Ramsey, Ozil and Cazorla, but clearly that’s not everyone’s ambition.

    Diaby is just a sad case of what could have been, tragic really

  53. RockyLives says:

    Nice Post Jamie
    I can’t see a future at Arsenal for Bendy, Diaby, Park or Coquie.
    Pingpong is a long shot, particularly since the Flamster’s return (also he is injury prone, although AW does seem willing to have him on the bench so who knows?).
    Campbell is a maybe – perhaps as a winger.
    One player I would have liked to see stick around us Djourou. Although he was woeful when played out of position at fullback, he always did well when played at CB and would be a very decent option to have now. Is he still on loan at Hanover or somewhere similar?

  54. evonne says:

    would you like me to Google Djourou Rocky?

  55. RockyLives says:

    Love that joke Dhakka. Funnily enough I was trying to remember it the other day after someone posted the “give him another chance” joke about the Scousers.

  56. RockyLives says:

    Yes please evonne.
    That sort of menial task is somewhat below me.

  57. evonne says:

    Hamburg SV you lazy so and so 🙂

  58. RockyLives says:

    Thanks evonne 🙂

    Any chance of a cup of tea?

  59. RockyLives says:

    Is he on loan there evonne or was it made permanent?

  60. chas says:

    There’s absolutely no way that the mancs spawning their way through the 1998/9 season can be said to have ‘bettered’ Arsenal’s majestic and thoroughly deserved Double of 1997/8.

    Only a manc would argue with that. 🙂

  61. chas says:

    How about a Hob-Nob?

  62. chas says:

    There’s a virtual shop down the road. Be a love.

  63. evonne says:

    loan!! stop it Rocky

    what about hob nob???

  64. chas says:

    To go with the tea you’re making.

  65. evonne says:

    that’s it, now we are really at war!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  66. RockyLives says:

    Oooh – hob nob – lovely.

    I love a little dunk…

  67. chas says:

    What happened to it being good to disagree?

  68. chas says:

    Rocky 😆

  69. evonne says:

    oh yeah Chas, I forgot 🙂

  70. RockyLives says:

    So in the Roll Call of Shame – sorry, I mean the list of AA authors – does the one “Jamie” entry now stand for both Jamies?

    I suppose the alternative would be…


    Which might look like a mistake…

    Hmmm… this needs more ruminating over a hob nob…

  71. RockyLives says:

    Don’t get me started on the “treble”.

    If Dennis hadn’t missed that penalty they would have won bugger all.

    And in that Champs League final against Bayern they were utter rubbish – worse even that the Chavs were when they won it.

  72. Jamie, good talking points raised by your post, but I don’t think it’s your first. I’m sure you’ve penned at least one before. My view has already been covered by other posters, but WATA – don’t get me started about Abou-fornicating-Diaby.
    Just the mere mention of him is enough to turn this tofu eating, mild-mannered pacifist into a rabid, bloodthirsty angry man.
    Please, Diaby, pick another career and leave Arsenal alone, you’re killing me here !

  73. chas says:

    Precisely, Rocky.

    ‘Bettered’, my a*se.

  74. evonne says:

    what do you mean both Jamies? Is today’s Jamie a different guy to the one who wrote a couple of great posts a few months ago?

    get over the hob nobs Rocky, you are not getting any

  75. chas says:

    This isn’t written by Jamie, as in book-writing Jamie.

  76. Evonne, in Mourinho’s first spell at Chelsea, Duff was pivotal to the 4-3-3 tactic he employed, Robben cutting in from the right, Duff from the left, which hardly constitutes a ‘destroyed’ career, neither does Juan Mata’s whose career is still very much on-going, and has more medals than the whole Arsenal squad put together.
    Scott Parker was bought for £10m from Charlton, I assume as cover for Essien at the time – which I agree is a waste.
    As for SWP, he made the most of his limited intelligence/ability. He was forever being linked with Arsenal, but he chose Chelsea, and regardless of how much or how little he contributed to the greater cause, he has winners medals.
    I doubt RvP will be hurting too much, he has a PL winners medal that he was unlikely to win at Arsenal, and I’m sure given the same option again he would make exactly the same choice.

  77. Whaaaaaa, Chas ? TWO Jamie’s, what’s the world coming to ?

  78. chas says:

    My old memory again.
    Can you dig them out for us, be a sweetheart?

  79. evonne says:

    All fair points WaTA, but you have spoiled my fun giggling at van Judas’ loss. Like I said, I am not materialistic and to miss out on playing with current Arsenal team would kill me. One of the best things about my job was working with super-minds, salary was less important.

    Chary – Diaby can hardly help being injured

  80. RockyLives says:

    No hob nobs?


  81. Evonne, it’s him getting paid to do bugger all season on season that annoys me. If he had any honour he’d forgoe his wages till he recovers and is fit to fulfill the job he is contracted to, like I remember some Italian player doing a few years back, but the greed is there.

    He should just pick another career, AFC aren’t supposed to be a f***in charity, the guy is finished as a footballer. We’ve wasted wages for years on him, the clueless moron, perhaps he can devote more time to his political activities once he finally realises/accepts his career on the pitch is over.

  82. Is a ‘Treble’ better than a ‘Double’ when it includes a European Cup?
    I would say so. Have Arsenal ever threatened to win a ‘Treble’? Of course not, that would mean winning a major European trophy, and we don’t do those.
    Yes, Rocky, if only Dennis had scored that penalty against an already groggy Schmeichel, or we had paid proper attention to Giggs, or hadn’t suffered a melt-down at Elland Road in our penultimate fixture. Always ifs buts and maybes with The Arsenal.

  83. evonne says:

    ooops, perhaps I should not start Chary on this one…..

  84. Ha ha Eva-va-vonne – you know mention of our former number 2 is like a red rag…

    I remembered, it was Kaka who said he didn’t want paying while he recovered from injury, yeah he’s not Italian but I must have thought so as it was someone playing in Serie A.

  85. Hi Chary,

    Diaby is a classic example of a modern-day thief, and AW has to carry a certain amount of the blame for conning loyal Arsenal supporters too.

  86. Maybe Wenger was a bit unlucky in his assessment of the situation, WATA as a certain amount of speculation is required, but still….thief is not far off how I see him.

  87. He was already a crock when AW bought him from Auxerre in 2006, Chary. He’d only played about six games for them between 2004-2006. You don’t get many more obvious alarm bells to steer clear than that.

  88. Similar to Bitchslap then WATA.

    Actually this is who I was thinking of regarding a player forgoing wages due to injury. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/8687672.stm

    This guy agreed to play for free for a year after being injured for a year. What a noble gesture.

  89. That’s why AW isn’t an elite manager, Chary, he has made many strange decisions over the years that have prevented the club from reaching its full potential.
    If he signs a new three year deal we will miss out on Paul Lambert, and that would anger me.

  90. Jamie says:

    Arnie and Chary,
    The post from last year was by another Jamie.

    Two Jamie’s on the authur roll… and they said my name was shite

  91. LB says:

    “If he signs a new three year deal we will miss out on Paul Lambert, and that would anger me.”

    No it’s Dennis Bergkamp, lol, give him another try, give him another try.

  92. Bayonne Jean says:

    Note the changes in the December fixture schedule. Main one is move of Chelsea match from 21/12 to 23/12. Result is five matches in thirteen days, with only two days rest between fixtures:

    23/12 Chelsea
    26/12 at West Ham
    29/12 at Newcastle
    1/1 Cardiff
    4/1 FA Cup 3rd round

    That’s just plain crazy….

  93. Tell you what, LB, if AW wins the CL this season he can write his own contract, but given his dismal record in European competitions, my expectations are very low.

  94. Red Arse says:

    Chas, Rocky,

    Knob Job? Really?

    And you dunk it? Whatever next? 🙂

  95. Jamie says:

    I just realised that after this int break, we’ll see some big matches that Will tell us just how the league will shape up come May. If we win the 3 matches after the break, considering our main rivals will almost surely drop points. I think we will almost surely win the league barring something catastrophic happens.

  96. Hi Redders, long time no ‘see’, I hope your homeland is treating you well.

  97. Jamie says:

    I just realised that after this int break, we’ll see some big matches that Will tell us just how the league will shape up come May. If we win the 3 matches after the break, considering our main rivals will almost surely drop points. I think we will almost surely win the league barring something catastrophic happens. Fingers crossed….

  98. Red Arse says:

    Hi Herb, you rascal. 🙂

  99. Räsp says:

    Hi Jamie, thanks for a super, debate sparking first post 😛

    I do have a problem with the Authors’ widget. Two Jamies would just look wrong, do you want to be ‘New Jamie’, ‘Jamie the younger’, Jamie 2013 etc etc. Am I right in thinking you are based in Africa?

  100. Räsp says:

    Hi Redders, good to see your name back on the screen. I believe it was you who posted the 100,000th comment …. well we’re approaching the 200,000 mark very soon so you’d better be more prolific or someone else may steal your mantle 😆

  101. Räsp says:

    Actually, how about Jämie ?

  102. Norfolk Gooner says:

    WATA, Wenger isn’t an elite manager? That’s some statement and needs backing up. Accusing him of some dodgy decisions in no way does it.

    Wenger has maintained Arsenal at the elite end of an elite league for seventeen years. He has bought, at bargain prices, players who have turned out to be elite by any standard. He has achieved that in the face of severe restrictions due the financing an elite stadium, the financial doping by a host of other clubs wishing to move into the elite position held by Arsenal.

    Almost any of the elite clubs in the world would be delighted if Wenger agreed to sign for them and you would dismiss him in favour of Paul Lambert. God give me strength!!

  103. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Aproaching 200 thousand Rasp? we’ve along way to go to catch Redders on a million. Oh! I see too many “os”. 😀

  104. 26may1989 says:

    Some sensible comments from Herb/WatA re Diaby, and then comic gold: “That’s why AW isn’t an elite manager, Chary, he has made many strange decisions over the years that have prevented the club from reaching its full potential. If he signs a new three year deal we will miss out on Paul Lambert, and that would anger me.” Genius! as almost as funny as arnie’s joke.

    What do you mean, Herb was serious?…….

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    WATA, Hi.

    While they’re all dipping things, I nearly choked on me Ginger Nuts

    Paul Lambert? Have you gone mad? You have to be ROLFING, surely.

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bugger, meant to be getting children. Later……

  107. Norfolk, I refer you to AW’s record in Europe.
    Or the fact that we’ve been waiting years for a top quality goalkeeper.
    15 years in the job (2011), and despite all that experience, he takes us into a season so under-prepared, we get absolutely mauled 8-2 at OT, which in itself is unforgivable.
    Now I know lots of you are orgasmically over-joyed with the job AW has done, but for what we spend on our manager compared to certain other clubs, we should have done considerably better.
    We have spent longer than any other club in England’s top league, and yet we’re only third in the title count, 7 behind MU, and whilst they and Liverpool have multiple European Cups, we have none.
    AW’s plan was to turn Arsenal into one of the biggest football clubs in the world, after 17 years of trying, we’re nowhere near.
    We are cash-rich, owned by Old Etonians related to royalty, money really isn’t an issue.
    We have massively under-achieved, and the manager is integral to every part of that.

  108. Hi Micky,

    Paul Lambert, CL winner, something completely alien to anyone at Arsenal.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    I was enjoying WATA’s argument until the “elite” comment, some good points made.

    Also disappointed by evonne’s refusal to supply hob-nobs. Perhaps she is baking a cake.

    BTW Peaches always supplies hob nobs

  110. GunnerN5 says:


    Paul Lambert’s “Elite” record as a manager.
    Games 380
    Won 158
    Drawn 90
    Lost 132
    Winning % is a “stunning” 41.58 %

    Won the First Division Championship in 2009/10

    These are the managerial credentials of the man you want to manager Arsenal.

    Please tell me that you were having us on?

    AW has won more in a single season than Lambert has in his whole managerial career.

  111. ärnie says:

    26may: Why suddenly me? And I am not even Balotelli!!!!!! :C

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry WATA

    I still think PL as Arsenal Manager is a very poor choice. As far as his CL Medal goes, we’ve had World Cup Winners, but that doesn’t make them potential Managers.

  113. GunnerN5 says:


    Wow! I had no idea that Kronke and Usmanov were “Old Etonians”

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I’m beginning to feel a bit silly, as I think it must be a wind up.

    I’ve been done 😦

  115. Big Raddy says:

    Gn5. Firstly, I hope you had a relaxing holiday.

    To be fair Lambert has done well in every club he has managed and could well be a future AFC manager.

    Would AW have fared as well with a team with little money and little confidence as Lambert did at Norwich? I think that if the AV board give him time Lambert will turn them into a quality side playing attractive football

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Micky.5.33 Not for the first time

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It is the first time. Actually. Raddy 🙂

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thing is, and I’ve nothing against PL, it’s just that I don’t think he’s the kind of International type that would attract the Ozils of this world, what with our new “elite” status and pots of hard earned (through Wenger’s skill and management through the lean years).

    Ask that Transplant bloke what his Goats are up to, and I think he’ll tell you they are about to break loose.

  119. dhakka09 says:

    I posted the joke and took my leave; little did i know that it was going to spark a major debate on merits of our double compared to OldToileters. Just enjoy the humor folks and revel in the limitations of Fergie’s and Beckham’s intelligence like that of Scousers the other day on Rooney joke. And before anyone asks me, even a treble with an European Cup is worth less after it’s flush-cleaned at OldToilet compared to our double. Simples 🙂

  120. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Robinho signed for Mark Hughes.

  121. Jamie says:

    Hi Rasp. Yes I’m from Africa, Nigeria to be precise. and I would prefer Jämie.

  122. For someone so mature, GunnerN5, I’m amazed at your short-sightedness concerning Arsenal. I didn’t say Kroenke or Usmanov were Old Etonians, but the clubs BoD is made up of cash-rich Old Etonians, which was evident when Sir ‘Chips’ Keswick replaced PHW as Chairman.
    To compare AW with Lambert is absolute nonsense when you know very well that Lambert is only just into his management career.
    Villa were thrashed 8-0 at Chelsea last December, in August, Lambert took Villa to the same venue and was robbed of victory by an incompetent referee. That is some turnaround. Compare Villa’s opening fixtures with Arsenal’s, they’ve already played Arsenal and Chelsea away, and hosted Liverpool and MC, we’ve hosted Tottenham and still have our big games to come.
    Micky, of our World Cup winners, how many are cutting their teeth in the manager’s hot-seat? Not one of them.
    I maintain that a lot of Arsenal fans are terrified of change, and are very comfortable settling for CL qualification, instead of daring to dream of actually winning major trophies again.

  123. Jamie says:

    so who do you think the right man would be?
    How many managers can achieve what wenger has?
    I daresay even Fergie couldn’t stay in the UCL while building a stadium and a new team at the same time.
    In Wenger we rust right?

  124. The limitations of Ferguson’s intelligence?
    A manager who not only broke up the ‘Old Firm’s’ dominance, but led Aberdeen to European success, something AW has never achieved at Arsenal. Aberdeen are still the last Scottish club to win the SPL outside of Rangers and Celtic. 13 PL titles in 26 years (so a title every two years) as well as three major European trophies.
    And get this, Dhakka; Ferguson WANTED the Arsenal manager’s job, and even AGREED terms.
    I really don’t get the constant name-calling and ridiculing of someone who if allowed, would have done for Arsenal what he did at MU. Blame the Arsenal BoD for lacking the minerals, ambition and vision, but don’t blame Ferguson for going somewhere he was actually wanted, and doing exactly what he was paid to do.

  125. chas says:

  126. dhakka09 says:

    We Are The Arsenal: you obviously are taking my tongue-in-cheek comments a bit too seriously. I was referring to Fergie’s lack of intelligence as referenced in the joke just as with 60,000 Scousers shouting ‘one more chance’ Nobody really believes it as truth but it’s fun nevertheless. Hence, they are jokes and not to be taken seriously.
    And for the record, I concede that Fergie was great and he made United what they are today but Wenger is equally as great, of not more, for what he has done so far to this Araenal side. I think It is a bit offensive for you to suggest that out manager who has steered the club through its toughest self-imposed financial prudence period is not good enough and Paul Lambert is better than him. Wenger’s CV is shallow in recent years because he gave priority to club’s progression, standing and future well-being more than his own furtherment. Had he been someone who’d throw a hissy fit when not given funds to operate like Jose, he could easily have gone to most of the other top teams who are even to this day, after him. After all he has done for Arsenal, the club that is dear and near to both of us, to dismiss his recent record for sacrificing/compromising for the betterment of this club is childish at best, I’d say. Just my two pence, nothing more. #peace

  127. dhakka09 says:

    typed it on my phone, too many typos (damn you autocorrection and clumsy thumbs) plz don’t mind the road-bumps reading through the comments

  128. Jamie says:

    dhakka well sAid.
    without Wenger’s wisdom things could quickly have gone south. And we wouldn’t have been able to afford Ozil.

  129. Then we’ll agree to disagree, dhakka, Arsene Wenger is 63, and it’s 10 years this season since Arsenal last won the PL, without looking capable of doing so since.
    Lambert is a young, hungry manager, who out-smarted AW on the opening day of the season.
    The CL has been in England four times since AW came to Arsenal, and we had a head start on both Liverpool and Chelsea. Even AVB has a European trophy.
    AW can only join the elite group of manager’s if he has European success, but don’t hold your breath.

  130. evonne says:

    more full kit wonkers

  131. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dear, here we go again, yet another protracted debate with a glory seeking trophy hunter. I may be driven back into a sabbatical.

  132. GunnerN5 says:

    We are cash-rich, owned by Old Etonians related to royalty, money really isn’t an issue.

    WATA, Above is exactly what you said at 6:32 pm – it is all stated in the present tense and does not mention the BoD – our owners are Kronke and Usmanov – not anybody else.

    If you want to debate then you need to stop being disingenuous and defend your statements instead of altering them mid stream.

  133. The Cockie Monster says:

    I have chloroformed WaTA and Cornflake. They are in the boot of the Cortina. I`m at Beachy Head !.
    Send me money or I will release them !.

  134. GunnerN5 says:


    I’m a tad shocked that you would endorse Lambert.

    His record as a manager is really miserable and unlike AW his career has been in the lower leagues and the pit of the Premier League. His record does not indicate anything that would even put him on the long list of future Arsenal managers let alone the short list.

    His career record is —

    Livingston G32, W5, D7, L20, Winning % 15.63
    Wycombe G108, W44, D29, L35, W% 40.74
    Colchester G43, W19, D7, L17, W% 44.19
    Norwich G142, W70, D35, L 37, W% 49.3
    Villa G55, W20, D 12, L33, W% 36.36

  135. GunnerN5 says:


    Sadly I just spent my last penny on a pee – tip them over the top.

  136. GunnerN5 says:


    As a foot note AW has won 57.83% of the time in PL games. His best has been 68.42% and his worst 46.67%.

  137. GunnerN5, what is competitive football about?
    Is it not about wanting to be the best? Is it not about wanting to test yourself against the best in the world and proving yourself to be better? Did Ferguson accept second best? When he lost the title to Aguero’s 94th minute goal, Ferguson vowed he would never be beaten like that again, and bought RvP, to make sure it didn’t. Instant response. A week or so later, Chelsea became London’s first club to win the CL. Arsenal’s response? Tumbleweed, followed by selling their best player to a direct rival.
    I’ve never been a glory-seeking trophy hunter, but if Arsenal aren’t in football to garner ambition to be the best, what is the point of their existence?
    Yours and others acceptance of Arsenal’s complacency and lack of urgency is exactly why Arsenal are where they are, miles behind Liverpool, MU, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Milan etc.
    What do those clubs have in common that is missing at Arsenal?
    Hunger and desire to be the best, supporters that demand success because their clubs are set up with that mentality.
    Big clubs continually win big prizes, they don’t set their stall out to merely qualify for CL, they expect to win it.
    Hide away all you like, it won’t change the essence or fundamentals of why people compete in top-level sport.

  138. GunnerN5 says:


    I had an incredible vacation, spent with family from England and with only a single I Pad between ten of us.

    However, as always, I did not miss a single Arsenal game, I subscribed to the Fox Sports channel for a month and it was worth every penny I paid. While the women were baking in the 30C temperatures us men were drinking cold beer and watching football. That’s my type of vacation.

  139. Big Raddy says:

    Gn5. Sounds idyllic!

  140. How convenient of you to leave out the fact that Lambert guided Wycombe to the League Cup semi-finals in 2006, GunnerN5, the first fourth-tier club to do so in 30 years, beating PL sides Charlton and Fulham to get there, and holding holders Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in the first-leg.
    Don’t let the facts get in the way your jaundiced argument!

  141. WATA are you Herb?

    I think Diaby is out of contract at the end of this season.

  142. Furthermore, I’m not altering or moving goalposts.
    Agreed, Kroenke and Usmanov are not Old Etonians, I think we’ve established that, but who makes up the Arsenal Board of Directors – which incidently, Alisher Usmanov isn’t allowed to be part of?
    That’s right, the Arsenal Board are made up of cash-rich Old Etonians, now led by 73 year-old Sir ‘Chips’ Keswick, who replaced 75 year-old Peter Hill-Wood as Chairman.
    Arsenal are the original ‘Bank of England’ club with more resources than either Chelsea or Manchester City, and you’re ‘delighted’ that we managed to scrape CL football again, and haven’t tarnished our ‘holier than thou’ image by winning one of those garish silver trinkets.

  143. We don’t have more resources than chelsea or city. maybe in the past but not now

  144. Hi GM,

    Hope you’re good. Please don’t ask me to engage with you in an argument about Ferguson, it’s old ground, and it bores people.
    They’re only my personal opinions, I don’t expect anyone to agree, I just think a club of Arsenal’s historical stature should and could have achieved a lot more and done a lot better.
    I get that people idolise and love AW, again, I think we could have aimed higher. Maybe I expect too much.

  145. I wasn’t going to mention Ferguson Herb. Hope you are well too. I agree we could have done better but it’s water under the bridge.

  146. I think we have collectively – subconsciously even – had our expectations watered-down, and the perception is that CL qualification is perfectly acceptable.
    I always thought sport was about being the best you can be, not settling for some cheap consolation prize.

  147. chas says:

    I imagine a fair few of those ‘accredited’ to Arsenal should in fact be in the spuds total.
    I mean it would just be too embarrassing to admit you are a shadow-dwelling swampie.


    Herb, what the fuck are you on about?

    You sound like my cousin George who once a month dresses like Napoleon and believes he is the illegitimate son of Elvis Presley

    I have not heard as much crap since George told me how he won the Battle of Waterloo by belting out In The Ghetto

  149. chas says:

    English warrior tradition, ha.


  150. GunnerN5 says:

    “How convenient of you to leave out the fact that Lambert guided Wycombe to the League Cup semi-finals in 2006, GunnerN5, the first fourth-tier club to do so in 30 years, beating PL sides Charlton and Fulham to get there, and holding holders Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in the first-leg.
    Don’t let the facts get in the way your jaundiced argument!”

    WATA, and from those “incredible” achievements you form an opinion that he should be Arsene’s successor?

    Thank goodness you are not in a position to influence anybody other than yourself!

  151. arnie says:

    WATA and Cornflake: Please do not waste everyone’s time and energy. If you have a rational judgment to make, based on careful analysis, on with it! Otherwise, making such tall statements without any rationale or evidence is fruitless.

  152. GunnerN5 says:

    Well said Arnie, they act like spoilt12 year old’s.

  153. Gööner In Exile says:

    Fair play to others for engaging but it’s a shame a fine post has been derailed by the same arguments we have seen written on these pages a hundred times over the last three years.

    I think it’s time we stopped feeding the insanity, or at least stop banging your heads against a brick wall, one that gets rebuilt every time a bit of pointing comes away.

    And why was it that this argument came up….because Wenger showed loyalty to a player who has had a hard time of it.

    If anyone really believes Diaby is happy when the one thing he was born to do has worked to become has been taken away from him then that’s their choice. I can’t agree with that at all.

    France has many good midfielders but Diaby when fit walks in to the team when fit…..no need to ask why.

    I’m sure if RvP had continued his rich vein of injuries he would also be used as stick to beat Wenger with…..which goes to show the stupidity of the argument.

  154. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi GIE,

    How is George doing? Great new picture, at least new to me.

  155. Really Terry? Are we resorting to ill-manners and swearing now?
    People are allowed an independent opinion, which might not tally with yours, but do I criticise you or anyone else for their idolisation of AW with a torrent of abuse? In fact I once commented on here to defend your defence of AW and Arsenal, or have you forgotten?
    Keep your insults to yourself or don’t address me at all.
    You’re either incredibly dense GunnerN5, or you are deliberately trying to wind me up! I was pointing out something which you left out, because God forbid we should consider Paul Lambert a decent manager!!!
    Did his Aston Villa side, whose resources are well below those of ours, comfortably beat AW’s Arsenal at The Emirates? Have you compared our opening seven fixtures? Villa are six points behind in 10th.
    His Colchester team beat Norwich 7-1, in 2009, a week later, he took the Norwich job, won the League One title that season (by nine points), followed that up a year later with another automatic promotion to the PL, and in his first season, Norwich finished 12th. He then took over at Aston Villa, who were in such a mess, most pundits had them down for relegation, because he was asked to drastically reduce the wage-bill.
    He kept them up, and now he’s had some money to spend he persuaded Benteke to stay – after the player had requested a transfer – and you see a totally rejuvenated club, full of positive energy.
    So why shouldn’t he be a contender for the Arsenal job?
    Is AW suddenly going to surprise us all by winning the PL or CL?
    Extremely doubtful.
    Lambert is on the way up, AW is on the way down, but I get you, GunnerN5, you’ve become so comfortable with 3rd/4th, you’re scared witless in case that is compromised, and round and round we go, secure in our little comfort-zone of CL qualification.
    How dare we ask for more!!!

  156. And there’s Gooner In Exile sticking the boot in, because we really should love our over-paid, under-achieving legend of a manager who never has and never will win a European trophy.
    Wow, no wonder we’re such under-achievers!!!


    OK Herb

    During your attempt to escape from Elba Prison and half way up the fence you start belting out Blue Suede Shoes, dont blame me when you get caught.

  158. Terry,

    I’ve always respected you and your opinions, so please don’t talk down to me like I’m an idiot. People refused to believe me about Celtic, do you remember that conversation?
    Arnie, football thrives on opinions, and as a life-long Arsenal supporter I have very definite and strong opinions about the club and its direction. I don’t ask you or anyone to agree with them, but I reserve the right to express them. As far as I know, as long as people observe the rules on here, people are allowed their opinion.
    In the face of a lot of ignorance, I have tried to remain courteous, and haven’t resorted to petty name-calling.
    Is that okay with you?

  159. By the way, Arnie, I think my 11.13pm perfectly states the case for Paul Lambert.
    Did anyone know Arsene Wenger before he arrived in 1996? Did he have a gilt-edged CV that was the envy of world football? Was it better than what Paul Lambert has achieved so far?
    No, he was an unknown quantity that we were asked to put our faith in. We speculated, gambled, sometimes football clubs have to do that to move forward.
    So why does Paul Lambert represent a bigger gamble than AW did, back then?

  160. arnie says:

    WATA (or is it Herb):

    Thank you for being courteous, and I respect your opinion. Everyone has a right to express their opinion, but in a civilized way. I have had (even earlier today) differences of opinion on AA, but I try to do so in a way that does not affect the general idea that is being discussed on the day. As far as I am concerned, discussing AW versus any other mythical being was not the topic for discussion today. Much as you demand respect for your opinions from other people, you should have respect for the person who has worked hard to prepare a post, and other Arsenal supporters (many of them lifelong) who wish to discuss it.

    It will be nice if you could please hold on to your opinions until such time as potential succession is discussed, and it will be at some point, perhaps during contract negotiations.

    Finally “In the face of a lot of ignorance, I have tried to remain courteous, and haven’t resorted to petty name-calling.” Tall words indeed. This is not being courteous, is it?

  161. Wenger won the league in France

  162. I didn’t ask people to agree or disagree, Arnie, and the topic of succession is relevant to me, because it has been in the news that AW is to be offered a new three year contract, which is crucial to the direction the club is taking.
    We have a Board of Directors and a manager who are old men. That doesn’t strike me as a forward-thinking club full of drive, energy or ambition. Arsenal need freshening up with some new ideas, instead of over-paying squad players who simply aren’t good enough.
    My opening line was: “Thanks Jamie, it’s been a problem at Arsenal for quite a few years”, and then went on to mention Abou Diaby with Chary. Bendtner shouldn’t be at the club either, and the Walcott thing just baffles me. AW brought them to the club (as well as quite a few other mysterious signings), so excuse me if I don’t fully trust his judgement, or I question his ability to manage at the top level, having gone so long without seriously threatening to win any major trophy.
    I know TMHT from a while back, here and elsewhere, and he is well aware of my opinion, so he really should know better.
    People seem to be of the opinion that if you’re questioning AW’s coaching ability, you’re somehow pulling the man’s character and integrity apart, which isn’t really the same argument.
    Nice people don’t always make great managers.

  163. GM, you could win the league in France.

  164. Gööner In Exile says:

    Arnie, for the record WATA used to post as Herb or Herb’s Army or HCAA.

    He even wrote a post a while back under one of those pseudonym’s which was a bit more positive, seems the move to WATA came about when he decided he had enough of the positivity.

    Here it is you can have a read:


    Some beautiful lines in there, but sadly a year and a bit has passed since then and we are back to the same old rubbish.

    Here are some excerpts:

    ” I questioned everything from the running of the club to your transfer policy, and the performances out on the pitch.”

    “You are an Alchemist. A dignified man, who has refused to cow-tow to the incessant pressure applied by the blood-thirsty gutter press, and yet again you have trumped them. You have used your intelligence, efficiently and calmly, and in such a way that it represents a fundamental lesson to us all, particularly people like me.”

    “You have always done right by our club, Arsene, and long may that continue.”

    “Written by Herb

    It’s a very large slice of Humble Pie for me, AA’ers, so Bon Apetit!”

  165. RockyLives says:

    Haha evonne
    Your 7.52pm is the best Full Kit Wonker of all: a Peter Cech outfit including dodgy helmet 😀 😀 😀

  166. arnie says:

    Thanks, GiE, will have a read tomorrow (I mean later today). Should be fun. Bed time now….

  167. Well done, Gooner In Exile, but football is ever-changing, and what was relevant in March 2012, isn’t necessarily relevant here and now. And sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the momentum of the Blog, and convince yourself that things really are about to change for the better. But from a watching brief, looking in from the outside, I now realise I was merely setting myself up for more disappointment.
    Did we win anything in 2012? 2013?
    When you support a football club, you have to try and align yourself with the manager’s vision, and well you know that although I’ve had moments of positivity about AW, for the majority of the time I have swam against the tide on here, and said he should be replaced.
    Most of what I wrote then still holds true, he is an intelligent man who could teach us all lessons in respect and integrity, and he has always done what he feels is right for the club.
    That doesn’t mean it’s always right for the club’s supporters, and it’s not like we actually have a say, is it? The summer of 2012, a while after that article was written, we sold RvP to MU, how many supporters do you imagine felt that was the right thing to do, especially after watching Chelsea win the CL? Weren’t the same mistakes repeated last season that were in evidence the season before? In fact we finished a place lower this year, so not exactly going in the right direction.
    What was our wage-bill compared to that over at N17? £50m more?
    Are we any further forward as a club since moving to The Emirates?
    Three 3rd places and four 4th places (inc. last season) suggests that we’ve stood still, which really doesn’t offer anything in terms of excitement or re-newed hope, does it.
    An indication of how quickly things change, since that was written, over half the PL clubs have new managers. Not us of course, we don’t want to risk losing 4th place with an inferior manager, do we!

  168. Sincerest apologies to Rasp, Peaches and the admin team, it’s amazing how one’s opinion can snowball and spiral out of control. Instead of defending myself against one or two, everyone else wants to jump on board, and before you know it, you’re trying to explain something that in the great scheme of things, really isn’t that important. I know football is emotive, but to get so knotted-up over something that is very unlikely to happen is strange.
    Stan Kroenke wants AW to stay forever, AW wants to stay forever, it’s a match made in heaven, regardless of what supporters think, or whether it’s the right strategy for the club.
    And just so you know, Gooner In Exile, ‘HCAA’ (Herbert Chapman’s Arsenal Army) was abbreviated to ‘Herb’s Army’ for obvious reasons (not everyone would know what ‘HCAA’ meant, whilst the alternative was too long), but I never posted as ‘Herb’. WaTA came about for a completely different reason, nothing to do with positive/negative feelings, but I know from your comments that subtlety isn’t your strongest asset, so I should have expected you to let the cat out of the bag.
    You’ve written some rubbish too, but I don’t feel the need to pull you up on it, because usually I’m not that ignorant towards other people. At least my opinions are my own, it’s always easier to follow the herd and be in with the ‘in-crowd’.
    I mean, will Arsenal Football Club die and cease to exist when AW does eventually leave? Will it really mean the end? Because they were an on-going institution 110 years before his arrival, so I’m pretty sure they’ll survive, won’t they? How will we cope? Anti-depressants all-round, I imagine.

  169. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.

    If you’ve got five mins, this short film is more about a Man than Surfing. At the end, he gets hungry, and it kinda explains everything.

    He’s what I call a Proper Cornishman 🙂


  170. chas says:

    Brilliant, Micky.

  171. chas says:

    Another Libran, this one a touch unbalanced in recent times, but I’ll love him playing for us till my last breath.

  172. chas says:

    ECWC not UEFA cup.

  173. chas says:

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nice Chas

    Am a little concerned about all this star sign bollocks. Just a thought, but do you nibble on big red mushrooms with white dots on them?

  175. chas says:

    Yep, only thing that makes me feel 8 foot 6.

  176. chas says:

    I knew you’d bite if I came over all Russell Grant.

  177. chas says:


  178. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This could develop into a pleasant morning, however, I’m on school run then work stuff.

    BOOM indeed. Nice parting thought 🙂

  179. chas says:

    Charlie’s birthday, too.


  180. chas says:

    See you later

  181. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Watch it just once more, then off. Damn that’s a great vid.

  182. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Fantastic movie short – Thank you

  183. chas says:

  184. kelsey says:


    I honestly wish I could express myself clearly and concisely, and you wouldn’t like a lot of what I have got to say,but on reflection I will keep stumm.

    I have just read through all the posts,especially from last night and into the early morning and quite frankly I learned my lesson not to get personal on here so I had hoped others would follow suit.

  185. evonne says:

    thank Dennis somebody else hates all the horoscopes nonsense. All that new age hippy stuff is wasted on reasonable people here Chas. Micky and I prefer a Gittane to a lotus 🙂

  186. evonne says:

    Happy birthday Tony!!!

    “I will sign every contract Arsenal put in front of me without reading it” – legendary and my favourite from TA

  187. Big Raddy says:

    What a pass from Dennis. It was Ozil-esque 😉

  188. chas says:

    What? You don’t believe there are only 12 types of people in the world? How preposterous.

  189. Big Raddy says:

    I was one of those dots behind Charlie and Frank’s head!

  190. chas says:

    Can anyone tell me why you’d frequent a pub where everyone thinks you smell like rotting fish?

  191. chas says:

    Did you have Charlie style hair, BR?

  192. chas says:

    Right off for a shower.
    Things to do.
    Places to be.
    Asanas to conquer.
    Time to waste.
    Entrails to examine.

  193. evonne says:

    that’s not the best picture of you Chas!
    Actually I think there are only 2 types of people in this world – those that love Arsenal and the rest.

    Terry yesterday had me ROLFing for hours yesterday: You sound like my cousin George who once a month dresses like Napoleon and believes he is the illegitimate son of Elvis Presley 🙂 priceless

  194. arnie says:

    morning all. happy birthday, Tony. thanks, chas, for the brilliant video. yesterday was a bit surreal, like fighting ghosts … well into the night as well …. look forward to a good day on AA

  195. Big Raddy says:

    arnie. IMO it is important that the site welcomes opposing views if they are presented without aggression. WATA was able to do so.

    Fair play to him.

  196. Big Raddy says:

    Just found out what an asana is. Requires further investigation.

  197. arnie says:

    Raddy: 😀 😀

  198. evonne says:

    Raddy – it is a bit like sitting on a hard chair watching a boring match for 90mins thinking about something completely different. Easy

  199. arnie says:

    evonne: it is like closing your eyes in meditation, and imaging swallowing yourself slowing up, starting at the feet …..

  200. Morning all, would everyone please stop putting yoga stuff up as it constantly reminds me of how inflexible and rubbish at yoga I am even though I should be genetically/culturally disposed to be good at it ?
    I thank you.

  201. Morning all

    There’s a New Post ………….

  202. Recommended Windows Installer

    A bench made out of ‘deadwood’ or untapped talent? | Arsenal Arsenal

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