Does a Leopard change his spots ?

Well four signing already in the bag and we are still in July.

Has Wenger changed his ways or is it really the first time that we can compete with elite signings ?

Extra TV money, the new Puma deal and Champion League football is on the arisen.

We haven’t had to sell anyone of note,so the term that” we are only a selling club ” has been well and truly squashed and I wouldn’t be surprised that we add to the squad before the transfer window closes.

A lot of speculation about our Corporal.Will he be sold,loaned out or remain in the squad.Is Joel Campbell going to be in the squad ?

Of course then there is Diaby. Is this his last chance to prove he is over his multiple injuries and is the player we all hoped he would be.

One cant incorporate too many players in one season as Spurs are the best example of this and there is a good argument that Fabianski and of course Sagna had to be replaced.
Just a short post today to get things moving so what are your thoughts.

Do we need further strengthening or do you think that there maybe still the odd deal in the offing.


37 Responses to Does a Leopard change his spots ?

  1. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers, kelsey.

    I don’t think the leopard has changed his spots at all: Wenger, as he always has done, continues to use all the resources available to him in the best way he can, bearing in mind the circumstances and both short and long-term demands. The difference is only the level of the resources available. That is what allows us now to compete for higher quality players, and to do our business earlier than in previous years. It is also what gives us more influence on retention of players. Resources = power, simple as that.

    As for integrating players, I don’t see much of a problem, as only two of our new joiners are likely to be starters: Debuchy at right-back is experienced in the PL already and is a mature player who is an international teammate of Kos and Giroud. I don’t see much of an issue there. Sanchez will have more to do, but I’d still be optimistic that we’ll see him functioning quickly. The others (Campbell, Chambers, Ospina) will start, at best, on the bench, so no need to get too anxious about integration.

    Difficult to predict if we’ll be making any further signings. I guess Wenger will still look for chances to trade up but I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t recruit anyone else.

    As for exits, the obvious ones: Jenks, Miyaichi, Djourou (which we all thought was done ages ago), Coquelin, all could well leave, at least on loan. It’ll be interesting to see what Wenger does re Zelalem and Gnabry – both could do with a high quality loan but equally they could be very useful in a few games this season.

  2. Adrian says:

    I believe Wenger will still sign either a DM/Striker, with DM being the most likely. Not getting at least one would be a big blow. If he does sign both a DM and striker I would expect him to sanction the sale of Cazorla. Apparently atletico are quite keen of his services.

  3. kelsey says:

    Thanks 26th.

    I just badly scribbled a few words together so that we had a new post.
    I agree and had already said that Debuchy and Chambers to a lesser extent,already have PL experience.

    It will be interesting to see if there is real competition between the two keepers.

  4. kelsey says:


    There is a lot of talk/rumours circulating about Santi.

    Athletico may just have had an unbelievable one off season but having lost their star player they still are nowhere in the money league of RM and Barca.

  5. 26may1989 says:

    This is how the squad looks to me right now:

    Ideal XVIII:

    Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
    Arteta, Ramsey
    Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez

    Subs: Ospina, Vermaelen, Chambers, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Cazorla

    Back-up: Martinez, Monreal, Hayden, Miquel, Flamini, Diaby, Rosicky, Podolski, Sanogo, Gnabry, Zelalem

    That’s 29 players, already a hell of a lot. (I haven’t done an Exile and checked compliance with the PL and CL squad rules.) So if we do bring in any more players, it must be on the basis of additional departures (possibilities: Cazorla, as Adrian suggests, Podolski, Flamini, one or two of the youngsters etc).

    My oh my, that XVIII does look good……

  6. kevein says:

    I believe that Wenger is doing what he always does ….. adds the same size type & quality players to the squad instead of buying a couple of stars! And before you start saying well Ozil & Sanchis are stars ……hmmmm Ozil was arguably the worst German player in the semi & final, is a powder puff player who disappears. Sanchis is much the same as Walcott but wilth a better touch.

    Assess on top of this … from the world cup. our 2 other German players hardly played (Mert was dropped after having a mare), Giroud was dropped by the French for not performing, Debauchy was prob their worst performer, Kosccielny was his usual brittle self. Wilshire could barely get a start for England, Gibbs didn’t go, Carzola barely used and was pretty ineffective when he was! Vermaelen was terrible when he played.

    Says it all really !!! We have a team of players who are and will never be star quality, we get what Arsene gives us….. the players who will get us into 4th place!!.

  7. fatgingergooner says:

    Wenger hasn’t changed his spots, but he has been given the money to change where he shops. He’s always bought within the restrictions of his budget, as any manager should.

    As for the squad, we still have room for 1 more starter in CM, and maybe a back up ST or CB depending on who is allowed to leave.

    Both the depth and quality of the squad has improved from last season, and I really like the balance of ages we have in all positions at the moment. All areas seem to have an experienced player and a youngster, which is exciting for the future. It was great to see us being so proactive in contract negotiations last year aswell which shows just how much we have moved on from having to sell our best players.

    We are definitely a team on the rise and I cannot wait to see how far we can go in the next few years.

  8. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Well done Kelsey, you’re keeping the debate going all most single handed.

    I think 26 has got it right about Wenger, he has always used whatever recources have been available to buy players to improve the squad, rather than solely for the sake of spending money or to make up the numbers.

    It must be really nice for him to be able to look at a player and say “He will improve my squad, I can afford to buy him, go get him Ivan!”.

    Still to come? A top class DM and, we just can’t rely on Diaby, and, if Vermaelen goes, a centre back.

  9. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Blimey, Kevein, what a doomer. Lighten up a bit, go and look out of the window, the sun’s shining, the grass is green, at least where the moles haven’t dug it up, think happy thoughts. Go on Kevien, you know it makes sense.

  10. Bryan says:

    I have never believed Wenger has been the problem to us never spending, every manager of Arsenal before him didn’t spend either.
    Its always been the board IMO, but now the stadium has been paid & the extra revenue from sponsors mean that Wenger’s hands are no longer tied.

    Now please Arsene, just put me out of my misery & buy that DM that we have missed for so many years, preferably Cavalho 🙂

  11. stevepalmer1 says:

    Kevein, 🙂

    Has Wenger changed, well of course he has changed, circumstances have changed, the purse strings have been loosened and Wenger is again free to do business. Wenger has waited a very long time to be able to go into the transfer market and actually get player’s he wants, These last few seasons the secrecy has been out of this world, basically because we offered what we had, which was never enough, Players know what’s what, they don’t want to go to a club that buys one player. They know what happened the season before and where we let ourselves down, they also know that just their signing will not make that much difference so of course things ave changed.

    Imagine being a player, and seeing transfers to Arsenal of Sanchez Debuchey Chambers for the future and then realising that Theo was out for half a season Ramsey out and then seeing young Campbell in the world cup and how he is now sporting the shirt.

    Arsenal are now looking like a club that have intent they look like a club that have tasted victory and they look like a club that want more. Yes things have most definitely changed, the whole club has changed supporters are even talking about winning the League CL oh yes Wenger has changed, and if i was any of those players looking for a move i would certainly have my eye on Arsenal FC


    Cheers Kelsey

    I am in complete agreement with 26, no spots changing just Arsene utilizing his available resources.

    People can change there spots Kelsey, experience tends to do that to you.

    The question is, who is doing the spot changing?

    Five years ago I became involved in a charity which helped young offenders leaving nick get back on there feet.

    Been an ex Greek Commando (this is true, I can prove it by displaying my barbecue skills) I was asked to become a mentor for a lad who had just done 12 months for burglary.

    Peter was a very troubled kid, I think his stint inside had traumatized him. At first he would demand bromide in his tea, got very aggressive if I went near his tobacco, and would ask to be strip searched before leaving the house.

    Eventually i began to acquire his trust. Tales of my heroic army days including how I once managed to skew 3 wild boar simultaneously at perfect succulence, seemed to gain his respect

    Anyway, after a few months myself and the wife were to attend a dinner and dance for the charity. Peter was on our table and was to meet us there.

    The night dragged on, but no Peter. I felt really let down, all the other mentors kids had turned up, some not even nicking anything.

    ,My depression got the better of me, so we decided to leave early, trudging past the other tables, my wife’s handcuffed bag hitting people as we went.

    As we pulled the car up, to my horror i thought i saw someone on the roof. I asked the wife to stay in the car and ring the old bill, and sneaked in to the house.

    As I got upstairs I saw a skinny pair of legs and Nike trainers dangling from the loft hatch, it was Peter

    Completely losing it, I dragged him down and pinned him to the floor. His yells of “Strip search me Terry, I got nuffink” cut no ice as I let him know the cops were on his way so he better stock up on Rizla

    He begged for me to let him go, pleading “Please Terry, in there I keep dropping the soap in the shower” and been a soft touch i relented and let him go.

    When the police turned up I apologised for calling them in error and after they left settled in my armchair to carry out my nightly ritual of counting my money, only to find that whilst I had Peter pinned, he had nicked my wallet.

    Yes, ive changed my spots all right.

  13. LB says:

    Wenger with money.

    Be afraid EPL, be very afraid.

    The Red Machiiiiiiiiiine will roar again.

  14. Norfolk Gooner says:

    You can always rely on a Greek Commando to brighten your day!!

    Cheers Terry!

  15. DavetheRave says:

    + Kevein
    If this team is as poor as you suggest, how come we were leading the premier league for most of the first 24 games last season ?
    Look at the league position stats on this page – are you blind ?
    The other top 5 or 6 must have been absolute rubbish !
    Your comment doesn’t make any sense on that score alone.

  16. Kelsey

    It’s not about changing spots. I think he has finally been unleashed with some cash and is now able to build his team for the future, his legacy.

  17. goonermichael says:

    Is my comment in moderation or did it get lost?

  18. goonermichael says:

    There was a link on it. maybe that was it

  19. LBG says:

    Oh Kevein, what a depressing life you must lead!
    26 – still think the Ox is the real diamond and will be champing at the bit at the start of the season given, especially, Walcott might not be available for first month.
    Still hope for Sneiderlin myself as proven Premiership ability, and given Khedira still asking too much per week, and that would see Arteta benched for me.
    Prospects exciting though….uses you are Kevein!!

  20. kelsey says:

    I can’t find your comment,Michael.

  21. kelsey says:


    If you ever think of writing a book about your life, I will ghost write it and get it published 🙂

  22. ha ha Kelsey

    Titled: A Gay Greek Commando from Wood Green, Keftethes and Yoghurt sprayed all over your wall.

  23. kelsey says:

    According to those in the know it appears Vermaelen didn’t travel to Austria and Chambers has been given his number 5 shirt.

    Make of that what you will.

    Quite honestly why go to Austria for one day after just flying back from NY when AW always says it takes time to recover from long flights.

  24. Evenetning all, brief appearance from one of the Knot Ears brigade.

    Thanks for the post bouffant one, put briefly we have replaced 1 first team regular(at RB), the reserve GK and added one for the future(Chambers) but added a wide forward in Alexis so we are about 1.5 players up so far,

    Aside from the mythical DM most seem to want(don’t even think of relying on Abou Fornicating Diaby to stay fit much beyond September the 1st), myself included, I’m happy with the squad.

    As for Chambers being given the number 5 shirt, why decide to give him the 21 then change your mind the next day ?

  25. LB says:


    If you go to and then to players it says quite clearly that Chambers is number 21.

    Where did you hear that Chambers has been given the number 5 shirt?

  26. Adrian says:

    If Verm was to be sold (as we all expected), do you guys reckon we need to bring in another CB? I for one think we do, but I can’t think of many who is as solid as Verm when he’s fit and is willing to sit on the bench.

  27. LB says:

    Yes, there is no doubt in my mind that if Vermaelen does leave then an equally experienced player will be brought in. And to the second part, I can’t think of any other player at his level who would patiently sit on the bench as much as he would.

    Still, Wenger is on a roll and if Vermaelen does leave then I have confidence that a solution will be found.

  28. Gööner In Exile says:

    Keksey I don’t think Wenger has changed, I think what he has in his back pocket is bigger, the first signs of this were keeping Theo, and signing “the British core” up to long term deals.

    As for incorporating too many new players it all cones down to individuals, and if they are going to contribute they need to be ready.

    Only 11 players can start a game and our first XI last season would have given most teams a run for their money, biggest problem for me was that when players were our injured their replacement then had to play every game, and to an extent that they got injured and we had to field the original player again.

    The few extra bodies around the squad should mean that even if say Ramsey gets injured we can rotate Cazorla in and still have Diaby on standby to rotate in when necessary.

    As for squad rules 26 quite a few you’ve listed don’t need to be named (Zelalem, Gnabry, Ox, Chambers, Campbell and Hayden) so we actually have space for a few more additions, when you consider TV5, Arteta, Flamini only have one year to run and Rosicky two it is easy to see that the acquisition of a couple of senior players won’t skew any future planning.

  29. wally says:

    Has Wenger changed? Interesting thought that one.

    Lots of changes this year, new players, new training/physio staff.
    I wonder to what extent his dithering about signing a new contract was a function of negotiating/relinquishing control of the transfer process (or whether it was simply tax-related).. Where he simply identifies the players, the valuation and negotiation being left to Gazidis et al. It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten so much done so quickly. (I’m glad for it.) And to what extent is it driven by his desire to win CL? No knowledge, just wondering.

    AT this point I’d say we’re done with additions. However if we bring in Khedira this year I think Wenger has decided the hell with it, let’s get’ er done for CL.

    First game seems so far away.

  30. Sav from Australia says:

    Thanks for the post. Got to it late. I believe I can answer the question of Wenger and ‘spots’ definitively, with a link to a certain interview recently. Apologies if this link has already been posted here – I was made aware of it by another poster on another blog.

    In regards to “Has Wenger changed his ways or is it really the first time that we can compete with elite signings ?”

    I submit evidence A:

    It is fairly long – contained therein is the following quote:

    Wenger: It was very difficult because the demand for success at the club his huge. Just before Ivan arrived at the club, I can remember board meetings where we sat there, and thought, ‘How can we manage to survive?’ But now we move into a different era again. We went through a patch where we had restricted finances. We went through a time where other clubs had unlimited resources. Now we’re going through a period in the game where it looks like, with financial fair play, the era of unlimited resources is finished. Now, it looks like we can compete again. We managed to get through the storm without too much damage.

    I believe since Mr Wenger has explicitly spoken about this matter, we can lay it to bed at last. Although logic would have allowed us to reach the same conclusion since the stadium was built with huge borrowings, the GFC hit and the Oil clubs entered. But logic and reason aside – I provide a quote so no one can call the logic an opinion.

  31. Adrian says:

    Would love it if Wenger could somehow persuade Verm to stay and extend his contract by rotating a bit more. With the amount of cup games/qualifiers we have especially at the start of the season I am sure Verm could start quite a few times.

  32. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    Sorry about a not very detailed post but I hope it was better than nothing.

    LB, on the official Arsenal website it showed the players training in Austria and they all had their dedicated squad numbers and Chambers wore No 5.

    It might mean nothing bit I noticed it.

    Chary made the good point that we needed a replacement for Fabianski and judging by what AW said the new keeper will not necessarilly be an understudy.

    Debuchy I feel maybe a short term replacement for Sagna, so we had to buy to cover those positions.
    Chambers is the interesting one and to be fair I haven’t seen much of him but he and Debuchy can play at RB or in defence.

    Sanchez has to be the the exciting signing so far though the expectancy maybe initially to high as he will need an adjustment period.

    Remember Theo is out until the early part of October and have any players ever returned earlier than the manage said so IMO that could be later than suggested.I hope The Ox really makes strides forward and I expect him to.

    Like others I suspect a late signing if Vermaelen leaves but haven’t a clue where that leaves Jenkinson.

  33. Gööner In Exile says:

    I don’t think Jenks will be going anywhere, he is a squad player, he brings a love of the club to the squad, that’s infectious, also if others see a player who loves being there every day despite not playing.

    Another player that applies to is Podolski, admittedly he didn’t play much in the WC but you could see by the celebrations and how others celebrated that he wasn’t there purely for footballing abilities. He brings something to the squad as a cheerleader, and ok at £70-100k a week but he can play when needed too.

    It’s good as long as it’s clean fun, I work with a client who’s son knows quite a few of the Chav youngsters, this is one of the stories I was told yesterday:

    The current game is to crap yourself and hide your pants somewhere, so X did two one in the morning and left them in Y’s car and once in the afternoon and left them in Zs locker. So hopefully none of that at the Arsenal. But tells me everything I need to know about Chelsea.

  34. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    GIE, liked your comment,
    But i feel we have to realise that all players do stupid things at one time or another, Chelsea players fool around but that doesn’t make them any worse than the Arsenal players, We like to think that Wenger is rearing a crop of well behaved and well taught players but there we have a player who gets caught with his pants down and with a mystery women in his hotel room while on Arsenal duty.

    We see another player rowing with a cabby after a night out drinking. We see players smoking a fag while relaxing, that is not good behaviour but its the way of life.

    Arsenal Players are spoilt much the same as all Premier footballers, they earn massive amounts of money at a very tender age and they believe they are the big i am. These players are in every club and Arsenal are no better or worse than anybody else.

    I have known many friends who have done all sorts of tricks on one another but that doesn’t make them bad people.

    Jenks seems to be one you like, and i agree i like him too, but because we see a picture of him in his bedroom with Arsenal memorability all over the walls doesn’t mean he is Arsenal through and through, it means he has been snapped in a room full of pictures.

    We can put Arsenal players up on pedestals but they will only do something stupid down the line they are people just like us and we fcuk up all the time. Just an observation not a criticism. 🙂

  35. kelsey says:


    It’s the age we live in.privacy doesn’t exist anymore then add the Internet,people forever on the lookout to snap a picture on their mobile phone of some footballer even shopping in a supermarket and with newspaper sales plumeting journalists who have no morals themselves just make up or twist events to get headlines.

    One can’t turn the clock back but so many people are gulable and believe everything they read about anything connected to football and many think they have a far greater knowledge of the game than any manager.

  36. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Kelsey, and i forgot to thank you for the post, I know it was short, but you hit the spot mate.

    Tough time of year Close season, Many fans who like to hear about their clubs and nothing going on apart from Transfer’s. And lets face it over the last few years we haven’t had to much to occupy us until the last hour. This year seems different, early deals and decent signings, Wenger has stated in the past that more than 3 signings upsets the flow of the team, he said that it some how destabilises the team.

    Well i for one am not going to disagree with him, but i sure like it, and i would still like to see a DM coming as well, but i have been starved in the past, and now i don’t care. 🙂

  37. kelsey says:


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