Arsenal. The Final Piece

I’ve spent four years going on about how we need a DM, and now I’m told the modern game has no need for such a creature, although according to Arsene, we play with a deep lying holding midfielder.

Well what the hell’s the difference? The way I see it is, we need someone to play somewhere above the centre backs and below the advanced midfielders. He will be fast, because speed is always good, a tackler, passer and interceptor, and being taller and stronger than most can only be a good thing as well.


One like this ………

In short, the player will get the ball, then give it to Ramsey. Really not that hard.

Thing is, we see how successful sides have a Schweinsteiger or Martinez. In other words a more physical presence.

The fact remains that to my mind Arsene revealed to the world something about his thinking when he signed up Kim Kallstrom. He was saying “Arteta and Flamini get injured, banned or tired, and I see that we need reinforcements in this area. We also get bullied in this area of play, so our man must be strong.

I’m not particularly in any one camp as to who the player should be, as I’ve only seen the odd game of all the usual suspects. Bender, Schneiderlin, Carvalho, Khedira and Martinez are according to the press top of the class, and although Martinez impressed me the most, any would be good. It’s hard to believe there are aren’t more candidates out there, but perhaps they are simply not expensive enough.

I think it’s important to add some perspective. What we are actually talking about is the team overall, as much as one specific position. Arsene is looking to improve on what we achieved last season, and this means better results in a handful of games, and these are the “bigger” games. Going to the next level in the Champions League, eliminating the thrashings we got from Pool and Chelsea, and taking wins from games against the likes of Utd.

Some of these things can be achieved with better collective defensive discipline, and some will be addressed by our new attacking potency care of Mr Sanchez.

So, back to this bloody DM thing. Can we find the solution from within? I don’t think so. Diaby cannot be relied upon, and in my opinion is more box to box anyway. Coquelin is simply not good enough yet to take us to the next level, which only leaves Chambers who, let’s not forget, was described by Arsene as being able to be deployed as RB, CB or in midfield.

Right Lads. Today let’s try and sort this out once and for all.

Do we need a new player in this position that doesn’t exist anyway?

Written by MickyDidIt89


96 Responses to Arsenal. The Final Piece

  1. LB says:

    I can’t stop thinking about those kittens. lol

    Good post Micky

    I will try and give a more in depth answer later.

  2. Shard says:

    Give it a rest with the poor ol Micky who no one listens to stuff. You converted me last season already with your mystical cult of DM requirement 🙂

    Like you I have no idea about how to read the signs as to which of the chosen ones is to be our foretold saviour. But I do think this is a position Wenger wants to buy in. Especially this year now that Arteta and Flamini are both getting on and are in the final year of their contract.

  3. kelsey says:

    “Do we need a new player in this position that doesn’t exist anyway?”

    Silly question,of course we do 🙂

    Hello Rasp.

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    I really do want to know the difference between a Holding Midfielder and a Defensive Midfielder.

  5. VCC says:

    Didit……in a word “YES”……..surely a blind man can see we need some physicality just lying in front of our back four who can try and stop the better/bigger sides just marauding their way threw our defences.

    Just look at how Monaco brushed Wilshere aside. Ramsey was no match as he played the previous day. Why didn’t Wenger give Diaby a run out in that friendly, or play him against Benfica the day before and play Ramsey in the one game while being fresh?

  6. gunnerpete says:

    You and a million of us mate who have banged on about a world class DM since Gilberto left. I cannot see Arteta, Flamini, or Coquelin being at the club much longer and the money for them would but one or two players who can break down play and supply the killer ball to the front. Having been at the Emirates this weekend it was SOOOOOOOOOOOO obvious that our only weakness was in front of the defence and at left back where Monreal is not AFC class. I hope to hear good news this week first about a new top DM and next that we have gone for a left sided CB. Who knows now we are spending again……..isn’t it great that AFC and AW have been proved 100% right with their not relying on a sugar daddy to buy trophies and to use money the club earned!

  7. fatgingergooner says:

    We definitely need a holding midfielder. He doesn’t have to be a massive unit, or brilliant in the air, but he does need to be disciplined, good in the tackle, have the ability to read threatening situations, and be able to get around the field quickly.

    It’s very difficult to find someone who has all those characteristics, and when we do find someone they will also be very expensive, or happy at their current club!

    My ideal candidate would’ve been someone like Gundogan, who I think would’ve made a great replacement for Arteta. He’s not the big, tall player you would think of for the position, but he is proven at CL and International level and still has room for growth.

    Looking at the current options, I would be quite happy with any of those mentioned above.

    None of them tick all the boxes, but they are more suited to the role than what we currently have.

  8. gunnerpete says:

    VCC…your comments made a lot of sense mate especially about Ramsey? Why Knacker the lad in friendlies?

  9. fatgingergooner says:

    Anyone see United v Liverpool last night?

    United definitely need some CB’s. You can’t play 3 at the back and have 3 defenders who are as uncomfortable on the ball as Smalling, Jones and Evans! They looked awful whilst Liverpool pressed them. They are going to be good going forward, but unless they sort that defence out, it could be another long season for them.

    As for Liverpool, Lambert looked totally lost with their style of play. He wants everything into feet, whereas their style is all about movement. Will be surprised if they don’t buy another striker.

    Neither side looked great, and only a couple of players missing from both teams.

  10. Shard says:

    Hmmm..Micky. I think the answer lies not in the positioning but in the attributes.

    I guess the traditional DM would be “someone to play somewhere above the centre backs and below the advanced midfielders……. the player will get the ball, then give it to Ramsey.”

    While a ‘holding’ midfielder in the modern sense could be a Vidal, Diaby or even a Ramsey who can (and does) do the stuff up front as well, but chooses to sit back and help build play from there. Not just win the ball and give it to the better guy stuff 🙂

    I know that doesn’t sound like much of a difference, and there isn’t. The problem probably comes from people’s entrenched idea of a DM and what he should look like and behave like, rather than any real difference.

  11. RC78 says:

    I think the DM position still really exists and is mandatory in a team. It is just that the role has evolved in the sense that the DM is more than a strong “playbreaker” and a good tackler. The DM now has to have a good vision to also create play from a deeper position and aslo the ability to make runs forward if he seems openings. All great teams have great DMs: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real…

    For me, we need someone for sure in this position and except Flamini, we do not have any specialist in this position. Wenger seems to think that Arteta and Ramsey can play there, which is true but we lose out on their passing skills closer to the surface area as they focus more on defensive plays when playing DM…

    I would take anyone from that list: Bender, Khedira, Schnederlin but there are other options as well. Obi Mikel is not a regular at Chelsea and Lucas Leiva might lose his spot at Liverpool so they could be targets. Diame and even our former player L.Diarra could do the job and I also really like Mascherano and Enzo Perez. Mascherano may not be a starter at Barcelona this year so why not? Javi Garcia and Javi Martinez are also getting itchy feet at City and Bayern. Ideally, we would have gone for the free transfer or Barry but now the chance has passed.

    In any case, if possible, let us get a DM…My preference would be Bender from the first list but if we can snatch Mascherano or J. Martinez, I am all for it 🙂

  12. rhyle says:

    Morning all…top work keeping this place as interesting as you have over the summer – although to be fair, for once, we’ve had plenty to talk and think about ever since the final whistle at the FA Cup final!

    Great read this morning, too, Micky.

    The DM question is a difficult one. I’m similar to you in that I can’t profess to be an expert on either of the Bender brothers, Schneiderlin (MOTD highlights tell you no more than a Youtube “best bits” package) or Carvalho. Obviously know Khedira and Martinez better from the excellent CL / La Liga / Bundesliga coverage we receive.

    For me, we have an (ill) disciplined, tough tackling midfielder in Flamini – that option is there, although he’s not “world-class” as people are so often keen for all of our first XI to be, he has and can hang with the best…if only he manages to stay on at least one foot when tackling…This, for me, means we have one of the three types of DM covered – the Makelele archetype – although Martinez would offer a huge upgrade on him, it’s not a priority for me.

    There are two others, typified by former Arsenal players…and it’s these we need to consider picking up one of the players we’ve been linked with.

    The Gilberto or The Invisible Wall. A player who keeps it simple. Positionally disciplined, gets vertigo 9 times out of 10 when faced with crossing the halfway line. Can tackle, but is more spatially aware – cutting out passes, minimising movement from the opponents midfield and distributing simply (or with the only ball he’s got in the locker in the case of Gilberto…squarely). From what I’ve heard of Carvalho, he’s probably our best option here.

    The Petit / Vieira axis or The Greatest Central Midfield Partnership That Ever Existed (In The Mind Of A Man Born In The ’70s). Some title, huh? But, undeniably, for 3 years for Arsenal and longer for the French national team…they were the balls. Working as if they were connected by an elastic band, their understanding and discipline in their role brought out the best of them. Petit was never the same player when he left for Barca or at Chelsea. One would maraud forward, with the other holding back at the centre circle to break up counter attacks, both tough in the tackle and intimidating to opponents – we’ve never replaced them. Never. For me, Khedira is that man. Someone who could and would operate in the same way – just don’t ask me who’d I’d play alongside him here – would be interested in your thoughts as to how we’d get this system to work with the offensive midfield options we have…

  13. Rasp says:

    Great post Micky …. Hi Kelsey

    Yes, yes, yes, having a DM/midfield general/enforcer would be great.

    Youtube can make anyone look fantastic (Chamakh lol) but watch the first 3rd of this video, Carvalho outVieiras Vieira ……..


    Cheers Micky

    Thanks Rasp. I very much enjoyed those kittens.

    Now listen here Micky, I don’t think we can sort this out

    Everyone bangs on about a big fast defensive midfielder, but will he fit in?

    For the last five years I have battled those Arsenal fans who are in an abusive relationship with the club, mostly with Wenger, who they regard as there cheating wife. They in turn see themselves as Skol drinking, vest wearing fatsos, even though some of them are skinny.

    Arsene now has the tools, so they have shut up, had a shave, and dressed for dinner. But what is Arsene trying to do?

    Our main competitors, Chelsea, City, Utd, & Scousers, all have balanced squads. Loads of skill and speed, but also some right big numpties who are suited to the aggressive side of the game.

    The advantage is they can employ specific tactics to win games. Chelsea and Liverpool did that a lot, and Utd have been doing negative fouling for years.

    We dont have that luxury, we havent got the players to do it.

    Arsene is trying to create a fast, fluid, and nimble side that will overcome the negative barriers and conquer all.

    I trust Arsene so believe in his approach.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring.

  15. fatgingergooner says:

    Would anyone take Kagawa on the cheap?

    He was brilliant at Dortmund when playing quick, passing football. I don’t think United’s play suits him, but he might be more effective in our side.

  16. rhyle says:

    FGG…would looooove Kagawa, he’s a fantastic player who is woefully played out of position at OT…but we have Ozil. And Cazorla. And Sanchez. And Ramsey. And Wilshere. And Campbell. And Walcott. And The Ox…just don’t see where he’d fit.

  17. 26may1989 says:

    Good stuff, micky (you’re still a bastard, though…..).

    I think Arteta has done an excellent job in the years he’s been with us but I would accept (a) that he’s never been a specialist in that holding midfield position and (b) last season he began to show real limitations. I agree with your observation that the loan signing of Kallstrom was a good indicator of Wenger’s thinking, and despite KK not being fantastic, the minutes he spent on the pitch did show what some extra physicality in the middle of the pitch can give the team.

    I agree that none of Wilshere, Diaby or Coquelin will cut it in this position. One solution from within that has been mooted from fans is to convert Vermaelen into a defensive midfielder, but Wenger obviously doesn’t think that would work. Remembering how bad Vermaelen was when he last had a run at left back, perhaps Wenger’s view is that our captain is purely built to be a centre back. Chambers now gets a mention, but who knows if he really has what it takes to function there at the highest level?

    So for me, yes, we would certainly be improved by getting a top quality specialist for the position. But just like up front, there’s no point getting someone who will just do – we might as well stick with what we have – but getting one of the best would make a huge difference. Who? Over to Wenger for that one.

    Have to have a whinge about the selection of the photo for this piece though: Vieira, god that he was (at least before taking the Man City dollar), was not a defensive midfielder. In his time with the Arse, he was paired with Petit and then Gilberto, who were the players who did most of the screening work, whilst Paddy battled it out in the centre circle and drove possession towards the other side’s penalty area.

  18. 26may1989 says:

    Rhyle: and Rosicky. And Gnabry. And Diaby. And Zelalem……

  19. 26may1989 says:

    Nip in to gazzump Sunderland for Jack Rodwell?

    Thought not.

  20. kelsey says:

    Some good comments here though one has to remember that generally Wenger’s philosophy is to play fast attacking football with our full backs (which are now called wing backs) darting up the field and then players like Padolski and Cazorla don’t drop back when we lose possession and the opposition is then on then counter attack.

    It’s not necessarilly a holding midfielder that we need but a big physical presence in defence that can get stuck in and start an attack going, someone like Yaya Toure.

    We seem to be weakest on the left flank.Gibbs gets injured too much, Monreal just doesn’t do it for me wherever he plays and we have no real threat in attack from the left wing.

    Going back to the weekend (VCC) Ramsey for some reason played 150 minutes and Diaby despte a couple of work outs is still not fit.

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks all for the answers to my question.

    There really isn’t a definitive role, let alone one player that fits the no-role, but there certainly are faster more physical players out there.

    I collect titles on this site. Your “Bastard” sits quite nicely on my headed note paper next to Raddy’s “Complete and Utter Knob) 🙂

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    The reason that I am probably more anxious now than in previous seasons about a new “anchor man” (does that work?) is that with the other new signings, a new fitness guru, some injury luck and a spot of rotation, I really think this anchor is the last piece of the jigsaw.

    We are very close.

  23. Bryan says:

    Great post, DM do still exist, so I’m not quite sure what Wenger is going on about & damn we have been crying out for one ever since Gilberto left.
    It is definitely the position we need most, for me I would really take a punt on Carvalho, as he does the DM role better than the more box to box players that have been linked with (Khedira etc)
    Chambers looks a good player but if we were going to use a defender to play there I would of thought Vermaelen was a good option.
    So please get that big strong DM we need & in all honesty another LB makes sense as Gibbs is so injury prone & Monreal is not even near good enough.

  24. kelsey says:

    It seems that an investment company Banco Espirito Santo has bought a 40% stake in William Carvalho, with 40% of his sell on value. The Club Sporting Portugal (Lisbon) own the rest.

    It also seems that Baco Espirito (BES) are in deep financial difficulties and the Portuguese Government have had to bail them out.

    As seems the norm with many players nowadays, I think he has at least two agents representing the different interested parties.

    Companies that need rescuing by their governments are often told to realise as many ‘assets’ as possible to reduce their debt exposure, so BES will probably want to sell their share of Carvalho, and the club also seem to be in deep debt too, so they will want to sell.

    It’s a mess and Arsenal may not want to get involved, and that might also explain why Manure have cooled their reported interest.

    Nothing is easy in the odd world of football.

    (This is taken from a comment on ACLF)

  25. Bryan says:

    I think its a mess worth cleaning up lol The guy is a total DM, strong, powerful & brilliant at intercepting the ball & turning into attacks

  26. LB says:

    Hmmm, that is interesting. So if we brought 40% of Carvalho from Banco Espirito Santo would he only be able to play 40% of our games?

    Could we choose which games?

    Maybe just the Champions League?

  27. RC78 says:

    Miguel Veloso is someone who could add skills and depth at this positin. He wants to leave the cold Russian air…

  28. mickydidit89 says:


    Regarding your “Have to have a whinge about the selection of the photo for this piece” comment, may I stress that for reasons that will be bleeding obvious to some on here, I’m not allowed the office keys, and therefore had no say in the choice of pics.

    However, while I think it’s a splendid pic of Paddy, it’s given me the idea of including a pic of Mickey Thomas in every post I submit from here on.

    Terms and Conditions of future contributions from me are simple: No Pic, No Post 🙂

  29. Sav from Australia says:

    Got to the post really late, but just wanted to say it was really good. Thanks Micky. On to the comments.

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    Interesting stuff Crystals

    My reading of the matter is slightly different.

    If Sporting own the other 60%, then buy their share, we’re then the majority shareholder, and so bingo….up yours Banco Santo, he plays for us

  31. VCC says:

    Kelsey @ 11:57……Sorry I thought Diaby was being reported as being fit by red tops and some commentators. He was on the bench?

    Still, nothing new there then.

  32. kelsey says:

    What it tells me is that Portugal like Spain are in economic shite, as we all know and that the banks are trying to recoup from whoever including football clubs and if anyone they would be the ones to force a sale.

  33. kelsey says:


    no he wasn’t on the bench,he had a twinge in his knee apparently 😉

  34. Bryan says:

    Actually was thinking a cheaper alternative would be Kondogbia, who was excellent for Monaco against us in emirates cup at weekend, still prefer Carvalho but options are options

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi Bryan

    We can all think of cheaper options. Mike in village is prepared to move, but we all know he’s crap 🙂

    The more expensive, the better. My advice to Arsene is “the side looks great, but we need a world class dm. Look in the petty cash tin. Add it all up. Keep a couple of quid aside for a rainy day, and then bribe an agent”

  36. chas says:

    Nice post, Micky.
    The nuances of this tactical bollix discussion are a bit beyond me I’m afraid, but we definitely need a replacement for Arteta. 🙂

  37. chas says:

    Loving this almost as much as the boobies and kittens. 🙂

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Wow Chas
    That’s so good. It’s our dream to be out there with passing dolphins while we’re surfing.
    They’re around, so who knows, one day.
    The four of us were out in a small boat off Cornwall a few years ago, and we had about eight dolphins around us for about 20 mins. You could lean over and stroke them.

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    “this isn’t the bender we were after, Arsene” ROLF 🙂

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Look what you’ve made me do. I’m so easily distracted from work
    Not looking anymore

  41. wally says:

    if you’re going to push your fullbacks up then a dm is required. We’ve seen what happens when you push them up and the diagonal goes in behind them and the cbs get split and the chinese fire drill begins. Loew saw it as well, that’s why he dropped the BFG and replaced him with Boateng.
    You can’t play 9 men up. People have figured out Guardiola’s game.

  42. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘afternoon all, Yes micky!

    That’s it, short and sweet.

  43. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, You say we need a DM, and i agree with you, you say who it could be, and you also say have we one within. The answer to that question is yes we have them already. Chambers, young at 19 but is willing and able Tommy V looking for full time play, nothing wrong with him in this position either, Diaby he has to play at sometime and why not now we have cover.

    Why buy players that the manager says can play multi positions only to buy a player from outside who knows nothing about the Premier. Tommy V is quality and if we dont play him he’s off what a loss. Diaby we all know about, sell him or move him on and should he break down again out him. Chambers is 19 years old and he shows maturity beyond his years, Wenger has praised this lads talent and he needs to be in the thick of it or he will stagnate on the bench until he also is loaned out.

    Certain players in our squad have been carried in the past, its time to sort the wheat from the chaff, old players being kept in case they are needed is not good, we need players who are hungry to impress players who play with heart and above all players for the future.

  44. chas says:

    I was thinking of getting one of these and sowing an old badge on. 🙂

  45. Eddie says:

    There is a polish proverb that states that appetite grows as you eat, something like that. I always thought it was the most stupid and wrong thing someone come up with. Well, that was until I read your post Mr DidIt.

    Will you ever stop?? It is only beginning of August and we have signed 3 players, yet three. One of them world class. Most people would be satisfied, but not you, oh no, you want more.

    Personally I don’t want more players, we have a good team that can deliver. Tottenham introduced some 10 players last season and look what happened to them – shit happened. Too many cooks can spoil the broth you know! Team balance is a delicate and precious commodity and upsetting super stars can be dangerous.

    I hope we sign Khedira.

  46. LBG says:

    Wally – 3.46
    There’s the crux tactically! If both full backs attack at the same time you increase numbers/options in midfield, but are massively open to a breakdown and fast break from oppos. A holding MF player fills the gap between the two CBs. In my opinion, this player needs to be the most athletic, quick and preferably large/good in the air. in the team. Would have settled for Khedira or Schneiderlin but Cavalho looks even better and, most importantly, looks like he loves the job. The job and position exists, Micky, and we need one with AW’s attack at all cost approach. Sod the complications, get him for us AW!

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    Apparently Barca are in for Vermaelen.

    I have no problem with letting him go, aslong as he’s adequately replaced.

    He’s been average at best since he had that long injury a few seasons back. He’s a little rash with trying to intercept, and makes basic positional errors. People say he could play DM, but he’s never actually played there for us, so I don’t buy into that. He also makes things complicated within the group because he’s the club captain, yet doesn’t get in the team! Having your captain on the field helps!

    I also believe that some players have the ability to sit out 4 or 5 games and then slot straight in and play 100%, Vermaelen isn’t one of those. He needs a run in the team to gain form, and he just won’t get that as 3rd choice.

    I really liked him when he came, but he just hasn’t lived up to the early promise. Take the £10m on offer and buy a hungry 24 year old to challenge for a CB role.

    Inigo Martinez or Manolas could be options.

  48. California Gooner says:

    Micky, I grew up in San Diego — yes, watching dolphins was one of my favorite things… particularly Arsenal supporting dolphins.

  49. willc88 says:

    I’d love it if we got khedira, think he’d get the nod over carvalho from me based on his experience alone, and surely it’d make Ozil a bit happier!

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    Arsenal dolphins. Now we’re talking 🙂

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey California
    Are you the California Gooner who lives in Copenhagen and has met that hippy Raddy?

  52. Heres the thins Micky, a defensive midfielder is irrelevant in the modern game, he is useless when we have possession if the only part of his game that is of use is destructive.

    I say this because an important part of our holding midfielders game is to receive the ball from the back four and thread a ball to a more advanced midfielder, a traditional defensive midfielder would not necessarily have the ability/confidence to receive the ball to feet with a man up his backside and inevitably will pass back towards a full back or centre back.

    Gilberto was not a defensive midfielder, he was the archetypal holding midfielder, he was quick to read the game, snuff out attacks and release the ball to those who could use it. But he also joined in to score the occasional goal. If you want evidence of his non defensive midfielder status look at his yellow card record in the Premier League, 2 red cards and 10 yellow cards in 6 years at Arsenal. Compare that to say Scott Parker, 4 reds and 78 yellows in 12 years in the PL to 2011 (only period i could find quickly).

  53. Gööner In Exile says:

    Further i’d say Arteta was the closest thing we have had to Gilberto over the last few years, but worry that his pace is beginning to let him down, and with a lightweight midfield around him can get swamped too quickly, when Gilberto played at his peak the midfielders had to get past Paddy before they had a chance to run at him.

  54. Sorry Eddie, we’ve signed 4 players not 3.

    I’m a Knot Ear.

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    Usmanov certainly speaks more than his American rival.

    “The acquisition was financed with debt, which would be repaid through match-day revenues among other sources.”

    “There is another way of doing it – when shareholders buy all of the assets and contribute them to the club. As a result, these debt-free assets may generate income for the club.”

    But Usmanov didn’t have a share then? And is he saying our ground would have been owned by him? Hmmmm I’m glad we went debt option.

    He did say he predicts a trophy era for us now though.

    Interesting hey?

    A man that has tried to pull the fans against Kroenke in the last few seasons claiming we wouldn’t achieve success now thinks we will. What a surprise that a businessman could see the upside when the debt burden was reducing and more specifically the pre loaded sponsorship deals were up for renewal. He dressed it up as all manner of other things but in reality he is here for the money.

    And now he hasn’t actually put anything in he can wait for his stake to rise over next few years and sell off for a large profit.

  56. Not a big fan of Jabba then, GiE?

    That’s understandable as he’s always seemed a tad too populist for my liking.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Thank you Exile

    That is the most idiot proof explanation I’ve read.

    So, my new mantra is

    I want an HM
    I want an HM
    I want an HM
    (but can he be big and strong and fast, bit like what I though I wanted in my DM)
    And when do I want him
    Now, now, now

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually Exile

    Just read your piece again, and I now disagree. We badly need the destructive element you describe in your traditional DM, as well as the ball skills of your HM.

    Therefore, we’re after a hybrid.

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    On Usmanov

    “he is here for the money”

    Who isn’t? Puma are, ditto Emirates, Barclays, burger concessions, players, agents, every shareholder (at least likes to see increased value), Armoury Shop and so on.

    Yes we try and run a sustainable model, but its still in the elite of capitalist models, just different debt/risk approach.

    If Usmanov and Kronke can finally get along, work together on the board, then it must be good for the club.

    Anyway, swiftly back to boobs and cats 🙂

  60. kelsey says:

    Arsène Wenger spoke to the media after the Emirates Cup defeat to AS Monaco on Sunday. This is what he had to say:

    on the form Arsenal showed…
    We have made a demonstration that in 24 hours a lot can change in football. As much as our performance was sharp, creative, dynamic and mobile [on Saturday], today it was static, lethargic and not convincing at all. I feel that many players had not recovered completely physically and that we were not completely ready. But congratulations to Monaco. They were better than us. Sharper, stronger and we lost the game because we deserved to lose the game.

    on his players’ form…
    I’m not especially concerned. It’s part of the pre-season and it just is a good warning for us that we are not completely ready physically. The positives are that we had to dig deep for some players to play and that we got no injuries.

    on what role Alexis will fulfil…
    I don’t know yet because Giroud is not ready at all so I thought I’d take him out because he didn’t look ready. It was an opportunity for me as well to see Sanchez in the second half as a centre forward. He looked better in the second half than in the first. But that was also because Oxlade-Chamberlain gave us something we needed – some penetration and some power. Overall, the second half we dominated much more of the game than in the first half, when we were dominated.

    on the penalty shout…
    What was surprising was that the guy who was the closest to the action made the decision and it was contradicted by the guy (the assistant) who was the furthest. And the furthest got his opinion respected. But it doesn’t matter too much. It’s pre-season and we didn’t want to make a fuss about the decision made by the referee which may not have been completely right.

    on playing Wilshere as a holding midfielder…
    No, because we played only with one holding midfielder here and Wilshere and Ramsey pushing on. He has made his claim – we have seen that again.

    on signing another holding midfielder…
    We have Flamini and last year we played with Arteta and Ramsey in many games in that position. So it’s just a question. I think Jack is getting better and his ankle is good now but it needs games. At the top top level you need presence and consistent presence. In and out is finished today, that you rest for three weeks and you come in and fit a game – that doesn’t work anymore.

    on Giroud’s fitness…
    I don’t know. Today at least he was not ready at all.

    on whether the Arsenal players have to adapt to Alexis…
    Yes, but he makes good runs in behind and today I felt that we had problems feeding our strikers because we were not very good in the build up and our combination play was very poor. Our play forward was very poor so it was very difficult for the strikers today. But Sanchez will adapt too. If you have good players in midfield they will find the strikers.

    on whether Giroud should be more ready…
    No. He had only three weeks rest, it was not an eternity and he had to come back quickly. But sometimes when you come back late you want to work hard and in a game you are not as sharp. It’s nothing about him. He’s not put weight on, he’s not out of shape, he’s worked very hard this week and not recovered from the work he has done.

    on whether Cazorla has put weight on…
    No, he’s okay.

    on Wilshere and Flamini’s challenges…
    Yes but usually last season we had no big problems with red cards.

    on the Community Shield next week…
    We will be [in better shape]. And Man City may be as well.

    on Calum Chambers’ composure…
    He’s one of the players over the two games who played very well. He’s 19 years old and he came here without talking, he plays two good games and is not phased by the quality of the games and the opponents at his first time at the Emirates at 19. He’s one of the satisfactions of the weekend.

    on whether his future is at centre back…
    He can play as well central midfield because he’s got good technique, good mobility and is a great distance runner. At the moment it’s where I can have a look at him. But I think he can also play central midfield.

    on making his breakthrough at right back…
    Yes [I was surprised[ because he was educated as a centre defensive midfielder. Then he played in the under-19 with England, he played central defender, he played for Southampton right back. I saw him first time against us as a right back and I liked him. At the end of the season he didn’t play too much at Southampton. But I made my mind up to buy him after I saw him against us.

    on Lampard’s loan move to Man City…
    It’s a surprise. Because after the statements we heard it is a surprise. But it looks like all these City clubs will feed the main club, Man City. I heard that they want to buy five clubs all over the world.

    on the integrity of the competition…
    Look. I don’t know well enough the rules. But they bought the franchise for $100m in the States to play next season. At the moment the players they sign cannot play until next year so they register in the clubs where they put them and they can get them on loan. Is it a way to get around the Fair Play? I don’t know.

    on whether Arsenal would follow the City model…
    We are happy to dedicate the money we make just to run our club. It’s not enough surplus to buy other clubs.

    on Mathieu Debuchy…
    He’s done well. He’s also not completely fit and ready but he got 90 minutes and should be better next week.
    Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source

    You all ay have read this but I think there is a new post hidden in this interview.

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    I’d like to discuss Chas’ new shirt

    A few seasons ago, we had a record turn out from AA’ers at some home game or other. 17 I believe.

    I remember being seriously disappointed that we had no “full kit wanker” amongst our merry gang.

    So, I think we should all get behind Chas’ efforts, and urge him to add shorts and socks to complete the effect.

  62. mickydidit89 says:


    There is certainly enough in that Arsene interview for any of us to interpret how we like to justify any of our own thoughts.

    I read it and think “He agrees with everything I’ve been saying” 🙂

  63. chas says:

    Definitely thinking of getting some of those red and white hooped socks. I love them.

    Might stick with the thong in the middle though.

    I’ve been in the Tavern with Harry and GIE and we’ve all had red and white home shirts on.
    Not everyone can carry off polyester shirts and gaberdine slacks, you know. 😉

  64. mickydidit89 says:


    I was there with the three of you.

    I carefully positioned myself to keep you all apart.

    A few accidental rubs together of those fibres, and whoosh, up goes the Tavern in flames

  65. chas says:

    On This Day 1977: Arsenal signed Pat Jennings for £45,000. The legendary keeper played 327 games for the Gunners.

  66. chas says:

    What’s all this about 17 boring bastards assembling at the Tavern without one replica top, then?

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    Power cuts don’t bother you, do they? 🙂

  68. chas says:

    The point of that shirt post was that I’d seen a tweet saying that for some clubs you could get the base football shirt without advertising logo and club badge for a fraction of the full shirt price.

    I thought Chary might appreciate this, as he detests the Fly Emirates on our shirts.
    The base shirt (without club badge admittedly) is £14. The home strip through the club shop is 50 notes. 🙂
    Mine’ll be unique, too, which is an added bonus.

  69. mickydidit89 says:


    Genuinely, I remember my first encounter with replica kits when they were first invented. I was about 12, and we had some sporty family to stay for Christmas, with their nasty 12 yr old son. He was given a full kit, and we were immediately sent out to play football.

    Even then, I looked at him and thought “what a fucking c..t”

    However, I like you in your shirt, and you’re my best friend, and it’s the CL draw on Friday 🙂

  70. chas says:

    My house runs on static electricity, if that’s what you mean.

  71. chas says:

    Haha, fucking is allowed, but front bottom not.

    I see your point. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing some really tight home shirts on those who forgot to go one size up when ordering. 🙂

  72. chas says:

    I had to take a screen print of the Jennings photo, so that you could all enjoy the laugh I had, before I scrolled down.
    Here’s the original tweet.
    Childish, moi?

    Mine’s better I reckon.

  73. chas says:

    Having a sporty family stay for Christmas would have rubbed me up the wrong way, too.

  74. chas says:

    Are you going to the play-off CL game, Micky?

    Looks like France or Belgium so far.
    Other 3 ties concluded tonight.

  75. Eddie says:

    oh, boys fun this morning 😦 ok, speak tomo

  76. chas says:

    Copenhagen would be good for you and the hippy faggit. 🙂

  77. chas says:

    What’s up, Edwina?

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m with you and Chary on the shirt thing.

    If I had to wear sports clothing in public, it would be the ’71 without doubt. Cannon, no sponsorship, right colours and so on.

  79. chas says:

    I might have to get you one when you reach 50. 🙂

  80. mickydidit89 says:

    I think the term “front bottom” is crude and vulgar 🙂

    Copenhagen would be the draw of choice. Was talking yesterday to a Gunner I met in Munich, and he agrees and also believes Raddy’s gaff would make the ideal base for about five of us 🙂

  81. Eddie says:

    I feel like Edwina today – eating my own honey and jam, fllowed by home grown plum cake. If I could grow coffee I wouldn’t have to shop anymore. I am turning into a freak. if you are in London this weekend, pop in, I will get you some honey and veg. The plum cake will be consumed by then

  82. chas says:

    Come back, Edwina.
    More boobies any better?

  83. Eddie says:

    Is Usmanov uglier than van Gaal or is it the other way round? I already hate the new red manc. Moist was a much nice and better suited manager for ManUI

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Bloody hell, must fly.

  85. chas says:

    Home-grown plum cake, yum yum.

    Not in London this weekend. Ant’s dragging me to Blackpool on Saturday for Rebellion. 🙂

    Seeing these freaks again.

  86. Eddie says:

    ok, I will make you a cake for the Palace game. That’d be a peace of cake offering 🙂

  87. chas says:

    Gotta go, too.

    It was a real shame the Moist In campaign was ultimately unsuccessful.
    That flat-faced tosser won’t be as incompetent, I’m sure.

  88. chas says:

    Are you going to Palace?

  89. Eddie says:

    no, not going, but you can pick it up personally on the way. Peaches cannot be trusted with plum cake

  90. Eddie says:

    Micky – are you there? I just had a horrendous thought – you are a clever guy and understood what I said yesterday about the polish proverb being the most stupid thing, didn’t you? I didn’t mean that your post was stupid, no, no, no!!! Your post proved the proverb right, ie ‘appetite growing as you eat’ bla bla bla and you wanting more players when we already have 3/4 new toys. OMG Micky please tell me you didn’t misunderstood then or now

  91. Morning all

    I have no internet at the moment so I can’t sort a new post.

    Crystals – are you writing a post for today?

  92. chas mobile says:

    We are coming down by train, so straight to Kings x Saint P, then Arsenal i.e. nowhere near Oakwood. Shucks.

  93. kelsey says:

    New Post which are not my words but a lot to discuss.

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