Arsenal’s four new faces, how will they fit in?

The Premiership doesn’t get under way until next weekend but the Community Shield curtain-raiser gave us a chance to size up our reinforced squad.

Although our trio of World Cup winners was be missing, due to Wenger’s generosity in allowing them a couple of weeks extra holiday, it was instructive to see how Alexis, Campbell, Chambers and Debuchy got on against the reigning Premiership Champions.

The Emirates Cup produced a truly Jekyll and Hyde performance, an excellent and inspiring win over Benfica followed by a lack-lustre, low key kick about against a more committed Monaco team.

Joel 1

Campbell, who spent last season on loan at Olympiacos, looked comfortable against Benfica and took his scoring opportunity with aplomb. His World Cup and Champions League experience will stand him in good stead, as will the memory of scoring against Man. U. at Old Toilet. Not much can be said about his all too brief contribution against City, but he didn’t seem to be fazed by the occasion.

Calum 1

There has been much talk about Chambers and the possibility of his moving to central midfield but for the present, and in the absence of Mertesacker and the sale of Vermaelen, it appears logical to retain him at centre back where he did very well in his two previous outings. In another assured performance, against City, he showed good positional sense and the calmness of a much more experienced defender. Certainly one for the not too distant future.

Debuchy 1

Debuchy should slot in well at right back, an experienced international and, more importantly, an experienced Premiership player he has all the attributes to succeed as the long term successor to Bacary Sagna. He also had a good game, not only defensively but also showed his willingness to get forward and into the opposition’s box.

Alexis 1

And finally…Alexis. Of all the players signed during Arsene Wenger’s reign this one can stand alongside those other ready-made stars Vieira, Pires and Ozil. Of course Dennis Bergkamp should be included but, strictly speaking, he was signed on Bruce Rioch’s watch. A truly exciting signing, a player who can score goals, can light up a game with his pace, movement and trickery on the ball. His 45 minute cameo was enough to show that he can slot seamlessly into Arsenal’s attack. Finally I believe he will show just how good he is now that he’s out of Messi’s shadow.

Personally, I’m really excited by the signing of Alexis, more so even than that of Mesut Ozil last season. I think he is the player that Arsene has been looking for over the long lean years of Emirates Stadium debt. The player who will make a real difference. One that can inspire the team and make a big contribution to the future success of Arsenal FC.

Norfolk Gooner.



98 Responses to Arsenal’s four new faces, how will they fit in?

  1. Manthan says:

    Good Morning NG, Thank you for the post.. Debuchy will be our first choice RB so i expect him to start in every match.. Chambers will be used in rotational basis and alexis i don’t think i need to comment on him 😀 only player worries me is campbell we already have OX(Who was one of our best player in pre season), Theo(Automatic Starter), Alexis, Santi and Poldi who can play on wings so getting game time for campbell is a tough ask.. I am not sure how Arsene gonna use him for upcoming season but i was quite impressed by him vs benfica..

  2. kelsey says:

    Nice post Mr Norfolk.

    There is Ospina aswell and I commented on him earlier and in a variety of positions no one is guaranteed a place,therefore competition is healthy.

    Campbell has a good sell on value now with two years left on his contract and I am not sure if he will be a regular as a starter,cameo player or sold.

    I can’t see him and Gnabry both being in the squad at the same time,but I maybe wrong.

    Spoilt for choice in all areas except in defence but I think we will see at least one more signing in that area after we qualify for the CL proper.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Just cheking for spelling mistahes, Norfolk

    Back in a mo

  4. Manthan says:


    I think Gnabry might be loaned out as it will very tough to get into team but again we never know we might get into situation when players will be injured like last season and campbell and gnabry might play cameo then..

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    Great stuff, Norfolk, thank you.

    Earlier, I thunk, and I thinked about how we compare to last season. Here’s my idiots guide:

    Left Wing: Stronger. We’ve added Sanchez and Joel who could both play there, and I thought Pod was looking a little faster at the close of last season.
    Center Forward: Much stronger. Ollie is going to point towards the goal, Sanogo can only improve, and Sanchez is a world class player.
    Right Wing: Stronger. Ox, Theo and Sanchez can play here as well.
    No 10: Stronger. Mesut’s second season, and I don’t know why, but Santi looks sharper and back to his best.
    The other two in midfield: Par. World class Rambo and one other.
    Left back: Par
    CB’s: Dunno. We hadn’t seen the best of Verm for quite a while, and Chambers looks the swingers to me.
    Right Back: Stronger. Debuchy par with Bac, but Bellerin better than Jenks.
    Keeper: Stronger: Sz will only get better, and we have replaced Fabianski with equal quality.

    Overall: Stronger wins 🙂

  6. rhyle says:

    I agree…think a loan deal somewhere in the PL that he can play regularly will be ideal for Gnabry – did wonders for Wilshere.

    Would like to see Campbell given a chance, both in the absence of Walcott on the right or, if we want to drop Alexis in there, up top. Happy that he’ll be spending the season here.

    We need one more…ONE more…and we’re there. We need someone physical, someone who’ll make the opposition think twice before putting a foot in on us…I just have no idea who the best available player is in that position at the moment 😦

    Norfolk – good read, nicely done!

  7. chas says:

    Excellent summation, NG.
    Alexis Sanchez is such a great signing for all sorts of reasons, the others astute purchases also.
    All we need now is a ball-breaking DM and we might win the FA Cup again. 🙂

    I’d certainly question whether Vieira and Pires were ready-made stars when bought by Wenger.

    Vieira was 20 years old and had only made 2 appearances for Milan after a couple of seasons at Cannes before Arsene snapped him up for £3.5m and turned him into one of the best midfielders ever.

    Bobby Pires’ career had hit the skids at Marseille after a good start to his career at Metz. Signed for £6m by Wenger he had a pretty dire first season at THOF before opening his legs and showing his true class.

  8. RC78 says:

    Rhyle – depends on the position you are refering to…

    In DM, there are a few (Bender, Khedira, Luiz Gustavo, Tiote, Carvalho, Veloso, Sissoko…) that can be snatched and in CB, available quality options are limited but do exist (Agger, Ecuele Manga, Van Buyten…).

    Most likely starting XI:

    Szecesny – Deb, BFG, Kos, Gibbs – Ramsey, RECRUIT – Ozil – Theo, Ollie, Sanchez

    Most likely back-up squad:

    Ospina – Bellerin, Chambers, RECRUIT, Monreal – Rosicky, Arteta, Wilshere – Ox, Campbell, Santi

    Plus: Miquel, Flamini, Diaby (can be sold imho), Geladion (can be loaned out imho), Gnabry, Miyachi (can be sold imho), Akpom (can be loaned out imho), Sanogo, Poldi (can be sold imho at the right price, only)

    Let us just sell Diaby, Miyachi and Poldi for a total value of 18-20 mln EUR if possible and loan out Geladion and Akpom for 6-months for now to newly promoted EPL teams.

    Now, let us imagine that we “only” manage to get Tiote or Sissoko from Newcastle + Agger from Liverpool, we would already have a really competitive squad…

    Fingers crosses

  9. chas says:

  10. rhyle says:

    RC78 – whilst…tentatively optimistic…about Chambers being 3rd choice CB I wouldn’t be massively comfortable seeing his name on the team sheet vs a top 6/7 side. For me, a beast of a DM is what I’d like to see us pick up. Not a Vieira style box-to-box player a la Khedira, Veloso…but a brute, static defensive monster!! The sort who makes the opposition think twice about bringing the ball over the halfway line! Carvalho, physically, fits the bill – as does Javi Martinez (not sure of his availability) – but I don’t know and haven’t seen enough of Carvalho to comment with any confidence.

    As for squad…pretty much in agreement – although my little boy and I would be gutted to see Poldi go…he’s what every dressing room needs! Do you remember all the question marks over him being able to play away from Cologne?!! All because he got a bit homesick when he was 20ish at Bayern…Love the guy, one of my favourite people at the club. (Although, I think, it’s telling I didn’t use the term “favourite players”).

  11. Good post Norfolk

    I still have concerns for the defence! An injury there, either Kos or BFG during a period of tough games could be instrumental to us once again dropping down the table!

  12. Manthan says:


    I agree with you, We need a beast and i guess arsene is working on it.. Last Year agaisnt big team only player we were missing was a good strong DM who can break the attack and launch counter attack.. I am not sure whom it will be but i have seen carvalho youtube videos and he look very good..

  13. Manthan says:


    Tiote is good but he often gets into nasty challenges i would really like to see Javi Martinez.. His time is almost up at Bayern,,

  14. LBG says:

    Rhyle – “someone physical,…who’ll make the opposition think twice before putting a foot in on us”,,,,
    Chas – ” a ball-breaking DM”…

    I would add “he needs to be athletic, quick, tall/good in the air, have a box to box engine without normally using it from box to box, needs to be able to tackle/intercept faultlessly and should enjoy that skill, and finally he should have a shot on him from 35 yards out for the odd speculative shot or spectacular free-kick”………sounds like a Vieira++…..there must be plenty of options around!!!!!!

  15. fatgingergooner says:

    I’d still be happy with Schneiderlin. Don’t think he can play CB, but he was outstanding for Southampton last season, and has the stats to back that up. He’s only 24(?), runs further than most, and reads the game well. Plus he’s got PL experience. It would be difficult to get Saints to sell, but player power is a big thing these days and everyone knows he’s unhappy.

    If we could live him up for January and get a CB now then that would do.

  16. RC78 says:

    Javi Martinez would be the best of the bunch but I doubt he ll be allowed to move from Bayern. If he were, then we should just break the bank for him as he can play both DM and CB and has excellent tactical and positional sense and has a good tackling record as well as aerial dual record…At 50 Mln EUR, we should not hesitate.

    Imagine Ramsey – Martinez partnership in the middle of the park…

    @comment on Tiote – he is quite an aggressive player and has cards issues and I suppose that we already have Flamini in that register but Tiote has a better engine and better shot outside the box…

    I actually hope that this year, our team (even if we sell Poldi who is indeed a nice chap appartently…) will score more goals from outside the box. It would be nice to mix things up 🙂 We do not want to alwyas have to get to the penalty spot to score…It would not only be nice but it would add another dimension to our game, which will then open up spaces and keep defenses guessing…

    Come on Gunners!

  17. fatgingergooner says:


    I think Ox and Cazorla will bring those goals this season. Both are excellent strikers of the ball, especially Ox who has a rocket of a shot and more importantly is not afraid to use it.

    As for Tiote, I also believe he commits too many fouls and I’m not convinced he would be technically good enough for Wenger. Martinez would be a dream signing, but very slim chance of that happening.

    Personally, I don’t think we will see both a CB and HM brought in during this window.

    If you could only have one position filled now, which would you have?

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Left Wing
    Not here 😀

  19. rhyle says:

    FGG…A DM should definitely be the priority, we’ve missed one for so long…

    As long as we can keep Mert and Koz fit for big games, employing a rotation policy against so-called smaller clubs with Chambers, and whomever else is likely, I think CB is…manageable…as is. Not happy with it, but satisfied.


    Cheers Norfolk, nice post mate.

    I like the look of all our signings. Chambers excites me the most. Last night I had this very nice dream last involving Carol Voderman and an ikea water bed, only to be interrupted by Chambers lifting Arsenals first European Cup.

    Usually such interruptions makes me angry with the subconscious. Ive offered him out loads of times, but he just retaliates by conjuring up an image of myself running from a medium sized chicken.

    I still don’t get this obsession with this big, powerful, muscle bound, and well oiled defensive midfielder

    And ime not even gay.

    We dont need such a player. Arteta deep with Jack and Aaron in front will do me. .

  21. fatgingergooner says:


    I think I would go the other way and buy a CB. Whilst I agree that we need a HM, we are only one injury away from having to rely on a 19 year old playing CL/PL games if we buy a HM.

    Whereas in midfield, if Arteta is injured we still have Flamini and others who can cover.

    There’s definitely arguments for both though.

  22. Manthan says:

    Arsenal CL Squad
    1. Wojciech Szczęsny, 2 Mathieu Debuchy, 3. Kieran Gibbs, 4. Per Mertesacker, 6. Laurent Koscielny, 7. Tomáš Rosický, 8. Mikel Arteta, 9. Lukas Podolski, 10. Jack Wilshere, 11. Mesut Özil, 12. Olivier Giroud, 15. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain*, 16. Aaron Ramsey, 17. Alexis Sánchez, 18. Nacho Monreal, 19. Santi Cazorla, 20. Mathieu Flamini, 21. Calum Chambers, 22. Yaya Sanogo, 24. Abou Diaby, 27. Serge Gnabry, 28. Joel Campbell, 34. Francis Coquelin, 35. Gedion Zelalem, 38. Chuba Akpom*, 39. Héctor Bellerín, 42. Isaac Hayden*, 43. Ryan Huddart*, 45. Alex Iwobi*, 46. Jack Jebb*, 47. Glen Kamara*, 49. Matt Macey, 50. Damian Martinez, 51. Ignasi Miquel, 52. Tafari Moore*, 53. Kristoffer Olsson*, 54. Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill*, 56. Jon Toral*, 57. Josh Vickers*.

    Ospina, Walcott and RYO are injured so not included..

  23. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘afternoon all, thank you for the nice comments, so far nobody has called me a dyslectic numbskull so either yesterday’s nit-picker has fallen of the edge of the flat earth he lives on or Google spell checker has got it right for once. 😀

    Kelsey, I didn’t mention Ospina as I’ve really nothing to go on, I did see him play at the World Cup but as he wasn’t on our radar then I took little notice of him. I’m hopeful that he can provide true competition for Szczesny.

    Before the World Cup Campbell’s agent stated that his client wouldn’t be happy to return to Arsenal only to sit on the bench, so another loan could be in the offing or possibly Podolski could be sold and Joel could take his place, but would he be better than the German? I don’t know.

    I think we have to be wary of a “big beast” midfielder. Tiote in particular is a card magnet and Premiership referees are only too happy to dish out the cautions for anything deemed to be a bit “robust”

  24. LB says:

    Good post Norfolk.

    I just sat and marvelled at the strength of the squad as the Good Guys took to the field on Sunday. It really is awesome.

  25. LBG says:

    Terry- “obsession with DM”,,,,,,Arteta will do…..
    I would agree with you for 2/3rds of Premier League games, but not for the other third or Champions League after group stages, when I believe although the spirit will always be willing, the pace and occasionally speed of thought is lacking.
    We are of course talking about our perfect squad to do the Quadruple, aren’t we!?
    I also believe we need an Agger or similar experienced CB as the third/ fourth alternative, since Monreal will not do.

  26. RC78 says:

    I would pick a CB over a DM. Had Vermaelen stayed, then it would have been the other way around…

  27. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Terry, more of the Carol Vorderman dream please 😀

  28. RC78 says:

    Honestly, if we get Agger – we would be well solid at CB. BFG and Kos would need to be on their top level to keep Agger out of the team so would work great. Now, would Agger be ready to be nr.3? That’s the main question…

    If we get Agger, we are well covered at the back. He can also deputize if needs be at left back so all and all, not too bad…

  29. Eddie says:

    Very good post NG, thank you. Of course the faces will fit perfectly – they are all young, handsome, happy lads. It would be different if we bought old fat Frank, now his face would stand out from the rest.

  30. Shard says:

    I think while we are all looking forward to another signing, either at CB or DM (if not both), we should also realise that it isn’t a completely desperate situation because we still have Ignasi Miquel and Francis Coquelin in the squad.

    I know there are doubts over both their futures (Miquel isn’t even listed as a first team player on the official site) , but in my opinion, both of them have some ability and didn’t let us down when called upon in the past. Miquel in particular could be useful as a left footed CB who can also fill in at LB and Coquelin can play fullback too.

    Even if we include both of those in the squad for this year, we still have one spot open in the 25, should we want to use it.

  31. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Blimey Eddie, that’s frightening, I swear that this was the woman I tried chatting up at Liverpool Street Station recently. I wondered why she kept trying to put Vaseline on my eyebrows, giving me a drink of water and telling me to spit it out into the bucket.


    Agree about the centre back LB, but not the midfielder.

    Amongst the big EPL clubs Arsenes philosophy is unique. I don’t believe he sees Arteta as a weakness, he sees him as a strength.

    And why not? The guy is fearless, experienced, and has the necessary footballing attributes to move the ball quickly and correctly.

    To compensate for lack of pace and power, a shift in tactics is preferable to changing personnel. in pre season we seem to have shifted to a 4123 formation with emphasis on a high pressing game.

    I might be completely wrong LB, and up regretting my trust in Wenger and Arteta, but we shall see.


    hahaha, certainly wouldn’t pass Peaches mums test Norfolk.

    Lets just say things were going great till Chambers turned up.

  34. Norfolk Gooner says:

    On balance I think our priority must be a centre back, Chambers may well develope into one but for the immediate future we need experience. The problem is that anyone good enough will not be content to ride the pine and anyone happy to ride the pine will not be good enough. Catch 22!!


    Sorry, thats for LBG not for LB

  36. Rasp says:

    Excellent post NG, thank you.

    There’s nothing to disagree with in your assessment. I think we’ll need a big squad as we are starting the season with fixture congestion thanks to the CL qualifiers.

    For the first time in many years, our 2nd 11 looks full of quality, so I expect us to progress in the domestic cup competitions and for the likes of Campbell and Ospina to get plenty of opportunities’ to wear the shirt.

  37. fatgingergooner says:

    Formation tweaks will certainly help Arteta, and the pressing game too. The only issue I have is that I have seen us time and time again play a high pressing game for the first 10-20 games of a season, only to see it fall by the wayside after Xmas due to fatigue.

    For the first half of the season I would have no problem with Arteta being our first choice HM, but when those big games come thick and fast later in the season, that’s when signing a world class player can make the difference.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    The 4 new players thatAW has added to our squad who will all make major contributions this season. They along with Campbell, and hopefully a fully fit Diaby will make 6 additions already, plus we have Walcott on the mend.

    There appears to be no doubt that AW is still looking to make further new signings – so all the signs indicate a great season ahead.

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    The fixture list has also been kind to us as there appears to be no death clusters – although schedule changes could affect that situation.

    As games are often rescheduled I’ve used game numbers in the following – I’ve only shown teams that I consider to be contenders for the top 4 positions.

    Game 4 – Man C (H)
    Game 7 – Chelsea (A)
    Game 12 – Man U (H)
    Game 17 – Liverpool (A)
    Game 22 – Man C (A)
    Game 31 – Liverpool (H)
    Game 34 – Chelsea (H)
    Game 37 – Man U (A)

    We have a minimum of 2 weeks between each of these, which allows the team ample time to prepare for the next clash.

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post Norfolk.

    I think the signing of Sanchez is fascinating. He is not the clinical finisher I expected us to buy and to me this smacks of AW seeing a weakness in the squad and solving it.

    IMO the title was lost when Theo got knee-knacked. We lost the pace which puts defences on the back foot. Buy Sanchez and we no longer have to be fearful every time Theo gets tackled. My concern is how does Mr Wenger incorporate them both AND Ozil.

    As to the discussion about DM’s. It has been noted that we have not had an effective DM since Gilberto Silva. We have the money and yet spend it elsewhere. Why? Because AW no longer believes we need one. All our MF’s can tackle plus all are mobile and tactically aware (it is rare we get suckered on the counter attack).

    However, unless Diaby is fit we do not have the Big Unit the fans are calling for. Will AW sign such a player? We will know the answer in the next two weeks.

  41. Knot ear. Here at Boscombe where some of the AA surfists would fit in

  42. chas says:

    Not sure what chary is on about here. 🙂

  43. chas says:


  44. And those who didn’t make it.

    Sorry Norfolj back later after I’ve read your post properly.

  45. chas says:

  46. GunnerN5 says:

    Nice post Norfolk, very topical.

    I cannot remember us signing players of such high potential, especially so early in the transfer window. We’ve become conditioned to waiting until the final hours of the window – still hoping that AW would do something magical.

    I hope that I’m still around when/if AW writes about his Arsenal experiences as I’d love to know the “inside” story………….

  47. Big Raddy says:

    chas 4.24 😀

  48. RA says:

    Well written, Norfolkster, and you won’t find much disagreement there!

    Weeeell, just a tiny bit of heretical dissonance emanating from this blogger, maybe, as regards the new messiah, Alexis Sanchez.

    Oh lord, I just canna keep my mouth shut, Captain, and the old song ‘Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread’ comes to mind.

    I had better get on with it, I suppose.

    Everyone is delighted, thrilled skinny even, with the arrival of Alexis with his skills and pace.
    And that admiration includes all the Arsenal fans, the media commentators, the tabloids and, as far as I can see, also the fans from opposition Premier League clubs .

    Universal praise then, and of the highest order. Except …….

    I feel like the little boy (well, a rather large little boy, I guess) who was puzzled by everyone praising the King’s new clothes, except everyone in this case is talking about Alexis.

    “Well, isn’t he – oh! Isn’t he quick! Look at him swerve at every trick!
    “his hose are white and the doublet is a red,
    Somebody help me to steady my head”

    “Well, isn’t he – oh! Isn’t he quick! Look at him swerve at every trick!
    Our Alexis is all together
    But all together, he’s all together
    The most remarkable forward that I have ever seen.”

    And then I say;

    “Look at Alexi! Look at our King! Look at the King, the King, the King!
    Alexis, the King, is not all together
    Not all together, not really all together
    Well, he isn’t – oh! He isn’t quick! He doesn’t swerve with every trick!”

    [Apologies to Danny Kaye] 🙂

    A little poetic licence in the above, of course, but in the brief time I have seen him come on as a substitute at Barca, and now the games where he has disported himself as an Arsenal player, I have, dare I say it, been somewhat underwhelmed.
    (The World Cup was a very different story, and he was splendid.)

    Other than that, his occasional speedy bursts down the wing seemed to have been matched by the opposing defenders, his shots on goal lamentably ordinary, and his passing somewhat erratic.

    Then I read that the official FIFA stats had put him down as only the 10th fastest player in the recent World Cup. Yikes!

    Oooer, Mrs – I know you will want to heap opprobrium on my head, and castigate me for pricking the Alexis balloon, and who could blame you, but don’t forget, to your:

    — “Well, isn’t he – oh! Isn’t he quick! Look at him swerve at every trick!’

    I will give you:

    “Well, he isn’t – oh! He isn’t quick! He doesn’t swerve with every trick!”

    You weren’t expecting that then, were you Norfolk? 😀

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Weather looks lovely, shame not a wave in sight!

    That’s a brilliant tweet. 8-8-4 ROLF

  50. mickydidit89 says:


    That’s a lot of dead surfers for one tame looking beach (not rocky) 😦

  51. RA says:


    I am so relieved to learn that Rocky is not a dead surfer on the beach. Phew.

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Howdee Cowboy

    Sanchez is Pants would have made an excellent post 🙂

  53. RA says:


    The readers would seek the Sanchez doomer here, and seek him there, and tell themselves;

    He’s really a dedicated follower of Sanchez.

    Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).

    He thinks he is a flower to be looked at,
    And when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight,
    He feels a dedicated follower of Sanchez.

    He flits from blog to blog jjust like a butterfly.
    In matters of players he is as fickle as can be,
    ‘Cause he’s a dedicated follower of Sanchez.

    Gone all melodic today. (Raddy must be back!) 😀

  54. RA says:

    A puzzled silence has descended. 🙂

    He’s kidding isn’t he? He’s got to be kidding…… right?

    And the answer is ……. I was kidding.
    For every pearl there has to be a bit of grit – and I am that shit grit!!

    Better go and let you continue enjoy yourselves! ta ra. 🙂

  55. GunnerN5 says:


    Please say that you were having us on………….

  56. GunnerN5 says:


    Even though I believe you were kidding, Sanchez IMO received far more praise than his performances warranted. However I do believe that he will be a great asset and addition to our squad.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Sanchez has been demoted from the stardust that would lead us to great glory to a mere squad player : roll :


  58. mickydidit89 says:

    What next

    DB10 was ok? 🙂

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn, I’m unplugging. Must do some work. Surf’s rubbish you see

  60. Big Raddy says:

    TH14 was a journeyman.

    PV4 a water carrier

    TA had the turning circle of a supertanker.

    Seaman flapped at crosses and had poor distribution

    Pires had no pace

    Nor did Brady

    Wrighty was rubbish in the air

    etc etc etc

    I don’t think RA was kidding, I thought he made some good points in his assessment of a player who has done nothing at this level 😉

  61. RA says:

    Hi GN5, 🙂

    I just popped back to make it up to the good folk on AA, by telling you all an interesting morsel that I read elsewhere.

    It seems that Theo beat Thierry’s short distance sprint record some years ago, and he has held the Arsenal all-time record as a speed merchant since then.

    Now Theo has revealed that recently young Bellerin has beaten his record, and stolen his crown as the fastest player at Arsenal.

    I don’t know if those two will ever play together up the right side, but if they do, and they are joined by Alexis in the center, we will have pace to burn. 🙂

    With regard to my earlier comments, I was just trying to jazz things up a little, but I gave it away in my first sentence to Norfolk at 4:38.
    I was joking.

    It is impossible to read too much into any pre-season game, including the wonderful Community Shield result, and it always takes time for any new player to bed in, so we did not see any player in full flow, but I am expecting a lot from Alexis and I don’t think he will disappoint any of us.

    Definitely gone now. 🙂

  62. RA says:

    Absolutely right, Raddy – and I hope you enjoyed your hols – welcome back! 😀

  63. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers Norfolk, nice write-up. As GN5 says, it feels strange that the club has been able to do so much good work so early in the transfer window. Bringing in five new faces (Campbell definitely counts) and covering almost everything that any of us could want is impressive.

    Of course, we now have a gap at CB and that must and will be dealt with. It must be harder recruiting back-up defenders than pretty much anyone else: forwards and midfielders need to be rotated and attacking options from the bench are every bit as important as attacking players who start a match. But defenders will stay in the team until injury or form forces them out; the minutes available for even a quality CB like Vermaelen are very limited.

    And then there’s succession planning. Merts will need to be replaced in two to three years, and even Kos and Debuchy, both 28, have some time issues. So recruiting a player like Chambers is not a luxury, it’s vital.

    Judging by his recent comments and the appointment of Arteta as club captain, I reckon Wenger will be looking for a quality CB who might be able to play in other positions, and someone who would be willing to “ride the pine” (love that phrase) for a good chunk of at least this season. So who fits that description? Certainly none of the specialist holding midfielders, perhaps with the exception of WIlliam Carvalho – I don’t think he does play CB now but he’s tall enough, so perhaps he has the ability to do it. But at the beginning, he wouldn’t be picked in midfield ahead of Arteta, so I doubt he’ll be joining.

    Hummels must be too good to bring as a back-up player – I’d love to be wrong, but I just can’t believe he’d be willing to wait to break up arguably the best CB partnership in the PL.

    Nastasic looks a good bet to me. He can definitely play LB and I think perhaps also midfield, he’s young, Wenger tried to sign him in the first place, and City (especially with their FFP punishment) will struggle to make use of him. It’s questionable whether we could get City to sell to us though.

    Another name that went through my mind is a 26-year old, 6′ plus player at Barca who’s about to be shunted on, and who can play both centre midfield and CB. You might have heard of him: Alex Song. Not really going to happen, but perhaps, just perhaps………

  64. 26may1989 says:

    RA, I know what you mean about Sanchez, we haven’t seen the best of him yet. But it is clear the guy has oodles of quality and will bring something new to our squad. I loved his pre-assist for Ramsey’s goal on Sunday – not only did he pick up the ball on the break and drive into the heart of the City defence, he also played an early, beautifully weighted pass to Sanogo that gave the big frog plenty of time to work the ball before laying it off the galloping Welshman.

    A front line of Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott and Giroud, supported by Ramsey and the full backs, and with options like Cazorla, Campbell, Podolski, the Ox, Sanogo and Rosicky to bring on, now that is very, very tasty.

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Bellerin faster than Theo

    Holy Crapola

    Asbestos pants for him

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    center parks 🙂

  67. kelsey says:

    Arsenal’s Champions League squad:

    1. Wojciech Szczęsny, 2. Mathieu Debuchy, 3. Kieran Gibbs, 4. Per Mertesacker, 6. Laurent Koscielny, 7. Tomáš Rosický, 8. Mikel Arteta, 9. Lukas Podolski, 10. Jack Wilshere, 11. Mesut Özil, 12. Olivier Giroud, 15. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain*, 16. Aaron Ramsey, 17. Alexis Sánchez, 18. Nacho Monreal, 19. Santi Cazorla, 20. Mathieu Flamini, 21. Calum Chambers, 22. Yaya Sanogo, 24. Abou Diaby, 27. Serge Gnabry*, 28. Joel Campbell, 34. Francis Coquelin, 35. Gedion Zelalem, 38. Chuba Akpom*, 39. Héctor Bellerín*, 42. Isaac Hayden*, 43. Ryan Huddart*, 45. Alex Iwobi*, 46. Jack Jebb*, 47. Glen Kamara*, 49. Matt Macey, 50. Damian Martinez, 51. Ignasi Miquel, 52. Tafari Moore*, 53. Kristoffer Olsson*, 54. Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill*, 56. Jon Toral*, 57. Josh Vickers*.

    *B list

    But where is Ospina ?

  68. A bit of a strange question, perhaps…
    CHAS – I saw a pic of Robin Williams that I think you posted (yesterday?) as a cheerleader.
    And I see another “post” here today from you regarding Robin Williams again.

    Is it possibly just a coincidence?
    The fact that he died today, that is…

    Bit confused.

  69. kelsey says:


    No you are wrong.Chas posted that cheer leader picture early this morning before this new post was published 🙂

  70. kelsey says:

    Ospina must be carrying a bigger injury than first thought as he was injured in the World Cup

  71. OK, Kelsey. Thanks.
    So Chas knew the news then, and did a relevant post accordingly (?). I did think the coincidence was too great.

  72. fatgingergooner says:

    James Rodriguez

    Not a bad front 6 is it!?

  73. Hi all

    Thank you for the post NG. I’m beside myself with excitement about the start of the season, can’t wait to take my seat on Saturday.

    Anyone fancy writing a post for tomorrow?

  74. chas says:

  75. chas says:

    Yep, Big Al, kelsey’s right.
    I lack Crystals’ power to see into the future, unfortunately. 🙂

  76. arnie says:

    brilliant stuff, Norfolk. 🙂 🙂 🙂 cannot wait for the start of the season. COYG. 🙂

    regarding Robin Williams, spooky indeed. Chas, “I lack Crystals’ power to see into the future”. hmmm. telepathy???? 😛

  77. LB says:

    Nothing wrong with a dissenting voice in the wilderness but the games I saw Sanchez play for Barcelona I was overwhelmed to say the least.

    The man is razor sharp and the close control, oh the close control.

    All last season there was a constant lament from the vast majority of Arsenal fans of: Ozil’s talent is going to waste because he lacks someone with similar amazing close control capable of playing further forward — and what do we get.

    Exactly, and I mean exactly what we needed.

    I am still dumbfounded as to why Barcelona would let Sanchez go which seems for the sake of bringing in Suarez; did they watch the same World Cup as the rest of us? Sanchez was by far the better player.

    My only guess is that Barcelona’s fans expect new players every season that the club thought that the Suarez – Sanchez trade would placate their demands.

    The only other thought that came to mind is that Barcelona have a new manger and this one is not a puppet. It could be that the players that he is involved in bringing to Barcelona are more likely to be loyal to him and the more of those there are, the more likely he has of controlling the dressing room. And controlling the Barcelona dressing room is, I am sure, no easy task.

    Who knows? But what I do know is that to my mind Sanchez is so much more a superior player to Suarez.

    One last thing: do you remember the story of a Barcelona player punching Marc Overmars? Well, it was Luis Enrique the current Barcelona manager. Apparently Overmars was about as visible in one game for Barcelona as he had been for us against Galatasary in Copenhagan, anyway Enrique was so pissed off about this he said to him: why the fuck are you here and punched him in the face.

  78. GunnerN5 says:


    I don’t understand your interpretation of my comment @5:23 (read it again) it was not meant as a slight against Sanchez – I noted that he would be a great asset and addition to our squad.

    My point was that all players are members of the squad and that he would be a great asset to our overall squad and therefore improve our chances for success.

  79. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all

    Great read Norfolk, I have been impressed with Chambers immensely but I guess we should remember he is young, and currently must be walking on water right now such has been his involvement in the team to this point, the test will come in a few weeks when the serious business has started.

    Debuchy had me happy and then he flattened Kolarov in Adair sliding tackle that had me applauding, first time a full back for us has made me do that since Lauren.

    When we assess our squad and the possible need for a DM or a new CB I think it’s important to look at others and who better than City to look at.

    Firstly look at how they lined up against us….2 DM/HMs and 1 AM in Yaya, that would say they were more worried about us, and we didn’t even have Ozil starting. And if most teams take this approach we will only need one holding midfielder, and as that midfielder has been made club captain…….

    Will many sides line up against us much differently? What I thought was really interesting was that we managed to peg them back playing this way as our press started from the front, helped by the fact our three best pressing attackers were on the pitch (Rambo, Alexis and Santi).

    Also a third thing was their full backs conservative approach, it probably helped that they had Clichy on the right, but Kolarov did not commit too much in the first half because he had to think about Alexis. Add Theo or Ox or Campbell to that conundrum on both sides of the pitch full backs will worry more about the damage we can do to them if they leave their post, and so perhaps only Man Utd who appear to be going 3-5-2 will cause us a headache or two.

    Then there is the other type of viewing of City, comparing our squad to theirs, in recent seasons I’ve asked how they can keep so many attackers happy, Wenger will have a similar task, additionally scratch the surface at the back and in defensive midfield areas and they are no stronger or weaker than us, is their starting pairing of Kompany and DeMicheles more capable than BFG and Kozzer? City have won the league because they can score and create goals and because they don’t have two or three to rely on……creators and goalscorers …. Aguero, Toure, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko, Negredo, Navas, they can’t all play every game but if Aguero gets injured Negredo can step in and so on. Well our base of goalscorers and creators is looking equally strong, Theo, Ramsey, Giroud, Podolski, Ozil, Alexis, Santi, Rosicky, Campbell, Ox…..sod that it looks stronger.

    Are we well placed…….yes

    Can we improve still…….a little bit

  80. mickydidit89 says:

    More attackers it is then, Exile 🙂

    Target: 100 league goals.

  81. mickydidit89 says:


    Fair point. Just my interpretation of “squad player”. Sorry.

  82. chas says:

  83. Big Raddy says:

    Is that a young Chas next to Kenny (with the braces)?

  84. mickydidit89 says:


    Did you call the black scarfers?

  85. kelsey says:

    Morning all


    I am nowhere as technical as you about formations but there is no doubt we pose a real threat with the many options going forward and that should produce more goals,however I would still argue that a solid defence that work as a unit is the key to success.
    As I said last week score more,concede less and we have a formula for winnng the league.

    I don’t expect us to have 11 world class players on the pitch but my main concern are with three players.

    Gibbs, who played well on Sunday is injury prone.

    Monreal wherever he plays is IMO just not good enough

    Wilshere to me has a defining season in front of him and providing he is over his various injuries needs to put down a marker more consistently not just now and again otherwise he will be benched.

    On the injury front there are reports that Kos tweaked a hamstring so maybe a doubt against Kelsey. Palace 🙂

    I have already seen enough of Chambers to feel he will be an outstanding player and f fit why can’t he play twice a week if required.

    Still one signing to come in defence and I would think that’s it until January.

  86. kelsey says:

    Oops, sorry , mustn’t talk about football at this early hour.

    So Robin Williams had money problems.I find that hard to believe.

  87. LB says:

    Doesn’t it seem more likely that both Podolski and Campbelll will be sold or go out on loan?

  88. kelsey says:

    I made this point the other day that we could maximise revenue if Campbell was sold,but AW has said he is in his plans to be part of the squad.To go out on loan again and then only have one year left on his contract doesn’t make sense to me as he has already had three years on loan on a five year contract.

    Podolski is another matter.I still think he might go in part exchange in January back to Germany as I don’t see him as an automatic starter.
    Nice chap,lovely smile and a lethal left foot but I maybe completely off the mark.

  89. LB says:

    I suppose all these players would make sense if one week in March we have a CL game, an EPL game and a FA Cup game… could happen.

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    Do you know a cycling journo called Sidwell?

  91. Eddie says:

    Micky – I mailed them asking to justify their existence. No reply, how rude 🙂

    Kelsey – people are trying to find a reason for suicides. They don’t realise that living with manic depression you are always just one step away from it.

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Black Scarf has a mobile number

    If you do, then Tommy Simpson who Kelsey mentioned yesterday (the one what died on The Tour in the 60’s) was his uncle

  93. Eddie says:

    Micky – I know, but I don’t like direct confrontation 🙂 We should write a post exposing them. It will be flagged in NewsNow so that should force them to respond. And no, I really cannot write a post right now, snowed under

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Just writing a quick post.

  95. TwentyTwelve says:

    Hope this funny @Beijingcasuals tweet shows up.

  96. Morning all

    Raddy – I see you’re editing a post, can you publish yourself when you’re ready?

  97. Big Raddy says:

    We have a new and hastily written post.

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