Vote for Flamini

In the summer of 2013 we were despairing of signing a defensive midfielder. Arteta was over 30 and not really attuned to defensive work, we had been Diaby-ed once too often and we had sold Denilson, Eastmond, Frimpong and a host of other defenders (remember Andre Santos?). The mega-signings of Özil and Sanogo were exciting but didn’t fulfil the long-term demands for a DM.

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We read that Flamini was training with the team in an attempt to get match fit prior to trying to get a contract somewhere …. anywhere. He had been binned by a dodgy AC Milan side after a season in which he halved his wage demands.

Stoke beckoned.

But No! Our charitable French manager saw a bargain and a cheap solution, a sticking plaster for the gaping DM hole which had been evident to us fans since the days of the Invisible Wall.

At the time I wrote that signing Flamini was a backward step and one which would have a detrimental effect upon the squad. Then Mr Wenger signed Kallstrõm! Both, in my opinion, acts of desperation.

Perhaps Arsene was waiting for Carvalho (or someone else, maybe Matic?). Maybe he thought Diaby would survive a season in the first team, perhaps he saw Ramsey as his DM cover for Arteta. Whatever it was he signed Flamini in the summer window.

It must be said that the first games Flamini played were a revelation; he was better than when he left. Milan had taught him to be more defensively aware and less like the Mathieu we allowed to leave – perhaps he had matured. A few fine performances, a number of yellow cards, some crunching tackles, the black boots, the cut-off sleeves and a number of all-action 90 minutes allowed us to forget the acrimony of his departure.

But, and here is the rub, Flamini is not good enough to help us to silverware. He just isn’t. He hasn’t the pace or the tactical awareness. Sure he can make a tackle and certainly leave “a reminder” but so can Joey Barton and I wouldn’t want him anywhere near the Emirates.

In my opinion we bought Flamini because Mr. Wenger wouldn’t spend the money needed to bring a world class DM into the club.

What do you think, Is Mathieu good enough for The Arsenal?

 

written by Big Raddy

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160 Responses to Vote for Flamini

  1. khm says:

    The guy has made 1 mistake. Give him a break. And please start supporting the players instead of this..

  2. SirAbbott says:

    KHM he has made one high profile mistake, what about the lack of presence, the constant hiding throughout a game or the terrible challenges he puts in. I have nothing against the man and would certainly never voice my concerns on the terraces, but Flamini is not top 4 quality, heck I doubt he would get in to the Stoke first 11.

  3. COYG says:

    It was Mertesucker who was at fault in my opinion against Spuds. shouldn’t have played that ball to Flamini when he was under pressure.

    Flamini is actually not that bad, but he’s not that good either.

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, that’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask.

    In my opinion Flamster is plenty good enough as a bench/squad rotation player but not of the ‘first team quality’ required if we are serious about competing at the very top again.

    I read that Giroud has signed a new contract – I view him in the same way as Flamini in terms of his worth to the squad.

    Oddly I am slightly depressed that there are reports that Arteta has been offered a contract extension. He’s a model professional and has been fantastic for us but we should be looking for a top class specialist in that position to take over from him next season.

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi Raddy, ad thank you.

    Interesting question, and I think it can only be answered in some kind of context.

    Roughly speaking, I see us as about the 3rd or 4th best team in England.

    Even fans of a City or Chelsea would be able to single out the weakest player in their own teams, as logically not all can be the best. Ok, Flamini is not our best, but as has been said already, he’s a good squad player.

    Back to the bigger picture, and I still believe our main problem is in not scoring enough, and while I understand a good defensive midfield allows more freedom for the attackers to attack, I still think that overall scoring is our weakest area.

    Enough skirting around the issue, so your question. Yes, good enough for squad, and No, not good enough for 1st XI. Right, which box to tick, or cross?

  6. Big Raddy says:

    The thrust of my argument is that AW signing Flamini stopped him signing a better player.

    I do not think Arteta is the right man for the DM role and am surprised that AW does. I expected us to sign a world-class DM, and still hope to do so in January.

    Flamster gives 100% to the cause so it is not a question of effort just of talent.

    I guess the question could equally have been “Is Arteta good enough”?

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Matuidi at PSG was possibly a target prior to his signing a 4 year contract extension in the summer – at a whopping €12m a year.

  8. Vic says:

    Wenger does not sign Song or Fabregas but signs Flamini on a free, he is for freebies not quality , he obviously did not want to pat Song or fabregas their worth, he will not sign a CB or DM or anything he is in for the cheapy, he signs one player to take off the fans focal point from new high quality signings. I can assure he would have bought Carvhallo if he wanted, forget Khedira , if he cant pay for Song’s wages and Fabregas

  9. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all,

    Sanogo mega signing? I don’t think so.

    As to Flamini, OKish, too prone to stupid challenges hence the number of yellow and red cards. Whole hearted, willing. but technically and tactically limited. Still at least we didn’t have to pay for his transfer, but I’m willing to bet he got a nice signing on fee.

    In the vote I’d go for a yes…until we can sign somebody better come January.

    Is it time to give Coquelin a go at the DM role? If not why are we hanging on to him?

    Sorry BR, for failing to acknowledge your fine post.

  10. Rasp says:

    I don’t want to be too repetitive but Carvalhio is exactly the player we need. Far from detracting from our attacking options, a player of his ability sitting in front of the back 4 would allow more freedom to our AMs.

  11. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Err, tell me Vic, were Song and Fabregas available when we signed Flamini?

  12. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Be as repetitive as you like Rasp, Carvalho is exactly what we have been in need of for years.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    NG. Sanogo ….A little sarcasm 😉

  14. Rasp says:

    Hi NG, I don’t know just how ‘available’ or willing Carvalhio is. He is reported as having said recently that he always wanted to stay at Sporting this season….. but who knows? We can’t buy him if he doesn’t want to come, but equally it would be a shame to lose out on a player of his calibre to a rival.

    I’d certainly prefer him over Khedira who apparently wants high wages. He’s younger than Khedira, less injury prone and is more naturally defensive in his play.

  15. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Rasp
    I was super impressed by Bunny at The Mille Miglia.
    Do you know what class and what year?

  16. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    I’m not sure about Flamini or about my effort being described as “piss-poor”.

  17. chas says:

    Good job you didn’t want mayonnaise on your chips, DidIt and Ommmmm, because ……………………. (I didn’t even know it was possible to have so many)

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    Anything you’d like to tell us about white water rafting, because I for one would love to see a clip.
    If not, a heat map of anything would do.
    Welcome back.

  19. RC78 says:

    Hey guyz – I will be going to the Anderlecht game in Brussels. If any of you will be around, just let me know. We may want to have a beer together 🙂

    As for Flamini, he adds depth to the squad and is useful for Cup Games or in some games where we need an extra body in the middle of the park but he is not good enough to be OUR starter at the DM position in my humble opinion…

    Still a mystery why we did not buy one last summer and especially why we did not position ourselves for Xabi Alonso who left for Bayern Munich for less than 12Mln EUR…

  20. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, I only found out about Bunny’s (real name Frank – his ears were massive and stuck out at 90 degrees) exploits at his funeral last year. He restored and raced Fairthorpe cars, here is one of the many obituaries to him ….

    http://www.pistonheads.com/gAssing/topic.asp?h=0&t=1202328&mid=0&nmt=RIP+Frank+Collins+Fairthorpe+%60works%60+driver.

    http://www.fairthorpescc.com/

  21. For the Arsenal team, we need to sign four good first team players, two defenders, one defensive midfielder and one world class striker. Sokratis, miranda, carvallho and cavani would really improve us. GUNNERS FOR LIFE

  22. chas says:

    It was a great experience, Micky.
    We all had stinking hangovers from too much ubiquitous fluid on Friday afternoon/evening (cider, homebrew, local real ale, Glenmorangie and red wine, in my case).
    The female guide seemed a little disappointed we weren’t up for her challenges which generally involved getting piss-wet through.

    The River Tay was beautiful but, with so little rain in September, was probably at its tamest (which suited me fine). 🙂

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    Rasp and Chas
    Both superb. Article and pic.

  24. Ronnie says:

    I do not think Flamini is good enough for a team like Arsenal, but same can be said for a lot of our present players. Guys, if you want to know how good the Arsenal players are, then you have to compare them, player for player in the various on-field positions with players from clubs like Chelsea, Man city etc. How can lazy Ozil take on Matic, Chambers contain the explosive Hazard or Gibbs stop the duo of Willian and Ivanovic? A.W. has lost a trick. He over rates his players and fails to realise that they are even punching above their weight at top four. He should compare this squad with the invisibles and see how low our team has fallen. How i dread this weekend’s encounter against Chelsea. A. W. should be thinking of selling a lot of our players and replacing with better quality, instead of renewing their contracts. I rest my case.

  25. chas says:

  26. Watch this video, best Arsenal team plays and it soon becomes apparent what our problem is?

  27. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Raddy. I have just realised that we will now have back to back Raddy posts, so life isn’t so bad 🙂

    I was about to say that I voted yes on the basis of Flamini being a squad player rather than 1st 11 but then realised that Rasp, Norfolk and Micky said that.

    I would also have said why have we not tried Coquelin otherwise what is the point in retaining his services but realised Norfolk said that.

    I quite like the idea of Carvallho and would have said so but now realise that Norfolk and Rasp said that.

    I would like to say that I am now starting to feel like a pointless irrelevance that arrives at the party too late. Hey an original comment, no-one has said that, at least not yet.

    Chas I love the picture of the professional looking white water rafters taken from the original brochure. I was however hoping to see one of you guys looking dishevelled and scared sh–less, facing the wrong way while puking up over the side of the raft 🙂

    BTW, anyone going to the game tomorrow?

  28. Big Raddy says:

    chas. 11.25 It was just my way of expressing jealousy. Make that envy …. shame on me

  29. RA says:

    A jolly good Post, Radford, my man. 🙂

    I found myself agreeing with you, or thought I did, until you chickened out and threw the question of worth out there to be nibbled by the hoy-polloy, altho in fairness a hippy cannot be expected to go against his pacifist inclinations. 😀

    Arsene got into the habit of being frugal while the Emirates was being built, and occasinonally signed players who were OK but not top class, rather like he was buying seconds in a January sale.

    It is a hard habit to break – just ask the smokers on AA – well that will be Micky then.

    I suspect he bought Flamster as a stop gap, or a happenstance, and not because he was part of a cunning, long thought out grand scheme, but just because Flamini could not find a club, and said “Please, sir, can I come and train with you, until I can find a job as a waiter?” To which Arsene replied, “Of course you can, you poor dude, and you can also spearhead my campaign to win the League, you little defensive gem.”

    Now that does not bear too much inspection of the evidence, and may be bollix, but the outcome is much the same.
    Loyalty is a major suit in AW’s way of thinking, and I suspect the Flamster will stay with us to the detriment of buying an upmarket replacement until such time as he cannot be assed anymore.

    The same can be said about an ageing Mikel, I think, so just deal with it guys.:-)

    Now what were you asking, Randy? Well, I figure I may have already answered you. ‘Twas ever thus.

  30. RA says:

    GB,

    Your comment is a massive improvement on yesterday’s, as at least you read the comments after you wrote down your thoughts.

    Yesterday you were too busy to read the other guys’ comments and only had time to write a War and Peace sized comment of your own, which none of us read in retaliation!

    You can be our emissary to Arsene, and say to him – look guv, all is not lost, you can do better with the midfield recruitment, just look at how I have improved my blogging in just a single day!! 😀

  31. Rasp says:

    What are the chances of Diaby starting tomorrow with Jack on the bench?

    I agree that we should play Coquelin whenever the game situation allows so he can be match fit as we are 2 defensive injuries away from him being a starter.

  32. GoonerB says:

    RA as I often find myself commenting later, I come on with my serious well intentioned comments only to find that the serious discussion is done and dusted with and that everyone has moved onto humorous (some would say silly) blogging mode. The question I have then is what to do with this plethora of points I need to get off my chest. I thought my comment yesterday was actually quite tame by my standards. 🙂

  33. Rasp says:

    GB @ 12:47, I don’t have a ticket for tomorrow but peaches will be going and I’d imagine the Vine Gang will be in attendance.

  34. Rasp says:

    …. and I’d also play Diaby as much as possible. We’ve had so many false dawns with him, we may as well play him hard and see if he can remain fit rather than wait until we may really need him.

  35. Rasp says:

    Galatasaray squad for tomorrow …..

    Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera, Sinan Bolat, Eray İşçan

    Defence: Tarık Çamdal, Alex Telles, Semih Kaya, Hakan Balta, Aurelien Chedjou

    Midfield: Yasin Öztekin, Furkan Özçal, Veysel Sarı, Felipe Melo, Selçuk İnan, Blerim Dzemaili, Yekta Kurtuluş, Hamit Altıntop, Emre Çolak, Olcan Adın, Armindo Bruma, Wesley Sneijder,

    Attack: Umut Bulut, Burak Yılmaz, Goran Pandev.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    I read all of GB’s comment. 😇

    RA. 12.53 You sum up what I was trying to write.

    Rasp. Galatasary will be tough opposition, a decent team many of whom even I have heard of

  37. Rasp says:

    I agree Raddy, they will work hard, press hard and they have a couple of decent players. Yilmaz’s goal conversion rate is better than any Arsenal player and Sneijder gets a lot of goals from midfield.

  38. Shard says:

    Thanks Raddy. I have not voted because I am confused as to what the vote is for. As a squad player, I think Flamini is valuable. It is only if his being there precludes us from signing a better player will it be a problem.

    However, I think this is a short term ‘problem’ in that I think his contract us up this year and we won’t extend it.

    The way I see it, Wenger has been looking for a DM for a couple of years now. ‘Just pay more’ seems to be the mantra when such a scenario occurs but it doesn’t work like that. Money isn’t the only factor. Time can well be a factor.

    Bender didn’t want to move because he felt he wasn’t ready. Gustavo might have moved to us if he didn’t want a EU passport for which he had to stay in Germany (and join a corporate owned Wolfsburg). The deal for Carvalho was complicated by his agent and third party ownership.

    As for when we bought Flamini. I believe Bender and Gustavo were the targets, and only when that didn’t pan out is when we opted for a decent alternative who wouldn’t impact on our budgets too much. Same with Kallstrom. An inexpensive, short term option to an immediate problem, rather than loading on future ‘deadwood’ just for the sake of signing a DM.

  39. GoonerB says:

    Haha raddy. I thought you read all my comments 2-3 times and always waited on them with baited breath.

    What about the lad rabiot. I like the look of him.

  40. LB says:

    I totally disagree with the digs aimed at Wenger. “Brought in desperation”, “brought to save money”.

    It is quite shocking that with a 100mil front line that those lines are still trotted out.

    It is the right of every supporter to want the best squad they can possibly have for their club. So calls for a brand new HM/DM are completely understandable but it is only when you look at the practicalities of buying such a player do you see the reason why one wasn’t brought in the summer.

    The practicalities are very straight forward. We have Flamini as a defensive midfielder, we have Arteta as a holding midfielder and we have Diaby who is a combination of the two, plus a he adds a goal scoring threat and height to our aerial defence. I would sum him up as a box to box player.

    So now lets imagine that Cavalho came in. Can someone tell me what happens to those three players?

    Whereas at the end of this season Flamini’s contract comes to an end, as does Arteta’s (I think) and if he is offered an extension, it will be a Sagna type extension, made out of politeness but not really meant to be taken up. On top of that the Diaby situation will have been sorted out once and for all: the man can play at EPL level or he can’t.

    Ok, having established that, who and at what position do we all think will be the next big money signing will be?

    The guy is lined up, he is already in the metaphorical holding pen………………….

  41. RA says:

    GoonerB BetterlatethanNever, 🙂

    It is so much more fun pulling the leg of someone doing something I sometimes do myself.

    Where would I be without the word ‘some’? :-0

  42. RA says:

    Radster,

    I simply paraphrased my agreement with the sentiment in your Post – any credit goes to thee my friend.

  43. LB says:

    It absolutely amazes me that the same people who criticise Wenger for bringing in Kalstrom as back up, criticise him for not bringing in a Klastom as back up CB.

    The mind-set is totally alien to me.

  44. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, I agree with a lot of what you say but the answer to your question “Can someone tell me what happens to those three players? ” if we buy a player like Carvalho is simply that they move down the pecking order … twas ever thus!

  45. Pat7 says:

    Good post Raddy and some great points added esp Shard and LB recently. I see Flamini as a great squad player but not a starter and expected Arteta to be the back up to the new DM this season who of course didn’t arrive; hopefully January will sort that but as I said the other day we hopefully have a last chance for Diaby and le Coq.

    Tough times on the injury front but not unexpected with AW’s reticence to go for the CDs that mattered and changed hands (?) in the window, ones that could have filled in there albeit maybe they looked at Per and Kos and didn’t see any gap the way Arsene does NOT rotate…… That’s my tenpenny worth! :-)))

  46. Big Raddy says:

    LB. We disagree.

    Of course I like that we have spent big in the forward line … OG, Santi, Ozil, Welbeck, Podolski, Alexis, Ox all cost more than anyone we have signed for the less attractive but equally important role of defensive cover.

    To me it makes little sense. I sincerely hope that Mr Wenger addresses this imbalance.

    As to Kalstrom. Another strange signing. Cheap as chips but not AFC quality – not even AFC squad quality

    As has been pointed out, if we buy a proper replacement for Arteta and Flamini then they just go further down the ranks – just as Vermaelen did and many players before him

  47. Shard says:

    BR

    I definitely do not get the angst over the Kallstrom signing. He was simply a (zero to) low cost insurance in case the shortage caused by injuries to Ramsey and Wilshere became a full blown crisis.

    If Wenger could have bought Paul Pogba then, he would have. But as it is, he got a player on loan where there was nothing to lose.

    The way I see it, you either buy the right player, or you wait. Unless the situation is desperate. Then you settle for something less (preferably short term, to minimise cost and risk) or buy young and hope he turns out to be an elite talent. (This last part is something clubs should do anyway, but is increasingly harder to do)

    Whatever be the level and future of Arteta and Flamini. I don’t think we are desperate right now.

    The calculation Wenger has to make is whether a particular signing will push us over the top when it comes to competing against Billionaire clubs, and if not, will it stop us from buying someone who might.

    Thus, we have 100m in the bank, but we do not pay 22m for Cabaye. We have 100m in the bank, we pay it for Mesut Ozil. For the record, this is how all teams operate and why all players don’t move to City or Chelsea for 50m or so. They’ll pay in THEIR higher range only for players they feel will be worth it.

  48. Shard says:

    Pat7

    I agree that Wenger can perhaps rotate more. I also think we definitely should have a defender more.

    But look at Chelsea’s defense.

    Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Luis and then Kurt Zouma, Nathan Ake, Andreas Christensen.

    We have
    Per, Kos, Debuchy, Gibbs, Monreal and then Chambers, and also Bellerin, Hayden and Ajayi if we too list our youth/reserve players as options.

    Chelsea have taken the exact same gamble with their defenders as we have. But only Wenger seems to get blamed and called names, while Mourinho is hailed as a genius, despite his club’s immense wealth, and despite the fact that they made money this year as a result of hoarding talent for years and probably as a result of Abramovich having contacts with the Qataris to get them to pay 50m for Luiz.

    There is a shortage of quality defenders all across the world. They are spread too thin across many clubs. Barcelona paid 15m for OUR backup CB. Why would they do that if it were so easy to buy a quality defender? Of course, we shouldn’t have let go of him without first buying a replacement, but I suppose Chambers can be viewed as such, while Sagna and Jenkinson are replaced by Debuchy and Bellerin. An upgrade as far as I’m concerned.

    I would think a DM/CB will be the next buy on the list, and indeed if rumours about Carvalho were true, then that might have been the intention.

  49. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I see from a report in this morning’s Telegraph, that Arsenal are in the process of designing upgrades to the training complex at London Colney.

    A new athletic development centre is to be built with additional space for offices to house staff who will analyse the medical,and injury situation of players.

    In addition construction work will take place on new medical and educational facilities as well as a new gym ath the club’s Hale End Youth Academy.

    All of which will cots “millions” over the next three years.

    Is it better to spend the available dosh on the new facilities or on a proper DM?

  50. RC78 says:

    I think some gaps were obvious to all but for some reason, we did not find a suitable candidate in the transfer market.

    1. Central defender to help us out. Agger would have been a good signing, for example and I believe that a player like Lescott and/or even A. Williams would have been helpful.

    2. DM/HM was definitely needed to add steel and physicality to our midfield. If we wanted a cheap option, Gareth Barry would have been great and Scott Parker would not have been too bad either. A move for M. Carrick could also have been useful and of course, Xabi Alonso…At this stage, I would even like to see us try to move for Sissoko from Newcastle as he can really add this quality to our midfield as well as move forward well and he wants to leave…

    Szecesny – Debs, Per, Kos, Gibbs – Ramsey, Sissoko – Ozil – Walcott, Wellbeck, Sanchez

    Ospina – Bellerin, Chambers, Lescott, Monreal – Wilshere, Arteta – Ox, Cazorla, Campbell – Giroud

    Still weak in the back, imho…

  51. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I could never understand the signing of Kallstrom,

    I don’t know how much money was involved, a loan fee? A signing on fee/? Wages? Insurance? Medical expenses? And for what? A bloke who arrived with a bad back, got almost fit after nearly half a season in the company of Diaby, and was then given a couple of brief appearences before being handed his P45.

    What was the point?

  52. LB says:

    Two superb comments Shard at 2.44 and 2.58.

  53. Shard says:

    Norfolk

    If Arteta/Flamini/Rosicky had gone down injured and Ramsey had a further setback, you would be saying why didn’t we get (at least) Kallstrom on a loan since he could have helped fill in in the last 2 months and it wouldn’t have cost much at all.

  54. RA says:

    It’s done and gone, Norfolk.

    I’m amazed anyone brought it up. It’s history.

    Hopefully I am not giving the impression I could care. 🙂

    Anyway, Arsene had his reason’s at the time, and Shard speaks with a lot of authority on the matter, but then he was presumably invited to tea and biscuits with our leader who explained all. 🙂

  55. Shard says:

    Thanks LB 🙂

  56. Shard says:

    RA

    The tea and biscuits preceded the conversation. The tea had a few drops of acid and the biscuits had a generous portion of hash mixed with them. It was a pleasant afternoon.

  57. RA says:

    Shard, baby,

    Well, you could have wangled an invite for me too then! I thought you were my friend, in need and indeed 🙂

  58. LB says:

    Rasp

    I was trying to show that it isn’t quite as simple as moving players down the pecking order but clearly I failed.

    Your point is very strong and I am not going to try and argue against it; moreover, as a supporter I will always want the club to spend as much money as it can to try and ensure that I get the maximum entertainment from my visits to the Emirates but equally I can see that sometimes this is not always practical.

    The idea of waiting for one of France’s best midfielders to finally become fit only to sign a player who will obviously clash with him doesn’t quite make financial sense to me; furthermore, the shabby message it sends to the rest of the squad cannot be good for moral.

    Shard’s 2.44 sums up the way I think in a far more eloquent way than I can.

  59. Rasp says:

    Hi Shard, as has been said, we can see the logic of generalisation in what you say ….. but you forget one thing. We have had, and continue to have, by far the worst record for injuries of any of the top clubs – unlike chelski. I believe we have been in the top 3 of the injury league for the last 6 years (or something like that).

    So the lesson of history tells chelski that they may be taking a small risk whereas with Arsenal it is a relatively high risk.

  60. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, I realized that was your point and it is well made, but football is based on competition and the battle for every player should be to rise up the pecking order – but if one rises another falls.

  61. David Stewart says:

    Likewise, excellent comments from Shard, as usual. Although I am surprised he views Debauchy/Bellerin as an upgrade on Sagna/Jenkinson. I wouldn’t.

  62. Rasp says:

    Let’s face it, Chambers has been a revelation – our best buy of the summer IMO – but we are all guilty of taking him for granted.

    Let’s remind ourselves. He is 19 years old. He played just 22 times for Southampton. We’ve thrown him in at the deep end and he’s been fantastic, but it would be unrealistic to expect him to continue at that level for the whole of the season and remain injury free. I pray he does.

  63. RA says:

    LB, I think your 4:02 is eloquent in itself, and nicely covers the complexity of these issues.

    It has been said before, that if we all agreed on everything we would not bother blogging.

    You and Rasp are rather nicer than me, it seems, in response to the question of what would happen to Flamini and Arteta, not that it has happened or is likely to, that personally, altho’ I have a lot of time for both for what they have contributed to the club, the bottom line is that I want to support a winning team, and therefore I have no hesitation in saying that I would bid them both thank you, but goodbye.

    But that’s just me! 🙂

  64. Shard says:

    RA

    I would have requested. nay..demanded.. an invite for you too, but in my tea-fuelled ecstacy, I took a certain pot bellied green dinosaur to be your good old wrangling self 🙂

  65. Shard says:

    Rasp

    Oh I wish I could forget our injury record. It is the reason I buy 3 players for every position even on FM, and the reason I would have liked Arsenal to purchase at least a further defender, if not two players for both CB and DM roles.

    I am not disagreeing with the fact that we would all feel better if we’d got them. I am merely pointing out that the hyperbole over Wenger having lost it lacks a certain context in that even teams as defensive minded and as loaded as Chelsea are in the same situation as us. (It only takes one time for it to be a bad gamble.)

    As for the injury situation, I am baffled, as I am sure, are experts as to why we keep suffering. Wenger is a gambler in this regard for sure. However, he is not stupid. If he knew why we get such injuries he might take steps to address it. As it is, without knowing why it is happening, he probably isn’t going to sign players to either just sit on the bench, or get injured themselves (look at our midfield. Stacked, yet short).

    We have a youth team. He’ll play them if in need. I can accept that, because just as much as I’d like us to sign the best players, I’d also like to see young players come through too.

  66. LB says:

    Ahh, now here is a post in itself.

    “I am surprised he (Shard) views Debauchy/Bellerin as an upgrade on Sagna/Jenkinson. I wouldn’t.” (Dave Stewart)

  67. Rasp says:

    Thanks Shard. I have a question for you ….. do you think the Arsene of 2014 is the same Arsene as say in the pre-Emirates days?

  68. LB says:

    BR

    As a thought provoking post it is of course excellent.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    LB. My pre-match post tomorrow, your man at the game Thurs. Friday moan. It will have to be a for saturday.

    Get writing Dave Stewart.

  70. Shard says:

    Rasp

    I tread warily on that one.

    Because if I say yes, a lot of people (not you) would say ‘AHA! See. He’s not evolved.’

    If I say no, then it’s ‘yeah he was once great but now that’s done’.

    So. Same in what way?

  71. Rasp says:

    😆 Shard, I certainly don’t know the answer myself. All managers have successes and failures. AW is the man who signed defenders like Stepanovs and Cygan …. but also Chambers and Koscielny!

  72. Shard says:

    Here’s what I do think of Wenger.

    He’s not a short termist manager, and in a world that seems to reward that short termism, it is the cause of frustration for many. If he’d only bought the likes of Cana, Samba, Jaaskeleinan, Parker, etc over the years when we seemed to have a need for those players, if the results went the same way, I think most people would be generally more satisfied. ‘At least we tried’ (See Liverpool over the years, going bankrupt, and then last season’s ‘failure’, and general satisfaction levels there)

    In fact, I think this same attitude is the reason lots of people seem so keen to sack Wenger. ‘At least we tried something different’.

    But I do know this, regardless of who the manager is, we are not going to transform ourselves into favourites overnight. Not with the near billion pound advantage some clubs have on us, and will continue to have over us (though not to the same extent)

    Wenger’s teams show flaws, and I believe one of the oft repeated flaws was on show vs Spurs. We bossed the game, and still were lucky to have not lost it because we gave up a lot of chances on the counter. A great DM will help here, but will not be the panacea.

    So, we could fire Wenger and get a George Graham replica. That might actually work too. Or we could give Wenger time to build his perfect side again. Will he be able to do it? I don’t know. But I do know that he’s done it before, he’s adapted to a different situation in the interim, and I see no reason why he can’t adapt again and push it through.

    Luckily, we will have at least 3 more seasons (including this) of him to complete that dream. Unfortunately, some will use those 3 years as an opportunity to abuse and denigrate that manager at every loss, draw and sometimes even win. However, that I can live with if it means Wenger gets to try to accomplish his vision of (near) perfect football and his ambition for a CL triumph. I firmly believe we’ll win the CL in the next 3 years.

  73. RA says:

    If I had my way, Shard, I would whiz that 4:53 comment off immediately, and reserve it for tomorrow’s main Post.

    Well, lackaday, but in the meantime, can I pin my colors to the main- mast and declare that anyone who thinks Wenger has ‘lost it’ is someone who has never found it – whatever ‘it’ is.

    Circumspect? Not really — we can twaddle on all day and night with opinions and theories and bah de blah, and why not – we all enjoy doing that – but I doubt any one of us thinks we can manage a football team even a fraction as well as Mr Wenger!

    Still, he should have bought a super duper DM and another CB …….. 😀

  74. RA says:

    I know a lot of people, including me at times, had doubts about the efficacy of the FFP rules, but it does seem to be bearing some fruit, which may explain the lack of serious transfer activity shown by Citeh in the Window.

    If that holds true, then Arsenal’s brave statement in building a new stadium and reaping the vast increase it has brought from match day sales and season tickets, as well as the huge new commercial sponsorship deals that have flooded in recently, will rapidly change the scenario in terms of the financial buying power in the Premier League towards Arsenal’s favor.

    Mark my words — the accounting boffins are stirring – to paraphrase Terry’s catch phrase. Just a little more patience is needed. 🙂

  75. GunnerN5 says:

    Shard,

    Your 4:53 is an excellent and I agree with Rasp that it would make a superb headline post.

    Over the past 8/9 seasons I have become an expert at muting out AW detractors, – I mute out offensive commentators, I don’t read or recite Red Top garbage, I turn a blind eye to certain posters and have toned down, or simple don’t comment on extreme views.

    But I still abhor “know it all’s”

    On second thoughts if your 4:43 was a main post it would be like honey and attract many “expert” opinions.

  76. Pat7 says:

    Agreed LB on the last one for a post :-).

    Shard, sorry to have not been about since the last effort! I look at Chelski’s players as robust, players like City’s whereas most of ours are one kick off the sick bed. Kos was great until this season and Debauchy i would have thought as solid but he WAS unfortunate unless it is the training (again?).

    As regards Arsene’s knowledge on that front, i have first hand knowledge of his ignorance or reticence to take up an offer. I have told previously my story of when Sol and TH etc has sprained ankles and i offered a pair of MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) to him for trial. They had greatly helped my training in the stability aspect, other clubs were using them and what attracted me to try them was the Austrian skiing team were using them. So i tried them out and despite my elite endurance pursuits within 5 minutes running slower than usual they made my lower leg (balance) muscles burn. It took me about 3 weeks to tune them up and i suggested that someone should try them out – free offer – I’m sure he would have got them for free from the company…..i had a letter signed by him saying not interested. Too new and advanced?

  77. sillyhat says:

    I voted yes as I view flamini as a back-up to arteta as I feels he has been pretty much second choice to arteta when both are fit.

    No doubt the flamster could have played better, but I feel there are greater issues in our overall play than that problematic DM.

    There are so many questions about the club: manager, coaches, shad, transfer negotiating team, tactical preparations, new formations, fitness trainings and injuries, defensive covers, form of the fringe players, new positions for certain players.

  78. RA says:

    Excuse me. GN5, ’twas I who suggested Shard’s opus should be removed and used as a main Post – an easy mistake to make as I look so like the Rasp. 🙂

    Anyway, good to see you around on AA.
    Have you had your pre-op op?

    Things looking good?

  79. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Raddy getting us all going i see.
    I think the question should be would you rather have had Flamoney in the last 12 months or Walcott who is on a hundred grand a week, i would personally have Flamoney all day long. at least he’s been there when he was needed.

  80. Shard says:

    Hmmm. Pat7. THat is an interesting story.

    I have never heard of MBT before, but 90 seconds of research reveals that the study saying it is beneficial were funded by them, whereas independent studies say this is not true and in some cases can be worse. (Although they are talking about the back) and that the company filed for bankruptcy.

    What is my point? Basically nothing. I was just curious about it since I have suffered from two ACL tears and was wondering how I’d never heard of something which claims to help strengthen joints and improve balance.

    I wonder what Arsene’s thought process was. Maybe he had heard of it before and had concluded that it was not beneficial? What I do know is that in his early days at Arsenal, Wenger used to give creatine to players. He later discontinued it as he realised it leads to weight gain. Again, probably not related to anything you said. Just interesting and it does perhaps show him being open to change given the right evidence.

    But this injury issue now has to be a major concern. Hopefully Shad Forsythe can solve it (in the short term, his methods might even be causing it perhaps) We can only speculate.

  81. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks for asking RA and excuse me for the oversight (poor sight)

    The pre-op went fine RA and the surgery is due in 10 days time.

    Shard should write more headline posts as he displays great common sense and does not get carried away by a few iffy results.
    His posts are well balanced and usually non – critical.

  82. Shard says:

    Ra and GN5.

    Thank you, but you missed that we seem to be booked for posts over the next 3-4 days 🙂

  83. Pat7 says:

    Creatine does cause weight gain (muscle) which is what most of our players need to stop them breaking down. It also increases the power/speed capability. I stayed off it for two years as i was certain it would be banned but it wasn’t and was amazed at the difference it made (in the right context). The down side it could cause was cramps from dehydration so had to be careful there but well worth it!

  84. Pat7 says:

    Most people don’t rehab properly after injuries to regain mobility, strength and especially proprioception which is done through balancing and at this level one legged rebounding (trampoline) etc.
    MBTs provide a shoe that give you balance all the time you are wearing them so for a short warm up or warming down after a game on a gym surface or flat floor they are great. I used the sandals on a treadmill etc and used them for a three hour run with one of my clients two weeks after receiving them – no aches next day bar my arm biceps from carrying them for that length of time 🙂

  85. Big Raddy says:

    I am a P7KB. On his advice I bought some MBT ‘s and they helped not only with my balance but also with the strength following my knee op.

    Sad to read they have gone bankrupt.

  86. Pat7 says:

    I didn’t know that but not surprised. Their patent ran out and the cheaper copies did for them i guess though Fit Flops were crap and no way anywhere close….

  87. RA says:

    Shard,

    I had noticed Raddy’s comment re Posts, but your comment is not time sensitive and yet has ‘drawing power’.

    Perhaps you could reprise it for next week? 🙂

  88. RA says:

    GN5,

    Just teasing.

    Rasp and I are in danger of morphing into each other.

    Earlier I had typed part of a quote ”twas ever thus’ and I was fully expecting him to finish it ‘and ever will be thus’ and in the event I was left it dangling by his repeating the first part of the quote.

    We will have to work on it! 🙂

  89. GoonerB says:

    Some interesting points this afternoon, especially Shards. I found your comparisons with Chelsea interesting Shard but I still feel that we are (squad wise) defensively weaker than Chelsea, and also I think we are weaker in this sense than last season. I like you wanted another CD and I often feel a top side needs 3 senior CB’s with a 4th option from somewhere within the squad.

    Numbers wise we are more or less on a par with Chelsea and with what we had last season but I feel options wise we are down in both senses. Last year we had 3 senior CB’s and an excellent 4th option in Sagna. This year we have 2 senior CB’s and a youngster as 3rd choice in Chambers, all be it what looks to be like an excellent addition. Similarly I feel Chelsea have 3 senior or experienced CB’s in Terry, Cahill and Zouma but with an excellent 4th option in Ivanovic.

  90. Eddie says:

    what the hell is going on here today? and it’s all over Flamini??!! Thanks for the post Raddy, especially one that provoked such incredible response, well done!

    Re Flamini – good enough or not, he is all we have in that department, so like it or not he has to be good enough. But I have a gut feeling that January comes we will see a new arrival to step into Matthew’s shoes. And off we go again – just finished one lot of transfers and we are already talking another. A shopping list to which we keep on adding new positions

  91. Big Raddy says:

    Watching PSG. Don’t rate that Cavani fellow. Maybe he will improve 2nd half

  92. GoonerB says:

    I don’t think we need Cavani Raddy and am not sure he has already passed his peak. I think Welbeck is going to come good for us and be a better fit. If there is any player out there that we should add to our forward line when he becomes available it is Reus IMO. It will mean making harsh decisions on maybe a couple of our other attackers (Podolski and Campbell spring to mind) but if he is up for grabs and is willing to come I feel we have to get him.

  93. Eddie says:

    Cheque Fabregas is having a good game. Sporting are as clinical as Arsenal

  94. Eddie says:

    the ejeet falls off his chair

  95. Eddie says:

    shut up Eddie and go to bed

  96. Eddie says:

    ok, nighty night all xx

  97. LB says:

    Just to be clear, I am going to the game tomorrow, I get home at 11 and it takes me 2 hours to write a post; in brief, there aint no way I am going to be writing a match report tomorrow.

  98. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, Man Coty showing again how difficult the CL is…..for a team who spend so many millions they continue to prove that it’s not all about money. Especially if you want to compete for both the PL and CL crown, I think with the wealth throughout some of the other major leagues and the increasing competition domestically that it is becoming more difficult for PL teams to compete in the CL.

    On Flamini I voted yes as did the majority because I asked myself the question in his current role (ie squad DM). Is he good enough as a regular starter? No probably not, as a consequence of our system and the way we want to play. For those blaming Per for that pass on the weekend, ask yourself would Arteta have turned the same way? Or would he have known what was coming and gone straight back to Per as Flamini should have done.

    Now on the Arteta new contract thing, I have no problem with it, the assumption is Flamini will move on, Arteta has adapted to the club, is clearly a respected voice amongst the other players, and will be able to help a new arrival bed in to the role.

    As LB and Shard have explained Flamini made sense at the time, as did Kalstrom.

    We know as fans we haven’t got millions to burn that’s why we get irate at Stan taking £3m, and the club improving its own infrastructure (sometimes it’s very bad at PR) but if the cost to improve Colney is £5m, that’s 50 weeks wages for some of our players, it only has to reduce the downtime of some of our first teamers by 2 weeks a season to pay itself back. So no brainer if it can be proved that the new facilities will do that.

    The other factor when considering squad improvement is the dastardly 25 man rule (17 overseas maximum), (plus 4 club homegrown minimum for CL) if we signed an extra body in August without a departure we may end up paying wages for players who can only play in CO or FA Cup. Whilst not the biggest deal even if that player is on £50k a week it’s £2.5m up the swanny, we are not Man City we cannot afford it. We need every player to play a part and we need to leave wiggle room for unforeseen long term injuries like those suffered by Giroud and Debuchy. if you’ve filled your quota you are left looking at the youth team to step in, if you need cover you can bring it in in January.

  99. Gööner In Exile says:

    Having just checked we have a 23 man PL squad. 8 home grown (7 club home grown for CL purposes).

    So space for 2 players, that squad does not include Chambers, Ox or Sanogo (all under 21) or a raft of other youth players (Bellerin, Hayden, Gnabry, Zelalem etc etc).

    So end of this season we all assume Flamini leaves, Sanogo and Ox become 21 so have to be named, if staying. That’s it we are at our 25 man maximum, so then to add we have to sell at the end of the Season.

    It’s a constantly moveable feast and it needs detailed planning, Chavs squad is surprisingly small at 20, they go for big money acquisitions and hope not to get injuries, that would be a high risk strategy for us considering our injury record.

  100. neamman says:

    I voted yes, not a first 11 player but a great squad player IMHO. Can fill in for 15-20 minutes a game. I didn’t mind about his error on Saturday as all players make mistakes.

  101. neamman says:

    To me Arteta should be allowed to leave. I like him, I liked him at Rangers but I prefer to see him in a more attacking role. That being said age is catching up and unless he is another TA in the dressing room then sorry but goodbye.

  102. mickydidit89 says:

  103. chas says:

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    Complete Con that vid. I read the title and think “good”. See the still, ad think “Oooo” BUT there are no moving parts 😦

    No trains on Boxing Day. Lazy bastards.

  105. chas says:

  106. mickydidit89 says:

    Scouse Twat

    Prefer Gary Barlow 🙂

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    Wow, 5Meg!!! That’s cool

  108. chas says:

    I don’t believe that hard drive photo.
    That chap loading it is breaking all sorts of health and safety rules.

  109. chas says:

    Yep, that video’s advertising falsely leads to believe you that the product will provide extra benefits.
    Advertising is one of my least favourite things.

  110. chas says:

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    And on THAT day in 1996, I thought “Who?” 🙂

  112. chas says:

    It would be difficult to sign a manager without anyone knowing who he was these days.
    I just wish we’d got Allardyce back then.
    How things would have been different.

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    True Chas
    The Long Ball and Big Lump up front is the way to go. God knows why we signed Sanchez when we could have got Lambert 😦

  114. chas says:

    The funniest comment of yesterday had to be that signing Scott Parker as our HM wouldn’t have been too bad.
    Definitely agree about Lambert.

  115. chas says:

  116. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Chas

    I’m a bit concerned about Omm, as I think he’s reverting to his old ways.

  117. chas says:

    Old ways being?
    24 skinners?
    Bucket bongs?
    Disco biscuits?

  118. mickydidit89 says:

    All of that obviously, but he’s going on about all that Buddhist Shit again. Saying crap like he’s on his 5th facking reincarnation. What tossers his sort can be, eh.

  119. mickydidit89 says:

    x

  120. RA says:

    Chas,

    Who are you sending all those ‘x’ kisses to? Does it begin with ‘E’? 🙂

  121. chas says:

    The Balinese believe bad peeps like thieves are reincarnated as dogs.
    They don’t treat the dogs on Bali very well.

    I don’t believe in all that eternal soul bollocks myself.

  122. chas says:

    They were to you, RA.
    A big smacker on your bum.

  123. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Disco biscuits 😀 😀

  124. chas says:

    WordPress swallowed the prezzer first time I posted it. The x comment was to see if it appeared, but all I got was that infernal ‘you are posting comments too quickly, slow down’ bollix.

  125. chas says:

    Hey, it’s my man Radford (© RA).

  126. chas says:

    Mr Radford,
    Could you run us through your previous 4 lives, please?
    Were you ever a woman?

  127. chas says:

    Right, I have half a stone from the weekend to shift.
    I’ll have to read about when BR was Genghis Khan when I get back.

  128. RA says:

    Thanx, Chas, bet Micky is disappointed! 🙂

  129. Big Raddy says:

    chas. I t went like this …..

    An amoeba
    A chestnut tree
    A Liverpool fan
    A dog
    Big Raddy

  130. RA says:

    Radster,

    Has Chas let slip, that you have had a snip? Well, sheared I suppose might be more accurate. 🙂

  131. Eddie says:

    GiE – majority voted No, like in Scotland

    ha ha ha ha, no more paper road tax disc 🙂 what will the nosey old bitch down the road do now? She used to check all cars and write anonymous letters to the owners

  132. Eddie says:

    there was a funny boy in the park yesterday. About 12-14, with a loopsided mohican (just as it should be) on his bike, dressed all in the Arsenal gear (little full kit onanist 🙂 ). He liked my dogs and I asked him – ‘So you are an Arsenal supporter?’. He answered “Arsenal till I die”. Right, that’s about 80 years of pain for you lad! I asked him about favourite players and DB10 and TH14 were top, obviously and Sanchez from the current squad. I asked him if he thinks that Chambers – Chamberlain could develop into another Bergkamp Henry duo, hoping I will get away with positional mismatch, but no way, he destroyed me with his knowledge 🙂

    He had his name on the back of the shirt ‘Billy’. Fantastic name, Billy and I have been thinking if we ever had a player called Billy? He said something about Billy Long?

  133. mickydidit89 says:

    Still think Eddie-Cam would be well worth watching.

    Can’t think of anyone else that a Day in The Life of… would make better viewing

  134. Eddie says:

    ok then Micky, I will tell just you what happened on Sunday. Same park, same dogs, same me. Dogs happily running around, the mad German Sheppard on the lead, pug and staffie frolicking on the grass. Someone starts shouting at me and I just thought ‘Here we go, there is always one..’ He demanded that I put my dogs on the lead. I told him that they are angels. No, he was not having that. I tried very nicely to explain that they are great dogs and perhaps he should introduce them to his kids, so they wont be scared of dogs for life. No, he was still not having it, told me I got it all wrong and that I am ignorant. He said ‘Ee-gno-rand’ and suggested I check the spelling in the dictionary. He then asked if I knew what ‘deec-tion-ary’ meant.

    That was too much for me. I told him that this fooking foreigner has a first honours in computer science, something he can only dream of’. His wife (there were 6 of them and 4 kids) was in my face all the time ‘nee nee nee …..’. I asked him ‘what actually happened with the dogs’. He said nothing, but it ‘could of’. Well, I told him that he was clearly married to a bitch who was giving him bad time so he took it out on me.

    that should learn them not to pick on middle aged foreign women on their own, thinking they will get away with it.

    gosh I hate people

  135. mickydidit89 says:

    Crikey Eddie

    Sadly I’m not surprised. Human beings are utter shits.

  136. mickydidit89 says:

    99% of them 🙂

  137. GoonerB says:

    Billy McCullough Eddie

  138. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas Mobile

    How do you do that while skipping?

  139. Eddie says:

    make it 99.99%. With 7 billion people around the world 1% would account to 70 million nice humans. No way Micky, there maybe be 7000 but not 70 millions 🙂

  140. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. I love your stories. What an interesting life you lead.

    Most people see me in the park and think “this bloke is a Lurker” and avoid me.

  141. Eddie says:

    GB – that’s the one, that’s what the kid said. I thought he said Lon something, but it had to be McCullough 🙂

  142. GoonerB says:

    I often see him Eddie. He lives near me.

  143. Eddie says:

    raddy – I’d swap. But guess what. My almost-ex takes same dogs to the same park as me. NEVER once did anybody told him to put them on the lead, never once anybody was nasty to him, never once did I see him coming home crying after a walk. Why? He is 6’4″ male with an Irish accent.

  144. RA says:

    Eddie,

    That sounds pretty unpleasant.

    He would not have known you were a ‘foreigner’ when he first shouted at you – and would just have shouted whoever you were.

    There are a few people who do not control their dogs properly (not you) and as a lover of dogs and as someone who has owned beautiful natured dogs too, I occasionally come across them.

    These are people who should not own dogs, and they give all dog owners a bad name. [You know, the ones who pretend not to see their dogs crap – and just walk away without picking it up – and if young children come into contact with the faeces it can cause blindness, and suchlike].

    You seem you have been unlucky meeting unpleasant people.

  145. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    “gosh I hate people”. Yes, everyone but me! 😛

    Raddy: Do the Buddhists allow you to be a tree in your previous life? How about a stone? or a gun?

    Apols, Micky and Raddy, Knot Ear. Could not participate in your fine posts and discussion.

    But matchday again. ha ha ha. COYG. 🙂

  146. Morning all

    We have a New Post ………………..

  147. RA says:

    Of course Micky will tell you that you would never have problems with cats crapping — they just go next door and crap in the neighbors garden. 🙂

    [Everyone is happy – unless you are the neighbor!]

  148. GoonerB says:

    Chas, Loved the punk rock video. That is what you call an old school proper rock and roll band. Looked them up and they have great band names as well.

  149. GoonerB says:

    Damn, done by the Peaches stealth new post announcement again. I really must have a word about giving us a 5 minute countdown. Maybe a visual countdown timer on the blog and when it gets to the last minute we can have the official countdown music. Outof protestI will stay here a while and talk to myself.

  150. GoonerB says:

    And try and sort out the space bar on my keypad.

  151. GoonerB says:

    Ahh nice and peaceful here. No-one to disagree with, just blogging with people who completely agree with my views. (Me) 🙂

  152. GoonerB says:

    HELLOOO is there anyone there

  153. GoonerB says:

    Oh bugger, best go and find the rest of the reprobates. New bloody post it is then.

  154. chas says:

    Billy Milne played for us and then became assistant trainer to Tom Whittaker.
    Spark us up one, Billy.

  155. chas says:

    Billy Byth played 343 times between 1914 and 1929

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