The Window is Open …. Do You Predict a Draft or a Draught?

Though the victory against City has quietened a lot of the speculation, with the transfer window still open, Arsenal continue to be linked with players in virtually every position.

For GK, the media insists Szczesny’s time is over at Arsenal and we’re looking at Italian ‘next Buffon’ (I forgot his name) as his replacement.

At CB there are rumours of Paulista (confirmed by the player), Moreno, Otamendi, or Winston Reid. The Loic Perrin rumour seems to have died a natural death.

In midfield there’s Gundogan, Schneiderlin, Carvalho, Sissoko (he’s not a DM), Brozovic (an AM) and Atletico Madrid’s Suarez.

Oddly enough, we are also being linked with strikers like Dybala, Destro (COOOOBbbbraaaaaa!!) and Micky’s man crush, Cavani. I shall ignore the Falcao rumour.

That’s all good fun, but what will that mean for some of our current squad? Who we buy now also affects our plans for the next season and beyond. Are we ready to make a final decision on the likes of Campbell, Sanogo and Akpom and get in someone else? Is there room for all of them? What about Gnabry?

In midfield there is now Coquelin who, if nothing else, has reduced the need to buy ‘someone, just anyone’. With Flamini and Diaby likely on their way out, and Arteta and Rosicky on their last legs there is potentially space to buy here. Hopefully players like Maitland-Niles, Zelalem, Crowley etc will still get their chance to impress, along with Bielik of course, if he signs.

In defense we could definitely do with a signing, and since Mertesacker and Koscielny are now both around 29, the likes of Hayden and Ajayi should eventually get their chance if they keep improving. But what of Jenkinson? Bellerin showed great promise against ManCity, but Jenkinson has been doing well at West Ham, and is a genuine gooner. Can we make space for him in the squad next season?

Here’s how I see our squad next year:

GK: Szczesny*, Ospina, Martinez*

LB: Gibbs*, Monreal

CB: Mertesacker, Koscielny, new signing, (Chambers)

RB: Debuchy, (Bellerin)

CM: Arteta, new signing, Coquelin*, Ramsey*, Wilshere*, Ozil, Cazorla, Rosicky (Zelalem), (Bielek)

Att: Ox*, Sanchez, Campbell*, Walcott*, Giroud, Welbeck* (Gnabry) ,(Akpom)

 

That would mean 23 players registered. Sanogo and Jenkinson, if included, would have to be registered too. Which would make 25. Do we need them? Considering that I’ve already accounted for a new signing in defense and midfield each, do we need anyone else, maybe in attack?

Who, if anyone should we buy? Who else should we retain? Maybe Diaby? ๐Ÿ˜€

Pretend you are a manager and that you know what you are talking about and discuss.

Written by Shard

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176 Responses to The Window is Open …. Do You Predict a Draft or a Draught?

  1. โ€˜morning all, Transfer speculation eh Shard? Kushti.

    In the afterglow of that fine performance against City, itโ€™s easy to look at our first team squad and feel pretty confident about the future. Ospina is the new David Seaman, Bellerin is the new Lee Dixon, Coquelin is the new Gilberto and Santi Cazorla can suddenly walk on water.

    Letโ€™s not get carried away, as Terryโ€™s uncle Aristotle once said โ€œOne swallow does not a summer makeโ€.

    It would be easy to view Le Coq as the answer to our defensive mid-fielder problems and choose not to buy until the summer, but can he sustain the high level of performance for the rest of the season?

    Bellerin and Chambers are our right-backs, but both are very inexperienced. Gibbs and Monreal are our left-backs, but Gibbs is injury prone. Mertesacker and Koscielny are our centre-backs and are backed up by Chambers and Monreal. But Monreal and Chambers are back-ups to our full-backs. In reality we are just an injury and a booking away from being down to the bare bones again.

    We must keep to the original plan, buy the defensive mid-fielder and buy the centre-back.

    C’mon Arsene, you know it makes sense. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. RA says:

    Well done, Shard, ๐Ÿ™‚

    That should elicit some interesting opinions.

  3. Gรถรถner In Exile says:

    Nice Shard.

    I am glad you listed the squad at the end of it because it is always helpful to be reminded that one in normally has to mean one out.

    Under 21s certainly serve a purpose of being relatively cheap and not named.

    There is a squad of 29 but 6 are under 21, but soon will be need to be named at which point it’s crunch time for their future at the club.

    I think I would bring Jenkinson back or at least keep him tied to the club if he is happy with that situation he will be good to have around the dressing room, Debuchy is not a spring chicken, which is the problem of buying ready made players, they can only help for 2-3 seasons max before their performance level drops and potentially leave without a transfer fee in sight. Podolski is probably a good example of this.

    So a CB aged around 22/23 would be best, and hope one of the youth can kick on.

    The DM should I believe be around 26/27, leaving space for Coq to develop and being able to rotate.

    That’s about all I’d do, but I still have a sneaky suspicion we may try to cash in on Theo.

  4. clockendjim says:

    I agree entirely with Norfolk Gooner’s intelligent response, but I would also add that take the goals of Alexis away and there is just not a reliable enough finisher in the squad. Players like The Ox do not contribute enough in this area as his total of 2 shows. We should have scored more goals against City near the end of the match
    A return to last season’s form of Ramsey and Walcott could answer this, but they have both been guilty of missing sitters in the last 2 or 3 games

  5. beardfantasypl says:

    Do you guys play #fpl?

  6. RA says:

    Steady on clockend — Norfolk Gooner and intelligent response? He will have the players goolies off, sooner or later, if they come in with earache, acne or a bust shoulder blade — Deboosh is surviving on borrowed time!

    He is not called Norfolk the Tartar Sauce for nothing!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. RA says:

    Exile,

    What makes you think that Theo might be sold? Have you heard something?

  8. Rasp says:

    Thanks Shard. It looks like the Paulista rumours may have some substance – but on the other hand, ‘come and get me’ pronouncements are seldom successful ๐Ÿ™‚ I like what I hear about the player.

    I can’t see us signing another striker unless Theo is going to leave. Who knows, we could sell Sanogo and Campbell and bring in another big name in the summer?

    The powerful DM situation is intriguing. I don’t think AW planned to fill that slot until the summer, so it will be interesting to see how much game time he gives Coquelin to vie for 1st choice.

    Ozil is the payer who I can see leaving in the summer. He plays best centrally but Cazorla gave a masterclass in that position at the weekend. Can we afford to have a 42m player on the bench or out wide where he is less effective? For me, the wide midfielders have to cover with the fullbacks and I’m afraid Ozil doesn’t do that very well.

  9. Shame on you RA, I’m well known in Norfolk for my tolerance and forebearance. When the regulars at my local were arguing about letting women into the snug, I was all for it, so long as they were only behind the bar. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Rasp, Santi can’t play at the level he did on Sunday week in week out, Ozil will get to play in the central mid-field position sooner or later (against Brighton?) and will be a revelation.

    I can’t see Wenger letting Theo go just yet, with Welbeck out and Campbell likely to go on loan again, we’d be spread pretty thin up front.

  10. GoonerB says:

    Nice one Shard. What do you mean “pretend I know what I am talking about?”. I have reached the conclusion that this bit was not aimed at GoonerB. How could anyone reach that conclusion?…… ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think Debuchy was bought as a ready made 1st team RFB who could give us 2-3 good seasons while Bellerin and Jenks develop and can be assessed more. As such I would also keep Jenks.

    This probably means that Chambers can be considered as a CB so we have to be careful IMO in what type of 4th CB we bring in so as not to block his way too much. Should we go for another young one or a 30+ experienced defender who again gives us an immediate 2-3 seasons while Chambers develops and maybe Hayden comes through. I wouldn’t be averse to someone like Vidic personally.

    I agree with GIE that another DM should come in around the 27 age bracket which buys us immediate experience, with a reduced developing period, and will allow us to look more at Le Coq and Bielek as the longer term options over the next 2-3 seasons.

    I was originally hoping more for a holding DM but Le Coq seems to be this style of DM so maybe what we should get is a DM who can play more box to box but who can slip in tho the disciplined holding DM role when needed.

    Many will not agree with my thoughts here but at the start of the season I couldn’t understand why we didn’t bring Song back in. I don’t know fully why he left (do any of us truly know), but my recollection of Song was that at his best, and when playing a disciplined role, he could keep top attacking players in his pocket.

    Maybe he lost some positional discipline and didn’t follow instructions but after a couple of seasons at Barca I think we should have taken a chance to see if he was a new improved Song. A one year loan with option to buy makes it a no brainer IMO because you can turn down the option and go for someone else and lose nothing. He is the right age and is big, powerful and strong and has decent technique. He could play as a more free roaming DM alongside a holding DM, or be played as the holding DM himself.

    Also he is experienced at CB, far more so than both Monreal and Debuchy, both in experience terms and the physical attributes required for it, so he could have really covered many of our weakened areas. While many clamored for Cesc and felt he would have made a difference I actually think we would be no better off points wise with Cesc. I actually think Song could have gained us 5-7 points if he had been with us from the start of the season, not because he is better than Cesc obviously, but because he plugs our weakened areas more.

    I would still consider Song as an option. We would get immediate extra DM cover and have another CB option if the right CB is not available in January. One big question I keep asking myself when I look at Carvallho, Lars Bender, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, e.t.c, e.tc, is are they actually better than Alex Song? I am not so sure many of them are you know.

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi NG, the way things are looking at the moment (and things can change very quickly), none of Theo, Wilshere, Welbeck, Chambers, Flamini, (maybe even Ozil and Arteta) would get in our strongest 11.

    You’re absolutely right. Squad rotation is key and if we just had average levels of injuries for the EPL we’d have an extremely strong squad.

    I liked the arseblog post on the ‘luck of timing’ that led to the emergence of players like Cashley. Maybe we are currently witnessing that with Bellerin and Coquelin?

  12. GoonerB says:

    I would actually be happy to leave the striker area till the summer and give young Akpom a go.

    I think Flamini and Diaby are on their last legs with us, which most seem to agree with, but I also think another DM addition of quality removes the need for Arteta as well. The only older player I would keep is Rosicky because he brings something different and slightly more unique to the table.

  13. Rasp says:

    I like the idea that we are a club with a reputation for giving young talent a chance – and that has probably been one of the reasons why we have been successful in luring promising youngsters from other academies.

    Last season (or was it the one before?) Zelalem looked like the player who was being given his chance – but not much progress there unless he has been perpetually injured. Ryo was also given his chances but I know he has been plagued with injury.

    Park’s the one I miss. Those searing runs, thunderbolt shots, motm performances ๐Ÿ˜† …. what ever happened to him? I think the decision to sign him was commercial with very little financial risk by the club.

  14. Rasp, you sometimes have to wonder about a few of Wenger’s purchases. They don’t always work out, Park, Gervinho and Podolski, in recent seasons, come to mind but I’m sure AAers can recall several more.

  15. Rasp says:

    Thanks NG, I’m not convinced the signing of Park (and maybe Arshavin) was driven by AW. All managers have successes and failures in the transfer market – look at SAF letting Pogba go and Maureen re-signing Matic.

    I think on balance, AW has done pretty well – although I will still never fathom why he persisted with Almunia for so long.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    NG. Name a club which doesn’t have failures.

    MU paid a bundle for Zaha and even more for Young (Veron ๐Ÿ˜€ ).

    Spurs – spent โ‚ฌ100m on rubbish just last season.

    MC paid how much for Wright Phillips, Santa Cruz, Robinho etc etc.

    The Chavs ? I could write a book

    L’pool. โ‚ฌ18 m on Balotelli looks great business etc etc

    I would say AW has possibly the best player per โ‚ฌ record in the PL

  17. Big Raddy says:

    And onto Shard’s fine post.

    Jenks is a goner. Bellerin in just a few games has shown exceptional maturity for a 19.yo.

    I would love to see us sign Cavani, Hummels and Khedira.

  18. BR, just because other managers do it…

  19. The sun is blazing down, an al fresco lunch calls, trouble is the temperature hasn’t got above freezing yet, a bowl of hot soup by the fire looks the better option. ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Shard says:

    What I think will happen in the January window is that we will sign a CB. Hopefully this will not be a Squillaci type signing, but someone who can be Koscielny’s eventual successor. A similar sort of player to him. Even better if he’s left footed. But of course, anybody would be better than nobody.

    I believe Chambers is Per’s eventual successor so no worries for me there.

    Bellerin and Chambers should be ok to hold the RB slot for now, till Debuchy comes back, but a decision will have to be made on Jenkinson next year. Debuchy’s fitness, Bellerin’s growth, and Chambers’ eventual position will go towards determining that.

    As for buying a DM. I want it, but I don’t think we’ll get the sort of player we’re looking for this January. All the potential targets that I could find are playing for clubs looking to get into the CL. Unless any of them have urgent debts to pay, why would they sell to us when the demand/price is likely to be higher in the summer and they have 30m in the pocket from CL qualification. Not happening.

    I think the player we need is someone similar to Arteta. Someone who reads the game well, passes the ball around keeping the game flowing, as well as has the ability to play the long passes. Basically a younger and quicker Arteta.

    Arteta, it must be remembered, was an AM for Everton. He then played as a CM of sorts with Song, before making a permanent switch to his current DM role. He’s a perfect pro, doing what’s best for the team, a good captain and leader, and if he accepts his position as not a regular starter, I would sign him on. We’ve lost players of that kind before, and we have nothing to gain by losing him. At least until there’s squad space.

    For the strikers role. I can see how we would be strengthened by selling Campbell and Sanogo and upgrading on them. Again, I’m not sure that will happen until the summer.

    I also agree that Theo’s position is under risk. Last time around his agents played hardball with us, and it seems both parties decided to assess the validity of each other’s position by agreeing only a 2 year deal. He’ll be out of contract at the end of next season, but has spent more than a year out since his last contract. We have also effectively replaced him with Sanchez and Ox, and have Gnabry waiting in the wings (literally)

    We’re unlikely to offer Walcott the sort of cash he would want, and his agents are likely to push him towards the exit by playing up not just his ability, but his marketability. I think the only way Walcott stays is if he decides he wants to stay with us even if it means turning down a more lucrative offer elsewhere.

  21. Rasp says:

    ……. or even just Hummels Raddy ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Shard says:

    Oh and I would like to say that neither Arshavin nor Podolski were failures. They didn’t hit the heights they could have, but there is no way they were failures. They were decent signings, whose time at Arsenal came to an end eventually, as is normal.

    Bought for 15m and 11m, if Chelsea had made those signings, and they had contributed the same, we’d be saying those were decent to good signings. We just expected them to have an Henry or Vieira type of impact, which Arshavin actually did for a little while.

  23. Shard says:

    Why Hummels? He’s almost as slow as Per, and I have never been impressed by him and Subotic even when Dortmund were winning the league. I suppose the advantage would be that he is used to playing in a pressing system, and that he’s German. But no. He would be more Per’s replacement than Kos’ and he’s not much better, if at all.

  24. Rasp says:

    Hi Shard, just to clarify, I don’t consider Arshavin to have been a failure either. In fact, Arhavin’s ‘shoosh, finger to lips’ pic was my gravatar for several years – I loved the guy.

  25. Rasp says:

    …. and Hummels because I rate him – obviously you don’t!

  26. Shard says:

    Rasp

    I think Hummels is a good player. Just not the sort of CB we need. What is it about him that makes you think he would be a great CB for us. Do you think we’ll be much better off if Hummels replaces either of our incumbents?

    Besides, I was only voicing my opinion on Hummels. Not dissing yours. Sorry if it sounded that way.

  27. Rasp says:

    Yes, I think Hummels would be a good replacement for Per. He’s a leader. Captain of club and country. He’s strong and brave and reads the game well and at 26 he’s just coming into his best years as a central defender.

  28. Rasp says:

    I have high hopes for Chambers, but recently we have seen other squad players out-perform him at CK and RB. This may be partly due to the fact that he played every game for the first 2 months and needed a rest. I want him to do well but am yet to be convinced of his best position.

  29. Rasp says:

    …. oh, and Hummels is better than Winston Reid ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Shard says:

    But, does Per need replacing/upgrading? I don’t think he does. Unless his lack of speed is an issue preventing us from going to a higher line. Even if that is the case, I don’t think Hummels offers much more in that regard.

    I think Per can easily play at a high level for another 2 or 3 years, by which time I think Chambers will be ready to step up and replace him.

    I’d rather focus on areas that are more in need of immediate strengthening, and I think it will help to have a smooth transition from Per to Chambers (yes I am assuming that’s where he ends up) Squad continuity and all that.

  31. Shard says:

    Haha. Now there, you have a point! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Rasp says:

    I like Per as a man and as an Arsenal player, but there have been times this season when he has been a bit too cavalier – particularly when going forward. We can’t ever play a high defensive line with any confidence with Per at the back. I think Hummels although not quick, is quick enough.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect us to sign Hummels, he’ll make a big money move in the summer I reckon.

  33. RA says:

    Ooops, you have to excuse me — have we got anymore rubbish rumours on the go?

    I was reading GoonerB’s opus at 12:48 and, interesting tho it was, my eyelids started to droop – no, it was just my eyelids, NB, but fortunately, a response was not called for…… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Then I glided thru some nice points made by Rasp, Randy and the Tartar when I stumbled onto Shard’s massive trilogy, part deux, and it was too much, when combined with the camel wormer’s, and I nodded off.

    Hence my opening para above. ๐Ÿ™‚

    We can forget Hummels – he wants to stay in Deutschland, forget a HM, Le Coq is rising to the challenge, and Arsene is being a bit of a tart casting flirtatious glances at Loic Perrin, Reid and Paulinus and he will break their hearts when he says “Non”.

    99.9% of the stuff on the blogs is wishful thinking.

    But we seem to have been busy on the descant side, with Sanogo now ‘one of them’, Campbell possibly off to Sunderland, or is that Seville, and Ajayi, our young CH who is obviously deemed to be useless, also on his way to S/land.

    That about sums it up – wouldn’t you say? ๐Ÿ˜€

    GB, and Shard – don’t say anything – I have some work to do and I cannot afford to nod off again!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. RA says:

    Rasp,

    Per too cavalier going forward? Arse you suggesting he is too much of a lady’s man?

    He reminds me more of Don Quixote on his trusted but randy horse Rocinante plodding to deal with some giants or should we say — Windmills. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. kelsey says:

    Thanks Shard

    There will be just the one signing in this window and that will be cover for Pers and Kos.

    le Coq has six months left on his contract.

    Flamini goes in the Summer

    Personally I wouldn’t give Arteta another one year contract and Rosicky might stay as he will be 35 next birthday.

    I don’t see a future for Wilshere or Szsney or Walcott in the long term ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Shard says:

    With apologies to RA

    Kelsey

    Actually Wilshere is another one who might be at risk. I agree. He doesn’t seem to really fit into any role that the team needs. He’s good at running with the ball, and finding some space to receive the ball but that’s about it. He needs to improve his understanding of his role within the team. All the same, as of now, I think keeping him in the squad is worth it. Against less technical opponents he can be of use, and his homegrown status is important.

  37. arnie says:

    lovely stuff, Shard. ๐Ÿ™‚ nothing like some transfer speculation to liven up a winter day.

    Raddy says: “AW has possibly the best player per โ‚ฌ record in the PL”. And I agree. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am looking for Arsene and co to unearth a gem or two on free transfer or petty cash. A DM and a CB would do fine, Arsene. ๐Ÿ˜›

  38. arnie says:

    forgot to say, we have a reputation to live up to. the lower the price / quality ratio the better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. JM says:

    Either
    (a) Angelo Ogbonna (Juventus & Italy)
    or
    (b) Robin Knoche (VfL Wolfsburg)
    for the CB

    and
    Arturo Vidal (Juventus & Chile; Alexis’ national team mate who plays with if not more intensity, and has the same player agent/agency) for the DM/CM. This big game warrior could come possibly in the summer window.

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Vidal would be good though I would prefer someone bigger.

    Never heard of the other fellas but then I never look at defenders apart from ours.

  41. RA says:

    Randy,

    Your occasional absences, allegedly tour guiding, has taken on a new significance after my morning stroll through my newsagents newspapers looking for any Arsenal tidbits.

    It appears that thousands of single British women, desperate for a baby are having their requirements met by Danes/Vikiings.

    I did not have the time to read the article in full, so I do not know if there is a physical component to this ‘arrangement’ or some thing else – but if it is you, you know it will drive Norther and Gooner Lost in Cornwall — aka Cock-a-Doodle Do — absolutely crazy when they hear of it.

    Don’t worry, I will not tell on you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Shard, both Arshavin and Podolski were, when they actually got a game, played out of position. Obviously Wenger did not think them good enough to play in their favoured roles. Neither really got the chance to shine, it remains a mystery, to me at least, why Wenger signed them in the first place.

  43. kelsey says:

    Just look back at the 4-4 draw at Anfield.Arshavin scored 4, but his stamina was unbelievable,he tracked back and a couple of his goals he was in his own half when the move started, so what happened.

  44. Kelsey, I guess he got p****d off having to play on the left wing.

    Great to see you back, by the way.

  45. Shard says:

    Norfolk

    I disagree with the out of position bit too. Firstly, I disagree that a player has a set position. They have some attributes and can be assigned certain roles accordingly.

    But even despite that, the only time Arshavin was played out of position was when he played as a striker when RVP went down injured again, and we didn’t pay to get Chamakh 6 months early. I watched some of his games at Zenit and for Russia when he signed for us, and he was almost always playing on the left, or at least spending a lot of time there.

    It’s the same with Podolski. The only time he’s played as a centre forward was for Koln. where he was the biggest fish in a small pond. He’s always played left wing for Germany, except on a few occasions and he played left wing for Bayern too when he was there.

    Whatever the reason for their eventual fall from grace, or whatever you think was their position. The point still is that they both made enough of a contribution to the team for at least a couple of years so as to not merit the tag of being a failure.

  46. Shard says:

    Kelsey

    One thing both Arshavin and Podolski had in common is that they were both big fish in small ponds prior to joining us. Maybe that affected their attitude.

    Also, I saw his statistics over at 7amkickoff, and it seems Arshavin’s output started rapidly declining once RVP started to stay fit. That data can be interpreted in many ways of course. I haven’t really cared to draw a definite conclusion. But maybe it really was about not being the star anymore.

  47. Shard, I wasn’t necessarily criticising the players, more taking Wenger to task for buying players and then not having the confidence in them to give them a run of games.

    He certainly didn’t stick with Arshavin once other players were available and Podolski rarely got a look in.

    I don’t believe either “made enough of a contribution to the team” to be considered successful signings.

  48. kelsey says:

    I think you have to agree that under AW he likes his forwards to play not always in their favoured position i.e. Ozil and that can backfire on him, and they get disgruntled,or am I way off with that one, Shard, Norfolk

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    Just a thought on the Arshavin and Podolski chat. I thought that both players were great buys and arrived with excellent credentials for both club and country,

    In both cases I feel that they had difficulty in adapting to AW’s way of playing and could not handle their defensive responsibilities which made them expendable.

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    Ozil may be the same situation.

  51. Shard says:

    Norfolk

    Maybe they didn’t do enough in training to deserve their favoured spot ahead of some others.

    I didn’t say successful as in great. I think they both proved decent signings. Though I think Arshavin might qualify as at least a partial success. He kept us in the CL the season he joined, and was brilliant the following year.

    Kelsey
    Like I said, I don’t believe a player has a ‘position’. If you listen to Wenger, he says almost everybody likes to play through the middle. It’s probably true. Doesn’t mean it is best for the team if they do.Even if we accept it is better for them.(may not always be)

    You see it in basketball all the time. A player who is top scorer generally does not end up winning the title for his team. It’s when they drop their obsession with personal stats/performance and focus on their impact/role on the team is when they win the title. I understand football and basketball are different, but team sports require that sort of understanding and ‘sacrifice’.

  52. GunnerN5 says:

    Come to think of it all three players – Arshavin, Ozil and Podolski have another thing in common – they lack the engine required to be successful at Arsenal

  53. Shard, on Arshavin and Podolski we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    I’m a firm believer in “horses for courses”, It’s why I question Wenger’s habit of signing players, in whom he sees something not obvious to us lesser mortals, and asking them to play in a manner to which they are not accustomed.

    I think it’s also the reason that so many of the promising young prospects that come to the club fail to make it.

    Kelsey, I think you’re right on the button, as always.

  54. GN5, I hope you’re not suggesting we should abandon skill in favour of stamina.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Ozil plays at AFC in the same position he did at Real and for Germany.

    Arshavin played in the same position for Russia and Zenit.

    Same goes for Podolski.

    Same goes for Gervinho.

    It is simplistic to suggest that AW doesn’t play a player in his assumed “correct” position. He does. And let’s be clear, AW works with these players every day whereas we just guess, suppose, and assume.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    BTW and apropos of nothing, it was wonderful to watch the England vs India game this morning.

  57. The Cockie Monster says:

    Kels
    Arshavin discovered Greggs the Bakers !, that’s what happened !…………..heard he still has a season ticket there !.

  58. Eddie says:

    Shard – you should call yourself Shakespeare, excellent post on such well exploited topic, well done

    It is hard to get excited about new signings when we have team that won at Etihad, could they be improved? I doubt it

  59. Big Raddy says:

    And ….. it is not true that Ozil “lacks the engine”. In almost every game for AFC he runs the furthest. He may not be as noticeable as others but Ozil never stops moving which is why he is able to be in spaces others do not see.

  60. The Cockie Monster says:

    Ozil glides along like a comfortable “Roller” !………….before you know it , he has covered about 10 miles with not a hair out of place !. Some make it look easy !.
    Always remember Viv Richards making it look like he time to marinate some jerk chicken and BBQ it before nonchalantly hitting one over the bowlers head for a six !.

  61. RA says:

    Spot on Raddy, @ 4:40 – you stud, and I agree with your logic Shardo. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hi GN5, One big difference between Poldi, the Meerkat and ร–zil is their ages.

    Poldi is 29/30, and Arsh was about the same (older?) when he started to have fitness problems, whereas Mesut is 26.

    It seems that Mesut has ‘bulked up’ during his injury downtime, probably fear of NG, and it remains to be seen if he has improved his stamina too.

    Got to say, to anyone interested, that in my opinion, Mesut is a fabulous player and it is disappointing to hear so many people down on him. Seriously.

  62. RA says:

    Does anyone have an update on the two young guys we were led to believe were going to sign for us [17 y.o. Bilk and 15 y.o ?]

    All gone quiet. Contract problems?

  63. RA says:

    Did you see that Barca have started to re-do the Cesc project, only this time it is Santi, with Xavi saying he could/should play for them.

    That bloody DNA gets everywhere.

    And as for the rumour that we are interested in Milner – give me strength!! And no one will change my mind on him.

    Hopefully it is an agent’s ‘leak’ to help his Citeh contract negotiations.

  64. RA says:

    A propose of nothing back, Raddish, I saw the one Day International this morning (UK) as well, and I was amazed that India seemed to freeze.

    Anyway, Australia are in a different league of one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. RA says:

    A propose = ร  propos

  66. The Cockie Monster says:

    Redders !….we bought Krystian Bielik !….ยฃ2.5M or there abouts !.

  67. RA says:

    But I have not seen any ‘official’ news Cockie confirming that.

    But 17 y.o. Da Gracie was shown with Jonkers signing his ting! ๐Ÿ™‚

  68. The Cockie Monster says:

    Sorry Redders !, you are right !….. it is in the pipe line !…..I accidently nearly gave away my Psychic ability !……..talking of which, you will suffer from a sore arse next week !……use the blue ice pole in the freezer for comfort!……not the red one !….that contains Ralgex XXXL deep heat solar cream !. hahaha

  69. GunnerN5 says:

    That`s true RA da Graca has already been given shirt 63 and is shown on the academy team whereas there is no mention of Bielik on Arsenal.com – Strange.

  70. GunnerN5 says:

    NG @ 4:39

    I was suggesting no such thing!

  71. arnie says:

    Please dont remind me, Redders, I stayed awake all night watching. ๐Ÿ™‚ India’s performance was a disgrace …… not taking away the England bowling performance. ๐Ÿ˜›

  72. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    I`m not down on Ozil nor do I think that he`s lazy, I just think that he is weak in his defensive responsibilities.

  73. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Strange about the Danes. At present they are desperate to get Danish women impregnated as the schools have not enough pupils and the knock-on effect will be disastrous in such a small country and yet, they export sperm!!

  74. Big Raddy says:

    I think we will spank the Aussies on Friday

  75. The Cockie Monster says:

    I just think Ozil gives the impression of being lazy !…….something to do with him wearing a smoking jacket, cravat and smoking a pipe whilst his man servant Flamini brings his studded PUMA slippers !. It`s how one plays in the hole for the Fatherland !.

  76. chas says:

    Fine post, Shard.
    Maybe we’ll get some cover at Centre Back and a prospect for DM,
    I can’t see much else happening in January. Though Wenger is good at not blinking when it comes to negotiations.
    (not blinking signing anyone ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    I’d heard we were looking at Christopher Samba and Scott Dann, but those rumours may have started on LG.

  77. chas says:

  78. chas says:

  79. RA says:

    Cockie on ร–zil — smoking jacket on the wing!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  80. wally says:

    On Arshavin and Podolski their other coaches understood their defensive limitations and weren’t asked to track back. They kept the fb as a primary defender rather than asking the fb to become an offensive player.

    They still need another cb immediately and a dm. At all the other positions they have plenty of numbers and quality.

    Wenger wants to buy the finished product at cb for the obvious reason. Furthermore those type aren’t out there currently, nor are they cheap, nor are they interested in coming to pick splinters out of their rear-end. It will always be wengers bane.

    I could care less about how old the players they buy are. It’s irrelevant unless we’re running a finishing school.

  81. RA says:

    GN5,

    No I was not suggesting you were down on Ozil — you are right that the impression Mesut gives is of a somewhat lackadaisical player. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think, like Raddy, that he puts in a lot of unnoticed work, but he is not a great tackler and that seems to count against him.

    The fact is that he is a creator – and I am happy for him to stay away from the ‘choppers’ who want to take him out, and these guys still epitomise many Premier League teams. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  82. arnie says:

    ha ha ha, Chas. warm glow! ๐Ÿ™‚

  83. The Cockie Monster says:

    chas !………..you are the most prolific AA away supporter !, so you know stuff !……I know Arsenal has a ticket exchange for home games, but I have looked for tickets on the exchange for away games and never see any !….why ?…..surely there are fans who for some reason or another cannot make an away game, is there no ticket exchange for them ?.

  84. RA says:

    arnie,

    I find the Indian cricket team perplexing.

    They have some of the most gifted cricket players with bat and ball, but their results range from brilliant to abysmal without explanation.

    I should be neutral, but I am a latent England cricket fan! ๐Ÿ˜€

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Where can I get a smoking jacket? Perhaps Didit will give me his old one

  86. RA says:

    They do Glic, but they keep it secret from you!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Is the Mrs OK at the moment? Give her my best wishes.

  87. arnie says:

    Redders. India has a culture of idolatry, and cricketers are demi-gods. Half the time they care more about their personal contracts than their game, and the rest they care only about their individual game.

    No team game ethic, and even less national pride. IMO. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Shocking. I have stopped following quite some time back, but under the influence of expats here in the US, I sometimes watch a game or two. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    My loyalties are split between India and England, not Scotland though. ๐Ÿ˜›

  88. The Cockie Monster says:

    Touch wood, Redders, she is stable !. Thanks !. ๐Ÿ™‚

  89. kelsey says:

    I can sell you one, Raddy. extra large is surcharged by 20%

  90. RA says:

    Glad to hear that, Cockie. ๐Ÿ˜€

  91. RA says:

    Arnie,

    I am quite surprised to hear that.

    My impression, when watching one day matches played in India, and also the IPL games, is that the crowds are absolutely amazing.

    Passionate and knowledgeable fans are what makes sport the best.

    But I suppose that the cricketers themselves may get their heads turned with the fan worship. And that would be sad.

    Some footballers like that too.

  92. RA says:

    Raddy,

    Didit gotit from his local scarecrow shop, and wears it over a rubber suit. Kinky devil — him — not you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  93. chas says:

    CM
    There is no exchange for away tickets.
    Twitter is probably best but spares go quickly.

    I find it disgusting that some fans purchase tickets for Brighton and then sell them on at great profit. Well presumably this is how tickets end up on sites like this?

    http://www.ticketbis.net/brighton-v-arsenal-tickets/ev67288?afl=694JWFTART&gclid=CM_qyJmpo8MCFauWtAodBXIAtw

  94. RA says:

    Got to go – tomorrow guys!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  95. Eddie says:

    Chelsea and Atkinson are a disgrace, absolute disgrace

  96. Shard says:

    Eddie

    I was just going to say that.

    But what’s the real disgrace is that Atkinson, with his quite clear statistical (and visible) bias in favour of Chelsea, keeps getting assigned their matches. No professionally run, clean system would let that continue.

    Good. Liverpool score. Not that I like them, but I hate Chelsea.

  97. Shard says:

    Can we say Chelsea have a soft centre after that goal?

  98. The Cockie Monster says:

    Cheers chas !……….you`re right, it`s disgusting, just had a look and the cheapest is ยฃ168 !………..mind you, worth it if it comes with a guaranteed win !.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  99. Lei says:

    Excuse my impertinence, but I get the impression everyone in here thinks we just got Kristofer Da Graca. He has been with us since the start of this season. In fact we signed him early last year and he started his scolarship at the beggining of this season. He only just signed a professional contract because he turned 17, something that happens with all our youngsters when they are 17. For example, Chris Willock will be professional later this month when he turns 17.
    It’s only Krystian Bielik and that 15y/o kid we’re signing from elsewere this window, and maybe another more senior player..

  100. arnie says:

    Redders. Sad, but that is my belief. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Too much money and too little pride or self respect. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Most importantly, a corrupt Board and no accountability. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Dentistry is my morning subject as BR is travelling to Sweden to visit his dentist. Why? Because the thieving bastards over here are so expensive it is cheaper to travel abroad for treatment.

    Many of us have reached the age when expensive surgery is needed in order to facilitate eating and smiling without embarrrassment and some of us have had difficulties as a result of awful dentists.

    Apart from the money why become a dentist? The study is long and difficult, it is hardly a romantic job, people are scared to visit you, you have to wear a stupid uniform, stick your hands into someone’s rotting mouth etc etc. It must purely be about the money.

    n.b. this comment is purely to assuage my fear of the pain ahead

  102. Big Raddy says:

    As to football. I watched some of the game last night. What a brilliant GK Courtois is, he made a save from Lallana which was spectacular.

    I hate to say it but this Moaninho team is excellent.

  103. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Bastard ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  104. chas says:

    BR
    According to the BBC the chavs had 2 shots, 1 on target.
    The dippers had 19 shots, 6 on target.
    And Hazard dived (for a change) to win the penalty.

  105. chas says:

    I think Karloff needs to work on his action.

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Stats don’t always tel the truth do they? The Chavs were in control of the game from the start, much like we were at City.

    That church is an a bad way, perhaps NB has misappropriated the new roof collection.

  107. Big Raddy says:

    chas. 7.2o. Excellent find. I would have loved to be good at one sport let alone two.

    I wonder if Hayden remembers?

  108. Eddie says:

    Raddy – chelsea excellent? Pool were all over them like a rush! Double penalty not awarded to a scoucers, Costa is a filthy hateful bastard, hazard dived…shocking performance more suitable for theatre than for a sporting event

  109. chas says:

    I’ve always detested going to the dentist.
    More because of the intrusive nature of it rather than because of any pain.
    Those injections seem to work for me and I’ve had root work done with little discomfort.

    Any better? ๐Ÿ™‚

  110. chas says:

    I have to say I agree with Eddie.
    All over them like an Ian Rush. ๐Ÿ™‚

  111. chas says:

    Courtois chav’s MOTM, says it all really.

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shard
    Only just read it, and yes, right up my street. Have not read through comments yet.

    My time keeping has gone belly up since quitting smoking, as it now involves exercise beyond surfing and that requires time and recovery ๐Ÿ™‚

  113. chas says:

    Sorry about van pussy!

  114. Eddie says:

    Chas – Ian rush ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have a polish dentist friend who worked in UK for several years. She told me about cheating was compulsory and hygiene worse than in some 3rd world countries. She said the opposite about australia

  115. chas says:

    soixante-neuf
    No subtlety at all.

  116. Good morning ladies

  117. Eddie says:

    Well done Didit, I am truly impressed!

    Rasp was standing in the cold and dark outside again. I’d better not say what he brought in a bag or said about pregnencies

  118. chas says:

    Mon Dieu, you make Rasp sound like some crazed Dr Crippen character!

  119. chas says:

    Look at the size of that crack.

  120. Eddie

    I’ve got this image in my head of Rasp now: A short creepy bald headed guy in a dirty mac, waiting around in the rain for a quick glimpse of you through the window, naked apart from your DM’s ๐Ÿ™‚

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok Eddie. Message received loud and clear. You and that bastard Rasp have moved on to the next level

  122. Shard says:

    Good morning all.

    The Chavs were anything but comfortable or in control in the second half. Even in the first it was probably LIverpool who were the better team, except Chavs won a penalty.

    On the penalty, this might sound strange, but I think it was both a dive and a foul. Hazard moved to initiate the contact, but Can also fouled him.

    Not every contact is a foul. Not every dive is with no contact. And sometimes it can be neither a dive nor a foul, or both a dive and a foul ๐Ÿ™‚

  123. Eddie says:

    No, he’s just an old school type of romantic

    Seriously though, is it just me or is that Costa creep a true front bottom?

  124. chas says:

    Shard
    Hazard had no intention of keeping possession of the ball (it rolled harlessly to Skeletor, I think). His only thought was touch the ball and hit the deck . If Can had backed out of the challenge, Hazard would still have gone down.

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yeah, me and the lads aren’t liking the sound of this creep very much at all ๐Ÿ™‚

  126. Shard says:

    chas

    Yes, agree. But Can didn’t back out. He quite carelessly just ran through Hazard. I think he did foul him, even though Hazard was always going to go down.

  127. ‘Old school type romantic’………. that’s even worse ๐Ÿ™‚

  128. Eddie says:

    Nb and Didit – no, both wrong ๐Ÿ™‚

  129. Eddie says:

    Yep, Hazard is Maurinho’s School for Cheats graduate. Shame because he is a good player

  130. chas says:

    Yep, Eddie, fits in perfectly at Chelsea.

  131. chas says:

    Last comment was about Costa, but could just as easily be appropriate for Hazard.

  132. chas says:

    If the challenge isn’t what’s responsible for bringing a man down, it’s not a foul in my book.

  133. Big Raddy says:

    I would like to see either and preferably both of them at THOF

  134. chas says:

    ….regardless of Niall Quinn’s “there was contact”.

  135. chas says:

    BR
    They would both be transformed into genuine human beings if they wore our red and white. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Wenger wouldn’t put up with that sort of blatant cheating.

  136. Eddie says:

    Drogba used to be the worse cheat while playing for Maurinho. He only became great when Jose left. And the Portuguese cannot understand why we all hate chelsea?

  137. Big Raddy says:

    Of course Hazard cheats. He is Belgian, home of the EU Commission

  138. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Morning all

    I have extensively examined Hazzards arse and believe he is using its disproportinate bulge as an offensive weapon to accrue illegal penalties.

    If you examine Hazzards dives in more detail and remove the playing football factor, his movements look very much like an uncouth attempt to initiate homosexual contact.

  139. Trust Transplant to come in with that observation ๐Ÿ™‚

    He and Cockie are clearly of the belief that a man has to me tackled from behind ha ha ha

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    NB
    And in line with Arnie’s wise words, and I agree with him, we should celebrate their diversity ๐Ÿ™‚

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh god, now all I’m thinking about is how badly I need to go to the dentist.

    Cheers Big

  142. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I see no reason to be mocked

    Carefully observe Hazzards buttocks for yourselves and then the rear elevation.

  143. Micky

    I have to celebrate their diversity on my blog all the time ๐Ÿ™‚

    I can imagine Transplant having a video compilation of footballers arse elevations, and he and Cockie get together once a week to slow mo the action ha ha

  144. Rasp will come in soon requesting a post for today, trying to divert the conversation away from the inevitable smuttiness that is about to explode on AA ๐Ÿ™‚

  145. chas says:

  146. Well done chas, I suppose Eddie will now say that as nice buttocks go, Titi has a nice one ๐Ÿ™‚

  147. Big Raddy says:

    I was going to write a post about buttock size and it’s relationship to diving but there is a post in the loading bay.

    Actually it was going to be about Theo but perhaps I will write one for tomorrow

  148. chas says:

  149. chas says:

  150. ha ha Chas

    This is what it’s come to, no more Rack of the Day, now you post Soup of the Day ๐Ÿ™‚

  151. chas says:

    Sanchez was born on the second mountain from the left.

  152. chas says:

    Soixante
    Yep, leave the filth for your place. ๐Ÿ™‚

  153. Rasp says:

    Morning all. Spot on NB69 ๐Ÿ˜› …. we need posts for this week when our boys are having a wee rest …….

  154. Rasp

    I’ll try to help out if I can…. can’t have Raddy debating buttock sizes and diving as a subject ๐Ÿ™‚

  155. Rasp says:

    Yes please, thanks NB, that would be much appreciated. I’ve just typed some bollix myself which we can use today if desperate, but we need more.

  156. Rasp says:

    Don’t get excited everyone, we have a……

    ….. New post ………..

  157. Eni Penny says:

    Reblogged this on A Bucket Full of Arsenal.

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