Does Theo Walcott have a future with Arsenal?

Much has been written about Arsenal’s longest serving player, most of it half truths and outright lies no doubt.

Reading between the lines reveals some pertinent facts.

1) Theo genuinely wants to play as a central striker.

2) Theo genuinely believes he can succeed as a central striker.

3) Arsene Wenger appears not to be so sure.

4) Arsene Wenger has given Theo a few chances in his favoured position and Theo has taken the chances well, he’s scored goals and important goals at that. But the jury is still out.

Earlier in the transfer window there were all sorts of stories linking Theo with various Premiership clubs, Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea to name just three. It was “reported” that Theo was seeking talks with Wenger about his future playing position and the matter of his present contract was brought up.

Since then, there have been no bids and, apparently, no interest from any club whatsoever. So it’s hardly surprising to read in Monday’s Telegraph that Theo has put the matter of a new contract firmly on the table. “My agent has talked to the club, I enjoy playing for this club so I am just letting them crack on with things and I’ll continue playing football,” Walcott said. “We’ll just play the waiting game and see what happens but I’m sure it won’t be long. This squad, for me, is one of the best I’ve been involved in. I want to be part of that”. “There is something special in this group. We have got to keep this group together as well. I think successful teams stay together for a long time. I think this team can be very successful”.

Now I may be an old cynic but when there are no offers coming in angling for a contract extension, and no doubt a pay rise, seems the obvious thing to do.

Arsene Wenger is, as ever, playing his cards very close to his chest. Words such as “we would like Theo to stay at the club”, do not quite sound entirely enthusiastic. There is no mention of “we will not sell him at any price”.

We have just the one recognised central striker at the club, Olivier Giroud, a player who has yet to convince the Arsenal faithful that he is the answer to all our striker needs. Theo could well be an option but the rumours persist that Arsenal are ready to pay big money for a proven goal scorer. Would the arrival of a new first choice striker put Theo’s nose out of joint? How would Ollie react to moving down the pecking order?

At least Theo isn’t doing a Sterling and trying to engineer a move and Ollie has so far shown no signs of discontent.

Top notch strikers are hard to come by, they cost a lot and demand high wages, some fail to live up to their price and billing. Maybe we should give Theo a new contract, give him a few more chances in his favoured position and hope that it all turns out for the best.

Should he stay? Or should he go?

Written by Norfolk Gooner.

 

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314 Responses to Does Theo Walcott have a future with Arsenal?

  1. Red Arnie says:

    Nice one, Norfolk. I agree in letter and spirit.

    1. Everything about Theo is good, except his haggling over contract extensions. This is getting a bit predictable, boring and irritating!

    2. Dont know about Theo the central striker. But his pace is important for the team, particularly on the right. Does he have a quick enough turn to be a top central striker? Dont know. Jury is out. But he is indispensible to the team now.

    3. Ollie is a top striker in his genre. But he needs competition. Not sure that Theo is good enough competition.

    4. So Wenger is right to wait. If we can find a quick player who is also a central striker and an assured 30-goal a year one, then we would like to get him. In that case, we may need to flog Theo. No one is indispensable.

    Clear as mud? 🙂

  2. turumanya abdul says:

    theo sh’d stay at the club 4ever!

  3. Good morning AAers,

    Arnie I have always liked Theo, from the moment he joined Arsenal I thought he could be something special. Despite going to a World Cup as a teenager he has seemed to keep a sense of perspective.

    He isn’t a “Me Me Me” character and for the most part comes over as a level headed, polite yet focused individual.

    Personally, I hope he stays at the club it would be a shame to lose such a talent but is he going to fulfil his potential as an occasional striker/winger? Or would he do better elsewhere?

    If we do sign a gold plated striker, would an overseas loan spell suit both the player and the club?

    Turumanya, welcome. Short and to the point. Thanks for your comment.

  4. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Thanks NG, interesting post on a topic that really does need airing. To me at least, its been a bit bizarre that so little has been said about Theo having still not signed a contract extension. Until yesterday there has hardly been a mention of it since his on pitch post Cup Final interview.

    Last week I suggested that Theo might still move to Liverpool and was almost laughed at by the people I said it to. They’d clearly overlooked that he still hasn’t signed an extension

  5. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Oh and ‘Morning’ to one and all…old friends and new 🙂

  6. Eddie says:

    Ghost?? more like a distant memory 🙂

    let him go. Nice guy, true professional, but will never be a world class player. We could get shitloads of euro for him and buy Messi

  7. Motning all, it’s taken a Norfolk & Chance post to wake me from my close season slumbers and for that I say thanks for the post.
    While Theo’s contract negotiations are always drawn out, protracted affairs it is worth persisting with him due to the fear factor he brings to opposition defenders.

    Yes, he’s not “World class” at the moment but very few are and he does have a skill set that is rare and unique to our squad.

    I can’t see how any can countenance flogging him off and getting someone else who is better as there are so few available, I mean who has been linked with us ?

    Benzema ? He seems a bit too rapey for me even though his underage sex charges were not proved; that roasting with Ribery made me cringe.

    How Gooners howled in protest when Olly got up to a bit of how’s your father.

  8. I’ve always viewed Theo as a quiet, down to earth family man. Doesn’t want to rock the boat, faithful and dedicated. As for his agent, I’m not sure but probably a money grabbing sneaky fucker who is trying to persuade him to move fo a higher commission.

  9. Sharkey, hasn’t Rodgers said he’s finished buying for this window? Of course he could be telling porkies, but would Theo be willing to take a big step down and join Liverpool? Swapping the Champions League for thursday night football, and leafy Hertfordshire for grim Merseyside seems a leap too far to me.

  10. utter tool says:

    Cheers, NG.
    Theo won’t leave Arsenal – he’s too much of a nancy boy.
    He’s just holding out for as much moola as possible.

  11. Vintage Gooner says:

    Thanks Norfolk because I was trying to stir myself to write my first post for a long time under the heading:- Theo – Sign up or ship out!

    As a player I would summariseTheo as quick and penetrative and has developed a clinical calmness in front of goal which is much to his credit. His crossing is still too much to dangerous positions rather than to an actual Arsenal player (and we had a good example of this in the weekend) so he looks ok but hasn’t really done his job.His covering back is still poor and his tackling is abysmal or non-existent.

    But greatest problem of all is that he will now be exposed by the departure of Diaby. He is constantly injured and has spent well under half his time at Arsenal on the pitch

    No I was wrong even more of a problem for me was the way he held Arsenal crudely to ransom last time as he ran his contract down. Now it appears he is taking the same cavalier and immoral approach.

    In my view he should be summoned with or without his agent to the presence of Gazidis and Law and told in no uncertain terms that no-one is bigger that Arsenal FC. They will negotiate terms with him there and then and he sign within 24 hours or he will be formally put on the market for sale.

    In one fell swoop we will have settled with a disturbing influence and placed a premium on loyalty to club, colleagues and manager.

  12. utter tool says:

  13. Sorry VG, didn’t mean to steal you’re thunder, I hope you can find another topic, as the blog needs a regular supply roof posts.

  14. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Norfolk and a fine question. I intend to pick a fight with many of you in a minute (including Redders). 🙂

    I mentioned something about Theo on Friday which Redders countered. He also said I would not come back till Monday but he miscalculated by 24hrs. 🙂

    I genuinely haven’t been able to get back on due to commitments so it is just pure coincidence that my first comment in a few days is on a Theo post. I don’t deliberately intend to only turn up for those ones. I will come (rather belatedly) back to your riposte Redders a bit later after addressing the core of Norfolks post.

    Just to clarify, my default position on Theo has never been that he is the undisputed top level answer to the CF position, but just that he could be the answer. My stance is that we just don’t know with Theo one way or the other due to a lack of opportunity (for various reasons) in seeing him play regularly in that position. To a degree I feel the same way about Welbeck.

    Personally I think to be a top club that can seriously challenge for the EPL and ECL then a top level striker is required. If you look at Giroud, Welbeck, Theo, Akpom, Sanogo then I question whether we have a top level CF among those names. I will discount Akpom and Sanogo at this stage as still being too young to say, but for me there are questions over the other 3, including Theo, at the highest level.

    While I don’t think I have seen enough of either Theo or Welbeck to know I feel I have seen enough of Giroud to form an opinion. I think that what we saw last season was the peak of Giroud and that he will not significantly improve on that. For me it is not quite good enough for a top team at the highest level that plays a more attacking style of football, and he remains a pretty decent striker that is an option but not the first choice answer IMO.

    I am ready to stand corrected as it is just my opinion and I know many others disagree with it and see Ollie as a top striker, so sorry Red Arnie I have to disagree about needing competition for Giroud as I feel what we really need is better.

    As I have said I don’t know if Theo is the answer but I do feel Ollie isn’t. What I think about Theo is that he has the greater potential to be a prolific striker at the top level, so if AW doesn’t recruit a new striker then Theo would be my choice of being first choice number 9 so we can find out.

    Vintage, your argument about Theo playing balls into dangerous positions, rather than to the man, as being a problem I also don’t quite align with. For me the job of the man playing the final ball in the opposition area is to make sure it goes into a dangerous position. It is then the job of the central striker (or the player who has ghosted into that position) to be intelligent enough to attack the dangerous area.

    I believe many top strikers have alluded to this historically, that they just want the balls in to be dangerous, and it is then down to them to get on the end of them, so for me this is the fault of others if it comes to nothing, not the man playing the ball in.

    Does Theo have a future? I actually don’t know. I don’t like that Theo and his advisers have waited so long in the new contract negotiations. We don’t want to pass upon the option of another available top striker right now if we don’t know whether he is staying. Who knows, AW may have earmarked Theo for the CF role this season but may now feel he has to bring in another top option to cover the possibility of Theo leaving. This player may push Theo down the pecking order if he is a more established top striker and I would then feel that he would only have himself and his advisers to blame if this happens.

  15. GOSSIP: Szczesny on verge of sighning for Roma….

  16. GoonerB says:

    Sorry to be so late to reply Redders. Just to answer your answer here is what you posted :

    “Damn! Just read GB’s 4:03 comment and if I reply now, he won’t be allowed out to play by his mum until next Monday!! 🙂

    Anyway, GB, you have trotted out the same old ‘Walcott’ for CF’ schmoozle, as if that has any credence, and I suppose I just cannot resist responding in the same old-same old way.

    Walcott has no background as a CF, he does not have the skill set to hold the ball up, or dribble past defenders, and it cannot be denied that every cross from the wing that Giro would be expected to reach, will sail over Theo’s head because his little legs are …….. well, little.

    What Theo does have – altho as Bellerin, our fastest player will tell you, Theo’s pace nowadays is over stated – is some pace, and if he is put in by one of our creative players, he does occasionally connect well and score.

    But that is it.

    I suppose love is blind – so, GB, do you have a man crush on Theo? :D”

    Walcott has no background as a CF. Very true Redders but there are similar examples. TH14 for one. RVP started in the wide areas for us before converting. I think Diego Costa also played in the wide area for Athletico and was only moved up front once Falcao left.

    Theo has little legs (or at least littler than Girouds). Also very true, although I think his legs aren’t as little as Agueros, Michael Owens, Tevez’s e.t.c.

    I am not comparing the overall abilities of strikers just questioning whether Giroud being able to get more easily to crosses is such an important point. Our best AW eras have not seen us as prolific crossers and headers of the ball, and in reality I am not too sure I want us progressing down that route as I don’t feel the top attacking sides historically focus on it as a main point.

    Even with a more diminutive striker they can still be a good heading technician so that they can take opportunities when they arise but aren’t expected to out-jump / out-muscle EPL defenders on a regular basis. I feel Owen was a good example of a diminutive but technically decent header of the ball. Theo probably isn’t even this to be fair but can you really develop this aspect of your game when not playing mostly as a CF?

    Holding the ball up? My favourite question. What does it mean? Is there more than one way to hold the ball up? Do these different ways suit different players with different skill sets? I will need your definition of what you consider holding the ball up to mean Redders before I can answer whether Theo doesn’t have the skill set to do it.

    Dribbling past defenders? I can see your point this one although I put it into the bracket of being something that is more important to a midfielder or wide player than a striker. It goes in along with defensive duties and working back for me as being less important if you are the main CF.

    I also feel there have been examples of Theo going past opposition players and that he has improved this area (at least enough to overly not hinder him as a CF). He is not a twisty turny weavy type dribbler but he certainly has more ability to go past defenders than Giroud does IMO.

    Finally Redders, man crush? Come on you know you are the only one I have a man crush on, (how many times do I have to hint), so no need for any jealousy on this point 🙂

  17. GoonerB says:

    Right off for another 5 days (about the time it takes you to read my comments then) 🙂

  18. Vintage Gooner says:

    GoonerB the problem with your definition of a satisfactory cross is that particularly with Theo’s speed there will only be one or two racing to keep up and they will have to go for the nearest/best dangerous space they can reach. Those spaces they cannot reach even if they would be better for scoring are simply the wrong place for the wide player to put the ball.

    Every wide player must look up and find the space their colleague is reaching or the opportunity is frustratingly wasted and the cross a poor one.

  19. RA says:

    Just a swift visit to say thank you to one of my most fave loopy bloggers, NG, for the Post – and also to say to my other fave loopo, GB, that I liked both your response to the Post, and your effort to defend the indefensible!! 🙂

    Only kidding about the ‘indefensible’ bit – it was quite good actually.

    “Hold up play” – for me is receiving the ball with back to goal, and having the nous and the muscle to keep it from large sometimes neanderthal defenders, and then distribute it to others in a better position to score, or move play on.

    Theo is an instinctive players, he crosses balls without looking – and he would not be goos at distributing it at CF – mainly because he would be sitting on his ass appealing for a foul – because he is not big or strong enough.

    Gotta go. 🙂

  20. GoonerB says:

    Good point Vintage and yes you are probably right in your assertion that Theo gets to and delivers the ball too quickly for most to attack it and should adapt under those circumstances to deliver a more realistic ball.

    I would still wish a more permanent solution to this though in that another speedy winger is delivering balls for the speedy Theo, (as a CF), who can get there due to being speedy, or we have a striker who is speedy enough to get to the box and attack those positions quick enough.

  21. GoonerB says:

    RA, I have put out my idea about hold up play before, but you know how sporadic wormers are with comments so it would have been easily missed / forgotten / dismissed out of hand (delete as appropriate). 🙂

    I look at hold up play in a more loose generalised sense as an advanced (or most advanced) player receiving possession of the ball (often temporarily isolated from team-mates) and retaining possession for a certain time frame until support arrives to the attack, at which point said player can move the ball onto a team-mate thus retaining possession for the team and more importantly in an advanced attacking area of the pitch.

    For me it therefore doesn’t matter whether they have their back to goal, are facing goal, are facing either side, or doing a hand-stand singing “she’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes” 🙂 …..As long as they get possession of that ball, hold the possession and ensure we have possession in an advanced area for the next phase of play.

    In this instance I would also say a striker can hold up play by spinning away from CD’s moving into channels (often wider) where the ball can be played and they can use their speed to get to first. It would be ideal if a player can do both but I do prefer this one to the classic back to goal guy as I feel it lends itself to a more fluid interchanging front 3 (which is what I personally hope AW is aiming for). It also would pull the CD’s out of position more possibly creating more space to exploit for other players. I feel Theo is far more equipped for this type of play than Ollie.

    Now for Dennis sake Redders don’t take 4-5 days to come back and pass judgement on my nonse….. I mean sound opinions. It really annoys me when people do that 🙂

  22. RA says:

    Your wish is my command GB, [clearly I am your fairy godfather – well forget the ‘fairy’ bit] and lo unto you – hours rather than days to respond to your bullsh*t well thought out response to what constitutes a holding player.

    I am forced to tell you that there is a certain blight on our friendship that I have tried to veil – but here it is – I can easily understand and empathise with anyone who helps poor camels by removing worms from wherever, but someone who gladly revels in the accolade of being a camel wormer – i.e. someone who puts worms into the poor beasts is every bit as bad as NG and his James Bond alter ego who delights in hopping down the Norfolk coast clinging desperately to his zimmer frame, scoffing fried food at every turn, gargles alcoholic beverages to improve his breath, dangles his 6 toed tootsies in a puddle and claims on here that he ‘speed walks, lunches off the best pies, enjoys a pint of best Norfolk ‘Spondulix’ ale, and swims 10 miles straight every day’.

    You are like book-ends, the pair of you!! 😀

  23. RA says:

    May be back next Friday – or the day Rasp shows up – whichever comes first.

    Sayonara, big boys!! 😀

  24. LB says:

    Nice angle Norfolk.

    And in particular what grabbed me was your mention of something that I have felt for a long time, that being that it is not Theo who is stalling in signing a new contract it is the club who are keeping their options open for as long as they can.

    The club know that he is good but they equally know that he is not world class and would happily upgrade if they could. Makes sense to me.

    I read so many comments criticising Walcott for what bloggers perceive as him holding the club to ransom, this to me is completely wrong, Arsenal are as much to blame for the drawn out negotiations as Theo’s agent.

    If he stays, well OK, lets see what you can do at last Walcott but if he leaves and we get a better striker then that is equally good with me.

  25. Red Arnie says:

  26. Gööner In Exile says:

    Nice one NG.

    My question around Theo playing up top in the middle has never changed, if steam plays deep in two banks of four can he provide a threat? And to me the answer is no.

    Almost in the same way as when BSR headed the attack supported by Theo, Nasri and Cesc. Cesc could unlock those defences but it needed a few attempts and a lot of possession, going wide brought no real threat from crosses.

    For me we need a centre forward who can threaten aerially but also bring those around him in to the game. If Theo receives the ball short I doubt a centre half will bother tracking.

    But from wide he can be devastating, he ca be an outlet and a provider of assists, he can make dangerous runs across the box like his goal in the Asia Cup. It’s all about space, he needs it, a up front in the middle he won’t have enough of it.

    Do we sign him? Yes I think we do.
    Should he expect to be up front in the middle? No I don’t think he should be guaranteed it.

    We have a varied squad to take on many opponents. No one should be guaranteed astart or a position.

    As others have said he seems a decent chap, very marketable.

    However should we sign his new contract at any cost? Well I think that’s for bean counters to provide the maths. Somewhere someone will be working out the financial implications of losing him in terms of merchandising etc. unfortunately football is no longer about just what is delivered on any given Saturday.

  27. Of all the comments on here today I think GiE has hit at least one of the nails squarely on the head. Marketability. Just how much is Theo worth to the club, not just in merchandise but in straightforward public relations? His public face and total lack of any negative publicity is a great asset to the club.

    Keeping him will further demonstrate that Arsenal are no longer a selling club.

  28. Eddie says:

    NG – all good points raised by you and Exile, BUT if we get a striker with a killer instinct (yep, Suarez would do me) and win the league, we probably don’t have to worry anymore about floging shirts and the ‘selling club’ epithet

  29. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one Norfolk

    I sense a change in Theo, and not in a good way.

    Weve all been there. Employing a young apprentice who at first can not look a bird in the eye, is left frightened and confused by your inappropriate talk on how you made love to a milky skinned geisha girl, and naively believes your long tale of how you were good enough for Arsenal but were turned down because Terry Neil was jealous of your skill.

    Theo plays games with his contracts and has been giving it the bigun that he has been chosen by a higher power to succeed Henry up front. He likes talking about himself and is one step away from reffering to himself in the third person. Been narcistic myself i know this makes you a pillock. Many times people have had a pop at Terry Mancini but I know that they seceretly desire him, so its water of Terrys hairy back.

    However, the one thing he has that thickos like Nasri and Van Persie have not is intelligence. Theo has, so fully understands that Arsenal is the greatest Club in the world and that any move away is folly. For that reason he will stay.

  30. utter tool says:

  31. Eddie says:

    kid is colour blind

  32. Eddie says:

    I am taking bets that Wenger will not buy a new striker.
    Chuba Akpom will play regularly, but that’s about it

    Now £5 bets evens, any takers?

  33. Eddie, Chuba may play in some cup games this coming season but I don’t see Venger putting a 19 year old into the frying pan of the premiership. He may have scored a hatrick against the Singapore select XI but when out on loan to championship sides he failed to score even once.

  34. Eddie says:

    £5 please
    And it is Wenger darling

  35. 41 days, 6 hours and 55 minutes….

  36. Will you take a cheque in Euros?

  37. ‘morning all,

    Eddie, sadly things like shirt sales contribute a fair proportion of the clubs income. Promoting such sales is the reason Arsenal went to Singapore and played two “friendly” games. It certainly wasn’t for fitness reasons. Why would any serious sportsman go and exercise in high temperatures and even higher humidity in order to get fit for playing football in Northern Europe during the autumn and winter.

    AFC want to be a “nice” club with “nice” players. Theo matches that description, Suarez doesn’t.

  38. Soixante-Neuf, Euros? The joke currency of the 21st century. From the first of September all new Euro notes are to be printed on Greece-proof paper. 😀

  39. NG

    It’s worked very well for Brits who have bought property in France… you can buy a large farmhouse here for the price of a two bedroom semi in the UK…..

  40. A large farmhouse for the price of a two bed semi? But how much does a two bed semi in a French city cost?

  41. Right, gotta go, it’s time for my daily ten mile swim. It’s really twenty lengths once a week in a heated in-door pool, but don’t tell Redders that. 😀

  42. Shard says:

    Hello Folks from Norfolk and elsewhere.

    I’m quite serene about the whole Theo contract situation. We’ll either reach an agreement with his ’embassy’, or we’ll flog him (hopefully literally), and buy a new player who will be as good or better. We also have the Ox to step up in case Theo leaves, or even if he stays and gets injured.

    I don’t hold ill will towards Walcott for wanting to maximise his money with us. It shows he wants to stay. I get the sense that while he’s instructed his agents that he wants to be at Arsenal, they in turn have told him to leave it up to them to get the most dough. Which he can then turn into gingerbread for his children’s book stories. TJ at the bakery.

    Walcott could have left us in the lurch a couple of years ago, and he didn’t. He would have earned more money elsewhere. The latter is still true. If Theo were to go somewhere else, he’ll probably get paid more. Especially if he sees out his contract. (This is the third, least likeable, option for this situation) Even if it comes to that, we should be able to absorb the financial hit.

    Theo’s abilities, while limited, are almost unique. There are better players aplenty, but very few players in the world could come close to having the same impact on the game, and any of those would also represent an expense and a risk. Plus need time to acclimatise. He’s not Alexis and won’t carry a team to the top. He won’t ever be Ozil and the foundation for a club’s success. But he can be the guy who gives the team the extra 2% that could make the difference between winning and not winning, and for that, I think we should do our best to keep him.

  43. Shard says:

    OK quick round up of the transfer news.

    Flamini to join Poldi in Turki. He likes Kebabs.

    Szcz to join As* Cole at Roma. Where he will publish an Instagram album titled ‘On loan in Rome’

    Arsenal to replace Flamini with Barcelona’s Sergi Samper. As you can imagine, their press will now go to war against The Gunners. Having already lost Xavi to Father Time, the emotional strain will prove too much for them if Wenger were to strike again so very soon.

    Or Arsenal to listen to Rabiot’s Rabid Mum and Sign Adrian, but this is unlikely since Dick Law & Order has had enough of dealing with young players’ mums and won’t turn up at the negotiations.

    Arsenal also have bid 31.3 m for Karim’s Kebabs. Apparently it is a Real flourishing business and has lots of goals for the future too. Giroud won’t be happy at this attempt to get him to lose his rock hard abs, but Mesut Ozil will convince him that Turkish food is good for football.

    If they can’t convince the president of the Meringues to sell the kebab business, Arsenal have also lined up a secret alternative which they found on Kickstarter.

  44. Gööner In Exile says:

    Right my good friends, I write to tell you about a cracking deal on Sky TV that’s available from one of the local electrical outlets here….Hughes Electrical.

    If you already have Sky there’s a bit of faff and you need two over 18s in the household (one being you).

    So here’s the deal £25 per month for everything (Sports, Movies, HD and Entertainment).

    I cancelled sky yesterday.

    Mrs Exile phoned Hughes today and booked new service.

    But its saving me £50 per month.

    This is the last day of Hughes doing the deal. Google Hughes Electrical and it can all be done over the phone.

  45. Gööner In Exile says:

    Should say she had to book new service in her name, and old account in my name…..”not for existing customers” bollix.

    Oh and it’s £41 for Broadband phone and TV.

    But I like my free BT Sport.

  46. Shard says:

    GIE

    Is the deal available in London or Middlesex? Their site seemed to suggest that they are not in London so I’m not sure.

  47. The Cockie Monster says:

    Does this mean that even in N17 we are the most watched team ?. 😀

    http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/22/arsenal-are-most-watched-team-in-london-according-to-tv-viewing-figures-study-5307549/

  48. The Cockie Monster says:

    Yes GIE !………I like my free BT Sport too and both our Emirates Cup games are on live !…….I shall pop down to my son`s Love Shack on Sat`/Sun` as he has 52″ screen !……………Nice !. 😀

  49. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard canbe done over the phone so should be all good

  50. Szczesny gone to Roma on loan. Will Ospina stay? Will he be happy as number two to Cech? Will Martinez be promoted if Ospina leaves? Or will Arsene buy another ‘keeper?

  51. Szczesny will have to watch himself in Rome. Anyone caught smoking in the showers is immediately taken up to the Tarpeian Rock and thrown off. 😀

  52. Shard says:

    GIE

    Sorry, but how is it done over the phone? Do I already have to have the Sky box for it?

  53. Aaron says:

    Straight up NO!
    His injury record is abysmal!

    A few goals here and there against lower level teams and a few in the FA Cup does not mean he gets or deserves the money he is asking for.
    Sell him, he is homegrown which draws a premium and watch him go down injured, and Arsenal fans groan, but sigh when thinking about the idea that we dodged a bullet.
    He does not play D, does not provide assists-very often, can’t post up in the box on offensive corners, or clear headers on D when we are being pressed. 10 goals is not enough. He will get injured in the next 2 years guaranteed! ACL injuries are no joke!

  54. X says:

    Terrapin rock, Norfolk? Terrapin rock?

    Do you mean turtle cliff, maybe? Ooh, you’ve hurled me off – ouch, I’ve trodden on a beetle! 😀

    You’ll be telling me next that it was a steep cliff used for executions by the Romans. 🙂

  55. X says:

    Shard,

    Sky are based on a geographical spread of satellite dishes.

    Apart from Sky in the UK, there is Sky Italia, and Sky Deutschland, Austria and Suisse.

    There may be others too, but unless you are within the UK or that DBS satellite range, I doubt that even Hughes Electrical can help. 🙂

    Mind you, they are strange folk in Norfolk – so maybe I am wrong!!

  56. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard, you can phone Hughes Electrical and they’ll do the sign up over the phone. Sky send own engineers and necessary box.

    It’s really only for new customers so should be no problem. As long as you have an address and a bank account.

    X Shard asked about London/Middlesex. It’s a 12 month contract Shard.

  57. Eddie says:

    GiE – I phoned them and have been waiting for a reply since the morning 😦

  58. Shard says:

    Ok thank you GIE. I have passed on the information.

    X, RA, HB, whatever you’re calling yourself these days. The wonders of technology (and some bypassing of ethics) means I can get Sky from anywhere in the world, if I should want to watch of course 🙂

    Speaking of which Ajax play against St Etienne later today. Sanogo will probably make his debut. Pity he hadn’t signed on in time to feature in their previous game vs Wolfsburg. Sanogo vs Bendtner would have got a lot of people very excited 😀

  59. Shard… what time is that match between Ajax and St Etienne?

  60. ok Shard… found it, 19h30 French time I think.

  61. Apparently we’ve put in a 12m euro bid for this 20 yo at Barca?

  62. Gööner In Exile says:

    Eddie I’d phone them again….Hughes Plus stores are still open. As I said Mrs Exile managed it and got confirmation from Sky about 5 minutes after sign up.

  63. LB says:

    Shard

    You know I like your comments I have said so on many occasions — but?

    “Walcott could have left us in the lurch a couple of years ago, and he didn’t. He would have earned more money elsewhere. The latter is still true. If Theo were to go somewhere else, he’ll probably get paid more.”

    He could have left us in the lurch? That was not an act of benevolence, nobody wanted him, the same is true now which is why his negotiations are taking so long.
    I am obviously not certain but my reading is that Arsenal are saying go and try and find another club, but if you fail here is a reasonable offer.

    I suspect Liverpool was his big hope but they have singed Benteke — for goodness sake they really have become Newcastle in red shirts.

    Anyway Theo is starting to realise that he is not quite as in demand as he thought he was, hence the back pedaling comments from him saying things like: I want to be involved in something special that is going on at the club, yarda, yarda.

    Yeah Theo we understand, no one else wants you so you are now thinking of staying.

  64. The Cockie Monster says:

    I`m bored !…… so I`ll just put up a few of my deliveries for tomorrow !.

    First call….Rashleigh Inn !.

  65. The Cockie Monster says:

    Then

  66. The Cockie Monster says:

    Next ……Harlyn Bay !

    Last was ……..The Watering Hole !

  67. Gööner In Exile says:

    Bastard Cockie!!

    LB glad your here, Froome……?

    I know you were pretty sure Armstrong must have been doping, the fact that Brailsford has coached Team GBfor a number of years and the BOA doping tests have been far harder than the rest of the Olympic community has given me some comfort, and this guy who was on France 2 is now suggesting there may have been a motor in his bike so mechanical doping rather than chemical which feels like straws being clutched.

    Anyway that’s my casual observer queries, would love to get a fans take.

  68. The Cockie Monster says:

    Also….Bude Canal, which is the nicest bit of the over commercialised Bude !.

  69. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hahaha Exile !………..I`d take you as my navigator, but I cant trust you not to eat all the pies and cakes !. 😆

    Then a boring one Didit will probably know !……The Bickford Arms !

  70. The Cockie Monster says:

    Finally….The Countryman Inn !.

  71. The Cockie Monster says:

    My Friday round is when I have to go all the bloody way to places like…………..St Mawes, Truro, Mylor Harbour, Falmouth, Helford, The Lizard, Porthleven, Penzance, Sennen Cove, St Ives, Hayle, etc` etc`. 😀

    If I could advise Exile to live anywhere in Cornwall, it`s pretty much along the lines as Didit favours….South and South West of Truro…….Helford River being the tops !………..just an opinion though !.

  72. The Cockie Monster says:

    I reckon the French just don’t like it because they cant beat a Brit and cant win their own Tour !……Va Va Froome !.

  73. The Cockie Monster says:

    Mind you, I do have to sometimes deliver to the Pendeen area…..which is a bit like Banjo playing country !. 🙂

  74. Hey Cockie.. here’s my round for tomorrow:

    L’halogen, Place Pie

  75. Place des Corps Saints…. Les Celestins

  76. Le Cave des Pas Sage, rue des Teinturier

  77. The Cockie Monster says:

    Fcuking Piss Artist is what you are ! . hahaha

  78. And finally, Mon Bar… rue Carnot

  79. The Cockie Monster says:

    Staggering !…………no !…… I don’t mean the places !…..I mean you !…..you must be staggering before you get out of the first bar !.

  80. The Cockie Monster says:

    You must have a built in Sat Nav to find them in your inebriated state !…….a Stagger Nav !. hahaha

  81. ha ha Cockie… actually I do have a built in sat nav. But unlike you in Cornwall I don’t have any sea views! But during the festival that is compensated by this:

  82. LB says:

    GIE

    ‘Sensationalist journalism’ That is all that was happening in France. They simply do not like the fact that us Brits are kicking their butts.

    As far as I am concerned Armstrong is one of the most despicable people on this planet whose drug cheating set cycling back decades. It is simply not good enough to use the excuse “But everyone was up to it” No they were not, many honest cyclists were denied the opportunity of greater success because of the his doping.

    Back to Froome. Sky have a zero tolerance to drug use, that is to say nobody on any level: riders or staff past or present can work for Sky if they have a record of doping, it doesn’t even matter if they have voluntarily owned up, they still cannot be involved in the Sky set up. I like this, I have to say.

    I have no reason to think that Froome is anything other than completely clean. The cycling world is much smaller than football, we are probably five steps away from any of our first team but in cycling people are only usually two steps. I know people who are Froome’s friends and gossip travels and there is nothing, no innuendo, nothing, clean as a whistle.

    I am sure you heard about Froome having a cup of urine thrown over him at the beginning of one of the stages from a Frenchman shouting doper. Anyway, I have thought of the perfect headline when Froome wins the Tour on Sunday, which barring a disaster her should.

    Chris Froome Takes the Piss In France.

    Love it.

  83. chas says:

    I’ve been loving the cycling.
    Just been watching the 7pm highlights so far.
    Might be tempted by watching live today.

  84. Shard says:

    Morning all.

    Only a few days away from the Emirates Cup. Is Szczesny really leaving? I suppose a loan would be a good option but are we prepared to let him go for good? I don’t like it, but I suppose we still have Martinez as our young homegrown keeper.

  85. Eddie says:

    what is that chart above?

    I used to love watching Tour de France when I was a youngster. Sadly I no longer believe any man or beast can do it without some chemical help. Since Armstrong’s conviction I lost interest

    Golf on the other hand is great. It is brilliant to watch before going to bed. I am not saying that golfers don’t take Prozac, especially after watching Zach Johnson’s speech after winning the British open. The man is so fecking boring that he should get another trophy – for No Personalilty Whatsoever.

    Now football. I was in Poland when James Millner signed for Pool, I just found out and am not happy.

  86. Eddie says:

    shard – yep, Szcz off to Roma on loan. Good deal for both clubs and bigmouth himself. I’d say he will absolutely love it in Rome and will stay there

  87. chas says:

    The chart is today’s stage.
    186.5 kilometres of fun.

  88. Shard says:

    LB

    I guess we’re all just filling in the blanks when it comes to Theo and the contract negotiations.

    In my view, while it may not have been an act of generosity, I still believe Walcott did not push for, or seek a move. If he had done so back then, we would be in disarray. He could simply have refused to sign the contract and walk out on free and someone like ManCity or Liverpool would have taken a punt on him,and he’d be earning more.

    In this instance, our need for him is lower, and yes, probably now, his stock is lower since he’s had another injury in the interim. His negotiating basis is weaker than before, and maybe, the demand for his signature has dried up, what with City signing Sterling, and Liverpool buying everyone they could afford already.

    But what that says to me is that contrary to holding Arsenal to ransom, he’s just looking to get what he knows will be his last big contract. In fact, length of said contract will also be an issue along with the money. His speed will go at some point, and that is his primary asset.

    I guess I have in mind Wenger’s comments about a player wanting to stay when they enter into negotiations with you. Something to the effect that even if the negotiations fail, it doesn’t mean that his intention is not to stay. Along with the ’embassy’ comment, I take that to mean that it is Theo’s agents who are trying their hardest to get the most they can for their client (that’s their job), while working under the restraint of Theo not wanting to move. For whatever reason. So I guess I don’t begrudge him that. The insane TV deal is going to push up player wages even further. What he’s demanding may not seem all that unreasonable in a couple of years anyway.

  89. Shard says:

    Eddie

    Why are you so harsh on Szczesny? 🙂

  90. chas says:

    The Poles are the best in the world and also the worst.
    A bit like the British.

  91. I think we’re better off with Ospina…. if a player smokes in the dressing room after having a mare of a game, it’s taking the piss and he deserves to be shipped out. I’ll still miss his crazy goal celebrations though.

  92. Eddie says:

    shard – not sure. It could be a bit of an atavistic hatred. Don’t you find that you dislike certain characteristic in Indian people because you find them in you and know how their brains are ticking?

    I also don’t like him because he is very much like his father was, mouthy and arrogant, and very average. AND I bumped into him (Szcz) and his then girl in High Barnet. We lost, he let 2 easy goals in and just a couple of hours after the game he was strolling with a big smile on his stupid face and little glances around if people recognised him. All as if nothing has happened. And my weekend was ruined.

    Bad for me, but even worse for the enemy I don’t do forgiveness.

  93. RA says:

    I think LB @ 8:04 says it all for me.

    There was a good article regarding the mathematical calculation of the amount of energy related to a rider’s body weight that would need to be expended to achieve the performance necessary to win Le Tour de France with or without artificial help from medication or blood tampering.

    A French mathematician had calculated that Froome could not possibly have achieved his current performances without artificial stimulation. What he had done without mentioning iy on French TV is that he had made assumptions regarding key components of the equation, as was shown in the data released by Sky Cycling regarding Froome.

    In other words he was talking bollix.

    The deafening sound of silence has ensued, with no apology being offered by this master mathematician who would have known full well what he was doing!

  94. Shard says:

    If indeed the loan deal gives Roma an option to buy, it better be close to the 15m mark. Szcz is worth that much the way the market is going. Especially with the HG quota, some English club will surely be willing to take him in a year or two.

  95. chas says:

    Eddie
    You also love the Irish and Liverpool because of your ex.
    I’d say you were perverse. 🙂

  96. RA says:

    Blimey — ‘atavistic’?? Good stuff, Eddie. 🙂

    I can only reply – ‘zszcxzsnkski’ – so there.

  97. chas says:

    Quintana should have a time penalty added for being no bigger than Santi.

  98. Shard says:

    Eddie

    Wow. That’s deep. I’m not sure I do that. I simply go around thinking pfft..idiots the lot of them. 🙂

    Ok, I suppose that last part about him walking around with a silly grin after a loss is understandable. Despite logic dictating otherwise, I’m pretty sure I’d be miffed too.

  99. chas says:

    Aye, ‘atavistic’, wow.
    I looked it up and still don’t know what it means.

  100. In reply to Norfolk Gooner about house prices in France and UK. NG, you can get a 2 bed semi detached or terrace house in a nice village in Brittany from about 30,000 euro to 50,000 euro. Approx £23,000 – £42,000. A new two/three bed detached villa in a village close to Tavel/Lirac in Provence will set you back 130,000 euro, approx £123,000, I know this for sure because a friend has just bought one in Provence. But my main arguement for Brits buying in the euro zone was the current exchange rates, very favorable for brits at the moment.

  101. Shard says:

    It was only two days ago, while reading a book, that I came across the word ‘atavistic’. That and ‘acephalous’

  102. Eddie says:

    chas – in simple terms – Hitlers hatred for Jewish people was atavistic because he himself had Jewish ancestors. Got it?

    I hate some Poles because I am Polish. And it was the other way round with my almost-ex – I loved the Micks before I met him, that is why I had fallen in love with him. If he was Polish he would stand no chance.

  103. chas says:

    No, makes no sense…….
    …… unless you hate your existence and therefore hate your ancestors.

  104. Eddie says:

    no chas, nothing like that. It is a very subconscious feeling. More along the lines that familiarity breeds contempt. And to make sure that I don’t upset anyone- Hitler was a psycho first and foremost and no one should even look for excuses for what he did.

    Enough of that. I am still furious about James Millner, such a beautiful square jaw

  105. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Spot on chas, to truly understand the meaning of hatred you must hate yourself

    I cant stand me and many time have contemplated giving myself a kicking, but ime scared I might lose and end up with a beating

    Once you reach true hatred for yourself, simply because they are not you, you will never hate another person again,

  106. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    if Hitler had given himself a kicking, he would have become a friendly postman instead.

  107. Transplant 🙂 🙂

  108. Eddie says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……………..dirty old Eddie

  109. chas says:

    Weird how faces aren’t symmetrical.

    James Milner right side

  110. Dirty old Eddie indeed….. Milner’s an ugly fecker

  111. chas says:

    James Milner left side

  112. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Milner looks like hes developing schizophrenia

  113. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Its a well known scientific fact that schizophrenics develop a rigid forehead and potential monobrow. As 69 said, hes an ugly bastard

    Lets hope that he he gets a close up of Rodgers teeth, he gets paranoid that Brendans been using his tooth brush hence must be having an affair with his wife, thus Rodgers must be destroyed.

  114. ‘morning all,

    Watching Le Tour is a must for me. I must confess I was taken in by Lance Armstrong, here was a guy who had overcome cancer and was kicking the butts of a whole raft of drug taking cyclists and doing it clean! And then it all fell apart.

    As to Froome, of course the French hate the idea that a Rosbif can win their precious tour and it’s a real laugh that two have done so in the last three years and Froome looks favourite to do it again.

    Why are no questions being asked about other top riders in the race? let’s face it he is less than than five minutes ahead of his main rivals over two and a half weeks of racing. If he must be doping to ride the way he is, then so must his rivals.

    I thought it was a joke when I read that the tour organisers had impounded all of Team Sky’s bikes after one stage in order to check that they didn’t have motors fitted to them. Since there has been no outcry then we must assume that Sky were, again, innocent yet the silence from the French media on the subject is deafening.

    I did read that before the tour started someone had managed to fit a motor in the down tube of a bike which acted on the main crank shaft, the battery was in a container disguised as a water bottle and the whole device was effective up to a point. But to believe that a team would put such a device into a bike for a major stage race is beyond reason.

  115. NG

    The last couple of days have had some brilliant down hill finishes… the French just hate the Brits, fullstop. I know, I live here. In all the bars I visit they are continually trying to say that Froome must be on drugs, but I use the same arguement, the others are only a few minutes behind…. so they must be as well. It falls on deaf ears

  116. I’m always suspicious of anything following the words “It’s a well known scientific fact”.

    It is a well known scientific fact that well known scientific facts are only known by a tiny minority of people, therefor most well known scientific facts are not well known scientific facts, in fact.

    Having said that, it is a well known scientific fact that James Milner has one of the strangest shaped heads ever seen outside of the display cases in the Natural History Museum.

  117. Here you go Eddie… I bet you fancy him now

  118. Soixcente Neuf, surely thats Stoke City’s new central defender. 😀

  119. Oh Eddie, you’ve picked a right one there! 😀

  120. NG

    The French don’t like Brits for one reason….. Music, we do it much better. Take this for an example, from one of this years Village Depart. ha ha.. and they all singalong

  121. RA says:

    Those pics of Milner make him a perfect example of atavism.

    That is, he appears to be a throwback to the Freddy Flintstone era when cavemen tied round rocks together with wood and rode to hounds hunting dinosoreasses by running as hard as they could.

    In fact, Milner looks the spitting image of Terry Titmouse so it is no wonder he/they turn Eddie on. 🙂

  122. GunnerN5 says:

    From Sports Telegraph.

    Reasons Arsenal can win the 2015/16 Premier League

    Petr Cech has signed

    Is there a single pundit, player, manager or football fan who does not think that Arsenal have been enormously strengthened by the arrival of Petr Cech? Arsene Wenger’s biggest worry must be whether all the certainty over Cech’s likely impact can somehow create an expectation that will be impossible to match.

    His presence will add hugely to the team’s defensive strength and confidence. Against Everton in Singapore, it was certainly strange seeing him in an Arsenal shirt and, as expected, just his mere presence seemed to give the team added authority.

    And there were glimpses of the class that has established Cech among the world’s very best goalkeeper and the all-time greats of the Premier League, notable acrobatic saves to deny both Steven Naismith and Luke Garbutt.

    John Terry says he will be worth up to 15 points to the Gunners. He’ll probably be right.

    Big game experience

    Arsenal fell over the line in the FA Cup against Hull City in 2014 but were utterly clinical and ruthless in this year’s final against Villa. As Mikel Arteta noted during the club’s pres-aeason trip to Singapore, a four-year rebuild of the squad is just about complete.

    The debate over whether Arsenal still need a better striker or a more commanding defensive midfield presence will probably rage until the end of August but that added potential is evident in how Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and now Cech have arrived for a combined £100 million in two years.

    More match-winners

    It is not quite Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp but, in Sanchez, Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Welbeck, Arsenal have rarely started a season with more match-winners.

    Injury prevention

    Arsenal’s first team squad suffered 86 injuries in 2013/14. Collectively, they spent 2,472 days on the sidelines.

    Then-club captain Thomas Vermaelen made just 21 appearances while Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna, Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Ramsey, Abou Diaby, Santi Cazorla, Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Serge Gnabry, Yaya Sanogo and Lukas Podolski all missed more than a month of action.

    Last year, Arsenal’s title challenge unravelled before Christmas amid numerous injuries. However, the number of injuries dropped by more than 20 per cent, muscular injuries dropped by the same figure. And the number of days lost to injury dropped by more than 25 per cent.

    Wenger is reluctant to put this upturn in fortunes down to just one man but the arrival of conditioning specialist Shad Forsythe has certainly been key. Ahead of the new season, Wenger is confident the injury issues have been addressed and, so far in 2015, the signs are positive.

    Continuity

    It is three years since Robin van Persie was sold and, while Wenger wanted to keep Sagna, his best players are staying put.

    The British core of Walcott, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs have never seriously looked like being prised away, while he has been able to fend off Juventus’ interest in Ozil.

    “We finished third (last season) and won the FA Cup so that shows we’re not far away,” said Wenger. “We have a good cohesive group with the ability to do better.”

    United and Liverpool have bought too many…

    Man Utd’s spending under Louis van Gaal is fast approaching £300 million in barely a year. This summer alone Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian, Memphis Depay and (imminently) Pedro will have moved to Old Trafford, and it will take time for them all to gel.

    Liverpool, likewise, have recruited heavily, bringing in the likes of Christian Benteke, Danny Ings, James Milner and Roberto Firmino. Man City have recruited Raheem Sterling but do not look like the all-conquering side of old and are too reliant on the goals of injury-prone Sergio Aguero.

    … and Chelsea have bought too few

    That leaves champions Chelsea. Jose Mourinho’s men are practically unchanged from last season, except they no longer have Cech. Arsenal have the creativity to match Mourinho’s Blues and now, with a world-class keeper, can match them at the back too.

  123. Red Arnie says:

    since there is no transfer news worth a single pence, …

  124. Red Arnie says:

    snap. GN5. 🙂

  125. Eddie says:

    arnie – that is a good article, completely unbiased and it makes perfect sense 🙂 (to a Gunner)

  126. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Arsene looks strikingly handsome in that photo. Grey suit, white tie, and polka dot tie combination to avoid looking like a banker. The fact that Arsene has lovely luxuriant grey hair goes perfectly with the colour combo

    Shame there isnt a close up to catch Arsenes eyes? They would really twinkle in that get up. Arsenes also very tall, which adds to the ambiance.

    I myself have a grey Wig. I wear it when ime stern to the kids or when I want to put some one off beating me up

  127. Yea Transplant… but his teeth are false….

  128. It’s all a bit quiet out there…. does that mean we are about to announce a new signing?

  129. Shard says:

    Eddie

    Liverpool tickets go on sale tomorrow, yes?

  130. Shard says:

    Oh ok. Thanks chas.

  131. Gööner In Exile says:

    Thanks for your view on Froome LB, I’m glad, read a comment by one of the journos who investigated Armstrong he said 6 members of his team or colleagues had told him Armstrong was doping, current and ex. Whereas not one Team Sky member current, ex, sacked has said anything about Froome or anyone else at Sky.

  132. Where’s the Big Raddy these days… MIA?

  133. chas says:

    BR is in Italy for his 4 week summer sabbatical.

  134. RA says:

    Norther,

    It’s touching that you are missing the Big Raddish. 🙂

    Unfortunately he moves in a different social sphere to the rest of us. If he is not bossing tourists around in his spare time, he swans off to his magnificent Villa in Northern Italy, and when he gets bored with that he goes back to his ancestral home in Viking land, and rumour has it that he is having a month’s holiday in one part of his empire or the other.

    He sings beautifully too! 🙂

  135. Shard says:

    RA

    Yeah but he probably only sings Yellow Submarine 🙂

  136. ha ha Red X…. I should have known. I hope he’s enjoying the bloody heatwave we’re experiencing here on the mediterranean at the moment. But I can appreciate the benefits of a second house for holidays. Having had a ‘maison secondaire’ in Normandy for several years, the benefit is that when you arrive, you arrive at your home, no need to acclimatise and spend several days finding out about the region, restaurants etc… when by the time you’ve got to know the area, it’s time to go home. With a house already you benefit from the whole time you are there.

  137. Eddie says:

    shard – I haven’t forgotten. Did you not succeed in getting 2 tickets together? oh yeah, what is your budget, Pool tickets can be expensive

    Could you ask Rasp for my email?

  138. Eddie says:

    Arsenal and Tottenham are ready to battle it out for the signature of 26-year-old Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been told he can break the club’s transfer record to sign a world-class striker with the Gunners having more than £200m in the bank.

    Alternatively, Berahino is set to enter talks over a new contract despite interest in the 21-year-old from Tottenham and Arsenal. (Daily Star)

    Former Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby, 29, is set to have a medical with West Brom this weekend as he prepares to join on a free transfer

    Arsenal are preparing an £8m move for Juventus striker Fernando Llorente, 30, with the Italian champions ready to replace him with Atletico Madrid forward Mario Mandzukic, 29. (Sun – subscription required)

    I am still taking bets on chubby becoming our ‘new’ striker

  139. Eddie… I’ll give you £5 the next time I’m in London if Akpom becomes our ‘next new Striker’… but if you lose you buy me a ticket to a game or just a pint?

  140. Shard says:

    Eddie

    I don’t know anyone else to ask for tickets, except here. I’m not sure, but I think GIE said he could perhaps get me two tickets but that will be when they go on sale to red members. I’m uncertain about waiting. This procuring tickets business is confusing. Not sure what to do.

    The other ticket is for my girlfriend who will be in the UK from the 23rd onwards. She’s never been to an Arsenal match, and would very much like to.

    I hope to get one of the cheaper tickets. For Cat A fixtures and member prices, this is shown as 64 pounds. I’d be happy enough with those. Lower Tier corner or goal. But if they aren’t available, I’ll pay for the slightly more expensive ones.(75 pound) I don’t think I can afford the 84 or 90 pound ones.

    Where do you normally sit Eddie?

  141. Eddie says:

    no nb, I did say is evens 🙂 If I lose I give you £5, simples 🙂

  142. Shard… if Eddie had the choice she’d sit on Girouds lap 🙂

  143. Not very good odds Eddie… you can’t be that confident!

  144. Shard says:

    Apparently, if Eddie had a choice she’d sell Giroud and replace him with Milner as a false 9..False 9’s for false footballers!

    What am I doing? No! How dare you NB?! Eddie is the nicest, sweetest, most gracious person, with great taste in people.

    You’re still getting me the tickets, right Eddie? Right?

  145. Eddie says:

    nb 🙂 James Milner’s lap please 🙂

    yes shard, I will if you stop insulting me. I am a bitch from hell and proud of it. If in any doubt ask around here 🙂

  146. Shard…. I don’t think ‘crawling’ works with Eddie 🙂

  147. I’m off… the bar calls, hot day today, need some refreshment 🙂

  148. Shard says:

    Haha. Duly noted. Though I already knew it 😛

  149. GunnerN5 says:

    Boss – Szczesny deal is nearly done

    Arsène Wenger says Wojciech Szczesny is close to joining Roma on loan.

    The goalkeeper made 29 appearances in all competitions last season but has featured solely in the FA Cup during 2015.

    Wenger gave Szczesny his debut at 19 years of age and says the Poland international still has a future at the club, because he is a “top-class goalkeeper”.

    “He could go on loan to Roma,” Wenger said at his pre-Emirates Cup press conference. “We are pretty much done, it’s down to paperwork. As long as that’s not over the line, anything can happen.

    “Szczesny is a top-class goalkeeper and we have three top goalkeepers. If one of the goalkeepers can play somewhere then it’s good.

    “I believe he will have a future at Arsenal because I personally rate him highly. I put him in the first team at the age of 20 and he already has huge experience.

    “I don’t want that experience he got when he was very young to be wasted and that is why I gave him the opportunity.

    “I believe Roma is a big club and they play in the Champions League, play in a very different championship as well and that is a big experience for him and he is 25 years old.

    “But the experience he already has at his age is fantastic.”

    Any potential deal is subject to the completion of medical and regulatory processes.

    Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

  150. Red Arnie says:

    oh dear, I returned after a short break, only to end up in MODERATION! 😦

  151. Red Arnie says:

  152. chas says:

  153. GunnerN5 says:

    This test will keep that dreaded disease that affects your memory at bay!

    New Senior’s Exam, you only need 4 correct out of 10 questions to pass.

    1) How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?

    2) Which country makes Panama hats?

    3) From which animal do we get cat gut?

    4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

    5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of?

    6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

    7) What was King George VI’s first name?

    8) What color is a purple finch?

    9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

    10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

    Remember, you need only 4 correct answers to pass.

    Check your answers below .

    I will publish the answers on Saturday.

  154. Eddie says:

    GN5 – it is Saturday! I got 5 right, geriatric Eddie

  155. Eddie says:

    he will make a better model than a forward

  156. Good morning Ladies 🙂

    Matchday….. Lacazette taking a medical?

  157. VCC says:

    GN5……I’m OK….. I got 4.5 right. 🙂

  158. ‘morning all,

    Frightening headline in The Telegraph this morning….

    Aaron Ramsey has revealed for the first time that he would eventually like to play in Spain and has described Barcelona’s interest in him as “flattering”.

    Ramsey will be part of the Arsenal squad for the Emirates Cup this weekend, with Arsenal facing Lyon on Saturday at 4.20pm and then Wolfsburg on Sunday at the same time.

    The 24-year-old midfielder has stressed that his immediate future is with Arsenal, with whom he has a contract until 2019, but an admission that he would eventually like to follow Gareth Bale to La Liga will be noted with interest both in Catalonia and north London.
    Barcelona have a transfer ban until 2016 but are understood to have scouted Ramsey and there were reports in May of a future £50 million bid.
    “Obviously it’s very flattering,” Ramsey told The Guardian. “They did the treble last year and it’s just really nice to be linked with one of the best clubs in the world. One day I would like to go over to Spain to play just to see what it’s like and to experience that. But at the moment I’m with Arsenal and I feel like this Arsenal team can go and be successful and challenge for things.
    “Hopefully I can be one of the best midfielders in the world, that’s what drives me on, to try and achieve that and to try and go on and win many things.”
    Ramsey’s own role in the Arsenal team is potentially also significant, with manager Arsène Wenger having ended last season by playing him wide on the right rather than his favoured position in the centre.
    The three central places were taken by Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Mesut Özil last season but it is the more flexible midfield role of Cazorla’s that Ramsey wants.
    “I just want to stay fit and healthy this season, have a full campaign and get my place back in the middle of the park, because that’s where I feel that I play my best football,” said Ramsey. “I want to have the freedom to go forward but also, once we’re defending, I’ll obviously have to get back in. I don’t want to be fixed in front of the back four or in the hole, I want to be the one who can do both and get up and down.”

  159. If there are intelligent life forms out there observing us, I could imagine them thinking,’ now way do we want to live there’. It would be like someone living in the Bahamas saying,’ I Think I’d like to live on the Broadwater Farm in Tottenham’. ha ha

  160. GN5… actually the Black box in a plane is…. RED

  161. and the Canary Islands is the Isle of Dogs

  162. I don’t want to spoil it so will stop now…

  163. Red Arnie says:

    Norfolk. hmmmm. 🙂

    Shard. Glad youre sorted. In the right way of course. 😛 Hell-raisers have good value after all. 😛

  164. Red Arnie says:

    GN5. That will be a zero for me. I hope there are no negative marks. 😛

  165. Red Arnie says:

    where is the Lyon PM? 😛

  166. Red Arnie says:

  167. Arnie… he’s in Italy enjoying Chianti and Pizza 🙂

  168. Red Arnie says:

    I know GB is gone, but I might as well clarify.

    “I am ready to stand corrected as it is just my opinion and I know many others disagree with it and see Ollie as a top striker, so sorry Red Arnie I have to disagree about needing competition for Giroud as I feel what we really need is better.”

    My tuppence. Yes, we always need better. Some might say we deserve better as well. But where is this “better” going to come from? Theo, Welbz, Campbell? not Poldi as we know well enough.

    Who is really AVAILABLE that is better? None at the moment. By available, I dont mean for 100m but for a price that is commensurate with their overall contribution and pecking order in the team.

    So, let us just stop slagging Ollie and get on with it. I am sure we are on the lookout for the next big thing. Until such time, let us hope (1) Ollie and Theo stay fit (2) Welbz and Sanogo continue their development well. 🙂

  169. Red Arnie says:

    NB. 🙂

  170. Red Arnie says:

    From Beebs. Dont know whether this was posted here, so ….

    Champions League: Will an English club win this season?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29177067

  171. Slow… slow…. slow…. role on the Community Shield.

  172. Red Arnie says:

    Blame the roadworks! 🙂

  173. GunnerN5 says:

    ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

    1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years

    2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador

    3) From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses

    4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November

    5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of? Squirrel fur

    6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs

    7) What was King George VI’s first name? Albert

    8 ) What color is a purple finch? Crimson

    9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand

    10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange (of course)

    What do you mean, you failed?

    Me, too! — (And if you try to tell me you passed, you LIED!)

    Pass this on to your brilliant friends.

  174. GunnerN5 says:

    NB – You will notice that although you only answered 1 question you still failed miserably.

    Translate it into French; it will win you endless drinks in your local.

  175. Red Arnie says:

    Allegedly, Theo has signed a new contract.

  176. Red Arnie says:

    Norfolk. The only way that piece of news affects me is: After that statement, I would not like Rambo to be given the armband.

  177. Red Arnie says:

    GB. The other thing about Ollie is that he is OUR “baby”. We signed him from oblivion and he has developed under Wenger’s tutelege. Unless he acts disrespectfully towards the club or its fans, he is a key member of our FAMILY. Good or bad, he is one of ours, and he deserves our support to be the best in the world! 🙂

  178. chas says:

  179. Red Arnie says:

    Chas. 🙂

  180. Red Arnie says:

    I am hoping to see Akpom in action today. COYG. 🙂

  181. Red Arnie says:

  182. Red Arnie says:

    Interesting. Iwobi. never seen him. Jay-Jay Okocha’s son.

  183. GunnerN5 says:

    Here are the Arsenal subs:

    Cech, Gabriel, Monreal, Chambers, Bellerin, Hayden, Arteta, Cazorla, Reine-Adelaide, Walcott, Akpom

  184. chas says:

  185. Red Arnie says:

    COYG. 🙂

  186. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha, stand corrected, Chas. 🙂 not my fault, Daily Mail’s. 😛

  187. Red Arnie says:

    good save Martinez

  188. Red Arnie says:

    Giro ………………………….

  189. Eddie says:

    wow! Ollie is doing well for a ponce

  190. Red Arnie says:

    Ox ………. 2-0 to the Arsenal.

  191. Eddie says:

    fooocking ell ox 🙂 🙂

  192. Red Arnie says:

    Iwobi ,,,,,, 3-0

  193. Eddie says:

    I give up, they’ve gone bananas

  194. Red Arnie says:

    Evonne. the Ponce he may be, but our Ponce. 😛

  195. Red Arnie says:

    hard luck Iwobi

  196. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha Rambo……………..

  197. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha …. Ozil. what fun! 5-0

  198. Red Arnie says:

    Akpom on. 🙂

  199. Eddie says:

    yeah, let’s sell my Santi, great idea

  200. Red Arnie says:

    icing on the cake.

  201. Red Arnie says:

    what about getting rid of Ollie, then? 😛

  202. OK, where does Alexis fit in now?

    The Ox looks better on the right wing than Theo ever did.

    Let’s see what we make of Wolfsburg, and then bring on the Chavs!

  203. Chris Froome did it……Just!

    What do the locals think of that NB?

  204. Eddie says:

    NG – they spat and urinated on Froome

  205. Eddie says:

    Chris Froome was spat on by a spectator during uphill climb in stage 19.
    Chris Froome fuming after having ‘urine’ thrown in his face amid accusations of doping at Tour de France

    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  206. LB says:

    Sad jealous people.

    And onto football, Ozil and Rambo were class today OC wasn’t too shabby either.

  207. What do we think of Martinez? Not much to do, but he kept his concentration and made a couple of decent saves. Maybe he’s the new number two.

  208. Eddie says:

    this is bloody awful. Makes arnie’s music sound good. Stupid people with nothing to do

  209. chas says:

  210. chas says:

    For the life of me I can’t see what’s wrong with this tackle.

  211. Eddie says:

    I thought this was hilarious:

    Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he “does not know why” Angel Di Maria has not joined up with his team on their pre-season tour.

  212. chas says:

    …or this completely fair shoulder charge. 🙂

  213. Eddie says:

    chas – BT are still trying to repair the damage caused by last year advertising disaster, when they have lost hundreds of customers, like me. They kept on writing to me stressing that they are showing more Arsenal games than others, bla bla bla bla, the adverts were removed by I already had a better deal with Sky

  214. Eddie says:

    Theo signed da ting? When??

    England forward Theo Walcott has agreed a new four-year deal at Arsenal – making the 26-year-old one of the club’s highest-paid players. (Sunday Mirror)

    But Arsenal’s hopes of signing Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, 24, have been reduced after his coach confirmed the France international is expected to remain at the club. (London Evening Standard)

  215. chas says:

    Their tweet with the highlights in is ace though, ain’t it?

  216. Eddie says:

    chas – yes, great tweet, especially the final part of it with my Santi’s free kick 🙂

  217. Eddie says:

    Santi is extremely popular with the players. could he cut it as a skipper?

  218. chas says:

    Doubt it, hasn’t got the gravitas.

  219. Good morning Ladies 🙂

    Well done Christopher Froome.. it was a good tour apart from the French arseholes who through piss and spat at Froome. They are wankers.

    Good result yesterday, couldn’t have been better.

    Just to remind people that it’s Sunday and the Smut Blog is up and running: http://wp.me/p4FeF9-qN

    Can’t wait to see Bendtner playing against us this afternoon ha ha

  220. *threw…. the longer I live abroard the worse my English becomes 🙂

  221. chas says:

    This is quite amusing.
    Confirms
    Micky’s view of Giroud,
    Santi as Mr Popular
    and as a surprise, Flamini and Mesut’s bromance.

  222. Eddie says:

    candle lit dinner for 2 – Mesut and Flamini? Now, that is proper goss

  223. RA says:

    Oh stop putting yourself down, Norther, with all that stuff about your English getting worse the longer you live abroad – your English could not get any worse! 😀

  224. mickydidit89 says:

    Ollie…. pink trousers and silver trainers, and The Ox sounds almost surprised 🙂

    Morning all. I’m on a self imposed ban other than match days and/or sundays. It’s in line with a facebook media twitter ban for my children and my blogging got sucked into the treaty.

    Screwed up badly missing yesterdays romp. Did Lacazette play? Although I’m assuming he didn’t see much of the ball even if he did

  225. mickydidit89 says:

    Just watching game on Arsenal iplayer

    Weird colour shirts. Kinda dirty yellow

    Also, given who played yesterday both as starters and then subs, does it mean Jack is the only one starting against Wolfsburg. I think that may be pushing it on the over confident/complacent side of things

  226. mickydidit89 says:

    Back later for the game

  227. ‘morning all, I’m still buzzing with the double triumph from yesterday. Arsenal 6 – 0 over Lyon and Chris Froome all but crowned winner of Le Tour for the second time. Marvelous!

    Yes, Micky, Lacazette was on the pitch yesterday, I’m not sure how much of the game he played as he was pretty anonymous throughout. I can’t see why we’re supposedly interested in him. he’s certainly no improvement on Giroud, so what’s the point?

    It seems that my question at the top of the page has been answered in the affirmative, Theo has signed a new contract and has graciously accepted a substantial pay rise, now he needs to start earning the money.

  228. Red Arnie says:

    Not us, Norfolk, it is the journos who are interested in Lacazette. Just to sell their papers which are a bit empty without any Arsenal gossip. 🙂

    Warm glow! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Evonne, Santi showed he is excellent in putting a gloss on a finished product. 🙂

  229. Red Arnie says:

  230. Red Arnie says:

    team news?

  231. chas says:

  232. MickyDidIt69 says:

    ..

  233. What happened to that young Polish kid we bought? He didn’t go to Singapore and hasn’t featured even on the bench so far.

    That line-up looks a bit short on goal power to me.

  234. Red Arnie says:

    Norfolk, hush. dont say that to Micky. Theo through the middle, remember? 😛 Let us see. COYG. 🙂

  235. mickydidit89 says:

    I assume that Didit69 above is that Utter Tool Chas 🙄

    Norfolk
    Short on goals? Against Wolsburg? With Theo through the middle? 🙂

    Oh, and what exactly does a French sounding Reine-Adelaide called Jeff do?

  236. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha

  237. mickydidit89 says:

    Hang on a mo, as both comments were at 3:53, surely I should come first what with mer for Micky coming before rer for Red

  238. Red Arnie says:

    🙂 🙂

  239. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    Did you go yesterday?

  240. RA says:

    Mickish,

    Young Adelaide [Jeff to his mates, like me] is a 17 y.o. we signed from Lens.

    He is a tall ‘winger’ with great skill, is fast – and to be honest he worked all across the midfield yesterday.

    I think AW might have found a good un, methinks. 🙂

  241. RA says:

    I did not know that under that strange WW2 pilots leather helmet, Cech has had a metal plate affixed to his skull following his accident.

    Yikes.

  242. mickydidit89 says:

    RA
    How much did he cost is the big question?
    Shit, it’s started. Later

  243. This looks a bit more competitive than yesterday’s stroll.

  244. Walcott should have done better.

  245. RA says:

    Steady on, Norflok. Walcott do better? That is his best! 🙂

  246. RA says:

    Micky,

    Jeff Adelaide was bought long with another youngster called Fortune [hope it’s good] and the pair cost £3m for the pair of them.

  247. mickydidit89 says:

    Steady on RA, could have been Ollie 🙂

    How much do we like Jeff then?

  248. mickydidit89 says:

    RA
    Naturally the idea of spending so little highlights the Club’s lack of ambition, but I think we can make an exception 🙂

  249. RA says:

    Norfolk,

    It is obvious that the main difference between yesterday’s game and today’s is the midfield.

    Against Lyon we had Rambo, Cazzor and Oxo – plenty of energy, pace and skill.

    Today we have Arteta, Cazzor and Jack – skill and ?????

    No energy, no pace.

  250. mickydidit89 says:

    What time is the Tour expected to hit the Champs Elysees?

  251. RA says:

    Oh, and Walnut at CF. 🙂

  252. chas says:

    Micky
    Nah, don’t do friendlies, including the Community Shield.

  253. RA says:

    I think Le Tour finishes about 6 p.m. UK time, Mickley.

  254. Inches wide by Mesut.

  255. RA says:

    Micky,

    Much tho I have enjoyed being your Oracle over the years, I think in this new commercial era that we should agree a retainer, with say 10p per question – I will be a millionaire by the tie Arsenal win the Prem. 🙂

  256. RA says:

    Don’t be disgusting NG.

  257. chas says:

    Every 5 minutes

  258. Micky they’re on the Champs now.

    sey

  259. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks bike fans, it’s now on the telly next door
    Ok, back to football

  260. Red Arnie says:

    Micky!!!!! 1-0 to the Arsenal. 🙂

  261. mickydidit89 says:

    Arnie
    Like RA, I’m 100 % certain Olivier Usain Giroud would have got on the end of that Jeff pass

  262. Red Arnie says:

    Micky! 🙂

  263. One nil to The Arsenal.

  264. chas says:

    Cue a song?

  265. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh fuck me Chas, it’s a perfectly pleasant weekend without encouraging the Hippy and all the crap that comes with him 🙂

  266. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, bicycling
    I take it the thing about today is a Cavendish win. Correct?

  267. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, and generally annoying the French 🙂

  268. Shard says:

    Yesterday was scintillating. Today a bit more meh, but might actually hold us in good stead for Chelsea and the real challenges up ahead.

    We should now get a whole host of Australian fans, what with Adelaide in our team. He does look good. It’s a good sign that players like Martinez, Hayden, Iwobi and Adelaide don’t look out of place. Akpom seemed to try too hard to score on both days, and as a result made some bad decisions. But his talent is apparent.

    Can’t believe the season is almost upon us. Time to beat Chelsea and lift our third trophy of pre season.

  269. Gööner In Exile says:

    Watched both games today back to back, was trying to work out whether either side was close to the first eleven, I often think Arsene likes to pick his pre season match say teams based on the partnerships that will play most frequently together.

    Right now a back two of BFG and Koz looks most obvious with CoqBlok in front andCech behind, he seems to like putting experienced keeper behind inexperience/unfamiliar centre halves.

    Full backs I think is a toss of a coin, Gibbs and Bellerin probably ahead on the performances across the games.

    As for attacking midfielders well who the hell knows, I find it difficult to judge Santi and Jack on today’s performance because Arteta is not as dynamic as Coq so they don’t get the ball back as high, and they didn’t really have much to aim at up top with Theo as target, it was invariably a 50:50 chance of keeping possession and being able to shift up the pitch. Maybe Giroud has to be an automatic starter when Coq not playing?

    Youngsters impressed, let’s see how they do if given big game responsibility, wouldn’t mind betting Wenger will start Iwobi next week.

    The only real worth was Cech seemed to bring the idea of 1-0 being a good result to the team….joke. 😉

  270. chas says:

    Looks like Alexis has been hitting the kebabs during his extended holiday…………….

    Entrenando ⚽️ training …

    A post shared by Alexis Sanchez (@alexis_officia1) on

  271. Red Arnie says:

  272. Red Arnie says:

    Alexis. I like the dog in the background

  273. ha ha so a slow ball is 60 – 70 mph??? nice and slow. I still fell asleep watching it 🙂

  274. chas says:

    …. a certain level of nervosity…….. 🙂

  275. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    There is a problem with WordPress at the moment which means that we have lost our headers and are unable to reinstate them.

    We are all still around behind the scenes and hope the blog will leap back into life once the football starts again.

    In the meantime, anything anyone wants to submit a few words for a post we will gratefully accept and publish 🙂

  276. “I don’t switch off… never, ever!”

    But he watches late night TV… is that X rated.

    By the way, Jeff our new wonderkid… is Jeff -Queen of Adelaide. If look at the French translation ha ha

  277. So we have our own Queen of Arsenal 🙂

  278. Morning all

    I’m trying to find out what’s happening behind the scenes to re-instate our banner ………….. the cheek of wordpress to muck around with things 😉

  279. Will he become La Reine d’Angleterre ?

  280. Bloody cheek Peaches… you tell ’em 🙂

  281. Rasp, I’m just about to e mail a possible to arsenalnuts.

  282. OK mailed it. Now I have to go out, back in a couple of hours.

  283. New Post everyone …………………………

  284. Frieda says:

    Hi there, I do think your website could possibly be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, great site!

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