Diego Costa to Arsenal … How badly do you want to win?

It now seems certain that Diego Costa will not be at Chelsea next season. He is the best pantomime football villain ever. He looks like something Jim Henson created. I must admit I find it hard to take him seriously when he’s glowering from beneath those heavy eyebrows. Can he really but that angry and underhand in real life?

One thing is for sure, if I had a choice of having a beer with either Vardy, Kane or Costa, Costa would be my choice, at least he’s got a personality. He’s a big character that brings entertainment onto the pitch in these rather insipid times.

But apart from all that, last season he was probably the best striker in the league. When he’s on his game, he is a handful for any defence.

Arsenal have often been described as a team lacking in fight – well DC would certainly redress that balance in the side!

Many might say that hell would have to freeze over before Arsene signed a player like Costa- – but don’t forget, he put in a bid for Suarez.

So the question is, would you like to see Diego Costa in an Arsenal shirt?

Rasp

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219 Responses to Diego Costa to Arsenal … How badly do you want to win?

  1. A very close friend of mine is the Sports psychologist at Chelsea. He tells me Costa is actually a really nice guy but has some anger issues as we’ve all seen. He apparently gets a bit bullied and teased too! (By some U21 players at times)

  2. Rasp says:

    Hi Darren, welcome. That doesn’t surprise me at all. Although we view him as a ‘hard man’, actually he isn’t that bad at all. It’s mostly niggly stuff to unsettle the opposition (he’s succeeded in getting 2 of our players sent off).

    I can’t recall a nasty challenge where he could have broken someone’s leg or anything of that type.

  3. fatgingergooner says:

    Costa does get a few injuries and he’s an absolute moron. You’d also be worried about him getting sent off every game. No doubt he’s a good striker, but I don’t think he’s good enough to justify the baggage that comes with him. Suarez on the other hand…..

    If Welbeck improves his finishing then we aren’t going to need him or anyone else because he’s got all the attributes we’ve been looking for in a striker. At the moment he’s still a bit raw and needs to improve his game, but no doubt the talent is there. I’d like a new winger to compliment him and score some goals. Someone like Mahrez, Bale, Yarmalenko, Jese, Griezmann etc. However, if a Morata or Lewandowski became available that might be a different matter!

  4. Danish Gooner says:

    He is a complete nutbag but far better then the rabble we have at the moment, a real predator.But try getting Wenger to sign him,i think you find it easier to start walking on water.

  5. Sid says:

    Difficult to answer this because the best word to describe Costa is a banned on the blog.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RC79

    Hope you and family/friends are safe
    Pretty sure you’re Brussells based

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Diego Costa, a man who viciously puts his nails in another man’s neck to get him to react so he gets sent off…. No thank you. 😦

    Last season Ollie needed on average less minutes between goals than Costa the Neck Obsessed one. The Chavs needed goals from him and fellow attackers – sounds familiar? – and this season their main co-goal-scorer, Hazard, has been even more wasteful than our very own regular man on the left.

    If we are going for pure fluency (attacking ‘chaos’ without a pivot to hold on to the ball and allow fellow attackers to move into the danger zone – a big IF if you ask me) next season, then I quite like the look of Igalho and then there is Akpom as well.. 🙂

  8. fatgingergooner says:

    Iwobi in hospital with food poisoning. It’s only the first day of the International Break! Hope it’s not a sign of things to come.

    Horrific scenes in Brussels. Will the madness ever end!?

  9. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon all. Firstly my thoughts to Brussels and its residents and I echo Micky’s message to RC.

    Thanks for the post Rasp. As you know I have been crying out for an alteration to our striker for what seems like ages now (I think possibly 2-3 years). Whether that be from finding a solution from within the squad or by bringing someone else in. Costa however is not that man for me.

    I wouldn’t want the cheating snide anywhere near our side, and think he is probably not quite as good as made out anyway, so the negatives far outweigh any positives. I felt completely differently about Suarez who is head and shoulders above Costa as a player.

    I am hoping that AW is now going to push forward with Danny as first choice and I for one would be happy to give him a real go and see if he is the top striker we need. As Micky once said his ceiling is high, and we don’t know how good he can become. Only one way to find out.

    I think Danny is slightly different to Costa in the strengths and weaknesses in his game currently, but in an overall assessment he is already offering as much as him as far as I am concerned, and will likely become the far better player with a consistent run of games.

    I would prefer to spend the money elsewhere in the attacking area now that it seems AW is putting confidence in Danny. Have I ever mentioned my penchant for Gareth Bale 🙂

  10. GoonerB says:

    T.A, I may as well state my mind at this point on this striker thing. Some probably think I already have but really I have been sugar coating it till now 🙂

    I admire your fortitude T.A on this holding striker as you have stuck by your guns, much as I have stuck by mine for the last 2 years that I feel it is a massive thorn in our side and that we have been prevented from moving forwards by persisting with what I feel is a proven failed experiment.

    I don’t see many bigger traditional CF’s out there much better than Giroud, and as I have said it is not a personal thing against him just an assessment of what a striker like him can and can’t do. In 4 years, with a multitude of variable players to feed off him in different formations (including top players like Sanchez and Ozil), it hasn’t worked on any kind of consistent basis. Further it looks a long way from what the top sides (and even the up and coming sides) are doing.

    Hence I arrive at the conclusion that this type of striker and attacking set up is not for us at all. I get the idea behind it based on the explanation of how it should work, but for me it is a bit like communism, or some other type of hypothetical Utopian society. It looks good on paper but in reality it doesn’t bloody work. It is a failed project that we have persisted with beyond where we should have.

    The chaotic fluid style you mention T.A, I don’t quite see. Barca play with a fluid interchanging front 3 without chaos, and we played with a quick interchanging front 3 against Everton, and it looked far from chaos. In fact it looked like some of the best football we had played in a long while. At this stage of Arsene’s development project (to form a title winning squad) we should be able to play quick football without chaos. It shouldn’t have to be one or the other.

    I see a few key problems with strikers of Giroud’s ilk at the top level with the set up Arsene has preferred over the last 2-3 seasons.

    Firstly that they generally stand too statically in the middle so rather than players getting into danger zones feeding off them, a huge amount of the time I feel they are just getting in the way of another attacking player wanting to move into the central danger zone.

    Secondly when they do move wide to vacate the central area, for another attacker to ghost into, they don’t generally manage to get back again in support of the dangerous moment in attack. I feel we see this often with Giroud.

    I also feel this holding up play is somewhat an urban myth, almost a mis-judged belief just because that is what this type of striker is supposed to be hypothetically good at. I see hold up play as the ability to play the ball into a striker and then in the moments immediately after this our team still retains possession of the ball, and hopefully with a good attack unfolding.

    For every knocked down header or flick on, that finds one of our players I always feel there are way more that don’t. Even the balls into feet tend to see us lose possession far too often. Watch the lead up to the Barca 3rd goal for my thoughts on this supposed great back to goal hold up play. Only one example I know but I think this happens way more often than it is highlighted and it is not the great strength that is portrayed.

    Hoofed hopeful balls out of defence ( as oppose to a quick incisive ball out) into the central area near this striker, when we have been under the cosh defensively, tend to also be a feature. These are rarely held up with possession retention and the attack is quickly recycled at us. This seemed to happen a lot in the 3-3 with Liverpool.

    These are just my opinions anyway T.A, and I am likely in the minority, but for me playing with this type of striker is very mid table’ish and Sam Allardyce’ish, and is one of the key reasons we have been falling short and have possibly shot ourselves in the foot this season.

  11. GoonerB says:

    T.A for the record ( and I can hear the derisions of laughter now 🙂 ), I would still have been starting Walcott as striker in many more games since his return from injury. Not that I necessarily think he is a long term 1st choice answer to the position, just because the evidence is there for me that the whole team play better with this type of striker, so if it came to a straight choice between Giroud and him I would have gone for him.

    His recent performances on the wings are a different topic and argument for me than the argument about striker.

  12. GoonerB says:

    Killed the blog, mission complete 🙂

  13. Rasp says:

    Hi GB, like you, Costa wouldn’t be my choice of striker, but its interesting to see how many voters actually thought it would be a good idea to sign him.

    I agree with FGG, Wellbeck has the potential to be as good or better and without all the silliness.

    I hope we see enough of Welbeck in the remaining games to know whether we even have to look for another striker over the summer.

    This would be good for me as I now see at least one (if not two) good quality centrebacks as a priority.

  14. GoonerB says:

    And a goal-scoring left footed right sided attacker Rasp. Preferably one with simian features, a stupid haircut, and a naff goal celebration, all of which I will become fond of once being done while donning the red and white of the mighty Arsenal.

  15. Rasp says:

    Hmmmm, would this individual share the same initial as you GB by any chance 🙂

  16. Rasp says:

    I knew it …. George Best 🙂

  17. Rasp says:

    …Oh no, maybe it is Gareth Barry?

  18. Rasp says:

    George Benson?

  19. Rasp says:

    Gonxhe Bojaxhiu ……. google it!!

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You wait right there, GB, I need a word 🙂

    Firstly, thank you Rasp.
    One thing about Costa is that he ain’t gonna sell many posters and shirts and mugs and shit like that. Damn he’s ugly. I would, however, sign him. As a squad player 🙂

    Now, GB 🙂
    You say “I see a few key problems with strikers of Giroud’s ilk at the top level”. I think you may already sense where I’m going with this, but just for the record, the keyest of the key problems, is that he’s rubbish.
    For someone through whom all our attacks go, his assist record is not just bad, it’s unbelievable, and this before we touch on his right peg, his speed or his heading qualities. There.

  21. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for making out you are interested in my comments Rasp 🙂 I know it has sent most of the other regulars scarpering to some ancient Tibetan monastery until it is safe to come out again 🙂

    Did you know you can hear Chas and the others audibly groaning and feel their eyes rolling through my p.c…. Bloody marvelous bit of equipment…North Korean I believe.

  22. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one Rasp.

    Yes, interesting character that Costa? Loveable simpleton type that wears bobble hat, mittens, and can clear out large Hotel drains.

    Tease him that Santa is going to bring him a girlfriend for Xmas or that his Action Man has a suspiciously wobbly bit on the groin area, then hes your best friend.

    However, you have a go at Sarah, the girl who works at Hotel Reception, by claiming she took an incorrect booking, then Costa will erupt into a savage state of fury, mittens round your throat as he threatens to bite you, only to recant last minute when Sarah shouts “No Costa, Terry is your friend, he played train sets with you remember?”

    You get away with it this time, but only after receiving a dire warning “You shout at Sarah again Terry, I will never go to the shops to get your cigarettes again, or ring up those women saying Terry gives you one last chance to sleep with him”

    Yes, interesting? Will have to give this one more thought.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Dear Lord. You were doing so well, Rasp, until you dropped this bomb

    “I now see at least one (if not two) good quality centre backs as a priority”

    Forwards first, then Half’s, then Backs. GK’s don’t really matter.

  24. Have given it some more thought Rasp and yes I would take him. The blokes a bloody good player. Who cares if hes prone to bouts of volcanic fury.

    It wont be me he vents out on. Probably strangle Theo.

  25. Rasp says:

    😆 GB/TMHT/Micky

    But seriously Micky, if DW carries on as he has been (5 goals in 9 games I think) and we have Ollie as an alternative Plan B striker …. would you still want us to splash out on a big name CF?

    I can see the merit in GB’s wide, goalscoring option although it may mean that The Ox’s and maybe Theo’s days are numbered.

  26. Thanks for the post Rasp. There is no way ever in a million years I would want a character like Costa to play for Arsenal. He’s an idiot because he’s obviously talented so why does he have to practice the dark arts.

    I like to win but not with him in our side.

    And as for that GB player ……. really GoonerB? I can’t see him in red…….

    Very sad about the events in Brussels, it’s scary to think how many more of these could happen.

  27. GoonerB says:

    Plan D Rasp…. plan C at a push.

  28. GoonerB says:

    Micky, I wish I could analyse and convey things as simply as you 🙂

  29. Rasp says:

    Thanks Terry, the post was one out of my De’Villes Advocaat locker so I never really intended it as a genuine proposition.

    It was more to see how many would compromise their values for a few extra goals 🙂

  30. GoonerB says:

    Peaches, GB can easily see GB in red and White. Why not, supported them as a boy and has 2 old team-mates and a fellow countryman there.

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    Why would I want a Plan B striker who’s useless? I don’t even believe in this Plan A/B thing anyway. I believe in Plan One and excellent players who can slot in if someone is tired.

    Danny and Diego would be my pair. Flog Theo and send Ox out on loan for a season. Apart from anything else, The Ox needs to realize how bloody lucky he is, so a term in Grimsby would be my solution.

  32. Rasp says:

    I can see that between GoonerB and Micky there must be a Plan A/B/C/D/no plan post?

  33. chas says:

    Cheers, Rasp

    He’s looking more handsome already…..

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GB
    I have a lifetime’s experience of practicing being simple. Got it nailed 🙂

  35. chas says:

    I voted ‘No’. 🙂

  36. Rasp says:

    It would appear that our bloggers from abroad feel much less ‘entitled’ and are maybe more appreciative of Arsenal’s values than those in the UK!

    What makes me say this? Well up until about 12:30 it was 50/50 between the yeses and noes, but since then the noes have run away with it …. and it is the bloggers from around the world that generally log in later in the day.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha Brilliant Chas, and you’re right, he looks almost gorgeous 🙂

    Certainly more business like than Pants Down.

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Seriously Rasp, I genuinely would sign him.

    When in Rome and all that. Well, he’s been in Fulham, so what do you expect. Shift the brute up to N5 and who knows.

  39. chas says:

    Having witnessed in person the quality of our UK support, I’m really quite happy about being associated with the overseas bloggers who also voted ‘No, not in a million years’.

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Transplant
    Usual quality comments. Bloody superb 🙂

  41. Rasp says:

    I’m sure he was in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  42. chas says:

    Yeah, but you have “a lifetime’s experience of practising being simple”.

    But I know that practice is mainly used to fool the wife during the execution of various schemes.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    I’ll smiley face that comment, despite not understanding 🙂

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha ha, I will simply never understand why six people would push the “can’t decide” button. I mean, how the hell do they manage to get through a whole day all by themselves?

  45. Rasp says:

    😀 Micky, do you think I should swap the Can’t decide’ option for ‘I’m pathetic’, or ‘I’m a liberal’?

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    I would 🙂

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    Perhaps, to make your life simpler, you could format a one fits all voteometer:

    Yes
    No
    French

  48. Rasp says:

    I used to be indecisive, but I’m not so sure anymore

  49. chas says:

  50. chas says:

  51. chas says:

    Welbs has come back looking like a prize fighter.
    Is it wrong that I’m impressed by this?

  52. chas says:

  53. fatgingergooner says:

    Surely Costa’s psychotic nature and Crimewatch looks would make him a fine CB!? Maybe he could be our Dion Dublin! 😄

    Hope that Morata rubbish is true. Would very much like him at Arsenal.

    Saw earlier that Spurs only managed 7 points from the reverse fixtures of their remaining PL games.

  54. fatgingergooner says:

    One good thing about Arsenal players getting injured is they always seem to come back ripped! Özil, Wilshere and now Welbeck bulking up whilst unavailable. We could do with Gabriel and Elneny visiting the gym a bit more.

  55. Interesting observation Ginge. I always panic watching the crime watch most wanted. This man Terry Transplant from Bounds Green is wanted for a violent attack on an ice cream van after not getting a flake on his 99. Transplant also has connections in Surrey, Doncaster and watches that crap TV Show Benidorm

    Transplant some times goes under the alias of Al Capone or Shergar Corniole. He has a stand out distinguishing feature, a very small cock.

    If you spot Transplant, please call the police immediately but under no circumstances approach him, he is know to be very violent. Especially if your eating a Cornetto.

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Thank you GB 🙂

    A long and well reasoned comment, but I heard it all before from you. It is clear how you feel about Giroud and that you think Arsene is well behind other big teams in his choice of striker and attacking play. And that is fine with me. I reckon the holding striker system offers a very good chance of success and is Wenger’s signature. Who could have foreseen that Theo and Alexis would have such a poor season? This, for me, is the main reason we are not picking up the title this season (unless the Foxes fall apart).

    But I have argued about this on here many times and I don’t want to bore the pants of our fellow AAers. 🙂

    I used the word chaos as it is the opposite of structure (around a moveable back-to-goal pivot), but that does not mean the former is meant to be a negative description.

    I am happy to see us play three/four more fluid attackers as long as we have a solid double pivot in front of the defence. The highlight of my visit to Goodison was, other than seeing Iwobi in the flesh, Coq and Elneny bossing the midfield. Give me that solid structure and you and Mickster can have four Duracell bunnies attacking all over the front all day long. 🙂

  57. GoonerB says:

    Cheers T.A, I do agree with the 2 man deeper pivot, and it seems to provide us a better base which frees up the other attackers. GIE mentioned Barca utilising a similar approach and that works for me.

    I wanted to explain exactly why the Giroud type of striker doesn’t work for me but now I have said that I don’t intend to mention it in detail again, so you can breathe a sigh of relief T.A 🙂

    With regard to Sanchez’ and Theo’s form I still have questions over whether their form has been different at certain sections this season, i.e earlier season vs more recent weeks and whether there is anything that could tie in with this, such as a change of tactics and formation.

    It sounds like I am sure about something here but I am actually not, aside from a gut feeling they both played better in the first part of the season, but I haven’t really looked back into it.

    The Morata rumours are interesting. Exactly how good is he?

  58. Gööner In Exile says:

    Costa …… how many red cards do you think he would get in an Arsensl shirt?

    For Chavs the media portray him as the hard man and unpleasant , for us he would be labelled as petulant and the refs would be on lookout for his antics.

  59. 1979Gunner says:

    That’s exactly what I was thinking GIE😄

    I wouldn’t want Costa next or near Arsenal. NO thank you!!

  60. Red Arnie says:

    Thanks for 2 days of nice blogging, Rasp. 🙂 Sorry, knot ear.

    Costa? No please, thank you. 🙂

    Normally, I take pride in our Gunners playing for their national sides. But given the tight EPL schedule, no please, not for friendlies. 🙂

  61. chas says:

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    The Office clip, apart from being my favourite moment from the series, was great comedy timing on your part. Superb, so so funny 🙂

  63. chas says:

    Haha

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “linkup play bullshit for Arsenal” ROLF

  65. chas says:

    Clayton must be a purist.

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Given the pointy hat and robe, my money is on another ‘ist altogether

  67. chas says:

    Oh heavens, I hadn’t seen that.

  68. JM says:

    No to Diego Costa.

    No to Gestifute’s clients (in the longer term, the club will be held to ransom by this agency):

    X – Cristiano Ronaldo
    X – James Rodríguez
    X – Ángel Di María
    X – Diego Costa
    X – William Carvalho
    X – Eliaquim Mangala
    X – Ezequiel Garay
    X – Falcao
    X – Thiago Silva
    X – André Gomes (Valencia CF)
    X – João Moutinho
    X – Carlos Vela (which is why the club cut ties last time)
    X – Bernardo Silva (AS Monaco)
    X – Fábio Coentrão
    X – Pizzi (SL Benfica)
    X – Rúben Neves (FC Porto)
    X – Ivan Cavaleiro (AS Monaco)
    X – Miguel Veloso
    X – Danilo (Valencia CF)
    X – Gonçalo Guedes (SL Benfica)
    X – Anwar El Ghazi (Ajax)
    X – Pepe

    X – Nuno Espírito Santo (Former manager of Valencia CF; currently unattached)
    X – Paulo Fonseca (Managing SC Braga)
    X – Marc Wilmots (Managing the Belgium national team)
    X – José Mourinho

  69. chas says:

    Comments under the video.

    Alain De Bitssbailledrey……. 17 hours ago

    Maintenant en match comme à l’entrainement ! Montre leur mon gars ! Même si je suis pour les Spurs je rage pas contre toi, contrairement à beaucoup ici … Notre maillot est Bleu Blanc Rouge !

    14brad…… 7 hours ago

    putain de merde

  70. chas says:

    Never heard of Gestifute, JM.
    I hope I never do again. 🙂

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    Can we make things easy while we’re all waiting for something interesting in our sorry lives, like either no post, ot simply taking a word, phrase, comment from previous day that may spark some interest.

    Here’s my idea

    “Back to goal pivot”.
    Yes
    No
    French

  72. Eddie says:

    French. I love them.Beautiful women, sexy men, best food, language of love. Great sense of humour, beautiful country, any Frenchie that I knew I got on with, which in my case is a miracle.

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    That made me smile, Chas… French van Basten! 😍

    GB 🙂

    Whatever the cause of Theo and Alexis’ drought, it has cost us.

  74. Eddie says:

    chas – Gerard Depardieu is an exception, I give you that 🙂

  75. Eddie says:

    My brother’s best friend loves posting his photos on FaceBook, no idea why, he is an ugly bastard. Yesterday he posted at 7:47 that he was at Brussels airport, lots of commotion, probably a terrorists attack ha ha ha. He wasn’t laughing a couple of hours later. He is safe, but didn’t arrive back in Poland until the evening, badly shaken.
    The same guy lived in NY for 30 years, only recently returned to Poland. He was working in a building next to on of the Twin Towers on 7/11.
    How lucky is he? Unbelievable

    His photos on FB are finally very popular 🙂

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Total

    On a serious note, it would be interesting to see the spread of our league goals, not from individuals, rather from positions.

  77. Eddie says:

    TA – what do you mean Theo’d draught? When did he ever perform consistently at top level?

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Eddie
    I do not dislike the French any more than any other collective of people, it’s just that I’m English, and we take the piss out of our neighbours.

  79. Eddie says:

    French bulldogs – they cutes things on 4 paws, I want one

  80. Eddie says:

    I know micky 🙂 The polish take the neighbourly piss taking one step further – we genuinely hate the Russians, the Germans and Czechs. Easy going nation the Poles 🙂

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Eddie
    You Poles have genuine reasons for all of that

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Eddie, you are fine, funny form today. 😍

    Theo had a very decent goal and assist ratio till this season, but now he cannot kick a dent in a packet of butter as the Dutch saying goes. 😒

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky, had a quick look at Whoscored but could not find an overview that shows where the goals are being scored from which I recall seeing before… Maybe master Chas can help?

  84. GoonerB says:

    Morning all.

    Chas, love the 6.28 clip. Have you got the second part of it where Ollie sprints away onto the ball he toe pokes past the defender leaving him clutching at air? 🙂

  85. Red Arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Hope RC78 is safe. 🙂

  86. fatgingergooner says:

    Reports saying Merts won’t be offered a new contract. I hope that’s true. He’s been an excellent signing for us and steered us through some tough times, espescially when he first arrived, but he’s 31 and not exactly an athlete. If a very good CB becomes available this summer then we should get one, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Wenger went with Gabriel and Koscielny as first choice next season and Merts and Chambers as back up. Then let Merts leave on a free and sign somebody. We should be able to find a quality CB in the next 2 seasons.

  87. RC78 says:

    I am ok guys and so are my family, friends and colleagues…Crazy things happening really 😦 thanks for asking

    FGG – at last we are getting rid of BFG who has been just “OK”. He has not been great on or off the pitch for us, just OK. However, he did have some good performances but only when paired with Kos…

    Now – Gabriel for me is like Kos and Chambers is more like BFG and we need a balanced CB partnership so I am quite keen to add a steely and good in the air CB that has great positional awareness…Garay, Marquinhos fit the bill, Pepe and Subotic also to some extent and maybe even Cahill, Shawcross and Stone so really I expect us to sign a CB to pair up with Kos next year and our back up will be Chambs – Gabs.

    Concerning Diego Costa – absolutely not. If you want a gritty striker that is really a goal poacher and someone who can provide you with some big work rate, then we should go for Cavani because he is likely to leave PSG. That said – he also has goal droughts but his work rate is just phenomenal. He can also play on the side but if he leaves PSG, it will be to play CF. Other good names include Lukaku, Higuain, Morata, Dybala and maybe you can also look into Alcacer…

    For Wingers – Reuss and Meertens would add goals and assists.

    For DM – Tougher to find the type of player we need but why not go for Ruben Neves, Carvalho or Schnederlin.

    Once again – thanks for your support.

  88. GoonerB says:

    Good to hear you and your family are fine RC.

    Genuine question, how good is Morata and what type of striker is he?

  89. RC78 says:

    Morata is a good striker but not world class by any means (No Lewandowski, Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez….) and he is a striker that thrives in a 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2 system where by he has someone else that can create space for him. He is pacy and quite a remarkable finisher – the big plus compared to Giroud is that he can create his own chances thanks to his movement and space…He is also good with his passing.

    He is not top of my list though. To be honest, if we could snap Lukaku or Sturridge even, we are better off 🙂

    Dybala is a gem though

  90. RC78 says:

    and of course, Aubemayang.

    If we can get Aubemayang, let us also bring Reuss and get rid of Giroud and Campbell…

    Cech – Bellerin, MARQUINHOS, Kos, Monreal – Ramsey, SCHNEDERLIN – Ozil – REUSS, AUBEMAYANG, Sanchez

    Osp – RECRUIT, Chambers, Gabs, Gibbs? – El Neny, Coquelin – Wilshere – Walcott, Wellbeck, Ox

    + Martinez, Zelalem, Jeff, Iwobi

  91. RC78 says:

    Benzema is also quality but I am not sure he is the type of striker we need. We need someone that finishes off moves or than can really take the space and stretch defences to play with a low line…Benzema does not offer any of that but he is really good…

  92. GoonerB says:

    Cheers RC. Not sure Morata is the right one for us based on that. I would far rather give Welbeck his shot at it.

    I think Theo is finished at Arsenal now. His recent performances have largely left a lot to be desired. I still wonder whether his head has slightly gone after being given an opportunity at striker and doing fairly well, and then on return from injury not get another chance.

    AW is essentially saying that he doesn’t believe in him in that role and that puts the final nail in the coffin for me. I think if Theo leaves as a failed project then it will be 50-50 between him and the manager in where the blame lies.

    It is not a good situation for him or the club so we may as well take some money back. I would also sell Giroud while money is there to be had and then go for another senior striker to rotate with Danny with Alexis and / or Akpom as 3rd / 4th choice when injury dictates it.

    Which striker to buy though?

  93. RA says:

    I read all the comments from yesterday and today in one go, and it felt like I did not need to see the names to know who was saying what. 🙂

    The best comment (or part of it ) was @ 8:13 p.m. yesterday, that most made me chuckle out loud, both because it was funny, and because there is a sense of there being a timeless repetition attaching to GB’s rubbishing of Giro and promotion of Walcott — oh, please spare me. 🙂

    This is right up there as one of the politest put downs you will see on a blog.

    TA says to GB — “Thank you, GB, a long and well reasoned comment, but I have heard it all before from you.”

    And you will hear it again, TA, don’t you worry – just ask the camels. 😀

  94. RC78 says:

    I say buy
    – Aubemayang if you want to build the team around Ozil;
    – Cavani, Higuain and Lukaku if you want to build around Sanchez and Ramsey

  95. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    How about Costa and Mourinho….I’d have to find a non league team to support

  96. RA says:

    Rasper,

    I haven’t voted, not because I am particularly pathetic, or even particularly liberal, though there is probably an inherent element of justification there should some people think that of me. 🙂

    It is just difficult for me to answer a question that falls into the ‘which beautiful film star would you most like to have hanky panky with, Miss X or Miss Y?’

    It is not going to happen whatever the answer – and so too the – ‘should (Arsene) try to sign Diego Costa for Arsenal, Yes or No’ question. It just will not ever cross Mr Wenger’s mind to even think of trying.

    Mind you, your years of running the AA blog shows that you know how to generate interest, as the number of responses has been very good – and also I believe that it was heavily rumoured AW already tried to sign Costa before he went to Chelsea – once bitten, twice shy. 🙂

  97. RA says:

    Hiya, Sharkey, 🙂

    And do not worry – Mourhino managing Arsenal is just a sado-masochistic tease to while away the Inter-lull.

  98. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    I liked GB’s wriyte up on Giroud, even though I’m a Giroud fan. Then he threw in Theo as an alternative….oh dear (respectfully!)

    For me I’d honestly rather play with ten men than include Theo. I honestly think he is that bad, and his complete non performance at OT was the final straw for me.

    He didn’t even try….

    When he lost the ball, and then just stood and watched them pass it back and forth no more than five yards away from him, before they headed off to score, was simply unforgiveable.

    I just can’t watch players do that in an Arsenal shirt…n any game…let alone a game of that magnitude.

    I hope to never see him in an Arsenal shirt again, as if ten years hasn’t been long enough already 😦

  99. RC78 says:

    I think we need to find the right balance in terms of play and squad.

    If you buy Aubemayang, you need to have wingers with an ability to stretch the play wide and great defensive work rate as well because Aubemayang is not one so keen to track back and Ozil either…so you would need this type of team:

    Cech – Bellerin, ?, Kos, Monreal – Ramsey, ? – WILLIAN, Ozil, Sanchez – Aubemayang

    If you buy Cavani, Lukaku or Higuain, you need to have midfielders that are good in moving forward and occupying much of the wing as well, cutting inside and in playing link-up in short areas and to run behind defenders as well:

    Cech – Bellerin, ?, Kos, Monreal – POGBA, ?, Ramsey- Ozil – Sanchez, Cavani

    These teams would have balanced but in any case, we need a better CB and a better DM.

  100. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Hey Red…yeah I know, I thought I’d just lump two pieces of Interlull frippery(?) into one comment.

    Off to google frippery…

  101. RC78 says:

    2 different set ups: 4-2-1-3 against a 4-3-1-2

    but these players would have balance

  102. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    My use is no.3:
    frippery (ˈfrɪpərɪ)
    n, pl -peries
    1. ornate or showy clothing or adornment
    2. showiness; ostentation
    3. unimportant considerations; trifles; trivia

  103. RA says:

    Starkey,

    Giro, for many fans, is just not quite right for Arsenal, but there is a case to put that, at 30 y.o., he does score important goals (maybe not enough) and his heading ability is very useful in defence when we are under pressure, and he is wholehearted in his attitude, and gives the impression that he will never willingly let the team down.

    For me, however much I like him for his gutsy play,I would frankly be happy if we could get a young Lukaku type of player in the summer – now that would please me.

    Danny W could be the bees knees to replace Giro, but his injury record has not been good – so we will have to wait and see.

    Incidentally, I agree with your assessment of Theo – he seems a nice guy, but seems more inclined to pose and keep his shirt clean. 🙂

    TA (above) has always been a big Theo fan, but has intelligently modified his position as the years go by, and I too have always hoped that Theo would be as good as he promised in the ‘youth years’, but something has gone wrong, and now I hope, for his benefit, as well as the club’s, that he moves on in the summer, and we get a proper ball dribbling, skilful and incise winger like Yarmolenko to replace him. 🙂

  104. RA says:

    Sharkey,

    For reasons best known to itself, my auto-correct shamelessly changes Sharkey to Starkey! 🙂

    Of the definitions for ‘frippery’ that you list at #3, I find that I like ‘trifle’ quite a lot since I have been in the UK.

  105. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    I’m cool with Starkey… 🙂

    “gives the impression that he will never willingly let the team down.” – agreed.

    Anyone who fights for the team in the way that he does will always get my full and wholehearted (like his effort levels) support.

    Giroud’s lack of pace can be a problem at times, but he is sill a very very good CF.

    I fear that some people overfocus on his occasional off days. If he misses three or four chances in a game I actually give him credit for getting back in there again and again…when others would go into hiding

    Oft’s the time that he scores (a pearler) after a pretty awful miss in the same game. Shows character

  106. RA says:

    If we try to solve the Diego by the use of math, how would we show the calculation?

    How about first remembering PEMDAS, or in the UK maybe that is BODMAS, commonly known as the order of operations.

    Now, just to warm up, what is the answer to 7 + (6 * 54 + 3)

    [We may need to think again if the exponent does not show properly when I press the submit button] 🙂

  107. RA says:

    Bugger – it did not! 😦

    Back to the Diego drawing board!

  108. Shard says:

    2289 (mental math)

  109. Shard says:

    Ok that’s wrong. I multiplied 7 instead of adding 🙂

    (mentally retarded math)

  110. RA says:

    What about the question – do fish like H20

  111. Shard says:

    I’m wondering why people think Lukaku is a viable target. Everton, poor little Everton played hardball with Chelsea over John Stones refusing a 40m bid.

    Lukaku is also homegrown, a striker who might well finish top scorer in the league, and although he’s been around for years, he’s still young. Everton also now have a new owner (Alisher Usmanov’s former secret partner), and there’s the extra TV money coming in. Why would they sell us Lukaku for anywhere near a reasonable price. Martial cost ManU 60m (with bonuses). I bet Lukaku doesn’t go to another English club for less than 70m.

  112. Shard says:

    and before you think I was talking about you RA, I know you said a Lukaku type. You just led me to remember that I’ve heard Lukaku mentioned as a target before 🙂

    Fish love H20. Love it to the gills.

  113. RA says:

    Shard,

    Good try, but we have a problem earthling! 🙂

    I guess the WordPress Codex section would need to be amended – so we will probably ditch the math. 🙂

    The exponent presentation that went wrong is the bit that should say 5 to the power of 2 and not 52.

    so re-writing the question it would show as 7 + (6 * 25 + 3) which is 5 to the power of 2 = 25.

    Under the order of operatives PEMDAS – you need to address the brackets first and within the brackets the exponent.

    So then the multiplication – 6 * 25 = 150 and then the addition within the brackets – 150 + 3 = 153.

    Then you do the addition outside the brackets = 153 + 7 = 160

    This not going to work, is it? Unless Rasp amends to WP settings. 🙂

  114. Shard says:

    RA

    You’d said 54.. So I’m assuming that was 5 to the power 4, which would be 625.

    SO the answer would be 7 + ( 3750 + 3) = 3760

    😛 😛 😛

  115. RA says:

    As regards Lukaku, Shard, I agree with you – he is not going to be available in my opinion – but you are also right, I was using him to represent a strong, athletic and pouchy CF.

    In fact, I think we may already have one at the club. Mavididi is the name, and pretty much matches the description I set out – and although he is only 17 or 18 y.o. (go look it up) 🙂 I think he should be brought on with the first team – or loaned out to get the experience he needs.

    There are one or two others that may well fit the bill – but are really too young at the moment – but they all get older – just like us bloggers. 🙂

  116. RA says:

    Indeed you are once again correct, Shard, you are a quick study! 🙂

    However, you have lost one of the exponent 5s —

    5 * 5 * 5 * 5 * 5 = 3125

    So, 3125 * 6 = 18,750

    + 3 = 18753

    + 7 = 18,760

    But as I said the 5 to the power of 4 was a typo. I meant it to be 5^2

    That’s a lazy way of showing power — or 5^4 to the problem as mis-typed for your wrong answer! 🙂

  117. RA says:

    OK Shard – there is no fooling you! 😀

  118. RA says:

    ‘pouchy’ @ 5:19 = ‘pacey’ – honestly – it is not me – auto-correct which my friend likes having on – (it is his computer I borrow) – drives me cuckoo. 🙂

  119. RA says:

    OK, it is either me —- or the math —- that has driven everyone else off, Shard, my boy, so I must exit stage left — as usual. 😀

  120. chas says:

  121. chas says:

  122. GoonerB says:

    Evening all. I am only looking at strikers that are realistic in terms of our ability to get them. i really think Aubemayeng has developed to the stage where any of the top sides will open their door and he fancies Madrid it seems. I would say we have <5% chance of getting him so I have ruled him out as an option.

    I think cavani, Higuain and Morata are all achievable targets. Cavani is the one that still makes sense to me. A ready and experienced top international with something to prove after being forced to play to accommodate Ibra. A good blend of pace and power and work-rate. I think he would slot in seamlessly with Sanchez, Ozil, oh and the impending arrival of Bale 🙂

    Cavani and Danny could alternate as 2 senior strikers who would compliment and link up perfectly with the other players around them. we can then have further CF back up from Sanchez, when needed, and then look towards Akpom or R.A's other youth player when needed. I also like the fact that Cavani can give us the here and now for 2-3 seasons but is of an age where he will not indefinitely block the pathway of promising players coming through.

    BTW, just to clarify, I wouldn't play Walcott now…that ship has sailed unfortunately. What I meant is I would have played Walcott back at striker once he came back from injury, and not shunted him to the wings again.

    Too late now really because the manager has basically shown his hand in declaring no faith in him as a striker, and it looks to me like he is damaged goods now. as I said I am suspicious that not getting a go at striker again has messed with his head. Whether this is a factor or not in his the performances on the wings, they have dropped regardless and the fans are on him and he looks finished as a potential striker option at Arsenal.

    This situation is not good for him and he needs a fresh start somewhere else with a manager who is more likely to place their faith in him as a striker, and we may as well take the money and re-invest it as the current situation does us no favours either. A bit sad really.

  123. RA says:

    Hi GoonerB, my lovely, 🙂

    Your cryptic namesake, GB, also known to his adoring fans as baleful Baley, is currently on £300,000 per week, tax free.
    Heaven forfend I should break the really sad news to you – but Baley is not going anywhere, especially with Real offering him a new deal.

    And a salary at that level will need some nutty monied club like PSG, Manure, Chelsea or more likely Guardiola at Man Citeh to get him.

    Sorry, my boy! 😀

  124. GoonerB says:

    Yarmolenko it is then…..and Cavani

  125. RA says:

    I will take anyone, GB – cheer loudly if they do the job — blame you if they don’t! 🙂

  126. GoonerB says:

    Where do you find out what a player is on wages wise R.A? Is there some secret accountants website place?

    Didn’t know he was being offered a new deal. Despite impressive stats I didn’t think it was fully working out for him, what with Ronaldo not taking a shine to him.

    I also anticipated Madrid looking for some new Galacticos which I thought they might off set with the sale of one of their big boys. Bale seemed a likely candidate. I have a feeling they will approach Dortmund for a pricey double deal for Aubemayeng and Reus.

  127. chas says:

    Hey, Starkey

    Remember when this used to piss Geoff off? 🙂

  128. RA says:

    Yes, GB, @ 6:43, my sources are very secret – and only shared with several thousand others — it’s called Sporting Life – and you go to their website and look at ‘Paper Talk’, and read the headlines from the newspapers about such things as – Arsenal are in talks with the agent (dad) of Granit Xhacka a swiss midfielder — or that Manure are in ‘secret’ talks with Aubameyang – so it has to be true, eh?

    Don’t tell anyone tho! 🙂

    You know how important straightforward, honest to goodness, truth is on blogs.

  129. RA says:

    Chas,

    I dare you to go back to LG with it and see if Geoff is still peed off! 😀

  130. chas says:

    RA
    When they sold out to advertising, they upgraded from wordpress to their own server and stopped the inline possibilities of video and photos; to save space, presumably.

    Also, I reckon Geoff b*ggered off when he jacked his season ticket circa 2010. 🙂

  131. chas says:

  132. chas says:

  133. Eddie says:

    flash in the pan Szcz. how is he doing now?

  134. chas says:

    I only know that that was from last night.

  135. Eddie says:

    who is he? not Lewy ?

  136. chas says:

    Petit at Monaco

  137. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha 🙂 close 🙂

    you are so lazy, couldn’t even google Szcz stats!
    He is doing well in Roma they want extend the loan, but Arsenal are only interested in getting £11m for him. Getting rid off dead wood

  138. Gööner In Exile says:

    Had a long conversation with Exile seniors the other day about Arsenal and their players, and we were talking about Arsene and my Dad had read a piece about him and what he has achieved etc etc.

    And one of the evidence they used to illustrate why Arsene has done a better job than many have given him credit for is what happens to players that he manages to get playing in the CL after they have left us, they were talking mainly for our period of austerity.

    Only Clichy, Cesc, Nasri, BSR have left and won things of note elsewhere and there influence on that is debatable here’s the list of players that have found a level some way below CL:

    Bendtner, Denilson, Vermaelen, Eboue, Adebayor, Song, Djourou, Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone, Santos, Squillacci and the list goes on.

    What list is Theo likely to join?

  139. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sharkey’s 2:40 and 3:44 are spot on for me.

    Does any player really believe they should dictate where they play? I mean the only two in the world I can think of who I would allow to do that are Messi and Ronaldo, and even then at a push and only one of them would make the demand.

    Work rate is the key here, to become a pro footballer you have to work incredibly hard, to become the best you have to work even harder, for your teammates and for yourself. That’s why Theo has driven me to distraction for the last two years.

  140. RA says:

    Good morning each, and especially GIE, 🙂

    A good point by the Exile seniors, and there are many, many more less noted players who have left Arsenal and ended up in lower leagues.

    But it is a good reflection on the club that so many players who leave us go on to have careers in football and make a living in the environment they love.

    But the players you name are not of the first order, so I am pleased that they have moved on – and perhaps should have done so much earlier.

  141. Eddie says:

    I somehow missed Sharkey’s comments, thanks GiE

    “For me I’d honestly rather play with ten men than include Theo” 🙂 Sadly I think Wenger will include Walcott as the power sub, still relying on his speed.

    Sharkey – I remember sitting at a game with you and watching Theo warming up. We were both giggling seeing him flying on the side lines. What happened to him??

  142. Eddie says:

    In Brussels anybody entering the tube is scanned for explosives. Why??!! Brussels is probably the safest place in Europe now, all the terrorists fled Belgium

  143. TotalArsenal says:

    Redders 🙂

    Nothing but respect for GB, who is as tenacious – or should I say stubborn? – as me when it comes to believing and defending a view. I can’t help it, but whenever I read a GB Giroud battering I start singing nanana nananana nananana Geeeeeerouhooo 🙃

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    Re Theo, not sure where his footie career will take him, but I reckon he is fantastic in front of a camera: confident, quick, eloquent and not an insult to the eye; so he could well become the next salt and lineker 😄

  145. Eddie says:

    or Jermaine Jenas

  146. Shard says:

    I reckon Theo Walcott could be a very good striker for some smaller club more intent on playing counter attacking football than any pretensions of building from the back or keeping possession. Something like Vardy is for Leicester, but less technically savvy. And he’ll still need a Mahrez type technical player to support him.

    To be fair, he has slowly improved in his technical ability. But his effort has been lacking, and it doesn’t appear that he’s willing to put in the work to improve. There is no way Walcott has deserved to be the striker for Arsenal. His skillset doesn’t indicate it, and his performances, with a couple of exceptions haven’t merited it. If he’d been happy to play on the wing and kept working on it, he’d have been scoring more goals and been a useful player. Right now, and even since the end of last season, he might score, but he’s a total liability in the game. It’s barely acceptable when he’s scoring. When he’s not, there’s no reason to stick with him.

    Related to this. Lots of rumours around the Ox being sold. I can only think that is his agent creating trouble, because even though the Ox has had a disappointing season, I think it’s too early to give up on him, unlike Theo.

  147. Morning all

    Not around much at the moment as I have family visiting but if anyone has an idea for a new post I’m happy to put it up, otherwise this post is there for continuing discussion.

  148. GoonerB says:

    Morning all

    Chas I love the trololoo (or whatever it is called) video. Hilarious…How can anyone get annoyed by it and not just find it funny?

  149. GoonerB says:

    GIE, good points about Wenger. As I have often said if we had a hypothetical situation that manager “X” won us the ECL and EPL twice in 5 years after Wenger had gone I would still consider Wenger our greatest ever manager.

    What he has overseen in the transformation with the club and the loyalty he showed to stay with us and do it transcends pure silverware, even though he has done that as well.

    Phase 1 of his tenure (pre stadium)….. Brilliant

    Phase 2 of his tenure (stadium and austerity years…..Brilliant

    Phase 3 of his tenure (post austerity)……going slightly awry, with huge question marks particularly this year.

    It all depends on when you think phase 3 kicked in. For me we are in the third season of phase 3, after the arrival of Ozil. As such I think we are in season 3 of building and developing a title winning squad. With our traditional rivals parting the red sea for us this season, and with us being 3 years into this recent squad build, I am concerned about our general standard this season, and that we are where we are and who we are behind.

    Still think we can win the title though.

  150. GoonerB says:

    Shard, I agree with most of what you said about Theo. I do however think his skill set is more suited to striker than winger. personally I am not sure about keeping him as a winger now that we have tried him as a striker. He is a striker option or nothing for me.

    I would agree that Theo’s recent performances by and large have not merited his inclusion in the team, but I disagree that his striker’s performances haven’t merited him being a striker for Arsenal. Maybe not “the” striker, i.e the long term number 1, but pre injury I really don’t see how his performances didn’t merit being one of our strikers.

    His games at striker happened to coincide with some of our best attacking performances and best results, where he also was scoring goals and showing good link up play through the centre. What other evidence can a striker provide other than that? I just don’t get why his appearances at striker were suddenly curtailed after decent performances and especially on the back of how insipid our attack has looked since the turn of the year.

    I will not go into the why’s and wherefores again as I promised not to, but conversely Giroud has had loads of times and games (largely as 1st choice striker) and has shown himself to be decent but limited. The evidence with him, that he cannot move us on a level, has been collected over a large number of games and over a long period. This is why I don’t get why so many think Giroud is some great answer for us. Surely it would have shown itself as the way forward before now, but for me, despite some decent patches, it consistently proves to fail.

  151. Shard says:

    Gooner B

    Giroud guarantees a certain level of performance normally. He is very rarely terrible and is generally very good at what he does. Theo Walcott can be occasionally very good, but is more often than not bad. And when Walcott is bad, he offers nothing. Less than nothing.

    I think you are overestimating Walcott’s performances and contribution to our free flowing attacking play, which has been rare as it is this season. With the exception of the ManU game, I can’t, off the top of my head, think of a performance from Walcott where I was impressed. Might need to go back and look again though.

    Giroud isn’t the answer. Only TA believes that 🙂

    But Giroud is better than Walcott is. By far. And Walcott doesn’t have a right to start ahead of Giroud. If the manager, who has always defended him and supported him, doesn’t trust him, it is because Walcott hasn’t earned that trust.

    We agree on the type of striker we need. But we disagree on Theo’s ability to play that role with any consistency (except in patches 😛 )

  152. Shard says:

    RA wanted a young Lukaku type.

    Might I (again) suggest Breel Embolo? Yes, I might.

    He seems to have the hold up play, the technical ability, the vision and passing. He’s quick, strong, versatile. His finishing may not be the finished article yet, but he’s only 19, and I don’t reckon we can get an established lethal finisher, or elite striker. Maybe Higuain, but he would be quite expensive. I never took to Cavani. I’d rather have Embolo now along with a wide attacker who can score goals (upgrade on Theo) and those should be easier to find than out and out strikers.

  153. RA says:

    Hi Guys, 🙂

    I am still not going to get into the Theo issue, yet again, other than to say he is not good enough, either as a winger and certainly not even remotely as a CF.

    Damn – and now I have. 🙂

    In one area some agreement seems to have occurred, in that he would be better off as a winger – not for me. When is the last time any of you have been thrilled by him charging down the wing at speed, with the ball? No, I thought not. He is all check back, inside or backwards pass, or charging inside and cluttering up the centre to get an impossible return ball between two or three defenders and falling on his ass.

    It is not a choice between Giro and Theo, the ‘greatest manager’ Arsenal have had has already made that decision. It is rarely a choice between Theo and Campbell, or the Ox or Rambo for the right wing position – one of the latter three gets the nod more often than not.

    In the summer Theo should haul ass and find another club, and who knows, in a smaller outfit with less choices he might become the CF or winger he thinks he is.

    Giro is fine, but we have kids coming thru who should have their chances, or if there is a more athletically gifted and more pacy version of our French pompadour, that would be OK with me.

    In other words, to choose A over B because some think he is less rubbish than the other is not sensible for a team with aspirations to be the best.

    Annoyingly, Shard, I am having difficulty in picking holes in your general observations lately. And TA is a paragon of football virtue, in my eyes, and I have never been able to argue with him – well yes, I have – over Theo some years ago – but then, like GB now, I could never budge him. 😀

  154. RA says:

    Bugger! There you are, Shardy, I am in agreement with you. again! 🙂

    Candidly, I have never ‘watched’ Emboli play, but on another site I saw an interesting ‘You-Tube’ vid of him, but it could have been anyone – but his attributes and fan credits mean he could be the one – so get writing to AFC and tip them off before Manure sign him up from Basle – as per the current rumours.

  155. RA says:

    Emboli = Embolo

  156. Shard says:

    by the way…Happy Holi to all

  157. RA says:

    Shard,

    And happy T20 to you. I saw two games yesterday and do not know how England recovered from 6 for 57 to beat Afghanistan, followed by Bangladesh needing 2 runs from three balls to beat India, and losing to a last ball run out.

    Not footie – but still brilliant. 🙂

  158. RA says:

    TA,

    I love the Posts on Bergkampesque, but as usual I am usually going to be when they come out, and few are up and about when I am feeling full of vigour! 🙂

    A match up betwixt Shard and 17H would be quite something to behold. 😀

  159. Shard says:

    RA unfortunately, I missed both games. I had planned to watch but other things got in the way. I was gutted to learn they were such thrilling games. Not normal for cricket 🙂

    I’m now watching more Youtube ‘scout’ videos. Seeing Dybala’s highlights, he seems so good, and then it struck me that he’s basically Alexis Sanchez 🙂 Also, how much the Italian League has changed. I’ve noticed it before but they seem to be becoming less defensive and more inclined to get out and score. It might even be a conscious decision by the league (and the refereeing style) to try and replicate the English league’s monetary success.

  160. GoonerB says:

    Shard / R.A, I actually do agree with 90+% of what you are saying. I don’t think I was ever convinced of Theo as a long term first choice striker. My main request for everyone to consider was that when comparing our strikers we need to be fair and compare them only on their appearances as a striker.

    We can’t compare Theo to Giroud “this season” as a whole because Giroud has played 100% of his appearances as a striker while Theo has likely only had 25% of his appearances at striker. It is that small 25% where I thought he played well (better than he has as a winger) and the whole team largely played well when he was up top.

    That deserved further consideration for his continued appearance in this role for me. I think Danny is the way forward anyway now.

  161. RA says:

    That’s fine, GB, and you put your case well. 🙂

    There is an interesting subject being mentioned by a number of papers today, regarding the re-formatting of the CL.

    It seems that compared with the worldwide sponsorship of the RPL the CL is foundering financially with Platini’s nonsense of allowing more ‘Champions’ from Eastern European countries to play year in and year out because they are the only ‘proper’ team in their country is turning viewers off because it makes the games too one-sided and boring.

    There is nothing official, but more teams for the major leagues will be part of a CL competition based on two sub-leagues of 16 clubs each, after a short knockout round, and each will play the others in their league with the eventual top 2 in each league playing in semi-finals and then there will be the Final.

    I think I understood the benefits and it does mean that instead of meeting Barça then goodnight nurse, Arsenal for example would play all the top teams in their group, and that would generate much greater world interest.

    Does it sound like the beginning of a European League to anyone?
    It does to me! 🙂

    Now that will create uproar.

  162. RA says:

    RPL = EPL ( it really is not me — I think) 🙂

  163. TotalArsenal says:

    Shard, Giroud is not the answer but 50 PL goals from Giroud (20), Alexis (15) and Danny/Theo (15) as our front three is… or was. It did not work this season, fair enough, and let’s see what Wenger does next season. 🙂

  164. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Redders, it is fair to say you were never keen on Theo and now you are proven right. His goals and assists have dried up and he looks forlorn. Will he bounce back? Definitely, but I cannot see him making it big. A move to Italy next season would not surprise me.

  165. Gööner In Exile says:

    RA interesting rumours on CL, I seem to remember in years gone by it was something more akin to a league, but that may have been in the days when Rangers were regular participants and actually did OK. In fact one of the reasons the “smaller” leagues have got weaker is the quantity of places given to the “bigger” leagues.

    Let’s assume back in year for each league had only one place in the league, then every player in those smaller leagues had an equal chance of appearing in the glamour competition as those in the bigger leagues. As more spots have been given to the bigger leagues players have migrated to those leagues as it gives them a bigger chance of playing on the CL stage.

    As for the CL format becoming a Euro League well I doubt it, but a two league or even four league competition without the qualifying and with only top 4 spots (2 of four league) from each league going to Quarter Final stage may be more appealing, will guarantee more games and therefore more revenue for clubs and also more tv money as there will always be a “big game” to watch most weeks and the QF will not feature any smaller clubs.

  166. Gööner In Exile says:

    Trying to do some research it appears I mis remembered the early years of CL, being that there were knockouts then a group stage then a final in the very first competition, and slowly it has migrated to the current format, I think the increase in places for some leagues has definitely weakened the other leagues though, especially when you look at some of the early winners, Ajax for example who have now become a feeder club virtually to the better leagues around Europe…..a sad state of affairs.

  167. Gööner In Exile says:

    Currently 78 teams are whittled down to 32 for group stage.

    I find it hard to see how they could do the 2 league things with 32 teams, as that’s a lot of extra fixtures to fit in. If that 32 could be lowered to 24 and split into 4 pots then you are adding 4 fixtures to the current schedule for an automatic qualifier. But then removing the round of 16 would produce two less games. Obviously there would be more jeapordy for those finishing 3rd/4th in domestic leagues as it is likely they would have to qualify, and would they have to promise an automatic Europa place which isn’t currently on offer?

    The question would be how would the teams that start badly in any given group approach their remaining games if they know they can’t make the top 2, would they start dropping players for domestic game priority?

    If I had my way they would bring back the CWC and reduce the size of the Europa League.

  168. RA says:

    Hi GIE,

    I think you have covered the problems with any changes to the CL format and the most important of which is the constraints on available dates.

    Something will have to give. Perhaps an early start to the knockout section to get rid of the ‘lower’ level clubs?

    In addition, it is obvious to anyone, that part of the reason that Leicester and the Spuds have done well in the EPL this season, has been that the ‘big two’ in the running, Arsenal and Man Citeh, have had CL games to negotiate, and each have had bad injury rosters too, whereas Liecs had few injuries and no European games, while the Spuds only put out youth and first team mixes, in the early stages against weak opposition, and got knocked out when they met a slightly better team.

    What effect will that have on an extended CL? Well, I think Kroenke is going to have to put his hand in his pocket and buy more backup players to manage what will effectively be two leagues, and that might require UEFA to relax the 25 man squad rules.

    Leave that aside, the reason for this change is that UEFA are struggling financially, and looking at the EPL’s giant contract starting next season, and the boring nature of the CL making matters worse for them, so they need to get rid of the boring ‘dead rubbers’ and put more of the big teams on TV playing each other.

    Then there is the self interest of the Spanish, Italian and German clubs who are jealous of the English clubs TV money, and want some for themselves,

    It is going to be interesting times ahead.

  169. TotalArsenal says:

    Sad news. RIP Johan. He was the football father of Dennis and Marco (van Basten) as this fine compilation shows. He had a certain fearlessness or arrogance if you want and combined a peerless technical ability with continuous on-field audacity – the outside of the foot is there to be used!

    I watched the WC in Germany when I was just seven and got the love-bug for football that summer. Cruijff was the heart of this and so he will always have a special place in my football heart. We gaan je missen, Johan.

  170. Rasp says:

    Thanks Total, that is a fitting tribute. Everyone who loves football owes him a debt.

  171. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Rasper. 68 is far too young to pass away, but he has become immortal which is some achievement.

  172. Red Arnie says:

    Sorry, knot ear, but I am following the discussions. Just came in to say

    RIP Johann Cryuff. Thanks Total.

    Do we need a Good (rant) Friday tomorrow. If we have something I’ll leave this for later. Otherwise! 🙂

  173. Rasp says:

    Arnie, we’ve needed posts all week 😦 we will publish anything anyone cares to submit

  174. Red Arnie says:

    Yes, Rasp, I know. sorry. 😦 but there will be something in Nuts. 🙂

  175. Red Arnie says:

    Happy Holi, Shard. Happy Holi everyone. 🙂

  176. Herb's Army says:

    Hi all, just a quick one from me.
    In spite of all our emotionally charged agreements/disputes, we all recognise football genius, and Johan Cruyff was that.
    Like Total, I remember him lighting up the ’74 World Cup in Germany, and with the help of Rinus Michels, Holland took football to a whole new level.
    Barcelona and Spain owe all their recent success to the genius of Johan Cruyff.
    RIP Johan Cruyff, a huge loss to our sport.

  177. TotalArsenal says:

    hear, hear Herb 🙂

  178. Red Arnie says:

    Herb. 🙂

  179. chas says:

  180. RA says:

    Totally agree with you Herb.

  181. chas says:

    Jeez, can this be true?

    “Aston Villa, will win more in prize money for being relegated than Bayern Munich will win if they win the Champions League and their domestic league combined.”

  182. RA says:

    Thank you, Shard and Arnie, 😅

    I almost convinced myself that Holi as in ‘Happy Holi’ was the origin of the English word ‘holiday’.

    But a quick search of a Thesaurus shows it meant ‘holy day’ from the Old English origin hālig-dæg.

    A piece of useless information for you! 😍

    We should all go and hurl coloured dust at Rasp, immediately! 🙂

  183. RA says:

    At the end of next season, Chas, the relegated teams will get £100m each. The winner of the EPL will get £150m, and others on a graded scale.

    No wonder the Prem clubs love the new TV deal. 🙂

  184. Red Arnie says:

    That was specially for you, Redders. 🙂

  185. RA says:

    Thank you, Arnie, much appreciated! 😬

  186. RA says:

    Arnie,

    [I will re-play it at my leisure, after my evening meal. Lovely Asian girls remind me of an old flame – but that’s another story!!] 😀

  187. GoonerB says:

    Very sad to hear about Johann Cruyff. What a truly great footballing individual both as a player and a manager. Too often footballers are overly eulogised, but not Cruyff. He was the key figure in a new and exciting footballing dynasty, that we still see evident in the current game, and he stayed dedicated to his beliefs in pure football at its absolute finest.

    RIP.

  188. Sid says:

    Cruyff talking about Wenger, wtf does he know?

    “People do not realise the ­achievement of this manager at ­Arsenal.

    “I find it ­incredible that ­Arsenal have stayed at the ­highest level of ­European ­competition and ­England under his management without ever ending up in debt.

    “I cannot remember red figures at Arsenal over the last 15 years. How many clubs in Europe can say they have qualified for the Champions League for 16 ­consecutive seasons under the same management? Arsene Wenger has put his life and soul into Arsenal.

    “In 15 years, I have not seen him make any ­irresponsible ­purchases in the transfer ­market.

    “That is why the work of Arsene Wenger at ­Arsenal is the prime example for every club in ­Europe.

    “I cannot even imagine the board or the fans would ever think for a moment of putting Arsene’s position in doubt.”

    God bless you Johan. One of my heroes (another) sadly gone.

  189. Sid says:

    Btw that clip of Cruyff posted earlier.
    I saw glimpses of Mesut in his play. The silk of Ozil, the aggression of Berkhamp rolled into one.
    We need to appreciate Mesut while he is with us it won’t last forever.

  190. Red Arnie says:

    Peaches and Rasp, potential post in nuts. 🙂

  191. Thanks Arnie, just seen it 😃

  192. chas says:

    Supporting The Arsenal at the moment seems the complete opposite of this.

  193. Red Arnie says:

    motning all, erm, motning Chas.

    That is a remarkably sombre painting for motning batner! 🙂

  194. fatgingergooner says:

    Rumours of Götze being on the move this summer. We’ve experimented a bit with Ramsey out wide with a bit of success, and we’ve seen in the past that Wenger sometimes likes to put an extra ball-player out wide against the better sides, so could Götze be a good option for that RW position with the knowledge he can also cover Özil when needed?

    He can score goals and is unbelievably talented, but does he fit in with what we need or would he just be another luxury player (a lot of people thought that of Özil when he arrived as they would’ve preferred a striker)?

    Özil, Götze and Sanchez as our attacking midfielders!? 😍

  195. Red Arnie says:

    FGG. That sounds like a good plan.

  196. Shard says:

    fgg

    It’s fun to think about transfers 🙂

    I was actually thinking the exact same thing yesterday. Wenger likes to have a more technical playmaker on one flank with a more direct attacking option on the other. Having Gotze there as an additional playmaker (who can also score) would also reduce the need for Santi Cazorla’s creativity, and allow us to play a more defensively minded midfield setup without losing the ability to attack. (Especially if the Xhaka rumours are true)

    Thing is…Gotze has turned us down before, and I think if he moves, he might end up following Guardiola to City. Their team needs a pretty big revamp to play Pep’s style of football (unless he’s going to change his style)

    So, if not Gotze, then who? Who else can be that sort of playmaker/attacker?

  197. Red Arnie says:

    normally I dont enjoy transfer speculation too much 😛 but this smell Gotze has just made me sit up! 🙂

  198. Hi Peaches,

    I sent in a post to Arsenal Nuts last week. If desperate you can use that!!!

  199. mickydidit89 says:

    Forget to say happy Easter all
    At least, eat cadburys cream eggs 😎
    Can’t believe missing transfer goss

  200. I do apologse everyone, daughter had a flat tyre and then my PC crashed ,…………………..

    We have a New Post …………………

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