Pay Da Money …

July 27, 2016

From the last 10 year’s experience of Arsenal’s transfer activity, we know that this is how it works ….

Most of the stories linking us to players or claiming we are interested in a particular player are either from web sites/journalists trying to garner hits, or from agents trying to manipulate the market = lies.

Often, when we are actually interested in a player, it becomes quite obvious from an early stage =  Nasri, Holding, Xhaka.

Sometimes we do a last minute deal = Park, Ozil

I believe we made an offer for La Cazette about a month ago. West Ham subsequently offered more but reportedly (that word means probably a lie), La Caz wants CL football. He’s good, he’s an alternative to Giroud, he knows where the goal is, he’s French :)  …. what’s not to like?

‘Reportedly’ Lyon want £40m. So if that is the case, just pay the *&^%ing money and get on with finding us a top CB to fill the vacuum in our defence please Ivan/Arsene.

Don’t tell me it’s not that easy – I know it isn’t but other clubs are securing targets, we need to pull our fingers out and do the business.

Rasp ….. T In C

Arsenal’s “What if Scenario’s”

July 19, 2016

I am AA’s 2nd oldest contributor (behind JC who is our non writing elder statesman). I’m also an eternal optimist and I see more good than bad in our team, management and club.

Arsene and Arsenal come under a lot of criticism; the Red Tops compete for readership with their fictitious and often outrageous headlines about our club, management and our players. These headlines are fodder for the more gullible supporters who in turn repeat the “stories” they have read and they get repeated so often that they become “Red Top” folk lore.

It’s a seemingly endless cycle and now we are into reading and hearing all of the pre-season doom that is being spouted about our lack of transfers etc – even though we are only 18 days into a 63 day transfer period.

So I thought about a few what if scenario’s.

  1. What if we sign no more players in this window?
  2. What if we sign players late in the window?
  3. What if we go a season with no injuries?
  4. What if Arsene extends his contract?
  5. What if Arsene does not extend his contract?
  6. What if we only finish in the top four?
  7. What if we finish outside the top four?
  8. What if we only win the FA Cup?
  9. What if we win nothing?
  10. What if we change ownership?

I will offer my opinions during the day.



A second string Arsenal 11 – could it work?

July 14, 2016

ARSENAL II. Discuss.

Comments made during Tuesday’s post made me think.

What was apparent is that many of our Senior Squad players get very little serious game time. Perhaps the odd twenty minutes here and there, or even the odd game, but certainly never a consistent run of games in competitive matches.

I looked up The German League, and discovered a team called Dortmund II fiddling about in their third division.

Not sure, but believe the Spanish do the same.

Anyway, how about an Arsenal II? Yes we’d have to enter at the bottom as did Wimbledon AFC, but in a few years there would be eleven finely turned out Gunners playing the Arsenal Way in perhaps the third division here. So long as we could ensure free movement of labour between Arsenal I and II, then players like Callum and The Ox would surely benefit.

Any thoughts? Not a totally original idea, I know, but hey.

Written by mickydidit89

Does Arsène need to make changes to the First team Squad?

July 13, 2016

Here is the 2016/17 squad as listed on


Attack                                                             Age

1          Chuba  –           Akpom           –            20

2          Joel      –           Campbell       –            24

3          Olivier –           Giroud            –            29

4          Serge   –           Gnabry          –            21

5          Alex    –           Iwobi              –            20

6          Alexis –           Sanchez           –            27

7          Yaya    –           Sanogo            –           23

8          Theo    –           Walcott           –           27

9          Danny –           Welbeck         –             25

Average age of Attackers                             = 24.0



1          Gabriel –           Armando de Abreu-      25

2          Hector –           Bellerin            –           21

3          Calum  –           Chambers        –           21

4          Mathieu –         Debuchy          –           30

5          Kieran –           Gibbs              –            26

6          Carl     –           Jenkinson        –           24

7          Laurent-          Koscielny        –             30

8          Per       –           Mertesacker     –           31

9          Nacho  –           Monreal           –           30

Average age of Defenders                            = 26.4



1          Petr      –           Cech               –          34

2          Emiliano –        Martinez         –            23

3          David  –           Ospina            –            27

4          Wojciech-        Szczesny        –             26

Average age of Goalkeepers                          =27.5



1          Santiago-         Cazorla Gonzalez –       31

2          Francis –           Coquelin          –          25

3          Mohamad-       Elneny          –              24

4          Alex    –           Oxlade-Chamberlain-    22

5          Mesut  –           Ozil                –            27

6          Aaron  –           Ramsey           –           25

7          Jack     –           Wilshere          –           24

8          Granit  –           Xhaka             –            23


Average age of Midfielders                             = 25.1

Here are my thoughts…………..



From an attacking standpoint we obviously lack a cutting edge and if we are to have any chance at all of winning the PL that is a situation that cannot be ignored.

Both Walcott and Welbeck are injury prone and we cannot continue to wish and hope that they will suddenly be injury free and become our saviours. Theo Walcott has had ample opportunities to show his worth but constant injuries have delayed his growth or he simply does not have the overall skill set required. Danny Welbeck has shown tantalizing glimpses of his ability (especially for England) but can we afford to constantly hope that he will become injury free?

Giroud and Sanchez are both top class internationals and while neither had a stellar 2015/16 both should and will remain as an integral part of our squad.

We have five younger players in Akpom, Campbell, Gnabry, Iwobi and Sanogo; while they all show good potential only Campbell and Iwobi have made an impact in the first team.

Should we sell some of these players and then replace them with players who can convert the chances that our midfield presents them with? Or do we continue to wait and wish and hope that things improve?

We desperately need to solve this dilemma.



Looking at our defence I see two issues one is of age and the other being coverage. We have four players Debuchy, Koscielny, Mertesacker and Monreal who are 30 plus while this is not very old for their positions they will undoubtedly need to be replaced in the not so distant future. With both Debuchy and Jenkinson on loan last season we were left with only seven players to cover four positions and that minimized the opportunities for rotation.

Our main pairings in 2015/16 were Koscielny and Gabriel at CB with Bellerin and Monreal as our FB’s – that left us with just Chambers, Mertesacker and Gibbs as our back ups for the four positions.

This leaves several questions:

  • Should Debuchy and Jenkinson remain on our squad?
  • Will Chambers fulfill his potential?
  • Is this Mertesacker’s final season?
  • Do we need to have eight defensemen on our squad?



This is one area where it appears we are in good “hands” with Cech as our number one and Ospina, Szczesny and Martinez as our current and future coverage.



Injuries continue to plague the careers of Wilshere, Ramsey and Oxlade and last season

Sanchez, Cazorla and Coquelin were also out for extended periods. Elneny had an impressive first season in the PL and we have an unknown quantity in our new signing Granit Xhaka.

Take away the injuries and we look to be in a strong position especially with the additions of Elneny and Xhaka.

1) Should injury prone players be replaced?

2) Are we force fitting players into the wrong position?

3) We have 17 players to cover only 6 positions – are there too many?


Premier league squad rules prevail in the selection of a team and to the best of my knowledge these are the rules that apply.

Premier League squad rules

  1. A club cannot have more than 17 foreign players who don’t fall under the ‘Home Grown Player’ status.
  2. A club can name as many U-21s as they like, even over and above the limit of 25 players.
  3. To qualify as a home-grown player, a player must have been registered with any club tied to the Football Association or Football Association of Wales for at least three whole seasons or 36 months, all before they turn 21. However, it does not have to have been in one continuous stretch.


Team Beats Talent …. are you getting the message Arsene?

July 5, 2016

Leicester City, Athletico Madrid, Iceland, Wales, Hungary, even Italy …. what do they all have in common?

Their collective determination has driven them to beat teams packed with world class talent – and not just on the odd occasion, but consistently.

What is it about this particular period in football history that has brought about a mini revolution that has seen honest endeavour triumph over cosseted complacence?

The current success of these teams is a breath of fresh air. They are what punk rock was to the over produced posturing music of the early seventies.

The fundamental difference is that teams with this ethos are greater than the sum of their parts and the teams they beat are less. They concentrate on the basics and perform them very well.

Moreover, in most cases the fact that they have a smaller pool of talent means that the team is settled and far fewer changes are made and that can only be good for the understanding between players. Hodgson’s 6 changes for the Slovakia game and Arsenal’s 6 changes in the Champion’s league last season were both failed experiments that should not have been risked.

So the conclusion at the moment from what we are seeing at club and international level is that the team is far more important than the individual talent it comprises.

Of course we want/need gifted players, but let’s look at Aaron Ramsey as a case in hand. He has been magnificent for Wales. He’s outshone the ‘world class Bale’. He’s been a more influential player for his country than his club.


Two reasons. He’s playing in a position that allows the best outlet for his talent, and he’s playing in a team where every other player shares his desire. A team with a manager who has engendered that team spirit and devised a clearly defined strategy and style of play that all the players buy into.

Can that ethos be engendered into the Arsenal team next season?

Arsene has often said that team spirit is good. I don’t think he’s lying, I just think he is referring to the fact that the players are great friends who are relaxed and happy in training. What I want to see is them being very unhappy when we don’t play to our potential. I want to see them perform acts of bravery and desire on the pitch that whip the Emirates crowd into a frenzy of  support.

I want to see 11 players press as a team and to instinctively know when to drop back and defend as a unit. Second nature; first nature; everything about the team has to revolve around a single ethos, this is what we are seeing succeed ….. are you getting the message Arsene?



Vardy to Arsenal, OR….You Vote

June 22, 2016

Let’s face it, the strikers on show at The Euros will not have filled Gunner Transfer Speculators with much hope. I have not seen anything of The Copa America, so realistically, given our place in the pecking order behind yer Barcas and Bayerns, Vardy is looking not just ok, but possibly the best we can hope for.

Personally, I think he’d be a great addition, but far from a worldy.

So, for the sake of a simple poll, we’ll look at a straight choice.  Vardy OR  a Mahrez/Mkhitaryan type. Someone to provide more ammo. from the right, as well as goals.

Incidentally, I think we could have both, but I’m interested to see which you consider would improve the side the most. Without changing formations, we have very limited alternatives to Ollie, bar moving to a Sanchez little ‘un kind of set up, whereas we do have options on the right from Aaron/Jack to Joel/Iwobi.

Remember, it’s an either/or

If Vardy is not for you, tell us who else we should be looking at …. try to keep it realistic:)


What do we expect from Vardy?

June 15, 2016

The reason for that question was that I was watching the England-Russia game with a friend (QPR) and he said:

“Are there any Arsenal players in the squad?”

To which I said “Yes, 2: Vardy and Wilshere.”

Which, after a second, the penny dropped and he laughed and said “You haven’t got Vardy”

To which I said that “I thought it was a done deal” and then skeptically he asked:

“Do you really want him?”  and I said: “Oh yes, we are are very excited about his arrival”

And then he said “Ahhh but don’t you think he is just a one season wonder?” to which I didn’t have an answer ready but it has made me think.

What do we expect from Vardy?

Written by LB


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