The Rules of Being an Arsenal Player

August 7, 2018

More Rocky – with slightly amended dates but with no removal  of references to Lord Bendtner, catastrophic displays against Burnley and his pink boots! Enjoy.

One thing a new season should bring with it is a clean slate. Before a single player – sorry, ball – has been kicked in the 2018/19 season, every squad member can be a potential hero, every new signing can be the final piece of the jigsaw, every limb and sinew can be strong enough to last a whole campaign without breaking down.

And in that spirit of optimism, I want to humbly make a proposition to the players who will wear our beautiful red and white next year.

Like all supporters, I have strong views about the relative merits of our squad, about who should play where and how they should play, but I do not presume to usurp the role of the manager and coaches. That’s their job. My job is to be a supporter, and it’s in that context that I want to make my proposal:

“Dear Arsenal Players

As representatives of Arsenal FC you are the inheritors of a long and splendid tradition and every time you walk onto the pitch you carry with you the hopes and dreams of a vast community of supporters, from small children to centenarians.

But whether you were scooped up by our scouting network straight from the creche, or whether you are newly arrived among us in a whirlwind of press frenzy and feverish expectation, you need to know about The Rules.

Not just any rules, but The Seven Rules of Being an Arsenal Player.

The Rules were once known by heart by every Arsenal player and they hung on the wall of the home dressing room at Highbury in a metal frame made out of old shell casings from the Woolwich Arsenal.

Somehow, during the move from Highbury to Ashburton Grove The Rules went astray. There are various rumours about what happened to them: that they were lifted by George Graham when he popped in for ‘one last look’ at the old place; that a Sp*ds supporting construction worker grabbed them with the intention of taking them as a trophy to N17, only to find that he couldn’t part with them and now keeps them in a shrine at his smelly one-bedroom flat in T*ttenham where at nights, on his own, he secretly dresses in red and white and watches old videos of the 1971 and 1989 seasons; there’s even a story that a spectral Herbert Chapman took them into the ether with him, ready to return when we are at our most daunted and our enemies are crowding all around.

Whatever the truth we can only hope the original document will one day be found again. But for the time being, you players ought to know what was written on it: a list of Rules based on your responsibilities as players to us, the fans. Here they are:

1. Always Salute the Travelling Support

When we lost at Blackburn in the penultimate game of the 2009/10 season, I heard that only two of our players went over to show their appreciation to the thousands of fans who had made that Godawful journey to the arse end of nowhere on a Bank Holiday Monday. If true, that’s a disgrace. Most supporters earn less in a year than you earn in a week and they forego holidays, new cars and all manner of comforts to support Arsenal. Even if we have lost, even if we have performed dreadfully, there is no excuse for not saluting the travelling fans at the end of a game.

2. Always Salute the Home Support

I know it sounds obvious, but the home fans also deserve your appreciation. I have been at many games at the Grove where the result or performance has not been as we would have wished and half of you have trudged down the tunnel without even a backward glance at the supporters. You may be feeling disappointed, or even embarrassed at your own performance, but believe me, we will still appreciate it if you face us and acknowledge our support. You will be applauded off no matter how badly you have played.

3. Keep Your Agent Under Control

Agents are an unwanted but apparently necessary evil of the modern game. If you have to have one, try and remember that they work for you. So even if you are looking to move away from our beloved club, you should do so in private and not in public. Allowing your agent to tart you around Europe via the back pages of the red tops like some old slapper shows no respect for us, the fans, or your team mates who may be adversely affected by the publicity.

4. Play Up, Play Up for the Arsenal

We understand that your fortunes on the field will vary, that some days it won’t go for you, that you’ll be carrying an injury or you’ll be struggling in an unfamiliar position or your touch will have mysteriously vanished. That’s OK. We also know that on other days you’ll be a world beater and we sincerely hope there will be more of those ones.  But what we can’t forgive is NOT TRYING. Even if you’re having the biggest stinker of a game of your career, we’ll forgive you if you are trying your hardest. Just look at how we applauded Nicki Bendtner during his performance against Burnley, when he missed seven open goals. We didn’t mind because we knew he was still trying and not hiding.

5. Respect the Club and Its Traditions

Do not give interviews saying that one day you might like to play at a ‘bigger’ club: you are already at the world’s biggest club. Do not kiss the badge then angle for a move elsewhere. When you refer to the club in public, refer to it as The Arsenal: that will immediately tell us fans that you know and respect our traditions. If you happen to leave, always speak respectfully of your former home (for evidence of how to do this, look to the words of Henry, Pires, Bergkamp). Do that and you will always be welcomed back.

6. Know That The Club Is Bigger Than You

We live in a footballing age of colossal wages and colossal egos. And as a player surrounded by yes-men and hangers-on it is easy to become self-obsessed. But if you just open your mind you will find it even more rewarding to recognise that you are a part of a great historical project. Take comfort in the fact that you are an actor in a story that also includes Cliff Bastin, Alex James, Ted Drake, Jack Kelsey, Charlie George, Bob Wilson, Liam Brady, Malcolm Macdonald, Ian Wright, Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and others too numerous to mention. Embrace that heritage and the heritage will embrace you long after you have hung up your luminous pink boots.

7. Know Your Enemy

You’re a professional. You have to treat every game as it comes, the next game is always the most important etc etc . But never forget that for we supporters, playing the muppets from up the Seven Sisters Road is always something special. That’s the game where, more than any other, you really do have to put heart and soul on the line. For more than a decade we have kept them firmly in their place. Now, after our first PL defeat in such a long time, they are sniffing around us like jackals around a distracted lion. Next season it’s your duty to put them back in their place. Nothing less will do.

Follow these rules and you will help to rebuild a contract between players and supporters, one that has been cracked and creaking these last few years. You still have our support, but, let’s be honest, the relationship has been shaky at times and on both sides we have been guilty of behaving less well than we should.

But if you keep this simple charter close to your heart, you will truly feel the atmosphere change and you will experience a virtuous circle of mutual support and success.

2018/2019 is a fresh start. Let us rediscover the love.”

Written by RockyLives


Goodbye Poldi, Mattie, and who else?

June 9, 2015

Deadwood. We always have them but our current deadwood is quality.

We don’t have a Bendtner or a Denilson (sorry boys I liked you both), instead we have a German International with 123 caps and almost 48 international goals (more than Rooney), a French DM who wowed us on his return from AC Milan but is now well down the pecking order thanks to the excellence of the players in front of him. We have Campbell who had a fantastic WC and is still only 22 but has over 40 International caps. Times have changed.

And who else? No-one in the defence, they are all good enough and young enough. Perhaps Szczesny could go but I for one hope he stays.

Midfield? Apart from Flamster who could go?

Jack? Don’t be silly.

Cazorla? No way.

Ramsey? Are you nuts?

Coquelin? Given his remarkable improvement who is to say that he cannot continue to improve next season?

Arteta? Club captain and the recipient of a contract extension to 2016. Same as Rosicky.

In the forward line there are more possibilities for change. As discussed over that past few days, a new CF would be good  and Sanogo could be sold but why when he has potential and has just turned 22.

Theo? We have done this 🙂

Ozil and Sanchez? To sell them would be completely mad – unless we can get €30m more than we paid for them and even then I hope AW would say Non.

OG? Neigh.neigh and thrice Neigh. Another who is improving every season.

What do you think, who gets the Spanish Archer? (El Bow)

written by Big Raddy

Another striker in January?….Do we need to be careful?

November 12, 2013

The need for Arsenal to add an additional striker in January seems to be a hot topic in the media and generally across the net on the Arsenal related sites. This is a topic I have thought about putting up for greater discussion for some time now, and as there have been increasingly more official comments on the site recently about whether we need an addition to the striker department in January, I thought now would be a good time to bring up the topic as an official discussion point.

There seems to be a consistent feeling amongst the media, pundits, and public at large, that Arsenal are potentially genuine title contenders, but require an additional striker to make this a reality. Without said addition, despite how well things are currently going, we will still get caught short as the season progresses. One injury to Giroud and it is all curtains for our EPL challenge. Is this thought process a genuine concern?

I have to hold my hands up and say that I have changed my mind on a few occasions through the summer and the start of the season as to whether an additional front man is required, and if so who. Before the start of the season I was of the opinion that Ollie was a very good front man and totally worthy of a place in the Arsenal squad, but more as a second choice striker to someone slightly more world class (apologies for the cliché).

Well Ollie has very much changed my mind on this. He has stepped up a level and, even if he is still not the most prolific goal-scoring striker, his strengths seem to fit ideally with our current system, and the players he has around him. In other words he makes the whole team play better, and maybe that is more important than a few extra individual goals.

So if we do look to add to the strike force do we need to be careful as to how we do it and who we try to bring in, so as not to upset the great harmony that currently exists in our squad? I feel that if we are giving serious consideration to our striker department then we have three main options :

1 Buy no-one and go with what we have and hope that Stuart Robson is not able to say I told you so at the end of the season.

2 Buy a player who is identical or very similar to Giroud.

3 Buy a different type of striker to Giroud.

So, looking at option 1, what if we bought no-one? At present, due to injuries, I think we can all see that the options outside of Ollie are a little bit bare. What happens however when Theo and Podolski return. Both players who will give a good goal return over a season, and who both seem to be natural finishers. The question-mark with both of them is can they step into Giroud’s role or are they more suited to playing off of him? I have my own personal opinions on this but will refrain until later and allow you all to express yours.

With option 2 we can look at a player of a very similar type to Giroud, so that one can play when the other doesn’t, and we don’t then lose any fluency in the system we play. If so are we looking to bring in this player as a back up to Giroud, who will then become second choice to him, or are we looking to bring in a similar standard player, or perhaps someone considered of a similar style but even better than Ollie?

All potential considerations in option 2 have their problems. Most back up players will not directly replace his quality and may not in reality give us more than Nik B currently does, which for me would seem a futile exercise. With a similar standard player to Giroud, or one considered better, then we are likely asking Ollie to relinquish being permanent first choice and either playing in a 50-50 job sharing role, or becoming back up himself. That would seem very harsh on Ollie, and may even back-fire on us if it upsets the teams balance and current harmony.

It also needs to be considered, that with a player that some will perceive to be better than Ollie, it is not guaranteed that they would indeed step in and actually be better. They may have looked great before they came to us, but may not look as suited to our style, and the EPL in general, once they have stepped in. That could be an expensive mistake to find out, and I am in reality struggling to see many target men type strikers that have the all round game that Ollie has, that could be considered to be as good as, or a better option than him.

Option 3 is to buy a different type of striker to Ollie, and if possible one that has both the ability to lead the line in Giroud’s absence, or even play alongside or behind him. It is my belief that this is what Arsene was looking for with Suarez. His ability to play both roles means it wouldn’t always have to be him or Ollie, as it would be with the type of player from option 2, but could be him and Ollie at times. These types of players don’t seem to grow on trees though and tend to be the most expensive players out there, because they have the dual ability of a top goal-scoring striker, and the ability of a top class attacking midfielder so that they can also play the slightly deeper or support striker role.

So what is the best option for us as it currently stands? I would like to hear your opinions on this subject but would like to ask you to, as well as just putting names forward, think about what it means to the squad as a whole both in a positive way and a negative way, and to give a rationale to your answers.

For example if you don’t think we need anyone then which players will cover the role Ollie currently plays if he is injured? If you do think we need another addition then are you more leaning towards option 2 or 3 and who is it you want? Is your preferred choice firstly a realistic one, and secondly are they coming in as a back up striker, or as first choice striker? Will one of the previously more regular first team players be pushed down the pecking order to the point where they will likely consider leaving us and if so are you ok with this and who do you consider that player should be?

Over to you….

Written by GoonerB

Arsenal Lifeline for Chamakh?

July 23, 2012

It’s no secret that “transfers out” remain as much a priority for Arsenal this summer as “transfers in”.

Leaving aside the likely departure of Brave Sir Robin, Arsène Wenger has stated that any more arrivals are contingent on selling players who are surplus to requirements or who want out.

The players in the Out Tray include some or all of Marouane Chamakh, Nicklas Bendtner, Andrey Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci, Johann Djourou, Lukasz Fabianski and Ju-Young Park.

If you can detect the sound of creaking when you read that list, it’s because those players are often referred to in the Arsenal online community as “Dead Wood.”

The conventional wisdom is that they all failed to reach the standard required for Arsenal. Some (like the defender we so optimistically christened “the Squid”) through not appearing to have sufficient ability, others (like the Walt Disney character known as Little Andrey) through lack of application.

Most fans would probably be happy if all were shipped out in the next few weeks, especially if there is a decent few million quid coming back in the opposite direction.

But hold on just a moment.

Lest we throw out any babies with the bathwater (a particular risk for the tiny Russian, it must be said) maybe it’s time to take one last look at those players we are so eager to discard.

Could any of them still contribute to the Arsenal cause?

In the Poll below I would like you to vote for the player (or players) whom you feel could have a chance of going on to have a successful career at Arsenal. But first let’s take a look at the individuals concerned:

Marouane Chamakh

Our carefully coiffured Moroccan is one player who, to my mind at least, has not been treated fairly since moving to the Hallowed Land of N5, either by Arsène or the fans. In his first season, while van Persie was still injured, he showed himself to be a very capable front man, holding up the ball well and scoring goals. When the Dutchman returned, Chamakh got very few opportunities and was never able to find his groove again. The reason I feel Arsène was unfair to him is that, although we may have acquired him as a Plan B, we hardly ever played to his strengths. Ironically, in a team without van Persie and with a more direct approach to attacking (as the arrivals of Podolski and Giroud seem to indicate), the Chamster might just come good again.

Nicklas Bendtner

I will always have a soft spot for Nicki B. He is a ludicrous character, with an ego the size of Denmark and as much self knowledge as a Satsuma. But he can score goals and got some vital ones for Arsenal over the years. He has never had the class to be an Henry or a van Persie, but as a back-up striker who is used to the Premier League… could he still have a future?

Andrey Arshavin

Remember that winning finish against Barcelona? Remember the four goals away at Anfield? What about the superb cross for Thierry Henry’s winning goal up at Sunderland earlier this year? There’s no question that Arshavin has class, but he also often appeared lazy and uninterested. Mind you, he has spent his entire time at Arsenal playing out of position. He’s not a wide left attacker – he is a classic “creative”, someone who sits in the hole behind the front striker. Arsène is said to be scouring world football right now for a creative attacking midfielder. Maybe he already has one…

Sebastien Squillaci

Poor Sebastien. He arrived at the club two seasons ago as, you would imagine, a third or fourth choice CB. Almost immediately Thomas Vermaelen got an arrow in his Achilles and was out for an entire year and our other defenders were so injury blighted they might have been Irish potatoes. The Squid actually played some very decent games for us, but coming in and out of the team, always with different defensive line-ups, meant that he soon started to cop the supporters’ wrath for bad results. His time may well be up, but he is a better player than many seem to think he is.

Johann Djourou

The Big Swiss may be the least deserving of a place in this selection, as there is little evidence that Arsene has any intention of selling him. However, his name regularly appears in the fans’ hit lists of defunct timber. His Arsenal life has been badly hit by injuries and he proved last season that whatever his merits as a CB, he certainly ain’t no right back. But, he has also looked very, very good when he gets a proper run alongside one of the senior CBs. At the very least he has a strong case to be considered an excellent fourth choice CB.

Lukasz Fabianksi

I suspect many Gooners would be happy to keep our only remaining Fab as back-up to Szczesny. The problem appears to be that the older of our two Poles-in-goal wants regular first team football. His error-strewn past means he will never get the top job at The Grove (despite Szczesny’s best efforts to out-Fabianski him). But would you keep him if he was prepared to remain as Number Two?

Ju-Young Park

Er… yes… ahem… Anyone got any ideas what he’s like?

Now – time to get voting – and remember, you can vote for more than one player.


Arsenal at Euro 2012? Interim Report

June 12, 2012

I can’t speak for anyone else but my prime interest in what has been a very good tournament (so far) is the Arsenal players. After one round of games how are we faring?

Arshavin.  AA had a super game and was involved in most of the attacking Russian play. Contrary to the pundits knee-jerk reactions, AA played in his normal position of right attacking midfield. He was pacy, beat his man at will and his passing was excellent. We have seen games like this from him before but they are few and far between. More of the same please and then let’s get a juicy fee for him.

Rosicky. TR struggled in a team which look poor. Forced to go wide to find space he could not influence the game,  and his own high standards he will disappointed. There were some tidy flicks, turns and passes but in a team with Milan Baros as the lone striker it was always going to be difficult against a Russia team possessing a fine midfield. Expect better tonight.

One for Irish …

Bendtner. Didn’t score but played well. He plays a different role for Denmark than earlier in his career when he was primarily on the left. Used s a lone central striker he had his back to goal most of the game and looked to bring the onrushing midfielders into the attack. I thought he worked hard but without much success. His new role for Denmark is what I hoped Chamakh would bring to Arsenal – why didn’t AW give Nik the same opportunity?

Szczesny. Nightmare of a game which will haunt him for years. A poor decision led to the Greek goal and another to his sending-off. It could be said that he took the red rather than concede a certain goal, in which case it worked well for Poland. Can’t see him getting another game in the tournament.

RvP. Another man who disappointed. I cannot recall him being so wasteful in any game last season. Was it the expectation? Was he too tense? In his defence he created the chances and was in position to score, if he continues to find the space he will punish Germany.

Podolski. My first real look at him and I liked what I saw. Played much deeper than I expected. He is strong, direct and has a good shot. Early days but I can see why we bought him and why he scores so often.

The Ox. Needed much better service from an England team which showed no creativity. If Hodgson is looking to O-C to be the spark then he must tell the team to get the ball to him early. A few good runs and a couple of decent passes. He was understandably tense and frustrated with himself when things went wrong. We have signed a gem.

Walcott. 3 minutes of action. One touch. Better than Ashley Young.

All in all a bit disappointing. I hoped to see Koscielny start ahead of Mexes (who has the worst haircut I have ever seen) – perhaps he will get his chance later in the competition.

How are we doing?  5 out of 10.   Have the ability – Could do better.

Written by Big Raddy

Arsenal Pays The Price For Project Youth …… Twice

June 28, 2011

It is widely acknowledged that the strategy of bringing through young players was the only way for Arsenal to try to maintain their prominence at the top of the Premiership whilst paying for the Emirates Stadium.

It worked brilliantly, mainly due to an exceptional balancing act by Arsène Wenger. We did not flatter to deceive – we deceived, and for 5 years we proved the critics wrong. Managers are often applauded for bring their club up a division; well Wenger’s feat certainly ranks as highly.

I don’t believe the term ‘Project Youth has ever been used by AW or the club and is seen by some as an indictment rather than an accolade, but for the purposes of discussing past and future recruitment, I shall continue to use it here whatever your personal feeling is about it’s efficacy.

Arsène Wenger was the architect of the plan and in truth he was just being pragmatic because he had few other choices. He cites many advantages to bringing through young players together, but it is apparent that his growing frustration in the latter part of last season was due to his disappointment that it had not brought all the rewards he had envisaged.

The sad truth about P.Y. is that there is a sting in the tail. Now that we have established a stable financial model, the team built around Fabregas is beginning to crumble and reinforcements are required.

Herein lies the problem. The wages paid and the erratic performances of some of those players has meant that suitors are not exactly queuing for their services, and when they do, the valuation often falls short of what the club would expect.

From past dealings, it does not appear that Silent Stan is likely to throw 30 million at Arsène for a marquee signing and I doubt the manager would spend it if he did, so the club is in the predicament of either hanging on to players who have disappointed or selling cheaply and therefore reducing the funds available for ‘quality’ replacements.

Arsenal is a top European side who perennially feature in the Champion’s League. We generate vast amounts of money on the pitch and commercially but we play a different game from the other clubs and personally I’d rather buy within our means if SK keeps his promise not to saddle the club with debt. If we had debts like Barca or Manu, I’d be more happy for us to spend money we don’t have – what the hell!!,  but when you’ve trodden one path so successfully for so long, why change?

And so we are in a waiting game. Waiting to see what kind of offers (if any) we will get for the likes of Bendtner, Clichy, Eboue, Almunia and Denilson. Waiting to see who of those we have been scouting are still available if and when we sell. Waiting for Barca to come up with the right offer for Cesc …… which may happen sooner rather than later if  recent reports are to  be believed.

There is a world of difference between selling a player who is no longer wanted in which case the buyer knows he can call the shots; and selling a player who you want to keep. In most cases, you are in the driving seat when you don’t want to sell. Unfortunately, when that player only wants to go to one club, even that advantage is diminished.

I expect Cesc’s departure will trigger the purchase of a replacement midfielder, most likely Ricardo Alvarez, in the same way as Bendtner’s sale will create the funds for the possible signing of Gervinho or A. N. Other striker. Balancing (reducing) the wage bill is every bit as important as finding the money to buy players.

The power lies largely in the hands of others. The clubs we are dealing with know this and it gives them the upper hand. So prepare yourselves fellow Gooners for a frustrating summer. Project Youth was the only choice we had in 2006 and it continues to restrict our choices in 2011.

Written by Rasp

2010 Arsenal Embarrassed ……. what went wrong in 2005? – written by RockyLives

September 27, 2010

Last night I typed “Arsenal+Embarrassed” into Google, limiting the search to the previous 24 hours. The number of hits was 31,500, which just about says it all.

I don’t want to join the stampede of condemnation that followed Saturday’s result and I do not subscribe to the theory that our season is over before it’s begun, but I’ll admit to being spooked.

It would be great to put it down to a bad day at the office (the sort of bad day where you realise too late that you forgot to put your trousers on before leaving home), but the flaws we displayed had the whiff of déjà vu all over them. And that’s not the name of a new perfume from Victoria Beckham.

Familiar failings were on display, but when did they become familiar? At what point did the Rolls Royce Arsenal of Doubles, trophies and unbeaten seasons give way to today’s version: a flashy Lamborghini with a dodgy carburetor?

Looking back through recent history a lot, to me, hinges on the group of players who arrived in 2005.

In the year from January 2005 to January 2006 the following players came into our club:

Emmanuel Eboue

Nicklas Bendtner

Armand Traore

Alex Hleb

Abou Diaby

Emmanuel Adebayor

Alex Song

Theo Walcott

Vito Mannone

Mart Poom

We have had good and bad players before and since but there is a certain malaise that seems to affect the 2005 intake and I would love to know the reason.

Leaving aside Mannone and Poom, who are bit-part players, the others, to a greater or lesser degree, share certain failings that have frustrated the supporters and affected results:  lack of focus, lack of awareness, inability to concentrate, bad decision-making and what might be summed up as a lack of pure class.

The likes of Diaby, Walcott, Song, Hleb and Adebayor have looked like world beaters one game and panel beaters the next.

Of the bunch you would have to say that Adebayor was the most successful because he had one good season, and that Theo should be cut some slack because of his age and because he is now (hopefully) beginning to show signs of turning into the finished article.

But the rest – particularly Diaby, Eboue, Traore and Song – have shown a maddening lack of consistency. They can be amazing one minute (Diaby away at Villa anyone?) but on their bad days they seem to lack effort and a sufficient degree of football intelligence.

In fact, with their repeated inability to pick the right option they don’t feel like Wenger players at all. Arsene has always loved players who read the game intuitively – think Vieira, Petit, Pires, Fabregas, Ljungberg and others too numerous to mention.

Of the 2005 batch even Bendtner (whose work rate and effort is beyond reproach) is hampered by what can only be described as a certain lack of class, evident in his poor touch and poor decision-making.

For what it’s worth, I think that in 2005 Arsene took his eye off the ball when it came to transfers.  The sheer scale of the job involved in moving to the Grove must have been all-consuming (it has been reported many times that Arsene pored over every little detail of the new stadium). Added to this was the knowledge that money would be tight for several years to come. Somewhere in all this I believe he did not give the job his usual focus and ended up signing players he would not have signed today.

Of course that could be 100% wrong. Maybe the 2005 intake have struggled because they arrived at the transition point from a great team to a merely good one and could not cope with the expectation and pressure.

Or maybe, joining a team that had so recently been Invincible, they thought success would come automatically to them without having to sweat every drop of blood to achieve it. To use an in-vogue word, maybe they just felt entitled. Up-and-coming players previously at the club, like Cesc and RvP, had had the chance to live and play alongside the Invincibles and, one assumes, to imbibe a sense of what it takes to be the best.

Whatever the reason, our midfield against West Brom had three of the boys of ’05 in it and the failings that have become the trademark of that group of players were evident.  Many of our worst performances of the last few years have led to members of this group being castigated by fans.

Of the outfield players who arrived in 2005, Eboue, Bendtner, Diaby, Song and Walcott are still with us and Traore is out on loan. Who knows, they may end up being instrumental in bringing us silverware, but I’m not banking on it. I‘m putting my faith in the ones who have come after: Wilshere, Ramsey, Nasri, Chamakh, Arshavin, Rosicky, Vela and the rest.