Everyone wants our Santi Cazorla! Arsenal vs Transfer Window

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Intro

It has begun!!! Silly season is upon us and will not cease until 23.00 BST on the 31st of August. Until then we shall be linked with 452 keepers, 1021 CB’s to replace Vermaelen (because the media tells us he’s leaving), 289 RB’s (because Sagna is leaving and the media don’t do enough homework to know we have Carl Jenkinson on our books), 45 672 strikers (or just multiple variations involving Higuain, Jovetic, Villa, and Rooney), and 3 stories about Isco (created by incessant phone calls to Talksport by an individual under the alias of GLIC). You know what though…I love it! Yes they can get a bit repetitive, tiresome, and leave us more than a little angry when they don’t come to fruition. But what else are we going to do in the off-season? It’s too long to be without the Arsenal, and like any drug addict I need my fix…or I’ll KILL YA!

Arsenal drug

Wherever I am, a transfer update page is open on my computer screen and updated regularly (I’m sure a lot of your do the same). If there is nothing I’ll sift through the comments on BK to see who has the inside gossip.

Dive and refresh

Being linked with a player allows us to drift off for a second (or in VCC’s case, drift off for a mini nap) and think about how well he would fit in our team. This can leave us toying with the idea for quite some time. Cesc back??? What happens to Jack? Do we shape the team around him? Is he going to bring the best out of Theo? Will he punch Reina in the face this time if he tries to put a Barcelona shirt on him again? All important questions!!!

Flying the coop:

Flying the coop

Stories will definitely be circulating about Vermaelen (captain not starting media assume he’s not happy), Sagna (heading into his last year and media will jump on previous comments and Arsene not signing up older players), and Arsene himself (last year surely he’ll leave blah blah blah).

Then there are the youngsters: Miquel, Henderson and Coquelin may want more game time?

Frimpong is injured again and is out for 8 weeks, will we resign him? (I hope we do, his injury troubles have curtailed his development, but I like Frimpong and I think (given an injury free run) he is good enough to be our future DM.

Djourou: You would assume is unlikely to be in our future plans so is unlikely to leave.

What to do with Denilson (please Dennis help him leave!!!), Bendtner, Park, and Santos? Hopefully all sold to loosen up the wage bill for incoming players.

Squillaci, Chamakh, and Arshavin will be out the door. Will Fabianski and Mannone depart? Hull has been promoted and may line up a bid for Mannone. He enjoyed his loan spell there and I’m sure Hull supporters would love to see him between the sticks again.

Previous Encounters:

Arsenal 2012/13

Players Purchased

Lukas Podolski – £11,000,000    Draw            (injuries have meant we haven’t see what Lukas is capable as of yet)

Olivier Giroud – £13,000,000   Win/Draw (team didn’t utilise Giroud fully, good patches and bad. Will come good)

Santi Cazorla – £20,000,000    WIN WIN WIN!!! (absolute gem. Cheap as chips and top little player)

Nacho Monreal – £8,300,000   Win (another shrewd bit of business. Just what we needed with Gibbs’ history)

Players Sold

BSR, Vela, Bartley, Song, Lansbury, and Almunia

 

Arsenal 2011/12

Players Purchased

Carl Jenkinson – £1,000,000    Win (Improved immensely. Arsenal through and through. Legend in the making)

Gervinho – £10,600,000          Loss (jury is out on Gerv. I don’t mind him but hasn’t shown enough)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – £12,000,000    WIN WIN!!! (Possibilities are endless with this kid!)

Joel Campbell – £950,000       Draw (still a relative unknown, shown glimpses. Could be another Arsene gem)

Park Chu-Young – £3,000,000 Loss (never really sure he existed. Marketing gimmick no doubt)

André Santos – £6,200,000      Loss (lost me with the BSR shirt swap. Showed glimpses, Monreal is the better choice!)

Mikel Arteta – £10,000,000    Win (new position new player! Real leader and has given his all from day one!)

Per Mertesacker – £10,000,000 Win (slow start but the leader of our defence. Steadied the ship and helped Koscielny)

Thomas Eisfeld – £400,000     Draw (big hopes for Eisfeld. Goal scoring midfielder with a bright future I feel)

 Players Sold

Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy, Traore, JET, Eboue

Arsenal 2010/11

Players Purchased

Marouane Chamakh – Free    Loss (started well. Lost confidence and went all downhill from there)

Laurent Koscielny – £10,000,000  WIN WIN WIN!!! (top notch defender, only getting better and an Arsene gem)

Sebastien Squillaci – £4,000,000   Loss (collected his pair slip, not suited for the EPL given the stage of his career)

Ryo Miyaichi – Undisclosed Draw (injuries have ruined his chances. Impressive highlight reel. One for the future hopefully)

 Players Sold

Senderos, Eduardo, Simpson, Merida

Form Guide:

Arsenal 2012/13

Grade = B

Yes we lost the Brave Sir Robin to our enemies but after his stunt we really had no choice but to get rid of him (I know some of you would have kept him for another year, but it would have been too toxic to the players. Anyway we’ve done that to death).

With his departure we gained Santi Cazorla…and what a revelation he has been in his first season (don’t think so? Read what other supporters think about him below!). With a grade A striker in front of him he will flourish. We have more than adequate cover for Gibbs with Spanish international Monreal. It will be an interesting tussle between the two left backs and hopefully they can bring the best out of one another.

Song was a big loss I feel. I hope he comes back to Arsenal after having a tough first season at Barcelona. Podolski was affected by injuries for most of the season so I don’t think we really know what he’s capable of as yet! Giroud’s form was up and down. He gives his best for the team and will be a handy squad player giving us that PLAN B.

Arsenal 2011/12

Grade = C

Fabregas couldn’t fight his DNA and finally moved back to Barcelona. It was a massive loss and he left a crater in our midfield! The season long injury to young Jack didn’t help matters either. Fat boy Nasri left also. He set the premier league on fire for 6 months but hasn’t done much since. 22 million for him was a good bit of business. The Ox was a great purchase and will be a world beater in time. Jenks made everyone eat a little humble pie. His spirit and determination is a joy to watch. Arteta and BFG brought with them leadership and much need experience. Unfortunately Santos and Gervinho didn’t deliver. The loss of Clichy hurt given, repetitive injuries to Gibbs and an abdominal injury to Santos.

Arsenal 2010/11

Grade = B-

Not a whole lot lost, but not a whole lot gained either. Koscielny has the potential to drive the grade higher if he continues to improve. Eduardo had to depart because he was a shadow of his former self.

Arsenal Archive

This week’s Arsenal Archive goes back to 2000. We lost our Dutch left-winger Marc Overmars in the summer to Barcelona for £25 million. How on earth could we replace the ‘Roadrunner’? Simple…go out and sign French ace Robert Pirès for £6 million. Initially he found English football tough to handle, but once he got settled in he never looked back. In 2001/02 he won the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the year and Arsenal’s player of the season. After 189 appearances and 62 goals Pirès left Arsenal, but he will always be remember as one of the best ever to put on the Arsenal kit. Here’s to you Bobby Pirès, thanks for the magical moments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28S8kFG7hBM

One to Watch:

Thomas Vermaelen

What will become of our Captain Courageous/fearless leader/the Lion of Flanders? Will he continue the captain’s curse and fall on his sword? Or will he put his head down and work his socks off over the pre-season and become the player we all know he’s capable of? I think it’ll be the latter! Vermaelen doesn’t look like a quitter who walks out when the going gets tough. Yes he has been replaced in the starting 11 but run to another club with his tail between his legs…I think not! I expect him to kick Arsene’s door down and tell him he’s ready to fight. Arsenal will be a better team if he fights for his position, not only for his development, but for the benefit of BFG and Koscielny.

‘Pre-Match’ Finger:

kid finger

My special transfer edition finger goes to the newspapers who print/report nonsense time and time again. We constantly hear ‘sources’ or ‘reports’ etc etc but some of the things suggested in these articles are complete rubbish. Here is a look at which newspapers to look at over the summer transfer window, and which to wipe your behind with [courtesy of footballtransferleague.co.uk (all data collected since 2006)]:

Rumour accuracy

I suppose if you use the scattergun approach you’re bound to be right sooner or later.

‘Pre-Match’ pat on the back:

pat on the back

A pat on the back goes out to any player signed by Arsenal over the transfer window. Welcome aboard, you have made it to the best club in football today. Arsene deserves a lot of credit for his work over the transfer window also. I’m sure he never sleeps and I feel it’s the busiest time of the year for him.

My biggest pat on the back goes to anyone willing to take Denilson off our hands! Please someone take him, I can’t bear the thought of him playing in the Arsenal kit again. It’d be enough to turn a man into a lunatic!

No Denilson

Seeing him watch Jenas as he sprints by. Pat Rice yelling at him to get off the ground and to carry on. Seeing him fall over like he was shot when no one was around…ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

ask-the-opposition-transfer      

This week ‘Ask the opposition’ returns to help with our transfer window needs. It is designed to get some friendly banter from our opposition fans and get their insight for the match ahead.  This week we see returning Chelsea fan CD from  chelseadaft.org , James from  http://scfc2.co.uk/ (@swansinfo), Paul from tomkinstimes.com, and a host of other opposition supporters from various blogs. Thanks for your help gents!

1)    What area/s of weakness does Arsenal have on the pitch?

Redwhiteandermblue (Spurs): I don’t like your new strikers. Podolski’s okay but no more, and Giroud’s a French Andy Carroll, but with less technique. The fact they score is because they’re at the end of a Wenger-trained team with some very talented players in it. I’ve always been a Walcott fan. He made a considerable step up this year, and may continue to improve–I think the question may be how much time he’s willing to put into training. Your defending has improved immensely since you benched Vermaelen. I’m still not a Mertesacker fan. You don’t have a DM, but I’m not sure that’s a weakness. I’ve gotten to like Arteta over time.

Now suffering in Spain (Spurs): You badly need a D.M.

Spurs disciple (Spurs): Arsenal’s weaknesses are that they lack width (even from the fullbacks) and a defensive midfielder – not a role I would ever have expected Arteta to play in is Everton days.

Human being in Croydon (Spurs): Their weakness isn’t on the pitch; it’s marauding around the technical area.

Roo (Spurs): DM, RB and in need of another striker.

Spurs or Sex? (Spurs): I think you lack a clinical finisher, a DM and most certainly a goal keeper.

Alberts Chip Shop (Newcastle): poor goalkeeper and poor defence plus lack of a DCM

Se7en (Man U): GK, centre back, right back, central midfield & wide forward/striker.

Cordon726 (Man U): GK, CB, RB, CDM, ST

CD (Chelsea): I look at Arsenal from the outside in and it’s always been the spine of the team in recent seasons that appears to be the problem. Any side that loses the likes of Fabregas, Song and Van Persie needs to ensure they have players that can replace those people in those areas and I don’t believe that Arsenal have.

Right now, I would say that a holding midfielder and a 20-30 goal a season striker is what the Arsenal need. Arteta isn’t a ball winner, Wilshire isn’t and Rosicky isn’t. Ramsey works hard all game but again, I wouldn’t categorise him as a holding midfielder.

I would play Theo Walcott through the middle up top for a full season as I believe he could be another “Henry” but I’m not the manager. Those are the two main areas Arsenal MUST strengthen this summer to challenge.

James (Swansea): To me, Arsenal seem to lack a real goal scorer and a top class finisher that I would expect from a top 4 club. Maybe Giroud will be that man but you don’t seem to have replaced RVP yet (but that is difficult to do!) I also feel you’re a bit brittle in the centre of defence and lack a real leader back there. I always remember Arsenal sides based upon their defensive leadership and strength but no you can’t have Ashley Williams

Paul (Liverpool): I do think that goalkeeper has been a problem for several seasons, based on what I have seen.

Schad (Southampton):       1. Inconsistency in central defence.

2. Lack of a midfield anchor for the games where it’s needed.

3. Gervinho.

4. Could use a world-class striker, but who couldn’t. Attack is top-four worthy as is, just probably not going to drag you to a title in the near future.

TomW19 (Southampton): Right back, Centre back, maybe also in defensive midfield.

SM (Hull): I think Arsenal’s main weakness at the moment is that they are lacking a solid striker. With RVPs departure neither Podolski nor Giroud has really stepped up and claimed the spot. Podolski hasn’t even really been played up forward.

2)    What player/s would improve that weakness?

Redwhiteandermblue (Spurs): Erm, Jovetic or Higuain, to name a couple.

Now suffering in Spain (Spurs): A player like Sandro ( No! You can’t have him)

Spurs disciple (Spurs): If they had Lennon/Ben Arfa and Sandro/Fellaini they would be title chasing.

Human being in Croydon (Spurs): A defensive midfielder is a must (Tiote might slot in well) as well as a decent keeper. Cesar would be a good bet, as QPR have to get rid of him ASAP.

Roo (Spurs): not sure but it’d have to be top top quality.

Spurs or Sex? (Spurs): You never replaced Song, whom I thought was a very good DM. Someone like Matuidi would be great for you. Maybe Song himself would want a return seeing as Barca use him sparingly.

Alberts Chip Shop (Newcastle): Krul / Cesar, Sissoko, Mbiwa.

Se7en (Man U): Cesar/Begovic/Mignolet, Piszcek/Richards, Williams/Vertonghen, Strootman/Fabregas/Cabaye/Song, Jovetic/Alexis/Ben Arfa/Muniain/Higuain.

Cordon726 (Man U):          GK- I think Julio Cesar would be a great signing.

CB- Not sure who, but the defender needs to have pace.

RB- either M. Richards or M. Lowton.

CDM- I think Arsenal should try to resign A. Song.

ST- Benteke or Lacina Traore from Anzhi

CD (Chelsea): There isn’t many holding midfielders up to the standard to choose from is there. Someone like Tiote from Newcastle would be ideal but to be honest anyone who is prepared to sit, win a tackle and then give the ball to someone else would do these days!

As for up top for the Arsenal, I would play Walcott there but if you had to bring someone in, why not someone like Higuain from Real Madrid. A proven, natural goal scorer? Just imagine if you were prepared to spend big and you were able to bring someone like Falcao in? Imagine just how many goals he would score!

James (Swansea): I think that Arsenal should try and sign someone like Benteke from Aston Villa. He could be a help I think

Paul (Liverpool): There are some very good goalkeepers out there. Szczesny is fine for his age, but not exceptional, and hasn’t quite got that authority yet. With Reina possibly moving to Barcelona, we may be in for the same keepers!

Schad (Southampton):       1. Kyriakos Papadopoulos seems to be getting tossed around as a possibility for every English club.

2. Someone who is not Morgan Schneiderlin because we will cut you.

3. Someone who is not Gervinho.

4. The usual £40m suspects.

TomW19 (Southampton): Micah Richards, Srna, Sahin.

3)    Jovetic or Higuain?

Redwhiteandermblue (Spurs): Higuain, but I haven’t seen Jovetic that much.

Now suffering in Spain (Spurs): Not sure on that one – not seen enough of either.

Spurs disciple (Spurs): Higuain – though neither scare me from what I’ve seen.

Human being in Croydon (Spurs): Higuain.

Roo (Spurs): Higuain.

Spurs or Sex? (Spurs): Giroud has done OK in his first year but I don’t see him ever becoming a threat like Henry/ van Persie and for a club like Arsenal being a “good” striker won’t really cut it. Higuain would be ideal for you guys I think.

Alberts Chip Shop (Newcastle): Jovetic.

Se7en (Man U): Higuain, haven’t seen Jovetic play as much.

Cordon726 (Man U): Higuain if I had to choose, but both are good. I would prefer Benteke or Traore.

CD (Chelsea): Higuain all day. I would take him as soon as he was offered to us; I believe he is that good. You have strikers that have to work hard at their game and others where it comes naturally to them. Higuain is a natural and top drawer.

James (Swansea): Higuain

Paul (Liverpool): Both are very good players. Higuain is a reliable scorer, Jovetic is more versatile and has more flair, playing out wide as well as through the middle. Rafa Benítez wanted Jovetic and Aquilani in 2009, and funds were taking away from him for the former. Instead we went into the season short of strikers and it all fell apart.

More injured than Owen (Liverpool): You can afford but won’t get Jovetic. I think Higuain would be a huge deal for you and fits the style

Schad (Southampton): Higuain; more of an out-and-out goalscorer.

TomW19 (Southampton): Higuain

SM (Hull): I think Jovetic should do quite well for you guys if the move is completed.

4)    Julio Cesar or Szczesney?

Redwhiteandermblue (Spurs): Cesar. Szcz has proven to be a good pundit. Too bad about the keeping.

Now suffering in Spain (Spurs): Cesar

Spurs disciple (Spurs): Cesar next season. Chesney will be decent in the future, but still not mature enough for a keeper.

Human being in Croydon (Spurs): Cesar.

Roo (Spurs): Neither.

Spurs or Sex? (Spurs): Julio Cesar is 10x better than Chesney. From what I’ve seen of Chesney, he makes the odd save here and there but is too error prone. Cesar is one of the world’s best, **** knows why he went QPR (money).

Alberts Chip Shop (Newcastle): Cesar.

Se7en (Man U): Cesar, his signing wouldn’t threaten Chesney’s long term No. 1 slot either.

Cordon726 (Man U): Cesar without a doubt.

CD (Chelsea): Believe it or not I would say Szczesney all day over Julio Cesar. He is young, learning the game and is already a good shot stopper. Someone like him will only improve and in time will prove his worth.

James (Swansea): Don’t rate either of them!

Paul (Liverpool): Szczesny. He’s still quite young and should improve with time. Cesar was great but not sure he’s that special anymore.

More injured than Owen (Liverpool): Cesar isn’t great, not messing about here. Szczesney is inconsistent but a better bet. Why pay the wages for a crap Brazilian?

Schad (Southampton): Not Julio Cesar.

TomW19 (Southampton): Szczesney

SM (Hull): I think Cesar is past his best, so I think sticking with Szczesney is probably the best option, though signing Cesar as back up might be a promising move.

5)    What player would you buy from Arsenal and why?

Redwhiteandermblue (Spurs): Cazorla, in a heart-beat, if we were willing to pay for him (Ha. Ha. Ha.). We need a first rate playmaker. Cazorla may have edged Mata for best playmaker all-PL, to me. Good as Mata is, he has more to work with. I can only guess you start Cazorla on the wing because you feel obligated to start Wilshire in the center. Your team is therefore better w/o Wilshire. Incidentally, I used to rate Wilshire very highly, though I dislike his chavvy ways. Now I’m afraid he’s joining the list of young players who become injury-riddled through overuse. Too bad, because I don’t want anyone injured.

Now suffering in Spain (Spurs): Cazorla – classy player.

Spurs disciple (Spurs): Cazorla. Exactly the sort of player we need. Next best bets are Wishere and Walcott. The rest I wouldn’t want at all, as they are not improvements on what we have.

Human being in Croydon (Spurs): Cazorla would fit in well at Spurs, as he’s the sort of player we need – a creative midfielder who scores goals.

Roo (Spurs): Cazorla. – Your best player by miles IMO. And scores a fair few goals from midfield, which we lack massively.

Spurs or Sex? (Spurs): I’d take Cazorla in a heartbeat. Looks class

Alberts Chip Shop (Newcastle): Walcott – pace to burn.

Se7en (Man U): We have already signed your best player last year so would have to say Wilshere. Begging for some quality in midfield, great short and long-term option even if he does annoy me a bit.

Cordon726 (Man U): Cazorla – he’s Arsenal’s best player.

CD (Chelsea): I would take Theo Walcott off of you in a heartbeat. Anyone with pace causes problems as Chelsea have seen time and time again. If you can harness his pace and bring the best out of him as a finisher, you could have something really special on your hands. I can see it, I know other supporters can see it, I just can’t understand why Arsene Wenger doesn’t!

James (Swansea): I would love to have Santi Carzola (he would fit right in at Swansea with the Spanish connection we have)

Paul (Liverpool): Wilshire. He’s your best player, and would add something extra to Liverpool’s midfield, especially now Steven Gerard is not as all-action as of old.

More injured than Owen (Liverpool): Obvious. Wilshire, why? He’s the classiest midfielder in the prem for his age group. We don’t need Walcott or Chamberalin as we have options there ourselves.

Schad (Southampton): Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. It’d be fitting.

TomW19 (Southampton): Cazorla because he’s a good player and we need more creativity.

SM (Hull): Mannone. In a heartbeat. Looked great on his two loan spells at the club, expressed interest in joining, and would be a great keeper for us.                       

Prediction:

For the transfer window psychic prediction I got in touch with my bubbly African friend Yakman again. This is how it went down:

Oz: How many players will be signed in the transfer window?

Yakman: 4…possibly 5

Oz: Interesting! Will Jovetic be one of them?

Yakman: Yes, it looks that way!

Oz: Will Sagna and Vermaelen leave Arsenal?

Yakman: Possibly, but I think not!

Oz: Finally, will the supporters be happy with the overall outcome of the transfer window?

Yakman: Not everyone will be pleased.

Overall I’m excited by what this transfer window will bring. While I agree not everyone will be pleased (some won’t unless we sign Messi, Ronaldo, and Kompany), I think those supporters with a bit of reason will be happy and excited for what next season holds. I have complete faith in Arsene and I think this time we will have the right personnel to win the league. With a bit of patience and luck we’ll make it through this transfer window…I’ll be seeing you at the open bus parade!

“You are my Arsenal! My only Arsenal! You make me happy! When skies are grey!

You’ll never know just! How much I love you! Until you take my Arsenal away!

La la-la laaa-laaa! (OOH!) La la-la laaa-laaa! (OOH!)”

Written by: Oz Gunner

 

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120 Responses to Everyone wants our Santi Cazorla! Arsenal vs Transfer Window

  1. James Bond says:

    wow, takes a bow

    that was fantastic to read and yet again you have outdone yourself,

    allow me to make it a wee bit more sweeter for you and everyone else, OG was bought for 9.5 million (we triggered his release clause i believe) and Santi was in the region of 16.5 million, by no means am i being corrective of your figures but just wanted to share and say they were worth every penny as G gives us a plan B.

    i’m not surprised everyone wants our both feet dynamite but i do feel santi is going to be at arsenal for a fair few years , having Arteta at arsenal helped a lot and now with Nacho here, it’s looks like a promising partnership and relationship…let’s get Cesc and that’s 3 Spanish international’s in our ranks !

    once again, splendid read, well done !

    PS: summer of Ashes awaits and suffice to say you lot don’t stand a chance yet again, i feel sorry for pup already actually i don’t ;)

  2. James Bond says:

    as for TW rumours go, here’s one for you

    Lyon want Gervinho on loan, not sure if loaning him out would be in our best interests, much rather if we sell him instead of loaning him…..

    out of curiosity, how long does it take you to come up with such gems ? do all the research, getting in touch with supporters of other teams , so on and so forth ? i’ve just read your article again and it gets better :D 5 star for sure !

  3. VCC says:

    that was a post and a half. WOW

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz :P

    What a unique and joy-to-read post mate! It was a great idea to include the opposition’s view on our key TW questions, and no surprise that Santi is the current opposition fans’ favourite player. Nice to see that Theo and Jack are still valued as well.

    No surprise that they believe we need a ST most of all, but you know my views on this.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Also nice to see that my favourite paper is top in terms of transfer rumours accuracy. Not a big surprise though, as I believe they have a close relationship with Arsenal’s PR department.

    Ooh and never believe anything the Metro has to say.

  6. Glic says:

    Listen here Oz baby !. There are some great posters on BK and I`m not taking anything away from their writing skills as they all have their unigue styles and are fantastic to read, but we are only human and are going to have our favourites, just like we have our favourite players and your Pre-matches are what I always look forward to the most and now you`ve created a sort of PM/TW monster hybrid !, my only problem is you don’t do enough of them, you lazy bastardildo !. F**k Skippy ( I don’t mean in your normal penetrable way ) and spend more time writing !. hahaha

  7. Glic says:

    * When I say great posters, I should have used …great authors !. As commenters , I love you all !. :)

  8. Glic says:

    So basically, if The Guardian was to rumour we were going to buy Messi, Ronaldo and Bale, we would get one !. Quick someone get onto The Guardian and start a rumour !…………..make it a TW one and not the one that I am the father of Shakira, Beyoncé babies and Kate Middleton`s expected one !. The bitches told me they were on the pill !. :devil:

  9. Sid says:

    Im sure I read that Santi cost about £12m…. Seriously and it wasnt in the effin Metro either! :)

    Nice article man.

  10. James Bond says:

    Robben you have redeemed yourself !! party time for sure ;) great final that was but to be honest,

    Man utd should feel hard done …what the hell was the ref doing not showing a straight red to Dante for that kung fu kick let alone a 2nd yellow ? that was day time robbery i reckon…..but i’m not complaining ;)

    check what our boss has been slipping out on french tv :D

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/arsene-wenger-confirms-on-french-tv-that-robert-lewandowski-has-signed-for-bayern-munich/?

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    A great game of football tonight. BM had the best chances and on the basis of that deserve to win. Dortmund played the better football in large parts of the game, but did not produce enough opportunities to win the game; or was Lewandowski a bit under-par tonight? And what was that stamp all about? :?

    HH, is this proof enough for you that Robben can be regarded as ‘world class’ now? :)

  12. James Bond says:

    i wouldn’t mind us paying 15 -18 million for Robben , would be a good acquisition if i manage to sell Gervinho i reckon….

    not sure about him being world class as he could have scored a hat-trick tonight but he is top notch no doubt,

    TA, had the game finished 1-1 or BM lost, i would have been using all sorts of swear words and directed them towards Robben :D he’s a very frustrating player to watch at times, a prima donna queen :D

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    James, he was the best attacker on the pitch by a mile tonight. And please note that notwithstanding he is a fellow Dutchman, I don’t like him very much at all.

    He might have missed opportunities, but so does Messi in games like these. The difference is his intelligence in terms of anticipating where he needs to be. He does that better than most. The assist was a bit lucky, but the goal is the difference between being good or world class. At moments like that, you need composure as much as anything and that is what made the difference. His goal won it and it was not a fluke (and he also scored in the semis against B). World class for me.

  14. AFC says:

    TA, Robben is class but is seen as a selfish and greedy individual who is only in it for himself by many people. He is also said to have tantrums when things are not going his way.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed AFC. The same can be said about Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic. Unfortunately, top class player are seldom nice guys. :(

  16. AFC says:

    TA, I know you are dutch so I hope I am not offending you with this comment.

    Could Holland’s failure of not winning a World Cup be down to the personality of the dutch players. Some of them appear to be quite arrogant and too many of the dutch players have something to say (negative) about the coaches and how the team should be run. Robben is one and now Van Judas fits the description of geing big headed.

    Your thoughts?

  17. AFC says:

    * being

  18. AFC says:

    Some of the dutch players seem to have no respect for the national coaches.

  19. James Bond says:

    TA,

    agreed, not just that but his back tracking today and vs Barca was first class,

    like i said, i wouldn’t mind a player of Robben’s caliber joining Arsenal and if you think he is world class then who am i to argue with you , especially after seeing a MOTM performance in the 2 biggest games of any player’s career..!

    Neuer kept BM in the game as well, what is it about german’s and top notch goalie’s ehh ?

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, I am not offended at all. :)

    It has always been a press theme about Holland, especially here in the UK. There is a short and long answer to your questions, and for the latter it is too late now. The short one is yes, at least partly.

    But you can also turn this round and say that Holland – such a small country relatively – made it to the final of the WC three times, on the basis of its (total) football philosophy as well as having brilliant individuals within the national team.

    One day I will write a post about it and that will be my long answer! :)

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Also thought Reus looked very good. Agreed on Neuer: in fact, both keepers were brilliant and what a tackle/anticipation by Subotic towards the end.

  22. AFC says:

    TA, looking forward to it. :)

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    What did you make of tonight’s game, AFC?

  24. AFC says:

    TA, in the near future I am thinking of writing a post about how we are missing a veteren/club legend and could that be what we need to win trophies (by highlighting the benefits of having such players) with Henry as ah example (possibly).

    Thoughts?

  25. AFC says:

    * an

    TA, unfortunately I could not see the match as I was out for the whole day and came home late. I will have to watch the highlights.

  26. AFC says:

    * verteran

  27. AFC says:

    * veteran

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC

    That is a great basis for a post, and it will highlight a very urgent need for Arsenal imo too.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    What is quite sweet is that Sneijder and Robben, who were both kicked-out by Real Madrid in order to make space for the crazy player purchases – Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema and Alonso – in 2009, have now each won the CL, whereas Madrid have failed every time despite spending in the region of £200m in one summer…. and many more after that.

  30. AFC says:

    TA, I am also thinking of writing a post about how England must rebuild the whole team after the world cup by moving on from the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Carrick etc. Put a younger team together of players under the age of around 28 and let them mature and grow together as a team.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Also a good idea. You could do something around England being based for 40% to 60% on Arsenal players in 2018 world cup (depending on further purchases of English players).

  32. AFC says:

    TA, this is a team I would like England to use.

    GK- Hart
    RB- Jenkinson/Walker
    RCB- Richards/Smalling
    LCB- Cahill/Jones
    LB- Gibbs
    RCM- Wilshere
    LCM- Rodwell
    CAM- Cleverly
    RW- Walcott
    CF- Rooney
    LW- Young/Ox

  33. AFC says:

    Get rid of the old guard. It does not matter if we do not qualify for tournaments. What is the point of qualifying for tournaments we know we will never win.

  34. AFC says:

    I would argue that experience is needed but when your experience is pretty average and entering declines it is better to go with the potential as the experience is doing more harm than good.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Maybe keep Carrick and add Jagielka and or Dawson at the back.

  36. AFC says:

    TA, for me those players are pretty average and it would be time better spent developing the likes of Smalling and Rodwell who could be much better than those players.

  37. Admir says:

    Hello, people! :)

    A wonderful job with this article. It’s good to hear those who are on the dark side as well. :D

    TA, it’s interesting that in 2009-10 Inter Milan played Champions’ League Final against Bayern. Inter had Sneijder and Eto’o – two players that were written off by Real and Barcelona respectively – as their key players while Robben – also written off by Real – was the engine of Bayern on their road to the Final. At the same time, another Dutchman struggled to find his way to Real Madrid starting 11 – Van der Vaart. Personally, I have supported Holland since 1998 (because 1) they played the best football, 2) Bergkamp, Gio and Overmars and 3) Bosnia haven’t been on neither WC nor EC yet) but it seems they have two big problems: 1) leadership issues after Gio retired and 2) Portugal.

  38. oz gunner says:

    @ BJ and Sid

    My apologies. I always get my transfer figures from transferleague.co.uk (always find it’s relatively accurate. But i suppose it’s all based on a bit of conjecture anyway).

    Glad you both enjoyed it.

    @ BJ

    It’d be very surprised if we won the ashes to be honest. Australian cricket has fallen along way since the good old days of McGrath, warney, langer etc. Look forward to seeing the Barmy army in action again :)

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    They are good and experienced players, AFC, and you need a bit of experience at least within the team. But it is your post and please go for it. You should also give a thought to who should manage your post 2014 team….

    Anyway, I need to hit the pillow compadre! :)

    Catch up with you tomorrow.

  40. AFC says:

    For me the only players over 28 who deserve to be in the England squad are Lampard and Ferdinand. I would not mind keeping one or two experienced players like Carrick until Rodwell etc improve a bit more. Carrick also deserves a spot in the squad.

  41. AFC says:

    Oz, I will comment on your fantastic post tomorrow.

    I’m off now.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir, tell me about ’2′ – it is always the Portuguese who kick us put! Under van Gaal discipline and togetherness are looking better, but still a long way to go.

    Catch you tomorrow (and nice to hear you support Holland during tournaments). :)

  43. oz gunner says:

    Cheers TA, thanks for the honour of letting me write for your blog once again. The opposition definitely love Santi. Throughout the season most went with Theo, but his drop in form has seen a lot drop off him.

    I’d like to thank all the opposition fans who took the time to answer the questions. I’m wrote to blogs from every team and surprisingly Tottenham fans were the most helpful (some were not so gracious but after last week I’m not surprised :) ).

  44. oz gunner says:

    @ GLIC

    haha I’ll try my best to drag myself away from skippy…it’s hard, she’s needy!
    I’m glad you enjoy my posts and that is one of the biggest compliments I could receive given the class of authors on this site!
    I promise to write more next season.

    haha I agree, someone get word to the guardian. Higuain, Cesc, and Cavani…and go!!!

  45. JGC says:

    Oz

    Great post. My main thought for all would be that if we had a true beast DM, would that provide the quick turnaround and counters necessary for our strike force to do better. I.e. if you could pay 30m for a serious midfield marauder, and I won’t argue the B2B vs DM thing, is there one who would make our strikers good enough to not need a striker except for cover?

    IMO, I think such exist in general but are a far rarer breed than our debates over world class strikers (vs all the rest).

    I ask because of my last comments on risk and reward, …

    Is itbetter to get a very good striker and an average DM (someone well described as “willing sit back, tackle, win the ball and then pass it on to someone else),

    ORRR

    to focus on the true beast DM (song was never ever close to it and thus good business to be sold, IMO)

    Finally, cheers to your opposition inputs. I thought the Chesea and Swans fans had very good things to say.

    Cheers — jgc

  46. JGC says:

    Glic,

    I very much like your approach to statistics!! :)

    While calling the papers could you also start 12 rumors each about Denilson and Santos being sold? That way they are 400% likely to be sold, which is enough safety margin for me to feel comfortable that they will go…

    Cheers — jgc

  47. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    During the last transfer window we spoke about making a play for Robben, and how great he’d be for our young team! I seriously thought he was on his last legs and injuries had curtailed his career. He scored when it really mattered tonght (much to my disappointment). Reus continues to impress me!

    @ AFC

    sounds like a very good idea for a post, looking forward to both yours and HH’s when they come out.

  48. James Bond says:

    firstly,

    the names Bond, James Bond – JB for you :D

    only joking ;)

    no need to apologize, you’ve put in a lot of effort and hard work into writing this sublime piece and making my day, my intention wasn’t to correct you but to share with you how shrewd wenger can be with his economics and fairly decent signings :D (not all obviously but last 4-5 have been top notch , if only he made such signings 2 seasons ago ehhh)

    re- the Ashes, well punter, warney and co were legends no doubt along with hayden but your management is also to be blamed, anyway 4-0 to us poms (yes, i’ve taken the weather into consideration hence not said a white wash) ;)

    Simon Mignolet (sunderland keeper) has been strongly linked to us and i wouldn’t mind him coming over to the emirates , however i much rather prefer someone with champions league experience….

  49. oz gunner says:

    @ Jgc

    Thanks for taking the time to read it.

    I have mixed feelings on the DM beast thing to be honest. Personally, it’s my favourite position and I think they can be the most important players on the pitch.
    A quick and tenacious DM with great stamina could definitely free up another midfielder (e.g allow Ramsey to join in the attacking forays more. Or alternatively allow us to play a more attack minded midfielder).

    BUT, does that mean we are more exposed defensively? We improved defensively this season. Is that because of BFG’s organisation? Kozzer’s improvement? Or Arteta and Ramsey being more mindful of their defensive duties? I don’t profess to know and these matters are better answered by the tactic whiz’s on this site.

    Personally I’d prefer a coquelin/flamini type for the games we want to attack attack attack. Frimpong type when we need to be mindful of the oppositions threat. This biggest thing i think we need to work on is our defensive pressure all of the pitch! None of these Asian tours in the pre-season, get back to the altitude in Austria and work on our stamina. We used to over work the opposition (clubs could park the bus but we would always overrun them in the end!), now in some games we get overrun and rely on clinging on for dear life! Work on our fitness and pressure all over the pitch and I think we won’t need a beast DM, just someone who can convert our chances.

  50. oz gunner says:

    @ BJ

    haha the name is too good to change!

    Thank you once again. Arsene is definitely one of a kind that’s for sure. The Santi purchase was brilliant given the price and what he’s delivered in his first season. For his size he appears to be very durable which is also an added bonus!

    I rate Mignolet but i agree we need some experience. Szcz will be world class, just need someone who will draw that ability out of him.

    haha I think it’ll be 2-1. Big fan of ponting, shame to see him go.

    Must be off, UFC beckons! enjoy your day all

  51. weedonald says:

    Really clever post OG and wholeheartedly agree with your assessments!

  52. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Ozilisious, what a fantastic post baby. All those surfer chicks your surfing seems to have expanded your brain as well as telescope to write such a magnificent opus

    All hail Ozzie baby and his surfing of the surfing chicks. hahaha

    We have sailed the waters well. Almost a decade of clinging on to our champions league status is now over. From this day forward we will push on and claim our rightful place as one of the greatest football clubs on the world.

    As for transfers, i dont like speculation, but with our new found wealth, all part of the grand plan by the way, we will go for top players and compete with the top payers on wages.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring.

    Cricket, great game. I played it once, fancied myself as a fast bowler. i had a moustache in them days so i bowled exactly like Dennis Liliie.

    When it was my turn to bowl, to intimidate the batsman i tinkered my moustache, sledged him with how i had just porked his wife, and proceeded to take the longest run up ever.

    After about five minutes running in i finaly got the crease but instead of bowling continued legging it, steamed right up to the the batsman and punched him in the face, decking him in the process…….”Howzatttt”

    Instead of applause i was shocked to find that everyone, including my own team mates turned against me. Even the umpire lost it, taking a swing at me with his walking stick.

    Anyway, i was chased around the pitch by several angry men with sharp looking stumps, and had to avoid the odd cricket ball thrown in my dircetion.Luckily they were crap at cricket, so the ball missed me and hit some of them

    I managed to get to the car park, jumped into the cortina and sped off. As i did, i saw a cricket ball, fortuniately fly over the car, and smash directly into the Umpires wind screen…”Howzatttt” hahahaha.

  53. JGC says:

    Oz,

    Thanks for your comments, your opinion is not too far off mine. Equally, one player can get injured. I am convinced that if Diaby had ever stayed remotely fit he’d have made us much more awesome than 1 added player, but c’est la vie, we cannot wish the past to be different.

    IMO, unless Toure (the better one) somehow came available, or 1-2 others, I would take a lower risk approach and park my risk in the striker acquisition.

    As for fitness, is it our loss of fitness or have others caught up? Equally, unfortunately perhaps, the Asian tours are a necessity. Especially if I am to avoid being confronted by dozens of ManU fans in my classes each year, where over 80% couldnt even find it on a map without detailed looking about. :)

  54. Highbury Harmony says:

    Oz, top stuff as always mate :). Just wondering, but do you spend more time finding/photoshopping pictures in your articles than you do writing them? I mean, let’s be honest you just ask the opposition and that takes up about 3/4 of the article hahaha (just kidding of course)! Always enjoy that particular section as it gives me perspective outside of my own and the opinions we are typically exposed to. Also, they are able to view our players and performances with a more objective eye, not blinded by passion.

    Also, damn I’d like to know who this “Wilshire” character is because we could really use him if he’s as good as these Liverpool fans are suggesting!

    I don’t think anyone can deny that Santi is our most desirable commodity right now. He would seamlessly slot into any side and be even more effective than he already is with a clinical striker in front of him.

    I concur that DM and ST are our biggest needs. DM to unleash the creativity of our other CM and a ST to finish off the additional chances we’ll create. There were times where it honestly seemed that our players were unwilling to play the ball to OG because they knew he’d miss. Either that or everyone else shouldered the goal scoring burden because OG simply was not producing. You and all the opposing fans are absolutely right; he’s good but not exceptional and that’s what we need right now but we’ll take him as our Plan B (http://www.planbonestep.com)

    The rumours are getting crazy these days, aren’t they? Former players are urging AW to spend and to spend on the British! Naturally, that links us to Rooney and what a ridiculous turn of events that would be if we ever managed to pull off that miracle.

  55. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, 100% agreed on Ox!!!!! I was telling TA a while back that I thought he’d be even better than Theo and a world beater someday hahaha! I really hope Ox bounces back after what is called the “sophomore slump” in NA. His skill, pace, strength and vision are just too good to not be on the pitch for us more often. Ox will be a first-team regular by the end of this coming season, watch this space ;).

  56. Highbury Harmony says:

    I can’t help but feel the Bobby P tribute was added to the article just to please me too ;).

    Also, why don’t your calculations factor in how many DM’s we have/will be linked to? I demand exact numbers!!! :twisted:

  57. oz gunner says:

    @ Weedonald

    cheers glad you agree.

    @ Tezza

    hahahahaha brilliant story. I could picture it all unfolding too. I used to think i was pretty good at cricket until me and a few mates went down to the net one day. My best mate brought his big brother down (played for Western Australia and won a National fast ball competition ~150 km/hr). He was bowling spin against everyone until I whacked him down the ground and told him to step it up to the big leagues.

    Unfortunately this only pissed him off. He went back for a long run up and bowled a yorker that just missed my toes. He went back again and instead of doing it again he bowled a bouncer and hit me flush on the helmet and i dropped like a sack of spuds. Suffice to say I learnt my lesson and am thankful he didn’t hit me in the groin, although it probably explains my mental impairment haha.

    @ Jgc

    It is unfortunate that money rules so much because i think a focus on improving our players tank would allow us to implement a stronger pressing game.

    Yaya would definitely help. Diaby is a tragic story, feel for the lad. I think he’s run out of chances. Personally i feel he should take a year off and focus on his fitness (pay cut but stay on the books as a reserve), because it really is last chance saloon for his playing career and drastic measures may need to be taken.

    @ HH

    ah…my secrets out haha. They definitely help beef up my posts. Some of them write top notch stuff about Arsenal which is very refreshing.

    Agreed. The rumours are out of control. Why on Earth would we spend 250k on Rooney? Yes he’s good but come on now that’d be lunacy! Arseblog hit the nail on the head with him. Ox is going to be a superstar without doubt. I hope he keeps that arrogance and confidence he has because all top players need it (not you bendtner. bit like henry). I think he’s going to be a force and will score a few rippers next season.

    Bobby pires is indeed a legend. I’d have to say after Adams and Keown he was my favourite player. That chip goal…

    I think when that ball went in I officially hit puberty :)

  58. Gerry says:

    Great post Oz – Very different approach. I like it.

    I have mixed views on other fans opinions though. I think they mainly tell us what we might expect from only seeing a couple of games, plus highlights. The latter are not always flattering to Arsenal? But among them were some interesting views.

    It also highlights the thought that we might identify players from the opposition that we think are good, but don’t see them for 38 games a season? It might change our opinion? Also, the fans of other clubs, telling us players we need but they don’t want to lose is probably a better base for our opinions for incoming players?

    On the TW thing. I think we do need a serious update in the squad, but done in such a way that they can be introduced without disrupting the good we have. Williams at centre back is a case in point, if we get him? The squad rotation is going to have to be more flexible this time. Players like Vermaelin will be much happier if he and Williams are the alternative pairing, rather than just plan B when we are stuck through injury? That is going to be a hard task to achieve, especially if we bring in 5 or 6 new players.

    The need for a DM is a given. But that should not mean the current axis of Ramsey/Arteta is pushed aside. If player X can fly solo, then great, as it gives us an alternative formation? But either of the above could still be needed on a regular basis some of the time?

    I am of course assuming that incoming players are an UPGRADE note.

    I think the main emphasis should be in strikers, plural. However, in order to keep with the theme of minimum disruption, my first choice would be someone who will play alongside Giroud and be our primary pair, at least while two others get in to the side gradually. If we can get a 40 goal partnership out of that pair, then I feel we should be able to challenge on all fronts. Of course, that does mean the the alternative to Giroud, Higuain for example, would be introduced slowly. Probably from the bench when we are 3 goals.up? ha ha .. Yes it is dreamland time!

    The other position where we could really do with livening up is an attacking midfielder who can dribble, and score? He will also be able to take over from Cazorla. Yes, sacrelige I know. But if you want to get the best out of him for the whole season he should not be playing 40/50 odd matches?

    Beyond that, a back up GK if there is any loose change left over …

    Where does this leave some of our current squad? Well, the operative word is ‘upgrade’, so some will undoubtedly drop back to support/alternative players … and I mean from Wilshere down. Nobody should be an automatic first choice come Christmas. Play the team that has the greatest potential to win each game, and rotate to keep everybody fresh, including the GK.

    How much of this pans out will be down to whether incoming players can seamlessly fit in and bring that extra bit that we have been lacking?

    On the match last night, my first thought was that both teams would have won the EPl title … that is what we must strive for!

    Have a good TW. Remember, only believe 20% of what you read until player puts pen to paper.

  59. alexgunners says:

    OZ,

    Great Work Mate. A truly refreshing article. Everyone loves Cazorla. We picked up a true gem there. How ever long his contract is, let’s extend it. For all of us, THE ARSENAL is our drug and the off season is a period that where speculation and rumours run rife. We all want the best for out team and hope that it is a successful TW for us.

    I really do hope that we get rid off all the deadwood that we have at the moment to make way for potential new signings and clear up wages. Would it be such a big loss for us to let these players go on a free to any clubs considering we have been paying some of their wages whilst they have been on loan anyway. Let’s get rid of them and move on.

    As usual OZ, always a pleasure in reading your posts,

  60. JGC says:

    Oz, HH et al,

    So, if you could do one risky/BIG buy and one “solid” safe buy (for less), lets say at 25-30m and 10-15m (don’t worry the wages yet) would you put your risk into striker, or DM.

    IMO, DM, IF SUCCESSFUL, would have more impact. But, be riskier. I think I’d go with a striker because they are more easily quantified by goals, strike rate etc. Whereas, the magic that makes a good DM great is much more, again IMO, intangible. Especially, the part of how they integrate into your team (strikers are a bit more easily bolted on i think, excepting Torres it seems).

    Thus, I suspect DMs are riskier big purchases. and thus perhaps better grown/made?

    Thoughts?

    Of course who’s actually available AND willing may well rule all.

    Cheers — jgc

  61. alexgunners says:

    To All BK’ers out there,

    Happy 26th of May, Here is OZ it is already 8pm and our 26th is nearly over but to all out there where your days are just beginning, who will ever forget those words “IT’S UP FOR GRABS NOW”

    A glorious day bay in ’89 that we will never forget.

  62. alexgunners says:

    It’s Up For Grabs Now:

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Alex! :)

    Happy 26 May to all! :)

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    Happy 26 May or (as we say) May 26 to everybody….

    I only had time yesterday to watch the final. (Robben’s goal at the end was a bit like the Thomas goal, no?…) Since nobody was posting I tried to stay off the ‘puter and just watch it. Still, I missed a bit of the (end to end) action reading Oz’s masterwork!!…. Great job (of course) and I love the photo-shopped pics and the various sections and the thoughts of the opposing bloggers. The dripping syringe is all too true and I’m sad that we’re in the off-season and have to wait until August for more Arsenal matches…. This TW (I think) is gonna be crazy, but it’s no substitute for matches…

    Looking at the article again, I like the idea of giving a grade to the past three off-seasons. It’s been a very tough period but the fact that we’ve not “failed” in that period is something upon which we can now (hopefully) build. We’ve patched and plugged and (somehow) made it through. It hasn’t been spectacular but it also hasn’t been a spectacular implosion (think Liverpool in this same time-frame)…. Some planets are starting to line-up. FFP + managerial changes for the teams above us plus keeping our nerve during the run-in gives us a window of opportunity. We’ve built a belief that we can wrestle the required results from the lesser teams. Now we need that little bit of spark (which might cost some money….) to suggest that we can hold our own AND make upsets happen against the more bloated squads…

    For me, it’s all about the MF and creating enough quality in depth to compete on multiple fronts. We need bodies in there who can turn defense into offense AND create chances and score some goals. And we need enough bodies so that we can do it game after game–in the cups and in the league…. It’s clear to me that AW saw a MF of Arteta, Diaby and Wilshere as his main guys, with Rosicky, Ramsey and Ox-Cham as cover. That we were sooooo far from this scenario suggests that over-optimism can be a real problem. (Count the actual goals and assists from that group and you will see some low totals….) Luckily, Santi Cazorla was able to find his feet (and stay healthy) and help out. On the team sheets he lines up on the left of a 4-3-3. In practice he was the 4th MF in a 4-4-1-1…. The demands of the (non-stop) English football was a little much but, as the season wore on, he became a key outlet for the rest of the MF guys and the one fella who could consistently push us into attack. We’d all like to see him further forward, and putting up even bigger numbers. As such, I think we need to buy somebody youngish and effective in the rear part of CM AND a guy who can play as a real #10 (or spearhead the MF and tuck in behind and provide assists for the likes of Giroud, Poldolski and Walcott, while scoring a few of his own. Wilshere needs to get fit but (luckily) can play anywhere. The same goes for Diaby, but his fitness seems (obviously) more questionable. For me, the announcement of the Jovetic signing cannot come fast enough… (Cesc returning is a lovely dream, but just that…)

    We need that signing just so that we (I) don’t go crazy (or get depressed) thinking about all the insane links out there. I hate Wayne Rooney and want him nowhere near the club even as I might be able to acknowledge that he’s a good player who could contribute (a lot) and be a mentor to the likes of Wilshere and Ox-Cham. Still, just typing that makes me taste a bit of throw-up in the back of my mouth….

    That’s just one example. We have money so agents in combo with the media will use Arsenal as a ruse to get players elsewhere. Neymar to Barca means Villa needs a team. Why not Arsenal? As soon as Madrid get their manager (Ancelloti?) some of their players will be moving out. Already Higuain to Arsenal makes people drool. Los dos me parecen como fumo, puro fumo….(Both, I think, are nothing but smoke….)

    So, I apologize but I can’t do it… Despite my penchant for long posts I just can’t go in for the all the speculation…. Or maybe I can…. Clement Grenier (??) + Mingolet on a Sunday morning in May? Come on fellas, whaddayasay?….

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi 17, happy 26 May – May 26 to you too! :)

    Great comment – another potential post! – and all agreed.

    Bring on the first proper signing so minds can get at ease. Will it happen, though? Who the f*ck knows. In the meantime, lets just wait and relax. First Friendly is on 14 July – Pa dam Padam Padam, moi je t’aime le quatorze juillet! Now who sang that?! :)

  66. Highbury Harmony says:

    Jgc,

    I believe that in terms of short-term success our biggest need is a clinical finisher/ST as well. A DM’s presence and effectiveness on a team is not nearly as quantifiable and thus comes with it a lower valuation.

    For example, Schweinsteigher and Vidal are undoubtedly two of the best B2B midfielders in the world. However, they could likely be had for anywhere from £25-30 million. A ST of the same caliber, i.e. Cavani or Falcao would cost in excess of £50 million. I believe the difference in valuations are dictated by the open market (difference between a good ST and a world-class one is more noticeable and the latter is more rare than the difference between a good B2B and a world-class B2B) and due to the fact that goals are more noticeable and it’s true that a world-class ST can directly change a game on his own.

    However, this isn’t to say that a player like Schweinsteiger or Vidal are not more essential to their teams than Cavani or Falcao. In fact, I’d say the exact opposite. Schweinsteiger and Vidal are the players that make their respective teams tick and without them, the offense would lose its transitional piece and the heartbeat that keeps them above the tier of clubs below them such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Utd, $hitty, Athletico Madrid, Napoli, AC Milan, PSG etc.

    Thus, at £25-30 million we would likely be able to acquire a world-class B2B talent and would likely be my choice, ahead of a similarly priced £25-30 million ST (unless said player is Marco Reus). The equivalent of a £25-30 million ST would be a £10-15 million DM/B2B player. Capoue, Gonalons, Benat, Wanyama etc. are all good to very good B2B players capable of getting the job done defensively, while maybe sacrificing some of the offensive instincts we see from world-class talents like L.Bender, Yaya Toure, Schweinsteiger, Xabi Alonso, Vidal etc.

    What makes this discussion more interesting are the unlikely links to Pogba. He is a burgeoning world-class talent, French and plays the B2B role. His valuation is approximately £15 million and would be a shrewd piece of business by AW (not in terms of how much he could have got Pogba for last year, but because SAF would have never sold him to Arsenal). AW’s apparently been a long-term admirer of him and he would represent the missing link in our team since that of Alex Song.

    In sum, I would prefer a B2B mid capable of interchanging at the DM position with that of Ramsey/Arteta, similar to what we saw between Song and Arteta. It keeps our attack fresh and more versatile, while also ensuring that we likely play more direct, attacking football like that of the Bundesliga teams, opposed to the conservative, handbrake style we’ve seen in the past couple of seasons (at least more in the beginning of the season and the second half when we were desperate for points).

  67. Highbury Harmony says:

    prefer a B2B mid opposed to a dedicated, purely DM player*

  68. jnyc says:

    That was some post Oz. Good point about Jenks already being here too, i think he should have gotten more playing time after sagnas return. That brings me to a great point by Gerry. We seriously need to rotate alot more the arsene usually does. It will keep our deep squad fresher and less fatigued for later in the seasons. Maybe even a few less injuries,but thats mostly down to luck. Gibbs /Nacho seems to be working. Id like to see more like that so we can introduce the ox a little bit. also get rest for overworked Santi and Arteta through rotation.

  69. Highbury Harmony says:

    Neymar to Santos is insane, Barca will be a force to be reckoned with next season. They are after a new CB to, in order to replace Puyol in the starting line-up and make him a sub.

    Neymar-Messi-Pedro
    Iniesta-Xavi
    Busquets
    Alba-new signing-Pique-Alves
    new signing (likely Ter Stegen)

  70. Highbury Harmony says:

    Neymar to Barca* oops!

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    jgc – your Belgium club Standard Luik (Liege) have made it into Europe. Now you need to time your next visit carefully hahaha :)

    My Dutch team Roda JC escaped relegation today by winning the final play-off against Sparta Rotterdam. :)

    HH, Neymar is a great talent, but I guess their priorities are in defence right now. What does the arrival of Neymar mean for our beloved Cesc?!

  72. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, Cesc will be on the bench until Xavi declines in the same way Puyol has started to. We could see Cesc start more often next year with the transition beginning sooner rather than later. I figure if things do not change this upcoming season, Cesc will leave.

    Awaiting to see anything happen for Arsenal as other clubs are starting to get the wheels in motion. The rumoured swap of Gervinho for Gonalons is making the rounds and is something I’d really be in favour of doing. Capoue to Arsenal rumours have also resurfaced.

  73. Glic says:

    Well done to Arsenal ladies on winning the FA Womens Cup Final 3-0 against Bristol Academy ! . I`m now in the communal bath with them playing submarines !…..Dive, dive ,dive……..Up Periscope !…….Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  74. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, who says Arsenal can’t win silverware? ;)

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, just as well you did not tattoo ‘Reus’ on your boingless todger! :P

    What’s that scribbled on your little dickie Glic ‘Issssco’ – BOING – ah, now we can read it a bit better! :D

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Cesc is at an age in which he needs to play, and being the star at Arsenal is more of a guarantee that he will play in Brazil next year…. Allez Arsene, to dois fetch le prodigal son! :P

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Btw, HH, my dad told me that German TV said that Lewandowski had his pre-match meal (buffet) with the Bayern team. If true, what a twat! :)

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Out for a bit. Catch you later. Next post around 10pm. :)

  79. Glic says:

    It`s OK Totes, they don’t care about the size of it !……as they are a bunch of Lesbanians !. I`m only there in my capacity as Dr Glic, aka Muff Remover, aka Karate Kid ( actually Karate Old Git ! ) Wax on….wax off !. Lucky enough I have watched all the Stingray episodes and can talk like an Aquaphibian under water !…..Luubbberrleee Juubbberrleee !.

  80. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, Gotze is “Somebody I Used to Know”, while Lewandowski stands for “I am not well endowed ski”. Two big twats in one team, at least Gotze had the heart to not play and say he was “injured”!

  81. Glic says:

    The best opening score ever, love it !….” anything can happen in the next half hour ! “…………BOING !

    Troy Tempest is played by Stretch ( TMHT )….no wonder the bastard get all the trannies in Brentwood……he`s so Hunky !.

  82. Highbury Harmony says:

    Sign him up AW!

  83. Glic says:

    I like the look of Pogba HH, looks more skillfull than our PV4 and looks the best one for one replacement for Diaby, it`s obvious Wenger likes him, but buying him is another matter , is he actually for sale ?. Him and Troy Tempest would be two quality signings and one would come with no strings attached !.

  84. James Bond says:

    don’t mind Pogba, however, his temper and discipline is a cause of concern for me

    right, is it me or Wenger seems to be keen on buying french players, if i didn’t know any better i would put some spare cash on him not renewing his contract next season and then taking over as the boss of France. (maybe i don’t know any better and i still might do that;)

  85. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, agreed Pogba has more talent than our very own PV4 and brings the same level of emotion and aggression to the game, but has not yet developed the same level of vision and assertiveness that allowed PV4 to completely take over.

    Not sure if he’s for sale or not, just several rumours linking us to him today…another pipe dream perhaps!

  86. JGC says:

    HH

    Interesting point, so in my balance of risk reward which is more risky:

    25M for B2B/DM, let’s call them a “Governor” for running everything (ragged)

    Or

    25/30m for a striker.

    I guess per your example it depends on who you get but would you think either of those two is for sale. Personally, I’d guess not but I’m no expert.

    That said, I agree, if you could, then you should and they might interestingly make OG more clinical – where the last time I calculated he was the only attacker we had really off the pace in front of goal. if only because players, sorry, Governors, like that tend to demand a lot more from those around them.. Ie the type we all hope JW grows into…

    Cheers — jgc

  87. JGC says:

    PS

    I too also like the look of Pogba, and at 15m he spuds/seems the bargain, like Santi, we Gooners all seem to like! :)

    Cheers — jgc

  88. JGC says:

    TA,

    I am there from early July to early October. Possibilities are good! :)

    Cheers — jgc

  89. James Bond says:

    * he’s always been keen on buying french players but i thought we were sort of past that and looking at spanish and german players :D

    Falcao deal nearly done, it just shambles really this whole FFP hoopla when teams like Monaco make a mockery by splashing out more than a 100 million and they are only just getting started…(ligue one is on the rise ? )…. i expect PSG to respond shortly.

  90. James Bond says:

    HH,

    what are your thoughts on Gundogan ? do you think he will be a nice addition to this current Arsenal team ?

  91. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, Gundogan is certainly good enough for Arsenal, but I really doubt BD will sell him as well! Gundogan is another great B2B talent and his composure/nerves were on full display yesterday when he calmly slotted away that PK.

    I’m still not quite sure what direction AW is headed in, in respect to CM. Gonalons, Capoue, Wanyama etc. would all be dedicated DM, while Gundogan, Pogba etc. are B2B players who excel at both ends of the pitch.

  92. Highbury Harmony says:

    Jgc, I don’t know if anything will make OG a more clinical finisher. He’s a very good plan B option, but he’s never been a good finisher. Even when he scored 21 goals for Montpellier, he fired 160 shots on goal that season, leaving a conversion rate of a goal every 8 shots. And mind you, that was in a much weaker Ligue 1, with a support cast of Belhanda, Cabella, Camara and Utaka all focusing their play around him.

    OG is what he is, a good striker that has the work rate, strength and presence to man the front line, but will always lack the pace, finishing ability and skill to be either a clinical finisher or world-class striker.

    A player like Pogba would certainly not make OG more clinical, but it could open up space for our forwards, especially Theo who thrives on running past the shoulders of the last defender. He might also provide more scoring opportunities for our team, but one must also consider that he demands time on the ball to be at his best, meaning Jack and/or Santi may lose some of their influence. Still, Pogba is the type of player we are currently lacking in our counter attacks/transition game.

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bond, could it be that journalists are lazy and that Arsene and the players linked are all French?….In fact, maybe that’s the extent of “the link”…. (And didn’t somebody, was it you? recently say that if Squillaci and Sagna both leave we’ll be down to exactly 2 French guys–Kos and Ollie) in the first team…. What I’m suggesting is that our Frenchness is probably just about the last thing anybody actually considers amongst all the other factors….)

    A corollary question is what actually constitutes a link or a rumour? If I say Gosh, it would be sweet if we could get Messi and/or Ronaldo,” and then I drag my cursor to the ” post comment” box and hit the enter button, haven’t I just “published” something on “the Best Arsenal Blog on the Internet” linking us to Messi and/or Ronaldo?….

    (If you are reading this, I must’ve gone ahead and clicked on the box….and ignored just how silly my own posts are…. :D )

    Personally, I would think the likelihood of Messi/Ronaldo happening is pretty low, but what do you guys think? Where would we play both of them? Would they be able to play on the same team at the same time. Maybe one of them should be a Plan B ;) …. Also, what does it mean for the likes of Theo and Poldi and Giroud? (Surely they would want out–uh oh, I think I might’ve started another story right there….)

    I’m just goofing, of course, and I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes and I’m glad you guys enjoy the more “fan-tastic” scenarios. Given that TA invites everybody to write posts and some of the topics seem pretty hypothetical, maybe it’s “all good” (as we say) and more money (from the sponsors….) for next year’s fantasy league prize pool….

    Anyhow, here’s a video from my favorite Link :lol:

  94. Highbury Harmony says:

    I think OG’s peak is somewhere around 15-20 goals, which is great for a top 4 finish, but not enough to get us to where AW and the board/owner want us to be. AW knows this, which is why he’s hunting for a new ST. Interestingly enough, a healthy Poldi up front could be a good option as he takes his chances very, very well in comparison to OG’s 13% conversion rate.

  95. James Bond says:

    nice one, HH

    if it was between capoue or gundogan, which one out of the 2 would you be more keen on having ?

    gundogan isn’t tall enough for me i reckon, i would be more willing to see Capoue, he has potential to reach great heights with arsenal (he can be our javi martinez).

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    More seriously, I’m a new arrival here so I was slightly shocked by the uh, extreme distaste, for Olivier Giroud when I first saw comments on him by a guy who’s very screen name suggests more harmonious thoughts….The big fella, IMO, isn’t that bad for a late bloomer from the lower parts of a lesser league. As the season wore on and he got over his early misses I thought he looked pretty handy. Most importantly, he was something for (our equally iffy keeper) Sir Chesney to aim at as he learned his kicking skills (on-the-job)…. That Ollie was willing to take on this task (something a “world class” striker most certainly wouldn’t….) made me think he was a real “team-first” sort of fellow, his audacious attempts from the center-circle or turn-and-fires into row Z notwithstanding….

    The price of an improvement over the big guy (as HH points out) is probably way too high. If somebody needs a team and can be had cheap it might make for some fun on deadline day. Still, I think we’re in the end-game with a smoother assist and goal guy in Jovetic and then our focus should be on somebody who helps us play the ball from defense into offense replacing our twin pivots, Arteta and Ramsey….

    But, checking the back and forth, you guys are already way ahead of me there….

  97. James Bond says:

    HH,

    20 goals could have won you the golden boot in england not so long ago :D maybe if he can get it up to 25 with a better conversion rate and if we can get more goals out of jack/theo/santi/poldi/ox we’ll be right up there with a new signing scoring us a decent amount as well……there are plenty of goals in the Ox yet to come i reckon.

    17ht,

    actually you put your point across very well and mix it nicely with humour, suffice to say that rumble (video) is long but rather enjoyable thanks for sharing it ;)

    actually, we’ll still have quite a few french players even after the great sq leaves, sagna may not leave, coquelin may not leave….then you have the likes of diaby…so realistically we still have 5 on the books, with a latest addition in our youth it’s 6 and may rise a bit further (if we manage to get my personal favourite Capoue).

    but i do agree with re- rumours and us being linked to players, it’s just a nice way to look at all the players we’ve been linked to and see if they can add something to our team or if it would be nice to see them at the emirates, it’s always nice to read peoples opinions about players linked to us even though it may never come to fruition or happen…after all there is not much happening on the field so discussing gossips is all we have unfortunately….mind you the 70 million big ones give us added fuel to spend it on our preferred players as well (it’s just like each and every one of us was a footy manager or running a club, ha )…mind you in the end we may not spend much of that 70 million and Wenger may surprise us all by getting us Benayon on a free transfer :D

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    There remains little doubt for me that Giroud will lead the line next season once again. He is our holding striker and of him the rest can set up attacks and score. There is a decent chance that Giroud will become plan-B but I am pretty sure this will only be to give Theo the central position. I am 99% sure Arsene will not buy a top ST to lead the line next season. If he is to buy an attacker it will be a nr.10 or winger.

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    wow jgc – three months away from your family, or are you travelling back home in between?

  100. James Bond says:

    it makes sense, TA

    we do need someone to give us proper width and be a decent winger, i can already see HH screaming Reus and then Glicster goes Isco (BOOING) and you goes Jovetic (doubt BOOING) with me in Arsene Wenger mindset saying get both Malouda & Benayoun on the free from Chelsea (sarcastic BOOING)

  101. James Bond says:

    oh i also forgot Higuain (VCC goes BOOING)

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha James – you seem to need a firm Arsenal transfer news shot in the arm. I am sure Arsene is not getting those sort of players anymore.

    But yes, any of Isco, Reus or Jove tics all the boxes, would do perfectly fine. The TW will be open for just under 100 days and it will be a long long long long ride for us all, as it is the Arsenal way. :(

  103. Glic says:

    I don’t know about a B2B, but I`ve seen Gundogan quite a lot recently and he reminds me of a younger fitter Arteta ( In Arteta`s current position ). I, like Total, will be amazed if Wenger bought an out and out striker. I would settle for Rooney, Reus or Cesc ( if I`m to believe the crap in the papers that Manure are having Verm and Cesc, then I can fantasise as well ! ) in the hole and Isco on the wing and you can pick any of the following as a B2B or DM !. Pogba, Capoue, Gundogan or any other you can think of, but they will have to be run by me first !. hahaha
    Too much talk and imo, a waste of money ( which could be used on above areas ) and time on another goalie. I`m happy with who we have !.

  104. Glic says:

    Now listen here Bond, there`s only one ” O ” in BOING !….not a double ” O ” !.
    Sort yourself out Bond or you will be renamed James Boing !….double ohh…ohhh….ohhh….take the money..Penny….it`s the best BJ I`ve had !.

  105. James Bond says:

    and the Glabido has spoken,

    roger that ;)

  106. 17highburyterrace says:

    Excellent work Glic…Very Q-esque, I think….

    Could a good Bond film plot revolve around an evil villain (who looks like Michel Platini….) seeking to end the transfer window as we know it….No more links, teams stuck with OUR OWN PLAYERS (no, please, no…), where’s the boing factor in that?…. Oh, James, you must save us… :lol:

    But, if we’re still in church (you know, believing what they tell us from the pulpit)…. 10 million for Mingolet means Sir Chesney must be headed for a ride on the pine (or in the cushioned vinyl wearing the duvet)…. But he’s a hard worker and loves the team and can bide his time waiting for his chance….or something….

    Finally, I find the Link Wray music ideal for watching everybody’s transfer porn…. So, I just post a compilation, click on it and it allows me to enjoy watching (Chance the Garderner style)….

    What about this guy?…Needs to work on his cone running and keepy-uppy, I say….

  107. jgc says:

    HH

    thanks, I think what I meant was that would a top B2B create better chances that might take OG from 13% to 20% (still below the 30% one would like).. I.e. the one thing goals/shot_on_goal misses is the quality of those shots. Lots of shots from 25m or weird angles is going to be low(er). But 15m relatively front on… whole ‘nother question…

    That said, I agree he isnt clinical enough. Last time I ran the stats Poldi was tops but Theo and Cazorla were not far enough off to make a real difference.

    Overall, for me, I guess either a finisher or B2B/DM “governor” would be fine and I suspect that whatever comes first or best will be more determined by the market and who is moving..

    cheers — jgc

  108. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, and as I told you, I am willing to bet 99% that we will not be challenging for the title with OG leading our line either. Unless of course 3rd and 4th place is good enough as it has been for the club these past 8 years.

  109. jgc says:

    TA,

    Sabbatical and research leave. So, my wife and kids will be with her folks in the USA so the grandparents can spoil them (her and the kids) wildly… She will visit me in Liege for a shorter stay (1-2 weeks). I will be there in the US for a week before and after that stay and so on..

    Live of the wandering academic… Sounds glamourous but not quite so much.. And these days if you are not wandering and producing, like a shark who stops swimming, you’re dead.

    cheers – jgc

  110. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, I’d rather have Gundogan over Capoue, purely because he fits the mould of Arsenal football better. Capoue is a dedicated, DM beast who would be invaluable for unleashing the creativity further up the pitch, however he would not additionally contribute much.

    It’s more of a debate of whether you want a compartmentalized strategy or a well-oiled machine with interchanging parts imo.

  111. jgc says:

    HH and TA

    per your 21:39 HH, well it depends on who we buy etc… And the ever inscrutable AW.. :) … That said, I see the makings of an honor/beer bet on that one! :)

    Just stirring … cheers — jgc

  112. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, I think if we buy Jovetic he will lead the line next year in the mould of RVP. He likely will not be played in a no.10 role, as either Santi or Jack will play there with Poldi and Theo flanking them on either side.

  113. jgc says:

    HH

    Given the number of fixtures and injury rates, I think that if you cannot affort 2 first class complete teams (or more), then well oiled (Glic, that’s your cue) with interchangeable parts (more of your cue Glic) would be the only sensible way..

    cheers — jgc

  114. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, OG is not good enough to produce 20-25 goals in this league. At his peak, basically will be this coming year or next, he’ll be good for 15-20 goals. With as many opportunities as OG gets to score, you would have to bet that he’ll up his goal tally if he’s leading the line next season. I mean his conversion rate has always been abysmal, but there’s a truth that the more shots you fire on goal, the more you’ll likely score, which is what happened at Montpellier. His lifetime conversion % is below 20%.

  115. Highbury Harmony says:

    Jgc, I’m more of a fan of the well-oiled machine approach and it represents how Arsenal want/do play when they are at their best. The compartmentalized strategy comes into play when we are desperate for results and need to be extremely conservative at the back. We do not have the talent up front to play such a compartmentalized strategy either.

  116. TotalArsenal says:

    LOL HH, now we both have made a statement. :)

    jgc – sounds like you feel a bit under pressure with the job requirement/objectives. Hope you keep finding a good balance between work, family and personal life requirements. :)

  117. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA :), we both have made statements indeed! I am just being honest with you, based on everything I’ve seen of OG at Montpellier and Arsenal. Not trying to slate him in anyway as I believe he will be a good ST capable of netting 15-20 goals for us, which is no easy feat in itself!

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed on the predicted goal tally he is capable off. On top of that he will produce a decent number of assists, but it will be his role as ‘holding’ striker that will see him start many games next season. I really believe Arsene will build the attack again around him being our attacking pivot. He will need to add quality to the wings and/or nr10 position imo.

    Giroud appears to get better in his second season at clubs and I hope he will be able to settle a bit and refind his composure.

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