Signing up the Brit-Pack will give Arsenal much needed identity – Bayern ideal

 

It is hard to win anything with too many mercenaries. In every organisation a healthy mixture of loyal ‘stayers’ and so-called job-hoppers is a pre-requisite for continued success. For a football club, where the players are not just employees but the entire ‘product’ at the same time, loyalty of its key personnel is absolute paramount.

Recent departures of those who were developed by the club, often with incredible patience and determination, have hurt the club; and especially the fans. For most of us, it is hard to just love the club and treat the players as a separate, temporary entity. They are not machines, but the very people who are lucky enough to wear the shirt and call themselves a Gunner: the ones who can bring us as much ecstasy as agony for one day to another.

There will always be players who simply cannot be kept at Arsenal – for one reason or another. At best these are so-called club or job hoppers (Hleb, Overmars); at worst, selfish mercenaries who are purely driven by cash (Nasri, Anelka, Tevez, Ronaldo).

But there is no way a club can build towards sustained success without a strong core of quality, and most importantly, loyal players; who intrinsically identify themselves with the spirit and culture of the club.

In recent times, Fabregas appeared to have it but the call of his childhood home became too strong for him. RvP fooled me, and I reckon many of us, when he flirted openly with Gunners immortality; by saying he loves the club and that he is a Gunner for life at the start of this year, only to let us down at the first opportunity in the summer.

And so many others have left us recently which is utterly unacceptable for a club of our stature and history. Therefore, the announcement by the club of the signing of Jack,  Aaron, Kieran, Carl and Alex is really good news for us.

With Vermaelen & Koz already on long-term contracts, and last and this season’s signings secured for the next few years at least, we should now enter a period of stability and continuity. Some of these players have potential to become really loved at the club, but we just cannot tell whether they will do a runner as soon as big money is being offered to them, and/or a Spanish giant will turn their heads.

There is a better chance in achieving player loyalty with those who come from these shores and have been nurtured by the club into quality players. Our improving financial position should also enable us to pay them (closer to) the going rate by the Oilers, and therefore keep them at Arsenal for as long as we want.

The Brit-Pack should provide us with the all-important core for Arsenal, and on top of that, Arsene can buy the quality needed to further succeed. And that’s why, yesterday’s announcement of securing five key, British young players is fantastic news for the club in the long run.

Bayern in the CL

Like most of us, I did not want to draw Barca and I was also not keen on Juve or Bayern. But out of those three, I would prefer Bayern; in fact, I think it is pretty ideal.

They will be the favourites and that will suit us fine. I don’t think Arsenal can win the CL this year, but we do have  a chance against Bayern and if we were to eliminate Die Lederhosen it could give us that all-important momentum in this tournament. As we all know, the Germans have the best classical wingers in Europe in Ribery and Robben, and if and when they are both fit and firing on all cylinders Bayern are almost unstoppable. But, if we can further improve our passing game and start gelling better, we have a very decent chance. Beat Bayern and we could go all they way: we have nothing to lose and I reckon we do it.

Writen by: Total Arsenal.

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71 Responses to Signing up the Brit-Pack will give Arsenal much needed identity – Bayern ideal

  1. The Gooner says:

    Excellent article TA :). Loved the analysis on the importance of retaining our young, key players and the realism that not all players can be kept. As you said TA, it’s fine to lose players but the rate we’ve been losing them is not really acceptable for a top club. With FFP coming into effect next year, it will make it much tougher for the oil teams to just swap out old players for new players and will require more astute spending. Sure, they can create profit from sponsorship deals and through other untraditional means, but with the wage bill only being able to be increased by a certain amount each year, this will certainly protect us from the mass exodus that people seem to think we are doomed for. This could finally be the start of AW realizing his dream to have a group of players grow old together and fighting for a championship.

    I disagree with you on the Bayern front though. I think either Bayern or Barca were the worst match-ups, followed by Juve. Bayern’s skill on the wings in Ribery, Robben, Lahm and depth all over the pitch is just frightening. With options like Muller, Kroos, Schweinsteiger, Shaqiri, Gustavo, Martinez, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba, Neuer and Mandzukic they are a serious goliath. Add in what should be a healthy and fit Mario Gomez by January, and you have the recipe for a disaster.

    What may suit us well is that Bayern plays Bundesliga football, which is all about attacking and does not put as much emphasis on defending. However, they’ve registered 63% possession on average this year – better than the 60% we’ve managed to accomplish.

  2. RockyLives says:

    TA
    I also thought the way the Arsenal PR machine handled the announcement (making it a joint announcement with all five players rather than a drip-drip approach) was pretty well done. Particularly given the background of the Theo issue.

    As for Bayern – I love Munich – it would be a nice away trip if it wasn’t so damned far from Canada.

    Can we beat them? Of course we can, especially if we hit our stride between now and then.

  3. VCC says:

    TA…Lets hope yesterdays signings shows a change of attitude where we strive to keep our young players. I still think its a shame we could not secure Walcotts signature as well. He just adds something different. Whether its an impact sub, or maybe his new role Centre Forward.

    When you reach the last 16 in any competition it gets to crunch time. The only club I fear we had no chance against would be Barca. As Rocky rightly says, especially if we find our mojo and get striding forward.

  4. Herb'sArmy says:

    Thanks Total, you’ve hit on the very essence that makes a club successful. It’s not exciting news though, all they represent is potential, they haven’t given the club anything yet. I thought Jenks and Oxlade-Chamberlain signed improved deals only last year? Ramsey needs to go out on loan to see whether he can cut it at Arsenal, and with almost every Arsenal fan calling for a solid dependable left-back, is Gibbs really the long-term solution?
    I have to agree with Gooner, regarding CL draw. A one-off tie could produce any outcome, but over two legs with the second of those in Germany, not a prayer. Clubs like Bayern, MU, Barcelona, Real Madrid are a league above Arsenal, and their club’s are all run with winning being the primary objective.

  5. VCC says:

    Let’s wait and see Herb. We might just shock a few people. There’s over two months to go.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath, but wenger might just strengthen in January with two or three new players, and if they include Capoue, Isco and Baines we might see a different smirk on the Germans faces.

    Arsenal forever Herb, let’s get behind our boys. COYG

  6. Red Arse says:

    Another great Post, Tazzer, well done again! 😀

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi TG 🙂

    Good point about FFP helping us out as well in future.

    Re Bayern – no surprise there my friend. I reckon you overrate the German league a bit too much, but in the end it is just a matter of opinion.

    We can have Bayern and it is in our favour to play them first. A good game ala Milan last season could produce magic for us and we could build on that.

    In my view, Barca are a level higher than everybody and below that there is Real, below them there is a group that also includes Bayern and Arsenal, and I really think we have a good chance. But I know you will not agree with me on that one 😉

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Rocky, the press conference was well organised and I agree with VCC it is a shame that Theo was not part of it.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb 🙂

    Yes they represent potential and have it all to do, agreed.

  10. Red Arse says:

    Herb,

    I agree with your sentiment regarding the difficulty of winning against BM, over two legs, but this is football and we know to our cost with Bradford, that anything can happen. 🙂

    I am being picky, perhaps, but you are right to a certain extent when you say that clubs like Bayern, MU, Barcelona, Real Madrid are a cut above us at the present.

    Your final sentiment is a truism, “these clubs are all run with winning being the primary objective”, but I sense you are saying that to exclude Arsenal, when surely every club in football is run with the objective of winning.

    What would be the point of any sporting set up if winning did not matter?
    That is not an invitation for you to get on your hobby horse about profits etc etc being the only motivation at Arsenal.

    Money is a seriously distorting factor when it is poured into any football club from an external source, because it disadvantages every other club.

    Do I want Arsenal to ‘buy’ a trophy, just like the top 3 in the Premier League try to do, or like the top two Spanish clubs who use their political/nationality status to bully the other clubs into giving them the lions’ share of the humongous TV deals?

    In a word — NO!

    It is this idea you have that Arsenal should throw money into trying to buy a trophy, like those other clubs, whose owners I despise.
    It is that sentiment that grates with me, because simply put – it is wrong.
    Oligarchs in society as a whole are an abomination, especially when there is so much poverty around us, and that is no less true in the world of football.

    No thanks!

    Sorry, Herb, I should not rise to the bait, but perhaps you can understand now why I do not want to discuss this particular issue with you.

    Your other ideas and opinions are so much better and far more interesting.

    This is not written in anger, or to upset you — it just mirrors my frustration that you cannot move on from this obsession you have — when there is so much more to you!!

  11. glic says:

    Evening Cunkabunk`s 😆

    According to “The Mayans”, tomorrow is the end of the world !. There are loads of things I could think of to do on the last day of existence, but I cant be bothered, so I`ll just sit here and laugh hysterically at the thought that Beef van Curtains left us for nothing as Old Toilet is sucked into Hell !. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  12. Red Arse says:

    How is my friend loony tunes? Did the Orcs treat you well? 😀

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening RA & gorgeous GLICXSTER! 🙂

    RA, did you have a vindaloo tonight? 😉

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    I love that the Mancs got Real Maureen – a bit of justice for once 😀

  15. Red Arse says:

    Why is Glic gorgeous and I am not?? This could be war, TA!!!

    I don’t eat curry, Tazzer, 😆 and I am not in a bad mood either, so I did not mean to upset my friend Herb, it’s just that there are so many fans, on other sites, who keep on about Arsenal being weird because they are properly run, whereas the Oligarchs playthings are wonderful because they are force fed ludicrous amounts of money to win trophies.

    Now that does make me upset because it is unfair to my club.

    OH, oh, I am off on my pet hate again!! I will now stop! 🙂

  16. Red Arse says:

    Whoever gets through to the next round, TA, will set up some of the best ties the CL has had seen for years. I hope we are in the mix!! 🙂

  17. glic says:

    Fine post Total.

    I heard some disturbing news on talkSPORT today, no, not the Mayans prediction, their predictions are worst than mine !. hahaha
    No, something more terrible !. I dont know the gospel amount as there have been different quotes of between 100m Euro`s to 150m Euro`s per year for 4 years……what is that you say ?……….The Qatar Tourist Authority, sponsoring PSG !. If this is true, then this will be a true test of whether UEFA have any balls in their quest of FFP self sustainability !.
    I have all along been optimistic that FFP will work, but if this is let go unpunished, then it`s not worth the paper it`s written on and we might aswell give up as City and Chavs will jump all over it and then our only saviour will be Usmanov !.
    Here`s a link, what do you guy`s think ?. Maybe Stretch or Redders can pacify me and say it`s not as bad as I read it !. 😦

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/1271135?cc=5739

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Redders 🙂

    You know how I feel about this topic. I just love it when you have feuer im bauch! 😛

  19. glic says:

    Hi girls 🙂

    Redders, you dont eat curry !, is it because you dont want to or you cant ( oops, did I call you a cant again hahaha ) ?

  20. glic says:

    I see Oz has a Doggy style avatar now !. Dogkampesque ! ( as you know dog is Dennis backwards ! )

  21. Red Arse says:

    Glicster,

    First your worst fears are understandable, if the story is accurate.

    What is puzzling is that it is neither a straightforward commercial tie up, neither is it a shirt or other sponsorship, but a Quatari advertizing campaign! Que??

    This might just be the way the FFP is buggered up. Already Shitty are receiving a £400m ‘commercial’ deal that really is very UN-commercial.

    I do not think Platini or UEFA could have foreseen the sheer effrontery of these people and if they are not stamped on, then we can say goodbye to the high hopes many had in UEFA’s FFP project!

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    He cant eat it, but he loves his nan!

  23. Red Arse says:

    Glic, you did call me a cant, but from you I think it is a term of endearment!! 😀

    Unfortunately, altho I love curry it is one of the things that I cannot eat. Which is a bugger!! 😦

  24. Red Arse says:

    Oz has not been around, so he is probably part of the Aussie Customs Officers gang who have been making millions with some dodgy dos.

    Whenever I have been thru the Sydney customs controls they seem as strict as anywhere else, so it is a bit of a surprise to learn they (some of them) are up to mischief!!

  25. glic says:

    Redders
    It comes across as a blatant finger sign to UEFA imo. I dont want us to be the Canute of sustainability against an oil slick tidal wave !. Poxy Tourist Board, it`s a joke !. Come on UEFA grow some ! 👿
    Typical of someone spoiling my day when the world is about to end !. hahaha

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    our only saviour is shale oil of North America, which will bring down the price of oil and also our dependency of the current major players in the oil business. Soon they might have no money and time for their play things anymore. 😈

  27. Red Arse says:

    I am usually described as placid, TA, altho I am not sure how true that is, but fire in the belly (non curry) is a good way to describe how I feel when I see, or hear something which is unjustified. 🙂

  28. glic says:

    Oz has left his wife and run off with a large hamptoned marsupial called Olivier Kangiroud !.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    I have seen that side of you a few times Redders, and combined with your mastery of the language, it is a feast to witness! 🙂

    Mind you, Herb can be pretty feisty as well! 🙂

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic 🙂

    Out of interest who are your three most bedable women in the world?

  31. glic says:

    The wife”s sister and two nieces ! .

  32. Red Arse says:

    Life is rarely fair, guys, and I do not think the fans of Shitty, PSG or the Chavs stop to think what their clubs are doing to sport and football in particular.

    I know I will refuse to get down in the dirt and join them, should that day ever arrive!

    Still as tomorrow is the end of the Mayan world, the problem is moot.

    Many of these so called predictions are based on fantastic mathematical calculations, but built on a false premise. Can you even imagine what the world and its population will be like in 10 years time, let alone in hundreds of years, which is what the Mayans in their era are supposed to have calculated. Phooey!

    And if I am wrong who will be around to say “I told you so” whereas, if I am right, you will all throw yourself at my feet and say “you is de king, RA”. 😀

  33. Red Arse says:

    You are right, Glic! They are the bestest!! Oops! 😳

  34. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    I wholeheartedly disagree. We are still a level below Bayern, perhaps even two. I don’t overrate the German league as a whole, just that the top 2 teams are better than us imho. Look at our roster compared to theirs – we don’t have the depth nor talent in starters to match them. Of course, anything can happen in these games but teams generally have a very tough time grabbing points on German soil.

    In my view it’s:

    Barca

    Real Madrid, Bayern

    Manure, $hitty, Juve, Dortmund, Atletico, Bayern (could be either level depending on the day)

    Arsenal, Chelsea, PSG, Inter, Schalke etc.

  35. glic says:

    I think you always have a smile on your face Redders, because you are always flicking and sliding your balls, calculating on your groin abacus !. hahaha

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    TG, my friend we will soon see, won’t we? And if I am proven right at least you will also be happy hehehe! 😛

  37. glic says:

    Total
    I could spend all night thinking about who are the three most bedable women in the world, but by the morning I will probably have become blind ! hahaha

    At least I wont have to watch the destruction of the world ! hahaha

    Right, night girlies, I haven`t seen my wife all day long and she said she has a family matter she wants to discuss !.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    All the best Glic! You might need it!

  39. richie59er says:

    Redder’s @19:30 Bro’ did you write that as I telepathically thought it? That hit the nail on the head! I wrote recently that “I want” a lot more than anyone else, especially Herb who simply wants Arsenal to win more trophies. If Arsenal had won the CL in the same manner as the Chav’s Herb would not have given a toss! In all probability he’d still be celebrating, same way he would in January if the club bought a new first 11 for £200Mil. I love that fact that we build rather than buy; I love the fact that we develop potential. I said recently that I want to have my cake and eat it too, coz I don’t want us to buy a ready made £35-50Mil striker.

    Arsene took a troubled young winger with potential and turned him into arguably the best CF in the prem, possibly in Europe, so we know what Arsene is capable of, let him find the potential and develop it. None of us can predict the eventual personality of a young talent; it’s just a shame that when the boy became a man loyalty wasn’t part of his make up. Still let’s put our trust in Wengers developing skills and hope the next find isn’t a 7 out of 8 year injury like Rob of Pinky & Perky. Arsene doesn’t just pull a rabbit out of his hat A la Kolo Toure, Freddy Lundberg, or indeed Vieira’s replacement Cesc. He is above all else a developer extraordinaire!

    I want the league again and I also want the CL but I want Arsenal to win it playing great football, I want us to do it without the big money buys. I want us to win it playing the football that Arsenal under Arsene has become famous for, fast one touch, attacking. You see my Xmas wish list is huge Santa; it’s bigger than Glic’s table raiser. 😀 😆 😀

  40. The Gooner says:

    TA, that’s exactly the situation I’m faced with mon frere! If we win I’m happy and pleasantly surprised, but I always set the expectation low, especially when we’re facing a team that has made it to the finals of the CL in 2 of the past 3 years. My disappointment is more manageable this way 🙂

  41. The Gooner says:

    Redders,

    It’s an issue when important people in the club’s hierarchy come out and proclaim that this club is not all about winning. Tom Fox is a total twat, I mean what kind of statement was that to issue to fans during a time where we can’t win squat? Our club is an absolute disgrace and the hierarchy needs to be sorted out before we can move forward. Money certainly is not the answer, I would not want to see the club and AW abandon the principles that we’ve built and pride ourselves on. However, AW is the only thing in the organization keeping us afloat; the board is useless and Kroenke doesn’t have a clue as to how to run this club and his detached involvement only further fuels the notion that he’s only interested in profits.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi TG, setting low expectations is a wise thing to do and something I am incapable of, even though I try my hardest! 😆

    The facts are in favour of Bayern but I bet they are not comfortable playing us. You are a very analytical person who loves to disect complexities into managable sub-sections – which I love about you – and you could be right with regards to the quality of the two squads.

    But, in order to further the debate, here are my reasons why will beat the odious Lederhosen:
    1. My dad says Bayern are half the team without Robben, and he is constantly injured (and my dad knows his football 😛 );
    2. Bayern have struggled to beat Dortmund over the last few season and I reckon we play a similar style of modern football that the more classically structured Bayern has difficulties with.
    3. We play them first at home, and we can do a Bate Borisov to them: hit them hard in the first game.
    4. Arsene Wenger and his experience in the CL (never thought much of J. Heynkens who is still benefiting from the work van Gaal did at Bayern).
    5. The Pod and BFG know Bayern really well and can help with the team preperations for this game.
    6. Ribery will be dealt with by Sagna and Robben if he plays will be the biggest test for Gibbsy this season. This could become Kieran’s big breakthrough game.
    7. Gut feeling.
    8. Gut feeling.
    9. Gut feeling.
    10. Go back to 7. 😛

  43. richie59er says:

    We can beat any team on our day, lets just hope we’re on our metal.
    The PSG thing Glic’s uncovered is seriously worrying, if UEFA don’t slap PSG down hard it’s all over because Oily Money Citeh will promote same way, and you can just imagine Roman A’s Chav’s doing a promotion of some Dennis forsaken City in the back and beyond and getting the same as PSG. It’s more than giving the finger to UEFA’s FFP rules, they are mooning at them!

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Richie, you are one greedy bastardo wanting to win everything in style! 😛

    I bet you always went for the most beautiful woman of the party; anything less – however easy going – would be disdainfully ignored, right? 🙂

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    I am being totally frank here: if we had drawn Malaga I would not feel we had a better chance of going through now. Bayern is a big test and something for our team to work towards.

    If we fail the test, more work needs to be done. If we pass it, we can build further on it. And once this team starts clicking – hopefully aided by one or two quality additions – it will go from strength to strength.

  46. richie59er says:

    TA Just as an aside what’s with all the bosh? I know we have 2 German players and we all have to forget that they bombed the nearest pub to the wonderfully named Princes’s stadium (before it was there of course). Let’s not even start on Rotterdam, but how come you didn’t ask redders Brand in de buik!

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s because Redders lived in Deutschland when he was a wee boy and that goes a long way…

  48. richie59er says:

    No! I’ve been through loads of changes over the years for a while I was with a little click that had a running competition “Called who can pull the ugliest bird” I must confess I never won, one fella used to win hands down, I don’t know where he found them? Ever seen the film throw Mumma from the train? He could best that!

  49. richie59er says:

    Aaaha “I see” said the blind man.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    No never seen that movie. Trying to pull the ugliest bird: how cruel! That is something I could never have done but then I am a homo sentimentalis! 🙂

  51. henrychan says:

    Morning all..
    Everyteam is not easy to handdle..
    I don’t think Bayern will be pleast to meet us.. hehe..

    EPL only have us and MU now..
    And I don’t think MU can make it also with Madrid.. hehe..
    I worry if EPL club can’t go to the next round.. then maybe UEFA will considering to give EPL only 3 teams next season..
    Cause Chelsea (UCL winner) and City (EPL winner) both didn’t make it.. even worst than us.. hehe..
    How can we say that EPL is the best league in the world if none of our teams go to the next round..??

    Arsenal is unpredictable team.. If we play just as good as we did again reading or milan.. then even Barca will find trouble.. but we sometimes can also so damn poor.. even the unknown club can break us down..

    But one thing I myself had seen trough this years.. that Arsenal is a better team in his last half-season.. It means.. we are getting stronger as a team in January untill the season end.. Hope the trend continue.. hehehe..

    And Bayern on the other hand just the opposite way.. haha..
    So Arsenal can handdle Bayern.. and go trough the next round..
    I guess we can make it trough the semifinal.. hehehe..

    We need Walcott to sign.. and rumours said the BoD have agree to the 100k/week wages..
    We can’t replace him with Isco to play on UCL.. Or bring Hunterlaar or Holtby in.. All the player in the UCL competition can’t play with two different team.. are they..??

    All we need is to win again Wigan.. hehe..

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Henry, that is the sort of fighting talk I like!! Good man! 🙂

    And yes, let’s focus on Wigan first hehehehe. 🙂

    Anyway, off to bed.

    Night all! 🙂

  53. richie59er says:

    It was in the years before I was 20 the idea was pretty girls you had to work on, the others you didn’t, they were happy to give it up before you asked. I wasn’t at all sensitive when I was young, of course I’ve been a long time sensitive now, I changed totally in 78 when I had my first daughter Rosita. Now I see quality’s in Women that make me think none are ugly. Although if you clic on the link above my post that actress has a face full of charactor (if she’s not ugly that is). 😆 🙂 😆

  54. The Gooner says:

    EPL is definitely not the best league in the world. Fans who believe that are biased, obnoxious and deluded (not attacking you Henry, there are a lot of people who I’ve argued this with). If we’re talking about the “best” league in the world, in footballing terms that comes down to the most “technical” league in the world and that’s La Liga hands down. Their squads could pass around EPL teams all day and dominate them. If it weren’t for the financial situation currently deteriorating Spain, La Liga teams outside of Real and Barca would not have seen as many of their players leave. EPL is certainly more advertised, more well-known and has a richer history but in terms of pure skill, there’s just no comparison to La Liga. Just look at any relative top player that leaves La Liga and comes over to the EPL, they just dominate the competition. Michu who had 15 goals all of last year with Rayo is already on 12 with Swansea. Cazorla was widely considered the best player not playing on Real Madrid and Barca and we already know he’s on pace to surpass his tally of 9 goals last season with Malaga. Silva, Mata, Torres, Aguero etc etc. Sure not every top La Liga player will be able to handle the physical rigours of the EPL but many of them have dominated with their skill and flair over the years.

  55. The Gooner says:

    While I agree that Heynkens largely hides behind his talented squad, AW’s “experience” means nothing if it isn’t translated to his squad. The current crop of players lack CL experience and AW’s tactics have been less than spectacular over the years. AW’s “experience” has gotten us nowhere since 2005-06, and we unfortunately wasted what might have been our best chance to win it. I feel that AW’s experience would be better put to use if we had a more talented squad – we’re talented enough to compete in the PL, but still a ways off from competing with the Barca and Madrid’s of the world, considering we even struggle with the Mancs, Schalke and Chavs.

    If we could finish as well as BD does, then I’m with you TA that we could have a fighting chance. Gotze and Lewandowski are a fantastic duo and often create goals out of nothing for that team. Bayern will look to win this game on the wings and if Robben gets injured there’s a much better possibility that we could move on. The thing about great talents all thrown together onto a squad is that there are often egos that clash and there is no better example of this than at Bayern. Ribery and Robben constantly go at it with each other and perhaps if we can frustrate them early on and settle into our game, then we might gain a psychological advantage. However, as it stands on paper, we are certainly inferior. But, that’s the great thing about football, games aren’t won on paper ;).

  56. The Gooner says:

    TA, I always love your optimism so never stop with that. I just like to hit out at you with the hint of realism :). And on another note, we haven’t mentioned what could be the biggest difference of all…Manuel Neuer.

  57. richie59er says:

    @TheG Anyone who knows anything about football will tell you that La Liga is far more technical, the EPL as a league in total is far more exciting. I have a home in Spain and my nephew is Spanish and he and all his mates and cousins all love watching the EPL and they say it’s the most entertaining league in Europe. It’s played at a frantic pace and often with total commitment. I understand your argument, but I think you’ve misunderstood, the definition “best league”. For entertainment value the EPL is the best league. For individual skill and greater technical ability it is undoubtedly La Liga. Only El Classico is played with the level of passion and commitment that’s present in 70-80% of the EPL games

  58. The Gooner says:

    Richie, my argument stands that the “best” league is based on footballing abilities, not by how heavily it’s marketed or the excitement value that it brings. I’d rather watch Fulham play Newcastle any day of the week, but that’s not what we’re discussing here. The “best” league contains the most skilled teams and that would be La Liga. Slower build up play doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a superior skilled league – anyone can sprint and just boot the ball down field and chase it and punt the ball at goal.

  59. richie59er says:

    As a case in point Barca are often given all the time in the world on the ball, but they themselves don’t allow other teams that luxury, they press and harass until they retrieve the ball, that’s their way of being successful in La Liga. Likewise teams stand off Real and allow them to play also. Malaga are a recent arrival, but for years Barca and Real only had a small amount of competition from Valencia and Sevilla, the rest are far below the technical level of those 2 clubs and they both starve all others clubs of Money. Between them they pocket the lions share of the TV money, the rest get only crumbs. I love the Cruijff inspired style of Barca but not the way they manipulate, and operate a cartel with Real. I hate the fact that Real should’ve been bankrupt but the government bailed them out.

    Personally I think both Barca and Real wouldn’t do well coping with the physical side of the EPL I have a vision of them playing the Orc’s and after 10 minuets wondering why the Orc’s still have 11 men on the pitch, while they have been kicked from pillar to post. Barca press and harass but they aren’t physical when they do it, I’d be amazed if they could cope. I’m not saying I’m a fan of that physical style I’m just saying I think Barca & Real wouldn’t adjust well to it.

  60. richie59er says:

    It’s nothing to do with the Marketing of the EPL all the Spanish boys love the constant action. It might be kick and rush, and lack the technical stuff but it’s more intertaining.

  61. richie59er says:

    Entertaining

  62. The Gooner says:

    Richie, again why do you keep on bringing up entertainment value? That has nothing to do with one league being “better” than another in terms of footballing ability. I could care less which league is more “fun” to watch (as I already said I enjoy EPL the most for viewing). The EPL has improved in terms of the balance of the league, where any team can win on any day, but that’s a testament to the top clubs losing dominant, established stars to the end of their careers, in addition to losing key players to Barca and Real. Barca and Real are just so good that they make the rest of the league look inferior. However, this year we’re seeing more balance in La Liga, where Barca have come close to losing games and Real have been struggling all year (could be bad form though).

    Also, it’s a common misconception that the Orcs would be able to give a La Liga team a challenge. Just because they play a physical brand of football, does not mean they could even come close to stopping the constant passing and offensive penetration around them – the skill is just at another level where brute force would be in vain. Of course, we can only point to the latest Europa and Champions League results from the past couple years but the results speak for themselves: Bilbao embarrassed Manure in Europa, Atletico dominated Chelsea in the Super Cup, Real beat $hitty and Valencia beat Stoke. The only games in favour of EPL teams were $hitty over a Villareal team that was eventually relegated out of La Liga, Chelsea who beat a Valencia team that had just lost key players in the summer in Joaquin, Isco, Mata, and of course Chelsea beating Barca in the semis.

    Real and Barca have shown on numerous occasions that they can outclass anyone in any league. Sure, Chelsea won the CL last year but those current two squads have the skill that surpasses any other squad. Top players that leave the EPL are frequently quoted saying that La Liga is more competitive and the teams are more talented than the EPL. Current players in the EPL that formerly played in La Liga will describe the EPL as faster, more fun and physical but no mention of the EPL ever being better. Players who haven’t played in both leagues are known to rate the EPL as being the best league in the world, but there’s less weight and accuracy in their assessment if they haven’t experienced both league. EPL is only the “biggest” league in the world in terms of history, marketing, viewership and the spending being distributed across more than 2 teams.

  63. Herb'sArmy says:

    I feel as though I have been somewhat misrepresented, Redders, Richie.
    Never have I argued a case for either Oligarchs or oil-rich Sheiks to take ownership of our club and spoil the supporters and the clubs heritage with the vulgarity of money. We are given £50m every year courtesy of Sky and CL, (£20m more than 16 other PL clubs), we generate £3m from most home games, it must be going somewhere.
    I’ve said in the past, it’s about using your resources wisely, and Mr Wenger hasn’t done that enough. If you use your resources intelligently enough, you can negate the threat of the money clubs.
    Let me be clear on my stance, it isn’t about a comparable valuation of resources. We readily accept – if somewhat reservedly – that we don’t have the spending power of Chelsea and the two Manchester’s. Does that justify the club’s policy of selling their only world-class footballer to help MU get further beyond our reach? It is an unbelievable step for a club to take when trying to convince supporters that they are serious contenders. Even moreso to gamble on a relatively unknown French striker and a German striker yet to fulfill his star billing, neither of whom have EPL experience.
    We’ve been shouting ourselves hoarse for a proper left-winger since Robert Pires’ departure.
    How on earth, with ‘his eye for special talent’ did Mr Wenger miss Gareth Bale when he was at Southampton wasting a lot of money on Theo Walcott? £15m for Andrey Arshavin was very poor business, as was the £8m for Gervinho. The truth is, Mr Wenger’s overall transfer record has been poor, he’s got more than double the amount wrong than those he got right. And the majority of his ‘big money’ buys have flopped. Dimitar Berbatov is a classic example of short-sightedness. Mr Wenger watched him at Leverkusen and didn’t rate him. Tottenham paid £10m for him, sold him for £30m, where he went on to win titles, CL, and recently he bossed the game for a supposedly inferior Fulham in on our own back-yard.
    It is said a football team reflects their manager, and Arsenal are positively schizophrenic.
    Reading laid down and let us beat them, and were a damn sight easier to deal with than Bradford of Lge two. By sheer will of good fortune we are a club who scrape to barely meet our expectations without ever threatening to exceed them. We’ve abandoned the FA and League Cup’s, the whole mentality is geared towards finishing in the final CL place, however much Ivan Gazidis and Mr Wenger try to hood-wink supporters they’re in it to win it. Can anyone remember the last time we gave MU a proper game, and looked capable of beating them?
    People laud Mr Wenger for never finishing outside the top four, but in this modern era when football is dictated by money, we do exactly what our wage-bill says we should do and no more. Is that really such a remarkable achievement? Just for some context, MU haven’t finished outside of the top three since 1991. With a manager who isn’t as generously looked after financially as our celebrated Mr Wenger. A club that prides itself on financial prudence with one of the highest paid managers and CEO’s in world football, who aren’t under any pressure to win real silver-ware seems a strange philosophy to me.

  64. Henrychan says:

    TG.. My friend..
    If you are a gunner long enough.. Then you knew that we play more attractive and awesome again a big team.. Hahaha..
    And as I already said we are a better team in the last half- season..
    I can guarantee you.. That you will see a different Arsenal.. Hehe..
    And if Bayern is underestimated us.. Then they will regret it.. Hihihi..

  65. The Gooner says:

    Henry, I agree that anything can happen in a match of football and if we’re on a run of good form anything’s possible. However, if you look at the two teams on paper, I’m just not as optimistic of our chances to win. As I said earlier though, games aren’t won on paper. If we can gain a psychological advantage and frustrate Robben and Ribeiry, we’ll have a better chance to win for sure. Another issue is that we concede far too many goals at inopportune times and that will cost us against a top side in Bayern. Of course I would love to be proven wrong about Bayern (Arsenal winning is the only thing that matters at the end of the day), but it’s certainly a david vs. goliath match-up right now.

  66. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Good pre morning Bergkampesqueres

    Very busy at the moment. Forget this Aztec nonsense, the end of the world occurs every year on 31st January, with the dreaded Tax Return deadline. Ask Redders, he knows what ime talking about.

    Some great comments yesterday.

    TA, thats what its all about Baby, identity. It realy is admirable that Arsenal are attempting to build teams by improving players rather than using laundered money. Richie and Redders sum it up very well.

    I agree with TG about Munchen. We are underdogs, but so what, i still expect us to win 5-0.

    Cornwall, ive seen that PSG thing before. Lets wait and see how things pan out before jumping to conclusions. If things turn sour get VCC, turn up round my gaff with a couple of shooters and balaclavas and i will have the Cortina at the ready. hahaha

    My crap predictions for the UMF league are:

    Arsenal 5-0
    Man City
    Newcastle
    West Ham
    Swansea / Utd Draw

    On a serious note, never let a women tell you what to do or change you. Just let them think they are. hahahaha

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Gorgeous, Gregarious Gooners 🙂

    Kick-off in less than 30 hours!

    Aim to issue a pre-match report around 10.30 today (Oz still busy at uni I’m afraid!). Still, as we speak, have a spare ticket. If interested, email me at bergkampesque@gmail.com

    Laterzzzz

  68. VCC says:

    Richie 23-21 ……That’s GLiC in drag. Where did you get that photo from? I met him a few months back before the QPR game and that’s definitely him with a wig.

    Now you all see why he has one of those distorted type mirrors (like the ones at the fair) that makes him think he’s handsome like me.

    Hope he doesn’t read this as it would crucify him, and may even ruin his Christmas.

  69. henrychan says:

    @VCC..

    Arsenal away win
    City and Chelsea home win
    Spurs-Stoke draw.. WHU-Everton draw..

    and I wish MU lose by Swansea.. hehehehe..

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post 🙂

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