The Big Feeble German – Per, was ist los mit dir?! Arsene, add some defensive steel, please!

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What has happened to our Big F*cking German all of a sudden? Yes, we have always known he is not the fastest; that he is not the best jumper in the league; and that he turns on his axis slower than an oil tanker stuck in the Thames, but he compensated for most of this with his ability to read the game so well, his organisational skills, and the calm he brought to our defending at the back.

Per, was ist los mit dir?

TGStv-WasIstLosMitDir993-690

What has happened to our cool and controlled German warrior? I have always been a big fan of Mertesacker, as I feel he adds something to our defence that all our other defenders and our GK need, and at the same time lack themselves; calm, organisational skills, extrovert motivational skills, and ability to read the game so well.

But recently, especially since his return from sickness during the Christmas period, he has not looked himself anymore, and has regularly been all over the place in our defence.

Without Per finding back his form and composure again, und sehr schnell bitte, Arsenal will be in big problems. In an ideal world, I would like Arsene to find a Central Defender with the organisational skills of Mertesacker, and Vermaelen’s physical abilities – mean tackling, speed, and force in the air: we need a new Sol Campbell so desperately!

But these sorts of players are notoriously hard to find, and other than Vincent Kompany at Man City, none of the current PL top teams can boost a world-class central defender in their teams at the moment. Terry at Chelsea and Vidic at MU still have their moments now and again, but they are spent forces going forward.

There is a minute chance that Arsene will still buy a quality CB before the closure of the TW, but whoever it might be, he will take time to settle in and make a meaningful difference during the remainder of the season.

I am not giving up on the BFG just yet, but I feel strongly that the rest of our season will depend on him finding back his form as soon as possible: if he doesn’t, I reckon we are doomed. TV and Koz are too similar to be our CB-pairing and neither of them have been in consistently good form themselves.

Our strike-force is hitting form with on average 2.5 goals per game since Theo has fully returned to our first-team again, and Ollie is starting to find his feet properly in the PL; but they cannot compensate enough for the incredibly poor defensive performances of late.

Arsenal effectively gave away all three games  in the first half of each one of them, against fellow Top-Four contenders; ManCity, Chelsea, and now Liverpool. After those awful first half defensive performances, it became an uphill struggle, which we failed to complete successfully each and every time.

Although, in hindsight, our draw against Liverpool was not as bad as it first looked, given Chelsea’s and Spuds’ drawing their games as well, and at least keeping Pool three points behind us for the time being.

If Arsene is not able to find a quality CB before midnight, we can only hope he will be able to buy the beast of a defensive midfielder most of us have been crying out for. I have written so much about the need for such a DM that I am not going to spend one more word on it today.

Come on Arsene, add some steel and organisational skills to our defensive positions before it is well and truly too late!

Written by: Total Arsenal.

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216 Responses to The Big Feeble German – Per, was ist los mit dir?! Arsene, add some defensive steel, please!

  1. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    Total,

    Good post match report. Per is just too slow and performances like yesterday are just not good enough. Maybe for the Arsenal of the past 8 years it is, but not my Arsenal.

    I want to see signings too, how come it’s not clear to AW that we severely lack compared to the top teams?

    LOL from yesterday. Does anyone honestly believe Giroud is anywhere close to Gomez or world class? What a joke!

  2. Red Arse says:

    Well, TA, you probably know from my earlier comments that I agree with every word, of a really good Post. Sehr gut gesagt, mein Herr!! 🙂

    I do not like being negative for the sake of it, and like you, I hope Per pulls out of the trough, but he looks as if he is a novice CB, at the moment, and not a famous Germany international.

    We should have bought Yanga Mbwia, and I am at a loss why Wenger did not do so. The beauty of that would have been to also acquire a beast of the DM who can also play CB or LB, as we saw in the CL.

    Come on Arsene, start thinking laterally, dude!

  3. Ain't Got A Kalou says:

    My point is, why must we always over-rate our own players? Let’s just be realistic and happy of what we have and what they bring to the table. I’m stressed out today, any transfer news updates?

  4. Red Arse says:

    VCC,

    I have had a number of appointments recently, and you will know why, so I am not around as much as I would like.

    Sometimes the timing is not right, when I am around, and there is no one around to chat to, so I wander around other sites, getting up to mischief. 🙂

    I see the gummy coolabahs doing my UMF predictions are rubbish and I am slipping back into the pack. I will never forgive you guys if I come bottom of the league!! 😀

  5. DR says:

    Y’know, with Rambo’s performances in the double pivot I’m not so sure that’s the absolute priority. I know with the issues being conceding silly goals atm it doesn’t seem like we need an attacker but a few injuries up there and we’ll be short of quality. I’d love for a bit more physicality in midfield for the games against powerhouses but I’m not sure that would help our organisation, or whatever it is that makes us look solid one minute and wilt like a sunflower in a furnace the next (I’ve given up trying to figure out what it is, after quite a few years and completely different personnel), whereas we’re genuinely short in experienced attackers.

  6. VCC says:

    Red Arse, how can anyone disagree with those comments.

    It’s mystifying why he never stepped in and purchased Mbwia.

    Vermaelen needs a quality partner, this could have been Mbwia.

    Then Capouie at DM

    Then Isco up top.

    How much would that have cost?????

    Surely worth it as we would definitely get top four (Champions league money) bums on seats (cos the stadium is never full nowadays) and maybe, just maybe allow us to compete with the big boys again.

  7. blah says:

    per aint as bad as the verm though, why dodge the issue and point the finger at him when verm is easily the most accident prone poor defender at the club?

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi ain’t got a Kalou 🙂

    Not really a match report, but just focussing in on a big worry at the moment.

    I still need to do a match analysis at some point today or tomorrow, after I watched the game a second time. Just like you and almost anybody else, I am still waiting for a transfer announcement today.

  9. blah says:

    total arse, there will be no announcement on transfer day, unless eboue comes back on loan.

  10. DR says:

    The point is blah, our defenders have been making these mistakes for years, whilst I think some of the pant-wetting people go through is merely down to our more attacking nature, their names may change but they always do the same things. So, it’s not down to the personnel, there’s something in our club that encourages this mental weakness that affects us.

    Cutting out basic errors is not hard if you have the right mental state, we do not and so we suffer. We could bring in Maldini and Baresi and the issue would still exist imo.

  11. John says:

    It’s not Per whose the problem. Vermaelen was at fault for the first goal with a wild swipe at the ball. Massively at fault for the first goal. Santos was not strong enough for the second. Lets just admit the whole defence had bad game last night. Shit post, typical Arsenal fan looking for a scapegoat and will not blame one of the big stars such as Vermaelen. I don’t think Mertesacker or Kosicelny feel comfortable playing a long side Vermaelen. The Kos/Ver partnership does not work because they are too similar in styles and the way they defend. We do need a new defender plus we may need to move the captaincy to another player because I would say Vermaelen is not the best centre back at Arsenal anymore and the captaincy can’t be in that position anymore.

  12. 5years and stiil waiting for a netminder says:

    The big problem is that Per and the defence generally are overexposed.This team does not defend from the Front to Back.Arsenal are just not able to close the oppostion down..its what you do when you dont have the ball that counts!When we dont have the ball we just dont stay tight,the oppostion are given too much time and space..case in point b&ha fa cup tie..Per gets the blame for missing out on a defensive header,but the team gave the oppostion TIME and SPACE to deliver the cross…can we not defend as a team or are our players just lazy?…ps think we have had bad luck both pool goals last night wow, yes some mistakes a slip on the floor a shanked clearance but pool got the bounce of the ball

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers RA, I know you would like Per to come good, but it does look like he is going backwards, rather than forwards, which is a real worry. Mbwia looked great against us when we played Montpellier, and like the sort of player who could have made a direct impact in our team! 😈

  14. blah says:

    you cant blame our attackin nature for those goals yesterday, vermaelen was all over the place for the first goal after sagna slipped, our players are always slipping. then we have a goal keeper who takes a goalkick and passes to a player(BFG) who is in the penalty area. the sturridge incident when chesny nearly got caught watch it again vermaelen has not even looked round and is walking away while chesney makes the tackle and the ball rolls across the goal. and the second goal well we could have commit the foul 20 yards outside the box. not many teams actuially score a good goal against us, its always individual slackness and players sleeping when they should be on their toes. it has nothing to do with philosophy.

  15. DR says:

    TA, I think the reason we didn’t really move for Mbiwa was due to him presenting himself to every team in Europe ‘I love Man U’ ,’ohh, MIlan want me, time to put on something frilly’. I can’t blame us for trying to keep away from their kind, we need to build a team long-term rather than encourage short-termism.

    Having said that, with Diame being so much cheaper and reliable and (seemingly) less of a whore, lack of movement on that front is a bit annoying.

  16. blah says:

    none of the goals conceded yesterday came on the break. against city vermaelen sleepin lets milner in. and a set piece, our attack is not leaving us that exposed.

  17. blah says:

    and as for sagna he thinks he is at the driving range, he cant kick a ball unless its placed steadily. jenkinson showed a lot of improvement and was getting better every game. why have we stuck with sagna while he has played so badly?

  18. davi says:

    To be honest, Vermaelen is the worst of our 3 CBs, and Kos is still the best. It shouldn’t be a question of who partners Verm in our defence, but he’s the one who’s seen as the leader and is therefore undroppable.
    Yes, we’ve needed a new Sol for years. The thing is, Sol was without question one of the top 5 CBs in Europe at his peak – these sorts of players are hard to come by. You could spend big money on someone, and it’s still no guarantee.

    @John – I agree Verm was majorly at fault for the 1st goal (although Aaron made a similarly big mistake) but Santos was hardly the main culprit for the 2nd. It was a comedy of errors, but particularly from Mertesacker who just let Henderson run past him. Santos and Ramsey were trying to cover for Mert and were unfortunate in truth. It was a case where you make your own luck, but it’s not fair to blame Santos alone or even imply his was the major error, and it’s a great example of scapegoating in itself.

  19. DR says:

    Aye, but often people bulwark their opinions with the ‘mistakes’ made when our defenders are outmaneuvered in a 3v1 or 3v2 situation, that’s not a good idea imo.

    The rest of my post addressed what you’re saying, Players have been making these same mistakes in our team for 8 years, it’s not down to the individuals, there’s something that makes this team mentally weak, and that’s why they make these errors. I’m not absolving them of individual blame (Santos and Squillaci simply cannot defend in the Prem) but when you look at it with a bit of perspective and realise it ‘d be a massive co-incidence that every defender we buy makes exactly the same mistake, let alone the qualitative evidence of seeing defenders defend well for 90% of the time then do the same dumb things over and over.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi blah 🙂

    Vermaelen is not perfect either, but he will do his job as he is being asked to do. However, he needs Mertesacker’s steadying influence and organisational skills. This is the German’s strength and he has gone backwards recently, which is costing us.

  21. blah says:

    this team has no ‘know how’ arsenes idea of know how is to sign a 38 year old defender like cambell or silvestre now, if we cant afford to sign players who know how to win games and keep their nerves the club needs to lower its ticket prices and let us pay for what we get currently. this shambolic tacticless spineless gutless style(im talking the coaching i aint got to the team yet)

  22. blah says:

    total arse vermaelen is full of individual errors though he needs to focus on his job, your captain can not rely on being orgainsed from elsewhere, he fluffed a routine clearance yesterday yet again. you could clock these up on a weekly basis from him now. only a SOL could make vermaelen look good. but as for now he can do his best titus bramble impressions till we bring in a commander like sol adams keown who take responsibility for the defending. basically were knackered our ambitious board and management will not buy a player who may upset a few of the boys dishing our orders and pointing fingers.

  23. blah says:

    verm is everything wenger wnats him to be, a weak captain who wont upset any of the lads. wenger rid the club of players with ego who cared so that he could stamp this crap plastic barca brand down. now all we got is gutless mugs and the odd talent who will up an leave when he clocks on he is wasting his time at the club

  24. blah says:

    and as for project youth ,its ten years deep, where are they all? liverpool had more homegrowns in their squad and team last night

  25. richie59er says:

    What I’d really like to know is has anyone got an angle? Any bloody angle at all will do on this first 45min business? Why is it we only ever seem to look like a team after the interval? We weren’t just poor in the 1st half (for the umpteenth time) the team was yet again another no show! The whole team looked like they’d all only just met up, for a kick around in Highbury Fields. In point of fact we were appalling, absolutely jekyll and then after a 15minute break for refreshments and a reminder by “Le Boss” of who they were, where they were, and why! Suddenly Mr Hyde puts in another appearance. Leaving Gooners (world wide no doubt) totally perplexed and asking yet again, why couldn’t they have played that way for the full 90mins instead of only the last 45? Then we’d have won!

    Someone must have a plausible theory? I mean if we can put a man on the moon then it’s not beyond reasonable to expect this to be answered, is it? I mean the Arse has a wealth of sports psychologists (performance enhancers), sports nutritionists (cooks), and sports physiologists (fitness instructors). Arsene has the players monitored constantly so the stats have to show something. I desperately want to know what it is?
    I even more desperately want to know what’s being done to remedy it?

  26. blah says:

    why are we more likely to win a game were losing than a game at 0-0 lol richie

  27. Dan Boeving says:

    Hee is soon to be Mertescaked . the new Cygan…. hes too low for the premiership and especially to slow the way we push up… laurent Kos should be be playing besideVerm, blessed with pace and a jump. Lets face it, he is playing below Per….
    back to Germany. d

  28. blah says:

    we had a season of verm and koz before, it was a disaster. we need to get rid of all our centre backs and get serious if we are to improve at all.

  29. oz gunner says:

    @ Richie and TA

    I’m perplexed as to why for both (pers dip and not being able to play a full game).

    @ Aint got a kalou

    Sorry but your name really matched your comment at 12.44. If you read it correctly you would see that I said Giroud has the potential to become world class in the future. Nowhere was it written that he was or that he is close to Gomez.
    I’m not going in to it again because it was from the last post but I stand by it. There is no overrating going on, he’s performing well, scoring goals and setting them up. I’d just prefer people not right him off based on 6 months of football and jump on him for a few misses. I’d rather look at our players and think there is potential there as opposed to saying ‘he’s average, he’s ok, yeah he’ll do’

  30. Gerry Lennon says:

    I am still of the view that we need a quality DM more than anything else. If someone in front of the back four were to halt the majority of attacks, then the centre backs can clear, I am not saying that as a wishful thought, just consider the discussion that was around before this match. Should it be Per or Kos? This is because their attack was largely down to the speedy, agile pair of strikers. So with the DM in place, you position him more around Per, and let the other box-to-box midfelder – Ramsey, Diaby, Wilshere, Arteta, Coquelin – whoever is available, take care of the other side. Let their attackers move about but work more on covering our potential weakness. That is as far as Per is concerned.
    Last night exposed Ramsey’s weakness for what it was I think, i.e. he is not a natural defender. I think he panicked in the goal area, where a cool headed defender would have read the situation better? Am I wrong in thinking that I could not imagine Arteta sliding in to clear, facing his own goal, and the direction of his ‘clearance’ was towards Santos, the useless twat that scored(a nonentity up to that point?), and Vermaelin, not to mention Szcz on the goal line ready smother the attack? No, nor do I. A defensive minded player would probably gone behind/alongside Szcz ready to make a block on the line?
    Also what Ramsey showed last night is that he becoming a bloody good CM?
    Sagna’s slip was unlucky for the first goal, but TV5 should know better than take a wild slash at the ball? Ramsey, again, with a little nous and composure in the box could possibly got it back to Szcz to hoof it clear?
    That said, they did create enough chances for another 5-2 win, and still fluff a few?
    So in what remains of this transfer window do we hope for Villa to help us outscore teams and cover our defensive lapses? Do we get someone who can play across the back line, starting at left back for 3 or 4 weeks. For a while there I thought Santos was doing okay. Only ‘0kay’, until he missed the tackle that led to the second goal. From then on he went back to the player we now know so well? Or do we hope that one of the DM targets actually materialises into a signing?
    February 1st we will know what is to be our squad for the remainder of the season. With zero additions I think we may struggle further against the top teams. Ever hopeful though?

  31. oz gunner says:

    * write him off

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Blah – isn’t great to have an opinion, hey?! Long live democracy! 🙂

    I have stated many times that Vermaelen is not captain material. The BFG is, and is also the natural leader of our defence. If he is not functioning well, the whole defence suffers dramatically, as we have seen in recent weeks.

    However, put Vermaelen next to Kompany and an otherwise well-organised defence and he is worth his weight in gold.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Blah – ‘gutless mugs’ – did you watch the second half at all?

  34. The Gooner says:

    Oz,

    I’ve watched Giroud for 3 years, and am not basing his ability from the past 6 months. Giroud never has and in my opinion never will have that ability to completely carry a team on his own or even take over a game on his own. I watched Gomez carried VFB Stuttgart on his own and he proved he was great long before he joined Bayern. Giroud just lacks that something special, that “it” and no amount of playing time or establishment of form will ever help him inherit that “it”. He needs to rely on the team to provide him with delivery and the team as a whole needs to be collectively scoring to compensate. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have collective responsibility in scoring since it means not heavily relying on one player, but please be realistic when it comes to throwing around the “can be great” tag.

    If there was a more direct comparison, I’d say Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao is a good eventual player comparison. Relative late bloomer as well, very gifted physically, relies on good delivery to score and has evolved into a good, reliable striker who is solid at the International level. That’s much as I’ll say in regards to Giroud, so we’ll have to agree to disagree my friend.

  35. oz gunner says:

    Agreed TA, more and more I see of Vermaelen I picture him as the right hand man. The guy who does all the dirty work, goes in full tilt. While the boss sits and organises everything. Unfortunately for us Kozzer and Vermaelen both appear to be the muscle, and Merts is playing like an old Don Corleone

  36. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    Very fair assessment on Mertesacker. I’m not sure why people are criticizing one’s opinion, as it’s been very evident he’s been off his game lately. He’s been out of position, out of focus and lost the small bit of physicality he showed earlier in the season. In fact, our entire back line has just been a nightmare in most first halves and have all been subject to blunders.

    Davi, if Kos is our best CB, then we are in serious trouble. He’s always been subject to blunders defensively and much like the rest of our defensive line, lack focus and consistency. He’s scored an OG, lost his positioning and was reduced to fouling a $hitty player in our penalty area that changed the game (harsh call but it is what it is) and basically was subject to another OG vs. Chelsea at Stamford Bridge where he just watch the ball go in. None of our defenders have been good enough this year and it’s impossible to establish any momentum in a game when everyone plays timid and are in fear of conceding at the back.

  37. Red Arse says:

    Ozzer, 🙂

    “old Don Corleone”? More like “an old tart”! 😀

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi John at 13.16,

    Where am I exactly scapegoating? I am pointing out that I still believe in the BFG but he needs to improve quickly again, if we want to finish the season successfully.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Fiveyears at 13.17 🙂

    Fair comment and agreed.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi DR, I did not know that about Mbiwa – let’s hope we’ll get Capoue or Strootman before midnight! 🙂

  41. oz gunner says:

    @ TG

    We will have to agree to disagree on this one. I 100% think he “can be great” though. I never once said you’ve only started watching him at Arsenal, You of all people should know how far he’s come in such a short period. My point is who is to say he is not going to continue to develop in an upward trajectory? He hasn’t hit his peak yet so it’s unfair just to write him off as just ‘good’.

    By your definition does that mean only skillful classy players can have “it” then? He is a power forward, if he begins to bang them in for fun week after week for a few seasons will that then mean he is a world class striker? because if it doesn’t I’m not sure how he can qualify?! Guess the genetics have cost him that title.

    Was RVP not scoring tap in after tap in last season thanks largely to Walcott? He still relied alot on the delivery. Song tee’d him up and it’s ‘wow RVP is so bloody good’. Diaby tees up Giroud, he controls it beautifully and bangs it home. ‘eh it was just an FA Cup against a Championship team’ (obviously not saying you said it but it annoys me that people don’t give him the credit he deserves)

    Don’t worry I’ll give Giroud the call to put in a twist with a front flip to finish after he heads home a goal just so it’s pretty and people can say you have “it”.

    I like sitting here thinking ryo, gnabry, eisfeld, miquel, szcz, ramsey, aneke, and more “can be great”. It’s how it should be. What’s realistic is your mind doesn’t make what I think any less realistic

  42. The Gooner says:

    http://www.fanatix.com/news/gif-comedy-arsenal-defending-for-liverpools-opener-at-the-emirates-stadium/106663/

    This gif more or less sums up our defending this season. After yesterday, we’re suddenly being linked to a host of defenders: Amorebieta, Bong, Baines, Pereira, Fazio and N’Sakala. The problem is, it’s been an issue all year and not something new. If AW and the media just suddenly realized our defending’s a concern, then there’s a bigger issue at hand.

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Richie, I reckon it is a combination of lack of on-field leadership, lack of cohesion and understanding of how Arsene wants the team to play, and nerves. During the breaks both Arsene and Steve will put a lot right by talking through everybody’s roles with the players, and what to do better, I reckon.

  44. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    just because Mertz put his hand on my leg after one too many Berliner Weisse’s doesn’t mean he’s a tart okay. I’ll have you know he dined me first! Then again he never did call me back…Blut Deutsch tart!

  45. Red Arse says:

    Oz/TG,

    You are both expressing opinions and by definition they are not facts, especially in any discussion about ‘it’ which is entirely subjective! 🙂

    Therefore, there can be no definitive ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in any such discussion.

  46. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, Oz, 🙂

    He is obviously just a jam tart then, wining and dining you and then standing you up, especially as you had put that nice gingham pinny on for him.

    Deutsch Herren Folk, eh? 😀

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerrie Lennon at 14.12 🙂

    THanks for some fine observations. I really like your comments and great to see you returning to Bergkampesque regularly.

    Question to you: where would you play Ramsey ideally?

  48. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    so your saying if I beat my chest louder and grunt more than TG I’m not the winner?

    @ TG

    I say a thumb wrestle to declare a winner, to the victor goes the spoils!

  49. The Gooner says:

    Oz,

    The make-up for a player has nothing to with world-class ability. Just because a player is more flashy, does not make him world-class. For example, Mario Gomez is world class and was since 2007/08. Ibrahimovic, despite being flashy has the size and world-class ability. World-class players will score goals and create on their own no matter what the delivery is like or what league they’re in. When the players around them are better, they’ll continue to score at the same pace or slightly more. RVP scored enough goals on his own last season and single handedly carried a pretty weak Arsenal side to 3rd place.

    I’ve seen enough of Giroud to know he’ll never be “world-class” and I’ll continue to stand by that assessment. An upward trajectory does not imply that he has “world-class” ability. You use the term too loosely, and I guess in your mind great (as with all the players you listed) is good in mine.

    If this discussion goes on any longer, I’ll eventually resort to having severe disdain for him and be happy every time he fails, so I suggest the subject be dropped.

  50. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    My theory, in response to richie’s query, is that the opposition use their loaf and come steaming out in the first half, and press Arsenal so they cannot get going, and the defence falls apart, especially wilting from crosses.

    Having gone a goal or two up, they then fall back into ‘protecting their lead’ in the second half and become more defensive, allowing the Arse to go on the attack.

    Let’s face it, both Shitty and the Chavs were bloody lucky to go away with the points.
    Another day — another dollar, and Arsenal would have beaten both of them.

  51. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    haha, tell me about it! 🙂
    Wir haben größere Würstchen als sie sowieso! haha

  52. The Gooner says:

    TA @ 14:49, why can’t Wenger and Bould make the same comments pre-game?!

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi TG, Tenacious Gooner! 🙂 Still not giving up on the Giroud debate are you? haha. I read your comments last night and there was very little I agreed with, but I did like your tenacity and spirit in the debate.

    I whisper it to you: Giroud has come good and will be our front-soldier for seasons to come now…. and Theo and Giroud will score more goals than any PL combination this season, if not next season… 🙂

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    TG, because it is easier to adjust performances once a game is in full flow; before that it is simply theory at the moment. At half time, the managers can talk about specifics, I reckon.

  55. Red Arse says:

    Oz,

    Don’t let Glic know about your huge sausage!! 🙂

  56. The Gooner says:

    RA,

    That’s the point though, if we had any luck this season, it’d be almost none at all. All good teams have “luck”. I think we have to face this season is more or less a write off and we have to regroup in the summer before making a serious title push of any sort. A write off for me is the title by the way, not some pathetic goal of 4th place.

    All the inconsistency and loss of top quality players is finally catching up to us. It’s not the exact equivalent, but I experienced the same process with my NHL team last year where we went to the Conference Finals the year before and everyone thought we could compete again the next year with more or less the same squad. I forewarned them all and guess what? We finished out of the playoffs.They failed to realize that momentum had a played a massive role in the run and there were a ton of holes in the team that were not adequately addressed. This past off-season the manager addressed them immediately with top talents and we’ve started off the year 5-1 and have looked miles better than the year before.

  57. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    I haven’t been wrong about many players after watching so many leagues and teams over the years. Theo was really the first player I’ve been wrong about, but I always believed the skill was somewhat there to succeed, just was not sure if he could put it altogether in time. With Giroud, it’s the top end ability I question, not whether or not he’ll be a good, effective striker for Arsenal.

  58. oz gunner says:

    I’m not saying an upward trajectory means he will be world class, I’m saying if he continues to improve at the speed in which he has done in recent seasons it is a possibility! How is it not?
    That’s not my problem if you begin to hope an Arsenal player fails so you can prove a point. As far as I’m concerned that sort of statement is only a stone throw away from ‘I hope we lose so i can say I told you so’ or ‘i hope we lose so Arsene gets the flick’

    MY opinion should not factor in on what YOUR opinion is of another player. You could call Giroud a decent striker until you lose your voice, doesn’t change my opinion of him because neither of us will know until his career ends. I’d love nothing more than to look back in 6 years time and hear all the great things people say about Arsenal’s Giroud and the world beater he became under Arsene. If he didn’t develop and was just a quality player I’ll still be happy because he gave 100% to the cause.

  59. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    After seeing the same crap in the first half so many times, at some point it isn’t theory but a recurring issue that for some reason has not been adequately addressed. If mental preparation is lacking, then it should be addressed. If we’re in need of a complete overhaul to change the mindset that our defenders have become accustomed to after years of failing, then that needs to be addressed sooner, rather than later. We all talk about how we feel a player “will come good”, but it’s a moot point if one of them comes good and another starts to suffer. Hahaha too much will come good and not enough good right now!

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, that is a good theory too. The difference in shape, purpose and cohesion in the second half is soooo big though that I reckon the managers do a great job at half time. The team seems to really miss leadership on the pitch and we need to start playing Wilshere constantly in the hole in my view.

  61. glic says:

    I think problem with Mert since he returned from his Christmas sickness, is that he has lost a yard of pace !.

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi TG

    I care little whether Giroud will become a world beater or not; I care about what he can do for our team, and I am starting to see that he and Theo could be the absolute dream combination for us.

    Re RvP: he was treated like a king by the rest of the team and that’s why he was so successful. The same is happening at the Mancs now. The Dutch national team was set up totally different and that’s why he had average performances at best during the WC and EC. IF he was world-class he would have scored hatfulls, but he did not.

  63. richie59er says:

    Sol was a colossus for us! As TA rightly points out the “Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell’s” of this world ain’t found growing on trees down in East London, or any other part of London. First of Sol was a complete athlete, who chose to play football. By the time Sol joined the big boys at the Senior North London School in Highbury from that kindergarten in the bog “the tiny totts crèche”, he had everything needed to be a success. Strong, fast, athletic,determined, and possessed of a winning attitude, which is basically why (lets face it) he left the crèche in the swamp in search of a higher aspiration, well that and of course the air is more refined and rarefied in “High”bury.

    I agree with many that the BFG bought his organisational skills to our weak back 4 and I also agree that he reads the game exceptionally well, however I did think he would struggle in the EPL because he is very much everything Sol wasn’t. Slow ponderous, and although big in size not particularly strong and worst of all not very athletic. His reading of the game does allow him to be better than Sol in only one area for me I think his distribution is slightly better, Sol stuck to the very simple pass out from the back, Per is certainly more adventurous in that manner. However the cons are very much out-weighed by the pro’s for me. I’ve said this before and I think it bears repeating Adams, Keown and Bouldie would’ve struggled massively in the EPL today because since the rule changes our league (always played at breakneck speeds) has become much faster for defenders. No longer the Highbury goose step arms raised on high, now it’s active-passive and zonal, if Adams would find it hard what chance our BFG?

  64. The Gooner says:

    Oz,

    I only said that out of frustration because I’m tired of talking about Giroud’s potential. I’ve watched him for a long time and my assessment of a player has never really let me down before. We’re now beating a dead horse with a stick.

    I never once said that he doesn’t have the potential to get better. I would have absolutely agreed with your most recent comment had it been presented like that originally. I reserve the term “world-class” for really special players/ Perhaps a lot of context was lost in the heat of the debate and meaning is hard to communicate through typing.

    Your opinion is your opinion and mine is mine, let’s leave it at that. I’d like to move on and would much rather discuss how we’re going to sit idle in the TW and screw ourselves yet again hahaha!

  65. oz gunner says:

    @ GLIC

    agreed, my one worry with Mertz was what sort of player would he become once he aged a little more and lost more pace. Players like Gallas adapt/evolve once they lose their pace and use their experience and timing to keep their nous. But Mertz was never quick (the ankle injuries definitely would not have helped) and couldn’t really afford to lose anymore pace

  66. The Gooner says:

    Richie,

    Your assessment of BFG is exactly how I felt about him when he first came to Arsenal. I was never overly impressed with him at Werder Bremen. I love that he’s defensively responsible and willing to sit back, but I too felt he would always find it difficult to keep up with the pace and physicality of the EPL.

  67. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    Agree to disagree on RVP. I think once both careers are over, it won’t even be close on who was world-class or better.

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    TG, the majority of the first team we have now did not play regularly for us in 2011: we are going finally through a major transition and it will take time for this team to start games fully alligned, and totally cohesive and purposeful. So much has become clear to me. No need for a complete overhaul to change the mindset; the team is the middle of it already.

  69. The Gooner says:

    Forgot to add TA, as you state who cares who’ll be better. It’s a matter of who’s allegiance is with Arsenal going forward. And for that, I’m happy to have Giroud.

  70. oz gunner says:

    Too late TG…you’ve hurt my feelings 🙂

    agreed, leave it at that.

    First thing I’ll be doing when I wake-up in the morning is clicking on to see if we have signed anyone, if we have not I fear for the safety of the next person I cross paths with…because they are going to have some very sore knuckles once they beat the snot out of me for trying to act tough!

  71. glic says:

    Hahaha Oz, I was only joking, but if he really has lost a yard of pace, then indeed he is a lamp post and it`s no wonder strikers are cocking their leg up against him !. hahaha

  72. Red Arse says:

    TG,

    I used to get on my soapbox about the methodology needed to maintain a club’s supremacy, and eventually gave up, because the example I mostly used was the hated Manure strategy, which many Gooners could not accept.

    Your point about your NHL team somewhat makes the point for my theory as well.

    Every time Manure won the Premiership or the CL, they went out in the summer and bought the best players available, almost regardless of the cost.

    Rio Ferdinand £30m, Rooney £30m, Horseface van Nistleroy £20m and so on — all big transfer fees in those days. Even the Manure fans questioned the wisdom of loading more debt on the club to go with the Glazer’s debt pile. (I have never understood why fans should worry about an owner’s/accountant’s ‘problem’).

    They have enjoyed success after success with that strategy and RvP’s purchase has carried that on. That club has now been valued at $3bn, 5 times the value when the Glazers took over.

    Arsenal on the other hand, have never gone out and bought high quality (=expensive) players after winning the Premiership or Doubles, insisting the squad ‘is strong enough’, or in recent times going so far as to sell our best players and not replace them satisfactorily.

    The results have been obvious. Utd have carried on spending and winning and increasing their worldwide fanbase and increasing the club’s net worth, and then going out a nd spending and winning and increas……. you get the picture, and it is a self perpetuating virtuous circle.

    Arsenal? Not so much. The ‘squad is strong enough’ motto was plainly false when we were winning, and as we slipped further back down the table, we started to sell the family silver, instead of investing, and there has been a gradual decline in the team’s viablity and the increase in our revenue income.

    AFC could and should have invested more on the team, and simply extended the ‘mortgage’ on the Emirates so the repayments were smaller and spread out over a longer period.

    There is always a risk factor in whatever you do in business, and Arsenal’s owners have always been risk adverse, whereas Manure’s have taken a different view.

    The result?

    Utd have been highly successful both on the field and in the valuation of the net worth of the club, with very contented fans.

    Arsenal have been financially ‘safe’, with a declining success ratio, less productive revenue streams, and with their fans deeply divided.

    Seems your NHL team are taking the Arsenal route.

  73. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    I’ve made the same comment several times about the team needing time to transition (technically 5 new KEY players if you count Jack and Diaby too) but it’s more than that. We also lack the quality at a few key positions from being a title winning team. The inconsistency will continue to persist no matter how long we wait, there’s just something missing from the team as it is right now.

    If I had it my way, Per would be our 4th choice CB and not make the bench for big games, along with Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky and Gervinho. These players would all rotate in for injuries, cup competitions or when our starters need a rest. Our bench would have much more depth, quality and even some super subs if it consisted of a veteran back-up keeper, jenkinson, koscielny, diaby, arteta, ox and giroud. Thus, in my opinion, we’re currently short a starting CB, DM, ST and back-up GK and LB.

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Hah TG,

    I must also stress as a Dutchman I have witnessed the very finest of strikers and I know that Giroud is not world-class in terms of finishing, first touch and technical ability. The very best striker I have ever seen play life is Marco van Basten: he was super-human in all departments and Oliver will never come close to that level. So. I think I know where you are coming from and I don’t necessarily disagree with the content of your argument; it is more about the importance of Giroud becoming a world-class striker, where we differ. 🙂

  75. The Gooner says:

    Red Arse,

    Fantastic response and I feel EXACTLY the same way about our unwavering positivity around our team, our approach to the debt financing of the Emirates and Arsenal’s philosophy in the transfer market. We’re already in the midst of a vicious cycle, for as long as we continue to not win, our best players will continue to leave (eventually) and we’ll find it much harder to attract top quality talent (especially without paying over the odds). Something has to be said for growing your own talent, as it’s an approach I’ve always admired. However, when those players are not sticking with your team long-term, then there is an issue at hand. Re-signing Jack, Ox, Gibbs and Theo were all a great start, but it’ll still take precious time to recover from the losses of Cesc, van Judas etc.

    My NHL team WAS taking the Arsenal route. However, this past off-season they adequately addressed the issues and signed two top 4 defensemen and spent a good sum of money to improve their goaltending as well. If anything, they’re now taking a blend of the Arsenal (developing in-house) and Manure route!

  76. glic says:

    Not only do they spend when their winning Redders, they spend when they get a trophyless season like last year. Will Arsenal spend big in the summer if no CL ?. We know Manu would !.
    We would all love CL next year, but I`m so curious to know what Arsenal will do in the summer TW if we dont get it !. Will it be the biggest ever kick up the arse for us in the Premier League era ? or will AW still say, ” I believe in the team, we have the spirit and strength to compete ! “.

  77. The Gooner says:

    TA :),

    Thank god we’ve come to an understanding. I was beginning to think I was either watching the wrong player all these years or that there was just some mutiny against me. I was going to pack up my bags and jump ship to justarsenal hahahaha. Hey, I’m all for sticking with your guns and believing in your players (look at how convinced I am that Ox is quality :)), but my point was let’s not have world-class expectations for Giroud!

    I’m not trying to say Giroud will be a failure and that he can’t improve from what he’s shown this season. Nothing would make me happier than to see Arsenal succeed with Theo and Giroud and prove to the world that we don’t need to spend big to win titles. I’m just saying that I’m not 100% comfortable of our chances to win a title with Giroud being the focal point of our attack. As you have reiterated a few times, if Giroud does not become world class, then who cares? So long as he comes good and produces for Arsenal!

  78. The Gooner says:

    Hahaha Glic, that is the million dollar question my friend! I think the pressure will be too immense to not spend. Wenger will have everyone’s backing in his final year, especially if we don’t make CL. The AST, Gazidis and everyone else imaginable has said the funds will be/are there. So, at some point you have to question Arsene’s ability in the transfer markets (especially if he does nothing if we don’t make CL this year).

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA 🙂

    I reckon MU have been so successful in recent years (not last year though) because of our decline and Mourinho falling out with his boss, and their stability; as per the same manager for many year and a home fortress at Old Toilet.

    Other than van Judas, and maybe Berbatov, they have not bought anybody big in many years. In fact, their purchases have been similar to ours, and of course they rely on the Old Timers still. They have sold Ronaldo and let Tevez go, and I would struggle to name more than two or three players who I would like to swap with going forward.

    The season is long and it all remains to be seen whether they will win something this time round; although, PL is quite likely at this stage. Arsenal have to get their act together now: keep players together, build a super-team and add quality when possible. It should come good but will there be enough patience?

  80. The Gooner says:

    EPL transfer update for all teams today (so far):

    Urby Emanuelson to Fulham (loan from AC Milan)
    Danny Graham to Sunderland
    Yacouba Sylla to Aston Villa
    Christopher Samba to QPR
    Jack Butland to Stoke (back on loan to BC for the rest of the season)
    Luciano Becchio to Norwich
    Paul Robinson to West Ham
    John Stones to Wigan
    Phillipe Coutinho to Liverpool

    Liverpool, Norwich, Tottenham, QPR, Fulham, Everton, Newcastle, Aston Villa all have strong links for more moves too. Should be an exciting day (for other fans)…

  81. glic says:

    **** BREAKING ARSENAL TRANSFER NEWS ****

    My sticky on temporary transfer of an Arsenal cannon has come off in the shower !. 😥

  82. The Gooner says:

    hahahaha glic, that’s as much movement as we’ll see today, unless you consider the organization’s stool because they’re full of sh*t!!!

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    I might remain positive in general, but I am with most Gooners that no TW business today would be a big disappointment! Arsene will have some explaining to do. 😈

  84. The Gooner says:

    Also, other significant transfers thus far:

    Demba Ba to Chavs
    Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool
    Mathieu Debuchy to Newcastle
    Joe Cole to West Ham
    Loic Remy to QPR
    Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to Newcastle
    Yoan Gouffran to Newcastle
    Moussa Sissoko to Newcastle
    Lewis Holtby to Spuds
    Wilfried Zaha to Manure (loaned back to CP until end of season)

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    TG, just for you, as fellow appreciater of quality goals; look at this bullseye header by van Basten. There is no luck involved: all planning and precise execution:

  86. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    Arsene’s already explained it with the same usual crap haha. You have to keep faith in this squad and they’ll come good! We’re good enough to make 4th place!

    I want to ask him what they’ll come good on, 4th place?! The mentality is just not there if that’s our goal.

  87. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    Of course! Van Basten was masterclass and was on a completely different level than most other strikers in the 80’s :). His immense skill on the ball complemented his natural physical ability and he could score in so many different ways. I can’t even imagine the numbers he would have continued to put up if it weren’t for injury cutting his career short…

  88. glic says:

    I`ve sent this idea to Arsene, on how we can help Santos deal with Arjen Robben down the flanks !.

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    I can accept that this year 3rd or 4th place is our main target with hope of a good cup run.We both agree it is a traditional year and therefore that seems logical, but next season it will have to be a lot more ambitious, both in terminology and player purchases.

    If we don’t add defensive steel in midfield/defence I reckon it will be very hard to finish in the top-four…. 😦

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    GLic, haha. 🙂

    There is no way, Arsene will play Santos against Robben. Even he will realise that would be ooh la la liberte too far!

  91. The Gooner says:

    Hahaha glic, that would be the only way to solve our defensive woes in general this season! Even Ribeiry will be a nightmare for Sagna, not to mention likely having to cover Lahm as well…

    TA, my thinking exactly. This year is a write off already and if things don’t change next year, well Arsene’s contract will be over and sweeping changes will HAVE to take place regardless. I think once we escape the mentality that has stagnated us for the past 8 years, we’ll be fine and have a good and young enough core to help overcome it. I am still hoping that AW will be the one to turn it around but his complacency in improving this team is extremely concerning.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed TG 🙂

  93. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I pinched the following table off the net, and it will come out all over the place, but I have shown each year’s net spend separately, and if you strip out the Ronaldo anomaly (not part of any strategy) you will see UTD do spend big each year.

    Arsenal’s net spend would not come close, oh Clogger in Chief!! 😀

    Players Purchased Fee Players Sold Fee Net Total Points Position
    Season 12/13
    Nick Powell £6,000,000 Matthew James £1,000,000
    Shinji Kagawa £12,000,000 Ritchie De Laet £1,000,000
    Sean Goss £100,000 Oliver Norwood £400,000
    Robin Van Persie £22,000,000 Tomasz Kuszczak Free Prem
    Angelo Henrique £4,000,000 Park Ji-Sung £2,500,000 Pts Pos
    Alexander Büttner £3,900,000 Paul Pogba Free
    Dimitar Berbatov £4,000,000
    Michael Owen released
    Joshua King £1,000,000
    Robbie Brady £2,000,000

    Total £48,000,000 £11,900,000 NET SPEND

    Season 11/12
    Phil Jones £17,000,000 Corry Evans £500,000
    David De Gea £18,900,000 Joe Dudgeon[1] £300,000
    Ashley Young £17,000,000 John O’Shea £4,500,000
    Paul Scholes Free Wes Brown £1,200,000
    Nicholas Ajose undisclosed
    Gabriel Obertan £3,000,000
    Darron Gibson £2,000,000
    Daniel Drinkwater £750,000
    Ravel Morrison £1,000,000 Prem
    Mame Biram Diouf £1,500,000 Pts Pos

    Total £52,900,000 £14,750,000 NET SPEND 89 2

    Season 10/11

    Chris Smalling £10,000,000 Ben Foster £6,000,000
    Javier Hernandez £6,000,000 Zoran Tosic £7,000,000
    Marnick Vermijl £300,000 Tom Heaton Free
    Bebe £7,400,000 Ron-Robert Zieler Free
    Anders Lindegaard £3,500,000 David Gray Free
    Craig Cathcart £350,000
    James Chester £300,000 Prem
    Cameron Stewart undisclosed Pts Pos

    Total £27,200,000 £13,650,000 NET SPEND 80 1

    Season 09/10

    Antonio Valencia £16,000,000[2] Cristiano Ronaldo £80,000,000
    Michael Owen Free Lee Martin £1,500,000[3]
    Gabriel Obertan £3,000,000 Fraizer Campbell £3,500,000[4]
    Mame Biram Diouf £2,000,000[5] Richard Eckersley Tribunal
    Paul Pogba Nominal Manucho undisclosed
    Danile Galbraith Free
    Carlos Tevez Free Prem
    Danny Simpson £500,000 Pts Pos

    Total £21,000,000 £85,500,000 NET SPEND 85 2

    Season 08/09

    Demitar Berbatov £30,750,000 Ritchie Jones Free
    Zoran Tosic £5,000,000[6] Chris Eagles £1,250,000
    Adem Ljajic Cancelled[7] Michael Lea Free
    Ritchie De Laet Undisclosed Mikael Sylvestre £750,000 Prem
    Louis Saha Signed Pts Pos

    Total £35,750,000 £2,000,000 NET SPEND 90 1

    Season 07/08

    Manucho Signed Gerard Pique £6,000,000
    Carlos Tevez £9,000,000[8] Kieran Lee Free
    Nani £13,500,000 Phil Bardsley £2,000,000
    Tomasz Kuszczak £2,150,000 Ryan Shawcross £1,000,000
    Anderson £15,000,000 Adam Eckersley Free
    Owen Hargreaves £17,000,000 Phil Marsh Free
    Rafael Da Silva £2,500,000 Gabriel Heinze £8,000,000
    Fabio Da Silva £2,600,000 Alan Smith £6,000,000
    Rodrigo Possebon Signed Daniel Rose Signed
    Giuseppe Rossi £6,700,000 Prem
    Kieran Richardson £5,500,000 Pts Pos

    Total £61,750,000 £35,200,000 NET SPEND 87 1

    Season 06/07

    Michael Carrick £18,600,000 Tim Howard £3,000,000
    David Jones £1,000,000
    Liam Miller Free
    Paul McShane Free
    Luke Steele Signed
    Ruud van Nistelrooy £10,300,000
    Quinton Fortune Free Prem
    Sylvain Ebanks-Blake £200,000 Pts Pos

    Total £18,600,000 £14,500,000 NET SPEND 89 1

    Season 05/06

    Patrice Evra £5,500,000 John Mikel Obi £12,000,000
    Nemanja Vidic £7,000,000 Eddie Johnson Free
    Ben Foster £1,000,000 Jonathan Spector £500,000
    Ji-Sung Park £4,000,000 Tommy Lee Free
    Edwin Van Der Sar £2,000,000[9] Phil Picken Free
    Colin Heath Signed
    Neil Wood Free
    David Fox Free
    Roy Keane Free
    Kleberson £2,500,000
    Phil Neville £3,500,000
    Michael Stewart Signed
    Paul Tierney Signed
    David Bellion Undisclosed Prem
    Daniel Nardiello Free Pts Pos

    Total £19,500,000 £18,500,000 NET SPEND 83 2

    Season 04/05

    Florent N’Galula £0 Steven Hogg Free
    Wayne Rooney £27,000,000 Ricardo Free
    Giuseppe Rossi £200,000 Roy Carroll Free
    David Poole Free
    Eric Djemba-Djemba £1,350,000
    Bojan Djordjic Free
    Diego Forlan £2,000,000
    Luke Chadwick Free
    Nicky Butt £2,500,000 Prem
    Mark Lynch Signed Pts Pos

    Total £27,200,000 £5,850,000 NET SPEND 77 3

  94. Red Arse says:

    Yes well, the final net spend total has fallen off wordpress – but it is easy to calculate.

    Taking 2004/05:

    £27,200,000 Less £5,850,000 = £21,350,000

    Simples!! 😀

  95. The Gooner says:

    Rumours linking Arsenal to players have been reduced to slashed odds from increased bids that a move could happen…maybe if we bid more and try hard enough it’ll happen?!

    I’d imagine it’d have to be something like this:

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Redders: they spend more money every season than us. We buy similar sort of players now – van Judas being the one exception – but they didn’t get much money for the players they sold. I guess that is the big difference and it will need to change if we want to compete with orrible Mancs! 🙂

  97. blah says:

    total arse, i agree the 2nd half was much improved but football is a 90minute game and i was talkin generally,not specifically about the game last night. you cant be gutless one minute and have a go heroes the next.we have turned up gutless as much as we have been decent this year we have had 5 or 6 complete gutless performances this season and thats enough to put a team closer to the bottom 3 than the top on the points tally

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    I would not describe any of our first half performances as gutless. The team haveoften looked clueless and frustrated, but there is not a single player in our first-eleven team I would describe as lazy or desinterested, or as you call it, gutless.

  99. Red Arse says:

    Oh alright then Arsenal’s comparative net spend!

    Season 12/13

    Lukas Podolski £11,000,000 Tom Cruise Free
    Olivier Giroud £13,000,000 Jeffrey Monakana Free Prem
    Santi Cazorla £20,000,000 Oğuzhan Özyaku £500,000 PTS POS
    Pedro Botelho Nominal
    Carlos Vela £4,200,000
    Robin Van Persie £22,000,000
    Kyle Bartley £1,000,000
    Alex Song £15,000,000
    Henri Lansbury £1,000,000
    Rhys Murphy Free
    Gavin Hoyte Free
    Manuel Almunia Free
    £44,000,000 £43,700,000
    NET SPEND

    Season 11/12

    Carl Jenkinson Free Gaël Clichy £7,000,000
    Gervinho £10,600,000 Mark Randall Free
    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain £12,000,000 Jay E-Thomas £1,500,000
    Joel Campbell £950,000 Cesc Fábregas £35,000,000
    Park Chu-Young £3,000,000 Emmanuel Eboué £4,000,000
    André Santos £6,200,000 Jamie Edge Free
    Mikel Arteta £10,000,000 Samir Nasri £22,000,000
    Per Mertesacker £10,000,000 Armand Traore £1,200,000
    Thomas Eisfeld £400,000 Gilles Sunu Free
    Luke Freeman Undisclosed Prem
    PTS POS

    Total £53,150,000 £70,700,000
    NET SPEND/RECEIPT 70 3

    Season 10/11

    Marouane Chamakh Free Fran Merida Free
    Kyle Ebecillo £500,000 Philippe Senderos Free
    Laurent Koscielny £10,000,000 Luke Ayling Free
    Sebastien Squillaci £4,000,000[1] Eduardo £6,000,000
    Ryo Miyaichi Undisclosed Sol Campbell Signed
    Jay Simpson £1,200,000
    Havard Nordtveit £500,000 Prem
    Nacer Barazite Free PTS POS

    Total £14,500,000 £7,700,000
    NET SPEND 68 4

    Season 09/10

    Thomas Vermaelen £10,000,000 Abu Ogogo Free
    Samuel Galindo Undisclosed Emmanuel Adeba £25,000,000
    Sol Campbell Free Kolo Toure £16,000,000
    James Dunne Signed Prem
    Rene Steer Signed PTS POS

    Total £10,000,000 £41,000,000
    NET SPEND/RECEIPT 75 3

    Season 08/09

    Amaury Bischoff Undisclosed Mathieu Flamini Free
    Mikael Sylvestre £750,000 Alexander Hleb £11,800,000
    Andrei Arshavin £15,000,000 Gilberto Silva £1,000,000
    Justin Hoyte £3,000,000 Prem
    Lassana Diarra £3,500,000[2] Sell on fee PTS POS

    Total £15,750,000 £19,300,000
    NET SPEND?RECEIPT 72 4

    Season 07/08

    Samir Nasri £15,800,000 Jens Lehmann Free
    Aaron Ramsey £5,000,000 Lassana Diarra £5,500,000
    Luke Freeman £200,000 Matthew Connolly £1,000,000
    Lassana Diarra £4,000,000 Joe O’Cearuill Free
    Bakari Sagna £6,000,000 Ryan Garry Free
    Jose Reyes £8,100,000 Prem
    Fredrik Ljungberg £3,000,000 PTS POS

    Total £31,000,000 £17,600,000
    NET SPEND 83 3

    Season 06/07

    Eduardo £7,500,000 Peggy Lokando Free
    Nacer Barazite Signed Arturo Lupoli Free
    Lukasz Fabianski £2,000,000 Thierry Henry £16,100,000
    Denilson £3,400,000 Jeremie Aliadiere £2,000,000
    William Gallas Swap Mart Poom Signed
    Alexandre Song Billong £1,000,000 Fabrice Muamba £2,000,000
    Fran Merida Perez Free Sebastian Larsso £1,000,000
    Joe O’Cearuill Free Bisan Lauren £500,000
    Anthony Stokes £2,000,000
    Ashley Cole £5,000,000
    Pascal Cygan £2,000,000
    Sol Campbell Free
    Ryan Smith £300,000
    Graham Stack Signed
    Michael Jordan Free Prem
    (*Moved to Emirates) PTS POS

    Total £13,900,000 £30,900,000
    NET SPEND/RECEIPT 68 4

    Season 05/06

    Tomas Rosicky £6,800,000 Robert Pires Free
    Mart Poom Signed Mark Howard Free
    Theo Walcott £9,100,000 Quincy Owusu-A £1,500,000
    Emmanuel Adebayor £7,000,000 David Bentley £10,000,000[3]
    Vassiriki Diaby £2,000,000 Patrick Cregg Free
    Aleksandr Hleb £11,200,000 Frankie Simek Free
    Armand Traore £250,000 Sebastian Svard Free
    Vito Mannone £350,000 Patrick Vieira £13,700,000
    Nicklas Bendtner £200,000 Jermaine Pennant £4,670,000
    Stephen O’Donnell Free
    Daniel Karbassiyo Free
    Stuart Taylor £250,000
    Dean McDonald Free
    Adam Birchall Free Prem
    Olafur Ingi Skulas Free PTS POS

    Total £36,900,000 £30,120,000
    NET SPEND 67 4

    I think that is called ‘Game, Set, Match’ mon ami. 😀

  100. Red Arse says:

    Damn! You have agreed, TA, I was looking forward to a punch up!!!! 😛

    We have made more money for the coffers rather than spending on investments in players. 😦

    That is, of course, consistent with the business model we operate.

    Incidentally, everyone has taken for granted that we will have more money to spend because Gazidis has said so, and we have a new sponsorship deal starting next year, (which will be cut if we do not qualify for the CL) but no one has mentioned the hole in the P&L A/C because of the curtailing of our property sales revenues now the sale of the Highbury development has almost finished . Just saying. :-

  101. blah says:

    total i respect your opinion but id say bradford was gutless, villa away was gutless, norwich away gutless, swansea at home gutless, thats just off the top of my head, they never turned up. thats gutless

  102. blah says:

    when the manager comes out sayin the team are nervous because of the fans thats gutless

  103. The Gooner says:

    Oh god RA, when you present the numbers in full you can see how poorly we reacted to the departures in 06/07, 08/09 and 09/10 (absolute disaster and our worst year for net transfer spend). Now that the Emirates stadium financing has been paid off, we are still not being rewarded for our patience after all these years. THAT is what concerns me most now and in the future. If this club is destined for mediocrity and if anyone can succeed as manager if the board and owner continue to be stingy with transfer funds. If it truly is Arsene’s frugality holding us back, then we’ll only realize that once his contract ends in 2014 (I hope he isn’t to blame).

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    Blah, yes we have to disagree on that one. None of those games had us gutless, but clueless and disjointed. It would be a lot easier for me to blame the players’ attitude but that’s not it for me.

    I don’t think we have lazy players in our core team. Only Pod and Cazorla sometimes seem to switch off a bit, but I would not call them lazy.

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    Why is that gutless: it is factual. It does not mean he is having a go at the fans, though.

  106. blah says:

    total i just feel the team took the pitch disinterested, maybe arrogant, but the outlook is gutless. we lost 2-0 against swansea and we had the ball in a shooting position maybe ten times and i dont think we had a decent attempt on goal all game because we kept passing the ball on, no one takin responsibility, thats the gutless thing, its in the leadership

  107. Red Arse says:

    TA/Blah,

    The definition of ‘gutless’ is: Lacking courage or determination, or being lily-livered.

    Now you both think you are right, and that is because it is a subjective assessment.

    Best just to move on, guys! 🙂

    [For me, Blah has highlighted an unpleasant memory, but gutless? No.
    Hopelessly out of form and a tad unlucky? Yes. [Just a subjective opinion.] 🙂

  108. blah says:

    so its factual that the fans make the players nervous? lol its not sunday league they get paid to play for an audience, its gutless excuse for a lazy showout and poor motivation.

  109. blah says:

    lol hopelessly out of form? these results come as no suprise, like the man said lilly livered, but these performances have become the arsenal way

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    Ok blah, I am with you on the lack of leadership. The return of Wilshere has made a real difference but we need more of it. That’s why I would be inclined to see Rosicky start a lot more games, and we also need a DM who leads by example and helps us boss the pitch again.

  111. blah says:

    i agree he is not havin a go at the fans. but he needs to come up with the answers, he has 70 paid playing staff he needs to get 11 who will perform first till last minute on saturday

  112. blah says:

    the return of wilshere is great but i feel that other players have slightly passed the buck and given away responsibility, wilshere should have returned to boost the midfield not take over draggin it.

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Blah, they are just human beings and no robots. We concede more goals at home than away: why is that? Maybe it is to do with the worry of failure in front of their own fans. 😕

  114. blah says:

    we need a real DM who is dedicated to that roll.your right that would do us the world of good.

  115. The Gooner says:

    @blah 17:17, I completely agree and I’ve been saying that for some time. There’s not enough leadership on this team and much like our scoring which has assumed a collective responsibility, our leadership should follow suit. We need another vocal leader out there to help ease the burden on Jack and fighting a battle from multiple fronts should help us settle into games sooner.

  116. TotalArsenal says:

    Like many others, I have been saying for a while we need a beast of a DM, but when I saw Ramires street-wise, hard as nails performance against us, I knew exactly what we have been missing for so long. JW tries to compensate for the whole team, and you are right, it is not good enough. Cazorla, Podolski, Vermaelen, BFG, Sagna, and Szczesny have to all step it up.

  117. blah says:

    Total its a big problem but the club needs to look at the players. we cant keep sticking with the same failures. in the case of vermaelen he has folded in all the big games recently, home or away, the team seem to have the weight lifted off their shoulders when they are losing, personally i put it down to the manager refusin to adress the defence and the defensive midfield, these players know that they are most vulnerable when we actually have the ball because the whole team tends to creep out of position so one loose ball and we have no shape or organisation and its panic stations. i think this is on their minds, when we play away teams have to come at us, at home they just jump on our errors, were kamikaze. and we slow our own attacks down with dangerous sideways passing often with too many men ahead of the ball

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    All fair points, Blah, and agreed. 🙂

  119. blah says:

    the saddest thing is these issues are unnadressed for over half a decade, and i do like wenger but he cant say we pay for our philosophy and smirk proudly . its his job to tweak these problems find a balance, we dont even play great football no more.

  120. blah says:

    chesney is as dim as they come. we need to sign a keeper and a DM who is no nonsense win the ball let the players play. we need to sign a defender who loves defending and will not go missing from the back four. these players tend to rub off on the rest.

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    I am hoping we are through most of the pain now, and see a team develop strongly in 2013. I don’t think we will win anything this year, but I do still expect us to finish in top-four. Next season has to see a huge improvement, otherwise things will have to change.

  122. blah says:

    when last season ended i thought arsene would have to change. yet again he was more concerned with makin a profit than strengthening. TotalArsenal il come back this time next year and i bet were sayin the same thing.

  123. The Gooner says:

    BBC Sport believes we’re approaching Valenciennes for Left Back Get Ten Bongs! Er I mean Gaeten Bong. What’s interesting despite his solid play for Valenciennes this year is that he played on loan at Tours with Koscielny and Giroud! Talk about some shady recruitment strategies, it’s about time we used that weight hahaha.

  124. glic says:

    Szczesny thinks he`s the dogs bollocks trying the Crufts turn ( yes I know it`s Cruyff or Cruijff turn ). It`s only a matter of time before he gives away a goal trying it, lets hope the manager told him he`s no Cruyff, to put it mildly !.

  125. TotalArsenal says:

    Don’t think so, blah. Cesc, van Judas and Song have left gaps behind, and I respect it will take time to fill those again. Wenger can still do it I reckon, but as per my previous comment, real progress has to be made in the next eleven months.

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Glic the Crufts turn 😛

  127. Red Arse says:

    Twitter is alive with Monreal of Malaga being en route for a medical to cover for Gibbsy.

  128. Red Arse says:

    TG,

    It seems Bong has gone Bang! 🙂

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    A loan deal then, Redders?

  130. Red Arse says:

    Glicee,

    Where are the pics of your decadent love shack? Have you still got Terry tied up down there? 🙂

  131. Red Arse says:

    Seems like a full blown signing, TA, but rumours, rumours fuck dem rumours!!! 😀

  132. TotalArsenal says:

    we can but hope Redders 🙂

  133. The Gooner says:

    Just saw that Redders, let’s hope it’s true!

  134. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    Arsenal are set to complete the signing of Nacho Monreal from Malaga.

    The defender is in London putting the final touches on the move which will mark Arsene Wenger’s first signing of the transfer window, and will set the Gunners back £8.5million.

    The transfer was forced through following Kieran Gibbs’ injury.

    Monreal is a former Malaga team-mate of Arsenal star Santi Cazorla.

    Earlier, Arsenal were dealt a blow with the news that top target David Villa won’t be joining the north London club this month.

    It was also reported earlier that Arsenal were keen to also sign Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Amorebieta, (CB) but the defender has told the Gunners he wants to stay in La Liga until at least the summer.

  135. The Gooner says:

    “Nacho”s anyone? 🙂

  136. Red Arse says:

    Interesting (if true) that we are in for a CB — perhaps Wenger has realised we cannot keep on with a crap defense?? 🙂

  137. The Gooner says:

    Don’t want to get my hopes too high, but this would be a MASSIVE signing. It’s too bad he’s cup tied and can’t play in the CL but my god what stability he’d bring to our LB position. Unfortunately, I’m not sure where this leaves Gibbs if the transfer happens.

  138. The Gooner says:

    RA,

    Amorebieta’s contract expires in June so we’d be signing him on a free. I’ve watched him for many years at Bilbao (my second team) and the lad’s got some serious class at CB. Imagine Mertesacker’s stability with better strength, leadership, aerial ability and pace.

  139. Red Arse says:

    Stop it, TG!!

    You have me drooling!! 😛

  140. TotalArsenal says:

    AmorebieTA – what a beautiful name!

  141. VCC says:

    Well Well Well. COnfirmed on Sky. Malaga left back just arrived in London. Nacho in talks with Arsenal.

  142. glic says:

    Who the f**ks Monreal ?………unless he`s got Isco tied and gagged in his suitcase I`m not happy !. Smells of panic to me !.
    Verm can play LB or Jenks can play RB with Sagna LB.

    Redders, once the love shack has been completed, I will pass on photo`s to Total van Cloggwinkel to pass on !. The steel framework should be here by Saturday and hopefully some erecting ( hahaha ) next week, weather permitting.

  143. TotalArsenal says:

    Lets hope this Nacho does not come with a dip! 😛

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    Great to see the tattooed bollock back! 😛

  145. The Gooner says:

    RA,

    I’ve had the pleasure of watching Bilbao for many years and their core develop in Javi Martinez, Muniain, Llorente, de Marcos, Susaeta, Amorebieta, Herrera and Iturraspe. At one point, I wanted Arsenal to raid for all of them ahaha! But in all seriousness, he would some much needed stability to us defensively, but more important composure when handing and passing the ball!

    Too often, Mertesacker is slow on his decision making when passing and he ends up playing the ball too late and the opposition closes down on our players (happened a few times yesterday). In Spain, defenders are taught to be composed and patient with the ball and to only clear it when absolutely necessary. Basically they just tiki taka their way out of trouble, it’s quite fascinating to see.

  146. The Gooner says:

    LOL glic, Monreal is the back-up to Jordi Alba at LB on the Spanish National team and was integral to Malaga’s qualification in the CL last year. He brings everything Gibbs does to the table but is not injury-prone and more reliable defensively. Gibbs isn’t as bad as VCC makes him out to be defensively, as he often makes timely sliding challenges and blocks, but he does suffer from mental lapses in coverage from time to time.

  147. The Gooner says:

    Also at 27 years old, he’s the perfect age to transition and get Gibbs healthier long-term. In some respect, he won’t be seen as a long-term threat to his position and we’ll finally have competition for a crucial role in our set-up. Our full backs linking up with our wingers are a key component to our attack!

  148. Red Arse says:

    Now the rumours are that Amorebieta has decided to stay in Spain, until the summer.

    Who knows?

  149. The Gooner says:

    RA,

    From what I gather, the reports on Amorebieta were that he’d always see the season out with Bilbao.

  150. Gerry Lennon says:

    TA @14.58. Sorry, I been following the transfer business(or lack of, until an hour ago).
    Where would I play Ramsey you ask. That would depend on who’s fit. He looks like the Arteta role is Ideal, with neither being ‘the beast of a DM’ that most would like to see? So with such a DM in place you either Ramsey, Arteta, or Diaby for a more ‘secure’ double DM pairing, one full time, the other pushing forward with the play. You could include Jack in that set up, or just move him further up the field. Or you have Jack alongside the DM and Cazorla in the more advanced role.
    That again, is dependent on sticking with the 4-3-3 format. I think if Villa came/comes then there might be a case for an attacking 4-4-2, with Villa and Giroud at the head of things?
    If the new left back holds that position when Gibbs returns, then Gibbs could be the wide left midfielder in that 4-4-2? He could be the defensive partner, leaving Wilshere, Ramsey and Cazorla to fight for the central positions, and the DM to interchange with Arteta?
    I think that could be a useful Plan B?
    That would be my thinking … if we get ‘the Beast’?

  151. glic says:

    This is what I cant understand. If Malaga are such a cash strapped club ( The term I keep hearing ) and they have just signed Isco up on a extention (which says to me that It was done to get a better price for him ) with a 40m euro buy out clause, why are we not going for him ?. He would be the one sort player to get this club rocking, to give us fans the injection of feel good factor we need !.
    Of course I am completely unbiased in this matter !.

  152. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, we are thinking down the same lines. I reckon Ramsey’s best position is indeed in classic 4-4-2 formation, next to the DM. It would allow him a lot of space and time to play the total midfield game that he has in him. I am still hoping he’ll come good, but it might take a couple more seasons…

    Where are you based Gerry and for how long have you been a Gooner? 🙂

  153. The Gooner says:

    Glic,

    Hey buddy, but you can take all the “feel good injections” from Isco that you want, but leave me out of that hahaha! Instead, I’ll just be happy if we got him and to be able to watch the amazing on-field product that we’d see on the pitch!

  154. glic says:

    Hahaha TG. When I hear a snippet of news that we are getting a player from Malaga. I immediately thought of Isco, not some Macho Man !. Talk about tormenting the life out of me by getting my hopes up !. Bastards !. hahaha

  155. The Gooner says:

    Sky Sports is reporting that a fee has been agreed to between Malaga and Arsenal over Nacho Monreal at £8.6 million and that player has passed a medical. Only thing left to do is discuss personal terms and wages. Fingers crossed gentlemen!

  156. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    If he gets signed should I ready up a scouting report?

  157. TotalArsenal says:

    TG, you have read my mind! 🙂

  158. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    So Santos will now be confined to the stiffs. Mind you, for all that lovely lolly he will be earning for doing fuck all i would have a stiffy too. No doubt his Arse will expand even further. By the time he leaves the club his butt could be capable of digesting a small country.

    But apart from that, i like him. hahahaha

  159. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, the thought of Gibbs or Santi at left midfield and either Coquelin or Ramsey on the right, in a 4-4-2 is an appealing one. If we are to sign Spain’s nr.2 LB, then I reckon he will want to play a lot; leaving Gibbs on the bench or move him up….

  160. The Gooner says:

    Terry,

    I heard glic is down to get his world rocked by some “feel good injections” so why don’t we just suggest some of the arse expanding go his way hahaha!

  161. glic says:

    You could be right there Stretch. Liechtenstein has just been taken from behind by Santos and Greece didn`t help !. hahaha

  162. VCC says:

    What’s all this talk about Kieron Glass getting a competitor?

    No idea what he is like. Never seen him.

  163. The Gooner says:

    By the way, rumours are circulating that Nacho started learning English last summer and Arsenal had planned to buy him this summer, but that the injury to Gibbs sped up the process. Santi was a big factor in persuading Nacho to join as well.

  164. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Glic,

    When you put up a picture like that, please can you give a warning of its ‘nature’, so people are warned. Thanks. 🙂

  165. The Gooner says:

    Also, an unnamed premier league side has triggered Mohamed Diame’s release cause as per Sky Sports!

  166. The Gooner says:

    Hahahaha TA, you’re right what if someone came on and asked why VCC had tattooed a canon on his testicle!

  167. glic says:

    Sorry Totes !

  168. TotalArsenal says:

    It is all happening TG – I can hear the crescendo of the Bolero! 😛

  169. TotalArsenal says:

    No worries Glic 🙂

    TG, VCC is a tough nut!

  170. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    TG, the thought of Santos approaching with romantic thoughts would probably make Cornwall have an arse explosion. hahaha

    By the way, Zimmer and Zippy. i have secured the tickets for the Reading game.

  171. VCC says:

    Nice one Merry Terry. I have missed you on here , where have you been lately? Also where,s Herb, I want to give him some stick about being behind me in the UMF1. 😉

  172. glic says:

    Nice one Stretch. 🙂
    I shall book a day off. What block we in and how much do I owe you ?.

  173. VCC says:

    Us Gooners who love our club have had a shitty time lately which reminded me of the longest nerve in the human body.

    Did you know that in the human body there is a nerve that connects the eyeball to the anus.

    It’s called the Anus Optic Nerve, and it is responsible for giving people a shitty outlook on life.

    If you don’t believe it, pull a hair from your arse and see if it doesn’t bring a tear to your eyes.

  174. The Gooner says:

    Hahaha brilliant VCC!

    TA, even writing this Nacho article is exciting! I’m already at one page on Word and I’m not even half done yet! Err speaking of Nachos, now I’m hungry…

  175. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Been very busy, still at work as we speak.

    I dont want any money for the tickets. But if you can turn up with booze, drugs, and women, then i wont say no. hahaha

  176. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Oh yeah, west stand upper. row 29, numbers 50,51 52. Thats high up so dont forget your specs. hahaha

  177. VCC says:

    No Terry. Not going if I can’t pay for the ticket. I’m looking forward to it.

  178. The Gooner says:

    It was a false alarm, in fact there have been no bids for Diame :(. Still, I’m absolutely thrilled with Nacho, please get official confirmation on arsenal.com or sky sports!

  179. TotalArsenal says:

    Haha TG – it is really nice to see you so excited. 🙂

    I can publish it as soon as you want, with or without an official announcement on Arsenal.com

  180. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nah, dont worry about it. I treat clients to tickets all the time, so why not friends.

    Besides, one day i might be knocking on your door asking if you have a loft i can stay in. hahaha

  181. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    I would prefer to publish it once there’s official confirmation :). I’m still working on it as I’m nervously keeping up to date with the transfer activity on BBC and Sky.

  182. TotalArsenal says:

    No worries, whatever you feel is right. 🙂

  183. The Gooner says:

    If we sign Nacho for £8.5 mil it has to be seen as good business and he’s considered to be the second best LB in La Liga after Jordi Alba! Christopher Samba went to QPR for £12.5 mil…

  184. TotalArsenal says:

    It absolutely amazes me how Harry everytime finds clubs where he is allowed to spend money so freely!

  185. VCC says:

    Terry, you can share the tent in my back garden. The one GLiC is going to use when coming down.

  186. The Gooner says:

    Hahaha what’s this about glic and terry “pitching a tent” together in your backyard VCC? Such a gracious host, I’d never let two men do that in mine!

  187. VCC says:

    TG. Who said anything about two men. I know Terry is, but not too sure about GLiCster.

  188. The Gooner says:

    VCC 😉

  189. VCC says:

    TG…..this Nacho guy. How would you score him out of ten?

  190. The Gooner says:

    8.5 🙂

  191. VCC says:

    TG….that sounds promising.

  192. The Gooner says:

    VCC, as you’ll see from my article tomorrow, surely he won’t fix everything wrong with our squad and defensive woes, but La Liga players are often underrated due to less publicity and a perceived inferiority in style of play. Difficult not to rate Nacho highly seeing as he’s considered the second best LB in La Liga by all Spanish papers outside of Alba, which includes the likes of Coentrao, Marcelo, Abidal, Cissoko and Felipe Luis.

  193. TotalArsenal says:

    Good news re Nacho. Maybe Gibbs will move into DM position… 🙂

    Still gutted we did not get a DM this time round.

    TG, when do you think you will be able to send me the post?

  194. The Gooner says:

    TA, in the process of finishing it up still trying to add as much as possible. I was hoping you could post it tomorrow morning, is there an urgency to post it sooner?

  195. TotalArsenal says:

    No, tomorrow morning is fine, TG. I just needed to know as I am off to sleep now.

    Just a thought: are you putting something in your post about what this signing could possibly mean for Gibbs and our formation?

  196. VCC says:

    Nice one TG. As you probably know already Kieron Glass was not my favourite defender. I have not been happy with his defensive duties for some time. I have received some sarcastic remarks on other sites towards my beliefs. I’m fine with his attacking forays but he is not the best of defenders IMO. And together with his frailty he has been a liability.

    Now we need to address the CB and ST position in the summer and we will be cooking with gas next season.

    Looking forward to you post tomorrow.

  197. The Gooner says:

    TA,

    The outline for the article is as follows:

    Small background on Arsenal’s lack of dealings leading up to today
    Nacho’s background and playing career thus far
    Scouting report and statistics
    How he fits into the arsenal team and the long-term plan
    My final thoughts on Nacho

  198. oz gunner says:

    Looking forward to the good read TG! But more importantly how does he go on Fifa13 🙂

    @ VCC

    After his slide tackle against West Brom in the final fixture last season I could never get mad at his defending. That tackle was worth 30 mil

  199. richie59er says:

    Nacho Wow……………! I’m a lot happier now than I ever expected to be at this moment, I guess that comes from having very low expectations, I didn’t think we were going to sign anyone. I didn’t see this one coming and Arsene has succeeded in doing exactly what he needed to do, sign only top top quality adding a player that seriously strengthens our squad, replacing the injured Gibbs. And Senor Ignacio Monreal Eraso aka Nacho is IMHO most definately a top player. If only Arsene had done the full monty and signed up Angelo Ogbonna it would’ve all been sorted, our leaky defensive problems would’ve been over and, 4th place? No problema senor! Oh well one out of 2 ain’t so bad.

  200. The Gooner says:

    Haha oz, he’s not incredible in FIFA at 79 overall (compared to Gibbs 76), but I always adjust the stats since they seem to underrate a lot of players in La Liga not on Barca or Real. I have him at an 82 mate!

    Also, agreed on Gibbs. He gets way too much flak on his defending considering he’s a converted winger. Aside from the occasional mental lapses in defensive coverage, I think he’s pretty solid, especially on diving challenges, one on one situations and blocking shots.

  201. The Gooner says:

    Richie,

    Most importantly we solved one area, arguably our biggest need, during this transfer window. If Gibbs hadn’t gone down to injury (I hope he recovers soon since I rate him quite highly), maybe this transfer would have never been pushed ahead of schedule (rumoured to move for him in the summer). As you’ll see from my article tomorrow, Nacho’s been rated as the second best LB after Jordi Alba in La Liga and is so dependable defensively and likes to get involved offensively. Now we have adequate cover at every position, however the quality aspect needs to be re-evaluated in the summer. At least we don’t have to see Santos starting for the next three GW’s!

    One battle at a time my friend. At least we came out of the window with a new acquisition (more than I expected after AW’s post-match comments on Wednesday) and a class one at that!

  202. richie59er says:

    Just catching up on things Nacho’s arrival doesn’t spell the end for Gibbo! Far from it, in fact what a great player for Kieran to understudy. If I remember KG is 23 and Nacho is 27
    If KG can stay injury free and learn from Nacho Arsenal & England will have one hell of a 25 year old in 2 years time. Having family and a house in the province of Malaga (My nephew is a member a MFC even though the little shit supports Barca) I’ve seen Nacho play live and he has that silky smooth 1st touch of the technically gifted and the boy can cross early or late, I think our Giro will be delighted. I seriously can’t remember us having anyone in the Wenger era that could cross a ball better than Nacho! 🙂 On top of that he’ll be calm at the back as soon as he adjusts to the prem, and he too can head. Ha Ha great little player.

  203. richie59er says:

    @TG yeah Gooner I know all about Nacho and I rate him defensively and going forward. Nevertheless I know I’ll enjoy your take on him and I’m looking forward to your write up. As you’ll know I’m not an advocate of splashing the cash, but we badly need some new buys until our own kids can cut it, they ain’t got to be €30M players but another couple of £10 -20M are needed. I’ve always wanted a centre half since Sol left and I’ve been banging on about this ever since, no team has won the prem without a proper CH (I had hoped Bartley was our man). A DM like Capou, a CD like Ogbonna and we’d have the best defence in the league. It would allow our attack free rein.

  204. The Gooner says:

    Richie,

    As you’ll see from my article, I’m a huge fan of Nacho and agree that Gibbs still has a bright future at the Arsenal and that Nacho is the perfect mentor.

    The last piece of the Malaga puzzle is my second favourite player in the world right now, Isco :). £34 million is a small price to pay if you ask me!

  205. richie59er says:

    Off to bed grining 🙂

  206. richie59er says:

    Isco’s class but he’s a Malaguenian I can’t imagine him leaving Malaga never mind Spain.

  207. richie59er says:

    Isco can walk from the house he was born in to the stadium he plays in, sorry Glic he ain’t coming to these shore’s Hasta Manana 😀

  208. The Gooner says:

    Richie,

    I was so disappointed when I found out 2 years ago that Malaga was his boyhood club. One can always dream though! The only consolation would be that he likely wouldn’t play for Barca or Real, given his strong allegiance to Malaga (:) my own theory hahaha). With Santi and Nacho now already at the Emirates, it would make perfect sense if he were the next to arrive in a year! Then my favourite two players would be playing together and dominating games *drooling at the thought of Jack and Isco at Arsenal…

  209. henrychan says:

    @ TG.. Yes it was a good bussiness to bring Nacho.. 8,5 mil is a good buy..
    Hope there is still time to bring Diame for 4 mil..
    Unfortunately Cuenca choose Ajax.. but I think we have enough RW..
    Hope seeing Miyaichi back soon..

    And I think Christ Samba will only join QPR for 6 month.. hehehe..
    Samba alone cannot make QPR goes from the bottom side.. Moreover when Peter Odemwingie canceled to come..
    And when QPR come to degradation in June.. CS will come to Emirates for half price.. hehehe..

    @VCC.. You’re leaving us far behind.. hehehe..
    So to narrow the gaps.. I predict another all draw for tomorrow games :
    Newc – Chelsea
    WHU – Swansea
    Wigan – Soton
    WBA – Spurs
    City – Liverpool

    I like to see Everton draw also.. but Villa just can’t do the thing to fight them..
    I like to choose QPR a draw also.. but someone may get very sad if it is so.. hehehe..
    And of course Arsenal to win big.. 3-0.. hehehe..
    Go Gunners..

  210. oz gunner says:

    @ Richie + TG

    god going on both of your reviews my pants are off. Never heard of the bloke so I’m very excited to see how he goes! Two great LB’s vying for the starting spot, seems like a good way to get the very best out of each other!

  211. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post! 🙂

    Prepare yourself for a fine in-depth analysis by The Gooner of who Nacho is and what he will bring to the mightly Arsenal. Another transfer masterpiece! 🙂

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