August 2013: Bergkamp new coach, 4-4-2, Capoue new DM, Isco new Winger


Well, that would be my wish-list for the new season.

As it is very quiet with us having to endure another mini-interlull, I thought it would be fun to blog today about what changes all of us would like to see at the start of the 2013-2014 season. I wrote yesterday about the good building blocks being put into place by Arsenal, in order to once again make a sustained effort to bring home silverware. For good order, I will repeat them again, as they should form a good basis for further discussions today:

  1. A British core of very talented players with real passion for the club;
  2. The acquisition of predominantly Spanish and German quality, experienced players;
  3. The upwards push of talents coming through from our player development system;
  4. The removal of players who have not made the grade by either selling them or loaning them out till their contracts expire, or just letting them run out their contracts;
  5. All key players have been signed up on long term contracts now, which should enable us to hold on to players, at least in the next few years;
  6. More money available from now on, to both hold on to players better – by steadily and responsibly increasing their salaries if and when appropriate – and attract two or three quality players every season.

In order for today’s blogging to have a bit of structure, I propose you answer the following questions:

  1. With almost all our new British talents signed up, it would be really good to see a talented and well respected coach join Arsenal’s management team. Bergkamp would be my first choice, but who would you like that to be?
  2. With three attackers who all want to play in the middle – Pod, Giroud and Theo – and two more options to play centrally – Ox and Gervinho – and good quality midfielders across all positions – I would love us to play 4-4-2 from next season onwards. I reckon it will get the best out of the combo of Theo and Giroud, and with the likes of Cazorla, Ox, Gervinho, Pod, Gibbs, Coquelin on the wing, we have players who can combine the defensive and attacking tasks of the mid-wing positions really well. But what would your ideal formation be?
  3. If we are to play 4-4-2, I reckon we need, even more than now, a beast of DM to join Arsenal over the summer. Capoue ticks all the boxes for me. If Arsenal is indeed able to hold onto all key players this summer, and you could make one quality signing, spending in the region of £15-20m, who would you want to join Arsenal over the summer?
  4. I would love another quality CB, but if we can get Capoue I could live with giving TV, Koz, BFG and Miguel/Djourou another chance to form a solid defence; although I could change my mind if we don’t see a step improvement in our defensive performances over the next four months. So, if I could add one more, reasonably affordable, player to the squad; it would be a really exciting, fast and technically gifted, goal scoring and assist making, quality winger. Isco would tick all the boxes and with already three Spanish players in our starting-11 currently, I reckon Isco would fit in really well. And Remy Cabella, Giroud’s former team mate at Montpellier, would be a very good second choice. But who would like to add as a second choice?

To repeat the questions:

  1. Who would you like to join us as an extra coach?
  2. What would be your ideal formation for the next season?
  3. Who would be your priority signing over the summer?
  4. Who would be your ‘in an ideal world’, additional signing this summer?

Remember, it is just a bit of fun!

Written by: Total Arsenal.

183 thoughts on “August 2013: Bergkamp new coach, 4-4-2, Capoue new DM, Isco new Winger

  • As usual an interesting article. My answers in order would be (1) New coach Bergy or Parkinson (Bradford). (2) My favourite formation is 3-5-2 because Arsene is a useless defensive coach and guarantees our apponents goals againts us every game. (3) Capoue would be better than anything we have now anyway but Shaw from southampton should have been a money no object signing as he is so much class. this would allow Nacho to play attacking wing back or anywhere on the left. As usual Arsene missed out on the next england goalie ,allowing Butland to end up with the Orcs. so sad but typical.Meantime we suffer from apalling mistakes like Flappy, Almunia ,Mannone and now Chesney looks average. (4) I think Ive answered that above but I would take Cavani or Reus at any price.

    The most important move AFC can make to show us they mean it (at last) would be to take losses on the heap of foreign rubbish that Grimandi and Wenger have lumbered us with on massive contracts. Squillaci, Djuorou, Denilson, Fabiansky, Mannone, Galindo, Chamakh, Arsharvin and half our loanies. Get rid of that lot and we will look a quality outfit with room for more Brits like Shaw & Butland. I would also take a punt on Brightons Brits.

    sadly we will be repeating all this again next year and the year after.After being a Gunner for over 63 years I know the signs.

  • Bergkamp would be the PERFECT coach to bring in, simply the best technical player we have ever had, and that would help all of our attack minded players. Plus his incredible reputation would help bringing in stars!
    I wouldn’t change the formation, simply changing implementing a real DM in Arteta’s role would most certainly make us stronger and give the defence the cover they require. Arteta is incredibly gifted, however he is and never has been a DM!
    and last 2 – Capoue would be a priority and as a dream signing – Cavani/Falcao!!!

  • Hi TA.. Nice post as always..

    Answering to your question..
    1. I like Bergkamp yo join us
    2. I still think 4-3-3 is the best formation in this day.. Eventhough MU and City play 4-4-2.. and they win the title.. hehehehe.. A new version of 4-3-3 which is 4-1-2-3 is better.. 1 DM 2 AM better than 2 DM 1 AM..
    3. Walcott will enforce to play as CF.. so we need a new RW..
    Lopez maybe a good buy.. El sharaawy will be nice.. But I prefer Narsigh..
    4. Ideal world.. hehehehe.. Isco, Strootman and Gotze..

    @VCC.. Champion of UMFL.. I already send my prediction..
    4 draws (MU, Spurs, Chelsea and City) and Arsenal away win..
    Go Gunners..

  • 1. We need someone who can sort the defence out. Bould I thought could do that, but he either isnt being allowed enough time to work with them or isnt doing it well enough. Its unlikely but I would love to bring George Graham onto the coaching staff.
    2. Has to be 4-4-2. Giroud is showing signs of being a good player, but his one negative for me is his lack of pace, so if you play Theo up with him or Podolski then that means his lack of pace doesnt matter so much. Also he is great at setting people up, so having a player close to him, gives him more opportunity to do this, and he wins lots of flick ons, but nobody is ahead of him to get onto them, which in a front 2 they would be. Theo and Podolski also I think would be better, more dangerous players through the middle. So we pick 2 of them 3 each week. There still will be certain games where we need to pack the midfield and play 1 up top, but at least have the option of a couple of formations. Rather than sticking to 1 all the time.
    3. This changes week to week, and I dont think there is 1 priority position, but I think defensively we need to tighten up whether that be with a midfielder, or/and a centre back. I think we need (a) A dominant centre back (b) A powerful midfielder (3) A creative wide player. Them for me are the 3 priorities. With regards to a striker we have people who can put the ball in the net,
    4. I would love a top top striker though like a Cavani say. Arsenal have always had top strikers in my time supporting them. Wright, Anelka, Bergkamp, Henry, RVP. Now we dont have that, in my opinion. Podolski, Giroud and Theo are all good players but not in that top top bracket, whether they can be im not sure yet. But striker would not be the priority unless Wenger is adamant about a 4-3-3, in which case I dont think Theo or Podolski suit the lone central role, on a regular basis, they can fill in for odd games, but wouldnt be to do it week in week out in my opinion, so we would need an alternative to Giroud in that case, and there would be less need for the wide player as Theo and Podolski would play wide.

  • An extra coach would be a great idea especially if he was one of the arsenal legends .. Arsene would pass on a lot of experience to him … We have a lot of strikers and shortage in quality midfielders and wingers … 4-4-2 would be great .. Podolski and Giroud or Walcott upfront .. Arteta could be our DM or CM and Cazorla would play on the wings he is really good with the passing game .. Walcott could also play upfront .. We should sell all those players who don’t contribute at all .. We should get Cavani, He is the kind of player that u want at arsenal a player who plays with his soul .. He is not a priority but he’ll offer Best in the world striker quality .. Defence is what needs saving .. A better defence coach and we need to replace Koscielny and Djourou.. Koscielny scores too many Own Goals and Djourou is just too slow for EPL with two experienced defenders and we should get a hardcore Defending DM

  • 1, Will rather go with Henry.
    2, 442 is ok with me.
    3, Bring back Song and buy a good centre back.
    4, Then there will be no need for any additional signing.

  • That headline gave me a massive hard-on…..ok….. maybe not so massive ! hahaha and I`m alone in the house with my puppy !………here Max…..come on boy….come to daddy….daddy has a bone ! hahaha

    Answers to questions.

    1) Me, if not God.

    2) 36 – 24 – 36, if not, an organic formation which is self rectifying depending on opposition, tactics and the way a game is panning out .

    3) Isco.
    If he stays in Spain whether at Malaga or Real or Barca then fine , but the way Chavs and City have already had a warning about FFP, I cant see any reason why we cannot pay as much as anyone else in this league to aquire his services !.

    4) Does Hampton extention come under ” Additional signing ” ?. hahaha
    If no additional signing means we pay £35m for Isco, then I`m not bothered. I`m still with Oz, on le Coq as DM.

  • 1-george graham. 2-capoue or bring song back. 3-bring nasri back from exile and get a piresque player that can implement his skills and score great goals like pires did. 4-spend big on a big name to motivate the players

  • Hi Gunnerpete,

    Parkinson is an interesting choice. I don’t know him that well, so what do you reckon are the strength he would bring to our team? I said in previous post, how if I was an up and coming manager, I would beg Arsene to become his assistant; I would even work for free for a couple years.

    LOL 3-5-2 because we cannot defend anyway! I actually agree that five, or at least four in midfield, seem to suit us best.

  • Nice TA

    1) Now Chippy has gone, Bergkamp for the youths.

    2) What ever formation Arsene Wenger sees fit to go with is alright with me.

    3) Priority signing would be extending Arsene Wengers Contract

    4) Fantasy time. Cavani or Falco would make me extend.


    Arsenal 5-0
    Totts, Geordies- Draw
    Saints, City- Draw
    Villa, West Ham – Draw

  • Hi Simon,

    All agreed, although I reckon with 4-4-2 we get more out of the talents of Giroud and Theo. I like your striker options, but I am also desperate to give Giroud and Theo, with the Pod as back-up, a proper chance next season…

  • To all Arsenal supporters: Don’t dream with eyes open, we all know that its very very impossible to happen such good things and good signings which would see our beloved club again winning tropheys and being invincible like in David Dein times. We all know ( arsenal ultras) what impact had David in supporting Wenger and in bringing football players which became stars after. We all know which were the reasons he left club. We all know the philosophy of the club now. We all are bored of Wenger’s words in every transfer that he would buy only if he find something special. Dont even hope that Wenger will sign any footballer which is more than 15 million expensive. Dont even hope that with this philosophy Arsenal will get back in winning ways. Wenger’s time has passed. Everytime i doubted that Wenger has shares in Arsenal football club, and recently there are no doubts anymore. Wenger has shares in club. Thats why he operate with free hands and never is in the danger of sack. Maybe my words would not please every Arsenal fan, but we need to walk with time, not after time if we want tittles.

  • Hi Henry,

    I would also love us to play 4-1-2-3, but not until we have a solid DM, allthough in certain games Arteta would definitely suffice! 🙂

  • Hi Benny, I respect your point of view, but I don’t agree. Things have moved on since last summer, and it is very feasible now that a new quality coach will be signed and one or two quality signing will follow this summer.

  • Cornwall, since your at home playing with your bone and your into DIY, again with your bone. Ive been quoted 40k for a loft extension, is that reasonable?

    I told the builder i get extensions up here all the time and they dont cost me nothing, yet this git is quoting me 40k?

  • Hi Gooner1kev

    Fine comment and mostly agreed. If we continue with 4-3-3 a top striker might indeed be a priority, but like you, I reckon 4-4-2 is the answer. I would not want Graham to join Arsenal as defensive coach, but you might be right that Bould is not having enough positive impact. I reckon Lee Dixon would be brilliant.

  • Hi Amr H, fine comment. Agreed on Cavani bringing something special to Arsenal, but I reckon he will be unaffordable with the Oilers always looking for such players…

  • Hi Gustav, can you really imagine Wenger and Graham working together? I can see the theory, but I cannot see it work in practice. Do you think Song would be happy to take on the deeper DM role if we were able to get him back? Something Arsene never does by the way…

  • Stretch
    I thought you said you had a builder next door who has had an extention in your loft when the missus showed him around !. hahaha

    I would say anywhere between £15,000 and £40,000 !.
    Being near in the London area pushes the price up straight away ( robbing bastards )

    What sort of house have …Detached, Semi ( hahaha ) or Terraced ?
    How many new bedrooms ?, any new bathroom ?.
    Velux roof windows or dormer windows and how many ?
    What is the current construction of the loft, Trust rafter ( like a “W” shape ) or conventional ( purlins, ie, horizontal beams).
    Is there currently a water storage tank in the loft ?

    A safe way of paying any builders, is to draw up an agreement with a solicitor. The solicitor has control of the money. The builder is then payed at stages on inspection of the work to your satisfaction. The builder gets his money if the work is spot on. So you and the builder are both safe guarded. Any builder worth his salt will agree to such a contract .

  • I need to extend TA.

    Since i am now person non gratia i have plans to put a large domer at the back of the loft. Things are going great. I have discovered a wonderful new machine called a “Microwave”, that when you put food in it heats it up for you. Dont put eggs in there though, that dosnt work.

    I have also found a great new shop called “Tescos” that sells meals that are already done but are frozen so thats why you need the microwave machine. The staff are realy nice, everytime i buy something they keep saying they will reward me. Dont know with what though?

    But i need a larger abode, the pieogens are getting restless. The other day whilst i was doing some stretching one of them lost it and flew straight into a corner knocking himself out. I gave him a good stroke and he recovered but its to cramped so need more space.

  • Also. What sort of square footage are we taliking about ?. Make sure it is a quote and not an estimate !.
    A loft extention is probably the best one thing you can do to put added value to your property and best being used as an extra bedroom . Velox roof windows will be at least 50% cheaper than dormer windows and bring in more light !.

  • 1) Juan Manuel Lillo or Marcelo Bielsa
    2) 3-4-3 with Capoue playing in the centre of back 3 (Vermaelen and Hummels other two) Gibbs and Jenkinson playing wing-backs, Wilshere and Cazorla as central mid, Walcott, Ox and Pod front 3
    3) Mats Hummels, Heung-Min Son, Capoue
    4) Mario Götze, Edinson Cavani, Alex Song (I want him back so damn much!!! f***king Barcelona – I hate you)

  • Cornwall, sod the neighbour, she can shack up with Robert Mugabe, i dont care. I have plans.

    The house is detatched and on a corner plot. I had an arcitecht in to draw up plans and despite the Mrs trying to stop him coming in hes devised a two room self contained flat with en suite

    inside i want afour poster bed, red lighting, mirrors on the ceilings and a staute of Eros protruding from my bedroom door.

    I think its a conventional loft. The plan is to put a hugh box dormer at the back. I wanted to do one at the front but those snidy gits at the council wouldnt let me. I told the fool that i needed extending but he just hanged up on me.

    I reckon the main problem will be the stairs. At the moment i get up there by use of a ladder but i will have to know out the first floor bog to create the stirs and out a fire door there to have it self contained. this is ocourse in the mrs territory so there could be some fireworks. hahaha

  • Capoue and Hummels should be like 15 to 20 million each that would be okay I think
    Götze, Cavani and Song is just for ideal world, I know they’re not going to happen anyway
    while Hummels is very unlikely as well cause Dortmund have established themselves in a position where they don’t have to sell players anymore and Hummels wants to stay here anyway….I met him by surprise on a party in Dortmund last summer and he said he has no reason to go and that he loves Dortmund and the system they have now

  • Were in Block A Cornwall.

    Thanks for the tips. You definatly know what your talking about because this builder was telling me the same sort of things.

    Dont know the square feet exactly but i think it 8 by 5 meters.

    I cant understand the planners in this country. The bloke told me that they dont like front dormers because i could stare directly into the blokes gaff across the road. i told him that i wouldnt stare, i would use a super powered zoom telescope. For the second time he hanged up on me. Whats the matter with these people?

  • Song has the mentality to deal with the pace of the epl, the lad was still a work in progress when he left. We would have been solid with him this season, all our boys are stepping up.

  • Stretch

    I would always get 3 quotes, but for a 2 bedroomed self-contained flat, that doesn`t sound too bad and @ £1000 per square metre, that sounds reasonable too !. It wouldn`t take too long to get your money back if it was rented out !.
    However, I always thought it would be an Astronomical Observatory looking at the Nebula of Number 52`s gash !. hahaha

  • he was like a normal guy, nice to everyone, just out to have some fun
    I think he’s not gonna leave within the next 2 years, but then he’s 26 and I think that is the best time for a move overseas and it is also depending on Dortmund’s development….if they cannot continue the way they are at the moment he will leave to reach his full potential I think
    but Dortmund are in a great situation on any kind of selling, because their financial situation doesn’t force them to sell and most of their players don’t want so leave anyway

  • It is a crying shame that the EPL is not run on the same level as the Bundesliga with no financial doping oily kuntz !.

  • Yes definitely. They have done a lot of things brilliantly in the last couple of years, like getting in Jurgen Klopp and establishing a very good working concept with him
    the way they play football is sensational as well
    I went from being a Dortmund supporter (I life only an hour away) to becoming an Arsenal supporter 6 years ago because a lot of things were going wrong with Dortmund in those days and they had a big financial deficit as well, but now they are doing very very well and unfourtenately it is very unlikely maybe even impossible to get players like Hummels, Reus, Götze or Bender
    to get back to Arsenal, we certainly need a central defender more than anything else…our goalscoring record is great as always and our defence is shaky (as always)

  • Thanks for that Nik. I grew up not far away from Aachen, and I know that area quite well. Good to hear you stuck with the Gunners, and agreed on the need for a CB. But only if he is top quality!

  • I will try and be brief.

    1, – Well if it is an addition coach, i.e. to work alongside AW, then DB is the logical choice?

    2, – And we are talking ‘ideal’ here – A flexible 4-2-4 tehe! The front 4 would include attacking midfielders, the 2 would be a DM and a supporting DM come link man. The backs would still provide the width.

    3, – Capoue, although the ‘Toulouse German’ would be an option?

    4, – Discussions over the last couple of days does make ‘ideal signing’ difficult to name. We don’t want a mercenary or a prima donna, that’s for sure. It would have to be someone who will want to come to Arsenal, rather than follow the money trail. That means the reality is more likely to be young and unproven, but will be embedded into the Arsenal way? Looking in areas of need, I would say and attacking MF, over a CB. I will check out Kedeye Brown out again tonight(AFCON) as a possible striker option. All subject to the above criteria.

    TA – Feel free to use adapt, expand, or whatever, with my previous comment yesterday. I am only 6 weeks away from this season on the Flat, so my updating has begun, sorry.

    Oh, Yes I do take out all my dogs together, and they are a grand sight for other dog lovers. Unfortunately, I have just been informed that a new by law is coming in which is going to restrict the number of dogs you can walk out with .. 3 being their target number!

  • Hey guys first time poster long time Gooner. Love the blog 🙂

    extra coach? God is good

    ideal formation? 2 3 3 2

    priority signings? Capoue and Hummels.

    ‘in an ideal world’, Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon

  • Timothy, wellcome to BK. ime intrigued. How exactly does 2 3 3 2 work?

    And secondly, how the hell did you get my pin number? hahaha

  • either its a system from the 1950’s or it works like this
    2 CBs
    the first 3 include 2 full-backs and a defensive midfielder
    second 3 are 2 wingers and an attacking midfielder
    2 strikers

    going forward this means either the 2 full-backs play like midfielders or wingers and the winger join the 2 strikers or the defensive midfielder moves further forward and creates the play – ideally you would still have 3 or 4 players to stop counter attacks
    when being pressed into your own half you will always hava a back 4 or back 5 with this system
    Barcelona are playing like this

  • God, Capoue, Angelo Agbonna simples 🙂 Next a bit of time for the team to gel i.e. the team off to Arsene’s Austrian training camp and not the Far East on a shirt selling drive, If only!

  • Actuly, when i think about it your spot on about Barca. i went to both games at the Grove against them and at times it seemed they had only 2 at the back. If you could at them you had them in trouble. The only problem was that they either had the ball or when you had it they took it off you within seconds.

    In the first game against them (the 2-2) for the first half they made us look like donkeys.

  • P.S. I’m a sucker for real attacking formations. 3 5 2 – 3 4 3 strangly 5 3 2 or 5 2 3 can also be very attack minded formations if the back three stay tight and the full backs play in a wing back style. As we have an abundance of good midfielders the extra men in the middle could allow us the control in the centre we need, especially if we press.

  • I always thought that a system of ….. 2-3-3-1-2 would be best, but FIFA never reply to my letters of changing the rules and playing 2 goalkeepers !.

  • Hi and welcome Timothy 🙂

    2–3-3-2, well well, that is a surprising formation!

    Who would you play in it?

    Good call on Buffon – I would love to him between our sticks.

  • I made a mistake on my predictions and would like to change …….Astonishingly Vileness to Question ?Penetrate or Recieve… win !.
    Where`s Zimmerdine ?, he`s quiete lately !. Erecting the extention to his Zimmerframe must be taking longer than he thought or the extention is longer than he thought !. hahaha

  • @TMHT thats why Barca win the ball back so quickly, its really tough to get passed their massed middle when they employ the press.

  • @TA; For me thats why we keep getting a slow start to our season, no training camp and all commercial.

  • Hi Richie, I thought we started well this season, but we imploded after the second interLUL.

    However, I agree with you that the Austrian training camp seemed to work really well for us.

  • @ Richie from yesterday:

    It’s ok to be proud of finishing 4th and not being close to the relegation zone over the past 7 years, but in no means should it be celebrated. In those 7 years, there was no indication of our squad moving forward towards a championship; there was only complacency. My issue with the club’s celebration of always finishing 4th is that the squad eventually starts to believe this is the sole measuring stick and the players become complacent with that ambition. Without knowing what it takes to win a title, these players will continue to toil in mediocrity and the celebration of lesser things will resonate throughout the squad, meaning achievement of better things becomes even more difficult.

    @ Gerry from yesterday:

    We could have won a title if it were not for an injury? That’s my point exactly, why are we, as a club, so reactive to injuries and filling up the squad with depth? Most of the time we aren’t even reactive and just do nothing. If we know a player is injury prone, buy another player with good ability to either rotate or play when said player is injured. It’s not rocket science that championship teams have great depth; in the past 7 years we’ve been a team with some great players and no squad depth.

    Finishing strongly at the end of a year means nothing if the squad does not follow up that performance in the following year. Sure, it was great that we salvaged a CL spot, but let’s not forget we were 18 points off the pace of the Mancs. That’s a MASSIVE gap and shows how far away we are from being near the top. In case anyone else has forgotten, we’re currently 21 points off the pace this year…

    I never hoped the club would be run through big financial backing or “infamy”. All the clubs I support are financially prudent and develop talents in-house. Outside of Arsenal, Athletic Bilbao and Borussia Dortmund are the two notable ones, so please don’t question if I’m against Arsenal’s current policy in developing talent. What bothers me is how unwisely we’ve spent transfer funds over the last 7 years. We’ve bought some absolute disasters and while it will happen to every manager, it’s slightly inexcusable for it to be happening more often than successful purchases (Santos, Chamakh, Arshavin, Squillaci, Bendtner, Vela, Denilson, Park, Diarra, Eduardo, Fabianski, Hleb have been horrible purchases).

    It’s not that I take issue with your perspective; in fact, I welcome it since you raise some very good points and it makes for good debate. What I do take issue with, is when people cannot understand a different perspective and just look at Arsenal with rosy tinted glasses without acknowledging the faults. Even title winning teams can improve and should always be looking to. It’s inexcusable to ever become complacent and for me, that is what has happened over the past 7 years and we failed considerably on the PR front to rectify this. If it’s quite clear that the club is rebuilding to us, then why is it not clear to those in the Arsenal hierarchy? How difficult is it to come out and publicly state that or at least not constantly proclaim year after year the squad is good enough to win a title (when it is clearly not)?

  • richie, very true. Watching them was amazing. At tmes when they pressed they were like a swarm of bees. Players like Diaby, Denilson and Arshavin who all like to take that extra touch were simply outclassed, it was painful.

    And when they got the ball there touch was so good it was like they were playing with slippers

    People might not agree, but i would say that in the middle areas the only player that could handle it, and i include Cesc in this, was Wilshere.

  • Hi TA :),

    Wonderful article to stimulate discussion and I haven’t had time to read through the other responses, but I certainly will in a bit. I agree with you on almost all of your wish list.

    1) There’s no better coach to bring in than DB10 in my mind. He was schooled in the Total Football philosophy and has been learning to coach and be a manager at the famed Ajax academy. He was Arsenal through and through, a legend and wore his heart on his sleeve whenever he played for the club. He is an icon of what we were and the type of talent and personality we want to continue attract. 100% agreed with you on DB10 as the new coach to bring in. He would also bring great value in teaching players the value of versatility. He basically spent time at every imaginable position throughout his youth years before he found a role he truly excelled at. At a time where youth are demanding being played in certain positions, having a figure like DB10 should be proof that you can learn a lot from playing different positions on the pitch.

    2) My ideal formation for next season would be a 4-1-2-3 a la Barca. I believe with Monreal/Gibbs and Sagna/Jenkinson, we finally have the fullback depth and skill to seamlessly link up with our attack and successfully help out at both ends of the pitch. We’ve seen the fullbacks attack with regularity, but there’s also a lot more pressure on them to come back and defend since we don’t have a beast of a DM to cover and win back possession for them. With Jack and Santi, we have our very own Iniesta/Xavi combination that could terrorize opposing defences when played in joint attacking roles.

    3) My priority signing this summer would be a DM. My top two choices would be Capoue and Wanyama since they both exhibit the aerial ability, strength, defensive responsibility, passing ability and no-nonsense tackling that is needed from a DM. The DM is crucial to the 4-1-2-3 set-up as they are the backbone of the team’s defence and often have to cover for any mistakes made further up the pitch or on the flanks.

    4) If we could bring in additional players, a CB and ST are also of high priority. However, I believe a clinical striker has a larger impact on the outcome of the game. I would like a more mobile and skilled striker in the 4-1-2-3 set-up and have Giroud as an alternative option, but starting most games as a sub. Marco Reus or Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund are two strikers I would advocate Arsenal to bring in, since both have a good record of being clinical finishers and both can link-up very well in the attack.

  • Hi HH,

    All good point and almost all agreed. My preference is slightly for 4-4-2 but it would also be great if we played 4-1-2-3 next season.

    I read somewhere that Bayern are close to signing up Lewandowski…

  • TA,

    😦 that would be a massive disappointment but makes perfect sense given Gomez’s health issues this year. If I were Lewandowski, I would only stay with BD or leave for another league. BD should be even better now that Sahin has returned; he was a large part of their success a few years back in the b2b role and played his best football there. Now the attack features Reus, Lewandowski, Gotze, Sahin and Blasczykowski which can compete with virtually anyone.

  • HH, Watzke (the Chairman) denies strongly that an agreement was made. Lewandowski is contracted till mid-2014 and just like van Persie last year, he is not willing to sign a new contract until at least the summer… It was Spiegel on-line who came out with the news….

  • (1) Dennis Bergkamp (expiring contract @Ajax on 30 June 2013) to understudy Liam Brady and eventually take over the Director of the Arsenal Youth Academy in May 2014.

    (2) No preference. Adaptability for outfield players: either 4 or 3 in defence & either 2 or 3 in offense, with the rest in midfield.

    (3) Priority signing: The one signing that got away this January window: A DM/CM.
    Etienne Capoue(Toulouse)/ Maxime Gonalons(Lyon)/ Lars Bender(Leverkusen)

    Additional player: Rene Adler(Hamburg)/ Roman Weidenfeller(Dortmund)/ Julio Cesar(QPR) to be competition and guide for Szczesny.
    – a GK for the 1st team. (Fabianski is going out of contract; a question mark for Mannone on staying/leaving)

    Ideal world: Andres Iniesta – El Ilusionista (The Illusionist)(possibly the best attacking midfielder in the world currently)

  • Reasons for 2 3 3 2. August 2013

    (2) sweeping CB’s Verm, Kos(Hummels)

    (3) Second line of Sag/Jenks,, Capoue (?),, Monreal/Gibbs

    (3) Midfield of Carz/ox,, Wilshere/Arteta,, Pold/Joel Campbell

    (2) Front line Giroud/Theo

    Team can be changed easy for different games and is designed to press the shit out of the others.

    My thoughts only.

    What ya think???

  • TG at 16.26 – the trouble with having differing viewpoints is each may may not represent the other’s quite as they see it themselves?

    For example, I acknowledge there have been errors, mistakes, call them what you will. I also accept that there is a void a the top of the management level, which has led to, shall I say relations with the public, i.e the fans. I also can tell the difference between good PR, and a load of bullsh*t just put out for the sake of it. But at the same time as knowing these facts, I also accept that there can be a bigger picture to consider. It is not always possible to be proactive under difficult circumstances. And that is where I think we differ?

    I could open up another debate on your list of players, but that only comes down to hair splitting hairs in some cases, and others who had spells that were useful at the time. A bit hard on Eduardo though? A leg break so severe that ended our season? I wept for joy when he tapped that goal in with the same foot that had previously lay twisted and broken. He was never afforded the time that Ramsey or RVP were allowed. As I say a tad hard?
    Yes, there were players bought on reputation rather than full scouting reports, because we needed those position covered. Panic buys if you like, but as you say, all managers have their share, it’s just that ours don’t cost that much?

    I say we should stick with the positive present and not dwell on the past. I mean that was the theme of yesterday’s blog?


  • Gerry,

    Fair enough mate, I’m more of a realist than the eternal optimist so I generally offer a completely different viewpoint than most. However, I’m also not a pessimist and will not stand to have fans completely try and tear down the club.

    Eduardo may have been harsh, but he still has to be considered a failed purchase unfortunately. As for the rest of the players, some are quite clearly failures and others if afforded more time, may have eventually but come good but we’ll never know. The problem is that we were never afforded the time to wait since many of our key players were leaving and the youth were growing up and not seeing sufficient talent around them or a clear direction or plan to bring us back to where we were.

    To be honest, it’s only been this year that I’ve really started to see a significant turn around and for that I’m extremely optimistic.

  • Cornwall and Vicks. The Reading game becomes avaliable to red members on the 1st March, so if you want to bring your lads along then it might be an idea to become a member and nab the extra tickets on the 1st.

    Dont think there is waiting list to become a Red, but not sure?

    if you do, let me know. Fernandos bored of the opera. hahaha

  • Thanks Stretch, but I already have a Red member !.

    Just remember not to get your Loft and Penis extentions mixed up !. It could be quite painfulll having pigeons pecking on your helmet, with Racing Pigeons using it as a landing strip and you will get funny looks from the neighbours with a Hampton shaped loft !. Although you will become rich by selling small models of it to Japanese tourists and your knob will become a shrine to Racing Pigeon Anaraks !. hahaha

  • hahahahahaha

    Quick question for you. Does a loft exstension mean that the house foundations have to be checked or do those steel beams they put in carry the weight. Ime guessing its the house walls?

  • Reasons for 2 3 3 2.

    Too much room in midfield allowing teams to run through us. Solve this by having too lines of three (1) attacking, the other defending.Three new signings to change our team and really push us on. Buffon/ Capoue/ Hummels.

    What i’d like for 2013 season

    Keepers: Shez/Buffon

    Two sweepers: Verm/ Kos,,(Hummels)

    D midfield: Sag/Jenks Capoue/Arteta Monreal/Gibbs

    A midfield: Carz/Ox Wilshere/Arteta? Pold/Campbell

    Strikers: Giroud/Theo

    Designed for pressing but can be changed easily to 4 4 2 or 4 3 3. And yes I know some people will not agree with my selection but just my opinion. With some young talent coming trough and a mix of experience on the bench we should have a decent shot at the league 🙂 I fucking hope and pray

  • Good question. I should imagine your Architect would have involved a structual engineer to calculate the loads. As for the foundations. a good rule of thumb is to look at any neighbours properties with loft extentions etc and maybe have a chat with them as to what surveys or any work they might have had done. I doubt there would be foundation problems though, but, you can look at neighbours property to see if there are any cracks for foundation problems !. Dont be afraid to ask about any concerns with your architect, they are professionals and will have all the answers !.

  • Very interesting – the idea of 4-4-2 has occurred to me too. To play it we would need a proper defenisve or at least physicalmidfielder – I still like M’Vila but would be happy with Capoue. And I think Fellaini is so good he can play any of the midfield roles better than anyone in the English league. For the wing, I think we would need an out and out winger. Angel de Maria will be available soon (its is always the way with big players who don’t quite work out at Real) but also keep an eye on Barca’s Sanchis. Reus would be great, but more suited to the current formation.

    On the subject of coaches, I don’t think it makes a blind bit of difference. Indeed, I dont think the formation change will make a huge change either.

    But it we want one change to the club going forward I submit it should be this, We stop the mealy mouthed excuses for not being a top club (FT reports nearly 160m as cash reserves. – Arsenal having limited funds is a fiction from 5 yeas ago and just used to excuse the current inertia. Too many fans are living in the past over this and have their heads in the sand. So lets be positive about Arsenal as a big club. Cut out the witch hunts against our players who are coming to the end of their contracts – lets pay them what they are worth (or more correctly their market value. Messi isn’t worth 100 grand a week, but it is his market value, big difference. No Barcelona fan could be hoodwinked the way Arsenal fans about the player not being paid an appropriate salary. It seems this is an excuse perculiar to our club when it comes time for contract renewals). And on top of that, be ruthless with the chaff – cut them lose. This will involve makeing what is known as a paper loss on assets, but in the real world this is meaningless accountancy speak. Pity the club appears to be very rich in bean counters at the moment.

    So pay our top men what they deserve in the current market (we can soooooooooooooo easily afford to) and get rid of the lesser lights. The alternative is prepare to kiss goodbye to Jack in two years while the club uses its PR machine to turn the fans against him.

    I think we would be very pleasantly surprised at the results.

  • (1). I can’t think of anyother person better than berkamp to join the gunners. I would’ve said viera, but we all know viera will not leave man city. (2). 4-4-2 is a good formation, but for it to be effective for us, we need to sign a beast defensive midfieder. Wanyaman & capoue ticks the boxes, but i will prefer wanyaman, my reason for choosing wanyaman is bcos he has more steel than capoue, which is what we need more in arsenal. Technically, capoue is better, capoue is a far better passer of the ball(both short & long range), but wanyaman is slietly faster, better marker & has more steel, which is what arsenal needs more. I also have fears that wenger will let capoue attack & leave his defensive duty just like song. So once we buy any of these players, we can play any formation effectively, depending on our opposition, 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-3-3 etc. (3). A defensive midfielder(wanyaman or capoue) would be my priority signing, then a striker (cavani or higuain or adam zalai) and a CB. (4). Wanyaman.

  • Hi SleepingG,

    Always good to read your comments, as you come at things from a different angle. I reckon we are entering a more stable time in terms of keeping our player and there is plenty of growth within our team. Add a bit of quality over the coming summers and we should be good to go for the top prices.

    I can see your point about letting go of all the players who have not made the grade at Arsenal, but you still need the players to agree as well, and unless the club is prepared to subsidise part of the salary of the players involved it is not going to happen anyway.

  • Cheers Cornwall. Dont want to be having a frenzied stretch one night and falling through the floor, could be embarresing. hahaha

  • That was enjoyable. Jack MoM and Theo looked dangerous all the time, would liked to see them both off at half-time though.
    I dont know who he plays for, but Lucas, who replaced Ronaldinho at half-time, looked a decent player !.

  • Jack and Theo were nice, very nice.

    How good will Jack become? Best midfield player in Europe? in the world?. Can we keep a player like that? Will we break our pay structure to keep him? Have we got the dough to keep him?

    I need a lie down.

  • Before you lie down, check with the structual engineer !. hahaha

    Jack will be with Arsenal for yonks, I bet my Mil`s life on it !.

  • Hahaha glic, dream on Lucas signed on with PSG at a transfer fee of £35 million. He’s touted as the second next big thing out of Brazil after Neymare. Great player though! My issues are he can over dribble and runs with his head down on occasion. Also, his finishing leaves a bit to be desired as Neymar’s been able to completely dominate the Brazilian league where as Lucas goes in and out of form quite often.

  • Timothy at 19.31

    Thanks for explaining you 2-3-3-2 formation. With the players you put in there, I cannot see why it would work out for us. How would you ensure we use the width of the pitch/ don’t become too narrow?

  • Good post TA, these types of things are my favourite, really get the brain thinking.

    1. Currently: Martin Keown! Our defence needs sorting so he seems the only logical choice given the miracles he performed in 2006 with a back 4 that included senderos and flamini. The best thing is he did it in such a short period as well. Bring him in and give him full defensive responsibilities!

    Future: God of course! If he worked with Arsene/Arsenal for a few seasons and took over from Arsene the fans would be crying tears of joy! Who better to unify the supporters?

    2. 4-2-1-3. I like the formation we have now. I think it provides good balance. But as JM said the biggest thing needed is adaptability. Mix it up based upon opposition tactics, staleness ect. Keep the opposition guessing so they can’t set up against us easily.

    3. Hummels, Hummels, and Hummels!!!! Tighten up that defence. Perfect partner for Verm/Kozzer. Send Miquel out on loan to a promoted premier team that will play him often

    4. Lewandowski – Complete striker, perfect acquisition for our squad.

    Stuff the DM’s we’ve got Coquelin and Frimpong!

  • Well I made a bit of a horlicks of my footie viewing.

    The AFCON match this afternoon was the one that Ideye Brown played in, because he plays for the other team in green, Nigeria. I fed the dogs during the first half, so I missed his appearance.

    The second match which Burkino Faso played had all the hallmarks of a corrupt referee, or else he should have gone to Specsavers! The most illogical decisions you are ever likely to see. having got 3 penalty decisions wrong, a goal disallowed for no apparent reason, he then, with 3 minutes to go in extra time he denies a blatant penalty to BF … AND books the guy for diving, and he was already on a yellow card, so got sent off. Four of these decisions were against BF – 1 pen not given; 1 pen given to Ghana that wasn’t; the disallowed goal, the blatant penalty, followed by the red card to their top player, Petroipa. UNBELIEVABLE!

    Partial justice was done though, as BF went through on penalties. If we want a back up GK, BF’s one would not be a bad choice. Plays for Vitesse in the Belgian league, but only as a reserve keeper. Not for much longer after this display I think?
    The other player of interest, if you are looking for raw talent that needs a lot of polishing was Nakoulma. A pacy winger with bundles of energy and stamina. Sort of West African Gareth Bale without the finishing skills …yet?
    Petroipa is going to miss the final unless they can appeal against the red card. If international pressure is brought to bear, he should win. The ref should be relieved of his duties anywhere. We are not talking dubious panels here. The ref was about 5 yds away, must have seen the leg go out for the trip, which was at least 2ft inside the box, and replays show that not only did he trip one leg, his boot was across Petroipa’s thigh as he came down. The most stonewall penalty that was not given, ever.

    Apart from that, it was a ‘physical’ battle, but very entertaining.

    I only watched part of the England match on the Plus 1 channel, but the dogs needed to be let out, so I only saw the last 15 mins. For people not wanting to raise expectations over Jack, the MOTM award was their way of keeping it low profile I guess? I missed Walcotts contribution, but it sounded like he has carried on his recent good form?

    There still seems an awful lot of transfer chatter about, given the next window doesn’t open for another 4 months?

  • I am usually fast asleep by now, as the dogs wake me around 5.0am. Which is why in the evening I tend to just watch the tele, and my tele is also my big screen computer monitor. So it is either one and not the other?

    But as I am here, I have a story that might get the glicster excited?

    Years ago, travelling up the M6 for an away match to watch Coventry play. I was driving, but had 3 workmates with me. It was a fairly boring journey, only eased by giving fellow supporters the thumbs up as we passed their coaches.
    However, up ahead one of my co-passengers spotted this girl withbeautiful long golden hair that hung over the driver side seat, and the closer we got the more excited he became. He urge me to overtake so he could give the poor unfortunate a ‘mooney’ from the rear passenger seat, as we went past.
    So foot down, we cruised upsides, and myself and the front seat passenger, turned to give her a big smile … but we realised it was a left-hand drive car … and the lady with the golden locks turned out to be an Afghan Hound!

    Nite all.

  • It will all come down to the discipline of a player’s,,Two fast powerful CB’s/Sweepers, Two wing backs who can push up when we’re attacking in turn pushing our wide mids higher up to support the strikers.

    When defending our wide mids drop back, ie poldy and carz drop back to a three man midfield and our two wing backs are pushed further back to form a second line of defence all the time having two shit hot CBs and defensive mid cleaning up any breaks.

    Attacking GK

    Sweeper Sweeper


    Wingback Attack Mid Wingback

    Atack Mid Striker Striker Atack Mid

    Defending GK

    Sweeper Sweeper

    Wingback DM Wingback

    Atack Mid Atack Mid Atack Mid

    Striker Striker

    Sorry this isn’t the best way to show it but i can’t do anything else man. Think Nik explained it perfect

    2 CBs

    the first line of 3 includes 2 full-backs and a defensive midfielder

    second line 3 are 2 wingers and an attacking midfielder

    2 strikers

    going forward this means either the 2 full-backs play like midfielders or wingers and the winger join the 2 strikers or the defensive midfielder moves further forward and creates the play – ideally you would still have 3 or 4 players to stop counter attacks

    when being pressed into your own half you will always hava a back 4 or back 5 with this system

    Barcelona are playing like this

  • @TG aka HH I’ve got a slightly different slant on all those you describe as horrible;
    I’m not here to make excuses for Mr Wenger his scouts or the board but I recall the circumstances of each buy and I remember watching them play in the reserves and the 1st team they weren’t all horrible players.

    Santos; Purchased for €7.5 because everyone and his dog was screaming for Arsene to (SSFM) buy a full back because we didn’t have one who wasn’t injured. Another Brazilian international that looked good in the national side.

    Chamakh; Free! And was brought in case Bob v Jude got injured again. Played before Bobs your van Judas returned from injury he did fine with the team set up to exploit his assets as a CF.

    Arshavin; £15 Mil At the time our highest transfer purchase. Huge potential I can’t remember another player that could’ve been as big if he’d had the right attitude.

    Squillaci; Cheap international last minute signing bought for cover because at the 11th hour Gallas who was holding out for more wages and a longer contract signed for Spuds, at the same time Sol who was expected to stay for another year, married and moved to Gateshead.

    Bendtner; Joined as a 16 year old trainee for nunpence another with potential who’s head ain’t on straight.

    Vela; Only cost us half a € Mil top scorer at the under 17 Fifa World Championships in 2005 really looked the part. I always thought he’d step up, again had to be worth a punt for the money.

    Denilson; Cost us €3.5Mil had a great engine and looked superb playing for Sao Paulo in the 2005 world club winning side I would’ve had a punt for that money too.

    Park; Who knows? A favour for a favour? We get Ade Bye Buy me cheaply. You scratch my Arse I’ll scratch yours? That’s one only Arsene can answer.

    Diarra; Possibly left us too early as he went on to play defensive midfield for Real quite well.

    Eduardo; Cost us €7.5 Mil and before his horrific injury was widely recognized as a prolific striker.

    Fabianski; Another cheap signing back up keeper that never made the grade, it happens.

    Hleb cost us nothing bought and sold for the same money, won the treble with Barca and was then wanted by Maurine when he managed Inter? Many rated him.

  • @TGaka HH; Another point I’d like to make. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t we joint top going into the Brum game in 2007? I’m still convinced we looked like taking the Prem that season until Eduardo’s leg break, the looks of horror on the faces of our youngsters was memorable and our confidence drained (in the same manner as Eduardo’s face) from that moment on. The whole team were in shock. We were incapable of playing our game from that moment on, we finished 3rd.

  • Richie,

    None of those players were useful for US. It doesn’t matter if they had a use in some other capacity, the fact is they never panned out for one reason or another. You can make up any imaginable excuse but at the end of the day, I do not care at all.

    As far as the first team goes, the past 7 years have been an utter failure and only now are we starting to see some semblance of a team on the real path to better things. The financing of the Emirates stadium largely goes to blame by the eternal optimist, but we did spend in some of those years, yet failed to buy quality talents to help push us towards a championship. For me, the failure goes beyond a lack of financial resources and back to the club’s “complacent” strategy to stay afloat and perform to a steady top 4 finish and slowly pay back its debt, in addition to unwise spending of the resources it did allocate for transfers. Lest we not forget, as Borussia Dortmund showed, it is possible for a team to win a title, even with limited financial resources and top players leaving year after year.

    Arsenal’s strategy was brought into question by fans and players alike and the club has been belittled to the point that others laugh when one still calls Arsenal a “big club” (not my words but the opinions of many players and how others perceive the club). I mean what is the point of priding yourself on your youth academy if it’s no longer producing the same level of talent as clubs with even less of a budget like Southampton, Anderlecht, Athletic Bilbao, Ajax or Borussia Dortmund? What is the point of buying young and producing in-house talents if we couldn’t even retain their services? The sole purpose of committing to a youth development policy is to retain the fruits of your labour and build a team on the players you’ve developed. Of course, some of the players currently in our academy may become good players, but what opportunity will they be afforded given that we already have a young core and are looking into the transfer market for players in or near their prime who can make an immediate impact? Where then does that leave our club in respect to its youth policy?

    You can continue to twist the failures or shortcomings of the past 7 years in any way that you would like, but you will never convince me that any of it was a “success”. This mentality of not holding the club and players accountable for the lack of results is exactly why the club is finding it so difficult to move forward. Why change or improve if fans and the squad are ok with complacency and mediocrity? As far as the lack of success in the 2007 season or any of the last 7 years, be it because of injuries, bad luck etc. it doesn’t matter; great teams find a way to win championships no matter what the circumstances are.

    Perhaps we may not immediately achieve better things, but the difference is we’ve at least signed up a young, committed core, opposed to the uncertainty that always arose in expiring contracts and players who had a greater urgency to win. There’s finally a coherent strategy and we’ve finally changed with the times and altered our pay structure to give our players what they should be rightfully compensated. The club has finally acknowledged how there’s been a failure to attain silverware these past 7 years and have apologized to fans, and they finally listened to the voice of reason and froze tickets prices. Slowly, the club are taking the necessary steps to once again get in touch with the fan base.

  • Forgot to add at the end, if you’re going to blame the financing of the Emirates stadium for the lack of silverware then from here on out, you can’t say the financial resources are not available. For me, I’d prefer not to extravagantly overspend and be mixed in with teams like $hitty and Chel$ea, but I would like the money to be spent more wisely in the transfer market. There’s proof out there that titles can be won despite not being the team that has the most financial backing, so if we continue to struggle with a lack of silverware from here on out for years to come, then the overall strategy has to eventually come into question at some point. I think we’ve finally turned a corner and would like to focus on the positives moving forward, opposed to the failure of the past 7 years.

  • What we needed to do was play the same formation but put cazorla on the left wing because he’s good enough to play there ,we needed to play podolski upfront with theo on the right then buy 2players one ,an attacking midfielder like sniedger to play behind podolski and two a new dm like mvila to back up arteta with wilshere and diaby fighting for the centre midfield spot this team would of been perfect

  • well as we all knw we are good scouts 2 other teams probabLy because we luck seriousnes. Isco is good bt its too late Nw the likes of bAYern,chelsea,man u,madrid n barca are monitorin him and u kNw wat that means. Capoue is Wanted BY BARCA so lets luk elseWhere.

  • HH – I still think this corner we have now turned is largely due to the appointment of the m much maligned Ivan Gazidis. You may find that hard to take, but I think he was brought in to do that very job of identifying the problem, and getting a strategy to go forwards.
    The reason why you will find that hard to take is that my earlier point about AW doing much of this on his own has led to many of the frustrations you raise?

    I also think it is you who is now wearing the ‘rose tinted glasses’? You want AW and the board to predict the Banking crisis and act accordingly. You want the upset in the boardroom with the loss of Danny Fizman, the divisive sale of David Dein’s shares to the ‘Russian ****’ to make no difference to any future strategy, On top of that, You want AW to always buy the player that will not get injured, but perform to the level of their form elsewhere, and singlehandedly lead the club to glory?

    That is what I mean by the bigger picture. It was not ‘complacency’ that has led to this drought of silverware, but rather a combination of factors that could not be foreseen. They rode out the storm, and AW kept us with that ‘derisory’ thing called 4th place trophy despite all that went on.

    Silent Stan may not be everybody’s ideal chairman, but he does not deserve half the flak he gets from the disgruntled section, What did he do that was so wrong? He left the club to run for just one season after he became majority shareholder, after which he appointed IG. he did not force the sale of other shareholders, which include the the fan base ones. He did not use Arsenal as his FM plaything. Nor did he asset strip buy using Arsenal Club to finance his purchase? Again, IG may not everybody’s choice for Chief exec, but you can be damn sure he is good at his job. Football may not be in his cv, but identifying problems would be right there. He seems to be on the right path, and clearly works well with AW. The fruits of all this are what you are praising now?

    Like I said yesterday, the glory days are history, with luck, the barren years are history, so let’s look forward to the near future, eh?

    Richie – You said everything I declined to say about the players. I would add that some were also not used in the best positions to produce their best? But I am not privvy to AW’s thinking on that? Cheers.

    Oh, and my previous comment on ‘transfer chatter’? I meant on News Now blog list. Clearly it was invited on this blog.

  • @HH/TG; I must have missed something, in the passed 30+ years of the prem someone other than The Arsenal has won the league without spending the most? BD might have been able to pull off the feat in the Bundesliga (which mainly because of BD has shown signs of developement) but Arsenal apart its not happened here. We are the only club to have achieved it and that was before the big oily money was really working. Thankfully for BD that sort of “dirty” money won’t affect them, the B’liga having “mainly” a 51% club owned stake rule in place. Sorry but if the B’liga didn’t have that rule and the sort of money arrived (thats currently stacked against us came in) BD wouldn’t win again, and their situation would mirror ours.

  • Steve Bould should keep his job as coach. in 6 months you do not just try and it is not for nothing in the eyes of AW.
    For DW Capua is a good choice, but it must work much more to come in the team, the first league is very fast and not obvious to someone who always play in France. It is very powerful, robust but Bayern also want to buy …..
    Players that I’d like to see are sign Ozil, Ilkay Gündogan, Mario Götze, Marco reus, but I dream a little 🙂
    To be more serious I think we have some very promising young and when it will be their turn to play in the first team he will we surprised.

    After,i have a question to ask you, on what channel you watch Arsenal , should pay to see the match???? Because “in France from Canal + was no way to see the game:

  • P.S. For me Arsenals project youth failed only because of the arrival of the big money, which raised the level or standard of players in the prem inexorably.

  • Morning All, 🙂

    HH/Gerry/richie and you others, some really great chat between you, and I feel myself being swayed one way then another – and that is the way debate should be. Well done, guys! 🙂

  • Macko,

    We watch some Arsenal games on Sky Sports TV.

    If it is not available, we watch on our computers from streams like; “”

    If you look at this site on the match day, you will see that Oz gives more guidance on how to watch.

    Comprenez-vous? 😀

  • 1. berkamp – for all that he is as mentality and character. hope he can good coach too
    2. 4-1-2-3 – this is what we actually played with Song and it worked well
    3. Felaini is rumored to be around 22m which is reasonable. I would say Baines, but we already have Nacho now. Don’t know bout Capoue, maybe a good option too.
    4. Ow … definitely Jovetic – this guy is a hidden gem. A but injury prone, but he’s a real tallent. can play left wing, central and forward … fast, technically gifted … thats it … and I believe we can get him for 25-28M.

  • Morning Felch Burglar`s 😆

    Hahaha Thanks Gerry, blondes have more fun ! did you get it`s phone number ?. hahaha
    Whereabouts in South Devon are you ?. I`m near Launceston. I do some deliveries all along the south coast some days, from Sennen in Cornwall, upto Weymouth in Dorset.

  • So Dr Cloggen van Petitwinkelpeckerstein is off to London for an interview for Chippy Brady`s job !. Lets hope he informs them about the excess baggage he will bring along with him, in the form of us BKers !.

  • 1. Bergkamp this summer, Henry to join the coaching team in 2016.

    2. 4-2-3-1 is my preferred formation. With 2 ball winning good passers sat behind 3 interchangeable fluid attackers. Giroud up top.

    3. In the summer our priority has got to be Mats Hummels and Capoue.

    4. In an ideal world, we’d have a pre-contract agreement in place for Neymar for after the Brazilian world cup.

    Jenks – Hummels – Vermaelen – Nacho

    Capoue – Wilshere

    Walcott – Cazorla – Neymar


    Oh yes.

  • Gerry,

    I’m not even going to respond to half the sh*t you just said, because most of it is completely fabricated and based off your own drawn out conclusions…I don’t once recall criticizing or even mentioning Gazidis or asking the club to predict the Recession/injuries or anything about the clubs sale of shares to Usmanov. All I asked is for the club to have had a better strategy and perhaps the results could have gone more in our favour. Instead of being completely reactive to player departures, I would have preferred to see the club be more proactive in resolving the team’s issues.

    What Silent Stan did so wrong is exactly what his name suggests. A complete PR failure on his part to address the fans and any attempt to show the club and its fans any passion or willingness to get involved. Tons of fans feel “disconnected” from the club, and that starts from the very top. I don’t know for sure if his silent approach has filtered down to the board, but there appears to be a disconnect within some level within the Arsenal hierarchy (at the very least on the PR front).

    See the difference between you and I is that while you take an “it could have been worse” approach to the last 7 years, I take a strong “it could have been better” approach. I’m a consultant and being in the business world, it’s perhaps how I’ve been groomed in perspective.


    Yes, the Bundesliga has different rules about ownership stake rules and having to have a certain number of home grown players within your squad, but by no means does it take away from what they accomplished. Bayern has just spent just as much money as Chel$ea or $hitty over the years and have been doing so for quite some time. BD have a group of core, committed players who were fighting for the same cause and continue to do so because they believe in Klopp’s philosophy and vision (much like the current group do with AW now).

    Arsenal’s youth project failed because we unfortunately scouted the wrong players. We weren’t diligent enough in our scouting, in terms of evaluating their personalities. AW tried to implement a similar strategy as he did before he formed the Invincibles by buying undervalued players with histories of behavioural issues, in hopes that he could change them. The problem with this strategy was inevitably the gap in generations; it’s very much a me first generation now and the injection of money into the game certainly did not help. Still, since Jack we haven’t really developed any significant talent in our academy, despite all the money we invest in it. I’m not proclaiming it’s a waste to invest in the youth any further, but perhaps it needs investigation as to why we’ve somewhat stagnated in developing top quality players.

  • Sorry Gerry, if that last post feels like a personal attack. If it did, I certainly did not intend it to. We can only agree to disagree on how we viewed the past 7 years and as you said, let’s concentrate on the future.

  • HH – I don’t take offence when the debate is civil, okay? My post was a bit of ‘poetic licence’ of what your position appears to be from the other side. The fact that you don’t say anything about the points I raised, a doesn’t mean they weren’t there, or a factor. But I’ll grant you, it is conclusions I draw out from what we know on the outside. You don’t go there. Fine.

    As for SS, my view is, if from here on the club become the club we BOTH want it to be, I don’t think to many will bother if SS stays in the background, being just that. Do you?

    On that note – Here’s to the future!

  • Bergkamp as coach – 100%

    I’d like to see Arsenal signing James McCarthy as a DM. He’s a hungry players with a fabulous sense of timing when it comes to the tackle. He certainly wouldn’t break the bank. In an ideal world, I’d love to see Arsenal signing a dominant central defender like Hummells or Shako. In reality, Kos & TV5 can form a great central partnership, if only AW stopped throwing Per into the mix.

    4-4-2 would be great. Midfield of – Walcott Wilshere McCarthy Podolski with Cazorla playing just off Giroud. It would be like watching the invincibles all over again.

    Bring it on.

  • glic – Let’s be clear, I was doing the driving. From your picture link you can imagine the back view I described? When we drew alongside ‘she’ casually looked our way, in that superior manner they have, so we knew she wasn’t interested.
    My mate in the back got a lot of stick from all and sundry though.

    I was in Torquay for about 4 years – One whole year, plus three summers – in the early 70’s. I am now on the N. Devon coast not far from Woolacombe … So your day release from the asylum means I am far enough away that to be safe??

  • Gerry,

    I didn’t say anything about the points you raised because they had nothing to do with the posts I made. You simply assumed those were the causes of my main concerns, when in actuality they were not.

    My issue with SS is that in those tough times, we needed a visible commitment or public acknowledgement that he was involved and had a true passion for this club. By no means am I saying he doesn’t want this club to do well or that he doesn’t have a passion for the club. I’m saying that visible passionate leadership goes a long way in resonating throughout the club and its fan base, and he should have been more vocal and accountable for the direction of this club. Of course, it’s just my opinion, not fact since I’m not personally involved with the organization.

    As you say, we’ll see where the club goes from here and we all hope that better things are to come. However, one thing is for sure: we can no longer blame the financing of the Emirates stadium for the lack of results or silverware from here on out.

  • Hahaha Yes, you are safe Gerry…..only just !. the furthest north I deliver to is South Molton .
    I cannot speak for the other day releasers on here though !.

  • Tim OShea at .045. That looks very much my thoughts on a flexible 4-2-4 earlier, only you explain it better.

    The only difference is I would have the CAM more withdrawn, as a support DM, but able to go forwards and linking behind the attackers.

    The sort of role that Arteta, Jack, Diaby, Coquelin or Ramsey(on recent showings?) could do. My reasoning for that is that a solo DM cannot cover both wings. Any crossfield ball behind our attacking wingbacks has left us vulnerable in the past.

    The pairing in the Stoke game killed of any threat of a counter attack. We will have to see if that also works against more potent sides?

  • Thanks glic – (wipes brow) .. Do I have to look out for oddballs wearing orange suits now?

  • Only the one`s that have been Tango`d or the mad jaffa cake eater !. hahaha ( which believe it or not, is not an insane laugh ! ).

  • Hi guys. Sorry I have not been around lately, been so busy.

    Don’t forget to submit your entries to the UMF 1 league please.

  • Gerry, GLiC’s carers wear white coats. You can see him at week ends as he is allowed out. If you need to see him during the week you can arrange a meeting. Just google Launcestern asylum.

  • Good evening chaps. Some interesting discussions from TA’s post from yesterday. Glic, isn’t that area that you live in on top of Bodmin Moor? I am just having a thought that all those years that they have assumed the beast of Bodmin was a Panther, could it have in fact been a big hairy Glic monster running naked around the Moors?

    1 I couldn’t disagree with God as a new coach.

    2 With regard to formations, I have put my head on the chopping block before in my assertion that there are only 2-3 basic formations and that what makes it look more one than the other are other factors, such as the type of player and quality of player that is in a certain area of the pitch, and also the type of opposition you are playing and how they set-up. I still feel that the set up only really changes depending on whether you start with a back 3 or back 4 i.e 2 CB’s with full backs or 3 CB’s with wing-backs. It is why I feel that Timothy’s interesting 2-3-3-2 idea is really still a 4-3-3 / 4-4-2. You can line it up any way you want when you write it down, but once the game is in fluid motion players will be constantly changing their positions on the pitch. If you had a reel of aerial photographs of any Arsenal game you could find stills of us lining up in say 6-7 different formations at different points in the game. I would argue that with the way our full-backs push up anyway we are often playing with 2 CB’s and it wouldn’t surprise me if you could find us in the 2-3-3-2 formation at times anyway. I have been critical of not altering formation at times earlier this year, but feel that AW’s preferred line up is looking better now, because the right players are playing effectively in their respective areas of the pitch.

    3 Leading from the above the 1 player that I feel we should get is a powerful and quick DM, so maybe Capoue. This is because in reality I feel our 4-3-3 more shapes up as 4-2-1-3 once the game is underway, with 2 deeper midfielders and 1 (often Santi) in front of them. If you want to play with 1 deeper midfielder and 2 more attacking midfielders, as in 4-1-2-3, then I think we need a specialist powerhouse that can screen in front of the back 4 on his own. I feel Arteta does it well in some games but in others he struggles and needs more help, which often draws Jack deeper rather than further up the pitch alongside Santi where I would prefer to see him. Le Coq is the only player we have who I feel could maybe do the lone DM role regularly and effectively on his own at the moment. A player like Capoue will just give us more options if we want to release an extra midfielder into a more attacking role in certain games or at certain times.

    4 Fantasy signing would be Falcao or Cavani. Utd have shown this season that even if you are playing poorly and heading for a draw, that if you have 3-4 top class options in the striker department you can literally score your way out of trouble, and that wins titles. people will forget the games they struggled in and just pipped it by flinging extra strikers out there. Players like Cavani and Falcao can turn narrow losses into draws and tight draws into wins. If we looked at all our tight games that fell into those categories this season players like these 2 could probably add another 12 points at least to our current tally.

  • VCC – It’s not his carers I worry about ..Ha ….aaaargh!

    I’ve just read a nice piece on Hector Bellerin – IBT Times – Another youngster with the Arsenal spirit?

    From what I’ve seen of him he is more likely to take over from Walcott, than the Sagna/Jenks/Yennaris line at RB. It would be an interesting race with the ball over 100 yds, between Gibbs, Walcott, and Bellerin. My money would be on HB. He should be coming good as Theo’s new contract winds down, as he is only 17 now, so Theo ought to consider signing an extension next year?

    Right that is me for the night. I just watched the racing at Meydan, so I better get on with my update while I’m in the mood.

  • Gooner B – You just popped up there while I was writing.

    On the formation bit. I agree, it can change throughout the game. My fluid 4-2-4 was based on the attacking mode where our fullbacks are the wide men. For that to work well, I think you need the two to be DM’s, where at least one is a specialist in that position.?

    Coquelin as the sole DM I don’t see. Physically he is not imposing enough for me. He is quick,.and tackles well enough, but he would suit the ‘supporting’ DM position well. He likes to get forwards and link up around the opposition box. It would allow a bit more freedom if we knew we had some solid to cut out the long ball counter?

    A Cavani signing at £54m would certainly show some intent for next season wouldn’t it?

  • VCC. entry for this week

    Swansea v QPR ………….draw
    Norwich v Fulham…………draw
    Sund v Ars…………………..away
    Soton v MC………………….away
    Chelsea v Wigan…………..home

    Odds = 53-1

  • GoonerB 🙂

    I actually live between Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor, so it depends which you favour…..The Beast of Bodmin or The Hound of the Bastardvilles, but you may be swayed by the fact that one of the pies I deliver is called…” Beast of Bodmin “. However seeing as my nearest town is Launceston, you may call me…..”The Launceston Lecher” or “Lecherous of Launceston” ! hahaha

  • Excellent Lechy Lecherous, so you actually have a choice of which moor you run around naked on. Lecherous or not I know I owe you a debt of gratitude when you saved my Barnet in the Tavern from Mr Mancini, so as far as I am concerned you can get away with anything you want. As long as it doesn’t involve Mrs GoonerB of course.

  • I think some of the chasing pack will catch you this week Vic`s. I think you will only get one point from that lot !. Arsenal will be lucky to get a draw with all the injuries from wednesday`s Internationals and especially if we have ” The Squill ” playing and Sunderland roughing up the pitch again with bullocks grazing on it !.

  • VCC & Glic,

    Gentlemen, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but I’ve been meaning to ask you both about your thoughts on the evolution of the crest over your lifetimes. I wasn’t alive during the VCC crest days and wanted to know what you thought of that crest compared to the present one. I would have loved to have seen the 1949 VCC crest make a comeback for the 125th anniversary jersey last year, as it still is my favourite crest in all of Arsenal’s rich history.

    Your thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated!

  • Better yet, maybe one of you two ladies could break your BK cherries and write an article on the evolution of the crest and your thoughts on it ;).

  • Gerry, I too am not sure yet if Le Coq can play this role. Only time will tell, but I don’t think the addition of another one here, like Capoue, will unnecessarily overload us in this department, but will have the positive effect of giving us more options in how our formation looks when we play. A player like him would allow us to tweak our basic formation to many of those mentioned above as the need suits us.

  • GoonerB
    Your taking a risk coming on here flaunting that fine Ken Barlow stunt double hair of yours with Stretch prowling the net. His elongated tentacles ( I`m sure thats how I heard it ! ) stretch far with his Telescope obsession of finding the perfect barnet. His `scope is not just trained to find Uranus !.
    Although, he is desperate and the hairs on your scrotum will suffice !. It`s dark, close the curtains GoonerB !. hahaha

  • Gentlemen????. Has someone sneaked on site without us noticing !.

    Double H.
    VCC is pre-historic and first drew pictures on a cave wall !. He would be the best to post on such a subject…….if only he could remember ! hahaha
    I`m just happy to have two balls and a cannon…… a badge !

  • Hahaha Glic, in fine form as always :). Do you own any of the older or more current kits? I remember when I was at Highbury seeing some die hard old men wearing kits and getting excited (not getting hard and getting excited hahaha), but then there were also the casual viewers that were older who just went to the game in normal clothes. For me, it’s amazing to see such passionate supporters who still wear kits and are die hard Arsenal supporters at their age!

  • Glic,

    That has to be one of my least favourite crests haha! To me the “C” always looked like a vag and the “A” was a sperm that had engulfed the egg (ball in the middle). Despite its simplicity of just using letters, it just looks too complex for me…

  • And here`s another one I made earlier for you !. hahaha

    I always wear Arsenal colours for a game no matter what the weather and would make it illegal to get in the ground without something red on. Thats whats great about games in the summer, nearly everyone has something Arsenal on and I think it makes it look a better vibrant spectacle for the eyes !.

  • Hahaha Dont mention that to Vicky, he frequently inquires on line to how many billion sperm it takes to be an effective mouthwash !. hahaha

  • I wear not this seasons one, but the two previous seasons shirts. I do prefer the one previous to the 125 anniversary one. I love the iconic style kit of the 70`s.

    Here is a site with every single Arsenal kit, home and away. Some of the away ones are quite interesting !.

  • HH. My favourite crest is the one that first came out in 1949. Its the first to have “Victoria Concordia Crescit” And the cannon facing the correct way (like my tattoo) towards the left. The new badge faces to the right.

    A few years back just before Arsenal changed the badge a good friend of mine was taken to court by Arsenal (David Dein) for selling goods outside the stadium (he had a stall for many years) and not paying royalties to the club for using the old crest. Now Arsenal own the rights of the new crest.

  • Haha glic, that’s some nice “work” you’ve done there. I hope doesn’t come with their lawyers and sue your ass for taking ownership on their intellectual property hahaha! Do you own any from the awful JVC era? Or any of the nicer plain ones from the 70s/80s?

  • 1957=1960. Was my favourite as it had Red/White and blue. Being patrionic I liked the thought that we played in the countries colours.

  • Last year my Son and I went on a stadium tour with Charlie George. I took my Yellow and Blue shirt along (FA Cup final shirt Arsenal 2 Liverpool1 Charlie George scores the winner) and Charlie signed it for me.

    I had to tell him my name as he would only sign it with it on because he said people go there and get signed shirts and put them on ebay.

  • VCC, what was the 1957-60 crest? There’s no mention of it on the Arsenal website crest history article. It goes on to suggest the updated VCC crest (gold, red and green) was used for 53 years until it was cleaned up?

  • I have the two previous seasons to this seasons home shirt. I have a “89” anniversary shirt, a “79” FA Cup final shirt and my sons 97-99 away shirt ( JVC ) which I now let my puppy wear for photo`s of him, It is the only shirt that I had a name put on the back and that happens to be a certain Mr God 10 !. hahaha

    Talking of badges, I do love the one on the 125th anniversary shirt !.

  • Glic,

    The home kit from 1978-1982 was phenomenal and is among my favourites. You’re a lucky man to have been around when those beauties were worn!

    You strike me as the kind of individual who would have bought the 95/96 away or 92/93 away kits hahaha!

  • Double H. Have you any shirts ? That site, Historical kits which I posted, some of the old kits can be bought from Toffs. You will see some of the kits with a link to Toffs underneath.

    If you click onto the “away kits”, you will see my favourite away one, which is the ” Oct 1958-1960 A ” one. White with red neck and cuffs. I is liking it mucho !. hahaha

  • VCC,

    Is that not the same VCC crest I mentioned of 1949 in only red and white? If it is the same #6 I am looking at, that was my favourite too!

  • GLiC…I cant find that shirt you like ?????

    I also bought the blue and yellow zig zig one.

    Ive still got all my replica shirts ive bought. They are in a suit case under the bed hahaha

  • I dont know 2XH, that 82-83 takes some beating and you can actually buy it !. If you were seen wearing that you would get beaten up even by Arsenal supporters !. hahaha

  • HH that’s the one. Its the proper crest with the cannon facing to the left. lol.

    I also bought the dark blue and green away shirt. When we had a few Irish players. I think Terry Neil was the manager at the time.

    Im a saddo cos I always take an Arsenal shirt on holiday with me. Also take my Away Boyz cd and play them by the pool.

  • Hahaha Every time I`m on holiday, I do the same. I walk around looking for fellow gooners to chat to . It does my missus head in !. hahaha

  • Glic,

    That is a beautiful away kit. I’ve always been under the impression Arsenal should wear red kits with white sleeves at home, blue or yellow shirts away and have a white alternate. All classic, clean colours that are identified with the clubs current badge.

    I do own quite a few shirts though my collection only goes back to the 85/86 home one (no name)! I wore that jersey for 19 years before I finally bought the 04/05 home and away shirts (Pires on the back of the away, home is blank). Of course when I visited Highbury for the 2nd time in 05/06, I bought the wonderful red currant home shirt with Henry on the back. From there, there were some shirts I wanted to get through the years, but never got around to getting them. I did manage to buy a long sleeve 07/08 white away kit, which is my second favourite jersey I own (Fabregas on the back).

    Last season my best pal visited the Emirates and bought me the 11/12 anniversary shirt with Arteta on the back but he bought his size and it’s too big for me hahaha! I was rather skeptical of this year’s shirts when they were first released, but as soon as I saw the home kit on the field, I knew I just had to own one. Thus, I also own the 12/13 long sleeve home kit with Wilshere on the back (as in my profile picture) and it is currently my favourite shirt. There’s something that the blue stripe adds and how it accents the badge and the rest of the jersey. It’s just a beautiful shirt!

  • GLic……Im just the same. My Son says I can spot a fellow Gooner with a shirt on a mile away.

    By wearing my Arsenal SHirts and Arsenal swimming trunks I have sparked up plenty of friendships on hols. And like you, it does my missus head in.

  • Hahaha VCC @ 21:04, I hope you were on drugs or severely medicated when you purchased that shirt. I can’t see what would motivate anyone to want to own that disaster of a shirt hahaha!

  • Last summer ( hahaha). I walked from Fingle Bridge Inn to Castle Drogo ( has to be a Bond villain with that name ), a beatifull walk and at Castle Drogo one of the National Trust gardeners said, ” Thats a lovely jacket ” ( Arsenal one ). to cut a long storey short, he was Alan Skirtons step son, my first hero, we had a great chat about Arsenal and Alan Skirton !. Isn`t life great sometimes !.

  • Vicks, please dont tell me those trunks are speedos? hahaha

    Have never worn colours to a game. Love my programes though, got two large boxes worth dating back to the seventies.

  • I too was sceptical of this years kit , but it has grown on me and will wait till it`s £20 in Sports Direct !. hahaha

    I was hoping that they would produce a special kit for next year to mark the 100th anniversary of being in North London. I think they`re missing a trick to make a few quid ( or rip us off if you see it differently ).

  • Terry me too. I have old programmes dating back when we had pounds , shillings and pence. That’s how old I am. lol.

  • Terry those trunks are speedos. As I have an enormous Hampton I can look good in them, not like GLiCster with his tiny pinky.

  • ” I`m senile , I`m insane and cant remember my own name and who owns this red and white zimmerframe ?, who the f**king hell am I ?, who the f**king hell am I ?” hahaha

  • hahaha, i cant wear speedos Vicks. been a bubble ime so hairy i have to have a full body shave before i go away. it dont do no good though. after about two days its all back.

    A couple of years ago i was lying face down on a lounger when i heard some twat telling his mate that he forgoten his towel. Next thing i know this mug is drying himself off on my back. hahaha

  • @ Glic 21:27, I can see Arsenal changing the third/away kit to honour the 100th anniversary in North London, but the home one will be staying the same. The away kit should be an alternate as I’m still not fond of it though it was a courageous effort.

    If there is any new kit introduced next year, it will certainly be to rip us off since Adidas takes over the kit sponsorship in 2014 hahaha!

  • See what I mean about the mans mind !. Thats not a long hampton you clunge, thats your walking stick !. hahaha

    I saw Skirton live aswell Vic`s. Great memories !

    I shall now bid you all a good night as I have to get up a 5am tomorrow for the Orc run !.

    Night Muvvers !.

  • Evening guys 🙂

    Really enjoyed reading up on the comments today, especially on formations: all food for thought! 🙂

    Absolutely knackered from my travels to London, so will be hitting the pillow soon. Hope to write something in the morning.

    Re Arsenal shirts: still really don’t like our current home shirt: makes us look far too nice and soft in my view. Something you would wear on a sailing boat, or playing field-hockey! 😦

  • Morning TA, 😀

    That is an interesting comment; “don’t like our current home shirt: makes us look far too nice and soft in my view. Something you would wear on a sailing boat”

    Well, get you sailor!!!!! 😀

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