No Time for Losers: Ruthless Wenger is Raising the Bar

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‘Whoever said money can’t buy happiness isn’t spending it right’

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A lot has been said about Arsene’s player purchases over the years. He can get it really right but also awfully wrong sometimes.

Under Wenger, Arsenal have always refrained from buying top notch – experienced and in their prime – A-class players. We landed Sol Campbell on a free from the Spuds, and both Arshavin and Reyes were highly rated players, but not regarded as top-class, or ‘super-quality’.

Arsene became the champion of discovering and polishing gems. He brought and subsequently developed so many fine players over the years: from Henry to van Judas, from Ljunberg to Pires, and from Vieira to Fabregas.

However, he also brought to the club a significant number of fiascos; and especially since our move to the new stadium, there have been quite a few who have not made the grade:  those who are often ungenerously labelled ‘deadwood’ by the fans.

There is a view, not just by those who want Wenger out, that the Frenchman does not know what he is doing anymore and that he got more wrong than right recently. It could be that Arsenal’s scouting system needs an overhaul, but I am pretty sure every player who joins us will have had the full approval of Wenger, and he therefore should be held responsible to a large extent for the number of players who did not make the grade at Arsenal.

Some feel that Arsene has too many responsibilities and therefore needs more support, especially with regards to buying and selling players.

I reckon there is a bit of truth in all the above mentioned views: Wenger is not perfect at all, and mistakes have been made.

Those who are more generously inclined towards our manager argue that he has had a small budget with which he had to fill a number of vacancies in the squad over the last few years. As a result, he had to take more risks with finding new, good and yet affordable, players. Finding quality players who could hit the ground running was made a lot harder for Wenger as a result of the competition increasing significantly over the last few years, and him simultaneously being faced with the departure of a number of his best players, which he seemingly could do nothing about.

I tend to be in the latter camp, and also reckon that Wenger just has not got the time anymore to spend ages on developing players into gems. The competition is now far too fierce, and combined with a lack of winning silverware in recent years, it means there is very little room and time for failure.

Luckily, we have seen a big improvement in recent purchases: Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla have added a lot of quality to our team and have been effective for us from the start of the season. Early signs re Nacho are also very promising. It also looks like Arsene is in the market to add another one or two quality players during the summer.


In the meantime, Wenger has been managing out a number of players who have not made the grade, or appear to no longer fit in his plans. Chamakh, Denilson, Santos, Bendtner, Park, Frimpong and Djourou are all out on loan, with the main aim of running their contracts down and reducing the wage bill. Although, there might still be space for Frimpong and Djourou in Arsene’s squad for next season; it is too early to be definite about this.


Other players seem to feature only seldom or never at all: Rosicky, Arshavin and Squillaci. The last two are clearly left to run their contracts down, but I don’t understand why Rosicky, who only signed a new contract last season, does not feature a lot more this season.

The good thing about this new apparent ruthlessness of Arsene is that it is creating space to get the best out of the two pillars that should bring our beloved club back to the very top again: bringing through youth/raw gems on the one hand, and buying experienced, quality players on the other. It is also telling the players clearly that they have to perform to the highest standards or they will face the axe.

I often feel a bit of sadness when I see Chamakh on the West Ham bench, and think back about Denilson, and very possibly, Djourou not making the grade at Arsenal. But that is what top sport is all about, and hanging on to players who do not make the grade will inevitably hold back talents within the squad who might have what it takes to make it at Arsenal.

Arsenal have now entered a new era in which most of our key players are signed up to long contracts and good, quality players (although still not super, superstars) can be bought on an annual basis, whilst only the very best of our youth/raw gems will make it to the top from now onwards. With improving revenue streams and FFP at least having some effect, this should be a very good formula for making us very competitive again.

But it is just as important to keep the level of expectations high and to let players go as soon as it becomes clear they are not going to make it at Arsenal. Arsene’s apparent new ruthlessness is therefore a welcome sight.

Written by: Total Arsenal.

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87 Responses to No Time for Losers: Ruthless Wenger is Raising the Bar

  1. glic says:

    Fine writing`s from the velvet tipped clog !. 🙂

    What would be interesting Totes, is if someone could produce a list of all the players AW has bought in his time at Arsenal and present it into two columns of , ” acceptable and unacceptable”…….” good buy / bad buy “……..”top notch / flop botch”……”Shaven Haven / John Craven”………” Northampton / Southampton “… OK, I think you get my point ! hahaha
    We could then judge what his percentage of getting it right is !. When times are bad we only remember the crap !.
    Maybe thats why AW is so reluctant to spend big, when you see the likes of Arshavin, Jeffreys, Reyes, R Wright, Wiltord not really being that great buys, but like you say none were ” Super Quality “. I think we are now approaching an era where we can afford someone like Neymar or Isco, the sort of quality thats too good not to exceed. !.
    I know I go back to it , but ManU paid £30m for Ferdinand in 2002 !!!, are we not a club big enough to pay that sort of money for the right player in 2013 ?, of course we are !. Come this summer lets make a statement !.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Northampton – Southampton hahaha. I prefer three categories, so let’s include Middlehampton or Semihampton hahaha 🙂

    Yes, I am sure we can buy super, super quality, but I cannot see it happen: the risks are too high and it goes against Arsene bloodstream. For every Ferdinand there is a Veron. I would love it though if we brough in Cavani or Isco, although I am not suffering as much as you from Isco-fever! 😛

  3. glic says:

    Hahaha Total

    I`m thinking of moving here !. hahaha

    Should have been Jeffers……who the f**ks Jeffreys ? hahaha

  4. VCC says:

    Arsene Wenger has always been ruthless, and stubborn, just ask Lauren.

    He is a million light years away from becoming a spendthrift.

    His frugal stance in the transfer market, persistently keeps us away from becoming competitive with the big boys once again.

    He continues to buy middle of the road footballers, and simply refuses to buy the finished article. Which is going to set the club back a few bob, and become the record outlay on one particular player at The Arsenal.

    The answer to this conundrum, only he knows, but my guess is he is frightened to make one big clanger, and suffer the wrath from the fans. He is extremely tentative to push the boat out on a top top quality forward.

    Is there one stand out finished article, for example, that you can name? I cant think of any.

  5. VCC says:

    I prefer……North…..Semi…..South ..hampton

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    He is definitely not consistently ruthless, VCC.

  7. VCC says:

    GLiC…I’m sad to see you include Wiltord in your short list. I had a soft spot for him, he always worked hard for the team and chipped in with some very important goals, Shame on you.

  8. VCC says:

    Total……Oh yes he is…………..look behind you, …oh sorry those festivities are over.

    The only compassionate dealing that comes to mind is the Fabregas sale. And that was subject to bad dealing, in as much as he sold him far too cheaply.

  9. glic says:

    Northampton is out of reach for you Vic`s, but lucky enough I found my old Meccano set and have been making you the World`s first ” Award Winning ” Hampton Zimmerframe !. It comes with two Lilliputians to wind the pulley system thats gives you an erection !.

    No using the Lilliputians as Arse Dildos !. hahaha

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Wiltord is a semi-H for me. 🙂

    VCC, name me another manager with the patience of Wenger with regards Denilson, Bendtner, Eboue, and many, many others.

  11. glic says:

    Littlehampton is the only town in Britain to have it`s own border control. All males are subjected to a strip search and will not be let in if the they have a Middlehampton to Largehampton, basically no one with more than an Isco on his todger and it is stamped with LM, obviously as they cant get Littlehampton Member on it !.

  12. VCC says:

    Total…that’s not being ruthless at all…that’s what I would class as stupidity. He persevered with Denilson far too long, even while punters were telling him he is useless . How that has bitten him in the Arse.

    Also Bendtner….stupidity personified…..plays him as a winger… God he is the only man on this planet that would put him there??????? another player that overrated himself. Wenger kept him far too long….proof in the pudding he has done nothing away from Arsenal, after all that perseverance. Only to finally see the penny drop…that’s bad management in any ones book, surely you cannot deny that?

  13. VCC says:

    GLiC……youll be able to reside in Littlehampton then. 😉

  14. glic says:

    Yes Vic`s , I`m having my passport photo done as we speak……being Littlehampton……it is only neccesary to have a picture of your todger taken…..saves all that strip search business !. hahaha

  15. Gerry says:

    Damn it, I had a long reply set up,but I couldn’t remember a name. so while I thought about it, I decided to sign up to follow these blogs by email. Pressed the button and all was lost!

    For some reason you seemed to have dropped off Arsenal News Now list after a previous session seem to hang after posting a comment, so I cut it short. Any ideas on that?

    No time now to do a repeat, sorry

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, I think you have misunderstood me. 🙂

    Out till the evening. Catch you later. 🙂

  17. Red Arse says:

    Great Post, TA, 🙂

    I produced a list of all the Arsenal players bought and sold, but I cannot remember now whether it was for BK or AA. I did not keep a copy, so lazy arse Glic will have to produce his own!!

    Worst player AW has bought would need to include Stepanovs! 🙂

  18. Red Arse says:


    As you lot have destroyed my UMF league destiny, I am venturing my own for this week end! 🙂

    Luton Town v Millwall = Away win
    MK Dons v Barnsley = Draw
    Oldham Athletic v Everton = Draw
    Chelsea v Brentford = Home win
    Huddersfield Town v Wigan Athletic = Draw

    Let the good times roll!!

  19. VCC says:

    Red Arse….welcome back on board with the UMF 1 . Nice to have a professional amongst us. Not like most of those amateurs here…..hehehe 😉

  20. VCC says:

    RA …your odds are 148-1…good luck. You need it after that bunch have tried to look after you. 🙂

    Hope your well today Sir.

  21. VCC says:

    Sorry to hound you guys but it looks like the UMF 1 is going ahead this week. I need entries from =


    I will be surprised if we don’t get someone matching this week! So far after all these weeks from its inauguration we have not had one set of predictions the same. Keep on rocking Ugly Muvver F—— 🙂

  22. Red Arse says:

    Hi again, Vicky Victorious, 🙂

    I always feel better when I read the quick witted, scintillating, razor sharp witticisms on BK.

    Oh, no, Wait! I’m thinking of another bunch of handsome, mellifluous, sweet smelling hunks on another site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeow!

    Just kidding guys.

    Well except for any ugly, grating, malodorous weeds that may have snuck on here. Anyone we know?? 😀

  23. VCC says:

    Congratulations to Pat Rice on receiving his MBE. Top man.

  24. VCC says:

    Red Arse, I know him well. hehehe 😉

  25. Red Arse says:


    Did you think TA was sending an overt message with the title of his Post?

    — No Time For Losers — Heer Clogenwinkle is on the case!! 😀

  26. VCC says:

    Red Arse

    I suppose I was a bit hasty and unfair to total regarding “Ruthless”.

    My take is he can be ruthless when he wants, ala Lauren (well documented) But, as he said, players in the mould of Bendtner/Denilson and the like ,he treated with kid gloves. Why? only Wenger knows. He should have shipped them out soonest. Most Managers would have.

    Ebouie is a different matter for me. As I am a big softy and romantic (just ask my harem) I would have kept him. I know I am in the minority here, but he was a Gooner and a character to have around. ~Perhaps not the most gifted player but I thought he was an adequate back up player (id better get my armour plated vest out quickly).

  27. Red Arse says:

    As we are the only onesaround this p.m., VCC, I will tell you a story.

    My friend, Ron, a very poor golfer had an interesting golfing day on the Algarve, last June, and managed to overturn his golf cart

    A very attractive lady who was a well known man eater lived in a villa on the golf course heard the noise of the crash and called out, “Are you okay, what’s your name?”

    “It’s Ron the Greek, I’m a friend Of Terry Titmouse, and yes I’m OK thanks,” he replied.

    “Ron, forget your troubles, come to my villa, rest a while, and I’ll help you get the cart up later.”

    “That’s very nice of you,” he answered, ”but I don’t think my wife would like it.”

    “Oh, come on,” Elizabeth insisted. (She was very pretty and very persuasive).

    “Well okay,” Ron finally agreed, and added, “but I know my wife won’t like it.”

    After a restorative brandy, Elizabeth leaped at Ron, ripped his clothes off and before he knew it Ron had achieved his first hole in one…….

    Ron, who was now wearing a silly grin on his face thanked Elizabeth.
    “I really do feel a lot better now”, he said, “but I know my wife is going to be really upset.”

    “Don’t be silly!” Elizabeth said with a smile, “She won’t know anything about it. By the way, where is she?”

    “Under the golf cart!” said Ron ….

  28. VCC says:

    Red Arse….hahahahhahaha, are you sure his name was Ron and not Terry?

  29. glic says:

    Hahaha Redders, that what happens when you play around !. I remember writing something about golf on AA, which wasn`t too well received and I also upset someone with my take on ….”The Tour de Farce”, it was all tongue in cheek as usual, but some on there had sense of humour by-passes !. It stopped me posting my take on Bowls which might have upset…… Vain from Spain !. hahaha
    I think the most bizarre and puzzling signing has to be Park, surely that wasn`t just to sell shirts !.

  30. VCC says:

    Red Arse, I don’t know if I told you a true story about a guy I met in a bar before an Arsenal game once. You may even know him.

    His name was GLiC, and he was about to marry Jill when his Father took him to one side. “when I married your Mother, the first thing I did when we got home was take off my trousers” he said.
    I gave them to your Mother and told her to put them on. When she did, they were enormous on her and she said to me that she couldn’t possibly wear them, as they were too large.
    I told her of course theyre too bgg. I wear the trousers in this family and I always will. Ever since that day we have never had a problem.

    GLiC took his Fathers advice and as soon as he and Jill were alone after the wedding, he did the same thing.

    Told Jill the same story and she too said his trousers were too big. BUT she paused and removed her knickers and gave them to GLiC. “Try these on, she said” . So he did but they were too small. I cant possibly get into your knickers said GLiC

    Jill’s reply was “Exactly…….and if you don’t change your F—— attitude you never will”

    GLiC has been under the thumb….oooppps sorry I meant GLiC has been happily married ever since.

  31. VCC says:

    Red Arse I didn’t want to share this story on BK, but its such a sad tale I thought you would have sympathy with accused.

    Subject: Terry’s Story

    It is important for men to remember that, as women grow older,
    it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of
    housekeeping as when they were younger. When you notice this, try not
    to yell at them. Some are oversensitive, and there’s nothing worse
    than an oversensitive woman.

    My name is Terry. Let me relate how I handled the situation with

    my partner, Cara. When I took “early retirement” last year, it became
    necessary for Cara to get a full-time job, both for extra income and
    for the health benefits that we needed. Shortly after she started
    working, I noticed she was beginning to show her age. I usually get
    home from the golf course about the same time she gets home from work.

    Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to
    rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner. I don’t yell at
    her. Instead, I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she
    gets Dinner on the table. I generally have lunch in the Men’s Grill at

    the club So eating out is not reasonable. I’m ready for some home
    cooked grub when I hit that door. She used to do the dishes as soon
    as we finished eating. But now it’s not unusual for them to sit on the

    table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can by
    diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that they
    won’t clean themselves. I know she really appreciates this, as it does
    seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed.

    Another symptom of aging is complaining, I think. For example
    she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the
    monthly bills during her lunch hour. But, boys, we take ’em for better

    or worse, so I just smile and offer encouragement. I tell her to
    stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won’t have to

    rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and
    then wouldn’t hurt her any (if you know what I mean). I like to think
    tact is one of my strong points.

    When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest
    periods. She had to take a break when she was only half finished
    mowing the yard. I try not to make a scene. I’m a fair man. I tell her

    to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade
    and just sit for a while. And, as long as she is making one for
    herself, she may as well make one for me too.

    I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support
    I’m not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men
    will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible! Nobody knows
    better than I do how frustrating women get as they get older. However,

    guys, even if you just use a little more tact and less criticism of
    your aging partner because of this article, I will consider that writing
    it was well worthwhile. After all, we are put on this earth to help
    each other…..

    EDITOR’S NOTE:Terry died suddenly on May 27th.
    The police report says that he was found with a Calloway extra
    long 50-inch Big Bertha Driver II golf club rammed up his ass, with
    only 2 inches of grip showing. His partner Cara was arrested and charged

    with murder; however, the all-woman jury found her Not Guilty,
    accepting her defence that he accidentally sat down on it very

  32. Macko says:

    hello friends English, Arsene Wenger has already said several times that drive up prices of players who are not worth half this was not for us.
    Then he is reproached of chess but guys like Song buy 280,000 euros, was good with us and resold 19 million Euros.
    Not to mention guys like Adebayor, Nasry, Rvp, Arsene brought them to highest and they are all checked out after 2 years …… NO COMMENT
    To RVP is worse, all his time at Arsenal he was wounded, he did 1year and half regular and to thank us he went in Ferguson.
    All that to say that it with his insights in the players that are beyond us but definitely all the clubs, they made ​​mistakes but combiens of player Those are discovered in Gunners!!!
    Me I believe in the policy of Arséne and way of working (solidarity between French :))


    hahaha, some funny stuff on here today

    Nice post TA. To be honest ive never regarded Wenger as a softie, hes always had a ruthless streak but has always operated within the confines of his envoirement. As you say, that is loosening up now, allowing him more freedom in his choices.


    Arsenal 5-0

    Flying out to Rome for a long weekend so wont be around for a while. To unwind I intend to have some floozy run her fingers through my wig and sip on my cornetto. But will probably end up been chased down the Road by some mad Roman instead. hahaha

  34. glic says:

    Have a great time Stretch !

    Oh and that Idea of yours to run a brothel from the new loft, how about we call it……. Gash in the Attic !. hahaha

  35. VCC says:

    Have a great time Stretch.

  36. Highbury Harmony says:


    You’ve given us all fantastic perspective in another well written article. The most telling sentence of the article was that keeping under performing talents inevitably holds back the team and prevents youth (or others) from the opportunity to prove themselves. I think AW kept these players because he wasn’t afforded the money to replace them and because he simply did not believe the youth were ready in past years to take their place. He made a mistake by paying them inflated wages and unfortunately had to deal with it. He’s finally able to get rid of the “deadwood” because we are finally buying the right players and have a stable, committed core in place.

    However, in my opinion, I think the reason why Arsene hasn’t been afforded as much time to develop young players has more to do with not being able to retain his key players than the competition becoming tougher. If we had kept the talent in place in our squad over the years re: van Judas, Cesc, Nasri, Adebarndoor, Song etc., he likely would have used the transfer funds more prudently and bought more promising youth that he could slowly develop. Instead, he’s been hastily spending the money trying to replace the players he’s lost and it’s not quite working. He’s finally starting to buy proven commodities more efficiently because he’s more experienced in scouting and buying such a player. His talent had always been in scouting youth or uncovering gems who were shrouded in conflict, never in spending wisely on proven talent. Let’s also bear in mind that we’ve been significantly aided by the poor economic situation plaguing Spain; Cazorla and Nacho would likely have cost in excess of £20 million and £12 million pounds respectively, which would have likely priced them out of AW’s frugal valuations.

    What confuses me the most is AW’s inconsistent appetite for risk. I completely understand why he’s unwilling to fork out large sums of money on proven commodities, but why has he deserted his prior blueprint of acquiring troubled players with huge potential like Vieira, Henry, Bergkamp, van Judas etc. Of course, players of this generation are different with their “me-first” attitude and these sorts of purchases can backfire because of the desire to win championships and acquire financial safety, but what about undervalued gems such as Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Cabaye, Michu etc.?

    Much like you, TA, I think we’ll see a more consistent strategy from here on out since we have a better blueprint and foundation in place. We can focus more on unearthing promising prospects (I have big hopes for the latest Brazilian on trial, Indio), the youth will not have to be rushed through, the young core players are committed and quality players in their prime believe in AW’s vision and can attract more talented players to the club.

  37. VCC says:

    Terry, thanks for your predictions. Your odds are = 8-1.

    Still waiting for..


  38. VCC says:

    What a fantastic header from Ronaldo to make it 1-1

  39. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, I was hoping to save my last 6 game prediction for the PL matches the following week.

    My 5 UMF League predictions:

    Everton away win
    Arsenal win
    Manure win
    $hitty win
    Chavs win

  40. VCC says:

    Cheers Highbury Harmony, your odds are 2-1

    Thats the lowest odds since we have been running the UMF 1 .

    You know what they say. A 2-1 winner is better than a 155,556-1 loser. 😉

    Good luck and thanks.

  41. Highbury Harmony says:

    Haha VCC, I never thought I’d see odds that low! Despite those being my picks, I’d much rather see Manure, $hitty and the Chavs lose so we get an easier opponent in the next round 🙂

  42. VCC says:

    HH…..I was so surprised when I first see the odds I confirmed them with another site (bookie) They both gave odds of 2-1. You would have thought they would be higher than that.

  43. VCC says:

    What happened to Red Arse, he posted at 16:08…told me a story and hasn’t been seen since?

  44. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, the better question is what has happened to everyone? It’s been a ghost town around here lately!

  45. VCC says:

    Yes I know HH……I was talking to myself most of the day. I hope Redders is ok.

    Im retiring to bed now HH. Lots to do tomorrow. Nite nite all.

  46. glic says:

    Shows how deceiving stats can be, we are above the Spuds in both tables, so how come they are above us in the real table ?. 🙄

  47. glic says:

    I bet Vic`s missus wakes up half-way through the night and says…..” oooh Vic`s. whats that hard thing sticking in me,…`ve never been so big and hard…..oh you bastard…`ve brought that f**king zimmerframe to bed again, haven`t you !!!! ” hahaha

  48. glic says:

    Nite Zimmerhard !.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    hahahaha Glic – VCC has one multi-functional zimmerframe! 😀

  50. TotalArsenal says:


    Sorry to hear about your disappeared comment: I can fully imagine your frustration! 😦

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Really enjoyed the jokes today. Thanks VCC, RA and others 🙂

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Macko,

    How do the French think about Arsene Wenger?

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow HH, fine comment! 🙂

    You wrote:

    “What confuses me the most is AW’s inconsistent appetite for risk. I completely understand why he’s unwilling to fork out large sums of money on proven commodities, but why has he deserted his prior blueprint of acquiring troubled players with huge potential like Vieira, Henry, Bergkamp, van Judas etc. Of course, players of this generation are different with their “me-first” attitude and these sorts of purchases can backfire because of the desire to win championships and acquire financial safety, but what about undervalued gems such as Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Cabaye, Michu etc.?”

    Very good question. I have noticed a big shift in the sort of players Arsene is buying now: Arteta, Podolski, Mertesacker, Giroud, Cazorla, Ox etc are all decent, balanced professionals. Maybe the difficulties with the likes of Nasri, Adebayor, Flamini, etc have made Wenger decide to recruit more strongly on certain characteristics (next to footballing qualities). I am still convinced had M’Villa not ran into trouble with the national team, he would now be a Gunner, but Arsene seems to have shifted away from potential troublemakers…

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi PPP 🙂

    If you are reading hope things are looking up for you again! Let us know how you are doing matey….

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    U sexy MF predictions:

    Luton Town v Millwall = Draw
    Oldham Athletic v Everton = Draw
    Manchester City v Leeds United = Draw
    Huddersfield Town v Wigan Athletic = Draw
    Manchester United v Reading = Draw

    Night all 🙂

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Ooh, last one: was it not great to see van Judas missing three decent chances tonight. Especially the one when he took the ball on his chest and then softly mis-kicked the ball: priceless! 😛

  57. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA @ 22:54:

    Thank you :).

    I’m very happy with AW’s shift in mentality for acquiring players because Podolski, Giroud, Cazorla and Nacho all seem like team oriented players and understand that the team is more important than themselves. They appear to be content with playing the style of game that is demanded from Arsenal and often give their all for the greater good of the squad. All four seem to embrace everything about Arsenal and have chosen to see out the primes of their careers here.

    However, it is my hope that this new strategy does not deter AW from overlooking some truly talented players that could be found at the bargain prices he seeks. There have been some top quality players that we have missed out on because AW was not willing to roll the dice on them, or he may have simply been outbid in terms of transfer fees or the promise of first team opportunities. I guess all I was trying to say was that there are some unbelievably talented players that need maturing and I believe AW can groom them into becoming proper footballers. He can help them contain their emotions and teach them to express it in football ability and when the right time is to unleash their emotions. It’s a strategy that has been successful in the past and shouldn’t be ignored in my opinion. There’s something AW has now that he never had with squads in the past 7 years: stability within youth and veteran players.

    I’m not calling for AW to gamble on a proven head case like Balotelli either; simply that if we have the opportunity to purchase the next Ronaldo but are holding out because of reported selfishness or maturity issues, I believe we’d be kicking ourselves in the ass. Some of the game’s most talented players were/are interesting and colourful characters, but as long as they show a commitment to always improve and an unbridled passion to win, then I see no reason to hold back on buying them. Not sure if I made much sense in this comment, but basically I think there always has to be some flexibility in any strategy and I’ve just seen AW be too rigid in a lot of the club’s dealings (squad, tactics, transfers etc.)

    On a side note, I still question M’Vila’s ability and progression since it’s stalled considerably since he joined the French National team and I agree with AW that his off-field issues are better kept elsewhere.

  58. VCC says:

    Morning HH. I agree with you regards MVila. What I have seen I don’t think he is any better than what we already have.

    GLiC…22:31 🙂

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Vickers and other fine fellow Gooners! 🙂

  60. VCC says:

    Morning Total…thanks for your entry. Your odds are 3403-1

    Still waiting for…..PPP/Herb/Oz/Rocky 🙂

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Vickers, great odds hahaha 🙂

    Will email them if not heard anything by midday tomorrow.

  62. VCC says:

    Really pleased to see Pat Rice get the MBE yesterday. True Gooner that Man.

  63. VCC says:

    Thank you. how is PPP ?

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HH, all agreed in principle.

    I don’t think Arsene wants/has the time anymore to develop rough character diamonds, plus I really think he has had a few bad experiences with the likes of Bendtner, Adebayor, Nasri etc recently which has changed his mind.

    Agreed on the new stability, but would not call it youth + in their prime players (rather than Veterans).

    Fingers crossed we get Capoue instead of M’Villa this summer! 🙂

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    No news from PPP 😕

    Really good for Pat Rice – I reckon the club is missing him a lot.

  66. Gerry says:

    Morning all, One of the things I had lined up for this debate was about the 3 ‘panic buys’. Now a bit out of context with the rest of my ramblings, but it went like this;

    Of the 3 players we bought in the closing hours of that window(2011), which were; Arteta, Park and Santos, only Arteta turned out okay. No coincidence, imo, that he would have been the only one they knew plenty about beforehand? I doubt very much if the other two had ‘full scouting reports’. More likely it was a case of a couple of days looking through the lists circulated of available players, checking out local opinion(press probably) and looking through videos? As opposed to repeated scout visits seeing them in action.

    Remember,both had good international credentials. Park’s progress seemed to stall in the training ground, where, by all accounts, he simply could not trap a ball. Yet in his one appearance he did okay. My bet is that he will come good somewhere, but perhaps only on match days?

  67. Gerry says:

    TA – Nothing in my email tray as yet, not even the spam box?

  68. VCC says:

    I have to agree about Santos. The panic button must have been pushed. Wenger or any scout worth their weight could not have recommended him if they had seen him in the flesh. Nice guy he may be, but definitely not premiership material.

  69. Red Arse says:

    Morning fellow fellows on BK (no female feminine fellows yet?) 😀

  70. VCC says:

    Morning Red Arse.

    We may not have any females on here, but we’ve got one tart, and you know who that is 😉

  71. VCC says:

    Redders….where did you get to yesterday? After your story I told you a couple and you went on the missing list………..

  72. Red Arse says:


    I have a slightly different take on Santos.
    Well, first off, you are right that he is not a full back, not as we know it anyway!

    But if you saw him on a video going thru’ his paces;
    — you would definitely think; — he has terrific individual skill, because he has,
    — you would think he is very good at crossing the ball, because he is, and,
    — you would think his dribbling and going past other players is excellent, because it is.

    So why the problem?

    What would not be clear from any such video, is that he is missing a key ingredient!

    He has absolutely no idea – zilch, nada – of the strategic and positional play required by a full back in the premier League. Maybe in some South American, easy going country, where physical fitness and conditioning is not expected or required, that might be acceptable — but I cannot think of any!!

    So a classy, skillful, technically sound player —- with sod all idea of defence work! 😀

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Gerry 🙂

    I hope you are totally wrong about the panic buy scenario. Every organisation should have a proper succession planning system in place, and for a football club it is absolutely vital. Buying a couple of multi-million pound players on the basis of local press releases and some videos would be totally unacceptable. 😈

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning RA 🙂

    Fully agreed with your last sentence and you could add to that the fantastic ability to store additional calories with little or no notice 😛

  75. VCC says:


    As usual I’m in agreement with you about his qualities. You also left off his ability to shoot, also his willingness to do such, whenever he has the opportunity, which is a factor Arsenal players have lacked in the recent past.

    But I stand by my comment. If a scout who was employed as such, was to have seen him in the flesh, should have noticed his lack of defensive qualities, surely. I’m sure if I were such a scout I would have picked this up.

  76. Red Arse says:

    VCC, my dear old sausage, 😀

    I sometimes run out of steam and need to take a break, although yesterday I had a couple of unexpected visitors in the afternoon, so I am sorry for bailing out.

    I read your jokes this morning and chuckled, although I had put them up on AA myself last year, it is always good to re-read comedy items, as it is good for the soul — thank you!! 🙂

    My problem is that I have a lot of friends, including you lot, whom I do not get around to seeing or responding to as much as I would like. Hopefully that will improve in the future!

    By the way, we agree on who the tart is, but who is the ‘jam tart’ do you think?! 😀

  77. glic says:

    Morning Gashesquers 😆

    I`ve got Welderman here, no pussesquers, not a new German DM beast, the guy to weld my steel frame !.
    Because the equipment takes a lot of power, I`m not using any other electricity, this is being posted via my wife`s laptop. So catch you later Muvverz !.

  78. Red Arse says:


    Yes, again you are right. I was referring to Gerry (?) I think, who said it may have been a ‘panic’ purchase made after seeing videos.

  79. Red Arse says:

    Morning TA, 🙂

    All well with the family, and your rapidly growing puppy, I hope!

  80. VCC says:

    Red Arse.

    There was a story in our local paper last week you might find funny. Also tragic.

    A train hit a bus load of Catholic school girls and they all perished. They all went to heaven, trying to enter the pearly gates past St. Peter.St . Peter asked the first girl, “Jessica, have you ever had any contact with a penis?”

    She giggled and shyly replied, “Well I once touched the head of one with the tip of my finger.”

    St. Peter said, “OK, dip the tip of your finger in The Holy Water and pass through the gate.

    “St. Peter asked the next girl the same question, “Jennifer have you ever had any contact with a penis?”

    The girl was a little reluctant but replied, “Well once I fondled and stroked one.”

    St. Peter said, “OK, dip your whole hand in The Holy Water and pass through the gate.”

    All of a sudden there was a lot of commotion in the line of girls, one girl was pushing her way to the front of the line. When she reached the front of the line St. Peter said, “Lisa! What seems to be the rush?”

    The girl replied, “If I’m going to have to gargle that Holy Water, I want to do it before Tiffany sticks her ass in it.”

    A tragic loss.

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    You’re dreadful Vickers! 😀

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    All is well, Redders, thanks for asking! Henry is growing like cabbage, as the saying goes in Holland. A lovely, yet feisty boy, not scared of any other dogs and a real joy to have around.

    What about your dog?

  83. VCC says:

    Red Arse……….this is a tale about my local farmer Trevor.

    Trevor’s hens

    Trevor the farmer was in the fertilised egg business. He had several hundred young layers (hens), called ‘pullets’ and eight or ten roosters, whose job was to fertilise the eggs. The farmer kept records and any rooster that didn’t perform went into the soup pot and was replaced.

    That took an awful lot of his time so he bought a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone so Trevor could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing. Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report simply by listening to the bells.

    The farmer’s favourite rooster was old Cameron, and a very fine specimen he was too. But on this particular morning Trevor noticed old Cameron’s bell hadn’t rung at all! Trevor went to investigate. The other roosters were chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing. The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover. But to farmer Trevor’s amazement, Cameron had his bell in his beak, so it couldn’t ring. He’d sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

    Trevor was so proud of Cameron, he entered him in the West Berks County Fair and Cameron became an overnight sensation among the judges.

    The result ……

    The judges not only awarded Cameron the No Bell Piece Prize but they also awarded him the Pulletsurprise as well.

    Clearly Cameron was a politician in the making: Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the populace and screwing them when they weren’t paying attention.

    Do you know a Politician called Cameron?

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