Santi, Jack, Ox, Jovetic, Benzema, Isco: who should play ‘in the hole’?


Most of us believe that Arsenal need to get a beast of a DM in the summer, in order to strengthen the ‘double-pivot’ in our midfield. For this article, I am going to assume that Arsene will strengthen our midfield over the summer with a midfielder who can either replace, or play next to, Arteta in the ‘2’ of our 4-2-1-3 formation. It does not look like Arsene believes that either Coquelin or Frimpong are ready for this pivotal role on a full-time basis, although this could still change over the coming summer.

I am also assuming that Arsene will not change next season to either 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1 or 4-1-2-3 as our Plan-A formation and playing philosophy, but that we will continue with 4-2-1-3. Therefore this post is all about the ‘1’; our most advanced/attacking midfielder in that particular formation.

This is a fascinating position, and having the right man in it will make all the difference. In order to decide who should ideally play ‘in the hole’, we need to establish what such a player needs to be capable of in order to get the best out this crucial position.

The most important task for the ‘1’ is to initiate attacking moves; to direct our play going forward. One of the two double-pivot midfielders can help with this, but the main driver of all our attacks is our most advanced midfielder. Success should be measured by the number of attacking moves initiated from this position, and key in all of this is, that the advanced midfielder combines a great overview, with quick decision making and accurate execution of passes, forward runs, and deadly through-balls. This player needs vision, close ball control, passing, speed, drive, stamina, and can get past a man, or two, if needed.

An attacking midfielder in a 4-2-1-3 does not necessarily need to score a lot goals, or even produce a large number of assists; but what he does need to do, is start attacks and get the best out of the other attackers (and FB’s).

A good ‘man in the hole’ gives our team shape and purpose by conducting our play, and will produce a great number of indirect, or penultimate, assists.

The advanced midfielder in our formation has three attackers in front of him and should get extra support from the box-to-box midfielder. Although, I believe that scoring goals is not the most important task for this position, it would be great if the advanced midfielder can offer this as well.

In the great many discussions we have had with regards to this position, I often detect a strong believe by fellow Gooners that we need a lot of goals from this position, in order to be successful as a team. If we were to play 4-4-1-1, I would fully agree that we need a great number of goals from the ‘1’ behind the centre-forward, but in a 4-2-1-3 this is less important in my view; in the main, our goals should come from the three attackers up-front.

This, for me, is an essential point; and unless we can find/develop a player who can combine the conducting/initiating part of this role with scoring a lot of goals, the main focus should be on the former. We had the perfect player for this role in Cesc, and it comes as no surprise to me that we have struggled to replace him properly ever since he left; although things are looking better now.

It is looking better because Jack finally recovered from his long injury lay-off and Arsene bought Cazorla. On top of that, Rosicky has been available since December last year. If we could put both Jack and Cazorla into one person we would get Cesc-2. Cazorla is a great attacker and, for me, would be ideal in a Bergkampesque 4-4-1-1.

The diminutive Spaniard can play everywhere and be effective, but I reckon he is most effective close behind the central striker, just outside the box. Using Santi in the hole, we could come close to the style of play of Bergkamp in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

However, I reckon that Santi’s tendency to play close to the box often keeps him from giving shape and purpose to the team, and as such leaves a big gap (behind him) in the team.

Jack, on the other hand is most effective in the wider midfield area, where he can find space and exploit it.

Jack has the vision, and natural/technical ability to give shape to our play and lead our attacking moves. When Wilshere gets the ball, the whole team starts to get into shape and action, because they know something promising will be created by him at any moment.

And I reckon, Rosicky is pretty similar to Jack in terms of type of midfielder.

If we were to get our beast of a DM, I believe we should move Jack in’ the hole’ permanently and play Santi on one of the wings, with a licence to move centrally if and when he wants; in fact, I would just give him a free role similar to Messi at Barca. It would be key, though, to have a proper winger who tends to stay wide on the other wing, and for the full-back on Santi’s side to link up really well with him.

I would prefer it if we can keep Rosicky as back up for Jack, but only if he is able to stay fit, which as we all know, is a big IF. It also looks like he might make a move back to Germany this summer, and I could live with that too, albeit reluctantly as we need experience in our team.

Ox might develop into a good replacement for Jack, but I reckon, like Cazorla, he would also play at his best behind the central striker in a 4-4-1-1 formation. And the same goes for Podolski, in my opinion.

So it is Jack for me from the current crop of players, but what about those players we have been linked with on more than one occasion: Jovetic, Isco and Benzema?

Of all those players, taking into account the question of this post and my assumption that Arsenal will continue with 4-2-1-3, I am most excited by Jovetic playing ‘in the hole’. He seems a very good mix between attacking midfield play and being a shadow striker. I can see him play at Arsenal in that pivotal position with Jack behind him as the box-to-box midfielder and a beast of a DM next to Jack.

Jack and Jovetic could take turns in ‘the hole’ role, or both fitted into the team as mentioned above.

Isco, from what I have seen (not much) and heard (quite a bit, thanks to HH and others), seems to fit best in ‘the hole position’ of a 4-4-1-1 formation, or on the wing in our current formation. And Benzema looks like a proper CF to me, who could also probably play behind the main striker in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

So Jack or Jovetic ‘in the hole’ for me next season, but do you agree? And if not, who do you believe should play as our most advanced midfielder next season?

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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221 Responses to Santi, Jack, Ox, Jovetic, Benzema, Isco: who should play ‘in the hole’?

  1. Cuffy says:

    I believe that jack should be in the 2 next to the ‘Beast’ we have been crying out for since Silva’s departure, with caz in the hole and one of the 2 forwards named as the central striker.
    I agree with your observations re there being a gap between caz and the 2 as he has no real desire to defend but I feel at the moment we have no real anchor in the midfield (although Arteta does try) and that once we have a real DMC in there we will be able to afford both jack and caz a little more freedom to roam.

    Which beast would you like to see join us? I have ben keen on Tiote for a long time, but at present I do like both Witsel and Wanyama, they would add some much needed height in the midfield. Luis Gustavo could also do a good job and I wouldn’t be adverse to Song returning

  2. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, 🙂

    Loved the Post and it certainly highlights some fascinating dilemmas as to who we should try and get, and then where the hell do we play them.

    It just goes to show that we do not need many new faces, unless we ship out 2 or more of Theo, Gerv, Podolski or Giro, up front, or Arteta, Le Coq, Rambo, Rosicky, Frimpong from the midfield, and that is without looking at the defense with perhaps, Verm or Sagna getting the boot or choosing to leave.

    Interesting summer ahead.

    Oh, and as you asked, 🙂 it will be Jackie Boy in the hole behind the forwards for me.

  3. Gerry says:

    Getting ahead of yourself regards signings TA?

    I like the musing of your post though, and it will produce some interesting responses?

    Where I am a bit confused is the sentence that says the ‘1’ should prompt the attacks? Perhaps the key pass, or one-two with the striker, but a lot happens before you get to that point? In the counter attack, it is a player like Rosicky who can bring the ball quickly from our half to the final third? Jack, I think, excels when he is deeper and can drop a shoulder a cut 2 players out of the game in an instant? This mythical ‘hole’ you speak of is surely where space is to be found, which could be anywhere between their back line and midfield, and filled by whoever sees it, Caz, the Ox, Rosi, Ramsey, or Jack himself? This is the fluid play that Wenger likes and why it is only a notional idea as to where they line up?

    But I’ll bow to others on that. For me, for this season, it would be the Ox(if only for 60 minutes?) in that 4-2-1-3, the central ‘1’, but working the areas around Giro?

  4. Red Arse says:

    I realised that I did not mention, above, the guys who are out on loan, who could be either welcome additions to the first team, or get blocked and have to leave.
    People like Miyachi, Afobe, Anneke and the lads on loan in Spain spring to mind.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Cuffy, yes the beast of a DM would give Jack more freedom and it could work out well with Jack next to him and Cazorla up-front. But personally, I prefer Cazorla on the wing in a ‘free role’, Jack in the hole and both the new DM and Arteta/Diaby/Ramsey/Coquelin behind him.

    I like all the potential DM you mentioned but my preference now goes to Wanyama, as his name means animal and that is the biggest clue why he would be our beast hahaha 🙂


    Hi TA

    Very interesting post. I would plump for Wilshere but at present the dilema is that he dosnt score enough goals. A future alternative of course is the Ox. He can go left or right and has a thunderous shot

    In future i would like to see both Jack and Alex playing behind the forward, but how can this be accomodated system wise?

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders,

    You had a great response to your post yesterday and once again thanks for writing it. 🙂

    Yes, you are right re the need to shift a few players to make space and I also believe we don’t need more than two, max three new faces this summer to make a step forward again.

  8. marcus says:

    Fantastic article once again. First of all let me rule out Isco and Benzema. I have never said this out loud for fear of backlash but Benzema at his best is the player that most resembles Thierry Henry attribute for attribute. Let me also rule out Isco because I believe that if we bring him in, he will play on the wing for 2 reasons: Firstly, this looks to be his most natural position because even at Malaga he spends most of his games out on the wings depite being their ‘hole’ player. His pace, skill and vision are a bit similar to Hazard’s. Secondly We have too many players who are naturally creative central mids to bring in any more (santi, Jack, Rosicky, Ramsey and according to Wenger, the Ox). Also I’m going to go ahead and rule out Jovetic because unless we revert to the 4-4-2 formation of the Henry, Bergkamp era Jovetic will end up as a forward. In fact his career trajectory is identical to RVP’s. He started out on the wing, then was moved to a second striker role. However he is quickly mastering the art of lethal movement that has made RVP and due to this Fiorentina are slowly making him their target man and if we sign him, i see Wenger not only continuing this but speeding it up..

  9. Red Arse says:

    Gerry, no expert, me, but if you listen to any ex-professional player, they refer to, or define ‘playing in the hole’ as the area between the designated forward(s) and the midfield, so it is hardly ‘mythical’, and no satyrs or minotaurs need apply! 🙂

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Terry,

    It can be done by playing a Barca like 4-1-2-3, and I would love that too, especially if we are indeed getting a beast of a DM who can boss the area in front of the defence.

  11. Gerry says:

    Cuffy, a name not seen by me before, so ‘Hello’.

    This season, the temporary beast has to be Sagna.

    As to who most people would like to see, Capoue and Wanyama are topping the polls. You will have to go back over previous posts to know of whom I speak if I say ‘TG’, is the one that is most likely? No doubt somebody will decode that for you, but my lips are sealed.ha ha

    I agree on Jack’s position too.

  12. Red Arse says:

    I like your thinking, marcus.

    The thing is you rule out Jovetic, Benzema and Isco (Glic will get you for that) 🙂 so who would you bring in?

    For me, new faces could be;

    IN: Bergovic, [new CB], Wanyama, Jovetic and Lopez.

    Gulp — that’s a greedy 5.

    OUT: Flappy, Verm, (Arteta + Le Coq + Frimpong), Podolski and Gervinho.

  13. Gerry says:

    Thanks Redders for narrowing that down … fits the Ox to a tee?

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Gerry, RA just answered your question! 🙂

    Indeed nothing mythical about it, but a key position nevertheless. Very few can drive and conduct play like Wilshere can, and playing him deep next to Arteta simply holds him back, and with that the team. Ox is definitely not that player; at least for now imo.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Marcus,

    You know more about Jovetic than I do, but from what I have seen he is more of an allround attacking midfielder than a striker. Why don’t you think he could play in the hole?

  16. Red Arse says:


    Thanks for your comment @ 14:12. 🙂

  17. Red Arse says:

    Gerry, you tease, why don’t you just go ahead and tell Cuffy that ‘TG’ is our old friend, tadpole George! 🙂


    Ones thing for sure, going forward if Arsenal can get the best out of Jack and Ox, then we should have a formidable side

    The thought of a brilliant striker like TH14 with those two behind him is getting me all excited. This summer the Club should realy go all out to find a top striker with the required movement and skill.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry, Marcus has just told us that Benzema is very close to TH14, so there is your answer! 🙂

    Marcus, do you reckon Benzema has the mobility, stamina and speed of Thierry in his best days?

  20. Gerry says:

    Why so many outs RA?

    Fab will only go in a senior keeper comes in? Mannone will if he gets an half decent offer. TV5? Nah! Arteta? Nah! Le Coq possibly/probably, unless he gets plenty of playing time in these last 9 games? Pod? Nah! Gerv? Nah, unless someone make a stupidly good offer.

    As for the incomings … I get the feeling the more they are talked up in press the higher the price, more likely an auction, the more likely AW is likely to walk away … Unless, as Marcus has suggested, they get a pre-agreement sorted pretty quickly. Alternatively the move for suitable alternatives?

    I repeat, be prepared for disappointments? Bergovic for one??


    I dont agree with that TA. Benzema is a very good player but you cant compare him to Henry. Thiery moved with the grace of a cheeta whilst Benzemas movement is more akin to Lurch,

    i know ime dreaming, but i would love Cavani. The guys movement around the pitch is what i particulaly like. Falco is the other obvious one but his movement is Box centric.

    What the hell, anyone of those three would be great.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, allow yourself to be excited this summer; is my motto for you! hahaha 😛

  23. Gerry says:

    Redders – Who’s doing the teasing now?

    I wonder who he will find if he google’s ‘Tadpole George’?? ha ha

  24. Red Arse says:

    You are right, Gerry, it’s all idle speculation and conjecture, but without that ditzy element every football blogsite in the world might as well close down.

    You any relation to the Grinch? 🙂

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    A Cheetah indeed, Terry, ooh how we miss him still!

  26. marcus says:

    Now pertaining to the hole position, in my opinion that is rather obvious. I think Cazorla/Rosicky are the most suited candidates. A player in the hole must have 2 key attributes: Ability to make defense splitting passes and ability to score. A hole player plays on the back of the main striker therefore you must note that he does not necessarily need to cover a lot of distance. In fact they make short bursts and are in the box. This suits Cazorla’s play the most. He is skilled, quick, has terrific ball control and vision. However if you’ve noticed Santi does not carry the ball for long, rather he influences play by quick passing, quick dribbles, long passes and shooting. ALL of Santi’s best games have been in the hole. Playing him further back considerably curbs his influence because like I have said he is not good at carrying the ball for long distances. When he collects the ball in our half he most likely passes it in whatever direction he will find an open player. When he tries to run it he more often than not loses possession.
    On the contrary, Jack is best suited to a more free role (box to box if you will). He is that player who will receive the ball in our own half surge forward drawing opponents to him thus allowing our forwards to find space and then making that penultimate pass that leads to assists. He has a low goal and assist record because he is a player who plays where the ball is. He is the kind to fight for possession and hound our opponents when we are chasing the ball. I am not saying that he can’t play in the hole but when he is there, he usually has quieter games because hole players usually have to wait for possession rather than fight for it which is very unnatural for Jack.
    So if you carefully analyze my argument you find that these two players complement each other. Jack is the midfielder who dictates play and to do that he plays a bit deeper than the hole midfielder. Santi on the other hand is the midfielder who will create assists or go for goal himself. Even the statistics support this argument.

  27. Gerry says:

    TA – I shall be happy with TG, DCS, ORM, and may be a touch of ONB … Okay, I’ve just made up the last 3, but they may be a better fit than other ‘popular’ names mentioned?

  28. Red Arse says:

    A serious answer to your question about ‘why so many outs?’ is that there should be one ‘OUT’ for every ‘IN’ plus a couple of special offers – ‘buy one, get three’. [Arteta + Coq and Pong]

    There is no point buying better players, to replace the ones you already have, if you then keep the buggers who are going to be replaced — innit?
    One in- One out, altho the ‘ins and outs – shake them all about’ you can mix and match the names as it suits you! And it definitely suits you, sir! 🙂

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Might is a big word Gerry! 🙂

  30. allezkev says:

    Yes, Gerry, i saw some brief highlights on You Tube, of the youngsters win in Milan…

    They were up against it, on a waterlogged pitch, but they showed a great unity of purpose and that manifested itself in the players’ celebrations at the end.

    Those are the kind of results that build team spirit and help to drive you to success.

    Wouldn’t suprise me now, if they didn’t go and win the bloody thing…

  31. Gerry says:

    ‘Xactly what I said Marcus.


  32. marcus says:

    I’m not saying that Jovetic can’t. He could play in the hole very well. However he is destined to be a forward like RVP. Also note that because Fiorentina are playing him as a target man, he has acquired that appetite for scoring and moving him back could do more harm than good. He has developed that selfishness in and around the box where if he is range, he goes for goal and often finds it. Even his team mates tend to look for him when they get to that range.
    And re Benzema, he may not be as quick but he is quick, has the skill and finishing to be a world class striker. In fact in my opinion he already is. He is just currently lacking in confidence.

  33. Gerry says:

    TA – Don’t get all upset on me. I did say it was a good blog, and look at the responses?

  34. marcus says:

    Red Arse,
    When I said rule them out, I meant from playing in the hole. Not from being brought in. In fact those are the players on my wishlist.. 🙂

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Marcus, sorry don’t agree.

    In 4-4-1-1, as per my post, Cazorla is ideal behind the striker but not in our current formation, especially without a beast of a DM who would allow Jack to move into the hole more. In 4-2-1-3 the ‘1’ is a midfielder who needs to help out and get back a lot, otherwise the midfield is simply too thin.

    Cazorla does not give structure to the team enough when he plays in the hole, whereas when he plays from the wing in a free role he is most effective. Jack in the hole all day long for me.

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, I am not upset at all but just responding to the sentiment of your comments. You must know by now that I like doing that? 🙂

  37. marcus says:

    Terry Mancini Hair Transplant,
    First of all i didn’t say he could be as good as Henry, I said his play resembles Henry’s. That said, I think you are very wrong re his movement but I think I know where you’re coming from. Benzema has fantastic movement. But he plays in a team that has RONALDO who is obviously their talisman. He therefore is trained to get into positions where he can assist Ronaldo better rather than score himself. Let me show you 2 videos of Benzema, one in Lyon and one at Real and you will see my point.


    What about Aaron Ramsey? The one thing hes got ove both jack and Ox is the ability to ghost into the box like a wark or lampard. I reckon if the guy could improve his finnishing he could score a bagful of goals.

    When Fat Frank was at his prime his alround game wernt all that. Hes not the most skilled player is he, but he won a couple of leagues at Chelsea playing in the hole, were his main asset was scoring goals.


    All right marcus. No need to prove your point, i know Benzema is a good player, he just dosnt remind of Henry, that all.

    But i still say he looks like Lurch. hahaha

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Marcus, I will have a good look at Jovetic tonight. To me he is a footballer/midfielder rather than a striker, and his goal scoring record seems to show this, although it is improving now.

  41. Gerry says:

    Redders – even the new guys will need back ups? Otherwise you end up with a fragile squad?Again!

    Talking of the squad, have a count on who will be making way before you get on to Pod, TV5, and Arteta. The 25 for the Euro comps;

    GK -2?
    LB/RB – 4
    CB – 4
    MF – 6
    ST -4

    That is only 18, so 6 more newcomers, plus another GK = 25

    I’ll let you work out who fits where?

  42. marcus says:

    I’m sorry i forgot to mention that a beast DM would compliment my structure. And I think you have it a bit backwards. Its the box to box midfielder who comes back to help out defend not the hole player..

  43. TotalArsenal says:


    Ramsey had his chance in the hole last season, and it could still happen. He does not score enough goals but I also reckon his ‘risky’ passing i.e. through-balls are not of the required standards. A handy player to have in the squad though.

  44. Red Arse says:


    You said, “Might is a big word Gerry!” No, this is a big word!! 😀

    — ‘hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia’, which is defined as a fear of big words! 🙄

  45. marcus says:

    I know he has suffered a loss of form but even the spanish players know that at his best he is terrifying.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Nah Marcus not in a 4-2-1-3, unless you prefer us to play 4-2-4! 😛

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Redders! 🙂

  48. marcus says:

    Don’t forget that despite his success, he is still a developing player. When Wenger told RVP he’d play him as an out and out striker, RVP did not even believe in himself.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Marcus, you could have a good point there. And you have written a post about him, so you have that on me! 🙂

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Out for a bit, catch you guys later.

  51. Gerry says:

    Allezkev – if that Youtube is available then surely the latest one will not be far behind?

    I watched that Inter game live, and like the more recent Under 21 game at Man U it had a low down main camera. At least the Arsenal one had their camera up un the gantry, which made for a much better viewing angle?

    But I agree with your comments


    Theres some very tetchy people on here these days. Its not personal for fucks sake. I dont care if someone dont agree with my view or get upset

  53. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA :),

    Another top quality article on a fantastic site! This has been a discussion that we’ve been having in the comments section for some time, so it’s a pleasure to have a direct “forum” to express our thoughts. Great analysis by the way too.

    I read through a lot of the comments and I’d have to side with Marcus in voicing my preference for Santi playing in the hole over Jack. Jack seems to excel when given more time and space to run at the opposition, opposed to receiving the ball up high and making quick decisions. Often when Jack has played in the hole, he has given our team great shape to our attack because he has played slightly deeper or has received the ball on the wing position (re: Swansea in the FA Cup). Though often, he has been only average in the hole position because it seemed he was asked to play closer to the striker and left in isolation, forcing himself to track back in order to get proper touches on the ball (lack of a transition game and Ramsey/Arteta being too slow at moving the ball up field).

    Santi, on the other hand, doesn’t need much time to map out where the opposition or his teammates are and can turn and make defense splitting passes in a heartbeat. He doesn’t like to carry the ball and understands that he does not have the pace to do so. However, due to his incredible ball control, he is very efficient at beating defenders in tight spaces and is comfortable receiving the ball near the edge of the opponent’s box. Also, he has a more natural goal/assist instincts than Jack and is a more deadly and accurate shooter. Thus, he’s the ideal “hole” player.

    With that said, my vote goes to Gotze 🙂 🙂 :). After watching him ply his trade at Dortmund so successfully over the years, he’s basically a younger, faster, more skilled and more efficient Cazorla. He’s the ideal player that can adapt to any system and can receive the ball anywhere on the pitch and make an impact. However, he’s at his best in the “hole” position and can create something out of nothing and can do it all – shoot with precision from either foot, cross the ball, flick volley right to a teammate, make a defense splitting pass, volley a goal himself, send an over the top ball a la Cesc, dribble around an opponent with flair and ease etc.

  54. Gerry says:

    I’m off to feed the dogs too …

  55. crispen says:

    Isco is the only true hole player there. with Carzola behind him. Best combo would be Isco in the hole and Carzola out wide.
    Watch Isco play and you realize quickly that the only two playmakers better than him are both employed by Barca.

  56. Gerry says:

    Terry, You only sad that now TA has left ha ha

  57. allezkev says:

  58. marcus says:

    Ok, suppose you switch them. This would mean that Santi is one of the 2 ahead of the defense? The one to help out defensively? I just don’t see it. There’d be a disconnect in that midfield. Also, Cazorla is currently the league’s highest scoring central mid and the only one to have scored a hat trick. Playing him any further back would definitely put shackles on him.
    Also you know how when we lose possession Jack’s instincts are to chase the ball down? If he plays in the hole, wouldn’t that mean we are woefully understaffed in case of a quick counter?

  59. AFC says:

    Ta, very good post on an issue puzzling us all.

    Personally I do not like Wilshere playing in the hole as I feel his final ball is not good enough yet and also his shooting and finishing is not the best. When playing as a DM this allows Jack to conduct play from deep and drive up the pitch. To me jack seems like more of a box to box midfeilder and not a natural CAM.

    I think Santi performs better on the wing. Does Santi not play on the wing for Spain?

    Jovetic seems a good option to play in the hole but I would prefer to have more of a midfielder in this role. In this role you can have a CF i.e. Rooney or an attacking mid i.e. Fabregas. With us playing poachers on the wings already, there is not need for a CF which is why I would rather have someone like Isco or Fabregas.

    I would like us to play a tight 4-2-3-1 with Jack at LAM/RAM, Santi at LAM/RAM with a new creative midfielder behind Giroud/Podolski/Walcott where Santi, Wilshere and the new CAM would have the freedom to interchange positions.

  60. Highbury Harmony says:

    If you believe the rumours circulating right now, AW and his scouts have been watching Jovetic play every week now and Jovetic himself has been made aware of Arsenal’s interest. He said, ” I’ve heard about Arsenal’s interest. It’s a big pleasure for me to be on the radar of such a big club. I am happy about that. I’ve always had an affinity for Arsenal. It’s a major club with a big tradition, one of the biggest in Europe.”

    Please, please sign him up Mr.Wenger! He is my choice to be our starting CF next season!

    Also, re: Podolski, there’s a possibility he could be sold this summer. I think the main proponents that would push his exit are because of playing time and being played out of position. However, Poldi seemed to have a big affinity for this club, so I’d be sad to see him go. He stated, “I have not spoken with any club about my future. But I can say that the interest of clubs like Juventus is an honour for me.”

  61. Red Arse says:

    Gerry, my darlin’ 🙂

    You obviously have not been hanging on to my every word, boring though they undoubtedly are! You see, I carefully and rather sneakily couched my comments with the proviso that some room has to be made for the up and coming thrusters from the youth.reserve teams.

    GK = Out – Flappy (he is going anyway). In = Bergovich [Chezzer, Mannone, Iliev, Martinez] — enough already!!

    RB = Out – Sagna (he wants to go, allegedly). In = The Corp Jenks, Bellerin, Toral + Yada yada.

    CB = Out – Verm. In = Newbie + Miguel.

    DMF = Out – Arteta + [Pingpong and Le Coq]. In = Wanyama + Chuks Anneke,

    ST (what’s that? a striking tart?) = Out – Pod + Gerv. In = By Jove_tic + Lopez + Gnabry + Afobe.

    So we are swamped by multi back-ups, and anyway, technically, the squad Home Grown Rules contingent applies to anyone over 21 y.o. and is always changing.

    There you are Gerry me lad, plenty of plenty! 😀

  62. Red Arse says:

    Merry Terry,

    Don’t you go getting upset with me getting upset with you getting upset wiv me!! 🙂

  63. marcus says:

    Please allow me to correct you. Its not his final ball that ‘is not good enough’ because Jack will find his man 9/10 times, rather its his decision making in and around the box. He will often opt to continue running into the box and releases the ball at the last possible second rather than use movement of his strikers as the marker of when to make the pass. Let me clarify though that this is only when there isn’t an obvious runner. This happens when he has to use his instincts as a play maker to spot small pockets of space..


    marcus, so its Transplant now is it? what happened to the Terry all of a sudden? hahaha. Ime only joking mate, i respect your views.

    Redders, if you was upset with me, for been upset with you, for been upset with TA, for been upset with Gerry, then whos upset with HH? hahaha

  65. marcus says:

    Maybe this video can elaborate my point better.

  66. JM says:

    (1) All our 3 midfielders would require to press and win back the ball from the opposition either in defensive or offensive 3rd areas. Arsenal’s game plan = quick transition from defenseattack and the players in the engine room are the most vital to our play.

    (2) The advanced midfielder role can be either of a playmaker/trequartista or deep lying forward/shadow striker.
    Basic requirements: good to excellent close control, passing, shooting, dribbling, off-the-ball intelligence (anticipating the movement and passes in midfield to create goal scoring opportunities and situations up front).
    Secondary requirements: ability to win back possession/press opposition in their defensive half, understanding of the winger role (so they can find the runs of wingers with the right passes/crosses and also be able to switch with wingers as when required), finishing technique and composure. Preferably ambidextrous as well.

    Think along the lines of: Andres Iniesta (possibly the best example of playmaker “in the hole” in the world right now), Mario Goetze, Mesut Oezil, Marek Hamsik, Toni Kroos, Wesley Sneijder, Keisuke Honda etc.

    As previously greats: Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho, Michael Laudrup, Pavel Nedved etc

    Along the lines of closing to the deep-lying forward/shadow striker types:
    Wayne Rooney, Stevan Jovetic, Andre Schurrle, Ezequiel Lavezzi etc

    As previously greats: Dennis Bergkamp, Roberto Baggio, Francesco Totti, Raul Gonzalez etc.

    Wilshere is currently close to being in the “Xavi”, “Schweinsteiger” role, dictating from deep midfield and bringing the ball out from defence to attack. He needs more refinement in his decisions making (esp in the attacking 3rd) and also be practice more with using his right foot to add on to his “arsenal” of weaponry. So Arteta should be the ideal trainer for Wilshere to become a more complete midfield general in the future.

    Cazorla is currently better in playing in the hole, with his more experience playing at a senior level, being ambidextrous and packing a good shot. However, if we sign a better quality playmaker/deep-lying forward for next season, he could also play a similar role to Ribery(Munich), Reus(Dortmund) on the wings as an additional attacking midfielder/winger. And Ox should be the ideal player to be understudying/learning Cazorla to become the future candidate for the “hole” playmaker/attacking winger role.

  67. marcus says:

    Loooooool, you prefer Terry? I thought transplant is funnier. hahaha

  68. AFC says:

    Marcus, by final ball I meant his abilty to pick the best option in the box like Cesc had.

  69. marcus says:

    Here is my transfer schedule..

    OUT= Squillaci, Bendtner, Chamakh, Denilson, Arshavin, Djourou, Fabianski, Ramsey (season long loan) and sadly for me Diaby.

    IN= Begovic/Mignolet, Isco/Gotze, Wanyama/Capoue, Amorebieta/Hummels/top class CB, Jovetic and/or Benzema, Alexis Sanchez.

    So ideally, 9 departures and 7 arrivals. Also I promote Coquelin to the team and give Rosicky the more game time he deserves. In fact increase squad rotation immensely.


    Transplant it is then marcus. hahaha

  71. marcus says:

    Oh, apologies. I thought you meant that his final pass isn’t good enough..

  72. AFC says:

    Marcus, I cannot see Wenger buying 7 players.

    The problem is 70 mill will barely stretch to buy 4 quality players (RA will be able to tell you why) and I can only see Wenger bringing in 3/4 players in the summer. I would extend Fab’s contract by a year as he is decent enough to come when needed and I would rather Wenger bought in other positions. Ramsey and Diaby will be needed for squad rotation.

    I am hoping to write a post soon on why we should not buy another keeper in the summer.

  73. marcus says:

    True…Unless he has a radical change in plans. And just as a by the way if I had to sell one of our strikers to create room I’d sell Giroud and keep Poldi.

  74. AFC says:

    Agreed Marcus, Podolski over Giroud any day.

  75. marcus says:

    In fact I’m perplexed at why Wenger just won’t give Poldi his chance up front when he has given Theo and Giroud yet even with that Poldi continues to score for us vital goals. I mean given his ability I am willing to bet that he would be somewhere near the 20 goal mark if not past it had he been played up front consistently. If you really think about it, he scores a goal almost every time he is in the box in a central position.

  76. marcus says:

    And also I believe that the only central mid we need to sign is a DM. When I advocate for the purchase of Isco or Gotze, I envisage them playing on the wing..

  77. AFC says:

    Marcus, Podolski is needed on the wing because we do not have enough wide men. Not sure how many caps Podoski has but wenger said Podolski has had 101 (not sure on number) caps for Germany and they have all been on the left.

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Realy good debate today 🙂

    Obviously, I have not succeeded in explaining the difference between 4-4-1-1 and 4-2-1-3. Those of you who prefer Cazorla in the hole, are doing so because he plays well close to the striker, and yes better than Wilshere. But we are not playing 4-4-1-1.

    In our current formation Cazorla does not come deep enough, forcing Wilshere to stretch the midfield vertically if and when he is played behind Cazorla. This makes us very vulnerable. If and when Cazorla plays deeper, as in recent games, we play better as a team. However, he is not as good at this as Jack imo.

    Jack wears the number 10 and in our current formation, for me (and Arsene it seems), he is the man for the hole. He has made a great difference already in this role and the longer he plays in it the better he will get.

    Marcus, as per post, with Jack in the hole, Cazorla should play on the wing in a free role, not behind Jack, so agreed on that one.

  79. marcus says:

    I get why he does it but I feel that his talents and especially his goal scoring abilities would bring a cutting edge that arsenal have lacked all season.

  80. AFC says:

    Marcus, when Podolski was at FC Köln he used to play at LM/LW and then used to drift into the CF position.

  81. Red Arse says:

    Rumour on the street is that Vermaelen has been told he can go in the summer.

    My first impression, if that is true, is of surprise, but thinking about how things have changed from his great form of a couple of seasons ago, and with injuries and top players leaving, unbalancing the team and leaving him short paced and struggling at the moment, I am no longer surprised.

    I heard this from an accountant friend, who has a non-accountant friend with contact with the club — yeah, yeah, I know — 🙂 but it has the ring of truth.

  82. allezkev says:

    Not sure that selling Vermaelen, sends out the right message tbh…

  83. AFC says:

    RA, could you explain to me what you were saying when you was talking about other factors that can make the overall price spent on a player (apart from wages and transfer fee) much more than you would expect.

  84. Red Arse says:

    Hi AFC, 🙂

    I was referring to the acquisition of top players, and they often have ‘non-standard’ contracts, allowing them to market their own image rights, for example (meaning the club give up their rights to do so) and other future economic benefits, dependent on length of stay at club (loyalty bonuses), or entitlement to have their contracts paid up in full, or can be entitlement to compensation, if the club decide to sell them before their contracts expire.

    There are other clauses too, and whether or not the club agree to all these depends on the contract negotiations, which in turn are dependent on which other clubs want the player.

    These ‘benefits’ can cost the club £millions extra, over and above the nominal salaries.

    Hope that explains it better.

  85. AFC says:

    Thanks for that RA, when it comes to finances of clubs and players I only know the basics.

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Redders, The Times also wrote last week that Vermaelen can leave this summer… Changes on their way, it seems.

  87. Red Arse says:

    So, my friend was not pulling my leg, TA 🙂

  88. glic says:

    Evening Stiffy Splinks 😆

    Great post Totes.

    There`s only one person for the “Hole” imo…………my f**king Mother-in-law !…..although upside down in my septic tank would be a good alternative !.

    I see you listed a criteria for such a player…..” Vision, close ball control, passing, speed, stamina and getting past a man or two, if needed ! “. not many possess all these abilities, I`m not sure even God possessed stamina as he had to rest on the 7th day to laugh at the spuds down the road. Cesc certainly didn`t have speed and stamina, in fact my MiL probably staggered quicker than Cesc could run after I slapped her in the face with a Tree !.
    Who makes the best ” Hole” player…a midfielder or an attacker ?. Was Dennis a midfielder or an attacker or a “holer” ?. Are any of the above a natural ” Holer ” like Dennis ?.
    So many questions, not least, will we buy any of the above ?. I too like HH would have added Goetze to that list.
    The only thing that is certain is that…… if we dont buy Isco….HH will rip up his imaginary season ticket and I will have to rip up my cock !. If we buy Goetze though……the pain will be worth it !. hahaha

  89. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha Glic, I will rip up my imaginary season tickets indeed! Fortunately, my pain won’t be have as much of an impact or be as scarring as yours!

  90. Danny says:

    Not sure if any of you guys have seen Luka Toni’s latest contribution to the Jovetic transfer saga, but man he’s a donkey. Basically telling jove to stay whilst simultaneously taking a swipe at Arsenal claiming, “Fiorentina are a better club than Arsenal.”

    Not sure what they’re feeding them in florence, simply delusional

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    Redders, nice to know you have a quality contact! 🙂

    Glic, all good questions. Cesc no stamina? Don’t agree with that at all.

    Dennis was an attacker and not a midfielder, but the team was perfectly set up for him with our 4-4-1-1 formation, and Dennis was a pretty alround player who could play almost everywhere.

    I have said this before, but I have yet to see a game in which Gotze has wowed me. I would not swap him for either Jack or Santi. However, Gotze is still young and could go all the way.

    Jovetic or Isco seem better options to me.

  92. Highbury Harmony says:


    Regardless of the 4-2-1-3 or the 4-4-1-1, I still prefer Santi playing in the “hole” position. After reviewing a lot of the games this year, Jack is just not as efficient when playing further up the pitch. He’s much, much better at dropping back and picking up the ball and influencing our attack when he has room to move forward. He’s the missing link in our transition game in that he thrives at moving the ball up field quickly (Diaby can do this but is injured too often). However, defensively he’s not as strong and the b2b role puts him at greater risk of injury, due to the physically demanding nature of the position.

    Santi is more influential in our attack as soon as the ball is near the opposition’s 18-yard box, where Jack is the complete opposite. As soon as Jack reaches that position, he tries to dribble around everyone and holds onto the ball for too long, missing runs and making our forwards stationary, waiting to see what will happen. However, when Jack is further back in the pitch, he sees the field better and can complete the pass that will ultimately lead to the assist from another player for the goal.

    If we can get a true b2b midfielder who can rush the ball forward like Jack, then I suppose Jack will continue to play in the “hole” position. Jack can adapt to any role in the midfield and I can definitely see him getting better if exposed to that position for a longer period of time.

  93. Highbury Harmony says:


    You’re absolutely incorrect in assuming that Jovetic or Isco would be a better CAM than Gotze. Completely misguided and I’m quite insulted in fact. I guess our opinions will differ.

    Isco is overrated as a CAM. He’s exactly like Jack in that he needs more room to run at the opposition before being effective. His play in and around the opposition’s box leaves much to be desired and he’s not that great at playing the final ball. He’s the type of player that tries to do everything on his own and does not raise the level of play of those around him. However, with that said, he CAN carry an offense on its own. It’s the trade off you get with his type of game.

    In our set-up, we will not thrive with both Isco and Jack as CAM. They both need the ball to be effective and are not good enough passers in the final third to take advantage of the striking qualities of forwards.

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough HH 🙂

    If Jack can add regular goals to his skillset, he’ll be awesome. I just believe that with Cazorla in the hole we are often shapeless and lack purpose.

    However, in recent games he has been much better and I have explained earlier why I think that is.

    Will be interesting to see what will happen this weekend with Jack hopefully back fit again.

  95. glic says:

    Now listen van Loonstein, being a runner and previously a box to box midfielder, I know what stamina is, If Cesc had that and also some pace he would be the best player in the world !. Thats why he isn`t and I dont care if your loon bouncer mate PPP disagree`s !. hahaha

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, I am meant as a signing not necessarily as our CAM. Isco would go on the wing and yes I would play Jovetic behind the striker, but ideally in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, Cesc had stamina and yes he is one of the best midfielders in the world. If he were to go to Citeh or Chavs, or the Mancs, and that would be a black,black day, they would win the league: he is that good.

  98. Red Arse says:

    Sorry to those who would like us to sign Goetze, but he has stated that he would like to sign for Manure, when he leaves Dortmund — no mention of his ‘dream’ of playing for Arsenal.


  99. glic says:

    We will agree to disagree on my fact ! hahaha Now Rambo, although not quick, thats stamina for you !.
    I dont dispute he is one of the best and would love him back, but he is not always the first choice to play for either Barca or Spain !.

    I bet most gooners will be watching tonight to see whether Jovetic lives up to the hype, from the you tube vids I`ve seen, he couldn`t wipe the splooge of of Isco`s boots ( sorry Iskers, I couldn`t control myself ! hahaha ).

    So tonight it will be Stevie G Vs Stevie J !.
    France Vs Spain would be my choice, if it were`nt for Stevie J !.

  100. Gerry says:

    Redders @15.19 – I can put up with the boring bits, it’s the inaccurate ones that I find difficult to ignore. ha ha
    If I understand your deluded little effort earlier, then these are players ‘in’ are an addition to our main squad? Plus a few brats out kindergarten, Yes?

    Apart from the final sentence that is confirming my suspicion that you have been on the Vimto again – ‘All players over 21 are considered home grown’ .. I think you need to lie own in a dark room somewhere – padded preferably.

    So let’s recap the reality shall we?

    The 25 player squad list is for any player not classed as home grown,and are under 21 plus all players over 21. Correct? Those that qualify from the junior level do not have to be named. If memory serves me correctly we had about 35 juniors would would have been eligible to play?

    So the named players are those chosen two play in the European competitions. Different rules apply for our domestic squad, and allow more younger players if they have been with the club for 2 years. Correct?

    So two keepers would be quite enough, with a junior for emergency..

    And so on through the positions I named.

    Remember we have lost of the list from last season; Santos, Arshavin, Djourou, Squilliaci? and Park? So that is at least 3 spots before you get to Mannone, who I think is more likely to go before Fab?
    Sagna perhaps, if he feels he has been treated poorly(which he has, imo), but the likes of Gerv, Poldi, and Verm are the sort of players you need so you can rotate properly?

    Is there a problem here? Well one, it has taken me so long to get back to you that you will be having your early evening nap now ..

  101. glic says:

    And also Totes , stop being paranoid !. Cesc said he would only play in the EPL for Arsenal because he loves us….just like Robin does !.

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, happy to agree to disagree. I am having a day in which I agree to disagree with most anyway hahaha 😛

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Redders, he can go and hold Kagawa’s hand then! 😈

  104. marcus says:

    I saw that non-sense!! ‘Arsenal aren’t a big club’. Well between the two of us who plays in the champions league? Who has a bigger history and why are we seeded first when UCL draws are made? This coming from a player who is so shit my toilet couldn’t take him. A player who is so shit he stinks up the Fiorentina bench. Deluded cunt!!

  105. glic says:

    Redders, I dont care if Goetze likes Manscum as long as he plays for us !. Manscum fans dont mind Robin loving us and playing for them !.

  106. TotalArsenal says:

    I know, I know Glictorious, I merely used it as an example how beastly good he is. Barca and Spain are wasting his talent to a large extent, but then he should not have left before he became 27 or so. 😦

  107. Red Arse says:

    All these ignorant, dickheads talking about ‘big’ clubs should look at the following table.

    These are the minimum values of the top 4 English clubs, if someone wanted to buy them.

    1. Manyoo = £1,100m
    2. Arsenal = £ 943m
    3. Chelsea = £ 510m
    4. Spuds = £ 460m

    Fiorentina are worth f*ck all!!

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah Fiorentina are a bunch of purple twats! 😛

  109. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, come back compadre. I know you rate Goetze very highly and I did not mean to upset you, but I just don’t rate him like you do! 🙂

  110. glic says:

    Thats alright Totes, as long as you dont disagree to agree to disagree !. Otherwise I would have to pull up another Tree to slap someone with and that will ruin my arboretum, two trees in one day !. hahahaha

  111. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I am not upset haha! I was at a meeting and could not check engulf myself in my guilty pleasure of commenting on BK :).

    I understand what you mean by you’d prefer Jovetic and Isco, I just read it as you’d prefer them as CAM. Isco would be a top quality addition and would thrive on the wing, similar to Hazard at Chelsea (or at least I believe he will eventually).

  112. glic says:

    But they are abiding by FFP Redders !…..F**king Fiorentina Pussies !.

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Always seem to forget that you are five, six hours ‘behind’ the UK, HH. Watching Holland against Roemania at the moment. Strootman is looking good….

  114. Highbury Harmony says:

    And yes RA, I read that unfortunate report too about Gotze’s interest in playing for one of Manure, Real or Barcelona. The fact is that many players view those clubs as the top in the world and if we don’t close the gap this summer, the highest quality, young players will quickly fall out of our reach (especially if we aren’t willing to engage with other clubs in wage and transfer fee wars, which is really just compensation in my opinion 😉 ).

    I choose to rate Gotze’s interest in those clubs not as his preference in terms of his affection for those clubs but because of the stability in holding onto players and their track records of success. Perhaps that’s the Dortmund boy “inside of me” (I wonder if van Judas realized how perverted that sounded after he said it) giving Gotze the benefit of doubt.

  115. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I don’t think we’ll get both Jovetic and Isco this summer – I see it as one or the other. I think Wenger rates Jovetic really highly, but perhaps Santi and Nacho have his ear about Isco. Either way, if we manage to sign either one, it’s win-win for us :).

    I really, really like what I’ve been hearing Jovetic say about our club. His seems to have a high affinity for the club and has drunk the Wenger juice!

  116. glic says:

    And ” drunk the Wenger juice ” doesn`t sound perverted !. hahahaha

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Jovetic and Arsenal sounds like a possible match, HH. 🙂

  118. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahahaha glic, didn’t even intend it that way!!! But, who knows what AW requires potential transfer ins to do 😉

  119. Red Arse says:


    Not keen on being described as deluded, it is not funny and is disrespectful.
    If you meant it seriously we are going to fall out big time!

    Here is a brief summary of the Home Grown Rules:

    Squad sizes will be restricted to 25.

    There will be a permitted maximum of 17 foreign players, over the age of 21.

    Clubs can have 8 home grown players in their squads over the age of 21.

    In addition, each club can have an unlimited number of players, of any nationality, who are under the age of 21.

    So there it is;
    Home Grown Players: 8
    Foreign Players: 17
    Maximum Squad size: 25

    The definition of a “home-grown” player?

    A home-grown player is one who has been developed by an English or Welsh club for at least three years, before reaching his 21st birthday.

    The obvious effect of this is that there will be an even greater premium put on the market price of any English player. It will also eventually, it is hoped, improve the quality of the England team, though this is debatable.

    The definition of a Foreign player?

    That is any player born and developed abroad. (Non England and Wales).

    Examples of foreign players, over 21, would include; Arshavin, Diaby, Cazzorla.

    When does this new rule take effect?

    The new rule takes effect at 5 p.m. on the last day of the transfer window, 31st August, and each club must then supply a list of its first team squad and its composition.

    There is an opportunity to amend the squad list, because of players turning 21 y.o. on or before the 1st January each year, and at each following transfer windows.

    That’s just off the top of my head.

  120. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I would love Jovetic in with this squad in terms of ability and age. I actually think it’s more important to have a striker with his qualities than another CAM/winger. He can grow together with Jack, Jenkinson, Ramsey, Gibbs, Szczesny etc. Jovetic’s touch, vision, pace, aggressiveness and passionate approach to the game make him a wonder to watch on the pitch. There will obviously be games we lose with him in our line-up, but more often than not we’ll be satisfied with what he brings to the table and that he gave his all.

    However, it’s a stark contrast to Giroud, in that despite both work hard, Jovetic is so much more skilled and a joy to watch when linking up with teammates or carrying the ball up field.

  121. glic says:

    We need someone to drink Isco`s juice to secure his signature !. I`m recommending Vic`s as the senile old git will not remember in the morning !. hahaha

  122. marcus says:

    HH and I seem to share the same views on almost everything. Your comment at 19:39…Check a few comments before and see that I too compared Isco to hazard and had the exact same sentiment that his talents are more suited to the wing..

  123. marcus says:

    my comment at 14:12 to be precise..

  124. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha marcus, you know what they say my friend, great minds think alike ;).

  125. Highbury Harmony says:

    Marcus, I think we differ on our opinions of Giroud, though most of the regulars on here seem to disagree with me anyway (aside from the always intelligent Redders and VCC 🙂 ). I see Giroud as the perfect super sub and Jovetic as the future of our strike force if we can sign him this summer.

  126. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA also doubts his qualities to a degree too, so I guess most aren’t sold on Giroud. Though there are certainly some that have a larger affection for him than others.

  127. marcus says:

    Well not in those exact words but isn’t that what I said re Giroud? And I even have an article here on BK explaining how I feel Jovetic could be our future if we signed him..

  128. Red Arse says:


    I rate Giro highly, not least for his guts and energy.

    [Hopefully TA is walking the dog]! **

    Anyway, if Giro was given better support especially from Walcott and Gervinho who are mostly incapable of crossing a ball from the wing, without hitting it at the nearest defender or checking back inside, he would not have to go looking for the ball all the time.

    He will come good, especially if there is another top notch striker alongside him to take the pressure off.

    We will see.

    ** [TA is very supportive of the Gerv and Theo] 😀

  129. Highbury Harmony says:

    Redders, I think it would be a waste to hope Giroud would come good if another striker played alongside him. That’d be taking up two spots on the pitch just to give him a better chance of slotting in goals. At the end of the day, we have to accept what he is; a good striker who is a great aerial presence who could make a better impact coming in off the bench, where game plans are slower to adapt to the versatility he brings to our attack.

  130. Highbury Harmony says:

    Marcus, based on your response to my comment on your article, you seemed to suggest that Giroud should be our starter next year and that we should buy a striker to play with him. I think we should buy a striker to replace him in the starting line-up and have him as a impact, super sub.

  131. marcus says:

    You may have misunderstood my sentiments. I thought you meant we do away with him altogether. Even now, I’d like to see poldi given a starting berth as a striker flanked by Ox/Gervinho and Theo..

  132. Highbury Harmony says:

    I guess both sides were misunderstood marcus. I wouldn’t want to do away with Giroud altogether. His aerial presence up front gives our attack a different dimension and he is the perfect option off the bench if our normal tactics are not working/we need a goal from a set piece late in a game. Also, his work rate is admirable and he plays with a good amount of passion and seems to love this club. For those reasons alone, I wouldn’t give up on him either, but it’s not enough for him to be our starting CF either (imo).

    For the rest of the season, I’d also like to see Poldi starting up front too with Ox, Theo and Gervinho rotating in on the wings.


    marcus and HH. You both say you would like to see Poldoski up front, Yet all season, apart from the opening game, Wenger has not played him there. Why do you think that is the case?

  134. glic says:

    From what I`ve seen so far, I`d rather have Isco anyday of the week and you can bring back Chamakh !. hahaha
    Disgusting yellow for Welbeck, should have been a penalty !. England ( I speak for us in England as I know BK is a multi-national blog and some of you support some funny odd countries ! hahaha ) well in control and knocking it about nice ( only Spain and Germany have passed the ball more than England in the qualifiers….Total England…..sounds good !. hahaha ) and should be at least 3 goals to the good, but football is a funny old game and you never know whats in store, maybe even Jovetic can show us what he`s supposed to be worth !. I must be the only one on here who is not overwhelmed by him, but then again unlike you stiffy lickers, I know what a super quality player really looks like !, hahaha


    Cornwall, England are playing well. Especialy that Rooney bloke that plays up front.

    England have got five Utd players in the team. Not sure i like that

  136. glic says:

    Totes, were you cheering them Van Persie goals ?. Come on, set aside your differences !. hahaha

  137. glic says:

    Good bastards though Stretch !. hahaha
    Back to game !.

  138. weedonald says:

    I have seen Wanayama play for Celtic quite often and he is all too often out of big games, (the Scottish PL is more like the Championship) unable to keep up a strong pace and found wanting….not an AFC type at all. Could he improve at Arsenal under Wenger’s tutelage, possibly.
    I am not sure what anyone means when they say a ¨beast¨ of a DM. Viera was not a beast, nor was Edu (they both were very disciplined and sophisticated) but Gilberto was very strong in the tackle and hard to muscle off the ball. Flamini was a one-hit wonder and Song was a box-to-box midfielder with defensive ability that he never really developed.
    What, IMHO, would be a great aquisition would be a Spanish DM with Cazorla’s playmaking ability and Coquelin’s workrate and energy…..I think Malaga have one or whichever Spanish Club will be holding a fire-sale this summer.

  139. jack is best player at any time.even next year also no one more than him to arsenal &england.

  140. Highbury Harmony says:


    No one really knows why Poldi has not be tried centrally more often this season. However, I propose 3 distinct theories that could possibly explain his absence at the CF position:

    1) In the two games he’s played there, he was ineffective and invisible. Granted, a two game sample is way too small to determine whether or not he’d be a viable option for us in leading the attack. Also, perhaps Poldi is less vocal about his preference to play in the middle, so long as he is starting and getting quality minutes. With Theo’s constant nagging and insistence to play centrally, perhaps AW caved and granted Theo’s wish before Poldi’s.

    2) AW sees that Poldi, Theo and Giroud are our top three goal scorers and wants all three on the pitch at the same time. The only way to be able to start all three is to have Theo and Poldi on the wings, since Giroud is not versatile, fast or skilled enough to play any other position than CF. Also, the classic argument from AW is that Poldi has over 100 caps for Germany and all have been as a LW. AW may see that Poldi has been his most productive on the left and that his ability to play at both ends of the pitch, in addition with his combinations with Gibbs too much to overlook.

    3) AW is stubborn and wishes to prove a point. No man is bigger than the team and he wants to force the issue and prove that his purchase of Giroud as a CF was not a mistake. We have seen that Wenger will go to great lengths to prove his point, even if that sacrifice hurts the team (selling players who wanted higher wages, refusing to play certain players, playing players into the ground until they’re injured, starting players who don’t necessarily deserve to start etc.).

  141. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic you vagmite, stop watching videos of Isco on youtube (or have you progressed to searching for videos of Isco on youporn hahaha). Any player can look like a god in those youtube videos ;). I would rather have Jovetic or Gotze than Isco, but I would also take Isco in a heartbeat since it’d be a signal of intent (and AW’s generally so reluctant to spend money so he’d be a player worth spending it on for a change).

    Jovetic fits better in our price range and more in line with our direct team needs. If we splashed on Jovetic at £22 mil before wages, we’d still have enough cash to buy a beast of a DM, CB and experienced, back-up GK.

    Either Isco or Gotze would be a luxury at this point, considering we already have Jack, Santi and Rosicky competing for the CAM position and have Ox, Gervinho, Theo and Poldi competing for time on the wings.

  142. glic says:

    Disappointing second half from England, the Monty`s looked like scoring from every corner !. Although in the last minutes, we went close on a few occasions from Gerrard. Jovetic came more into the game in 2nd half and looked OK….nothing more ….nothing less !. We have two players who look better at the club already….Jack and Santi and one who will be better in the OX. Get Goetze or Isco, much better imo and you know this is the opinion of someone who knows what they are talking about !. hahaha

  143. glic says:

    HH……I`m shocked you could even mention the name of Jubbytits in the same breath as Isco ! You adulteress bastardo……I`m telling Isco !. hahahaha


    Thanks for the reply HH. I find the whole thing a mystery and the biggest surprise of our season.

    i remember a couple of years ago Arsene pulling up a journalist who called our wide players wingers. He made the point that they are Strikers and that we play 3 up front. The whole thing has me baffled.


    Watching that second halfs got me worried Cornwall.

    Next summer i am hoping for a long Brazilian holiday watching England and then grabbing as many Brazilian Birds as possible.

    At this rate, i wont be left with an excuse and will just have to admit that ime going there as a sex tourist. hahaha

  146. TotalArsenal says:

    Only saw England’s second half, and no surprise, I disagree with you Glic 🙂 I thought Jovetic was excellent, but just lacked the quality around him to properly shine. It also confirmed to me again that Jovetic is a brilliant mix between attacking midfielder and shadow striker. He has got close ball control, good vision, speed and strength (he looks very healthy) and real drive. I love that guy and would be over the moon if we signed him. 🙂

  147. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I never lie when it comes to players I want Arsenal to pursue, my friend! I’ve been in love with Jovetic’s game and passion for quite some time. His comments about and affinity for Arsenal only confirm my desire to have him in an Arsenal shirt next season.

    Glic, who is this Jubbytits character you are referring to hahaha?

  148. glic says:

    I thought this was more your idea of 3 up front Stretch !.

    ## WARNING# adult content !

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    In the second half, Jovetic was by far the best player on the pitch, HH. I was very impressed with his drive and ability to take the game by the scruff of the neck. England’s tactics were simply to put as many bodies as possible in the box and hope for the best; their second half was poor (except for the end, I give you that Glicotits 😛 )

  150. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, it’s that drive, determination and willingness to battle in the thick of things that leads me to believe that Jovetic will succeed in the physical environment of the PL. His vision and extraordinary skill though, is what will separate him from other players and allow him to eventually become a top striker in the league and the world.

  151. glic says:

    I didn`t think Jubblytits was that fast….bloody hell….Glen Johnson caught him up even after giving him a head start !.
    But hey gays…..I mean guys…..if Jubblytits gives you an excuse to have a ” Sherman “, then I`m all for it……as long as we get Isco first !.

    Hahaha Stretch…..enjoy Rio………and I dont mean Ferdinands waxed back, sack and crack !.

  152. Bobby Sure says:

    Jovetic is the man for me. We need an out and out 10, somebody who is not going to stray from the middle of the park, like santi and jack have a tendency to do. Someone like isco would be much the same as what we have; a diminutive AM who drifts all over the show. I think wenger will go for one or the other as a change in formation seems desperately unlikely near impossible. In fact I wonder if he is even going to sign in either DM or 10 position as we have an abundance of CMs but sadly non of them are particularly specialised and thats exactly what we need. Jovetic is about the only viable option because he can play as an out and out striker, another position which needs strengthening. But if we finish the season well in a CL spot and the likes of gnarby and eisfeld continue to impress in the next-gen i’d bet my money that wenger stays patient once again. Players would need to leave and wenger loves the likes of diaby,arteta way too much to let them go. I believe wenger thinks we have the squad and its an issue of tinkering with the dynamic in order to regain fluidity and resurrect wengerball from its near 2yr hiatus

    Sadly,all things taken into account, I think this summer will be lacklustre. I really cant see him signing anyone of note in any pivotal position. I know they tried desperately for villa and he wanted to comes and still wants to but wenger always waits and waits to see if problems solve internally. I think this seasons conclusion may be a case of that. The player we want is a rare breed. Jovetic is really the only candidate but wenger will probably prefer an internal solution of which there are a number.


    Bloody hell, ive just spent the last 10 minutes staring at that 3 up front picture. If some one was robbing or attcking me i dont think i would have been distracted. I put my finger on one of the forwards to gage my reaction to two up front instead of three but that just got me more excited. hahaha

  154. TotalArsenal says:

    Let’s hope so HH, although I think he is more a AM than a striker, but he seems so good, he can make a success of both roles.

  155. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, I think I understand your pain and refusal to give up on Isco. At this point, your masturbation to him has become habitual and the occasional desire you had to fantasize about him in the past, has seemingly turned into a compulsive need to think and get yourself off to him as soon as your refractory period has ended. There are addiction clinics you can attend and rest assured that all of us on BK will be wishing you the best in your recovery if you choose to sign up for one.

    Don’t get me wrong though, Isco is a phenomenal talent. However, when I look at players I want Arsenal to acquire, I look beyond the individual’s skill set. Isco would just not fit in with our style of play or the collective team identity AW is trying to establish.

    Signing the most talented individuals and throwing them together is not a feasible nor sustainable strategy, evident by the Galacticos and the numerous other clubs that have tried in the past. Isco thrives in the Malaga system since he is the focal point of their attack and is not asked to share the ball. He often over dribbles and misses completing key passes to his forwards because of his desire to take teams on himself.

    He is a player best suited for a side looking for a driving midfield player, such as $hitty. If we did not have Jack, Isco would likely be the first player I’d want AW to buy since he would be able to give our attack shape and be a player to bring fans out of their seats. Jack and Isco are very similar players, but Isco’s shooting is better and he’s been able to stay healthy throughout his young career. However, I do not see both co-existing on a team since they both demand the ball and need to be the center of attacks in order to thrive and get the best from them.

  156. glic says:

    What did you think of Jubblytits Stretch ?….I mean the Monty striker not the 3 up front picture !. hahaha

  157. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Bobby S 🙂

    Gerry, will like your comment: he also expects us not to sign any big names this season. 😦 🙂

    Question to you: can we play a typical, Bergkampesque nr.10, in our 4-2-1-3 formation?


    I must admit, i wanted Stevie G to clatter that Jovetic tonight. When Monty pushed him more centraly he looked a great player. Has some real class about him.

    Anyway, if we dont qualify i blame Cornwall. It was his equaliser in the Poland game thats put us under pressure. hahaha

  159. glic says:

    Too late HH. I`ve already been to the clinic and took an Isco vid and photo with me, now all the staff at the clinic are addicted aswell and polishing off their focal points !. hahaha

  160. Highbury Harmony says:

    Bobby, you raise a very valid concern. However, with this being AW’s last year in his contract and the insurmountable pressure he’ll face on finally producing results, I think he will address some areas of need this summer. With Arshavin, Fabianski and Squillaci coming off the books and the potential sales of Park, Mannone and Denilson, there will definitely be some roster spots available for both our youngsters and new players via transfers in. He’ll look to sell Bendtner, Santos and Chamakh but I gather there will be no takers and he’ll simply bench or loan them out again until their respective contracts are done.

    AW’s shown some intent the past 2 TWs in purchasing Podolski, Giroud, Cazorla and Monreal and I see no reason for that pattern to suddenly halt. Whether he fills all our needs at ST, DM, CB and GK is a different story altogether. However, with that said I can definitely see him buying 2-3 players again this summer to further solidify this squad and bring us into serious contention next season.

  161. VCC says:

    I think I will have to take up tiddlywinks in future. I’m on a different planet you all you guys. I don’t see Jovetic as the answer. Admittedly it’s only one game, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

    I must be getting old.


    Great post Bobby. If recent history is anything to go by i make you right. Mind you, our circumstances in terms of available cash is different, so we might be plesently surprised.


    Hi vics. What time are you and Cornwall going to get to the pub for the reading game.

    Dont want to be in there to long on my own. Women tend to mob me. hahaha

  164. glic says:

    No Vic`s, you are wise ! ( f**k me , I cant believe I`m praising the old clunge ! hahaha )

    Obviously me and Vic`s with our wealth of experience see the whole picture, where as you boys get a little dribble by just seeing a little dribble from Jubblytits !. hahaha

  165. glic says:

    Hopefully Stretch with a easy bit of traffic around about 11:30am to noon !.

  166. glic says:

    I think thats called a citizens arrest Stretch !. hahaha

  167. TotalArsenal says:

    A good night for our defenders. Vermaelen, 90 minutes clean sheet; Mertesacker, 90 minutes, conceded one goal; Koscielny 90 minutes, conceded one goal; Monreal, 90 minutes, clean sheet. Szczesny was on the bench again, losing out to Boric.

    Pod and Cazorla on the bench, but did not play and Giroud only played two minutes, so all should be fresh for Saturday. Ramsey was suspended.

  168. VCC says:

    Wow, Glictorious…….11:30, that’s mighty early to get on the lash. I’ll have to take two bags with me. One strapped to my left thigh and one to my right. 🙂

  169. VCC says:

    The trouble with me Glic, I have been spoiled with the likes of Eddie McGoldrick, Gus Ceaser and Glenn Helder. lmao.

  170. VCC says:

    Transplant…..make the most of the fillies surrounding you on Saturday morning, cos when GLiC appears on the scene he will frighten the living day lights out of them. The only females left will be the ones with white sticks.

  171. glic says:

    Dont be silly Vic`s, I`ve so much magnetism, I`ve got a south pole and a north pole, a super quality babe magnet !. I hope that Zimmerframe is aluminium, as I dont want you sticking to me !. hahaha
    Night Muvverz 🙂

  172. Bobby Sure says:


    None of the first series of players you mentioned play any part in our current squad. So its just as if they’re already out the window. So the sale of those players is likely to do little more than spur on the promotion of the current youth players, like bellerin,gnarby and eisfeld. Who all seriously have a chance of being top class footballers because its too often we name guys like JET, aneke, afobe, lansbury. The current crop of 3 or 4 have real potential.

    In regard to the signing of poldi,santi etc. in recent seasons, this are all reactionary buys. Replacing guys like song,nasri,cesc,RVP. There is going to be no significant exodus this summer – by significant I dont mean share numbers but actual meaningful players. So there will be little reason for wenger to be proactive. Yes your right these are different times and pressures are mounting but wenger is stoic. He’s not going to change. He will wait it out with these set of players. I think this is also illustrated by his tactical flexibility and tinkering this season. He’s tried gervinho as our striker, ramsey in the double pivot with santi on the left, theo as our number 9. The man is actively seeking options to regain fluidity.

    Wenger is never going to buy jovetic, capoue and an experienced GK. Thats just never going to happen. Its not how the man operates.

  173. Bobby Sure says:


    Really enjoy your articles, good work. Yes I do think so, but let’s not kid ourselves DB10 is one of a kind. But something akin to that ? Absolutely. There arent too many genuine 10’s floating around on an elite level as DB once was. In my experience of anxiously waiting out summer transfer windows, constantly checking news. Wenger rarely ever signs players that we’ve been heavily linked with. Whether thats just shocking journalism or im looking in the wrong places i’m unsure. But someone like jovetic just seems so unlikely for these reasons. I mean other than poldi I cant remember one player that we were successfully linked to for a long period before signing. Santi was a shock, per and monreal came out of nowhere. I think we will most likely sign some player that none of us have even thought of heard of or mentioned. Thats my guess.

  174. marcus says:

    I also think that its because he’s played there on the international stage. Also like HH said, the 2 games he’s been played there, he has been invisible. I watched both games and I can tell you this is purely because Podolski’s game lacks movement. He’s so used to tracking back that in those 2 games he kept going very deep to get the ball which left us bare up front. I think Wenger would rather play him on the left side rather than have to help him introduce movement to his game. Another reason is podolski’s assist rate..

  175. Gerry says:

    Bobby Sure – I am with you to a large degree on the outcome of this coming TW, but not quite for the same reasons.

    I think the players that will arrive will be ones that AW is more certain of ‘fitting in’, not just on the field, but the dressing room as well. He will not want a big price tag ‘ego’ that will inflate the wage demands of others, but younger ‘potential’ talents that will not mind being rotated. I already think he is slightly stuck with that latter problem with Cazorla. He cannot afford to rest him, mainly because he weakens our creative talent at the moment, but it does mean that he is restricted in tactical decisions?

    However, if he buys wisely, and he unearths another super talent, I will be very happy, and happy to wait for next season to unfold before making critical comments. I gave a cryptic list of initials earlier, all of whom relate to real players btw, it was only the ‘lettering’ that I made up. I am very reluctant(and slightly superstitious) about naming players who might come, but we agree I think, that the bigger the chatter in the gossip columns, the less likely it is they will be signing? I think AW is quite good at creating ‘distractions’. The only exception is when he steps in early? So Jovetic could be one of those, if he gets a pre-contract agree done very soon? However, with the latest gossip price of £28m and Man City alleged interest could be enough to deter AW, and them from agreeing early?

    Remy is a much more likely proposition? He will be cheap, if the contract release is quoted correctly. He has scored premiership goals, so no period adjustment, and previous interest? All solid AW reasons, and he would fit the bill as a support to Giro, but not be the Plan A striker that many would like to see. Cavani would be my choice if going down that route, because I think his work ethic and team play would overcome many of the problems outlined earlier, but unlikely to happen?

    I also agree on your other points re outgoing players, but the ‘Youth’ problem is another matter.

    To integrate young players into the first team has been difficult for AW because we have not had competitive sides which build confidence in the way they play week after week. Instead we end up in a series of must win games, and therefore he is reluctant to ‘risk’ youngsters, except in Cup games. Put a winning run together, and the remaining players will feel they can be confident that whoever comes in will not weaken the side. Plus the injuries to Gibbs and Wilshere has, I think, made him more careful with the use of AOC this season? So I think that pattern will continue next season, re Gnabry, and certainly Bellerin.

    Those two are fortunate with the Next Gen series, in that they will get plenty of playing time outside of the first team opportunities. Coquelin I feel has suffered from too much bench time, and unless he gets more action on the run in, I can see him looking elsewhere, particularly if a new DM is on the cards. It is a shame, he has real talent and will be a hit wherever he goes? I had a thought about this, and others, as a better way to manage loans that don’t work out. If we ‘sold’ these players at an early stage(like Frimpong last season), but with a buy back clause that give the other club more incentive to develop players because they get a guaranteed profit, rather than just using these loans as a cheap back up for their existing squads? It has to be better than just releasing players for a nominal fee?

    Eisfeld may find himself in a similar position to Coquelin in a year or so’s time, so I just hope after this Next Gen weekend, he gets an opportunity in the first team in the last few games? He is not that essential to the Under 21’s so could be a useful sub for Podolski(my preference). Otherwise a prime candidate for the scheme outlined above?

  176. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning BobbyS

    I reckon you are right although it does sometimes work out as announced by the press. You mentioned Pod and the same goes for Giroud, and I agree with HH that there is more need AND funds now to add quality to the team.

    If and when we are linked with a decent star, like Jovetic or Isco, it is key that these players really want to come to Arsenal; that makes them cheaper and therefore more likely to come. Recent comments by Jovetic are therefore promising.

    However, you could well be right that this summer Arsene will sign a couple of no-names. I don’t think so this time round, but he has done it before. As long as they are of the Nacho, Santi variety and not the Santos, Squillaci one, I will be more than happy. 🙂

  177. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all 🙂

  178. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Gerry, don’t forget to respond to Redders! 🙂

  179. Red Arse says:

    Morning TA, 🙂

    Like you I only saw (parts) of the England game last night, so not a very scientific base on which to make a comment about a player, but I was rather underwhelmed by Jovetic.

    To spend £25m (or thereabouts) on him would be a huge risk, and I hope we don’t.

    If only I had a crystal ball! 🙂

  180. Gerry says:

    Redders – I know it will be nearer 9.0am before you read this. But let me start by saying sorry if you thought I was being anything other than an attempt at humour. I withdraw ‘deluded’ unreservedly.

    To start again, my question was, ‘Why so many departures?’ You then gave a list of 5 new players to be added to the squad, plus some new additional back ups. I respond with a list of 5 players who have/are left/leaving, of which, 4 are coming off that list(not sure about Squill, but Park would have been bought with that in mind?).

    We agree on the squad make up of 25, the split between home grown is immaterial, as we have enough of both, exceptional juniors e.g. Eisfeld, who was being considered to be added last January, would have to take a senior spot, others no problem I think
    Now of the 4 players who have com off the list, all are foreign nationals, and the 5 new player you would integrate would also be foreign nationals?

    So beyond Fab/Mannone, and possibly Sagna, why the great exodus of the others? Coquelin is a 50/50 whether he stays, and more his decision I feel. He may have been on the list last season anyway. Frimong, again, likely to leave, but not on the list last season. I know your 3rd hand tip suggests TV5 may go, but unless AW has had a serious falling out(not being informed of the defence review the team had that BFG talked of, perhaps?), I cannot see it.

    Again, sorry for any misunderstanding … I do remember I am on your list of ‘Bash him’ people … the only one on it!

  181. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders,

    I really, really like Jovetic and would love him to join us. We often differ on players, and you might well be right, but from what I saw, I feel he is just the player we need (but not as a CF). 😉

  182. TotalArsenal says:

    Aah, well done Gerry, ignore my previous comment! 🙂

  183. Gerry says:

    TA – I have already done so, thanks. I’m just surprised he’s up this early. I have been writing my two replies since 5.30am, just finished the one above. Tad disappointed that you think I wouldn’t though?

    Like the man himself, I missed most of the game last night ..fell asleep before the end of the first half, and I too was not overly convinced by Jovetic. But one half game is not the best to judge.

    It was too late to respond last night by the time I got back online.

  184. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Gerry 🙂

    I only watched parts of the second half and I really liked what I saw of J.

    I judge his performance in the context of the team: they are typical small country team with a few good players and many average ones and it is difficult to make the difference as an indvidual in such a team. The Montenegran captain was also far too dominant and wasted a number of opportunities. But I could see Jovetic is real quality and would fit perfectly at Arsenal (especially in 4-4-1-1).

  185. TotalArsenal says:

    I aim to issue another post around 1ish today. Catch you later. 🙂

  186. VCC says:

    morning All.

    I’m with Redders on Jovetic. £25 mil for him? There must be better out there for that money. Isco for one?

  187. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. sorry I’m very busy lately..

    VCC.. I want to make my prediction.. as I have time.. hehehe..
    MU and Liverpool to Win away..
    Soton – Chelsea, Swansea – Spurs and Everton – Stoke all draws..

    Sorry I must leave so soon..
    see you all.. thanks..

  188. VCC says:

    cheers Henrychan. Your odds are 149-1.

    Henry, your my favourite UMF, cos you get your predictions in early, not like those other rotters who send theirs in at mid night Fridays. 😉

  189. Red Arse says:

    Hi Gerry, 🙂

    Thanks for your explanation earlier.

    It can be disappointing if you think you have misread someone else’s personal traits, and I am glad that I haven’t, in your case! 🙂

    I do sometimes wonder though why do I blog? — altho’ in my present circumstances it can be ‘therapeutic’, 🙂 but here’s a little summary of a purely innocent chat I had on another blogsite, yesterday, which might explain that caution.

    It started with another bloggers comment, which I have tidied up.

    — “My opinion seem to point toward a view that we have a wealth of mid-field attackers who are all a much of a muchness. There is Carzola and Jack, but no other real quality player available.
    Midfield is a make or break area where we have no destructive element with which to thwart / frustrate the opposition. No Vieira or Petit. No Edu or Gilberto. No Flamini, or even a Ray Parlour who would suffice as a defensive mid fielder at times.
    Where is the grit? The game allows for grit!!!

    We have too many midfielders.
    [Aside from Santi, Jack and Arteta the others are empirical].
    Time for them should be tight. Diaby has had his. Arshavin too, Maybe. Rosicky owes us some. These guys should go along with Denilson, I’m afrad.
    Then, and only then we can have a look at who we have really got and go from there.”

    I thought it was an OK opinion, but needed a ‘technical’ clarification, 🙂 and so I said:

    — “X, I was intrigued by your comment, although I got thrown by the phrase ‘the others are empirical’. (I bracketed the comment above).

    I may have misunderstood, but ‘empirical’ is an adjective describing a noun, so did you miss a word off the end of the sentence?

    Anyway, I am not sure I agree with everything you said, but then speculation and conjecture is the lifeblood of all fans, especially during the interlull!” 🙂

    Eventually, I received a response:

    — “Empirical- experimental, what are you so seemingly perplexed about?
    Is it that I seem to think that they are also not rising to the required standard?

    That is what I do think, and it is particularly good that I had a response from you Red, because to me , it seems you don’t take prisoners. Rather, you prefer to digest before you chew or swallow.
    Tell me please Big Man, do you think our midfield is strong. If so, why do we seem to lose focus so regularly?

    [I did not see this response until this morning, so did not reply] (no point really) 🙂

    But the blogger in question later went on:

    — “Still no response from you.. Maybe you are all more dough than doughty brain wise.
    Too bad.. You will all return sober tomorrow and accuse me of being a spud.

    Good luck to you dreamers. I am A fair fan who dreams of the involuntary stuff like Lewis Caroll’s whiting to the snail. “will you walk a little faster”? It’s all a bit like ‘ Alice in Wonderland’ I think.”

    Another blogger on that site, who will be known to BKers too, responded with humour:

    — “X, I can’t tell whether you’re cumming or going but I do think you’ve been smoking your breakfast too often.
    By the way, what is ¨whiting to the snail¨ even mean?
    I think you fell through the rabbit hole and hit your head too hard and your brain is mush, not just dough…..I accuse you of being drunk before the fact….today. 🙂

    It made me chuckle. Anyway, I am sometimes accused of being a smart-arse, intellectual who writes in a manner, and with a vocabulary that no one, other than an expert orator, like Glic, understands. 🙂
    Naturally, I deny this blot on my escutcheon!! 😀

    Intellectual, my arse. The above is funny, but it leaves me totally bamboozled! 😛

    Maybe I need to give blogging a rest for a while.

  190. VCC says:

    GLiC…shame your going to miss the game Friday afternoon. I’m looking forward to it. Will be really tough though.

    How far is the pie n mash shop from the station? and could you tell me the name of it please.

  191. VCC says:

    Your right about Isco’s juices. When I wake in the mornings I breath onto a mirror to confirm whether I’m alive or not. If it’s all misty I know I can endeavour to rise. hehe

  192. glic says:

    Morning Shlongdongdooblies 😆

    Welcome Redders to the underwhelmed Jovetic club, so far there`s three of us, me , you and Vic`s !. hahaha

  193. glic says:

    Hi ZZ.
    If you come out of Bethnal Green Tube Station and walk down Bethnal Green Rd, it`s somewhere between a quarter and half a mile on the left and it`s called Kelly`s, not to be mistaken for the first Pie&Mash shop on the left which is also called Kelly`s, it`s the second one, a little bit along after the traffic lights at the junction with Vallance Rd.

  194. VCC says:

    Wow GLiC, that’s a mighty Salubrious club to be in. 😉

  195. VCC says:

    cheers GLiC, that’s as clear as mud then.

  196. Red Arse says:

    Right — you clear on that VCC? 🙂

  197. VCC says:


  198. VCC says:

    I take it, that Kelly’s is the apple of …….

    I’ll keep my eye out for it, (number 1, hehe)

    Are you trying to tell me something oh master. 😉

    Terry wants to see me, ner…….I know, cos his pigeon delivered the message this morning. 😉

  199. glic says:

    I suggest you write that down and take it to a tattooist and have it tattooed on your………Zimmer !………… Hands up how many of you thought I was going to say his Hampton !. hahaha

  200. VCC says:

    already done glicster. BTW, the message WOULD fit on my tool (hehe)

    Come out of Bethnal Green station, turn left and walk 1/4 to 1/2 mile (what did you think I was going to do then, fly?) Go to the second Kelly’s eye shop on Valence Road junction. Walk in and sit next to the ugliest guy in the shop. Hope you don’t slobber your liquer down your new Arsenal shirt.

    I didn’t put too many punctuation marks in there as it just would fit onto my weapon.

  201. glic says:

    I hope the weather is going to be warm on Saturday like it is in Cornwall, I`ve just got T-shirt and shorts on at the moment and ready for a run on my treadmill, been outside in the sun and cleaned the stables for my missus, she`s gone to have a facial, lets hope she comes back with one like J-Lo or Shakira or Angellina Jolie !. I`d better hope she doesn`t read this later !. hahaha

  202. glic says:

    You didn`t have to go to the expense of having the bit about the ugly guy in the Arsenal shirt put on and dont get it out and ask for directions if you get lost……” excuse me son, can you tell where this place is ! “…….. I`m not bailing you out of the cop shop !.

  203. Red Arse says:

    I have found a great new distraction when I feel ill at hearing you go on about sucking slimy eels – yeeuk!

    You move the arrow of your cursor under Glic’s gravatar, and when he’s not looking – you jab it up his jaxi — he really jumps!! 🙂

  204. glic says:

    S&R Kelly & Sons, 284 Bethnal Green Rd, E2 0AG to be more precise, stick that in your ZimNav. hahaha

  205. glic says:

    Dont say that Redders, some will prod it with something other than their cursor………dirty bastardos !. hahaha

  206. VCC says:

    Well done Redders. It actually works. Only thing is……..I was put off by the smile on his face :0(

  207. VCC says:


  208. glic says:

    I didn`t have to prod Vic`s Boxer, as it was already going up and down, it`s sitting on Vic`s Hampton !. hahaha

  209. Bobby Sure says:


    I agree with what your saying re future signings and past trends. I too would be happy to uncover another gem and I think this may be far more likely than stumping up the 25m plus for jovetic of isco.

    Talking about youngsters i’d differentiate between frimpong and even coq and this current generation. Unfortunately their ships have sailed, wenger will hold on to them just in case they miraculously improve or change their perceived flaws. Just as he has done with countless other youngsters. Its been hard for the youth set up to be really fruitful in the past 6 or 7 years. Some of the most talented youngsters we’ve had ended up getting shipped out pretty early not too soon after their arrivals. The likes or barazite, nortveid (sp?), fran merida and lately ogzuykup (sp?). Wenger is very very particular with his players – I know theres been a few mistakes but most of those guys never played and in the case of santos wenger was highly influenced by the opinion of hiddink and some of his scouts.

    I’m rambling but; I guess your right. There is absolutely no consistency or guarantee with the promotion of youth players. I do think there are two or three now that could buck the trend and successfully gain a competitive spot in the team. In saying this wenger could sell 2 or 3 of them off to some far flung european corner. I dont know I just have slight optimism with the current youth products. Especially gnarby and bellerin

  210. VCC says:

    Bobby Sure……I’m with you on Gnabry and Bellerin. Both played well on Monday evening. Bellerin had endless energy and looks a good back up to Jenkinson. I feel Sagna will be off this summer,

    Two others caught my eye = Hayden and Angha (sp) the left back. The future looks promising with our youth set atm.

    I still feel we need to introduce at least two, top top quality players this summer.

  211. VCC says:

    Just a reminder guys……the UMF league will run this week end. Please get your picks in before Saturday.

  212. VCC says:

    VCC entries =

    Sunderland v MU……away
    Aston Villa v Pool……away
    Swans v Spurs……….draw
    Fulham v QPR……….draw
    Man City v New………home

    odds are 49-1


  213. Gerry says:

    VCC – Can I be in your good books too?



    All draws


  214. VCC says:

    Gerry….Always 🙂

    Your odds are 917-1.

  215. Gerry says:

    Redders – I know how you feel about blogging ..

    Yesterday I really should have been doing my horsey thing, but no, I came on to BK and well, the rest is history, as they say?

    The next post will have to be something special to drag me away today. I have over 4,000 data entries at the moment and I still have 4 busy months to go!

    You, however, cannot possibly give up after the splendid responses you got for your blog?

    Take care now

  216. TotalArsenal says:

    Not sure about that Gerry, but I think you might like this one hahaha 🙂


  217. Gerry says:

    Bobby S – I am not averse to those signings, and I think there may be one that will break our previous outlay. It is clear that AW is well aware of the positions we need to strengthen, and that with the outgoings, some back ups too. I know it is heresy to say it, but I would re-sign Arshavin at a lower wage because he is quality to have on the bench, played in the right position? He is not going to be moaning about lack of playing time now his international career is all but done, which will be a problem with the younger guys?

    On the Youth front, I agree there are some seriously good prospects at the moment, but those on the fringes are ones that might be let go. Frimpong is out of contract in June, so unless we match what Fulham are prepared to pay him, and where he will almost guaranteed first team action, then I cannot see him coming back? We will only get a nominal fee for his development.

    The current crop are really benefiting from the Next Gen series and the revamped reserve team games. But those in the Coquelin situation where being on the bench and not being used, thereby missing out on reserve team games is not easy at that age. They want to play, so it is a case of bite the bullet and move on, or hope for a lucky break. Expanding my idea earlier in order to get ‘suitable’ clubs involved. Give them a free transfer, with an option to buy back after two years. Providing the player agrees to the move naturally, then they would get playing time and development. If neither club wanted the player, then he would go on the market we could expect say 15% of the fee? A good example would be Eisfeld to say Wigan, and we have Ryo back, and he gets good playing time with a team that plays ‘the right way’. If at the end of that 2 year stint he proves top notch, but we don’t have need of him, then Wigan could buy him at whatever our buy back clause figure was?

    He is just one of several that might be so close to a first team place, but find their way is blocked. Coquelin could be another if we cannot accommodate him within our current squad. Of course a Diaby departure might offset the ‘new beast’ coming in? But I still think he has got to be involved in the remaining games or he will get his agent to test the water elsewhere?
    That brings up another problem with my scheme, bl**dy agents!

    Right, I’m off to do my tedious but necessary data transfer ..

    Have a good day all ..

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