Where do you stand on the enigma that is Abou Diaby?

Injured Diaby

Diaby is a player who is held in high regard by Arsenal fans, and everyone in world football, for his ability to dribble past opponents with ease with close ball control; who also contains an excellent first touch and is adept in both attack and defence. When fully fit, there is no doubt that Diaby is one of the best box to box midfielder’s in the Premier League, and this is why he is one of the first names on the team sheet for Arsenal and France. It is clear to see that when Diaby plays for Arsenal, he fills the physical void that was left when Song left Arsenal for Barcelona last summer, and he is the missing link in our midfield. It has been said that the reason Wenger let Song go to Barcelona was because he said he had a replacement in Diaby, but once again, injuries have gotten the better of Diaby this season.

Abou Diaby now faces a lay-off of up to nine months after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in training, after it was initially reported that Diaby would be out for three to four weeks following a knock on his knee. Wenger has said that he was extremely surprised when he heard that Diaby would be out for up to nine months, as he thought it was just a little knock.

We all know how highly Wenger rates Diaby as a player (for his quality and ability) and as a man (for having the fight and desire to battle through his constant injuries), but now with the Frenchman facing up to nine months on the sideline, many Arsenal fans are wondering whether Wenger will lose his patience with him and sell, or more likely, release him (like Ferguson did with Hargreaves).

We do not exactly know Wenger’s views on Diaby injuries, as numerous times he has said that he has told Diaby, that he must not give up the fight and must not give up on his career. Wenger has said that Robin Van Persie also sorted out his injury problems, and he believes Diaby can do this too. However, Wenger has also said that Diaby may have to consider retirement and that very soon he is going to have to make a decision on whether to keep Diaby or to let him go.

Some Arsenal fans say “sell him, problem solved”. The problem with Diaby is that if he was to be put on the transfer list, Arsenal would receive offers so low (because of his extremely bad injury history) any money gained from selling Diaby would not be worth the sale, in comparison to the quality Diaby offers. This is assuming that any club will make an offer for Diaby. A lot of clubs would be turned off by his extensive injury history and therefore Diaby might not be able to find a club that is suitable for him.

In this case the only option Wenger would be left with, is to let him go on a free when his contract expires in 2015, hoping that Diaby will be able to find a club that is suitable for himself, as clubs would now not be put off by having to pay a transfer fee. The problem then is which club would be willing to pay the weekly wages of Diaby.

This was the problem which injury prone Hargreaves faced when he was released by Ferguson, with Hargreaves struggling to find any clubs that would pay his weekly wage. Hargreaves finally found a suitor in Manchester City (after releasing a video on youtube showing his fitness levels), but he was not paid a weekly wage but a ‘pay as you play’ deal. All did not end well with Hargreaves, with him only playing in one league match, in which he scored one goal. He then did not receive a winners medal when Manchester City won the league, because he was not eligible to receive one as he did not play enough for City in the league; he then was released by City and the rest is history.

There are a lot of football fans, pundits and writers who would class Diaby as ‘deadwood’ and ‘liability’, but I cannot agree with these people.

Deadwood refers to people who just sit on the bench, content collecting their pay cheque, cannot be sold because they lack quality, and do not deserve to be playing at the club they are currently at because of their lack of ability; and when they are asked to play because the manager has no other alternatives and is forced to play them, they play poorly. A ‘liability’ refers to someone who does more bad than good and costs his team matches rather than win his team matches; someone you would rather just not have in your squad and cannot wait to transfer out.

Diaby is far from this. Diaby is always fighting to get back to full fitness to play matches and is never happy watching his team mates play instead of playing himself. I am sure that Diaby would trade his weekly pay cheque for an injury free career! When he is fit and playing he runs the midfield, offers a physical presence in midfield which we lack and covers the length of the pitch like it is nothing, and with his quality he deserves to be at Arsenal and to be a regular starter. If it was not for his injuries and Diaby was made available on the transfer market, I can guarantee that any club in the Premier League would want Diaby. To me a quality injury prone player is not ‘deadwood’. Diaby is far from a ‘liability’, as when he plays he rarely makes mistakes that cost us matches and is often the midfield force that wins us matches.

I personally think Wenger will keep Diaby till his contract expires (which is in 2015) and based on whether Diaby can get the better of his injuries, the manager will make a decision on whether to release him or offer a new contract.

I will now say no more and ask you five questions, and I would like you to tell us all your answers which I hope will lead to some great responses and discussions:

Do you think Diaby should be given his marching orders? If yes, when? and why? If no, why?

Will Wenger give Diaby his marching orders or keep the believe in Diaby? If yes, when? and why? If no, why?

Do you see Diaby getting the better of his injuries like RVP did?

Do you think Diaby should retire? If yes, when? and why? If no, why?

Where do you see Diaby in three years?

I would also love to hear any other thoughts on the topic.

Written by: AFC.

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169 Responses to Where do you stand on the enigma that is Abou Diaby?

  1. Rufus says:

    Good player

  2. wambam says:

    fantastic player, when fit. I think in Spain he would be awesome. The Premier League puts too much stress on his body.

    Sell and replace.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Rufus, you can continue under the name ‘Michael’ (not sure why your comment did not go through yesterday).

  4. rellends says:

    definitely not on his foot as that will put him out for another 18 months.

  5. AFC says:

    Wambam, as I said in my post it would be very hard to sell Diaby so in my opinion Wenger would be wise to stick it out and hope Diaby can get fit like RVP.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Diaby is very talented, but also the sort of player who can only be of value to us if he plays regularly and can be ‘build into’ our system of football.

    I think, we should let him go if possible

  7. AFC says:

    TA, I partly agree because we are paying him quite a high wage. Do you think Diaby would accept a “pay as you play” contract?

  8. AFC says:

    Maybe Wenger does want to release Diaby but cannot bring himself to do it. He might want Diaby to announce his retirement.

  9. Telboy says:

    How many realy good games has diaby had for arsenal? Even when fit not at all consistent , quite a lazy player imo ,shame because the talent is there

  10. JM says:

    How many games has Abou Diaby played for Arsenal (league & cup) in his 9 years at our club?
    Around 170-180 games. Prior to that, not more than 20 games with Auxerre in 2 years.

    RvP had played around 270 -280 games for us in 8 years.

    Hargreaves only played 35 – 40 games for Man. Utd in 4 years, however prior to that he had 210-220 games at the top level with Bayern Munich for 7 years.

    Conclusion:
    Wait for his recovery after 9 months WITHOUT any further complications (in Jan 2014?!), loan him out to either another EPL club or another club in the other top 4 leagues (La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1) for 1/2 season and check his match appearances ratio and performances.
    At the end of season 2013-2014, we shall see if he still has a future at the club or otherwise not. By that time (i.e. start of season 2014-2015), Diaby shall be entering his last year of his current contract, so he could go on a free at the end of that season in any case.

  11. AFC says:

    With all of the money Diaby has made from football he could easily use this money to set up his own business related to football, some kind of a football charity if he retired.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi AFC, sorry for being short, my connection keeps breaking up all the time! 😦

    Great post and I love your appreciation of Diaby’s predicament and the pain he must go through. Diaby will sit out his contract and then he will end up like Hargreaves; unless a medical miracle happens….

  13. AFC says:

    JM, thanks for commenting and a very interesting take on loaning him out but who would want to take him. Isn’t the point of a club getting a loanee so they can play and fill in a gap. I think it would be hard for Diaby to find a club in the Prem and he is likely to get injured again. Maybe loaning him out a less demanding league like the French league would be a better idea.

  14. AFC says:

    TA, no problem.

    I am sure myself, HH, RA etc will be able to write comments on behalf of yourself. 😀

  15. AFC says:

    Telboy, Diaby has performed for us many times when he has been fit and I would go as far as to say that Diaby, Ramires, Yaya arre among the best box to box midfielders in the world.

  16. AFC says:

    * are

  17. glic says:

    Hi Jam Ragesquers 😆

    Fine post AFC, thank you.

    First, lets get it straight, incase some have wandered on here looking for a UAE holiday , we are talking about Abou Diaby not Abu Dhabi !, If you want Judith Chalmers, wrong site !. hahaha
    I love this player, who is recognised by his peers as one of the most skillfull players in the league !.. I say keep and as you say , who is going to want to buy him !.
    There is another solution though……Cryogenics !, we freeze him under a long term contract and when medical science has caught up and found a cure for his injuries then we unfreeze him !. We will then have a quality player but also taking inflation into account he will be on the equivalent to £1 per week ( same wage as TMHT`s illegal cleaner and part-time ladyboy ! )
    Arsene can have him in a glass cabinet in his office next to Silent Stan`s collection of symbiotic syrups and a spare space for Girouds hampton !.
    The procedure does work as I have had my own hampton accidently cryogenically frozen on a visit to Walls Ice Cream factory many years ago, in it`s current state, I have a cool permanent boner with a bonus party trick of pissing out amber ice cubes which pulls the Ladeez !. hahaha

  18. AFC says:

    Glic, thanks for commenting and making your quality jokes as usual. 🙂

    I think Wenger will keep him until his contract runs out and maybe by then Diaby would have retired. I would really love to see Diaby set up a charity where he is coaching unprivilaged teenagers/kids back in France or any country really.

  19. AFC says:

    * unprivileged

  20. Mzee Jimmy says:

    Abu Diaby is the best midfielder in the world when fit. He will overcome his injury problems. THIS I GUARANTEE… He is protected now… He will be back a a man of steel… Just keep the faith.

  21. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, update us with those UMF standings mate! There’s a handsome bugger having himself a lovely score this week 😉

  22. glic says:

    Who was joking !. I constantly walk in Tesco`s and have the Ladeez comment……….” Is that an Icicle in your pocket or are you glad to see me ! “. hahaha

    I hope Abou comes out the other end fit and fighting and given one last chance to prove that the bad times are finally over, if not he can do as you suggest. It is all a crying shame really, as I honestly think he is a very talented footballer who has just had the worst of luck injurywise. He certainly has had backing, support and patience from our classy club, probably testament to the man in charge….Arsene !.

  23. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, great article mate :). I love the recognition and appreciation you have shown for Diaby.

    While I understand the opposite side to your view and respect their opinion, I will never full understand it. Diaby cannot considered to be a liability whatsoever; the only argument against him is that perhaps AW is too reliant of his ability to stay healthy and has failed to adequately bring in a similar player to play when he is not fit (or at the very least to rotate with Diaby more often to give him a better chance at staying fit).

    Diaby generally gives his all, but is often hampered by a lack of fitness, form and a bill of good health. He has immense skill and I cannot help but to have my eyes glued to the screen when he has the ball at his feet. He is a joy to watch when fully fit and on form and is a definite game changer that can boss the middle of the pitch. His vision and awareness are also spectacular (just watch the game film of him vs. Liverpool). Our best bet at keeping him healthy long-term is to buy a capable B2B midfielder to adequately fill in, during his absences (whether it be rotation or injury).

  24. AFC says:

    HH, always good to hear from you . 🙂

    Do you think that Diaby playing in the box to box role could be putting a strain on his body?

    You said Wilshere is now also facing this problem and this is why Wenger is now playing Wilshere as an AM.

  25. Wardy says:

    while i would love hm to stay he is still a drain on our resources, wages etc.
    So cut his wages in half untill and add in a pay as you play scheme to offset the wage reduction, stick with the policy untill he can prove his injuries are behind him. (how this is done is up for debate. there are many ways to skin a cat.) I would also plead with him to forget internationals for a while

  26. AFC says:

    Wardy, thanks for commenting and that is what I was proposing.

    But do you think Diaby would accept a ‘pay as you play’ deal? If he can problem solved in my eyes.

  27. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, you will see in my article tomorrow that I believe the traditional B2B mid role causes too much of a strain on the body because of the physical rigors in attacking and defending, while also having to carry the ball on their own up field.

    However, with Diaby’s skill set, it’s hard to imagine him playing any other style. When healthy, he’s one of the rare players that can play as a traditional B2B a la Yaya Toure.

    The best way to keep Diaby healthy then, is to buy another midfielder this summer who has the endurance and strength to dominate the game and constantly run up and down the pitch for 90 mins, but may not necessarily have to carry the ball up field as frequently as Diaby does (likely won’t have the skill to either). Thus, I call this position the modern day B2B mid, like Vidal, Matuidi etc.

  28. AFC says:

    Fully understood HH, and cannot wait for your atricle to come out. 🙂

  29. VCC says:

    HH + UMF ..here goes with the latest update. Still waiting QPR v Wigan and MU v MC games.

    Weekly scores =

    Highbury Harmony…………..10…..1 game to come.
    Henry……………………………….7…..1
    TMHT……………………………….7…..1
    Red Arse…………………………..6…..1
    Rocky……………………………….6…..1
    VCC…………………………………5……1
    PPP…………………………………4…….2
    Alex…………………………………4…….0
    GLiC………………………………..2…….1
    Gerry……………………………….1…….0
    Oz,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,0,,,,,,,0
    Total………………………………..0…….1

    Overall update

    VCC…………………………92
    Henry……………………….83
    Highbury Harmony……..78
    Red Arse…………………..75
    PPP………………………….74
    Oz…………………………….71
    Total…………………………64
    Rocky………………………..64
    TMHT……………………….63
    Alex………………………….62
    GLiC…………………………39

    Wow, what a great week for Highbury Harmony. Double figures of 10 with one game to come, which is MU v MC tomorrow and his prediction is a draw. Lets hope he is correct. He will be the only one so far to correctly predict all five scores. Also an extra 3 points would be 13 total for the week and 81 running score. Testament, that anyone can still pull of a win in the UMF League. Well done HH, fantastic stuff.

    Lots of high scores this week, well done all.

    Will update after tomorrow nights game, soonest.

  30. AFC says:

    * article

  31. colonelsanders says:

    Diaby has never been fit enough for long enough to be held in high regard. he looked like a young vieira many years ago before the broken leg, however since then injury after injury and some very poor form when fit enough(denilson kept him out of the team. he was that woeful ) Wenger has stood by him for far too long. an expensive squad player to have on the treatment table pretty much 90% of his Arsenal career..

  32. glic says:

    What goes unnoticed is my ability to show consistancy in getting results wrong, this is a skill in it`s self !. hahaha

  33. Rufus says:

    I’ll stick with Rufus, i’ll qualify my earlier point and say Diaby could have been as good if not better than Vieira. The man alas is made of straw, must get rid.

  34. VCC says:

    after QPR result…=

    HH….10………78
    VCC….8……..95
    PPP…..7……..77
    Henry…7……..83
    TMHT…7……..63
    Red Arse..6….75
    Rocky…….6….64
    Alex……….4….62
    GLiC………2….39
    Gerry……..1
    Oz………….o….71
    Total………0…..64

  35. AFC says:

    Rufus, as I said before it would be very hard to sell Diaby. So how do you propose we go about doing this?

  36. glic says:

    Rufus/Mario/BobbyJulian/Michael…………before long you will have amassed more pseudonyms than Diaby has had injuries !. hahaha

  37. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic, that is not a skill my friend, anyone can do as poorly as you when picking the obvious underdogs hahaha! 😉

  38. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, thanks for the update :). It was all a ploy on my end to come out of nowhere near season’s end and make a charge for top 4 in typical Arsenal fashion ;). I never claimed to have wanted to win the title, just to secure myself into a CL UMF spot hahaha!

    By the way, random thought, but would it be a good addition to have a separate league for the top 4 finishers to get bonus points in predicting Arsenal’s results in CL correctly? For example 1 bonus point for a correct prediction (win, loss or draw) to properly reward those have done well the previous year?

  39. Highbury Harmony says:

    Sorry not a separate league, I meant to say separate predictions 🙂

  40. Rufus says:

    If he makes a dramatic recovery all well and good he’ll be an asset, if not it will be a hard sell even as a free transfer. Im’ not on 7.5 million to make that decision that’s Wenger’s call.

  41. glic says:

    Hahaha HH. Even more true is the reverse, anyone ( I give you Vicky ! ) could be top in picking the obvious favourites !. hahaha

  42. Mart says:

    Really sorry for him! but as a club its time to let him go, the problem is paying his high wages with not much in return, thinking he will come back only causes more problems, like this season not signing a defensive midfielder because he should have been fit! As a club we cannot afford to let this happen again!

  43. VCC says:

    HH…..your idea maybe a good one but forgive me I don’t understand?

  44. Welshman says:

    I’m sorry people but I’ve never been over impressed with Diaby. If he had one good game in five then I am being over generous. Terrible what has happened to him with injuries now and in the past, but he is truly an enigma that Arsenal will not miss greatly due to his passed exploits .

    Welshman

  45. AFC says:

    Welshman, thanks for commenting.

    You do have a point in the fact that we will not miss Diaby I wouuld say as much as Song for instance because he is injured for long periods of time during a season. However Diaby is one of the best box to box midfielders in the Premiership. He has attributes which not many players in the world can offer and quite frankly not any Arsenal players in recent years have offered.

  46. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, as a reward to the top 4 finishers in the UMF league this year, they will also get an extra prediction whenever Arsenal play a CL game. So for instance, midweek yourself, Henry, me and PPP (as it stands now, are we still including Herb?) will not only get the typical 5 predictions, but an extra one before Arsenal’s CL kick-off begins (provided they qualify).

    If we correctly predict either an Arsenal win, draw or loss, we’ll get 1 extra point in the UMF standings.

    Ex: This week I accumulated 10 points with 1 to come. Say if Arsenal had a CL game on Tues/Wed, I also have an extra prediction. Until kick-off, I can write my prediction here to be counted as an extra point if I predict the result correctly.

    Just a little incentive for finishing top 4 ;).

  47. Highbury Harmony says:

    Mart, I disagree. The same could have been said about RVP when he struggled with his extensive injuries. He ended up coming good, didn’t he?

    The issue isn’t with Diaby, it’s with AW. He needs to recognize Diaby’s inability to stay healthy and make consecutive starts less frequent and buy a midfielder this summer who can play in a similar B2B role (more of an endurance destroyer who’s good at both ends of the pitch than the traditional B2B). This way, there will not be an over-reliance on Diaby or urgency for him to be rushed back. Also, it will ease his minutes and allow him sufficient time to recuperate between starts.

    To me, reduced minutes and frequent rotation are the best ways to ensure Diaby stays fit over the course of a season.

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys 🙂

    Seem to have a better connection at the moment!

    AFC, you have done it again: your post has generated some fine comments today. 🙂

    I have added in your picture and made a few cosmetic changes too.

  49. AFC says:

    HH, I totally agree.

    I am not sure if this is right but one of my friends has told me that the difference between RVP and Diaby is that Diaby’s injuries are chronic and RVPs were not.

  50. AFC says:

    Hi Mart, the problem with your comment is that Diaby is a box to box midfielder and not a DM so he should really have not been relied upon to perform this role.

  51. AFC says:

    HH, you are also right on your Wenger comment.

    When other players are injured we see Wenger ease them back inot the team slowly but with guys like Jack and Diaby we see him throw them straight back into matches. This is probably because of the lack of depth and quality we have in our squad.

  52. AFC says:

    I hope to send you one maybe two more posts sometime tonight or tomorrow. 🙂

  53. AFC says:

    Last comment was for you TA.

  54. VCC says:

    HH……It’s great guys like you are thinking about how to make the UMF better and more enjoyable. I really appreciate it.

    I understand your idea now. But I would much prefer the idea of giving the lower guys a chance to catch up, so everybody feels they have a chance of winning.

  55. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellent post AFC. I like the way you demand explaination from your readers rather than just flippant answers. You are a hard task master. Are you sure your not my old P.E. teacher, Mr jackson. He and his Baton were always very hard on me. hahaha

    I feel very sad about Diabys carrer. So much promise, potential, and ability which in my mind will go unfullfield. The latest injury now takes the whole saga to crazy levels.

    In his early days you could see the guy had it all. The only thing lacking was experience. I would say that the beggining of this season, one which diaby commenced after a full pre season under his belt, he showed a greater level of maturity. in the games against City and Liverpool he was simply awesome.

    I for one will not rule him out just yet. Hes too good to discard and would allow him to run down his contract in the hope that he can somehow return and once again show what a talent he is.

  56. AFC says:

    colonelsanders, thanks for commenting but I cannot agree with you.

    Diaby has put in plenty of world class performances when fit, one example being against Liverpool and when he plays it is clear to see he is the missing link in our midfiled. Tall, strong, good first touch and agility, good dribbling and glide past players with the ball at his feet for long distances.

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, great news. But take it easy matey! 😛

    Great result yesterday by our boys. Looked like we rode our luck more than a bit at the end. BFG will be big miss, I reckon, so this is the time for Vermaelen to re-announce himself!

    Got to go guys, catch you all tomorrow, I hope! 🙂

    HH, you have got mail. 🙂

  58. AFC says:

    TMHT, glad you like my article and always good to hear from you. 🙂

    I too feel that Diaby is class and is the best box to box midfielder in the Prem alongside Ramires and Yaya. If it was not for the injuries he could have been one of France’s best ever midfielders. I do not think Wenger will get rid of Diaby as I think he will want to wait for Diaby to announce his retirement first. This is because Wenger does not want to ruin a players career like that dickhead SAF did to Hargreaves.

  59. Mike says:

    The answer is as simple as it is cruel. Diaby MUST GO.
    I am not saying a ACL is a career ending injury like it used to be. BUT.. I firmly believe in a game in which small margins of athleticism separate the good players from the great players any damage to your body makes it MUCH harder to perform at a level that puts you above others on the pitch.

    I blew my ACL and MCL in my left knee and my tore my ACL in my right knee. both of these injuries happened in my freshmen year of collage and I went from a top prospect with a full boat scholarship to just average player I did return to playing and even played a season at semi-pro (no MLS at the time not that I think I would have made it even at that level)
    Now If even at my level there was a VERY noticeable drop in my level of play and losing a year to injury also hurt in my development as a player. SO now imagine a player being asked to not just perform but to excel at the very top level of the sport in the EPL. I’m sorry but it is a huge task to do it for a player to excel at the EPL level that manages to avoid any major injuries. Diaby has had several including a leg break and numerous muscle injuries. now this. It is time to say sorry son but it is the end of the line there may be another club out there that will be a better fit for you but Arsenal must look elsewhere for a top Midfielder there is NO room in the first team for questionable players.

    Diaby is NOT the only one
    I would question if it would not have been better to bring in new players for both Ramsey and Wilshere and ONLY bring them back into the 1st team if they and only if they can return to top form NOT just good form But World class form.

    I just feel ALL these players had injuries at VERY important stage in their careers and so far none of them have returned with the level they showed before. Wilshere is struggling many feel he is a great player and he may be but his game HAS suffered from missing a season. I could go on but I feel for the good of the club Arsenal should STOP being a rehab center for young players and be a bit more ruthless.

    I would have signed a new midfielder and let Jack Wilshere get back to full form (if he does at all) in someone else’s squad on loan. Same for Ramsey and if and when they start lighting up the pitch out on loan then bring them back to the First team. Arsenal should be a club with Reliable Experienced talent in every position and Young players (no matter how good) and injury prone players should NOT be relied on to be the first 11 at a EPL top 4 or even title contending team. THis is a huge part of why Arsenal have struggled even if they have managed to stay in top 4 they have NOT been title contenders for sometime and each season you since Arsenal last won you can find at least 1 if not 2 key players NOT fit.

    RVP seasons lost to injury
    Cesc months lost to hamstring injuries (this is mostly due to a lack of depth is the squad so he was over played)
    Diaby Leg break (and more)
    Ramsey Leg break
    Eduardo Leg Break
    Wilshere stress injury
    Rosicky (not sure exactly but he was out for log periods)
    Sagna Leg break (or stress fracture)
    Gibbs injury (at least Wenger went out and got a new Left back)

    Diaby is a good player but had we dropped him years ago brought in a Yaya Toure or a Michael Essien 2 truly World class box to box Central midfielders. If Diaby was kept he would be a bonus if he came good but in the mean time Arsenal might have won something.

    I also feel Jack Wilshere is still a gamble last season gone this season hardly lighting up the EPL in assist and goals. NOT even dominating the midfield. I would love someone to explain to me a a way I can understand just what does he add that makes him so good?

    I mean midfielders like Yaya Toure and Essien it is very obvious they dominate attacking mids like Ronaldo and Messi they score goals play makers like Andrés Iniesta or Luka Modrić they set up plays and can pass a eye the needle pass (or shoot)
    And players like Zinedine Zidane well what couldn’t he do?
    So what type of midfielder is Jack Wilshere? Does he score goals? does he create goals for others? does he dominate the opposition breaking up their passing game and then starting a counter? NO he does NONE of this at a world class level so please tell me just what makes him SO great? He plays well enough to not be a liability but he is a long way from Zinedine Zidane or even Cesc Fabergas for that matter. He IS NOT so far anyway the guy you can rely on to do something truly exceptional that will WIN you a game.

    I’m sorry but Arsenal has been penny wise and pound foolish paying good money on salaries to players that spend more time on the treatment table then on the pitch Or outing faith in players NOT ready or not good enough to be counted on to win you titles.

    Where is Arsenal’s Zinedine Zidane or Bergkamp now that player that is a stand out even among top players?

  60. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Have a great time TA. Of course i know your telling porkies. All this rubbish about taking the family and a dog with you. Youve told the Mrs an old friend is unwell so you have to go visit when realy your having eroticly clandestine meetings with some lovely scotish Bint you pulled last time you were up there.

    Dont worry TA, i wont tell anyone. just as long as you tell me all about it once your back. hahaha

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Ai, you know me too well, Terryble 😛

    Really gone now!

    A demain!

  62. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yes Mike. After Van Persies injurys would you have got rid of him too?

  63. AFC says:

    Mike, very, long and interesting comments and thanks for making them. 🙂

    Wilshere has not beem at his best this season and I often have said to other bloggers that he should improve his shooting/finishing, Wilshere in my eyes is a box to box midfielder who has good dribbling, ball control and agilty. He drive up the pitch with the ball at his feet taking oppostion players out of the game meanwhile he makes these runs, he has the desire to do well and many say he is the heart of this Arsenal team.

  64. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, the idea was only to give us 1 point for those CL game predictions, so as to distinguish our achievements from finishing top 4 this year ;).

    Those in the bottom 3 should be still be given an advantage, such as the wildcard/joker you suggested or by being able to select one game out of their five predictions for 2x points (until they are out of the bottom 3 of course).

    What do you think about that?

  65. AFC says:

    Also what you say about replacing players who have long term injuries I disagree with. Wenger brought Monreal to replace Santos not Gibbs. There have been plenty of great players who have been injured and and come back to continue to be great players.

  66. AFC says:

    Mike, I have also said this before.

    Players from the UK are overrated, in my opinion Wilshere is slightly overrated, but there are players such as Rooney, Bale, Carrick, Parker etc who are massively overrated.

  67. Highbury Harmony says:

    Mike, one flaw in your theory that you have overlooked is the fact that these players lose loyalty to their club if full trust is not placed with them. The fact that we have stuck by their side through thick and thin, generally leads to more determination, passion and respect to repay that club’s faith.

    Also, you must be cognizant of the fact that Arsenal have more control of injured players’ rehab when they are kept in-house. When loaned out, managers have full control and may play them too frequently due to the lack of quality in their own sides, thus exposing them to greater risk of re-injuring themselves.

    van Judas is an anomaly imo, as he’s just a selfish glory hunter who’s lucky to even any silverware this season. I’d like to believe that Ramsey, Diaby and Jack are more committed to Arsenal than van Judas ever was (but only time will tell).

  68. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cesc was also an anomaly because he didn’t leave the club in search of silverware, but to return home. Cesc still holds Arsenal in the highest regard and I believe granting him first-team opportunities at such a young age, in addition to being loyal and compassionate during his injury recovery, led him to forever loving the club.

  69. AFC says:

    And in years to come when SAF tries to persuade Wilshere to come to United (or infact any clubs who want Wilshere) Wilshere will remember that Wenger, Arsenal fans and the players at Arsenal stood by him and this will lead to Jack being more loyal to Arsenal in these situations and Jack will also be obliged to give something back to Arsenal.

  70. AFC says:

    Cesc has also said, that he will noly ever leave Barca for Arsenal.

  71. Milo says:

    Mike, you mentioned Luka Modric as a World class player, yet he only scores about 2-3 league goals a season and only makes about 8-10, if that. So what makes him so good and Jack so bad, when both have a similar haul of goals and assists??? There is/are more to goals and assists, than just the scoring of the goal and the direct pass that leads to the goal (the assist) Jack Wilshere contributes more than anybody to our build-up play and is the best in our midfield at releasing pressure by either beating players, or passing to somebody else. He’s a more forward thinking version of Arteta. He will refine his play and contribute more goals and assists, but even my Dad, who is blind and hasn’t ever SEEN Wilshere play, will admit that, when on form, he is our best central midfield player. If you cannot see that, then I don’t know what to say.

  72. AFC says:

    * only

  73. AFC says:

    Milo, good point about Modric. When he was at spurs he was overrtae just like Bale is now.

    The thing about Wilshere is that he is not afraid to make mistakes. He does not play safe and does what other players probably can do in the team but are too scared to do. He has no fear!

  74. Rufus says:

    To be honest the cynic in me would suggest that the lack of silverware gave Fabregas the perfect cover story to leave the Club.

  75. AFC says:

    Just saw Remy’s wondergoal. Maybe he is Wenger’s ST choice if QPR get relegated which is likely considering they got another draw.

  76. AFC says:

    Rufus, you could have a point. Lack of silverware could be part of the reason why Fabregas left. If Arsenal were winning tons of trophies like Barcelona I think he would not have left.

  77. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, Wishere’s also much faster and better at taking on opponents than Arteta too!! Can’t miss an opportunity to point out all of Jack’s positives…I love that guy 🙂

  78. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I’m not confident that Remy will be able to lead our line. He’s quite a selfish player in that he often does not make the pass when running up field with the ball, in order to try and score goals himself. He does however have outstanding pace, great power in his shot and is a solid aerial threat. What concerns me is that he struggled to get into both Marseille’s starting 11 this year before his move to QPR, as well as the French National Team over the past couple of years.

    Also, I think there’s a reason why Remy doesn’t get a look in the French National Team to play centrally over Benzema and Giroud ;). With that said, he may fit Arsenal’s style better than Giroud. I would rather us buy a top class talent though (or one with the ability to become world-class) and not continually try and fill the gaps with average to above average players.

  79. AFC says:

    HH, I do feel Remy would have been a better option than Giroud. Just imagine we had the arial threat of Giroud, the speed of Remy and the technical ability of another striker.

    We really should have 3 strikers to choose from in our squad. Man U have 4. City have 3 and Chelsea are in the hunt for a 3rd striker.

  80. Highbury Harmony says:

    The cynic with that theory would say we have 3: Giroud, Podolski, Walcott ;). However, that would leave us desperately thin on the wings…

  81. AFC says:

    HH, Podolski and Walcott are needed on the wings alongside Gervinho and the Ox. That means we only have one striker. So with that in my I like to see two new strikers in the summer but I know this is an unrealistic proposal as Wenger also needs to buy a CB/RB and a DM in the summer as well as a GK if Fab and Mannone leave.

  82. Rufus says:

    Who in all the years at Arsenal has Wenger brought through the Academy and has established them as an integral member of the team.

  83. AFC says:

    Rufus, I think Wenger has turned around 40-45 academy players into first team players. Higher than any other club in the PL. Some include:

    Gibbs
    Wilshere
    Frimpong (although he is not really a first team player)
    Bendtner
    Fabregas
    Szczęsny
    Djourou

  84. Rufus says:

    In my view those players on your list are not integral to the team except mayby Wilshere. I can think of Cole and that was because he had to sell Silvinho and possibly Gibbs, all the rest were schooled initially on foreign soil.

  85. AFC says:

    Rufus, these players still belonged to our academy and there are many more brilliant players in which I cannot name as I have limited knowdlege on our academy players.

  86. Highbury Harmony says:

    I would add Szczesny to that list.

  87. Highbury Harmony says:

    Oops, didn’t realize he was already on it 😉

  88. Highbury Harmony says:

    I do agree that in relative terms, the money we spend on our youth academy is not worth the return. There have definitely been some successful players to come out of it, but many have only played there for a year or less before joining the first-team (aka developed by other clubs).

  89. AFC says:

    HH, and in years to com,e how many Next Gen players do you think we will see in our first team. Not many in my opinion.

  90. AFC says:

    * come

  91. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, it is definitely a worrying issue. AW invests so much cash in the academy, then goes out and buys other young players to compensate for the lack of progress in home-grown talents. Imho, the whole academy needs to be re-gutted and start over from scratch.

    Eisfeld, Gnabry and Akpom (there’s one more player that I can’t think of right now) are the only ones that look like they may fill a place in the first-team in the near future.

  92. Highbury Harmony says:

    Miyachi, Campbell and other players who consistently get sent out on loan are ones I would not consider as “Arsenal academy products” due to their development being gained elsewhere.

  93. AFC says:

    HH, not sure of the spelling but is that player Bellarin.

  94. AFC says:

    HH, when I heard of Coquelin and Frimpong, I had high hopes. I thought in years to come Coquelin and Frimpong would be our two DMs working together in a double pivot. Coquelin with the technical atrributes for the DM postion and Frimpong with the physical atrributes needed for the DM position. Now it is just a dream. I really do not know why Wenger chooses to only put time and effort and develop certain players and not all of his players.

    Moving onto a slightly older player. When it was clear that Santos could not defend. Why could Bould and one of the best managers in the world not be able to teach Santos to defend. A bit strange to me.

  95. AFC says:

    * attributes

  96. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, Bellerin is certainly another one worth keeping an eye on, but he was not the player I was thinking of. Milo knows a ton about the academy/reserves and he’ll be able to establish a better list than I have :).

    In the case of Santos, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It’s in his culture to be skilled and offensive, while paying little regard to defense. In fact, at Fenerbache and Gremio he was deployed as a skillful wingback, not as a LB. Being played out of position and being required to defend led to his ultimate downfall. Here we see why AW’s stubbornness and rigidity in formation caused yet another player to fail at Arsenal imo. He also never adjusted well to the pace and strength of the EPL.

  97. AFC says:

    HH, you are right about Santos and maybe Wenger should have played him at LW. Wenger is very reluctant to change the positions of player to fit fit into formations and is also very reluctant to change formations to accomodate certain players. We saw David Luiz at Chelsea deployed at DM when he was failing at CB and I do not know why Wenger did not change Santos’s position. But that is in the past.

    On guys like Afobe, Ryo etc, Wenger speaks highly of them but I do not think we will ever see these guys in our first team.

  98. AFC says:

    TA, you’ve got mail! 🙂

  99. Red Arse says:

    Morning Guys, 🙂

    Chuks Aneke maybe the one missing from your list HH. Currently out on loan, and AW says he will be used more in the first team squad next season.

  100. Red Arse says:

    Of course, you might also have meant to include Gnabry! 🙂

  101. Red Arse says:

    No — you already have him – though he really is another German import, like Eisfeld. 🙂

  102. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Morning all. 🙂

    Wow, some of you have really got to get off the pseudoephedrine and get some sleep. We dont want burn-out and Total does not pay overtime rates for blogging. Its a health and safety issue 🙂 hahaha. Seriously though, good work.

    AFC, thanks for the post. If it was up to me i would slather Diaby in the same horse placenta cream that worked for Van Judas. Simples 😀

  103. VCC says:

    Sorry to rain on AFC parade, but this must go up early in the week.

    The UMF league will include the FA cup semi finals this week end, giving us nine games to choose from =

    Arsenal v Norwich
    Aston Villa v Fulham
    Everton v QPR
    Reading v Liverpool
    Southampton v West Ham
    Millwall v Wigan
    Chelsea v Manchester City
    Newcastle v Sunderland
    Stoke v Man scum.

    Cheers guys.

  104. Red Arse says:

    Hi VCC, 🙂

    Here are my preeedictions!!!

    Arsenal v Norwich = Home win
    Aston Villa v Fulham = Draw
    Reading v Liverpool – Away win
    Chelsea v Manchester City = Draw
    Stoke v Man scum. = Away win

    Nice and early for you! 🙂

    Have you noticed that since I took back control of predictions from that bunch of rapscallions, particularly 3P and Gallumping Glic that I have slowly moved back up the table Mable? 😀

  105. VCC says:

    Red Arse. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by yours truly. You are my hero after all. 🙂

    I need to ask a small favour. In the coming weeks would you be so kind as to think of some new innovations towards the UMF.

    I would like to introduce a formula that assists the lower end guys. This would help generate and keep enthusiasm up throughout the season.

    Total and a few others have shown their interest to keep going with the UMF. I am happy to continue as long as all are still keen?

    Maybe we will get some new comers, which would be nice.

    😉

  106. VCC says:

    Red arse your odds are = 33-1 🙄

  107. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. I love when we keep winning.. hehehe..
    And Spurs keep losing the point.. hahahaha..

    @AFC..
    I love Diaby when he is fit.. but Arteta and Ramsey did the work well in our last 4 games..
    Yes we still need Diaby.. And when he come back.. next season.. better man.. hope he will be another Wilshere for us..

    @VCC..
    wow.. thisweek UMF haven’t done yet.. you already offer us a new UMF league.. hehehe..
    So.. No Chelsea, City and Wigan thisweek, change with 2 FA semifinals..??
    Oke.. my prediction will be :
    Liverpool and MU away win.. Wigan away win also (FA)
    Villa – Fulham draw and Chelsea – City draw (FA)

    And when will Chelsea – Spurs played..??
    I like to watch spurs beaten by Chelsea.. hehehehe..
    So.. if Chelsea and Spurs are not playing this week then we will be at 3rd by the end of this sunday.. hahahaa..

    Go Gunners.. We can do it.. again and again..

  108. Red Arse says:

    VCC,

    I will give the UMF rules some thought and will probably email suggestions to you via TA.

    It is important that those no-hopers like Glic are given some incentive, so for him perhaps there should be a ‘title’ he can win for coming last every week! 😀

  109. alexgunners says:

    AFC,

    Great Post, What to do with Diaby??? No one will buy him simply because of his history of injuries. He can be a pivotal player for us but a 9 month set back may be just a bit too long.
    It will take it’s toll on him mentally. I would love for him to make a full recovery like Robin Van Pursestrings. It is probably best for him to be on a pay per play wage structure and see how it all pans out for him. AW has shown great faith in him but he has been so damn unlucky.

    I would like to see him in the Arsenal shirt again soon but i’m not sure how successful it may be.

  110. alexgunners says:

    VCC,

    I know that I have been rather slack with the UMF predictions lately, so i will get it nice and early this time around.

    Here they are:

    GUNNERS (H)
    Everton (H)
    ManShitty (A)
    ManUre (A)
    Wigan (A)

    Thanks Mate

  111. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Ummm, (cough) i would just like to say that every time i have predicted for others they have always scored better than myself. Call me the good samaratin 😉

  112. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    I wish they could say the same 🙄 cough cough Cough 🙄

    😆

  113. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Here are PPPs’ UMF entries for this coming round:-

    Dippers= away win
    Soton v Ham = draw
    Wiganez= away win
    ‘Vichski v Castrol= draw
    Pepe le Pardew v Nazerland= draw

  114. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi Vics, there have been some great ideas in regards to UMF. Personally, i enjoy it and i think its great. I also think you should write a small headline post where you could explain the basics. I think it could attract a greater fan base/contenders which i a few others would welcome. Than we could do a follow up post with a vote system on which rules and scoring systems we would favour. So that’s 1st post= basic guideline/suggestions followed by 2nd post= votathon 😉

    My suggestion would be that im happy to send $5.00 by air-mail, and put it towards a grand prize which would be an item of ‘Arsenal’ memorobilia’. That would mean “no pay, NO PLAY”
    Im sure this way, all the UMFers would get their entries in on time 😉 hahaha

  115. VCC says:

    Red Arse 11:36.

    GLiC being a “No hoper”. I totally agree Amigo. I would go much further.

    He is a twat.

    He’s certainly got the WOW factor =

    Withering Old Windbag

    Weird Old Wino

    Worthy of Wastrel

    Workshy Old Woebegone.

  116. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    My nephew just had the cartoon network on and Elmur Fudd reckons Glic has the ‘WOW’ factor. “Wasscly Old Wabbit”….. 😀 ………………..well i thought it was funny

  117. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    obviously ‘womaniser’, ‘old’, ‘wanker’, are the terms that GLiC prefers 😆

  118. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    kinda like Benny Hill. That’s the image i got after the whole red bull affair. hahaha

    laterz.

  119. VCC says:

    Nice one chaps. Your all spoiling me this week.

    I have four entries in before Monday afternoon, that’s un heard of 😉

    It’s also great you putting your thinking caps on and coming up with ideas for the next season. It shows most/all have a light hearted bit of fun.

    Prince, that’s nice to offer a 5 dollar donation to the winner next year, but its unnecessary, as we have some sponsors for prizes next time around.

    Prize donations are =

    Total…………….One Left Clog.

    Terry…………….Best selling paperback ..”How to pull a Sheila and score within 30 minutes”

    GLiC……………..One ounce of his brain …..a particle of sand

    Red Arse……….A Thesaurus

    Richie……………1 week on his Yacht ( In the Mediterranean).(He doesn’t know about this yet, but leave it with me 😉

    Henry…………….A laughing bag

    Gerry……………..Another paperback “Follow Gerry’s tips,and become skint in a week”

    Alex……………….A watch. (enabling you to get selections in on time)

    Highbury Harmony.. Hardback (size of War and Peace) “Arsenal’s European targets”.

    Rocky…………….A crown ( or Tiara if GLiC wins)

    PPP & Oz……….A boomerang.

    VCC……………….A yellow jersey 😉 🙂 😆 😀 🙄

  120. VCC says:

    Red Arse……33-1
    Henry…………48-1
    Alex…………..12-1
    PPP………….108-1

    cheers guys. 😉

  121. alexgunners says:

    VCC,

    I love it, I am trying to turn over a new leaf by getting my predictions in early. We will see how long that will last for.

    I will put my thinking cap on in regards to next season UMF League. It’s a great idea and a bit of light hearted fun. I have some suggestions for a prize but your suggestions are great.

  122. Red Arse says:

    I thought your idea for prizes are great.

    I suppose the booby prize for coming last could be a loan of a village idiots brain for a year? Bad news for some — a big improvement for others? 😀

  123. alexgunners says:

    RA,

    Is there anyone on particular you are referring to in terms of being an improvement?

  124. Red Arse says:

    Alex,

    I deliberately left a question mark at the end of the sentence! 🙂

    However, I have to say that a certain Glic Monster is not just funny, he is much smarter than some might think. 🙂

  125. AFC says:

    Alexgunners, glad you like my post.

    I would really want to see Diaby on a ‘pay as you play’ deal. Good for Arsenal, good for Diaby. If he stays fit he gets paid as he should if he cannot we do not waste our money on paying his wages. Sounds harsh but that is my view.

    However I do not see this happening and eventually I expect to hear Diaby announce his retirement from professional football.

  126. AFC says:

    henrychan, thanks for commenting.

    I think the best thing would be to put Diaby on a ‘pay as you play’ deal. That way this money could be used to invest in a new midfielder while keeping Diaby who is quality. If we could keep him and he could play just 15-20 matches every season it would be worthwhile.

  127. AFC says:

    So PPP, it seems that you would give Diaby some serious TLC in the hope he gets better. Not sure that would work as I have hard that Diaby’s injuries are chronic and Van Persie’s were not.

  128. alexgunners says:

    RA,

    Just look at all the words that he uses, he uses words that I’ve needed to look up on various occasions. He needs to write a Glictionary in order for “US” commoners to understand everything.

    GLIC,

    This is a compliment that I am paying you

  129. Red Arse says:

    AFC,

    I have been all over the place just recently (health issues) and I cannot remember if I complimented you previously on your fine Post. Just in case, I would like to do so now!! 🙂

    As far as the Diaby issue goes, I rather think he is very despondent about yet another major injury crisis, and has given the impression at arsenal that he intends to retire from football.

    Why do I think this? Well Arsene recently said that he hopes that Diaby does not give up because of this latest setback, and that he wants him to persevere and tries his best to get back.

    So it is possible no decision will need to be made by Arsene Wenger, as Diaby might think he has had enough and simply retire.

  130. Highbury Harmony says:

    RA, yes Aneke is the other player I was thinking of! I knew it started with an “a”.

    That line about the prize for the loser was gold and not as sly and subtle as you think hahaha. We all know who you’re referring to ;).

    VCC, those prizes sound outstanding! Would be quite a haul for the winner, with everyone contributing as much as you could expect them to hahaha!

  131. Red Arse says:

    Alex,

    I think the Glicster is clever, but he is also a little pervert who sits around playing with his appurtenances and making up naughty words.. He will go blind!! 🙂

  132. AFC says:

    RA, glad you like my post and always good to hear from you. 🙂

    I think it is not Wenger’s style to turn around and tell Diaby to piss off because he cannot stop getting injuries. SAF is. He admits Diaby as a man and as a player (as I said near the beginning of my post). I think Wenger wants Diaby to make the decision and whatever decision Diaby makes Wenger will support.

  133. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Did anybody get a chance to see Barcelona this weekend? Splendid display minus messi, Fabregas with a hat-trick.

  134. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Also Vela keeps popping up on the scoresheet. I would seriously love to have him back. He would be perfect on the left in a 4-3-3 or our 4-2-1-3. I would really like to know the story with that one.

  135. Red Arse says:

    3P,

    I never understood why Vela was not given more opportunities at Arsenal.
    There are not many who have his eye for a goal scoring opportunity, and some of his goals were outstanding.

  136. AFC says:

    Does anyone or most likely alexgunners know anything about a CB who I think plays in Brazil called Dede?

    He is strong and seems to have a bit of pace about him. He is only around 25.

  137. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi Redders,

    That is exactly what i saw in him. He had a delightful chip when one on one with the keeper, he often made speedy diagnol runs into the box ala freddie, and im sure had we developed him a little more, maybe his shot and an extra few kilos he could have been as classy as Eduardo. Whenever i hear rumours about us enquiring over players like Villa, Navas, Pedro, Bojan Krkic etc etc i think to myself “but we have him in our own backyard.” Its even more puzzling to see that patience and time given to others to develop, yet they have shown less.

  138. Red Arse says:

    Don’t know why it is, but everytime we sign a ‘new Ronaldinho’ from South America, we always have problems with the paperwork, and loan them out.

    Then — nothing.

    Wellington, Gallindo, Joel Campbell, Santos, Vela and Denilson (OK, he is slightly different), they seem to ‘disappear’, and don’t play very often for their loan side, or slowly slide down the level of the clubs they are loaned too. (A generalisation I accept — but there is a point there).

    When you add in Park, Afobe, Chamakh, Djourou, Bendtner, and many of the kids like Philipp Roberts, and Anthony Jefferey too, it seems like there is a major need to urgently reassess these guys.

    There are also some long term ‘no-hopers’ like Eastmond, Shea and Watt who seem to have been at Arsenal for ever but have no chance of making the first team squad.

    I do not like the term ‘dead wood’ but really we need to improve and speed up the culling process, so that Arsenal do not have money needlessly sucked out on wages etc, and it will also give these guys the chance to find some other club before it becomes too late for them.

    Evolution is fine, but sometimes the only answer is revolution!! Chop and do it quickly!

  139. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    I agree Redders, though we may not always agree on who we develop or who we cull, if we decide to end the affair then lets do it quickly and move on. So who decides on these matters, Liam Brady, or Arsene, or the board?

    In your first paragraph, if you were having a conversation with ‘my old man’ he would tell you its all to do with business and laundering. Very negative bloke my dad 🙄

  140. Red Arse says:

    The ‘Board’ do not have any part in off-loading players, 3P.

    None of the non-shareholding directors (that’s all of them) have any power over AW, and the only one who does is Kroenke who would never interdict AW’s decisions.

    Presumably, Bould, Brady and the other coaches would have a say in who stays and who goes, but my point was that it really seems no bugger is prepared to do the dirty and whisper sad tidings in the ears of the unfortunate rejects.

    I am familiar with the term money laundering, but your dad has got me with ‘player laundering’ as I thought that was just making sure they were nicely turned out. 🙂

  141. Highbury Harmony says:

    German superkid, Gedion Zelalem was given the green light to kickstart his Arsenal career!

    He’s been annointed the next “Cesc Fabregas” because of his vision, balance and creativity”. He’ll spend 2-3 years at Arsenal’s academy and hopefully this is the beginning of better players being produced within our club.

  142. AFC says:

    HH, for the acedemy to work Arsenal football club has to stripped and started again. From the acedemy to the players at the very top of the club there has to cohesion between all of the steps that lead from the acedemy to the first team.

    Barca have done this perfectly.

    How can our young players develop to the best of their ability if they are needed to play in the first team to make up for the lack of quality experienced players who should be playing in the first team, when quite frankly they are not ready. Look when Gibbs was brought into the first team. He was not ready like so many others. In my opinion Coquelin, Frimpong, Jenkinson, Miquel are also not ready. Ramsey and Wilshere are debatable. We should not even be talking of promoting guys like Gnabry to the first team.

  143. AFC says:

    * stripped down and rebuilt
    * academy

  144. glic says:

    Evening Smegalomaniac`s 😆

    Predictions for UMF Anagram League are :

    South Tampon Vs The Wise Mad Nut

    Cash Lee Vs Cinema Stretchy

    Not Over vs Ranger Spanks Queer

    Delicate New Nuts Vs Nuder Lands

    Yeti Stock Vs Decent Manure Shit

    All Draws.

  145. AFC says:

    If we had an Arsenal B team in the Championship or League 1 this would allow players like Frimpong, Coquelin etc to develop as a team meanwhile playing the Arsenal way and playing some serious competitive football at the same time.

  146. VCC says:

    VCC entries =

    Reading v Liverpool……..away
    Millwall v Wigan…………..away
    Stoke v ManUre…………..away
    Newcastle v Sunderland draw
    Arsenal v Norwich………..home

    GLiC’s odds = 751-1
    Vickey’s odds = 17-1

  147. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, that’s not how the EPL has ever worked though from my understanding. La Liga operates with their Primera B division, which basically acts as a feeder club for the respective big clubs. The parent clubs own the second division clubs and their players are able to form cohesion through that manner.

    I’m not aware if there are regulations/rules about disallowing Arsenal to have a B team, can anyone shed insight into this?

  148. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi All

    Just like to say that i have had no choice but to revise my opinion of Joveitic, During the England Monty game i thought Joveitic was the geezer with the beard but now it turns out he was that other bloke who i cant even remember playing

    I know this is correct because in todays paper there is a picture of the geezer who i thought was Joveitic doing the full monty when not playing for monty and his name is not Jovetic

    Hope thats clear. hahaha

  149. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, what about the games on the 16th and the 17th for the UMF league since it’s a DGW for a lot of clubs?

  150. AFC says:

    HH, I think it is possible for us to have a B team like Barcelona, Valencia etc.

    Mancini last season why saying how he would like City and the other to PL teams to have B teams in the Championship. But lots of people said that this would be demeaning to the Championship.

  151. AFC says:

    HH, what I was trying to say is that Arsenal should try to imitate what goes on in the Spain.

  152. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, now I see what you were saying. I thought you were implying that Arsenal were lagging behind other EPL clubs for not having a B team (I was unaware other clubs had them in the Championship hahaha!).

  153. AFC says:

    * was

  154. glic says:

    Talking of papers Stretch, in The Sun on Friday, a reporter went undercover in Brentwood and Langdon Hills for a Dogging article and talked about all the tricks like flashing the interior and extrerior light`s to comunicate with other doggers. They indicated to another car and the other car pulled up with the occupant being described like someone on this site, someone of a dodgy syrup nature ! . hahaha

  155. VCC says:

    HH…..if its a full midweek programme then we will go for it.

  156. AFC says:

    HH, no PL teams have B teams in the Championship. I was saying that it would be a good idea for us and other PL teams to have B teams stationed in the lower leagues. Mancini has also said this.

  157. VCC says:

    HH…..just checked and there is only four games next week.

    Tue 16th = Arsenal v Everton

    Wed 17th = MC v Wigan
    WHU v MU
    Fulham v Chavs

    In that case as there’s less than five fixtures we will not be having a mid week prediction.

  158. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yeah, i had to scarper when they flashed there beams. Two blokes for F*ucks sake.

    Every one wears syrups when dogging Cornwall, all part of the disguise.

    Well, everyone except me, my disguise is turning up without it. hahaha

  159. glic says:

    Hahaha
    The reporter said most of the doggers are Professionals….. Solicitors, Lawyers , Accountants etc`!. hahaha

  160. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Vicks, make it a compulsory 4 game pick. We’re all in the same boat. C’mon man, i need the points!!

  161. glic says:

    I just saw on Newsnow that Halle Berry is expecting her 2nd child…….and my, god knows how child !.

  162. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, ime know as the wiper man

    I turn up with out the wig, hugh specs so i get a good view, and a dirty old mac. Never get out of the car and keep the windows closed, Get my rocks off by observing. Know as the wiper man because things get realy steamy in the motor so alway have the wipers on. hahaha

  163. Highbury Harmony says:

    VCC, my UMF predictions:

    Liverpool away win
    Manure away win (vs. Stoke)
    Manure away win (vs. West Ham)
    Wigan away win (vs. Millwall)
    Southampton vs. West Ham draw

  164. glic says:

    Quick lads…..I only just found out…….Sky Ch 429…..Arsenal U 21`s Vs The Bindippers young bin liners….Live.
    It`s half time and 1-1 Akpom scoring…watch the 2nd half live boys !.

    Put the TV on Wiperman . hahaha

  165. Highbury Harmony says:

    Definitely Glic, since there’s no other matches worth watching at this time 😉

  166. glic says:

    Hahaha I forgot about that one Double H, but like I`ve said before….I only watch Arsenal games, although I do get a boner watching the Spuds lose on Match of the Day !. hahaha

  167. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post!

    HH, takes us through the various central midfield set-ups and what could work for Arsenal going forward. A top quality read! 😛

  168. Bond James says:

    Thanks AFC, good article

    i feel Diaby may still have a place in this arsenal team yet, if only he shows some form of loyalty to arsene wenger and to this club by basically announcing his retirement from international football, if he does that then sure, he may yet have a future at arsenal

    another scenario is by giving him a pay as you go contract, or setting targets in his contract as in 20 appearances earns you this much amount of money, anything below 20 you’re on a pay as you go – along them lines

    it’s a shame his career has been hampered by injuries, no one denies his talents and skills, majority of us agree on him being unlucky with injuries and could have been a decent player

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