Why Wenger has no choice but to buy Super Quality this summer


Edison Cavani – class and grit combined!

It’s been a considerable while since I gave my opinion on anything Arsenal (I’ve been incredibly busy), but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been keen on the happenings of the football world. In fact, after watching Barca and Real Madrid get annihilated by the Germans, I became uneasy. Not because I have a soft spot for either but these two defeats brought to my attention a looming eventuality that quite honestly made my stomach turn. This is what I’m going to discuss in this post.

I have to say, the Germans have taken the world by storm. The Bavarians dispatched Barca in a manner that would make a total stranger to football believe that the Catalans were a small town team. A side that, mind you, has been the bench mark for success in the last half decade. Same goes for Dortmund and Real Madrid. On top of that, despite their dominance, Bayern have already secured the services of Guardiola, Gotze and Lewandowski and counting. Scary!

I would also like to point out how PSG have come to birth. Some may argue that it is because of their billionaire backing, but however you look at it, they are now among the elite in European football, and from the looks of it, they’re here to stay whether we like it or not. Juventus and AC Milan are two very curious teams. They may only be dominant in Italy but you get the feeling that with a few top signings here and there they will join the aforementioned lot. Gleaning from all indications, they probably will sign top players this summer which means next year will be absolutely cut-throat.

So what does all this have to do with our beloved Arsenal? I will get there shortly.

Let me turn my attention to the Premier League. United were recently crowned champions with a whooping 15 point lead against local rivals, ManchesterCity. This kind of dominance, however, is a one off. I can attribute it to inconsistency and bad luck on the part of City and Chelsea, who over the season have dropped some unnecessary points. Credit to united where it is due, though; they have shown fantastic consistency throughout the season. My point here is, City and Chelsea will be angered by the manner of United’s triumph and will be looking to take revenge.

Even Fergie and Wenger have voiced concerns about the spending spree being planned by the two: not only for players, but managers too. And with Mourinho, Klopp and Heynckes future in their respective teams in doubt, there is no shortage of top class managers.

The teams in battle for the top 4 tell the same tale. Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham can no longer be termed as ‘mid table’. In fact, depending on what moves they make in the summer (Liverpool and Tottenham more so) they have an outside chance of becoming title contenders.

Which brings me to my whole bottom line for this article: Arsenal are facing a future defining crossroad this summer in various ways.

First of all, in terms of stature. Despite eight barren years, we are still widely regarded as a European giant and are even seeded top in the UCL draws. This can be attributed to our past success and tendency to finish in the top 4 every year. That said, you get the feeling that the goodwill that Thierry Henry and company afforded us with their victories have ran their course. In fact, even among our own fans, we are slowly realizing that Arsenal isn’t the powerhouse it once was. This can be typified by Luca Toni’s remarks to Jovetic, telling him not to join Arsenal as we aren’t a top club. Naturally, as a die hard fan I was outraged by those comments, but you have to admit, he has a point. We are no longer in the league of Barca, Bayern, United, PSG, City, Real and Chelsea.

And this is my second point: our attractiveness as a club – ability to attract top players. There are two things top class players chase and that is money and glory. Currently we can offer neither. Like I said earlier, in the past we’ve been skating on the efforts and reputation of our former stars to attract talent. You can clearly see (with Toni’s remarks) that that door is firmly shut now. With Arsenal notorious for their financial prudence in terms of player wages, you realize that we are in real trouble.

When there were rumours that we were chasing Gotze a few weeks ago, he quickly quashed them saying that he was angling for a move to one of Europe’s finest, stating Barca, Real, Man U and City as examples. You can disagree with me all you want, but these are the facts on the ground. All we have going for us now is Wenger’s reputation to make good players great and with some of his recent purchases (Arshavin, Sylvestre, Chamakh, Gervinho, Squillaci, Santos etc) even that isn’t iron clad.

Wenger is facing a monumental task to remain relevant in European football. This is a summer when his moves in the market will either push us back into that elite category, or banish us into a mediocre mid table dominion. Due to the developments I’ve pointed out above, he no longer has the luxury to gamble on players who will pay off later. If he allows these teams to strengthen while he watches, he will end up having a much tougher task in restoring our status which will take many seasons, just ask Liverpool.

He has no choice but to grit his teeth and spend big money on big players. It’s not all doom and gloom though as for the first time in a long time there is an abundance of talent in the market. There is Falcao, Cavani, Jovetic, Benzema, Hummels, Wanyama, Capoue, Begovic, Mignolet, Isco, Michu, James Rodriguez, Sanchez, Higuain: all on the market.

I hear talks for Jovetic are on going and that is a good start. However, Arsene can’t stop there. We need a DM, a top, top striker (or two) like say Jovetic and Michu; a top CB; and a top Goal keeper. For depth purposes, I also recommend a left winger. We also need to deal with the underachievers in our squad like Gervinho. Let’s face it, a team like Bayern often has Robben and Gomez on the bench, while we sometimes are forced to make due with Gervinho as a starter. City have players like Dzeko, Nasri on the bench. I think you get my point.

We need to assemble a squad with 15-17 top quality players so that with injuries, fatigue and loss of form, it remains business as usual. That kind of consistency is what will win us trophies.


Written by: Marcus.

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91 Responses to Why Wenger has no choice but to buy Super Quality this summer

  1. Red Arse says:

    Super Post, Marcus, 🙂

    Much of it blends nicely into some of the points raised yesterday regarding the changes in transfer policy needed in the summer.

    You write very well and you are always interesting.

    Hats off to you, sir! 😀

  2. malaysian gunner says:

    If he continues to buy French and African born players,he is really deluded.
    These guys aint of epl std and area waste of time. Cygan,Stepanov,etc.
    I think he could probably leave in May.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Malaysian Gunner

    Nationality has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of real quality French and African players in Europe at the moment.

  4. malaysian gunner says:

    The problem is African guys will go missing when the ANC starts in the peak of the epl season. As for French players,yt has nothing against them Think C hamakh,and others .The Fp have not been making waves other than TH<,Pires and ahandful of others.

  5. tim says:

    Spot on

  6. Red Arse says:

    Morning, TA, 🙂

    Not surprisingly, yesterday’s Post generated a lot of different opinions, although as I was trying to intimate, FFP could benefit Arsenal, if it works as intended, but could be disastrous for clubs like Fulham, Wigan, Sunderland etc.

    Perhaps I need to write another Post to explain that more clearly. 🙂 But maybe not!! 🙂

  7. Red Arse says:

    Hi MalaysianG 🙂

    What you are looking for are good quality players, and nationality is irrelevant.

    By the way, Stepanovs is Eastern European. 🙂

  8. TC says:

    The bottom line is that we are an ordinary side who have developed ordinary processes from buying players to playing tactics to playing mentality. For me it is so integral in the club that to think Wenger can change back all that he has put in place is just unthinkable. As you indicated doing it Wengers way will require a lot more money than we have (your list of possible positions we need to buy for) so we need to utilise what we have better. My only conclusion is that Wenger must walk away. He has established that habit that all managers have when near the end – they stubbornly stick to players and tactics that obviously do not work. Walcott and Sagna being classic examples – and I am not talking about this last game. Both players games have been in tatters for months if not years. Wenger has allowed a level of play to be acceptable that has taken believing in players to a ridiculous level. Look at the long playing streaks that were unacceptable – Poldo, Vermalen, Sagna, Giroud, Walcott, Diaby etc. Even Ramsey because even though he has played great recently it was like a fluke that he got moved to his current position because he ran out of players in that position – eg it was luck by Wenger.

    One last example – take Vermalen – is there any Arsenal fan who did not know that his ‘spurs’ performance was actually there almost every time he played this season? Even old Wenger was forced to see the light that everyone else had seen all season.

  9. TotalArsenal says:


    I take your point of the AFC interuption but luckily there is none for the next two years now.

    Song, Sagna, Koz and also Giroud and even Gervinho all good footballers, who have added value to our team recently.

    Just imagine us signing Wanyama, Ribery and a certain Benzema this summer. They might as well give us the cup now!

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders 🙂

    Your post had a great response, which is no surprise to me. It would be great if you dig even deeper into the issue of FFP and what it means for the mega-rich/in-debt; Arsenal, Liverpool, Spuds and NU; and the rest of the PL teams.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome TC 🙂

    Vermaelen (yes ae not a) is a fine defender, but not a leader. BFG is our leader at the back and TV5 would be very effective is he is led defensively by the German.

  12. VCC says:

    Marcus….what a fine post Sir.

    I think you have summed up the crossroads Wenger faces this Summer. Stick or Twist?

    He has nowhere to go now and the excuses will fall on deaf ears. He has money to spend, lets see what he does with it.

    As marvellous as he’s been for us, it’s his Waterloo time.

    Again, really enjoyed a super post, thank you.

  13. Admir says:

    Bravo, Marcus!

    Yes, we need to add quality but even more we need that quality adapted into system that works. If we had Cavani this season as Van Judas’ replacement, nobody would care even if Andre Santos asked Van Judas for his underwear during the match. The Uruguayan (also known as The Uruguayan World-Class Striker That Doesn’t Bite…or at least should be known by that) would score in big matches (unlike Giroud) and we would be waiting last three rounds comfortably.

    I’d just add Monaco in the list of dangerous rich clubs.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Marcus 🙂

    Excellent, thought-provoking post.

    I guess you will get a lof of fellow Gooners agreeing with you today.

    There really is nothing new about our competitors – PL and Europe – going to buy big in the summer TW. I agree we need to add real quality but not as many as you have in mind.

    26 points out of 33 in the last eleven games is something to build on. If no key players leave this summer, we need to add a DM and another attacker. An experienced GK would also be very welcome. The rest will come from further growth of our current squad, a full summer together to practice, and Wenger and Bould’s ability to develop this team to the next level.

    Let’s not panic but build further on what we have is my motto. 🙂

  15. VCC says:

    UMF =

    Overall leader

    HH……. 89
    PPP….. 87
    RA……. 86
    TMHT… 81
    Oz…….. 81
    Total…. 79
    Alex….. 77
    Rocky…. 73
    GLiC….. 56

    Weekly scores =


    Congratulations to Henry becoming a centurion.

    Well done to GLiC for achieving a lifetime ambition. To head the UMF weekly chart with 9 points

    HH joins the Zero club this week.

    Thanks to all for taking part once again.

    Have a G8 week Gooners. Take care

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir 🙂

    He bites when he wants, he bites when wants Luis Suarez he bites when he wants

    Cavani the Cannibali? It only takes one bite! 😆

  17. Karim Pin says:

    Yeah, we need someone like Falcao or Cavani but that can’t be happening while Wenger’s still running the club. Perhaps someone like Benteke could be a much “safer” choice for the manager and if we can get rid of Gervinho and Arshavin, please get Villa’s Andreas ” The New Ljungberg” Weimann, lotsa potential, reminds me of Ljungberg which we really need one right now. If Wenger can get Draxler, Capoue and another solid defender, then we might have a chance for the title next season.

  18. TotalArsenal says:


    Re Gervinho you wrote: ‘We also need to deal with the underachievers in our squad like Gervinho. Let’s face it, a team like Bayern often has Robben and Gomez on the bench, while we sometimes are forced to make due with Gervinho as a starter. City have players like Dzeko, Nasri on the bench. I think you get my point.’

    It is so popular to have a go at Gervinho. For me, he is a very valuable squad player and that is exactly how has been used this season. You compare him with Dzeko and Nasri, as in being on the bench at MC. Well he is mostly on the bench at Arsenal, something I don’t always agree with. Here are the hard currency stats comparing Nasri with Gervinho over the last two seasons:

    Gervinho: Played 57, 10 goals, 10 assists – goal/assists per game: 0.35
    Nasri: Played 61, 9 goals, 13 assists – goal/assists per game: 0.36

    The grass is pretty green at the home of football, I reckon. 🙂

  19. Mwalili says:

    I absolutely agree with you , to remain relevant in todays soccer you have to make the right choices and be ready to spend money on established top players . Arsenal is where it is today because of selling its top players and buying mediocre players . We are reaping what we sow we are always linked with the best playrs on the continent , only to end up buying fringe players . All isnt lost though , if the board and the manager decide to spend real money on top players , then we will be the a real threat to any trophy and not perenial top four chasers .


    Thank you Marcus, fine post.

    Unfortunately, i do not agree that Wenger has no choice. Neither do i go with the notion that massive spending sprees will occur this summer

    There of course will be activity and i fully expect Arsenal to chase a couple of signings. This will apply to all the others, a couple of signings, some of them high profile.

    Our first aim this summer is to keep our current squad together, get every body fit and work on the training ground to formulate the best balance and system required for us to do well.

    Our major imporovement will come from within. We have many players no were near the peak of there potential, so more paitence is required. Throw in some astute buys and we could have a very good squad next year.

  21. Admir says:

    @TA – 😀 We should sign Suarez and make a banner: “We don’t need Robin, we have Biteman!”

    What you wrote about that we have something to build on – I agree. The problem is, we haven’t had a very good history of keeping our important players recently. In 2005, we sold Vieira. In 2006, we lost Cashley. In 2007, we sold Henry. In 2008, we lost Flamini and sold Gilberto Silva. In 2009, we sold Kolo Toure and Adebayor. In 2011, we sold Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy. In 2012, we sold Van Judas and Song. That leaves us with only one season in which we didn’t lose important players due to transfer – 2010-11 – in which we finally showed teeth to Chavs, United and Barcelona but it should be said that we had to play almost a half of season without Van Judas while Vermaelen played only five matches.

    Then, there is an issue regarding some signings we have done. I never realized why Park was signed only not to get any serious chance to play. He was given only 9 minutes against FAnchester United last season in home defeat in Premiership while he managed to grab himself a very nice goal in League Cup against Bolton. Silvestre and Squillaci – the lesser said about those two, the better. Then, why did we had to wait to get thrashed at Old Trafford to sign Mertesacker, Santos, Arteta and Benayoun? (Santos gave some good performances in his first season.) Why did we had to wait Gibbs’ injury and Santos’ proving to be useless to sign Monreal?

  22. alexgunners says:


    Great post and most of what you have written, i have said in the last day or so.
    We are no longer a team that players want to come to. Firstly due to the fact that they can get more money elsewhere but also due to the lack of silverware in the last 8 years.

    We need to invest very smartly, and I am not talking about bringing in 2 reasonable players instead of an excellent player. Project youth has failed an we no longer have the time to rebuild around the youngsters. Adding some QUALITY players to the skillful youngsters we have will make a world of difference.

    Not winning anything also impacts on the marketability our our beloved club. Sponsors want to be associated with winning teams and the more sponsorship money the more we can spend on the development of our club.

    In my opinion we are close but we have to invest in this TW, otherwise we could fall in line with mid table mediocrity. Let’s not kid ourselves, smaller teams are investing well and are closing the gap. Let’s be proactive and get the players we NEED.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir 🙂

    Biteman – Love it!

    Yes we lost too many good players in succession and we did not replace all of them adequately. This will have to change, and I reckon our signings over the last twelve months have bee a clear step in the right direction.

    The way forward for me is: hold on to key players, develop further our Brit-core and other talents, add two to three quality new players this summer and the next one. Ooh and bring in DB10! 😛

  24. marcus says:

    Thank you all,
    TA, with these players who are inconsistent, it is time Wenger put in place a system where everyone has to earn their keep. Save for the younger players, consistency is an aspect that wins Leagues, cup competitions and even games themselves so it must be insisted on. This will only happen if he has enough top quality players to keep under performers on the bench. Giroud, a player famous for his inconsistency is in a situation where he is comfortably our main CF (as we have realized with his suspension) which if you ask me says a lot about our teams ambitions while:

    Mancity- Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko (and still they are in for a fourth top top striker)

    Man utd-RVP, Rooney, Chicharito (and they are still chasing lewandowski)

    Basically, to compete with these teams, we must reach the quality levels. and fast.


    Now look hear you lot.

    First of all, of course players want to come to Arsenal, it is one of the greatest clubs in the world. The reason we lose out is that others can pay higher wages, and that unfortunately will continue.

    Secondly, our marketability is massive.We have a great brand with history. The recent sponsership deal signed is 2nd only to Utd in the prem.

    As TA said, a couple of “astute” signings to go along with development of our exsisting squad is the way forward.

    Accept the fact that 80% of our improvement will come from within, and you will feel better.

    No point trying to argue with me, i am on the way to a meeting and wont be around. hahaha

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Sorry Marcus 🙂

    That just does not wash with me so easily. Our forwards are: Giroud – Pod – Theo.

    Pod clearly is not 100% at the moment, and Theo scored on Sunday.

    Arsenal scored the second most goals in the PL and over all competitions we are very close to the Mancs’ total.

    One more attacker will help us further improve, and a second season in the PL for Cazorla, Pod and Giroud is also likely to lead to more goals.

    Basically, we are not that far off from ‘the quality levels’ as you think and further, incremental change is what I would prefer.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Terry 😀

  28. mA says:

    nice post I must agree

    TA @9:32 you are spot on. some people cite Gerv as an underachiever but for those
    who understand his role see him a valuable team player. he is the only true winger and when compared to other wingers Gerv is better off. Valencia at MU, Sinclair at City and others. for instance, on Sunday Valencia repeatedly hit the ball to nowhere with crosses/shots going out of play.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    * that should be third highest in the PL currently, three goals behind the Chavs.

  30. Admir says:

    @TA – yes, we should add a scent of Invincibles and sign DB10 for our coach. I wouldn’t mind if we somehow persuade Vieira to leave Oilers as well. 🙂

    @Marcus – Džeko is leaving City so they’ll have to sign two strikers. Džeko put a picture of plane on his twitter-profile and wrote: “I’m gone.” It seems that his transfer to Borussia Dortmund is a done deal.

  31. TotalArsenal says:


    So right to refer to Valencia! Everybody believes he is miles better a winger than Gervinho. Yet the hard facts are: seven goals in 74 games. Now he does well with assists to be fair, and I do rate high myself, but our Gervinho is a decent player too and deserves more recognition for it.

    My friend RA will also tell you that hahaha 😉

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Dzeko 13 goals this season (all competitions) – The Pod 14…

    I am just trying to say that we are so hard on our own players as Gooners.

  33. Admir says:

    I like Gervinho but there are two things that should be said about him and the statistics provided by TA – Gervinho has played either as central forward or as right forward.

    The biggest problem Gervinho and Arsenal have had with each other are connected with decisions. Gervinho possesses ability to beat defender but sometimes it seems that he totally lacks vision and composure.

  34. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I see you are up to your typical comparisons of stats and goals scored again. The sheer numbers are meaningless to me, when you consider the fact that we can’t beat any of the top clubs or seemingly score when it matters (against top clubs, knockout stages of cup competitions and CL).

    Terry, it’d be nice to just wait for our in-house young talents to just develop and be patient with the process, but the window of opportunity for players like Santi and Pod will be closing and we’ll be in perpetual transition if we do not add real quality this summer. Together with selling our top players, the formula of not adding much in the summer has been one of our shortcoming for years now.

    The time is now to make a statement to the rest of the league. We won’t be afforded the luxury of waiting around for another few years with what we currently have to see if we can seriously compete (it’s not enough by the way); by then players will no longer see us as a top club capable of winning anything (our rep is already falling as it is). Not saying we need a massive spending spree either though! Just a player ir two of real quality to help push us forward :).

    Another fine post Marcus! I’ll be back to respond to your post in full later.

  35. AFC says:

    Hi Marcus, fine post. 🙂

    Firstly I would just like to say that Gervinho is a good player. He has won a major trophy with Lille (which without him Lille would not have been able to win) and performs when playing for IC in the ACON.

    The problem in recent years has been that we have not been adding players. Teams like United buy players to add to their squad meanwhile we buy players to replace players who have left our squad.

    The problem is attracting these top quality players. For me the only way we will attract these top quality players and keep our existing quality players is through Wenger.

    Also how would we afford to purchase the amount of players you say we need to buy?

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    HH 🙂

    First paragraph: you just touched on nr.1 area of improvement for next season. Can we do it? I say, yes. Get the team to work better together in a Wenger-system of footie. All our attackers have scored in big games this season. Giroud against Bayern and Spain, Santi against the Mancs, Pod against Bayern, Walcott against Chavs and Mancs.

    But we need more this season and add a quality attacker as well. I also believe that we conceded too many vital goals i.e.that cost us points, and did not score enough vital goals, and especially at home this has cost us, compared to the Mancsfor example.

  37. TotalArsenal says:


    Agreed. If Gervinho was more consistent in his decision making and finishing of chances, he would simply be great and a guaranteed first team player. Now he is a good squad player to have.

    Even when Gervinho is waisting big opportunities, though, he always adds value to the team through he threat from the wing / ability to penetrate a tight defense in front of him.

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, I’ve finally caught up on the posts and comments of the past two days….Good stuff, guys….

    I think it’s natural to be talking about having our in-house oligarch swoop in (RA’s post) and spend big this summer (Marcus’ post) in light of our failure to beat hungover ManUnited at home. The two German teams dominating the Spanish giants in the CL (and trying to close out those ties tonight and tomorrow….) also creates a sense of urgency. We gave Bayern the smallest of scares as they closed us out, but, if we look honestly at where we are, it is not a pretty picture, hence the big ideas for getting us back to that (much) higher level.

    For me, however, it all seems very wishful. We are where we are and things will improve incrementally, if they improve at all. We don’t want to acknowledge it, but these next three matches (and what Spurs and Chelsea do in theirs) are absolutely massive. The papers say we’re opening talks with the likes of Jovetic and Gonalons, and (I think) both would be excellent additions. Why are they just talks? Could it have something to do with the fact that we’ve yet to secure CL football for next season?….

    My point (and I don’t expect it to be popular….) is that, like it or not, the Club is playing the long-game. The owner (who seems to value making money over time above all else….) and his management team are taking a pragmatic economic stance while letting others do crazy things all around them. We have been a selling club these past couple of years but we have (maybe…) stretched that strategy too far as we hang on (for dear life) to our spot in the CL. Like RA says, FFP (and the crazy market for top players more generally) impacts the teams below us more than the teams above us. While his solution (and I respect and understand it….) is to propose jumping into the fray with the rest of the silly money teams, the reality is that we seem on track to win a war of attrition with the clubs who don’t have such options. Occasionally we hear talk about how 4th isn’t good enough (Arteta most recently….) we more often hear things (from management) that say it IS our focus (and should be a point of pride)…. Management has even gone on record to note that we’ve made provisions for dropping out of the CL spots with the hope of bouncing right back…..

    So, the realist in me notes that this could very easily be our fate….The crazy optimist hopes that we win these next three matches (with maybe some of our more maligned, i.e., unsellable, characters as the heroes….) and then we make those couple of key early signings and don’t lose too many (of our contributing) players over the summer. Come August we will then require a good start to the season, including winning a CL qualifier. If all those planets line up, who knows, maybe we could be in for a deadline day purchase (or two…at good value, of course) for somebody who might really help us take the next step forward….

    Going beyond that, however, seems like fantasy….

  39. Highbury Harmony says:

    Marcus, I 100% agree about your two main points in stature and attractiveness. We are largely living off the reputation the Invincibles set for us and it will continually fade and diminish until we win silverware or seriously contend for the title again. If we do not sign any top quality players at all, we will fall into the ever present concern of perpetual transition and mid-table obscurity as other teams around us look to improve their squads.

    However, I disagree that we need 15-17 top quality players. That amount of players would be impossible to manage in terms of playing time, personalities and resources.

    In order to once again be a force that can compete with the top clubs, I think we need 3-4 more top quality players. However, I would rather it be a process and smooth transition, opposed to buying all 4 at once and disrupting team chemistry and morale. Thus, I am an advocate for 2 top quality signings this summer.

    If you look at any of the top sides, they have bought a few top players to complement the ones they already have that we’re developed by their own academies. In Jack and Santi, we already have two top players and there’s potential in Theo, Ox, Gnabry, Eisfeld, Monreal, Ches and Kos as well to all reach that level.

    The rest of those top teams are rounded out by quality players who can seamlessly rotate into the lineup, have great attitudes/work ethic and understand their roles in the larger picture of team play. Ramsey, Gervinho, Arteta, Giroud, Rosicky, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Jenkinson etc. are all examples of players who are good to great starters/subs for our squad who would complement a group of top quality players very well IMO.

  40. weedonald says:

    Marcus, you have made a few assumptions that are not firm facts. I do agree that we need that incisive and ruthless fox-in-the-box to finish off teams, once we have them on the ropes, like we had Manure last weekend. Wenger has much more wiggle room than you claim. Like HH said, he needs to solidify his current squad, reinforce in a few places (for those players like Sagna and,Arteta who are reaching or are already 30) and start introducing some of our great youth and academy talent. Once that is done, we can compete with the best of them. Jovetic is a good target but bringing a truckload of so-called superstars won’t guarantee anything…..Madrid and City are perfect examples of that.
    Stability and consistency are currently far more important for AFC than wholesale buying sprees. We need to spend but wisely and surgically…..things Wenger is usually pretty good at.

  41. Red Arse says:

    Hi weedonald,

    I saw your comment, after I had to go, last night that you were not intimating that anyone on BK was ‘whiney etc’ and so I apologise for not checking with you first. It would have prevented a bust up over nothing.

    Just for the record, I in turn did not intend you to think I was threatening you.
    The fact is I am rather large, but generally amiable, unless provoked. In my experience people do not say too many derogatory things to me in person, so to speak, and when I mistakenly thought you were doing so, I was trying to make that point.

    Hopefully, that is behind us now.

    Anyway, your comment @ 16:42 is valid, and I guess it just shows that we are all trying to square circles in the absence of hard facts. Time, as they say, will reveal all, and this summer is key for us as Arsenal fans. 🙂

  42. Bond James says:

    thanks, Marcus

    although i do agree to an extent re- quality signings but i do believe we only about 3-4 at best depending on how many we get to offload , i reckon we’re going to get rid of minimum 5, so to bring around 3-4 should do the trick as ideally we wouldn’t want to re-build or unsettle the current squad or team too much.

    we keep hearing that wenger has around 70 million to invest and spend in new signings, sure that’s a decent amount but hang on, if Wenger has 70 million to invest on new signings then just imagine how much money chelsea and city will have at their disposal ? i would say if not double the 70 million then least 100 million considering man city would want to come back harder and stronger and chelsea we all know spend around 70 million on average anyway ?

    most of the players you have mentioned are good players but i suspect unless and until we move for a player early or are able to secure their signatures like we did with podolski/santi/giroud last season, i can easily see man city and chelsea out bidding us (i do hope chelsea don’t finish top 4 , that will make it a tad more favourable for us to sign quality players offering them champions league).

    i would love to see these players at arsenal next season :

    Iker C – Simon mignolet (either one ) gk sorted

    keep the current lot of defenders if possible, but if you must sell sagna then buy M.Richards from man city, he happens to be a Gunners fan and can play both at RB and CB – .

    a beast of a DM or a decent one.

    Isco/Cesc Fab/ Jovetic/ Lewandoswki (one out of the 4)

    wouldn’t be a bad idea getting the likes of Remy/Vela or Benteke either for 4 to 10 mills.

    in addition to that promote the likes of Gnabry to first team, replacing Arshavin in the squad.


  43. marcus says:

    Let me explain further. When I say we need 15-17 top players, I mean you have your absolutely world class 14 players then you have top talents like the ox who make up the other whatever number. You see most teams that are winning anything these days can have two teams that can compete at top level.

  44. Glic says:

    Evening Wangabanga`s ( No, not relatives of the Wanyama ! ) 😆

    Very enjoyable post Marcus, it dovetails in nicely with RA`s fine post of yesterday !.

    Yes, we need some ” SQ ” ( ” Super Quality ” , one of my fav` words ! ) as don’t think for one minute that City and Chavs will take Manu`s Title win laying down and also Manu will not sit their admiring their nice new shiny trophy, they will bring in more ” SQ ” to try and retain it !. Which means, if you thought this season was a toughie, then next season will be even tougher without the addition of ” SQ ” !.
    I also agree with TA and Stretch that we have some great talent already at our club, who are getting better and better, most of our potential will come from within, the ” SQ ” will give us that much needed edge !.
    I also agree with Stretch ( funny how our most raving loonatic often speaks the most sense ! hahaha ), that we are The Arsenal, an iconic club and brand, purchasing ” SQ ” will be a piece of piss, CL or not, because of who we are, plus we have money ! . hahaha

  45. marcus says:

    That.’s what I was saying. I don’t mean we buy another 9 players….A keeper, a CB, a DM, a striker (top top top quality one like Jovetic, michu, falcao, cavani etc) and probably another winger. ALSO, if cesc is for sale, buy him. we can sort out the specifics later.

  46. marcus says:

    About your point on making these transfers transitionally. I see where you are coming from but disagree. Simply because there are already 3 positions where we need top quality additions ASAP. that is a CB, DM and striker. These are 3 positions where if we don’t strengthen, we will finish trophyless next year with the very real possibility of not making the UCL.

  47. marcus says:

    Bond james,
    I agree with you totally. Another real reason why we need like 4-5 top additions is because we need to get rid of the dead weight. Once we sell, Arshavin, Squillaci, Bendtner, Chamakh, Denilson, Park, Diaby (unfortunately) which we must because these are players who just burden our wage bill, we will be very light number-wise.

  48. marcus says:

    Plus the point people are seeming to over look is that every top team who we will go up against will have done so. You can argue that you don’t do something just because others are doing it but I counter that argument with you can’t go to war with 300 soldiers (no matter how skilled they are) when all your worthy rivals have troops of 10000 highly skilled highly trained soldiers. We are heading to at time when European football will be so competitive that every single point you win or drop will matter and the team that emerges triumphant will be the very best…Every single competition you compete in will demand a very capable team otherwise you end up being knocked out by bradford and blackburn in cup competitions.

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    RM-Dortmund just kicking off….Is Khedira hurt or suspended? Michael Essien starts in the spot I thought was his….Higuain should’ve scored there!!!

    I guess I’m living on my own planet of grimness when it comes to the Arsenal…..and my worry that it’s all about 4th place (esp. RIGHT NOW) isn’t what anybody wants to hear (or respond to….)

    Here’s another way to spin it: As the post writer (marcus) says directly above–we need top quality additions at CB,DM and Striker or else we will finish trophyless NEXT YEAR with the very real possibility of not making the UCL….Well, we’re already there (This season). Why are we going to get worse relative to the teams below us? Are Spurs going to replace Bale with something better? Are ‘Pool on the rise despite finishing below Everton and (at least) starting the year without their best player…..Do they have the inside track on the Chomp-ians league places?

    If we can have healthier seasons from Poldolski and Wilshere and either keep Sagna (and have him play better) or find a decent RB to challenge young Jenks, I think we might look quite a bit better. And then, if we can add the likes of Jovetic and Gonalons, things seem quite a bit better. It’s true that Arteta and Rosicky aren’t getting any younger but, overall, if we can hold our nerve and get up for 4th I think we can MARGINALLY improve the team from this year’s difficulties….

    And now Ozil, one on one with the keeper AND with Ronny open across the box, shoots wide!!!!

    (I get, however, what is being said about true quality in depth relative to the top teams….unfortunately, that’s a longer term project, IMO…..)

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Madrid cannot score despite some good chances….And they need a goal to get going here. Mis merengues pobrecitos…..the Copa del Rey is not much consolation. Mourinho back at Chelsea gets closer with each passing minute….

    Howard Webb, as we know, won’t give the red card that might help get things started….

  51. TotalArsenal says:


    A couple of fine comments today and I agree with a lot. Where we differ is in our assessment of our strength within the team. For me the problems are mainly systemic, as in playing the right style and formation, and getting the team to gel really well. A bit more experience and quality are required as well, and I don’t think we need all sorts of planets to line up in order to have a go at silverware again.

    But you are right re our current challenge of ‘winning’ the CL qualification trophy in the next few weeks. This is a huge challenge as the team seem to be on their last legs..

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    The RM pitch looks massive: so much space everywhere it seems!

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks TA….(Dortmund look better with each scoreless minute here. Madrid already look to be tiring….)

    I don’t think we’re too far from being a much, much better team. I just think that the other clubs, which are taking the silly money approach, will always be able to stockpile players and we have to accept that. I’m with you on not wanting to join that group–it’s killing the game. If it gets to the point that City or Chelsea’s “shadow squads” or “2nd 11s” could maybe be right there with the likes of Everton, Liverpool and Spurs, well, it’s just sad. The big money teams will also continue to sow the seeds of discontent amongst our players (and our support)….. another element we must resist….

    We’re better than the group I just mentioned and we can prove it over these next three weeks (and I’m more upbeat about getting than full points than you are 🙂 ). Additionally, I think we agree that with a couple (or few) good moves this summer plus slightly better fitness and confidence we can challenge the teams above us and maybe even for silverware. In my opinion it requires staying with the current set of values and overachieving in terms of being a real team AND getting the most out of all our players–the ones we buy, the kids we promote and the regulars from this year who get chances to stake places in the first 11 (or 14).

    Over time, however, we need help from FFP or the FA or UEFA or FIFA (or god, if not Usmanov 😉 ) Somehow the buying public (football fans)–along with the skeiks and oligarchs–need to reject the easy money approach and demand real competition. I keep waiting for the “European Super League” discussions to take off, but maybe economics in Europe are too dire right now….

    Anyhow, half time and nil-nil looks very good for Dortmund and soon enough I’ve got to run out and pick up my boy….

  54. Bond James says:

    not sure about the “European super league” but there is serious talks of a superior league held in Middle east, Doha mainly

    with a prize pot much much more than what teams make for playing in the Champions league and so on.

    it’s going to be an invitation only tournament with the power houses of most european countries as word has it, that certainly does sound mouth watering but it will be a struggle finding the right time to hold such an event and so on, but there certainly seems to be something in the pipe lines.


    Arshavin, gone – free agent

    Squillaci, gone – free agent

    Bendtner, should be loaned out if not sold.

    Chamakh, should be loaned out if not sold,

    Denilson, our kids will grow up and he will still be out on loan playing somwhere

    Park, already written off in the books, so literally speaking, he is as good as sold, any money we make out of this one is bonus.

    Diaby , may keep him if he retires from international football to show his commitment to the club , could play a bit part role in the squad and eased back in.

    Fabianski – has done enough to get us a few million for him – should be sold

    Mannone – should be sold, will let us buy one quality goal keeper and we should get one from the u21’s.

    Sagna – we should sell him considering he has refused to sign the contract we offered him, can be replaced by Jenko , we can buy Micah Richards and we should also promote Bellerin from the u’21, he is ready.

    shifting of the deadwood players is essential, no doubt about that but also promoting the likes of Jenko, Gnabry and Bellerin is as well.

  55. Highbury Harmony says:

    Marcus, what team has 14 world class players?! Surely you jest.

    Your ambitions are clearly that of either fantasy premier league or fifa 13 as it is both unrealistic and misguided. A top club is lucky to have 5-7 world class players, never mind 14 world class ones.

    I agree that we need top quality purchases at DM and ST, but why do we need a world-class CB? Kos, Mert and Verm have been just fine for me and the more time they spend playing together, the better they get. Miquel should be promoted next season and there’s a reason why top clus like Barca wanted to buy him back. The only way we pursue a CB is if we sell Verm. Otherwise, a true DM should provide even better coverage for our back four next season.

  56. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, we cannot sell Fab, he becomes a free agent at season’s end, along with Arshavin and Squillaci.

  57. Admir says:

    Reus is a fantastic player.

  58. Admir says:

    Speaking of number of players with class… I think that Invincibles had a superb starting 11 but our bench back then wasn’t that strong. That was something that took us away victory over Chavs in Champions’ League Quarterfinal.

    The thing is, it’s hard to have and handle 14 top-class players due to reasons HH already stated – financial and psychological burden are too heavy.

  59. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, buying many new players and immediately throwing them into the league is a recipe for failure. It disrupts team chemistry, team morale and the incoming players need time to adjust to the physical rigors of the league and the manager’s tactics and style of play.

    We won’t win anything next year if we bring in 4-5 players next season, no matter what quality they are since they will not be familiar with playing with one another either.

  60. Bond James says:

    key word that needs to be taken account is “3-4 world class players” and not just 4-5 players for the sake of it, ala QPR/NEWCASTLE and so on.

    i’m not sure why it wouldn’t ensure us winning a trophy or two next season considering we haven’t purchased 4-5 quality players in a very very long time, surely they can’t do much worse than the current crop of players ?

    if we do manage to get rid of 5-8 players then it’s not only will it be prudent but necessary to strengthen both the team and squad with quality signings.

  61. Admir says:

    One thing that we should avoid are panic buys or, to be more precise, we should start buying players in time so they can go through whole pre-season with us. Mertesacker’s adaptation to Premiership took a while and timing of that transfer was partially to blame for it.

    We need three proper signings this summer and to keep current squad minus Arshavin, Squillaci, Chamakh and Bendtner. I’m sometimes scared that we will hear: “Return of Bendtner is like a new signing and I won’t sign any Benders – neither Lars nor Sven – from Bundesliga because our commercial department told me we wouldn’t sell any of their shirts in Great Britain.”

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed 17HT. The title of the post I am working on at the moment will probably read like: the good guys have not lost (yet).

    For me the essence is Wenger chooses his players and give him time he will make more than a few very good, or even top class, players. But time is not his friend and having to qualify for CL every year also means very little time for experimenting different systems and player combinations…

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    What is damp squib in Spanish? 🙂

  64. Bond James says:

    should be close to ARSENAL , ha ha

    certainly seems like the Arsenal spirit has gotten into Real Madrid tonight, the final 2/3 is missing and they are looking to score the perfect goal just like us with minimal success.

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    crap those Frenchies lol

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Squeeky bum time for HH 😀

  67. Bond James says:

    close but no cigar, madrid deserved to be in the finals.

  68. weedonald says:

    BJ….this supposed Middle-Eastern super league was, as far as I know, entirely made up and denied by all who were supposed to be doing it.

  69. Bond James says:


    i won’t be surprised if it still goes ahead and it will make sense as well before the world cup takes place there, if i was a betting man then i would put all my savings on it going ahead

  70. weedonald says:

    Marcus….real Football life isn’t FIFA football manager and your list is a bit fantastical. We have 2 very good keepers, one of whom is reaching the peak of his career age-wise, we have 4 CB’s who are potentially among the best(Per,Vermaelen, Koscilny and imho, if he wants to: Sagna), we may need a 2nd DM, and certainly a Henryesque, incisive striker like Jovetic but M’ichu, Falcao, and Cavani are too expensive). We probably have another winger in Ryo. IF Cesc is ever for sale you can bet the Barcaloonies will want the earth and sky for him so we won’t likely buy him and I’m not sure our current setup would work, because he was the focus of the team when he was here. That said, IF we could afford him I’d have him back in a NY minute.

  71. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, I keep needing to repeat this, but most of the players leaving our squad have already been accounted for.

    On the squad sheet as of now for next season: Szczesny, Gibbs, Monreal, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna, Jenkinson, Coquelin, Diaby, Ramsey, Arteta, Rosicky, Wilshere, Cazorla, Gervinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Podolski and Giroud.

    That’s 20 squad spots already accounted for (before academy promotions) and AW generally likes to keep 24 on the first-team.

    Promotion possibilities: Miquel, Gnabry, Eisfeld and Yennaris (could even be a couple more).

    Expiring contracts: Squillaci, Fabianski and Arshavin.

    Players we would like sold: Bendtner, Chamakh, Park, Denilson and Mannone. Aside from Chamakh and Mannone, all these players’ squad spots have been accounted for by Podolski and Coquelin.

    Thus, we likely have 4 open squad spots to be filled by new transfer ins this coming summer, with at least 1 likely to be filled by promotion. Needs: GK if we sell Mannone and allow Fab to walk on a free transfer, a DM since Arteta is not getting any younger and already lacks pace and physicality as it is and ST to either complement and play with OG or to replace him in the starting line-up/we lack depth up front as it is.

  72. Milo says:

    Yup, spend all the money we have accrued on a bunch of players who have never played with each other, and HOPE that they can win something!!! Sounds like a great idea!!! I’ve seen it first hand in Major League Baseball, that this does not work. Living just outside of Toronto, I have watched all of the Toronto Blue Jay’s games, and let me tell you, it’s not pretty viewing!!! They were suddenly made favourites to win the World Series Championship, because they brought in all these shiny new players, who were supposed to finally bring the series back to Toronto. Well guess what??? They are in LAST PLACE in the division, and have no hope of even making the playoffs, unless something craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy happens. I said before the season even started, that they would not make the playoffs, and I was told that I was crazy, from my own family, no less!!! They traded away all of their top prospects, for veteran players, and have no future. Now I know it’s only baseball, but a similar turn of events could befall a football club. It’s happened before, and it WILL happen again!!! I just hope that management doesn’t listen to you people and recognizes the pitfalls of such a system.

    I’m really thinking twice about frequenting this website now, as it is starting to turn in to something similar to all the other ones. Crying and whining that we aren’t good enough and that we need to blow wonga left, right and centre to fix the problem!!! I think what I will do is look at the titles of each article and only read the ones that seem appealing at first glance, instead of getting all hot and bothered, about something I have no control over.

  73. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, please do not leave us again :). I promise I am writing an article that defends our sustainability strategy and one about the potential of some of our players that I’d love to hear your feedback on 🙂

  74. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also Milo, the BJays have been so disappointing this year! However, I was cognizant of this as it always happens when you throw too many new players together at once. I think we’ll improve significantly in the 2nd half of this season and could even squeak into the playoffs if we’re lucky. Reyes going down to injury and Joey Bats sort of playing injured certainly do not help. Joey’s avg has significantly dipped this year compared to seasons past. Same goes with Lawrie and Encarnacion. Once they all start to pick it up, we should see some better results.

  75. Bond James says:


    Rest assured the management never listens to the “FANS” if they did then there wouldn’t be many “whinging and whining ” fans as you put it.


    we usually agree with each other eventually as all roads lead to agreement, however, we keep hearing about the 70 million and also Wenger making references to adding quality if it was available which means he is more or less likely to buy 3 players or maybe he has done the business already, either way, whether it’s 1,2,3 or 4 players we get this summer, as long as we keep giving our all like we have since in Munich, i see plenty of encouragement and spine in this current squad with a bit of tweaking.

    the best of Podolski/santi and giroud is still to come i reckon and perhaps even Gervinho.

  76. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, you forgot to mention that is your opinion and speculation that leads you to believe that a 70 million transfer kitty equates to buying a bunch of new players. However, this hefty transfer sum has not been confirmed and there’s no guarantee or stipulation that says AW will or has to spend all of the transfer funds he has been given.

  77. Fred says:

    I agree with you that we need to add quality to our squad although I disagree about the areas you mention, and also the time scale. Realistically to add the amount of top quality talent you are talking about would require a 100m splurge of cash (including transfer fees, wages, and signing on fees) over the next three transfer windows. Which would only serve to unnerve the squad. Personally this transfer window if Sagna leaves which he may well do we should go for the following:

    A top quality DM. (Preferably Lars Bender as he can cover at RB if Sagna leaves)
    A top quality Winger
    And a top quality ST.

    Although I highly doubt it would be possible to get even three top quality players in at less than 70m all in, it could probably just about be done depending on the players and their current contract decisions. However, if Sagna does leave we will be seriously lacking strength in depth at RB and that should be a priority above a top quality CF in my opinion.

    I agree with the sentiment of what you are saying but in reality it is very unlikely it will happen considering the amount it would cost and also more importantly we need to make sure we don’t sell our best players every season!

  78. Milo says:

    HH, I’ve never been a big fan of Jose Bautista’s… :S He thinks he’s another manager out on the field, meanwhile he’s a career .270 hitter, if that! He had two fine seasons for us, but he always has been prone to severe dips regarding his average. He’ll probably squeak out a .240 average this season, but who cares??? They have too many players who simply cannot hit for average, power production, or both! I said that they would not be good enough to make a run at the World Series too, and I was told I was crazy, by my Dad! hahahahahahaha. They MIGHT make a run at it, but if they are swept or lose this coming series to the Red Sox, they will be about 10-11 games behind ALREADY! Their only hope is the wildcard, and that won’t be easy.

    I’m not leaving, I’m just saying that I won’t bother to comment on articles that get me upset 😀 That way you won’t have to listen to my pessimism or angst, regarding spending heavily on transfers for our club! 😀 I know Marcus must have put a lot of thought in to this! I can’t be bothered to write ONE article, never mind be an author on this site! Sooooooooo instead of upsetting the author, I think it would be more polite to stop reading articles, if the headline sets off alarm bells in my mind! 😀

  79. Bond James says:


    it would have been speculation had AW denied it , when such questions were put forward, in fact he has given plenty of strong hints that he certainly has the financial resources to compete now, where as before when it was speculated i..e. board giving Wenger 30 million to spend and so on, he never commented on it.

    he may not spend the 70 million but since the next season may well end up being his last season at arsenal he would want to go out with with a bang or least use what is at his disposal to prove a point or 2….of course i see your point as well and it has merit that wenger won’t go out and buy anyone et al just to show his stubborn side and be able to prove everyone wrong, winning us the treble with the same squad using TV as the DM and converting Gibbs into a winger 😀

    which ever the case might be, next season promises to be exciting but let’s first finish in the top 3.

  80. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fair enough Milo, so long as you know that not all of our opinions are representative of the articles at hand! As you said, Marcus and others’ articles take a lot of time and thought in preparing and writing, so they are all worthy of a response, whether we agree with the premise/arguments in their articles. It’s nice to have opposing views on a blog as it keeps debating and discussion scintillating! Just try to not attack the author and express your views in as calm and balanced manner as possible ;). You are a great addition to the BK team and your knowledge of our youth team academy is top notch :).

    As far as Bautista goes, I’m torn. He has legitimate power and proved that his breakout year was not an aberration in the following season. However, injuries are starting to slow him down and his average may be a reflection of his “injured state” (who really knows!). All it takes is a hot streak with all our players healthy to really make a run! Funny enough, the whole “new team” has never played 1 full game together from my knowledge. Reyes was a huge lost since we have no adequate leadoff hitter to fill in for him during his absence.

  81. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, that was not my point :). My point was that I believe AW will spend, but that he is a wise man and understands that transitioning too many new players into a squad would be detrimental to our chemistry, morale and resources. I just wanted to point out that it was YOUR opinion that he would spend all the money available to him in transfer funds, opposed to a fact that he would (as you had perhaps accidentally written it as so).

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post 🙂

  83. Bond James says:

    thanks for pointing out the obvious, HH

    indeed, it is our personal opinion’s that we post and our personal wish list on what players we would like Arsenal to buy, it goes without saying but thanks for pointing it out not once but twice 😀

    it’s the same as your opinion in which you reckon “Wenger is a wise man and understands” 😀 if he understood then he wouldn’t have sold RVP when he was under no pressure from his own board to do so, instead he would have kept him and let him go for a free or least let him put in a transfer request on his own if the little boy inside him was this desperate.

    sure, RVP wanted to go but Carlos Tevez also wanted to leave for a number of years now yet Man city didn’t give in – difference between Wenger being a wise man who understands and Mancini being a nutter and doing what was best for his team, without understanding 😉

  84. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, the way you position your stance is if it is fact that AW must or will do certain things, when it is not actually fact. It’s different to state “I believe…”, “If…” or “I hope…”. Perhaps I am unnecessarily arguing semantics, but it feels as though you are trying to force your perspective/counterargument as fact, when it is purely speculation.

  85. Highbury Harmony says:

    And you are arguing something entirely different/unrelated with the RVP/Tevez point.

  86. weedonald says:

    So it isn’t handbags at dawn from 30 paces then? Ha……I know you are a passionate Gooner like me and that mistakes happen…..I am a bit bolshy(now that I know what that means) and that comes with being a socialist I guess. Anyway, no hard feelings and glad that we have stilled the waters:). By the way I am 14 stone and 6foot 10 so i was never worried (at least in my dreams):))

  87. Bond James says:

    of course not, i’m sorry if it feels that way but it’s all going to remain sumwat of speculation if at all not entirely until the season finishes and if and when we do see enforcements,for now it’s wishful thinking on my part when it comes to player buying e.t.c

    that RVP/Tevez point was relevant as soon as you branded and assumed Wenger to be a “wise man”, a wise man never sells to his arch rival or gifts them the trophy even before the season begins (yep, not speculation this one, entirely based on fact, re- SAF persuading him on the phone,more than once).

    on a different note,

    WD vs RA would make for a fine fine boxing match, if it was ever to take place 😀

  88. Highbury Harmony says:

    BJ, wise as in he never acts on impulse and makes wholesale changes to his squads, not on player sales that he may not have complete control over ;).

  89. Highbury Harmony says:

    Save the 2011 summer when he bought Santos and Park.

  90. Bond James says:

    speaking of Santos, what an absolute peach of a penalty he took not so long ago, world class 😀

    better than Adebayor’s though 😉

  91. jnyc says:

    TA, i agree with ur defense of Gervinho, we are always more harsh on our own guys. We are on a very good run, but lefft ourselves in a dangerous position because of all the changes the past two seasons. Id like olivier to be our second striker, and wany Madrid to get falcao or cavani, so maybe we could get benzema or higuain. Both proven top quality strikers. Still big money, but not going to cause the bidding war of falcao type. Still a long shot i guess.

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