Open letter to the Verminator: TV5, time to fight for your place!

The Verminator will be back!
The Verminator will be back!

Dear Thomas Vermaelen – De Leeuw van Vlaanderen (the Lion of Flanders),

I don’t know what is going on regarding your current position at the club. As it is the ‘silly season’, and you have been on the bench for ten out of the last eleven club games, it is inevitable that rumours will be circulated regarding your future at the club. There might not be a single bit of truth in it, as we are aware of the manipulative, mendacious nature of the majority of the professional football sites and papers.

I hope you and the manager have no intention whatsoever to discontinue your stay at our beloved Arsenal.

But just in case there is some truth in the rumours you could be leaving the home of football this summer, I am writing to you to say: stay put and fight for your place. You are a Gunner and you belong at The Arsenal!

Sometimes it is good to allow a bit of doubt and humility into your life, in order to make progress. The captaincy has not worked out and I reckon this is due to you being more of a specialist than a born leader. We have all come to love you for your passion, tenacity, controlled aggression and fearlessness as our left-sided CB. But since you have become captain, your performances have often been below-par. I believe the combination of having – feeling – the responsibility to lead your defence, and the team as a whole, has diminished your ability to concentrate on your defensive duties, and this has led to a number of painful and costly mistakes.

Yet, we all know what a fantastic kuitenbijter (carves-biter) of a CB you are, and how you always play with pride and love for the shirt. That’s how we’ve come to love you, and it’s what we are all longing for you to return to as soon as possible.


Towards the end of the season, the BFG and Koz were rightly the chosen CB-pairing, and I love both guys as much as I do you, Verminator. But there is a whole summer to get back to your very best, and to give Wenger a proper selection headache for the new season.

This is the time for you to fight: laat ze allemaal een poepie ruiken! You are 27 and the very best years are ahead of you; you are the beast of a CB we all want and need.

First thing to do, is to humble yourself a bit and tell Arsene you don’t want the armband any more – that it is not for you. Wenger can give it permanently to Arteta, or even Mertesacker (my preference). Let others lead the team and/or the defence, and you just concentrate on being the best CB in the PL again.

Thomas you have all the qualities – technically, tactically and psychologically – to become an absolute CB-beast again: the one who treats his opponents like vermin that needs devouring; the one who towers above everyone, and vacuum-cleans everything up in front of, or behind, him; the one who inspires his team by example and score pulsating (late) goals which make us grab all the points.

Come on Thomas, please stay put and fight for your place. This is no time for turning. This is the time to refocus and come out fighting, and to become a footballer in full.

I want to hear the Lion of Flanders ROAR again and to see you play with the passion and power that only you possess.

Ik weet dat je het kan, je moet enkel in jezelf geloven!

This is the Verminator, we want back:

Written by: TotalArsenal.

84 thoughts on “Open letter to the Verminator: TV5, time to fight for your place!

  • TA, well written letter and hopefully you’ve been a good boy so your wish can come true ;).

    It is a necessity for me for Verm to stay. Losing him would be a huge blow and the move away from the club would only be initiated from himself from my point of view. From a club standpoint, if either Koz or Mert go down injured, we suddenly have a gaping hole in the center of our defense and we must not forget that Verm was brilliant at times early in the season, when Mert was awful and even relegated to the bench in some games!

    However, as the season progressed, Verm’s mistakes were exposed more and we all speculate that the burden of captaincy and leading the back four was too overwhelming for such an introverted individual. Hopefully, he is made vice captain or third captain and can concentrate on just playing football again, and joining the attack more frequently similar to that of his first season at the club.

  • Thanks, TA , that was splendid

    maybe someone with a twitter account can tweet this link directly to our skipper 😀

    not that it will help if he’s made up his mind already ala RVP but still it’s worth the effort 😉

  • TA

    Great post, my few bits FWIW,

    a. One way to “spend” that 70m is to not sell. Thus, TV is contracted through 2016 if I read somewhere correctly, so we can keep him easily for 1 more year regardless (or almost so). He doesnt strike me as the complaining want-away type.

    –> Thus, there is no reason to sell unless something very much better offers. And I am not sure that deal is out there compared to TV at his best or better (at least). I.e. anyone new may not slot in as well.

    b. I am sure he will fight and we must recall we have not seen Koz for a full season yet!

    c. in HHs well oiled, interchangeable machine, TV could fit many places, when he’s on his game. Again, worth the having and not selling.

    From last post, HH, I dont disagree about OG, so we will see…

    TA, well life in academia, like life anywhere these days, isnt as straightforward as it was. My current university is expecting miracles and, as anyone religous (or a Spuds follower) will tell you, they are in short supply these days..! 🙂 … I am fortunate to have my wifes family who want her, AND our children, to stay for long periods so…

    cheers — jgc

  • TV5 was also nursing an injury both pre-season and then coming into the season if memory serves, there were occasions when he had taken injections prior to games before playing ? maybe he wasn’t a 100 % fit and Wenger shouldn’t have played him as much during that period where he was struggling….

    but one things for sure, he does belong at arsenal, knowing our injury record…you’re never a 3rd choice CB 😀 or if you are one then it’s not for long going by our past record..

  • haha jgc – we Gooners could do with a miracle or two as well 😛

    Good to hear you have such good support from the wider family – makes all the difference.

  • jgc – you are right on the contract length, as he only recently signed an extension (some point last season). No need to sell him and every reason to keep him, unless his heart is not in it any more, which I cannot imagine..

  • Jgc, I really like your point #1. Spending the rumoured transfer kitty on top quality talent becomes more valuable if we are not also selling players at the same time. I just hope it’s not another window where AW claims we spent money, but in fact on net spend, it’s a failure and another relative waste of the club’s rumoured, exorbitant “cash reserves”.

  • We have decent depth everywhere across our squad, aside from at GK, CM and W/ST.

    GK: Szczesny
    LB: Gibbs & Monreal
    CB: Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Miquel
    RB: Sagna & Jenkinson (maybe Yennaris)
    CM: Arteta, Ramsey, Coquelin (maybe Ox, Yennaris or Aneke, injured: Diaby)
    CAM: Wilshere, Rosicky (maybe Eisfeld)
    LW: Podolski, Cazorla, Gervinho
    RW: Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain (maybe Gnabry)
    ST: Giroud (maybe Podolski)

    As you can see, by keeping Verm, we are also allowing Miquel to be our 4th choice CB. What I mean is that with an established and more than capable 3rd choice CB in Verm, we are able to slowly integrate Miquel into the first-team, as this is how players from the academy were originally intended to be brought up. It’s a win-win-win because Miquel gets more exposure to first-team football, he’ll play cup games and the very rare PL ones so the fans are not on his case for being rushed into the line-up and our academy may become more of a success because young prospects are properly transitioned into a stable side!

  • TA and HH et al,

    Sounds like we are agreed, some good buys (sounds like 3) and no selling of those on HHs list (give or take Gerv IMO if the right price comes 🙂 )…

    Would be a great 2013-14 if that is the case, especially given our injury woes of recent times. We would be quite strong.

    I am also with you both on OG, I think he will come right, or “righter”, but another “guaranteed” 20+ type with more dynamism would also be good.

    Thoughts on Mignolet who is leading the GK rumors this week?

    cheers — jgc

  • Interesting thought, that I am not sure is true..

    Have not some of our true failures of recent years, been relatively last minute “coverage” buys when we needed cover more than a starter? I.e. solid player, will cover behind XX, and develop into world beater.. Often bought in last few weeks of TW (or last days).

    If so, it would indicate, more/again, the value of some stability.

    One might even posit that you can buy quality, but coverage is better developed more internally over time..?

    cheers — jgc

  • Good post I wiz The Verminator will take a read @ this post because he has all the attribute you’ve mentioned. The Verminator 4 Life!!!

  • Splendid post Totes van Rottensmegunderzehelmetstein !. 😆

    Yes we want our CB Beast back !.
    Maybe one day someone will write a post under the heading….” The Seven Deadly Sins of a Footballer ! “….I like that as a title, but I would, as I like the sound of my own typing !. hahaha
    I`m sure you lot can think of the 7 sins between you, but one I would like to add is …Complacency ( or self-satisfaction, contentment ). Szczesny became too complacent imo and needed a kick up the backside, luckily for him Flappy got injured and he grabbed his chance back with both hands and didn`t drop it !. Verm knows this and has had the honesty to own up and say his performances have not been up to his usual high standards. I expect the Lion to awake from his sleep !. Me, on the other hand, is going to get a good nights kip !.

  • jgc – good buys are always welcome and two would be just what the doc ordered. I would only be happy to let Gerv go IF we were to replace him, as we are low on proper wingers.

    I believe Arsene wants to keep the goals spread, rather than becoming over-reliant and overly-focussed on the one top-striker. So for me, I really don’t think we will get a 20+ striker, but rather one or two players who can add around 10-15 PL goals each.

  • TA, I like the epistolary format… As I said in the earlier post, I think he must stay and there’s no reason to believe that AW cannot sell him on the idea of 3 competing for 2 spots = plenty of playing time–We’ve even got two extra matches right off the bat (The CL qualify)….He’s only Wengury away from starting again….and my hunch is that the manager wants to try his two speedy CB idea again, sooner than later…

    What’s the latest on links away from the club? ManU so he can re-unite with RvP seems ridiculous. Barca to become the new Pique or grow out his hair to become the new Puyol? To both I say Puh-lease… They need to be getting their GK situation fixed first. Is Reina really the answer for them in that spot?….Another reason the Verm should say no no no….

    Like I also said, it’s all trickle down when it comes to Arsenal and standing pat with a couple of key additions is the way forward. as HH suggests we will not be in (true) competition for the PL title, but Giroud as CF is only one reason why….Stability at least allows us the chance to maybe pip one (or more) of the three clubs ahead of us, but to do so we will need to create something that is “greater than the sum of its parts” for that to happen. We’ve got a long way to go, but this is our best quality… Tinkering with too many pieces of the puzzle is for the clubs who don’t watch the bottom line…. Personally, I would be over the moon if we could have our CL spot sewn up early and maybe finish only single digits off the pace….and do better in the cups. (In truth it would be hard to do worse….)

    It’s all about incremental improvement and holding onto our players. If we can do that and improve this next year the pressure to keep our guys only ratchets up. Losing three Captains in a row shows both instability and highlights that AW (as the song goes….) “doesn’t know what he’s doing.” If we were gonna do radical surgery it should’ve started with the manager. In the end we didn’t require this so doing what we can to keep key players (including Vermaelen) should be job #1.

    Finally, if he stays why can’t he keep the Captaincy. We achieved what we needed to this Spring and Vermaelen acted perfectly throughout. Why not reward that?…. Sometimes leadership is as much behind the scenes as anywhere….

  • jgc – stability and time for Wenger to build further with this team is worth more than buying five world class players imo. If Arsene can keep this group together for at least 24 months and can add twice two good/top quality players each season, there is a very good chance he will build another top team.

    Arsene must be so happy to be in the situation in which he is not going to lose a top player, has money to add quality if it becomes available, AND there is no WC or Euros so he can get the team together early and prepare properly.

  • TA,

    Totally agreed actually. I think tho it’s 3…

    a. GK because if Fabianski leaves (and dont blame him as he needs time if he wants to compete with Scez for the spot on Poland’s team) we are in need of cover AND competition. It’s my lowest priority I would say

    b. DM/B2B – likely the highest priority

    c. ST/W – medium priority but a must do..

    So, for me “b” and “c” and likely “a” makes 3… Only 3, no more unless someone like Gerv leaves.

    Regarding goal numbers, I think Jovetic or Higuain would go for 20 with us and still leave us spread. Very simplistically if you replace OG (not saying we should) with 20 goals from one person, you get 42 goal difference (or so) and are bloody near 1st.. So, that’s my simplistic thinking. I agree we want to keep scoring spread, well spread…

    Finally, Gerv, if rumors are to be believed (yes, I know, never.. 🙂 ), and someone offered 12m, I would take it and immediately spend all or most on someone else.. Someone less frustrating, but solid.. Gerv is too much excitement for me with his Dr Gerv and Mr Hyde split personality …

    And yes, the first stable year in about 3-4, is likely, if I am optimistic worth at least 1-2 places with no additions (if we stay healthy around Arteta)!

    cheers — jgc

  • Jgc @23:26, all agreed mate :). It’s not that OG’s not good, we’re saying the contrary! It’s that he is good, but that we ALSO need a more dynamic, clinical striker too. We become a much better side with more finishers, and as TA noted OG’s distribution is quite good too. In a no way does signing a striker have to come at the expense of distribution either as Jovetic and Higuain can set others up, and help improve our goal tally!

    Gervinho is the only piece that I would like to see headed for the exit if we must subtract one player signed through next season. If he goes the other way as a makeweight for Gonalons, I’d be thrilled! While Gonalons is not the DM beast everyone is looking for, he’s basically a more physical and faster Arteta. He has been touted by many as the second coming of Busquets because of his vision from the back, intelligence and positioning, which can only be good news for us.

    Not sold on Mignolet though mate. I think he’s a good keeper who is pretty much the only reason Sunderland were not relegated, but I would prefer an older GK, so as to not make Ches feel that his long-term prospects of staying at the club are under risk. Ches has done nothing wrong to suggest that we need to replace him, but he does need some competition to help keep him mentally sharp and on his toes.

  • 17 🙂

    Fine comments and agreed with much. However, I don’t agree with you last paragraph. The captaincy has not worked for him and the sooner he relinquishes it the better for him and the team.

  • Jgc @ 23:40, it is true that several of AW’s “panic/last minute” transfer deals have been failures and reactionary, opposed to proactive deals of essential players he may or should have wanted. However, there have also been failures in the form of Arshavin, Squillaci, Chamakh and Gervinho etc., whom he chased for long periods of time before ultimately bringing them to the club.

    It’s really a blend of the two, but last minute transfers will ultimately come back to haunt you more, as you are signing players on long-term deals that may only be seen as short-term solutions. Ultimately, aside from the obvious benefits of signing players early, this is why fans would like to see AW complete his transfer business at the beginning of the TW, so as to avoid the panic and confusion that ensues on August 31st. Of course, it is better develop in-house options as back-ups, as they will hopefully better understand the system and their roles as back-ups. However, as has been mentioned before, the step up from the academy to the first-team is fairly significant and a lot of our youth players are not able to fulfill this expectation of being capable back-ups in case of injury or rotation.

  • jgc – I strongly believe that one of the main reasons we were able to spread the goals so evenly is the way Giroud (was instructed to) operates. If we replace him with a more egoistic and goal-focussed striker the impact might not be as you suggested…

    The main issue is that we have to use all our attackers all season – Theo-Pod-Santi-OG – with little back-up: Gerv and Ox not scoring enough as yet. So I expect to get one or two attack-minded players, but to keep OG as our focal point. Unless, of course, Theo gets the full go ahead, but then we really need that physically and technically strong nr10.

  • My dream off-season would be:

    1) Not sell any of our current players, with the exception of Mannone and maybe Gervinho, if a really good offer comes along and we replace him.

    2) Promote two youngsters. I want to see some progress from the academy and for the foundation to be laid to give our youth hope that they will eventually make the first-team and will transition slowly, albeit successfully. My votes are to Miquel and Yennaris, with an outside shout to Gnabry, Eisfeld and Aneke.

    3) Sign at least one top quality player. Rumoured targets that fit this category are as follows: L.Bender, Higuain, Rooney, Jovetic, Strootman, Yilmaz, Pogba, Wanyama, Cesc, Benteke, Lukaku (obviously forgot some names, but list is just an indication of what I consider top quality).

    4) Add another depth option (or two if we sell Gerv) for the position we neglected if we only signed one top quality player. Players I consider to be in this range are: Capoue, Benat, Remy, Gonalons, Cabella, Tello, Aubameyang, L.Traore, Bony, Villa (because of age).

    5) Sign an experienced back-up GK. Cesar, Reina, Al Habsi, Vorm or any other PL proven GK over or near the age of 30 who will cost us less than £7 million.

  • Highbury Harmony
    May 26, 2013 22:38 @ you can add Santo to the LB options, so we have Gibbs/Nacho/Santos


    PS: he is heading back to the emirates.

  • TA, if Theo can develop some strength, hold-up play, patience and better awareness/movement at the ST position, boy will he be a force to be reckoned with. I could envision Theo knocking in 20-25 goals next season as our lone ST if he was really focused this off-season on improving all his weaknesses and not relying only on his pace to catch defenders off guard.

    I reckon one of OG/Pod needs to come out of the starting line-up and be replaced with a more clinical/stamina or consistent option. In the latter’s case, it’s evident that his finishing will never be at the level we need, while the latter seems to drift in and out of games very frequently and lacks the strength to be a target man. Each one has their benefits though, it’s just a matter of finding the right balance in rotation to get them all in and keeping all of our attackers fresh. This is why I believe it will not hurt us in any way (collective scoring, number of forwards etc.) if we add a 20-25 goal scorer in the TW.

  • James Bond
    May 27, 2013 00:49 – Go suck a D mate!!! We all try to ignore the fact that Santos was ever a part of this club hahaha!

  • All agreed, HH.

    Of to bed now, catch you all tomorrow.

    Before I forget, jgc, what is going on with cats in your part of the world? More cats per 1000 citizens than in any other country, apparently, and now some authorities want to stop cats from being allowed out of the house, or only walked on leads, birth control, etc etc. I know you guys love your birds but….. 🙂

  • we all ? really ? who are we including in “all” when we say we all try to ignore the brilliance of Santos ? he’s going to be the 2nd coming of Gareth Bale, you just wait and watch.

  • Hahaha if Santos becomes the 2nd coming of Bale, I will promise to stop commenting and writing for BK, forever in shame of my criticism on Santos. As a wingback, he may have more promise, but we all know how AW likes to stick to his formations ;).

  • TA and HH

    Re OG: well time will tell. I dont want a ego-ist who scores 25 but reduces total goals by 5, I want, whether I can actually get it or not, someone who scores 20 and increases our total goal tally by 10.

    Same spread, more total goals, slightly more focus on one person but not unrecoverable if they leave.

    I may well be dreaming given how strikers are like the drunk guy at the bar, always 110% confident of how cool, hip and good looking they are..

    But, it’s pre TW so dreaming is, I have decided, very much allowed!

    Thus, regardless who we buy, I think I will offer a 1 beer “bet” to you both about OG and next seasons tally should he lead the line. I put my number for him at 19… Would like 25 …

    cheers — jgc

  • Jgc, the way I see it is that if we sign a new ST capable of potting 20-25 goals, we can still have enough healthy rotation between our attacking quad of Theo, Pod, OG and new ST for each to start 15-20 games each minimum. Of course, inevitably there will be injuries too and it would give us the flexibility to play a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3.

    Higuain’s always been a team-first oriented individual and has never been one to complain about playing time or not being the focal point of an attack. Imo, he is the ideal striker we could buy for this squad AND at the best price relative to value.

  • I like this article verminator hope u re reading this ,pls just stay an make history this is the moment we ve been waiting for be part of it or prevent it

  • Another heartfelt plea TA – I think you can rest easy, he will stay.
    Re my contribution yesterday, Williams/TV5 would be the ideal alternative to Per/Kos.

    Also, re my post yesterday, I did say there might be up to 6 new signings, but I did not want to disrupt the team we have at the moment .. Confused? Sorry, if this was responded to yesterday, but no time to look back.
    Let me clear up any doubts on what I was hinting at.
    First, this window may be an ideal time to recruit whilst other clubs have their new managers ‘reviewing’ what they have got?

    igc – I am with you on the order of need.

    HH – I found myself liking your ‘B-list’ of from an earlier post that, and the names you have posted above.

    So, from there we get to my thoughts;

    One striker as an alternative to Giroud, as I do not see Walcott or Podolski in that central role in too many games. But this player needs to bring something different to the table. Listed first as probably being the most expensive?

    Second striker to play alongside Giroud. Higher priority, imo, but the right player will be key.

    We have Sanogo who is to be developed, but not necessarily for next season?

    A scoring midfielder who can replace Cazorla when needed, or deeper with him. A name emerged yesterday? However, there are others that could be considered.

    The DM – Could be expensive, but needed.

    GK – Only if Fab does move on. Happy with better rotation between the two, Possibly tying in with the alternative CB pairing? Now this may sound crazy from anybody thinking of The Invincibles, but I believe the game has got far more physically demanding,. So refreshing the central three as a unit, is not so crazy if they all remain fit for a 60 game season?

    Still room for one or two ‘promising’ youngsters to come into a winning team and find their feet without two much pressure.

    I do think Gervinho may well be used as part of any Lyon deal, so although my above bill may be on the high side, I do not think Stan/Ivan will take too much persuading if we go a tad over budget. Arsene will be in his final year of contract to add a little pressure?
    On that thought, bringing Dennis on board would be very welcome too?

    I leave you with the headline quote of the day;

    ‘It was an easy decision to send Santos back to Arsenal’

  • jgc 🙂

    Cat Bearding – whatever next!? 🙂

    I dont want to bet on OG’s goal tally as I don’t think it is the main thing that matters. What I will say is that is I believe Giroud-Theo-Cazorla-Pod total PL goals next season will go up by 10 all together (if playing a similar number of games compared to last season).

  • Morning Gerry 🙂

    All sounds reasonable and possible. I have not got a clue what will happen this summer though, not a clue.

  • TA

    I’ll take that 10+ or let’s figure goals per game up about 20-25% from the 3 players I’d estimate… Beer to be paid whenever after end of next season in May 2014 (time to save up for it! 🙂 )

    I’d be very happy if OG led the line and finished more as I thought our shots on goal total was good, tho could be higher, which to me is where that midfielder comes in?

    Cheers — jgc

  • TA

    After cat bearing, I DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT’s NEXT!!!!! Aaauughhhh!

    Cheers — jgc

  • hahaha JGC – I am sure GLIsCo will come up with something! 🙂

    To be clear on the bet I say that Giroud, Pod, Cazorla, and Theo will score 10 additional goals in the PL next season (providing they play a similar total number of games as last season). 2012/2013 = 48 —> 2013/2014 —-> 58 or more. Best Belgium beer as the price! 🙂

  • Great article TA, It’s nice to see i wasn’t the only slightly saddened by the news linking TV away from arsenal. I think the problem with TV is his comparative tactical indiscipline for a player in his position and level. A possible solution would be a 2 birds – 1 stone idea, to play him at CDM, and would also allow him to enjoy the forward runs, which have seemingly disappeared from his game.

  • plenty of big signings have happened in the TW during this bank holiday weekend…

    1: Barca signed Neymar (undisclosed fee- i reckon near 50 million as man city also tried to sign him but failed)

    3: Monaco snapping up 3 players for a fee in excess of 110 million (Falcao , Rodriguez and spuds boss’s personal favourite Mountinho )

    5: Cavani headed to Man city with Dzeko going in the opposite direction ? (seems like it)

    7: Apparently , RM have made a bid for 40 million for Suarez (i can see that one happening)…. and another bid for Gareth Bale for 65 million ( i can also see that happening since the legendary Zidane is involved ) if both these transfers go ahead then i can see RM dominating La Liga next year provided they don’t get Rafa. B 😀

    9: don’t worry, i haven’t forgotten our beloved Arsenal, apart from us being close to signing a few under 18’s with massive potential , grapevine (made up by me) has it that we’re in with a shout for a couple of FREE transfers in Malouda (we all craved a winger, didn’t we) and Benayoun ( perfect to rotate Arteta with 😉

    on a slightly different and more realistic note, Bent might be available on the cheap…he might not be a bad option for 4 million to have on the bench or as replacement for bendtener and chamakh (we lose both of them and get him as our 2nd/3rd choice).

  • since we’re doing rumours started by me, then i can see Monaco making a move for either of TV/ Sagna if not both.

  • Oz, forgot to comment on your brilliant post yesterday.

    It was really good to hear from fans of other clubs who we need to bring. For me Wenger will be looking to buy in all areas of the field. Who he buys remains to be seen. Wenger is likely to surprise us all with who he brings in.

    Well done for taking the time to carry out your mini investigation and tell us your findings. I really enjoyed reading it. 🙂

  • JB, I doubt Wenger will buy Bent. He just does not seem like a player Wenger would go for. Wenger has never signed a British player around Bent’s age in recent years, I think. I think Wenger prefers to buy British players when they are in their early years so he can mould them into the players he wants them to be.

  • Hi all..

    TA.. although I don’t really like Vermaelen.. but keeping him not a bad idea also.. cause no one knows other CB that linked with us will do better..

    HH.. my dear friend.. be carefull of what you say.. cause We know how good is AW.. hahaha..

    After failed to land Neymar.. Madrid will double their offer to Bale.. and maybe Falcao.. I love to see Bale out from Spurs.. but hate to think about his price.. hehehe..
    Big clubs just can’t stop their habbits..
    And Wenger was right.. Lewandoski do come to Munchen.. Pep Guardiola has make Munchen even greedier.. hahaha..
    Maybe Isco will soon be a Munchen either.. hehehe..

  • TA, top letter. 🙂

    I really like Vermaelen. He is a defender who plays with his heart and 100% deserves to be an Arsenal player. He will even score goals for you. Maybe we should turn him into a CF and play him with Walcott or Podolski. 😀

    This season he has not been at his best but what player is at his best every season. I think he will come back better and stronger than ever and I hope he does not leave.

  • AFC.. I don’t remember when it start.. but I just don’t like him as our CB.. He used to play as if he was an AM.. and too often left our defence open.. and somehow he just didn’t match to Koscielny.. my favoriute CB.. hahaha..

    If he stay.. I wish he play Arteta rules.. or together with Arteta as our duo DM..
    I never doubt his royality to the club.. and Wenger used to keep such players.. hehe..

  • And also I hate to see him fail to defence the ball and gave and easy goal to RvP.. hahaha.. although I like RvP.. but I like Arsenal the most.. hehe..

  • Touching and yet cold-minded post, TA. Bravo! 🙂

    I must say a few things regarding our defense from 2012-13. I wrote a huge text “Players should defend Wenger ON the pitch” back in March (or February, I can’t recall) where I pointed out at a lot of changes in our defense during the season.

    Vermaelen started this season in a very good mood. In first four matches of the season our defense Jenkinson-Mertesacker-Vermaelen-Gibbs looked very, very good. Then, I think it happened a day before the first big game of the season (away match against Manchester City), Vermalen got sick and that made him miss that match. Koscielny and Mertesacker did a good job against Oilers with Koscielny even scoring an equalizer but it should be said that Koscielny practically prepared a sitter for Aguero in the very next attack. It was even better chance than the one Vermaelen prepared to Van Judas in our second visit to Manchester but Aguero didn’t have enough composure to score. Against Chelsea, Wenger dismantled a solid defense from the start of the season in favour of pacey defenders Koscielny and Vermaelen. We all know how that one ended – Koscielny and Mannone shared guilt for goals while Vermaelen gave away easy fouls that led to Chavs’ goals.

    Vermaelen’s poor form had a few more reasons other than being selected as captain.

    1.Lack of consistency in defensive line-up selection – some changes were forced, some where Wenger’s choice. It doesn’t require a brain of Einstein to notice Vermaelen shouldn’t have been paired with Koscielny.

    2.Verminator was also used as left full-back when Wenger had to admit Santos can’t defend. He did well there in matches against less dangerous opponents but against Bayern he was constantly targeted by Bavarian players. All manure that hit us in that match came from that side of the pitch.

    3.Unlike Mertesacker and Koscielny, Vermaelen didn’t enjoy too much in our recent formation with Arteta and Ramsey in front of central defenders. I believe that – with all due respect to brilliant form of Per and Kos – it was easier for our defenders when they had two defensive midfielders in front of them.

    4.Finally, lack of confidence provided by scored goals due to absence of Vermaelen’s goals this season.

    Anyway, I want him to stay – whether as one of our center-backs or as defensive midfielder – and to show that determination he showed in 2011-12 when he scored that brilliant goal against Newcastle. I like him and I would like to see an Arsenal captain that actually stays with Arsenal until retirement.

    Speaking of new signings in attack, I remembered this morning that Wenger said in January that we are not short in quality but in quantity. Now, I don’t want to sound paranoid but perhaps Yaya Sanogo will be our only attacking reinforcement – young and cheap option with some potential.

    @TA – you mentioned Wenger doing “Davor Šuker” a few days ago. Perhaps Miroslav Klose could be a new Šuker? Klose has been the best player of Lazio in last two seasons, he is an experienced striker with high intelligence (maybe the most intelligent striker I’ve watched), with a huge international experience (like Podolski and aforementioned Šuker) and wouldn’t cost too much due to his age.

    @Glic – are you still passed out because you saw Isco scoring a goal yesterday? 😀 I have to say I agree with your brilliant comment regarding Guendogan and Arteta – I thought the very same thing about two of them. Though, perhaps we are more in need of Bender. (This is probably the gayest sentence ever. 😀 )

  • AFC,

    never mind Wenger buying a british player at that age, remind me when was the last time Wenger signed any player that age 😀 (Arteta was a panic buy and hmmm 28, the closest i can think of really).

    coming back to TV, it was his spot kick that cost us against bradford ( i know santi and chamakh missed as well but his miss was the knock out one) even though it was his header that gave us a life line, yep, he had one of them sort of seasons didn’t he ?

  • speaking of goals from yesterday, higuain scored a decent goal after pressing and hassling the defender, the finish was exactly what we need at arsenal, yep, very composed.

  • Hahaha Admir, not quite, that honour goes to HH ( I`m sure it was him, if not , he`s still going to get the credit !. hahaha ) , he once said about getting both the Bender boys ! . 😆

  • Former players are hitting out at the club left right and center! Glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks we need a lot of improvements before we can challenge for the title. Current group is not good enough but will be what we need to build on, hopefully AW gets this transfer business moving along quickly!

  • so that’s Zaha helping Crystal palace to the PL next season, well done lad

    won them the semis and in the final got them the penalty, clever chappy no doubt.

    it will be a shame to see him on the bench so often at man utd 😀

  • @Glic – with two Benders we would have more firm behind. 😀

    @JB – Zaha is a great talent. Too bad he didn’t come to Arsenal. I just hope he won’t turn out to be a new Ronaldo.

  • Admir,

    yep, shame he chose the mancs but doesn’t matter we have our own gnabry to surpass even the likes of Ronaldo 😀

  • worth noting the odds on Rooney joining arsenal have come down to 9/2 at some places…interesting developments, was 33/1 and even higher…


  • JB, I still have my reservations that we’d ever bid for Rooney or that he’d want to come to Arsenal. Unless of course, the English contingent in our team are more persuasive than we think or the bad blood between himself and RVP/SAF is stronger than it has been made out to be.

  • The better question is who wouldn’t want a Bender at the Arse? We already have OG who poses half nude gay magazine anyway, so it should only help build our global brand!

  • By the way, anyone wondering about Clement Grenier, our new target that AW confirmed interest in, he’s a quality player. Still very young at 22 years of age, he reminds me of a blend between Na$ri and Cesc. Better pace than both players, his vision and touch are in the same class as both or will eventually get there. His free kick ability is reminiscent of that of Cesc’s, so if we do sign him, hopefully it’ll mean more converted goals from set pieces.

    7 goals and 6 assists in 20 starts and 8 sub appearances for Lyon this past season too.

  • I should say his vision and skills will eventually be more at the level of Na$ri’s than Cesc’s. He would be a great addition for our CAM/W position, especially if one of Theo/Pod move centrally full-time.

  • Thank you for nice scouting, HH. 🙂 Although, this second video made me freeze to death after I saw word “Chamakhinho83”. 😀 It reminded me of both Chamakh and Gervinho’s tweets since he calls his followers “Tweetinhos”.

    Renier looks like an interesting option but I hope that I don’t sound over-patriotic if I recommend Miralem Pjanić from Roma. Roma won’t play in Europe next season and will need a make-over so Pjanić might be available for reasonable fee. He is 23-year-old, he possesses excellent technique, vision, pass and shooting, he can take free-kicks and corners (he would be a significant improvement in set-pieces, that’s for sure). It’s important to notice that he has been on our radar before, while he was playing for Metz and Lyon (his connection with France might be interesting for Wenger).

  • You’re welcome Admir :). Pjanic is a great shout too and he would be every bit as good of a purchase, if not better than Grenier. He’s played in a more competitive league for a few years now and his output of 6 goals and 9 assists during his time with Lyon (was it 2009-10?) betters Grenier’s totals of 7 and 6.

    It’ll be quite the fascinating TW, but hopefully these are not the types of players AW is looking at in terms of bringing in at least one top quality player. I’m perfectly ok with these as depth/future options though! The Grenier link is more concrete, purely because of AW’s confirmation that we are interested in him and that he sees him as the next Na$ri. It would be a nice double swoop if we sell them Gervinho plus cash for both Grenier and Gonalons.

  • What were people’s thoughts on the new England kit by Nike?

  • Gerv + cash = Grenier and Gonalons would be a good piece of business, however it would still leave space for one marquee signings ( any one of Cesc/Higuain/Benzema/Rooney/Hulk will do it for me)

    i like the new England kit, simple yet very slick, reminds me of the Germany kit for some reason or was it Finnish one, can’t remember.

  • Sorry guys, this Grenier guy doesn`t do anything for me !. He looks OK, but nothing special !. When I see video`s of Pogba, Isco, Muniain, Bernard, Verratti, Gundogan, Reus etc, he looks average !. Come on stop looking at the Jovetic, Grenier types, I will be well disappointed if this is all we`ve got to look forward too !.
    Arsene has money for Super Quality, not hopefuls !. We`ve already missed a trick by not paying Goetze`s release clause money !. Stop hanging around like a wet sack of spuds Arsene and pay Isco`s release clause, before someone with a bit of get up and go does, your getting too slow old man !. hahaha

  • agreed, Glic

    hence i said it would be a good piece of business besides we have Ramsey don’t we 😉

    that Gotze one was quite baffling really, apparently we made a 30 million offer some time (year/s) back and didn’t know about the release clause figure which was an additional 1.5 million…not sure if it’s true but quite astonishing really.

  • Nice post TA. I am desperate for Verm to stay and not oly fight for his place but give Arsene a real selection headache

    The best pairing is Merts and Kos, but both smaller men play better with Merts, its a nicer balance

    For this reason, unless someone like Miquel can step up, then it would be great if we can pluck a centre half from somewere that is essentialy cover for the Big German.

    Formulating pockets of healthy competition by creating alternative balances that work is key to Arsenal acheiving its aims.

    For me this is the key to our potential transfer activity, not the name of the player, or how he performs for his current club etc. It is essentialy a process of adding vaule to our exsisting pool.

  • By the way, i spent the weekend in some hotel with my latest squeeze. Lovely girl, hugh knockers and very thick, just how i like them. hahaha

    The hotel was full of Germans, all Munich fans. Very nice people.

    Christ, there ugly though. Massive blokes with wild hair, they all liked extras from that Braveheart movie. hahaha

    Had a good drink with them and by the end of the night coz we were getting on so well asked wether they could pay my Uncle Theos tax bill that the Cretan authorities had harsly dumped on him. I dont think they were amused. hahaha

  • Gerry,

    I’m not surprised that you favour my list of B-list players as it has been your hope/expectation all along! I will not be disappointed if 2-3 signings come from that bin of players since we need some more depth and some of those players are capable of being solid, dependable DMs.

    However, I am adamant about needing to add at least one top quality player. Such a presence will give us a much needed injection of skill and creativity to our current squad and hopefully allow us to play more free-flowing, forward football. Outside of Cazorla (and to a lesser extent Rosicky), we lack a player who can create that something extra special all on their own.

  • Glic,

    All agreed Grenier is not supposed to be a top quality signing, but merely a depth/insurance/future option imo. If we sell Gervinho to Lyon, he could be a direct replacement, which I’m not concerned about whatsoever.

    I still want one of Reus, Higuain, L.Bender, Pogba, Gundogan etc. to be added in the TW too. Isco is a lost cause, we’ve lost all leverage, if we ever had any, now that Pellegrini has joined $hitty.

  • Might I add to my comment to Gerry @ 21:34 that Jack and Ox are able to create that something extra special on their own, however they are still either too inconsistent, inexperienced or injury-prone. More time will need to be afforded for their developments and the expectation of providing immediate dividends can then be relieved/complemented by simply adding one more top quality talent in the TW.

  • While your at it, a lazer tattoo removalist would be handy as well, one which deals with male appendages !.

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