Fellaini – Jack – Cesc/Rooney: a midfield worthy of Wengerball!

A 'statement of intent' line-up for next season?

A ‘statement of intent’ line-up for next season?

Ivan Gazidis tells us we can compete for the big boys now, stating we can bid for the likes of Rooney, or even aim higher. I am happy he has come out with this clear message, and his comments regarding keeping hold of Wenger for many seasons to come is also very welcome. There is a strong interconnection between signing super quality players and Wenger staying put at Arsenal.

The big transfer targets will want to avoid doing a ‘Van Judas’; they want assurances about the club’s long-term vision and that includes the manager going nowhere. I would be very happy for Wenger to stay so he is able to pick the fruits at the end of the Emirates-stadium-tunnel, but we still have to see whether he will bring in the sort of players who can fit in straightaway and make a real difference.

Simultaneous with Gazidis’ bullish statement, news came out about Arsenal having made an offer for Everton’s Fellaini. The Belgian would definitely be a so called ‘statement of intent’ by  the club. Unsurprisingly, things have gone quiet again as per the very nature of the Terror Window. The Dutch have a saying for this: de kat om het spek binden – tying the cat around the bacon – we can smell and sense those quality signings and yet cannot get hold of them.

But let’s do  another bit of football transfer indulgence: a good antidote to the poison of the terror window. If we do get Fellaini and one of the other players whose names keep popping up – Cesc and Rooney, where would they play and how would they add value to our team?

As per previous posts, I reckon Arsene needs to invest in our midfield first and for all, if he wants to return to Wengerball. We need steel and added invention in order to get back to sexy and winning football.

There is no doubt that both Cesc and Rooney would add a creative dimension as well as an added goal threat. Both could play in the hole and our team would make an instant step forwards and upwards. We have discussed what the Spaniard and Englishman have to offer in recent posts, so let’s not regurgitate too much of it again in this one.

However, it would be good to discuss who, from a purely technical/tactical point of view (not so much a sentimental one), fellow Gooners would prefer in Arsenal’s nr.10 position: Rooney or Cesc. It would be also interesting to know who believes Rooney should lead our attack rather than play behind the striker, and what you believe is Cesc’s very best position in our 4-3-3 formation.

In order to get the best value out of Cesc or Rooney in the hole, Arsenal need to have a fantastic box-to-box midfielder who is able to find the perfect balance between defensive and attacking duties, as well as a strong, yet footballing, DM.

At this early stage of his career, Jack appears to be the right player for the b2b position (over time I  expect him to move into the hole position). Of course, he needs to be fully fit to be effective in this role and fingers crossed he’ll have a great season. We have some alternatives and back up with the likes of Arteta, Coquelin and Ramsey and the D-named player.

If we want to play winning Wengerball football again though, my personal, and many fellow Gooners’, first priority remains the DM position. Every beautiful, fanciful castle needs a solid basement to deal with the laws of gravity and whatever the elements throw at it.

I am not sure whether Fellaini is the player for this position, or whether Arsene would be looking at him to move into that position. No doubt the Belgian could play there, but he could also be our b2b midfielder as well as our nr.10 – with 11 goals in 31 PL matches he is proving to be an all-round midfielder of great quality.

You can see why Arsene would like him to join us: he can play everywhere, is technically and physically very strong, has a winner’s mentality and would fit into the team relatively well. His disciplinary record is also not too bad despite his reputation of being a hot-head at times, with a yellow card in every four league games on average, and just the one red card during his 138 league appearances.

A Wengerball player, no doubt about that. But is he suitable to play the traditional DM role with a bit of added responsibility/ skill requirements?

The more I think about it, the more I believe he would join us not as a dedicated, ‘traditional’, beast of a DM, but as one of the two in the double-DM pivot, in which Arsene likes to put multi-disciplined and skilled midfielders who can defend, pass and create – both are DM and b2b midfielders at the same time.

Fellaini would suit this role perfectly, and the thought of him playing together in the double-DM pivot with Jack, but also Arteta, and to a lesser extent Rambo, is a mouth-watering one. The Belgian would add physical presence – height, power, and ball winning skills, both on the ground and in the air – drive and a strong assist/goal scoring threat.

We can only dream, but the thought of Fellaini and Jack in the DM-pivot and either Cesc or Rooney in front of them, with Cazorla/Pod/Ox/Gnabry operating from the wings and Theo, Giroud or Pod our most advanced attacker, in a Wengerball footballing machine, puts a smile on my face.

Will it happen? Who knows, but Gazidis has made a statement of intent and now it is time to bring home the bacon! 🙂

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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127 Responses to Fellaini – Jack – Cesc/Rooney: a midfield worthy of Wengerball!

  1. James Bond says:

    you know what the gooners want and then you give it to us, TA

    well done 😀

    all agreed and yes, we would also get fear factor back by that i mean teams will start fearing us once more and dread playing us, if not all teams then most of them for sure.

    i can see Fellaini and Cesc returning (hopefully) but the 3rd one’s gonna be between Rooney/Higuain.

    personally i would want Rooney for the betterment of both Arsenal and English football.

  2. James Bond says:

    here would be my forward line up based on your acquisitions 😉

    ————————————Fellaini /Arteta—————————— Jack/Ramsey

    ——–Theo/Ox ——————-Cesc/Santi/———————————-Santi/Poldi


  3. AFC says:

    TA, you continue to amaze us with your quality posts.

    Rooney, Cesc and Fellani are all so versatile.

    Rooney is best in the CF role behind the ST but can also play as an AM and box to box midfielder. Who knows maybe he will finish his career as a deep lying playmaker.

    We all know Cesc has played in a CF/AM role but I feel he could also do pretty well in an Arteta role next to a dedicated DM.

    Fellani can play as a DM/box to box midfielder but has been playing really well as an AM/SS. TA, how would you feel about Fellani playing behind Walcott?

  4. Glic says:

    A BOING provoking post !.
    A squad like that and we would be competing at the highest level again.
    Gazidas has talked the talk, now he needs to walk the walk !.
    Another Dutch saying is…….” Bring home the vertical bacon sandwiches ! ” , perhaps you could translate that into Dutch for me !. hahaha

    G4eva49…….did you have your meal in the Pier House or Rashleigh Arms in Charlestown ?. The Chef in the Pier House is a mad Gooner and top bloke . ( he reads BK, but as of yet hasn`t commented ! )

  5. weedonald says:

    All is speculative un tilit appears on AFC website.

  6. Savage says:

    I like the way nobody changes the back 5 in all their dream teams for next season. Surely that’s progress?

  7. AFC says:

    JB, if we brought all 3, this would be my prefered line-up. 4-3-2-1.

    RCM- Fellani
    CM- Arteta
    LCM- Jack
    LF- Rooney
    RF- Cesc
    ST- Walcott

  8. shadi says:

    I totally agree with you, we really don’t need to change alot in our team, Cesc + Fell Would take us to the next step. We can afford not signing a striker.

    And if Wenger able to sell Pod + gervinho, we can use that money to buy a player who can play forward and on wings.

    If not then its ok. Our defense is more than ok. Verm will restore his confidence and come back good. we have 2 good full backs on each side.

    Too many changes will cause another slow start like last season, we need to pickup from we were. Cesc is an arsenal player and wont need time to adapt. And Fellini has PL experience and we won’t need to start him from first game. he can slowly take over Arteta place

  9. AFC says:

    And that’s without Santi. 🙂

  10. Matthew Sadler says:

    Cazorla Walcott


    Wilshere Fellaini
    Gibbs Jenkinson


    But would like the ox to pla quite regularly at LW or CAM and Cazorla can switch to CAM and Fab go to CM

  11. Arsenal_VCC says:

    Now that we are in dream time, this would be a wonderful dream! 🙂 I like JB’s line up and think that it would bring the best out of the “acquisitions”. Would love nothing better than to see the insufferable Piers Morgan tweet a pic of Arsenal lifting the trophy to RvP next year!

  12. Glic says:

    I think…” A statement of intent ! “, should now be known as…..” A statement of BOING ! “…..it suggests and indicates much more than intent ! ” . hahaha

  13. AFC says:

    Guys I’m thinking a tight 4-2-3-1.

    RDM- Arteta/Ramsey
    LDM- Fellani/Jack
    RAM- Santi or Cesc
    CAM- Rooney
    LAM- Santi or Cesc
    ST- Walcott/Giroud

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Jambo

    The fear factor: good point. It would also work internally but then it would be called the ‘confidence’ factor, and as a team and the supporters we need that more than anything: that feeling of going places and being a force to reckon with.

    However, I am dreaming of two top top signings but you are already hoping for Cesc, Fellaini AND Rooney or Higuain…. I just cannot keep up with you hahaha 😛

  15. Unknown C says:

    I like the idea of Fellaini has a holding mid as he’s huge, techincally sound and can kick off the pace, and Cesc coming back would be a dream come true (if he doesn’t come back this year though Jovetic would bring a lot to the table as well). With Higuain and Rooney I find it difficult – I would personally prefer Higuain as he will seem more like a fresh character to the squad, but you cannot deny Rooney’s skill, experience, and like it or not, his in-game selflessness. Tough choice – either would be brilliant.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi AFC

    Fellaini behind Walcott is a real possibility! Arsene loves his ‘holding strikers’ – Giroud is being turned into one – and Fellaini could do this job in the hole, whilst Theo runs the channels and opens up the gaps….

  17. Unknown C says:

    @AFC The whole reason Rooney wants to leave Man Utd is because he doesnt want to play in midfield – he wants to continue as a regular striker

  18. mA says:

    nice one TA…
    i feel that Fellaini to Arsenal would be the real deal not only because of his PL experience but also the fact that he is pretty good on both ends. Defensively statute and robust but equally effective when going forward. In addition, the guy know how to use elbows, and these are some good attributes for a perfect box to box midfielder. he wows me with his “physical penetration” and bullying os the opposition -Viera type.
    i’m watching Spain Vs Haiti. Cazorla IS the main man (playing typical no 10) and opens the scoring on 8th min from 25 Yards -left foot, low and hard driving the ball to the bottom corner. Monreal is being attacked at pace and he seems to be struggling against his opposing man.Cesc is also playing.

  19. gooner son says:

    If fatboy rooney does come to arsenal it will be as the main striker…. so if you did your research properly you would know this… so why are you putting him behind walcott???? Anyways I let you get on with your fantasy bullshit post with all your amazed crackhead mates backing u up. Coyg

  20. AFC says:

    Unknown C, I would not let him lead the line as a ST, I would play him as a CF behind Walcott.

  21. AFC says:

    If we can get Cesar, Fellani and Rooney or Cesc that would be a dream come true.

    Higuain is a top striker but if we brought Rooney or Cesc to play behind Walcott that could be just as effective.

  22. Aeoric says:

    No sense in spending and only doing a halfway house job, 4th place given the state of the squad last year was an achievement, but we were miles behind United, who came up short against the best in Europe. Major surgery is needed and you won’t win anything without a strong spine (see Chelsea, Man Utd, City)

    (Ger) Rene Adler (from Hamberg SV to be #1)
    (Bel) Alderweireld (from Ajax to replace Sagna)
    (Ger) Mertesacker
    (Fra) Kos
    (Spa) Monreal
    (Bel) Fellaini
    (Eng) Wilshere
    (Ger) Reus (from Dortmund)
    (Spa) Fabregas (from Barca) (20M buyback clause)
    (Spa) Cazorla
    (Col) Jackson Martinez (from Porto) / (Spa) Michu (from Swansea)

    Subs from:
    Sanogo (not ready for the Premiership yet)

    Same formation, but you cannot play Theo as striker, he couldn’t cope as the one up top

    Arsenal needs more leaders on the pitch, with this you would have that (Adler, Alderweireld, Mertesacker, Fellaini, Wilshere, Fabregas)

    Am a big fan of country-trios, (like Vieira-Petit-Pires) – so with these we would have Spanish, German, Belgian and English ‘sets’ in the squad

    Bringing Fabregas back means you need quick incisive inside forwards to take advantage of his visionary passing. (Walcott is the weak link here – he does well when the ball is played in space in front of him and he just has to hit it, but his dribbling is crap)

    I love Cavani but Wenger will never spend 53 Million on one player, even if he won 800 million on the lottery.

    I rate Michu as a strong front man and premiership proven, however Jackson Martinez is hot shit off a shovel

    Rooney – meh, let the Northern monkeys keep the granny shagger imho.

    Szczesney just isn’t ready yet. De Gea got 1 year to get it right, we can’t go too long without biting the bullet. Adler is true quality (so is Weidenfeller of Dortmund and Begovic of Stoke)

    Sagna is still wavering even now, much as I loved Bac in the past – his last two years have been sloppy and he’s no longer comitted to the cause, sell him whilst he’s still worth money and PSG are eager to buy. Purchase Alderweireld from Ajax (very solid defender and a leader on the pitch)

    Raise additional funds from selling the following and getting them off the wage bill

    Santos, Djourou
    Diaby, Coquellin, Frimpong
    Podolski, Gervinho, Podolski, Bendtner, Park, Chamakh


  23. AFC says:

    Deep lying playmaker- Arteta
    DM (PRESENCE)- Fellani
    Box to box midfielder- Wilshere
    Utility midfielder- Ramsey

    That’s out ‘2’ in our 4-2-1-3 sorted.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    GLic ‘Bring home the vertical bacon sandwich’ hahaha 🙂

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    WeeD – it is just a bit of light Saturday night entertainment 😉

  26. James Bond says:

    thanks and all agreed, A_VCC, revenge will be very sweet for “piersy” indeed.


    hope for the best AND plan for the Worst has been my motto, which is what i tend to apply to AW’s buys 😀

    hope for the best ( actually i was gonna put in a GK as well but then i thought 3 is fine or else your gunner be gunning for me 😉

    plan for the worse ( same team with youth promotions) .

    so as you see, hoping is the way to go , ha

  27. AFC says:

    Aeoric, I do not think we will get Reus or the strikers you mentioned.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Savage

    I wrote a post a while ago about ‘what if don’t buy any new defenders/GK’ and most agreed that we are fine in that area, although most of us would appreciate an experienced PL keeper as Sz’s cover.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Jambo, hope is the new dope hahaha 😛

  30. AFC says:

    * Fellaini

    Just realised I had been missing out the first ‘i’.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Shadi

    You wrote:

    ‘Too many changes will cause another slow start like last season, we need to pickup from we were. Cesc is an arsenal player and wont need time to adapt. And Fellini has PL experience and we won’t need to start him from first game. he can slowly take over Arteta place’

    Spot on mate! We do not need revolution but evolution with a firm kick up the Arsenal! 🙂

  32. James Bond says:


    A fine comment, however some of the players in your basket are not likely to be joining us or be on our radar as such.

    Cavani – if a source of mine was to be believed, we had made a bid in january for him in the region of 30 mills, which was rejected…(grapevine has it that there was a 30 million bid in january, in time we will find out more…who knows he may have even bid 30 million for Messi ) but anyhow, Cavani is on his way to London certainly but unfortunately he’ll be a blue….Chelsea will announce the signing soon as it’s done.

    Cesc returning would be massive for sure plus i have added interest in that one 😉

  33. AFC says:

    gooner son, did you hear Rooney say that himself. I haven’t. From my understanding Rooney does not want to be played out wide or deep in midfield like he has been forced to at Man U. He has no problem playing as a CF behind a ST.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Arsenal_vcc 🙂

    I think we will all be tweeting the mere mortal VJ and his little boy inside him if we win the PL next season 😛

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    UnknownC – fine comment. And good to hear you are also a admirer of Jovetic. Rooney instead of Higuian at any time, as long as he is really up for it.

  36. AFC says:

    I think the real reason Rooney wants to leave is because he is not Manchester United’s star player anymore, RVP has overshadowed him.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    mA – ‘he knows how to use his elbows’ hahaha 🙂

    All agreed and thanks for the update on the Spain match. Check out the body language between Cesc and Santi and see whether there are any signs of Cesc being extra friendly with his future club mate, will you? 😉

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    gooner son 🙂

    You bring us a quote of that and I will give you credit.

    Last thing I heard, Rooney does not like the acid rain falling constantly on his newly populated head and is desperate to move to the home of football! 😉

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Aeroic

    Thanks for the effort and time you put in the comment. I am sick of transition after transition so am going to disagree with you on so many changes in one go. Would be a pretty impressive team though.

  40. James Bond says:

    gooner son,

    son, i mean gooner, i mean really what ever ?

    back to business, if you have done your research “properly” then Rooney is a versatile player capable of playing anywhere from mf to up front, sure he would want assurances of playing as a main man but that doesn’t mean he would not be as effective as the 2nd striker or false no.9 so to speak, he has the ability and quality to adapt accordingly.

    no one knows if he would only join us after receiving certain assurances, this article was written primarily to explore the best combinations and fitting the best 11 based on transfer speculation.

    so son, i mean gooner or whatever, i hope you get the drift.

  41. Previgo says:

    Personaly i dont want cesc back for now, and i dont think we need him..so my lineup is base on.. -cesc

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Previgo

    I think it is too early for jack in the hole, but I reckon he will end up there eventually. However, whether a bit deeper or in the hole, Jack and Rooney would quickly develop a very good relationship.

  43. Previgo says:


  44. TotalArsenal says:


    I reckon Rooney would be best in the hole position and play ala Bergkamp for us. We could have either Poldi, Theo or Giroud in front of him. He would give them great service and especially Giroud would give him great service back.

  45. gunners78 says:

    Great comments everyone but what about the rumors of signing Alaba. Where would he fit in your lineups?

  46. gunners78 says:

    Reblogged this on Arsenal BPL.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi gunner78

    Alaba could be the defensive DM and Fellaini play behind the striker, but then again, I believe the Fellaini rumour is a stronger one than the Alaba one at the moment, and it would be unlikely for us to get both of them.

  48. Previgo says:

    @total arsenal.. Rooney wants to leave united because he wants the cf role.. So i dont think he would want to come to arsenal to play behind the main striker.. If he wanted that..he would remain @ united

  49. JGC says:


    Great post as always (GPAA?)

    Anyway, I don’t get too caught up in the beast vs DMvs DM beast vs B2B thing. IMO, the only real difference is a B2B has offensive skills support, and perhaps a lesser defensive role. That said, a B2B with some defensive (Adamsesque or even Bergkampesque?) “I hate to lose” mongrel will be fine. If they can score, ALL the better!!

    IMO, Fellaini fits this role well and that is why that particular rumor has me more interested than most…

    He would also give us another very good aerial target on set pieces which might take focus off OG and give us more chances

    Cheers — jgc

  50. JGC says:


    From last post comments… Many congrats!

    Cheers — jgc

  51. JGC says:


    IMO, perhaps the best part of this TW and (your) summer might be that we are not waiting anxiously/nervously/fearfully, but instead looking forward excitedly for what may come and the Boing! that comes with it..

    Cheers — jgc

  52. UpTh3ARSEnal says:

    Imagine Higuain on the receiving end of them passes….we would have won A LOT more games. Whatever the lineup next season..there will ALWAYS have to be a pivotal role for Santi

  53. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Terror window. Ha ha.

    That was great TA! 😀

    I remember a post done here on BK asking who we would like to sign in January etc and Fellaini’s name came up quite a few times which at the time, and still do, wish him to b at the club. I for one believe he can play that DM role and has a bit of freedom. No Alex song as such but that good ol hybrid play! I read recently somewhere it’s apparent that Fellaini’s favoured position is playing as the DM??? I presume every player was a greedy bastard that wanted to score all the goals!?! 🙂 I’d rather dish out crunching fair tony Adams tackles myself if i was a player.

    Glic, yes we was at the pier house resteraunt had lovely food! A full 3 course (and a helping hand to my wife’s) lovely rib eye was wonderful. I wish I’d known the chef was a Gooner I would of asked for red and white decor dinner. Red and white ice cream. What a lovely place and location. Before we left Cornwall we went to Fowey had a cream tea sat outside looking accross the water such lovely weather. We were so lucky to have such nice weather yesterday too! 😀

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Previgo – I don’t believe that is true, but something the media have made up and it started to live its own life.

  55. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Gotta be Cesc over Rooney all day long. Only cos Cesc is a Gooner, well it’s obvious really!

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi jgc – fully agreed on Fellaini bringing a number of benefits to us (if he were to join us).

  57. Gooner4eva49 says:

    TA, you don’t see The Verminator in the starting 11? U prefer mert probably cos he balance things out, don’t u think vermaelen will b a different man next season? All guns blazing!

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Cesc over Rooney G49 but the latter would also fit in really well, if he was keen to come to us. 🙂

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    Fellaini as a traditional DM could really work but we both know how Wenger likes his midfielders to be complete players who get involved in everything…

  60. TotalArsenal says:


    The programme I used for the formation is quite limited in terms of putting names in and so I decided to just put my favourite for each position in as much as possible.

    TV can fight himself back into the starting eleven but that would mean leaving Koz out…. which seems unlikely at the moment…. don’t you agree?

  61. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Totally agree with the flexibility of Fellaini. The height and the hair is an advantage! Use that Afro to block sight of the opposition, strategically placed in the wall obscuring the GK!

    Even better I’m sure chamack has some tubs of hair gel knocking about even arteta could lend a few for Fellaini to create a sort of egg cup concave shape in his Afro reinforced with the tonnes of hair gel and scoop the ball up in his barnet, run to the other end of the pitch to the oppositions goal and nod his head down and the ball travel over the line. How can anyone tackle him! Any foot will be too high and we will get loads of free kicks or they will try and header the ball out of his hair which would leave us all In Hysterics and provide great entertainment!


    New tactics!

  62. UpTh3ARSEnal says:


    That team would absolutely murder defenses

  63. TotalArsenal says:


    Agreed, but that could be from the wing. I reckon he loves a free role which allows him to be all over the pitch and add value to the team constantly.

  64. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Understood with the line up. But why not kos and verm! 🙂

  65. AFC says:

    If we had Cesc, Fellaini and Arteta in the midfield we could play a 4-1-2-3 with Arteta holding with Fellaini and Cesc in the ‘2’ with Fellaini dropping back when needed.

  66. UpTh3ARSEnal says:


    Yeah..but I am not sure the right wing would be good for him (I know he used to play there in previous team but I haven’t actually seen him play there)..and i am REALLY not convinced of Theo up front..leave him on the right where he can be let loose to cut balls back

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Koz and Vermaelen are like Toure and Gallas: bunnies full of energy and endeavour but not enough organisational skills, reading of the game and general composure for a top team, imo.

    Having said that, Koz could still develop into a BFG type.

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    That would be a strong team, agreed, UpThA

  69. AFC says:

    TA, another thing we could do is just play with 3 CMs no DMs and AMs. Have the likes of Arteta, Fellaini, Wilshere, Ramsey Cesc taking it in turns to attack and defend.

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Good thought there, AFC: would be a strong midfield.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    It is a free role and he is two footed, so cannot see a problem there, UpTh3A.

    Theo upfront would work well imo if and when there is a tall, and strong nr.10 behind him, who can hold up the ball and produce the throughballs for him.

  72. AFC says:

    Or even a 4-1-3-2.

    DM- Arteta
    CM- Fellaini
    RCM/RM- Santi or Jack
    LCM/RM- Jack or Santi

    Walcott as ST with Cesc as a CF. Not really a 4-1-3-2 more of a 4-1-3-1-1.

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    That is possible too, AFC. I reckon Arsene always likes to have a pivot/playmaker in midfield, or behind the striker, and any formation would have to accommodate that.

    Back in a bit.

  74. AFC says:

    TA, that is why I was thinking Fellaini behind Walcott and Cesc behind Giroud. Good rotation.

  75. UpTh3ARSEnal says:

    True..but the trend these days among teams is to sit back and force us to cross the ball in (which no-one can do on the team) so Theo is pretty much made redundant in 80% of matches if he was up front. He doesn’t have the creativity or power needed to penetrate deep defenses in my opinion. That’s why I think we need the Argie or another striker who can do that.

  76. James Bond says:

    so spain won 2-1 and guess what ? both the gooners scored (well one current gooner and the other soon to be a gooner once more 😀

    fingers crossed !

  77. AFC says:

    UpTh3ARSEnal, what if the crosses were played to Walcott on the floor or waist height. 😉

  78. AFC says:

    Apparently our favourite Dane is in talks with 5-6 clubs. Seems we will lose 80k from our wage bill. 🙂

  79. James Bond says:


    be that as it may with Theo, he can still take away defenders and act as a decoy with his runs which then allow the likes of Santi/Jack/Poldi/Rosickt to take advantage if he were to be playing up front on his own.

    his knack of wanting to get behind defenders and create spaces is rather good, can be better if he timed his runs more efficiently but it’s another dimension that he adds and Giroud lacks from the current st/cf’s we have at our disposal.

  80. Glic says:

    Glad you had a great time G4eva49. Fowey is a lovely place, one of many in Lesbania !. hahaha

    Something else we`re top of amongst EPL !.


  81. UpTh3ARSEnal says:

    True again AFC lol, but does Theo have the strength/movement to bully his way in front of big strong towering defenders when they are sat in front of goal like they do in most games oop north? I’m not convinced haha.

  82. James Bond says:


    bendtener’s on a 50 k p/w if memory serves and not 80.

    but still that’s a lot of money.

  83. AFC says:

    UpTh3ARSEnal, maybe the crosses can be played to Walcott outside of the box where he can find space and use his top finishing to put the ball past the defenders and the GK. 😀

    I see your point but Walcott will still find a way to be creative i.e. drawing defenders away so our other players can get into good positions and score.

  84. AFC says:

    JB, the source said he is on 80k, I will try to find out for sure.

  85. James Bond says:

    yes please, i would like to know if it was the 50 k p/w or 80 k as you have mentioned,

    80 k is a lot of money , i can never imagine us paying him that much for his arrogance…Szcny is enough arrogance i mean confidence as it stands , ha

  86. AFC says:

    JB, I think it is 50k. At least we can put that 50k towards Fellaini, Cesc, Rooney etc. 😀

  87. Glic says:

    I always thought he had the number 52 as his wages are £52k per week, that has always been the rumour !. Still about £51,900 too much !.

  88. AFC says:

    Glic and JB, would you sell him to the Spuds if they put in a good offer?

  89. AFC says:

    Glic, I think his wages are 52k but get rounded down to 50k.

  90. Glic says:

    More astonishingly is that Squilacci`s rumoured wages were £ 60k per week !…….I sometimes wonder about Arsene ! and he has some sort of Degree in economics or finance !. I sometimes think he needs the third degree by being tied up and made to listen to The Three Degrees….oh Arsene, when will I see you again !.

  91. James Bond says:

    sell the worlds best striker aka bendtner to spuds ?

    mate, i’ll personally drive him there 😀

  92. James Bond says:

    that was well n truly pathetic, Glics

    good riddance tho

  93. AFC says:

    JB, what if the Dane links up well with Bale and ends up netting 15 goals in the EPL? 😀

    Transfer rumour- Newcastle are in the hunt for Gervinho.

  94. Glic says:

    I`d accept a sack of Spuds to get rid of him off our wage bill !. Saying that, I`d rather him than Chamakh ! and would accept a bag of shit ( and I`m not talking about drugs ! ) to get him off the wage bill !. F**k me, after a BOING ! provoking post, my Hampton has hit the floor quicker than a Bale/Suarez diving hybrid with the thought of some of the shit Arsene has bought and don’t get me onto the mysterious PARK !. Stewart Robson might have a point…….can we trust him with the money ?….us BKers ( and every gooner and his dog ! )know who he should be buying !. hahaha


    Fine post TA

    Mr Gazidis recent statement is quite correct, we are at a new phase financilay which should manifest itself on the pitch.

    Been completely honest, this is no surprise to me. I have known about our financial time table since 2004.

    The last decade or so has tested fans paitence, with much angst aimed at the Board and Wenger, completely without justification.

    I dont realy know who we are to buy, but i would say a Higuain and Fellani type is right down our street. Not sure about Cesc or Rooney simply because in a year or two we wont, in my opinion, need them. In Jack and Ox we have the potential within to fill the “hole”.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are stiring

  96. James Bond says:


    he can score 20 goals for them and still Spuds won’t finish above us 😉

    we shouldn’t sell Gervinho to Newcastle…we should sell him to who ever offers us the most money even if it means selling in the MLS , ha


    going by Wenger’s recent buyings, i’m a tad more optimistic and confident that he would spend the money wisely…his last 4-5 buys have been very good (arteta/poldi/santi/giroud/nacho).

    most of his buys before that were flops mainly with a few exceptions here n there, after our move to the emirates.

  97. AFC says:

    Glic, Park was very weird. He did not even get a chance. One of my friends said Park must be really shit in training. Wenger gives everyone a chance so for Park to not get a chance it says a lot. Wenger must just think Park is not good enough and never will be.

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice to see you back Terry!

    Thanks for further comments guys – off to bedski now/ 🙂

  99. AFC says:

    JB, the majority of flops Wenger signed were good before they came to Arsenal, which is why he signed them in the first place.

  100. James Bond says:

    TMHT returns.

    good point re- players reaching that dreaded number, AW isn’t fond off, ha


    Cornwall, AFC, Mr Bond

    This is a very interesting time for all concerned with the Club, For the first time in ten years there has been a strategic shift in our finances, and Arsene should, despite his magnificent historical acheivments now be judged soley on the future, and not on the past

    Exciting times, but also chalanging ones ahead

  102. James Bond says:

    agreed, with a greater money kitty available comes an even greater responsibility.

    indeed, things are looking much more promising now .

    also, i think the first signing for the summer is going to be AW, he’ll be signing a contract extension i reckon – good news.

  103. AFC says:

    TMHT, I’m with you there and good to see you back. 🙂

  104. AFC says:

    Guys, I’m off now. Speak to everyone soon. 🙂

  105. James Bond says:


    they were still not known quantity’s so to speak, if you look at the 5 signings i mentioned, most people knew 4, only Nacho was the unknown one that surprised the most of us if not all really.

    point being, because of Wenger’s recent signings, it has instilled that much needed confidence back with his transfers, i for one feel more upbeat about his next signing as opposed to a few years ago when i knew most of the top players wouldn’t be within our grasp and it’s utter rubbish by the media, now that is not the case, bar a very few players, no one is beyond our reach.


    Thanks AFC, i always enjoy your input, especialy when you agree with me. hahaha

    Mr Bond, you could be right there and i hope you are. Arsene signing for the long term provides further certainty and stability which for a club like Arsenal is paramount.


    Thats the spirit Bondy. It wont be long now before we are fighting for the big prizes again, and the truth is we all, but especialy Arsene, deserve it.

    The Club has been run in the right way. We have reached a new dawn without sacraficing our soul, vaules, and traditions, and are now to reap the benefits.

    Night all.

  108. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, great write-up as always! Very creative and filled with interesting scenarios :).

    In the Cesc vs. Rooney debate for the hole position, it has to Cesc. His creative instincts, vision, ability to play a ball from anywhere on the pitch to a man at full speed and the fact that he can also score makes him the ideal playmaker for any club. While Rooney is a combative hybrid midfielder/striker with great strength, technical skills, vision and finishing himself, he’s not at the same level of DB10 in the SS role, nor as good as Cesc at creating. Also, wherever Rooney ultimately goes, he’ll want to play as the main ST and not be a secondary source of offense as he was with Utd this past year (imo).

    The issue isn’t necessarily red cards with Fellaini, but that he picks up so many yellows that he ends up getting suspended for games due to the accumulation before certain dates.

    However, that said, he’d be a welcome addition to our squad as his toughness, strength, aerial ability, assertiveness in the tackle and ability to run with the ball with his long, powerful strides makes him a tantalizing option. If we were to buy him, I see AW playing him alongside Arteta in a dual DM role. His presence! would strike fear in the opposition, help in defending set pieces and be a bonus on corners.

    From a technical standpoint, he’s not outstanding but good enough to fit into our system. We’re all clamouring for a player with his strength and presence, so unfortunately you’ll have to sacrifice somewhere to get what we’re currently lacking. The bonus, of course, is that he’s PL proven and could easily improve on his output of 11 goals last season in a more offensive minded squad and with better delivery.

  109. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    TA.. I don’t think bring Fabs.. Fellaini.. and Rooney all together.. with Higuan also on his way to Emirates.. will come true..
    And what will happen to our boys like Willshere.. Ox.. Ramsey.. Eisfeld..??
    Not to mention Coquelin.. Frimpong and the others..
    And what would Podolski and Gervinho mean..?? Also Rosicky will be the next Arshavin.. bench all year.. better to offload them all and make some cash..

    I hope We only bring two of them.. Higuan and Felaini look like closer to come.. and that’s would be enough..
    Barca won’t sell Fabregas.. and MU will not spend 50 millions for him.. they will never give us 25 millions for free.. hehehe..

  110. Gerry says:

    TA – I find myself only half agreeing this time, mainly on the line up.

    For a start, there is no width, other than from the full backs?

    I think it would take a while for so many players having a ‘free role’ to gel? It may be ‘wengerball’ but it take time to get used to other player’s runs. The Wilshere/Cazorla combo is a good example?

    I know I am repeating myself, but I think Cesc will stay at Barca. He is getting his International position sorted, and if he is going to displace one or other of the older Barca midfielders, that is likely to have a similar knock on effect in the Spanish team?

    How much assurance can be given is probably down to the health of their manager. But it does not makes sense, other than a financial one if they are in deep trouble, to sell their future creative star? But if he has been given that reassurance the latter will be his role, then he stays, imo.

    The ‘fact'(?) that Wenger has spoken to Higuain and agent/father whilst all the Rooney chatter has be at it’s peak makes me think it is all media stuff. Gazidas mentioned him by name, as an example of the player type we could buy, but was very careful not to name names of those we will/are hoping to buy? Read into that what you will?

    In this fun fantasy world, I have had probably the biggest wish list of all, and I put the ways they could be employed yesterday. I appreciate that most line-ups above are just one possibility, but possibly a blueprint for the ‘first eleven’, with others working around that? It may well be that by Christmas/New Year we will have a good idea of how best the players work together, and who you put out against the top 4/5 teams? That is the position we want to have if we are serious about challenging an possibly 4 fronts.

    However, it is my contention that unless we rotate players regularly, and get a more ‘inclusive squad’, then the second half of the season fail because of injury and fatigue, not to mention frustration from the players on the fringes of a ‘tight’ eleven? At the end of next week the new season fixtures come out, so we can see if we have a tough start and easier run in, like this last season, or a more mixed bag at beginning and end. It is important that both during games, in starting line ups that we use a far greater pool of players if we are going to keep that team spirit. Which is why I offered the combinations of how I saw the striking roles could pan out. The purchases I prefer have distinct attributes to offer.

    I am strong on Higuain because he is an alternative to Giroud to bring a different dimension to our attacking style, and could pair up in many combinations.

    I am extremely strong on Aubeymayang = PEA, alas, he may be the one we miss out on?
    But in my dream team he ticks many, many boxes. He is versatile; main striker, support striker, or either wing. He has pace, skill, and shoots with either foot. He is young enough to grow with any of the successful academy players two years down the line, as well as integrate with the Theo and the Ox now. He is a combination player, and one who excites the fans with his touch and movement. Those are the positives. the downside is he will have to prove all of the above in the EPL? But those who though Zaha would have been a good buy for us, then PEA is your alternative. Unfortunately the initial £13m quoted has now long gone, and unless AW is really sold on the player, I am not sure he will pay the extra to secure his signature, probably around £17 or £18m?

    I am also keen on Grenier. He is over 6ft tall, and would add height to our midfield, which is not a current outlet for Szcz re Santi, Jack, Theo, or even Rosi? He could deputise in the DM position, but as an attacking mf would be best. Bringing added creativity, and late runs into the box, a la Lampard, adding goals to our tally. He is what we have been lacking in Wilshere and Ramsey? He would be an alternative to/with Ox and Santi

    Yes I want a DM as well to give us the variety of options that the above will provide.

    Yes, I also would like a CB to pair with TV5.

    If Fab leaves, then Swartzer will do for me(and AW, he is on a ‘free’?).

    When I did a count of ‘my squad’ it came to 22, including Gerv, but not a 3rd GK. So just 3 spots for Eisfeld, Ryo, and A N Other?

    I will wait in hopes that most of the above materialises?

  111. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HH 🙂

    All agreed more or less. Rooney is not at DB level, but who is? 😉

    Would you agree that Rooney is more of DB type than Cesc?

    Re Fellaini’s yellow cards: one in four games is not bad and playing for a bigger club he is likely to get a bit more benefit of the doubt by the ref I reckon. And yes, his toughness and streetwise-ness will be very welcome to our current team.

  112. TotalArsenal says:

    hi Henry,

    I am with you all the way and saying the same: two players is enough – Fellaini and one of Cesc or Rooney.

    Btw was it not great to see Van Judas – the new Dutch captain 😈 – miss chance after chance against your boys. 🙂

    Your keeper was fantastic though.

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Interesting, multi-facetted comment Gerry 🙂

    Agreed that the formation is light on proper, traditional wing-play. With Ox and Gnabry we have two players who can bring some thrust on the wings and yes the FB’s have to become a bit more effective next season.

    The fluid formation in midfield would mean that Rooney or WIlshere could also be on the wings at any given time in the match, and they can be very effective there.

    Fellaini would fit in quickly in the DM pivot, and I reckon and either Cesc or Rooney would fit in without a problem.

    I remain pretty sure we will not buy another out and out striker of top class level this summer. Giroud will remain our new man and he will have to compete with Theo and maybe a fit again Pod for that role. Wenger just bought the German and Frenchman and has promised Theo to give him a chance in the middle….. that is too much for him to add yet another striker imo.

    The DM and the Hole position seem to be the priorities, but maybe you are right re Higuian.

    The other players you mentioned I have not seen much of, so I leave it to others to comment.

  114. Admir says:

    “Every beautiful, fanciful castle needs a solid basement to deal with the laws of gravity and whatever the elements throw at it.”

    Brilliant. 🙂 That’s the main reason I would secure Fellaini’s signature first and then Cesc’s/Rooney’s. Fellaini would be the closest thing to Vieira we would have. Only thing is, when I wrote about Cesc and how “nomen est omen”… Well, I hope that this signing of a fella(ini) named Marouane with weird hair won’t be the same like the previous one!

    It is actually funny that we might end up signing Ashley Williams (who “nearly killed” Van Judas) and Marouane Fellaini (who got himself a three-match-ban for head-butting Ryan “The Worst Of All Orcs” Shawcross) which might mean both of them would get a warm welcome among Gooners. 😀

    It seems Jovetić will go to Juventus while Higuain still remains an option for our attack. Now, with departure of Bendtner (thanks God!), Chamakh being useless and Gervinho on the verge of return to Ligue 1, there might be some space in our attack. Speaking of which, I like what I see when it comes to clearing all the deadwood in our team – that means Arsenal are making space for new players, the ones that will actually be useful. It’s a bit of a dilemma – if we sign a top-class striker, it will be a message to Podolski, Giroud and, to the certain extent, Walcott that we don’t see them as capable of dealing with central forward-role. If we sign another back-up striker, a logical question would be: “Why did we sell Gervinho and Bendtner then?”

    Anyway, I had a dream last night about how commentator on Bosnian Television during live match of Bosnian national team claims Edin Džeko made an agreement to join Arsenal. Let’s see if there is any soothsaying potential in me. 😀

  115. mA says:

    Cesc all the way. it is hard to argue who is the best between him and Rooney but it is obvious that Cesc has a cutting edge. Nonetheless, Rooney would be the perfect fallback option especially considering that Arsenal has quite a number of English lads. Seeing a senior Englishman join them would only cement Arsenal’s and England’s footballing foundations

  116. 17highburyterrace says:

    (Best line from the song, and maybe it fits the current mood: “All the children are insane, waiting for the summer rain”…)

    Another great post, Total, except for the Rooney part, of course, which (always) kills my ability to keep my food down…. 😆 😈

    I’ve been away from the ‘puter so I also “need” to comment on HH’s excellent statistical comparison of the two So’ton boys. I guess there’s more to come on that account, so maybe I’ll hold off there (too)…

    Anyhow, good stuff and I wonder if it will (help) make some of the supporters go “off-script” for tomorrow’s Q and A with Gazidis… I gotta say, Ivan is one attractive “coco” (bald guy) and if anyone can keep the crack-heads in line, it will be he… It seems to me like he’s set himself up for some trouble and it might help if he brings somebody (new AND expensive) in an Arsenal kit….

  117. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, of course Rooney is closer to a DB type than Cesc!

    Hopefully your theory on Fellaini getting more of the benefit of the doubt from refs playing at a bigger club comes to fruition. Otherwise, we’d have a player on the field constantly targeted by the refs for dirty play/yellows!

    I’m liking the rumours linking us to Gundogan now, as he’d be much preferred to the Hairy Mop. However, no strong links just yet and BD are likely more reluctant to give up players after losing Gotze and maybe Lewandowski.

  118. AFC says:

    HH, seems we could make a move for one of the Benders.

  119. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, that would be really nice but I don’t trust the large majority of stuff from the dailymail!

  120. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey, nobody posting on this Sunday evening?….

    Sorry if I came off like a damp squib up above…People are welcome to speculate all they please, of course, even if it’s not my bag… 😆

    HH (and others) what IS up with all the papers? I guess it is now “news” to report that someone suggested something somewhere, and who cares if you’re wrong(!)… The headlines, however, are amazing and we could have quite a different team next season if even a moderate percentage of them come true. I like that BK-esque seems to alternate between the two extremes of the “what if” scenarios: what if we do nothing in the TW and what if you could you could have anybody and everybody. Good stuff!

    My feeling is that something has to give and we need to get an announcement sooner than later. Still, maybe it all begins with a careful parsing of Ivan G’s carefully rehearsed Q & A tomorrow, so that we can then analyze (analyse?) the “policies” going forward. I hate to be a stick in the mud, but I still think we need to build upon what we’ve got and take some baby steps forward. Having said that, I find the Fellaini stuff intoxicating. More size, more snarl, more hair….How can that be a bad thing?…. A ready-made solution for the trouble at the double (pivot, i.e. Arteta/Ramsey)….

    Finally (also) for HH, whose Bale-Theo comparison was really great….What about goals leading to points? In other words, is there a way of tracing how many goals (and/or assists) actually led to wins (2 extra points) or draws (1 extra point)? Both players are “explosive” sorts and can often go missing in matches. As such, it would seem the impact of those “explosions” might be what makes Bale a (supposed) target for Madrid, while Theo (it would seem) was passed over by City and Liverpool (and others?…) despite winding down his contract… a year ago. Sorry to be a day late (and, as always, a dollar short)….

  121. Admir says:

    I couldn’t give my review of another text due to my problems with allergy over the weekend – brilliant analysis, HH, regarding two products of Southampton Academy. 🙂 Walcott has had the best season of his career so far and it didn’t get enough attention during reviews. I would just add one more thing: before the home defeat against Swansea, we didn’t lose a period of time with Walcott on the pitch!

  122. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht and Admir, thank you for the kind words, though my disappointment that two of my favourite bloggers were both not present on the day of my article will not be soon forgotten…;).

    17ht, in regards to your question about match winners, in EPL games, Bale produced 9 goal match winners, 1 assist on a game winner vs. City and 1 goal on draw vs. Norwich. Theo, on the other hand, produced 4 goal match winners, 2 assists on game winners, 2 goals in games we drew vs. Utd and Everton and 1 assist on the final goal we drew against Fulham. Perhaps you’re onto to something about why Bale receives a lot more recognition as goals are weighed heavily over assists and Bale seems to be involved in more match ending results.

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    (17 I will get back to you shortly) 🙂

  124. Gerry says:

    17HT – You may find this strange from what i have said over the last couple of days, but I actually agree with you on building on what we have got?

    Where I slightly divert from that view, is that we are not just looking out for players for next season, hopefully to win a trophy or two. If there are players available that will improve our squad over time,as they improve with us, then i would like us to be in there pitching for them.

    I have been quite consistent in suggesting only two positions which we need to fill if we are to make an impact this coming season. That of sq striker and sq DM. They are the only two on my shopping list that will immediately displace two players out of the current team.

    The other names I have put forwards are there to be an options, if they are as good as I, but more importantly AW thinks they are. Options, funnily enough, to improve the capabilities of those players who might be displaced in some games. PEA with Giroud, Grenier with Walcott, Ginter (or Williams) with Vermaelin. These would, for this season, used more like the Ox, rather than straight in to the team. If, like the Ox, any of them look like being something special, then they will get game time in this potential 60+ games season.

    It is a time of opportunity, let’s grasp it?

  125. ProudGooner says:

    It is a great looking team you put together, but for me Fellaini might not be the man we need , The back is still the danger, is it just me or is it almost every attack you look the box we are attacking and you see like 3 defenders in there box, i love the attacking philos its great, but it always worries me for the counter attack, no 1 is or has sat back.
    Arteta understood this and did the most selfless act i have seen an Arsenal player do to his style of play, he defended and filled the gaps we leave, I think we still need Victor (Celtic) . i think Fellaini maybe able to do that job, but i know for sure Victor can.
    If we can buy as striker= Ronney or Higuain or Jevanivic
    Midfield Cesc and Victor
    Goalkeeper Cesar or Begavic
    We have to strenghten at the back and we have so many great midfielder’s how do you fit in the likes of Rosicky, Ox ,Jack, Arteta, Coqolian and Diaby.
    End of the day i trust Wenger’s judgement on who makes us stronger, some tough choices though and it depends on who is willing to sell.

  126. ProudGooner says:

    Rooney and Villa are pretty similar That is 4 great strikers very keen to join, again it depends on what clubs will sell too.
    Roll on July 1st, i don’t really like all the linking to Arsenal, whenever we show keen on a player other clubs know our scout’s are the nuts and want what we are after and often steal them , think of the chav’s as one team they nicked Mata, Hazard, Lukaku, im sure there is more.
    Wenger knows this and it must infuriate him, the people leaking from within. Cahill was another
    They have been after our scouts for years to, who deserve some credit for loyalty and there great finds over the years.
    The Spuds clearly want wht we are after, but but nicked Sol Campbell and gonna offer a bannana fot Bale.

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