Mikel and Aaron could be in trouble

Mikel+Arteta+Fulham+v+Arsenal+Premier+League+GVXBof5m1Ugl

Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey were two of our best players in that unbeaten run at the end of last season. Arsene devised a double pivot system that saw them sit in front of the back four, leading to one of the best defensive records we have had in years. Arteta was the last line of defence in front of the back four, and Ramsey played a box to box role but mostly spent his time alongside Arteta, shielding our defence from attacks.

This system worked wonders defensively, but I must admit our offensive quality suffered. 

Thing is, though, Arteta ideally is not a DM despite the fantastic work he’s done there for us. Arteta, at Everton, played as the ‘hole’ player for the better part of a decade and was their star man. His passing, vision and goals made Everton tick. Again, while overall he has performed admirably there, at times he suffered, especially the recently concluded season. This is the main reason Wenger introduced Ramsey alongside him: to give him some much needed support.

As it turned out, this was a match made in heaven, because Arteta’s strong point is reading the game and Rambo’s is tackling, so they seem to compliment each other perfectly.

This is all well and good, but you have to remember one thing, Wilshere was injured. You can play around with the tactics and formations all you want, but the fact remains that a fully fit Jack Wilshere is one of the first names on the team sheet. Not only that, considering what Santi achieved last season, he has made the hole position his. Add that to the fact that Arsene Wenger came out and admitted that our midfield needs a physical DM and has made it a transfer priority this summer, you realize that these two players are in danger of losing out.

Like I said earlier, Santi and Jack are not about to lose their positions in the team or be moved around to accommodate anyone, simply because they are our two best players. What stacks the odds against Arteta and Ramsey even more is the fact that Santi and Jack showed that they can work together to devastating effect. You do not need to look past our 5-1 hiding of West Ham to see what I mean. Considering that Jack is fully fit and so is Santi, we are looking at a situation where Arteta and Ramsey would be fighting for one spot, DM.

Let’s face it; neither is good enough to make the DM position their own. Not if we indeed are building a team to challenge for trophies.

Last season Mikel showed that he can not shoulder the defensive burden alone. Ramsey, on the other hand, does not have the defensive talent to do it alone (despite his energy and his eagerness to tackle; 80% of his tackles ended in him conceding fouls). Neither has the physicality or defensive acumen to dominate the defensive half of our midfield like Vieira did for us, Wanyama did for Celtic, Essien did for Chelsea, Sven does for BVB and so on and so forth.

Wenger has realized this and that is why he’s chasing the likes of Fellaini; and with the bounty we have right now, you wouldn’t bet against us. If reports are to be believed, we triggered Fellaini’s release clause of 23 million pounds and had a 19 million pound bid rejected for Lars Bender. Even if it’s not them we end up signing, we have seen the amount we are willing to shell out for a DM. Do you really think Arsene Wenger is going to spend 20 million on a player who will come and sit on the bench? I don’t think so, and that is why following all logic, it seems that Arteta and Ramsey’s time in the starting 11 is soon coming to an end.

On the bright side, though, they’ve shown what they can do for us and therefore will provide solid cover AND competition for whatever combination is preferred.

Written by: Marcus.

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173 Responses to Mikel and Aaron could be in trouble

  1. frustrated gooner says:

    Well said mate.
    I’m glad you mentioned wanyama in there, as I still can’t understand why we didn’t sign him?
    And mignolet?

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Very fine post, as usual, Marcus. This is the most important tactical topic of the summer. Are we going to play with RamTeta (or ArSey) next season, or will we stretch the deeper laying two midfielders more vertically again, with one strong DM and one mobile b2b?

    I have written many a post to say we should get a proper DM and play Wilshere as our b2b. HOWEVER, a) it looks like Arsene is going to continue with the Arteta and Ramsey and b) there is a lot going for the two of them at the moment….. I am starting to like the idea of continuing with both of them, at least for a while.

    Also, we could play all the midfielders you mentioned, and I expect this to happen a lot:

    ————RamTeta————
    —————Jack—————
    Theo———————–Santi
    ———Giroud/New ST——–

    I still want us to buy a beast of a DM who can play footie as well: we need an alternative in place. Also, if and when Arteta gets injured we are fecked. But maybe Arsene will get one or two players who can play the Arteta/Ramsey role(s) really well. That would make sense too.

    Let’s see what will happen this summer! 🙂

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    FG – I am really annoyed we ‘missed out’ on Wanyama too.

  4. james says:

    ive had this same thought with regards to arteta and ramsey. however mikel is the one i fear for the most this coming season. although one of our most consistent performers his game is never going to evolve nor dramatically instigate the nucleus of the team. he’s never going to have the impact on a game the way someone like fellaini for example could, taking proceedings by the scruff of the neck so to speak and really dominate the midfield. he does however offer consistency, stability and reliability so i could see arteta coming into the team on rotational purposes during cup and mid week games should wenger bring in a DM with a commanding price tag.

  5. izuchukwu Okosi says:

    Fellaini will be PERFECT for Arsenal. The problem is: Will he spend the money? In my mind’s eye, I can see the guy make a fantastic DM for Arsenal. His understanding and closeness with Arteta will be wonderful

  6. IBK says:

    AW PLS SIGN FELANI, SUAREZ, N 2 DEFENDER SO DAT AFC CAN AV A CUP

  7. Nathan says:

    In that Box-to-box role, Ramsey is the best in the squad right now. I can’t see him being dropped regardless of Wilshere’s return to fitness. He’s getting more confident and with that confidence he’s showing his ability. Wilshere may have to play his way into the team.

  8. Jay says:

    I’m not worries about Arteta at all, he is a great leader and a very clever player. He has been able to adapt his game for us this season, as long as he stays fit he will play for us for many years, he will be our Ryan Giggs.

  9. ProudGooner says:

    Good article Marcus,
    I agree that the position is really important and cover at the bear minimum is needed, that said i do not think Arteta will lose out he is a great player, reader of the game and selfless in what he will do for the team. At his age and his all round abilities in midfield i think he will still be vital to our team. Offensively he is very strong at Everton he proved this, when he moved to us he saw the gaps we leave and he filled them this period has made his defensive game very strong too they is an argument fro him being an all round great midfielder now he does have it all and with our defenders all very keen on getting forward and him understanding all this he really is a great member of our team and worthy captain i think.
    Ramsey however i think does have to improve still and fight for his position.

    FG- TA ,
    Ohh don’t even remind me of the missing out on Victor , its so disappointing , on that note did you notice that in some photo’s on the AFC site today that Ivan Gradiz was in the photo’s.? The point is who is trying to do the signings.?? very disappointing , they need to pull there fingers out the fans are really starting to get the hump, they will be kicking the boardroom door down at the end of the TW if the signings don’t come.

  10. mystic says:

    Ramsey needs to stay back, he is a hindrance when pushing up, exactly as Song became at the end.

  11. ProudGooner says:

    Jay,
    here here Arteta is , will be and has been a key player for Arsenal he is vital to our team he really is.

  12. davi says:

    To be honest I don’t go along with this line of thinking. The team works when Arteta and Ramsey are playing together. We dominated the midfield area and conceded very few goals and were left with an attack consisting of 3 attackers, an attacking midfielder, the 2 fullbacks and the deeper runs of Ramsey. Aaron is the only player with the energy to defend so well AND get forward and support the attack – he may need to improve a bit going forward really, but not really as much as people seem to think. And who cares where Arteta played for everton?! He was trained as a guardiola-type CM and has been our main DM since he joined (no it was never Song!), and he’s been fantastic. NO DM does the job entirely on his own, and when Mikel hasn’t been properly supported, he’s sufffered and the team has suffered. If we signed Wanayama or whoever, do we really believe the other midfielders would be free to bomb forward at will without damaging the team? Barcelona have been the most “free-flowing” attacking side of the last few years, but does Busquets shoulder ALL of the defensive responsibility??? Xavi contributes massively to that, and their system for recovering the ball as a team is well known. Real Madrid play with a similar “double-pivot” system to ours with Xabi and Khedira as well. The way I see it, Ramsey plays in a similar way to Khedira, defending effectively but also getting forward to support the attack, although Khedira admittedly is more of a goal threat currently.

    I don’t agree that Wilshere is or should necessarily be one of the first names on the team sheet because we don’t currently have a position for him. Just because he has been labelled the golden boy doesn’t mean he should be guaranteed a place. It’s like you’re suggesting that the team should suffer just to get Wilshere into the side? The way things have been going, Jack looks like he could either become an AM or an Arteta-like DM. So far he hasn’t looked incisive enough to carry the attacking responsibility, although I could certainly see that improving, but you could see him forming a strong partnership with an energetic midfielder like Ramsey in the future. Currently, though, Arteta has the experience and the tactical nouse that Jack just doesn’t have yet, so he can’t really get in there, and the team would suffer greatly were we to lose Ramsey’s energy in the middle. There’s no starting place for Jack at the moment that I can see unless he can prove himself to be a better playmaker/AM than Rosicky, which I don’t think he has done yet.

    (frankly Ramsey is ahead of Jack at the moment, and by some distance imo. Without Ramsey’s destructive form and energy going forward, we simply would not have made it into the top 4 last season.)

  13. naked goon says:

    I don’t see the problem. All tactics and formations are possible. it is just a different take on 4-2-3-1 which we have played so regularly. very effective when necessary to get a result (eg at OT or last 10 games of season) but truly, titles are won with this kind of stability. Bring in the more creative players when the need arises.

  14. matt says:

    wanyama is nothing special

  15. davydavy says:

    Nice post Marcus, which raises an interesting queston – it’s as much about our style of play as it is about our personnel. I think davi above has it spot on. What seems clear is that the double-pivot is back and we have benefited from the defensicve solidity that it brings.

    The question (as you have pointed out) is whether Arteta and Ramsey are naturals for that role, because they are in fact both more attack-minded midfield players who have been adapted to the role. The best double-pivot I have ever seen was Vieira and Petit, but i wonder if he game has evolved a bit since their day. I like the more modern possession-based idea of a ball-playing double pivot that can transition into attack through slick fast passing of the ball to very mobile attacking players, rather than carrying the ball forward and ‘grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck’.

    I suspect that the era of the midfield general (Fellaini/Wanyama/StevieG etc ) is sliding into history, and that clever players like Arteta with his vision, interceptions, and stealth fouls are the way forward. So, acknowledging the point that Mikel won’t be around forever and will pick up more injuries, I would like us to be looking at midfield players in a simlar style for that role, like Bender and Gundongan. The corollary of that is to continue to find fast, mobile attacking mids and strikers and so far Sanogo, Bernard and even Suarez would appear to fit the bill perfectly.

    Great post though Marcus, and although we must surely start with Arteta and Ramsey, our player recruitment needs to allow us to slot new players in seamlessly and further refine and improve our playing style rather than trying to accommodate different types of players such as Fellaini or Rooney.

  16. Mangi says:

    Davi, you took the words right out of my mouth. If it aint broke…

  17. Door says:

    Szczesny

    Sagna – New Beast – Kos – Gibbs

    New beast

    Walcott – Wilshere – Cazorla – Bernard

    Higuain/Suarez/Giroud

  18. Wengerball says:

    @Davi… great spot on comment. I guess there are those who wanted Wanyama… but I’m glad we were never in for him and I wish him the best in his career.
    That said, for me, Arsenal FC is bigger than any individual with the great run Arteta and Ramsey had to not only perform, but to stand up, be counted and deliver 26 out of 30 points for the final 10 games of last season. The double-pivot of Arteta and Ramsey gave the team the balance required and effectiveness.
    Anyone who would tell Jupp Hynkess to do away with the double-pivot of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez or Luis Felipe Scolari to do away with the double-pivot of Luis Gustavo and Paulino surely knows there’s only one common answer… No Thank you….
    Unless it’s on Sentimentalism and not on performance, Wilshere has a lot to do to to become a team starter and not a squad member. I don’t remember him lately providing assists or scoring many goals but he has this rush of adrenaline to get into unnecessary tackles at the expense of the team getting a red card or him suffering a nasty tackle that is avoidable with examples in mind of the Man Utd game red card or the near dangerous tackle with Vincent Kompany… I think the Ox and probably even Zelalem will jump infront of Wilshere sooner based on their performances, calmness with the ball, reading the game well and delivering in time of need.
    Again, for me AFC is bigger than any individual player… Thanks

  19. Arsenal_VCC says:

    I agree Davi. While Jack is the odds-on sentimental favorite and will eventually be the first name on the sheet I too feel that he is not there yet. Santi for sure. But to Marcus’ point, when Jack is determined to be ready and if last season is any indication, it will likely be Ramsey who will be forced to make way. In that regard there is certainly a good number of subs that AW can count on – Rosicky, Ox, Jack/Ramsey, not to mention a few promising youngsters from the reserve squad to fill that final spot without losing a beat.

    Finally, a point that I think we as fans overlook, but Wenger and several members of the team have spoken of how determined the whole team is to win silverware and there have been many games where they refused to quit despite being a goal or two down early. I would like to think that that experience will carry over to this season and that having someone from the outside come in to show the team how to win may well be redundant.

  20. AFC says:

    Marcus, top post. 🙂

    I’ll try and keep it short. Santi will likely remain playing on the LW in a free role where he is very effective like Iniesta is when he plays on the left wing at Barca.

    Arteta to me is will not be taken out of the starting eleven as he is the most important/experienced player in our midfield and is a leader who Wenger can count on to do what is best for the team and not for himself.

    Ramsey in my opinion is a squad player at best which means it is very likely a new DM will replace him.

    Jack for me has to play his way into the team and does not really have a place in the team yet. Rosicky is better in the ‘hole’ than he is and Ramsey is ahead of him for the role of DM but not for the role of box to box midfielder where Jack performs best in my opinion. Problem is Wenger no longer plays with a box to box midfield and DM but two DMs.

  21. AFC says:

    So going through the squad I think Jack could be used to great effect on the RW in a free role just like Santi on the left. Jack could be rotated with Theo. I would then buy an AM/no.10 and have Rosicky as back-up. So our midfield and attack options would be like this.

    For the ‘2’ in our 4-2-1-3/4-2-3-1 formation: Arteta, Ramsey, Diaby, Wilshere (if needed) or even the Ox.

    For the ‘1’ (‘hole’): new AM/no.10, Rosicky.

    RW: Walcott, Wilshere

    LW: Santi, Podolski

    Gervinho is likely to be sold and the Ox will act as our utility player.

  22. henrychan says:

    Morning all..
    No Marcus.. Wenger will keep them both as our double DM.. they were proven with our last 11 games..
    You can see that countinuation.. in the Asiatour also..
    And like old says.. don’t change the winning team.. hehehe..
    And untill Zelalem is ready to take the Art place.. Art-eta will be in his pisition.. haha..

    Willshere never been plot as a DM.. He always played as an AM.. most of the time replacing Rosicky.. And I don’t agree with you that Willshere must get one place in the team.. why..?? In AM area there’s only one spot.. and Rosicky.. Cazorla.. Ox.. and Eisfeld are all avaliable and noone is worse than Willshere..

    Or Maybe.. that’s why you think that he should get the Ramsey place.. for he can’t compete in the AM..?? Hehe..
    Maybe he can be good there.. as a ADM (attacking DM..hehe) but he certainly must ajust his style to be fit with Arteta..
    But I don’t think that what Wenger will do.. I think he will give that change to Eisfeld.. both Zelalem and Eisfeld will play the double pivot rules in the future..

    TA.. what will happened if Fabregas do return..?? Where will he be at the team..??

  23. Simba Murerwa says:

    Good morning Marcus. Its very cold here in South Africa bt I guess than the UK.

    I agree with most of the contributors here that Jack needs to play himself into the team. He can be starter in the England national team bt not at Arsenal. I have said before in various posts we fans do underrate some of our players like the OX, Eisfeld, Ramsey etc. JW is a fantastic player but my question is what is his natural position? Also note that JW was immense in a team consisting of the Maestro Cesc, Song, Nasri, Arshavin etc. It was so easy playing with this group of players. The other question Marcus is whether JW can be the main man like StevieG, Lampard, Arteta, Scholes. Well he has potential but not yet there? Why do we think Fellaini is better than Arteta when Arteta was the better at Everton. Wenger moulds his play around Arteta who is his Army General and he has never disappointed so for now he is still very much in the first team. JW vs Ramsey? For now I’ll put my money on Ramsey. Why? He is a fantastic player whose progress was only derailed by an injury and he has excelled in a team not as good as the one Jack did. I prefer game readers like Yaya Toure, Carrick, Alonso, Gustavo, Bastian, Bender, Busquets, Pirlo to destroyers like De Jong, Wanyama, Parker, and Sandro. Have you noticed that all the best teams have game readers?

  24. Dylan says:

    JB from the last post, it is indeed a post to give you all hope. Although it might be delayed a few more days now seeing as in warm ups for my game tonight I took a ball to the thumb and broke it in two places. Still played the whole game though! 😉 I can still type, but I won’t feel like writing a gigantic post much for at least one or two more days.
    Marcus, fantastic post. I’ve said this before, bringing in a DM gets rid of Arteta and Ramsey’s double DM spot, but that’s not all bad. They’re both great players and will provide good competition for places. 🙂

  25. A Y Noble says:

    Yes that is a very good ideal if mr wenger can gets us a quality player like the likes of fellaini or wanyama or if posible let him go and bring back alex song from barca for so that there will be a good compitition in our team this days.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all 🙂

    Some great comments overnight, even though I don’t agree with all of them.

    I hope Marcus will come on the blog in a bit and respond to some of the comments.

    Wanyama is a very good player imo and we will see with our own eyes what we have missed out on this season.

    Wilshere and no position in the team? A player with his skills AND attitude can play almost anywhere. Jack is a winner, a driver and he gives structure and purpose to our team. This is something only Rosicky can give this team, but is unlikely to do for a whole season. Some of you have forgotten he was not fit for most of the season: a fully fit Wilshere is world-class. If all three are fully fit, who would I put first on the team sheet out of Arteta, Wilshere and Ramsey: Super Jack. However, this does not mean I don’t value Arteta and Ramsey, but there is a difference in class between them.

  27. davi says:

    TA – what is your basis for saying that? What has Jack done to deserve such high praise? He played for a season in a midfield with Song and Fabregas and did very well. He looks like a classy young player with great potential but people seem to think he’s already gone from that to a world class midfielder. You say a fully fit wilshere is world class but he still has to prove that. Arteta’s intelligence and class has been vital to the side since he joined and Ramsey basically turned last season around after the spurs defeat. Wilshere has never made such a difference to any of our games as Ramsey did in that run. At the moment I see the difference in class as being in Aaron’s favour frankly. Jack has a little more poise and class on the ball so in future this may well change but currently Ramsey is far more important to this team. Time will tell.

  28. henrychan says:

    TA.. I must disagree with you for Wilshere..
    How many time we watch Wilshere play as a DM..??
    As far as I remember.. Ever since he return from injured.. Wenger always played him as an AM.. not a DM.. Wenger always play him as Rosicky subs or opposite way..
    I don’t know why..?? You ask Wenger.. hehehehe..

    If we play 4-1-2-3 formation.. I will see Wlshere as one of our AM..
    But since we play 4-2-1-3.. then only one spot for AM..
    And we have some solid AM who Wenger will choose first.. Cazorla and Rosicky,will be the first man.. Willshere, Eisfeld and OX is next..

    And for DM.. Willshere is not the man..
    There are Arteta, Ramsey, Diaby, Frimpong or Coq (before)..
    And if we bring Felaini or Capoue.. than they will be in first choice..

    Guys.. what do you think about Salvio from Porto.. I still think Bernard is better.. hehehe..

  29. davi says:

    I agree Wanayama is a top player though, it’s just that Ramsey has convinced me we don’t need him. He went from gervinho to 07/08 flamini last season, and there’s signs he can be a better attacker.
    Btw, there are also signs of Oxlade developing into another fantastic midfielder, as he is also showing that winner mentality. It’s not all about wilshere.

  30. Gerry says:

    Marcus – Great post. You highlight very well the dilemma we face if we are to progress further this season. How to save the best of what we have, and not stagnate without further additions?

    First of all I think too much credit is given to the double DM pivot on the run in. Whereas the whole team played a part with everybody getting back to support the defence when we lost possession. Even Giroud would be in our own half, not to mention his set piece defending?

    That is not to say they did not do a great job. Arteta for holding up attacks, and Ramsey using his energy time and again getting back quickly. But as was said earlier, teams win games.

    The second point I would make is getting the concept of a squad a reality in our minds. It will not be the ‘first 11’ that will win us a trophy or a title, it will be all those special moments that different players add along the way. I said yesterday that I do not expect any one player to be outstanding, but many to have their outstanding moments.

    Think back two seasons ago, the turning point (for me at least) was Sagna’s goal against Spurs that got us back in the match. The great run in followed and got us our CL spot.
    Last season it was the collective effort that got its reward in the away leg against BM. Again the confidence that followed got us into the CL for the 17th year running.
    In both of those periods Rosicky was a major player, and I suspect he will be again. I hope I am right in thinking he has retired from International football? So it will be down to the club to play him as when, so he stay fit.

    What I am saying is, to label him as somehow inferior to the ‘first 11’ just because he will on the bench occasionally is crazy, and that is true of all the players who will play a part in this coming season, whether it will be Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Ox, or those trying to break into the team, like Eisfeld, Ryo, or Gnabry. If they contribute, they are worthy of being team members of Arsenal 2013/14.

    Yes, there will be players who will play more games than some others. Three come to mind straightaway; Mertersacker, Arteta, and Giroud, and it will come as no surprise that they are three positions we are looking to strengthen?
    As TA said, Injury to any of these players we’re fecked, because of lack of (adequate) cover

    If I put my AW cap on, I think one of the many possibilities of the type of line up we could expect is;
    Giroud
    Santi – Saurez – Bernard
    (with a choice 2 from)
    Ox,Wilshere, Rosicky, Walcott,
    (in front of)
    Arteta.

    Tasty?

    Before we get too carried away, two of those are yet to sign, and lets see how well we do in the Emirates Cup before promoting youngsters into the mix?

    Where of course we will get a glimpse of Huguain when Napoli play.
    I think I am right that Galitasaray have an ‘ex’ in the shape of Ozayakup too? I just hope he doesn’t makes us regret his departure?

    Keep the faith, we are near to a stellar season …

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough, Davi, Wilshere is not yet world-class, but has world-class potential.

    Arteta strength is his reading of the game and ability to structure/control things in front of the back four. For such a DM role he lacks tackling skills, speed and physicality, especially in the air, but he makes up for this to a large extent with his positioning, reading of the game and hunger/drive. Arteta is a very good Gunner with a place in our team/squad.

    Ramsey strength is his engine combined with positive attitude. He chases down really well and passes the ball on well too. For a good box to box player, he needs to add either goals/assists or produce better through-balls. Unfortunately, he lacks feeling in his leg to produce those balls, as many are under or over-hit, or are not sharp enough. He is improving on his decision making ability (speed of thought combined with execution) but has some way to go. Ramsey is a good, passionate Gunner with a place in our team/squad.

    Wilshere strengths are his forward drive with the ball at his feet, speed (acceleration), producing through-balls, speed of thought and execution. He can also tackle (and defend in general, something many don’t seem to see) and has tonnes of drive. For a good box to box or nr.10 player, he needs to add goals and assists and I am hoping that a full season of fitness will get him there.
    Wilshere has world-class potential, and if and when fully fit, will play in most top teams in Europe.

    Out of the three, only Jack can bring that little bit extra from midfield, especially in the big games.

    His performance against Brazil last year emphasised once more what a ferocious talent he is. He just needs to stay fit and you will hopefully see why so many of us see a great player in him.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Henry 🙂

    I did not say Wilshere should play as a DM, but he definitely can do what Arteta does, if he was ask to do so. He might not have the same reading ability yet, but he would compensate with his tackling to some extent. Jack’s future is either b2b or in the hole, but he can play anywhere and make a success of it imo.

    He has played as many games next to Arteta as in the hole last season, but I agree he was at his best in the hole. As I said earlier above, I expect Wenger to get a DM cover who will not get an automatic start next season. He is likely to keep Arteta and Ramsey in the double-DM pivot and play Jack in front of them, with Santi in a free role on the wing, which suits him best. Rosicky will be cover again.

    IF we get a beast of an all-round DM, like Fellaini for example, things will be different, especially IF we are also getting a new nr.10: it could be Fellaini and Jack in the double-DM pivot with one of Cesc(Please!!)/Rooney/Suarez in the hole. I have a feeling that Wenger won’t do the latter, yet.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Davi, agreed on Ramsey’s development last season. With Coquelin on loan and Wenger apparently unsure about Frimpong, and Diaby…., we will need cover in the defensive midfield positions. Wanyama would have been great to have, at least in the squad. Or maybe, Arsene has plans for either Sagna, TV or Nacho to play in midfield at times…. And there is also Aneke of course…

  34. Marcus says:

    Frustrated gooner,
    With Wanyama it was an issue of time wasting. With Mignolet, I have no clue.

  35. Fred says:

    Hi guys, great post. As you may have realised I particularly enjoy talking about tactics and potential signings. I agree with the general sentiment that we should buy a “beast DM” and if this happens then I do see Arteta and Rambo suffering, as the most likely formation would be:
    …………………………………….Sczczesny……………………………………………
    Sagna……………………….BFG………………Koscielny……………………….Gibbs/Nacho
    …………………………………………….”beast”
    …………………………………Santi………………………Wilshere
    Walcott…………………………………………………………………………………..Podolski
    …………………………………………………Giroud

    In which case we may not even see any marquee signings coming in as AW is sticking with TV as our captain. However, on the basis of the defensive prefrormances at the end of last season he cannot break up the BFG-Koscielny partnership. In which case I can see him moving TV to the holding mid role, which wouldn’t be too bad a decision in my eyes. In which case I think we need a tricky left footed Winger, and then rotatethe strikers between Podolski and Giroud. Bernard or Munian are my prefered choices but any would do, prehaps we could see a marquee signing in this position instead of the much expected CF or DM?

    However, if TV was moved to DM I don’t think it would actually impact Rambo that badly as he could still adequetly cover TV if he needed to rest or was in the treatment room with Diaby for the majority of next season. In which case I think we are simply going to be buying squad players this Transfer window as that XI seems to be fairly good to me, we just need to rotate players well and have good playres coming off the bench and we will be laughing.

  36. Marcus says:

    TA,
    That could work…Check mail by the way.

  37. Marcus says:

    James,
    Well said I must say..you echo my sentiments perfectly.

  38. Marcus says:

    Okosi,
    True but like my article points out, if we do bring in a DM it is likely Arteta and Rambo will be sacrificed.

  39. Marcus says:

    Nathan,
    I think you are way off the mark. When Wilshere is fit and firing, he’s considered the best player in our team. Last year Wenger gave him 25 games on the back of a return from injury. Tells you plenty.

  40. Marcus says:

    Jay,
    Agreed. If there’s something he can do well, it’s to adapt.

  41. Marcus says:

    Proud Gooner,
    First of all thanks for you kind sentiments. Then, I think we’ll have to see what the boss has planned.

  42. Marcus says:

    Davi,
    I don’t dispute that the ram-teta combo is effective. However with Wilshere, I disagree. there’s no way a fit Wilshere will sit on the bench. He did not do so when we had FAB and song in the team and he won’t start now.

  43. Marcus says:

    Naked goon,
    I think I agree with your views the most. The positive thing about having all these players is that we will be able to play around with the formations and tactics when needed.

  44. Marcus says:

    Davydayvy,
    The interesting thing is this. Wenger said the exact same thing in the 2011-12 season about midfield generals being replaced by less physical more technical players. He HOWEVER came to see and even admitted that we need a more physical, brutish kind of player to protect the back 4 and that is how he made it a transfer priority.

  45. Marcus says:

    VCC and Wengerball,
    Top comments mateys!!

  46. Marcus says:

    AFC and Henrychan,
    I find it INCREDIBLY difficult to see Wilshere on the bench. And even if as you say Wenger puts him in a position where he has to play his way into the team, we all know he WILL and that will bring us to this dilemma we have now.

  47. henrychan says:

    Yes TA.. I also never underrate Wilshere.. He is good.. but the situation is giving him a hard time.. Maybe Wilshere will be great as our DM.. but for Ramsey not Arteta.. Even Fellaini will not be Arteta subs.. But everything changes.. we never know.. hehehe.. As we also debated about Ramsey rules in the early season.. hahaha..

    For now.. the double pivot will continue moving.. hehehe.. As we both know Wenger quite well about how he rolling the team.. hahahaha..
    It will be even harder for Wilshere if Fabregas comeback or Fellaini bring in..
    Or if we bring Suarez or Bernard.. then Cazorla will be our main AM.. hehehe..

  48. Marcus says:

    Simba,
    I’m actually in Kenya, and its also cold here..
    Anyway, for me Jack is a B2B because; when he’s been played in the hole, he can’t help but trck back to defend. When he’s played further back, he bombs forward. Among the mids we have now, he’s the best carrier of the ball.

  49. Marcus says:

    Dylan and A Y noble,
    Agreed.

  50. Marcus says:

    Gerry,
    That’s a very good point of view. So good that I think you should write a post on it…

  51. henrychan says:

    Marcus.. I think what will gonna be is Wilshere will play as an AM in front of Arteta and Ramsey.. with Cazorla as a LW.. Podolski as a subs for Giroud and Cazorla..
    Wenger will not change this double pivot form.. moreover when they both already proven in our last 11 games..

    But that scenario can only run if Wenger don’t bring any new Midfielder or Winger..
    If Wenger bring Bernard.. as I hope he will.. hehehe.. then the team will be different.. Willshere will be on the bench.. untill Cazorla or Bernard been replace..
    But we not include Rosicky yet in this formation.. Most of the time Rosicky and Wilshere replace one to another..

    And what do you think if Fabregas do comeback.. hehehehe..

  52. veepee says:

    Marcus, what are you doing in my continent? While there in Kenya, can you find out for us how me missed out on Kenyan best player Victor Wenyama? I’m really gutted because he’s such a good player yet still has much room for improvement, sentiments aside.

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Henry – all agreed, except……. IF we sign both Fellaini and Cesc, it would most likely be Jack in the b2b position. Fellaini would sit back and protect the back-four, for which he has all the weapons, Jack would help defend and carry the ball forwards, and combine with Cesc to make things happen in attack, and Cesc would be ideal to boss the space between midfield and attack. That would be my dream scenario, and Rambo and Arteta would be superb back up players. But, I also like to see how Art/Rambo as double DM and Jack in the hole would do next season.

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Marcus

    Good to see you responding to comments. 🙂

    Cold in Kenya? Is that possible?

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Fred 🙂

    Fine comment. I would also like us to try 4-1-2-3 with a beast of a DM in front of the defence and behind Jack and Santi, but it looks like Arsene does not want to give up on the more solid, but less adventurous, double-DM pivot.

  56. Arsenal_VCC says:

    TA et al. – just a thought. I think that Wenger moved towards the double-DM as he felt that we were not being as efficient upfront as he would have liked. Given that OG and Pod are now in their second season and promising to be more efficient (Theo as well), what are the chances that he will experiment with a single DM (Arteta / Ramsey / Ox) during the season?

  57. Fred says:

    TA, I have a feeling that this season Wenger might be more adventurous than previous seasons. My main reasoning for this is that he is insisting that TV will remain as the captain, and based on the preformances I’ve seen last season he cannot justify replacing any of our current back 4 with Vermaelen. That makes me think he is most likely to play in DM.

    His attributes would probably better suit a “shielding” role in front of the back four rather than part of Wenger’s double pivot. I think we will see a change in tactics from Wenger. What they are remains to be seen and will largely depend on who (if anyone) we bring in during this Transfer Window.

  58. veepee says:

    @ TA, I personally think 2 midfield pivot is the way to go cos it gives you that extra defensive solidity, protests the back four and eliminates defensive errors due to the extra man, especially if one roves forward and can’t recover on time, with a very lethal striker up front to deliver the goods (which may explain why Wenger would danm all conseguences in pursuit of Suarez) you have a more balanced and difficult to beat team.
    Teams with quality midfielders and quick lethal strikers will always find a way of beating that with one DM, so I quite agree that Art/Ram is the way to go and it’s been proven. All we need now is a fully fit Jack and o hot lethal finisher up top then we start rolling.

  59. Wengerball says:

    Funny how there are many “If this” “If that” threads running a long…

    I saw KG on a recent post highlighting how impressive Ramsey’s statistics were and on merit for last season and especially for our final 10 games without losing… and AFC getting 26 points out of 30.
    Maybe it’s only fair for the proponents who would like sentimentalism for an individual for who played a bit part of 5 minutes at most in those 10 games to show us the assists, goals or otherwise great performance to warrant the consideration of changing the match winning performance of Arteta and Ramsey in the double-pivot role. If AFC are getting all the points needed to achieve the club’s objectives, then frankly so be it… We will all be happy at the end of the season having accomplished successfully all that we are craving for… which is maximum no of points and results in comparison to other teams. Once again fellow Gooners, AFC is bigger than creating room for any player just to fit into the team. Let those who are on the bench prepare to work their socks off just like Ramsey did while playing for the good of the team in a LB, RB, RW and LW before his opportunity in CM finally presented itself and his performance there to date is magnificent and superb and long may it continue…
    Thanks.

  60. Marcus says:

    Veepee,
    I am Kenyan..I am home 🙂

  61. Marcus says:

    TA,
    Have you gotten my email? And yes, usually between end June and end July/Beginning of August its usually cold here. Although cold in Kenya is probably normal in the UK.. 🙂

  62. Gerry says:

    Marcus – Sorry to disappoint, but I simply do not have the time to be around answering the comments. What I can do is give others an opportunity to follow up anything I say in my comments though?.

    Here are my thoughts on the TW:

    Arsenal and Saurez: They have got what they wanted. Saurez may talk directly to Arsenal. He may even put in a transfer request.. Which I am assuming player/agents still get a cut from transfers, but not if they ask for it? So discussion will be about how much they will be ‘compensated’?
    Liverpool are doing exactly what we did to Man U, and unless Monaco or PSG were interested, I cannot see another club in Europe coughing up that kind of fee? So they will hold out for as long as they can to see if the player changes his mind and stays, or the fee gets nudged up to a point where the look like they tried everything(£45m?). Sound familiar?

    Barca and Fabregas: They will have to keep on saying ‘he is not for sale’, because at the moment they say otherwise, we have first choice at £25m. However, we may lose out on some money owed if he does not complete whatever number of games that was set into the terms of sale? That might also be why they do not want to commit themselves to how much playing time Cesc gets, as it may cost them more money? I think I read somewhere that if they sell to us this season they will effectively have paid out £10m for the ‘loan’ period … ha ha

    Barnard is complicated by the 3rd party ownership, but it seems unless a better offer comes whereby the said 3rd party can keep their share, which they cannot in the EPL, then a deal has been struck. The announcement will be delayed until the future of his current club is known, possibly by tomorrow night – (fingers crossed).

    Wanyama – We did not miss out, we opted out. Okay?

    Other future signing in the DM area, will be more ‘cultured’ than Fellaini, Gustavo for example? But I think may not be decided upon until we play the stronger sides, either in the Emirates cup or the Man City friendly. The latter might be interesting regards Micah Richards? Or indeed Dzeko if the above one goes pear shaped?

    My thinking is, we need cover for Per, and to play with when him if the occasion arises. Alternative pairings without Per do not appear as effective as with him?

    If the last friendly match in Japan was a tough one, either we have improved tremendously, or Japanese football is in trouble. We may know more on Friday?

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Arsenal_VCC – good point. 🙂

    With Mourinho back, Wenger probably has little option than to continue with a lean and mean defensive formation as per the last 11 games of the season.

    If he could find a fantastic, all-round DM who can boss the area in front of the back-four without constant help from the b2b midfielder, then maybe, but I cannot see him risking any of our current ‘DMs’ in such a formation.

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Fred 🙂

    I didn’t know Wenger wants to keep TV as captain. If so, then hopefully not as CB, but as DM could work. I like your thinking! 🙂

  65. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi Marcus,

    Thank you for sharing a realistic point of view on the state of the current Arsenal squad. I basically see eye to eye with everything you’ve said and I’m glad that you understand that the run in we had at the end of last season, in addition to this pre-season, largely mean nothing.

    The dual DM pairing of Arteta and Ramsey is sufficient, but just not good enough if our objective is to win titles. If we’re targeting 4th, it potentially could be good enough, but even then we’re risking a lot in case one gets injured. Our team as it is now, does not look like a CL qualifying club and that’ll become clear as the season progresses (again only if the team stays as it is now).

    Even with internal improvements from our players, playing time is still limited, so we’ll undoubtedly lose production elsewhere. Also, other squads will have internal improvements as well, so basically we’ll be no better off than we were last season (in a best case scenario).

    Higuain is having his Napoli medical today, and yet another one bites the dust. Losing transfer targets and standing idle is the Arsenal way!

  66. Highbury Harmony says:

    That doesn’t even begin to mention the amount of games we’ll be facing in multiple competitions – the lack of depth AND quality in our squad will truly start to show itself when we lose to opponents we should beat in cup ties or fielding our best squad in the CL and still losing.

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Wengerball 🙂

    If you want your name to become a reality again, you and I must hope that Jack stays fully fit and plays for us in the hole or next to Arteta/new DM. You are right to ask for stats but I ask you to take into account his age and lack of fitness last season, and just to use your football knowledge and tell me in all honesty that Jack is not the better footballer. I guess, the old adage of ‘you either see it or you don’t’ applies here, and I respect that some just don’t see what Jack is capable off. But you can call it sentimentalism as much as you like 😉

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    Marcus, yes I did and I responded a few hours ago. 🙂

    Hi HH 🙂

  69. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, don’t listen to Wengerball. Jack has better offensive statistics than Ramsey and was only marginally worse than him on defensive stats. He was actually dribbled around less than Ramsey too.

  70. Highbury Harmony says:

    Offensive statistics:

    JW – 1.9 key passes per game, 2.2 successful dribbles per game, 2.1 times fouled per game

    AR – 1.3 key passes per game, 0.9 successful dribbles per game, 0.9 times fouled per game

    In respect to the offensive aspect of the B2B position, Jack utterly dominates Ramsey in terms of successfully beating his man/carrying the ball up field, picking up fouls and in key passes.

    Defensive statistics:

    JW – 1.3 successful tackles per game, 1 interception per game and 0.8 times dribbled around per game

    AR – 2 successful tackles per game, 1.2 interceptions per game and 0.9 times dribbled around per game

    So from a defensive perspective, Ramsey was slightly better than Jack and the latter is not even known for his defensive play. As I said before, from a DM standpoint, Ramsey was better but from a B2B one, Jack was statistically better. Ramsey is not really a B2B player either.

    in the 18 starts Ramsey had in the DM/B2B position, he accumulated 1 goal and 0 assists. JW in 17 starts in the DM/B2B accumulated 1 goal and 4 assists.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    HH

    I did not want to mention that obvious fact, but of course you are right.

    I think many forget that we actually play with three attackers rather than two. In the latter case the AM needs to score a lot of goals as well. Of course, we all want our AM to score a lot of goals but we also like him to support the midfield-of-two a lot. But most importantly we need our AM, or the ‘1’ in our midfield, to set up attacks, quickly switch over from defending to attacking and ensure the team has shape and purpose. Jack can do all of that and anybody who has watched Arsenal closely will have seen that as soon as Jack played in the AM role, the team as a whole started to play far better footie. Arteta cannot do that and neither can Ramsey – not at the required level at least – but Jack and Rosicky are very capable. The only thing Jack needs to add is assists and goals which will surely happen if he stays fit for a while.

  72. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi TA :),

    I’m hoping we can announce some signings soon instead of speculating on players we ultimately miss out on. At the very, very least some depth signings are needed, but I’d love to see one SQ signing. Bernard is good, but I’d hesitate to label him as SQ; not sure why though just a gut feeling and being unproven outside of Brazil I guess.

    Also, signing him will mean less playing time for Ox, which is something that would truly disappoint me as he’s one of the few bright spots (for me) we have for the upcoming season.

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    HH 🙂

    All agreed and I really think your realistic wishes will all become true. The Ox needs to be released this season and I am sure Wenger wants this too.

    Hold on a bit longer buddy! 🙂

  74. Fred says:

    What are peoples thoughts on Suarez? IF we did buy him do you think he would play more as a striker or go back to playing on the wing for us? I have to say a look at his goal conversion rate last season isn’t advisable (its just 16%) hardly that prolific, infact its only 4% better than Giroud’s last season.

    For me if he did sign I would prefer him to play on the wing. Where do you think Wenger will play Suarez if we do sign him?

  75. henrychan says:

    Night all..
    TA.. HH.. We seem to had this dilemmatic option between sign new great player or give the youngster chance almost all season.. hehe..

    Yes We had some great youngsters.. Ox.. Gnabry.. Eisfeld.. Miyaichi.. even now added by Zelalem and Akpom..

    But.. at the same time.. fans asking for Wenger’s policy to strengthen the team by adding a ‘boing / presence’ player.. hehe..

    For me Bernard is a great winger.. LW.. and Ox is preparing to become an AM.. for We will go for 2 AM again if our team are ready for it..
    So Bernard’s coming will never distrub Ox or Willshere directly.. but offcourse maybe if Wenger play Bernard and Cazorla both.. hehe..

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Fred, I reckon he can play anywhere and that is what Arsene likes as well. I don’t see him as our lone striker but he could play really well in 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2. I guess he will start a lot on the wing in our current formation.

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Henry that is the big dilemma and it needs careful management by Wenger. One big BOING! boy would give the team a lift and build believe tremendously. That is why most fans want to see such a signing.

  78. Fred says:

    TA, I still dont think he is worth the £40,000,001 we bid for him. He may be a marquee signing but there are plenty of other better options out there for less. If we want an out and out striker (who is also fairly versatile) then why didn’t we go for Higuain. He’s much more clinical than Suarez, can also play on the Wing if required and would cost significantly less. If we wanted an out and out winger who can also play through the middle why are we still waiting for Bernard? If thats a not goig to happen then why didn’t we go for David Villa he left for £4m to a La Liga rival. Even at that price he is 1/10th of the price of Suarez and would probably bring more to the table.

  79. Gerry says:

    Fred – What I believe he will bring is space for Giro, Podolski, or who ever plays in the middle. He will make our players better by being an option.
    If you look at my earlier fantasy line up, the whole point of that trio behind Giroud is that all three can play anywhere. Flexibilty and a nightmare to defend against?

    If you look at his attempts on goal, it is higher than most, but although the conversion rate appears not that great, he gets into positions to have a shot. He might have won the Golden Boot but for his suspension. You don’t do that by being average?

    Add to that, who do you think has the better midfield, us or Liverpool?

    Oh and while you are on. I read the other day that when you go to Norwich Uni you want to do the student thing and party a bit? Here’s a tip. Make sure you get your stuff in on time so you are still a student there next year. 2nd is the year for partying, once you know the system better. 3rd year is when the real work starts ..

    Been there, done that, blah blah … Enjoy!

  80. AFC says:

    Hi guys, 🙂

    I am really starting to get worried. Higuain seems set to jooin Napoli because Wenger did not want to meet Napoli’s valuation which is leaving me puzzled. Why would Wenger not pay in the excess of £30 million for Higuain who was our best option and then go and ay in the excess of £40 million for a Suarez (isssues aside) who will be banned for the first 8 games of the PL season and is far less clinical than Higuain.

  81. ProudGooner says:

    The sooner this tour is over the better, by Saturday they should be home. Once Wenger and Ivan are back in London and they realise that every club is strengthening and how p***ed off the fans are getting. More importantly they concentrate on buying players. Man at times it just makes me want to shout its so frustrating .
    I want to see a strong signing by the Emirates cup, i am thinking about buying ticket for a day of the Emirates cup but i am not til i see a strong signing.

  82. ProudGooner says:

    Which by the way could be very interesting as we play Napoli in our first game on the the 3rd of Aug will Higauin be playing for us or against us that is something for the club to think about.

  83. James Bond says:

    nice one, Marcus and i’m in Agreement, Ramsey on the bench for me (every time unless Arteta and JW are injured or need a rest).

    Dylan,

    sorry to hear about the thumb , hope it gets better soon !

    Fred,

    you mention “plenty of other better options” than suarez at 40 million, would you like to share those options with us ?

  84. James Bond says:

    PG,

    they don’t need to come back to London to realize that every club is improving – in today’s world, you have the internet and rest assured they know exactly who is strengthening and improving their team by signing “who and who”.

    i’m just gutted that we bid, 40 mills and 1 pound for Suarez, it should have been 40 million and 1 pence.

  85. AFC says:

    Hi JB,

    I am starting to think would it be better to play Walcott and/or Podolski as STs and invest in a quality winger and a goal scoring AM/no.10.

  86. ProudGooner says:

    LOL,
    40 Milli and a trip to the dentist to get his brace fitted

  87. AFC says:

    JB, £40 million and 1 pence would have been something. 😀

  88. Fred says:

    Hi Gerry, thanks for the advice. Just coming to the end of my gap year so I can splash the cash I’ve earnt on partying.

    I see what you are saying with regards to Suarez, but I still have my concerns that he could end up being an expensive flop. I agree with you that overall our Midfield is on the whole better than Liverpools. However, they do have Gerrard and Coutinho who do set up a hell of a lot of chances for Suarez.

    I do see the value that versatility has, but ultimately I think we would be better off making our mind up as to whether or not a winger or a striker is our priority in addition to a DM. I know many people do think that Giroud is not good enough, but I would say give him another season, bring in a top quality LW who can cover in the hole if required. Such a player would be able to cross the ball well to Giroud who is very competative in the air, whilst also being able to play off him. We need to utalise the strengths our current players have, and I am still not 100% convinced Suarez would do that. To sum up I think he is a very good player just not really what we need. I know we usually say that players usually do badly once they leave arsenal, but there’s a similar case to be made for Liverpool with Torres.

  89. ProudGooner says:

    JB,
    I suppose you are right about the internet and all, i still just think it will be a bit better when they are back. Wenger is meeting old friends out there and not fully focused on signings that is for sure.
    At least they are bidding big numbers i suppose.

  90. AFC says:

    JB, apparently Navas had the option to join us but chose to join City.

    City have done really well in the TW. Fernandinho, Navas, Negrado and Jovetic.

  91. ProudGooner says:

    AFC,
    When you read out city’s signings like that, they sure have done very well. To me city and Chelsea have by far the strongest teams on paper.

  92. Fred says:

    JB, I think it entirely depends on what you want Arsenal to do. If you want an out and out goalscoring machine who can as a last resort cover on the wings then I would say Higuain or even Wayne “fatboy” Rooney. If you believe we need a Winger then there are plenty of options out there for example Bernard, Muniain and Gaitan are all good examples. Or if you wanted a versatile Winger/CF which is what I would class Suarez as then there is David Vila. These are just a few names that spring to mind, but in my opinion anyone of these would do a better job for our team than Suarez, would all probably be cheaper and would come with less baggage.

  93. AFC says:

    ProudGooner, agreed.

    We’ve haven’t signed a single player yet and Spurs could actually end up with the better team at the end of the TW.

  94. Fred says:

    BJ, I realised that the amount of people I had in the same category as Suarez was a bit empty, so I thought of a couple of others (some of which may not be immediately as good but could be in the future:) My first choice which depends entirely on Bale going to Real Madrid is Di Maria although he is predominately a winger, El Shaarawy, Pedro and Reus all spring to mind.

  95. James Bond says:

    better to play poldi and theo as strikers and not invest in Suarez ?

    did i hear that right ?

    for the avoidance of doubt,

    the idea of us not buying one of the TOP 3 best players in the PL if not the BEST from a big club and instead having to make do at the expense of buying unproven wingers ?

    that doesn’t sound right at all.

    we’re going to buy Suarez ? why ? because we can and with him we will be a much much better team – Yes, i’m quite bullish about snapping him up because quite simply put, gone are the days when we used to settle for 2nd best and tried finding ways and excuses to live with our mediocre signings… this is getting serious now and i really don’t care about him being labelled a Racist because someone abused his family or how he bit someone because he wanted to win at all cost ? how is that any worse than sleeping with your brothers wife, while both of you are married, how is that any different than sleeping with your best mates wife, a hooker and so on when you’re married ? how is that any different than actually headbutting the life out of someone and still be considered a legend ?

    we sadly live in a world of hypocrisy, i’m just glad AW has proved me wrong and went for the best player in England even with Suarez’s short comings, well done sir !

    now to the next area of discussion … do we get him for 40 mills ? yep, possibly if he puts in a transfer request (which he may well do)….but that would mean we will have to make his personal terms and bonus on signing for the agents a bit more sweeter, which may cost us about 45 million in total ? would that be better as opposed to offering liverpool 45 or 50 million ? Decisions decisions !

    AFC,

    Navas is a plonker, he didn’t want to leave due to his homesickness issues, only using Arsenal to get man city fans on his side, no doubt another one of the clever and smart tricks suggested by his agents.

    good riddance i say

  96. AFC says:

    Fred, that is what I am thinking. Could we get Di Maria, and a goal scoring AM/no.10 like Fabregas and have Giroud, Podolski and Walcott as our STs.

  97. James Bond says:

    i’m sorry, Fred

    but out of all the players you have mentioned no one can deliver what Suarez can with IMMEDIATE effect (meaning this season and not one for the future, even with his 6 game ban, he can play in the CL in August and help as qualify to the group stages).

    all the names you’ve mentioned, only 2 can really improve or bring something different to Arsenal and one of them is Reus but we all know, Dortmund won’t sell him nor he can start delivering the goods in his first season in England.

    Rooney is the other player and a good option if we fail to secure Suarez (yep, Suarez should be our main target and Rooney as back up) for a variety of reasons including Rooney costing us more money than Suarez in the longer term (thanks to his wages).

  98. AFC says:

    JB, Suarez’s conversion rate is around 12% whereas Higuains is around 55% which is the second best in La Liga behind Messi whose conversion rate was around 57%. Could you argue that Higuain when given the chance as a no.1 ST could easily score 25-30 goals in the EPL.

  99. henrychan says:

    AFC.. Higuan is so close to us.. and I think Suarez only something to bargain with Madrid.. Wenger never really go for him.. The game change as soon as Cavani was sold.. and Napoli have 56 millions cash.. hehe.. Wenger never think about it either.. haha..
    But Giroud seem a better man now.. hehe.. and We still have Podolski.. Sanogo.. and Akpom.. so maybe our CF is good enough..

    And Wenger still have time.. doesn’t he..?? He will bring us some more great players.. hehe..
    I wish they are 3 Brazilian star.. Cesar.. Gustavo and Bernard.. 40 millions for three of them.. better than one Suarez.. don’t you think so.. hahaha..

  100. AFC says:

    JB, how would Suarez be successful in our possession style system where chances created are much less. If we continue with our even more defensive set up even less chances will be created.

  101. James Bond says:

    AFC,

    have you watched higuain play in big matches ? do you know how many assists higuain has as compared to Suarez ?

    do you know how many times has got his team out of a pickle , be it with his free kicks, corners, or defending in his own half ?

    i would like to have those stats

    and while you’re at it, do you know that if Suarez hadn’t got suspended then he may have won the golden boot ahead of RVP in a rubbish team ?

    why would i argue and assume that Higuain would score 25 EPL goals when i already know that Suarez has already been there and done that, in fact he scored 30 goals in all competitions last year .

    stats can be deceiving, i prefer believing what i see from my own eyes instead of stats because quite bluntly put, if i was to go by STATS then RAMSEY would seem like the NEW PIRLO.

  102. AFC says:

    Looking at our options for DM and ST we are very quickly running out of options.

    For DM, Gustavo. Khedira, De Rossi and maybe Luiz if we are prepared to go really big.

    For ST, Suarez and Higuain. Roooney would prefer Chelsea and Lewandowski will go to Bayern on a free.

  103. AFC says:

    JB, agreed stats do not tell you the full story but Higuain is certainly the better finisher.

    Suarez would be our best option if Wenger is looking to buy a ST and Higuain goes to Napoli BUT what do we do for the first 6 games?

  104. James Bond says:

    Suarez would work like a dream in our current system, he would open up play for Giroud, poldi, Theo, Santi, JW and even run off the balls headed down by Giroud if both played together.

    you’re going a bit over the top when you call us a ” Defensive system”, we’re not a defense oriented or minded team sir, don’t let the last 10-12 games of last season fool you.

    the scary thing is that Suarez gives us a lot of options, both tactics and formation wise as well as playing positions…so i am not going to put him in one position as he really is flexible and can play anywhere across the front 3 and even behind the striker or in a 4-4-1-1 if Wenger wishes.

  105. James Bond says:

    AFC,

    Higuain seems to be almost a done deal for Napoli, so why cry over spit milk ? let him , his reps and RM go to hell as far as i care after their dirty tactics to use us and up his price.

    considering we have CL matches to play, i think it’s good that Suarez can play in the CL and then be eased back into the EPL with a stronger understanding with our players e.t.c e.t.c

    mind you, i think he has played with TV before at Ajax ? hence that might be the inner connection we had with him which helped him come over ? (could be possible ? )

    first 6 games, we use Giroud/Poldi/Theo, most of the games are favourable and winnable if not ALL even without Suarez, i would say.

  106. AFC says:

    JB, the thing is teams go by stats. It is very likely Wenger has two lists. One list will be for positions we urgently need to fill (GK, CB, DM, ST) and Wenger will likely have around 5 players for each position and the second list will consist positions that also need to be filled but not urgently such as AM/no.10 and RW with around 5 players for those positions.

    For each player (let’s take Suarez for example 😉 ) there will be scouting reports, videos which Wenger and his team will look at but there will also be a folder of stats which Wenger and his team are likely to use to decide whether he will be a good fit. They will look at his conversion rate, how many goals he has scored, were the goals against lower opposition or top position or both, does he get the majority of his goals home or away, does he score in Europe, disciplinary records etc. So stats are very important even if they do not tell the entire story.

  107. Highbury Harmony says:

    The problem Henry, is that there is good enough and great. None of our current strikers inspire confidence in me if we’re looking to win titles or be great.

  108. AFC says:

    JB, for those 6 games Suarez would miss we will likely drop points. That means we are expecting Theo to carry the team yet again from the RW with support from Podolski, Santi and Giroud. If we could get Suarez and another top winger/no.10 I would be happy. Suarez can train with the team while the other attacker could take some of the burden off Theo for the first 6 games. To only get Suarez and not another attacker seems risky to me.

  109. VCC says:

    Hi Harmonious….when are you going to publish the rules on fantasy league?

  110. James Bond says:

    AFC, those 6 games are precisely the reason why we might get Suarez on 40 million as opposed to 50 million or 55.

    anyway enough said , now it’s time for Rocisky to be heard and when he says something, we gotta respect it

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/arsenal-midfielder-tomas-rosicky-posts-facebook-message-about-luis-suarez/?

    case made for Suarez, start the engine time.

    i’m thinking, Suarez and either of Cesc or Fellaini will do nicely.

  111. AFC says:

    Hi HH, 🙂

    Read my last comment. I am in full agreement with you. Podolski coming back from injury which makes him a squad player at best for now. Giroud squad player at best. Santi more of a midfielder, Jack virtually does not score so we are relying on the underrated Walcott to carry us through the first 6 games if we get Suarez.

  112. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi VCC :), if I get some free time over the next couple of days, I will post the rules!

  113. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi AFC :),

    I reckon if we get Suarez, it will be enough in terms of pure ST options. Suarez is not the most clinical striker, but he creates opportunities for both himself and others and takes so many shots that he ends up looking like a consistent goal scorer!

    If Suarez is somehow bought, that will mean Santi in the hole, Poldi at LW and Theo at RW with Giroud and Sanogo on the bench. From my perspective, that is plenty of firepower and reinforcing the CM position should be our next priority. After Ramsey and Arteta, potentially Jack if he plays a B2B role, there’s not much else.

  114. James Bond says:

    hell yeah, HH

    hell yeah

  115. AFC says:

    JB, the addition of Suarez could also be very useful in lurely other top talent to the Arsenal by proving we are serious about challenging for the title. 🙂

  116. AFC says:

    HH, I would like to see Santi stay on the LW with Podolski as back up with a new AM/no.10 signed.

  117. Gerry says:

    I am with you JB, except I do care if he continues to make rascist remarks to other players. We have to respect own own player in that regard. However, I think the ban will have given him time to reflect on things, and will know that the FA will come down hard on him with any future allegations proving true, or further ‘red mist’ mistakes.

    What I think he finds interesting about Arsenal’s interest is because of their integrity. Why would they risk it on him. To him that is a value that Liverpool cannot add. They want him to stay because he is their best player, but that is not the same as valuing HIM.

    I made my case out for signing him the other day, and I think what AW sees is that he will not disrupt what he has already. If we had Higgy we would be back where we were last season with Giro, waiting for him to adjust to the EPL? It would mean another year of transition. Saurez is the ready made article. No, I don’t believe Higgy would have been any more successful than Giro, unless we added Jovetic as well, but at this late stage, Eriksen would have been an option perhaps. But between the two you would have spent over £50m and waiting for both to adjust?

    What we have to remember is that AW is fully capable of walking away from any deal if he thinks it will not be in our interest. For all Liverpool’s posturing, they will be faced with the same problem we will have with the missing games. I worked it out last night that the Swansea game will be his first league game he can play, at the beginning of October. (I am working on the assumption that it is only 6 matches left, not 8, if someone care to verify?)
    However, if he signs for us he can play four matches in that period. The two CL qualifiers, and I think two CL proper ones should we get through.

    Mind it is because of this he is not a £55m player ‘Pool would like everyone to believe. They should look at the RVP thing and see that the ‘loyalty card’ they are playing does not get you very far these days?

    It is not a given by any means, but the alternatives are non-existent

    Oh, and when we were after Villa the price was £14m. What they are prepared to let other clubs have him for is irrelevant. Nor do I want to an ex Man u, then Chelsea reject knocking at our door.

  118. James Bond says:

    all agreed, Gerry

    that comment re- me not caring about his “Racist comment” when his family was abused – was by no means me suggesting it was right, however, i really can’t see him doing that sort of thing again under AW and risk an even longer ban again, we all learn our lessons in life which make us better (mostly), i hope this was that one lesson he had to learn the hard way but i much rather us not dwell on that since he’s been punished and we have moved on, i doubt if he will be this stupid to shot not only himself but also his career to see it go down the drain.

    it’s a possibility none the less but there is also a possibility that he revives his image and goes onto become a legend for Arsenal

    glass half full for me 🙂

  119. James Bond says:

    yes, 6 matches

    and he will be available to play on the 28th september…vs Swansea (away)

  120. Gerry says:

    JB – agreed. Off to watch the ladies play Germany v Sweden should be a good game. I followed quite a few in this tournament. Most of the time they are frustrating because they know the pass to make, but often as not make a mess of it. These two are very good though. i have a soft spot for Denmark too.

    Byee

  121. James Bond says:

    may the hotter looking ones win 😉

    have a nice evening !

  122. Glic says:

    My Broke Back friends. I`ve been on the phone to Arsene and as he is in Japan we spoke in Japanese, yes that has shocked you bastards hasn`t it, me being fluent in Japanese !. Herro yu plicks , yu rack disciprine !….just an example there !. Anyway, Arsene has asked me…Dr Glic, if I can sort out the Suarez cannibal stuff, the whole transfer hangs in the balance on whether I can administer my expertise !.
    So me and my posse …..Stretch and his wife`s evil pussy and me…. are currently sitting in the Cortina with chloroform keeping Suarez under surveillance !.
    The plan is to slap Suarez over the head with Stretches wife`s evil pussy after we have chloroformed the evil pussy !. I will then pluck his teeth out with some rusty nut crackers, which incidentally will still have John Terry`s nuts in situ, whilst Stretch intravenously doses him with calming liquid via his rectum using his telescope . Suarez will have the length of his ban to recover and lets face it, he will never bite another player again, what is he going to do….suck another player !…..” Refereeee, he f**king sucked me ! “….I don’t think so !. hahaha

  123. Glic says:

    Not really a magic trick, but just showing how good I am at using the chloroform and how good Stretch is as a Cortina getaway driver. Wenger wanted proof how good we are and we proved it !. Fair enough Wenger had a…”luptured lectum”….oops, sorry, it`s so easy for me to break out in my fluent Japanese and showing off !……when he was returned, but he impressed !.

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/arsene-wenger-pulls-off-a-magic-trick-in-arsenal-training-video/

  124. johnnie nyc says:

    Gerry, you know I almost always agree with you — you are one of the best posters here for sure.. —
    so don’t take this badly, but your comment that Higuain wouldn’t be any more successful in his first season in prem than Giroud ( I do like Olivier, by the way )—was way off.. — sorry
    Giroud could play in prem for three years, be in perfect health in his twenties, and he would be nowhere near the class of a Higuain who could have just awaken from a coma. —
    all opinion of course… that’s what makes it fun to discuss.. and I hope Giroud really improves this season–
    I still think he is a good, solid second choice. I do not unfortunately think his play in pre season means anything…basically playing against some kids in the park— but I hope it gives him loads of confidence going into the season.
    🙂

  125. James Bond says:

    ahahahahahhaahhahahaha @ Glic

    you cured Suarez for sure ahahahahahahahahahhaahahahahhaha i bet he’s cured just after reading that ahahahahahahahahahahahahah

  126. ProudGooner says:

    DR Glic,
    That should do it Dr £40,000,001 plus nut cracker his teeth i was going suggest a brace but that should do it just fine.
    I really am not to worried because we still have Nicker Bender 52 and Chamakh 29 yeeaa!
    Would £40,000,000 not get us Lewendolski? I would take Suarez but i think them thieving scousers will be after to much money and just won’t except our offer.

  127. johnnie nyc says:

    JB, I don’t really blame Higuain or his people… im not crying over what is done, but lets be fair.
    Higuain was happy to come to us..thats something new for a top quality player lately. early on when it was between us and Juve, and Madrid wanted 25.6 mil reportedly, and we were trying to get it done at 22-23 (to me, that was a very good price, even at the time seemed a bargain in todays market)… I doubt there was a final agreement- but our team felt it was done.
    I cant blame any team for deciding to wait for a MUCH higher offer.. Arsenal would have done the same, and would be fools not to do it.
    All I’ve been complaining about is that it’s my opinion that we could have closed very early on for 25-26. knowing Napoli was getting psg money soon.. we will never know.. but 23mil seemed a little cheap.
    I blame our negotiators and Arsene. now we have only an outside chance at Suarez, because we are definitely not his first choice and Liverpool see us as rivals for top four ..I will be thrilled if it works out, but if it doesn’t, I still will be bitter over our miscalculations overall.

  128. James Bond says:

    PG,

    in that case they will have to turn down a transfer request from Suarez (likely he hands it in very soon, if not already ? ) and then have a player who is unhappy and been forced to stay at Anfield doing more harm than good to the team as a whole…

    so the question really they need to be asking themselves is, do they want a RVP situation like arsenal or should they play their cards wisely and let Suarez go for the 40 mills and get their other targets more promptly .

  129. ProudGooner says:

    JB,
    I agree totally and think we have been more then fair. I can just imagine Suarez really kicking up a stink as well if he did not get what he wanted i hope he does. To be fair no matter what people think of him he deserves to play CL football and it would be a great move for both club and player

  130. ProudGooner says:

    Podolski Suarez Walcott
    That is a champions league challenging forward 3.

  131. ProudGooner says:

    Ideally if fit midfield of –
    Diarby Arteta Santi
    Then just need a world class keeper and it would be a very stong team.

  132. Wengerball says:

    Anyone who reads HH statistics of Aaron Ramsey vis a vis Jack Wilshere will no it lacks credibility and at best is just crocked up.
    HH, you say Ramsey didn’t provide any assist in your researched last 18 games.
    FACT Aaron Ramsey provided the second assist to Gervinho’s second goal against Swansea in our 2-0 win at Liberty stadium after he had given a match winning performance in the previous mid-week game against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena where we won 2-0 as well and him keeping Ribbery, Robben, Javi Martinez and the likes at bay and them having to time waste with the ball in their net with Nuer and at the corner flag.
    And all this was after the fully fit Jack wilshere played in our 3 game loosing streak against Bayern at home, Blackburn at home and Tottenham away… and that’s when Wenger decided no more sentimentalism by dropping the like of Szczesny, TV5 and Jack Wilshere as no one ought to have a reserved team spot if they cannot perform. And frankly, that’s the way to go… AFC is just too big over any individual player…

  133. Glic says:

    Whilst all this Torture has been going, the rumour that Gervinho is being sold has sort of slipped underneath the radar !. Two things hit me here !. 1) I thought we were not selling our best ( well, I like him ! ) players now ! and 2) How can a head that massive with it`s own gravitational pull slip underneath the radar !.

  134. ProudGooner says:

    Dr,
    It is true no one has even mentioned him poor old boy. I don’t know if you were joking or not but i would not sell him, i think he is a better player hen most people think.
    I hope he stays at the price being mentioned and i think Wenger will not want to lose him because his dribbling skills are great.
    I would recommend either a skin head or a hair transplant possibly though. Your thoughts on that please Dr Glic? What would you recommend for him?

  135. ProudGooner says:

    I got a soft spot for Gervinho he won me £410 by scoring the first goal and me getting the score cast against stoke and i was at the match a great day out. Gervinho i love you.

  136. ProudGooner says:

    3-1 get in.

  137. Glic says:

    PG

    I honestly rate him !.

    As for his head !, well, what hair he has got is large enough to start terraforming Uranus !.
    As for transplanting it, well, Ecological groups and Greenpeace would be up in arms for the massive deforestation of rain forests in Brazil, I`m sorry , but the planet comes first !.

  138. ProudGooner says:

    ha ha ha ha ha ha
    i do to thats why i bet on him. That Africa cup has ruined his season 2 years in a row, if he stays and i hope he does then i hope he give it a miss this time.
    Maybe a wig then they can make pretty good ones these days. Im sure fellaini could lend him 1.

  139. Highbury Harmony says:

    Wengerball,

    If you care to revisit my comment, I compared their stats at the B2B/DM position.

    Ramsey had 0 assists as a DM/B2B mid. That assist you mentioned came from a substitute appearance where Ramsey was actually playing as a RW. You see Gibbs came into the game as a substitute for Theo, which meant 5 defenders at the back and pushed Ramsey out wide right.

    Nice try though. The only thing that lacks credibility in here is the majority of your posts and misguided, sweeping claims because my statistics come from reputable websites that actually track individual player performance.

  140. Highbury Harmony says:

    “Where Ramsey kept Ribeiry, Robben, Javi Martinez and the likes at bay”? You realize Ribeiry didn’t play in that game right?

    Please check your facts before ever posting on here again.

  141. Glic says:

    PG
    I`m glad Gervinho won you some money.
    As for him going to the ACN, it was not helping us footballing wise on the field, but when he came back, Wenger would be gone for days and sometimes even weeks on expeditions combing Gervinho`s head for new African talent !. After we bought Park and he scored in a carling Cup game, Wenger took him on such an expedition, but Park became unattached, never to be seen again !.
    Some say the secrets to how life on Earth begun can be found on Gervinho`s head and there is also a rumour of a mythical land where in a deep lost valley you will wander out of a ginormous cavernous cave only to find yourself at the entrance to Katie Price`s pussy !. The wonders of Planet Gervinho !. hahaha

  142. Wengerball says:

    Nice joke HH, now that you have accepted to eat a humble pie by accepting that Ramsey did indeed provide an assist to Gervinho ( read selective amnesia to cover up his great performance) the work of a B2B midfielder is exactly what Ramsey did on that day. Came of the bench, started his run in our half run into Swansea’s half and gave a clinical assist to Gervinho to score… exactly the needed performance of a B2B midfielder.
    Just because Ramsey received the ball deep in the left side of midfield at Emirates and scored a sumptuous deceiving goal against Wigan, does that make him a left winger… yeah right, nice joke once more…
    Actually thought you would address the dropping of Jack Wilshere and other non performing players after our losing streak to Bayern at home, Blackburn and Tottenham… but obviously, you wouldn’t get such FACTS from your “reliable visited sites” just to enlightened you incase you had forgotten Arsenal.com is the place to get your FACTS right… I hope your “reliable sights” show that Wenger rightly preferred the Ox ahead of Jack Wilshere in our crunch match against Newcastle when Arteta got injured and that as well, Aaron Ramsey won a player of the month award ahead of over 25 players Jack Wilshere included… and if I can try and jog my memory, I can’t recall the last month Wilshere was AFC’s best player of a full month… at best a bit-part player really.

    Anyway, once again, AFC is bigger than any individual player and Wenger know that currently he can count on Ramsey to do a splendid job for the team. And just so you know, I fully support each and every player who pulls on a AFC Jersey on him on a match day and does his best towards AFC getting a result… but I wouldn’t compromise the match winning and result getting performance of Arteta and Ramsey in our double-pivot role at the moment.

  143. James Bond says:

    agreed, PG

    when you see clubs and managers playing the ” Loyalty card” in order to make a player stay then that basically means the writing is pretty much on the wall… if you don’t believe me then go ask Piers Morgan, he was literally begging RVP every day, 3 times a day, 7 days a week, 30 days in a month before he moved up north and decided to knife us.

    yep, Suarez is very much on the move i reckon – the sooner the better i says.

  144. James Bond says:

    17HT, hope you’re having a nice holiday / Time away….

    shame you’ve missed out on all the fun but don’t worry, i’m trying to cover up for you 😉 come back soon though !

  145. ProudGooner says:

    wow in that case i would not mind combing his hair myself ( the wonders of gerv’s head) not only does he win you dollar but revels the mysteries of the unigerv’s, fairplay to him
    hope he stays i just know his a really good player and has not shown anywhere near his best stuff

  146. Glic says:

    007
    I reckon 17ht is lost somewhere in ( bracket) world and learning (italics) !.
    Lets hope when the bastardildo returns he will be able to f**king write ( properly ) !. { hahahaha }

  147. ProudGooner says:

    JB,
    I think you are right again , but after the Higuain saga i am not holding my breath that he will be coming to us but i do hope he does. He really would be a great addition his winning mentality and goals (skills) could be awesome. His talents could even rival the likes of Ian Wright he is that kind of player.Oh what i would do to have Wright back in our team now at the peak of his powers.

  148. Highbury Harmony says:

    Yes Wengerball, some reliable “sights” you have. Wenger must have definitely not selected Ox before Jack because of the latter’s injury issues and needing surgery immediately after the season right?

    Why can’t you just admit that you’re wrong and have added nothing to this blog? As I originally said, Ramsey had 0 assists as a B2B/DM and if you were watching the game, you’d see that he was pushed further up field on the right hand side once Gibbs was substituted onto the pitch. Also, you claim that Ramsey is so much better than Jack without actually providing any statistics.

    “Ramsey won player of the month over Jack”. Well geez, I sure hope he did considering Jack was heavily medicated on pain killers and was not immediately given surgery on his ankle because we desperately needed even a 50% Jack to help us scrape together wins to qualify for CL.

    You should know when you’re not wanted. Go back and crawl into the asshole you came from.

  149. Highbury Harmony says:

    You should also know that Ramsey and Arteta have compromised Arsenal football because we’re using two players to compensate for the lack of a true DM. Ramsey especially lacks the individual skill to play Wengerball and together with Arteta, we have a double DM pivot capable of recycling passes and stalling an offense like no other. The only thing those two do on the pitch together is play with the handbrake off.

    There’s a reason why Ramsey is known as “no-touch” Ramsey on these blog. The guy couldn’t dribble to save his life and is only saved by his tireless work rate to recover the ball when he loses it when he’s trying to dribble.

  150. Highbury Harmony says:

    handbrake on*

  151. AFC says:

    HH, the combination of Ramsey and Arteta is the reason we cannot play Wengerball rather than Arteta himself. The combo of Arteta and Song was really good.

    I say let’s get both Benders in which would satisfy Glic as he is fond of Benders. 😀

  152. James Bond says:

    Glic 😀 😀

    PG,

    all the news articles should start coming up any minute now on newsnow, so let’s see if there’s anything of interest to arsenal (i expect it to be bombarded with arsenal news) 😉

  153. Highbury Harmony says:

    Pretty sure some prerequisites of being a good B2B mid is to provide assists, key passes, dribble around defenders, score goals etc. None of which are Ramsey’s strengths.

    He’s a good bench player, but to compare him to Jack as a player is laughable. Ramsey is growing to become a quality Arteta replacement, but not a B2B player or any position requiring offensive ability or a high amount of individual skill.

  154. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC :),

    Exactly my point. Having both on the pitch at the same time is redundant. This clown just won’t give up his tiresome brigade against Jack, despite everyone clearly knowing that he’s a better player.

  155. James Bond says:

    do Real Madrid need a strike to compete with Benzema now that Higuain is no more ?

    that is my only concern on this one but then i look at Suarez’s agent and i find the name Guardiola and take some comfort from that…(is he an agent of any of the players at RM) ? i hope not !

  156. AFC says:

    JB, according to many sources Gustavo wants to stay at Bayern. Another blow?

  157. Highbury Harmony says:

    Too many blows AFC. Perhaps Glic was onto something and if Arsene wants to weather any more storms/blows, he should invest in those blow up dolls he proposed a couple days ago…

  158. James Bond says:

    ahahahahahahah @ HH

    AFC, don’t think we were really that into Gustavo to be honest.

  159. Fred says:

    Hi JB, I have to say I can see all the arguments for Suarez coming and I would reluctantly welcome him to our club initaly and if he could calm down I would be pleased to have him at our club in time. However, I stil feel that if it was a proper CF we are after then we really missed out on Higuain.

    The other argument which many people have put forward is a Left Winger instead of a CF. In which case Pedro would be very good considering Barca now have Naymar or if Bale goes to Real Madrid than Di Maria would also be very good for our club.

    It is for this reason I imagine that Wenger is going for Suarez. He is unsure what he wants so he is going for a player who can play well in both roles and is an EPL proven player to appease the fans. However, if you compare him to Higuain it is clear who the better CF is based on the stats and the two wingers I mentioned above are better than he is on the wings. He is a half-way house which has its pros and cons, however for me the cons outway the pros we need to decide what we want and get world class players in those positions. I would be pleased with anyone of the three players I have mentioned in this comment, or any of the players I have mentioned previously.

  160. Wengerball says:

    Newcastle vs Arsenal 2012/2013 season substitutions,

    FACTS;
    The Ox comes in for Arteta in the 28th minute,
    Wilshere comes in for Cazorla in the 89th minute.

    If Wilshere was unfit to play, he not only wouldn’t have made the subs bench but actually wouldn’t have played his bit-part one minute normal time and any added time.

    I wouldn’t sink so low to follow your expletives troll road. Thankfully my upbringing taught me that you know that a grown up individual is getting a good dose of their medicine when its bitter to swallow.
    If HH you feel the FACTS are becoming to much for you to up and you would rather them not mentioned in your face, I’m sure you can always get around my comments being moderated or even deleted… so that you don’t have to deal with the truth anymore as they always say, “The truth hurts the most…”

    Actually just over several days ago, I think it was JM or another blogger who got you sweating yourself giving you facts and you didn’t like it either.

    If the great BK blog is going to be reduced to HH’s or the “high way” then I’m more than glad to enjoy AFC as a passionate Gunner on Arsenal.com and be proud of the FACTS…

    Sorry if its to bitter for your liking HH…

  161. Highbury Harmony says:

    The more delays there are in our transfer activity, the more it begs the question of whether it boils down to money, appeal of our club or whether management is actually serious about winning a title.

    With Higuain off the books at RM, it’s a very real possibility that Suarez or Bale could be headed their way. The issue with Bale leaving would of course be the transfer kitty increase the Spuds would get. As we well know with Levy/AVB, they’re not afraid to spend the money they just gained from a player sale, which would put them in the mix for Suarez.

  162. Highbury Harmony says:

    Except there’s no facts in anything that you’re presenting…

    Jack was only still with our team in case of emergency, getting through practice and the odd appearance through the use of pain killers.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/10055053/Arsenal-midfielder-Jack-Wilshere-to-undergo-surgery-and-miss-England-games-with-Republic-of-Ireland-and-Brazil.html

    It was published in numerous articles, so that is a FACT. Everything else you claim to be fact are indeed not facts. You are just a complete moron bringing up irrelevant information to try and prove some worthless point that Ramsey is somehow better than Jack.

  163. James Bond says:

    Fred,

    good solid points but that’s where the catch is, why limit Suarez to a limited role (LW) when he can play SS, CF, ST , in the hole, along side Giroud e.t.c e.t. c

    he is the best dribbler i have seen in the PL and if i am not mistaken his stats should be able to back my claim up, he is exactly what we have lacked and needed, not only a good dribbler, but a fighter who never gives up and has a footballing mind of a genius, whether he tones down his behaviour and makes a brilliant career out of all this promise that a few like myself (Gerry and co) see, remains to be seen.

    but one things for sure, he helps us win trophies and all shall be forgiven and forgotten and yes, he’ll be loved at the emirates that’s for sure if he delivers the good.

    re- the players you mentioned then they are all good players and i wouldn’t mind any of them joining us but my preference is someone with EPL experience who can deliver the goods tomorrow if we were to play chelsea or man utd…and yep, Suarez ticks all the boxes for me…great names none the less though, well done 😀

  164. Highbury Harmony says:

    Wengerball, my apologies. I should have been more understanding. As your name suggests, you have been lost for quite some time and clearly the pieces are not all quite there to perform as you would like.

    Perhaps after some more upgrades this summer, you can come back and compete in the desired way that you intend to.

  165. James Bond says:

    interesting ? i would think so, especially the bit where it states ” Suarez and co believed that 40 million was the release clause and shouldn’t have been rejected”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/transfers/luis-suarez-to-demand-arsenal-transfer-talks-as-liverpool-stand-firm-8730931.html

  166. AFC says:

    JB, when do we draw the line for Suarez. What do you think the max we should pay for him?

  167. James Bond says:

    Squillaci = Ramsey

    koscielny = Jack Wilshere

    😉

  168. Fred says:

    BJ, I would still be very happy with Suarez. Although success is relative. If he failed to live up to the hype then we would all be cursing the fact that we spent so much on him. I doubt he would. At the end of the day it all depends on what people prefer in a footballer a lot of versatility or being outstanding in one particular role. No answer is better than the other its all down to opinion and thats what makes it an interesting question. However, it looks even unlikelier that we will get Higuain now as he has passed a medical at Napoli.

    It will be interesting to see who we do get and if we do get Suarez where he fits in with our team and how we line up next season, which I think will be a pivotal season for us.

  169. Fred says:

    JB*

  170. James Bond says:

    AFC,

    i feel that we have already met the release clause figure…IF and a big IF at that, we haven’t then perhaps chuck in a few add on’s with performance related incentives, notching it up to 5 million….the same as the first bid..(30 million cash + 5 million add on’s) , so in essence another 5 million in add on’s cranking it up to £45,000,001

  171. James Bond says:

    Fred,

    exactly, exciting times lie ahead , that’s for sure.

    i hear ya regarding him not delivering and him turning out to be another Torres ? well, in our style of play and system , if Giroud can score 15 goals then expect Suarez to double that (least i do)….bear in mind, he’s only 26 ? so he is at the peak of his powers (if i was RVP, i be very very scared).

    i

  172. TotalArsenal says:

    HH and Wengerball 🙂

    Maybe it is time to agree to disagree as you both have made your points of view clear now, without being able to convince each other.

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