Thoughts on Arsenal after watching Dortmund v Bayern

Thanking the Guardian for being able to copy their pictures of the Bayern - Arsenal CL match.

I watched the Dortmund – Bayern German ‘Super Cup’ game yesterday to see how they would get on and what sort of system of football they would play. If anything, it proved to me once more that both managers and football systems are equally important as (the quality of the) players. I also wanted to see how their systems of football compared to what we have seen from Arsenal this early season, albeit against weaker opposition.

Dortmund were deserved 4-2 winners, as they played the better football throughout the game, except for a couple of short spells when Bayern were able to assert some pressure on them. Dortmund played very similar football to us, operating as a solid unit in front of their back-four and turning from defence into attack in a flash, with quick balls over the top for Lewandowski or, the once again very impressive, Reus to capitalise on – they should have been 3-0 up after just twenty minutes played.

When Die Borussen had the ball in front of the Bayern box they were able to play the passing triangles to pick holes in a surprisingly weak Lederhosen defence, and get themselves into fine scoring positions.

Bayern were less comfortable in controlling the game by playing the ball round in order to create well thought-through attacks, and they were also sluggish in their turn-arounds most of the time. They really missed Schweinsteiger to help them control midfield; the not fully fit German only came on when it was already too late.

Bayern seemed to be playing in a 4-1-4-1 formation which is a reflection of Guardiola’s desire to keep the ball as much as possible in the opposition’s half. But, to his agitation, his players did not work hard enough, and the Dortmund midfielders were very good at keeping the ball and passing their way through Bayern’s midfield with relative ease.

They did not seem to miss their own traitor, Gotze, much as Gündoğan took over from him almost seamlessly. This is once again proof how good a manager Klopp is, who focuses on the system of football he wants to play and then fits players into it, rather than the other way around.

It was also interesting to see that most goals were instigated from the wing, and how much havoc was created in both Bayern and Dortmund’s defence from these areas in general. Good wing play, whether from the wingers or the full backs, is absolutely essential, and both German teams are very well equipped in these areas.

Comparing Arsenal with both of last season’s CL finalists, I can confidently say that our system of football is pretty similar to that of Dortmund.

In the last four games, we have seen a pattern of:

  • Playing relatively compact at the back with two DM keeping everything tight and organised;
  • Quick turn-arounds from defence to attack with balls over the top as well as diagonal balls to launch a winger from our own half (mostly Theo).
  • Better organised in defence, with Mertesacker leading it and both Koz and Sagna playing good too;
  • Good use of the wings with mostly ‘proper wingers’ using speed and skill to get behind defences;
  • Good, intricate and patient passing of the ball whilst trying to find a deadly opening when playing in and around the opposition’s box;
  • Being very direct when chances occur, having led to us scoring a lot of goals in pre-season.

I really like what I saw from Arsenal until now and it shows what Arsene and Steve can do with this team when they can have, and keep, them together. We now need to see how our team will hold out against tougher competition and we will have ample opportunity to test this in the next two weeks.

Although I would be delighted to add a super quality player to the squad this summer – especially somebody who won the CL recently would be very good to add – I am just as keen to get solid back-up for the likes of Arteta, Mertesacker (or Sagna if he is to become our fourth choice CB), Giroud and possible Szczesny, although Fabianski has been doing more than okay until now.

This, rather than the signing of three or more world-class players as so many seem to want, is key; and I am confident it will happen this summer.

If we can strengthen our spine and add one quality attacker, Arsenal could go far this summer, and I don’t think we would be far away from Europe’s club finalists at all.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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232 Responses to Thoughts on Arsenal after watching Dortmund v Bayern

  1. Glic says:

    Thanks Totes !.
    Would have liked to see that game, damn it !.

    Sounds like we need some top wingers, have we got any ?. Podolski hugs the left but isn`t a winger, what do you suggest Totes ?.

  2. AFC says:

    Glic, just buy a traditional winger. 😀

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, Gnabry looks good and Ox can play on the left wing as well. But yes an attacker who can do good wing play too would be great; I guess that guy is Suarez.

  4. Glic says:

    alex, what we need is a NEW POST countdown !. so we don’t make comments just as a new post comes out !. T minus 10 mins or something like it would do !. hahaha

  5. Glic says:

    I want Bernard….Bernard is the new Isco ( Bern will do ! )….probably means we wont get him, I will provisionally book in an appointment at the tattooist !.

  6. AFC says:

    TA, fine post. 🙂

    Agreed, a strong spine is vital to success and if you look at our squad we are lacking depth in the spine areas (GK, CB, DM and ST). Now it is up to Wenger to signs these players needed to take us up to the level of these two great German team.

    3 weeks to the start of the season. Time is running out Arsene. If you are reading stop eating croissants and reading BK and go sign some players. 😀 😉

  7. ausgoon says:

    Really enjoyed and agree with this. It has been slightly depressing watching the events of the summer unfold so far, we all seem to be disappointed with the lack of big name signings.
    In saying that I was impressed with our run in after us beating Bayern. We looked much like Manure has been over the past 10 years. Scrapping and fighting, many times looking like the other team would score, yet we would win 1 zip or similar, and the occassional outbreak of goals and a handsome win.
    It seemed like le professor finally caved in to Bouldy and decided sitting back more organised and not letting goals in was the best way move forward. If we can keep this philosophy, 1 or 2 good signings will mean a potentially good season.
    We may not challenge for the title, but we will continue to position ourselves for long term success

  8. Glic says:

    Yes, Suarez will do, but I will have tattoo LS on……..and it not short for Little Shaft !. hahaha

  9. AFC says:

    Glic, all this third party ownership stuff could make the Bernand transfer very long, difficult and a lot more expensive than we first thought it would be.

  10. Glic says:

    Eating croissants and reading BK !!!………..Total wants to stop supplying him with f**king drugs !. hahaha

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome ausgoon and fine comment 🙂

    Guys, it’s my only opportunity to go for a bike ride today, so will get back to you in a bit.

  12. alexgunners says:

    TA,

    Unfortunately, I did not get to see that game but I did like the way the team did play during the Asia tour. We do have a great core but i still feel that we need to add a couple of quality players.

    Glic,
    I agree with you in regards to the timer and also in regards to Bernard. He is pure class and he is still young. The only problem will be that the transfer will not be straight forward, similar to the Tevez, Mascherano saga of many years ago

  13. Glic says:

    Later my shirtlifting BKJers, the wife is moaning and wants to go out to the beach, thing is , if I get a boner on the beach, she will give me the evil eye and rolling pin and it`s not like I can say ” oh it`s because Arsenal have just bought Suarez ! “.

  14. alexgunners says:

    Glic,

    you are priceless

  15. VCC says:

    Hi Alex……Suarez is not the Messiah. We need more than him. But it would be a start.

    I still don’t get it with Wenger……WHY sell RVP for £22 mil. then a year later spend double that and give a player double his wages.????? It doesn’t add up.

    As someone said earlier, we pulled out of the Higuain deal over £2-3 mil. that’s bazaar. We could have had him for half the Suarez figure. Then spent the rest on Bernard…Shurrle… Wenger bamboozles me now.

  16. VCC says:

    GLiC….lie face down on the beach you twat.

  17. Dylan says:

    Great post TA! 🙂 I’d argue that Wenger also picks a formation and then puts players in it. And I’d also argue that Klopp is amazing and is the perfect replacement for Wenger.
    Glic, stop wanting players! We never get the ones you want! 😉

  18. alexgunners says:

    VCC,
    We do need more than him and as I said before, it does not make sense why you would sell the skunk for 22 mil if you will bid for players with a slightly shady past for almost double that amount 12 months later.

    Something does not add up and it will come to bite someone in the ass at some stage with the transfer dealings of this TW window and the past as well. The whole thing makes no sense.

  19. Arsenal_vcc says:

    VCC – the key difference with RVP was that he wanted to leave. AW said multiple times that he would have been happy to increase wages and do practically anything to keep him. Reg. Higuain, that affair is, IMO, a bit fuzzy since at the height of the speculation Perez said that we did not even have a bid on the table. So, I wonder how seriously we were in for Higuain if we were in at all in the first place.

  20. Tim says:

    nice article,why dont you encourage wenger to get christian ericksen.

  21. VCC says:

    Arsenal-vcc…I understand what you are saying about Higuain, and no one knows for sure if Wenger was interested or not. If not, then he is a fool (imo) and needs a wake up call.

    If he was interested, then make the move and do the deal. If he or Gazidis haven’t the balls then bring back Dean.

    Regarding the statement about RVP wanted to leave???? so what..do what Liverpool are doing with Suarez. Put an arm around him and tell him to be loyal to Arsenal. Why give in so easily. Wenger is a soft touch…ala Fabregas as well.

    Wenger admitted he got a call directly from Fergie and said he could have him, he also said “I don’t think you realise how good he is” what sort of statement is that.

    Bring some quality in and players may think twice about leaving, especially if the club starts wnnning things. Surely Wenger can see that!!!!!!!!….Oh wait a minute….maybe not.

  22. VCC says:

    alex………I wait in anticipation to read Wenger’s autobiography when he leaves Arsenal. I think it will reveal plenty and may shock a few Gooners.

    I have loved him and worshipped all he has done for my Arsenal. BUT, I’m afraid he is wearing me down and becoming stale in his approach.

    Total, please don’t let Stretch read this post, as he will send his Greek mafia to my door and have me suitable dealt with.

  23. alexgunners says:

    VCC,

    You sound as frustrated as I am. We are only not getting rid of players this year because we have just about run out of players. Did we have to realistically have to get rid of Cesc after signing a contract extension? Surely not.

    Did we have to get rid of the skunk last season, surely not, especially for the money we received. We cant buy a mediocre player for 22 mil.

    Unless we win something soon, we risk being a big club like LPool and not win a championship in 23 years or so.

  24. alexgunners says:

    VCC,
    I also appreciate AW for all that he has done, but there comes a time where your Legacy can be ruined. He is not the only one to blame, as the board also has a lot to say as to the daily operations and dealing of the club.

    I really hope that he proves me wrong and picks up a couple of gems and leads the team back to success, but i am not so optimistic these days.

  25. AFC says:

    VCC, VP was entering the final year of his contract so he had to be sold. It was either sell him to United for 24 million or let him run out his contract and go to United on a free transfer. However AW should never had sold Song to Barca.

  26. alexgunners says:

    AFC,

    Agreed, We didn’t need to sell Song. But it was something that was sanctioned and in the end we all know that we need to keep players in order to achieve some sort of success. The players bonded well at the end of the season and we got our 4th place trophy but we need to be aiming higher

  27. VCC says:

    alex, I’m with you about not being optimistic these days.

    I was hopeful at the start of this Summer, when Gazidis and Wenger said the dark days of restraint are behind us and we have money to spend. But I’m afraid it’s history repeating itself, I’ve said it here many times recently…Wenger has gone stale. Yes he has some fine young players but his persistence in wanting to groom from a young age needs addressing and tweaking slightly. We need a few players with balls, ala Adams/Keown/Bergkamp etc.. you don’t get that type of attitude at a young age, as our youth set is.

    The boys need someone/’s, to look up to. We desperately need some attitude /steel running through our side. Give these boys some steal and see them go.

    All we need is Wenger to try it……….we have some money….buy 2/3 TQ players and see what a difference it makes.

    IMO…..Higuain and Fellaini would have been fine, and if he had enough, add Isco/Bernard.

    I’m sure he said at the end of the season he wanted to have players in position early this summer, so we could go on tour and come home with a settled squad. That’s out the window now, and it looks like we will be playing with the same squad in the Emirates cup.

    I was thinking of going to the Emirates cup either Sat/Sun or even both, but not now……until he spends some money I’m sitting in the pub watching.

    Our prices are the highest in the league????????

    His attitude may well bite him in the bum…….just look at the empty seats last year!!!!!!

    This season there will be plenty more if he stays so stubborn.

  28. AFC says:

    VCC and alex, if you analyse our current squad there is still a lot of work to be done. This summer transfer window we need to buy in at least 4 positions. Wenger needs to get a GK, CB, DM and ST minimum. Next summer transfer window Wenger needs to buy a no.10/AM (Cesc may want to come back), buy a young quality ST (i.e. Lucina, Lukaku etc) if Giroud has not improved and sell him. Bring in another RB and keep Sagna as our utility DF and maybe get rid of Ramsey.

  29. alexgunners says:

    VCC,

    I do not see Bernard coming to The Gunners. I have been reading the Brazilian papers and Porto seems to be the likely destination. Like most players with some sort of status in the Brazilian league, his rights are owned by different companies. This is allowed in other European countries but not in the UK.
    Another thing against us is that BMG the bank that sponsors his current team and Bernard personally had affiliations with Porto FC. Transfer dealings would be a whole lot easier with Porto than us dealing with his current club as well as 2 other private entities in order to capture his signature. Mind you if we do, It will be a great capture but it is a long road ahead if we are to get him on board

  30. AFC says:

    alex, one report is saying Hulk has persuaded him to go to Porto.

  31. alexgunners says:

    AFC,

    The only way forward is to keep on adding to the current squad. You add players to compliment the ones you currently have and thats how you build a stronger squad. We have been promised that season 2013/14 will be a major one for us but up until now I am sceptical with AW saying that we currently have squad to challenge for honours.

  32. alexgunners says:

    AFC,

    As I said, I would not be surprised at all to see him go there

  33. AFC says:

    alex, that is the problem. Wenger is adamant that the likes of Giroud, Ramsey etc, are good enough to challenge for titles. Let’s hope Ramsey is not Arteta’s replacement.

  34. jgc says:

    Hi

    TA, good post. IMO, quick turnaround, in almost any flowing sport, cannot in any way be underestimated! We really lacked it last year it seemed and thus lacked the ability to regularly attack and pressure defenses who were not 100% organized. When we did do it we were bloody good and making the most of our squads best attributes. Against parked buses it was clear we often didn’t have all the parts of the can opener…

    Thus, for me, given what’s out there, Fellaini or similar and a #10.

    As for RVP and song, IMO, RVP had the first breakout season with 1 year left at the end on his contract. Great timing for him but not for us. If he’d had another year of missing 30% of the games, or more, nobody would have wept much. At that point tho its sell or lose him to a free… And I fear he was not just a little boy with little personal self esteem, he was a petulant boy. Patience will see us rewarded as he implodes if only due to age…

    Song, well he was good but not great. He did amazing things on attack and “amazing(?!?)” things on defense.. The latter ain’t worth it for a DM if the D goes missing… The money was worth itas a result.

    So, for me Suarez would be nice and he’s one kind of can opener… And we need fast turnaround (Fellaini?) … Rest I could live with.. That all said, for 40M plus, just plonk down the same or 50 on Cesc or whomever we really think is worth it.. I could live with Fab and Scz, and TV/Per/Sagna, if we had Cesc, or similar, and Fellaini, or similar for 70-ish million.. Might not win the league this year but we’d be exciting!

    Cheers — jgc

  35. jgc says:

    PS:per prior posts, I’d already note we’d made our BIG bet last year.. If JW, Theo and Ox don’t step up this year (maybe in 1-2 more for Ox) then it will all be difficult regardless!

    Cheers — jgc

  36. alexgunners says:

    AFC,
    Dont get me wrong, Ramsay played wonderfully towards the end of the season. He has the potential but he is not there yet. Giroud is not the striker we need but he can assist in adding goals working behind a striker. We need someone who is successful and has the ‘steel’ as VCC quoted earlier. Someone who can stand up and change the mentality of the squad. Someone who can motivate and lift the squad to perform beyond what they believe they can.

  37. AFC says:

    JGC, Song was brilliant and would improve any team in the EPL. He was NOT played as a DM and was really our box to box midfielder who was told to join in with attacks as well as offer a physical presence when defending. Fact is Song is far from a DM.

  38. AFC says:

    alex, I think you misunderstood me. I do not want Ramsey to be Arteta’s replacement. He is a squad player at best and in a few years I would sell unless I see a huge improvement.

    Giroud is just not good enough either. I would replace him with a younger ST (under 26) who also has steel but has massive potential. Lucina Traore who play for Anzhi would be perfect. He is 6 ft 8 and has scored 18 goals last season for Anzhi.

  39. alexgunners says:

    AFC,

    Understood, We perhaps need stronger dealings in the forward position. Chamakh anyone?? Giroud will need a very good second season to truly impress me and I do hope that Ramsay does step up. People may think I am crazy but that is where I would prefer Rooney. He can shoot from just about anywhere. Drops back well and he has that presence we lack at the moment. How many goals did Giroud score by taking a player on rather than just being at the end of a cross or a pass. We need someone who can make things happen not simply rely on a pass. That is the difference between an average striker and a World Class Striker

  40. AFC says:

    Alex, I do not think Giroud will improve much. Remember when we all said Gervinho would improve. If Giroud does not improve next season he will have to be sold meanwhile he still has a decent resale value.

    Rooney is the perfect guy to play behind a top class striker like RVP. You could even play him next to a DM if you wanted and he would perform. Not sure if can lead the line.

  41. alexgunners says:

    Gents,

    Thanks for the discussion and I look forward to more of you weighing in on this.
    It’s nearly midnight here so it’s time to head to bed.
    A good day to you all

  42. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA,

    Intriguing post and it’s an interesting theory since there are similarities in the way both clubs wish to play football, but the execution is entirely different and the Dortmund system is definitely better.

    Arsenal often start games attempting to play free flowing football with passing triangles, but as soon as we concede or endure a series of inconsistent performances, we inevitably fall back into playing defensive football that is entirely focused on possession for the sake of possession. Our counter attacks are also not quick and decisive – they are often disjointed or abruptly ended by a poor final pass or individuals taking misguided shots from far distances away from goal.

    Dortmund, on the other hand, play a brand of purposeful possession football, whereby the majority of the focus is to push the ball forwards as fast as possible. Dortmund’s system is also successful because of Klopp’s willingness to replace top quality players with equal or similar potential ones.

    Arsenal’s system continues to fail after significant departures and we continue to regress year after year. It actually takes us a few years until we adequately recover or until AW finally decides that we need to replace that player/when he can find that replacement. AW is not proactive enough in the transfer market and places too much hope that a youngster will fill the void of the departing player.

    This can be a blessing on the rare occurrence, since playing time and confidence may be given to a youngster, but it is often a curse since the youngster experiences growing pains, injuries or loses confidence because he cannot adequately fill the shoes of the player he is replacing.

    In conclusion, there is a lack of creativity and forward thinking football, in addition to consistency in Arsenal’s style of play. Dortmund’s system, on the other hand, remains consistent despite the opposition and they are able to endure and adapt their system to a multitude of opponents. If the other team focuses on possession, they’ll adopt more of a counter attacking philosophy; if the other team sits back and defends, they’ll push forward purposefully and set up a plethora of scoring opportunities through their intricate passing triangles and creativity.

    There’s still a far way for Arsenal to go if we’re to replicate the Dortmund model. There are some promising youngsters that have the quality to replace current players or add even more quality to our side, which is promising, but these players must be brought along slowly to ensure the best chance at success.

    The demand for a SQ signing now is to breed better opportunities for players to succeed now and for prospects to hopefully be introduced to a winning culture, whereby our top players are actually top players and wish to stay with the club because of our success. Standing idle now and showing complacency will be another struggle for CL qualification and likely top players like Cazorla moving on the year after.

    If we focus too much on the future, we lose sight of the present – there’s no amount of promise that directly translates to definitive success at the top level and the present team needs an injection of more top quality players to keep our current ones happy (Santi mainly).

  43. Gerry says:

    If I may just but into what sounds like a therapy session, where you each put in your respective groans and moans about the Club, the Manager, the management,etc. and when you have each agreed with each other, perhaps inthe hope that might make you feel better …. but the real world out there is just the same?

    So much tosh is talked about past transfers, and a combination off timing and hindsight, you seem to know just where it all went wrong.

    For example, at the end of the last season TA put in a question about how much money will Arsene spend? Remember it? The vast majority of what I remember among the answers, many were well below the £70m kitty available. Well congratulations guys, at this moment in time you are more correct than my figure … But wait a minute, back in the real world of the cost of transfer fees, that same group of people would have been perfectly happy to have half of the kitty go on Higuain, not to mention the other multitude of players that you still want to add?
    if you are going to have a go at Arsene, at least have the decency to play by the same rules:
    FORESIGHT, not hindsight?

    It is all very well getting frustrated at what little success there has been so far – Sanogo £450,000 – but you seem to think that AW is not aware of our playing needs? Ignore the media stuff ‘We can win the title with what we’ve got’ – that is to divert the press away from what is really going on.

    AFC – I think you said last night you thought they may be working on several signings?
    I agree. Meanwhile the media is focussed on the big one, and Arsene is using that to assist that signing.

    There is another thing. Moans about duff signings that don’t work out, yet when a player who has not played outside of Nigeria, gets the huff because Arsenal want to see if he could make the transition to the EPL it is an insult? Tough. We have already seen how well Gervinho plays in the AFCON that the one does not automatically translate to the top of the EPL … which is where we hope the club will be?

    I should think at this minute Dylan is wonder why he spent so much time and effort on ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’, only to see it wash away within 24 hours. His message was;
    Keep the faith.

    Meanwhile, TA’s effort above to divert attention away from the nonsense that is peddled about transfers …. it lasted about 3 replies I think?

    Come on guys, there are 5 weeks of the TW to go? At least keep the faith until all is lost?

    Oh, my figure that I put forwards? £98m – Admittedly I did think it would be spread around, with one £30m signing, and 4 or 5 younger potentials. but if the Saurez thing does go through, it will be a close run thing whether that will be enough??

    Meanwhile .. back to the topic of the post before TA gets back and finds very few views on it?

  44. Wenger's coat says:

    Owen is the latest to come out and belittle Arsenal for trying to buy Suarez. they keep going on about the past and how big Liverpool compared to Arsenal. The Scousers are living in the past.United over took them in titles tally and Arsenal might well do that. I do not understand the mentality of these people. If it was down to just the past no one would have joined City or Chelsea. Its about the here and now and players wants C.league football and of course overload they bank accounts it is as simple as that.

    I can see Suarez making a huge difference to Arsenal, it could be the missing piece. He is a pain in the back side for any defence. A complete player even better Bale. Bale can be stopped as he is predictable with his runs and long range shots, with Suarez you don’t know. he can dribble in tight areas as well as score and make goals.

  45. Gerry says:

    TA – I Think we do have the potential to use our wide players. Whenever Gibbs has been there, it can allow Poldi to move inside. Gnabry, certainly showed enough pace and trickery to be in the Poldi position, not tight to the line, but wide of a front three?

    But yes, for actual proper wingers, it is likely to be Theo. Mind, reading between the lines of what AW said about Ryo – ‘he stays unless somebody comes in, then we may review it?’ – I think it shows he may well be looking at this position. Ryo, with plenty of game time off the bench could well be a starter in some games before Christmas. He just needs more development time? The Ox looks more destined for the CAM role, so the Bernard type of player(if not actually him) could well be on the cards? personally, I do not see Saurez being used in that role. More a wild card in the middle .. if that is not dangerously close to a pun?

    Of course as early as next season(2014/15 we could be blessed with our hidden gem in Bellerin in that wide advance role?

    As to the formation play, how much is players suited to the position, rather than molded into it, is a bit chicken and egg? I think we are in a transitional period where we are striving to get the players that are fluid enough to move around the pitch in search of space, and still be aware of where their colleagues are? And as well being aware of the need to adjust to defend in numbers.

    The point I made yesterday about the way Rosicky drives as opposed to Wilshere is typical of what the old and the new(to us) tends to divide. Perversely, it is the older Rosicky that drives forwards more towards the wing, and therefore making space in the middle that is more suited to the game you watched?
    (Alas, my ESPN/BT coverage does not click in until Aug 1st)

    Whereas, the much younger Wilshere tends to drive forwards in a more direct route. Only when he played some of those diagonal balls you mentioned, did he open up play?

    Presumably the DM that AW is looking for will be capable of switching on the attack in a similar manner, which is why I have the same reservation about Fellaini being that guy, as do some others?

    But agreed, width and speed between defence and attack is where we will gain most points from in the coming season. Lets hope we have the right personnel in place by the time the real hostilities begin?

  46. James Bond says:

    thanks, TA

    good analysis and comparison to Arsenal but the trouble is that with the German teams in particular Dortmund, their style or philosophy doesn’t change even if they concede an early goal….

    if we compare that to our last season then we tried not conceding in our first half and then started playing our game in the 2nd start, in short, we have got to put the foot on the throttle from the very beginning – it’s the intensity we lack sometimes when we start games.

    but yes, i’m glad more and more people are realizing that Suarez is the missing piece that will enable us to get there, he may not be able to get us there on his own but i believe, as a team we will be a much better and improved team with more confidence and aura about us.

    let’s be honest, none of our front 3 instill fear in the bigger or decent clubs, with Suarez that will change for sure.

    VCC 😀

    to add to all the above comments re-the traitor, he was also offered similar terms from 125-150 k a week with a 5-7 million (huge signing on bonus). He just wanted to leave, he personally made at AW’s house in march and told him that he wanted out no matter what, that phone call conversation and all that wenger was saying to SAF re- him not realizing how good RVP is, was to get the maximum price for him really and nothing else….he’s a traitor and we did everything we could to keep him after sticking by him when he was on the treatment table… it all came down to either us keeping an unhappy player who had personally told the Manager he wanted to leave and then released a statement on the a website saying Arsenal’s vision and all that crap isn’t the same as his (utter bs).

    you can compare that situation to Lewandowski’s and not Suarez’s, Lewandowski is in his last year and wants to leave to BM, Dortmund have said we don’t want 18 million from you fcukers as you’ve already taken Gotze (release clause), we’re gonna keep Lewandowski and you can have him for free instead but not until we have used him for another 12 months…difference being , Lewandowski hasn’t gone public like RVP or has thrown a tantrum like RVP by going to AW personally at his house e.t.c e.t.c

  47. James Bond says:

    Gerry (from previous post),

    yep yep, the sauces indeed, begin to look a tad redder than brown, if they don’t by monday and tuesday then rest assured i will personally be paying a visit to my sauces and turning them red ahahahahahahah (violence violence) but on a more serious note, least we can all see that the wheels are in motion now…42.5 million bid and a very unhappy Suarez at LiverFOOL (evident from their warm up game and as he was on the bench), he really did look disinterested much like RVP’s last warm up / friendly game for us where Poldi scored a penalty if i am not mistaken (against his former club ) ?

    yep yep, i see people saying Suarez is not the answer, well, if getting one of the best CF/SS/ST in the EPL is not the answer then it certainly makes you wonder, what’s the question ?

    🙂

    Fellaini – release clause triggered = personal terms a problem – will we go back for him ? who know

    Cesar – once his agent lowers his wage demands and stops playing dirty harry rednapsque mind games (i am going to manage ukraine Harry said and 2 days later he had Hugh’s sacked and got the job he wanted – similar pattern with Cesar, off to Naples – Arsenal called is bluff and guess what ? he’s still there) ,

    Rooney – WIP.

    Cesc – Mr. Dein oh Mr. Dein, you like giving the mancs a striptease every now and again, don’t ya 😉

    Bernard – not gonna happen – off to Porto

    conclusion : Glics – LS will have to do it seems ahahahahahah

  48. jgc says:

    Some further thoughts, FWIW from SE Belgium

    1. I agree, as usual it seems, with JB and Gerry.. If only to say that Lewandoski is a class act, and that, yes, per TAs post, it can still be very much about the coach.

    2. IMO, we have some real talent, more than folks give credit for based on one seasons results (for the most part). Would I like more, of course! But….

    The coach is the one who looks at the talent and skills and melds them into something that works and wins. I think the last 10 games were definitely that. Not pretty but.. And FWIW, all you “Brazil” fams for whom winning pretty is a must, I once remember reading a descrpition of Arsenal during the Invincibles year, as “watching a python strangle and slowly swallow a rabbit” … I.e. not pretty but in the end the python wins… If that’s what we have, so be it.. IMO, that’s AWs job and we will see wont we?

    3. Thus, I will take Dylan’s post 1 big step further and note that even if they lose every game and get relegated (not bloody likely), or miss CL football (will go on record as unlikely again), I will still be following Arsenal. So,while I want the very best and we all have our opinions on it, it’s still Arsneal, yes??

    Thus, we should always be happy to be fans of a great club.. Much like my Pittsburgh Pirates over 500 almost until August for the first time since god alone knows when (like 20 years!) !!!! 🙂

    IMO, it;s time for some unbridled optimisim without any basis in bloody facts, and figures, and other nonsense (says the Professional Scientist) to cloud the issue!!!

    cheers and COYRRG — jgc

  49. James Bond says:

    well said and well put, JGC

    🙂

  50. James Bond says:

    Wenger’s Coat,

    Owen ? who ? a has been player talking about a has been club ? well guess what , whether they like it or not, Suarez will be off to ventures new working for a better manager, bigger ground, better facilities and oh while we’re at it,

    LIVERFOOL have never won the Premier League (Technically).

    what they did win was about a good 23 years ago .

    in short we’re one of the 3-4 teams to have done so and no reason why we can’t be doing it again in the coming short term period , 1 to 3 years

    same can’t be said about them without Suarez and an Ageing (injury prone) Gerrard.

    i’m glad you see Suarez the player and not the person, agreed, he is that missing piece !

  51. Dylan says:

    Supposedly Gervinho is off to Roma at the end of next week. Then we bring in Tello while he’s cheap? Please? I’ll beg if I have to Arsene.

  52. James Bond says:

    AUSGOON,

    let’s be blunt, we were extremely lucky to get away with what we did in those games and muster 26 points from a possible 30 available.

    let’s also be frank, there was a very thin and fine line between us losing more points and i’m sure much like me most of you were also at the brink of having a heart attack due to us scrapping through, rest assured we got extremely lucky last season with our run in, oppositions, their suspensions, their fixture list and i could go on and on…however, the point is, we can not count or afford to have a season like last or our last 10 games again, we need to improve and look far more convincing then we have done.

    a good solid pre-season and winning the Emirates cup is a good starting point (we didn’t win the emirates cup last season, bugger) ahahahahah

  53. James Bond says:

    Dylan,

    Tello will be a good addition but then again, we already have OX/Gnabry/Theo/Poldi not sure if we need blistering pace of Tello to add to that ?

    if we don’t get Suarez then this kid will come cheap as well , he’ll get us there in about 10 years time 😀

    PS: have posted this before me thinks but here you go again for those who missed it

  54. Glic says:

    Hahaha Dylan, yes, I seem to put the mockers on signings I/we want, I shall keep my mouth shut !. hahaha

    Thanks to VCC for the advise of hiding my boner on the beach by laying face down !. You failed to mention about the tide coming in, I nearly drowned you Khunt !.

    Gerry, as for Total coming back and not seeing many comments about his fine post…..well tough….the bastard shouldn`t be out there on his bike peddling drugs to Wenger !. hahaha

  55. Dylan says:

    JB, I think Ox will drop back to AM so Tello can take his winger spot. And Gnabry or Ryo could step up and take Gerv’s spot. Preferably Ryo and then Gnabry gets an EPL loan move.
    Glic, don’t keep your mouth shut! Just express how much you hate people instead of love them. You should write a post about how much you despise Messi and maybe we will get him! 😉

  56. James Bond says:

    Dylan,

    we already use Cazorla as in one of the winger’s position which basically means, we’re not using our wingers that much as Wenger prefers the barca way of Inieste = Santi/Rosi

    Tello wouldn’t be a starter in this team and OX still needs another season on the wings i reckon, not completely there yet for me as a box2box or AM as he can frighten defenders on the wings, take them on and his delivery into the box isn’t half bad to be honest.

    i much rather keep him on the wings for now and slot him in the middle here n there in matches or as a sub…gives us a lot of options tactically and formation wise, sure.

    i’ll be surprised if we didn’t loan out Ryo and utilized Gnabry properly.

  57. James Bond says:

    however, we do need stronger options on the bench as we have already gotten rid of Arshavin and if Gervinho leaves then there is a strong case for Tello or another Winger in Nani to be brought in

    Nani ahead of Tello for me though !

  58. James Bond says:

    ah but wait, hold on a second, that’s why we’re getting Suarez cause we got rid of Arshavin and Gerv is on his way out

    yep yep, hard to see tello or nani in the team .

    DM should be a priority.

  59. Glic says:

    Make your f**king mind up 007, don’t make me get the Laser out for corrective surgery !.

  60. Highbury Harmony says:

    I agree with JB, even if Gervinho is sold, winger is not a huge priority for me with Gnabry, Miyachi and Ox all capable of playing there.

    DM is a different story, as we are very light at that position and lack both quality and depth right now. Current starters are ok though and get the job done, just not spectacular and could be better.

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon guys 🙂

    Fine comments, especially by jgc, Gerry and HH.

    HH did you see any of our games the last few weeks? If you did, you would have seen we play now a lot better than last season. I have no doubt that if we play Dortmund now we will give them a proper game and might well win. Klopp likes to buy replacement and Wenger likes to combine buying and developing. I reckon we will start the season well, and I am hoping Arsene will add strength in depth for the players I mentioned in the post.

    jgc, we are really both playing quick turn arounds now and using the wings a lot better, so there is hope! 🙂

    All agreed about supporting Arsenal whatever happens.

    Gerry, you have made some fine comments again over the last 24 hours or so. A gem to have on the site. Agreed on your observation re Jack and Tomas. Tomas creates space but also leaves a gap at times and crowds out the wingers, but he can be very effective from the wing too. Jack sometimes keeps the ball too long whilst driving through the middle, but I like it that we have that option. Both are great AM to have.

  62. Gerry says:

    JB – There is just one niggle at the back of my mind re Saurez, and you may have read this too?
    His agent, Pep’s brother, may just be using us a stepping stone to Bayern, presumably when Ribery finally runs out of puff in a couple of years?

    We will see how it turns out, if indeed, we actually get him. I would imagine Rodgers is more likely to want an early settlement. He stays they built the team around Saurez, so the situation is getting more like our 12 months back? It would be nice to have him available for the CL playoff.

    On Tello, following on from TA’s post, that playing it out wide is the way to go. Then that release clause would do nicely. Unfortunately, a lot of Dylan’s prices have an element of wishful thinking about them … Hi D … Like nobody else would think the same?

    I caught on to something HH said earlier, BD doing it better than us with clinical passes in the final third. This is very true on the evidence of last year, but we can improve on that when players get more familiar with the way we intend to play. The pleasing thing about the friendlies, we have looked like we intend to start quicker, and who knows with what additions, we could see that increase further.

    After left last night I had a look at some odds the bookies were offering. It was long odds on that Cesc would stay at Barca. Porto were indeed favourites to get Bernard. Chelsea not getting Rooney, as he is odds on to stay at Man U, and of course us to get Saurez. I think the betting being suspended re Cesc and Rooney may have been because they aint going anywhere .. Well not abroad if Colleen has anything to do with it?

    Keep the positive vibes going …

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Dylan at 12.30 – agreed! 🙂

    Tim, I am still not sure about Eriksen, but he could come good. Would not mind him at Arsenal though. I guess you rate him really highly… 🙂

  64. VCC says:

    Dylan, nice try, that’s a great idea getting GLiC to do a double bluff.

    Perhaps if we go round and see him at the Launcestern care home, he might write a post about how much he hates Suarez and the like. Then we might get them, eureka.

  65. James Bond says:

    Glics 😀 we don’t need another winger even if we sell gervinho and if we get Suarez, we’re sorted….no room for the Tello’s and Nani’s then.

    Gerry,

    sure, everyone has an angle and that might well be the case, however, if BM wanted Suarez they could have him now instead of playing the waiting game really but somehow i doubt if he will be of to BM (based on his reputation , i hear Pep has trouble with individuals with baggage hence Ibra e.t.c ).

    saying that if he gives us a good couple of years and helps us winning things in the process repairs his image then by all means , he can go to RM or BM or wherever his agent wishes but i guess once you start winning things and have tasted blood it’s rather difficult to leave the team which has given you an opportunity and got you out from a mid table team (wishful thinking i know) but what i’m saying is that what happens in the future is beyond our control, let’s get him at the emirates first and if his agent or he himself wants to go else where in the future, we deal with it there and then.

    we have to understand that footballers are workers (labour) and we are employers who got to make the most out of them (such is football these days), we would be fools to expect loyalty from any player to be honest, so let’s may hay while the sunshine’s (win win win, the rest take cares of itself)

    TA,

    an 82 million pound bid rejected for Bale it seems ( are we still laughing 😉 😉 😀

  66. Dylan says:

    JB, I still think we need another winger. And Tello can play ST as well. But DM is priority.
    Gerry, the prices are on the low side, but still realistic and deals I think Wenger could get.
    VCC, exactly. 😉

  67. jgc says:

    TA

    I’m going to support Gerry’s last comment and expand a little before I hit some hay… You and others note that TR tends to crowd some others out, Gerry noted we can improve as players get to know each other, I’m going to add, even better.

    Well, isn’t that the bloody point. In any game of flow, the goal is to create opportunities, usually through numbers. That requires:

    A. Adaptation to what’s going on around you

    And

    B. Self awareness of others to do A

    Ie we WILL be better this year with the same team for those reasons alone. Again, we will look more decisive and more flexible for that internal improvement, if you will, alone. Our new players of last year will be making better use of each other and the others for that reason, and vice versa,

    Adding in 1-2 even more dynamic elements will be a plus. For me, it’s all about not letting teams tee off us and see us as predictable. Either on attack or defense. Hence the SQ DM or striker / #10 will do. Rest can be solid. And you have to admit that no one sleeps around Suarez (without armor! 🙂

    If some of our younger players step up, as I noted earlier, then our REAL big bet on JW, Theo, Ox et al, will begin to pay off…. If not, it won’t matter unless Holy Ghost FC release God based on his transfer request to help Arsenal..

    Cheers — jgc

  68. Glic says:

    I see that a Nigerian footballer ( AFC mentioned him earlier ) thinks it`s above him to have a trial at Arsenal !. Of course he has won an ACN medal so that makes him SQ….just like all the Egyptian players who have won a medal at this world renowned contest, they are topo SQ as well !.
    Well, I can give you one piece of advise which my great friend VCC gave me Mr Obo a bona……” lay face down in the sand ! “.

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha jgc 🙂

    Mostly agreed, and please note I am a big fan of Rosicky. I am now convinced Wenger will continue with the double-DM and might not add SQ to it, but good quality back-up instead. If Fellaini arrives…. things will be a bit different, obviously.

    Wenger can pick his attackers from Giroud, Pod, Theo, Ox, Sanogo and, at least at the moment, Gervinho. A season is long, so yes it would be good to add a quality attacker. But if everybody is fit it will mean we have to leave some very good players on the the bench; nothing wrong with that, though, as long as Wenger can manage the expectations/disappointments, which he has not always been able to do.

    My preference is to add quality to the team, and I still expect this to happen. But, there is also a part in me that wants to see what Wenger can do with the current squad, and I agree with you there is plenty of quality in it. Ox, Theo, Cazorla, Jack and an improved Giroud and Pod could be getting some very good chemistry going between them this season, and newcomers will have to be fitted in. As Johan Cruijff loves to say: every advantage has a disadvantage, and every disadvantage has an advantage! 🙂

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    JB – I don’t believe a word about that offer, do you?

  71. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Evening all

    Fine post TA

    It amazes me how powerful the dark side is. The demand for transfers is bad and leads to sinful lust, greed, anger and then to hate

    You will eventuly end up looking like that Emporer geezer from star wars, never pulling a bird again. Even ladys of the night will insist you put a bag over your head.

    I know what your thinking. “Terry, how can i avoid this?”

    Firstly, trust in Wenger. Accept Arsene is better than you, dont try telling him who to buy. Hes the man, your not. Your just someone who wants to avoid wearing a hooded cloak.

    Secondly, put your faith in the Club. We are entering a new phase and will inevitably climb to the top. Paitence is key. If you start throwing your toys out of the pram, then it wont be long before your donning a Vader helmet, breathing through a tube, and wearing an iron cod piece making locating your cock impossible.

    Thirdly, trust in our squad and young players. we have some of the prommising talents in the world. if you lose hope in these young fledglings it wont be long before you start shouting abuse at people in the street and exposing your todger in public. Though i admit, this will be difficult becuase you will be doing so through a Darth Vader helmet and cod piece.

    Heed these words. Trust, faith, hope, paitence are all virtues. Inability to locate cock is not.

  72. James Bond says:

    yes, TA

    you would only believe offers in the region of 25-35 million bracket for bale 😀

    maybe that would have been the right price for him about 10 years ago 🙂 🙂

    course i do, cause he’s worth it and that’s the right valuation for him

    a club like RM would recoup most of that money within 3 years based on their commercial portfolio.

    i much rather RM pay them cash in the region of 85 million to 90 million instead of 85 million plus players, that be insane though and would only strengthen spuds.

  73. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA,

    As I said in my comment, we play proper football when the opposition is weak and early on in the season. The same could be said of our play against Cologne in the pre-season last year and in the league against Soton, West Ham, Reading, Newcastle etc., but just as we saw after that and in between, our play reverted to ugly football, just hanging onto a thread to scrape by for a win.

    This is the typical path of our play in seasons, because not only do we lack quality and depth, we also lack a system that is greater than its individual parts.

    Dortmund, on the other hand, play their brand of football regardless of the opposition or the results of their recent matches. The system itself is inherently stronger than Arsenal’s; it’s only benefitted further by the fact that Klopp is a manager willing to spend the club’s profits to replace a like for a like.

  74. Highbury Harmony says:

    Terry,

    While I agree with some of what you have said, clearly AW does not know best or else we would have one some form of silverware over the past 8 years. I do, however, believe that he DID know best a decade ago but has lost touch with the modern game and the evolution of the transfer market.

    Hopefully he can rectify the current hole our club is in since it’s his last season here. I would only extend his contract if there is forward progress in the season to come. From the looks of it as things stand right now, we’ll be in another dog fight for 4th place.

  75. Highbury Harmony says:

    would have won*

  76. James Bond says:

    Dylan,

    that’s fair enough

    but for me, it’s Quality of Quantity and Tello is work in progress for me.

  77. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Have faith Harmonious.

    What is been done now will set up Wengers succesors.

    Wengers greatest gift will not be trophies, it will be his legacy.

  78. Highbury Harmony says:

    Very true Terry, I will have faith because you are one of my favourite posters on this blog :).

    He’s given Arsenal an identity and his predecessor a foundation to build on – I just think it definitely needs some tweaking and minor adjustments before the club and its squad becomes great.

  79. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, thanks Harmonious

    I agree. Transfers are proving difficult but i still think we will bring a couple in

    Arsene wont go on for ever, but his succesor will inherit a very powerful football club.

    Theres hope for our todgers yet. hahaha

  80. Glic says:

    Hahaha Stretch……Too late though…..I have gone to the dark side and by the way………I am your Father ! dun, dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn !………I like a bit of dramatic music as well !. hahaha

  81. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, thats alright, never realy enjoyed been known as The Bastard anyway. Embarresing when my name was called out in public.

    You wont go over to the dark side, like me, you enjoy touching the todger to much. hahaha

  82. Glic says:

    I just found this for you as well and test drove it on my gonads, the wife is still stroking them and doesn`t realise yet that they are not cute fluffy kittens !. hahaha

    http://www.youtube.com/user/cabokicom?v=RbF5tBCBRr0&feature=pyv&ad=18426138457&kw=

  83. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, i use Nanogen instead. Works very well if your thinning, Creates an illusion of density and virilaty that i find very satisfying. hahaha

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    JB – I really despise RM, so I would be very happy for them to spend that sort of money on Bale. As HH’s post showed a while ago, his stats are not better than Theo and I only just rate him higher than our winger. He is not going to be sold for that sort of money though, never.

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, I understand where you are coming from, and respect that you don’t see things change this season if we are not buying SQ players. I respect that. 🙂

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Terry 🙂

    Yes the dark side is having a whale of a time!

  87. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, it’s not that I don’t think things won’t change if we don’t buy SQ players; I think things won’t get better when clubs around us are buying SQ players and we are doing nothing!

    Don’t get me wrong, I have faith that some of youngsters will come good, but will there ever be a perfect balance where the youngsters are fully prepared for top level football and our current players stay around long enough to fulfill this lengthy long-term vision? Footballers, much like fans, lose patience if desired results are not achieved within a reasonable time period. Signing long-term deals are great, but as we know with football, contracts largely mean nothing except for keeping a players’ rights. If a player asks to leave, Arsenal has shown a willingness to always let those players leave.

    The idea of SQ players is not only to compete with the top clubs around us both domestically and internationally – it’s also to keep our current top players happy, in addition to breeding the best possible environment for our youngsters to enter into in the future!

    Do you understand what I’m getting at?

  88. Highbury Harmony says:

    The relevance of my comment above to this article is that the system in place is not strong enough to overcome the lack of SQ players, in case you were wondering.

  89. Milo says:

    Does anyone else think that the reason Galatasary are in the Emirates Cup is because we are after one of their players; specifically Burak Yilmaz??? He might be too similar to Giroud, but he COULD be better, as he showed he could score at a high level in the Champions League…could be an outsider to keep an eye on. I know that’s waaaaaaaaayyyyy off, or outside the box, but it could happen…ANYTHING could happen!!! 😀 Nothing could happen… 😀 I wouldn’t be surprised if we bought someone who is participating in the Emirates Cup in the future though, as I think it was close, or in fact it did occur in the past.

  90. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, the Emirates cup presents us with a good opportunity to scout players on opposing teams, without incurring the usual costs of transportation and scouting services that we may typically need to pay out, so it is a very real possibility!

    I concur that Yilmaz is a better Giroud, though I do believe he offers more pace and better finishing (though perhaps that is what you meant by better ;)).

  91. Highbury Harmony says:

    The most prominent example of exhibition games leading to a transfer has to be when Sporting Lisbon played Utd in a pre-season friendly and Ronaldo impressed SAF so much in the game that he bought him very soon after.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, I do understand where you are coming from and do agree with you to some extent. I just think you, and many others, underestimate what we have right now.

    Wenger has invested heavily in experience over the last few years. We now have a significant number of players between the age of 26-30, which is what successful teams need. He has also invested in youth and he starting to pick the fruits from this now as Theo, Ox, Ramsey, Gibbs, Jack are getting better all the time. On top of all that, he can keep them all together this and next season, and some of his recent investments are getting into their second or third PL season. And on top of that, he can AND SHOULD add some reinforcements.

    I just feel really good about these developments, but like you and almost everybody else, would have liked us to have bought a couple of key players already.

    I can see your point of the value of SQ but Arsene has always developed SQ himself. Just look at the horrible Mancs trying to get ‘our Fabregas’, after trying to get Nasri, and getting van Judas already.

    I feel we need a CL and multiple title winner in the team to lead the troops. That is why for example Rooney would make sense, and not so much Suarez.

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Milo, that is an interesting thought. 🙂

    Playing at the home of football can easily make a footballer want to join Arsenal of course. Let’s hope Higuain will feel like this next week hahaha 😛

  94. Milo says:

    As for the transfers, IF there was one player whom we could purchase, for me it would be Gundogan. He’s been my preference for the midfield signing all along, and it’s too bad we won’t get him.

    I hope that the system we play has been instilled from the very first training session of this year, and we play like it is a lot more familiar to us and easier to execute!!! I think we can expect a bit more production from Podolski and Giroud, not to mention Oxlade-Chamberlain. The biggest concern for me is how well Wilshere will do. I know he has more than enough talent, when healthy. He made Dante, Luiz, Luiz Gustavo and Fernandinho look like tombstones out there in that friendly, and he ran the show in couple of Premier League matches around that time as well, not to mention the FA Cup match against Swansea! The thing I hope for him next season is that there are TOO MANY matches to remember that he plays well in, that I won’t be able to name most or all of them!!! 😀 If this is the case, I think we will be right up there. It doesn’t all rest with him, but a good portion of it does. Same with Santi, Koscielny, Mertesacker, and our starting keeper.

  95. James Bond says:

    or when we play the likes of Napoli and then Higuain scores a hat-trick against us, making AW and co regret their decision to pull out 😀

    or how Higuain looks out of place and really ordinary against us and proves what a stroke of genius it was by AW for pulling out 😉

    yep, anything is possible , agreed

    ahahahahahahha

  96. Milo says:

    TA, I’ve never been there, and although I know it is a great and very intimidating atmosphere, having seen photographs of the Stadio San Paolo in Napoli, I think it is safe to call the amenities and condition of the stadium inferior to ours. I wouldn’t mind having their supporters’ level of volume at our ground, but everything else just doesn’t compare.

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    Milo, I am surprised he agreed to join Napoli. I guess it is the Maradona connection, but I still feel he made a huge step backwards (not a top competition anymore, not a top Italian team, new manager who could be sacked before Xmas etc).

  98. Milo says:

    I don’t think the quality of the Napoli side is that inferior to Real Madrid’s to be fair…They have Zuniga, Hamsik, Higuain,Insigne, who I think is a bit special, if inconsistent, and probably one or two other players who I have forgotten to mention. It is inferior, but when you leave Real, that is to be expected!!! Napoli isn’t that much, if at all inferior to us, in terms of quality within the STARTING 11. Depth is an issue for them though!!! I agree, the competition, although improving, isn’t what it should be or once was, the stadia are unsafe, and there DEFINITELY IS corruption coursing through Italian football. I wouldn’t really want to play for Benitez either!!! 😀

  99. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA,

    Ah my friend and there is the conundrum. Developing SQ players takes time! Though there is also the notion that players are either SQ from the outset or just are not (though I don’t necessarily prescribe to this theory).

    AW has his foot in one door (the future) and his other foot in another (the current). There’s no clear strategy from my perspective, since the mentality is not aggressive enough for the present, nor is it heavily reliant on the future (buying above average, 25-27 year old players that block the paths of our youngsters).

    The current batch of youngsters/British core will not suddenly become SQ overnight and I’m not sure any of Gibbs, Jenkinson, Ramsey or Theo have that truly SQ potential that say Jack or Ox have. The issue, of course, is when will they become SQ players? As an already established SQ player like Santi, it’s difficult to accept what you have to work with in the current squad, when you look at rival clubs around you continuously strengthening.

    Again, my doubt is not so much whether or not SQ players exist in our academy/core, but how long it’ll be before they truly reach that ceiling. I can guarantee that most, if not all, of our young players will not achieve those lofty heights next season.

    The other issue is that losing becomes contagious. If you keep the same group of players around for long enough that have never experienced true success over time, it weakens the squad mentality and overall chances of ever winning silverware.

  100. Highbury Harmony says:

    I agree with Milo, TA. To say Napoli is not a top team is very misguided and they have quite a bit of quality in their side. Napoli will present a great test for us in the Emirates cup.

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    Well Milo that might well be the case, but Napoli won the league twice and the last time was 23 years ago. I guess he really wants to play football and be the number one striker, which would not have been a guarantee at Arsenal.

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    HH wrote:

    ‘Again, my doubt is not so much whether or not SQ players exist in our academy/core, but how long it’ll be before they truly reach that ceiling. I can guarantee that most, if not all, of our young players will not achieve those lofty heights next season.’

    You cannot guarantee that at all, and neither can I guarantee the opposite. For me it is a gut-feeling, and as I said earlier, I respect that your glass is half empty on this.

  103. Milo says:

    Yup, with the World Cup coming up, it’s all about playing time. Especially when you are competing with strikers such as Aguero, Messi, and probably one or two more for playing time in the Argentina side. That is what perplexes me about Podolski!!! He probably SHOULD move to another club, if he wants to play regularly for Germany in the next World Cup…UNLESS, Arsene knows that he WILL play him more regularly, and he will contribute a lot more to the squad than he did last season. I’m banking on the latter!!! 😀

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes a fully fit Podolski is a great prospect this season, especially if he can build further on his relationship with Gibbs.

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    And for me the likes of Gibbs, Ox, Jack and Ramsey do not need to reach their ceiling; they are simply too young for that. But if they make a step improvement, Arsenal will make one as well.

  106. Dylan says:

    Cesc never left us. He’s only on vacation. It’s time to come home Cesc. We love you here.
    Come Home Cesc:

  107. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, even a step improvement from all at the same time is fairly hopeful (but definitely a more realistic chance of happening). Playing time will be limited for at least one of Jack or Ox, and if they both become starters, then that means we inevitably lose production elsewhere.

    Also, Gibbs and Jack are as injury prone as they come, which is a major limiting factor on them making consistent improvement in their development.

  108. Funminiyi says:

    Great read TA.
    Glad to be back after a two weeks break away from civilisation and prejudice.
    Hope I haven’t missed much fellas? Thank God for technology advancement, I can always scroll down and read em all.
    Yeah, all agreed, TA, I think additions in those areas will stand us in good stead and also give us depth we’ve been lacking since 07/08 season when I think we ever came close to winning something before that Eduardo’s horrific injury strucked. An experienced goaltender for Fab and Szczeny to learn off, an experienced CB(not necessarily old but one that won’t complain of playing time), a beast of a DM(wished Wenger was faster with Toulalan) and a world class St cum winger that can cross and score as well. I think with these additions, we can compete bar injuries to our star players. Re-Gundogãn, he’s untouchable as Klopp has already made him the fulcrum of his new look BVB side.

  109. AB says:

    Good post TA.

    I accept your argument that we have a better squad than perhaps people give credit for – and I too think we will be better this season, even without additions. But I don’t buy your argument for purchasing more basic squad depth. We look like we have a very talented group of youngsters coming through, better than we have seen for a number of years. What is the point in buying solid, but unspectacular, players that stand in their way to first team action? For me, its all about getting the balance between current, proven top quality and young, highly-motivated talent. We want our young players to experience first team football, with the calibre of Bergkamp, Henry, Pires et al in the team – setting the standard for them to grow into. That truly top quality is less evident now in our first team than probably at any time in the last 15 years, and its where I would have Wenger spend the money – not just for the sake of a big name to cheer the fans, but for players who absolutely command first team selection and will inspire those around them, most of all the young players we are developing and those we still wish to attract.

    So, buy 1 or 2 top quality players, and promote talent for the rest. I keep the faith!

  110. AB says:

    As for Bale, I don’t believe he will have a better season (or even as good probably) next year. So I would rather he stayed at Spurs, took a massive pay rise, and ideally does his ankle on the first day of the season!! I don’t want spurs with £80M plus to spend on players – even with my faith in our current squad I would be worried for our position against them with that level of investment.

  111. Highbury Harmony says:

    AB @ 0:30, you have echoed my thoughts 100% but have put it in a more eloquent way!

    TA, what AB wrote there is in essence, what I have been trying to say. The top quality is not there right now and adding a SQ player or even two will set the standard to which our youngsters can aspire to. It also breeds an environment where by our current top quality players are more willing to stay and ensures that we actually have a better chance of keeping our promising youngsters if they do come good at the top level.

  112. Highbury Harmony says:

    AB @ 0:34, I would challenge that by saying that with the rumoured quality remaining in the TW, Spuds would not have a great chance at replacing what Bale brings, even at £80M plus. A big attraction of signing for Spuds would be the prospect of playing with Bale since the Spuds are not in CL as it is.

    Of course money can always attract talent, but so many big names have already moved for money and the remaining crop are likely looking for CL football above pure cash now – Falcao, Cavani, Moutinho, Isco, Gotze, Higuain, Neymar, Fernandinho, J.Rodriguez, Navas etc. are all top quality players that have already moved on to new teams this off-season. Of course, Spuds could poach a player like Di Maria away for a 1/4 of the sum it gained from Bale, as well as bring in Soldado, whom they seem to covet. However, I’m more worried of a team that features Bale than one that features a combo of Di Maria and Soldado.

    However, you are correct that the sale of Bale isn’t the end of the world for the Spuds, especially if they spend the cash wisely. They’ll still be a team competing for a CL spot in all likelihood.

  113. Milo says:

    Dylan, I don’t think Cesc will come back to Arsenal. I think he is of the same mentality as the Dutchman at Man United, and will only leave if he is certain of playing time, as well as the ability to compete for trophies NOW. I think we will be fine without him, and we could spring a surprise or two and finish higher than most people think. People have got to face the reality; which in my opinion is this; for one, I have always felt that Cesc is easily persuaded and manipulated, and his on and off transfers from club to club indicate that he is a soft touch in this regard. IF he has encouraged Manchester United to bid for him, this shows me and it should show other Gooners, that he does not love our club as much as he says he does. He will never be an Arsenal legend in my eyes, until he returns to us and finishes what he tried to start. Do I want this to happen??? Sure I do, do I think it will??? Not a chance in hell.

  114. Wengerball says:

    Sorry it’s kinda of topic but I guess a good read and the first of it’s kind ever on DM 😉

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2380477/Arsene-Wenger-interview-management-Japan–transcript.html

  115. Gerry says:

    Amazing. Having read all the comments I do believe there is a sense of agreement in the air?

    Still the split on whether it will happen or not, but not a bad end to the discussion. Let me recap?

    1, It is a positive that we have retained our top players.

    2, The squad we have will improve on last season’s finish, now many are starting their 2nd season in the EPL.

    3, We do need (s)quality players to be added, particularly in vital positions.

    4, Any such addition should make Arsenal contenders in at least 3 out of the 4 competitions that we enter – Winning the CL may prove beyond us this time around?

    5, There is still time in this TW for us to get the right players.

    Five reasons to be hopeful at the very least, and if we put the angst to one side on the ‘might have beens’, so five reasons to be cheerful too?

    And on that angst, can I just add, certain other clubs did have an advantage over us in this TA: Bayern and Dortmund, not only successful clubs, but their International side is looking to return to former dominance; Man City had Pellegrini’s intimate knowledge of the scene in Spain which gave him access in a similar way that AW had in France a few seasons ago?; The mega rich clubs ‘with a project’ have a similar advantage when attracting players for mega wages.

    This has left Arsenal hunting in infested waters where fewer targets are hard to find, and even harder to ensnare when located … but rest assured the hunt continues?

  116. Gerry says:

    I always think a quick glance through whoever is reviewing the Paper gossip is revealing, as it shows just how much other blog sites simply regurgitate it, usually with a bit of added invention?

    This morning it had a better surprise for me though, as a name came to the fore that I had forgotten might just be available? i have been struggling to think of a player who would deliver in a similar way, should the Saurez deal go pear-shaped?

    The name: Javier Pastore?

    I quite rated him before he pushed off to PSG. With Cavani there, he might just be surplus to requirements. And with AW’s friendly relationship with PSG, a rarity in itself, he could be an interesting option?

    Apparently a Spurs target should Bale leave? That may be more when, rather than if, but should he not move, then RM may well turn their attentions to Saurez, to whom Liverpool will be more than delighted to sell to, rather than us?

    It is all about timing, and my feeling is that tomorrow, Arsenal will offer a ‘take it or leave it offer’ of £45m for Saurez, and with AW quite prepared to walk away.

    All we need is glic to say he wouldn’t give Pastore house … too many letters for a start?

    It is funny how glics perverse thinking can get into your head isn’t. Yesterday, when he said he was booking an appointment at the tattooists on the thought of Bernard signing, my first thought was:
    ‘Better get the ‘ard on first glic, to make the tattooist job a lot easier?’

  117. VCC says:

    Moring Gerry…I think you and Terry should do a double act outside the Emirates, Saturday morning of the Emirates cup. 😉 lol

  118. VCC says:

    Gerry, even if GLiC got the “ard on” it still wouldnt fit Bernard. That’s why he wanted Isco (4 letters 😉 )

  119. Wenger's coat says:

    Just a respond to some earlier posts regarding Tello. This guy is no good he is a Barca player any player that wears the Barca shirt we automatically think he is amazing. Watched him few times, ordinary at best. Now, if you want to be with the big boys then you need to look higher, . in the past Wenger’s policy was to buy lots of cheap young players and sell them on, in the last few years it did not bear any fruit, Denilson, bendtner Vela , 2 or 3 south American kids Joel Campbell, Galindo etc. Some of them were on huge salaries as well. Now it looks like Wenger has changed his policy, save your transfer money and wages for one exceptional player, Suarez absolutely fit the bill. If I was wenger I’ll pay that 50 millions the Scousers want, 50 millions these days can get you 2 average English players, Downing, Caroll and Henderson cost Liverpool around 80 millions, I know that is funny.

  120. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all 🙂

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    AB 🙂

    Fine comment, but I do not fully agreed with you.

    You wrote:

    ‘What is the point in buying solid, but unspectacular, players that stand in their way to first team action? For me, its all about getting the balance between current, proven top quality and young, highly-motivated talent. We want our young players to experience first team football, with the calibre of Bergkamp, Henry, Pires et al in the team – setting the standard for them to grow into. That truly top quality is less evident now in our first team than probably at any time in the last 15 years, and its where I would have Wenger spend the money – not just for the sake of a big name to cheer the fans, but for players who absolutely command first team selection and will inspire those around them, most of all the young players we are developing and those we still wish to attract.
    So, buy 1 or 2 top quality players, and promote talent for the rest. I keep the faith!’

    As per post and comments, I would like us to buy one very good player (ideally with CL winning experience) to provide the additional confidence. Other than that, I would like us to have experienced squad depth. So if we are building the team around the DM pivot of Arteta and Ramsey, and our defence around Koz and BFG, and our attack around Giroud as our holding (back to goal) central attacker, then we need solid back-up in order not to fall back in form/performance every time there is an injury or suspension. At the moment, our youngsters are not ready to replace some of these players, so we need to buy.

    We do not need world class for that – we don’t want world class for that, as they will not want to sit on the bench. I also don’t want the likes of Mertesacker, Giroud and Arteta on the bench a lot this season: they provide some of the soul of the team and are needed in the first-11 a lot. So that would be the point of buying good but not world-class back up.

    In the meantime the up and coming players – Ox, Gibbs, Ramsey and Jack, and one or two others – can get better and better, and Cazorla, Theo, Pod, Koz, BFG, Arteta and the new signing will be the masters for them to learn from.

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for the link Wengerball – will read it at some point today.

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, the hunt continuous and the internal growth continues as well. We are lucky that we have a manager who can develop a team from its core and does not rely solely on buying in order to be able to compete.

  124. AB says:

    Morning TA.

    There’s not much of a gap between us here – I would probably ask for 2 top signings rather than 1, but agree, wholesale change is not needed or desirable. A top striker and DM, plus cover at CB and perhaps GK and its job done for me – but the first 2 need to be automatic choice class, nothing less. We can all see that Giroud needs competition/cover, though I expect him to kick on this season. And I don’t want Arteta on the bench, like you – but at 31 I don’t want us to be dependent on his fitness all season either; I don’t think we need back up here though, but top quality. We can buy a cover player at CB – but would go for proven PL experience to avoid another Squillaci. GK – I’m still a fan of Chez, and Wenger showed last year that he can play Fab off against him to good effect.

    Still no solid news on transfers; we all wait to see what Wenger is really up to…

  125. Glic says:

    Totes, are you on the same drugs as you`re supplying Arsene ? hahaha……..” We are lucky that we have a manager who can develop a team from it`s core and does not rely solely on buying in order to be able to compete “……..Yes, we are lucky to have him as manager, but I don’t “buy” the, ” able to compete” part of your comment, unless you meant compete for 4th spot !. We haven`t competed since the year Eduardo got butchered !.

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    AB – agreed, there is not much of a gap.

    We cannot expect Giroud to kick on from a bench position. Wenger either believes in him and buys back-up or he becomes back-up to the striker you long for. I rather we buy a multi-disciplined attacker like Rooney, Suarez, etc and give Giroud the ‘pivot-role’ in attack.

    I like a really good DM too so agreed there, but I could live with us getting Capoue (or Wanyama…. but that ain’t possible anymore) etc as solid back -up for Arteta or Ramsey. As long as we have quality back-up, we’ll be fine, as I expect Ramsey and Arteta to have to keep it simple again next season, AND be able to grow further as a pairing. So, if we get the top quality DM, what would happen with Arteta in your thinking?

  127. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic 🙂

    If Wenger can keep his players together we always stand a chance, even if we did not buy anybody else. Since Eduardo got butchered we lost core players every season, that is the difference. But we do not need to just keep them together; we can and will add as well.

  128. AB says:

    TA. Yes, striker needs to be able to play both with and in place of Giroud; but we cant have just Giroud as our sole striker at the start of the season – I still don’t count Pod or Walcott as proven alternatives.

    DM also must be either or instead of Arteta, not just back-up. I would like to see a more physical option open to us – but can’t be just brawn to play for Arsenal, they must have touch and the ability to pass as well. Which means, lets face it, that they have everything! And yes, I’d like us to be able to rest Arteta, without it being a ‘B’ team, and pick a side to counter the type of team we are facing – rather than just play the same 11 every week regardless. This takes us perhaps more into the Bender calibre/type of player.

    This is the ideal I stress; I am hopeful, but will be grateful for what we get!

  129. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA @ 10:11 and I completely disagree with your comment there. Imo, it’s the same backwards thinking mentality that has held us back all these years and a reason we continue to struggle. Buying more average to above average players like Giroud, Podolski, Arteta etc. will continue to hold us back since they are good enough to be starters or squad players for a 4th-5th place finish, but not good enough in a quest to achieve anything more significant. Thus, they block the paths of opportunity for youngsters to experience top level football/to prove they belong.

    Playing Giroud as the lone striker will continue to be one of the biggest factors in preventing us from playing pure total football. He lacks skill, pace, accurate passing and finishing ability to ever allow us to achieve that style. He’s a perfect versatile option that allows us to diversify our attack if Wengerball football is not working, but not the ideal starter. Our style of play under Wenger has never been about booting long balls up to a ST, tirelessly beating a dead horse by sending in crosses etc. so there’s no reason for that to change now because of a lack of personnel up front.

    We have to agree to disagree I guess.

  130. johnnie nyc says:

    Many good points HH ! and on the Italian subject, I think Napoli will be very good this season.

  131. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers johnnie nyc :). Who are you hoping to see Arsenal bring in before the TW closes?

  132. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, happy to disagree.

    What held us back is Wenger losing his top players time and again over the last few years. He is not going to change his modus operandi now he finally can keep what he puts together. He will add but only what he think is right; that’s why he is the manager and not you and I.

    And the worst way of wasting up and coming talent is by buying SQ players constantly. My solution, which I reckon will be Wenger’s, is the best combination of strengthening the team AND give our talents a chance.

  133. TotalArsenal says:

    AB – good points. I reckon Pod will get another chance to replace Giroud and there is also Sanogo. I also expect us to play with a fluid-three up-front for which we don’t need a typical ST. But if we do buy a CF to compete with Giroud, you will not hear me complain, although I don’t expect it.

    Agreed on the DM – I can see us getting Fellaini this summer.

  134. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA,

    See there is a basic misunderstanding. We’re not advocating buying SQ players constantly. It’s the fact that we only have one right now in Santi and some potential ones in Jack and Ox. However, all three are unaffected by the purchase of a SQ striker; if anything, adding a SQ striker will give them a better opportunity to fulfill their sky high promise.

    The worst way of wasting up and coming talent is though buying more average to above average players like you are suggesting. They’re slightly better than the youngsters and good enough to block them out of the first-team for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, SQ players will further complement them and give them the proper time to fully develop and not be so heavily relied upon. We have enough average to above players within the squad as it is already – adding more won’t make us any better and just restricts the amount of playing time that can go around.

    Having a SQ player added not only makes us better now, but also in the future when the youngsters are ready to play top level football. They rightfully deserve to be in the starting line-up over our current average to above players and relieve the pressure we place on youngsters like Jack, Ox, Gnabry, Zelalem, Bellerin etc. to immediately perform at high levels.

    You have also just admitted to the system that AW has in place not being as strong as you suggested in your article. Losing top players year after year has no effect on a club like Dortmund, yet it continues to plague Arsenal because of an inability/unwillingness to replace a like for a like.

  135. AFC says:

    TA, friends of mine who are United fans do not really rate Fellaini. They were telling me how he is not worth around 25 million and is not good enough to play for a top team. I think he would be ok for DM but not brilliant.

    Your thoughts?

  136. AFC says:

    HH, I think in Walcott we have a potential SQ winger. In my opinion a SQ qinger should score over 20 EPL goals a season. I think Walcott scored 14 but remember he was not even playing games early on last season because of his contract dispute. I feel he would have got around 18 had been playing those matches.

  137. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC – I reckon he would fit in like a glove – excellent cover for Arteta as well as Ramsey, and could even play more advanced.

  138. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I don’t think Walcott has SQ potential. I do think he has the potential to be a great player though. As it stands now, Walcott does not have the diverse skill set to be considered SQ. Far too one dimensional for me and too often he abandons his responsibilities on the wing in his quest to show AW that he deserves to be the main ST.

    However, if you look at it by a sheer number of goals scored, I guess you could consider Theo as one with the potential to be a SQ player – I just believe there’s more to it than a goal tally.

  139. TotalArsenal says:

    HH

    As I have said, I am all for getting a very good attacker this season. By the end of the season, you will find yourself adding a few names to your SQ list of one, and most of them will have come from the current squad. 😉

    Back later.

  140. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, AFC, I’d have to agree with your Manure friends that don’t think Fellaini is the ideal purchase for DM for a top club. However, if he’s the best we can get, he’ll likely be sufficient and better than what we currently have at the DM position.

    In a perfect world, we’d purchase an individual with better ball skills and passing ability, while also bringing the physicality and aerial ability that Fellaini brings to the table.

  141. Highbury Harmony says:

    We is myself and AB, whom this debate has started from. I’ve only been an advocate of adding one SQ player, a striker, and nothing more.

  142. AFC says:

    HH, agreed Walcott is very one dimensional but I feel if he was playing in a better team we may see the best of him. I feel he is good enough to be a starter or at least a squad player at any team.

    Would you class Bale as a SQ winger when he plays on the wing?

  143. AFC says:

    TA and HH, Fellaini would do well and would be enough. I just feel that we really need a dedicated DM. Someone who can play in a ‘1’ if needed.

  144. Glic says:

    Imo, no SQ, no chance !.
    Not losing players what we have now is a start, but not acquiring top quality to improve will only keep us competing for 4th if we`re lucky. If we think acquiring SQ will hold back the up and coming youngsters then what is Giroud, Podolski etc` going to do to the youngsters ?. If we cant buy any SQ, then I`d rather stick the youngsters in at the deep end, if your good enough , your old enough !. Play Ox, Gnabry, Ryo, Zelalem from the start and let them bond together !.
    I will state it again , no SQ, no chance and history over the last few years backs my claim !.
    4th will be harder than last season with the Spuds getting Sandro , Kaboul back and Paulinho and more than likely a new striker ( the Spanish git., forgot his name…Sal..Sol something ! ).
    Wengers biggest achievements imo have been the last 2 seasons getting 3rd and 4th respectively and this season will be even more impressive if he does it again without SQ, but saying how enormous an achievement that was doesn`t take away that it was his own fault along with the BOD that put us in them precarious positions in the first place by first letting players go when he didn`t have to let them go ( Cesc still had a long contract and RVP should have been made to see out his contract ) and secondly, not replacing with similar quality !.
    Wenger should have been working his bollox off the day last season ended and I`m sure someone else could have took over managing the Asia tour whilst he worked on transfers, they were only friendly`s !. I know the TW is still open, but we are now scrapping for the left overs as most of the cream has gone. If he wants Suarez, pay the £50M and stop pussy footing about, before he gets snapped up or even stays !.

  145. Glic says:

    Hahahahahaha AFC @ 15:27 ” Imo a SQ ginger should score over 20 EPL goals a season ” !

  146. Glic says:

    One of the Everton blokes I deliver to also says Fellaini is overated, he said he is a lazy khunt, do we don’t want another Arshavin !.

  147. AFC says:

    Glic, Wenger is going to sibmit an improved bid for Suarez of £42.5 million. I am surprised he has not submitted the bid today. Reports are saying if that bid fails he will go back again with a £45 million bid take it or leave it offer. You are right though, if Wenger really wants him when the tine comes he should just pay the £50 million.

    Suarez is not worth anything near £50 million. I think he is worth £30-35 million.

  148. Glic says:

    Agree AFC. Suarez is not worth that much and neither is Bale worth £80-100M but RM will try their best to get him. As someone else stated Carroll, Henderson and Downing for £75M !. I`d rather have Suarez for £50m than them 3 put together !.

  149. Dylan says:

    Dear Everyone Discussing Fellaini, I’ve told you the whole time I don’t want him. Thank you for your time. 😉

  150. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m ba-aack…. Has anything happened while I was in (complete) blackout? I’ve read back through some of the (very recent) comments so I have a little idea where people’s heads are at. Glic, when he actually talks football, is almost as wise as when he “broadens” the topic… 😀

    From what I can tell we’ve gone a little deeper into our interviews (and bids) with Hannibal Lecter (“Quid pro quo, Clarice, quid pro quo…”) and Higuain is off to Napoli for bigger money than we wanted to spend. Is that latter deal done in stone?… Would he be playing against us in the E-cup on 4 August?(!!!)… 😈

    I’ll try to catch up with the other threads but it’s tough. There’s such a volume of good comments (and “we” must be one of the most active sites in all the Goonershphere) and it seems like Arseblog must’ve read Dylan’s piece over the weekend refuting the normal doom and gloom that seems to be part of our DNA. Keep it up, kid… 😀

    Unfortunately, until we get some greater clarity about our transfer business (or lack thereof) I guess I’ll have to be at least exploring the notion of the glass being emptier than it is full. I don’t follow the activity of our competitors very closely but they seem (italics) to be positioning themselves for improvement whilst our notions of “getting the business done early” seems to have passed us by. The pressure we brought upon ourselves and then dealt with (just well enough…) would seem to continue starting with the kickoff vs Villa on 17 August…

    Given that to be true, we need to look with a jaundiced eye at that period. Yes we got the results needed (against the already safe, already relegated, already champions…) and there was that one tantalizing near comeback against the big team who had already humiliated us in our stadium. Still, if you look at our set-up during that period I cannot see it as anything we WANT to be pursuing as a Plan A. It may be what we do when results are all that matter, but this is Arsenal and we are not being coached by Jose Mourinho nor Sam Allardyce…

    The Suarez stuff still seems loco to me, but I can see how our attack would instantly have more, er, bite. Given his suspension (not to mention his issues…) this seems a 2nd of September deal–we get the best price, he serves his time in Liverpool Red, they cannot use the money to try and replace him, etc…. A deal in midfield to replace and rotate with too old Arteta (and Rosicky) and not-good-enough Ramsey, or maybe-too-injured Jack/Diaby. Is there anything on that front? Fellaini, like I’ve said, might not be Mr. Right, but he could be Mr. Right now. Expect, Martinez to reinvest whatever he gets for the “fro” wisely and make for tough fixtures against the blue side of Liverpool.

    Kudos to AFC (and others) for figuring a way to get playing time for Jenkinson and Sagna. Good thing that AW read the blog last Spring… Has BS3 (my favorite Arsenal player) put (as they say) pen to paper?… Don’t we need somebody (young and under the radar) to help out back there. We can’t sign a 2nd French U-20, but Kondogbia (at the deadline) might work a treat…

    Anyhow, I’ll be trying to catch up, so any news, esp. from the guys with the special sauces, would be appreciated….

  151. Dylan says:

    Good to have you back 17HT! 🙂

  152. VCC says:

    GLiC..15:51………GLiC for president…GLiC is God……….GLiC, carry on talking like this and Terry will be after you.

  153. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I do not rate players as SQ based on playing position. Bale has more natural ability and diversity to his game than Theo, which makes him a SQ player. It’s an added bonus that he’s improved his finishing this season that more or less cemented him as a SQ player.

    However, I think Theo’s finishing is actually better than Bale’s (evidenced by the article I wrote a while back). However, a sheer high number of goals scored does not make you a SQ player. For example, I do not rate Benteke or Michu as SQ players, but good to great ones if they can maintain their production.

  154. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic @ 15:51, 100% agreed mate. We see the current state of the Arsenal squad in the same light. Being incrementally better than last season does not ensure us a higher position in the table, seeing that we were exponentially far away from first and relatively far away from 2nd. Also, other clubs will see incremental improvements and have key players returning from injury or in their 2nd season as well, on top of adding quality players in the TW.

    Soldado is the ST you were thinking of. What amazes me is how much of a fight clubs like Liverpool and Spuds put up when other clubs are interested in their top players. Arsenal, on the other hand, just bend over and accept any relatively decent offer that comes their way…

  155. James Bond says:

    it’s interesting to note how we have changed our transfer market business as off late,

    we have come a very long way from our usual method of keeping things tight until the last moment even if, we were to bid for a player it wouldn’t come out until very late or when that player had gone else where

    maybe the transition happened due to our inability to not compete with other clubs on a larger level to now being able to compete with almost everyone ? hence the new and brave approach ?

    it kinda feels strange to read that we’re bidding 23 million, 30 million, 40 million regardless of the outcome 😀 good refreshing change and well done to AW and the Board for finally getting us where we wanted to be in terms of transfer money…i’m also more optimistic about the statement made earlier by the club that we will have 70 million to spend from now on every summer, that is indeed very exciting.

    welcome back 17HT, indeed, you have a lot of catching up to do (but will also help kill time at the rate of noughts, if, you’re bored !

  156. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht,

    1) No contract extension for BS3.

    2) No news on the transfer front. Bernard looks set to move to Porto, Liverpool and Arsenal in a holding pattern over Suarez, no strong links to other targets.

    3) Any DM better than what we have now would be greatly appreciated. Fellaini, Kondogbia, Rode, Gustavo etc. are all above average players for their position that would help in the now, but a player like Gundogan or one of the Benders could be a SQ player for the now and the future.

    4) Gervinho looks set to make a move to Roma by the end of this week (or so we all hope). Miyachi looking likely to take his place if he does move on.

  157. James Bond says:

    re- Fellaini

    the only downer for me is his passing game ? rest assured, if anyone can improve and better it then it has to be AW and our current system…let’s be honest, he’s coming from Everton not Barca/Swansea or Wigan even, so all the passing and fluid play concerns are valid, however , you must appreciate the team he has been playing for has been built around direct play, long balls and so on, instead of crisp passing.

    he will take time to get used to it but he has potential and still 25, isn’t it ?

    someone said that they don’t see Gundogan leaving and i agree with them, Dortmund won’t be selling any more of their players or otherwise they already would have in my opinion.

  158. Highbury Harmony says:

    On point 2, there are still some reports that one of Bernard’s agents will be in London to potentially discuss a deal to Arsenal. However, his countrymen are telling him to choose Porto over Arsenal.

  159. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, for me it is both the passing and ball skills. I think Fellaini’s passing ability is sufficient though, just nothing to write home about. Even with a high pass percentage success rate, I would prefer someone will the ability to play a variety of balls – long, over the top, through, short etc. at one of the DM pivots, since we already have two efficient passers in Ramsey and Arteta.

  160. 17highburyterrace says:

    HH, really good to see you more active here…Got the job wired, eh… 😆

    Damn, the news sounds awfully grim, though Bond, somehow, manages to stay upbeat. Have we at least decided that Moyes has to live with SAF’s bloated boy with the dodgy hair transplants (Rooney). I see stuff about “Why Fabregas would want to join RvP at United,” and I assume we’ve got that crap covered with the contract provisions. That would be the ultimate in two fingers, one for each eye…

    I think Fellaini is wickedly overpriced but there are a LOT of cheap goals off set-pieces in English football and between him and PM4 and Ollie G, that would be a lot of target. Add in actual playmakers (Koscielny, TV5, if he ever actually plays for us again) and it’s a pretty tasty scenario, and certainly better than the days of Almunia and Senderos and Kalamity Kolo trying to defend ’em…)

    Anyhow, all told 5 days away from the interweb was pretty sweet…

  161. James Bond says:

    yes, HH

    but how many of their effective passing is backwards and sideways ? also, they lack presence by that i mean we’re using 2 players doing the job of 1.

    Fellaini isn’t that bad to be honest and the price is also decent considering Everton got him for 17 million and now he enters the prime years of his career .

    17HT,

    glad you had a good time 🙂

    i’m always upbeat and an optimist (or least till the 2nd of September anyway)

    i would be even more happier if, we got these players : ( hello CL, last 4, if not 8)

    – Suarez

    – Fellaini

    – Cesc/Rooney

    -Cesar

    i would be happy if, we got these players : (still in with a shout)

    – Suarez

    – Fellaini

    – Cesar

    i would be satisfied , if, we got these players : (competitive)

    – Suarez

    – Fellaini

  162. Gerry says:

    Well I’m glad you are back HT17, as I am about to go missing for the best part of a week – Glorious Goodwood hails.

    At least I have seen a bit of cheery news before I go. Le Gren could join us next season, if we are still flashing the cash? I just hope they do not put in a really low bid in next time, anything under £30m will still be a good deal.

    I trust by the time I come back the depressive will have shifted?

    Anybody got thoughts on Pastore as an alternative to Saurez, as I posted this morning. More pertinently, will he be available?

  163. AFC says:

    Hi 17ht and good to see you back. 🙂

    As I have said before. I do not care where Cesc goes. He could go to Spurs for all I care. He is no longer an Arsenal player and is not under one of our contracts.

    United have a very tiny chance of getting Fabregas. We have first refusal but that does not really matter if Cesc wants to go to United however we get 50% of the transfer fee from any deal Cesc miggt be involved in. So United will have to offer a lot more than around £36 million to make it worthwhile for Barca to sell.

    Let’s say United by some miracle managed to get Cesc for £40 million we would get £20 million. Please correct me if I am wrong. So United would be giving us a lump some of money to improve our squad. So they are giving us money to improve our squad. That doesn’t sound like something United would do. If they are daring enough to do that I would use that money take Rooney off them. 😀

  164. AFC says:

    It seems Valencia want giroud to replace Soldado. I would sell at a good price but could be a bit too late to bring in a replacement. However that money could be used to bring in another quality ST similar to Giroud. Lucina Traore or even Rooney. 😀

  165. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, Burak Yilmaz would be a quality addition to replace Giroud too, though I can’t see AW giving him up so soon after recently purchasing him.

    I mentioned this a while ago, but the stage could be set for us to land Lukaku if Chelsea are adamant about getting Rooney.

    Gerry, I don’t see Pastore as a quality purchase for us. He’s not a SQ player and P$G are rumoured to be difficult to conduct transfer business with. If we didn’t already have Cazorla, I’d be more inclined to go after him, but he’s more or less a bench option considering we have Cazorla, Podolski, Rosicky, Theo, Ox, Jack, Gervinho/Miyachi all capable of playing in the attacking positions behind the striker/out wide.

  166. Highbury Harmony says:

    Agreed JB. When I said effective passing, I was referring to pass completion success percentage :). Ramsey and Arteta have high %s because of their risk adverse mentalities; they hardly, if ever, play testing balls that will trouble the opposition.

  167. AFC says:

    HH, I cannot see AW selling him either after just one season but if the money is good he might. Giroud has done nothing worng but he has also done nothing right, if you get what I am trying to say so Valencia would have to offer decent money.

    I cannot see Mourinho selling Lukaku to us. Yilmaz would be a good option. Do you think Lucina would be a good signings in terms as how good he currently is and his potential?

  168. AFC says:

    HH, Morurinho is very fond of Lukaku and I could see him selling Ba or even Torres ahead of him.

  169. Glic says:

    Broke Back Brackets is Back !. hahaha

    Seriously 17ht, you should change your name to Brackets, I thought I was King of the brackets, but compared to you I`m to brackets what VCC is to Mr Memory ( don’t worry, he will read that and forget 2 secs later ! )
    As for Fellaini, he would be a SQ player for Stoke, Old Wimbledon and any Fat Sam team !.
    Have to agree there HH. We just roll over and take it up the arse when clubs come sniffing for our SQ and as you say others dig their heels in !. Come on Arsenal, we are the Arsenal , not Broke Back Arsenal !. Bindippers are always living in the past, at the moment they are average to good club, f**k me, look at the shit area their club calls home, I could acquire a house for the price of a pizza !. Build a new stadium their !. The first blocks laid at 8am will be nicked by first tea-break and installed in Stevie G`s garden by lunch-time as a b-b-q !.

  170. Gerry says:

    HH – Yes, I accept he is more a SS/No10, but one that could score goals?

    I also said this morning that AW is friendly with those behind PSG?

    It is also whether Pastore is the casualty of signing Cavani of course. Somebody did say elsewhere that he has been doing well over there?

    AFC – You do have an axe to grind when it comes to certain players don’t you? How can you not care where Fabregas plays. I am more than happy for him if he is happy at Barcs. But I sure as hell don’t want him playing for anybody else in this league – the guy is a genius, and with his best years to come.

    And on the point about how much money we get for him if he does get sold, JM has already explained that one. WE GET HALF THE PROFIT, not half the fee! So if Mancs bought him for £40m, and they paid us £35m, then we get £2.5m. Follow the script.

    And your point about Giro was thoroughly predictable. Although how, on the basis of one season people can be so categorical that he is not up to scratch I don’t know? I’m just they were not in charge when Pires and Henry first started, as we may have been looking back on 20 years without a trophy?

  171. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gerry, the issue is that Pastore could not even nail down a starting spot as a SS/nr.10 at P$G…what hope does he have of beating Cazorla in a similar role? Make no mistake, Santi would prefer to play centrally if given the choice.

    For me personally, it’s not whether of not Giroud’s good Gerry. It’s whether or not he actually fits our style of play. I’ve watched him for a few years now and know he doesn’t own the skill, pace or passing ability to play Wengerball. He could definitely improve his finishing this season, but it’ll never be enough to overcome the other deficiencies that SQ strikers have.

    The issue with Henry when he first came here was if he’d score; not whether or not he had the ability to be a great player. He had the pace, ability on the ball and link-up play that led you to believe he would be a talent – the goal totals were just a further benefit that cemented him as a SQ striker.

  172. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome back, 17HT 🙂

    Hope you had a nice break. Where did you go?

    You have missed nothing: no signings, endless gossip and disgruntlement and only a few want to talk about football! 😛

    The good news is, less than three weeks to go and we are playing proper footie again. 🙂

  173. Highbury Harmony says:

    whether or not*

  174. AFC says:

    Gerry, thanks for pointing that out. I did ask if I was correct. Barca still owe us money for Fabregas and we would get a profit in the form a few million. We have to forget about Fabregas. He is no longer our player and has the right to go to which ever club he chooses as he does no longer belong to our club. He wanted to leave but AFC let him go.

  175. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, it’s difficult to talk “football” without discussing the current state of our team. The two are intricately linked and without one being at the top level, the other will inevitably suffer in some capacity.

  176. AFC says:

    Gerry, you cannot compare Giroud to Henry. When Henry joined us he was a young player with potential that was not being filled. Giroud is an experienced player who is at his peak. Giroud will improve next season but not significantly.
    I would compare Gervinho to Giroud. Both players have excelled in the EPL but cannot quite do it in the EP (perform on a consistant level week in week out in the EPL). I see Giroud following the same path as Gervinho.

  177. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, cannot tell you if Traore would be a good signing or not. Surely, if he were held in higher regard, he would have moved to a bigger club by now. He’d likely take a while to adapt to the PL though, since he’s a fairly raw talent. His statistics suggest that he’ll be a great talent, but I have not seen him play enough to give you an accurate scouting report.

  178. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, not sure if I would go as far as comparing Giroud to Gervinho, but I still think Giroud is our Chicharito/Dzeko. A quality bench player who can come on and potentially change the tide of the game for us when he can go relatively unmarked by the opposition’s game plan and enter a game when more set pieces are given out, where he’s more deadly.

  179. AFC says:

    * Both players have excelled in the Ligue 1.

  180. AFC says:

    HH, I would. It is a growing trend where players from France come to us and do not make the grade. Maroune, Gervinho and I think Giroud will be the next.

  181. AFC says:

    Of course there are some exceptions like Kos.

  182. Gerry says:

    HH – Yes, he does not play the free running Henry role, but his attributes are what we should be looking at. If he can knockin 25-30 goals this season, I don’t care a toss about his deficiencies. I seem to recall it was yourself who pointed out that at Montpelier he had Remy alongside him? I think if he can have link up partner, such as Saurez, between them they will score a hat full of goals.

    17 goals last season without such a partner, albeit many coming against lower opposition, is a pretty good starting point. It will get better.

    I have a dog pleading to go out, and when I get back it is wall to wall racing for the next 5 days ..

    So adios Amigos … keep the faith!

  183. Glic says:

    Thanks Vic`s, if I make President I will make you……..my First Lady and If I become God……….I will send you to Hell you f**king shit Life Guard Khunt !……….that’s not real Hell by the way……..it`s a 1st floor studio apartment above funeral parlour in Tottenham High Rd with a nice view of the saddest bastards known to man and future riots !……yes, it`s worse than Hell !. hahahaha

  184. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gerry, it was actually Belhanda that was the main player he fed off of. Giroud’s max effectiveness will come when a player like Suarez or Belhanda open up space for him. When he’s marked tightly, he’s more or less useless because he can’t create opportunities for himself and his finishing has never been clinical enough to make due with the limited chances a better ST may get.

    I think it’s already a win if Giroud can score 15 goals in the EPL next year. Still an ideal bench option for me because of the lack of versatility that he brings to the table as a lone ST. By that, I mean he’s not skilled enough in a variety of areas to give defences trouble.

  185. AFC says:

    HH, and that the thing. Giroud could score 20, 25, 30 EPL if playing with another ST like Suarez as Gerry has said but he does not fit in our current system. To do as Gerry suggest we would either have to change our formation completely and play a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 formation which would mean sacrificing a midfielder or winger or playing Suarez on the left. We would be changing our whole system for Giroud rather than Giroud fitting in our system.

  186. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, it is not difficult at all. We have been playing very good football until now, but very few seem interested any more. It is all about who we are going to sign which, frankly, saddens me. It is not what I set the site up for, but it is what it is. Luckily I am on holiday soon, and can take a break from it all. 🙂

  187. AFC says:

    17ht, sorry my mistake we would only get the profit. It does not really matter anyway as Barca do not want to sell and surely Fabregas would choose Arsenal over Man U.

  188. AFC says:

    TA, we have been playing good football but at this moment what we do in the TW is more important than pre-season friendlies. Why? Because the missing pieces (players) of the puzzle (team) can be signed which will lead us to having a very good signing where we can talk positively about our team for the whole season.

  189. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I guess for me the reality is that pre-season form means nothing when you look at the lack of quality and depth in the current squad. I mean it’s great that we are able to play good football against the likes of some Asian misfit teams or Cologne the season before, but year and year again it means nothing when the season starts.

    It’s not a revelation that we’ve suddenly played nice football in games that don’t matter or in ones to start off the season. We’re more than capable of playing that way, it just never lasts because we get hit by injuries and the lack of quality in the squad catches up to us about 10-15 games into the EPL season when we’re also trying to compete in multiple competitions.

  190. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks for the Welcome Backs (sorry, Glic about all the brackets…Over here we call them parentheses… :D) TA, I was up in the mountains on a bit of a forced march over passes but with no trails 😯 …. Like James Taylor would say, I saw fire and I saw rain… (Actually smoke 😦 from a big fire somewhere and just as much hail as rain…) All told, still more pleasant than Arsenal’s big spending spree, thus far at least… Enjoy your getaway, Gerry, as much as you can…

    I agree that people shouldn’t write off Giroud–He’s an upgrade to Nick Bendtner, I’d say. Not as technically “gifted,” but he works harder and has better hair AND tattoos and maybe more pace, which is actually saying nothing at all… Certainly I think AW is not gonna give up on him too quickly and didn’t he just beat the crap out of Indonesian and Vietnamese defenders? (I missed the Japanese matches, who looked good there?…Oh I guess I can just scroll down and get the full story…It sounds as if we played something a little more pleasing to the eye, but I would have to side with HH and AFC, that preseason is just that…)

    Which brings me to OG and our (supposed) style of play. He can (italics) run the counter, but it makes ME feel winded and sore watching his lumbering gait. Didn’t he and Gerv hook up on some sort of super slo-motion breakaway against really poor competition during the run-in? Maybe in the match against the worst team in the league (Reading)?…

    If we want to play on the counter we need players who can latch onto long balls and then MOVE. Suarez would be ideal. (Theo’s got the move part, the latch-on is lacking…) Unfortunately our deep lying MFs (Arteta and Ramsey) have one good foot between them (Arteta’s right foot) for those sorts of passes and hardly the mobility to ever get the passes off. Luckily, on occasion Santi is forced to drift back into these spaces…Uh oh, glass looking a bit half-empty there… 😳

    I’d also go a step further than HH in assessing our double pivot (his views have softened in my absence…) and say that their ball “rentention” maybe has improved, but their passing just isn’t good enough against the teams parking the bus. This is where a more mobile #9 can come in and take a touch and let the wingers make some runs. Giroud is no RvP in this regard (nor is Lu-Lu) and their left feet (not to mention the chocolate ones) come up shy as well. Could this be a spot for Theo? Does he have the “footballing brain” to play as a false #9? Whenever he’s gotten that chance he becomes (in my eye) super-static and rarely strays from the shoulder of the last defender…

    Finally, for Gerry, I only have seen a little PSG football but what I have seen is that Lavezzi and Lucas Moura make Pastore look like a spectator. The same was true in that Copa America where he was a bystander (in the ridiculous loaded Argentinian team) which lost to Uruguay…He’s still young, I guess, but we need somebody to step in (and up) NOW. Until Jack Wilshere reaches Diaby-esque levels of chronic injury, he would seem to be the guy…

    Anyhow, glad to see some of the regulars taking a break from the Horror Show (transfer window). I still remain upbeat. Our economic “might” means that we’ve got leverage come the deadline. Plenty of immediate pressure from 17 August, less than 3 weeks hence, which is always fun… Kind of…

  191. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Know what you mean TA. Theres more chance of myself, Glic, and Vics winning the annual Trio Morris Dancing Championship than a non transfer debate breaking out on here

    Good news for me is that today i purchased my ticket for the Villa game. That tends to focus the mind on the likely line up and formation rather who we might be buying.

    (((((((((((Wellcome back 17)))))))))))))

  192. Glic says:

    I`ll remember that Stretch, I was going to do some kind of live blog cast on BK when I open the Teasing Window ( it`s a sort of Transfer Window for exchanging my Lesbanians ), but seeing as you and Totes have no interest in such goings on, I wont bother, I`ll just have to inflict blindness on myself, on my own !.

  193. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Lets not go over the top Cornwall. I might need your Lesbanians now this croocked governmnet is making us having to opt in to online porn.

    You have to give a reason when you sign up for f*ucks sake. What do you say?

    a) I am conducting research into sexual depravity with the aim of publishing my findings to win the Noble Prize

    Or do you just tell them the truth

    b) Coz ime a terrible porn addict and during every scene i fantasise thats it me giving it to all those lushious birds

  194. Glic says:

    Hahaha It wont affect me Stretch as I have no need for such debauchery !. I shall just continue watching 1960`s puppetry porn like Stingrod, Joe 69, Thunderjugs etc`. I would invite you over but you`re more into no strings attached sex !. hahaha

  195. AB says:

    TA. Yes I look forward to talking about the football soon and not speculating about all the transfers. For me though the last 2 transfer windows have really changed my football season; they were so traumatic and tense that they were almost as intense as the close run-ins that preceded them. This transfer window has been different in that it started with great hopes and pretty minimal fears; we have done part of the job in shifting out dead weight, and hope remains that we bring in some key new ingredients to make us into the team we all want to see. But that sense of there being a real significance in how we handle the transfers is there again – there is a huge amount to be won, or lost.

    I can’t get too excited about our play thus far though. The opposition has been of a level that you expect us to waltz through, and my memories of the tough grind at the end of last season are still too fresh. We did a fantastic job in those last 10 games, and the team showed real spirit as well as some application to the basics of defending. But it was never easy, and we did not play like a well-oiled machine filled with quality parts. The opposition missed many an opportunity against us as we always looked vulnerable at the back (whatever the stats might say), and we made incredibly heavy work trying to break teams down and mostly failed to play incisive football. For me, it felt like we played percentage football, of the sort that will get us into the top 5 every year; but could I see us getting more than the odd point against a top 3 side? Nope, sadly.

    All the managerial changes elsewhere make the coming year a fascinating one, filled with uncertainty for the start at least. I would predict some inconsistency in the results of other top teams, as they settle with new managers and new players – we should hope to close the gap accordingly. But looking at it dispassionately right now, can I see us beating any of the top 3 as we are? I doubt it. So either we hope that the others really fall away, enough to let us in, or we have to make a step change in our capability. I can’t see the former happening, so I cling on to hope of the latter.

    But I can’t (don’t ever want to) start the season without some hope of us challenging in the league and feeling we stand as much chance as anyone else in the cups. So until the transfer season closes my hopes will remain (probably unrealistically) high. I can’t be anywhere else.

  196. Glic says:

    AB
    Hope is all we ask for !.
    I don’t expect to just win the EPL with a click of my fingers, there are some top teams in our league all with the same goal…to compete at the highest level !.
    All I want is to be able to think we are in with a shout at the first kick-off, that we will have a chance to compete. Sadly, I haven`t had that feeling for quite a few years and imo without the acquisition of some SQ players it will be another ground hog season before a ball is even kicked in anger. Gazidis dangled a carrot ( £70M this year and every year after ) and most of us bit !.

  197. VCC says:

    GLiC…tat link with Arsenal fans starting at 8 pm is not working??????? Any ideas?

  198. Glic says:

    Totes. The arsecast-hangout-special is currently on ( see my link above ) and seems to involve other blog owners, have you thought about going on it ?. I think you would be ideal for such a show !.

  199. Glic says:

    Sorry, I don’t know Vics , it`s working for me !.

  200. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Our increased financial power is not primaraly about buying players, its about keeping them.

    We are beggining to see the first signs of the Clubs ability to keep its young stars and squad together. Of course we will buy players also, all clubs do, but the fundamental point about what Arsenal is keeps getting overlooked

    The aim is produce a team capable of winning trophies by nurturing players to acheive there maximum potential and adding when nessescary, dependent on availability, the missing ingredients

    Arsenal are pursuing both these activities and within a year or two we will have a very strong team capable of chalanging for honours.

    Every thing is good and proper, not perfect, nothing is.

    Give wenger and the coaching staff the opportunity that hads been denied them for almost a decade, to build a side that will make us proud

  201. Highbury Harmony says:

    “Our increased financial power is not primaraly about buying players, its about keeping them.”

    If that were the case Terry, then Gazidis is a complete idiot for parading around the fact that we have a massive war chest to sign the top players on the market and Wenger is an even bigger one for adding fuel to that fire (again only if no top quality signings are made”.

    Management is the real culprit here that have misled the us, leading to the media likely contorting and twisting Arsenal transfer targets/news.

  202. Highbury Harmony says:

    misled the fans*

  203. AB says:

    TMH. I’m not convinced we have yet shown the ability to hang onto our best players – I’m not aware that we have had to withstand any serious challenge, and there are only a couple of players likely to attract strong interest (Kos, Cazorla and Walcott). The test will be in a couple of years IF a) we haven’t won anything and b) Jack develops to the level we all expect of him; then we can expect some interest from the big boys. We need more than financial clout to develop real resilience, we need to become proven winners again. I don’t think RVP swanned off for the cash (we offered him enough), but we couldn’t meet his ambition for medals fast. I remain of the view though that he will regret the choice one day.

    Anyway, with you entirely on the vision of where we want to be, but not convinced we are firmly on track, nor that our youth alone is good enough to get us there.

  204. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Many many times over the last year or so Wenger and Gazidis have reiterated what the clubs philosophy is Harmonious

    Gazidis, and to some extent Wenger have been asked questions by journolists etc and they have tried to answer as honestly as they can.

    Football is an emotional game, i understand that better than any one, but do not make the mistake of letting your feelings cloud your judgement

    If the transfer window is how you set the parameters upon which you base your conclusions, then at least wait until it is over.

  205. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yes AB, i dont disagree whith the general premise of what you say.

    The strongest correlation in modern football is that of financial clout and success. this is not something i like, but it is a reality.

    We are making progress on all fronts and will soon have a side that can compete with the best, but after eight years or so of operating in a different way, things will not change overnight.

    The anology i would use is that we have been on a U road and have now turned the bend, dosent mean we are there yet, just means we are on our way.

  206. Glic says:

    I would use the analogy that Arsene has a blocked up U bend and I`m chomping at the bit to loosen his clogged up pipe work with some Cillit Bang !. hahaha

  207. Glic says:

    Well that was an interesting arsecast where 5 blog owners are all mystified by our transfer inactivity and for dragging our feet with what looks like being down to one possible target and the clock is ticking down !.

    http://havearsenalspentanymoneyyet.com/

  208. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha, i love Arsene, but before the advent of video and internet, he realy does look like that shuffling man in a raincoat i saw in the back of the cinema whilst watching my first dirty movie

  209. Highbury Harmony says:

    Club philosophy or not Terry, it’s quite misguided to lead your fans to believe that the club are in great financial position to compete with the best clubs in the world when it comes to signing top quality players, if no top quality players are indeed signed. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what happens when the window closes, but why bother coming out publicly with a statement like that?

    I mean had they not released that information, we’d still be relatively unhappy with the lack of improvement in addition of players, but having heard/read those statements makes it infinitely worse (in my eyes anyway).

    It appears to be a situation where management is willing to lose big – if no top quality signings are made, they leave themselves open to extreme scrutiny and likely a revolt if silverware is not attained or if our standing in the league table does not improve. In addition, it also allows other clubs to inflate player valuations with the knowledge that Arsenal have plenty of cash to spend (if they want to).

    I don’t see progress yet – keeping our top players for one off-season is great but I’m pretty confident that if no top quality signings are made and/or our place in the table does not improve, we’ll see players like Santi, Theo, Sagna, Koz etc. leave for greener pastures. Then, where does that leave us in our “progress”?

  210. Glic says:

    Hahaha I remember him….The Popcorn Man at the Mile End Odeon !. hahaha

  211. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Its no secret Harmonious. A pleb like myself has been fully aware since 2006 of the ramifications of the sponsership deals and the expected boost we would atain when we could negotiate market value

    You cant hide figures like that, Arsenals accounts are publicly available as well as other information

    Unfortunately, the influx of these new revenues has led many to demand an instant fix, which in the mad world of football is bound to disapoint

    I have said before and will say it again, the Club has to adjust to its new riches acordingly and this will take more time.

    I am in no way disapointed or disulusioned, i see it all as part of a process which will eventuly lead to Arsenal becoming a major force in world football.

  212. Glic says:

    The problem I see is that it`s all well and good coming out and saying we have £70M to spend this year and for years after and being able to compete with the Chavs, City, PSG etc`, but we are behind them in the act of actually spending the f**king stuff !. We should have been in for Goetze, Isco and now that we are possibly likely to bid up to £50M for Suarez, why didn`t we bid for Cavani and Falcao at that price ?.
    The decent players that are left …….Lars Bender, Lewendowski, Bernard, add any other here, do you think that if the Chavs or City wanted those players that they wouldn`t have been signed up all ready !. We may have the money , but we lack the knowledge or get up and go of how to acquire them !. Chavs and City are at University and we are still in the kindergarten compared to them the way we go about our business !. We say we are a classy club, but when it comes to transfers we are like peasants head down stuck in muck !.

  213. Glic says:

    Forget about Cesc going anywhere, especially Manscum ( that was never going to happen ), his familiar sounding agent says he`s staying put !.

    http://metro.co.uk/2013/07/29/cesc-fabregas-agent-insists-midfielder-will-not-be-joining-manchester-united-3903643/

  214. 17highburyterrace says:

    I think it’s a little premature to write off the transfer window already but the PR message seems inexplicable. The pressure is immense and Wenger/Gazidis seem prepared to live and die by the results. Has there been any additional talk about extending AWs contract? I sure hope not…

    But that’s the thing…Because (italics) the pressure is make or break for management, appeasing the fans with overspending on mediocre players is useless. This time they HAVE to get it right. Yes, there will be some fans who will always support management at one extreme and others who would still criticize a double or a triple, but the vast majority want to see something tangible this season; they want to feel that we can compete with the top clubs in England and Europe and beat them on any given day and over the course of a season.

    Wenger must get us there so it’s really not about who we think he should buy (or current players he should trust) but about him actually making it happen. Some think he’s deluded in his bigging up of the current squad, others say “wait and see.”

    Though I’m in the latter group, a monstrous problem is that without a (more or less) unified support we lose the proverbial 12th man. 60,000 fans singing for our boys, threatening the referee with each whistle (blown or kept silent, depending on the situation) is a whole lot better than cries of “spend some f-ing money” or “you don’t know what you’re doing.” This element is being ignored and it appears (to me, at least…) naive to think the young men charged with manipulating the ball can jump this hurdle, no matter the “strengff of the collective belief”….The Emirates should be a fortress, not a pit of (self?) hatred…

    But, as always, WTF do I know?… 😆

    Hey Total, where are you headed on holiday and who will be in charge of this mad-house while you’re gone?

  215. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    There may well be truth in that Cornwall

    We saw what happend when Kronke and his team of Gazidis of Gazidis and Law took over a few years back, all those signings and departures at the death, bit of a joke realy.

    I dont doubt that Gazidis and Law are very capable guys, but they certainly lack the experince of the wiley Dein and Fizman.

    in many ways our difficulties not only stem from money but also from the takeover. The last ten years has seen the greatest transition the club has undergone for near on 100 years. The departure of the old guard of custodians, the move from Highbury to the Grove, all at a time when the money went crazy with the arival of City and Chelsea

    It sometimes help to put things into context by evaulating the recent past and they have been very testing times. Endure and be paitent, no large organization can bounce back to the top after such tremors, it takes time but without doubt there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  216. Glic says:

    It`s hard Stretch as I have seen a few BOING ! factor players disappear at far less prices than what we`re bidding for Suarez and in the case of Goetze a better player currently and potentially a super star !. Rest assured though, come the first game of the season our inadequacies in the TW will be on the back boiler as I like you and all BKers get firmly behind Arsene and team !.

  217. Glic says:

    But until then, lets lynch the bastard !. hahahaha

  218. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Got nothing against a good lynching Cornwall

    Many times ive fantasied about been part of a mob that lynches some poor bastard for horse rustling whilst all along knowing that hes innocent.

    I kick away the chair, with my new cowboy boots that i bought of Vicks, and he swings. Yeeeeharrrr. hahaha

  219. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Forget to add, it was me that stole the horse. Yeeeharrrr.

  220. Glic says:

    I`ve had that fantasy, but in my one we lynch him by his cock !……..what was it you said about the horse ?…..yeeehahahaha.

  221. James Bond says:

    Glic,

    it’s interesting when you say that if we were willing to go the distance for Suarez at 50 million then why couldn’t we do the same for Cavani ?

    agent, tax free money, high wages e.t.c e.t.c

    but let me think of it in another way,

    – Cavani

    – Falcao

    -Suarez

    what if, next season, Suarez is the one who outscores both Cavani and Falcao and provides more assists for Arsenal ?

    it would then change the entire equation then isn’t it, we got a younger striker, better goals, assists and he got us right where we belonged ?

    course it is all assumptions, Suarez could also easily bite AW and Gazidis at the same time for not buying more players which we were being linked to in the TW and then be ordered not to be seen anywhere near the emirates ever again 😀

  222. Glic says:

    007…..the good news is…..I`ve lost the Laser !. The bad news you horse rustling bastard is…………….yeeehahaha

  223. Glic says:

    007, I only used Falcao and Cavani as examples because they were the high fee players of the TW. I actually think Suarez is a better player than both !. Just trying to get across that we are so slow that now we are bidding for a player who imo probably wasn`t our first choice and probably bidding a lot higher than we would have wished to, but due to lack of early activity, we are paying the price !.

  224. Glic says:

    I reckon Totals holiday is just a front for a covert mission to build up his drug supplies for Gazidis and Wenger !. Disguised as a Horse rustling bastard it could go pear shaped or more to the point cock stretched shaped !. Yeeehahaha

  225. James Bond says:

    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha , Glics 😀

    sometimes we gotta go with the flow,

    i concur with you in thinking Suarez is better than both Falcao or Cavani, whether it translates into numbers next season when he is an Arsenal player, remains to be seen though

    Arteta has been looking into schools and place of residence for Suarez, usually a good indication and also i think that Suarez won’t be leaving Arsenal anytime soon or else his wife and daughter would kill him 😀 i was reading Owen’s article the other day in which he said how tough it is to be on the move with a young family, it’s torture

    fingers crossed..and just accept it, Gotze and Isco are long gone, the sooner you wake up from your dream the better it is 😀

  226. Glic says:

    Right, I must rest my Cerebral cortex otherwise I may go into crap comment overload, more importantly , I have some puppetry porn to watch !. Lady Penelope is asking for FAB 1 and that has nothing to do whatsoever with Fabianski the Pole or hairy incest Cesc !.

  227. TotalArsenal says:

    17

    I am going to Brittany, and technology permitting, I will check the blog regularly from France. Still here for a week, though.

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