Pre-Season: Ego-Check & Real Hunger of Rambo, OG & Gibbs


Well, another football weekend has just concluded; one not as successful as the others. We lost the Emirates cup to Didier the drama queen but quite simply put, I do not care. I can’t sit here and deny that losing the cup, in our home turf to Galatasaray is not embarrassing, because it is. But to me that’s all it is, embarrassing. An ego check if you will.

In fact from the way I see things, I’m glad we did not win it.

There are plenty of positives that have come from this embarrassment. I have to warn you that this post will be a mildly controversial one but someone needs to tell things as they are.

The first and foremost is the ego check I mentioned earlier was well and truly due. We went to Asia and swept aside every team we met there. We scored 16 goals in 3 games and the squad built up its confidence, which is a good thing. But I got the feeling  that going into the cup, we were a tad overconfident. The players were even unusually vocal about all matters Arsenal. We didn’t win a single game in this tournament, and let me remind you that Napoli and Gala are very second rate teams. I’m quite happy about it, because while confidence is good, overconfidence is self destructive. Especially when you aren’t as good as you think we are.
To build on to the point above, the results of the weekend were a sobering reminder to the team that the champions league qualifier we are to play holds a very real chance of early elimination. Now this wouldn’t just be embarrassing, this would be catastrophic. Thing is, the kind of competition we will be up against will be more or less of the caliber of our Emirates cup opponents. More or less. What’s more encouraging (for me at least) is that Wenger looked visibly shaken when asked about the qualifier following the weekends results. He didn’t answer with his usual tone of confidence and belief. Now don’t get me wrong, all yesterday’s loss is, is a timely reminder that we have to work hard to achieve results and there is no place for complacency if we are to move forward as a club.
Then there’ are the performances of some of our first-teamer: Giroud, Ramsey and Gibbs specifically. Let me be the first to point out that there is a real hunger in this squad. Even journalists, like John cross who has handled our full preseason, have picked up on this. But there are certain players who are taking this hunger to a whole new level and are looking like stepping things up several notches. The three above are the players I have in mind. Along with Rosicky, Ox, Per and Bac. Their performances over the whole pre-season have shown that they are ready to earn their keep. They have shown a fighting spirit that considering these were just friendlies, is very encouraging. We will definitely need this if we are to have the kind of start we desire.
Finally (on this) I think that based on these results, Wenger has a clearer picture of where he needs to strengthen the team. I really won’t go into details because my opinion and Wenger’s may or may not align and it is his that matters. That said, I think the Emirates cup has exposed some of our weaknesses which over the next few weeks would need to be ironed out before we go into the new campaign. This can’t be anything but good.
In other news, Chamakh is finally leaving!! And so is Gervinho. At this point it doesn’t matter what your opinion of the Ivorian is because what’s done is done.He’s having his medical at Roma so the only thing to do now is thank him for his contribution at Arsenal and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
Further on the subject of departures, Bendtner still has no takers. This is a bit ironical because for a player who thinks he is a Ballon D’or candidate, no one wants him. His agent said that 5 teams wanted him, so my question is what happened? I understand that he keeps disagreeing with clubs over his wages. Someone really needs to tell him that he isn’t even half the player he thinks he is.
To conclude this post, I have to point out that booing Higuain was very classless. I found that rather crude and uncalled for, not even taking into consideration the circumstances of his transfer. We are better than that gooners!!!!
Written by: Marcus
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296 Responses to Pre-Season: Ego-Check & Real Hunger of Rambo, OG & Gibbs

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent, very balanced post, Marcus and all agreed. Top stuff! 🙂

    The main thing I learned from it is that if we do not play our strongest team, or there about, we’ll struggle against the better teams. We need to add strength in depth as I am convinced we’ll suffer disproportionately if and when the likes of Szczesny, BFG, Arteta, and Giroud get injured in our spine.

  2. says:

    Dont agree with you on the ox, he has been terrible this pre season and his form hasnt been good since last year. Really needs to pick it up this season

  3. Graham Day says:

    Absolutely agree with you on the booing of Higuain, it was classless and stupid and we are surely a lot better than that!

  4. Biodun says:

    You need to read one of my blogs tittled ‘Arsenal- Drogbatasaray’

  5. David Small says:

    Clearly we gooners are not better than that, hence the booing. Napoli doesn’t win things in Italy either and don’t have a European pedigree, so why did Higuain sign for them instead of us. Perhaps the fault lays with us not being prepared to go and get him. Can’t blame Madrid for wanting to maximise the fee. Anyway by the look of Higuain’s performance last weekend I think we would be better off fielding Chuba Akpom.

  6. Retsub says:

    Nicely written. Totally agree about Higuain, it was hardly his fault we didn’t cough up the cash.
    Some of the younger players Ox, Ramsey etc are I feel trying a little too hard and are running into blind alleys. I believe Rambo will have a really good season and silence the remaining doubters, as long as he appreciates he doesn’t have the pace to take on 3 defenders . Other than that he gets better every game

    If we don’t buy, Rosicky’s fitness may be a key factor. We do have a reasonable set of fixtures to start the season and we really don’t want to get left behind like last season

    Would really like to see Fellaini as a new recruit

  7. Robbie Rotten says:

    For me the booing of Higuain was not so much booing the man himself as expressing dissatisfaction over the disappointment of not getting him when it seemed so close. ie booing the club for not signing him up.

    Well, that’s why I was booing anyway 😉

    BTW didn’t Napoli finish 2nd in Serie A last year? Hardly makes them as bad as you make out.

  8. Adetobi A. Albert says:

    I quite agree with you on almost everything u wrote, and i must add that , booing Higuain was classless. if we have not seen any signing is due to our British fans, they should revolt and hold a peaceful rally to make the board and wenger sit up, rather than booing an innocent man and making outsiders mocking our behaviors. we all love the club and wants its image set in a respectable standard.

  9. Red Arse says:

    Good post, Marcus. 🙂

    It is hard to disagree with the points you make, but in reality, the Emirates Cup is just a chance to notch up the pre-season training and fitness regime in a way that lets the fans see how we are doing compared to other teams. The results are not important.

    What it also showed, is that we are a bit naive when defending against ‘expert’ divers like Drogba, and we need one of our own to compete with what amounts to professionalism — or is that another word for cheating? 🙂

    For me, all the games brought me back to something I have been saying for at least two or three years. We are too small in midfield and easily get overpowered.
    This state of affairs has to be addressed. A midfield of Cazzor, Jack, Rambo and an ageing Mikel (still a very good player, but his lack of pace and muscles are beginning to show) are easy meat for technically accomplished players who are also physically imposing.

    It is no coincidence, that some of our best days were those where we had Sol Campbell, Viera etc who were excellent players but very strong too.

    The way we collapsed in the second half, against Galatasarey, proved to me that when the midfield get overrun, we will get beaten.

  10. Red Arse says:

    It’s a bit late [well a lot, really] to say I enjoyed your Post yesterday, Dylan, and as usual I was also taken by the sensible and measured early comment by JM.

    The other comments have taken me a long time to read, but also fascinating and intelligent.

    Well done everyone! 🙂

  11. AFC says:

    Marcus, very good post. 🙂

    If I am honest, the team has not improved much from last season. There has been a bit of internal improvement. Our pre-season tour in Asia meant nothing. A few of our younger players may have got a few games and our squad improved their fitness but for me that was all. Wenger did not even experiment with different formations and tactics in preparation for the new season.

    The Emirates Cup definitely gave Wenger a reality check (even though I think he he already did before the pre-season tour). The opposition of Gala and Napoli are the calibre of opposition which we will be facing in the EPL and CL so it is clear new signings are needed.

    Does anyone know why we face such easy opposition during pre-season. Why can we not face the Barcas, Reals, Bayerns, Dortmunds etc?

  12. AFC says:

    Dylan, another guy offered a trial. A young player from one of the teams in the Saudi League.

  13. AFC says:

    Reports are saying that Rooney wants out of United and now even his teammates want him gone. They are sick of Rooney and want management to get rid of him.

    Could we get Suarez and then go in for Rooney?

    Rooney could be persuaded that we are serious if we sign Suarez and a few other players. Only problem is that Mourinho is offering £40 million for him. I say get Suarez and then match the bid and let Rooney decide where he wants to go. Or we could offer £40 million and £1. 😉 😀

  14. AFC says:

    Dylan, the guy from your link is 26. Why on Earth would a 26 year old need a trial? He also failed a trial at Blackburn Rovers I think.

  15. Marcus says:


  16. Marcus says:

    On the ox, it’s less about his form and more his work rate, desire and willing to give 110% for the cause..

  17. Admir says:

    Alharbi El Jadeyaoui – that’s the guy that apparently got himself a trial at Arsenal. Emirates became a court-room – trials, trials, trials…

    Aforementioned guy comes from Ligue 2 (of course) and never played at top level (he had a trial at Blackburn four years ago). He is a promising youngster that is 26-year-old.

    Marcus, excellent job, unlike Dick Law and Arsene Wenger, you did your part well.

  18. Marcus says:

    Retsub, Graham day, David small,
    All agreed on Higuain. The less said, the better.
    On the Ox, I agree his eagerness has on many occasions led him down purposeless runs and blind alleys. That all boils down to inexperience, after all he is just 19. His commitment is what I was applauding.

  19. Marcus says:

    Well said.

  20. Marcus says:

    Like I said in the post, the preseason is really only meant for fitness and team’s morale sake. On that front we are doing well. And of course we do need signings..

  21. Funminiyi says:

    Classy and concise post Marcus. Keep it up. Where have you been?
    I totally agree with all that you’ve said but how soon will Arsene learn???

  22. AFC says:

    Marcus, that’s where I have to disagree with you. Pre-season is for fitness but it is also for trying out new tactic, formations and systems (none of which Wenger did). I would also add that pre-season for some teams is about testing themselves by playing the best opposition. That is why weaker teams play teams such as ourselves. What is the benefits of playing teams you know you will be comfortably?

  23. AFC says:

    Was it not Monoco who played Spurs. Why can we not face these kind of teams top teams or teams that are reaching those heights) unless Wenger knows damn well we do not have a chance in hell of beating them.

  24. Gerry says:

    Marcus – Nice post, but nothing too controversial. You stated much of how it was.

    I am guessing, that by the time we came to last weekend, fans were expecting us to be closer to the side that finished off last season … and it came nowhere near close to that form?

    Gone was that instant we lost possession, players rush back for their defensive duties. But that is the thing about friendlies, getting the fitness levels up so they can do that.

    It was a tad unfortunate that Gibbs had his little blow out with Szcz about where to be for a corner, that prompted his substitution. I guess they were thinking he was getting mentally tired, even if it wasn’t showing in his physical side. So Miguel had the misfortune to touch Drogba in the box. Not realising the Drog was rehearsing for his next starring role in a blockbuster movie, so when the car he has just stepped out of explodes, he wanted to show the full force of it, as he crumpled, lifeless, to the ground – Cut! Excellent DD. You’ll soon be known as ‘one take Drog’.

    But that aside, it showed that Gala are pretty toothless without their big hitters too. Unfortunately the result, in the space of 6 minutes, we went from winning, to not even being runners up, and it blotted out some pieces of excellent play?

    The trouble was, excellent play was not sustained. Given the nature of pre-season, with many substitutions being allowed, it was hard to know whether the changes contributed to the change in the end result, or the fatigue factor with two games in 24 hours.

    I quite like Ox Gooner’s thought of following the format of the Aussie Rules pre-season;

    A full Round Robin with three teams; Each playing the other two; And in 45 minute games, All played on the same day.

    Makes a lot of sense, even if it does not build up stamina for 90 minutes, the risk of injury should be reduced?

  25. AFC says:

    * What are the benefits of playing teams you know you will comfortably beat and should?

  26. AFC says:

    Real also faced Everton who are much better opposition than the teams we faced. I know it is all to do with where the tours are organised and all that but surely we should be facing opposition around our own level.

  27. Funminiyi says:

    Admir, you got laughing with your “courtroom” comment.

  28. Highbury Harmony says:

    @ Gerry from the last article,

    It’s certainly a theory that I would prescribe to and one of the shortcomings of AW’s “work” in the transfer market over the past 6-7 years. I’ve always been of the proponent that AW failed to evolve with the transfer market and that the stadium move was planned at an inopportune time.

    As his better players were sold year after year, he never looked to replace them with a like, but by trying to unearth the next gem at a position of need instead. Or, he bought players whom he thought could play multiple positions up front and placed them in positions where they were destined to fail. So, it was a matter of placing square pegs into round holes because he was unwilling to spend the amount of money required to buy the quality of players that could actually play a multitude of positions.

    The issue stemmed from the above is perhaps AW’s rigidity with formations. He seems unwilling to adapt the system to the players he has and continues to attempt to purchase players that can fill the holes like Klopp has. But, as we well know, in order to achieve such a strategy you MUST buy a like for a like!

    Klopp’s trend of replacing a like for a like:

    2011 – Sahin (out), Gundogan (in)
    2012 – Perisic (out), Reus (in) / Barrios (out), Schieber (in) / Kagawa (out), Sahin (loan)
    2013 – Gotze (out), Mkhitaryan (in) / Santana (out), Sokratis (in) / Aubemeyang (in) looks likely to eventually replace Lewandowski

    AW seemingly made up some ground in last year’s TW by purchasing Cazorla and Ox the one before that. Two players with the quality and versatility to almost playing anywhere up front. However, it must be said that he’s also worked diligently on improving the quality of academy players and there should be some great talents coming up over the next few years.

  29. James Bond says:

    nice one, Marcus

    not much to disagree with

    but to add a point or vent my anger at one particular point,

    in the words of AW and our team ” the levels dropped because players were tired, jaded, long asia trip, 2 games in 2 days” bla blah blah blahdi blahdi blah

    honestly, i’m sick and tired of this excuse.

    the rest of the teams also had the same number of matches plus pre-season friendlies .

    so, instead of spouting utter rot @ AW – do fcuking something about it and address the issue (buy quality players and beef up the squad).

    the only world class player we have currently is koscielny and if , things don’t change this coming season i can already see him leave – i won’t blame him either

    i don’t mind when we lose, as it’s only a game and there has to be a loser at the end but i utterly hate such garbage from AW , Re- Fatigue e.t.c e..t.c

  30. Gerry says:

    HH – Could it be that if he gets the right quality of player in e.g. Saurez, does the starting have to be kept so rigid when in possession? Or is the rigidity of the formation kept through different players playing different roles, not necessarily their starting ones?

  31. AFC says:

    JB, I would say that apart from Kos, Santi, Wilshere and Theo all of our players are pretty average.

    If you read my early comments about pre-season you will I am also quite angry.

  32. Dylan says:

    AFC, who knows how long ago that Rovers trial was. I have no problem with taking people on trial if it insures they won’t be a flop. 😉 And yes, I’ve heard that kid is that “Next Messi”. Maybe if we grab the Brazlian Messi (Bernard), the Spanish Messi (Muniain), and I believe some even call him the French Messi (Grenier), along with this Saudi Arabian kid, we can convince the legitimate Messi to join us and rename our club “Messi FC”! 😉

  33. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gerry, I would say that right now, the rigidity of the formation overrules the quality of the players in it. However, it’s a great question to ask because we have also never seen this squad with the “right quality” of players in it either.

    I’d prefer a fluid front three with interchangeable parts, forming exquisite passing triangles and maneuvering around defenders with ease. Such a strategy can only be accomplished with a more mobile and technically skilled striker up front (as seen at Barca, Real, PSG, Utd, Dortmund etc.).

    Bayern is an example of a club that can survive through playing with a more rigid formation, but the quality of players at almost every position sort of takes away from this theory. If you have that many talented players in your squad, it doesn’t really matter how you play…

  34. AFC says:

    HH, I would also put United with Bayern.

    Dylan, 😀

  35. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB & AFC, if I may, I would break down our current squad into these categories:

    World Class: Cazorla
    Potential World Class: Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Great: Koscielny, Walcott, Sagna
    Potential Great: Szczesny, Gibbs, Ramsey

    Good: Giroud, Podolski, Mertesacker, Arteta, Vermaelen, Nacho (could be great need more time to evaluate), Rosicky,
    Potential Good: Sanogo, Jenkinson, Miyachi, Frimpong

    Average: Fabianski, Gervinho (will be sold soon), Chamakh (will be sold soon), Bendtner (will be sold soon), Park

    I do not think Zelalem, Akpom or Gnabry will be with the current squad next season so I decided not to include them. For the “potential” categories, those players have the potential to be in those categories, but realistically are a level below that class right now.

  36. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I actually struggled with Utd and wasn’t sure where they fall under. However, after careful consideration, I’d have to agree with you. SAF was a stubborn sod whom was pretty rigid with his formations! However, Rooney and RVP gave him/Moyes the option to play with a fluid three up front, but unfortunately neither are technically knowledgeable enough to play in such a way :).

  37. Highbury Harmony says:

    When I say neither are technically knowledgeable enough, I am referring to Moyes and SAF.

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    Just catching up with the posts by Dylan and Marcus (nice work, boys!) and the comments…I see that some people are still fantasizing about who we’re gonna buy and others are seeing some individuals looking up for the season ahead. There were some nice run-outs (Rosicky, Arteta, Kos, Gnabry, Sagna, for me…) but other guys looked troubling (Poldolski, Ox, Gibbs, Jenks, Theo, Fabianski) or still on vacation (Santi, Yaya S.). They were just pre-season matches but the teams we played were barely going through the motions… I WISH I could share the enthusiasm but our situation seems a mess. 11 days to the opener and at this point, I fear, prayers might be in order…

    Like I said during (and after) the games on the weekend, I don’t think we should read too much into the matches themselves. The groupings AW tried out seemed strange. I didn’t see much successful passing and I think it’s telling that our goals ALL came from set pieces or that weird set-piece-ish ball that Theo sent in looking for (and missing) the head of a defender (PM4)…In other words, our open play wasn’t producing and our defense against Napoli’s counter-attacks and balls into (predictable) Drogba was found lacking…Clearly, these are areas of worry, but nothing that we cannot improve with a little focus…

    At the moment, I don’t have the patience (nor desire) to list our issues position by position or player by player. We’ve been shipping out guys (deadwood, young players on loans…) at a steady rate so we MUST be getting reinforcements. If not I can’t see how the season ahead is not going to be a huge mess. For the early season it appears we’re counting on fitness AND performance from the same group who got the job done during the run-in. We’ve got five matches in fourteen days (before the transfer deadline) and it seems a VERY big ask to arrive at that point in decent shape. Fingers crossed, I guess, that we can get the results we need and arrive in some sort of style and with some hope (signings) for the remainder of the season. I don’t mean to get so gloomy, but WTF have we done this summer? I guess not losing key players (Sagna) should be saluted and the only big injury (so far) is to our Captain who we don’t seem to need anyhow…

    I don’t mean to sound alarmist but I cannot believe that we’re choosing to walk the very same razor edge to start this season that we used to end the last one. Just as that situation invited huge pressure onto the squad (which to their credit, they survived) we seem to be doing the exact same thing again. So much for money to spend, and Arsenal poised (finally) to compete with the teams above us (in managerial transition and ripe for a fall)… I will be supporting the team one thousand percent but if we cannot get through this period in decent shape (at least 7 out of 9 points from the league matches, qualification in the CL, no major injuries…) will it even matter who we bring in as the window closes? I picture Piers Morgan (and the like) waiting in the wings rubbing their hands together in anticipation…

    Fingers (and toes?…) crossed everything works out and we don’t have to endure that sort of stuff…

  39. AFC says:

    HH, I fully agree with that list. 🙂

    SAF played mainly 4-4-2 with United. He use a number of different formations for certain games but this was thisdown to him being good tactically? Many would argue he just copied the formations, systems, tactics of AW, Mourinho, Rafa etc.

  40. AFC says:

    * SAF played mainly 4-4-2 with United. He used a number of different formations for different games but this was down to him being good tactically? Many would argue he just copied the formations, systems, tactics of AW, Mourinho, Rafa etc. I would have to agree with those people.

  41. James Bond says:

    i only consider Koc to be world class and the rest either in between or with potential to be there (WIP) @ HH.


    Luis Suarez pulls out of the Liverpool squad that has travelled to Norway for a pre-season match with Valerenga because of injury.

    The Uruguayan, who wants to be allowed to join Arsenal, will undergo a scan on a foot injury in the next 24 hours. Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel will also miss out on Wednesday’s friendly match through injury.

    Suarez’s future remains as unclear as ever, with Liverpool insisting he is not for sale and Arsenal yet to up their bid of £40,000,001 that they believed triggered a release clause in his contract.

  42. Highbury Harmony says:

    At least Kozzer will finally look like himself in FIFA 14!

  43. Gerry says:

    HH – When you say ‘squad’ re those last 3 names, are you thinking more ‘starting 11’/ getting regular games, occasional starts? Technically, bar Zelalem, they all qualify, he would have to take a senior spot to appear in European competitions. Eisfeld is the unlucky one as he joined us in January, and thus has not been with us for two years, as of 1st Jan 2012. Probably why he will go on loan. Even Afobe still gets in on the age rule?

    But that aside, I do think Gnabry will get some starts, and plenty of 30 mins of the bench … if we get the quality players to put us in strong positions in the first hour. Akpom will have to wait his turn behind Giro, but you never know?

    As to the formation subject, how do you rate Manzukic?(sp?). I see Giro in a similar light. He may not be perfect for the fluidity, but if he is in the right place at the right time, he will score lots of goals? What we do not want to be reduced to is Route One play, rather stretch their defenses with the moblie, fluid players opening up the spaces?

    Perhaps we need Terry with his chloroform kit to get down to Park Lane and drag the helpless Bernard up to the Emirates? Apparently he is staying at the Hilton on his way to the Ukraine?

  44. Highbury Harmony says:

    Marcus, well written article on the current state of affairs of the club in terms of pre-season play. I agree with Gerry that there was nothing really controversial in your piece, as it was well-balanced and simply realistic!

    I, too, was thoroughly impressed with Ramsey and hope that he can sustain the level of play he showed against Gala. However, I did not walk away impressed with Giroud. Still believe he’s a great option to come onto the pitch late in games, but I preferred the more fluid front three that we saw between Theo, Ox and Sanogo than the rigidity we displayed when Giroud started games.

    However, one thing’s for sure – we need to add serious quality to our squad immediately.

  45. James Bond says:

    that long ball from Ramsey to Theo was absolutely first class !

  46. Highbury Harmony says:


    When I said “squad”, I am referring to the 24 or 25 man squad. As of now, I see it being:

    ST: New signing*, Giroud, Sanogo
    LW: Santi, Podolski, Miyachi
    RW: Theo, Ox
    CAM: Jack, Rosicky
    DM: Ramsey, Arteta, New signing*, Frimpong, Diaby
    LB: Gibbs, Nacho
    CB: Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, New signing*
    RB: Sagna, Jenkinson
    GK: Szczesny, Fabianski

    So, as you can see, not really much room for Zelalem, Akpom or Gnabry. I did, however, forget to rate Diaby. He’d fall under the potential great category but is just too injury prone to realize that potential.

  47. Gerry says:

    While I am still here – have to feed the dogs in a minute – What’s the view on Gustavo @£20m? Better or worse than Felaini at £23m? Or better options at a similar price?

  48. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gerry, better options at a lower price point (£5-15 mil): Capoue, Ginter, Gonalons, Camacho, Kondogbia etc.

  49. Highbury Harmony says:

    Better yet, at a slightly higher price point (£25-30 mil) you could possibly get: S.Bender, L.Bender or Gundogan.

  50. James Bond says:

    interesting squad selection @ HH

    so going by your model, we need 3 players

    and you’re struggling finding a place for the 3 young gunners ?

    well, i reckon Zelalem and Akpom are needed for the youths with only Gnabry making the cut , as you can see, we’re a bit short on RW with only Ox and Theo (everyone know’s the injury record there)…..Gnabry is an absolute must for me.

  51. Gerry says:

    Here’s another name to throw in the ‘left winger’ category – Rivieinha?

    Plays for Wolfsburg, getting back after injury, was looking good before. Not young but might be available … if we were going down the route of players for positions?

    The BT reviewer thought he might come good this season.

  52. James Bond says:


    Gustavo at 15-17 million will be a decent addition.

    obviously, i would still prefer Fellaini with his experience in the PL and considering they want 20 million for Gustavo, i would say it’s worth going the extra 2-3 million for Fellaini.

  53. Gerry says:

    Gundogan hasn’t signed a new contract. Ginter we need to stop offering silly money (£4m). Kondogbia is a 3rd party to screw that one – source Dylan

  54. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gerry, the position part of my squad listing was simply to show our depth at each position. I’d prefer it if we bought an attacker capable of playing at ST, W or CAM/SS such as Suarez of course :).

    I’d also prefer a DM capable of playing CB and a CB capable of playing on the flanks too! Thus, not so much positional players, but ones of real quality capable of lining up at multiple positions.

    I don’t know much about Rivieinha, but there are plenty of quality players in Bundesliga that can be had for decent prices, it’s just about proper scouting and enticing them to leave Germany. Basically, we see top clubs like Bayern and Dortmund hogging all the top German players…similar to that of Italy where the top ones stay within their own borders and eventually play for Juventus, AC or Inter.

  55. Gerry says:

    Sorry, back later …

  56. AFC says:

    Gerry, I would let Chelsea go for Gustavo and try to get Khedira using that money. Or one of the the Benders and Gundogan as HH suggested.

  57. AFC says:

    HH, one of the Benders if not both are very versatile. I think one of them can also play RB and RM in addition to DM and CM.

  58. AFC says:

    JB, Fellaini just does not do it for me as a DM. Gustavo, Khedira, S.Bender, L.Bender and Gundogan are all better than him in the DM role/playing in a double DM pivot.

  59. AFC says:

    Al Ain have said that the guy we want to take on trial is above a trial and will ignore our offer.

  60. Glic says:

    Thanks Marvellous Marcus, but come on, that was about as controversial as Wenger not saying……. ” I believe “…… in an interview !.

    Come of it Dylan !. Grenier is not the French Messi !, he just makes Gerry do a messi in his pants !. hahaha
    With all them Messi`s we would need Dennis to bring back his son (TH14) the Messiah to train them !.

    You picked up on one of my pet hates !. The crap about fitness !………..” the poor little f**kers are tired….ahhh diddums….you must be knackered, all that kicking of a ball ! “. How many of you have actually played a full 90 mins in pre-season ?….f**k off and never come and tell me you are in the red zone or my red zone will be up your tired f**king arse !. Grrrrrr

    I like your table of average to world class, but come on !, surely there should have been a level below average called …….The Shit Heap !….and Park and Chamakh should be relegated to it !.

    Up to date, my one player of the pre-season is ………Rambo !……keep proving the doubters wrong son !.

  61. James Bond says:

    no, AFC

    i would prefer Fellaini over all the rest cause quite bluntly put, we need players with PL experience in this key position not players who are coming from league where it’s not as physical or they are given protection by the ref’s.

    23 million for Fellaini is peanuts at 25 years of age and a goal return of 10 goals.

  62. Highbury Harmony says:

    First of all Fellaini is not worth 23 mil. He was awful the season before last and was long considered a bust by most Everton fans. One good year does not give you significant PL experience.

    Fellaini lacks the technical and passing ability to play Arsenal football.

  63. James Bond says:

    it’s getting down to the nitty gritty,

    and most of us, if not all shall be very happy indeed.

    on a side note,

    Luiz off to Barca ?

  64. Highbury Harmony says:

    I agree AFC, the Benders, Gundogan or Khedira would be favourable acquisitions than Fellaini. His price is inflated because he plays in the EPL and he’s overrated from one good season where he played as a SS.

  65. AFC says:

    JB, all 5 of those players I mentioned have CL experience which is better than the EPL experience which Fellaini has.

  66. Highbury Harmony says:

    One good year does not make you PL proven, it only means you have experience in the league*

  67. James Bond says:

    how long have you been following Everton or Fellaini ?

    that statement alone makes you sound like TA , when he tries to rubbish Cesar @ HH

    i laugh at that one good year theory for fellaini.

  68. AFC says:

    JB and HH, I would also take David Luiz over Fellaini. I would also say that Fellaini’s best position is AM/SS.

  69. James Bond says:


    let’s be realistic here

    how many matches will we play in England (PL,domestic cups) in total

    and how many matches will we be playing in the CL ?

    there lies your answer.

  70. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, I laugh at your notion that Fellaini’s had more than one good season. Ask the majority of Everton fans and he was looking like a bust until last year’s breakout. He lacks the intelligence, technical ability and vision to be an Arsenal player. He is simply another aerial threat/physical presence overrated by the fact that he plays in the self-proclaimed best league in the world, the EPL.

    Place him in La Liga or Bundesliga and he’ll be utterly useless as players sprint and pass around him all day.

  71. Marcus says:

    Thanks…Work has been crazy..

  72. James Bond says:

    let’s just say, you lost the argument when you mentioned ” Ask Everton fans”, no thank you sir.

    i much rather trust what i see and judge a player on merit according to my own eyes instead of seeing them through someone else’s glasses.

    the players i don’t know about or haven’t followed, i tend to ask about and it’s mostly you as i do trust your judgement , however , in this one you’re relying on “Everton fans” and i’m going with what i have seen.

  73. Marcus says:

    I thought it would be. I’ve noticed that not everyone tends to agree when I criticize the team…Even slightly.

  74. AFC says:

    JB, a player with CL experience is inferior to a player with EPL experience. Santi did not have EPL experience. EPL experience is overrated and has nothing on CL experience.

  75. James Bond says:


    David Luiz will not come cheap, 35 million on wards

    and where would you play him in this current team ?

  76. Marcus says:

    Well, I couldn’t really comment on that as the information regarding the teams fitness levels is out of my reach. Though I should tell you not to let preseason games get you all riled up..

  77. AFC says:

    JB, the problem with Fellaini is that he is a all rounded midfielder which would make him suited to a CM role rather than a DM or AM role. Unless we are playing we 3 CMs then there are better options.

  78. Highbury Harmony says:

    “You lose the argument when you said go ask Everton fans what they think of the player”.

    Are you serious? Do you realize how controversial the statement you just made was? Your few glimpses of a player over the years is more reliable than people that have followed him for every minute for years?

  79. Marcus says:


  80. Marcus says:

    Lol. There’s some people out there who aren’t always willing to hear the truth..

  81. James Bond says:

    you’re using a fluid player as an example of success in the PL, Santi would prevail anywhere around the world as would most decent spanish MF’s.

    the point of relevance here is that we will be playing the majority of games in England vs oppositions who play all sorts of style, from lower divisions e.t.c e.t.c for that you need players who are used to it all due to their playing experience in England, playing more than 5 years is good enough for me and do consider that he has his best years ahead of him.

    re- other players you have mentioned, i don’t mind any of them but my preference is Fellaini, it’s about time we added that steal and bite (plus height)… Gerry, i think made a valid point about presence and height (re- Sol and Patrick) in one of the posts and how we miss that.

    we would play 50 plus games approx that we know…

    how many would we play in the CL ? your guess is as good as mine.

  82. AFC says:

    JB, David Luiz could be played in many roles. You could use him as a sole DM in a 4-1-2-3 formation. When the fullbacks attack he slots in between the two CBs.
    You could use him in a ‘2″ (double DM pivot next to Arteta or Jack. I would play him next to Jack and he can be back-up CB. He can also play LB as well I think.
    He is worth £35 million considering you can play him as a DM, CB and LB. Only 25 and signing him would be a statement of intent.

  83. James Bond says:

    LOL @ Your few glimpses of a player

    it would be nice for a change, if you actually started watching players for real instead of basing your opinions reading around others opinions on the internet .

    Assumptions ?

    there lies your hint.

  84. AFC says:

    JB, United don’t want him either. Do you not think that is weird. Moyes his old manager is going after other MFs instead of signing Fellaini, one of his old players who he know better than any of us.

  85. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, in case you’re wondering, I do rate Fellaini, just not at 23 mil. Play him for a full year at DM and he’ll be lucky to bag 5-7 goals. He’s worth 12-15 mil at most and if we’re overpaying for a DM, I’d rather it be for the complete package in one of Gundogan or one of the Benders.

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    testing, testing…

  87. Highbury Harmony says:

    I have watched Fellaini play quite a bit…you are turning into a complete joke JB. You notice how no one is agreeing with you on Fellaini? That should be a hint.

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sooo…either nobody reads my (too long) comments or shares my worries about these matches at the start of the season… Bond keeps hinting at some news…At least we KNOW we’ll get something by Friday, when CL qualifier draw comes out… 🙄

    Unfortunately, my feeling is that who we get is a very big deal. Am I wrong or mustn’t we roll (whomever we get) in the first leg to get a little breathing room for the 2nd leg AND the NLD? Fulham away (between the two qualifiers) proved a very difficult match during the run-in and they will be primed to do better than their 1-nil defeat (with only 10 men for over 80 mins). We were extremely lucky to get those 3 points the way we played…

    Sorry to not be engaged in the talk about all the guys (we have little or no chance of getting) in this transfer window…. Arteta says the signings are coming, so I will trust that they are. He should know, doing the disco thing with Fellaini and helping Suarez looking for houses and schools (lol)… IF we get these guys (or others) when will they be helping us? Sometime deeper in the Autumn… Hopefully we’re not too far behind the eight-ball by that point. Or maybe we should be hoping that we DON’T make the group stage of the CL? Those extra games in mid-week can be tough with a super-thin squad…

    I’m glad that some people think Ramsey has turned the corner and they can enjoy that ball over the top to Theo… Why do I keep seeing his repeated (and ill advised) dribbling into dead ends instead?

    Usually I can keep the optimism going even in the darkest of times. I’m struggling at the moment so any help you guys (007, what sayeth the sauce?…) can throw my way would be appreciated… 😆 Cheers!

    (Good stuff re: the Fro–I gotta say, I think we would’ve gotten him by now if we–ever–were actually interested…Carry on, however…)

  89. James Bond says:


    Luiz, he’s too brash and rash to be playing as a sole DM, he could do a good job in a double DM role as a b2b may do him a lot of good ! he has all the ingredients and is a versatile player – agreed

    a lot of people at chelsea saw him as the next Chelsea captain, whether it materializes or gets sold, remains to be seen….

    he is also another one of those players that only had one decent season in england, if you can call it that

    so, if you’re willing to work out 35 million on David Luiz (not short of shenanigans, cheating and so on) then it really does make me wonder, what you’re criteria for choosing or selecting a player is ? is it hair style 😀

  90. AFC says:

    JB, maybe Arsene can tame Luiz so he can play a sole DM. Play him next to Jack job done in my opinion. Also remember he is very good at taking free kicks and can play in defence which would mean we would be solving two problems with the signing of one player (Luiz). He would be better in a double DM pivot than Fellaini.

    HH, what are your views on Luiz?

  91. James Bond says:


    ha ha, that was rather embarrassing, Ramsey trying to dribble past a couple of players and taking them on with his pace….i only picked out that long ball because it took me by surprise (maybe it was a fluke 😉

    don’t worry, as soon as i have something, i will let you know but the Chamakh deal, i was told was a 6 month loan deal and not a permanent transfer , we will have to wait and see on that one.

  92. AFC says:

    GK- any experienced pro for around. £5 million will do.
    CB and DM- David Luiz (£35-40 million)
    ST- Suarez (£45-50 million)

  93. James Bond says:


    Luiz is not disciplined enough for me – that’s all

    he has flair and what not, but doesn’t do it for me at 35-40 million.

  94. AFC says:

    JB, that’s what we all used to say about Kos. He was all over place, scoring own goals and now look at him. In a few years he will be in a top quailty player.

  95. James Bond says:

    so you want , Luiz and Luis both at Arsenal @ AFC ?

    and then you want AW to tame them both ?

    that’s a lot of taming for AW i reckon, ha

  96. James Bond says:

    i’m not sure who is “we all” when you mention Koc ?

    i have always rated him ever since i saw him, he has now had 2 good seasons at the top, sure , there is a mistake in him here n there or a moment of madness but he brings passions to this team that often looks pedestrian or lost on the pitch.

    for me, he is already in the top bracket and a worldie and if, we don’t start winning trophies soon then you’re right about one thing, he’ll still be a top quality player but not for us.

  97. AFC says:

    JB, David Luiz is valued at £25.5 million on transfermarkt. So I would say we could get him for around £35 million. Considering we would be buying a player from a rival, has EPL experience and is a first team player for Brazil, who is versatile and can cover a number of positions he is worth the money.

  98. AFC says:

    JB, when he first joined us he was a shambles. He would make mistake after mistake, score own goals etc, but he has improved his game and now he is a solid consistant defender.

  99. AFC says:

    Or why don’t we put down £30 mill for another versatile midfielder from Brazil who plays for Chelsea. 😉

  100. James Bond says:

    even with all the shambles, you could see the potential there @ AFC

    class is permanent and it shows.

  101. James Bond says:


    by the way, you could make for a good detective and agent as well, ha

    that was rather good, you connecting the dots re- Arteta > Fellaini > Suarez

  102. AFC says:

    JB, the potential was always there. I can see the same potential in David Luiz as well.

  103. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah, waiting for news 🙄

    David Luiz—Rhymes with Puh-leeze (in other words, no thanks, but hey, that’s just me and WTF do I know?…)

    I hope everybody (well, HH and Bond, at least…) can work it out re: respecting people’s opinions. After my contretemps with AFC, (after the Fulham away match last Spring, I believe, which we will try again in a mere 18 days…) I at least try to respect that people come at it from wildly different perspectives… 😉 Don’t we have to give HH credit for being our best fantasy league playe?r–I’ve already assumed he will be winning whatever prize Alex has put on offer…assuming he can hold off young Dylan… 😀

    Personally, I think watching players as much as possible is the only way to evaluate them (and I agree with 007 about Kos). I try to watch ALL Arsenal matches (plus whatever else I can) so the guys who’ve played against us get viewed in that light. Fellaini, like I’ve said, seems like he could (italics) give us some additional presence at set pieces and versatility in MF. Given that Wenger has NO time left to develop youngsters, I think he might’ve been a good option. He seems (completely off the table) right now, however… David Luiz, however, is probably (even) further off the table…

    Back on topic…What I was trying to say about Marcus’ post is that (like Wenger) I’m very concerned about our CL qualifier and the early matches…. I’m not quite sure about the hunger in the team (how is that measured or observed?) and if it can overcome the technical deficiencies that were on display over the weekend…

  104. James Bond says:

    you know things are headed in the right direction, when Arsenal fans start chucking away 30 million, 35 million on their preferred players with ease @ AFC


    if, we are doing that then that must mean our club have raised our hopes, so now it’s time to deliver the goods , i says

  105. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha, too many typos to correct, AFC style, in my posts…

    Hopefully people at least get my drift…Bond, are you saying that we could still be in for Fellaini? I would’ve thought that would’ve been an easy “splash” for AW to have made to get the summer rolling. Moyes could’ve too, but it seems (now) as if the Fro will (continue to) be Everton’s problem…

  106. AFC says:

    JB, this is what I am trying to say. We now have the money to compete with the biggest clubs and are already a big club with CL football so when we need a MF to play in a double DM pivot why go for Fellaini when we can go for Khedira, Gustavo, one of the two Benders, Gundogan, David Luiz or Ramires?

  107. 17highburyterrace says:

    Problem is, James, that the goods are results. With no (new, SQ…) players bedded into the team at this point the current squad must see us through into the Autumn. Tightrope time, once again, no?…

  108. AFC says:

    17ht, I write all of my posts and comments on my phone which is why I make errors when writing my comments, which I have to later correct.

  109. 17highburyterrace says:

    I think, AFC, it’s because those players do not want to come to Arsenal and/or the clubs they currently play for will not sell to us. Why should they? Our manager prefers to develop players like Ramsey or count on players like Arteta. The teams in question don’t seem to need our money either….

    It doesn’t mean that we cannot want them, however….

    Again, feel free to ignore me, I’m just having trouble being optimistic (today)… 😦

  110. Gerry says:

    JB – It was not me that mentioned height in midfield in relation to Vieira. However, and glic will like this, I did say Grenier would add a bit of height when I first threw his name into ideal purchases …. many, many moons ago now.

    I am with you on Luiz,. Not with you on Felaini. We not only want a good tackler in the DM slot, but also someone who has a range of passes. Not to mention that, both these players do have their flashpoints. I think AW will do well to keep an eye on one – LUIS.

    I would love to know how much stuff is being generated by Liverpool regards Saurez’s future? I cannot see RM wanting him this season, whether or not they get Bale. If they can only raise £20m in cash – presumably the banks in Spain are not risking to loan them – they are going to be lucky to get anybody unless they sell/part ex?

  111. James Bond says:

    well put and said @ 17HT

    you see, it’s rather baffling when people say, Ah, but he only had one good season LAST YEAR when that player may have had a decent season before as well, but even that was the case regarding any player,

    i would much rather buy the player on his last years performance (current form) instead of looking at stats from years before…

    football is a present day business with history and past of over more than 12 months of little or no relevance, i mean who really gives a fcuk if Rooney won the golden boot 3/4 years ago ? his form and performances of last 12 months will be zoomed in and looked it.

    it’s just another way of saying, ah, we won trophies 8 years ago – yeah no wonder we did, if we keep living in the past, chances are it will soon turn into 9.

    any player under 26, who has had a good season last year is promising and simply shouldn’t be ridiculed for a stand out season based on assumptions that he may or may not be able to repeat it, that was never the point to begin with – chances are that he is peaking and may yet, do better under AW , who knows ?

    but let’s be realistic here, if, a player is brought by his club for 17 million 5 years ago, with EPL experience, he sure as hell won’t be sold for anything less than 25 ? it’s reasonable to say the least, especially when you see AFC quote 35-40 million for Luiz 😀

  112. AFC says:

    17ht, you definitely have a point but do you not think money talks? Every player has their price and as long as you are willing to pay players the wages they want they will join your club. Look at Monoco. Even Spurs managed to get Soldado. I think there is always a chance (even if it is a very liitle chance) that we can get top quality players.

    What harm can be done in trying, bidding £30 million for one of the 6 players I mentioned above. If the clubs accepts happy days, if they do not maybe up the bid a bit if the club says it is not enough and If that does not work and/or the club does not want to sell just move on to other targets. At least try is my message to you. Even West Ham offered £24 million for Soldado which was accepted but Soldado did not want to go to there. Can’t blame West Ham, at least they tried.

  113. Gerry says:

    17 HT – I won’t ignore you. I agree this Friday is important. Draw a weak team and we might get by the second leg using the bulk of our better Academy players.

    However, if we manage to sort the Saurez deal out and get him registered by the following Monday, he would be allowed to play in both legs, and depending again on the draw, would probably get a result without troubling many of the key players?

  114. James Bond says:


    that’s ok, i have previously expressed my reservations on Fellaini’s passing game and also pointed out, that the team he was playing for had a direct wasn’t tailoured for the passing game as such…who knows, under AW, he can surprise us all ?

    re- RM and cash, well it’s a way of working round FFP for them, they did it with Luka as well last year…in a way, it sort of shows that FFP is working in spades and has an impact on clubs operating, which means it’s not all doom and gloom.

    i guess the delay for the bale deal is that, if RM want to pay in installments then the price will be higher (RM want 5 years @ 20 million = 100 M & Spuds wants 6 years @ 20 = 120 million) ? possibly.

    i just want the whole bale issue to drag on for another week or 2 or 3, ha ha

  115. Glic says:

    I am too concerned with Arsenal`s CL qualification games !. Even though every game is a hard game in my eyes, others ( not on here to my knowledge ) are saying we have an easy start to the league, but not if you take the two qualifying games into account !. There are, as someone said, some teams in the qualifying rounds who are every bit as good, if not better than the two we faced in the Emir`s Tea Cup !.
    With their obsession for red zone fitness issues ( don’t start me on that again ! ), they will be giving lame excuses for dropping points in the league against teams who we think are easy, due to playing twice in a week !. Points adrift, out of the title running in the first few weeks and Thursday night on Ch ? is a real possibility !.
    Don’t ever say I don’t bring some optimism to the blog !. hahaha

  116. Gerry says:

    Personally I would go for Ginter, AND one other. If you noticed in my ‘dream team’ for this season, I moved Arteta upfield as an AM. He sprays the ball around the box as well as any. but as he is getting older he can do split shifts with our many other candidates for that coveted CAN role?

  117. Gerry says:

    But getting back to HT’s pessimism. I would think that AW has got a fall back guy if the Saurez deal does go tits up on us. But this latest news of him not travelling makes me think they will very quickly be resigned to selling, and we are the most likely club who will put up the most cash, rather than installments. Man U could be a problem, as was said yesterday, if they are in a similar position with Rooney. Chelsea appear like the most likely club to pay a big fee and big wage? So then Saurez would link very well around RVP?

  118. Glic says:

    Actually, 💡 a lot of people are saying the Suarez deal depends on us getting CL Proper qualification to activate his interest or his contract clause, but knowing Arsenal, lets swing it around completely and look at it from a different angle, maybe Arsenal are actually holding back on the big money buy depending on whether we get into the CL Proper !. Tuesday/Wednesday night….. big buy….Thursday night…… good bye, small buy !. Come on, we are talking about the business that loves making money more than getting trophy`s, you know it makes sense !.

  119. Glic says:

    That make s sense in a normal world Gerry, but The Bindippers will hate selling to us… ManU………..I wouldn`t like to be in The Bindippers management shoes with that one !.

  120. kel says:

    great post my brother

  121. AFC says:

    Gerry, Liverpool would never sell Suarez to United. I think Saurez said that they told him that they would sell him to any CL club apart from United for a minimum of £35 million.

  122. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks for the personalized responses 😆 I guess HH had to get back to work, but otherwise we’ve got a decent group going today…(I’ll be off soon myself…)

    AFC, I guess I can see your point and things indicate that we’ve made some offers somewhere (Lars Bender, early in the summer). There are players I don’t want near the club and that would include David Luiz. If AVB has any single player to thank for losing his Chelsea job, it would be Sideshow Bob… It’s just my opinion (same as Wayne Rooney) and I can see the upside to these players that others see as well…Still, as team players go–they aren’t–and for the money (fees AND salaries) I say no…

    Thanks, too to Gerry and Glic. The EmCup shouldn’t be taken as a last word and the combos Arsene used seemed very odd. Still, we are extraordinarily thin going into the season and we’ve got extra matches!! I guess we’ll be pushing Kos and Per (Sagna as back-up) and doing the double pivot thing with Arteta and Ramsey. Lordy I hope we get more of Theo’s strange crosses (that become goals) rather than his missed toe-pokes. Poldolski looked useless and Santi still on the beach…

    Also, I find Glic’s analysis of Jack’s running style to be very interesting. Sometimes, like when he runs onto balls, he can spring the offense, but at others it’s all about getting the ref to give him calls. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen much of final ball from our #10… We cannot afford too much in the way of nothing from him during these critical matches. Either he or Rosicky will have to produce (make chances) during this period OR the defense will need clean sheet after clean sheet. On the evidence of what we saw over the weekend both seem (at least a bit) unlikely…

    Finally, even if the news out of Scouse-town seems a hair better for getting Suarez there is no way he will participate in our CL qualifiers. Like Glic says, he may be waiting on us to get through… Our best bet there is an easy draw–Or are we thinking that losing might be our best bet for repeating our top 4 finish? My pessimism stems from several systemic issues: The teams above us are bossing us in the marketplace AND our manager is under enormous pressure to do things differently and he (simply) won’t. If results go against us, how can there be any patience left amongst the support?

    It’s all well and good to play fantasy football and hope for the best, but everything (including what we saw at the weekend, just to stay on-topic…) points to another round of disappointment. Playing each match as a cup-final (or with the manager’s head on the proverbial block) is exciting but it’s too much pressure. Something’s gotta give, no?

    Sorry 😳 ….

  123. AFC says:

    17ht, totally respect your views on certain players. For me it is not that I want us the individual players (such as David Luiz) I mentioned but those players were examples as the calibre of player we should be buying. High profile, quality players that would show a statement of intent to the world that we are an ambitious football club and are actually serious about winning things.

  124. Gerry says:

    And it’s goodnight from him, and goodnight from me.

    Catch you tomorrow when I read that Bernard had a sneak preview of the Emirates … and he liked what he saw???

  125. AFC says:

    17ht, totally respect your views on certain players. For me it is not that I want us to sign the individual players (such as David Luiz) which I mentioned but those players were examples as the calibre of player we should be buying. High profile, quality players, that are playing at the very top level and have won things, that would show a statement of intent to the world that we are an ambitious football club and are actually serious about winning things.

    I really feel we need to sign a marquee players to as a statement of intent. United and Moyes are also in the same position, in which they need a marquee signing to please the fans and show the world they are still a big football club.

  126. Glic says:

    I have said something like that in the past 17ht !.
    We are the Arsenal, so CL or not, we should be able to attract SQ players ( money inspires as much, if not more than a faint chance of CL glory ).
    No CL and in theory we only have 38 matches ( I think the Chavs played nearly double that last season in all comp` ) to keep players fit !. Europa League could be used as well as the FA Cup and Capital One Cup to acclimatise the youngsters to proper quality opposition !. Leaving the first team to just 38 games to get at least 4th. There would be no griping or excuses about being overplayed .
    Imo, only SQ players with CL will get us 4th or better !. No SQ and being in CL will make 4th or better an Everest !. No CL and 4th should be nailed on imo as long as Arsene follows my advise and keeps first team squad just for EPL !. It`s OK Arsene, the first appointment is free !. hahaha

  127. Retsub says:

    I am fairly new here, so have been keeping my head in the trenches. Really interesting debate today with lots of food for thought.

    I don’t profess to know much about the foreign targets, but in my opinion the team is missing a captain. The captaincy has been passed around recently, to the best players, in order to retain players etc. the winning sides of the past always had a driving inspirational captains McLintock, Vieira, Adams etc. I can’t help thinking the younger players would benefit from a mouthful now and again. Arrtetea seems well respected, but I am not sure he is the right man.

    Head back in the trench

  128. Glic says:

    I should say “the first consultation is free”, it`s the professional thing to say just like them blood sucking Accountants say as they sneak the hands down your trousers and molest your wallet !. hahaha

  129. AFC says:

    Retsub, hope you will start to post here more often. 🙂

    We have had many debates in the past over who should wear the captain’s armband. Jack will be ready for it in a few years but you are right we do need someone now. Wenger has said that Vermaelen will continue to wear the captain’s armband but I think Arteta and Mertesacker are better options. Koscielny also has the persona of a captain and would make a good leader but I would not give him the armband after the dip in Vermaelen’s form after he became captain. I cannot see Wenger signing anyone worthy of becoming captain or in fact giving them the armband. My top picks would be Arteta, Mertesacker and Sagna.

  130. 17highburyterrace says:

    Glic, the only SQ player we seem to be in for is the one who needs the mask…Suarez…and I think you’re right that his contract clause only kicks in if we’re qualified. We “should” have a winnable draw for our qualifier and we “should” have only one team in our group who really troubles us so it’s not too many tough matches, in the end…It’s just trying to be competitive on all fronts with a skeleton squad that has me worried. So far, however, barring Ryo and TV5 we look OK on the injury front…

    The thing, AFC, is that spending money for spending sake will only make fans (you included, I would guess…) happy for a moment. People were pumped up when we did our record signing (Arshavin) but not so much to watch him shrug his shoulders and grin with each giveaway. Wenger has got to get it right this time, so in him we trust. The problem is we’ve been trusting too long and there have been too many Arshavins (and Denilsons and Bendtners and Gervinhos and Chamakhs, etc.)… He hardly has enough rope left to with which to hang himself…

    That’s why these first five matches are critical. The EmCup doesn’t matter, but it would have been nice to have done better AND seen some better performances. Late as it was in pre-season it would’ve also been good to have seen some new signings or even “like new signings.” Sanogo looked to have a bit of promise, Diaby is running again, maybe?… We need to do better (results and, ideally, performances…) to build a little hope or else the TW becomes a bit moot…

    OK, like Gerry, I’m off, gonna take a run with little tiny old man strides–the opposite of Ramsey or Wilshere, here in the heat of the day…

    Here’s a little something my wife found to maybe lighten the mood–esp. if you know American Football…

    Arsene and Arsenal–Always on a knife’s edge?… Exciting times…maybe too exciting?….

  131. James Bond says:


    we normally give the captains arm band to the players we’re looking to cash in on and make a hefty profit in the process.

    it does 2 things :

    1: we get more money out of it because we telling the buying club, hey , look we’re selling you our leader

    2: we identify the captain for next year, so we can also sell him for a profit


  132. AFC says:

    17ht, all good points. Arsenal fans (myself and you) included just want Wenger to spend big and sign quality players. I am happy for him to do this as long as he gets it right. We will just have to wait and see how the transfer window pans out.

    Good speaking to you. 🙂

  133. Retsub says:

    Thanks AFC I certainly will post when I have something meaningful to say. I and a number of others were posting on a small blog for many years which has died a natural death. We took a look at the various blogs and decided that we liked this one best, I suspect a number of my fellow bloggers are lurking, waiting to make their debuts.

  134. Retsub says:

    Mr Bond
    Kos must be the next captain then? He looks really good. Does annoy me when he says he has to go elsewhere to win things. If he and Szs hadn’t screwed up against Birmingham, we would have got rid of this winless streak, albeit the league cup (whatever it’s called now)

  135. AFC says:

    Retsub, I am looking forward to you and your fellow bloggers posting here more often. 🙂

  136. AFC says:

    Retsub, I would make Kos captain. I think he might not be able to take the pressure like Verm couldn’t. I think we would be better off making someone who is experienced, calm and a real pro who would not falter under the pressure of wearing the captain’s armband. Players like Mertesacker, Sagna and Arteta would make good choices until Jack is ready to step up and take the armband.

  137. AFC says:

    * would not make Kos captain

  138. James Bond says:


    if, we fail to win anything next season then i can see Kos leave and i wouldn’t be blaming him or anyone else , if they wished to leave – quite bluntly put, we need quality additions before the 2nd of September – least show it to these guys, that we mean business and are a big club with ambitions

    re- that cock up in the Carling cup final a few years ago, i blame Sczny for that….his problem still remains the same for me – not a big match player, fails to deliver in big games mostly when it matters the most…i hope with more time, he can somehow get over it and improve but i wouldn’t hold my breath over it…

    good to hear about you and your fellow amigos liking it here, you will feel right at home as long as you live and breathe Arsenal like the rest of us, ha

  139. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey boys, back from my run…Feeling more Santi than Rambo, I’m afraid…

    I like that the captaincy remains with a Vermaelen–it makes it a non-issue (Arteta will wear the armband until he gets hurt, then PM4 or Jack will wear it, if they’re healthy–touch wood, of course…) This group showed collective guts last season to hold their nerve and get the required results…We need leadership from everybody in the squad, I fear…

    Koscielny is the man and it just goes to show that players can mature at any time and come from anywhere. I liked him from the get-go and he was clearly called off the ball by Sir Chez in the CC final. He’s gotten better and better at making his own decisions now and seems very good at knowing when to make the play and when to back off. Own goals can often result from players being too aggressive but also from indecision. They can also just happen. A better indication is how many pens he’s been called for. I’m having trouble remembering ANY, but then again, my memory ain’t what it used to be…Buster, er, retsub, I wouldn’t read too much into his “statements.” Being flattered that Pep G is interested and wanting the team to do better? Well, who wouldn’t?… (Welcome, to BK, btw…)

    Any news from the sauces before bedtime, 007? I can’t see us winning anything (trophies) this coming season but I am hoping we’re a bit more competitive. I’ll still be angry/sad if Kos leaves because of it…

  140. James Bond says:

    as a food of thought,

    how do you reckon the likes of Arteta, Wilshere, Giroud and other players feel, when they are having to talk about “potential signings” or stating that they would like more players coming in with quality e.t.c e.t.c

    and then boom – you’re left with the likes of bendtner’s and miguel’s

  141. James Bond says:


  142. James Bond says:

    apart from us breaking our transfer record twice before the window shuts, nothing i’m afraid @ 17HT

    been told to wait a bit longer as good things and quality players come to those who wait.

  143. Highbury Harmony says:

    Yes, let’s senselessly shell out £23 million on an average player who had one good year playing as a SS! Because so many other clubs are racing for his signature right?


  144. Highbury Harmony says:

    Agreed Gerry, we do not need a player like Fellaini at our club, so long as better options are out there, which there are.

    It’d be a different matter had a plethora of B2B/DM had already moved teams like ST have this TW.

  145. Dylan says:

    I’m also very much against Fellaini. I’d rather risk our money on Suarez. Fellaini isn’t good enough for a big club. I’d rather go after Gundogan. Or Kondogbia. Or both.

  146. James Bond says:

    all that is jolly good,

    but out of all the “better options” , how many are realistically available on the market ?

  147. Highbury Harmony says:

    Every player has a price. Our bid of £18 mil was easily rejected by Bayer Leverkusen but if we upped it to £25 million, I reckon Lars would be ours.

  148. James Bond says:

    19,8 million, nearly 20 for him but they made it quite clear he was not for sale…and there was no encouragement from his camp or else we would have gone back in i’m assuming ?

    don’t think it was a go go or else we would still be in there , who knows we still might be but anyway, i have nothing against the names you have suggested and i would be happy with anyone of them, i just need a bloody signing now ahahahhahahahaha

  149. Highbury Harmony says:

    I agree in a sense, but there hasn’t been new news on the Fellaini front either, which begs the question of how much of the transfer speculation is created by agents?

  150. James Bond says:

    yep, same can be said of the Higuain situation.

    but in regards to Fellaini – can i just say that it’s not as straight forward as everyone may think it appears.

    there have been different dates quoted in relation to the expiry date of this “release clause”….who is to say that this was done by Fellaini’s agents and not Everton themselves ?

    once this release clause expires, maybe there is another one that can let him leave on the cheap or the club have to listen to serious offers in the region of 15-22 million ?

  151. Glic says:

    Welcome Retsub. Glad that my quality comments have enticed you and your buddies to BK !. hahaha
    Time to have a look at the countdown as I cant remember how many days are left to kick-off and without any serious SQ !.

    ooooh, nearly down to single figure days !.

  152. Dylan says:

    Welcome Retsub and friends! 🙂 Always happy to have more here. Naturally I have to ask…optimist or pessimist?

  153. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, I’ll classify the DM targets into my rating system:

    SQ options potentially available: L.Bender (£25-30 million), Khedira (£20-25 million)
    Potential to be SQ players available: Kondogbia (£15-20 million)

    SQ options we are interested in but likely not available: Gundogan (£30 million), S.Bender (£25-30 million)

    Great DMs potentially available: Gonalons (£15-20 million), Gustavo (£15-20 million)

    Good DMs potentially available: Fellaini (£23 million, in this category because of price relevant to skill), Freiberg (£5 million), Camacho (£10-15 million), Capoue (£10-15 million)

    If we can get Fellaini in the £15-18 million bracket, I’d be all for it. He brings some steel to our current squad, but at £23-25 million, there are clearly better rumoured options out there. That was all I was trying to say earlier, but decided to attack the individual player instead. Still, I’d prefer a DM with ball skills, vision and the ability to play free flowing football first, and only a DM like Capoue or Fellaini if we’ve exhausted all other avenues.

  154. Retsub says:

    Drat 17ht you cracked my code. What I have seen of Fellaini he looked really good. Against Man U last year he dominated and at the Emirates he certainly gets stuck in

    I am a big Wenger fan, but unless we bring in new recruits I can see us fighting for 4th again. As I said before I am no expert on foreign players, but their must be a Pires, or a
    Ljunberg out there somewhere

  155. Highbury Harmony says:

    Retsub, Remy Cabella is a Ljungberg/Pires in the making and Arsenal would be wise to move for him. However, Montpellier were quoted to be looking for £50 million for him, which is asinine.

    Muniain, Bernard, Eriksen are other top quality versatile attacking players that we should be interested in.

  156. James Bond says:

    Kondogbia has 3rd party ownership issues (correct me if, i’m wrong)…

    both the benders be ace, Khedira be joining his amigos Per and Poldi, so that’s a good one and his work rate is top notch as well

    course , i would be happy if we got Fellaini for anything under 20 million, his realistic price is no more than 18 million in my opinion but this is the british transfer market and when dealing with other epl teams, the price is naturally inflated (this was the point i tried making earlier and failed to put it across).

  157. Retsub says:

    Dylan definitely an optimist. Having been defending Rambo for the past few years… Glad to see him prospering. Lifelong arsenal fan. When Michael Thomas scored that goal at Anfield my son was 2 months old. My wife told me to be quiet as I would wake the baby…”wake the baby, this is the greatest moment of my life” huge mistake!

  158. James Bond says:


    Montpe were also quoting us 80 million for Giroud, and guess what ? he had a 9.8 million release clause in his contract ahahahahahaahahahhahaahaahahhaha

  159. Glic says:

    Fellaini clause….Suarez clause….Santa clause…`s going to be either a Diarrhoea Deadline Day ! or a Delightful / Delirious Deadline Day !, but one I like to sit naked in front of the TV with popcorn, nuts, sweets etc` and drink. Just like being at the cinema !. hahaha

  160. James Bond says:

    hahahahahahahahhaa @ Glics

    more like we end up looking like a bunch of clauses ourselves ahahahaha

  161. Glic says:

    One of the Benders must be better than the other !. Is it Lars ?, as I`m sure he has more caps for Krautland !.

  162. Glic says:

    A bunch of lost clauses 007 !. hahaha

  163. AFC says:

    HH, I would go for Khedira and L.Bender. Chelsea can have Gustavo. L.Bender is ours for £25 million, if Arsene offers it. You never know if we get L.Bender he might be able to persuade his twin to join us as well (S.Bender). Imagine that two Benders in our team 😀 that would sure be a great combo. You cannot have a better partnership than two twins working side by side.

  164. James Bond says:


    wake up


  165. Glic says:

    I love your last sentence there AFC !.
    So True, in fact I have a couple of Lesbender twins working either side of me now !. hahaha

  166. AFC says:

    JB, it’s good to dream. 😀

  167. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice one retsub. Still married? Certainly she must’ve come around on THAT one. (I hope)…

    Can’t say I’m on the same page about Ramsey, though on that topic, his “improvement” may be the reason that many are now more keen on a younger midfielder and/or somebody from a different league who might need a little time to adjust. For me, the notion that we’re going into the season with a double pivot of Arteta and Ramsey and very little in the way of back-up (Le Coq out on loan, Diaby out until forever) seems laughable. Hell, we trotted Arteta out on the final day of the season even though he was clearly unfit….As we saw at the weekend, a gorgeous ball to Theo (and an offside, left footed goal) notwithstanding, Ramsey is prone to chasing balls into dead ends or parts of the pitch without a thought to defensive duties and positioning. Fellaini at 23 million might not be the answer but surely (as HH points out) it’s not THAT hard a question…

    Good to see Bond and HH explaining themselves a little more deeply and otherwise making up…

  168. AFC says:

    JB & Glic, and what adds to the dream is that one is a DM and one is more of a box to box mid.

  169. Highbury Harmony says:

    Ahahaha Glic, too many clauses. Where’s the Missus Clause?!

  170. Glic says:

    Come on 007 and AFC !. It`s about time you both had a decent avatar instead of them boring ones !.

  171. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic probably went BOING! as soon as he saw AFC’s last sentence @ 22:27 hahaha!

  172. Glic says:

    HH. Probably getting down on Santa`s sack !. hahaha

  173. AFC says:

    17ht, agreed. It is pretty laughable that Arteta had to play injured. I wonder what AW will do if Ramsey and Arteta are out. Surely he wouldn’t go for Ox and Jack in the double DM pivot. I wouldn’t put it past Wenger.

    17ht, do not forget Rosicky who can also play DM is required. 😀

  174. Glic says:

    I`m sure AFC comes out with this stuff without knowing it !.

  175. AFC says:

    Glic, all in good time.

  176. James Bond says:


    me and HH have had our fair share of moments in the past, i can tell you right now, this is not the first nor last time – so buckle your seat belts and look forward to the next time 😉


    i’m lazy ahahahhahahaha

    LiverFOOL beginning to make a lot of noises now – sign of desperation or last ditch attempts ?

  177. Glic says:

    Real Madrid make an offer for Bale…..currently injured !.

    Chelsea make an offer for Rooney……currently injured !.

    Arsenal make an offer for Suarez…….currently injured !.

    VCC makes an offer for a Prossie……currently in police cell !.

  178. 17highburyterrace says:

    AFC, I think Wenger doesn’t like the idea of DMs and B2Bs and AMs and just wants players who cover for each other and take the opportunities as they get presented. Arteta has been great in the coverage category but lack of mobility makes him less able to take the chances which might come…Ramsey seems content to run hither and thither and take a pot shot from wherever. Defensive duties sometimes go wanting…Also, as good as MA8 is, he needs a little ref help when better teams (and players) target him as the guy to stop…

    I’m with the others who say Fellaini is unlikely to be the guy who can fill this role long term. On the other hand, he can give as good as our guys (often) get and a little play-making bite in MF (and at set pieces) couldn’t hurt us. Personally, I think it was all paper (agent) talk, back when the headlines were all about how much money we were gonna spend. As always, what do I know?

    Looking forward to the signings, Bond, (and more battles with HH?…) and sooner seems better than later (if just for morale) to help us get through these critical early matches…Can’t do the fantasy stuff myself…Twins is strictly a BR (bedroom) sort of fantasy for me, though AFC (and others who play the FIFA games?) maybe can do otherwise… 😉

  179. AFC says:

    JB, reports are saying Suarez has told Liverpool he will not play in any more pre-season matches until his future has been resolved. His advisors want to know what is happening to Suarez by 15th August.

  180. 17highburyterrace says:

    Reports are also saying that Henry (Liverpool owner) will not sell Suarez to anyone…Hmmmm…

    I was trying to argue that Suarez’ late season bite was the equivalent of RvPs 4th of July statement to the fan–a transfer request w/o making a transfer request… My wife wasn’t buying it and is a bit concerned about our big target (and my avatar…)

  181. AFC says:

    17ht, perhaps HH can tell you which one of the Benders is more versatile. I think one if not both can cover a number of positions including DM, CM, RB and even RM (I think).

    In the coming years I think of Arteta and Rosicky of being our Scholes and Giggs. Experienced pros who can change games through their cameo performances.

    If Wenger is looking for versatility then maybe Khedira is not the man we need. In that case L. Bender should be our top priority for midfield. He would give us that versatility (like Ramsey has however Ramsey lacks the quality) and would be able to perform very well for us in our free flowing style of football due to his experience in a number of positions. He is also quite young and would have time to improve.

  182. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, Lars Bender is the more versatile of the two within the CM position, since he’s able to play B2B or DM capably. However, Sven Bender is more positionally versatile in that he can play at DM, CB or LB if it becomes an absolute necessity.

    My choice would personally be Lars because of his potential offensively and he seems to be more comfortable moving up field with the ball.

    This is a great article comparing the abilities of the two and it arrives at the same conclusion that I have. Both are great players though.

  183. AFC says:

    17ht, what is really pissing me off about the whole Saurez thing is when people say ‘going to Arsenal would not be a step up’ for him. Can you please try and explain this to me.

    History aside, we go into EPL seasons aiming to win the title and end up finishing in the top four and Liverpool go into EPL seasons aiming to finish in the top four and end up finishing somewhere in mid-table.

    So we are behind United, City and Chelsea and with quality signings such as Suarez we would be on par with those teams but Liverpool with Suarez are behind Arsenal, Chelsea, United, Chelsea, Spurs, Everton and are on par with the likes of Swansea etc.

  184. Highbury Harmony says:

    Lars is also more attainable since he does not play for Borussia Dortmund. However, Bayer are also in CL themselves, so they will also be relatively reluctant to sell. Looking at the two squads though, Bayer has less of a chance to make a run in either domestic or European competitions, mainly because they lack the depth. An injury to Kiessling would set them back a ridiculous degree.

  185. 17highburyterrace says:

    Khedira? Is there any indication RM want him out?…

    That’s the thing, the big teams boss the smaller ones and players, generally, want to get onto the better teams. This is why United got bossed us with RvP and we are doing likewise to ‘Pool with Suarez. This is also why I never understood the idea that Rooney would come our way. Higuain might have, if we had just forked over enough to match Napoli, fat with their Cavani money…

    Those issues maybe don’t matter in an idealized world, however…

  186. AFC says:

    17ht, Real have signed Isco and Illarramendi and are also looking to sign Kondogbia. Modric can also play in the ‘2’ which Real use. So it is unlikely Khedira will get much playing time if he has to compete with those players and Xabi Alonso so I can see him going.

  187. 17highburyterrace says:

    HH, I read somewhere (7amkickoff, I think) that L. Bender would likely come next season much as Santi came a year late from Malaga…Anything to that one?

    Seems we still could use some cover in MF (IMO)…Given my (personal) feelings about Ramsey (and worries about Arteta staying fit) I’d go for somebody ready for the first team now…even if they were on the older side and lacked world classiness down the road… Glad to see you’re feeling better about AR16, however… 😀

  188. Dylan says:

    Excellent to hear Retsub. 😉
    Everyone, looks like it’s happening:

  189. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nothing in the Spanish press about Khedira out at RM, but if you say so, AFC… 😉

    It will be interesting how those new guys settle in at RM and who suffers. Still, riding the bench at RM might be seen as preferable to rotating with Ramsey at Arsenal…

    Just saying….

  190. James Bond says:

    forget reports, AFC , 17HT and co

    Suarez himself has publically said he wants ARSENAL.

    hint hint @

    James Bond PERMALINK
    August 6, 2013 17:31
    it’s getting down to the nitty gritty,
    and most of us, if not all shall be very happy indeed.

  191. James Bond says:

    i hope you’re a tad more happy and less anxious now @ 17HT

    it’s a chain of events, we get one and then the rest follow.

    so HH wanted Giroud on the bench ? done ahahahahahahahahah

  192. Dylan says:

    JB, the link I posted has his full statement. 😉

  193. James Bond says:

    i know, Dylan

    i know.


  194. ProudGooner says:

    Fair points, it was embarrassing losing the cup at home agreed . but any team can come unstuck when the other team has a truely world class striker and the fact he cheated up us is just what it is.
    I am not overly worried though, they played 2 games in 2 days with a weaked side for a half and all that.
    Also agree that it is a blessing in disquise , the ammount of players our club has shipped out this TW is a hell of a lot. It is 10 or more i think.?? That said Wenger must be looking to add quite a few i think, clearly some youngsters are coming along well and he he push them into the first team. This is the time for us fans to truely get excited the signings should start arriving any day soon now.
    I am not worried about the CL qulifiers either lucky for us we have a manager who is the master at qualifiing for the CL 16 years in a row and i am sure he will not want to let that slip now.

  195. 17highburyterrace says:

    So Bond, Suarez is in. (Will he play in the CL qualifiers?…) Time for your first post here on BK, I would say, you know, to make the whole interweb aware of the situation… 😉

    And the other record breaking signing?…

    Inquiring minds and all that…

  196. James Bond says:

    chain of events was your hint, let’s get Suarez first the rest takes care of itself.


    so most of us will be sleeping pretty easy tonight knowing it’s out in the open from the player himself !

    he’s basically told LiverFOOL to fcuk off and don’t bother playing him or forcing him for the friendlies

    i hope we do a Suarez article soon and get some LiverFOOL fans on here, (i bloody hate them and i’m more than willing to take them all on , when Suarez becomes a gooner 😀

    there’s always a first time for everything but i doubt if, that’s going to be the case with me writing my maiden post , nice try though 🙂

  197. ProudGooner says:

    i got faith in you JB and i will be right behind you taking on them thieving scousers lol

  198. ProudGooner says:

    hey hey calm down, calm down! big tash and felliani wig on.

  199. James Bond says:

    that’s the spirit @ PG

    some of their fans get on my nerves, they have never bloody won the Premiership, yet, they have the audacity to spout utter rubbish ever since the whole Suarez saga became public

  200. ProudGooner says:

    talking of Fellaini does his contract cluase not change on the 16th of this month or something so if a team is going to move for him then it must be soon.?

  201. AFC says:

    JB, who better to write a Suarez post than yourself. If we get Suarez it is only right you write the post as you have always wanted Suarez. If you could call Liverpool LiverFOOL throughout the post that would be great. 😀

  202. James Bond says:

    RVP is beginning to look like a saint compared to what Suarez is doing to them ahahahha

    oh my.

  203. 17highburyterrace says:

    So, there’s no need to worry about Real Madrid hijacking the deal? If he’s so great (you know, done with the biting and all…) why wouldn’t he be preferable to Bale? 100 million for Bale or 50-60 Suarez? I guess when you’re 600 million in debt a few more doesn’t bother you and, like AFC told me the other day, Gareth would be good for marketing to the Welsh RM fans, etc….

    Seems a little early to be counting sheep (or otherwise banking on “the silence of the lambs”…)

  204. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht @ 23:20, never heard that one mate! I’d be thrilled if we could get L.Bender in an Arsenal shirt, but a year later may be too late if we’re considering the patience of our better players (Santi and Koz especially).

  205. James Bond says:

    ha ha @ AFC

    no mate, that will be too much, we have class and BK’s posts shouldn’t go as far as disrespecting them directly in an article, it’s neither classy nor our style, however, rest assured, i will be using the powers of freedom of speech in all my comments , once Suarez becomes a gooner and the post is published (i am already expecting plenty of LiverFOOL fans coming our way).

    the heading should be like this ” Suarez Shuns a Mid table Club for a Big Club”


    RM, BM are reluctant buying players with baggage or a tarnished/damaged image e.t.c plus the marketing bit you’ve addressed,

    also, his agent is not very fond of RM – that should go without saying, i guess in a couple of years time, once he has repaired his image, he might move to BM.

    but for now, let’s not count our chickens 😉

  206. James Bond says:

    course, both of the clubs have Ribery and Benzema as well, who don’t have a squeaky clean history or image but there you go.

    the fans in spain (RM) have been going bananas over Bale 😀

    they actually really want him there.

  207. AFC says:

    JB, 😀

  208. Highbury Harmony says:

    Back to before JB, I don’t rate Koz as a world-class talent. Santi is a world-class talent, but Koz is not quite there yet. If he can sustain his 2011-12 form and about the last 10 games of last season then perhaps I would rate him in that category. However, as of now world-class CBs are few and far between.

    Hummels, Ramos, Kompany, Thiago Silva, Chiellini, Dante and Subotic are the only world-class CBs imho. If not for his constant injury troubles, Vidic would be on this list as well.

    Godin, Koscielny, Barzagli, Vertonghen, Miranda, Inigo Martinez and Varane are all on the cusp of joining this group. So perhaps, Koz would have been better placed as a “potential to be world-class” then.

  209. ProudGooner says:

    I have just read Luis comments , also if you think about Wengers comments on trying to keep things amicable if possible . Then you have to say Suarez could be a gooner very soon, oh he could be awesome for us quite exciting .

  210. Highbury Harmony says:

    I should add: #Suarzenal

  211. James Bond says:

    that’s ok @ HH

    one man’s world class is another’s quality player and one man’s quality player is another’s good player.

  212. AFC says:

    HH, do not forget Pique, Mascherano and Dante. Where would you put those guys?

  213. AFC says:

    You’ve already listed Dante. 😉

  214. ProudGooner says:

    man i thought the deal was done for a second there. lets just hope it is soon , fingers crossed lol

  215. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, Mascherano I rate more as a DM. Pique has just been god awful the past two seasons. I currently rate a 34/35 year old Puyol as better than him, so that should speak volumes about how I rate him…

  216. James Bond says:


    credit to the lad, he had balls to come out in the open and risk everything…including us not officially being in the CL, yet, he has come out and stated his desire and has made an honest statement….!

  217. AFC says:

    We might get Suarez for £40 million and £1 after all. Let’s hope Wenger does not try to not give the £1. After all he likes saving money. 😀

  218. Highbury Harmony says:

    lol sorry PG, I got a little excited that we finally had confirmation from the player himself that he wants out.

    I may have already added Suarez to Arsenal on Fifa…too trigger happy?

  219. ProudGooner says:

    lol no worrries , it is starting to look really good though now.

  220. AFC says:

    HH, for me Mascherano is now a CB, considering he has been playing there for years. In my opinion he is a DM who has been converted to a CB.

  221. Highbury Harmony says:

    I agree JB, considering Koscielny as a world-class player is certainly not out of the question. Closer than most others (non-Arsenal fans) would initially believe. However, I am shocked that you don’t rate Santi as a world-class talent.

  222. ProudGooner says:

    i could even see Wenger going sod it , “il throw another 10m at it just to get it done, u can spend 15 and get Arseshaven so il just throw it at suarez” and that is what he should think really.

  223. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, while you are correct, I still don’t rate Mascherano that highly. Mascherano was converted to play as a CB out of necessity (injuries to both Puyol and Pique). He’s done fine with the transition but is not even first choice over Puyol and Pique if both are healthy. The only reason Mascherano was converted was because of the emergence/elevated play and durability of Busquets.

    Everyone knows that Barca’s biggest weakness is in their CB’s. It’s also no secret that Barca are looking to sign a SQ CB like Hummels or Thiago Silva, but have fallen short due to both clubs unwilling to sell.

  224. AFC says:

    HH, all good points.

    JB, I think I know why you do not rate Santi as a world class midfielder. You are comparing him to the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Pirlo. If HH was doing his rating system for midfielders I would have an elite category for Xavi, Iniesta, Pirlo and maybe Cesc and then I would have a world class category for Santi, Mata etc.

  225. AFC says:

    I think Cesc would just miss out on the elite category. I would put him in the world class category with the potential to be elite.

  226. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC :), I would actually put world-class as a category above elite! Just my own way of ranking categories though ;).

  227. Highbury Harmony says:

    Well actually, it would go generational, elite, great and good (like I categorized them the other day).

  228. James Bond says:

    Santi needs to deliver the goods next season as well in order for me to have him right up there, for now he’s top notch quality and the best in the EPL for sure, however, world class requires consistency, so i’ll let him deliver the goods next season before i move him in that category @ HH

    trouble with Santi is that at times he goes missing and looks ineffective, you sort of get the impression that he can’t be bothered, where as with Koc, he scores an own goal and then he really has his tail up, you can see him run forward and fight like a lion – the determination and grit gets even stronger after a mistake.

    with Santi, his shoulders drop down a little when things don’t go our way – that’s all.

  229. Highbury Harmony says:

    A world-class player is someone in the generational or elite category imo.

  230. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, your description of why Santi is not “world-class” has more to do with determination and the lack of quality surrounding him, more than anything else. A world-class talent is a world-class talent regardless of the consistent motivation or lack of desire they show on the pitch. These players can simply change a game all on their own.

    Santi was rated as the best player in La Liga not on Real or Barca in 2011-12, which is a phenomenal accomplishment considering he was being compared with players on Athletico, Bilbao, Sevilla and Valencia too! He’s proven himself as a top player in two of the top 4 leagues and is always on the squad for the best footballing country in the world too!

  231. AFC says:

    HH, am I right in saying Xavi, Iniesta, Pirlo and maybe Cesc would be in their own category?

  232. Highbury Harmony says:

    Not to mention being compared against his own counterparts on Malaga too (aka Isco).

  233. James Bond says:

    hence that should make us value KOC a tad more and give him the credit he deserves as he has to work his bollox off, ha ha

    like i said, not there for me yet, very very close but i reserve judgement, of course, being a gooner i would say he was hard done for not being selected in the PL writers dream team – that was harsh.

    world class players – turn up in big matches , for me Santi has yet to deliver on that one hence you see.

  234. Highbury Harmony says:

    Yes, I would agree with you AFC. Those three midfielders (not including wingers/wing mids) would be considered generational talents in my mind.

    Players like Cesc, Santi, Yaya Toure, Silva, Isco, Mata, Ozil, Gotze, Hamsik, Vidal, Schweinsteiger, Busquets, etc. are all in the elite category imo. Players like Kroos, Eriksen, L.Bender, J.Martinez, S.Bender, Gundogan, Draxler etc. all have the potential to be elite.

  235. Dylan says:

    Does anyone think Rami is on the same level at Hummels or other SQ defenders?

  236. James Bond says:

    ahahahhahahahahahahahaha @


  237. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, Koz does not ooze the quality that Santi has though, which is a huge difference for me. A world-class player is not judged on their effort or determination, but on the amount of sheer ability that he has. For example, Ibrahimovic is a world-class player but clearly lacks the consistent determination.

    I will give you that Santi has yet to prove himself consistently on the big stage, but his goals against Manure, Real Madrid, Valencia and assists against Bayern, Chelsea, Atletico suggest that he has stepped it up in some big games. However, it’s also much more difficult to quantify a CAM’s stats on the big stage, especially when you consider the talent surrounding him last season…

  238. James Bond says:

    anyway, in regards to a DM,

    Gundogan shouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibilities, me thinks.

  239. Highbury Harmony says:

    Dylan, I rate Rami in the same category as Koscielny. Not quite world-class or elite, but damn close and a very great CB.

  240. James Bond says:

    indeed, and even tougher to quantify a CB’s stats in relation to a play maker or people playing further up the pitch.

    agree to disagree ? 🙂 shake hands like true gents before 17HT comes back with red cards and yellow cards in his back pocket, ha

  241. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB that depends on how Klopp plans on using him. In the Cup game against Bayern last week, Gundogan basically became the new Gotze. However, if Mkhitaryan ends up making the CAM position his own then I could see Gundogan dropping further back field as a B2B again with S.Bender.

    He may be too important to Dortmund’s set-up for Klopp to consider selling him. Also, with Lewandowski potentially leaving and Gotze having already left, I doubt Dortmund will sell. They’re hardly in need of cash after the Gotze signing too…

  242. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gotze sale*

  243. AFC says:

    Dylan, I do not know why won’t Wenger go anf get Rami for under £10 million. He is a quality defender around the level of Kos.

  244. Highbury Harmony says:

    Not really disagreeing with you JB, just a difference of perspective ;). It’s a very cordial discussion with great points raised by both sides. I guess it becomes even more difficult to rate Arsenal’s players as world-class considering that we aren’t even top 3 within our own respective leagues…however it should be stated that Santi is a player wanted by almost every club in the world (Koz has his admirers too though).

  245. Highbury Harmony says:

    A CB pairing of Rami and Koz could really see them push each other into the elite category. Combos like Chiellini/Barzagli, Hummels/Subotic have done so, so why not our very own 🙂 ?

  246. Highbury Harmony says:

    It’d also be a huge bonus for the French National team to have them both playing for the same club.

  247. Dylan says:

    I think he’s slightly better than Kos, AFC. And has potential to get even better.

  248. AFC says:

    HH, the fact that Rami is French and has played in the CL and La Liga (highest levels) I thought Wenger would have snapped him up. Very good point about the national team. Sagna might even be able to get back into the French playing with those two. That would 3 out of the 4 back line all playing at club level together.

    For me Williams is nowhere near Rami in terms of ability.

  249. AFC says:

    Dylan, read my last comment.

  250. James Bond says:

    valid points and all agreed @ HH

    re- Gundogan , i thought you were fighting the good fight and telling me every player has a price ; ) we have made an enquiry about him earlier , so there is a definite interest….add that with him yet to sign a contract extension and your point – it shouldn’t be ruled out entirely.

  251. AFC says:

    Dylan, I think I will be very angry with Wenger is he signs another CB instead of Rami. He is the best available CB and is available for a cut price.

  252. Highbury Harmony says:

    I agree AFC, Williams is nowhere near Rami. But watch out, JB may come in and start preaching about how PL experience is more valuable hahaha 😉 (kidding mate).

    Dylan, Rami is slightly better only because he’s older and was proven at an earlier age. In terms of long-range potential I think they’re equal.

  253. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, never ruling it out entirely mate ;), anything’s possible! Though, it should be noted that Dortmund generally only allow one top player to leave each year. Perhaps next year could be our year for Gundogan?

  254. Highbury Harmony says:

    It’s also tough for us to convince Gundogan to go from the second place team in arguably the best league in the world right now to a 4th place team aspiring to qualify for the CL. Not to mention that Dortmund have the potential to win everything this season…

  255. James Bond says:

    ha ha, i don’t rate WILLIAMS.

    i have said it before, don’t want him anywhere near Arsenal for 10 million.

  256. James Bond says:

    if, we are allowed to have one of their top player next season, then i;ll psas on Gundogan and i’ll have Reus , thank you very much , nice doing business with you – start the engine time

  257. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, I would fear my life would end as I would be overcome with excitement and have a heart attack if we got Reus…

  258. Highbury Harmony says:

    They say when you get hung, you c*m in your pants! If you find any in mine after my heart attack from signing Reus, just know it came beforehand hahaha!

  259. Dylan says:

    Agreed AFC.

  260. Dylan says:

    HH, actually next year is Lewandowski to Bayern. Maybe the following year. 😉

  261. AFC says:

    On a side note, Walcott could get to start as ST for England on Wednesday with all of England’s STs injured. I really hope he gets the chance. Knowing Roy he wil probably play an injured Rooney or a ST from the under 21 squad. Just give a chance.

  262. AFC says:

    * him a

  263. Dylan says:

    AFC, Welbeck and Sturridge are probably ahead of Theo for ST.

  264. AFC says:

    Sturridge is injured. Not sure about Welbeck. Why should Welbeck be ahead of him? He didn’t lead the line for United in one game last season. Walcott scored more goals than any English man last season.

  265. AFC says:

    Walcott has also had moderate success in the ST role and I would play Rooney as a SS behind Walcott. Walcott is wasted out wide. He is not even playing RW, he is playing RM.

  266. Dylan says:

    AFC, you know Roy. He’ll probably pick Welbeck.

  267. AFC says:

    God, I hate Roy. Why on Earth did the FA make him England manager.

  268. 17highburyterrace says:

    No cards here but you guys are giddy with the Suarez statement and are already moving on to the next (incredible, ridiculous, impossible) signing. Once bitten, twice shy, I would say, when it comes to la Mordita. (The “bite”, also means the “bribe” in Mexican Spanish…) The statement to me says he wants to go…’Pool can still sell to the highest bidder. That said, those tweets you posted, 007, are great….

    So, get the bite boy in AW, I say, and give us something to be excited (or appalled) about… Not gonna hold my breath and still believe this one could go on for a bit. I’m happy to be told why it won’t, however… 😀

    As for CBs and DMs, what’s the latest on Ginter? JB told me that one was done (too)… All those other fellows sound like conjecture and/or dreaming. Frankly, I’m quite concerned that we will not be bolstering in MF (or at GK)…Again, I don’t follow maybe as closely as you guys so I stand to be corrected…

    Finally, HH, while I’ve got you, what are your TV plans for the coming season. How do I get my Arsenal matches? Also, will I be needing to pay for BEIN TV if I want Spanish footy? Where do you watch the German stuff? Any other North Americans should feel free to chime in…Also, for those same people, in case you missed it, you might find this link funny…

    Time for your write up on the English Nat’l team, AFC, maybe. Relevant these days for Arsenal as well, no?…

  269. AFC says:

    17ht, I might write such a post in the future. Not sure really.

    If Theo is not listed as a ST on the team sheet for England, I will just not watch the match. I am sick of watching Roy use his stupid 4-4-2 formation where Theo is used as a RM.

  270. Highbury Harmony says:

    Dylan, actually steps have already been taken to replace Lewandowski with the purchase of Aubemeyang, which is why they may let him leave on a free. They probably outweighed the cost of keeping him for one season and potential silverware against the profit from a sale.

    However, if the Bundesliga and CL looks lost by January, Dortmund could sell Lewandowski then.

  271. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, quite frankly I don’t pay for any games! I generally just find a good stream whether it be: thefirstrow, atdhe or lsh.streamhunter…unfortunately the quality isn’t always the best and the feed can break up or pause every now and again but it beats spending a good chunk of money on games I may not even be able to watch (those in La Liga and/or Bundesliga). That way, if I have the time, I can just stream games (outside of Arsenal ones) I’d like to watch!

  272. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers HH, that’s what I sorta figured… I hate the streams myself and have gotten a little spoiled by a lot of free stuff on the telly…

    Damn, I wish I could be like AFC and just turn off football that doesn’t make the grade. Unfortunately I watch it…maybe a reason for my more pessimistic take on things Arsenal… 😳 😆

  273. AFC says:

    17ht, I just do not watch England because the England National team is now a joke. Roy continues to select the wrong players, use the wrong formations and tactics. We cannot even beat the small nations. It’s quite frankly ridiculous that we should have to worry about when EPL fixtures are just to qualify for the World Cup. We do not even deserve to qualify for such a tournament.

  274. AFC says:

    The England under 21s and 20s are even a bigger joke.

  275. AFC says:

    17ht, do not worry, I will always support the Arsenal no matter what happens. 😀

  276. Dylan says:

    AFC, I think most people who put time into an Arsenal related blog will support Arsenal no matter what. Not all, but a lot.

  277. AFC says:

    Guys, this is what Suarez had to say in an interview:

    “I want to move to play in the Champions League and there is a club offering me that opportunity.I have told the manager that I want to leave the club.

    “I am being accused of showing a lack of loyalty but last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that if we did not qualify for the Champions League the following season then I would be allowed to go.

    “I gave absolutely everything last season but it was not enough to give us a top-four finish – now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement.

    “I have the club’s word and we have the written contract and we are happy to take this to the Premier League for them to decide the case but I do not want it to come to that.

    “I don’t feel betrayed [by Liverpool] but the club promised me something a year ago just as I promised them that I would stay and try everything possible to get us into the Champions League.

    “They gave me their word a year ago and now I want them to honour that. And it is not just something verbal with the coach but something that is written in the contract. I’m not going to another club to hurt Liverpool.

    “I’m 26. I need to be playing in the Champions League. I waited one year and no one can say that I did not give everything possible with my team-mates last season to get us there.

    “It is not as if I am asking to move to a local rival. And I would not consider moving to a club outside the Champions League. I have made my desire to move known in private various times and now it feels like the time for me to make it public.

    “I have to put my career first. People say Liverpool deserve more from me but I have scored 50 goals in less than 100 games and now they could double the money they paid for me.

    “Liverpool will always be special for me: my daughter was born here. [Last summer] was the moment to show my loyalty to Liverpool and I did. [Liverpool] gave me my chance in England and stood up for me throughout my ban. I know I have made mistakes in my time here but I have apologised lots of times. This is not about that. This is about the club having agreed to something both verbally and in the contract which they are now not honouring.

    “People may accuse me of showing a lack of loyalty but last season we told Liverpool there was interest from a top European club but they told me: ‘We’ve got a new coach and we’re going to push for the Champions League.’

    “I spoke with Brendan Rodgers several times and he told me: ‘Stay another season, and you have my word if we don’t make it then I will personally make sure that you can leave.’”

    “I was asked a question: ‘Would I want to play for Madrid?’ It’s like anyone asked if they want to change jobs and move to a bigger company. Everyone aspires to the highest levels and all I did was give an honest answer: ‘Yes, I would.’ On the same day I gave that interview Pepe Reina said the same thing about Barcelona and nobody mentioned it. But if I do it then it means I am disrespecting Liverpool. It has always been the same: one rule for me and another for everyone else.

    “I had just arrived in Uruguay where the press are very good to me because I am one of theirs,” he continues. “They asked me about the press in England. What am I supposed to say? Of course I don’t like the fact that my wife goes to the supermarket and there are photographers. But I realise that the press attention is the same wherever you go.

    “My priority is Champions League football. This is about me doing what is right for my career at this moment in time.

    “Right now the Premier League is the biggest and most important league. My record shows that I’m not the kind of player who wants to change clubs every season and I would have no problem playing in England for many more years. If we are just talking about the level of the football and the way the supporters are then it is an incredible league. Any player in the world at the moment would like to play here.

    “I feel I have done enough to be playing in the Champions League at this stage of my career. Now there is an option for me to do that and I want very much to take it. I went a long time at Ajax without playing many games in the Champions League. I am ambitious, I want to be there.”

  278. Highbury Harmony says:

    As much as I like to rag on Giroud, it’s mainly only because I didn’t want Wenger to use him as an excuse for not buying a SQ striker/attacking player up front. I mean, you don’t get to be selected for the French National Team if you’re complete garbage! He’s also better than good strikers like Gomis and Remy, whom are also vying for squad spots.

    So with that in mind, would you guys prefer to see a front 4 of: ST – Giroud, SS – Suarez, LW – Cazorla and RW – Walcott or ST – Suarez, LW – Podolski/Ox, CAM – Cazorla, RW – Theo or ST – Suarez, LW – Cazorla, CAM – Wilshere, RW – Walcott?

    Personally, I can’t decide about any of them (all so enticing), that’s just how great Suarez is! He’s so versatile and skilled that he’ll make everyone else better. Whether that be buy creating goals for himself or others out of nothing, nutmegging a defender or by commanding attention and opening up the field for others. He’s the most clinical finisher in the league in terms of converting “big chances”, yet also the most wasteful hahaha!

    What’s also interesting is that if we get Suarez, would it not be better to play Santi centrally? He can really give him better deliver centrally and I think we’ll see even more creativity from our little Spanish maestro with the confidence that he’ll be feeding the ball to a world-class ST. However, the case could be made for Jack and Santi to be on the pitch, so as to maximize our creativity and distribution to Suarez…

    What say you, fellow Gooners? (TA, you may remove this comment and I could add to it if you want to make it a full post. I’m just weary of making this a full post because last time I wrote one about Higuain coming to Arsenal, it never came to fruition hahaha).

  279. JM says:

    @Red Arse August 6, 2013 12:51

    Thanks for your mention.


    A permutation on our important CL play-off.

    Play-off Draw date: 9 August 2013

    *League Route (One Seeded and One Unseeded teams face each other):

    Seeded teams: Arsenal, AC Milan, Schalke 04, Lyon
    Unseeded teams: Real Sociedad, Pacos de Ferreira(Portugal)

    Unknown(To be determined when the rest of the qualifiers emerge):
    Fenerbahce (Seeded if Zenit, PSV and Metalist Kharkiv do NOT qualify, Unseeded if otherwise)

    TBD(playing today):
    Zenit St. Petersburg (Seeded if qualify) OR Nordsjalland(Denmark)(Unseeded if qualify)

    PSV Eindhoven(Seeded if qualify and Zenit do NOT qualify, Unseeded if otherwise) OR Zulte Waregem(Belgium)(Unseeded if qualify)

    Metalist Kharkiv(Ukraine)(Seeded if qualify and Zenit & PSV do NOT qualify, Unseeded if otherwise) OR PAOK(Greece)(Unseeded if qualify)

    Arsenal’s would-be play-off opponents: Real Sociedad, Pacos de Ferreira, Fenerbahce, PSV Eindhoven/Zulte Waregem, Metalist Kharkiv/PAOK, Nordsjalland

    *The above is the League Route for play-offs, there is another Champions Route for play-offs (involving champions of lower leagues around Europe).

    Play-off Registration dateline for players (max. 25 players), List A:
    12 August 2013 (24.00 CET)
    ** Club may register a maximum of one new eligible player after the above-mentioned deadline, provided the quota of locally trained players is respected and List A does not exceed max. 25 players. (whereby 1 registered player will have to be removed from original list)

    1st leg: 20–21 August 2013
    2nd leg: 27–28 August 2013

    Transfer window closes on 1 September 2013.

    Registration dateline for all further matches from the first match in the group stage up to and including the final:
    2 September 2013 (24.00 CET)

  280. Highbury Harmony says:

    Bale removed from Spuds’ pre-season squad and from Spuds’ official twitter account. Sale to likely follow! Chairmen from both clubs meeting today in Miami 🙂

  281. Gerry says:

    Good Morning everybody, I have just spent a happy hour reading all the comments since I left last night. Fascinating stuff. Congrats to one and all.

    Yes, it does look like hitting the fan this morning? Although I wish Hill-Wood would keep his thoughts to himself?

    I wonder how long it will take for ‘Pool’s American owner to be ‘persuaded’ that what he has stated is not in their long term interest? Perhaps our fans who were so critical of AW’s decision to sell RVP to United, can now see from the other side, just how hard it is when your between a rock and a hard place?

    Let us hope it all goes through ‘amicably'(hollow laugh), without it being dragged out to the last desperate minute?

    On HH’s most recent comment on our potential line up possibilities, I agree 100%, that is what he could do for us. But like HT17 says, let’s not count our chickens … Nor start crowing too soon JB?

    On the discuss about Santi, I am with you, JB, but also with HH, and again due reference to the above player, with better players around, he will be one of many that will up their game. My main criticism of Santi is when he moves in field from the left, i.e. all of the time, his concentration to pass to is right seems overwhelming? The times during this pre-season when he has ignored playing a reverse pass to his left, whether it be to Gibbs, Poldi, and one occasion with the Ox in acres of space, and yet he has turned away from that to look for a one-two in the middle, or a wider pass right so he can be on hand for when the cross comes in – which is fine, brilliant on occasions, but not every time – it almost looks like he is manipulating the ball where he can be involved, but when an overlap at pace on the left means the cross coming in will be ahead of him? That is just the impression I get.

    On the Ginter signing/or not. One of my missing post when we were having trouble getting on, I thought it would happen when Bendtner did a quick flight out there. If he agreed the move then I think Ginter would have come the other way. Now Bendtner has had a wake up call from his Danish boss, if nothing happens at Malaga, then it might be worth trying again. It might mean no fee, and him lowering his wage demands over the contract(even if his is given a signing off fee of his remaining contract?), it could prove a bargain long term. By that I mean we still pay Eintracht their fee for Ginter, which is the ‘bargain’ side of it.

    Earlier, the DM position was discussed at length, with many names put out, and only JB it seemed to be holding out for Felaini? Now it appears Moyes, in a laughable headline ‘Moyes turns to Fellaini signals the end of the Fabregas chase’ – or words along those lines. Not even JB would put the ‘Big F’ in the same bracket as ‘our’ Cesc?

    My view I put forward before the debate opened out, was that Ginter is one who could begin his career with us as a DM, whilst being useful cover at CB, and long term replacement for Per? However, Rami has been mentioned for that CB role in the meantime.

    I would also like our budget to stretch to and DM of quality, giving us a real solid base at the back. Gundogan would be the most expensive, and while he is holding out on an extension to his contract it could be a (great) possibility. The Benders were other names, but I don’t think we will have any good dealing with Pep, I think we can rule out Gustavo, currently heavily linked with Wolfsburg? There are others that could fill this second position, as I make a case for putting Arteta as one who might be better returning to the role he had at Everton, i.e. deep lying advanced role(Cesc-ish?). His accurate short passes, good shot from outside the box, ability to tackle high up the pitch, and less running about to do, all make good sense. The downside is he would be competing with many others for that advanced role. But at least it gives us strength in depth right up to the front line?

    Let us see what the day brings regards adding depth(and quality) to our front line, eh?
    The balance that AW is weighing up is whether to put in a higher bid, may be over £50m now, before Saurez puts in a transfer request, and we end up paying £15m over the top of our bid to compensate?

  282. Gerry says:

    JM – Just a quick question. Porto were reported to have made a bid for 50% of Bernard’s image rights – Any idea what that would cost them, as then we would get an idea of the full cost if we were to go in at the last minute?

    Mind that would bow the trash the treasury budget for next season as well ha ah(Poldi style laugh)

  283. Admir says:

    Last year I wrote to one my LFC-mates that Suarez, arguably the best striker in the league, will win Golden Boot in Premiership comfortably and then, in 2013-14, he will end up in United hugging Evra after scoring goals. I mean, if Van Judas did it after Evra mocked the team in which he played (you know that “Men vs Boys” crap), why would Suarez be different?

    If he takes Liverpool to court, they should call him Luis Sue-your-ass.

  284. AFC says:

    Barca will make a bid for David Luiz but the bid will be rejected by Mourinho as he has said that he is an important and integral part of the team.

    Apparently it is all kicking of with Anzhi as well. They have cut their budget by 75% and all the big money exports will be sold. Maybe we could get Lucina for a decent price?!

  285. JM says:

    @Gerry August 7, 2013 09:10

    The exact percentage is never revealed.
    A top-graded player (club and international) could have as much as 50% rights-owned by a 3rd party (i.e. BMG Bank), the rest split between his own club and agency/agent.

    Then using the above equation: The £20 million release clause? quoted by A.Mineiro might only be less than half of acquiring the full rights of Bernard (to be playing in UK). Damage range to transfer kitty: £40 to 50 million (should be somewhere between, e.g. very close to what Falcao was signed by Monaco – £52 million, owning his full rights)
    Porto could pay £20 million and sign Bernard, while the 3rd party and/or agency/agent owns the rest. That is no issue in the Portuguese league.

    I understand that BPL, Ligue 1 and Polish league (there may be more) do not condone 3rd party ownership of players.

    Which is one of the reasons why Tottenham pulled out of the deal, Arsenal did not even bid, and Dortmund went for Mkhitaryan(£24 million straightforward deal).

  286. JM says:

    @Red Arse August 6, 2013 12:51

    Thanks for your mention.

    A permutation on our important CL play-off.

    Play-off Draw date: 9 August 2013

    *League Route (One Seeded and One Unseeded teams face each other):

    Seeded teams: Arsenal, AC Milan, Schalke 04, Lyon
    Unseeded teams: Real Sociedad, Pacos de Ferreira(Portugal)

    Unknown(To be determined when the rest of the qualifiers emerge):
    Fenerbahce (Seeded if Zenit, PSV and Metalist Kharkiv do NOT qualify, Unseeded if otherwise)

    TBD(playing today):
    Zenit St. Petersburg (Seeded if qualify) OR Nordsjalland(Denmark)(Unseeded if qualify)

    PSV Eindhoven(Seeded if qualify and Zenit do NOT qualify, Unseeded if otherwise) OR Zulte Waregem(Belgium)(Unseeded if qualify)

    Metalist Kharkiv(Ukraine)(Seeded if qualify and Zenit & PSV do NOT qualify, Unseeded if otherwise) OR PAOK(Greece)(Unseeded if qualify)

    Arsenal’s would-be play-off opponents: Real Sociedad, Pacos de Ferreira, Fenerbahce, PSV Eindhoven/Zulte Waregem, Metalist Kharkiv/PAOK, Nordsjalland

    *The above is the League Route for play-offs, there is another Champions Route for play-offs (involving champions of lower leagues around Europe).

    Play-off Registration dateline for players (max. 25 players), List A:
    12 August 2013 (24.00 CET)
    ** Club may register a maximum of one new eligible player after the above-mentioned deadline, provided the quota of locally trained players is respected and List A does not exceed max. 25 players. (whereby 1 registered player will have to be removed from original list)

    1st leg: 20–21 August 2013
    2nd leg: 27–28 August 2013

    Transfer window closes on 1 September 2013.

    Registration dateline for all further matches from the first match in the group stage up to and including the final:
    2 September 2013 (24.00 CET)

  287. Glic says:

    Afternoon BK Broke Back Bandits 😆

    Can we not start stereotyping the scousers please !

    Incidentally, the 1986 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Everton got into the Guinness Book of World Records as the 98,000 scouse crowd became the worlds largest ever Police Identification Parade. Wembley then also got the record for the largest ever holding cell of criminals, only 50 people were allowed to walk free and they were all Liverpool supporting Romanian pick pockets with false id`s . !

  288. Gerry says:

    JM – Thanks. I guessed it would not be info freely available. I still think he(Bernard) would be worth it, even at that figure. However, we probably will not get a chance his time around?

    Unless this so near, yet so far saga with Liverpool does not work out the way we hope?

    glic – Do you read a different manual on stereotyping to the rest of us, especially the bit on ‘let’s not…’?

    It is a good job you don’t deliver north of Brum, it wouldn’t be your just your wheels that get whipped away from the moment you stopped on the East Lancs road … I don’t think even the finest Cornish Lesbanians could raise a Boing! out of you when they finished with you, and Isco would be a far distant memory.
    Ha ha

  289. Gerry says:

    Regarding those possible play-offs, why is it, the further we have to travel, the worse it looks?

    I favour Denmark, Portugal, Spain, or Holland .. in that order, and Fenerbahce a distant last.

    Fingers crossed on Friday … and every hour in between as we wait on TW news?

  290. AFC says:


  291. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post!

    In a classy way, Marcus tells why Arsenal are doing nothing wrong in pursuing Suarez. Enjoy! 🙂

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