Ramsey Rules, Theo Tortures, Sagna needs a contract: match review

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Gibbs is becoming a Man

Today’s match was the perfect response after opening the domestic season with a shocking home defeat to Aston Villa: Arsenal were able to strike back by thrashing Fenerbache in our Champions League qualifier, 3-0.  Throughout the entire match, Arsenal were always the better team with our midfield bossing theirs, allowing us to set the tempo and dictate play.

After a couple of turnovers to start the match, we settled into the game very quickly with some convincing link-up play and one-touch passing around the opposition’s box.  Halfway into the first half, Koscielny took a nasty kick to the face and left the game needing stitches to stop the blood that was profusely coming out from above his right eye.  Still, this did not alter our game plan or confidence and we carried on just as we did before – dominating possession and the match.  However, we were not able to score and the half ended in a goalless draw.

Fenerbache never really posed a threat in this half and struggled to even string together successful passes.  This can be attributed to our players quickly closing down open spaces and by continually forcing them backwards.  The only areas of improvement for the first half would have been our finishing and our general play in the final third.  Due to having a striker like Giroud, we seem to force a lot of crosses into the box but lack the bodies there to capitalize on these chances.  As we saw in the second half, we are a much more cohesive and dangerous team when we play the ball along the ground and attack through the middle.

Fortunately for the home supporters, Fenerbache looked more lively in the second half and even created a few scoring opportunities of their own.  However, we were always the better team and never really looked in danger of losing this game.  Gibbs opened the scoring in the 51st minute after receiving a fine cross-goal pass from Theo.  However, the goal was only made possible after a brilliant through ball from Ramsey that set Theo up with the wonderful assist-opportunity.

From there, we never looked back and Ramsey added to his MoTM performance by putting away a goal of his own with a hard, low shot that fooled Demirel.  To add insult to injury and to ensure our place in the Champions League group stage, we padded our lead on a well-taken penalty kick by Giroud.  Theo was given a pretty fortunate call after he was taken down in the box with relatively little contact.  Despite the goals scored in the second half, I still thought we looked more threatening in the first half and were just luckier to score in the second.

Before I begin on the player ratings, I’d like to explain how I arrive at the number a player receives.  For me, a seven represents that a player has sufficiently done what has been asked of him and not much more.  An eight signifies that the player has contributed more than the average player, but that either his performance has room for improvement or I’ve seen better games from him lately.  A nine or higher is reserved for outstanding performances and is usually accompanied by tangible statistics on the score sheet.  Ignore previous ratings from past articles, as I’ll look to be consistent from here on out in the new rating system.

Player Ratings:

Szczesny (9.0) – Was hardly tested in the first half, but he made a couple of brilliant saves at the end to keep our clean sheet.  Great job on winning the 50/50 challenge on Sow, and really only made a mistake or two in his clearing.

Gibbs (8.0) – Great job at getting into scoring position on the first goal and combined well on a memorable series of one-touch passing in the first half together with Giroud, Cazorla and Ramsey.  His crosses left much to be desired and sent quite a few straight into the opposing player who was defending him.

Koscielny (7.0) – Difficult to rate him any higher, but in the 30 minutes he did play, he was relatively untested aside from making an authoritative clearing header and breaking up a couple Fenerbache advances.  It was unfortunate that he was the victim of a clumsy challenge by Webo, and I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for our best CB.

Mertesacker (6.0) – He was sufficient in keeping a clean sheet, but was caught out of position a couple of times on Fenerbache’s attacks.  Sow noticeably got behind him on a couple of occasions, but fortunately for us, he missed wide on both those chances.

Sagna (7.5) – Continues to prove that he is more than capable of playing at both RB and CB.  He was a commanding presence in the air in our own end and was assertive in his challenges when Fenerbache were on the offensive.  Notably, he made a decisive and clean sliding challenge to break up the play when Sow was on the fast break in the second half.

Ramsey (9.5) Easy candidate for MoTM as he provided the initial through ball that opened up the scoring and also scored the second goal to give us a comfortable lead.  He was everywhere on the pitch tonight and continually frustrated the opposition with his relentless work ethic and getting a foot in on challenges.  The only area of improvement would be turnovers, especially one in the second half that almost led to a Kuyt goal.

Wilshere (7.5) – Showed good forward thrust when running forward with the ball and created a few good scoring opportunities for us.  It was his run and pass that allowed Ramsey open space to score the second goal.  However, he ran right into opposing defenders on a couple occasions that led to turnovers when he could have passed the ball instead.

Rosicky (6.5) – I felt that Rosicky’s play was quite bi-polar; at times, he drove us forward with his passing and dribbling, but at other times, he made questionable passes that were either out of reach for our players or simply went astray.  Still, he played satisfactory and nothing to really complain about (I just expected more after his performance against Villa).

Cazorla (6.5) – There were moments where Santi was unplayable with his one-touch passing and close ball control that allowed him to escape defenders closing down on him.  Then, there were other moments where he more or less disappeared from the game entirely and looked exhausted.  Santi is our most skilled player and I expect him to have a greater influence in every game.  Fortunately for him, others stepped up today and took over the creativity reigns.

Giroud (6.5) – Aside from the very well taken penalty kick, I thought Giroud looked very average.  He had a couple of nice combination plays in the first half and showed that he is capable of making nice passes and fancy touches if given time and the opportunity.  However, I forgot he was even on the pitch in half of the first and the entire second half, until he stepped up at the spot and scored.  As our lone center forward (for the time being), we need more from him if we’re to beat better opponents.

Walcott (7.5) – Theo did a great job of causing problems for Kadlec all night, and his pace and movement were always a threat.  He provided two assists in the game, which solidified an above average rating, but he was extremely wasteful throughout the entire match.  He had plenty of chances to receive the ball in and around the box, but instead lost possession because of very poor touches and passes.  Theo has yet to show the goal scoring form of last season, though it’s nice to see him very involved in our offense.

Jenkinson (7.0), Podolski (3.0), Monreal (6.0) – I thought Jenkinson did an excellent job coming in at RB.  He was running up and down the flanks and contributed as best he could in the offensive zone.  He nearly scored at the end of the game and provided a couple good crosses into the box (unfortunately no one was there).

Difficult to rate the latter two players since they both came on pretty late in the game, but I thought Podolski was awful.  He seems to be lacking fitness and confidence – his first touch off a beautifully played pull back pass by Nacho stood out as a big wasted opportunity.

Despite all the positives, there are still some concerns.  Against a more skilled and determined team, we could have easily been exposed since there was far too much space between our midfield and defense in the second half when the game opened up.  Our center backs, notably Mertesacker, were also caught out of position on a couple occasions, which allowed Fenerbache some great looks at goal that fortunately went wide or were brilliantly saved by Szczesny. 

We also need to start capitalizing on our scoring chances (such as those in the first half) and become more decisive in the final third.  Our strategy of crossing the ball into the box does not work when there is only one individual (sometimes none) in there.  I believe Arsenal football is always more successful when played along the ground and this calls for a more mobile and fluid striker up front.

Finally, playing away from the Emirates seems to be the solution for allowing us to settle into games quicker.  The tension and hesitation were noticeably absent and the squad was full of confidence and decisiveness instead.  We cannot continue to play poorly at home as it takes away what is supposed to be a massive advantage – we need to approach the game in the same free-flowing manner that we do on the road.  All in all, we managed to qualify for the Champions League group stages (barring some bizarre miracle) and it was a great game that should hopefully give us some confidence and momentum for the upcoming clash against Fulham.

Written by: Highbury Harmony.

 

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238 Responses to Ramsey Rules, Theo Tortures, Sagna needs a contract: match review

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Superb match report HH – you have yourself proud! 🙂

    Agree with all the ratings but also with the way you pitched the essence of the game in your report, and will get back to you later today with a more in-depth response.

  2. macko says:

    hello friends, what a pleasure to wake up with the taste of victory even if We have trouble to conclude our actions, but itis nice to win in Turkey 🙂
    I wanted to wondering you a service into France the match against Fulham is not broadcast, can you give me links to watch the game live please without having to download of pluging, thank you in advance my friends 🙂
    GO GUNNERS

  3. Bounsah says:

    over-rated Giroud & under-rated Rosicky by a notch I’d say

  4. macko says:

    The team has been good in the whole but it is true that I found Giroud invisible (except for the penalty), Jenkinsonmaking progress but still struggling to defend and take his bullet responsibilities foot.
    Rambo proper as a whole and there might even be our distributor of game if he might carry the ball less and be more specific about his first touch of the ball.
    Wilshere was a pleasure it is to remain most indented. It has was more solid while keeping an eye on his defense, Sagna excellent and a very good Szczesny, combative except one stupid yellow card
    Now Fulham Saturday will be a different music 😉 but I am confident 🙂
    GO GUNNERS

  5. Gerry says:

    HH – Unfortunately I will not get to see game until the weekend, when it should be available on the ‘player. However, overall you capture of what I heard on the sound commentary.

    The injury to Kos sounded really bad, and if it has ‘opened up his skull’ – physio’s comment – it could be a few weeks, and back with a skull cap?

    At least Gibbs only hurt his eye in the post goal celebrations.ha ha

    Although you did not say it, is it your view that the Wilshere/Ramsey double pivot will not be up to scratch in our forthcoming league games?

    Mind confidence is everything, so let us hope by the time the Spurs match, it is still flying high … and we can ditch the black background … in every sense?

  6. jgc says:

    HH

    Great report! I think to me two things are clear

    A. We have a solid team but one more injury…

    B. we are REALLY missing Arteta. I think he was the positional and organizing “glue” that kept those spaces more closed and our defense less likely to be in a position to be exposed. If anyone needs a new contract, despite age etc, IMO, it’s him. Every year lately the stats seem to clearly show that when he’s out, of all players, we suffer the most as a team. Can’t buy that in some ways.

    Good to see the team on a higher note going to Fulham with some self belief.

    I guess I’d end too noting that we are still “owed” a penalty by the “footballing gods” after AV so maybe OGs effort was the first meta-physical recompense!? 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  7. Saint says:

    Yes that was a nice result from them.but wenger should sign a dm & let rombo to play in his favorite so that we can see more best of him

  8. mA says:

    nice recap

    glad that the boys showed up and shamed the ‘media’ who were out in numbers. If we lost yesterday they could be having a filed day, but they had to re-write their headlines. Can’t beleive that some of them still include negativity their reports despite the Arsenal thumping the opposition. Indeed, you can only play what comes your way. COYG.

    hopefully, the supposed transfer targets know that we are in the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.

  9. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Yes.. lastnight was excelent.. we did what we did to Munchen..
    Kosc injured worried me a lot.. Hope his injure is as light as Gibbs..

    Lastnight game confirmed me that Podolski is plotting as our CF to subs Giroud..
    So.. with Sanogo and Akpom in the bench.. it seem that none CF will coming..
    Sagna proved that he can be trusted as our CB.. and that was great.. But I don’t think Wenger must not add another CB.. It is a must buy player.. another great CB..
    Bruno Martins Indi is my vafourite.. but Toby Alderweireld also look okay.. Adil Rami also will be great.. And for that reason (Sagna as a CB).. we must bring another RB.. Daryl Janmaat is my first choice.. Jetro Willem also fine..
    Then a GK (Cesar or Adler).. a DM (Jordie Classie or Kondogbia) .. and an AM (Eriksen or Gourcuff).. 5 players will be enough.. and they will only cost us a lot.. I predict 50-70 millions only.. And some youngster also will make it more perfect.. Someone like Thauvin, Maher.. or Mitrovic.. hehehe..

  10. Dylan says:

    Great match report HH! 🙂

  11. Dylan says:

    Reports saying that we will fund Real’s move for Bale by buying Benzema and Di Maria. Seems plausible, so get it done! 😉

  12. Fozzie B says:

    Hi Bkers … First time here, but I must say I’ve been a broke back voyeur for a quite a long time now!! Much more intelligent, stimulating (wink Glic) and funny assessment of all things arsenal than in the tabloids!! (:D)
    What has prevented me from commenting until now is using my mobile of which is has been kitted out with an arsene purse string snapping device for thumbs!!
    I have finally broken free on a day off and got the laptop out and suddenly I see what the fuss is about the dark brackground (:lol:) on the mobile it still shows nice and white!!

    I just want to say a massive thank you to all you guys for your blogs. I don’t think you realise how good the stuff is in here and frankly I think I might be Fozzie B would be have swinging from the rafters during this torture window if it wasn’t for you fellas!

    HH, awesome post and the one thing that is really worrying me is Poldolski.
    He doesn’t look a happy bunny at all and had no energy in the short spell he was on for … hmmmmm. For me, out of all the signings that have slipped through Arsenes stockings … the one that gets to me the most is David Villa.

    Why go to all those lengths in January. We know it was a stop gap but a fine one he would have been now? We could have had him and a marque striker … he could have taken Foreheads or Poldis place or up front as needed? When I say the interview of when I signed he said in as many words “it was over 3 days. They showed that the wanted me and it was done quickly when all the other clubs were holding back”

    Even if our primary striking targets were a focus, this surely would have been the shrewdest bit of transfer work …

    Check this reliable link

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11661/8880935/revista-guillem-balague-explains-how-atletico-signed-david-villa-for-23m-euros

    The depth of squads around us now is so so staggering it really is.
    Our team has talent and we know it. There must be a long term project in place to back up the short term ones (when players push for transfer) and I think that’s why we got rid of so many players. I can only think that the stockpile will be hit next year for the marque player that we really crave …. lets hope so!!

    Sorry for long blog guys … it might be long time between commenting on here and I gotta get the green bastardo Kermit back in his holding cell before he makes any more moves on my girl …

    Keep the faith fellow gooners!!!!

    (:D)

  13. Fozzie B says:

    ps sorry for all the mistakes … it appears the thumbs are still adjusting!!!

  14. Red Arse says:

    Excellent stuff, HH 🙂

    Certainly was a joy to watch and makes it a ‘feel good’ morning today!

    You have picked out all the key matters of interest, and you have shown your usual assured style of writing! 🙂

    Note For The Dutch Master — The post was a little difficult to read as there isn’t enough background/report contrast – altho’ that might just be me! 🙂

  15. alexgunners says:

    HH,

    Great post match report.
    It was great to see the boys win away from home and you are right in saying that there seems to be less pressure away from home.

    One main concern is that our finishing is not up to scratch and the way we play, we get into the final third and nothing comes of it. Not enough bodies up front and we seem to run out of ideas.

    Rambo was excellent and i also thought that Jenks played well and needs to get his confidence up.
    What’s the deal with Poldi only playing 20 or so minutes in 2 games????
    Something is not right!

    Let’s realise one thing, It was a great win but a lot of work and new additions need to come into the squad to last the season. Good work lads and lets start a winning streak

  16. Fozzie B says:

    pss did you see David Villas goal last night?

  17. Prince Paprika says:

    Thanks for the match report HH. Top stuff, and exactly how i saw the game 🙂

    I actually woke up a half n hour late 🙄 (whoever invented the snooze button was a genius…NOT)
    I’ve got a rule where if i miss a start of a game and i have it recording, i put myself on computer lockdown, so as to avoid any livescores and watch the game from the beginning as though it were live. Ive found in the past that if i turn on a game after its started, my team (if playing) will be jinxed in some way, so that was a NO-GO considering the importance of the game 😉 and was a bonus to avoid ESPN’s neverending commercial count via the fast forward button. haha

    On another note, i’ve been put in my place…. for the time being, and humble pie never tasted so good!
    Rambo was on gas last night. Yes he scored and also thread a beautiful Cesc like pass for Theo leading to the opener for Gibbs, but it was his bulldog tenacity that impressed me most, biting at the ankles of any opposition player with the ball. He was leading the press all over the pitch, but also looking over his shoulder to make sure hiis position was covered. That is enough to show me, that the boy has matured and is constantly adding to his game. Im really happy for him, and knowing that mistakes will always creep into a young players game, i hope he continues on this run of form, knuckles down and makes this his year.
    Who knows, with Wengers faith in him at such a young age, i can see him breaking all of Fat Franks records as a midfield player (bar penalties scored). Its a case of head down, Arse up!

    One other minor detail. Has Jack lost his burst of accelaration? He used to glide past players with ease. Seems a little stiff in these early games. Maybe Stretch could help the boy out.

    Early night for me…..Have a good one hoochie mammas! 🙂

  18. AFC says:

    HH, great match review. 🙂

    Ramsey really run the midfield and could finally be on the road to reaching his full potential.

    Walcott also very impressive and is turning into a genuine danger man. I now know what Messi said all those years ago when he said Theo is one of the most dangerous players he has ever faced. If only he could face him now.

    My targets for Theo are 20 EPL goals, 30 in all competitions. 15 assists in all competitions.

    My targets for Ramsey are 10 goals in all competitions, 5 in the EPL.

    Sagna really needs to stay at Arsenal. I am all for Sagna playing CB (tailor made in my opinion) and in a few years should permanently make the switch to CB as I suggested in one of my posts last season. 😉 This could leave Wenger with a dilemma, buy a young CB around the age of 22-25 or buy an experienced RB around the 26.

    I really hope Wenger does not use this good performance as an excuse for why he does not need to buy a DM. We still really need a presence in midfield when we come up against the top teams. Our lack of a true DM will become exposed.

    I really don’t know what is up with Mertesacker and especially Podolski. I can understand Mertesacker having trouble with the pace of the EPL but in Europe he should be doing better. Where is the Per that was an integral part of the German national team with 86 caps? Podolski is really worrying. I just hope he can get back to his best. He is a really good player which is shown by him having over 100 caps for Germany.

  19. Prince Paprika says:

    @ Fozzie B 🙂

    Hi and welcome to BK. Dont you feel better now that you have come out of the closet. hahaha. Ive heard that mobile phone excuse before. We are all a bunch of muppets here, so you should fit in well. Stop by any time and it would be really cool to have Fozzie B come up with a maiden headline post for BK, if, and when you are ready. 🙂

    By the way, its not Kermit you should feel threatened by…. Beware of VCC (victor cunnininglus contagious)….the Zimmerframe is used as a weapon to fight you and Kermit off while he takes off with ya gal, just like hes taking off in the UMF league. hehehehe.

    David Villas goal was magic. One of those balls that just sits perfectly and BOOM. The thing is though, those sort of opportunities always sit perfect for a player of his calibre. Can i suggest two goals overnight that could rival that Villa strike. The two from Real Sociedad………..delicious…

    Night.

  20. Cheers TA, really appreciate the kind words :). Looking forward to your in-depth review and additional comments later in the day!

  21. Highbury Harmony says:

    Bounsah, such is the deal with ratings, everyone sees the game differently!

  22. Highbury Harmony says:

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment Macko. Always a pleasure to see our boys win and long may it continue!

  23. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also macko, agreed with all your points. I thought Giroud, Santi and Podolski were the worst players on the pitch for us yesterday and it’s troubling because they are our supposed main attacking threats (outside of Theo).

  24. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gerry, cheers for the comment mate. It’s too bad that you weren’t able to catch the game live as it was entertaining throughout and we played some classic, free-flowing football.

    The Koz injury is very concerning and I saw the cut may have gone as deep as the skull as well. Not great news considering the amount of injuries and knocks we are already dealing with and with Koz being one of our better players…

    The Gibbs celebration was hilarious, especially afterwards when he was checking his bandaid hahaha. As for the Jack-Rambo combo, it still looked a little out of sorts positionally on defence, but was great in attack. Against a better side with more skill and intent, we could be in for some more trouble as we saw last Saturday.

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ah crap…I just lost my post…It wasn’t my longest ever, but it wasn’t that short, either…

    Anyhow, great match report HH, echoing what I thought I was seeing in my crappy and interrupted stream…

    Plenty of good comments too…Welcome Fozzie! Yes I saw that goal (and the whole match…) Cesc in for Messi makes him seem all too human… Damn I wish he was still at Arsenal… David Villa also would have been nice. I think being focal point at Atletico, however, if he can keep fit, might be his path to the #9 spot for the Spanish Nat’l team at the World Cup. For our needs, at the moment, the notion of Benzema has me quite atwitter…

    Also, I gotta continue giving props to AFC for making the call (last Spring) about Sagna playing CB…(But yes, we NEED reinforcements at the back!!!)

    Interesting point about Jack’s acceleration from PPP (or PP, these days)…My thought is that the defenders were just playing off him a bit. He’s at his best when he can lure defenders into thinking they have a chance at stealing balls as he receives them. At that point he can turn them and carry the ball upfield, creating dangerous breaks. Like JGC implies, it’s the opposite of Arteta’s work which is a minimum of running and using his passing to maintain the shape (in case of turnover). In a match like yesterday’s, where away goals are imperative, I like it. In the league where we need wins AND cannot afford to be giving up too many chances to our opponents, it’s worrisome that we can’t do more quick passing. I was impressed by Jack’s drive into the box and right footed (blocked) shot. If he’s trying that I think we’ll be seeing things open up on his better side…. Jack (not to mention Santi…) hasn’t hit full stride yet. When he does (they do…), it could be very nice…

    Regardless, pushing from the midfield (Ramsey, in particular) was the difference and the (makeshift) defense plus an alert Sir Chez did enough at the other end. 3 away goals means we can rotate a little for the return leg. Oh, wait, there’s nobody to rotate… 😳

    (Bodies, bodies, we need bodies…)

    Onto the Fulham match in less than 48 hours…I’ll have to catch that one on tape-delay as I’m off into the hills with my kid…My optimism is creeping up, but they’ll be pissed from that same fixture in the Spring where they should have done better but for an early sending off and a set-piece goal. I’ll be hiking with fingers crossed… 😀

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    HH, there’s a photo of Kos and Giroud on the return flight and “Lolo” looks fine…Well, fine, that is if you can get past his attempt at the Tintin hair-cut (Giroud’s being more Gumby than Tintin, I think…)

    http://gossip.ladyarse.com/arsenal/2013/08/22/koscielny-fine-photo/

  27. Highbury Harmony says:

    JGC, thanks for the kind words my friend :).

    Definitely agreed with point A. It was scary to look at our bench yesterday and to think that Frimpong was our first choice CM if one of Ramsey or Jack went down to injury. In terms of Point B, that is why the need for a DM is so pressing. It’s a well known fact that we have a losing record when Arteta is not in the line-up and he’s been injured in short spells every season since he joined – why AW hasn’t reinforced at this position sooner continues to puzzle me.

  28. Highbury Harmony says:

    All agreed Saint. No one is denying that we need to make some signings before the window closes.

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    So, I guess I gotta change my avatar…No Suarez, No Hannibal Lecter mask needed… 😦 🙄

    Where’s the transfer talk? If Bale goes to Madrid (which he will), will they really be allowing Benzema to come our way? Personally, as a movement oriented forward (False 9) I really rate him, and I think he could do a job for us. What would it mean if France’s top two strikers were playing for AW?…

  30. Highbury Harmony says:

    Thank you for the compliment mA! It’s astonishing to see the negativity that the media are able to concoct after such a resounding victory. It’s one thing to criticize our activity in the transfer window, but another to try and tear down what was a great performance by our side. Outlets reporting that we won, but that the opposition was awful should remember that you can only beat what is in front of you. Had we drawn or narrowly escaped with a win on a day where Fenerbache played as poor as they did, then maybe there’d be cause for criticism.

  31. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, I don’t see Real selling Benzema. He’s their only true ST right now outside of Morata and Jese, whom are both largely unproven in La Liga. Di Maria is a different story altogether as the purchase of Bale may mean needing to sell a player and he’ll likely lose his place in the starting line-up too.

    I’d take Di Maria any day!

  32. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers for the kind words Dylan :). Glad to give you a break from always having to produce match reports after every game!

  33. AFC says:

    17ht, I would Benzema to come. Reports are saying Wenger will offer £40 million. The French national team would benefit hugely and we would as well. Benzema and Giroud know each other very well and at times they could do well playing in a ‘2’ together.

    In other news reports saying Podolski is off to Shalke with Di Maria set to join us as a replacement. Not quite sure on this one. Could be true. Podolski has rarely started matches (although that could be down to his injuries) and has really looked off the pace. Di Maria is the best traditional winger around in my opinion and would offer Giroud the service he needs if he was to come. We would finally have someone in our team who can cross the ball. 😀 he could play on either flank and as an AM. However Wenger said we were not looking to sell any of our first team players. If Podolski now ‘deadwood’? I would think not.

  34. AFC says:

    * Podolski has rarely started matches starting this season and does not look like he will.

  35. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha Henry, still on about adding a Dutch player I see ;). Maher is looking like a great talent, but I think he’ll be staying in the Eredivisie for at least one more year before making a move abroad. For me, Rami is the best CB we could probably purchase for under £12 million. Alderweireld is sufficient for me since he’ll basically be our 4th choice CB once Verm and Koz are healthy and is versatile enough to play as a fullback too. I agree that CB is a position we must strengthen in though.

    DM should be the first priority, though I disagree with you that we don’t need a ST. We seem to lack creativity/versatility in our attack when Giroud starts. Forcing too many crosses into a box where none of our players are. A more fluid ST up front should amend this and hopefully allow us to score more consistently.

  36. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, the problem for me is not only our ability to cross the ball, but the fact that we are not a team that thrives on crossing the ball since we rarely have players in the box or attacking players with great aerial ability (outside of Giroud of course). Do you really expect the likes of Jack, Santi, Rambo, Rosa and Theo to be heading home his crosses?

  37. Dylan says:

    HH, here’s why I can see us getting Benzema AND Di Maria:
    1. Real are going to buy Bale for something like £93 mil.
    2. Tottenham want most (if not all) of the money up front, not in £20 mil installments per year like Real want because a lot of the money they’ve spent (or are about to spend on Willian/Lamela) is money that they plan to get from the Bale deal. So they need money now.
    3. Arsenal is a club that pay transfer fees as a whole sum up front. So if Real were planning on paying Tottenham £20 mil this year, and we pay something around the reported £65 mil price tag for Benzema and Di Maria, Real would have £85 mil up front for Bale and could pay the other £13 mil next year.
    4. Real could then use their installment payment plan on someone else (Suarez, Lewandowski, etc.). Then Bale replaces Benzema and new striker (Lewandowski, Suarez, or whoever) replaces Higuain. OR Ronaldo plays ST and Real buy a new LW. Either way.

  38. AFC says:

    HH, that could well be a problem. I think his low crosses, medium height crosses would make it easier for the likes of Theo, Jack etc, to score goals. He can also create a lot of chances and score a few as well.

  39. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fozzie B, excellent debut post and welcome to BK mate! Also, I really appreciate the kind words and I’m glad you finally decided to formally introduce yourself :).

    All agreed with everything you said. I’m not quite sure what’s wrong with Podolski right now, but we’d be taking steps backwards if we sold him. He just needs to get into form and gain some confidence in his game and I reckon he’ll be fine then.

    I saw the Villa report but to be fair, Barca also got first option on Oliver Torres, one of Atletico’s most promising youngsters. Also, AW’s interest in a 31 year old, injury prone forward was probably lower after realizing the risk associated with buying a player that would want to start every week, despite his age and injury history. Villa would have been a suitable Plan B though.

    Adding depth to our squad has always been a necessity. We can’t continue to rely on the same injury-prone players remaining healthy each season. Don’t worry about the long comment, as that is the typical length for one of 17ht’s ;).

  40. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I agree. Which is why I see Di Maria as a SQ addition even without the crosses. He has great vision, ball control/dribbling, pace, determination and really tracks back well too. It’s just an added benefit that he’s a great crosser imo.

  41. AFC says:

    Could it be that Real let Benzema join us so they could sign Suarez.

  42. AFC says:

    HH, problem is Di Maria mostly plays on the right which is where Theo plays. He can play on the left but is better on the right in my opinion. Maybe we could play him as a central winger with Santi on the left and Walcott on the right. That way he can play on the move out to the left and right in matches. 😉

  43. Highbury Harmony says:

    RA, cheers for the kind words my friend :). It’s always an honour to receive such high praise from a blogger as well respected as yourself!

  44. Dylan says:

    AFC, maybe Wenger planned this. Maybe he knew Bale would sign with Madrid and that Madrid would need money. So he baited Suarez to say he wants to leave, knowing he wouldn’t sign him. Then swoop for Benzema to give Real the Bale money and then Suarez goes to Madrid! 😉

  45. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I would play Santi centrally and likely move either Di Maria or Theo to the left if we got him. It really wouldn’t matter where Theo played since we’d be using him for his pace and he’d be in more of a free role now that we’d have Di Maria as a dedicated winger. Gibbs is also very apt at covering the entire left flank (fingers crossed he can remain healthy).

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey, Sen(y)or Harmony, are you saying my posts are too long? (It’s the only weapon I have in my attempts to cyber-bully people… 😀 )

    I agree with the “listies”, Dylan and AFC, 😉 that Benzema/Di Maria talk is all about Bale and Suarez. I think there’s a possibility that our money might make us a beneficiary IF movement occurs. That’s a mighty big if, however (though I think Bale, at least,is headed to Madrid)… Who knows, Ancelloti might be having a big re-think about his squad. In Spain, around RM supporters there was wide consensus that both Benzema AND Higuain were failures. I tried to argue that it was all an effect of C-Ron with his head down and taking too many pot-shots from 25 yards…Of course, my Spanish isn’t 100%…

    OK, nuf said, (for now at least, in an attempt at brevity 😀 ) Gotta get packing…and do this week’s Boing and UMF dart throwing…

  47. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers Alex :). All agreed, additions are needed and this win will not mean much if we lose to Fulham on Saturday. We’ll take the positives from yesterday for now, but there’s still a long road ahead and one or two more injuries and we could be seriously screwed. Hopefully AW makes some signings soon!

  48. VCC says:

    AFC 14:41.

    Maybe Wenger has been waiting to get Benzema and DiMaria all along.

    Real Madrid buy Bale and recoup some of the money from selling those two to us???? Could happen.

  49. AFC says:

    Dylan, let’s hope that is what Wenger was thinking.

    HH, I would rather Di Maria play on the left. Not sure about Theo on left. I think he would prefer a free role on the right.

  50. VCC says:

    Dylan. 12:02. Sorry mate just read through the comments and you already beat me to it. Well done.

    Would you be pleased with those two?

  51. AFC says:

    VCC, you could be correct. 17ht, also made a good point. Benzema and Higuain were not deemed good enough by the fans so they would not mind losing Benzema as well as Higuain. Real fans say that Benzema is quite lazy and only does just enough and nothing more. That could all change under AW. That’s if that’s even true. 😀

  52. AFC says:

    VCC, if we get those two in that would be us sorted for the front four positions for a few years. Maybe a long term replacement might have to be signed for Rosicky. The problem is there are onlyt four squad places left and if we get those two we would not be able to add a DM, GK and another defender.

    If we get those Benzema and Di Maria I would get a DM and defender to add and forget about the GK position. Unless we get rid of Fabianski in this window or in January to make space for the new GK.

  53. Dylan says:

    Haha it’s ok VCC. 🙂 Yes, I’d love those two. Not a big fan of Benzema, but with Giroud AND under AW, I think I’d love him. Maybe Wenger planned this all along. While we’re at Madrid let’s just give them the whole £93 mil for Benzema, Di Maria, Coentrao, and Casillas! 😉

  54. Highbury Harmony says:

    Thanks for the very kind words PPP and I’m glad you enjoyed the match! All agreed on Ramsey looking like a different player this season and it’s nice to see him proving us wrong :). Jack is still likely getting into match fitness, hence the lack of acceleration, but I reckon he’ll be back at top speed in a few more weeks (if he doesn’t get injured).

  55. Highbury Harmony says:

    Dylan, even the Real Madrid rejects would make for quite an impressive squad ;). Benzema, Di Maria, Coentrao and Casillas would put us in pole position for the title imo.

  56. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers AFC :). I echo your thoughts word for word. My biggest fear is that yesterday’s win could mean that AW may feel the need to not add to this squad, but his comments (if taken at face value) are that we need to add depth at the very least (especially in midfield). It appears as if he’ll only buy a striker if they are SQ type player, which is fine by me.

    Walcott needs to work on his touch, but his pace and runs are looking very dangerous and he’ll get more than enough scoring chances at the RW position (so hopefully no complaining). Sagna now needs to sign da ting!

  57. AFC says:

    Dylan, maybe we could try and get Casillas, Di Maria and Benzema for a cut price and then send out Fabinski on loan.

    Individual prices:

    Casillas- £15 million
    Benzema- £40 million
    Di Maria- £30 million

    So in total that’s £85 million. We could try and get all three for £70-75 million. Use that £10 million on a defender and spend £25-30 million on a DM.

    We could afford to do that!

  58. Highbury Harmony says:

    Really appreciate the compliment 17ht! I’m glad that the majority of your post was directed towards comments pertaining to this article and not the match report in itself, in order to save me from a very long reply to you ;). Onto the Fulham match we go!

  59. Highbury Harmony says:

    Off to work for the day gents, I’ll catch you all later at my lunch break :).

  60. AFC says:

    Does anyone think we could try and pull off a deal for all three or at Di Maria and Benzema for a cut price?

  61. 17highburyterrace says:

    Have fun working HH, cheers…

    AFC-to answer your question….NO (off for another espresso 😉 )

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    Certainly something is going on in the Bale/Madrid idea and maybe in the Suarez/Madrid idea and we’re trying to insert ourselves into it. Our more pressing needs are further back, so I’m hoping something gets sorted sooner than later. With sooo much money involved (for the forwards) it all may come down to the final hours. At least (supposedly) we have cash to play with. A home win over Spurs and something at the deadline (on top of bodies in beforehand) would renew a lot of hopes…

    I think…

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, espresso has been pulled…(Seriously fellas you gotta come for a visit–Tahoe is lovely, my telly is nice AND I make a mean coffee at game-time…)

    I wouldn’t take anything being said or “published” (which happens each time you hit the “post comment” button) at face value. Too much is being read into each bit of news compounded by each result. Our big down and up over our first two matches is the equivalent to Real Madrid’s very shaky opener… The deals which are most likely to happen are the ones which have been talked about the most and the easiest deal of all is no deal. We need Bond and his bookie (his sauce?) to weigh in on all this. 007 is poised to watch a lot of money slip away to that fellow, I fear…

    For example, just because AW says Suarez can’t happen, does that make it true? Just because we bid 40,000,001 (maybe?) does that mean we actually thought it would work. I guess biting somebody isn’t quite a transfer request but it’s something, isn’t it? Call me a conspiracy guy, but it ALL feels like smoke to me…

    Dylan, Benzema, if given both direction AND freedom to move (i.e. confidence…) can be a very useful player. I think under Wenger he might have a real chance to flourish. Additionally, the way he can come deep for balls and his superior work with the ball at his feet, relative to Giroud and Theo, might allow those guys to get extra chances slipping further forward or looking for rebounds. We get very few of those and it might really improve with a more mobile CF who can get a shot off…

    It also could allow Santi (once he gets fit) to slither into the box and/or get freer for his long shots. I didn’t see him do either of those things at all last night, but again, my stream was crap…

    Maybe it’s the coffee talking, but this one has me excited…

  64. jgc says:

    HH et al

    Thanks for the response. Regarding Arteta and, as 17ht puts it, “published news” where the quotes are his, I’d say 2-3 things I think are key:

    A. HH, I agree we needed his backup, eventual replacement a year back. What I was trying to say is we are a bit done here because its less his considerable talent then his knowledge of his teammates that, I think, makes him so effective for us. And that takes time in place. So, agreed on need, but even a new SQ DM might not be as good for 10-15 games maybe?

    B. re TW torture:: thinking of Arteta he was a real steal for us and does, judging by the crappy stats when he’s missing, a SQ job for us, IMO. Thus, to me he was a real bit of good business for Arsenal. But, perhaps it pays to recall when discussing TW last, that while he was very well regarded it wasn’t IMO to the level of his impact… Ie even after buying SQ may not be, and very good may turn into or nearly into SQ..

    Just some pence for thought.. And yes, I want not one but two very very good DM types! And the next Arteta or better. And whomever else is drummed up… 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  65. AFC says:

    JGC, the best replacement for Arteta is Gundogan in my opinion. He is a younger Arteta but he would be very hard to get. He would cost at least £30 million.

    If you want to DM types I would go for Gundogan or L.Bender and Pogba. I think Pogba would probably cost around £25 million.

    It would be very hard to get two SQ DMs.
    We would also not have space for them in the 25 man squad unless Diaby is not inlcuded or one of Ryo and Sanogo go no loan.

  66. AFC says:

    JGC,

    JGC, the best replacement for Arteta is Gundogan in my opinion. He is a younger Arteta but he would be very hard to get. He would cost at least £30 million.

    If you want to DM types I would go for Gundogan or L.Bender and Pogba. I think Pogba would probably cost around £25 million.

    It would be very hard to get two SQ DMs.

    We would also not have space for them in the 25 man squad unless Diaby is not included or one of Ryo and Sanogo go out on loan.

    For this summer TW I would concentrate on getting a GK, DF, DM, ST maybe another attacker (we are being linked to Di Maria then next summer TW go and get the DM replacement for Arteta, AM replacement for Rosicky and start to rebuild our defence with younger players.

  67. Red Arse says:

    Every time I think I will say something, one of you glitzy guys ups and says it first or it has already said it.

    Top notch blogging! 🙂

    I do have one thing that experince tells me I should not say — but I will.

    I just do not rate Theo. Whaaaat, I can hear a chorus of voices saying. 🙂

    Sorry, I should rewrite that.

    When Rambo brilliantly put that thru ball to Theo, he scalped his left back oppo, and put an ace pass on a plate for Gibbsy. What’s not to like?

    Then his speed into the penalty area produced a penalty from which Giro scored. Again, what’s not to like with that too?

    And yet — before and after those events, and in between too, he drove me batty with his ‘almost got there’ attempts to get to a ball first, or he ran into the defenders, or he fell over, and to be honest I do sometimes doubt his ‘bravery’. Yikes! What have I just written?? 🙂

    I know the above will not be a popular notion, and I do not know why. The fact is that if he did not have a hand in a couple of split second match changing incidents, the rest of his play was pretty ineffective.

    So, I am not saying get rid of him, that would be stupid, but can you imagine how good he could be if he stayed focused more and was just a little braver in chasing down passes that he just seems to make token efforts to get.

    How’s that for controversial – and no one else has said it!! 🙂

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    JGC, I think AW is maybe looking at Cabaye as the new Arteta…A smaller guy with good ball skills who, with a lesser team, has had to be more of an attacking force. (Sound familiar?…) As I’ve said (over and over and over…) AW just doesn’t go in for the whole beast of a DM thing that many people seem to want…Alex Song, a converted (and very poor, I might add…) CB and Gilberto might be seen in that mold (mould?) but neither convinced the manager and he let them go a lot earlier than a lot of supporters would have preferred.

    Cabaye, but for his fitness record (sound familiar?…), I think, could really do the job and might do better keeping fit if his role was, like Arteta’s, to keep things ticking over for us and take a FK now and again. Midfielders who like to carry the ball (i.e., Wilshere, Ramsey, Diaby) are at risk of serious injury given the lax reffing in England. Cabaye knows how to take advantage of this as well, and gets a lot of good challenges in–and some cynical ones… If we can snap him up (ideally below record signing levels, i.e. 15 million pounds) I say go for it. I know it won’t inspire those who want quote-unquote SQ, but Arteta didn’t either, and he’s (maybe) the key man on (currently off…) the pitch for us…Call it a panic buy (Pani Cabaye, heh, heh…) if you must. I would call it smart…

    Adding that one to the Benzema rumors and I’d say we’d better get AW on a longer contract so he doesn’t take the French National job when they blow up (again) in Brazil…Oh, wait, only dumb-asses base the manager’s contract on the latest result… 😀

  69. Red Arse says:

    What we need here is a little more spicing up of all this footie talk — and there is only one thing for that — bring on Mr Glic and his rampant sapphists! 😀

  70. AFC says:

    17ht, Cabaye on hold according to reports.

  71. Dylan says:

    Supposedly Ozil can leave as well? I called that a while back, let’s hope it’s true! £90 mil for Benzema, Di Maria, and Ozil? Throw in an extra £10-15 mil for Casillas? And maybe a buy 4 get one free deal to bring Coentrao with all of them! 😉

  72. AFC says:

    RA, no worries, Theo will prove you wrong. 🙂

  73. Dylan says:

    I think we bid for Cabaye purely to encourage PSG to buy him. That way PSG focus on Cabaye instead of Di Maria.

  74. AFC says:

    Dylan, Wenger should just offer 120 million for Casillas, Benzema, Di Maria and Ozil. 😀

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good one, RA… Yeah, playing Theo is kinda like playing with 10 except when he comes through for an assist or a goal…The basic football stuff just isn’t at the level we would like. Personally, I think the same could be said for Giroud, but he is developing a knack for 1-2s with our midfielders if they can put the ball on his left foot…

    This is why Benzema excites me–a forward who can bring others into the game. He’s suffered with too many selfish players at RM, C-Ron in particular, but I’ll add in Di Maria and Ozil who (IMO) takes one too many touches before he looks up to pass (a statement that would be controversial in some circles…)

    Who says Cabaye is on hold?…I guess you guys can see which of the RM players I like (and don’t like)…

    Anyhow, these are just caffeine dreams. Gonna have to stick with Rambo, Theo and the Hunky Guy until we get something tangible… 🙄

    Also, aren’t are most pressing needs towards the back?

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    aren’t our (not are)…. 😳 most pressing needs towards the back? …

  77. Dylan says:

    AFC, at £120 mil we should get Coentrao as well.

  78. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, perhaps the injuries will align perfectly and Cabaye will start and be healthy when Arteta is injured and Arteta will start and be healthy when Cabaye is injured? Hahaha ;).

    Jgc, I’d have to agree with you that not all of our purchases have to be SQ. A good to great player with an innate understanding with his teammates is just as valuable. A player like Cabaye, who is intelligent, willing to stick his foot in, has a good motor, PL experience and can score goals may be the answer at CM to rotate with Arteta.

  79. 17highburyterrace says:

    Why not 500 million and just switch teams with them? Arsenal-Madrid could maybe give the other Spanish teams a run for 2nd in La Liga and Real Gunners could maybe challenge the top 3 in England…with C-Ron getting the (golden) boot!

    I say go for it! 😆

  80. Highbury Harmony says:

    Ozil will likely join Manure before he joins us. Manure have been dying for a CAM all summer and he’s as good as it gets. Can you imagine RVP getting delivery from Ozil? Damn…

  81. Dylan says:

    Sometimes the best defense is a good offense 17HT. 😉 We had the second best defense in the league last year, so maybe with an insanely good offense we would be ok? Not saying I don’t want defensive reinforcements! But if we could get Coentrao in that deal maybe Nacho could back us up at CB as well? I feel that he could be a good CB.

  82. Highbury Harmony says:

    Our priorities from Real should be Di Maria and Benzema (if we can get them). Small break over, continue the fine discussion gents :).

  83. AFC says:

    17ht, the thing is Theo is a game changer. He will stay hidden like a tiger waiting to pounce. One through ball/ball over the top and the opposition are pissed.

  84. AFC says:

    17, 😀

  85. Red Arse says:

    Stinky Spuds are winning 0:1 away to Dinamo Tbilisi. Boooo!

  86. Red Arse says:

    AFC, you could be right.

    [Actually, more like a pussy waiting for a mouse!]

  87. AFC says:

    RA, forget the Europa League we’ve got bigger fish to fry in the CL. 😀

  88. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, AFC, I should have said ‘pussy cat’, and not pussy – now Glic will froth and I daren’t say where from! 🙂

  89. Red Arse says:

    Now that is gloriously true, AFC. I’ll drink to that! 😀

  90. AFC says:

    RA, 😀

  91. Red Arse says:

    Ozil, Di Maria, Benzema now they are really good enough to stir the juices — but each has allegedly turned us down in the past, so no point in getting too carried away.

    I suspect it is more likely we will get Williams, Michu and Cabaye. Ohh, hooray! 😦

  92. AFC says:

    Cesar apparently off to Benfica.

  93. AFC says:

    A bit of good news.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2400151/Arsenal-set-sign-Mathieu-Flamini-free-transfer.html

    Let’s just hope this is in addition to a SQ DM signing.

  94. Highbury Harmony says:

    To be fair RA, there is a history of players blocking moves to certain clubs, only to join them later on. For example, this window alone saw Wanyama and Osvaldo both block moves to SOTON, only to join them later on.

  95. James Bond says:

    17HT,

    liverFOOL have offered a new contract to LS – with a £55 million release clause…

    massive wages and all that.

    yet to be signed though. (talks ongoing)

    over and out.

    PS: we are close to signing a CB and a winger come forward – for now.

  96. Red Arse says:

    That is probably spot on, HH, as I suppose it is affected by who offers the most at any one time. Hopefully those three (oh, OK, I would settle for one of them) are offered a very tempting contract. That would do nicely, as they say over here! 🙂

  97. macko says:

    Theo and very good it depends a who he has behind him, with Sagna it is more active with Jenko it becomes complicated, it only 23 years it’ll become a real monster if he continues to pace himself 🙂
    Santi has played well in the first half and as the second He has managed his effort I think.
    Podolski must be a little frustrated to play to the a late substitute ….

  98. Red Arse says:

    AFC,

    That is the kind of thinking that would really disappoint me.

    Flamini was a sh*t when he decided to bail out and I really do not want some deadbeat that no one else wants!!

    Let’s face it, that sort of signing of another freebee at a ridiculously high salary, would only be to the benefit of the deadbeat, and makes us look like a bunch of cheapskates!! 😦

    Hopefully the rumour is wrong. Bollix to Flamini!!

  99. Highbury Harmony says:

    Agreed RA, hopefully our transfer negotiators do not dilly-dally with this one and just pay up for one of Di Maria or Benzema. The link AFC put up about reported issues behind the scenes with the club and Benzema are promising.

    Not to mention the prospect of likely being our main ST and scoring threat, while also linking up with Giroud, Koscielny and Sagna must be pretty tempting for him. If we get Cabaye as well, do we become Les Arsenal part deux?! That will be a buttload of French players, especially when you include the likes of Coquelin, Sanogo and Diaby too.

  100. AFC says:

    RA, I am right in saying we would not have to put him in the 25 man squad? If so I would like him to come as any depth is welcome. I’d even take Glic. 😀

  101. Red Arse says:

    Hi macko, 🙂

    Good comment!

    But Podolski did not play well!

    Francais??? 😀

    Bonne commentaire!

    Mais Podolski n’a pas bien joué!

  102. Red Arse says:

    AFC,

    Glic, would give you a good time.

    Mind you, he would expect you to wear a dress, lipstick and high heels and call yourself a Lesbo!

    Actually, forget the dress!! 😀

  103. Red Arse says:

    AFC,

    If we wanted him to play in the EPL, he would count as one of the 17 non-Home Grown players, so yes – he would be in the squad. 😦

  104. AFC says:

    Only 10 days until the TW closes. The clock is ticking and we still have not spent any money.

  105. James Bond says:

    good one, HH

    not sure if i can say anything that hasn’t been said already but a couple of observations :

    – Theo remains to be out most frustrating player, but hey, a moment of brilliance is all that is needed to win a football match sometimes – and he has that in him !

    – Jack Wilshere, the reason why Ramsey was as good was because Jack was staying behind and more like filling in for Arteta, but what brilliant bit of solo burst into the box by him and then pulling of the trigger using his left foot – very promising.

    – Sczny , has had his 1 good game in 6, it’s time to use Fabianski vs Fulham i reckon 😉

    strongly in agreement re- we play better with the ball on the floor instead of us trying to accommodate Giroud, for those of you , who’re not convinced re- Benzema, then let me some it up in one sentence – Benzema has a better left foot than Giroud.

  106. AFC says:

    RA, we should just use him for the early rounds of the FA and League Cups.

  107. James Bond says:

    you can chalk out another 3-4 days (till monda-tues) from that 10 day countdown @ AFC

    😉

  108. AFC says:

    JB, 😀

  109. AFC says:

    Looks like we will be waiting to 12pm on transfer deadline day for signings.

  110. Red Arse says:

    James, James Bond, Jimmy, Baby,

    You say, “Benzema has a better left foot than Giroud” – maybe so, but Giro has a much better and bigger willy — umm, so I have been told! 🙂

    Are you going to work your way thru’ the comparative anatomies to see who would be the better buy?

    Summed up in one sentence — of course!! 😀

  111. James Bond says:

    Macko,

    no one is denying that Theo is very good, but equally , very frustrating..

    Theo is like Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Sehwag e.t.c deadly on their day but when it’s not going your way, very frustrating…

    worth noting also, that he’s been very injury prone throughout the years and i can’t remember the last time he played as many games and had a full pre-season with international friendlies.

    Bale is leaving the EPL – and even the non Arsenal fans will need a quality winger like Theo to step up and show everyone just how good he is or can be (provided he stays fit).

    by the way, Where are you based/from Macko ?

  112. James Bond says:

    ahahahahahahahahahah @ RA

    not sure about that but he certainly seems to have a bigger “Head”

    it will all be worth it in the end, hopefully @ AFC – i did say that i was confident of us breaking our transfer record TWICE before the TW shuts – keep believing.

  113. James Bond says:

    i think Dylan mentioned that Arsenal (we) pay clubs up front for the player buys,in one go ?

    that is incorrect, we hardly do that…in fact, i don’t know , if any club does it to be honest…

    it’s mostly made up of agreements and fee arrangements, spread over the course of time e.t.c with the first one being a healthy chunk…

    for example :

    Real Madrid can pay 50-60 million to Spuds = Bale (rest in installments)

    Arsenal pay 45 million up front for Benzema and CO = (rest of the 20 million in installments)

    this is a way of tackling FFP it seems these days, however, this was the normal practice even before as well…

    when you look at the published accounts, there is a way of reading that as well, i don’t know the exact figures but from i can recall it was like us owing other clubs 23 million and other clubs owing us 25 million (along them lines – estimated figures i’m quoting) .

    of course, this also makes it a whole lot easier for RM to get Suarez if they wanted – they could pay 25 million up front with the remaining 30 million in installments (if he signs the new contract on the table) – this is the hope from the liverFOOL camp and certainly bitey’s.

    it’s certainly developing into a nice little triangle now, Arsenal > RM > LiverFOOL.

  114. Highbury Harmony says:

    Please let it be true for once…

  115. James Bond says:

    Poldi,

    there seems to be a clear plan there , he will start against Fulham with Giroud benched ?

    PS: 17HT, yes, if Cesc doesn’t join us this season then i will be losing money…also Ginter but the Ginter one isn’t as significant as Cesc 😉

  116. macko says:

    I come from France Mr Bond 🙂
    Podolski is a beast but little be tired of the pre-season;)
    ps: Red Ars nice try into French 🙂

  117. jnyc says:

    Excellent detailed analysis HH–
    but for all the talk of possible signings, im sick of it. I will believe it when i see a star player come in officially. If it doesnt happen, i will be done with wenger. So surprise me Arsene! ! Show us that u had a plan all along. — personally i want two quality players, one super quality. — if it doesnt happen, they have made fools of us all.

  118. James Bond says:

    splendid, i’m glad your english is a lot better than my french!

    yes, Podolski will deliver the goods against Fulham, i’m counting on him !

    tiredness can’t be an excuse for him because i don’t think he played as much as some of the other lads in pre-season to be honest.

    anyhow – Wenger knows best

  119. James Bond says:

    last comment for Macko.

    PS: is it me or has anyone else noticed the dynamic duo of both Gerry and JGC posting their comments almost simultaneously, not just in this article but in most articles it’s the trend, one posts and the other immediately follows ( hmmmmmm

  120. James Bond says:

    ah, spuds won 5-0 with their new signings scoring…just had a bit of banter with a spud supporter mate of mine (enemy)…

    he was like, we’re so winning the league , that and the other, we will be right up there after this…

    i asked him, who were you playing ? can you tell me the other clubs name ? – long pause and then the answer, i don’t know some team in Europe but all teams in Europe are tough you know.

    and after hearing that i said ….”good luck without Bale”.

  121. Dylan says:

    JB, my apologies. I always heard we paid at least most of the money up front. 😉 So you think there is a chance of Cesc this year? Does that include January? Care to name names for that CB and winger? And any news re-Benzema, Di Maria, or Flamini? Or anyone else? 😉

  122. AFC says:

    Dylan, Flamini is set to join. These are my only problems with this transfer. Flamini will be taking up a squad place if we want to play him in the EPL so I’d rather we just use him in cup matches. Wenger might use Flamini as an excuse not to sign a DM.

  123. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers for the kind words JB, appreciate your insight as always :). I agree with all your points and we seem to see yesterday’s result and the current state of the squad in the same way. Also, great observation on Jack staying back more yesterday, which allowed Rambo to push forward more. I also noticed that Rambo stayed back when Jack moved forward, which may make for a Song/Arteta like pairing in the future!

  124. James Bond says:

    it’s ok @ Dylan

    i don’t blame you,

    there was an exception to a larger transfer fee though, when Ronaldo was sold to RM – Mancs demanded the payment in one go which they got from RM !

    but like i said, usually that isn’t the norm…as clubs are much like banks when trading with each other and very fond of “IOU’s” 😉 i’m hoping it’s before January though – fingers crossed…

    Benzema interest is very strong – no doubt

    however, when you see Wenger say “Suarez – no chance, not gonna happen”

    then you only have to look back at last year, a reporter asked him , ” what are your thoughts about Santi Cazorla…he is being linked to Arsenal, are you interested ” ?

    AW: Never even heard of the player ( 2 days later, he was training with the lads ).

    😉

  125. Highbury Harmony says:

    Flamini is likely signed to be our 4th choice CM, after Ramsey, Arteta and a new signing (hopefully). My guess is that it means either Frimpong will be loaned out OR Diaby will not be returning this season.

  126. James Bond says:

    HH,

    no worries – you put in a lot of effort and hard work doing your write-ups – you deserve more appreciation as do the rest of the writers on here !

    yep, i feel the more they play together in real time, the better they will get, so let’s hope we can play them against Fulham and rest them vs the Turks ?

  127. AFC says:

    HH, can you see Wenger leaving Diaby out of the 25 man squad? Surely, Wenger would give him one more chamce unless Wenger is going to leave Diaby out of the 25 squad, use him in cup matches to test if he can stay injury free and if he can he will takes Flamini’s spot the season after.

    Diaby has to be left out of the squad if we are going to add four players in addition to Flamini.

  128. AFC says:

    So was Scholes in United’s 25 man squad when he came out of retirement?

  129. Glic says:

    Evening BK Lady Boys 😆

    First…..welcome Fozzie B, I like you already…….obviously not in a Broke Back way !. As for the frog…alas, it is too late, Kermit is around your place naked with your girl watching Frogs Spawn !.

    Thanks HH, another cracking match report, but listen buddie, you will wear yourself out doing all these one on one replies !. Do what I would do, just say ……..Thanks Bastards !. hahaha

  130. James Bond says:

    Bale in – Ronaldo out ?

    hmmmmm

  131. AFC says:

    Glic, I think HH thinks like me. Everyone who responds to our posts should get a personal response as they took the time and effort to write their response(s). A sort of respect between bloggers. 😀

  132. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh James, you’re such a tease… 😉 (re: your Spurs friend…AND your last comment…Lordy…) Also, if we’re talking about the same Wilshere play, he tried to finish with his chocolate (right) foot(!) All the more promising if you ask me…

    So, our back-packing trip is postponed again! 😦 This time due to smoke (from forest fires). My boy almost got weepy on me–We’ll reschedule for the Int’l break, so it works for me, as I’ll be up for the 4:45 am kickoff at Fulham…

    Yeah, it’s time to not get too excited re:transfer stuff…We’re in the various triangles but who knows where the rumors (rumours?) start? From my comments, I’d be over the moon if we could score Benzema and Cabaye (at which point we’re current gen French team and the future of England…heh, heh)…Ozil is a great player but I’d rather get Cesc back and/or watch Jack develop… I don’t see that one happening…Same goes for DiMaria who is too slight and goes down too easily for the PL. That said, Jesus of Navas looked pretty solid the other day in light blue…

    Anyhow, the twists and turns are starting up again–in earnest we hope…ear to pavement, face in the sauce (Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred…) or whatever they say, eh, Bond…

    😀

  133. Dylan says:

    JB, more likely Bale in – Benzema out. Are we really still interested in Suarez? 😉 AFC, I believe it was 17HT who said we’d be getting Lars Bender next summer. I expect Flamini to keep his squad spot warm for a year until he arrives. 😉

  134. James Bond says:

    ahahahahahah @ 17HT

    no, very unlikely that we will get Cabaye – i said that a few days ago that he will be headed to PSG…

    best to take him out of the list of possibles i reckon

    newcastle and Debuchy had a shocker the other night – Chelsea deserved to lose last night , just goes to show, take nothing for granted and this season has only just begun !

  135. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Magnificent write up Harmonious. Very objective writing and very much in line to how i saw the game

    But i am confused my dear fellow. i know you have recently been experimenting on a potion intended to seperate good and evil from the human mind and spirit. However, as per our last converastion, you must present your findings to your peers first.

    As you learned colleague, and friend i bessech you, do not try the potion on yourself. There are plenty of totnumb fans who would provide good test subjects

    Your friend

    Terry M

  136. James Bond says:

    Dylan,

    it would be foolish not to be interested in Suarez- hence liverpool have offered him a contract extension with a massive pay hike and a clear cut UCL release clause £55 million according to (sauce)… it will be interesting, if he doesn’t sign that or we go back in with 45 million plus add-on’s

    he can’t play until the 28th september, which means plenty of time for him to be settled in and integrated to his new team and so on and even play in the CL before that if need be.

    do you see what i just did there ?

    Liverpool need the funds in order to get their own target – due to FFS they need to get rid of one to get one high profile signing in

    whether he goes to RM, remains to be seen though

    one thing worth noting is that both Suarez and Benzema do come with baggage.

    PS: isn’t it nice to be genuinely linked with players like Suarez, Benzema e.t.c e.t.c after so many years of hoovering around that 10-15 million bracket ?…

  137. 17highburyterrace says:

    Shoot James, I think he would be a good (Cab) buy…

    By comparison, Flamini on a free doesn’t tickle the spending itch, except when it comes to paying his salary…which (of course) angers people… Funny folks those “supporters” are…We’d rather give insane amounts to other clubs than lesser ones to our own players…In fact, we tend to “hate” our own players (or at least “not rate them”) while lusting after those that belong to others…Geez, these modern times… :shakes head:

    Anyhow, keep the info coming…You haven’t been wrong yet… 😀

  138. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh, good stuff there on the “Who is Cazorla” is the same as “Suarez-no chance” statements.

    He lies, it’s true… 😉 😆

  139. Highbury Harmony says:

    In response to the comment @ 19:26, thanks bastard!! hahaha 😉

  140. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, my response to your Diaby question is does it matter if Diaby is included or not? I mean, he’s only a few games away from another injury as it is. Better Flamini take his place for the time being and him slowly being brought back over the course of months, if not the season.

  141. James Bond says:

    in the eternal words of AW @ 17HT 19:53

    we always like other peoples girlfriend/wives instead of liking what’s waiting for us at home

    c’est la vie 😉

  142. James Bond says:

    *prefer not like.

  143. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ugh, I thought it was the other way around Bond, affairs with young French Rap artists notwithstanding…

  144. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha cheers Terry for the kind words and humorous comment. As it stands, I am still depressed about the incompetence and lack of transfer activity, but I will never shy away from praising our boys after a good performance. Koz suspended/injured and one more key player being injured and we’re done for if no reinforcements are brought in.

    We simply cannot go on with this, especially if we hope to make lengthy runs in the league, FA cup, COC cup and CL.

  145. jgc says:

    All, AFC, HH and the ever testing JB

    AFC: I agree, two DMs but good DM or holding types are rare and I’m a brick wall defense is the foundation of a good offense type, so… Plus I’d hope that of they were SQ or near they could also fill other B2B roles. Certainly, Gundogan, Bemder and eventually Ginter do this? Ie I like your list

    HH: agreed also Cabaye might also fit well. Between that and the above, hope still springs eternal here! 🙂 … Equally, I wouldn’t mind the Benzema rumors. I think Suarez is the football package, it’s al the other baggage that has me less upset there…

    RA: Theo is quite the conundrum. But, at 20 goals or assists a year, a better one to have then most, like, say, the how fragile is Diaby conundrum (a real tragedy there)….

    JB: interesting idea there, but if I had an alter ego it would have a cool name Super-Galactic Havoc Man with the power to make 6 and 10 year old boys shut up! And other cool stuff too!! Like saving the world from horrors beyond belief, and my 6 and 10 year olds.. 🙂

    Perhaps you should recall rate those sauces? 🙂

    PS: Gerry and I do agree we are both brilliant, and great minds and all that..! 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  146. jgc says:

    JB

    Responding again just so the next one ISN’T Gerry!

    Cheers — jgc

  147. AFC says:

    HH @ 19:01, all true.

    Maybe Wenger will give Diaby all the time he needs this season.

  148. jgc says:

    HH

    So with Kos gone at Fulham.. Sagna or Monreal in the middle with the other out wide?

    Cheers — jgc

  149. AFC says:

    JGC, Barca are also struggling with just the one DM and they are the prime example that some of the best attacking talent in the world does not lead to dominance all the time. Their CBs are pretty weak at times and maybe the solution for them could be to go to a 4-2-1-3/4-2-3-1 with Mascherano and Sergio holding together and invest in a new CB. That could the way for Barca to become a dominant force again.

  150. Highbury Harmony says:

    Jgc, personally I’d prefer to see Sagna in the middle, Jenks at RB. Nacho first sub for any of our defenders (is there really any other option hahaha)???

  151. AFC says:

    HH and JGC, Sagna will have to play RCB with Mertesacker at LCB. The problem with this is Mertesacker looked uncomfortable at LCB having to mostly use his left foot to pass, tackle etc.

  152. Glic says:

    I must be the only one on here who is not excited by Benzema and Di Maria !.
    What that win does for me….. is it makes it easier for us to get SQ !.
    Fcuk Cabaye, Benzema, Di Maris and as for Flamini…….he can fcuk off and suck Saville`s cock !.
    Is this going to be another lie by Wenger ( ala….we wont sell both Nasri and Cesc ! ) in saying….” I will only bring in SQ ! “. After the game last night he said we will start buying !.
    Is it to be cast offs again and Real Madrid ones at that, first Higuain, now Benzema and Di Maria !.
    I`ve said it before , we should be trying to buy the players clubs don’t want to sell !, just like clubs came in for players we didn`t want to sell but we did !.
    Gundogan, L Bender, Suarez, Lewandowski, Reus etc`.
    £40M for Benzema ! and we wouldn`t pay £33M and £25M for Gotze and Isco ! ( yes, I`m still not letting go ! hahaha )…………fcuking crazy !.
    We will end up with somebodies rejects and this time next year we will be going through it all again as the khuntz in charge still wouldn`t have learned their lesson !.
    SQ or nothing imo.

  153. jgc says:

    HH

    Interesting, IMO, Monreal has more patience on the ball and is less likely to get caught out. I’d try Sagna middle and Monreal outside. Interestingly, Sagna might add some fear factor for teams down the middle!

    Cheers — jgc

  154. AFC says:

    HH, there’s always Ramsey, Frimpong or Giroud for CB. 😀

  155. AFC says:

    Glic, Real onlt want to get rid of Di Maria and Benzema because of their poor attitude.

    Di Maria is the best traditional winger in the world.

    Benzema is a very good ST.

  156. jgc says:

    Glic

    All choices freely available I’d take Bender, Gundogan and Lewandowski, but I’d suspect we won’t get them. Not for lack of cash but lack of availability… Equally, Arteta was not SQ but has huge impact…

    Just a counter thought tho I agree in principle and with most of your list

    Cheers — jgc

  157. AFC says:

    Real linked with Eto’o.

  158. Glic says:

    jgc
    I wonder if any of the above you agreed with have a buyout clause ?. Two are from Dortmund where Gotze had a clause !.

    AFC
    If they have a poor attitude , why do we want them ?. Not SQ and bad attitudes spells disaster !

  159. AFC says:

    Glic, Real said they have a bad attitude. I’m not so sure. They would still be good signings.

    Spuds are linked with Podolski by the way.

  160. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic,

    Di Maria not SQ? Since when?

    2012/13 – 22 starts, 10 sub appearances = 7 goals, 6 assists
    2011/12 – 16 starts, 7 sub appearances = 5 goals, 15 assists
    2010/11 – 29 starts, 6 sub appearances = 6 goals, 11 assists

    Those stats were better than Santi’s in the past three seasons while he was at Malaga and Villareal. In fact, in 2011-12 Di Maria was tied for 2nd in assists amongst all La Liga players only behind Ozil. Want to guess who he was tied with at 2nd?

    This also doesn’t even begin mentioning his CL stats. 4 assists in 11 appearances (2 as a sub) last year, 2 goals + 1 assist in 7 appearances (2 as a sub) the year before and 3 goals + 3 assists in 10 appearances (2 as a sub) two years ago.

    If you haven’t seen this video of his skills, I’d highly recommend you do:

  161. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC source for Di Maria’s bad attitude? I only heard about Benzema, not about Di Maria, he always struck me as a fairly shy and quiet individual!

  162. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, what you on about son? What is this super quality anyway. Sounds like my insatiable desire for only super quality online porn? hahaha

    Benzema and Di Maria are very good players that would give us what we need.

  163. AFC says:

    Glic, besides don’t most top players have a bad attitude (a bit arrogant and cocky) Ronaldo, Balotelli and Bendtner. 😀

  164. jgc says:

    Glic

    Good point. JM is often the guy who knows the agents and such, and buyout clauses most likely come from them as much as the player. Ie I don’t know(?)

    However, if so, we could either ask or keep raising in £5m increments until they said yes or we gave up…

    Cheers — jgc

  165. AFC says:

    HH, Real are saying that Di Maria and Benzema are trying to get new deals worth more money by playing Real. Di Maria is also supposed to be quite immature. I’m really sure. Any Real fans who can shed some light on this?

  166. AFC says:

    HH, a lot of people also say he is very selfish. I don’t know how because he has a very high number of assists.

  167. Highbury Harmony says:

    Di Maria’s agent is Gestifute, who also happens to manage Falcao, Ronaldo, Thiago Silva etc., so I’m not sure how easy negotiations would be. From my understanding, Gestifute allows other parties to own part of the economic rights of their players.

    Could be asking to pay a higher transfer fee than we’d normally have to pay for a player of his quality.

  168. Highbury Harmony says:

    Di Maria’s agency*

  169. Glic says:

    What is Super Quality ?. If you lot carry on ganging up on me you will find out what SQ is !………….Let me introduce you to……… the Arsene Wenger fist fcuking glove puppet !. hahaha

    Now shut it whilst I watch HH`s Di Maria vid !.

  170. jgc says:

    Glic! 🙂

  171. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I’ve heard that Di Maria used to be a big diver and can over dribble at times, but not that he was selfish in terms of not playing a team game. Most Real fans will tell you that he’s one of the best playmakers in the squad and his work rate, defensive contribution and general play are extremely under appreciated.

    My friend is an avid Real supporter and Di Maria is one of his favourite players.

  172. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    And up top there exactly what we need aint they? Top left sided winger and a proven international striker

  173. AFC says:

    HH, I could be wrong. TA, also said he didn’t like his attitude. Anyway he’s SQ and we need him now. Get is done Arsene. 😀

    So if Benzema is worth £40 million and Di Maria is worth around £30 million I say Wenger should go with a bid £60 million for both.

  174. Glic says:

    I just watched that video HH and I have calculated all the pro`s and cons with my superior tactical and technical footballing brain and come to a conclusion !……………………………………………What a greedy fcuking khunt ! hahaha

    I`m now going to run my eye over the Benzema Vid you earlier supplied !. It will fill in the time whilst I`m tumble drying the glove puppet !.

  175. Highbury Harmony says:

    Just remember Glic, just because Real are selling certain players, does not make them rejects or not SQ per se. Keep in mind that Real only buy players who are the top ones in the world and it’s a matter of how they fit in with a certain marquee player (aka Ronaldo right now) that determines whether the rest stay.

    Also, Real are one of the best clubs in the world, so any player good enough to play there would be more than good enough to play at Arsenal.

  176. Fozzie B says:

    Hi Bk banditos!!

    I’ll catch up on comments in a sec, just logged on.

    First things first ….

    Thank you Prince and 17ht for your warm welcome!
    Also thank you for the invite for a post!! I’m afraid I’m in the Glic mode
    “flashes of intelligent football brilliance, followed by flashes of football brilliance with a tiny,tiny
    sprinkle of testosterone!”

    Prince, you were right, coming out of the BK closet was awesome!! But I quite enjoyed myself in
    there! I’ve managed to bring a sackful of stuff you guys left behind ….. I’ll put them on the table and you guys can tell me who gets what yeah??

    Pink clogs, finger scratchings on the wood …. “ I hate caravan drivers”, a book named “the First Chonicle of Lesbonia Diaries (pages unable to be opened for some reason?), the most erotic zimmerframe I have seen in my life, a tartan laser beam box with paprika electrodes, a sheep named daisy with a wilshere shirt on ( I had to spend a bit of time with this this precious sheep … she )needed reassuring )

    Yeah I thought you guys might appreciate a bit of cheering up before the window ends.
    I actually think our goals will be hit but not as soon as we all want to.

    I need some of Bondys sauces as a rub for my next bbq!

    Where art thou Bondy?

  177. AFC says:

    Glic, Real are stupid. They are paying £93 million for Bale. Surely that means Theo must be worth at least £60 million.

  178. Highbury Harmony says:

    Fozzie B, I’d be careful of your choice of word selection in the future, Glic loves to prey on accidental humorous lines such as the second last one at the end of your last comment.

    Roasting and JB’s sauces could easily be confused with something else mate hahaha 😉

  179. Glic says:

    We are also one of the Worlds top clubs, older than Real Madrid and actually we were Royal ( Real ) before Madrid were, so fcuk them, lets buy the ones they want to keep……LadyBoy, Frog Eyes and the expectant Chimp !. wHAT DO WE WANT ?………………………..SQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQSQ

  180. Fozzie B says:

    forgot to add there was a platinum thumb brace in the bag …

  181. Fozzie B says:

    Catching up at 1435 to Glic

    That naked frog … screw his yoga positions .. thanks for the headsup … going back to 1435 and catching up soon …

  182. Glic says:

    Hahaha Fozzie B. If I didn`t know any better, I would have thought it was my handsome bastard reflection in the mirror writing, but it cant be as he is tickling his scrotum with a Arsene glove puppet as we speak !. I have a feeling you will take some of the work load off of me in the testosterone department !. A welcome addition !. 😀

  183. James Bond says:

    ha ha ha , you had me in a right tangle there, much like AW has got the most of us with his secretive transfer dealings 😉 @ JGC

    all i’m saying is that Ibrahimovic and Eto’o might be more closer to RM than Suarez, if (a big if) Benzema is no more !

    Fozzie B,

    steady there , ahahaahahahahah

    at first i thought it was Glics or TMHT using one of their aliases (they have many, so watch out! )

    it seems that you’ve finally found your true home in the world of Arsenal blogging, welcome to BK !

  184. Glic says:

    Did anyone see that Spud vid sung to Blue`s ” One love ! ” ?. I have a song my self which I would love to put up on you tube, but have no idea how to film it, put music to it, edit it, etc`.
    Basically it`s a reply to the Spud one, which in my humble opinion…..is fcuking funny !. hahaha

  185. Highbury Harmony says:

    Glic @ 12:06 said “We are also one of the Worlds top clubs, older than Real Madrid and actually we were Royal ( Real ) before Madrid were, so fcuk them, lets buy the ones they want to keep……LadyBoy, Frog Eyes and the expectant Chimp !. wHAT DO WE WANT?”

    Last I checked, we haven’t won diddly-squat in the past 8 years and have only bought one SQ player that was the finished article in that timeframe. As they history is just that – history. Real Madrid are miles ahead of us now, so taking their good players (who have performed very, very well statistically) that are only 25 years of age and allowing AW to mentor and get the best out of them will make Real regret ever letting them go.

  186. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Wellcome Fozzie.

    If you need anything to help you settle in let me know, i am here to help.

    Have you got money? If not dont worry, just tell me some sordid stories about what you get up to with the lady Fozzies. I need to know the explicit details if i am to help you. hahaha

    Cornwall, Di Maria is a brilliant player mate. Yeah, hes a bit of a selfish git but hes a very good player. Argentina and Real Madrid aint bad is it?

  187. Glic says:

    Hope you`re right HH !.

    Watch out for Stretch ( TMHT ) Fozzie, he`s trying to pull you in, before you know it he will be after your hair !. I can see his mind ticking over already thinking of Lady Fozzies Fuzzies !. hahaha

  188. Fozzie B says:

    Thank you Terry, I’m as poor as a churchmouse, I’ve spent all my money on Arsenals new betting partners …. animal swore to me they gave the best odds yet …. bloody animal!!

  189. Fozzie B says:

    hang on I feel a few pinches of my fluff …. thanks for the headus up Glic, shuld have read it sooner!!

  190. 17highburyterrace says:

    Stats from Spain should be viewed with a bit of a jaundiced eye…RM and Barca score a huge portion of the goals in La Liga…Players that get playing time will look better than the workaday types in the lower 18…

    I agree with Glic that we should be looking for “Super Quality,” players who are coming into their best years and will dominate alongside our (frankly) iffy-looking British core. We will be needing them but we also need players who can relieve a bit of the pressure that the unique combination of results + expectations have created at Arsenal. Just as buying RvP for 24 million (and giving him a huge 4 year contract) was a selfish move for Sir Alex, AW needs just that sort of purchase. Players like Benzema, Higuain, Di Maria, (not to mention, gulp, Suarez and Rooney…) are a class above Negredo and Saldado. That’s my humble opinion, of course… 😉

    Players like Goetze and Isco were always going to go to the top team in their home leagues. They show the potential but have yet to prove themselves at the top level… (Goetze has had real injury issues too…) While the others can be seen as “rejects,” the younger guys haven’t made it at the top level, yet at least–Nor has Gareth Bale (not to mention Luka Modric). The football politics in Spain (like at Arsenal…) mean that change–buying players is always good. Lust is human nature, as I’m sure the Glicster would agree…

    ‘Nuf said, for now…

  191. Fozzie B says:

    Hey Glic, BTW we are handsome reflections, tanned bad boys ready to roll!
    I just don’t see us going for D’Maria unless Wengerball is one-sided!! … Wenger has all gone for the ball playing strikers ahead of the traditional Manu styled crossing stlye. Its a shame because I think we need a blend of both! What about Chelsvki gazumping the Spuds …!!:D Apparently he turned up with his suitcases … I bet Chelsvi were rubbing there hands AKA Mata style!! …. at least it hasn’t gone all Spuds way in this market. I believe Willian under Wenger could be a reach 75% Bale vale. I might be wrong, but stone me dead. That has to be one of the best signings, potential wise in our EPL market …… and second best could be Henry Chan’s Bony … who I believe will be a better Michu if not next year then the next!

    😀

  192. James Bond says:

    17HT,

    you’re long overdue a post i reckon – do something about it ?

    Fozzie B,

    Willian held talks with Liverpool, had a medical at spuds, signed up by Arsenal and then we loan him out to man $hity (don’t be surprised).

  193. Glic says:

    Before Total van Dutch elm disease gets in first…….Fozzie, are from these shores or another from our worldwide gooner takeover ?

  194. Highbury Harmony says:

    The difference 17ht as I have explained to you numerous times is that the quality of La Liga players individually is much, much higher than that of the PL. It should as no surprise by now that players that do well in La Liga utterly dominate the EPL.

    Silva, Mata, Cazorla, Michu, Aguero etc. and soon to be Aspas, Soldado, Negredo, Navas etc.

  195. Highbury Harmony says:

    should come as no surprise*

  196. Fozzie B says:

    BTW further to what JB said earlier about AW blatantly denying rumours about Carzola when he was in the bag and Wenger doing the same. Funny to see Maureen doing something similar today with Shrek? Although maybe that is true because they have Willian!

  197. Fozzie B says:

    Glic my Darth Vader BK Father .. I’m from NZ but living in the UK shores enjoying a crackalacking summer!! 🙂

    17HT I agree with you totally … Wenger needs to be a take off his loyal arsenal jedi cloke and pick up a sith lord do it now philosophy to get us through the rest of his contract!! When he gets to the end he can morph back to Wenger … … or perhaps he is just a stretched out green yoda who speaks yoda with sexy French??

    SAF knew what he was doing and AW was a gentleman and gave him his farewell gift in style over a couple of whiskies … pity someone can’t do the same for master Yoda eh?

  198. Fozzie B says:

    JB your sauces sound a bit spiked tonight? 🙂

  199. Fozzie B says:

    Sorry that was 17ht who said about Wenger denying stuff not JB .. sorry JB 😦

  200. Glic says:

    Yes 17ht, lust is human nature, but is bestiality ?. I ask as VCC seems to be spending a lot of time at London Zoo !. Since giving a Giraffe a blow job as it kept watch in the long grass, he has not been the same !. He even has his own Zoophilia Zimmerframe !.
    Actually I was a bit curious and experimental myself today. I found a few mole hills on my lawn, so I laid down on the grass naked to listen for some scratching and movement, all of a sudden some soil began to move near to my groin area and a little mole popped it`s head out !. The little bastards are blind and they have what can only be described as little miniature human hands, it was just by pure coincidence that I happened to have a boner at the time !, I froze as the little bastards grabbed my cock and begun to rub me off !. I must admit it was a strange experience to have my cock feel enormous with such a tiny hand grasping it !.
    With Totes visiting a museum of ancient Egyptian relics of Tutankhamun etc` and laying on the floor naked with a boner crying …” I want my Mummy ” ! . Just another normal day on BK !. hahaha

  201. Glic says:

    Sith Lord……….can anyone work out an anagram of Sith ?. hahaha

  202. James Bond says:

    my bad, good pick , allow me to re-phrase it ” Willian spoke to Liverpool, had a medical at spuds, was in advanced talks with Chelsea , then signed up for Arsenal and loaned to man $hity” @ Fozzie B

    NZ you say ? JGC – you no longer remain the only gooner next to down under ahahahaha

    you must be loving the battering our boys are giving the Oz’s then ehh ; ) (cricket).

  203. Fozzie B says:

    Classic Glic … and little did you know it but those little mole bastardos were tranny moles!! with stevey b eye liner, arsene holey stockings, and they were blind because they were genetically engineered with Mike Dean!! 🙂

  204. Fozzie B says:

    Yeah JB .. you can paddle their backsides to kingdom come! 🙂 When I posted my goodie bag from the waiting room which is pretty much like the lion, witch and the wardrobe, I did mention I had to take care of a precious sheep named Wilshere … …. extra special care 🙂

  205. James Bond says:

    something that the likes of Glic, HH,TMHT.17HT and you yourself FB, would be interested in…and anyone else here you go !

    do we really need Di Maria ?

    http://squawka.com/news/2013/08/22/arsenal-look-to-sign-di-maria/2013082218421?

  206. Glic says:

    That HH vid of Di Maria……I bet a vid of Gervinho would look just as good, but in the real world ……mazy runs ending up down a dark alley !………Fcuk……why did we sell him ?

  207. Dylan says:

    Forgot to welcome Fozzie B! Welcome aboard mate! The more the merrier! But watch yourself around Glic. He’s a sneaky bugger who will twist your words around. 😉 Hahaha

  208. Highbury Harmony says:

    Except Di Maria has much better vision and does not run out of ideas in the final third. If you cannot tell the difference between Di Maria and Gervinho by now, there is no hope for you in this world at your old age.

  209. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys and welcome Fozzie B(ergkampesquer?) 🙂

    Some fine comments today and good to see that this game is taken as a one-off by most of us. Bigger fish to fry on Saturday as another defeat would be semi-disastrous.

    It was good to win, though, and really nice for Rambo to produce a ‘co-assist’ and a fine goal. It was quite a weird game in which Fenerbahce sat back and yet left lots of space for us to pass the ball around in. Their counters were slow and ineffective and seldom did they test the potentially fragile central midfield (going on the evidence of Saturday’s game).

    There were a few occasions in which both teams had passes go astray in quick succession, which was not very pretty. But we clearly had a lot more quality in the team and in the end it showed. Three goals and nice to keep a clean sheet for once.

    On transfers:

    Amazed we still have not signed anybody, and I cannot believe we are now being linked with two very good RM players. Why would RM sell Benzema when they have already sold their other central striker? Di Maria is a slightly bigger possibility but still….my gut feeling tells me it is never going to happen. We seem to keep linking ourselves to players we could only possibly get if the management were prepared to abandon our tight-negotiating principles and act opportunistically, and I cannot see them making this change in mindset right now.

  210. Fozzie B says:

    Thanks for the link Bondy … I agree with Glic … I liked what Forehead brought to the table … something we haven’t really got. But he is ACON tied so that kind of screwed it for me. But that Gervitational Pull eh Glic … like one of those silver ball clanging timer things…. weighed out with Girouds todger on the other end and all the boys getting slammed in the middle. Only a matter of time and I worked lol?

    I tell you what I reckon. And its pretty out there … but is Poldi homesick??

    Reckon he is!! and can’t power through it and maybe BFG is getting pulled into down
    by Poldi too? Can’t blame them … but hell they’re only 3 hours away not 26!!

    Might be though eh? Standard of life over there is awesome and family etc??

    What you guys reckon??

  211. Glic says:

    Cor blimey sorry HH, it`s the eyesight, I couldn`t afford some proper spec`s with me ration book and had to use some beer bottles instead !.

    Wenger said Sir Spamheadalot was the best African Player at the ACN !. I personally was sad to see him go and just think he needed a little bit more time for his confidence, a bit more time like has been given to Rambo to prove he is a potential quality player .

  212. Fozzie B says:

    Thanks Dylan … you are a the Jack Wilshere of this arsenal cyber world … keep it up … you could be the next AVB … cough cough … only said that because of his age!! 🙂

    Agree totally HH … D’Maria over Forehead anyday! 🙂

  213. Fozzie B says:

    Thank you Totes … the main man …. well done on all your hard work here … you deserve the blogstyle arsenal bergkamp statue!! :))

  214. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Fozzie – really good you have come out and play and I would like to invite any other regular readers-but-not-commenters to do the same! The more the Gerry-er and Terry-er 🙂

    Are you going to join our FF league and UMF league, Fozzie?

    Question to HH 🙂 : a friend of mine wants to join the BK FF league but says it is closed: is that correct and can something be done about it?

  215. TotalArsenal says:

    Catch you later 🙂

  216. Fozzie B says:

    Thank you Totes I will give the comps a miss at the minute thank you Totes as I’m working major hours … yaaawnn… but want to get on here more often to hangout with the brokeback BK Crew

    🙂

  217. Dylan says:

    Thanks Fozzie! 😀
    I need to take Kos out of my FF team (at least for now) and submit my UMF predictions for this week. Hmm…probably will do both tomorrow. Don’t let me forget, guys! 😉

  218. Fozzie B says:

    Yeah Dylan I gotta take Kos out too! What you reckon on my homesick idea for Poldi? could explain his links with Schalke? don’t know why he is so down … do you rate Willan as high as I do? a potential 75% bale in 3-4 years with the right coaching?

  219. Fozzie B says:

    Nightey night Totes 🙂

  220. Dylan says:

    Fozzie, I don’t know what’s up with Poldi. I worry about him though. As for Willian, I rate him highly. I would hate to see Tottenham get him, but I think we could find similar players with potential to be better (ahem…MUNIAIN! C’mon Wenger! Capitalize while he has a relatively small release clause for his potential (£30 mil)). 😉

  221. Dylan says:

    Or we could try to pull of this Ozil deal. That’d be a way better (but similar playing wise) signing than Willian.

  222. Fozzie B says:

    Yeah I agree with you Dylan. if we can have the best speed down both flanks … like a mini RM why not?? surely that is a realistic goal. even less speed but better ball control which Munian defo has over Walcott … 🙂

  223. Dylan says:

    Agreed Fozzie. 🙂

  224. Fozzie B says:

    ozzie gunner … just want to say don’t take my comment about battering you guys in the cricket personally … lol … just like you batter us in league!! I love you avatar btw its the best one here .. supa creative!!

  225. Fozzie B says:

    I still can’t get ove AV’s performance over Chelvski … they deserved a draw at least. Made me take last weeks perspective with a pinch of salt …. (and a quite a few beers of I’m honest) 🙂

  226. James Bond says:

    Willian in…. + rooney ( possibly) chelsea

    mata out to man utd ?

    Hmmmm

  227. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi TA,

    I can re-open the league to entries but simply locked the league so as to avoid the non-Arsenal fan from rejoining. Let me know when your mate is ready to join and I’ll briefly unlock the league so he can participate. However, I must warn you that FPL has a rule that gives preference to managers who joined the league starting in week 1. Your friend will be at a disadvantage for the rest of the season, but it’s all just for fun anyway!

  228. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers HH, I will liaise with him and set something up. 🙂

  229. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also TA, superb comment at 22:49 in terms of transfers. It’s very difficult to not get excited over these links, but we have to temper our expectations and be realistic when it comes to actually acquiring these players. Our negotiators are dinosaurs and are unwilling to pay market value for players these days.

    Our best bet is to purchase an up and coming talent from La Liga outside of Real or Barca. The economy in Spain will allow management to purchase quality players at lesser prices. Muniain, Turan, Rami etc. are some good players that could be had for reasonable prices.

  230. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    In order to get back to late evening issuing of new posts, I am issuing one now, so we can do the pre-match post tomorrow evening again.

    HH, once again thanks for a super-fine match report! 🙂

  231. Highbury Harmony says:

    After all, Falcao and Cavani went for over £50 million each so there’s no reason to believe that Suarez should be sold for less than that. He’s just as good as those two and could be even better than either one on his day.

  232. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks and agreed, HH. Spanish or German potential future SQ players, or just very good players, rather than the big names, seem far more feasible.

    Frankly, I find it bizarre we keep getting linked with these sort of players at this stage, rather than far more realistic targets.

  233. TotalArsenal says:

    Exactly HH, the only thing which will bring his price down compared to these two is his dodgy personality.

  234. Highbury Harmony says:

    Agreed, that is main thing holding Suarez back from that echelon of strikers. He’s simply a wildcard and teams are hesitant over having him in the side due to his suspension record and on-field antics.

    It would be a mighty day if we ever decided to actually spend the money at our disposal on a big name. I just feel as though the board and manager are reluctant to do so in fear of the big name player not performing as expected.

    What I found interesting was the pre-gam CL chat yesterday and one of the fellows had worked with and played against AW on many occasions and claimed that he had German roots, despite being born in France, and this was the root of his stubbornness. He claimed that he’s heard and seen that it’s difficult to work with AW mainly because he’s so set in his ways and fairly adverse to change.

    Of course, he still had the utmost respect for him as a manager, but believed that it’d be hard for the club to take that next step forward without a new eye/blood in there to take over the negotiation process (at the very least).

  235. TotalArsenal says:

    HH 🙂

    I am not sure Germans are more stubborn than any other nation. They can be thorough/meticulous and are often very organised, but stubborn…

    It is true that the Alsace, where Arsene originates from, has a strong German influence. Life is great there with a very high standard of living – especially superb restaurants.

  236. TotalArsenal says:

    hitting the pillow now, HH.

    Always good to talk to you, compadre. 🙂

  237. Prince Paprika says:

    TEAM NEWS: Podolski and Jenkinson start

    Arsène Wenger has made two changes to his team for this afternoon’s trip to Fulham in the Premier League.

    Carl Jenkinson comes in for the suspended Laurent Koscielny while Lukas Podolski replaces Jack WIlshere, who is on the bench.

    Meanwhile, 16-year-old Gedion Zelalem is named among the substitutes.

    Team in full: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker (c), Sagna, Gibbs, Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud

    Substitutes: Fabianski, Monreal, Frimpong, Zelalem, Wilshere, Gnabry, Sanogo

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