Deadwood gone, the Flame returns, Marquee signing made: the big TW summary


During the summer, after the end of last season, we were told there was money to spend by the likes of Wenger and Gazidis. As a result, Arsenal were linked with almost every player who had a feasible chance of signing for us by the media. Throughout the summer, after Arsenal failed with a number of bids for the likes of Williams, Rooney, L.Bender, Suarez, and Arsenal pulling out of a number of deals for the likes of Williams, Fellaini, Gustavo and Higuain, we went into the new season missing a number of players through injury and with only one addition: French under-21 international Yaya Sanogo.

After the Villa loss (which saw even more players pick up injuries) fans wanted some new signings to come in as soon as possible, and rightly so. We then went on to play Fenerbahce in our CL play off tie before going away to Fulham in the EPL, and returning to the Turks for the second leg of our vital CL play off tie – still without any signings. Luckily we managed to win all of those vital matches.

Arsenal fans were still quite worried about how we would fare in our match against the Spuds, as we would be going into the North London derby with no new signings and still a very thin squad; meanwhile, Tottenham would be coming into the match with a number of quality signings and a much bigger squad. A bit of good news came before the match with Arsenal announcing that Flamini was set to return and would be eligible to play in the North London derby. Arsenal then went on to win that match 1-0 with Flamini forced to come on for Wilshere, who started to feel unwell during the match.

Now the Spuds match was done, many fans were hoping that Wenger would finally go into the transfer market once more and get the players we desperately needed to compete at a higher level than we currently were, which he did.

This summer transfer window saw Wenger and co get rid of most of our ‘deadwood’ (Mannone, Santos, Squillaci, Johan, Denilson, Coquelin, Gervinho, Arshavin, Chamakh and a whole load of youth players), but excluding the likes of Bendtner, Frimpong and Park (who are still at Arsenal), by either selling, loaning or releasing them while bringing in a number of new players (Yaya Sanogo, Mathieu Flamini, Emiliano Viviano and Mesut Ozil), but fail to bring in Demba Ba on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea.

Let’s take a further in-depth look at the four signings which we made during the summer transfer window:

Yaya Sanogo


Our first summer signing came in the form of French under-21 international
Yaya Sanogo. The young Frenchman arrived from French Ligue 2 side Auxerre on a free transfer and is definitely one for the future. Signed on a long-term contract, he was given the No. 22 shirt, which was previously the shirt number of Francis Coquelin before he was sent out on loan.

Yaya possesses a very good first touch and is technically sound. His strength and size automatically makes him very good at playing with his back from goal and he is very athletic for a player of his size.

He is known for being a very explosive player who can combine his pace and strength very well; much like Christian Benteke does (who he has been compared to) to get past defenders by beating them for pace and out muscling them.

He has already made appearances for Arsenal against Galatasaray during the Emirates Cup (where he made his Arsenal debut), Fulham in the EPL (where he came on for Lukas Podolski), and Fenerbahce in the second leg of our Champions League play off tie.

During his appearances he has looked a bit out of his depth but that is to be expected. He is a young player who is still developing and has not yet adapted to playing at the top level.

He is a young talent with raw potential, which must be nurtured if he is to reach his full potential. He has all the necessary attributes needed to become a successful center forward in the English Premier League and could be a very big player for us in the future, by offering presence to our attack. My only worry is that Sanogo is injury-prone and has suffered from injuries in the past.

A good signing by Wenger (very promising young player on a free) as he continues to build for the future: if he can now stay injury- free he could make a really big impact for Arsenal in the future.

Mathieu Flamini


With injuries starting to plague our squad during pre-season and early into the new season, the former Arsenal man was resigned by Wenger (also on a free transfer) on a two year deal with an option for the deal to be extended for a third year, just in time for the North London derby. He was given the No.20 shirt.

Wenger himself said he had no intention of signing Flamini but his positive attitude and really good fitness levels, along with our injury crisis changed his mind. This was shown when he was forced to come on during our match with Tottenham in place of Wilshere. He put in a very solid performance which helped us secure the win keeping a clean sheet in the process.

Flamini is a very experienced player who has Premier League as well as Champions League experience. He was also part of the Arsenal squad which won the FA Cup in the 2004-05 season. The fact that he used to play for us is even better. He knows what Arsenal is all about, knows how to play Wengerball and we did not have to pay a transfer fee for him. Then add that Mathieu is a very versatile player, makes this purchase even better. He can cover a number of positions on the pitch (CM, DM, RB, LB etc.) which makes him very useful in the case of injuries, which is almost certain to keep members of our squad out at times throughout the season. He will mainly act as cover for the injured Diaby which might mean Abou can finally have the time he needs to recover fully from his injury, without having to come straight back into the team while he is still recovering from his injuries.

A wise signing by Wenger, and a no brainer in my opinion. Flamini will add much needed depth to our squad as our utility player. My only worry, as with Sanogo, is that Flamini has suffered from many injuries throughout his career. The last thing we need is another injury-prone player on our books so let’s hope Mathieu can also stay injury- free.

Emiliano Viviano


Our first deadline day signing was Emiliano Viviano. We signed the Italian international on a season-long loan from Palermo with an option for a permanent deal. Emiliano will provide back up for our current No.1 GK, Wojciech Szczesny while also acting as competition and pushing Szczesny for the No. 1 GK spot.

This is quite a good move by Wenger.
We now have added depth for the GK position on a sort of one season trial. Based on his performances Wenger will be able to either sign him to a permanent deal or choose to let him go back to Palermo and look for another experienced GK.

Mesut Ozil


Having already signed Sanogo and Flamini before deadline day, Arsenal fans were expecting at least one big name arrival. While it was reported we were close to signing Viviano on a season-long loan many reports emerged that Arsenal had agreed a fee with Real Madrid for Ozil for around £40-45 million. As the day went on further details emerged and the deal seemed to progress with Ozil undertaking a medical and agreeing personal terms with Arsenal. The deal was reported as close, and then done, awaiting official confirmation.

Apparently the official announcement was going to be made at 4pm which didn’t happen, and then the official announcement was going to be made at 6pm which didn’t happen. At this point, I along with many other Arsenal fans, were starting to get a bit worried that transfer talks may have broken down over wages or another club had hijacked the signing, but finally the Ozil deal was announced late into the night.

Arsenal football club needed to make a statement of intent and show fans, pundits, clubs around the world and most importantly our own players, that we are serious about wanting to compete and win trophies. Signing one of the best playmakers in the world has done just that. Our marquee signing, which was signed from Real Madrid for €50 million (around £42.4 million), will most likely wear the No.11 shirt.

The German international is a brilliant flair player, who is at his best when playing behind the CF/ST as a number 10. He has very good ball control, agility, dribbling skills and pace just like our very own Jack Wilshere has. He has great vision, passing range (technical ability) which he can use to create loads of chances for other players and can even score goals himself. He is also very versatile, as he can play on either wing as well as a CM and is a brilliant crosser of the ball which can only help Giroud get better service.

For more information on this fantastic player we have signed, click on the link below to read a great post written by fellow blogger HH, that analyses what Mesut Ozil has to offer to Arsenal.

So with these additions (considering everyone in our squad is fit) I can see our team line-up (best eleven) looking something like this:

AFC new first eleven

Szezesny will likely remain as our first choice GK with new signing Viviano pushing him for the starting spot. Fabianski will most likely play in the early rounds of the two domestic cups we are currently in.

I can see Wenger sticking with the CB-pairing of Mertesacker and Koscielny as this was our best combination last season. Despite Sagna’s good performances as a stand in CB I can see him moving back to RB as he is our most experienced option, with Jenkinson making some appearances there during the season. Very hard to say who will be our number one LB: I can see both Monreal and Gibbs starting matches with Wenger likely to rotate them throughout the season.

Arteta is likely to come back into the team in place of either Ramsey or Wilshere, as Mikel (our vice-captain) is the leader of our midfield and our team. His calm and collected approach in the middle of midfield is often vital to our victories. Wilshere has suffered from several injuries and is still recovering from these. Wilshere will need to be handled carefully and protected until he is fully fit and has overcome his injury problems; meanwhile, Ramsey is on fire and is really developing his all round game.

Wilshere will not be able to play matches week in week out, so I see Wilshere and Ramsey being rotated with Arteta regaining his place in our midfield. I can see Flamini being our 4th choice for DM, coming into the squad to fill in for any injured players either in midfield or defence. Diaby may also come back into the squad if he can finally stay injury- free.

Walcott will retain his place at RM/RW with the Ox deputizing for him when needed, while Santi will most likely remain out wide on the left, operating in a free role with Podolski as back up. Ryo may make a few appearances this season in the two domestic cups as well as in the EPL. Ozil will come straight into the side at the expense of Rosicky who will become back up for the CAM role.

Giroud will definitely remain our first choice ST/CF to lead the line as he provides a structure and purpose to our attacks. He will be able to bring the likes of Santi, Ozil and Walcott into play through his good hold up play. Sanogo will get a chance to prove himself throughout the season, which will mainly be in cup matches with a few EPL appearances. I can even see Bendtner starting matches for us in all competitions; he is a similar player to Giroud as he can offer the same structure and purpose to attacks with his hold up play, which is better than Giroud’s and can be used to bring midfielders into the game.

In my opinion this transfer window was not a particularly good one or a bad one. I would say this was an ok transfer window in terms of the players signed. While we made a big marquee signing, signed a very experienced and versatile former player, signed a good solid GK and signed a very promising ST, we failed to sign some of the players we needed. We failed to sign a world class ST, top quality DM and young CB/experienced RB.

Saying that, I can see that Wenger, in terms of signing super quality players – adding the final pieces of the puzzle – is taking it one step at a time. Wenger has shown a willingness to spend big on world class talent and building a title winning team is a gradual process.

In future transfer windows I can definitely see Wenger trying to sign a young CB to start the process of rebuilding our central defence, as Vermaelen, Koscielny and Mertesacker are all starting to age, or buying an experienced RB to come into the squad with Sagna moving to CB; a top quality DM as a long term replacement for Arteta and Flamini; and a world class ST who come into the squad and play in our biggest matches while giving Giroud some competition.

For the four competitions we are currently in (EPL, CL, FA Cup and the League Cup) I feel our current squad with the new additions could/should achieve the following:

EPL- 3rd place finish

In terms of potential EPL champions this campaign has been as open as it has ever been. The return of Mourinho has seen Chelsea improve significantly, while the appointment of Moyes at Manchester United have seen United drop from their best. Manchester City have spent as they always do, but there seems to be a bit of uncertainty as to how Pellegrini and Manchester City’s new look team will fare over the entire season. Whilst Liverpool and Tottenham, who have also spent quite a lot of money, will be expecting to get into the top four.

I can see Chelsea remaining very solid throughout the campaign and my bet is on them winning the title, while I can see Manchester City and Manchester United fighting for that second place finish, which I feel Manchester City will come out on top for; which will then lead to us fighting United for that third place finish. For me, we are not genuine title contenders just yet.

We are missing the one or two super quality players needed to turn us into title contenders. If Wenger can pull off one or two more massive signings before next season we will be genuine title contenders and we will also be able to challenge the best teams in Europe in the CL.

CL- Quarter final finish

With the addition of a world class player such like Ozil and the signing of a versatile experienced player like Flamini, we should be aiming to get into last eight of the Champions League. Players like Ramsey and Giroud have improved massively, Wilshere is starting to get back to his best, whereas Monreal will be able to play for us in the Champions League (something he could not do last season), and not to mention the addition of Viviano who is a good solid GK.

FA Cup- Winners

Wenger is very likely to go with a strong team throughout the FA Cup. In the early rounds he may choose to play some of our very promising young players, but I feel when it comes to facing other EPL sides, or even sides from the Championship, he will show he means business and play the best eleven available for that particular fixture. In the latter stages of this competition we may get knocked out by the likes of City and Chelsea, who have larger squads but we will and should be very close to winning this competition.

League Cup- Winners

Wenger again is very likely to go with a strong team throughout the League Cup. In the early rounds he may choose to play some of our very promising young players, but I feel when it comes to facing other EPL sides of even sides from the Championship he will show he means business and play the best eleven available for that particular fixture. Again, in the latter stages of this competition we may get knocked out by the likes of City and Chelsea who have larger squads but we will and should be very close to also winning this competition.

As Arsenal fans, all we want is for our team to be able to compete for trophies. For us to do this, Wenger needed to buy players. In my opinion, I feel the players Wenger has signed have improved the quality of our squad while increasing our overall squad depth. While the CL and EPL is probably out of our reach (for this season at least), there is no reason why we cannot go and win a FA Cup or League Cup to end our trophy drought, or even win both as well as challenging (coming closer) to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea in the league and start to catch up with the elite teams in Europe.

Are you happy with the players we signed?

Did we sign players in the positions we needed to?

Where do you see us finishing (in all four of the competitions we are currently in) this season with these new additions?

Written by: AFC

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175 Responses to Deadwood gone, the Flame returns, Marquee signing made: the big TW summary

  1. Ozil says:

    Galatasary in champions league qualifiers? I think you mean fenerbache…

  2. AFC says:

    TA, the first five links are links for pictures. If you could open the links and put the pictures in place of the links that would perfect. Thanks. 🙂

  3. AFC says:

    Thanks, Ozil. TA, in the second paragraph could you change Galatasary (which I think I mention twice) to Fernabahce.

  4. Quince says:

    Ageing defence? They’re all well under 30 – apart from Sagna, who you suggest moving to Centreback – despite him being older than those he would be replacing. Whatever are you on about man?

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    All done, AFC, including a proper football formation. 🙂

  6. AFC says:

    If you look at our CBs they are all around the same age. Mertesacker is 28, Vermaelen is 27 and Koscienlny is 27. So it would be wise for us to add a young CB at some point to start rebuilding in the CB area of our squad. City and United have CBs at a much younger age (under 25). United have Jones, Evans and Smalling in addition to Vidic and Ferdinand while City have Nastasic. Do you get it?

  7. AFC says:

    TA, glad you liked the post and thanks for carrying out my last minute requests. 😀

    Always a pleasure to write for BK. 🙂

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC – a very fine, tour de force kind of post. Absolutely loved it.

    Initial responses:

    Viviano I don’t know him but I had hoped we would sign a PL experienced GK with good command of English….. Wait and see, I guess.

    Flamini – super signing for us and I reckon he will start many a game, especially as long as Arteta is injured. But I will elaborate in a future post.

    Ozil – really happy with us having found a top class attacking midfielder who can truly own the hole, whilst supporting both the midfield and attack. I have a bit of doubt about his ability to be forceful throughout the game, but as he is still relatively young, and Wenger is one of the best mentors/developers, he will hopefully come totally good.

    Sanogo – very good description of him – still wait and see for me at this stage.

    To answer your questions:

    Are you happy with the players we signed? Yes, 8 out of 10 happy. Would be happier if we signed them earlier in the season and added another striker.

    Did we sign players in the positions we needed to? Yes – all signings fill gaps.

    Where do you see us finishing (in all four of the competitions we are currently in) this season with these new additions? 2nd in PL, no cups, semis CL, and that would be progress! 🙂

  9. Mesut_Ozil says:

    I know we didn’t sign a beast of a defensive midfielder that everyone was hoping for but do you guys think that Ramsey and Wilshere could be our new Flamini and Cesc

  10. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, first of all, thank you for a very in-depth and comprehensive post of our club’s work in the TW! I agree with large parts of what you have written, but do want to add some further insight and perhaps point out a couple points of disagreement.

    The signing of Flamini is one I simply love. Not because he adds depth to our CM, but because it shows a changing of the tide that may lead to bringing back more former players still in their prime and he adds a bit of steel to our midfield. He’s not like any other CM we currently have and is not afraid to make an assertive challenge or get mixed up in the battles (like Jack).

    What more can really be said about signing Ozil? World-class player that makes us legitimate contenders in multiple competitions and his football intelligence, creativity and technical ability will be something to behold. The fact that he perfectly suits our style of play in the most influential position on the pitch is the icing on the cake.

    Which leads me to my point of contention with your article. I think the signing of Ozil legitimately makes us contenders. Does it mean that we will win the title? No. But, it does mean that the top clubs are looking over their shoulders and recognize the threat we now pose in their title hopes. It means another dimension to our attack to worry about and yet another top player to try and shut out.

    In addition, I disagree that Arsenal did not walk out as winners in the TW. Anytime you sign the best player in the TW among EPL clubs, if not all clubs, makes you a winner. It’s about quality and not quantity and we’ve achieved the former by signing a top 10 footballer.

  11. Highbury Harmony says:

    Has this been uploaded yet?

  12. AFC says:

    Mesut_Ozil, Ramsey and Wilshere can form a very good partnership but as you know Wilshere is injury-prone and Arteta and Flamini are experienced but are not getting any younger. That is why I would want Wenger to go and sign DM around the age of 25.

    The DM would act as a long term replacement for Flamini and Arteta. In years to come our midfield options for the ‘2’ in our 4-2-3-1 formation would consist of Ramsey, Wilshere, DM and maybe Zelalem.

    TA, do you think we should have went in for Eto’o as a short term option for ST?

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Maybe AFC, but I dread to think what he would cost per week.

  14. AB says:

    Top post AFC. I would rate this TW higher – 9/10; another time we may have brought more in, but the combination of clearance out of dead wood and the top, top SQ signing (Ozil is way ahead of Higuain in SQ stakes) makes this really special for me. I also think there is a real touch of genius shown by Arsene in the number of positions that have been strengthened immediately by so few additions.

    I don’t see as many gaps in the squad and its development as you see. For example, might Jack be the Arteta future replacement already? Different for sure, but once he has matured and played alongside Ramsey and with Ozil in front…… Flam buys the young squad time to develop and toughen up.

    We have flair, pace and youth pretty much everywhere, and loads of players we want to bring into first team contention. The 2 key development areas, as you have flagged, remain a lethal finisher and some young CBs for the future – as has been pointed out our current CBs should have plenty of time yet, but CBs often take a long time developing and we do always seem particularly vulnerable to injury.

    So looking ahead I would see Arsene biding his time to keep picking up the very best youth prospects, but hopefully adding perhaps 1 top player a year, starting with a quality striker as soon as we can find one.

    I don’t think we will be real contenders to win the league this year, but I hope we can play with more conviction and win well more consistently than last season. I would also hope to stay in touch with the top to the end – certainly not be c. 20 points off the lead at the end. Predicting a place is tough though for all the reasons you have given – I do expect to be pushed by Liverpool and Spurs this season, but I also now feel we have a team that should not approach top 4 games with fear (and I never felt that last season).

    Yup, its amazing what a lift the last 48 hours have given. We do have a talented squad, and they can now approach their futures more confident in the ambition of our club and the calibre of signings we may expect for the future.

  15. AFC says:

    HH, thansk your thoughts.

    if we had got Ba on loan it would have been a good TW. In defence we can get away with not signing another defender and our midfield is also quite packed however we only have Giroud as an ST. NB52 might be able to do a job but we left ourselves light in that department. Before our squad lacked depth and quality but it just lacks a BIT of depth.

    I agree that we can be up there in the mix for the title but we will not be able to push Chelsea (be a few points away) from them or whatever other team wins the league. That’s what I meant by being title contenders. Losing the title the way United did against City by goal difference or by just a few points which has happened in past title races.

    I am just not sure if Ozil and Flamini can take us from 4th to 2nd.

    However I can be proved wrong by the end of this season. Let’s hope I am. 🙂

  16. AFC says:

    TA, He would have had wages over 200k but in my opinion it would have been worth it to pay those wages for one season.

  17. AFC says:

    AB, thanks for your thoughts. We definitely need to start thinking about either signings young defenders (in particular CBs) or bringing them through our academy. It will be very hard to bring in a top ST. I hope Real buy Suarez for £50-55 million so we can go and get Benzema for £40-45 million. 😉

    Ozil was the saviour of our TW and I am over the moon to have a world class player at Arsenal. And Ozil is only 24. 🙂

  18. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I rate a title contender as one that is within a few points of winning it – not a gap greater than 10 for sure!

    I share the same sentiment with you on not signing at least a depth ST, but we can’t be considered a non-winner because we didn’t sign one. You have to evaluate the moves we did make and whether or not we became a better team as a result of those moves. Imo, we did and that makes us a winner. A winner does not necessarily equate to having a perfect TW, which is what I believe you are mistaken on.

  19. AFC says:

    Ok, HH. In that case I can say we came out winners. We got a player who is on par if not better than Bale for 50% of the price Real played for Bale. 😆

    I guess I was trying to say that our transfer window was not perfect (due to us not signing another ST) but good.

  20. James Bond says:

    wow, well done @ AFC

    you put in a lot of effort and heart into that, bravo – was an enjoyable read and very balanced.


    i don’t agree with your predictions for the league:) the mancs won’t be fighting it out for the 2nd spot, i reckon we will be fighting for the league with Chelsea, so either Chelsea finishes 2nd or we do.

    man city will be 3rd

    with man utd fighting for that 4th spot along the likes of liverpool , spuds and maybe Everton.

    once the international break finishes, we get Arteta and TV5 back – automatically our bench begins to look much much stronger with more options.

  21. Highbury Harmony says:

    To add, I don’t think people can underestimate Utd. Just because they lost a match to Liverpool does not make them suddenly a 4th place side. I think they’ll be in contention for top 3 with City making way to drop to 4th or 5th.

  22. AFC says:

    JB, :lol

    Are you gonna go down to the bookies and put your money where your mouth is? 😀

  23. AFC says:

    HH, can’t see City dropping down to 5th or even 4th.

    However with your prediction we can finish first or second so I like it. 😀

  24. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, City are weak. They have no organization and their team is a collection of talented individuals that have yet to find out how to play with one another. Add in the fact that Hart is struggling with his form and a new manager and you have a recipe for disaster.

    City are also dealing with their fair share of injuries.

  25. Highbury Harmony says:

    I think the top 4 will only be separated by 6 points.

  26. AB says:

    Yes, I’m not ready to write MU off just yet; but the pressure will build fast if they continue to look vulnerable – and it will be interesting to see if the players show the same heart without Ferguson on their backs.

    Of all the managers I like Moureen least. I’m not a great believer in going back, and I hope this proves to be a lesson along these lines. I don’t yet have a sense of what this new version of Chelsea will be like, but it still has ageing players, huge egos and a lot of uncertainty (like where does Mata fit?). And above all, the ego of M himself – has he put Mata to one side, just to remind everyone that he is the main man, not their best player from the last 2 seasons? I hope they explode in disharmony.

    City is anyone’s guess – enough talent to win the league at a canter; but will they become a team? Pel will have earned his oil money if he can pull the trick off.

    What I want from us is consistent performances, seeing the team attack from the start, and never being arrogant and under-estimating ‘weak’ opponents; if we don’t throw points against low table sides then we should be contenders. Arsene has done the job in the TW, now he needs to inject the steel into the performances.

  27. James Bond says:

    that’s right, we got TWICE the player for half the price (Bale- Ozil).

    Ozil – OoooooooooooZes class!!!

    but yes, TW winners ? let’s see, most people have them down as Man $hity ? well, got news for you all, the more i see them play together, the more i wish i hadn’t… i thought there be a lot of flair in what they are doing, cause they made their moves nice and early and all that, but apparently not.

    with time, they might get there but for now, i think they will have real trouble breaking down defences both at home and away against decent or rigid oppositions…i.e. west ham / stoke / e.t.c e.t.c

    the real winners are the clubs who managed to keep hold of their key players in my opinion and added SQ and not just for the sake of it (sunderland).

  28. James Bond says:


    i don’t mind doing that actually, 17HT – what odds are you offering on that one ?


  29. AFC says:

    HH, you could be right and it could be the surprise of the season if City finish out of the top four.

    Hart has been shocking and their defence has also beem shocking. City should have signed an experienced GK because Hart is not a world class keeper yet. City have signed a 30 year old CB from Malaga but it reamins to be seen if can adapt to the EPL.

  30. James Bond says:

    by theory, i have already put my money where my mouth is @ AFC

    i have already called it – Man utd not finishing top 3 and fighting for the 4th spot

    and guess what ? i didn’t do it after xmas, i’ve done it nice and early, soon as the TW closed – it’s got nothing to do with them losing at Anfield either.

  31. James Bond says:

    allow me to correct you @ AFC , not 30 but a

    32 year old (Martín Demichelis) and for near 4 million euros (the same guy who joined his former club on a free, 6 months prior ? )

    let us all laugh now


  32. AFC says:

    JB, I just have strange feeling that one of United or City will finish fourth. 😀

  33. James Bond says:

    *in theory

    but i hope you get the gist of it.

  34. AFC says:

    32 years old JB, wow.

    I suppose Manuel Pellegrini know him well from his days as Malaga manager.

  35. James Bond says:

    your strange feeling might well turn out to be spot on, time will tell but i do think that city will be in a better position because hey, they do have reasonable squad depth and are not entirely a one man team. (they rely heavily on Vinny/Silva/Kun).

    but not as heavily as utd rely on Van Pu$$y.

  36. Highbury Harmony says:

    I still can’t believe we have an attacking three of Santi-Ozil-Theo…it feels like I’m playing FIFA!!!

  37. James Bond says:

    33 in 3 months time. (Martín Demichelis) – 4 million Euros wow (they let Toure go on a free) oh my days

    will you join in the laughter ? (makes me look a tad silly when i do it alone)


  38. AFC says:

    I actually think we showed City and maybe even Chelsea as well as United how to spend big.

  39. AFC says:

    HH, that is a quality attacking three.

    I put Ozil on FIFA yesterday. 😉 I also put Sanogo, Flamini, Viviano on Arsenal and well as putting back on Ryo and Bendy. 😀

  40. AFC says:

    JB, this CB must have years of experience and still have some quality for him to be signed.

  41. AFC says:

    Song must have wished he stayed at Arsenal. 😆

  42. Fozzie B says:

    Wocka wocka laughing ladyboys!!! Going to go back and read but had to meet and greet first! 😀

  43. James Bond says:

    still , no one ever joins me when i laugh at other club’s misery – WHY WHY WHY.

    Song ? who is Song ? do you mean the songs they occasionally play at Barca or the Songs we sing at the emirates ?

    yeah, what could have been a great career is evidently not to be – shame. (to be honest, i couldn’t care less either, i hate people who jump ship, especially those who were given their opportunities by a manager that stood by them for years).

    and no, if anyone comes out and tells me, we sold him for the money then you’re all mistaken, they still owe us a lot of money for the song deal.

  44. James Bond says:

    ah, Fozzie B in da house…

    sadly, it’s time for me to disappear, day time job and saving the world and all that –

    laters you gooners.

    over and out.

  45. AFC says:

    JB, I’m laughing now. 😀 😀 😀

  46. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, it’d be funny if Song came back to Arsenal. For less than 10 million…

  47. AFC says:

    HH, that would be funny.

    I don’t know if this is true but we apparently we tried to sign Di Natale on deadline day but ran out of time.

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    AFC, that was extremely comprehensive and I don’t have much with which to quibble…I think, however, that it’s important to take a step back and realize that in the current landscape things are very, very competitive and we’ve at least upped our chances in awfully creative ways. Our ins and outs have positioned us well for the present AND the future and the signing of Ozil represents a sea change in the way EVERYBODY will look at our club. As such, I think we did quite well in the window. Mostly, I think, thank freaking allah (Ozil’s god, if he believes in one…) that it’s over… 😆

    The thing is, if we stay healthy and our players perform to expectation we’re right in there. Luck, with injuries, with referees (with everything…) is HUGE in football and the difference between a match winning goal and a shot off the wood is miniscule…At least Hawkeye should help mitigate actual goals being ruled out…Right now, as I keep saying, we could really use the home support getting behind the club and intimidating away teams and referees. We’ve finally turned the corner on our “desert” years, though we really haven’t spotted the promised land. Belief that we can get there, eventually, is huge…

    The margins will be tight. We’ve got a tough CL group and a tough opener in the league cup. Additionally, the league matches between the top 6 or 7 clubs will ALL be tough. At times a point will be very valuable in those. The key to winning will probably be not dropping points to the bottom 13 clubs–All of which will be looking to grab a quick three whenever they can. Same as it ever was, of course, but still, predicting the order of finish this season seems extra difficult. New TV money up and down the league mean that it would be foolish to look past some teams who will certainly scrap for relegation. Maybe losing to Villa on opening day, at home, can serve as a wake up call/reminder…

    So, no predictions for me…Bond, I still need your money on the Rooney transfer 😀 and I’m hoping that you put money on us to win the league after that opening day debacle…Surely our odds tumbled yesterday, maybe inversely to AW’s in the sack race…

    Another intangible item I wish to mention…I think our work in the TW has helped our “Brand” immensely. Who wants to support a team who simply spends money and churns players (and managers)? Of course, there will always be a tribal core of local and long-time supporters who don’t give a crap how you (we, hopefully…) win. English (and European top level) Football is now a global game, however, and a tightly knit squad with a dynamic (if quirky and sometimes smirky…) manager can be an extremely attractive thing. We need to turn the corner from “good business plan, nice (sterile) stadium, lovable loser” to “dynamic, tight, spirited (and deserving) winners.” We’re not there yet (obviously) but our work in the window suggests that it’s (at least) not such an impossible dream.

    OK, word limit reached. Oh, and finally I’m with those who wouldn’t sign a bench player (Eto’o) to be our highest paid guy…I’d rather see Bendtner, on a quarter of that money, pull his act together, make right with his teammates and the supporters and contribute to our success. Talk about a story of redemption to mirror that of the Club… For me, such dramas are far more interesting that playing fantasy football with players (and their “values and/or costs”) while fitting them into (imaginary…) positions. Real individuals creating real moments in real service to a collective (team) ideal seems far preferable…

    As always, of course, that’s just me… 😀 Cheers!

  49. Milo says:

    I know you all are going to think I am crazy, but with the spirit this squad possessed BEFORE the Ozil transfer, I thought we could finish top 3!!! 😀 Now WITH Ozil, I think we can win the lot this year or next year 😀 We don’t really have to worry about integrating him super-fast, as we have enough cover in that area of the pitch to compensate for any unfamiliarity, or growing pains. He is a good enough player though, that he should be able to display his talent quickly, much like Cazorla has done.

    I DON’T think we can afford to take Ramsey out of his midfield place right now though. He is my favourite player, but putting biases aside for now, it COULD upset the balance we have struck in there on the defensive side of things. I think the midfield should consist of Aaron as the most defensive player, Jack as the box to box player next to Aaron, and Ozil as the attacking midfielder with Santi and Theo on the wing in support of Giroud.

    We are not as thin in number concerning the striker position as most people think!!! 😀 What we ARE lacking in is experience and a bit of quality!!! 😦 Giroud,Theo, Podolski, Sanogo, Bendtner, Akpom and even Santi, in a pinch (ala Arshavin) can play there. I’m only half joking about Santi, as if we play like Spain does with no recognizable centre-forward, he could line up there. I think we need another player of at least the quality of Giroud to provide cover and competition for places IMMEDIATELY. That is the key word.

    I agreed with AFC, when he said in a previous article, that Wenger would stick with Sanogo and play him regularly in the future, because he has scouted him for four years, and has invested heavily on his development…but then I said the same thing of Tomas Eisfeld, and it seems doubtful he will have a future place in the first team, if playing time in the youth ranks is anything to go by. One never knows though, and Sanogo COULD turn in to a real diamond, in the future.

  50. AFC says:

    17ht, thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

    I guess I can call this a good TW but the reason why I was reluctant to do so was because I knew what Wenger and co could have done a bit better in the TW.

    You are definitely right with the moving for ward point. We are moving forward and I want us to keep moving forward, I guess that is why I was a bit harsh on how our transfer window went. Totally see your point on Eto’o. Chelsea really needed a first team ST whereas we already have Giroud.

    It might be wise for Wenger to wait. Wenger has said he only wants ‘special’ players but I never knew he would go out and get Ozil and overpay a bit as well. A bit funny to read reports saying that Levy tried to stop the move. 😀

    I see Real going in for Suarez next summer or maybe in January (depending where Liverpool are) and I can see them getting Suarez for £50-55 million. Maybe that will transfer if it happens will pave the way for Benzema to join us for around £40-45 million.

    I want us to become a big team in Europe as well as dominate the EPL and of course that will take time. Our squad is still a BIT thin. When we get that top ST to compliment Giroud (who only scores in London I think) we will be a step closer and maybe another DM (some blogger on BK have said L.Bender could arrive next summer) we will be another step closer. Maybe then we could then try and sign a young versatile defender which would be the final piece of the puzzle in my opinion.

    We are moving forward and I hope Ozil is the first of many top players to join us.

  51. AFC says:

    Milo, thanks for your views.

    Ozil is a fantastic player and he is only 24. He is yet to reach his prime in my opinion. I can see Ramsey, Arteta and Wilshere alll be rotated but the problem with Jack is that at the moment he is coming back from a number of injuries and should not be playing in every match as possible. I see a main combo of Ramsey and Arteta until Jack gets back to his best. When Jack is fit I do not know what AW will do.

    For the ST position I feel we may be able to get Benzema next summer if Real get Suarez. Worth the wait if you ask me. 😀 😉

    I would actually use Bendtner. He might have finally grown up and matured as a player. He has to play if we wants to play for Denmark in the World Cup. He has reasons to want to play well and prove himself. He also know that he will need to play his best football if he is to move to a decent team when he eventually leaves. Podolski and Theo can also do a job up front if needed.

    Can’t see AW playing without a ST? A bit weird considiering the type of football we play.

    I know you are big on the youth so I too hope that Sanogo can get game time to develop. Same with Ryo. I think they will mainly play in the cup matches.

  52. AFC says:

    I am guessing we can still sign free agents?

    Gallas anyone? I’m just kidding. 😀

    Ciprian Marica? We were linked with this ST during the transfer window. Good short term ST?

    Any good free agents out there?

  53. Arsenal_vcc says:

    Hi AFC – nice post and very good analysis 🙂
    I am quite happy with the players we signed though a bit disappointed that Sanogo isn’t off to a flying start. But I guess that was a bit unrealistic. Here’s to hoping that he finds his feet rather quickly. Ozil has really changed the equation quite a bit. Wenger is fond of talking of team balance. How we play is certainly one part of this. But players like Ozil have the ability to force oppositions to respond most likely altering their balance, which should generally favor us. It would have been nice to get a striker back up. But I cannot help but think that we might borrow a page from Barca’s book (our book that barca borrowed? :-)) in how we play if OG were out of action for a short stretch i.e. without a real striker and relying on the talent in our midfield to pull the opposing defense out of shape. This is unlikely to be successful against the other top teams. We would be in a bit of a trouble if OG were out of commission for as long as say Poldi.

    Like a few others the area where I would disagree with you is whether we would be contenders for the title or not. I think that we will be fighting with Chelsea for the title. If you think that our strike option is thin, think about Chelsea’s … Schurrle & Torres? Not that much better I would say on current form. I suspect that it might be a three horse race between Chelsea, City, and us for the title. I have not seen any Liverpool games yet,but they might be the dark horse. They seem to have done quite well in the transfer market and will get Suarez back who seems to be motivated to prove a point to BR and maybe get himself in a better position to move next year.

  54. AFC says:

    Arsenal_vcc, thanks and fine comment. 🙂

    Just a few points:

    1) We will be in the mix but for me we are not yet do not yet have the squad to win the league. 90 points should be the target of we are to win the league. 😉

    2) We have very few options for ST. We only really have Giroud and NB52 with Sanogo who is not ready yet and is one for the future. City have Jovetic, Negrado, Sergio and Dzeko, United have RVP, Rooney, Welbeck and Hernandez while Chelsea have Ba, Torres and Eto’o. We will need to add a top ST as some point.

    3) Let Suarez come back into the Liverpool team. Stats show that Liverpool actually perform better without Suarez. 😀

  55. AFC says:

    TA @ 23:01.

    I have heard Viviano is a very good keeper and is apparently Italy’s number 2 Gk after Buffon. If this is true and he really is ahead of Marchetti and Sirigu he is a good option and he is still quite young for a GK.

    On Flamini I am looking forward to your post on how he will be an important squad player. 🙂

    On Ozil I think you know what I (as well as every Arsenal fan) thinks about his addition.

    On Sanogo we will just have to wait and see as you have said. Same with Ryo.

    We will definitely see progress. Our midfield is very strong now and our defence is also strong. Up front we are a bit light but we will make progress. The signing of one Ozil will not disrupt the squad in my opinion and in Cazorla-Ozil-Walcott we have a brilliant attacking three players behind Giroud.

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Couple of things…VCC, Chelsea also have Demba Ba and Eto’o to step in as CF’s…They look strong and Maureen certainly knows the value of a draw…

    AFC, the teams are set. Yes our depth isn’t quite where we’d like it to be but if we get a little lucky with injuries and in the matches themselves, to, you know, build some momentum, belief, etc. in the squad (and in the support) good things could happen. We’re in a new era where some clubs can afford to hoard good players or at least players they’ve spent a lot of money on. Still, in any one game, only 11 players will start and (up to) 14 will play…

    I believe that bringing Ozil in–immediately, of course–as our new focal point and playmaker means our style can change to more passing, less running with the ball and fewer dangerous 50-50s, hopefully helping us avoid injuries. We’ll see, of course, and England remains a brutish league…

    It’s not all about slotting in players into positions and having high priced cover just in case. I believe with Ozil our first 11 is right there with the other clubs and our first 14, if say, Arteta and Vermaelen can get back from injury is right there too…

    Longer term. it’s not really about the merry go round of the big name players (i.e., Suarez and Benzema) but maybe about convincing young players with huge upside that we’re building something worth joining….I’m the one that talked about Bender for next year, quoting Tim at 7amkickoff. It’s hardly a done deal, of course, but tapping up such players (as we must’ve done also with Draxler…) may get them watching Arsenal and thinking about a future move. These guys, in essence, if we remain attractive (and they do as well…) could be seen as, essentially, “on loan.” No, we don’t control their contracts, but, with our money and their heads turned, things could work to everybody’s benefit.

    Remember, we want to buy FUTURE performance, not past performance. The latter might be a guide to the former, but certainly, not always…

  57. AFC says:

    17ht fine comment. A few quick comments before I go.

    In terms of STs we already have Sanogo as our young ST with potential so any ST signed in the future should be a top ST who is proven like Benzema.

    Staying attractive is key to attracting very promosing and proven talent and I think we will stay attractive. L.Bender probably is already starting to see our project and that we are serious now. Any doubts he might have had about joining us are significantly lowered in my opinion.

    I really think we need to start bringing through more defenders from our youth academy. Maybe that is the answer to getting the young defenders we need to start rebuilding our central defence.

    I’m off now. Good speaking to you and everyone else. Will be back tomorrow. 🙂

  58. Simba says:

    Happy days to all GOONERS. At the moment I really do not care who is gonna sit on the bench bt getting three points at the end of each game. What I am sure abt is Arteta is valued so much by Wenger and Ramsey AT THE MOMENT is our best midfielder. Jack needs games and time to rest until he is fully fit. Flamini is gonna play himself into the first eleven and might end the season as our first choice DM. I don’t see Wenger buying a DM as he seems to trust that Aneke can take over from Arteta and Flamini also noting that his loan is running until January. He might come back if Diaby is still out. Wenger might be having faith in Frimpong also. Yes we seem to need a striker bt what abt Podolski and Akpom? Are theyy not good enough? As backup they seem OK. At CB we are ok remember TV5 can dislodge either of BFG and Kos anytime. He is quality and still our Verminator. Why do we despise our own players because of just one poor season. With Ozil I don’t see Cesc back. Ozil is quality and he is gonna move us forward.

    Fans are not giving Liverpool enough respect bt they do have one of the best and balanced squads. They are going to be a bigger threat than Spuds for top four.


  59. Dylan says:

    Finally got around to responding! Fantastic summary! 🙂 Couldn’t agree more with most. Here’s my input:
    January requirements:
    World Class ST (Benzema? El Sharaawy? Luis Muriel?)
    Winger who can play CAM with potential (Di Maria? El Sharaawy Draxler? Reus?)
    1-2 Young CB (Zouma? Papadopoulos? Hummels? Subotic? Kouyate? Boateng? Juan? Mangala?)
    Long term we should target players to replace our older players (ex. Cesc and Bender for Arteta and Rosicky, next summer). But that’s a topic for later. 😉
    EPL – 2nd. I think Man City surprising snatch the title, we sneak in second, Chelsea’s young players struggle with Maureen’s style but pip 3rd, and Tottenham’s new signings gel surprising well and they finally get 4th. That’s right people, Man U dropping down to 5th. Moyes cracks under the pressure and the squad can’t live up to expectations with an aging RvP, unhappy Rooney, and bad manager, finally exposing their rather average squad.
    CL – Semi Final. After narrowly escaping the group of death, we will go on a surprise run, but not quite be able to go the distance, unless we land a top quality striker in January. Although, they are likely to be cup tied then so maybe not. 😉 I expect Bayern to win in a close game with Barca, the key being found in Goetze. I think Madrid will spiral out early and Dortmund will get unlucky to not reach the final again.
    FA Cup – Winners. I predict a win in the final over Chelsea. It’ll be a historic day and a very close win. I expect Ozil and Wenger’s trophy experience to be the main factor behind this victory and Ryo and Gnabry to be important players in this competition. I think Man U will spiral out early and Southampton and Norwich to surprise everyone and go fairly far in the competition.
    Capital One Cup – Winners. Strength in our youth will be key in this one. We have a strong youth squad that will get us far, with Zelalem being a key player in the run in and earning a start in the final against a strong Tottenham squad. I expect Bendtner to participate frequently in this competition and maybe even form a partnership with Sanogo, both vying for spots in other competitions.
    Individual Awards – I think Giroud will win the Golden Boot with Ozil’s assists and I think Ozil will win player of the season for his outstanding performances at Arsenal. I also expect Ozil and Santi to be up around numbers one and two for most assists in the league. 😉

  60. James Bond says:

    Who’s going to do the honours and pinching Dylan ? 🙂

  61. James Bond says:


    Dylan , we’re winning the league not finishing 2nd ; )

  62. jgc says:

    Hi AFC

    My reply, as it were, written on or before your post will be out tomorrow! I’ve a different way of analyzing things so hopefully we will see some return comments from all others…

    To your questions: weirdly I’m between you and Bond, or just more vague on predictions,..

    A. Titles – we will compete or should be able to. So, could be third in EPL, but we will be within 10pts of the winner… We have the ability to win it, whether we have depth, the injury gods, and some good fortune (no more Taylor reffing? 🙂 ) are other questions.

    IMO, Chelsea are best positioned, but there is little to sneeze at from a distance between us, ManU, City for how it shakes out. This year the big games vs them will REALLY matter and tell us a lot of who will wont step up as teams… Pool and Spurs are still a bit too new, but that said Pool are 3-0 and beat ManU…

    B. CL – if you can make the final 8, which I agree we can do, then you can win it. The rest is desire, luck and the day… But your call is sound there I think…

    C. FA and League Cup – we should be in the final for one at least barring freak accidents of football. That said, I draw your attention to Wigan to show it is all about the day, and much less about the team, once you get to the semis and final… It’s what makes Cups fun and keeps “lesser” teams keen, you actually can win them from almost anywhere in the league!

    Just my 2p… jgc

  63. jgc says:

    A. .. Well within 10 points…

  64. Gerry says:

    AFC – You have done the review of the TW full justice, with a well written, in depth look at the impact each player might make. Like may responders, there is a lot to agree with, and a few to amend to a degree.

    Unfortunately, as HT17 might put it, ‘This is just me …’, I cannot get past my big irritation at the constant, especially in your replies to comments, is this reference to ‘what might have been’ : 0() Sorry, but, like your 2nd question, it doesn’t matter. We are what we are.

    But this is your blog, not mine. So to the points of disagreement.:

    Flamini – You undersell him if you think he is 4th choice. I think Arteta will have a hard task at dislodging him if he progresses before Arteta is fully fit. However, there will be times when I can see the pair of them playing. Not to mention Arteta coming off the bench and playing his old role in the advanced position?

    Sanogo will be better suited playing alongside Giroud, particularly with Ozil playing, as he will not be marked so tightly. He has still got a lot to learn, but if he can stay fit, he can add to the squad the more confident he gets.

    Formation in fitting in Ozil? Whatever the line up, it is assumed he will play behind the striker, but as was noted in HH’s piece on him, he is less defensively minded. So my guess would be we end up with a 4-4-1-1 system, with Giro coming back to defend, and Ozil being the second pass outlet ball to play on the counter? It looks obvious that the only one with pace to catch up will be Walcott, which might explain why he is excited about this acquisition?

    If we are to play two banks of 4 behind our offensive thrust, I think this opens the door for a player who has not had a proper call in the first team, Eisfeld? In Poldi’s absence the WBA game would be an ideal time to state a claim. Playing out on the left, but moving inside when Gibbs overlaps, he could really shine when intelligent passes are made in and around the box. He can score too. Then you have Gnabry, who, a bit like Sanogo needs a goal to give him confidence, and then go on from being just a great prospect. In the middle we have Akpom, who with Ozil supplying the ammunition could also take on the Giro role in the Cup games. In midfield we have plenty of cover, except for Ozil .. there are not many like him in the game at the moment.

    The CB’s would be okay if Per can avoid injury. The Sagna/Kos partnership has yet to be tested, but in theory should be okay? The return of TV5 will help, and may be a short term loan for Hayden will do his prospects no harm either?

    All this without another purchase is pretty good in my book?

    Q.1 – The end result made it a great TW for us. Nothing to gain by adding anything else?
    Q.2 – We got 4 players in, who should prove that the positions we covered were the right ones. Only when we look back at the end of the season will know how correct that is?
    Q.3 – Dismiss Man City, Man U, Liverpool and Spurs not to get better throughout the season, at your peril, as is over-rating the Maureen effect at Chelsea. This is likely to be a very open Championship, with each sides taking points off each other. Not losing to the lower sides might be the real key? Where we fit in, in the order I have given above will largely depend on us consistently beating teams that PTB, and holding our own against those 5 others.
    No forecast given, just plenty of hope and excitement …. Oh wait, one forecast;
    We don’t get out of our group in the CL … but that can be a positive later on?

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all 🙂

    Some fine comments by our very own champions of verbosity hahaha 😛

    AFC, thanks again for a very well-balanced and brilliant TW review. You are the voice of reason and are beautifully placed in the middle of the doomers and the dreamers. Well done, mate! 🙂

    Will get back later.

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC – a friend of mine, Gooner AND Italian, says Viviano is at the fringes of the Italian national team and is not sure whether he will be a success or not. I guess time will tell.

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry 🙂

    4-4-1-1? Are you sure? I think we got Ozil because he is the ideal player for the ‘1’ in our 4-2-1-3 formation: a midfielder with a great engine who can also be a nr.10 behind the three attackers?

    Agreed on Flamini: he is not a bench player and the prospect of playing him with Arteta against the tougher teams is an exciting one.

    No surprise you class the TW as great, but what do you mean with ‘nothing to gain by adding anything else’? Do you never question the club’s handling of affairs – does the glass just have to remain half full all the time?

  68. johnnie nyc says:

    great post AFC —
    im confident that our attack will be so improved, that im more concerned that we will be over confident and lose that defensive focus that has been so strong in the last 10-15 matches going back to last season..
    we must be careful to continue to strive for clean sheets, and with our same keeper and back four intact– along with the best midfield in the league and addition of Flamini, I think we could have a scary goal differential, and do something special THIS season.

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Whether we can win the league does not as much depend on injuries – although we are vulnerable to a long term injury to Giroud – but on how quickly we can integrate Ozil and Flamini. Had we bought them two months ago, which I know might not have been possible, we would have a very good chance this season. Flamini will fit in quickly as he knows us and the manager, and is that sort of player anyway; but it will be key whether Ozil will fit in quickly and the team does not need to adjust much to him and vice versa. It might be wise to integrate the German gradually and stick with our usual formations to start with.

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Johnnie – agreed! 🙂

  71. henrychan says:

    AFC.. Nice post bro..
    It is beyond my expectation that we bring Ozil for 50 millions euro..
    And it is the biggest buy (single player) from all the EPL team..
    Can you imagine that.. hehehehe.. Arsenal bring the most expensive player this year in EPL.. hahahaha..That’s really mean a lot..
    This is the time for any other fans to rethink about our club..

    To your Question :
    1. Am I happy..?? Of course I do.. Are you kidding.. hahahaha..

    2. Yes.. we got exactly all the position that I want.. an AM, GK, DM and also CF.
    CF is not so important for me, I believe for our strikers.. Giroud and Podolski are great.. Sanogo and Akpom will cover them well.. And we still have Bedtner.. COYG.. he was great.. and Wenger can bring his quality back.. hehehe..

    Bring in Ozil for 50 millions is much more better than bring Suarez..

    Flamini.. He still a great player and he knew Arsenal verywell.. Signing him is also good for the next year.. we can continuing the trend.. bring back our players to Emirates.. Bring back Fabregas and Vella.. And we will be invicible.. again..

    And the last our new GK.. Viviano.. Although I never seen him playing.. but by his statistic.. he look great.. I still dreaming for Cesar.. but any good GK is welcome..

    3. For PL.. Eriksen said that he will bring Spurs to top three.. hehehe..
    So if Spurs can reach third.. that we certainly can do better.. hahahaha..
    I agree with my handsome friend James Bond.. that we will get at least second.. hehehe..
    For CL.. The most important is that we go through next round.. And be the group winner.. than we will see who will we meet.. I think we can go through semifinal..
    For FA Cup and Leuage Cup.. I think FA more class.. so got the the trophy..
    League Cup is the place for youngster to test their ability.. don’t force to much on this area..

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    And Gerry – underestimate the Maureen effect at your peril hahaha 😀

    I really hope he will flop with Chelsea this season – I despise the Fucker so much – but the Chavs will be the team to beat this season. Let’s see how they come through the next three games, but I fear they will grind out result after result… 😦

    That’s why Johnnie is right: we need to focus hard on our defence as well as our attacking play if we want to stand a chance to win the title this season.

  73. henrychan says:

    And Ozil already give us some pride.. cause he reject MU and PSG for us.. hahahaha..
    I am still laughing out loud for AVB who also chasing Demba Ba for Loan.. after spend 109 millions.. hahahahaha.. So-poor (spurs).. hehehe..
    If Mou was frightened of our strengh after Ozil came.. and by purposed cut the Ba transfer.. than any other club must also.. hahahaha..

  74. gunner4life says:

    Good post. I do think though that you are underestimating our squad. Flamini is quite the enforcer and will do well as our defensive mid and I don’t see us having to purchase another soon since arteta can also cover that position and this will allow Diaby time to recover and then be our dm. we could do with a striker in the jan window but unless we can find someone really world class I think poldi can also be used as our cf since he has a powerful accurate shot and he was playing behind giroud but Ozil will surely be playing there now. another thing that flamini brings is dedication to the team and a will to win. he knows what it feels like to win a trophy with arsenal and he knows the ambitions of the club so I think having him in the squad will be a great positive influence. I think we will finish 2nd in the pl or might even win we have already shown that we can beat city quite convincingly in the preseason and I see us holding our own against the other big clubs. and AFC I’d like to correct you, giroud does not only score in London, he also netted in the very hostile environment at fenerbachce and has been in phenomenal form so far during the preseason and during the season. I think that once we get past our group in the CL anything is possible and it’s going to be the heart of the team that matters the most, I see us getting to the semis at least. with regards to the FA Cup and League Cup I think we can definitely win those, AW has done well in the transfer window and hopefully in the transfer windows to come he can get us a world class striker and a world class cb, I for one would love to see us sign tiago silva who is certainly the best cb in the world right now, and with regards to youth coming in we did offer a long teen contract to youth RB bellerin so he might get into the squad when sanga gets too old to manage

  75. Gerry says:

    TA -@8.21 – Because it does not change the reality. I live in the here and now. ‘Ifs’, ‘Buts’ and ‘Maybes’ I’ll leave for my death bed …heading that way, but not there yet 😀

  76. henrychan says:

    And guys for info.. In Indonesia the Madrid hater have a new idiom..
    CR + Bale = Cherybale.. hahahaha..

    Cherybale is a name of teenager girls bands.. the copycat of the Korean Pop singer / group..

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Henry he will worry as much about Ozil as Flamini: Arsenal with flair AND defensive discipline is what could undo the Chavs…

    But I am convinced he will not let anybody go to us unless he believes they are total rubbish (as a principle hahaha 🙂 )

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry – hope your death bed is at least half a century away! 🙂

    We all live in the here and now, Gerry. It’s what we focus on that matters.

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Henry – let’s see how they fare without Ozil Smozil!

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    JM – excellent comment and with some editing we can put in into a good post. It will not come out for a few days though – hope that is okay?

  81. JM says:

    @TotalArsenal September 4, 2013 09:10

    It is alright, you may proceed with your own headline and put in my post as part of your post as a joint effort/post anytime later.

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Okay JM – we’ll work something out 🙂


    Fine post AFC

    To be honest, this season,I would be happy to get closer to the leaders.

    I believe we can pull off a surprise and go for the league, but whats more important for me is to see the team develop and improve.

    Titles and cups will come, don’t worry about that, but i want a new dynasty built were we can win the league every year. That has to be the aim

    I am a very greedy man in that way AFC. The other day i was chatting up a women at the ice cream van who happened to have her son with her.

    To aid in the pulling, i offered to buy the kid an ice cream and he was like “yeah yeah yeah”, the mum gave me this beam like, if you ask me out i will definitely say yes.

    Every thing was going to plan until i got the ice cream in my hand. i looked at the kid, then the ice cream, and started eating. Yummy

    “Mum, mum, hes eating it” then he started sobbing.

    My face was covered in cream and i was making ummmm noises. “Sorry about this, i cant help myself, its mine”

    The mum went crazy “What kind of man are you, you horrible bastard. Offering a child an ice cream and then eating it yourself”

    “I know, ime disgusting. But its mine, and tastes yummy”

    As she stomped of with the crying kid in tow, i shouted “Would you like to see me again darling?”

    She never turned back. hahaha

  84. henrychan says:

    TA.. must we thanks Gervinho for Ozil coming..?? hehehe..
    Gervinho to Roma.. Lamela to Spurs.. Bale to Madrid.. Ozil to Arsenal..
    If Roma didn’t get Gervinho.. they would never sold Lamela..
    If Lamela didn’t came to Spurs.. then Bale might not be sold also.. hehehe..
    And if Bale didn’t go to Madrid.. We will never got Ozil..

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    You are terryble! 😆

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    We will miss the Gerv, Henry. But if for some reason his departure has helped us to get Ozil Smozil, then I am all for it! 🙂

  87. henrychan says:

    Yes TA..
    I miss Gervinho too.. I wish all the best for him there..

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    He will get some great service from Strootman, but he might struggle to get into the team permanently…..

  89. Glic says:

    Live from sunny Lesbania !. 😎

    Thank you AFC for an excellent read !.

    However, I didn’t class Gerv as deadwood and rather we had him than Sango !.

    Answers to questions :

    1) Yes, apart from Sanogo and Flamini. One is a gamble for the future and the other a panic freebie, because we couldn`t get the likes of Gundogan/Bender/Pogba etc` !. So although I am over the moon with Ozil ( and here is another chant from moi……” Ozil…..Ozil be…..Ozil be a……..Goooner ! ” ), it`s more a case of being unhappy at who we didn’t buy !.

    2) Yes, but only one SQ !

    3) Max 4th !. Don’t for get our perennial injury factor !. Joking aside, I honestly believe the spuds had a much better TW and expect them to get better once their player have gelled.

    Now that I`ve finally lost the effect of the Ozilviagra and can now leave the house without fear of being arrested, lets take a more balanced view !.
    I was calling for Wengers head had he not brought in some SQ players !. Now I`ve calmed down, I ask myself this question….do I dismantle the guillotine or warm up the Cortina ?.
    I wanted at least 3 SQ players and he has delivered one !. The whole TW saga apart from the last hour was a total disaster ( again ) imo.
    I have decided to give Le Boss one more chance though as the purchase of Ozil tells me he/we are now going to start to mixing it with the big boys financially, it is probably a weight of his chest to finally spend some outrageous money, it will be easier next time !. However, I cant let him get away with it without a little reminder that I`m still on his case, so instead of the guillotine I climbed down from the loft while he was a sleep, gently removed his cock from Stevie B`s eye liner rectum and carved 👿 on it with a pen knife !. I pride myself on my work, so….” the Devil is in the detail ” !.

    I know I have joked about Bendtner, but imo, he was 10 times better than Chamakh and more than that better than Sanogo !. With Pod out, shouldn`t we be giving Bendy some bench time and bringing him on if we are lucky enough to be cruising in any matches ?. He must start Capital one Cup and FA Cup imo !.

    I too was busy in the TW and purchased a John Deere 42 inch / 18.5 hp Ride-on mower !. I`m now going to play with my toy !. hahaha

  90. James Bond says:

    Good Afternoon everyone .


    LiverFOOL, no doubt have given themselves a decent chance, however, Sturidge is injury prone and is very similar to Theo in that regard or maybe even worse, so i expect him to be out sooner rather than later ? – Suarez, i personally think that he will find it hard to get to his very best or least may not be until late november or december ? (just in time for the transfer window).

    liverFOOL, have done well so far but let’s not kid ourselves, it was mainly down to their goal keeper, he is the one who has got them as far and the goals from Sturidge have come in handy – just goes to show my point about having a decent goalie, hopefully with our new italian it will motivate Sczny more and help bring out the best in him.

    on a side note :

    i called it a few weeks back…and here it comes now

    Bacary Sagna aiming to emulate Lilian Thuram

    i remember when i called it, someone said ” Lillian Thuram was an average player” – ouch.

    but hey, maybe i should change my name to “The Visionary” 🙂

  91. James Bond says:

    while we’re still at me being “The Visionary”

    i also said, it will be interesting to see how Ronaldo does without Ozil, how many goals he scores now and so on at RM.

    and it seems, he’s already seen the writing on the wall (clever lad).

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    JB – the chancer is more appropriate – ‘If you keep shooting sooner or later you’ll hit sumpin’ 😉

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic – I really like Ozil to the Arsenal, Ozil to the Arsenal and I will use it soon enough in a title 🙂

    Fine and funny comment btw

  94. James Bond says:

    in that case , we should ask Giroud how he feels since he keeps getting plenty of chances to better his goal tally and fails to take advantage of that, ha

    so the champs league squad is announced and interestingly – no Diaby ? (worrying for me).

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    You are of course talking about the current PL top scorer…. HA! 🙂

  96. James Bond says:

    and you’re of course talking to the visionary ahahahahahahahahahahahahha

    it will be the icing on the cake if Giroud wins the golden boot !

    but i’m not sure about the logic behind leaving Diaby out of the CL squad, makes very little sense considering he is back training and finished with Rehab ?

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    JB 🙂

    I have opened a separate page called ‘BK Readers Predictions’ – see top of the page (fourth option). You and others can leave predictions here so you and we can find them back and either give you praise or cyber punishment hahaha 🙂

    Diaby? Just count on absolutely nothing and anything else is a bonus.

  98. James Bond says:

    wow @ TA

    well done, thanks

    so all you doubters including TA, will finally see the visionary in action in that predictions corner ahahahahahahahahahaha

    well, i would have had him in the CL squad, like you said, what’s the harm when it’s all added bonus and it’s not like , he’s going to be keeping Bender or Gundagon out of the squad.


  99. TotalArsenal says:

    You have got a point there, Jambo 🙂

  100. jgc says:


    From LadyArse and said succinctly what I and others did yesterday in about 10m words…

    ==> The point I am making here is that we have only been able to sign Mesut because Madrid made him available. And, if clubs don’t want to sell Rooney, or Suarez, then there’s very little Arsenal can do about that. Look at the money we had to spend to sign a brilliant player that Madrid were prepared to unload.

    And with regard to missed strikers, there is always the question of do you chase the one in the hand or the one in the bush (Glic, fire away), for which this was well put in a Glic/Terry-like way no less:

    ==> Okay, we could have had Higuaín, it appears that in a rush to get our hand up Suarez’s skirt, we passed over a more than attractive option.

    TA: I am not sure I feel comfortable with my predictions next to The Visionary! (shall we call him TV now is or is too confusing? 🙂 )… but maybe..

    cheers — jgc

  101. AFC says:


    like Glic I look on this TW in a ‘glass half empty’ way rather than a ‘glass half full’ sort of way. I suppose you are thinking what could have been worse meanwhile I am thinking what could have been better. Could we have done better in this TW? I say YES! As you have said this TW is now closed but in the post I felt I had to point out that we could had a better TW and apart from deadline day we could have done much better when it came to trying to sign players.

  102. AFC says:

    Gerry, I can’t see Arteta playing further forward. He would be behind Jack, Rosicky, Ozil and Santi for the CAM role. I also cannot see Wenger playing Sanogo with Giroud.

  103. AFC says:

    Gerry, Ozil would be perfect in a 4-2-3-1/4-2-1-3 formation. He used to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation for Real and can do the same for us. Giving Santi and Walcott more defensive roles makes no sense to me. Walcott and Santi will have less freedom which will be as bad thing.

  104. jgc says:

    AFC and Gerry,

    Well you will see my glass half (or more full) tomorrow, but give or take Higuain (and would RM have sold us Ozil after Higuain? I’d rather have Ozil meself) per the comments I stole from LadyArse above I think we got what players and teams might come.

    IMO, wishing doesnt make it happen. the player and team *have* to agree. Witness Chelsea saying they wouldnt loan Ba once we got Ozil (could be Maureen stirring anyway, but we will never know), even tho (supposedly) Ba wanted to come. Equally, I think Suarez wanted out until he found it he couldnt want out and that Pool wouldnt sell with 2+ years left on his contract.

    I think fans all too often make it seem like you just “buy XX” and be done with it. It simply isnt that easy or logical. I think that has to be considered also, different from what I wrote to appar later..

    Simply, the vast majority of players we may have wanted didnt move. Those that did had teams that sold where they did for a reason and chose where they did for a reason. We may control a little of the second, but none of the former..

    It’s not like getting new tires … nice as it might be if it were.

    Just my 2p — jgc

  105. James Bond says:

    Germany coach Joachim Low criticises Real Madrid for selling Mesut Ozil to Arsenal.

    “For me, it’s incomprehensible that Real would sell one of their top scorers,” says Low. “Many Real players like Sami Khedira or Cristiano Ronaldo are sad about the transfer.

    “Mesut is a sensitive player and he needs the faith from the club and the coach. It seems that was no longer 100% there at Real whereas Arsenal and their coach Arsene Wenger pulled out all the stops to get him.”

  106. AFC says:

    JGC, looking forward to your post. 🙂

  107. AFC says:

    Glic, thanks for the reply you ugly bastard! 😀 😉

    Top comment and I agree with most of it. It seems you and I are thinking along the same lines. AW thought Gervinho was deadwood not me. 😀

  108. AFC says:

    Terry, all agreed. The signing of Ozil is a step in the tight direction but we must keep adding if we want to get even closer to the title and even win it.

  109. AFC says:

    gunner4life, Giroud has only scored in London in the EPL. Good to hear your views.

    Henry, I couldn’t see Wenger spending over 40 mill on a player. Ozil is a world class player. We have got one of the best if not the best number 10 in the world.

  110. Gerry says:

    AFC – Putting the ‘glass vision’ aside, it is how we move on from this point that I, like jgc above, see the positives.
    My thought on the 4-4-1-1 was not meant to be that rigid. In the 4 behind the strikers you could have: Eisfeld, Santi(roaming), Flamini and Walcott. Which could perform as a 3-2-1, a 5-1, 2-3-1. , or as you say, 2-1-3. Fluidity is what is going to make us dynamic, and where the creativity of both Ozil and Santi bring rewards?

    Regards Arteta, I think I did say ‘from the bench’. He is great at spotting danger in a high line defence, and his accurate short passes can work well around the box. He will also need game time, and if we’re playing le Flam, and Jack needs replacing, circumstances could would like that. I am open to all possibilities when it comes to rotation?

  111. James Bond says:

    The new FA chairman is going on and on about how we can improve things with the PL to get the best outcome for English players :

    The visionary says :

    get the incompetent FA involved with the ref’s and tell them to protect all the top players from every team that targets them unnecessarily or way too much …i.e. Jack Wilshere and co e.t.c e.t.c do what Spain and Germany do, yeah ?

    sort that area out and then see how players get injured a little less .

    i appreciate that it might cause a bit of controversy but if you want to safeguard your national interest then to hell with it, no ? besides it’s not cheating it’s basically saying to teams like west ham, stoke and so on – we are watching you and we are going to look after our own boys a bit more than we have been in the past.

  112. AFC says:

    johnnie nyc, all agreed.

    Dylan, if we can sign a top ST, top DM and a young defender and our squad is complete. Interesting predictions.

    Simba, fine comment. Read JB’s comment at 13:09 about Liverpool. Sums them up really.

  113. James Bond says:

    co-signed and 2nded @ Gerry

    why must we use Arteta in a holding position when we all know that he can be more beneficial to the team in the more advance role – his more natural role

    i just feel that Arteta might not look like a game changer from the bench but he might be able to surprise a lot of people and in doing so, will provide adequate rotation and freshness to the squad as i see him as a utility player now that flam’s is back – if anything, keeps the opposition guessing as which one out of the 2 will be starting the game against them.

    no doubt, they can both play together as well with the likes of Ozil or JW ahead of them – marvelous i says.

    i’m just hoping that all goes well with Diaby, i’m not giving up on him as he does offer us something different and can perform that box 2 box role rather well – his height is also an advantage.

    and how timely this :

    retire from international football if you don’t get picked for the world cup next year – Diaby


  114. AFC says:

    Gerry, can you see AW playing Arteta in the CAM role at any time this season even when coming off the bench? Remember we would most likely also have Rosicky on the bench as well.

    Fully understand now how things would work in your 4-4-1-1. I thought you was going down the England road with a rigid 4-4-1-1/4-4-2 formation. Now we have Flamini maybe a 4-1-3-2 might also be a good option.

  115. TotalArsenal says:

    jgc 🙂

    You wrote: ‘I think fans all too often make it seem like you just “buy XX” and be done with it. It simply isnt that easy or logical.’

    Like Gerry, you try to explain our TW failings far too much away (and I am still to read your post btw). It is clear that business can be done swiftly and early, as our competitors have shown to us so embarrassingly. We had a good basic team to which quality/depth needed to be added, and there was money and intent by the CEO when the season had finished. Yet, we did not get an additional striker – somehow hoping Maureen would lend us one ffs….. 😕 – we signed Flamini well after we knew about Arteta’s injury, AND we signed our other two additions in the last hours of a three months long TW.

    I understand why you want to emphasise the positives and we all will move on soon.

    I am happy with the squad now but boy have our management been incompetent in the process. Poo Pooing this away is everybody’s right, but so is being highly critical and disappointed about it. 🙂


    There are to many variables in the proceses to reach a conclusion on the mechanics of the transfer window TA

    The only time to judge a matter which is not black or white, is the end result, and even then that is subjective.

    I see it quite differently. Yes, tacticly there may have been mistakes during negotiations and in addition It can be argued we should have gone hell for leather for a top striker

    But what is much more important is that the strategy has been proven. Doubts wether Kronke was a hoarder of cash or that Wenger was simply averse to spending big on one player have been dispelled, at least for the time been.

    To be honest the Ozil signing has bought not only excitement but relief. We now have hope that in the near future other big stars may follow.

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Terry – no surprise there 😉


    hahaha, you know me to well TA.

    But i do think the point is important. When you get good posters on here losing there rag during the window through sheer frustration it tends to stem from a loss of trust and questions the integrety of the management. Are we been taken for a ride? There just in to keep the money etc.

    Though i have never shared the above doubts, until it is proven otherwise who can blame anyone for harbouring these thoughts.

    The Ozil signing is much more important than the player itself. Its a statement of intent.

    Is there not a saying “put your money were your mouth is”

  119. AFC says:

    TA, spot on with your last comment. You are one of the few people who can see where I’m coming from. Some people are reading too much into the TW. STs were available, DMs were available and so were defenders but we just didn’t get them due to the incompetence of Arsenal throughout the TW. We only really got serious on deadline. We were the worse prepared club going into the new season. I’m not saying this was a fantastic TW but I’m also not saying this was a poor TW.

  120. macko says:

    Hello my friends, I believes that with our new recruit we are happy but the same time anxious because have to said that some players that we love this are going end up on the bench.
    Lastly we will be able to have a bench supplied good players and perform a good conccurents and a good staff turnover;) even if we knows all Arsene to a little difficulty to rotate his teams 😉
    I’m looking forward to see how Arsene Wenger goes turn us all this and I feel good to return to 4.4.2 but there are plenty of solution and will always have our fetich players At one point on the bench!!

  121. AFC says:

    Good comment Macko. 🙂

    I can see Wenger sticking to a 4-2-3-1/4-2-1-3 formation as we only we have Giroud for ST. Bendy and Sanogo might make some appearances throughout the season but I can’t see Wenger starting them week in week out. Podolski and Walcott wii be needed to play out wide.

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    True Terry, it was a magnificent statement of intent and it will do the club only good, short and long term. 🙂

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    ‘I’m not saying this was a fantastic TW but I’m also not saying this was a poor TW.’ That is why I consider you positioned in the middle, AFC. We don’t get many, if any at the moment, proper doomers on BK, but if we did you would find yourself exactly in the middle. And I am not very far away from you hahaha 🙂

  124. AFC says:

    TA, that’s maybe why some bloggers think I am being negative (only seeing the bad side of things) when I’m not. Let’s bring on Piers Morgan to try and get the balance right. 😀

  125. James Bond says:

    when are we getting to read the maiden post by JGC ? @ TA

    it’s his first, right ?

  126. James Bond says:

    no AFC, you’re not being negative – you’re being constantly demanding and seen to be moaning ahahahahhahaahhahah no worries, Terry will sort you out 🙂

    just joking.

    re- Piers Morgan, love him or hate him, the guy is an Arsenal fanatic , no one better to wind anti-Arsenal people better than him , i reckon – especially after we beat spuds 😉

  127. jgc says:

    AFC, TA, JB

    Sme thoughts:

    A. TA, it still isn’t that easy… Perf my comments yesterday, if you ask and they won’t sell for less than you think you can get same elsewhere… The ones who were done early, Chelsea and City mostly, were really doing most, I suspect, last January and beyond. Could we have, IMO, likely not until we got 4th … Which was late.. And then, they offered lots for Schurlle and Jovetic to name 2. I’m not sure we wanted any at Spurs… Nice to have yes, must have… Hmmm..

    Rad my post! 🙂 … 🙂 … I explain all differently, or at least where I get the drugs!

    B. AFC and TA — I agree Law and Gadzidis weren’t competent, but, equally trying to perfect the TW is hard. Equally, would this clubs have sold to us?? I think for many AW is feared far more than Maureen and a powerful Chelsea… I think many take enough rather than maximizing a dollarto sell to Arsenal who get final 16 in CL on the smell of an oily rag every year.. Imagine what he’d do with a proper team. Recall that Arsenal cam far and away closest to knocking out BM and were the only ones to really score on them, at least at home, in an otherwise dominating march. Imagine, again, what would happen with just a few of their best players? Why would you sell to that? Better to sell to Chelsea or City where the top player sees so little action there is no real fear of them changing things against you somehow in future..

    The same in reverse was apparently done to Spurs by RM… Don’t sell to Arsenal! ..response? Bugger off, sold! No one tells another team what to do.. Money talks but not entirely…

    IMO, I’d ask how much of this anxiety has roots in capitulating over RvJ last year? Management stupidly let us into the position of being held over the “this or nothing” barrel and capitulated (which my iPad wants to turn into “caligulated” for some reason :/ )… If anything “bad” happened, IMO, it was we turned from Jovetic to Higuain (better”!) and then to Suarez (even better!?) and then when the brick wall came there were no more girls at the dance …

    Enough, I talk different things in my Visionary? post.. 🙂 .. But equally overwhelmingly convincing I am sure..

    C. JB: I need you to read my post, I have no friends here! 🙂 😦

    Cheers — jgc

  128. jgc says:


    FWIW, after you read the post, please note in posting it was written yesterday morning, so none of this discussion informed it… FWIW… Oh, and I still stand by it.. 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  129. jgc says:


    Second post, .. You can tell from my Presence! On BK! 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  130. James Bond says:

    i got your back @ JGC

    i shoot and you run – we are in this together, no worries. 🙂

    funny you mention RVP though and it’s even more hilarious when i read HH’s comments re-Song and being funny,

    it would be even more funny and then some if the traitor wanted to come back – reports are beginning to come out of his differences already (mind you, there were reports earlier on in the summer as well when he was moaning at Moyes too rigid training sessions and so on).

    i’ve already made a bold prediction re- man utd and just imagine if they don’t make it to CL football – the potential impact it may bring, (rubs his hands together).

  131. AFC says:

    JGC, I just didn’t want to go into this season hoping that our players do not get injured.

    In defence we are still missing a young defender of somd sort. There are plenty around and I probably would have signed one. Why take the risk?

    I understand it may have been hard to get a top DM or ST but we really still should have signed one. Now we are hoping we our players do not get injured? Risky strategy by AW in my opinion.

    JB, I’m always looking for ways for Arsenal to improve. It’s an obsession which is just as bad as Glic’s obsession with Isco. 😀

  132. AFC says:

    Glic, come out mate. I know you are a bit sad at how our TW went but your BK buddies will cheer you up.

  133. Xavier says:

    Sorry AFC and co… But I don’t get why you say we didn’t get a DM… I mean.. Isn’t that Flam primary position? I know his form wasn’t all that at Milan but maybe he’s just better suited for arsenal?? 😀

  134. AFC says:

    Xavier, I see Flamini as a utility player who is a good pro and will cover a number of positions not as the DM we needed.

  135. jgc says:

    AFC and JB

    Well, you’ll see.. Hopefully positively… In a bit of foreshadow, I’ll ask a question..

    Did Spurs get stronger, or did Spurs get stronger players?

    There’s a difference on the field based in big part on if they had a plan. How do all these pieces fit together? They had almost no game plan last year that wasn’t “Stoke on the ground” which is get the ball, on the ground, to Bale and hope. Once teams really figured it all out, as they do about 2/3 the way through the season, no new look, much lesser results, and St Totteringhams Day.. Every year, and last was no different. So, why will it be different this year? How do the pieces go together and make them better than they were? IMO, there is no plan there really! It’s easy to say how they might generically, good striker, strong CAM and DM.. But do their styles match, really?

    For Man City and even Chelsea, they have more of the same and will put out good teams. Maureen will be prepared as he always is, so that alone makes them better. City? … Hmm..

    My foreshadow, the TW is about improving as much as you can for as little risk. Arsenals main weakeness was not DM or ST or … but, Presence! in or around those areas of the game (defense and offense), which is the real game changer. And while not ideal, we may be more covered than one thinks..

    Cheers — jgc

  136. AFC says:

    We needed a top DM (who is quite young) and Flamini doesn’t fit the bill. He can still be a good DM for us.

  137. jgc says:

    And shedding my Gerry persona, let me be more succinct

    Any rich guy can buy their third national team, or do fourth… We’re Arsenal, we are smarter, cleverer, and actually know about football beyond, you kick it up that way towards one of the tall fellas and …

    Thus, we can do better than them, and don’t have to be even remotely like them…

    Cheers — jgc

  138. jgc says:

    We don’t need talent, we need Presence! 🙂

    — jgc

  139. JGC, your first post is well remembered by me, i.e., it still has a “presence”…and, if you like, you can consider me a friend 😀

    I can’t write much today as it’s my wife’s B-day…but I’m convinced that JGC has it correct. Higuain was supposed to get the ball rolling, but then Napoli bumping up his price plus the idea that there was a “Suarez-clause” got us off track. Going with that incorrect info, in fact, WAS incompetence–almost as bad as the story emerging from the United-Hererra bungling…From there it was all improvisation. Luckily, in the end, we’ve gotten a great player who should slot right in–no total (Spurs) or partial (City, Chelsea) makeover nor standing pat and appearing woefully unimaginative (United). Pool look good but only if Suarez plays as if he’s committed rather than desperate to leave. Otherwise, even though we were obscenely thin to start the season (and punished for it in the Villa match) I like our look now and I think it will only improve with Arteta and Vermaelen coming back and longer termers Poldi, Ox and Diaby on the horizon. I’m not at all sure that we won’t have to sacrifice the domestic cups (again…) but a lot of that depends on who you draw…

    All told, I think optimism/pessimism or a thumbs up/down on the TW depends on your pre-existing attitude. Some people just naturally want to be optimistic while others don’t. An exception to this appears to be our (maybe-not-so) fearless leader (Total Arsenal) and I think his downward trend is a testament to the magnitude of the PR disaster the club (esp. Gazidis’ early statements…) wrought upon us. Hang in there, Chief–It was a hideous roller coaster but at least we ended it on a hight and, best of all…it’s over! Now (finally) it will be about the matches–a boon for those of us who actually watch them. All the noise from Ozil (and the others welcoming him) seems VERY positive and I love the moans from his teammates who cannot believe RM sold him…I don’t recall similar around Higuain, but I live in a bit of a bubble… 😆

    OK, bastante…Gotta run…

  140. AFC says:

    JGC, I just do not see Flamini as a top DM.

    Suppose United did not have a top ST and really needed one this summer and were trying to get a top ST but ended up resigning Berbatov. That is my comparison to us resigning Flamini.

  141. jgc says:

    Thanks 17

    I’m not toooo worried! 🙂

    IMO, for me it’s that I dont think we needed a striker nearly as much as we needed Presence! Mid park and Service in the final third.

    We didn’t miss RvJ last year we missed Cesc for two years, and even Nasri a bit…

    Now we have service with a capital SERVICE and Cazorla… Just to start…

    Cheers — jgc

  142. AFC says:

    JGC, does the right talent not offer presence? There are plenty of top players who offer presence!

  143. jgc says:


    He’s not, tho more than adequate, but he has Presence! To get that you need Yaya or one of 2-3 others most of whom didn’t move. Gundogan for example, very good but no Presence! Yet… For that I’d have had TV there or Sagna… Half of being a great DM is convincing players not to come that way first up!

    IMO of course 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  144. jgc says:


    Talent is great, but a touch of fear, when discussing DMs, is better than the last lot of talent, and that is reputation built on consistency.. Again, IMO

    It may be so subtle that its only in my mind, but I swear I can picture the difference and certainly saw it within minutes of Flamini coming on… Just a whole change of atmosphere. I is an intangible…

    Going forward, I think we all agree, Ozil incites that fear. Defenders just know his thru ball is perfect and untouchable and thus actually, I’m convinced, try a little less… And voila as they say here 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  145. jgc says:

    Presence! Also inspires yours own guys… But the opposite way.. jgc

  146. James Bond says:


    apologies as i do have a rather poor memory, ha – yes,presence presence ,it’s all coming back slowly yet surely – does ring a bell, indeed.

    interesting comments -suffice to say, we’re on the same page here in regards to your analysis and comments and comparisons….

    but if i was to put it simply, do i see Arsenal doing a Montpelier (winning the league over the major spenders @ PSG ) and Dortmund (getting one better over Munich the season before last) ?

    then the answer is ABSOLUTELY 110% YES.

    we are going to play to our strengths, why should we bother about other teams and what they are doing ? mind you, the other teams have to play catch up to us (and that’s how it should be).

    let’s give the lads a bit of credit, it’s almost impossible to win when you’re 11 vs 12 from the very beginning of any match (Aston Villa defeat).

  147. jgc says:

    Put it another way

    Were the invincibles the best team at every position? Or did they just have Presence! Damn near all over the park and thus as a team.

    As others have noted, back then teams came on the field already half beaten..

    Can’t buy it … easily at least

    Cheers — jgc

  148. AFC says:

    JGC, your right. My worry is where is our long term presence. Our Yaya or Diaby. Our Drogba. Wenger knows what to do to solve this problem.

  149. AFC says:

    I think Ozil will scare Mourinho with his presence, which is a good thing for when we face them. 🙂

  150. James Bond says:

    oh and have a nice one @ 17HT –

    hope the smoke/fires have all cleared fully now and everything is back to normal.

    i sort of despise my neighbours for having bbq’s almost every day as the smoke really gets to me, so i can only imagine how bad it must be in your parts of the woods thanks to wild fires.

  151. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lordy, I really must run…Cool avatar, JGC, my friend… 😉

    This whole business about a young DM bothers me…What a signing Flams will turn out to be (looking forward to Total’s post…) and we’ve got Bender’s head turned and, in essence, on loan for us at his current club…Hopefully he does well. We can also call back Le Coq if he makes a superior showing in the Bundesliga…Diaby is the super bonus that nobody is counting upon. Also, Agreed with JGC that Flams on the pitch was an instant impact in terms of “presence.” Finally, Wenger (as I’ve said ad nauseum) really prefers an interchangeable MF not the rigid DM, B2B and CAM that some here insist upon…open your eyes and get off the FIFA!!! 😆

    My hope is for a good results (and performances) at Sunderland and in Marseilles and NLD +++ levels of support for the manager and the new signings when we return to the grove for our first match at home vs the orcs… “Spend some f**king money” and “Wenger Out” need to be silly things of the past and those “supporters” need to be marginalized if not shamed…

    For whatever reason I woke up calm and confident on derby day and the feeling continued throughout the match and into the deadline day… You can call me a silly optimist–but, while I can still see the light shining through our weaker areas, I feel the labors (labours?) over our (US) Labor Day weekend have seen us turn the corner towards better things…Time to get on the bus and enjoy the (sure to be bumpy) ride, I say…


  152. James Bond says:

    OoooooooooooooooooooooZil will scare everyone with his eyes (best in the business), not just Mourinho, if you’re not already scared then here you go

  153. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha, still here, James…Thanks re: the smoke…It’s coming and going a little more, but currently at Los Angeles or Mexico city smog levels from when those areas (70s and 80s) were really bad. It’s sooo nice here when it goes clear (yesterday afternoon…)

  154. AFC says:

    17ht, we may well be getting a versatile German midfielder back from loan next season. 😉

  155. jgc says:


    17: a student drew it for me when I told them if they didn’t know what to do on the final a very realistic drawing of me might at least get a mark. I look just like that!!! 🙂

    And bon anniversaire à votre femme… Bon chance avec le fumé …

    AFC: aye, but now we’ve the time and money to fix it without a trolley dash and from a position of strength and ability to turn heads…

    And if we’re hit with a further tsunami of injuries, well then, we at least know God isn’t a Gooner, but after the last three plus years of scraping by how could that possibly be true?? 🙂

    17: the post notes comments similar to yours, which is why I’m more excited…

    Cheers — jgc

  156. AFC says:

    JGC, all true.

    And that is the good thing about this TW. We now only need to add a few more special signings. One in Jan and one next summer would be perfect. There will be no more disruption to our squad when signings are made as we will only be looking to sign 1 or 2 players.

  157. AFC says:

    We also do not have to worry about existing players wanting to leave us as the signing of Ozil has shown we are ready to compete now and it is make sense to stay at Arsenal.

  158. jgc says:


    What I read said 5 year contract….. And for RA who’s not about and JM, they’d say his jersey will likely sell squill ions once he gets going…

    — jgc

  159. AFC says:

    JGC, I read that shirt sales increased 12 fold. Hopefully some of that money will be put back into improving the squad further.

  160. Glic says:

    Have to agree there AFC. An extra bonus of Ozil is it sends out the message of intent to our current players and also potential future players !.

    I`m sure he will be more Ozivit like Rosicky than Ozioso Arshavin fame !.

    It`s about time though that we have shown a message of intent, whereas in previous years it has been more a message in a tent with Wenger having a powwow on Kroenke`s cock after making heap big scalpings after too much fire water and the message was……”Heap big signing`s……HOW ! “.

  161. jgc says:


    Mostly agreed, but I’m inclined to give AW more benefit. No manager likes to lose and we’ve done well enough and more… Consider debt is well manageable now so unlike, ManU and Pool to name two, others we are not over leveraged so far that any sudden change might “Leeds Utd” us into oblivion…

    Ie we are well resistant to economic shock, unlike most of the world, and all but two La Liga teams and I suspect Barcas time may come at least a little. Read an article where despite Bale and Neymar, La Ligas net spend was +60M Euros… Fire sale time…

    Just another facet.. I want Arsenal to do very well, not only now but 17 years from now.. The sheikhs and Russians won’t last that long IMO with their toys…

    Cheers — jgc

  162. Gerry says:

    I’m in your corner too, jgc. Having had the warm up I’m looking forwards to your blog.

    Talking of ‘Presence!’, wasn’t that what we all saw in young Frimpong? Hopefully, with a bit more experience he will develop into the player we need? And that is why Le Flambeau will be so useful, his 2 year contract is probably timing it just right?

  163. Arsenal_vcc says:

    After basking in the Ozil feel-good factor for a while, came across another one [now I am beginning to worry that I might have used up all of them for this year ;-)] Arsenal have the best record in the EPL in calendar year 2013! 14 wins, 4 losses, 4 draws. As others have mentioned hopefully the defensive side of the game can be maintained while the offense gets a boost from OG & Ramsey’s form + Ozil.

    Speaking of Ozil, will Wenger & Arsenal improve Ozil’s scoring record?

    TA – with all the reference of Ozil’s signing being similar to a certain dutchman from 1995, maybe a sub-blog titled “ozilesque” may be need 🙂

  164. Glic says:


    You`re a Professor and I`m just a Van driver……….don’t think I will win any arguments !. hahaha

  165. jgc says:


    I’ve driven many mini vans does that count? 🙂 … I was a development guy for GM in a first career, before that I unloaded train cars among other jobs.. Don’t over rate the professor thing! 😀

    I just think the City’s and Chelsea’s come and they likely will go, like Leeds, before you and I do, … Remember when Leeds were a huge threat?

    besides which you out scored me in UMF badly this week despite trying your hardest to get zero out of it!

    Finally, I think I’m saying that G and L weren’t great but AW and they too have kept us more economically viable and competitive, which is huge. Now the corner is turning one hopes.. Meanwhile if this is true we weren’t complete rubes either

    Makes some sense too…

    Cheers — jgc

  166. Glic says:

    Not me, but I`ve been doing the same most of the day, cutting 4 acres in the Lesbania sunshine !. 🙂

    Fozzie will like this background colour…`s the same colour as Kermits cock !. hahaha

  167. Glic says:


    Some Barstardildos have been nicking my ……” Ozil to the Arsenal ! ” on AA !.
    2 days after I said it !. I had to put them straight, cheeky fcukers !. hahaha

  168. Dylan says:

    AFC, they’re very specific predictions. Don’t forget, I predicted Wigan to win the FA Cup monthes before it happened. 😉

  169. Glic says:

    Not sure if anyone put this up earlier, but here it is again if so .

    No levitating of lap-tops !. hahaha

  170. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post 🙂

    jgc gives us all hope with a fine, analytical piece on how our new signings make Arsenal significantly better this season. Enjoy!

  171. Wengerball says:

    Calm before the storm at Santiago Bernabeu… 🙂 ➡

  172. TotalArsenal says:

    Ozil to the Arsenal is yours, Glicster – how fecking dare they?! 😈

  173. TotalArsenal says:

    17 🙂

    Happy birthday to Mrs 17 – my wife is also a full Virgo!!! 😛 (easy Glic… 😀 )

    Agreed on the bliss of the TW being over now. At least next summer we have the world cup to help through it!

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