We had the perfect TW, actually… An optimist’s perspective?


Before the TW and all its attendant terror, the main discussion was, as always, around two things:

  • Who had to go, and it was a large number including: Squillaci, Arshavin, Denilson, Djourou, Santos, Bendtner, Chamakh. Opinions were also split on Mannone (not good enough) and Gervinho (too Jekyll and Hyde)
  • Who had to come: GK, DM, ST were the main calls, with lesser calls for defenders.

I am thus presenting an optimist’s view, perhaps, although no one can be as optimistic as Glic and his tattoos, which says that this TW was wildly successful. I base this assessment on 3 metrics, like any good engineer, offering a measure of redundancy in my analysis!

  1. Net Flow or Team Quality (TQ) – where the goal of the TW is to raise your average quality, admittedly while keeping enough players to make a side. Thus, when an Oiler buys their third national side, the team quality doesn’t go up much, was it worth it? Equally, for Everton, Fellaini out of a strong(er) midfield and Lukaku in is likely a big improvement for them for this year. I fear them more not less now.
  2. Risk (R) – will said player achieve vs what is paid, in terms of when you need that achievement at that position. Thus, coverage is included here as well. Suarez was always high quality but the risk of him being out and not delivering was also high. Equally, Fellaini offers little risk to ManU, but little return, leading to…
  3. Quality of Return (QR) – what can the players and modified team (potentially) achieve in terms of improving the team’s outcome in placing, cups etc. No sense to pay 100M for no change in cups or outcomes, which makes the risk of say RMs Bale investment somewhat high if they don’t win any more than last year.

So, I think this summer we did great, and here’s why.

Total Quality of TQ: We got rid of all but the world’s greatest striker from our deadwood and both mixed opinions. We added a potentially very good youngster who will play in League Cup perchance (Sanogo), a very good GK with option to buy who will provide the necessary competition for Scez that (somehow!) Fabianski does not, a solid DM with Adamsesque bite and mongrel (for free no less), and possibly the world’s best creator if we let our Cesc blinders slip a bit.

For me, the deadwood out is critical, it frees us now and long term. There was no way Squillaci or Santos was going to play, even if we had only 1 defender left on the squad. You’d have seen JW playing LB first! Thus, why have them?

Finally, we have seen glimpses that OG will become more clinical this year. In fairness, last year he was not so good but with ball to feet he has been very good in front of goal so far. Well may it continue.

I think there is little argument that our TQ is now far, far higher than it was a week or two ago.


Risk or R: There are two aspects, achievement (or player failure) and coverage. First, achievement: I think that the positions with least risk are defenders and creators. Defenders can always fall back on their own physicality, fitness and Presence!, and fit into most systems easily enough. Thus, low risk. Creators, all across the park at any position are equally lower risk, as they rely primarily on ball holding skills that they always have, vision and passing accuracy. Thus, as long as the supporting cast is good their skills transfer anywhere pretty easily, although putting Ozil into Stoke would be a waste! J

Hence, we got one of the world’s best creators in a scheme that favors them, a very good defensive DM, and Sanogo is the long term bet for no money. The GK should also be fine.

Hence, I think there is virtually no risk in our TW activity from an achievement standpoint.

Next, is coverage. The complaint on the various e- and bloggo-spheres is that we didn’t get a defender. In that regard we have:

  • Central defender: Per, Koz, TV (when healthy), Sagna, Flamini
  • Outside defender: Jenks, Gibbs, Monreal, Sagna, Flamini

There are some youngsters too for the League Cup. Equally, some loan deals also have a mid-year return built in if one has nuclear war type injuries and loses far too many players. I would be surprised if we didn’t have that with Coquelin for example, at a cost of course.

Similarly, we are now relatively well stocked in the more defensive midfield portion as well, and can really offer some teams different “looks”. I am particularly excited about our ability to look very offensive with Ram-Teta, and equally more aggressive with Flam-Sey or Flam-Zorro (warning: I have copyrighted all nicknames! J ). There is also Flam-Shere which would be like Flam-Zorro but with more aggressiveness.  Overall, with Zorro, JW, Ramsey and Flamini we are well placed.

It will also allow a full year for Diaby to recover and we may thus have him signed for the third or fourth time next year! One can only hope his outlook improves finally.

Out wide, injuries to Poldi and Ox don’t help but will be recovered. Meanwhile, we have Santi, Theo and JW, as well as Gibbs with Monreal back deeper to help out.

Equally, the Ozil signing frees JW to play both offensively and defensively in various combinations, or even out wide where Poldi, Ox, Theo, Santi, and others roam. We should be able to offer so many different looks of quality that others will fear our overall Presence! in midfield, no matter that they park the bus or play us straight up.

Finally, the ST. I want to point out we still have the world’s best and that he will never play for us. I think not even in League Cup, perhaps. OG is more clinical and I think Ozil will give him great service. Equally, Ozil with Santi and Theo wide should remove 1-2 defenders from clinging to OG and swarming him. Ozil is the one magic player that will make OG even better.

Hence, I think there is very little risk in our TW activity from a coverage standpoint, especially with January and ~40M or more on hand coming soon enough. Injuries, we already have a lot of, but if they get worse, well that’s life. But, I think we are more than well placed to be very confident about two things:


1. Our ability to really stick it to any team we play

2. Our ability to stack up against the best in Europe (1st up is BD in group stages!)

Thus, I think we were actually very low risk

Quality of Return or QR: Finally, I think I’ve said it all, but to repeat shortly:

  • Ozil will make Theo, Santi and OG better. He will allow JW to develop. I think he will score ~8-10 goals but have 20+ assists and we will score at least 10-15 more league goals because of him. Given last year’s defense that would allow for something like 3-4 more wins easily and a few more draws (i.e. far less losses), and we would have been at or near ManU.
  • Flamini: will add bite and defense within a system and culture he knows well. He offers now so many looks with Ramsey and JW and Arteta that we should be far more organised and full of Presence! down the middle. His experience will also improve Ramsey and JW I think

Sanogo and the GK are the future and competition.

So, our quality for just two players, IMO, the exact right two players by position and choice, are going to make a huge impact on our ability to compete for the EPL, cups and Europe. Injuries always are a risk, but January is soon

Hence, I think we got a very high QR this TW, better than anyone in Europe and far better than some think, both for direct contribution and how those players will impact those around them.

The Future:

In future, I hope for Diaby to come right, or for January or next summer to see us get a more proper long term solution at DM. I’d like a little depth at the backs, but think we are solid now, and can afford to wait on the youngsters to develop.

A SQ striker, … Well, there were actually very few STs moving this year if you look at it. They have the greatest risk of not fitting into a new system and scoring immediately, as we know from history, and with the WC coming, I think many would not move unless they were highly confident of their national team position (eg Bale who’s not really a ST)… From the standpoint of Jovetic, you have to wonder what he’s thinking now… In my opinion we can wait on it and there is always Theo or Poldi when better, as anyone should do well in front of Ozil et al. And if not, there is January or the dreaded Dane.. J

Cheers, I am optimist at heart I guess!


Written by: jgc.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

161 Responses to We had the perfect TW, actually… An optimist’s perspective?

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Superb post, jgc. 🙂

    Well written and structured and a joy to read.

    You have added quite a bit of steel towards your positivity and I agree that Flamini and Ozil will add a lot to this team. As said in previous comments, the late arrival of Ozil is likely to mean it will take a while before we will get the full benefit of his addition as he will have to settle in the team and the team will have to get used to him. However, I agree that Flamini will have an instant positive impact and he should help us to grind out results. In the meantime, the German can get settled in the team and we can go from strength to strength.

    Up-front is where the worry is, as the likes of Theo, Giroud and Cazorla will have to play a hell of a lot of games with limited back up. Injury prone Pod and inexperienced Sanogo, Gnabry and Ryo are not ideal replacements. This leaves us with an interesting position re Bendtner…. it could be make or break for him, and to a certain extent for us, this year…

    Back in a bit.

  2. mA says:

    great post and i agree with u

    only regret is why we didn’t go for a mobile striker. I would have liked someone in the mould of Suarez or Atletico’s D. Costa. We have a pretty good squad, but lacking in depth in some of the positions. If only we can keep all of them injury-free till March (not May). By then we would know the strength of the team and whether it can mount a real challenge for the title.

    Gnabry for Gerv. was great business but will Zelalem be unleashed as a substitute for Ozil and Rosicky? Will Arteta, Ramsey, Flamini and Jack fit in? do you remember we have Carzola and…Diaby? That’s a midfield to be proud of and can’t wait for the season to begin once more.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    jgc – the games against BD and Napoli, whilst Marseille cannot be underestimated either, will be great tests for this team. I cannot wait for the first CL games but first we have to get trough the inter-lull without players getting injured.

    So what if Giroud gets injured and Pod is still not available?

    Maybe we could play:


    Jack and Santi to interchange with Ozil and with each other regularly……..

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    MA 🙂

    Do you believe Gnabry is ready for first team action?

  5. AFC says:

    JGC, top post. 🙂

    Just a quick point on Bale. In a football way the signing of Bale is very risky but in a marketing way it is not. Real will simply make all of the £85 million with added profit back from shirt sales, sponsorship deals etc. He is a very marketable player.

    I have said a lot of what I feel in my post but I guess I can say a bit more. Sanogo, Ryo and Gnabry are not ready yet and I feel it would have been better for them to go on loan to EPL clubs. Palace would have taken Ryo but I’m not sure who would have taken Sanogo. Frimpong and Park are done at Arsenal whereas Bendy still has something to offer. Still quite young and has not entered his prime yet. He should be out second ST in my opinion. Wenger has said he will use him. I feel Bendy can turn it around. Walcott and Podolski will be needed on the wings. Diaby may have to take a pay as you play deal if he wants to stay at Arsenal in the future.

    Future signings needed: young CB who can play RB or LB or both; top ST; long term DM replacement. L.Bender will do.

    Frimpong, Fabianski, Bendy and Park will all be gone by the end of next season with those who are still on loan.

    Flamini is injury-prone so that could be the only risk of us signing him as we have given him a two year contract. Sanogo is one for the future, Viviano could be signed on a permanent deal after this season and Ozil, need I say anything. You know what I”m going to say. 😀

    We did not really take any risks in the TW but sometimes in business you do need to take some risks? 😀

  6. Glic says:

    I have a long journey tomorrow, so will comment on BK`s very own Professors post when I get back from Orcland !.

    Totes. If you were to look in VCC`s Y- Fronts, you would see some more Tumbleweed action !.
    I`m sure Sergio Leone filmed some scenes about my Emirates day out with Stretch and Vic`s in a film called………..The Good, The Bald and the Ugly Muvver Fcuker !.

    Good night from The Good one !. hahaha

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Night Glic and travel safely tomorrow 🙂

  8. ProudGooner says:

    Good post, i agree with most.
    On the Sanogo, Gnabry, Ryo and Frimpong. I feel they are ready to play for us, i think loaning them out when we are so low on numbers would have been suicidal Gnabry could play v Sunderland in Podolski position and i would be happy. Sanogo is highly rated by Wenger and i totally trust his judgement , but i feel he may need a few weeks to fully settle, so the international break has probably come at a good time for him. Ryo not as sure about , but i would be happy for him to play again . Arsene has always played and developed players and it is important this continues plus the fact thata player can’t play all the matches its just not pyhically possible. Frimpong may for his chances very few, so he could perhaps of gone on loan but what i have seen at him at Arsenal has been very good. But i feel for sure the players he kept, including Bender were all needed this season.

  9. Dylan says:

    Fantastic post! 🙂 I totally agree, although I think TGSTEL will play some games. And I think a ST, Winger, and DM. Cesc would be a bonus. As well as a young CB. 🙂

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice article and I read a similar article on a Dutch professional site – We have got the King of Assists!


  11. ProudGooner says:

    Thanks for the tumble weed film, interesting,
    Dr Glic,
    It would not surprise me if Wenger transformed Ryo or Gnabry into a striker ,like he did with Henry and Rvp. As he is doing with Walcott who is ready already . I wanted another striker but i feel there is plenty of goals until the winter window.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Your welcome PG and good to have your company! 🙂

  13. adam t says:

    Good post but IMHO the initials just were BS and drove me crazy reading it ! lol

  14. ProudGooner says:

    Do you think Wenger will free up Arteta to his old Everton days role again for some games now he has Flem-teta possiblities possible lol?

  15. Bongo says:

    I would have come on sooner, but as a Spurs fan, after last week ends result, have just stopped crying.

    I was just wondering how you see the result as Arsenal fans. Did you deserve the win? were you worried? and was it closer than you thought? Or are you just pleased to get a win over us?

    Also, does the Ozil transfer mean Wenger is back to his best or is this just a signing to keep you happy for a while while not really strengthening your whole squad? He is a great player though.

    Don’t pelt me, I know you won. The world hasn’t ended.

  16. AFC says:

    TA, Mourinho said he blocked the loan move of Ba because he knew that with Ba and Ozil we would become title contenders. 😦

    I can’t actually blame him for doing that. Why help a rival. However we really should have had other targets better than Bendy lined up.

  17. ProudGooner says:

    So many options our midfield it is defo top 2 of the PL with either city or the chavs , the fact that Jose plays anti-football will hold there offensive play back and city boss well he will need time to get used to everything if he does at all. That is something Wenger needs to take advantage of early on if possible. I have faith in our old owl Wenger.

  18. ProudGooner says:

    I honestly feel Arsenal deserved the win, we had the most clear cut chance, scored early on and defended as well as i have seen us do in a long time. Spurs had a strong last 10 mins and there was a couple of minutes then when i was a little worried but overal i was confident that we would win. That is the truth of what i thought. But if i was a spurs an i would of taken all them players for Bale any day.

  19. AFC says:

    Bongo, good to see. 🙂

    Ozil is a very good addition and with Flamini and Viviano those signings make me happy for now. In the next few seasons we will need to buy 2-3 more players if we want to become a dominant force and win several trophies. The signing of Ozil is a step in the right direction and is a statement of intent by Wenger. That signing shows we are willing to splash the cash on world class players and are ready to start challenging.

    I was a bit worried about our match with you guys but I think the fact that your team is going through a transitional period made us just that bit stronger. I was just happy for the win. I do not know why Sandro didn’t start with Paulinho for you guys or why Lamela did not play as a SS behind Soldado.

    You guys have sold a guy for £85 million and you only signed him for a few million. That’s good business considering he is probaly only worth around £40 million. You guys have invested well but I feel you are still missing another ST, RB and LB.

  20. ProudGooner says:

    The coulple of minutes i was worried was when King rent boy AVB ran down the touch line to coach the lad where to throw the ball, i though the rent-biy was going to run on to the pitch and get on the end of the throw with a bycicle kick. lol

  21. ProudGooner says:

    This season is going to be a very interesting one, i feel Arsenal, Chelsea, united, Spurs, Liverpool and City 6 teams will all be tighter and closer then ever.

  22. Bongo says:

    The game could have done with a few more goals I suppose. For what my opinion is worth I am pleased you didn’t put 5 passed us again.

    I do think that your squad is too small though for fighting in all competitions and you played us at the right time.

    Wouldn’t it be great if it was you and us competing for the title?

    Enjoy the international break. I’m off to bed.

  23. James Bond says:

    all of you best totally agree or agree with my amigo aka JGC – yeah, i’m the one with the gun in my hand if anyone messes with him !

    since that’s out of the way, let’s get back to business

    cracking article @ JGC – was worth the 2 days and 3 hour and 21 minutes and 19 seconds wait 😉

    agreed re- the focal points and the spine of your article.

    yes, we are the biggest winners in the TW, not because of the amount of players we were able to shift (both get rid of, sell and loan out) but merely due to keeping hold of our CAPTAIN and not selling him for the 3rd season in a row 🙂

    i also, don’t agree with the premise that it may take a little bit time before we get to see, Ozil at his best – that’s the thing with world class players, they often need very little time or no time at all to settle in, i expect Ozil to come straight in and start firing at all cylinders – he will feel right at home.

    the thing most people maybe are overlooking is the fact that , Ozil has a very impressive track record -fitness wise, stamina wise (touch wood , long it may continue) …. and also the fact that in him we have finally got our 3 in 1 player that we were so missing after RVP, someone who could take decent corners, free kicks and lift the entire team up with a sheer moment of genius or brilliance on his own.

    it’s been one hell of a summer for everyone involved with Arsenal but all is well that ends well – this however , is only just the beginning

    i can already see a number of players wanting to join us in the next 2 transfer windows ,who may have been reluctant before to do so, simply because now they know that we mean business.

    how many marquee signings did Liverpool and Tottenham manage to attract ? no disrespect to Soldado , he’s very good but not SQ – all the remaining signings are a little bit of this and a lot more for the future.

    PS: be nice to JGC or else you know you’re in big trouble.

  24. ProudGooner says:

    that would be good, night.
    Fair play for coming on here.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi PG – no I reckon he will stick with 4-2-1-3 and therefore he’ll need midfielders to play in the ‘2’. Arteta is very suited for this, and I reckon Wenger might prefer to him and Ramsey together as his first choice again. However, Flamini and Jack – FlamJack or WilMini – would be a good alternative for him. And in the really tight games, against BD, Chavs, Mancs etc, I can see Wenger playing Arteta and Flamini – FlamTeta – to keep it really tight in front of the defence. But I cannot see Arteta playing in the hole or in the box to box role much, if at all.

    What do you reckon?

  26. ProudGooner says:

    Every club needs a star player if you area big club. I feel we have a few. I can not wait to see Cazorla and Ozil link up, those two are amazing players and i can see great thing coming from there partnership. Walcott and Ozil also gets me excited.

  27. AFC says:

    Bongo, in a few years it could be Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and United in the top four. Surely the guys who own City cannot keep pumping so much money into the club with no return. Look what happened to Anzhi. I can see City having to sell all of their stars and having to rebuild again like Anzhi. Night mate. 🙂

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Bong0-1 😆

    Welcome back. Arsenal were more of a team and had the home crowd behind them, and Giroud was the difference and not just for the goal. Other than that, there was not much in it, but I think we deserved the win.

    Did you like your new boys and who impressed you most?

  29. James Bond says:


    since we all like you here, i’ll be honest and to the point

    i honestly thought, you were lucky not to lose 5-0 , you have a worldie in hugo lloris.

    we are happy with our transfer business, how about you ? do you feel betrayed ?

  30. AB says:

    Great post JGC. Agree with most you say, and my thoughts largely covered already. Flam gives us so many options and strengthens all our back and mid positions; if he stays fit whilst others recover then I have no major worries about our defence – quite an improvement. I can’t say the same for our attack though. Giroud has started really well and I have great hopes of him for this season. But he can’t play on all fronts and the back up if he is injured is now terribly thin – as it was 2 seasons ago, when an RVP injury (you know, the usual one after a run of about 10 good games) would have left us looking at mid-table. Sanogo may come on really well – though I haven’t seen much sign of it yet; and I do expect Bendtner to be called upon now, which I never thought I would see again! No blame to Arsene from me for this; Ba as cover would have been the icing on the cake of this TW. I’m not sure where Arsene will turn, but I don’t expect him to buy SQ striker in January, but I’m sure he will look to strengthen then in some way.

    Welcome Bongo. My overall feeling at the time was a combination of relief, that we had not piled pressure on ourselves at the critical end to the TW, and pride that the team stood up and fought hard like we should expect in our derby, against a team stuffed with expensive names. No doubt in my mind that we deserved the win based on the performance (best individual performance on the pitch was Loris though), but equally I am under no illusions over how much we can draw from this result. It was important for confidence (for players and fans alike), for keeping us up in the table and not letting a significant points gap grow, and to send the right signals to any potential signing who was wavering over their choice.

    I have always loved Wenger, though I can’t pretend to understand some of his decisions and wish he would be less stubborn at times. Whilst I can’t claim total confidence in everything that he does, I can’t see a manager I would swap him for given the option as of today. I think he is building for the future – as he has always done. The signing of Ozil is a landmark one, but does not of itself change how we should view Arsene. The TW as a whole I believe has been really smart business, which has changed how I look at our whole squad; as above, the striker situation still looks a concern though. I don’t think for one moment that Ozil is there to appease the fans though – it would not even occur to Arsene to do such a thing. Ozil is like Wenger’s dream signing, all pace, slick movement, perfect technique, vision and intelligence. And he will make our team a more attractive prospect for future signings as well.

    So yes, a derby win and some great signings, and all but the perennial doom merchants are happy at our end. I fully expect a real challenge from Spurs this season however. I don’t think too much of AVB, though he has not been as flaky as I thought, and you have bought well; it will take some time though to see which of your new players adapts to the premiership quickly enough to have a real impact, and to work out what your 1st 11 actually is! From my perspective you may have bought too many players, and I wonder how harmony will be maintained in this new squad. I like our outlook better than I do yours – which is as it should be! Are you feeling equally confident?

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    It was daft/naive to go for a Chelsea player at the eleventh hour, AFC. But maybe it was a decoy for another transfer target. We missed out and will have to do with what we have got. If Bendtner can pick himself up and focus hard, he could still make a big change in his career, but I am not sure he is capable of this.

  32. AFC says:

    PG, Santi-Ozil-Walcott could end up being the best ‘3’ in the league. Chelsea may have a better ‘3’ in Hazard, Oscar, Willian/Shurrle though.

  33. AFC says:

    Reports in Italy said we went in for Di Natale but our bid was rejected because their transfer window was closed already I think.

  34. ProudGooner says:

    I like all your formations very much, the possibilities are so great. i feel in the very tight and tough games (BD) I would go Ramteta Ozil and Santi Walcott OG and your all out gunn down i would go Ateta Santi Ozilwith in future Podolski OG Walcott

  35. AFC says:

    TA, Bendy might actually want to play with the likes of Santi, Ozil and the improved Walcott. Besides he needs to play matches and play them well to get back into the Denmark team and seal a move to a decent club.

  36. AB says:

    AFC. Can’t see Di Natale’s ego fitting into the Emirates?? He seems set to be the big fish in a small pond

  37. ProudGooner says:

    Or v Dortmund a bank of Rambo Arteta Flemini and your front 3

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed PG – those are good line-ups. When we go to Sunderland next we need metal in midfield, so I would go with Flamini and Ramsey (RamFlam) as Arteta will not be fit yet.

  39. AFC says:

    AB, maybe that’s why we didn’t sign him. I would have signed Lucina Troare on loan from Anzhi.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    He can play with his back towards the goal and do link up footie, AFC….so if his attitude is good, it could work.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Di Natale is one of my favourite players outside Arsenal. A gent and super-talent, but I cannot see him ever leave his club Udinese…

  42. AFC says:

    Too bad we couldn’t sign him. I think Wenger saw him as a short term option. I doubt he will go back in for him unless things are really bad.

  43. ProudGooner says:

    I totally agree Total Arsenal,, you could even play it cleaver in the CL with the gun down midfield to start and score early away goals then close it out with Ramflem and Ateta.

  44. Highbury Harmony says:

    Not sure if the comment’s been made yet, but Maureen blocked the move for Ba after he found out we had signed Ozil. He believed that we could win the title had we have gotten both Ba and Ozil…

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Off to bed now, guys – catch you tomorrow. 🙂

  46. AFC says:

    I like him as well. I think he still has the pace as well. Klose would have also been a good short term option.

  47. ProudGooner says:

    Night TA, I will have to get my head down soon as well

  48. AFC says:

    HH, I beat you to mate. 😉

    Maybe Wenger should have went in for someone like Klose. A real legend who could have given us that structure and experienced in attack and he knows Ozil.

  49. James Bond says:

    hi HH 🙂

    do you blame, Jose ? i think he’s one mean son of a gun – love him or hate him, but no one does mind games and tactical battles like he does.

    never mind though, then there was January.

  50. AFC says:

    HH, which line do you think is better?


  51. ProudGooner says:

    BA is good, but he is style is very much like OG but OG is better, i am sure the club are working very hard on Sanogo at the moment and i feel he is going to be a fine player. If that comes to be , we are bang in business.we still have walcott anyway but that is dependent on Ryo stepping up and doing the business on the right wing all of which i think can easierly happen

  52. AFC says:

    PG, that’s probably why Wenger wanted Ba. So we do not have to change our tactics much is Giroud cannot play for some reason.

    I’m off now. Speak to everyone soon. 🙂

  53. ProudGooner says:

    True and night, im off to bed too. Goodnight Gooners

  54. GhanaGunner says:

    Great post JGC!

    I don’t think many gunners would’ve been upset if we had been told at the start of the transfer window that we’d sign a CF, AM, DM who can also play across the back four and a GK. That’s exactly what we signed. It’s probably the stature or, if you will, the Presence! of the players involved that may leave some wondering. That plus injuries to the like of Poldi, Ox, old lego hair and the Verminator have left us a bit short. Just wait till they come back! We probably could’ve done better than Sanogo but then again, see what a surprise the Ox was. Flamini is a good signing in my opinion and as far as keeping Szczesny on his toes I think Viviano isn’t a bad bet either.

    One of the ideas that really excites me is the influence Oz could have on Zelalem and Eisfeld. Imagine them learning from one of the best in the business! Zelalem already showed he has the potential in preseason and I hope he gets a lot of time on the training ground with Oz and Santi (who couldn’t make the tour due to having competed in the confederations cup).

    I liked TA’s suggestion of Wilshere on the right wing with Theo in the center if Giroud can’t play. Allow me to also offer some fantasy formations (the back four just about picks itself so I’ll be leaving them out for now).




    I think if at least one of Arteta and Flamini play it’ll free up Jack or Ramsey (or Rosicky?) to make more runs into the box. With Arteta and Flamini playing together Arteta would be free to distribute without worrying too much about defense (not that it seems to have slowed him down any 😀 ). We also speak about Oz playing mainly in the AM position but I’d like to see how we fair with him on the right, Santi on the left and Arteta/Rosicky in that AM position. We’d have great creativity and great passing right across the field and I’m sure Arteta would be able to pick out any runs the other two may make into the box. Some mouth-watering prospects we have there!

  55. AFC says:

    Just heard that Wenger is working hard to keep Mertesacker, Sagna and Rosicky. All three will be offered new contracts. Now I’m gone.

  56. GhanaGunner says:

    Btw, Lewandowski is a free agent next summer. Any chance of us grabbing him in the January window? I’m sure Dortmund would much prefer him with us than with Bayern!

  57. henrychan says:

    Top post JGC..
    Don’t worry about our CF.. Giroud will do the job greatly.. The Godzilla ( Theo – Giroud – Ozil – Cazolla) will ruin all enemy.. hahaha.. and We still have Bedtner.. Wenger know how to deal with him.. He will become our supersubs..

    Bond.. it all because he was injured.. hehe.. if not.. Vermaelen will be at Barca now.. Barca’s fan still upset for the club can’t get a new CB.. hahaha..

    Oh happy day.. oh happy day….

  58. Milo says:

    Anyone wonder why Jack has been playing better for England lately, than Arsenal??? even that one half he played against Scotland, was better than anything he has produced for us this season 😦 I was really hoping this would be his year, and it still could be. IF Ramsey can keep up his work-rate, and improved defensive nous, I would be confident in trying Wilshere in the box to box role next to Ramsey, in most matches, with Ozil ahead of both of them. So it would be 4-2-1-3, with Ramsey and Wilshere in the two and Ozil playing in the hole behind the striker and wingers. What do you think??? I think, if fit, Wenger will do this, as he knows that developing Wilshere in to that all-conquering force, will be the final piece to the puzzle for us, in our starting eleven. What do you guys think???

  59. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, easy Santi-Ozil-Theo. No one in the world can compete with that three. There’s a bit of everything there 🙂

  60. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, I do not blame Maureen whatsoever. He was smart in not letting Ba go to us. Who gives away players to rival clubs? Oh wait…

    To be honest, if you asked me if I would take back the sales of RVP, Na$ri, Cole etc. opposed to having Ozil, I would say no. I’d do everything we’ve done the past few years the exact same way every single day of the week and twice on Sunday if the suffering means we are now where we are, with players that genuinely want to play for our club.

  61. Highbury Harmony says:

    Jgc, absolutely brilliant post mate! I thoroughly enjoyed your entire article and agree with your analysis. What defines a “perfect” transfer window is entirely subjective and you have done a very fine job of explaining and defending why you believe we had a perfect TW.

    I’m of the opinion that anytime you can buy a top 10 footballer in the world, for what I believe to be relatively below market value, that you have had a perfect TW. I still can’t believe that Ozil will be playing for us in another week and a half and let it be the start of an even more beautiful future for our club!

  62. JM says:

    Santi Cazorla, Mesut Oezil, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud?

    Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Neymar, Lionel Messi?

    Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel di Maria, Karim Benzema?

    Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller, Arjen Robben, Mario Mandzukic?

    Marco Reus, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Robert Lewandowski?

    Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore, Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic?

  63. henrychan says:

    @JM.. I vote for my The Godzilla.. Theo – Giroud – Ozil – Cazorla.. hehehe..
    @HH.. Agree with you.. plus Ramsey and Arteta as our double Pivot.. and Gibbs – Kosc – Merte – Sagna as our fantastic four.. We will win the PL.. hahaha..
    If only we sign Cesar.. then we will win the CL also.. hehehehe..

  64. jgc says:


    OK early bedtime for me last night … now on to replies to some great responses:

    TA: Thanks for the kind words, I think the lineups you show are all possible and one could even go very defensive when healthy with a 4-3-1-2 of :

    Sagna Per/Kos Gibbs

    Arteta Flamini Ramsey


    OG / Theo

    Also useful if resting Santi! Really a 4-3-3 but the top 3 is an inverted triangle..

    One could invert that top 3 to be



    To rest Theo and so on..

    I am very much looking forward to how we respond to Marseilles and BD! That will be the real test..

    More later or next reponse

    — jgc

  65. Prince says:

    😆 😆 😆

    This got me laughing. “Soldado looks like Almunia on crack”……… 😆 OMG 😆

    Great posts in the last few days. Hope your all well 🙂

  66. VCC says:

    Prince..that tickled me too. I love those videos.

  67. Prince says:

    Morning Vickers,

    I had a dream! If we are in all 4 comps in January, Arsene will pay over the odds, and OUTBID Madrid for Suarez. The final piece of the jigsaw puzzle, our plan A, or plan B (if you prefer Giroud) and we will win Big Ears and possibly snatch the EpL flag on the final day……..without the use of lasagne. I know it seems far fetched :roll:, but in my view it his him that could take us to immortality. Arsene knows this, ALL other rivals are in transition and it would be a shame to not strike while the iron is hot. He is a top target of Arsenes and the only top striker who will not be cup tied in the Champions league.. Maybe, just maybe, Arsene takes the dive in his last hurrah and actually achieves the unthinkable. Wishful thinking? I hope not, lets smash the transfer record set for Torres, whilst Madrid are in a financial slide at the minute and all our rivals are yet to gel.

  68. VCC says:

    Like your dreaming Princey Baby.

    BUT, I would prefer Lewanowski. His contract runs out next year, perhaps we can make a cheekie bid in January.

    Loving these videos.

    Bring it on.

  69. jgc says:

    TA nd others on ST

    Well we do have NB and Theo to fill in.. Pod eventually.. Or Sanogo for league Cup..

    One thing that has changed in 2+ days since writingis my thinking on NB. He *will* likely play some…

    A motivated, fit Dane, having worked there, is hardworking, tough and impossible to keep away from targets. Unfortunately, as we know, if they arent motivated, just give it up..

    If he gets motivated, he could still be become the ST AW likely thought he was and that he actually was when he cared to try…

    He *COULD* turn it all around, and one can only hope that all the turndowns he got were finally enough to make him realise that no one valued him like he did, and perhaps he oughta pull finger as it were…

    So, if Theo, Pod (already gone) and OG are out… and it isnt League 52 team in the League Cup (Sanogo) I think you will see NB… Hoppe it doesnt come to that because we will have enough trouble as it were

    That said, January comes soon, and after we tie up our defenders a bit (one saw your post AFC), we should be good to go work on that, and I think one will likely be avialable..

    cheers — jgc

  70. Alcide says:

    Hahaha that video is hilarious 🙂

    Nice post NFC, it’s nice to have a fully optimistic view of things. I thing that like a lot of fellow gooners, We are just starting to fully realize and understand the full extent, meaning, potential and wide ramifications of Ö’s move to Arsenal. Hüge, and as our fellow Germans would say, über.

  71. geoffchase says:

    AFC and PG

    I agree that Bale will sell shirts for RM like, as AFC told me yesterday, Ozil is already doing for Arsenal!

    So, yes, financially good enough that way.. especially via image rights and endorsements with whatever deal they worked out. I was really only referring to a player only aspect, but your point is good and I agree

    Equally, surprising tho given RMs financial strength in various sales that they still sold Higuain and Ozil. They could have stockpiled like an Oiler… Wonder why not?? Could be some cracks in the foundation??

    cheers — jgc

  72. geoffchase says:


    Per my above, NB will play if he gets motivated enough I think.. He *COULD* be great, really great, which is the frustrating thing about him and makes it all so hateful. On talent, there is no reason his 50k pw wages are anything but a deal, on mental strength and desire hes worth abuot 5k pw..

    I think most clubs know that if AW couldnt get it out of him they might very well not either..

    time will tell

    Regarding Cesc, youve heard me for weeks say that if he was THE guy plunk down 50m and see. Instead, we did 43M and got Ozil (also very good! 🙂 ) .. And, per my post, he will be equally THE GUY to make it all happen.

    The hard question now is in January or summer 25-50M on SQ striker or Cesc (should such option be out there at all and Cesc is starting well at Barca it seems)..?? 😈

    Unfortunately, if you will, the obtaining of Ozil means we are less needing of a Cesc, tho nice, than DM or ST

    cheers — jgc

  73. Prince says:

    Cup tied in Champions league Vickers!

    Its gotta be ‘the toothed one’. If our results and position prove that we can win the EpL and have a favourable tie in the knockout stages of the CL (of course we qualify from the group stages with ease) then i think he might bite (excuse the pun 😉 ) He knows that Stevie Mee is finished and in Ozil they could take their personal games to “ballon d’or heights/levels”. Its not a pipe dream when you think about it. We have proven that we are willing to pay over the odds and break any transfer record, what Arsene is not willing to do is break our wage structure. I believe that both Arsene, Arsenal board and Suarez would be happy with
    150-170,000 pounds per week wages for him (if the above ingredients are in place) whilst recognising what he could bring in, and that is:- a double on the pitch, EPL and Champions League.Off the pitch our stocks would only rise. Look at the Ozil deal, the whole world is talking about us. Adding Suarez would get every kid worldwide buying an Arsenal replica again.I’ve got my fingers crossed that Madrid fail and get knocked out early and that come January we are a length and a nose ahead of all our rivals.

    Just so you know, i too rate Lewandowski highly, and there could be a sniff of him joining, if it is linked to Klopp joining later down the track…who knows? But, seeing as he will be non-legit, i see that as a summer target if, IF Suarez fails in Jan. The Suarez deal will be dead if it does not materialise in January imo.

  74. geoffchase says:


    the king of assists … well said, I think my overall philosophy going back this summer to my desire to see Cesc back is that

    — Strikers score goals only AFTER they get chances. Chances are created by creators (i.e. assists)…

    I think I felt that while we could do better as a team with a SQ striker that a SQ creator would do far more for us with what we have than a Suarez (who is a great scorer all else aside)

    This is my overall philosophy in football to an extent which means I prefer what we got, a “nuggety” DM and SQ creator wiht a competitive streak.

    cheers — jgc

  75. geoffchase says:


    thanks for stopping by… my quick thoughts

    1. AW never left his best! 🙂 … This is a major strengthening and not a sop to fans, tho some sites make it out that way.. Or so my post would have me believe! 🙂

    2. I was *VERY* worried about the derby and your new players, offset slightly that they may not gel as yet

    3. I think Lloris kept you in the game, especially in first half where a second goal would have done it… He also saved 3-5 (dependng on your PoV 🙂 ) almost sure bets, versus Scez saving 1-2 for us.. So, 1-0 seems a fair bet and good day for both GKs

    Later you note that someday it would be interesting to compette for the league.. I respond:

    Why not now?? We both have the players and shot. The real question for Spurs is do they have a lot of solid/very good players and a plan, or just a lot of solid/very good players without a plan. Ie will AVB pull it together right and are they the “right” pieces to fit together??

    cheers — jgc

  76. geoffchase says:


    If AVB wants to play as well, all power to him.. I like a little passion from the coach.. Shows he respected the derby!

    cheers — jgc

  77. geoffchase says:

    JB, AFC and PG:

    Actually, I think Ozil will land feet first and running, but hedged my bets! 🙂

    As I noted, or tried to, defenders and creators (in that order) bring most of their value via their physical skills with the least reliance on others to succeed in their jobs. Thus, they are the lowest risk to fail.

    Strikers are at the other end of the spectrum, Suarez for example, with no service into the final third or all aerial via Stoke or WestHam approach would score far far less..

    I agree many will now want to come join our club for the service that willl be on offer.

    For AFC and PG: Could be that getting Ozil and that service makes us way more attractive to a top ST than before? they may look and say, “look what he did for CR at RM…” and decide they want that here..

    Equally, I think that pursuing the ever more desirable girl at the dance (Jovetic – Higuain – Suarez) left us out of dance partners at the end. Perhaps bad strategy but if we had landed Suarez (and Ozil?) we’d be dancing in the streets (wearing bite proof shoulder pads, which is to say I am sort oof glad we didnnt get Suarez despite what he would have added)

    Just a few thoughts.. cheers — jgc

  78. geoffchase says:


    Per my comments, I think NB will play (despite what I said in my post) and that we do have good options up front if OG isnt around, NB motivated being a very good one,

    NB unmotivated will likely get Flamini’s boot stuck up his ass, and word has it that Ozil is not the most patient sort with unmotivated either.. Could be good for the big Dane! 😈

    cheers — jgc

  79. geoffchase says:

    HH and JB, and TA/AFC

    Thanks for the kind words.. I think it was as close to perfect or close enough as you know.. Equally I think we were in for Ba earlier and Maureen being himself waited and made a strategic decision.. So, it goes..

    The TW is like a big wave, to be ridden, gracefully if possible, but never over powered or mastered. Those who claim it are just taking credit for a very good run (of luck? or money?).. IMO..

    cheers — jgc

  80. geoffchase says:


    Your list of formidable front fours is outstanding and good to see us in that class!

    I think we have more experience than several and only think this:

    Barca – Neymar is young, else they are BArca
    RM: more talent and experience, but more egos, dissension?
    BM: I think we equal them
    BD: has new pieces so… we can certainly compete
    PSG: could be best of the lot but egos and how will they fit together

    cheers — jgc

  81. henrychan says:

    hahahahaha.. Prince.. two thumbs up..
    Who make all this video..?? hehehehe..
    I love it..

  82. geoffchase says:

    Prince and VCC

    I personally am still unsure about the Biter.. not hs talent but his other talents… But Lewandowski… hmmm 🙂

    Think he could be persuaded from his BM dream? We have an increasingly German spine with Per – Ozil – Lewie?

    cheers — jgc

  83. geoffchase says:


    That Downfall video has been shown about 1m more times than the movie. There is a versionn for almost any job, occupation, event! 😀

    Classic that it is out so soon!

    cheers — jgc

  84. geoffchase says:


    Re: JW: I wonder if he doesnt have far greatr expectatioons on him and within himself at Arsenal then for England.. PErahps that is why he plays better for England (if he does, I am not so informed on that)??

    cheers — jgc

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning chaps 🙂

    I am convinced Wenger wanted to fill the hole position with SQ in order for Jack or Ox to have time to develop into a nr10. He considered the Muncher and Granny Lover but ended up with the best pick of the bunch, in terms of a perfect fit nr.10.

    So for me there will be no Suarez or Rooney any more, now that Arsene has his toad in the hole (another Glicism 🙂 )

    The next key player to sign is another striker who can replace (when required) or improve on Giroud.

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    I am loving the avatar, jgc – Presence!

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    hahahahaha ‘don’t cry we have Lasagna for dinner/supper’ 😀

  88. VCC says:


    I hear what you are saying about being champions league tied for Lewanowski, but I would still prefer him to Suarez.

    It would definitely be the icing on the cake.

    I’m thrilled to bits about Ozil though.

    Can’t wait to see him perform in that wonderful Red n White kit of ours.

    Bet there isn’t an empty seat in the stadium the next home game.

    Bring it on.

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    JM at 5.10 cheers!

    I love it you left the Chavs out of your super-line ups 😆

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent comment GhanaG and agreed on Eisfeld, Zelalem (and Gnabry!) learning a lot from Ozil Smozil 🙂

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    Bring it on VCC! 🙂

  92. VCC says:

    Hi Ya Totes.
    How is Henry? Is he fully grown yet?

    You will have to pull your socks up in the UMF, your almost as bad as GLiC. lol

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC – Henry is not so good. We went to the Animal Health Trust this week to examine his eyes and unfortunately he has cataracts in both eyes which are causing him reduced vision and related problems. His retinas are also not in good shape; basically his eyes are too small… He is too young to operate and we are hoping things might improve/stabilise, but it is not looking very good for the poor chap at the moment… 😦

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    Morning boys…Up early today…

    Total, very sorry to hear about Henry (pronounce On-Ree, I assume…) Dog health is a biggie…Ours continues to hang in there (in miraculous fashion) but she’s hardly a shadow of her former self…Where’s Gerry on this topic?…

    I’m all caught up on my reading (Geoff’s post, comments, other blogs) but I need my coffee before getting into it…In the meantime I’ve got a question…

    From the early photos of Ozil (including the one at the top of this post) I must ask: why is (injured) Lukas Poldolski with the German team? Is he healthier than we think? Is he helping do our business? Maybe he was also talking with Schalke? Does anybody know what happened with the younger German (Draxler)? Bond had promised us two Germans and two record breaking signings… Don’t get me wrong, I’m over the moon getting MO11,,,Just curious really, and wondering if there’s a story there. Given our lack of signings up front, Poldi on his feet and smiling is a nice thing in and of itself…

    Inquiring minds and all that…


  95. James Bond says:

    he’s getting checked out by one of the best doctors in the world @ 17HT

    he wanted his opinion on it, went with Arsenal’s blessing, if you know what i mean ?…he is suppose to be resting for 2-4 weeks , the wound heals and then he comes back to light training , rehab and so on,

    he wasn’t the only player, even schweinsteiger consulted him – it’s normal practice, some players feel more comfortable with certain doctors/consultants

    and i don’t blame them for not trusting Arsenal’s own medics.

    besides, The German’s look after their assets rather well , considering it’s world cup year and they would need to know what’s going on and take their own assessments and so on – which is normal.

    yes – that one is not dead the D, deal.

  96. James Bond says:

    JGC, wrote “we’d be dancing in the streets”

    who is to say that we might not be doing that later on in the season ? the session has only just begun , another 2 transfer windows and we might well be doing that for sure, and not just on the streets either 🙂

  97. James Bond says:

    ah, and it’s normal for a player to return back home once they have a long injury, Diaby only just returned from France as well – considering the amount of time Poldi likes spending in Germany and Twitter, there is nothing to worry about re- Schalke, not just yet anyway

    it’s normal practice really – and even better now since we know that the injury won’t be taking 6-8 weeks and could potentially stretch to 12 weeks.

    some fantastic videos posted today, loving them !

  98. geoffchase says:

    VCC and TA

    Actually, I want Lewie, not the Muncher as TA calls him…

    It will be very interesting to see how Giroud goes. If he gets more than 20 EPL goals this year and Theo is at or around that number it will be harder than ever to justify SQ at ST, and more likely, IMO, to go for a solid backup (back to Ba or similar)… Then, I’d see the SQ coming at DM… also a good choice! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  99. Prince says:

    17ht, morning/afternoon?
    Now, you enjoy your espresso in the smoky haze 🙂 Im currently on a diet of ‘horse placenta’ (its the latest craze), that and helping my mate MO11 get the low down on all things Arse. Per is also hanging roundn about and we’re all trying to tap up Draxler and Reus to join the Arse.. “Usss Germans arr invading London, und in ze name of Arsenal und ze ‘elp of ze British korrrrr, vee vill rool ze vorld und viktoreee in ze Evropa!!!!”

    Vickers, Geoff/Cheers-Jgc,
    Each to their own on the striker front i guess. But if Suarez was a green light in Jan and it guaranteed us a major trophy (EpL, CL), as opposed to Lewandowski in the summer on a four yr contract with only 3rd place to show for the patient wait…..which would you choose?

    Suarez would justify the sale of Van Judas for me, it would also justify a fair bit of our actions in the transfer window…Oh, another factor is that, by next season i expect every team to improve on where they are now. Maybe we wont get as favourable position next season to strike. “The early bird gets the worm” springs to mind 🙂 Its all hypothetical in the end and depends on where we stand in January, where Real Madrid sit in the Champions League and, do Liverpool have a decent shot at the top 4 at that stage?? Apart from that, its all a matter of opinion i guess eg I dont rate Di Maria as much as others, yet he proves me otherwise. Oh, also, while im ranting…….again 🙄 If not Suarez than a similar player to execute the same play, and that is to chase all of Girouds knock downs and play on the shoulder of the last defender. Chikarito could do a job, but pointless if he is cup tied, Walcott could do it……..ooh i cant wait till Pod an Ox get back. So many combinations. haha

  100. geoffchase says:


    IMO, if Ozil rubs off on our young’uns (Gnabry, Eisfeld et al) not to mention young starters (Theo, JW et al) then we benefit more..

    cheers — jgc

  101. geoffchase says:

    TA and Henry

    IMO, Aaron is achieving his original promise, as well all agree, I think. However, what I think it shows is just how long such a recovery takes. Credit to AW to staying the course and to AR for being so steady about it all…

    Equally, if he comes back 100% as it seems he will, AR will actually, IMO, be better for it. The mental strength and confidence gained from that journey will make him *even better* than he might have been. Again, all speculation on my part, but..

    cheers — jgc

  102. geoffchase says:


    I am an optimist! Happy to “dance” at slightest provocations! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  103. geoffchase says:


    sorry to hear about Henry… tough for the kids too I suspect!

    cheers — jgc


    Fine stuff Professor

    You sure get the old brain cells working. Your analysis reminds me of my last year Accountancy exams, bloody hard. hahaha

    During one of my papers i was so stressed i had a fit. The table and chair went flying as i ran around the exam hall stripping my clothes off and yelling “Women for Terry, Women for Terry”

    As ive said before, i am very pleased with the transfer outcome. I am very much in the Bondy camp, believing this is only the beginning.

    Arsenals future is fantastic and i am very excited about it.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  105. Prince says:

    Can you imagine how long and tedious and depressing this interlull would have been had we failed against the Spudz. The MO signing took a bit of the shining off the win, maybe? Kind of like the suckers who have their birthdays on Christmas….

    Still, feels f**king awesome to be a Gooner right now!!!

    Enjoy, one of my favourite clips 🙂

  106. Prince says:

    Hi Mike 🙂

    Do you believe Arsene will sign on or does he believe that now we are seeing daylight, his job is done??


    Very good question Princey, of which i do not know the answer. hahaha

    My gut feeling is that he will sign a new one and that it will be his last.

    Personaly, i would like him to stay for ever. But i once said that about my ex wife, so who knows.

  108. geoffchase says:


    Re: AW … I think that AW has always been extremely logical, and from that angle the outcomes to your question might be

    a. he will re-sign for another term because he likes his job and being logical he understands the fans but truly doesnt let them bother him while trying to keep them happy by winning (and not much else to keep them happy that doesnt involve him trying to win and do as well as he can). I may be one of the only people that likes him for this

    b. he will leave the club because he is tired of coaching. I dont see him going to a PSG or such because, being logical, he knows his whole career was made at Arsenal, and everything else will look and feel like an asterisk afterthought. The only change I could see was if he didnt want to coach at the top level anymore he might go to lower Ligue 1 or Ligue 2 “for fun” ??

    IMO, either way, like SAF, this is his place and when he leaves it will be for calling it a day..

    I would like to see him back myself. I think his competitive drive wants a CL trophy (like most of us, right? 😀 ) … and he appears to be now coming into the players and resources to build just that and have the first serious go in some time.

    that’s my call, perhaps I should add it to the predictions page! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  109. Prince says:

    Terry 🙂

    How good has your gut feeling been in the past? I hope Sanogo can impress him enough to sign a 1 yr extension, every year for the next ‘X’ amount of years, so long as their is harmony at board level and in the terraces.

  110. geoffchase says:

    TA and Terry,

    TA, the gr(avatar) was drawn for me by a student. I always tell them to put something on the final exam for every question, so if they have no clue and want at least 1 mark, a highly realistic drawing of my extraordinarily fit and handsome self will do.. I got this in A4! 🙂

    Terry and TA, the above story is 100% true, unlike I suspect small parts of Terry’s posts (and Glic’s)… If only because I tried to find Lesbania on a map on line and it kept asking if I meant Lebanon! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  111. AFC says:

    JGC, just a quick question on presence for you.

    Does there come a time where physical presence (in midfield as an example) is no longer needed?

    If you have players in the midfield who have excellent technical ability you can surpass the need for physical presence. Using Barca as an example, if you was to take Sergio out of the team and put Pirlo behind Xavi and Iniesta (none of who have physical presence) they would still be able to run the midfield against any team while the team taking on the defensive responsibility collectively which Sergio would normally deal with as a team.

    Your thoughts?

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha, thanks Bond… I guess what you’re saying is that we’re still tapping up young Drax (or keeping him “on loan” at Schalke…) Thanks also for the info on German doctors…

    Also, very good to see PPP back at it and having fun…That terror window was too much stress and I’m so glad it’s behind us. The 1-nil vs Spuds allowed a little steam to release…The Ozil signing (for me, at least) means each match is not (absolutely) life or death. Finally, we have a measure of relief…

    As such, I think our TW business was good. Our situation is soooo pressurized (due to the gulf between reality and expectations) that it’s very difficult for young talents (i.e. Bender, Draxler, etc.) to slot right in. I still can’t believe we scored Messy, but he’s the sort who WILL play from the get-go AND make an immediate impact. I’m positive that AW telling him we’d build our entire offense around him was a huge reason the deal went through. I’m still surprised that it happened given all the consternation in Madrid…Gutsy from Ancelloti and Perez, and they may pay for it, if Barca stays on top…

    At the end of last season there was plenty of debate about how many signings were needed, and (no surprise) there were a couple schools of thought. The guys who like competition/quality in depth at every position (too much FIFA playing, I say…) were saying 5-6 signings. The other end of the spectrum wanted only SQ while many settled in the middle, trusting that AW would come up with the right mix of depth and quality. I remember arguing that it was about building upon our gutty (if eye-gouging) run-in, rather than a complete revamp…

    Torturous as it was, I believe this is what we’ve gotten. The bottom line is that while Giroud is no RvP and Theo looks best starting out on the touchline a creative player rather than a pure #9 was our biggest need. Nobody wants to say it, but young Jack is not there yet. When fit, the potential is mind-blowing, but there are parts of his game that still need work and fitness is a real bugbear…Ozil solves this conundrum though the two should be able to play side by side. Another left footer cannot hurt Jack…

    I have yet to write my “I was wrong about Ramsey” post…and I’m still not ready. Yes, he’s been impressive thus far and in many ways has carried the club (or at least has helped in a very big way) to this point. His running is an inspiration to his teammates, no doubt, but there’s still too much wasted energy and end-product. It’s good to see him already getting on the score sheet but I’d have traded the two vs Fenerbache for the one glorious chance vs Totts that he put into Row Z… With Flamini a rock at the back, Arteta (hopefully) fit soon and Ozil in, AR16 (and Rosicky) may suffer a loss of playing time…With the CL group games (which he helped secure…) we’ve got plenty of matches, however… With everybody fit and in the biggest matches I’m not sure he’d make my team-sheet. Still, what a boon to the team and all our MFs should know that if they don’t give 110%, Ramsey will…

    Enough…for the moment… 😆 😯



    I am renowned for my wrongness. I once had a hoard of Gamblers asking me for tips so they could bet on the opponent. I like your 1 year extension idea r.e. Sanogo, Wenger could be around for ages. haha

  114. 17highburyterrace says:

    AFC, that’s a great question! (And although you asked the professor, I’ll step in, sorry 😆 )

    I think in Spain it could happen…In the CL it depends…Sometimes the reffing seems more “continental,” in other years more English…In England, the mania to “keep the game moving” means that contact–serial fouling–is a legitimate tactic and MFs have to get used to it. Players like Pirlo, Xavi, etc. have so much experience that avoiding tackles and knowing when to go down for a whistle is instinctive. They also know all the refs so well… Arteta is almost there and Santi is learning fast. Our younger guys (Ramsey and Wilshere) are learning too. IMO there’s no reason for Ramsey to get his leg broken again (or Ox to get hurt on a middle of the pitch 50-50) We need to control matches through passing (keep-away triangles, tiki taka, call it what you will) rather than running away (with the ball) from the galoots. With Ozil we now have a key piece to the puzzle…

  115. 17highburyterrace says:

    Prince…I really think the English clubs will not be doing much selling to one another, so no Suarez in January…As always, of course, WTF do I know?…And, of course, if ‘Pool suddenly go south and Suarez is getting red cards (or otherwise protesting) and Madrid don’t need him, you never know…Still, selling your best player to a “rival” is like waving a white flag of surrender. We did it with RvP, but those days (we pray…) are behind us…

    Overall, IMO, we’re building but it’s gonna take time. Fingers crossed that our big fella stays fit and that Sanogo starts looking good in 15 minute cameos or in the cups. Likewise about Poldi and Ox coming back soon and strong. Benteke isn’t cup tied in Europe…

  116. geoffchase says:

    17 and AFC

    I will add to 17ht’s response… I think the Euro reffing helps a bit and the fact that more teams run a bit mmore directly in the EPL on attack means a beast can clear space. That physical presence isnt just “hurt” it’s also fear of ball loss. Slows the game down etc..

    I think Barca gets away with it for two reasons

    a. they are so good at tiki-taka when the hell does the other team actually get the ball. Teams that do get it and run at them found good reason to succeed last year. Witness how easily both they and RM (also a bit lacking there) wennt out to the Germans in the semis of the CL

    b. Barca do have Busquets (is it) just behind who is more forward as a defender and has that presence!

    cheers — jgc

  117. AFC says:

    17ht, thanks for the response. Anyone can reply. 🙂

    I will continue to use Pirlo, Xavi and Iniesta as an example. All three are not particularly fast (Iniesta has a bit of pace), strong, or have that drive which players like Wilshere or Yaya have but what they do have are countless years of experience and have been playing together for years and have formed a really good partnership in the case of Iniesta and Xavi. They are old and wise (generational talents) who would not be affected by opposing players trying breathing down their neck and tackling them. Pirlo and Xavi and to a lesser extent Iniesta will take the ball if they are marked.
    They know how to avoid tackles as you have said and how things work with the refs.

    So which midfield would come out on top and which midfield would you prefer to have:

    Option 1: Xavi, Iniesta and Pirlo. As you can see there would be no real DMs or Ams. Just all three interchanging positions throughout matches.


    Option 2: Sergio, Vidal/Yaya and Ozil. Sergio as the DM. Vidal or Yaya as the box to box midfielder and Ozil as the AM.

  118. AFC says:

    JGC, my last comment to 17ht is also for you. When deciding which option do not take refs into account.

  119. geoffchase says:


    Hate those questions… reason is that when I select teams I do it for the opposition, not the ref anyway… So, if the oppoent parks the bus I want Option 1, all finesse… if I am going against equal and direct opponents (the Germans say! 🙂 ).. then Option 2..

    cheers — jgc

  120. Prince says:

    17…..No Benteke is not. He is currently in form and very strong like Giroud, maybe quicker even. But im looking for something different. Remember when we were playing Arshavin up front and before we got Chamack everybody was calling for a tall striker, some height, a plan B. Then last year with Giroud, he was put into that category B by a few people. Well i dont put him in either A or B. Currently we have him but no other option, no other alternative in style to him. What happens on those days when Giroud is misfiring or in games where he is playing well but more often than not isolated. For me it would be a crying shame if we get to the Champions League semis only to see Giroud have an off with no options on the 68th min. Ive changed my mind on Poldi playing up top, he has lost a yard of pace and i cant see him playing alone…

  121. geoffchase says:

    AFC part 2,

    Hence my excitement about both Ozil and Flamini at opposing spectrum ends. With our existing corps there (and ability to use some to cover ST if needed) we can make a **very wide** range of midfields to suit any opponent that doesnt take us out of shape, BUT, does let us play very different games as they come at us

    Thus, depending on opponent, place and opposing players we can look all defensive and counter-attacking (Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil, Santi) or all attacking (Arteta, Ramsey/Ox/Pod, Ozil, Santi, Theo)

    Hard to get Ramsey out of there with his current form..

    cheers — jgc

  122. geoffchase says:


    or ultra defennsiely, Gibbs in foor Santi and we could park the bus with Ozil and OG to counter-attack with some B2B running by Ramsey and Gibbs..

    I never expect to see that from AW by the way.. he’s a go down swining type! 🙂

    heers — jgc

  123. AFC says:

    JGC, that is why I said do not take refs into account when answering. 🙂

    So I’ll put this question to you and everyone else. Let’s suppose there are no refs in this scenario. 😉 Maybe this scenario is taking place in training.

    Midfield 1 (of Xavi, Iniesta and Pirlo) comes up against midfield 2 (Sergio, Yaya/Vidal and Ozil.

    Which midfield comes out on top to win the battle?

  124. geoffchase says:

    … go down swinGing type… sigh… jgc

  125. AFC says:

    It is good that we have so many options and variables.

    Another teaser for you.

    You can only have one of Lewandowksi or Fabregas.

    Would you take Fabregas and play Walcott up top with Ozil, Fabregas and Santi behind or would you take Lewandowski and play him up top with Ozil, Santi and Theo behind?

  126. geoffchase says:


    this is one of those Russia vs China cold war things.. the answer is casualties! 🙂

    I think midfield 1 could hold well but not defend well if they lost the ball… which always eventually happens.. I myself in coaching have played both styles when necessary.. but, I have to say I always prefer one person who can be counted on to go get the ball if/as required … Right now for us that is Ramsey it seems and maybe Flamini now as well.

    Thus, for me midfield 2… but, I dont know if they’d win.. I am also assuming since it is training someone would be upset if someone else’s leg got broken! 🙂 so, not trying to foul either..

    cheers — jgc

  127. geoffchase says:


    Lewandowski for me, he fits the need we have now better than Cesc.. Sad to say it, but you know for weeks I said, just plunk 50m down for Cesc and see if Barca sold.. Id be just as happy now too.. and asking for Lewandowski over Ozil..

    All else equal and both avilable for the same money

    cheers — jgc

  128. James Bond says:

    ah, sorry, missed your earlier comment @ Henrychan

    blessing in disguise ? nah, i actually think TV wanted to stay and prove a point – the big hint for me was when AW said, that he would still be our skipper and we value him, that was the confidence he needed really

    i believe, any top team must always have at least 3 top notch defenders, which we do

    i am hoping a lot of good things from our skipper, especially if he can replicate his earlier promise, bombing forward and having a go at goal e.t.c e.t.c hopefully, he would be more hungry and more organised at the back as well now – less panic and more calm

    it’s funny how i was writing this comment and i had a flashback of him gifting 2 goals on his own- first gift was to his pal RVP and the other one to his older pal Suarez – such school boys errors, hopefully are a thing of the past when he comes back (he’s close to a return).

  129. James Bond says:

    i know i said i won’t be taking part in the transfer speculation and so on,

    but sorry to burst everyone’s bubble – Lewandowski is going no where other than BM – why do you think BM, haven’t strengthen up front ? they only have one decent Croatian striker , no ?

    i will be very surprised , if he ends up else where – not going to happen in my opinion

    futile to even think about it, certain players will always want to be playing for certain clubs – gotta respect that and accept it.

  130. 17highburyterrace says:

    For the discussion with AFC and JGC (Geoff)…We need HH, but I fear his job actually requires work, these days 😆

    I (like HH, I suspect) prefer skilled players (protected by referees) and I think that has always been AW’s view too. In the early days of the new stadium the preferred MF was Cesc, Sicky and Hleb. Pragmatism however meant that (first) Gilberto and (later) Flamini were needed. Who did we miss more when they left? Flamini or Hleb? We probably missed both, but note that we’ve gotten Flamini back. Where is Hleb these days? He more or less was begging for another chance when he did time at Birmingham City…

    My point is that Wenger’s dream of a highly skilled technical MF controlling matches through possession (tiki taka) has been replaced with a more pragmatic approach. Ozil will rekindle the dream and, I would assume, kill the dream of Cesc returning. The two together would be overkill and not at all good for (still developing) Wilshere and Ramsey. Or, at least, that’s how I see it…

    Agreed with Bond about Lewandoski to Bayern…Our plans up front rely on Giroud improving AND staying fit, Sanogo finding his (size 14) feet and Bendtner turning his attitude and (his entire life) around. Ox and Poldi returning from injury and/Gnabry stepping up would be nice as well. If these planets don’t line up there’s always Theo as CF, part of what he “bargained’ for during his hold-out a year ago… All told, it’s not exactly ideal, but (IMO) it beats the days of relying on Chamakh (is he sold or could we recall him from the other side of the river?…) or little Arsh…

    🙄 😯 😀

  131. Looks like I killed off the discussion…Luckily I don’t mind talking to myself… 😆

    Football is moving forward–even in England…So the new CF (and there’s only one these days–442 is dead…) has to be mobile AND skilled enough to convert the chances when they come. It’s good that Giroud (and Sanogo, as well) is (are) playing in England where size is still an asset up front. Elsewhere, it’s all about the false 9 and finishers having the mobility to fill each others spaces and create chances for one another. At Madrid, it will be Benzema starting up top but clearing and creating for Bale and C-Ron. At Barca, Messi will do likewise for Neymar and Pedro (and Alexis Sanchez, Tello, Cesc, etc.) For the CL champions, Mandzukic can do it whereas Gomez (hair and all…) was more like our own Giroud…Certainly RvP is a false nine…If he and the thick one (Rooney) can work it out, United will contend…City will do fine with Negredo and Little Kun (and even Dzeko, a willing runner, despite his size). Mourinho prefers Torres and Eto’o (formerly mobile…) vs his bigger guys, Lukaku and Demba Ba… Remember, Spain, the greatest of the National squads, has won three big ones (by and large) w/o a striker at all…

    The big fella up front still persists in the lower ranks in England. Dalglish and now Fat Sam seem(ed) to think Andy Carroll is (was) the answer. Tony of the Pubes went with Crouch (and Kenwyne Jones)…Di Canio at Sunderland seems to like Conor Wickham…Some of the smaller guys at these clubs are losing out and might work a charm for us (Vaz Te at West Ham, Sessegnon at Sunderland, for example). I hate to bring down the dreamers, but, if our fitness issues worsen by January, these (and their continental equivalents…) are the sorts of guys I would look at AW bringing in during the next round of terror…

  132. jgc says:

    17 and JB

    JB: per my earlier comments (if he wasn’t set on BM…) I agree Lewie is headed to BM. But he’s a good comparator to Suarez as they offer similar potency but different ways. So, in that sense, the discussion is worth having.

    I agree with 17 in part, the 4-4-2 could come back, the problem is more finding junior and senior partners. At top clubs it doesn’t pay to be number 2. Witness Ronneys issues with RvJ.. There can be only one sheriff in town and the rest are deputies who get paid less and thrown away sooner. And get less endorsements and a lesser career.

    I think the 4-4-2 died from commercial causes leading to a lack of viability, rather than a lack of viability.

    Regarding Spain and strikers in general.. Well who needs them? Football is a game of space and movement. Enough good skills and creators will eventually find SOMEONE in front of goal to score.. Why do they have to be some prototypical striker? That imposes rigidity.

    What a typical large, but nowadays mobile, striker gives you is the ability to stand and make a defender get a bus pass and transfer to run around them. They thus draw defenders and make life difficult. If they have skills and can finish there is always a room for them as a through ball is not required by law to be run onto, it can apparently also go to feet…

    Just a different approach. As always my mantra, get good players and put them together in the best way and all will likely fly.. Put them together stupidly, and….

    Cheers — jgc

  133. James Bond says:

    if, memory serves then we tried the Spain formula by sticking Arshavin there against sunderland many years ago … unfortunately it didn’t work out – and the AW gave up

    no reason why we shouldn’t re-visit it with the likes of Ozil running things.

    i said it before, no reason why we couldn’t play a 1-4-6

    we got the players for it.

  134. James Bond says:

    indeed @ JGC

    i’m just more and more astonished as to why we didn’t make a move for Tevez, at 5 million with 100 k /pw (took a massive pay cut), was an absolute bargain.

    in hindsight, it should have been Tevez for me over Higuain –

    re- 4-4-2 then many managers are reluctant to deploy that formation these days or from the last few years because it does have some flaws, and a lot of managers are very well versed in exploring those flaws and so on at club level – at least.

  135. jgc says:

    An JB

    That hindsight, always better than 20:20, when you know the price AND that they were really for sale… Agreed he’d have been good, but… Prettier objects were on show with no idea about Ozil…

    That’s the real TW problem for many fans. They/we are told its a market and money talks… But, it’s a closed market. It’s a market where the highest or first bidder over s price doesn’t necessarily win. So ManU other factors play, like:

    A. You don’t know the player is for sale. Could be not for me and yes for you… Like rascists not selling to those of color, even for more. Money

    B. you don’t know the price. Ad if a release clause exists, theoretically you can’t be sure you know that..

    C. I don’t have to accept or reject your offer and can instead leave you in limbo while I see who else is out there willing to offer a more attractive package

    D. Best yet, all this can change depending on the environment. Like houses, if they rise in my block for some reason, I too want more. If people I don’t like move in, suddenly what was unsalable becomes salable… If I get a second or third house that you don’t know about I become desperate to reduce my mortgage payments by selling or rating one you never expected. It could be my best one as I want the money…

    If buying a new car was this hard we’d all be upset… And that’s way harder than almost all other transactions we make in real actual markets..

    IMO, there’s a huge mismatch between what is true and what we believe to be true… As fans … It is tus a terror window of uncertainty…

    Just some rumblings in the joys of asymmetric, so called, markets! 🙂

    Cheers — jgc


    Some excellent analysis going on here, its like a coaching manual, top stuff.

    I will give you an insight watching it close and personal.

    I dont think there is a team in our league that can match us for technical football. Chelsea, City and Utd can play some great football, but in my opinion we are the best.

    The problem comes when we are not allowed to play it. Teams press hard and sometimes squeeze the life out of pass and move game.

    The end result is that the game then hinges on a lot of one on one duels, in which physical power and size tend to come to the fore.

    If i am been honest, we lose to many of these duels, and when we do we tend to not get the result.

    I dont know what the answer is to this problem but i have a feeling that Arsene is trying to eradicate it not by going like for like, more by aquiring brilliant individual talent up front that can win you games even when your team play does not function

    Thats why in the window i always beleived that the search was for attcaking talent. Ozil is great but in the next year we need to add to it with someone like suarez etc.

    We are getting closer and very soon we could have the required “effeciency” to our game that will take us to the top

  137. Gerry says:

    jgc – At least we know what the last two initials stand for, eh Captain Jack?

    Sorry I am late coming to this, had a morning and a half trying to get my BTSports 2 channel back, with success too.

    Yes,I am fully on board with your post, which speaking as your ‘astro twin’, do I get any credit for inspirational rights, etc? 😀 😀

    I am glad you have changed your view on Nicky B in the intervening 48 hours, as I too am harbouring some good thoughts for him. 1, He is in a settled(?) relationship. 2, He is intelligent enough to know that his playing career is nearer the end than the beginning. 3, At 25 he ought to be mature enough to put aside some of his self-mocking behaviour. 4, It is WC year and he has got very little time to earns a place if he does not get his head down, stay out of the headlines(for all the wrong reasons), then he we miss out. 5, And this might just get him more focussed … There is no place for him out on the wing, so he will actually get to play in the best position he is suited for? It is there if he wants it bad enough.

    HT17 -The comment you added about Busquets is just what I say we could see Arteta doing occasionaly, eh TA?

    On Sanogo I feel we are not looking at the Giroud replacement. Mainly because he is not experienced enough to carry off that role yet. But alongside, different story? There are many possibilities regards formation, and one I would like to see is this:
    ……..Sanogo …………….Giroud

    With Gibbs and Sagna getting crosses in, somebody should profit from knock downs, or one twos? I could also see Bentner/Gnabry in a front pairing to. And while I am on combinatios that might work well together, how about this:
    Walcott ………….Ozil………………Eisfeld


    Well at least until Poldi gets back?

    Elsewhere, it is good to see Szcz back in a happy time again. Whatever his blip was last season, i think he will be fine from now on. Apart from injuries to Per, I think we can cope with the short term outs … except to Ozil of course?

    Yes, there is so much room for optimism when you put a world class player in the mix. But, it will test our players fully to see how good their football intelligence is. The reason why I put Eisfeld ahead of many is just that. He is very good at being in the right place, and if anybody is going to have a ‘breakout year’, I am willing to bet he will be in the mix.

    Theo, on the other hand, may still make poor decisions? Aaron, may still run into blind alleys?

    Santi will thrive, Jack should do when he is fully fit, Le Flambeau and leSagna are both very experienced, no problem. Giroud is intelligent, but it might take a few games to know who goes where, but he’ll be sound enough. Gnabry and Akpom(and he is Giro’s true deputy) will both come on whenever they get the chance. We know Per and Kos will inspire at the back, Never mind about Gibbs and Monreal doubling up on occasions, I want to see Hector Bellerin in front of Jenks or Sagna, just to put the frighteners on Walcott, as well as squash the rumour that we need to buy a winger? ha ha

    Aargh, the future … what a wonderful place that will be?

    Top post, cheers jgc … you’ve got me dreaming too? :;)

  138. jgc says:


    Refsrding 4-4-2… All patterns have flaws. The best is the o e that fits your players best so that those flaws are minimized! IMO. These flaws are more failures to adapt when the right personnel aren’t available….

    When I was coaching super youth in NZ, the parents were perennially pissed I didn’t stick to a formation or positions for their boys.. Well, every game is different and so is every team, each wants us to play OUR game, while acknowledging their strengths in now we adapt it..

    To me it was simple and we won heaps including an U19 title … With 15 year olds… And we dominated most teams because they couldn’t adapt…

    Analogously, I had one striker and when he was hurt I too went 1-4-6 or really 1-3-4-3 with 3 backs 4 DMs and 3 CAMs …we won 4-0… Parents were pissed because I never named a striker and had way too many defenders on the pitch…

    Yet, the other side had a 4-3-3 with three dedicated top STs/CAMs who scored heaps.. I had no ST and made sure their strikers never saw the ball nearer than 3m away… Easy win as they never came back much so we’d push our DMs as holding mids and push a back even and thus always had numbers overloading one or another place… Their coach spent the whole game yelling at his team to “get the damn ball” … I’m still doing a JB ahahahahahahahaahah… But, my teams parents were pissed and complained…

    In short, just play the damn game by moving the ball, controlling space and movement by your positioning and running, and from there, adapt as needed.. If your good and adapt, you’ll likely win…it’s a simple game made hard by people with fixed ideas.. Or so goes the philosophy of jgc! 🙂


    Cheers — jgc

  139. Gerry says:

    TA – That is tough on George. Dogs do cope remarkably well though, so I hope you can stick with him and see him through until the vets know what can be done.

    I have one in a similar tricky spot, except she is older, and deaf. She has a ‘fatty’ tumour growing near the lymph gland under her front leg(armpit). It is now so big it is causing her to limp, but it is doubtful if it can be fully removed because of where it is.

    My eldest (14) is still going strong though, despite losing some sight in one eye, and getting increasingly deaf. Like I say, they do cope remarkably well?

  140. James Bond says:

    The Visionary takes a bow to ” The Professor”.


    speaking of 20/20’s , there should be a tri-nations 20-20, Eng/Aus/NZ – would be fantastic to watch, not sure why they only do that with 50 over cricket and not 20-20’s.

    The visionary has spoken.

    TMHT 🙂

    all that talk of Accountancy exams, takes me back to June/December – back in the day, ah, bloody hated them Auditing exams, i often thought of doing the same but unfortunately, unlike you, i couldn’t pull it off, ha

    the problem right now is AW signing the contract extension , he needs to bloody sign – ASAP i reckon.

  141. jgc says:


    If someone clogs the midfield you’ve two choices, at least .. Both counter intuitive, they start with clog it right back,… Then..

    A, if you like pace and space, abandon the high line give ground and draw them in, while holding possesion, and crest numbers and essentially counter attack their pressing . We’ve the team for this as our backs are good with the ball and Gibbs, Kos and TV all like to go forward as the extra player to make numbers.. Equally we are quick with feet and ball…IMO, this is very much what we did to Spurs with and without the ball

    Or, B… if they are so completely rude as to not play to your strength and clog the middle but don’t pursue but press defenders.. Then press your backs too and shorten the field hugely and…, put ball to feet of your new exceptional holding midfielder, or the old Santi one who will be less clogged… And let them crest their own space and deliver the clever new thru ball to speedy wings or added defenders (Gibbs, Kos, TV) running forward, and… Admittedly if said mid turns it over at the wrong time you’re a wee touched fire trucked, but that’s why you play the game

    Or others, see, simple game!


    Cheers — jgc

  142. Gerry says:

    Bongo – I never got to welcome you before. So I will now. Hi, and welcome.

    I feared the result before the game, because I thought it would only take a couple of your new players to click and you would have been difficult to beat. As it was, for much of the match it was us against Loris, who was everybody’s MOTM?

    The biggest shock I had when I saw the game on the ‘Player was how off his game was Vertonghen? I think most of your signings will come good, but I would worry about Soldado?

    But yes, overall I think we earned the win.

    I presume the return leg will be around Christmas/ New Year, so we will have to see then who has improved the most after this TW?

    Cheers for coming on again too.

  143. Fozzie B says:

    Evening tranny window admirers!! Thanks jgc and afc for your fantastic posts!! Just the tonic needed to settle the tranny window party hangover!! I love the way jgc you use your business acumen to highlight from a risk assessment point of view, just how strong we are now from a relatively limited outlay of funds!! I agree that aw seems focused on getting us our SQ striker and for the other positions. We have a replacement for ageing rosicky and I fully expect a similar SQ for arteta/diary, I’m hoping the foundation is in place for Bender already. I think we will get an amazing SQ st in the next window or the following. I do believe sanogo will adapt quickly because he has the right attitude and fully accepts how big an opportunity it is. He looks green yes, but I’m sure his attitude will be the key and of course Wenger is the key for him too. So really hope AW signs too soon too, perhaps after the other contract extensions are done. 😀

  144. James Bond says:

    indeed – stick to the basics, a little less of Fifa 2014 or whatever, is hot these days on the ps3 and sorted.

    but i’m a firm believer, that most international footballers do train in various different formations and they do come through the ranks as well, so changing formations and adapting should not be a problem – considering that there are times that such changes are enforced by red cards and so on.

    not sure if it’s about having the right players anymore , as the more and more football evolves – you get more 2 footed players, players who are flexible / utility players, capable of playing in more than 1 position e.t.c e.t.c

    @ JGC.

  145. James Bond says:

    ah, the JGC and GERRY combo is restored – all is well , all is well, ha

    Fozzie with a B in da house !!! 🙂

    where’s Glics – should have been back by now from lesbania land.

  146. Fozzie B says:

    JB I would have loved tevez or David Vila in the last window …

    Totes, sorry to hear about Henry fella 😦

    Saw this on another blog, lets hope the Ozil oil will make it easier for AW!!

    Ozil Ozil Ozil …. Oi oi oi


  147. jgc says:

    JB 🙂

  148. Fozzie B says:

    JB -Glic is driving back from orkville with a van load of chloroform and roofys for his tranny window Ozil the Kermit celebration party!! 😀

  149. VCC says:

    Total…sorry to hear the news about Henry. Must be worrying for you at the moment. As Gerry has said, Dogs do cope remarkably well.

    Hopefully he can be treated successfully when the vets see fit.

  150. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alright, a little less echo and a lot more intelligence here…So much more air space now that the terror is past… 😀

    I’ll welcome Bongo too…Welcome! And a piece of good news (from my own athletic experience)…I bet Capoue will be available sooner than later. Ankles can often be super-severe due to swelling but once that’s past they (often) heal pretty quickly…They’ll be weak for a full season but even Spurs probably have a physio who is handy with the white tape… 😆

    Professor Geoff, very nice to hear about your successful coaching experiences–This is the benefit of a tighter squad, more complex ideas can be transferred to players AND there’s less pouting out on the touchline from players who don’t get the central spot they (all) grew up playing… My point about the evolution of the game from 442 to 451 or even 4-6-0 is that faster, more skilled, more aware players means that it’s about moving w/o the ball because–if you do–it can get to you quicker. Space is the key, as the professor has said… Funny also that the parents balked at a more fluid set-up–maybe like the agents (or the market forces) as you describe above–“My boy/girl/client isn’t comfortable with your coaching”… 😆

    I don’t mean to pile it on the Fantasy/Computer game types (too much…) but, beyond the cost = value fallacy and rigid formations and positions for players, it kills me when people say stuff that is seems blatantly untrue, at least from my observations… These things get repeated and then they become “true”…The latest one that’s bothering me is that Bendtner holds the ball up well. Wrong, unless he’s worked on that part of his game since he played at Arsenal–and I doubt he’s worked on anything beyond his car collection and maybe his tattoos… (For discussion sake)… Bendy is what you guys would call a SS…Tall but not very mobile, and not strong enough to avoid getting pushed around (or off the ball) by strong defenders. Maybe Giroud could give him a tour of the weight room… He’s got decent skills in and around the box but first he needs to get there. Given the quickness–in deed and/or in thought–of players like Theo, Santi, and Messy, Nicklas (and Giroud) look pedestrian. At least Ollie’s got the guns…So, please people, if you’re trying to talk about the upside of NB52, tell me about his finishing skills not his hold-up work…Also, for Bongo…I’ll always love Bendy for that header (to make it 2-1) with his first touch off the bench in a NLD a few years…

    But I digress…

    Bond… Put Tevez (for me at least) in the same category as Rooney and Suarez…A player with issues on an insane salary who we couldn’t get because City will not sell to a true rival (sorry Bongo, Ade your way is a different matter, sort of like G. Barry to Everton or Kolo to ‘Pool… 😆 ) In the end, to his credit, he took a pay cut to play in Italy. He and Higuain and el Kun (and Pastore and Levezzi at PSG) are all competing for spots (alongside Messi) in Brazil… Maybe after that tournament is over we should try for some Argy-love up front…

    🙄 😯 …Dig me, thinking about future tortures already… 😀

  151. jgc says:


    All agreed.. Note, I’ve the other type too! 🙂 two lines I’m known for

    A. Me: hey (player) what’s that between your shoulders?
    Player: this? My head?!
    Me: yes… Use it!!

    B. me: … Your OTHER right foot!!

    Cheers and goodnight!

    — jgc

  152. Glic says:

    Evening Randy Rectum Receivers !. 😆

    Very intriguing post Professor, one that could have possibly bamboozled our resident nuclear dictionary, Redders !. hahaha

    So basically, all that writing and you could have probably wrote it as an equation !, something like this……Future + ( TQ + R x QR )…..which basically = T !………..Trophies !.
    Now give me my Nobellend Peace Prize for inventing a new form of Maths …….Quantumvoetbal ! hahaha

    As for Lesbania not being on the map……well it`s a bit like Narnia without the bestiality …….just wall to wall shaven haven, you still have to through a closet to get there though !, but watch out for VCC coming the other way out of the closet with a limp wrist crying ….”geoff chase me ! “. hahaha

    Straight off the press this second !. Anyone seen Rooney`s gash on his head ?…..nothing new really….I always thought he was a C**t Head !.
    We know Peter Crouch is a Totnumb Spud………..does that make him a Crouch Potato ?.

  153. Glic says:

    Yes, I too have not yet welcomed Bongo !. I thought I would give him the chance to get used to the new technology of……Colour !. Lucky the comment page is still in Black and White, it makes him feel that little bit at home !. Welcome !.

    Hope Henry gets better soon Totes and here`s a message from my Max…….Woof woof ( get better ). 🙂

  154. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys – thanks for the Henry sympathy! 🙂

    It came as quite a surprise this week. I knew something was wrong with his vision but did not think it would be so drastic/structural, as he is not even a year old.

    Some very fine comments today, and it makes me proud what a quality and diverse blog BK is becoming. 🙂

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