Is Arsenal’s Tight (small, tiny, down to bare bones…) Squad Actually an Advantage?


Wednesday evening’s CL opener, sandwiched between tough league matches (Sunderland away, Stoke City at home) asked the question: is this team ready to fight on multiple fronts? We got the needed result in our very difficult group, but a quick glance at our bench – or a (necessarily) longer look at our guys out injured – suggests that we have a much more complicated task in the longer term. 

It appears we escaped the South of France without any new injuries, but there was some concern expressed when Theo Walcott came off (walking slowly and not smiling) not long after his sumptuous volley which put us ahead.  A quiet match from Olivier Giroud in his old stomping grounds was also a worry given his twisted knee late in the Sunderland match.  If either of those two are not fully fit going into the Stoke match, who do we have to step in?

The answer, at the moment, is youth players or guys who are in the squad but not necessarily for their goal scoring.  Fingers crossed and I won’t dwell on the hypothetical questions.  It’s no great secret that Arsenal was looking at strikers throughout the transfer window and that coming away without reinforcements in this area is (one of) the biggest question marks hanging over the squad.  Regardless, barring any “miracle” recoveries from the likes of Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, our best bet for Sunday is that the same 11 who started in Marseille are ready to go again.  We have a few fresh bodies to shore up matches we’re winning (Jenkinson, Monreal, Vermaelen) but not much firepower if we had to chase a result.

On the other hand, watching (or hearing and reading about…) the struggles of our rivals, it’s questionable if a bigger squad is the answer.  

Chelsea lost at home to Basel Wednesday night and were booed off the pitch.  Did Jose Mourinho do the right thing in letting Romelu Lukaku go back out on loan or leaving Fernando Torres and André Schürrle out of the team for his CL opener?  With players like Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Eto’o, Willian and Demba Ba (not to mention Frank Lampard…) the list of their attacking assets would seem enough to see off Basel, wouldn’t it?   Still, they couldn’t.  Is this their wake-up call (equivalent to our Aston Villa opening day debacle) or is it a sign that, despite all the talent, they don’t have players who are comfortable taking on the moments which turn losses into draws or draws into victories?  And, of course, this was on the heels of losing at Everton and drawing at Manchester United…

The other silly money club, ManchesterCity, is in a similar quandary.  After bludgeoning Newcastle in their first league match, they’ve been a lot less convincing.  Some of the issues appear to be at the back with injuries in defense and mistakes by their (still very young) keeper, Joe Hart.  Again, however, there seems, amongst the options further forward, a lack of that player or two who will really make it all happen.The loss at Cardiff, the draw at Stoke, with the Manchester Derby looming, along with David Silva injured on international duty, would seem to be taking all that hair of Manuel Pelligrini further towards the solid grey sported by our own Arsene Wenger…

And speaking of hair issues and Manchester Derbies, how goes it for United?  For me, Rooney with the protective headgear is better than seeing his arse to forehead transplants, and there appears some notion that he and the guy we made prematurely grey (RVP) are finding a measure of togetherness.  Still, prodigious talents like Nani and Kagawa have become fringe players and the English/Welshmen in United’s midfield (Carrick, Cleverly, ancient Giggs…) seem serviceable if deathly unexciting.   On the plus side, Moyes at least seems to have a pecking order even if it would seem to favour the older English habits of strong wing play (Antonio Valencia) and crossing married to the “new” English diving of Ashley Young (and the old French variety in Patrice Evra).  With £27million, Maroune Fellaini (and his fro) strongly in the mix and Rooney wearing the half-cap, the wide players certainly have things to aim at.  Big match there on Sunday…

Of course it’s all far too early to tell and we’re just getting started on these extra midweek matches.  Still, points are points and, after getting all the tensions out with our opening day slip on the proverbial banana skin (…slip, rhymes with blip…) we are looking better.  

Mesut Özil, even if he might not have impressed in Marseilles as he did at Sunderland, seems a very good addition.  Pound for pound Mathieu Flamini looks even better (winky face)… Certainly they’re not obviously displacing any healthy players and thereby causing disgruntlement or consternation… In fact, it could be argued that it’s just the opposite and that others are playing better with the new midfielders around them.  

While new signings are relegating former stalwarts to the benches and shadow squads up in Manchester and across town at Chelsea, our new players are filling obvious holes and are already showing big dividends. We are thin, but we seem unified.  

A question, I believe, in this era of mega-money clubs might be: How many (high quality) players can you keep happy and productive and fully focused on getting results for your club?  Corollary questions might include: Is there a tipping point where a club loses collective focus by having too many quality players?  What is the ideal sized squad and is it perhaps better to have blend of established stars and up and comers?

I’m curious what people think and most certainly Arsenal are charting a different course than the three clubs who finished above us last season.  While (very, very) risky, I think there’s a chance our club may have an intangible advantage (to which Total alluded in the previous post) which may allow us to compete with the bigger squads and even eclipse them.

The proof (however, of course…) is in the pudding and all the clubs will be judged match over match and season over season.  The focus then must be on what’s in front of us and our match on Sunday (preceding the “big one” in Manchester…) is a “must-win.”  There’s no love lost between “Sparky” and Arsene, nor between the players left over from the Tony Pulis era and our own.  Will Stoke revert to their defensive roots?  They have a keeper in Begovic who all the bigger teams (supposedly, according to the tabloids…) lusted after during the transfer window, and a central pairing of galoots and set-piece specialists in Huth and (Ramsey-reducer) Shawcross.  

In other words they won’t necessarily be easy to break down.  Scouting reports suggest that their offensive play and work on the break—N’Zonzi is not the worst as a fulcrum player–is more sophisticated, these days, than just trying to win throw-ins.  One would guess that, while we’ve been travelling in Europe, they’ve been drilling in ways to neutralize and/or beat us.  

Do we have enough resilience—clearly, at the moment we lack the quality in depth—to get the needed result?  At this point in the season conclusions are premature yet, with each match, declarations will be made… 

For me this is a(nother) real opportunity…For 3 points and to establish, in front of our home support, that we are onto something genuine with our team.  Coming off the back of a gutty 1-nil against our local (and most hated) rivals AND the signing (and presumed first home outing) of Mesut Özil, we should have good home support.  Still, if we struggle, or if referee Mike Dean does his usual thing and calls everything against us, it could quickly turn into a repeat of opening day.  As such (for me at least) the match seems extra critical… In my opinion the home support—and being able to replicate our awesome away form—10 wins in 10 matches(!!!)—is the next frontier for the Gunners (and the Gooners…) and could give us the boost we need as we move into more difficult parts of our fixture list.  

What do you guys say? 

Written by: 17HighburyTerrace 

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95 Responses to Is Arsenal’s Tight (small, tiny, down to bare bones…) Squad Actually an Advantage?

  1. Daja says:

    Mourino in de past always had and kept a 24 man squad 4 Porto CFC RM even this season he tried to trim his 29 man squad down by letting Moses laukaku go its now down 2 27 so expect to c 5 more players leave

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Fantastic post, 17HT. You cover so many current themes and you write with such ease and composure: top, top stuff. 🙂

    The question is one that has been playing on my mind for a while. If togetherness/willingness to die for each other on the pitch is such a crucial attribute, what is then the ideal first team size. RedNose has once said that you win things with six or seven quality players who last more or less all season; the rest supports and fills in, but the six or seven quality players win it for you.

    I also seem to remember that Maureen’s first winning teams had relatively very few changes from game to game, and they did not seem to tire much and just keep grinding out boring 1-0 wins..

    I reckon our squad of PL/CL ready players is about 19 and that might just be enough to win things this season. Some competitions is good but too much and much needed togetherness will suffer. I am with you that the purchases of the Flame and the Ozicle have filled in positional holes: they both strengthen the team directly without pushing players to the bench to a large extent.

    We can take injuries at the back now as was evidenced with the injuries to Vermaelen and Nacho (and the one game sickness of BFG); we can take them in midfield, and we can take them in attack to some extent. But the beauty of a smallish quality squad is that they work for each other and stick together through all sorts of adversity, and that is probably invaluable. And January TW is only 15 weeks away to get us that extra quality striker … 😉

  3. Fozzie B says:

    Going to read now thank you 17h

  4. Milo says:

    Shit Total, I thought you were based in Belgium, for some reason…Sorry for the mix-up in the last post. Speaking of weather, a storm is coming! 😀 With it, will bring cooler weather, so that we can open up the house and the cats can be outside, where they are happy!!! 😀

    I don’t know what has caused us to have a stronger team spirit…Maybe the fact that Theo, Wilshere, Ramsey, rosicky, Arteta, Vermaelen, Sagna and even Gibbs, and now Flamini, who was present at the club in a past era, have been here long enough that they are ACTUALLY friends and like/love each other??? 😀 I don’t know if it has to do with squad size, as much as it has to do with these players being at the club for a looong time, as well as them being sick of losing. I’m sure someone has pointed this out before, but I’m just saying what I think it could be.

  5. Daja says:

    We have the following for the bench
    Don Vivo
    Sanogo fitness test (back)
    & I believe the 7 who will be picked
    Miyachi or Gnarby

    U will have to admit this will be r strongest bench since the season started

    There is too much negative stuff bout r injury list but the positive r we r bounding better team spirit is high

    Carzola ox rosicky will be back oct to help their fitness will improve for nov dec r busiest period
    Podolski should be back oct/ nov

    ppl forget that Carzola played over 60 games club n country last season with no break
    Podolski was due for surgery last season but didnt go
    Arteta was ever present all season with no rotation
    so key & extremely freash players coming soon

  6. Arsenal_vcc says:

    Impressive range of sub-topics you have covered 17HT! Nice work 🙂

    I could be mistaken, but I am not sure that our squad size is that much different from the other clubs on the team sheets. Its just that we are at a moment in time where important contributors are out injured and I am not sure what could have been done to cover all of these events happening at the same time. The frontline is the obvious area where we are in a position of complete dependency on OG’s health. Clearly, Wenger tried to fill the gap but has decided to take a chance by waiting until the Jan window to bring in someone he feels will contribute to the squad.

    The team spirit that you refer to has certainly been aided by the fact that the entire squad is more or less unchanged and some of the squad (Ramsey, Gibbs, Jenks) are actually progressing to the next stage in their development. By having the core “grow” together (maybe the pain of the last two seasons also helped in the bonding ;-)) it has certainly helped with the cohesiveness and team spirit. In this regard having someone with the long-term view like Wenger is a big help, I think.
    I think that the team indeed does have the resilience and a determination to win at home and string together a similar record. The X-factor is, as you say, home support. It has been disappointing to see how quickly the support evaporates and I struggle to understand why this is so. I feel that this doesn’t happen as much in the away games. Anyway, keeping fingers crossed that we come away from the Stoke game with a good clean win and without any new injuries.

  7. Fozzie B says:

    Nice one 17h!
    I agree with Totes on this one. Basically there is no excuse for not coveting striker! If it wasnt Ba then there had to be a back up after that and there wasnt!! So that was plain slack I’m afraid IMO.
    I still believe that despite OG being in form that AW still wants a supreme SQ ST now that he can afford it! I know le Scrooge might act prudently and I would understand him changing his choice …. Hell he’s been for Cavani, Villa, Rooney, Ratatouille, and Ba within a year, so yeah he could change!! Even I’m thinking that with the arrival of Rango that he might not go for a fluid striker, but I still think OG is not the RVJ and that is what we could do with

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    NO worries Milo. I actually really like Belgium and I grew up very close to the border (where Geoff is currently ‘based’).

    You could be right about the time players have been together as a big binding factor; it might also have to do with the right characters mixed together without any players who undermine the atmosphere in the dressing room / on the pitch. Inn that respect, is the return of Bendy more of a risk than a benefit… big judgement call by Arsene..

  9. Fozzie B says:

    PS I’m watching the racing, are you JGC? Got stung on a penalty!! Aaaargh looks like we still need another race!! (Sailing for my Bk brethren)

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    all good points daja 🙂

  11. Ogban says:

    We need a striker and a central defender.

  12. AFC says:

    Great post 17ht. 🙂

    ‘Is Arsenal’s Tight (small, tiny, down to bare bones…) Squad Actually an Advantage?’

    I have said numerous times that our squad is still too thin and lacks at least one more SQ player. The good thing is that in the summer TW we addressed the GK and no.10 issue and the DM issue to some extent but still need to add a top CF/ST, young CB/experienced RB and a younger midfielder as a long term replacement for Rosicky, Flamini and Arteta.

    When it comes to squad size I think we need 22 players quality players (two quality players for every position, one young player with potential but ready too play matches now and one experienced player), players who you would be happy to play in any match. They have to have enough experience and be at the right level now. Ryo, Sanogo, Akpom, Gnabry etc, are not ready yet to go into the list of 22. The young youth prospects should take up the other 3 spots which make up the 25 man squad.

    Right now we have these senior players who are ready, experienced, good enough for the list of 22.

    1) Szez
    2) Fab
    3) Viviano
    4) Sagna
    5) Jenks
    6) Verm
    7) Mert
    8) Kos
    9) Gibbs
    10) Monreal
    11) Arteta
    12) Ramsey
    13) Wilshere
    14) Flamini
    15) Diaby
    16) Rosicky
    17) Santi
    18) Podolski
    19) Walcott
    20) Ozil
    21) Ox
    22) Bendtner
    23) Giroud

    So right now we have 23 players for the list of 22. Problem is the squad is a bit unbalanced and we still have deadwood (within the list of 23 players I mentioned above). Fabianski and Bendtner make the list even though they are deadwood and you could argue Diaby takes up a squad place. So in reality we only have 20 players for the list of 22. Fabianski, Frimpong, Park and Bendtner will be sold along with the other deadwood out on loan which will allow Wenger to purchase new quality players which will balance the squad. Diaby should not really be included as he rarely plays.

    So a new CF/ST would take Bendtner’s spot, a new defender would take Fabianski’s spot and a new midfielder could take Diaby’s spot. That makes up the list of 22 with 3 youth players filling the remaining 25 man squad spots.

    22 senior players and 3 young youth prospects would mean we have enough depth and quality. So still a bit of work to do.

    The problem which you are highlighting with too much quality players only come when you have too many senior players. So clubs like City and United have more than 25 senior players (up to 30 including their youth prospects) players for the 25 man. I guess that is when too much squad and depth can become a problem. So what we should avoid doing is having over 22 senior players. We should imagine that the 25 man squad is in fact a 22 man squad, that way we have a nice tight squad with enough depth and quality while leaving squad spots available for our young youth prospects, we would always have 3 squad spots reserved for young youth prospects.

  13. weedonald says:

    There is obvious merit to keep Arsenal’s squad managably smaller than other top 4 Clubs have done, for the following reasons:

    1)Wenger is a genius at getting in players who can play2-3 positions in a pinch,
    2)He has 4 youth players who need blooding in the EPL and each of them can do a job,(Sanogo,Gnabry,Miyachi,Eisfeld)
    3) As a worst case scenario, he has the likes of Bendtneror or Miyachi to support Giroud, and they are similarly skilled at hold-up play and in the case of Nik, physically robust as well,
    4) With Arteta back for the weekend, Cazorla due back by the end of the month, and Vermaelen now returning to the first team, we have or will have more top quality players to compliment the starting 11,
    5)Giroud,Ramsey,Walcott, Ozil and Wilshere represent a very solid midfield-striker cohort and all of them are on form at the same time so tweaking with that group is ill-advised at the moment.
    5) Our defense is rapidly proving their solidity and versatility and IF we can avoid unmerited penalties from over-zealous officials, we will be fine.

    Wenger refuses to play mental games with his players but rather treats them with tolerance, respect, patience, equality and fair-mindedness, and thus his reward is a solid team spirit and firm commitment to playing to win. Stoke will be a test of survival and brutal Football, aided and abetted by the referee’s potential severity but we have the class and the strength to come away with a win, small squad or not.

  14. Funminiyi says:

    Awesome piece, 17HT!
    With Arteta’s return and Rosīçky’s test (which might come up as early as Tuesday) we ain’t as thin a squad as most people thinks and with Lu-Lu’s progress, we’ll turn the corner before they know what hits them. I can only pray and hope we don’t lose any of our available players to injury no more. The game at OM shows how unfit OG is and I think Theo suffered a knock too but as someone rightly pointed out that on current form, none of this players will wanna sit out a game talkless of showing any form of weakness so as to get picked by the gaffer, I just hope I’m wrong with these two. Other than that, I’d like OG to return to scoring ways tomorrow and Theo to bag his first league goal of the season tomorrow.
    On Arsene’s reluctance to strengthen our forward line during the transfer window, I guess the coach has a big plan for Akpom this season and like 17 said, don’t be surprised to see him start on Sunday. With luck on our side and Mike Dean’s duly refereeing, three points’ gonna stay at the Emirates come final whistle. The only way is up. Go go gooners.
    NB: Totes, I wrote a comment on your post earlier in the day but it wasn’t displayed.

  15. AFC says:

    TA, apparently we turned down the chance to sign Benzema so which top CFs/STs are left. Rooney? Suarez? Falcao? Maybe Wenger might just wait to January or the summer and put in a bid of £50-55 million for Suarez.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Sorry to hear that Flaminiyi – There is nothing from you showing in ‘pending comments’ 😕

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC 🙂

    I really doubt that now. We got Ozil now and Wenger will want to stick with Giroud this season. But we do need similar back up so we don’t lose our shape and system of play as soon as OG is out.

  18. AFC says:

    TA, we do not really need back-up in my opinion, we need another top CF/ST. I would sign a top CF/ST and rotate him with Giroud. Remember every club should have at least 3 striker (4 if you play with ‘2’ up front) and 2 should be top quality. Sanogo can be the back-up. City have one elite ST and 3 quality STs and we only have one quality ST. I do not know if you do get my point? So two top quality STs are needed at any club.

  19. Henry Root says:

    Re the heading….no!

  20. AFC says:

    TA, one world class CF/ST, one top CF/ST and one exciting young prospect. Seems right?

  21. Fozzie B says:

    AFC I have really enjoyed your comments in this post and the last! Some sound arguments!! And I agree that a 22 man squad with youngsters gives a good balance to the squad. It essentially lessons disgruntled first teamers but still gives a ray of hope for the youngsters! From the previous post on loyalty, I still am old fashioned and believe that English gems like Gerard and Lampard still exist even in this silly money world that we live in. But the only factor that can change that equation for me is a coach. If the coach turns it doesn’t matter how much you love the club. You can try and hold out for a better coach like Ozil and when that doesn’t happen, you really are done! I hate to think about life without le prof!! It has many repercussions!!
    He really is the manger with the number 1 presence now!!!

  22. Fozzie B says:

    AFC-I agree that Wenger will still get a SQ striker to replace RVJ. Giroud was only to supplement. (No disrespect to OG who I adore)

  23. AFC says:

    Fozzie B, thanks mate, and glad to see you are getting the point of my arguments. 🙂

    Regarding loyalty, I will use Gerrard as an example. Loyalty to Liverpool is one of many factors which has led to him staying at Liverpool for so many years. Many people seem to think that loyalty is the only factor which has led to him staying Liverpool for all those years when it isn’t again in my opinion.

    Family, status within a club, manager (as you have stated), wages (bonuses based on performance i.e. goals scored, clean sheets etc, loyalty bonuses), language and cultural barriers, league even agents can all contribute to players staying at clubs.

  24. AFC says:

    So it might have been beneficial and still is beneficial for Gerrard to stay at Liverpool, if you get my point?

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    I get your point, but I don’t agree much with it, AFC. In our system, Giroud is now an elite HOLDING ST, and we need a back up HOLDING ST – that is my point 🙂

  26. Fozzie B says:

    True AFC, but i think that homegrown talent falls outside your parameter in as much that they are motivated from a deeper level. Other players like Flamini back up your point. But still there was something outside of your factors that brought him back
    …….. A feeling of self worth at a deeper level that he could not get elsewhere…. An affinity to the crowd must not also be over looked.
    So I think the other factors you mention for Lampard et al are the softness on the inside of Stretches cigar coat!!
    They make him feel warm and comfortable but when you look at the coat you wear … That’s what really counts because that’s who you are …. And guys like Wiltshire, Jenkinson et al know they wear Arsenal 😀

  27. AFC says:

    TA, in that case I would like Wenger to go for Benteke or a Lukaku.

    Fozzie, totally see your point on the English players. English players are deeper involved in the history of the clubs they play for. For instance if I was a football player and I ended up at Liverpool even though I am an Arsenal supporter I would still feel the need to stay at Liverpool and remaoin loyal as I know the history of their club etc, etc.

    For foreign players it’s different. Arsenal is just another English club as is Liverpool as is United. Just like to me Valencia is just another club Spanish club, as is Malaga, as is Real Betis. I guess that is when the majority of my factors come in but remember English players do not really like going abroad so I would agree with you on the fact that Gerrard remains loyal to Liverpool in England, in the sense he would not go to Chelsea or Arsenal whereas foreign players are more likely to move abroad if they want too.

  28. AFC says:

    Fozzie, you said

    ‘So I think the other factors you mention for Lampard et al are the softness on the inside of Stretches cigar coat!!

    They make him feel warm and comfortable but when you look at the coat you wear … That’s what really counts because that’s who you are …. ‘

    That really sums it up. You could argue that each factor (I could go on for ever) compliments and adds to the loyalty factor. Maybe it is when these other factors (which I mentioned) are not in favour of the player is when they get closer to leaving their club. I guess there is a point where loyalty can be outweighed by the factors going against them.

  29. AFC says:

    * the other facotrs going against them.

  30. AFC says:

    Damn phone!

    * other factors going against the players all can add up.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC – Benteke would have been a great signing but Villa were able to keep hold of him (for now).

    Anyway, off to hit the pillow.

    Sweet Ozil Dreams 🙂

  32. AFC says:

    TA, I still think we could get Benteke for £25-30 million.

    Night mate. 🙂

  33. Fozzie B says:

    Here here AFC and I think going back on the fur coat analogy, that the fur is a lot coarser on a arsenal coat than a chelvski, oilers coat et al…..
    So that makes the loyalty and affinity a lot stronger for our Brit pack IMO because they grip it and look at the badge on the back more than feel the comfort!

  34. Fozzie B says:

    Goodnite Totes and AFC … Sweet dreams off Rango stoking the stoke players to a 3-1 loss 😀

  35. AFC says:

    Fozzie, totally agreed.

    Arsenal look after their (young) British players and SAF did the same with his. Liverpool do too to some extent. Chelsea and City couldn’t care less. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hart be replaced next. 😀

    And with that I’m off. Good speaking with Fozzie, TA, JB, JGC et al. 🙂

  36. Dylan says:

    I think Arsene has the balance just about right. A striker and maybe a 24-27 year old right back is what we really need. And that’s about it. We have a very strong squad, even if most think it’s small. Too many players to keep fit and happy and playing leads to problems (ex. Chelsea). Great article 17HT! 🙂

  37. Milo says:

    TA, I don’t think re-integrating Bendtner will be a problem. He knows he has to show a good level of play, in order to even make the Danish national squad for the World Cup, if they qualify. Also, this group is so tight, that if Bendtner were to come in and try to screw around, he’d probably just be an outcast. I think he is smart enough to realize this, and won’t cause a problem, IF he ever comes back from that “boot camp” programme he is on.

  38. oz gunner says:

    Cheers 17, a very good read. Loved the arse to head transplant 🙂 (shhhh Terry could be reading).

    I think we’ve got a good balance all over the pitch except in the striking department. It was a bit negligent not bringing in another striker (I wish Lukaku was loaned to us!!! or even Ba). Then again we had our fingers crossed all season when BSR played so we might get lucky with Giroud. I think Bendy is an excellent backup, he knows the system, he is dangerous, and on his day is a top talent. It’s hard to believe he could turn it around though and put his ego aside for the good of the team. Who knows maybe Bould has taken him out back and slapped him around a bit!

  39. Sindy says:

    Everyone back fit, exclude current startng line up: 1 Fab/Viv 2 Jenk 3 Manreal 4.Yenaris/Olson 5 TV 6 Arteta 7 Ganbry 8 Diaby 9 Akpom 10 Carzo 11 Ox (Say no go; Zelalam; Hayden; Bend it now: part of bench) Is this not a line up 2 give tiny Tots a good ridng. Surely we do have a good squad. Oh, Ryo, Eisfield!

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys 🙂

    Milo not sure about Bendy adapting so easily but it is worth a try.


    For me the tipping point is around 19/20 quality first team players.

    What do you think?

  41. Fozzie B says:

    Morning Totes and Pied Piper pleasers!!
    I think Bendtner will find it very difficult initially as bad blood doesn’t run clean immediately.
    He will have to swallow his Danish …… Wait a minute he’s swallowed too many of those already! 😆
    …. I mean his own pride … 😀
    Sucess is 90% Attitude and 10% Aptitude and we all know he has the 10%!! Lets hope that he realises what a massive opportunity this is to be part of the revolution and prove to everyone how good he is.
    I would really love that. It really is a chance to bury his demons and reach for the stars. If he can come back humbled, determined, and focussed he will do well. No humility then no chance …. Not in this team … No chance in hell!!
    Come on Bendtner you can do it!!

  42. Gerry says:

    HT17 – Top Post. Interesting argument to be had for the lean and mean squads, versus the bloated, ego stockpile that some have?

    The problem is, as always, life/fate/whatever will have its say on how successful each turn out. Injuries have the opposite effect with each extreme. Two, in the same area of expertise and we wonder if we can scrape by. Two(or more) injuries in the larger squads simply opens the door up for someone else to strut their stuff?

    My guess is, that for a while, especially with the winning ‘habit’ continuing, we will be okay? But longer term there does need more depth, or just may be, more confidence in who we can choose from.

    Take Sunday’s game for example; Giroud needs resting. Start with Akpom for 60 mins, then Bendtner for the final 20 minutes? Or vice versa? Whoever, but the more impressive of the two, starts against WBA in the Cup. Then we will know just how much we can rely these reserves? If we don’t play them, and overplay Giro, who then might be out for weeks, panic might set in?

    Because the way Stoke will set out their stall I would favour Akpom starting for his mobilty. I would also hope that with Ozil leading the counters, he will get balls to feet and not to head?

    So today, OGAAT, it might be time to bite the bullet and see, rather than be forced into it when the tougher games come along?

    Sorry HT, I have strayed into next (Oz)post territory? But really following the post with a practical example of how it can be maintained for longer – i.e. until January?

  43. oz gunner says:

    Morning all.

    Agreed Fozzie B. I’d like nothing more than to see Bendy succeed at Arsenal. We could chalk it up to “he was young and naive”

    Head down and work your socks off.

  44. geoffchase says:


    Great post 17, some thoughts…

    First, I’ll come back to the brothers…

    We coulda had Michu or others but perhaps not, NB shoulda been a better professional (and maybe he will be but I lean towards the doubters), and we woulda kept Gerv if we’d known so many in one area would go down at once… But, they’re all about the past..

    Right team size for chemistry? The own that wins and does so with good spirit. Right now, we’ve the right size. Over a season ..? It’s not definable IMO. A small squad like now can really pull together, play more than they should and the VERY ACT of doing so pulls them closer so they succeed even more.. Like men going to war..

    Equally, it can destroy them… I think there is no calling it… At least not for the intangible aspects that govern it.

    And that’s my second point, it’s governed by, IMO, the intangibles, not the numbers. The numbers are guidelines. We use 5 mids so we should have 7-8 very good ones of which 2 at SQ or 3 🙂 is nice for your core. Strikers, likely 3 width 1 SQ or all very good if you are as good as we are across midfield. We currently have 2.5 in OG, Pod when he returns and some half from youngsters who may step up to full. ..

    The brothers always use the countable things to argue the intangibles. The intangibles hinge on a bit of luck and personalities in particular..

    That is my last point , personalities. We have a great locker room. Losing the little boy saw the rising of quiet calm voices in Zorro and Per, tempering young heat. Every Arsenal player bar NB seems quite a good, quieter than not for the sport, bloke. I think that is no accident. Equally, I think it no accident that NB trains alone for now…

    Look at the big names who left, barring Cesc seeking his dream truly, all noisy, all more self centered than not, and maybe it’s no wonder they were very good but no trophies. This years lesser team with Ozil, who seems wildly self effacing, may well go further, much furthers with some luck.

    Again, can’t argue the intangibles… So, maybe we missed a striker, and maybe I’ve just made the argument against Suarez (at least the one in my heart) too, but they are what they are.

    So, I think we are a good size for chemistry and good fortune. Both because of numbers and players specifically we have (personality).. With a bit of luck. The extra striker, IMO, it’s a question of quality and personality….

    So, to end, if we were to splash big cash at midterm, I agree with the intersection of TA and AFC, would it be worth drooling over the possibility of prying Benteke away from AV?

    Cheers — jgc

  45. Fozzie B says:

    Cheers Wizard!! Hey I keep forgetting to say how awesome your avatar is….. 😀 it really is pure genius!!! Already looking forward to your pre match!! Last week I power blasted my keyboard with coffee when I saw that picture of young jack going to school with mrs Wenger!!!
    …. Priceless!!!!

  46. Fozzie B says:

    Oh dear my kiwi brethren JGC is back speaking Shakespeare again!!
    Suddenly I have an overwhelming desire for pizza!!!
    Dam you JGC it’s too early to get pizza!!
    😆 😀

  47. oz gunner says:

    I like your thinking Gerry. If Giroud has minor injuries it may be best to sit him out for this one. It’s not ideal but the thought of Huth and Shawcross clattering in to him for 90mins doesn’t fill me with much confidence. Then again we may need him for set pieces. If we are up 2-0 at the 60min mark he should definitely be subbed out

  48. oz gunner says:

    Never too early for Pizza Fozzie B. Meat lovers with some chili on it can be eaten at any time of the day!

    Haha glad you liked it, hope this weeks one lives up to expectation.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Bendtner it like Beckham, who knew about 90% attitude and 10% aptitude more than anybody else…

    Good comment, Fozzer 🙂

  50. Fozzie B says:

    Oz your prematches are always first class!!
    Totes you hit the nail on the head with Becks alright!!
    Right heading out for a bit guys and catch you later …. Mrs P wants to go shopping …. Yaaaaaawwwnnnn

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Interesting weekend in the PL this week.

    Will Norwich give Lambert – their van Judas – his fourth successive loss? Would be sweet, but I reckon he will at least get a point from the Canaries.

    Will Liverpool continue their good early start, or will Southampton spring a surprise. We could do with the latter and the brilliantly named Mauricio Pochettino might well get his team to win at Anfield. Did you know that Southampton have the second highest possession stat in the PL

    Newcastle could go top or second if they beat Hull today. Pardew reminds me a bit of Moyes: both alternate good and not so good seasons on a regular basis.

    The battle of the rock bottom clubs is also interesting: a win will be great for either of them, but a loss and don’t be too surprised if a manager gets sacked.

    West Ham – Everton is another interesting game. However much I dislike Sammi Allerdici, it is impressive the way he is still surviving and doing well with WH at the moment. Hoping for a Toffees win though.

    Chelsea – Fulham should be an easy win for the Chavs. They are angry and need to bounce back, Fulham will be no pushovers but this will be too much of an opportunity for Maureen not to be missed. I expect it to end in the region of 5-1/6-1 for the Oilers.

    Not much to say about Crystal Palace v Swansea, other than this will probably a good game to watch. We are playing the Jacks after Stoke (in PL) and they are flying high right now after their very impressive win in against Valencia. Another tough away battle awaits us in seven days.

    The Spuds go to newly promoted Cardiff and let’s hope the Bluebirds de-feather the skinny chicken on the ball. The scalp of Man City has barely dried and they will smell a good opportunity to add another one against Spursday Spuds. 🙂

    The Manc battle for the last CL spot will be interesting to watch. Both team have not made a great start and have new managers. It probably ends in 1-1, but if there is a winner, they will get great momentum going from this. RedNose was usually capable of achieving this but for Moyes this will be the first big test. A draw would probably be the best outcome for us, and not just in terms of the league table.

    I leave our game till we publish Oz’s super-fantastic pre-match this early evening.

    Come on Norwich, Southampton and Fulham – just for today I want you badly to win. 😀

  52. geoffchase says:


    Have you not heard!?!?!? Football IS poetry and Shakespeare wasn’t he king! Nuff said, it’s never ever too early for pizza… Cold in the morning, warm after midday and who cares what it’s like after midnight?

    Cheers — jgc

  53. geoffchase says:

    Basted ipad.. Shakespeare WAS THE king…

    Typing on an iPad is like the kiwi economy. All the right ingredients and thinking, but a failure in execution leaves it all underpowered and wobbly…

    Sigh — jgc

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    You are in fine form this morning, Geoff, but don’t ask me to quantify how fine hahaha 🙂

  55. Hey guys…Sorry I couldn’t be around after the post went up. I had “arm-candy” duties as my wife starts another year teaching at the college… Unfortunately nobody wanted to talk footie…

    The post was really just a ramble about some on-going thoughts. Thanks to all who enjoyed it and built upon it. As I said, there’s nothing definitive to say (so no individual responses…sorry…) but we’re clearly charting our own course when it comes to how we’ve built our team. It was pretty rough there in August but we seem to have weathered the early season storm AND gotten through the transfer window (with one big splash and a couple of pebbles tossed). Are we deep enough? Jury’s still out, obviously… BIG match tomorrow, but if you want to be a big club then every match is big…

    Way up above funminiyi mistook me for Gerry. I absolutely do not think Akpom will start or play any meaningful minutes tomorrow. From the AW statements it would clearly be Walcott up front if Giroud couldn’t answer the bell. Sanogo and Poldolski were supposed to be back-ups but Bendtner’s move to Crystal Palace was held up due to their injuries. Akpom would be option number 6 behind these players. I think AW would play 4-6-0 before trying him alone up top…

    Count me in with the group who would love to see Nicky B pull head from arse and contribute this season, and what a twist it would be on the loyalty topic. We happen to have a manager who has stuck with our club and, as such, maybe there are opportunities for players to be loyal to HIM. Flamini (like Bendtner, in a certain way…) did the opposite and blew it by leaving but now talks about “unfinished business.” How crazy would it be if NB23 and MF20 played roles in a redemptive season (for themselves AND the club) at Arsenal? If it’s a convenient path into their world cup squads, then so be it…

    This too is part of the story and interesting in light of comments from Madrid about Ozil. 50 million Euros and our biggest contract ever equals a huge vote of confidence and a showcase for him in this WC year. His arrival also gives a glimmer to a couple of other forgotten Germans (Per, Lu-Lu). If Arsenal can offer legitimate playing chances for guys on the fringes of big Int’l teams we may have something real to offer. If we can become the 3rd best place for Germans (Don’t forget Gnabry, Eisfield and Zelalem) and Spaniards to show their stuff, why not? We’re getting close to being number 1 for English and French talent, as it is…

    Anyhow, just a few additional thoughts as the weekend footy begins (Ooh, bad pen at Norwich and now Villa have taken the lead…)

    Cheers! Go on! etc.,,,

  56. geoffchase says:

    Geez TA

    I go out to get some new shoes after a 12ish mile run this am in scenic Belgium, near holland I hear :P, and you leave a sitter like that…?!?!?

    Well, just to set the weekend temper for our strikers, whomever they may be… Gee, TA, exactly how fine? :coyly_whistling_staring_upward_smiley:

    Cheers — jgc

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    Total, the weather looks decent in Norwich…I think I saw some shadows a minute ago… You think Houghton swings if they lose this one?…Ouch…

    Just to stir the pot, I think some of these ideas about Michu or Benteke as guys we should have gotten are misguided. They are powerful guys with enough technique to flourish as goal scorers at a certain level and they’ve done so. Are they worth breaking our previous transfer record to get? Certainly AW didn’t think so. Bony (for what Swansea paid) would have been my call. Unfortunately, once were in for a player the price goes up. Statements about “money to spend” can cut both ways… My guess is that management sees Sanogo as potentially at least as good and that’s 20-30 million pounds of powder kept dry. Does this mean that we sacrifice the present for the future? Why yes, yes it does…

    Canaries pushing (and went very close) but still down a goal after an hour…Now bringing on Pilkington and Elmander…

  58. geoffchase says:


    No disagreement but to me Benteke has x-factor.. Cal it what you will.. Not 30M worth, but some..

    Cheers — jgc

  59. 17highburyterrace says:

    X-factor went off in the first half and now has been spotted on the bench with crutches…Probably “precautionary”… 😯

    My point is that (for the fantasy managers…) there are really two marketplaces…Flamini on a free is quite a deal compared to the 20 million we might’ve spent on Cabaye and maybe more appropriate if he’ll be dropped once Arteta is fit. How much did City spend on De Jong and Barry when they were building their squad?…

    It’s all fine and good to spend our 70 million as if it were a fantasy league but why would the player come if he’s not guaranteed playing time? Oh yes, I know why, because we could (italics) offer them a monster salary. This is what City did–so Nasri is a nice back-up option (as is Jovetic, Milner, Dzeko, etc.) making at least as much as Ozil is on…

    I repeat this point (over and over, when I have the energy…) but it doesn’t always sink in…

    Again, it’s all just musings on different ways to build a “team” so nobody’s necessarily right nor wrong. You can only start 11 (and play 14) in any one match, so management is still an art, no matter how much money you can throw at it…

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    Give Total some due…He called the result in his home town…even w/o Benteke it looks like Lambert got away with his visit to the “scene of the crime”….

    Geoff, looking at your bigger post above it’s clear we’re on the same wavelength. I would argue that January should be about tweaking the squad rather than going mad with money. There is, however, always the possibility that some teams will have “thrown in the towel” and be in rebuilding mode with players who are essentially on strike. As you noted, however, do we really want such players?…

    As such (and also to continue with my pot stirring…) I still believe the chances of getting Suarez are nil. The clubs that want our CL spot simply will not sell to us. Just higher than nil might be a chance of a(nother) three-way with Madrid (if they took la mordita) to get Benzema. That other Madrid club (Atletico) always is selling so their guys (Diego Costa, Adrian Lopez) could be just as serviceable and a much better deal, if David Villa settles in and stays fit…

    Dig me, talking of three-ways (not to mention out of my arse)…I must be missing the Glic-ster… Hope all is well. Also, if you’re reading, from the UMF thread…Congrats on your nuptials HH, may you have a lifetime of harmony and connubial bliss…I was worried for your health, but an internet black-out is probably a very sound way to start married life… 😉 😀

  61. geoffchase says:


    Well, since it’s just us… Anyway, no disagreement. It’s real money and real people. Big salaries only keep players on the bench if they really believe it. At their wages, a cut to play and what else it might bring, is likely a good tradeoff and one made up for in other ways.

    Thus, I like our balance. But, if a crutch less Benteke came available or similar ST in quality to Nacho last January, I’d say it was a good deal for similar pricing ~10-15M(?).. That’s a heavy tweak if you will but worth it. Who that might be…

    Regarding onward. Who knows, but, for me, we’ve good team chemistry it seems, and I wouldn’t mess with that by getting Bitey-Boy… That’s just me

    As for giving TA some credit. I do, but… Well he called me out that last little note so… 😈 it wasn’t left to lie. Something about my lack of impulse control..

    Cheers — jgc

  62. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geoff, I think Total was just messing with you…Does the ipad take a plug in keyboard? I don’t know how people type on the screens or work their thumbs, but I’m a bit of a fossil… (Your age, if I remember correctly… 😆 )

    Yes, you and I are working towards the same level of subtlety regarding how to build a squad in order to create a “team.” Watching Pool-So’ton it’s interesting that Jose the cowboy (Moo…) decided that loaning Victor Moses to Pool (and Lukaku to Everton) was fine but that loaning Demba Ba to us wasn’t. We should remember that our 4th choice striker (Nicky B) was on loan at the Calcio winners last season. So what if he didn’t play?…

    That’s the next level of subtlety regarding the monster squads. Lukaku looked the business at WBA but doing nothing in extra time then missing the pen vs Bayern was enough to send him packing… Like Gerry, I object to the term “deadwood,” esp. when it’s thrown out there by the would-be managers who say buy him and him and him (and him…) and it’s sorted…Fans are no longer angered by the obscene (weekly) wages of shadow squad players, except when they’re forced into action and prove ineffectual… People are thrilled by the transfer numbers but you need to multiply the weeklies (by 50 for convenience sake…)–and add them in–to realize just how quickly the money goes. Redders says the “rule of thumb” is to double the transfer fee to account for salary. In other words a Benteke or a Michu or anybody else for 20-30 Million is actually a 40-60 million pound commitment.

    Kolo Toure playing at RB looks better than Sakho at LB…Refs gonna be forced to settle this match, I fear and Sturridge might’ve gotten the call had he played up his cutback foul which took him out of the box…Oops…I guess that’s why they need Suarez… 🙄 Of course, Ricky Lambert doesn’t look any better at the other end…

  63. proudgooner says:

    Bendtner is fit to play, he is doing full training. Pictures of him with long hair and a beard on AFC site, i think the lad may actually do quite well for us this season. He was ok for us in the past, now you would think he is at the age when he should be getting to his best, if anyone can tease this out of him then its Wenger. I hope for all that he can.

  64. proudgooner says:

    lfc 0 v southampton 1 🙂 lol

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    Total goes 2 for 2 with this result (Pool-So’ton)…

    And Everton come from behind–two from Baines at Bubble town, one from Lukaku. Hull also win at SportsAuthority or Santiago or whatever they call it up there.

    That was Steve Bruce’s side winning against the other northeast club…DiCanio already looking not quite the right answer at Sunderland… West Brom are the only team to get any points in their own ground…

    Fulham derby up next…

  66. geoffchase says:


    I confess, I like DiCanios color and frankness.. I think he may go too …

    Regarding your post:

    A. Yep, he was.. Messing returned! 🙂 .. We need a Cheshire Cat smiley TA!

    I had a good run and sleep last night/today, and am now largely immobile and in the mood for the messing with humor part.. 😉

    B. Regarding squads. IMO, they are only deadwood if they are never going to play or are losing career by staying. Salaries aside… IMO, Gerv wasn’t deadwood and we miss him now, but, AW did the very right thing by him in selling him where he’d play. In that, I think Aw did well this year. There’s no one there who doesn’t have a future or potential role to play, including NB if his head can be twisted straight. Sadly, I know Danes, very stiff/stubborn.. Like the Dutch one hears… (That’s me calling you out to play TA :P)

    Regarding monster squads, I think we agree and I’d rather have our problems, regardless of cost really, or mostly at least! 🙂

    Regarding iPads, they do, but I’m an engineer and this by definition “value concious” … The damn things are ok to type win but they keep correcting correct word choices because Apple is like a European nanny state, it knows you didn’t mean it and just need more help!

    And the one time I met Steve Jobs he was a dick… And he’s dead but still trying to kill me with frustration..

    It’s one or the other really…

    C. Finally, great away wins for Soton and Everton! Well done, especially to Soton who’ve now wrecked my UMF… Sigh 🙂

    Off to watch Fulham dismantle Chelsea… After an angry Chelsea put up 7 in the first 20 mins or something.. Ie I think TA will be 3-3 …

    Cheers — jgc

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha JGC,

    I had Everton to win but then changed it to draw…and I was looking pretty good with that call, for awhile at least…

    I should be out running myself, but there’s footy to watch, coffee to drink and the in-laws are coming so I need to (act like I’m) clean(ing)…

    Ref’s not buying Chelsea flops (thus far) so nil-nil 35 mins in on that one…

    Sorry, can’t comment to Apple and Mr. Jobs…Can’t you turn off the auto-correct? (asks the Luddite)…

  68. Gerry says:

    TH17 – @13.54 You say Akpom is only 6th choice with everybody fit? Could be true. But going into tomorrow’s game I think you have promoted him to second choice?

    Podolski – out
    Sanogo – out
    Bendtner – not played recently, unlikely to start?
    Walcott – an option, but I think he will be needed on the wing to keep their full backs busy? Not too mention it would alter our play in a big way, and against Stoke, I’m not sure that is a good thing?
    Akpom – has played recently. came on as sub last time, best option .. if ..
    Giroud is a risk too far?

    Personally, I think it will be an unchanged side from the one that started in Marseille. I think Arteta will be on the bench, depending on the state of the game? However, If Giro has problems , it will be Akpom on for sure?

    Now nobody can get a Golden Trophy – Thank you Southampton!

  69. geoffchase says:

    17 et al

    Pressure told at 55 mins finally.. Even 1-0 is a loss of mana for Chelsea. They really do look lost in last third. Kinda like us a bit last year… Maybe Maureen was exactly right not to sell us Ba and make his problem worse?

    As for Apple. No, you can’t. Apple is special. You paid 2x the rate for the snazzy interface and especially good features – or your employer did – and of course they know what’s best for you!! How dare you question! 🙂

    For your laughing pleasure, enjoy thes apple-isms::

    Where it does do most of these, or reuse words you’ve done before trying to be helpful. This last is a bonus when you text or email in many languages and don’t like to change the keyboard ..

    Cheers — jgc

  70. James Bond says:

    nice one, 17HT

    indeed, let’s string 5 home wins in a row for starters and extend that to 10, if we manage to do that then i’m confidence we’ll be right up there in every single competition if not all – for now our away form is splendid and i’m glad West Brom won today as they will have a monkey off their backs for wednesday against us.

    what we are seeing now basically is that the players are beginning to repay the faith shown in them by AW – long it may continue as i firmly believe, this lot wins one trophy together and then all hell breaks loose and our empty trophy cabinet begins filling up at the rate of noughts, yep you can quote me on that.

    but back to reality and now, tomorrow is a big day for us, 3 points bagged with 2 goals in the bank would be massive

    LiverFOOL are back to normal, they can have Suarez back but without Coutinho they are doomed, not finishing in top 5 in my opinion.


    i take you’ve already written plenty then 😉

  71. geoffchase says:


    books, including anything over 100 pages, 2-5 depending on what you count. But I’ve put approximately 4-5000 printed pages of insomnia cures (scientific publications, patents, etc) over the last 10 years…

    If you can’t sleep try and find something here:

    The “joy” of academia is you are always public, so there’s little hiding..

    Cheers — jgc

  72. geoffchase says:

    On the topic of football, I’ll be interested to see how Suarez goes on return and after some games back.. jgc

  73. geoffchase says:

    Soton had all the running even without possession. More shots and twice as many inside the box (8-4) than Pool.. Win looks deserved… jgc

  74. proudgooner says:

    Interesting post and basically nothing i can add as i agree with all of it, the 3 points tomorrow are very important. We have got (had) a quite easy fixture list to the start of the season and we have to do very very well in it. If you have studied the fixtyre list like i have you will know that November is a tough month but on the PL that month that will decide that IMO is March. We have to be winning games like Stoke though they are not easy to beat. The only worry is breaking down there defence , them scoring is not to big a threat but not something to under rate either. I would like to see our defenders to defend and not be to gun hoo, i don’t like it when our defenders do that, or 3 of them go up for corners i would like to see just 1 or 2 at max v good teams. Let our midfield wizards and forwards do the unlocking and get the goals keep it tight at the back and all should go welll.
    COYG 3 points a must, like you and JB said a good home record is a must too.

  75. James Bond says:

    i thought so, JGC ,

    cheers for the link and if you have some more material available online or published, then would appreciate a nudge in that direction as well, am interested in reading it and perhaps learning a whole lot more as you can clearly see, my knowledge in general about things is rather appalling.

    and if there’s anything related to weight loss in particular then that be much more appreciated ahahahahahahahahhaha


    yep , back to footy, i think you had s’hamtpon down as the winners in your predictions, so well done on that one !

    re- Suarez return then it’s not bad making a returns against the mancs and then knocking them out of the cup ? helps us i reckon.

  76. proudgooner says:

    just a quicky, have you used or seen the speak too and it writes out what you have just said in ti the text for you automatically? that is strange and types out all kinmd of wierd stuff. its called SIRI

  77. James Bond says:


    i hope you’ve won loads of awards and have been knighted for your work , your writings are rather impressive and i can see plenty of them touching on the weight loss (obesity) aspect as well !

    remind me, never to to josh with you again nor say things in jest 😉


    yep, home form is essential because when you get all the fans right behind the team and absolutely buzzing , the whole team bounces along and keeps going the extra yard so to speak – our players need this confidence on a consistent basis and success at home is the catalyst for it.

  78. geoffchase says:

    PG and JB

    First SIRI, like anything Apple, there’s a funny website.. Enjoy:

    Regarding home form… Well, to mock the Siri but above:

    Person: Siri, how can I win the EPL?
    Siri: are you an Oiler?
    Person: No
    Siri: Then you can’t buy it. I suggest that win your away games,… And the ones at home.

    Which is to say its half the battle, eh? 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  79. proudgooner says:

    I totally agree, we need to be like united under fergie and just winning., Even when we are not at our best, to be fair to Wenger and the lads i think they have started doing just that. Marsille and even Spurs in a way were grounded out results, that is what is really good at the moment and Wenger has highlighted it the spirit in the team and the never say die attitude is really coming out in our team, where as a few seasons ago that would never happen, now the lads are that bit older and stronger they can do it now. Plus the good mix Wenger has put together of expirianced players and younger has made the difference.

  80. geoffchase says:


    Weight loss, metabolism and arguing: well the only people who argue with me for real are all students, mostly in bio-engineering..

    So, if you want to be young, good looking, and possibly female, then argue more!

    Having “proven” I can make you younger, lighter is hard. Up till a few weeks ago the advice was eat less, walk more, etc. not bad advice actually. To which I would add eat very slowly as your body’s I’m full reaction takes about 20 mins to kick in…

    However, the idea that all calories are equal has recently been tossed on its head a bit. Turns out, they’re not! Quite cool from some bio-chem boffins:

    So, eat a bit less, walk everywhere, and worry less, it could be germs in your gut!

    PS: no knighthood, as I’m not fully eligible as an American in kiwi-land especially … so you’re saved all the sir business. Just another courtesy from jgc enterprises… :bowing_smiley:

    Cheers — jgc

  81. James Bond says:

    many years ago or maybe even now, there used to be a website called “askjeeves com”

    they would have been best advised to call it “”, ha

    we are capable of winning our next 3 home games as it stands one of them happens to be Norwich if , i’m not mistaken but first thing first,let us take down the rugby players.

  82. geoffchase says:


    I read the gut article elsewhere but found it like Siri… I asked Google.. Which I knew as so e wild startup in Palo Alto above a bike shop I raced out of…. Many many years ago, … In a land far far away (near 17ht actually)..

    Cheers — jgc

  83. geoffchase says:


    And we are capable of winning all our games. I just ask for more in a points sense than all the others..

    More seriously, you’re on target about confidence and reinforcement, life as an athlete is always about the struggle to achieve against doubt and difficulty…

    Cheers — jgc

  84. James Bond says:


    that is it really, SAF or even Jose. M at home, no worries as long as we keep it going both home and away, more the merrier – you must be really looking forward to West Brom , i take ?

    splendid advice @ Professor JGC

    and to top it off, a nice link

    PS: oh no, there goes your cover with FB for being his “Kiwi” brethren !

  85. proudgooner says:

    Walking really is a good thing, a good long brisk walk is great for the body and mind, cars and time saving has stopped me from walking hardly at all these days, that is the thing to do JB everytime you want to pop down the shop just walk it instead. I have noticed lots of friends getting bigger lately, it happens cery easy but Geoff is right and the think pssitively is also very important a lot of people believe just imagining that you are in a gym pumping iron and doing a work out actually has a possitive affect on the body and i believe its true. the mind tricks the body in to becoming stronger a bit.

  86. proudgooner says:

    I cant wait mate, i really cant it puts a smile on my face now just thinking about it. I could have gone to Stoke tomorrow but cash flow and time plus the going to WBA meant i would not go, i have seen Stoke at home a couple of times before anyway. But i have never been to an away game which makes it even better. In truth some time it can be a little quite at home, but the away fans are the hardcore loud bunch oh i cant wait JB . 🙂

  87. James Bond says:

    spot on @ PG

    we’re lucky and blessed to have a few intellectuals on here, with knowledge that stems way beyond football 😉

    i can imagine and a win against WBA would be cherry on top, i hope you’re able to record a few videos of the atmosphere and all that and then share it with us ! it will be nice.

  88. James Bond says:

    *a win with 3 goals be cherry on top

  89. proudgooner says:

    that is what i am thinking 3-1 , i am hoping for 3-0 but i seem to win more with 3-1. I dont know why, i just think it is a good score to bet on. once that score comes on if it is at the stage in the game where the chance of them getting a draw is near on impossible then they dont try as much, and the team in front feel they have done enough and take the foot of the gas.

  90. proudgooner says:

    First goal scorer Theo again for me 🙂

  91. James Bond says:

    call me crazy but i think Bendtener will score .

  92. proudgooner says:

    Plus the 3-1 is always high odds, 😉 little tip, it works well for me.

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    jgc 🙂

    There are huge similarities between all North/Western European countries. The Danes and Dutch are direct by nature and in general very self-confident, I give you that. 🙂

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post 🙂

    Oz the pre-match boss has done it again. Let the feast begin! 🙂

  95. proudgooner says:

    Not at all JB, i have a feeling NB is going to well at some point . AW has spoken very honestly about him and its starting to get positive, if he can get back to his best then he has all the right aspects physically he is a big strong lad i did not realise how tall til i saw the team photos yesterday, he may well play v WBA as well OG has to get a rest he simply must.

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