Who turned Arsenal into EPL title contenders?

Well, it is not just Ozil!

Happiness is a warm Gunner!

Happiness is a warm Gunner!

Over the last month or so, ever since we made Mesut Ozil our record signing for the club, not a day goes by without some sort of news or article regarding how Ozil has transformed the fortunes of a struggling team and how we have been taken from being consistently ‘in crisis’ to ‘oozing class’.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m loving the attention that having a true world best (and he is the BEST play maker in the world, period!) brings to Arsenal, but it made me think that it should not be taken for granted that a solid backbone of a team existed in which Ozil has seamlessly slotted in. Cast your mind back to right before Ozil’s signing, the loss against Aston Villa. Hell had descended and it seemed to be the end. Apparently Arsene had “dithered” and “dilly dallied” and the result was only one free transfer and a seemingly long barren season up ahead.

The point I’d raise here is that we still had a good squad, a squad that had topped the table based on points collected since Jan 2013 till the end of the last season. Arsene had sorted out our best defensive partnership, he had sorted our Rambo’s position and form, Rosicky was back playing at a good level, and Jack was fitter than he had been in the last few seasons (the last one is still relative, since I personally don’t think Jack is as fit as he can be, but at least he has been able to get a solid preseason behind him). Tactically, Arsene had also more or less figured out a good way to utilize our best players and it was working. We were solid and we were winning.

Going into the summer, the need seemed to be a CF and a DM in priority, followed by perennial need for a GK and CD. The need was also to get rid of the fat of the squad. A number of people pointed out at this point that a couple of good signings would transform our squad from being solid to being contenders. Unfortunately as the summer progressed and the frustrations increased, the narrative changed back to Arsenal having a weak squad, loads of money in the bank and Arsene having no clue. Bring on the Villa loss and we were a club at war with itself.

Mesut Ozil wasn’t what we needed, but he was that someone who Arsene has always talked about, the player who improves a position, and in turn the squad, and no doubt he has. He has the Va Va Voom that we loved to talk about when Thierry used to score goals for us. Add to the Ozil signing the genius signing of Flamini and we have a central midfield core that any team in the world can be fearful about. More than anything, Ozil changed the narrative around the club, gave the fans and players confidence and showed the world that we meant business. But let’s take a look at some of the players he’s joined in… just so we can remind ourselves of our squad!

In defense we have Szczesny, he who was once touted as the most promising GK since the days of Seaman and Lehmann. After going through a bit of a self searching phase, he began to reach his best towards the end of the last season, and has begun this season brilliantly (barring the Villa horror show). Behind him we have Fabianski and Viviano, good solid backups.

Then we have the indomitable pairing of Kos and Per, both phenomenal defenders who compliment each other’s game brilliantly. I would go as far as to say that they’d be up there as the best defensive pairing in the EPL right now, Per with his uncanny reading of the game and ability to organize, and Kos with his pace and tackling. We have TV on the bench, the club captain who is rearing to prove himself again! What has been heartening has been the fact that TV has been quite happy to take his chance when it comes. I had for a while thought that maybe he may want to move on (there was some interest from Barcelona at some point) if he couldn’t have games here, but I’m glad he’s still with the club.

Gibbs, Monreal, Sagna and Jenks; four absolutely terrific players who compete with each other and the result is an improving standard of play. Monreal in particular, I feel is hugely responsible for pushing Gibbs to be better than he had been. Sagna is a rock, I hope he gets a new contract. The only weak link (if I can call it that) is Jenks, who still needs to work on his game in order to be a regular starter, but the boy has great potential.

Centrally we have terrific options, and even before Ozil we had fantastic options. We have versatile midfielders who can play a variety of positions in Arsene’s 4-2-3-1 formation. We have Rambo in the form of his life (the boy really deserves all the praise he’s getting), we have Rosickly, Santi and Ozil, all players who could be playmakers or drift in from wide centrally to make the killer pass or even play off the CF. We have Arteta and Flamini, the passer and the tackler, and we have Jack, who is slowly getting back to his best. If this was not enough, we have Theo and Ox who can give us pace from the wings, and Poldi who will score goals coming in from either flank. Oh yeah, we also have Gnabry!

Up front we have Giroud, who last season I said would be a superstar to anyone who would listen, and he is showing his class. The thing that I love about Giroud is his sheer hunger to succeed and to help and to score goals. He wants to be the greatest at the club and he is working hard to get there. You couldn’t ask for more. His hold up play and his finishing have improved fantastically this season. As back up to Giroud we are perhaps a little short, but we do have Theo and Poldi who could potentially play in that position, as well as Apkom, Sanogo and Bentdner. Ideally if Sanogo had been fit I would have loved to see him start the Capital One Cup matches. Don’t forget it was the same competition in which Giroud found his feet (or head) last season.

But the thing that I love most about the squad (pre and post Ozil) has been the togetherness, the camaraderie and the hunger to succeed. It’s such a pleasure to see Instagram or twitter photos of players celebrating together. Poldi, despite being injured, seems to be the chief cheerleader. The big players such as Per, Flamini and Arteta seem to be stepping up to guide the younger players. Even TV in a recent interview alluded to the fact that a club captain can do much even if he’s not playing.

arsenal-spurs_ap_2658805b

So going forward I would love for this bunch to succeed, because in a long time I finally see the fruits of a long barren hard period coming to the fore. Win or lose, they will try, of that I’m sure, and as a fan I could not ask for anything more.

Let’s hope we have a terrific November and come Christmas we are still in a position to fight for the title.

Would love to know what you guys think!

Written by: Umair Naeem

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

63 Responses to Who turned Arsenal into EPL title contenders?

  1. Fozzie B says:

    Fiiirrrrrsttt flesh fluuuute fiddlers!!! Hey Cockie you gotta check out the link I left you last post!! Hitting hat now and pow wow tomorrow dudesses!! 😆

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Top stuff ‘Mair and all agreed. I am loving the constructive positivity and you are right about both the quality of the players you highlight and the characteristics of this group of players (togetherness, hunger, fight etc).

    We will need to see how they will fare against tougher opposition in the PL and CL to be absolutely sure this team will go places this or next season. However, like you I feel very positive except for the one potential weakness we have which is, as you pointed out to some extent as well, the loss of Giroud.as a result of injury.

    But let’s cross that bridge if and when we come to it. 🙂

  3. Mjc says:

    Rewatched the Reading 5-7 game the other night. Saw this big fella playing and I thought, who is that? It was Giroud, but the change up to this season’s Giroud is so huge that it’s like that weird feeling looking at Thierry when he first signed. Check out the match again – let’s face it – it’s not a chore of a game to watch!

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Mjc 🙂

    Not a chore at all 🙂

  5. GoingGoingGooner says:

    Great to hear positive comments about The Arsenal. Keep it up!

  6. Highbury Harmony says:

    Thank you for the effort in putting together this article Umair. While I appreciate the effort, I will unfortunately have to agree with the central argument in your post.

    The first mistake was stating that Ozil was not really the player we needed. Of course, this is your opinion, but to sell him as anything short of EXACTLY what we needed is doing him a disservice. Ozil may not be the backbone of this team, but he changed the atmosphere at the Emirates and brought confidence to those around him when the mentality was walking a fine line and more fragile than you seem to believe.

    Ozil is to this Arsenal squad, what Bergkamp was to the Arsenal in their glory years. Ozil is that world class talent that everyone looks up to and plays around. We’re more confident as a team when he’s on the pitch. Evident by the past weekend, when he’s not at his best, our entire squad suffers as a result. I’m not claiming that he’s the heartbeat of our team or that we can’t win without him, but he really changes the structure of how we play and how other teams defend us.

    However, you are correct that there was already a strong squad to build on in the first place that made this current Arsenal possible. If anything, it should be AW that receives the most praise for where we currently are. He is the reason that Arsenal have persevered all these years and this season while everyone else has fallen around us. He built this team, he had the faith in all these players, he convinced them to stay or to sign.

    Arsene is synonymous with Arsenal, and without him, we would simply be lost in oblivion or the next Leeds United.

  7. Highbury Harmony says:

    Have to disagree* 😉

  8. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. Hi Umair.. Nice to see you again.. nice post bro..

    I agree with you.. that our team is strong enough even without Ozil..
    It’s proven by the last ten games in our last season..

    But then we start the new season with lost.. eventhough I still think it was ‘the taylor’ that done wrong by his bad decision.. but we can’t change that.. it still zero point.. and that make our fans mad.. moreover we haven’t spend any peny on players.. can you imagine that.. hehehehe.. Big Club like Arsenal.. with promising 70 millions to spend.. didn’t spend any of his pundits to buy a new player..?? hehehehe..

    And then come the very surprised moment.. Mesut Ozil is Gunners..
    Never in my wildest dream that it will come to the truth.. 50 millions Euro.. wow..
    I only expecting for Mata or Bernard or some other great players for less than 30 millions Euro.. And because we already have Cazorla and Rosicky in our AM position.. and we also have Eisfeld and Zelalem there..

    But as we all know.. Ozil came just at a very right time.. when Rosicky and Cazorla injured.. Zelalem also.. and Eisfeld just can’t hold the load by himself..
    And Ozil lead the team perfectly to the glory.. with Flamini whom also bring in at the very right time to replace Arteta..
    So.. with all the fact.. How can I am not a big fans of Wenger..?? hehehe.. He really know exactly what the team need.. hahahaha..

    My answer to your question is WENGER.. He is the one who will bring us back to our glory.. and he will continuing his journey in Emirates for another 3 or 4 years to come.. and make it 20 years for Arsenal.. After that he may lead France to World Cup 2018 and Euro 2020.. hehehehe..

  9. 'mair says:

    @TA, thanks! Let’s hope the said bridge doesn’t arrive! Quite looking forward to Theo, Poldi and Sanogo coming back though…

    @HH, I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say in the post. What I meant when I said that Ozil was not the player needed referred to the fact that if any of us had a choice in strengthening a position in the transfer window, I’d be quite certain none of us would have entertained the thoughts of bringing in a new playmaker to the squad (except maybe Fab, and that too just because..). Our priorities were other positions. But this point exactly is what makes me say “Arsene knows”, because he identified that Ozil could be brought in and there is no doubt that he improves the squad infinitely. He saw an opportunity that would help improve our strengths, and we are seeing the results.
    I also agree with you over the fact that apart from the skill that Ozil brings, he has had an unbelievable effect on the morale of the fans and the players, and taken our confidence to a new level. Arsenal are now a team that have a top world star playing for them, and the likes of Rambo, Jack and the rest can only improve as a result.
    I also agree that the arrival of Ozil was in a way akin to Bergkamp’s arrival, as back then too, the most expensive transfer of the time was a harbinger to a show of intent from Arsenal. I hope it’s the case this time as well.
    The point of my blog was to remind everyone (including me) that if we had no squad into which Ozil fit in, we’d be struggling still. Ozil improved our strengths because we HAD strengths in the first place.
    Also to be fair, whereas he has become a vital member of the team, I think we are yet to see him at his absolute best. It’ll also be interesting how Arsene fiddles with the line up once Santi and Poldi come back. We could switch tactically from a narrow middle 4-2-3-1 to a winger based 4-3-2-1 with Theo and Poldi potentially. Mouthwatering and a great position to be at!

    @henrychan, absolutely! Wenger is the man who see the killer pass no one else does! I think we just need to have patience… I genuinely think we’ll end the trophy drought this year!

  10. VCC says:

    Smashing post Umair.

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading that post, but have to disagree slightly with the assumption that Ozil was not the player we needed.

    I think he was the exact player we needed. Truly world class, oozes confidence and shows great awareness and skill in all areas of the pitch.

    He and Flamini have ignited a spark within the bellies of our players. We seem as if we can play and beat anybody. Our fear factor has diminished and we look up to the fight against all comers.

    Something has rubbed off Ozil and Flamini, and our youngsters in particular have at last a player who they can look up to and aspire to.

    I’ve joined Terry’s gang…….”The ghosts of the thirties are stirring”

  11. Gerry says:

    Umair – Lovely post. You do put together some lovely well written stuff on here. I love it.

    Normally I would have a lot more to say, but some bloke who just turns up once in a blue (honey)moon comes on and say it all for me. Damn him!

    Congrats HH, btw

    So, sorry I shall say no more.

    Instead, I will turn to some news coming through, which I wish I could say is ‘Good news – Bad news, but it is far more extreme than that?

    The SAD news is, Bacary Sagna. Looks like this is his final year with us? I go back to him saying after scoring … ‘This is to thank you(fans) for your support’ … It does have that farewell speech edge to it? I hope I am wrong, but I fear I am not.
    Personally, I hope he gets the best deal for his security, wherever that may be, and just say
    ‘Thanks for everything’

    At the other end of the scale …

    The absolutely brilliant, fantastic news if it comes true? Dennis Bergkamp wants to be a coach at The Arsenal!

    If we thought we had add missing pieces to our onfield squad, in Ozil and Flamini, which along with the improvements in all other areas too, then this surely is the best addition for the developmental side of the coaching staff?
    Fingers crossed.

  12. henrychan says:

    VCC.. hi bro..
    Oz is a damn lucky-guesser.. he leading us by 12 points and 11 points in UMF.. hehehe..
    But anyway.. congrat Oz.. but we will chasing you soon.. sooner than you know.. hahahaha..

    Guys.. Don’t you think our first game lost and last game draw was because of bad referee decision..?? I still think we should got the penalty after mulumbu’s foul..
    The referee was very close to see that was a foul.. Maybe he can’t see a handsball.. but that foul is very clear.. hehehehe..

    But maybe some blessing in disguist in every lose or draw.. we never know..??
    Will Wenger bring Ozil and Flamini if not for our first lost..??
    And I think after this draw.. Wenger will completely clear that Flamini and Arteta shouldn’t play as our double pivot.. hehehehehe..
    And with our last season hero.. Cazorla, Walcott.. back soon.. Our team will only getting better.. and Wenger won’t have to play Flam-teta again.. but Flam-sey or Flam-shere or Ram-teta or Wil-teta.. heheheehe.. cause we have our wingers back..

    Can wait for week-8 to play.. hehehe.. We will overcome Norwich and hope Newcastle will push Liverpool to a draw.. hahahaha.. Spurs.. maybe another lose to Villa away.. hahahahaha..

  13. alexgunners says:

    ‘Mair.

    Great article.
    After the Villa game, I had the pitchforks out and asking for someone’s head. I’ll be the first to admit that. It was the frustration of the TW and i really let it get to me.
    You are spot on about the morale of the club, the players and the fans.
    Yes, Ozil has given us a lot of confidence but a lot of it also comes from the togetherness of the team and the fight that they have for each other.

    We are a little light as a squad but hopefully we will get there and pick up a couple more in the next TW.
    As fans, we are excited because we see our players belief and what a statement of intent, even if it was a deadline day signing. Madrid’s loss is our gain. We have lost plenty of players over the years and it’s great to have a players of such high calibre coming in.

    One person who to me embodies the true Gooner spirit is Poldi. A fighter, always there to support his team mates and i look forward to having him back in our team.

    Once again great article

  14. VCC says:

    HI Henry and Alex……….spot on comments indeed.

    We are showing a togetherness and hunger, that maybe was missing last year. Our performances since the Aston Villa defeat have been superb. Going on an unbeaten run breeds winners. Winning becomes a habit, long may it continue.

    With an abundance of riches coming back from injury our season can only go upwards. With Vermaelen content to sit on the bench we have a good back up for Per and Kos. The only concern is a proven back up for Giroud.

    Gerry…..how’s the dogs? Good I hope.

    Catch you guys later.

  15. 'mair says:

    @VCC, thanks!

    @Gerry, thanks! Would really love for Sagna to stay on… I hope he does but at the end of the day he’s a professional and whatever works for him. The news about Dennis is fantastic… would be a great way of diffusing his class across new generations of Arsenal players! Hope Arsenal can find a way to attract him once his Ajax gig ends.

    @alexgunners, thanks! Couldn’t have put it better about Poldi!

  16. jnyc says:

    Good job Umair. The media is so simplistic, giving too much credit to one acquisition. they ignore the great run to finish last season. Our great defensive stats from last season, and the emergence of Rambo in the second half of the season also.

    during the.transfer window i was sceptical on transfers after we missed higuain, and kept writing here that i wanted Arsene to add two very good players to add to our solid core of talent that contains some youth and experience. I also mentioned that our players were publically asking Arsene and gazidis to show some ambition also- arteta, koz, jack were quoted, and im sure other players felt the same.
    we ended up with even better than we hoped for, and it can only have helped inspire our guys to play this well.
    i think with some talent returning from injury, we will do well against the top clubs also, it will be up to Arsene to find the right mix and rotation. I think we can challenge for the top.

  17. VCC says:

    Reason why Sagna is not signing is because Arsenal have only offered him a one year extension. Looks like he is off.

    Big mistake in my book.

  18. James Bond says:

    nice one, Umair – you need to be writing more frequently as we all enjoy your writings –

    sure, Ozil isn’t the only one to have made us title contenders, but hey, imagine munching on a “chicken biryani” without chicken ? that’s what we were before the arrival of OoooooooooooooOOOooZil…..we were spicy rice without the quality chicken ; )

    HH – nails it, AW is the man !

    re- Sagna,

    then hold your horses,

    that one year extension offered to him was done a long time ago , last year and it was done after taking his injury record (which was very poor at the time), so let us take all of that into account before slating the management for offering a one year extension back then, when he still had more than 1 year remaining on his contract and was still sidelined due to injury…it was the right decision at the time….

    he’s not signed it not because of the terms, it’s because he may want to do a Flamini and is seeking a big pay day, people often forget, then when you leave for a “FREE” it usually means that you pay the player in millions for sign on fee.

    saying that, his performances off late and his versatility demand that he gets better terms and a pay rise because he is a vital part of our team now – i’m confident the board and AW will try do to their best and get this sorted as Sagna doesn’t come across a greedy person, since he has turned down Man $hity in the past ….he is a gooner and it shows when he plays – i expect him to sign the dotted line and do a Theo, hold out for a bigger pay packet as this is what his agent must be advising (rightfully so)…

    on a side note, his Mrs is hot – perhaps the hottest wag in England – Glics i mean CM, wouldn’t you agree 😉

  19. James Bond says:

    so reports from france hinting at KOC being out of the qualifiers or one of them at least, as they have added to their squad by calling an additional defender ?

    KOC doesn’t really need a rest, he’s plenty fresh due to his suspensions and cut to the head ? it’s Per.M i’m concerned about.

  20. James Bond says:

    Henrychan,

    luck is for the weak 😉 that Ozzie bloke is deffo upto some voodoooo or hoodoooo 😀

  21. henrychan says:

    Bond.. you know better about woman.. hehe.. but I agree with you.. she is hot.. and likely the hottest among other.. hehehe..

    For the voodoo.. you better ask Oz yourself.. hahaha..

  22. James Bond says:

    there’s no need to ask, it’s obvious he’s up to such shenanigans but too bad, it doesn’t work on cricket or else the Aussies wouldn’t be losing to us, every year, sometimes more than once in a year , like this year when we visit down under later in the year to retain “The Ashes” 😀

    i’m glad you agree with me in regards to Ludivine Sagna 😉

    i hope the calf injury KOC has suffered isn’t too serious and he is only following some good solid advice from the best manager in the world 😉

  23. ‘Morning boys…Snowing here…Very pretty…

    Great writing, as always, Umair, and the point about the readiness (and heart) of the squad is well taken. We have to remember that as big as the Ozil deadline day signing was, the biggest thing was keeping the squad intact. Of players who contributed last season we only lost Gervinho. It turns out that the Gerv can really play, in the right situation, but England and our stacked squad (he would have been behind Santi, Lu-Lu and maybe even Ox-Cham…) was probably not the right match.

    A lot of people like to think of the transfer window as they would the fantasy or computer games. Who can I get, for how much, and where do I plug them in?… Real world management is a lot more complicated. Nobody predicted that Ozil would become available, but he did and we got him. Even though it appears that his skill set overlaps with others already in the squad, I think he enhances all our would be #10, strong-engine, heart of the offense types (Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla). He’s got such an eye for spacing and his game is all about passing. If the others can get on the same wavelength, it’s makes for effective and beautiful football (Napoli). It gets tougher when opponents are able to mark him (and the others) with impunity or the mobility is hampered due to fitness issues (WBA away last Sunday). Regardless, he makes EVERYBODY better and he seems to have an incredible desire to work with the team and really show what he’s got. This is a precious, precious quality and I’m convinced that it doesn’t come with players who’ve turned mercenary (or loco…) in the past. I’m talking here of other “big” targets who were mooted: Suarez and Rooney in particular but also guys who have been on the bench elsewhere, including Higuain and Cesc. I would support any player who came to the club, but consider me chuffed that we got the best player who moved in the window–Sorry, but for our team, I believe he adds more than Bale, Cavani, Falcao, Neymar, Willian, Goetze or Isco, etc. might have… There are other little factors which help. Just being German, I think, may enhance Poldolski and Mertesacker’s role in the team (as well as being a lure for some of the young German talent coming up, including our very own Serge Gnabry…)

    In the end, credit must go to the manager. Give him and Bacary Sagna new contracts, I say, even if the former hasn’t won anything (yet, or at least for many years…) and the latter is out “injured.” What’s exciting is that we have a “team.” There may be other clubs with a combination of better players but they may lack this intangible. I like our chances and it should be fun to watch…

  24. Gerry says:

    Hi gang, I’ve had a malware inspection.so I have been off line all afternoon. Avast there me hearties, they(Avast) say they have sorted the problems … most have come from those damn sites offering ‘free’ footie feeds, but infect your computer with ad generating stuff. Be warned.

    Re Sagna. I don’t want him to go, but the extension of £60k for one extra year was a bit insulting. I think they were getting round to a 2 year one, but still on the same money?
    I now think it is so close to January, he may just wait and see what he gets offered in Paris?

    We will see.

    Henry, i wish you would stop judging that double pivot on the WBA game, when most of the first half we were a busted flush with Jack not playing well out wide, and Ramsey suffering from a dodgy knee. They played well enough once Rosicky came on, and the duo still in place.?

  25. 'mair says:

    @jync, absolutely… the key will be how the playing 11 and the substitutes play out once we have a full squad. It’ll be a good problem to have and we will have some fine options. We can definitely be contenders.

    @Mr Bond, thanks! Can’t say much since you put forward the Chicken Biryani analogy… except that I feel hungry now! On Sagna, I too am hopeful. He has been in fine form this season and far more consistent thanks to an injure-free phase. I’m quite certain the club won’t let him leave easily. There was a report in the Daily Mail suggesting that the club want to open negotiations with him… so let’s see!

    @17ht, thanks and absolutely right! Spot on comments.

  26. James Bond says:

    thanks for the warning Gerry, and i’m glad your antivirus is working better than mine, ha

    yep, the Flamteta has worked both times for me, what’s their main job ? to stop teams from scoring from open play and eek out the danger , no ? they have managed to do that from central positions very well from me….

    the goal we conceded was more down to JW being to slow to close down the cross from the right and then Jenks not being at the right place at the right time – none of Flamteta were at fault, so people need to breatheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Umair,

    it could possibly be a case of , Sagna saying no, unacceptable pay and all that and in turn, AW saying, ok, you want a bigger pay and better terms ? go out and prove it – and earn one like Theo Walcott did through his performances (Even though, TW’s performances may not have been as fruitful after signing the dotted line ) but i hope you get the gist 😉

    now his level is pretty much there and hence, he be signing the dotted line in January, since we be sitting pretty at the top and making great progress in other competitions as well ?

    i sure as well hope so.

  27. henrychan says:

    Hi Gerry..
    It’s okay to be different.. hehe..
    You may agree with TA for Flamteta.. but some of us see an opposite way.. hehe..

    We never really know which better.. only time can tell.. hehe.. and We can still be free to be different.. agree to disagree.. hehe..

  28. James Bond says:

    FOOTBALL
    Uncapped teenager Kurt Zouma is called up by France for Friday’s international friendly against Australia after Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny felt pain in his right calf.

    St Etienne centre back Zouma, 18, who was part of the France team that won the Under-20 World Cup in July, is added to the initial 23-man squad.

    Should regular starter Koscielny pull out injured, France still have Eric Abidal, Mamadou Sakho and Raphael Varane to play as centre backs.

    calling JGC @ calf injuries are short term right ? like not more than 2 weeks and back in time for Norwich 😉 ?

  29. James Bond says:

    also @ 17HT

    winter is upon us here in the U.K as well, apparently it’s going to be freezing cold here for the rest of the week – getting all the thermals out , the hats and the so on’s already, yikes !

  30. alcide says:

    JB,

    I fully agree with your comments on Sagna. The only think that would scare me, is that PSG could try to get him with an indecent proposal (Van der Wiel could use a older mentor and BS would be ideal). As loyal as Bac’ can be, they can probably make him think twice about his last few years before retirement if they are indeed interested.

    Umair,

    Excellent post btw.

  31. James Bond says:

    JW seems to be getting himself into trouble and spotlight a lot lately, very unwise words used yesterday in the interview – the world is changing Jacky boy, best to keep up and adapt otherwise you’re going to be seen as the next John Terry – you’re more smarter and better than that, surely ? or are we finally getting to see the real Jacky wilshere ? i wonder – (those tattoo’s and ciggy puffs don’t really fill me in with much confidence tbh) but we will let you off as you’re only a young lad.

    Alcide,

    if Sagna wants to go back to France and play there then AW wouldn’t stand in his way or even try to keep him, he knows it all to well as there are plenty of precedents…i’m just hoping that he won’t, based on this being a world cup year and him being a regular at Arsenal – on top of that, on his way on achieving a legendary status , if we can win plenty of trophies from now until he decides to hang his boots

    in any event, it would be wise of Arsenal to have options in place and no, that doesn’t mean promoting Bellerin just yet winks @ Gerry

  32. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks for the post Umair, excellent stuff

    Football clubs are an evolving process and in England, most have historys exceeding 100 years. We are rising again becuase of the long and splendid histrory of the club but because of the stadium move we should focus on the last decade.

    The plan to move stadium was a brave one and the majority owner at the time, Danny Fizman, and the rest of the Board should take great credit.

    The move was always going to be difficult. Financial handicaps, uncertain emvoiremnetal changes, and massive transitional effects both on and off the pitch to boot.

    If you allie the Boards foresight and courage with the managerial acumen of Arsene Wenger, then you have a chamce to pull it off.

    10 years after the descion to make the move were do we find ourselves? The club has a self generated turnover only exceeded in England by Man Utd, has no problems compying with financial rules, a new found stability enabling the club to hold its players, and procure new ones.

    What is going to take Arsenal to the top? Courage of convictions, Foresight, determination, hard work, and just as importantly, dignity and steadfastness against critiscism both from outside and within.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are stirring

  33. James Bond says:

    that was right out of the “Brave Heart” menu @ Terry

    it makes me want to play for Arsenal and die for Arsenal !!! (someone teach me how to do it on the play station or x box now) ha

    on a more serious note, top comment 🙂

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    007, I was wondering if anybody was gonna call Jack out on his England for the English talk. Yes, he got his goal and, overall, I think the criticism of his recent outings are over the top, but still… IMO he should stick to platitudes and let his boots do the talking… I’ll cut him some slack given the new baby, etc. but soon enough he’ll have enough rope with which to hang himself.

    At the other end of the spectrum re: professionalism… Let’s get Bac signed up. Even as a utility player he’s extremely valuable. Plus, his fitness commitment seems incredible. I don’t think we’ll see him smoking nor making (obliquely) racist remarks…Pay attention, Jackie boy…

    Snow turning to rain so the first ski of the season will have to wait…

    Also, Bond, Can you update me on the Int’ls, as they apply to our boys… England need to shore up automatic qualification with some points at Wembley, correct? Germany need a point or two also? France are clear (or nearly clear) for a play-off spot, but Spain has already won the group? Belgium (TV to play with Kompany injured…)? Wales are already out?…What am I missing?…

    Of course, I could look it up, but where’s the fun in that? 😀

  35. James Bond says:

    agreed,

    England = tricky situation currently on top, yes but ideally we need to win both are remaining games and we qualify, if we win one and draw the other then a strong chance of qualification…we draw both or lose one and draw one then that might not even see us through to the play off’s.

    Germany, only need 2 more points, even a draw on friday is good enough because of the goal difference , they are through more or less…

    Spain, not quite there yet, but they have played one less game and are tied for points with France, but they have a game in hand, i expect them to qualify with the french having to go through play off’s

    wales are sitting at the bottom bottom, play more for integrity and all that, building towards 2016

    who else ? hmmmmmm Czech’s not relevant since roSICKY is still in london.

    very disappointed with Jack’s recent shenanigans and comments, i was hoping he would be more like Beckham than in the Terry mold, seems to be a cross (tatt’s beckham) and comments seen to be like Terry, not our Terry , John Terry for the avoidance of doubt !

  36. James Bond says:

    ah, i missed out on Belgium

    they only need a point from their last 2 games – sorted.

  37. Gerry says:

    JB – Re the Sagna thing, again. I come back to the point I made a couple of days ago.

    It boils down to whether AW sees Jenks as the long term replacement for Bacs, and I don’t think he does? Therefore, if you are getting a new quality RB … and I mean quality, then that means somebody who is likely as not be a replacement for both? In that case, are the club going to stretch their wallet to pay a 30+ guy who, pretty soon will be on the bench, when they have a cheaper option in Jenks?

    If Sagna has worked that out, then he is probably wise to look at the alternatives?

    Not what I want to happen, but that may be the way the wind is blowing?

    On the subject of call ups, can I take you to my preferred option back in the transfer window …. particularly those players in the in th M-Z bracket? The guy you name as Kos’s replacement should be watched with a long term view as Per’s replacement in mind?
    He may be young but he has got ‘Presence!’ – Think young Sol Campbell?

    That reminds me, at the other end of that half of the alphabet, another of my TW (next summer) options may get an outing for Brazil too/

    You see, there is always something to look out for,including CG7 in the French squad? He is finding it hard to carry Lyon at the moment, but he has AW’ number 😀

  38. James Bond says:

    ideally, i would want Sagna to be given a 2 year extension, that enables both Jenks and Bellerin to be ready and firing all cylinders – would be win win for everyone really

    i agree with your early scouting for next TW 😉 indeed, a good solid options those and ones that can offer their services to the club for many many years to come – good ones

  39. Gerry says:

    Agreed JB, but will he accept the same terms?

    I have a thought for one of you speculative writers – Think 3 years down the line, and how we get there. Or to be more precise; Who should we build the team around (with regards to transfers incoming over the next couple of windows) to get the ultimate ‘Wengerball’ team?

    Henry, there are no wrong answers here either 🙂

    My point earlier was more about drawing conclusions from a flawed game … although the other game hardly supports your case does it 😆

  40. Gerry says:

    I think this is the point I find am talking to myself .. so I shall be back in the morning.

    Night all

  41. James Bond says:

    no, not same terms, 2 years on a pay increase, he deserves at least, 80-85 k/pw in my opinion as does BFG – both the contract extensions should be done at the same time

    in 3 years ? let’s win plenty of trophies in 3 years, fill it up and surely, the person that should be at the pinnacle is young Zelalem .

    laters , Gerry

  42. Thanks `mair , quality again !.
    Yes we had a decent squad before the arrival of Ozil and they were bonding well as a band of brothers, but this band of brothers needed a leader of SQ and he has been that SQ ( although we still need some more SQ ). Arsenal`s main problem before and after Ozils arrival has been injuries….we are fcuking cursed !…..this is what fcuks up our decent squad, too many injuries at once !.
    If we could just please the Bergkamps of Injuries with one every two months or something ( and I will go around and kick whoevers turn it is next , right in the cream crackers ) then it would be ok, but fcuk me !……..Ox, Diaby, Santi, Theo, Pod, Sagna, Rambo and now Koz ( Listen 007 Bondi Beach Babe, I have been suffering on and off with a calf injury for nearly 2 years, they are bastards !…Koz would be advised to soak his calf in Mrs Sagna`s pussy !….oh and you are right she is HOT !…if she loves Bacary`s double choc chip cookie, she will love my top notch footsie 100 index furry Blue chip cookie ! ).
    It`s just not fair injury wise, we need to start offering sacrifices to the Bergkamp`s of Injury……have we any deadwood left ?…..bring back Park !……he deserves it….the bastard eats dogs and as BK is a pro dog site ( no Stretch, not dogging ! ) I say sacrifice the bastard and save on some wages while we are at it !.

  43. James Bond says:

    ahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaahahhaha

  44. James Bond says:

    Park will be loaned to Wigan, very soon , don’t worry about that one – he was written off from the accounts a long time ago, all his wages and what not have already been reflected in the financial accounts of last year….

    just goes to show that everyone knew as soon as back then about him being a lost cause, completely – hence the unusual practice of writing the remainder of his contract and offsetting it against our revenues/profits – balance sheet.

    smart move.

  45. I still want to sacrifice the bastard though and feed his remains to puppies of the free world !. hahaha

  46. Fozzie B says:

    Evening kilt gapers!!! 😀
    Great positive read Umair and thank you!! I agree that the spirit I togetherness is immense and there don’t appear to be any massive egos at the mo and with only additions to the squad that belief is growing! The November period is going to be the killer from manilla hopefully the walking wounded will be up to speed because we sure are going to need them!!!! I definitely want Sanogo to get us much time as poss. I have a really good gut feel for the pad wan!! 😀

  47. Fozzie B says:

    What do you guys reckon on the leaked new kit??

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys 🙂

    Busy all day with work and family so no chance to write a post. However, ‘Mair’s post is so good, it deserves another day, and so do the fine follow up comments.

    Sorry I cannot be more involved at the moment. Catch you all tomorrow again. 🙂

  49. geoffchase says:

    Hi

    Wildly busy myself..

    But, JB, calves are generally easy unless it’s a major tear/pull and inter-lull should suss it hopefully..

    Also, agrees on on Sagna! positioning before a new deal… Likely especially as it’s not all over everywhere that he’s gone…

    Umair, like H.h I’d disagree a bit too. I always wanted some DM presence! Which turned I to Flamini, and a striker who was more #10 and a creator. Ozil is about 3 assists to 1 goal, and I’d have wanted more 50:50. However, to me it’s always been about our predictability and relatively single focused attack that made us predictable AND limited opportunities. As I wrote a. It back, the team who’s scores more wins, and goals don’t come from strikers, they come from opportunities. Thus, ….

    Cheers — jgc

  50. 'mair says:

    Mr Bond, I hope you’re right about Sagna! Fingers crossed!

    @alcide, thanks!

    @TerryMancini, thanks and you had me jumping up and down! Perhaps Wenger can hire you in some capacity?!

    @17ht, Re the Wilshere comments. Really left a bad taste in the mouth… I hope he realizes he needs to speak less and play more.

    @TheCockieMonster, thanks and the “Bergkamps of Injuries”?! You had me in stitches!!

    @FozzieB and TA, muchos gracias!

  51. James Bond says:

    you’re not very demanding are you @ CM 😉

    no worries @ TA — publish an article when you can, no pressure 🙂

    ah, yes @ JGC — i forgot that you’re in a different time zone now, and with family, so it’s understandable.

    good points and in agreement as usual.

    the team who scores more wins – can be seen in that crazy reading vs Arsenal cup game, so in essence, our defence /midfield is sorted to a large extend, we can now primarily focus and strengthen our forward/striker/SS line now, ideally 1 quality signing fixes that as we will have Giroud/Poldi still there, both might not be SQ but they are quality none the less.

  52. James Bond says:

    the new kits are a bit of this and a bit of that really, could have been done better in my opinion but they are ok @ FB

  53. James Bond says:

    anyhow, i have been reading extracts from Harry the spud – i must admit, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read, i do recommend it to those who like reading and have a bit of spare time at work like me, ha

    the highlight for me was when he described his tax trial , that court case involving Rossie the doggy ahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha he goes onto say

    “i was thinking, oh God, what if the Judges or people on the Jury are all Arsenal Supporters and fans” oh my god

    ahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaah

  54. James Bond says:

    FOOTBALL
    Aaron Ramsey is passed fit to captain Wales in Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Macedonia, manager Chris Coleman confirms.

    With regular captain Ashley Williams ruled out by an ankle injury, midfielder Ramsey, 22, will be handed the armband for the second game in succession.

    “Aaron came off for Arsenal at the weekend with a dead leg and we have been managing that,” said Coleman.

    “He will not train today but we expect him to be available for Friday.”

    as long as he gets rested on a tuesday , i’m fine with it

  55. James Bond says:

    Attention Glics/CM/Fozzie with a B

    an excellent opportunity for you all to make some quick buck, ha

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsenal-fans-wanted-bizarre-job-2358240?

  56. proudgooner says:

    I came across this naughty little minx (no pun intended)

  57. The Cockie Monster says:

    Evening Tampon Tasters!.

    First I will apologise to anyone who is offended by what I rant about next…..yeah right…..you can swivel on my fluffy blue hologram cock ! hahaha.

    I pulled into a Petrol Station and waited behind a women driver who sat for 2 mins doing fcuk all !. I actually thought she was going to pull away, but no, the fat bitch finally gets out the car and waddles along and takes 10 mins to fill up her car !. Honestly I was getting so angry I was turning blue in the face !.
    I sat there watching this fat fcuker and see that she had 2 disabled stickers on her car, So is being a fat fcuker classed as being disabled nowadays ?. Stop eating super markets bitch !.
    I think the 2 disabled stickers were actually for her car !. The fat bitch had probably broken it`s suspension !, not a disabled women but a disabled car !. I shall be putting disabled stickers on the fcuking pavement behind the bitch….I can hear the concrete crying in agony from her foot steps !.
    So sorry if any of you BKers are married or going out with a porker !. Sorry that I give them a cookie every time after I mix the ingredients up in their mouths !. hahaha

    Rant over !.

    Yeah Bondy Babe, I see that, nice advert !. But I`ve already got someones fist up my jaxi already !.

    Nice one PG……I`d like to shower her with some Jiz Cookies !.

  58. Just read that advert again and if I wasn`t inundated with sexual demands from all the BK WAGS, I would give it a go !. He wants wit and I only know of one person wittier than me and he, as I said before, has his fist up my jaxi !. His identity shall remain a closely guarded secret until he returns from looking after his missus, he does send his love though………not to you bastards !……… but your WAGS !. hahaha

  59. Lucky for me I have a cockie that also acts as a universal translator, basically dumb arses, I can speak and understand any language in the universe apart from Scouse !. At the end of this video, Bacary rambles on a bit , but he is basically saying that whilst he is making the vid, I am shafting Mrs Sagna and grinding some cookies, oranges and jizz in her mouth and making a new Monster champagne called Bucks Jizz !.

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    New post new post 🙂

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