Time to hand the armband to the BFG

The BFG is ready!

The BFG: our future skipper?!

Per Mertesacker to become Arsenal captain next season?

First of all, I would like to say, TotalArsenal our own Bergkampesque skipper has sadly lost a loved one. I want to offer my sympathy and support in this tough time. We are a tight group on this site; Frank (totalArsenal) is always there with some kind words whenever another member reveals some tough moments in there lives. A truly nice bloke, so this is why I have chosen to write my maiden post today to lighten the load on him, and if anyone else has a topic they wish to post, now would probably be a great time to do it.

(Written pre- FA cup final)

Ok, I know this topic has been raised before but I feel it now has gone to a different level. I will explain why I would really like to see the Big F*****g German take the armband in front of Thomas and Arteta (vice-captain) next season.

The moment that has cemented the BFG’s march for captaincy was in the FA cup semi-final v Wigan. When Wigan got a penalty and Gomez scored it, I was very nervous: the thoughts of Birmingham in league cup final came flooding back. The similarities were very close. That day it was a Laurent Koscielny mistake, and this time Per had brought a player down which cost us a penalty .Mertesacker, a Gooner – a man who loves the club – was clearly stressed about this: one mistimed tackle could cost us silver again, another year without :/ . But he fought on kept his composer and gave his all to put it right; and he did so when he popped up in the box as our furthest man forward and calmly guided his diving header into the net like a world-class striker on a training pitch.

For me, that was the moment he totally proved he is the man to skipper Arsenal! You could see the emotion in him as he celebrated, he truly felt the burden of what if that penalty cost us the cup.

Now it’s one thing to try to make up for your mistakes and take it on yourself to put it right, but its a whole lot more special and telling when someone actually does it, as Per did. He will probably captain Germany this summer at the Brazilian world cup. His age and experience are perfect. We have a English- German core in our team now with Podolski, Ozil, Zaleem and Gnabry, and young Eisfeld a promising great young player. I think he will be in our first team next season; by the way, I would give him Kallstroms place next season.

Back to Per; for me the way he responded to his penalty mistake was every bit the leader legend role of a John Terry or Vincent Kompany. He is solid and it does feel to me like the best skippers come from defence: a position where you can read the game and defend your team – he is also vocal.

Post-Game

There is no reason that this should undermine TV5. Easier said than done, I know, and to be fair it will a little, but the manager just needs to say to him that he wants him to be the same way as he is now; he too is a leader and a great player imo. He should continue to be a leader and give his full support, but while he is not in the side Per should captain the team.

GREAT NEWS

Laurent Kosielny has signed a new long term contract so Munich can do one!

This really is great news because it continues to show that the days where we are selling our best players is over!

Best CB-pairing in the league

Best CB-pairing in the league

Kos and Per are our foundation, and while I hope Sagna also signs a new deal, he is ageing and perhaps it’s time to let Jenkinson take over; that said, you do need two very good players in every position, so for me, losing Sagna is still a very big loss. Not to mention that he can cover at CB, to replace Per with a player of equal quality. He does not need to be trained to get up to speed straight away and an external replacement would surely cost at least £15,000,000. That considered, to me it makes sense to just give him a high wage. However, our club is very shrewd with the maths, so surly they must have thought of this??? It seems clear to me, but hay I don’t know all the ins and outs.

Your thoughts, ladies and gents?

Written by: proudgooner

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

95 Responses to Time to hand the armband to the BFG

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent maiden post, proudgooner, and thanks for the kind words. You are a gent! 🙂

    Fully agreed on the BFG being our captain next season. TV5 as captain makes no sense. A captain plays and leads on the field every week. This is a big role that makes a big difference to the mental strength of the team. Let the BFG lead and organise: above anything else, that is his biggest skill. A no brainer.

    Also agreed on Koz. A very important player and the triangle of Sz, Koz and the BFG is one to build further on. And Gibbs and Sagna complete a fine back five. Come on Arsene sign up Ludivine and the rest will follow! 🙂

  2. proudgooner says:

    Thank you Total Arsenal ,
    I am pleased to have been able to get a post in.
    I am also really sorry for your lose i can only imagine how it would afect my own sister and the difficulties that it would make and the upset.
    She needs her brother more then ever my friend , i just know you will be great for her.
    Kos and Per really stepped it up in the semi-final and the final and i want know just how much they think of our new hero’s

  3. proudgooner says:

    Great pictures they are perfect. 🙂

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    A massive loss indeed, PG. 😦

    Near Kossistent and near Per-fect make a fine duo, PG, but we will miss Sagna tremendously if he is to leave.

    The BFG is very photogenic!

  5. geoffchase says:

    PG

    Great post and interesting insight.

    I too think the numbers play a bit different Re Sagna, but we will see. That said, if we spend on him and dont take risk in replacement… A hard call, and I would be happy with a solid replacement (perhaps this Aurier?) who will come of age in time, as well as with paying him to stay. I am not sure we can do both but one never knows.

    Regarding Per, the only question is why it’s take so long. IMO, all teh talk about TV elsewhere for big dosh is myth. He hasnt played enough really. My take, we should make Per captain and move TV5 towards DM type role, especially if it proves really difficult to get a good B2B/DM/MF_Presence! type of player – which barring Schneiderlin I suspet it might prove to be.

    I would then take my chances on keeping TV after the last year if it works, or let him go as “surplus” to requirement if it doesnt… That’s an economic loss in some ways, but, like any decision that has risk (see above) that is one I would be more confident of taking (if I was emperor and rule of Arsenal for a day)… 🙂

    Just my 2p — jgc

  6. proudgooner says:

    To add a bit more to an already disgusted topic., but 1 that has gone to another level.

    1– How much has Steve Bold influenced our defence?.

    2– Is Jenkinson ready to fill in for Sagna?

    3– KOS abilty to score very important goals for Arsenal, This Is this just a coincidence ? Or have we got a very special CB pairing on par with any?

  7. proudgooner says:

    JGC,
    I love the idea of TV5 as DM player, he is a great player who is very unlucky to have come up against such a great pairing.
    I would be very sorry to lose him.
    As a few people have commented , as he walked up the stairs of Wembley his face was not one of happiness and that worries me slightly. Also the way Per and Kos both raised the cup together as one. It ws just the contrast of emotion that stuck out to me.
    Do you the Wenger will try him as a DM?

  8. proudgooner says:

    JGC,
    Regarding Sagna, i am starting to come across to your way of thinking, his age etc, also the commitment KOS has shown by signing a new deal, his effort and important goals. If Sagna does not share there commitment to the course then maybe he should move on.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Before I go to bed, here are my quick answers, PG:
    1. A lot but we need a good DM and BFG as captain for Bold to get it totally right, I reckon.

    2. I don’t think so, and Sagna’s experience will be very hard to replace.

    3. No coincidence, but we need him to do it more often in less crucial games/periods of the game…

    Night all. 🙂

  10. TERRY TRANSPLANT says:

    Lovely stuff PG

    You have a very easy writing style I enjoy. I have no doubts that you pull loads of birds.

    I am not really hang up on the captaincy issue. This probably stems from my childhood as I always hated my footballing captains. Even though I was often a unused sub, it was always my belief that I should have captained the sides I was a sub in.

    The Sagna thing does my head in. How do we replace a guy with his experience? If he does leave, then we must get somebody in who has exceptional potential to compensate.

    Well, if TV5 is anything like me, then you can forget about him accepting the situation. My course of action would be to beat up Wenger, ring up Merts wife to tell her that you spotted the big German going into a gay nightclub with Poldoski, and last resort just before a big game abduct and tie him to a chair. As all the players are warming up asking “weres Per”?, you run out proclaiming “its all right lads, ime here now, forget him, ime miles better than that big twat”

    Keep a look out for this next season.

  11. Gerry says:

    Nice post PG, and yes, of all the ‘no-brainers’ we have at the moment, BFG as Captain makes the most sense.

    For a start, he is unlikely to lose his form if officially given the role, as he has been more or less been doing it all season.

    Also, when fit, he will play. At the same time, we do need cover. And this is where the speculation over Sagna is key. Someone, possibly jgc/17Ht?, said that we will be really replacing two players if he goes.
    Not only at RB, but also as a complimentary pairing for Kos. The word ‘complimentary’ is very, very important. If the alternative CB needs Kos to organise things, then sadly we lose something from Kos’s game. Long term that would be a disaster.

    Sagna needs no such organising. He reads the game as well as any.

    Another point that has been raised before, JB perhaps? is the extra cover that Sagna gives to Per, which has been vital. This is something Jenks has a long way to go, on his own.

    This is why I cling so strongly to the 10%! We are not going to get any player to come in on less than a 3 year deal, and even if they come at half the wages required to keeps Bacs, they are unlikely to do the two jobs he does. So spend the £10-£15m fee on keeping him, even if it is spread over the next 3 years, and tied to the number of games in each season, it surely makes sense?

    We still need CB cover, and if the armband is taken from TV5 as wells as losing his first choice place in the side, I cannot see him staying. That face as he climbed the Wembley steps, had all the hallmarks of a man who felt betrayed? He needs to play, and above all, respected as a very good centre back. It is tough for him not to feel the lack one with the lack of the other?

    For once I have to disagree with jgc on the point of making him our DM. I mean STRONGLY disagree..

    DM is a specialised position. Which is why there are so few very good ones. For a CB to convert they need to read the game behind them, rather than just what is ahead. They need mobility, and good decision making – even Flamini, a DM by trade, can fall down here occasionally – They also need to pass accurately with both feet, as they do not operate in just one half of the field.

    Thomas Vermaelin is just a tad too one dimensional in most respects to be successfully switching at this stage of his career.

    As for the Steve Bould question, the obvious answer is yes, but my guess it is more subtle than taking over that role?

    Whenever they show clips of AW and SB in conversation, it is usually AW doing the talking, and Bouldy doing the responding? I think where SB has had an effect is with the players in training. He is on the defenders wavelength, and they in turn reflect that to the non-defenders that AW likes to use when we defend. It has been a growing influence because of the difference it has made on the pitch, but I don’t see AW ever letting go of his majority decision making?

    Is Jenks ready? I think the more serious question is, ‘Will he ever be ready to fill Sagna’s boots?’

    The answer to that is probably, NO. But then very few will. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jenks’s hard work and effort he puts out whenever he plays, and he is still young enough to get better. But he is more one-footed than Gibbs, and he is tall and his body shape it can make his passing very predictable? He likes to get forwards and has a decent cross in him. But he has tendency to move inside, partly so he can have an occasional pop at goal, but it can leave him chasing two players down the line should we lose possession.

    I have suggested that if he had Bellerin ahead of him, particularly while we await Theo’s return, might just work. Then Jenks need not venture forwards quite so much, or leave the line of defence, and should he get caught out of position, the speedy Bellerin could do what Gibbs does on the other side, and get back and cover. However, this is largely based on how I saw Bellerin a couple of seasons ago. I said then, he is too talented to be wasted on a fullback
    No disrespect intended, Bacary :).
    I don’t know how well he has developed in the meantime. After initial good reports at Watford on loan, he failed to hold down a place, at full back admittedly. And was hardly going to dislodge their contract player when he was fit again. He too, had an injury I think, so his occasional place on the bench was something, but he needs game time. Hopefully, pre-season he may get this and we get a chance to see if he is going to make it in the top rank?

    The 3rd question is partly answered in regards to the special pairing, with my reference to TV5. They are one of the best complimentary pair in the EPL, if not beyond. As for goals? I am very critical of our set piece play in general, but it may be when we really need a goal, the kick taker right through to those in the box are just a bit more keyed up?
    I would like them to use a variety of set ups from corners. At the moment a popular one is having Per to head on from the near post. I like it when he stands deep and make a late run into the box.
    However, none of it disguises the fact that most of our free kicks are wasted. I know people think it strange when RVP takes corners, but he know what strikers like, and where and how they need to be put in. My big support for JD coming last January was because he can take a really good free kick 90% of the time, rather than our 10%, whether that be Ox, Cazorla, or Theo!
    In short, we can do better.

  12. jgc says:

    Hi

    My quick thoughts and responses with insomnia:

    A. Replacing Sagnas experience will be hard, and his cover. Thus, the extra dosh might be worth it. BUT, even then it’s two players not one. Keeping Sagna for more and the eventual replacement anyway… Maybe not all at once but …

    B. Gerry, I too would prefer a purer DM, BUT what made TV a liability with Kos or Per was his aggressiveness. He wasn’t complementary to either.. And hence not a fit. However, that aggressiveness and he can play with both feet and pass might suit well with his experience in CB to fit that role. A dedicated and PL experienced DM is preferred, but if none of quality are available, .. Then what

    C. Note that I’m in the Per / Kos is special and rare pairing camp and worth more together than either alone. That’s more unique than not.

    D. Finally, and re transfers in general, it’s not always just the cash or Kos would be at BM, right..? Sometimes the player chooses to stay like Kos even if the home fans (BM in this case) think more money was all it’d take… Or the opposite for Sagna? I think he’s sitting on the fence fighting that head-heart choice..

    E. No, Jenks isn’t ready yet. Counter in that was last year end we all said the same of Ramsey!

    So, exciting times ahead in any event..

    Cheers — jgc

  13. VCC says:

    super maiden post proudgooner……and a further bit of crawling here…..your correct TotalArsenal is a really nice bloke, and we are all sorry to have heard his recent bad news.

    My thoughts on Thomas Vermaelen being our captain is that it has affected his game and form imo. Some players need to just concentrate on their own game and not have the burden of the team on their shoulders. If he was relieved of this duty I’m sure he would perform admirably again in our colours.

    Koscielney signing a new contract is a big plus, and will give our youngsters a huge lift this coming season

    If Mertesacker were to be given the captains armband I sincerely hope he can cope with the added pressure it brings.

    I’m a firm believer you need several leaders in your team who protect the younger more vulnerable members of the side, and help everybody stick together. We have lost this trait since the Tony Adams days.

    Arteta will be playing a bit part next season so the natural one to take over from Vermaelen would be the BFG.

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi guys…

    1st off, Nice job PG and you do seem a top guy, as Terry suggests. I’m far less concerned about who wears the armband and think stripping TV5 of it is no reward for the professionalism he has shown. Of course, if he were to go, the BFG is a very logical candidate for all the reasons you highlight… Like you (and Gerry, I think) say, it was (is) bittersweet that Verms leads the team up the steps and hoists the trophy w/o playing, but (IMO) AW has to do what he can to keep his players’ spirit/confidence intact. If he’s gonna be at the club, don’t take it away, I say. The BFG and Arteta (and Sagna, Flamini, Szcz, Kos and Ramsey among others) are already leading on the pitch as it is, and this sort of collective leadership, IMO, is far more important…

    I’ll take a middle ground between Gerry and JGC and suggest that I think Verms *could* do a bit of time at DM and that his presence would enhance our game at set pieces. He’s got his own issues, mostly around staying fit, but when he streams forward defenders must respect him (cover him) which I think opens chances for others, esp. out wide. When fit, he attacks set pieces better than anyone. My take is that his fitness issues may be very long term or to the point that he’s no longer the player he once was. For example, he really just didn’t look the same (esp. going forward…) in the matches he did play this past season even though I thought he did pretty well, esp at the defensive end…

    So, then, I guess I’m agreeing with JGC that Verms might get a lot of paper talk (smoke) but maybe not so much in the way of actual transfer action (fire), injuries (long-term fitness) and a pretty large salary being the main issues. Also, professor, I don’t know if the insomnia is bad, but surely my season re-cap might be just the tonic. In truth I was looking forward to your take on my writing as you’ve noticed a bit of negativity creeping in. The short version is that I feel quite positive about the team, if not very postive (at all) about the Goonersphere… On a similar note, I’m still waiting for my personal reply from Total, but I respect that he might be busy. Maybe you guys over there didn’t have the bank holiday (along with rather a rather distressing set of election results, among other things)…

    I dunno, I get the sense that only some of us are in the mood to actually have our reading and writing be interactive, which makes me sad and sometimes angry. Like I said, I was hoping to have more back and forth about my post… I really don’t want to step on anybody’s toes and I think TA wants BKesque to be a “live and let live,” sort of place, but I found myself in a bit of a rage after AFC’s postings yesterday, in particular the one he likes from the fan at the Villa match. Posting it would seem to suggest that (in his opinion) nothing has changed since the opening day, which, to me, seems the height of absurdity. On the other hand, he also posted that he had read and enjoyed my season re-cap. The two statements, side by side, make no sense at all, as the one seems a complete rejection of the other…

    Then (of course) talk turns to transfers, as if they are ALL that matters. Money IS important (Cockie is right about that…) even if teams (Pool, Atletico, this season for example) can overachieve for short periods. I realize that this will fall upon deaf ears (if it is read at all–and be nothing but repetition for others…) but salaries are the key. Arsenal offer pretty nice levels which make us attractive–but then we have to pay them. If you buy people you’re stuck with them (represented in the unfortunate term, “dead-wood”) We cannot sell Lucas Poldolski because he’s on huge money (one site says 150k/week…) yet some are asking to buy 6+ players per window and then posting videos where a fan is lauded for telling Gazidis (and the rest of the board) that they don’t have a f**king clue. Mirror time, I say…

    My take is that some observers want to play fantasy football and then want to place blame about why we’re not playing it. If that’s your tack, so be it, but at least place the blame correctly. We’re competing against clubs whose owners don’t mind losing money (or taking on big debts) while ours (Kroenke–Usmanov only sits and makes noise in the tougher moments…) gouge the fans and watch their shares grow in value. Management serve at the pleasure of ownership yet (somehow) Wenger and (sometimes Gazidis and the rest of the board) get the blame (!?!) Reality (as I see it, at least) thus takes a flight (out the window). Sorry, but I don’t see any analysis here, just a repetition (from our darkest moments…) that becomes dogma. Carry on, if you must, but at least tell me where I’m missing the boat…

    So, it only took 10 days from the lovely cup final and my bad attitude is back. 👿 Apologies… 😳

  15. AFC says:

    17ht, you said:

    ‘I really don’t want to step on anybody’s toes and I think TA wants BKesque to be a “live and let live,” sort of place, but I found myself in a bit of a rage after AFC’s postings yesterday, in particular the one he likes from the fan at the Villa match. Posting it would seem to suggest that (in his opinion) nothing has changed since the opening day, which, to me, seems the height of absurdity. On the other hand, he also posted that he had read and enjoyed my season re-cap. The two statements, side by side, make no sense at all, as the one seems a complete rejection of the other…’

    I really do not know why you would be in a rage about my comments. If you had noticed I said that it was my favourite interview from AFTV over the course of the season as it summed up what the majority of supporters were thinking at the interview was taken and it was also quite funny at the same time. I have never said anything has not changed from the opening day of the season so I do not know where you get the idea of me being absurd. I posted an interview which was a personal favourite of mine and you take that as my statement to your post and what is going on at Arsenal now when the interview was recorded at the beginning of the season, a long time ago. My view on how Arsenal has change was explained briefly in my reply to your post.

    You then went onto say:

    ‘Then (of course) talk turns to transfers, as if they are ALL that matters. Money IS important (Cockie is right about that…) even if teams (Pool, Atletico, this season for example) can overachieve for short periods. I realize that this will fall upon deaf ears (if it is read at all–and be nothing but repetition for others…) but salaries are the key. Arsenal offer pretty nice levels which make us attractive–but then we have to pay them. If you buy people you’re stuck with them (represented in the unfortunate term, “dead-wood”) We cannot sell Lucas Poldolski because he’s on huge money (one site says 150k/week…) yet some are asking to buy 6+ players per window and then posting videos where a fan is lauded for telling Gazidis (and the rest of the board) that they don’t have a f**king clue. Mirror time, I say…’

    I never said that transfers are the only things that matter. I said transfer are very important for us to push on. I said internal improvement will be another factor but I was simply trying to say you cannot rely on internal improvement only, as internal improvement happens within all the clubs in the Premier League. If we was to only rely on internal improvement we probably would not even have finished fourth this season and will most likely drop out of the CL places next season.

    Who said Podolski cannot he sold. Only you are saying that. Podolski might be willing to take a wage cut to get more playing time but you seem to believe this never happens in football. Podolski is on wages of closer to £100 000 a week (I think) which are much lower than the amount you quote. When have I said that the board should buy six players per window? Please point out when I have said this.

    The fan was right in the interview. We went into this season unprepared and not ready for this season because the board and Wenger was complacent. Most of the other big clubs get their business done nice and early apart from us, we are always left scrapping around on deadline day for signings. It is just ridiculous Wenger and the board never seem to learn.

    If you cannot see that I suggest it is time you take a look in the mirror instead of suggesting I do.

    But it seems you are happy with whatever Wenger and the board do(?)…

    You then said:

    ‘My take is that some observers want to play fantasy football and then want to place blame about why we’re not playing it. If that’s your tack, so be it, but at least place the blame correctly. We’re competing against clubs whose owners don’t mind losing money (or taking on big debts) while ours (Kroenke–Usmanov only sits and makes noise in the tougher moments…) gouge the fans and watch their shares grow in value. Management serve at the pleasure of ownership yet (somehow) Wenger and (sometimes Gazidis and the rest of the board) get the blame (!?!) Reality (as I see it, at least) thus takes a flight (out the window). Sorry, but I don’t see any analysis here, just a repetition (from our darkest moments…) that becomes dogma. Carry on, if you must, but at least tell me where I’m missing the boat…’

    When I have ever told people what to do on this site on what to talk about. You can talk about whatever the hell you want. I just write what I am feeling and do not have a ‘tack’. I place the blame at Wenger, the board and Gazidas do not just place then Wenger. Maybe it is you that wants to control people and what they can write, everyone must write what you want or else you will get angry and sulk.

    I have no problem with you disagreeing with me or saying I am talking absolute bollocks as you are entitled to your opinion but I really do not see why you have try and look down your nose at people who hold views different to your own, as if you are better than them and try and take the moral high ground all the time. The constant sarcasm and labelling in some of your comments if just annoying and the constant over- exaggeration my beliefs (and others) on this site is just as annoying. I do not know if it is arrogance or some sort of a superiority complex but I don’t like it.

    At first I thought it must be me and I have tried to ignore this but then I realised it wasn’t. Other bloggers on this site have taken offence to your comments and have seemed to have taken away what I have from some of your comments. 😦

  16. Gerry says:

    17HT – I detect a bit of pent up rage there? 😀 😀 😀

    I think you do yourself a disservice re your post. The trouble is you write so well that I guess a lot do not feel they can add much? Me, I am also an analytical bugger, so I can always find something to discuss. But even I had little to say on your ‘Our season, as it unfolded’ take. It was simply superb. As many did comment on?

    But you are right in some respects. The start of this transfer window and the start of last seem to be repeating themselves, not helped much by the master of doom and gloom(or the clown of down?), with his ‘have we bought anyone yet?’ His enjoyment of the non-event is a bit too much at times.. It is almost the FA Cup win has been put to one side and forgotten because we did not win the league, or more likely not beat our top rivals?

    I promised myself not to get involved with the transfer chatter this time, but it seems that is all what people want to discuss. I hate to think how you will feel when Dylan’s ‘wish-list’ post comes out?

    Still, coming back to footballing matters, re Vermaelin. If he has a good WC, the offers will come. Whether they are acceptable is another matter. He played last night for Belgium and was described as ‘being a little rusty’. So with a few games under his belt he should be fine by the time they get knocked out – injured, or ready to go?

    As to jgc’s point about him rather wanting a proper DM, but TV would be okay? I see that as choosing between a plug in the plug hole or a piece of rag. Yes, the rag is better than nothing, but it will leak. It is not as though players are unavailable, it is whether we are prepared to pay top whack for a good one or opt for a cheaper one?

    The player I have in mind, could be available at a reasonable price £15- £20m who we could develop into this role. If the WC makes him a super star, then kiss good bye to that price tag.

    So have an expresso, a deep breath, and let the flow drift past like it is going somewhere else?

  17. proudgooner says:

    TMHT,
    I know a bit about your footballing back ground and the players you played with in your teams. So you football points are always well soaked in by myself. I believe you would have been a fine captain . It sounds like you may of had a few similar expiriance as TV5 ? Maybe to Ray Wilkins?
    But I bet you pulled my bird the Ray , using your charms and making them laugh they way into bed 😉 ha ha ha

    For those that don’t know yes our Terry played along side some of England’s finest.
    Thank you for the kind words.
    Also Terry follows our youth team a lot more then myself, which I will try to do more in future but his points on them I take as fact. His football knowledge is a strong as any.

  18. AFC says:

    Sorry about that PG.

    That was a brilliant maiden post for BK. 🙂

    I totally agree with you about BFG taking the armband. He likes the responsibility of organising our back four and the team and will embrace the captaincy.

    Also agree with you on Sagna. We should do everything we can to keep him and like Gerry I am hoping he stays. He is an important part of our squad.

    We have a special CB pairing on our holds. Kos and Mert compliment each other perfectly. I can’t see a better CB pairing in the league. When it comes to Jenks I am with Gerry.

  19. AFC says:

    and what to talk about*
    do not just place the blame on Wenger*
    of my beliefs*

  20. proudgooner says:

    Gerry,
    Good points and I can only agree when reading your commenet. That losing Sagna could result in us needing 3 defending players if he departs, a RB, CB and a DM. Though I like the idea of TV5 trying out his trade as a DM it is not a sure to work move . That said losing Sagna is a bad move by our club and they really should give him that extra cash to keep out IMO a great back 4, I am a ” if it’s not broke then don’t try to fix it man”.
    Is Sagna being a bit if a Yaya Toura ego maniac ? Holding the club to ransom, I would say no. He is not asking for 300k but his not asking for sausage and chips money either. The fact Sagna is on a free at the moment could we not sign him on a strong wage for 3 years then sell him for the cash back after 2 years? That could work , you may get the money on wages back in him and have him play for us for 2 more years for free hmmmm , just a thought .

  21. proudgooner says:

    Jgc,
    It is good to have your point on TV5 going against the grain and disagreeing on TV5 going to DM. It makes me re-think it and you could well be right that getting a fully trained natural DM being a much better option
    I would love Maschrino from Barcelona, he to me is as good as it gets.
    A tough no nonsense , gives no quarter DM , maybe a De-yong being a great option I am not sure where Nigel went but I would have though Arsenal would a better club for him.

    I would like us th stregthen in all the positions in discussion and thinks its possible bar RB.

  22. proudgooner says:

    BAD NEWS,
    Sky sports just announced at 5:17pm
    Sagna has turned down Arsenals new offer and is leaving.
    So sadly but at least early we know where we stand.
    Good luck Sagna and thank you, not good luck if you join Oil City ££ -:(

  23. AFC says:

    Haha PG. It is sad news. I wish him all the best as well even if he goes to City as long as it does not affect us trying to win the league.

  24. Highbury Harmony says:

    PG, thank you very much for the article and fantastic job on your maiden post mate!

    I’ve been a critic of the BFG’s performances here and there throughout his Arsenal career, but I’ve come to appreciate his partnership with Kos more and more. His ability to organize the back line is crucial and his steadiness and conservative play perfectly balances the faster, more aggressive play of Kos.

    For me, the captaincy needs to go to a player that will consistently feature in the starting 11 and will be with this squad for years to come. Per will be 30 when the new season starts, but as a CB, he still has another 3-5 good years left in him, especially since his style of play is not too demanding. He’s getting more vocal as the years pass and I agree that he’s a top candidate to take the arm band.

    I really hope we keep Vermaelen and Sagna, but I can see why both would want to leave. It was reported a few days back that Sagna had signed a deal with the Oilers, but what’s done is done and we must move on. We will need a RB capable of dominating the flank and one that is apt at recovering for Mertesacker’s lack of pace. Sagna did this very well and is why he excelled at CB too – his instincts to cover for Mert’s weaknesses also meant he had to sacrifice some offense.

    JM repeatedly tells us that Arsenal’s interest in Aurier is purely because of his agent/the player, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire. At a rumoured price of only £7,000,000, he’d be a quality player to take over for Sagna and has the pace, offensive instincts, stamina and tackling ability that you’d like from a RB in the modern game. Here’s to hoping that the RB position is the first position resolved since it will help to solidify the stability in our back line well in advance of pre-season.

  25. AFC says:

    Spot on with your comment HH. 🙂

    I too had doubts about Mertesacker but those are now gone. Really not sure about Aurier. Will ready to be our first choice RB now and not in a few years?

  26. AFC says:

    he be ready*

  27. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC considering the outstanding year he had in Ligue 1, I think he’s ready to be our starter at RB next season. At the very least, he can deputize 50/50 with Jenkinson next season, who also could be ready for some starts.

  28. Highbury Harmony says:

    An to add to my comment on captaincy. Arteta should not be a starter next season and should not carry on as interim captain when Vermaelen is not playing! I am ok with keeping Arteta as vice, but Per should be the captain. Eventually, I’d like to see one of Jack or Rambo be given the vice captain role.

  29. AFC says:

    I would eventually give the vice captain role to Ramsey rather than Wilshere as it seems he will be a definite starter whereas Wilshere might not be @ HH.

    The Daily Express are reporting Arsenal, PSG and Monaco have made concrete offers for Di Maria. I can only dream of such a signing. He would be perfect for the left flank. 🙂

  30. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, the reason why I mentioned Jack is because I think we’re still yet to see the best from him. Much like Rambo last season, Jack is primed for a breakout after a string of injuries (much like Rambo) and the man bleeds Arsenal. I don’t think (and hope) Jack will ever leave this club, like Gerrard has stuck with Liverpool through thick and thin. I don’t foresee Ramsey leaving anytime soon, but his ties to the club do not seem as deep as Jack’s are.

  31. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, Di Maria has consistently been one of Real’s best players the last couple seasons. They would be foolish to let him walk as he’s solidified his place in the starting line-up and was far and away Real’s best player in the CL, when both Bale and Ronaldo disappeared. I would love to have him at the Emirates, but I don’t see it happening. He has adapted very well to playing as a CM and his work rate, pace, crossing and skill are top notch.

  32. AFC says:

    Agree with you there HH. I am looking forward to seeing Wilshere progress next season and the Ox as well. Next season he should be a squad player which gets a good amount of game time.

  33. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I would like to see the Ox start 40% of games next season and all cup matches. Is that unrealistic? As for Jack, since we’re in so many competitions, I would like to see him start 50% of league games and all cup matches as well.

    Rambo, Ozil and hopefully a new DM (Schneiderlin maybe?) will hopefully start most league games and CL ones.

  34. AFC says:

    HH, the chances are slim but we can hope. 😀

    I actually prefer him out wide as opposed to centrally as a CM but as you say his workrate and ability makes him a variable option in the middle of the park. I said in the last post I would pick him ahead of Bale if we had the chance to sign either.

  35. AFC says:

    No HH, your proposals are not unrealistic at all. I am hoping for a better DM to come in. Question to you: could Cesc play next to Ramsey in double DM pivot as a regista or volante and be effective in most games as well as protect the back four adequately?

  36. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I think Cesc could play anywhere and I would absolutely love to have him back at Arsenal. However, I really think he’s a luxury and more effective at CAM and we have more pressing issues to improve on. The only reason I would buy him back if he’s available is to not let him go to one of our rivals. Best case scenario is that he stays at Barcelona – I don’t really understand the “rumours” of why he’s not Enrique’s plans. Xavi isn’t getting any younger and I could see Cesc taking 70% of starts next season.

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    AFC (and Gerry)…I (actually) really appreciate the well thought out response. I’m trying to figure out why there’s (what I feel to be) an “existential” crisis within the support and how I can deal with it. As others (well, HH, in partcular) have suggested, I probably just need to stop posting. I don’t want to stop, however, because I love the Arsenal, so instead I try and bring people around to my perspective. I truly don’t mean to bully people with it…Sometimes (like yesterday when I saw your posts AFC…) I feel bullied myself. It’s not your fault, rather just a cumulative effect, I think…

    (And I see HH is on for this one…Maybe he can teach me a thing or two about bullying…In the meantime, on topic…I agree, down the line Rambo or Jacky might make very fine captains…)

    What I think is happening is that falsehoods and half-truths are being repeated over and over and over so that they become sticks with which we beat ourselves. Much of the repetition comes from the press who often don’t care about the club (or even hate it) and/or are simply trying to get hits on their stories by pushing sensitive buttons. Of course, like I say, if I don’t like it, one way is just avoiding those stories. I don’t click on them, but I also try to read what people are saying (and linking to) here on the one site where I post. You’re totally right, AFC, that the guy in the video–in that moment–spoke some truth AND that I was pulling it out of context as if it represented your views now, a full season on. I apologize. He also expresses himself with a certain level of passion and articulation which is admirable…

    So, if we get past any sense of bullying or people getting down on one another (and we’ve done it before, so why not again… 🙂 ) I have several spots where I think we disagree. The financial strategy of our owner as executed by management I think is the big frustration, so the blame on Wenger and Gazidis seems misplaced. The bottom line–and where the finger should be pointed is at Kroenke. He pays them to manage his bottom line, after all…

    The next spot is transfers. I believe we will be losing at least Sagna and Fabianski and also, possibly, Vermaelen. Poldolski, I think, we ought to replace with a better option, if we can find a club willing to take on his large salary. (Recent talk suggests this is not likely.) Here’s the link I’ve seen although I’ve also heard lower numbers. http://www.sportrichlist.com/football/arsenal-players-salaries/ That’s a lot of work already…but I also support the notion of bringing in quality at DM and striker.

    We also seem to disagree about the potential of many of our core players to improve next year or at least you believe players at other clubs will improve as well. Here I disagree. I think at least Walcott, Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere, Gibbs and Ox ALL have a very good chance of exceeding their production next season. I also wouldn’t put it past Koscielny and Szcz to continue their improvements, I also believe that Santi Cazorla, even though he’s almost 30, will have a much better season if the remainder of his fellow attackers can keep fit. That’s a lot of boys. Chelsea and the two Manchester teams will have to be buying players, getting them settled with their teammates (and in the league). This is a HUGE advantage, even if it’s much less exciting than buying new faces.

    Finally, AFC (my friend…) I cannot pull up the exact posts but I know last Summer you felt we needed at least 5 or 6 new signings and I believe you wanted 3 or 4 in the January window. This time we need signings (to replace departing players) so the total will rise. Dylan (another guy I’d like to consider a friend) also seems to believe that you can never get enough new signings. We differ here, I think, but I feel guided by the financial constraints coming down from ownership and feel the guys we buy MUST work out. As such, if you propose buying players like Lucina Traore or Johnny Heitenga (among others, for example) I have to question the logic. We need players better than what we’ve got knowing that their salaries and fees (money to our rivals for their own strengthening…) will be well spent. Remember, because of Kroenke, the money we’re spending is (mostly) being paid by the ticket buyers…

    So, there you go. I don’t mean to be a pedantic arse and I appreciate people calling me on it if they sense that’s what’s happening. On the other hand, I wish people could see things as I do or help me refine my thinking with good counter-arguments. 😀 Cheers…

  38. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC if AW were to buy Di Maria, I would certainly play him at LW opposed to CM. I was just simply pointing out the fact that he has done admirably in a different position this season 😉

    Also, it’s hard to compare Bale and Di Maria. Di Maria is more of a worker and an assist machine, while Bale is a constant threat to score and more dangerous as a game changer. I would love to have either in our team and think that Bale’s goal scoring would make him more valuable to us with our current squad. That said, Bale will NEVER come to the Emirates, so that is a useless thing to think about hahaha.

  39. AFC says:

    I would take Cesc back because he is world class and can play anywhere in misfield and attack but see where you are coming from. We do have more pressing needs.

    But when will Xavi slow down? It could be another two years before Cesc really gets a chance. By then he is 29 going on 30. Xavi seems to be a guaranteed starter by all of Barca’s managers recently?

  40. Highbury Harmony says:

    Nah 17ht, we all love you buddy! Everyone should be able to express their opinions; however, it’s one thing to express your opinions and another to tell people what they should be allowed to discuss and not discuss. When I have the time to comment, I try to balance out with multiple comments – some geared towards the actual squad, management and upcoming games and others towards the silly season!

  41. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, I think managers lack the spine to replace Xavi from the starting line-up consistently. If given a more permanent opportunity, I think Cesc would make that position his own and solidify himself there. Watching him play, he lacks some confidence since he’s never a guaranteed start and always looking over his shoulder. Had Barca not foolishly sold Thiago to Bayern, then I could see Cesc leaving.

  42. Highbury Harmony says:

    The silliest rumour of the day? That Arsenal would pay £15,000,000 for David Marshall from Cardiff hahaha!

  43. The Cockie Monster says:

    Obviously 7eventeen needs to be rescued by me and Stretch from his incarceration by The Squatch Liberation Group !…..we`re gunner need more than the usual amount of chloroform to sedate the fcuking hairy beast !……..and just a little for the Sasquatchies !…….start up the Cortina, Stretch !.

    Let me first answer 17`s “wages” conundrum !. I shall go over a little old ground……
    1) Gazidis said we can compete with all the big clubs !.
    2) The likes of Mansour city and Chavs ( as I am constantly reminded ) are being pulled in by FFP and can only spend mega money without concern, on Stadium, Youth development etc`. As far as I`m concerned, we are a bigger club than them two put together and pull in just as much legitimate money as them and if they use the illegitimate stuff, they will get the knuckles rapped again !. So if our legitimate money coming in is as much as theirs, then I expect us to be able to not only compete on the transfer fee, but also with the wages !.
    3) The Chavs have been selling players to buy, just like we were doing and even Mansour City are getting players ( Deadwood ) of their books to try and comply with a wage shrinkage !. We ourselves knocked £450k off our wage bill last season ( before Ozil came ) and so far this week have lightened our load with the departures of Bendy and Park !. So unless you can give me details of why we cant compete on the wages as well, then the wages argument is another thing of the past like our having to sell players !.
    4) Now of course there is just a lot of opinion in there and if all this good news on FFP is complete bollox, then we need to revert back to my back up plan………Kill Kroenke and bring in…..The Hutt !.
    I think you have to take the Vids shown last night for what they are…or what they are imo…..just having a laugh…..probably why I put…hahaha…before one of them, in one of them it`s (imo ) funny as one gooner is singing the na na na na Giroud song and in another clip the same gooner is slating him !.

    Now onto the post !.
    Great post PG….you should feel proud of yourself !. When he`s playing, it`s Captain Slow every day for me and you can see why Tony Adams is one of his heroes !.

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    HH, Cheers… Sure, people can discuss whatever they like…I need to do better about having the duck’s back and letting it run right off…

    On the transfers…Barca have problems a whole lot deeper than “Cesc is slow” IMO.. I actually think it all stems from Man U so desperately needing better creative MFs (Mata is no Cesc…) and our management putting the (very smart) buy-back or first right of refusal or whatever it is in the contract. Gazidis, perhaps earns a bit of his money if that was his work…

    On a related note the Vela buy-back stuff helping to lower the price of Griezmann is intriquing, I think.

    Tell me more about the RB solutions as you see them, if/when you have the time/inclination…

    And on a more positive note, since you’re a Wenger Out guy, they still haven’t announced that one (him re-signing) yet. Curious that re-signing and resigning mean just about the exact opposite…

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers Cockie… Now and again I get a little something sticky in my fur and have trouble working it out… Hopefully AFC and I can move on…

    Despite Stretch and other accountant types trying to sweet talk me, the FFP seems easy enough to get around, esp. when it comes to wages. They can write off their youth development (somehow) and these sponsorship deals are silly. We’re getting there on the wages and can do a fee here and there but c’mon, stuff like David Luiz being worth more than Ozil is just plain ridiculous… Seems like Yaya Toure might be the next one going to Paris. City might have to stockpile older players (Sagna in on a free) to get around their limits with the net-spend. To match City’s offer, let’s remember, we have to move him onto club-high (or thereabout) wages AND only play him every other game. I think, as professional as he is, it’s pretty rough how much of the load he’s had to carry in our team. Additionally, all year there was no consistency at RW ahead of him AND making the BFG (even if he’s good captain material…) look good at the back is a big job too…

    Soooo…While it’s fun to talk about attackers and DM beasts and all this, up and comers (more than one, I fear) will be needed to replace what Bac brought us. We also should thank our lucky stars that he stayed fit when all were falling down around him this past season. Others see a gem in Jenks and one who is ready to step in… I see the world’s luckiest Gooner a strong right foot and not such a great haircut (at least for heading the ball)…

  46. Highbury Harmony says:

    17, I am certainly not an AW out guy! I am split on the decision as I know the players love playing for him and he’s Arsenal through and through. However, I question his ability to take us even further heights again; you can blame injuries this season, but it’s a consistent theme that seems to reoccur every season.

  47. Highbury Harmony says:

    RB is a tough one as most players would cost more than we are likely willing to pay. Micah Richards, Uchida and Aurier seem to be the top three candidates for Sagna’s replacement. Of the trio, Aurier would be my pick because of potential and Richards my pick for PL proven. It is concerning that he was not able to regularly compete with Zabaleta for a regular starting berth at City, but maybe that’ll put a chip on his shoulder since he has something to prove.

    Uchida is very offensive minded, but he lacks the defensive acumen to excel at both ends of the pitch and cover for BFG’s lack of pace. He’s a relatively average player when it comes to pace so this is concerning for me. Aurier has all the tools to become a more offensive-minded Sagna and I’m hopeful his defensive play can one day reach a level close to Sagna’s.

  48. AFC says:

    Everything is alright 17. We can all get angry from blogging when we can’t seem to fully understand the views of others.. 🙂

    I understand your point about internal development better now and you are right a lot of our players will improve more next season and we will have more players improving than United and Chelsea but can they stay fit? Our squad needs to be bigger in my opinion and we need to utilise our 25 squad places the best we can. For example was Sanogo taking a squad place good? He should have been out on loan in my opinion developing while a more experienced ST more closer to the level and experience of Giroud take up thay squad place. Did we really need Viviano and Fabianski as back-up for Szez. A waste of wages which could have been better used?

    You are correct 17 I did call for six signings last summer which were GK, CB, DM, ST, LW and AM I think. The problem last summer was that we only signed one of the players we needed which was Ozil on a long term contract. Sanogo is a youth prospect so he was not really the ST signing we needed. Flamini was the short term DM option.

    So we still need to fill those positions in my opinion which we haven’t done. I just wish Wenger signed a young CB last summer as it would have left us with less work to do this summer. Just look at how long the list is now. GK to replace Fab amd Viviano, RB to replace Sagna, ST and a younger DM. LM/LW is less of a priority though.

    What I want AW and co to do is fill those gaps and then think about promotion from within the club if you know what I mean. My approach is build the best team you can, putting youth on hold and then develop youth to take over. I think this is where we disagree.

    An example is to have Giroud and let’s say another top quality ST fighting for the spot up front next season. In my mind that position is sorted for the next few years. And then you develop in house for a long term option. Another example is at GK. I would look to bring in a experienced cheap GK and let him and Szez fight it out for the no.1 spot next season meanwhile developing Martinez or Macey to take over from the experienced GK in a few years. Szez becomes the experienced GK and Martinez or Macey become the younger option like Szez is now.

    If you do that all over the pitch you can dominate the league for years without compromising our team at the present.

    I did also call for Traore and Heitenga to come in the January TW as short term options until the end of the season. This was because I knew that options are limited in January. It is better to have something than nothing which is why I was for Wenger using Bendtner more often. If you have a half decent ST use him. I was angry at the Kallstrom signing because he arrived injured and he was the only short term signing. You can question that logic of course.

    I also understand what you are saying about how things work at AFC. Kroenke does escape a lot of the blame and is perhaps too complacent and needs to gove more support to AW. I still think Wenger is to blame for some things but as you say the blame on Wenger is often too much. I think it is because he lies as well to protect the board (?) which in itself shows a man who has a good work ethic and maturity.

    So 17 please note when it comes to players I am not all about ‘spend, spend, spend’ but ‘spend, spend and then develop’. That’s the best way for us to operate in my opinion.

    There are financial restrictions as you say but I do not want us to do what City do which is buy for the sake of buying. That is why I am happy for the likes of Gibbs and Szez to be starters in their positions. We can sign players better than them and replace them but I do not see the point as they are good enough at the moment and are improving every season.

  49. I like this story, am I the only one who thinks he has them…” butter wouldn`t melt in his mouth looks ! “. Stretch has been known to do exactly the same thing at an Accounts Convention if anyone dares the slightest blight on Arsene Wenger !……just calling him Wenger without the Mr is enough to get Stretch reaching for a tub of Tescos value lard !.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/charles-bronson-coats-himself-butter-3611167

  50. AFC says:

    17ht, our election results are worrying. It seems to be that things are going backwards in England rather than forwards. I thought we had passed all of this indirect racism. UKIP seem to blame everything being in the EU and on immigration. immigration is a problem but nowhere near as big as education, welfare etc.

    There are a lot of people out of work in the UK at the moment and things are tougher for people. These people then get told foreigners are stealing their jobs and believe it. They then get told immigration is the root cause of all of the UK’s countries problems. Things escalate and then you get huge support for a party like UKIP.

    Immigration betters a country socially and economically in my opinion. People need to look long term instead of short term.

    The problem with England is that while London is multicultural there are a lot of places in England which are not. And that is where UKIP is getting the majority of its support from. UKIP will not get much support in London but will do in a lot of other areas. London is only a small part of the UK so I can see UKIP doing well in the general election next year. 😦

    Can’t see them winning though. Too many people who see UKIP for what they are.

  51. AFC says:

    will see*

  52. The thing we should all agree on, is while you may love Wenger…..shit, Stretch has gone for the lard ! ….or loathe him or just accept him, we are supporters of Arsenal Football Club…not Wenger FC. He is employed with a generous salary and rightly so gets praise when he’s doing well, but when it`s not going great should except the criticism. Imo he has done a magnificent job in first building beautiful teams pre-Emirates move……. secondly, maintaining our CL spots in the years after the move with a self-sustaining model against the mega rich and now we are ( according to Gazidis ) at a stage where we can compete with the big boys of OUR league and this is where we cant take any more excuses about the Chavs and City. It`s time to kick their arses, this is a time for him to prove he still has IT and will be judged by his performances in this level playing field . If he succeeds then he will rightly get praise, but if he fails in this new climate, then he should suffer the same fate as any other employee who is judged by performance…..Arsenal FC will live on whatever the outcome !.

    Right, now we know Sagna is finally going ….can we stop the love in !……lets slate the cready gunt !. hahaha

  53. James Bond says:

    first and foremost –

    I can see where 17HT is coming from – and yes, I would be absolutely fuming myself had I put in so much time and effort producing such a master piece and writing such a splendid recap of our season , and not to have the response it deserved , however, to be fair to you and the others – let me say this, it was bloody brilliant and more along the lines of an article from a newspaper that cover everything based on facts and put it together – so, I can see why the majority were left in aw and just admired it.

    saying that, I too was a culprit and felt guilty in ruining your brilliant post for which I can apologies again – but hey keep your chin up, it doesn’t reflect on your quality posts or comments .

    it was a bank holiday weekend for us in the U.K , so am guessing most spent it with the familia’s and so on.

    yes, I also read the Poldi comment and Podolski is leaving Arsenal over my dead body !!! (ok, not as dramatic as that ) –

    people people people – all of you wanting Poldi out , tell me of anyone in the world (minus Ronaldo) who happens to play LW and scores as many goals as Podolski ?

    yes people, go look at his goal scoring record – 15 goals each in both seasons, even more extraordinary when you see that he’s missed a good 4 to 6 months this season due to injury – he must stay at Arsenal for another year (minimum) – he is the only one in this team at present who can not only score goals but also provide meaningful crosses – not to forget that experience of 100 + caps for Germany as well as him always being on Twitter and in the media making noises about Arsenal (he is getting £100 k per week ? even that’s not enough for the good publicity he gets Arsenal and the way he is reaching gooners and getting football fans across the globe as arsenal fans).

    since that is out of the way and I hope 17HT has had his espresso and has calmed down a bit – I can move onto reading the post, ha

  54. Not sure I agree there, AFC !…….if it wasn`t for all these foreigners in the UK, I would be a Doctor, not a van driver !. hahaha

  55. AFC says:

    😀

  56. AFC says:

    Your too nuts to be a doctor Cockie.

  57. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    17, I feel compelled to express the disapointment and dissulishment i am feeling that you will not sucumb to my FFP sweet talk. I was planning that when you next come over for a game to set you up with a very nice piece (when your wife wasnt looking) that is friends of the one I am dating. But since you keep going about this youth team bollox as escape from FFP, I will set you up with ugly Hilda instead. hahaha

    To be fair 17, I feel your pain. Your views are really similar to mine. Your a loyalist and as far as ime concerned see the bigger picture. The differnce however is that whilst I can express my rage by punching an Arsene offender on the nose, your geography means that after leaving the house looking for a fight, your quickly morph into Linford Christie legging it home to escape the dreaded sasquatch. That brings me to a very important question, do Sasquatches get sexualy aroused easily? hahaha

    AFC is great and very endearing. Theres plenty of young gooners on here who show great enthusism and spirit for the club.

    Though, I agree 17, AFC is a menace to society and deserves to do a 12 year stretch (umm nice) for his constant salivation for transfer targets none of us apart from HH have heard off, but was i any different at his age?

    In the 1980s i demanded the death sentence for Terry Neil after it was reported by the daily rag that he could have bought Maradona. Looking back, my rage was strong that I shamefuly admit that it was probably my lust for Neils death that probably started internatioal terrorism. But thats all in the past. I now realise that Neil wasnt to blame, the Maradona story was rubbish. The Bastard should have bought Zico instead. hahaha

    Anyway, my offer stil stands. When your over let me know and I will meet you for a game. in fact Hilda is looking forward to it. hahaha

  58. Yes, 17`s post was an epic, but…it was a recap !…..more for admiring than commenting on in a discussion sort of way imo !. Plus, from my comments on the day, I had journeyed back to the future !. hahaha

  59. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahah, Cornwall that Bronson story is F*ucking hillarious. hahaha

    Mind you, If I was doing 100 life sentences like him the lard would be on permanently. F*uck Arenal winning the Cup, I would want to kill anybody who put to much sugar in my tea

  60. James Bond says:

    fantastic maiden post @ PG – very eloquent and easy on the eye with solid photos !

    yes, thoughts remain with TA and his family – he is a top notch bloke and as are you along with the remaining 99.99% on here (the remaining 00.01% being me ,ha

    yep – I am sold, give the armband to the BFG already.

    re-TV5 – well, most of you say that but in the last 3 years, he’s been out insured for like season and a half if not 2 seasons ? so if he doesn’t want to stay at Arsenal and accept a bit part role or being on the bench, then selling him while he still has some sort of market value might not be a bad thing.

    get Ashley Williams for 1 million to 3 million as back up whilst you sell TV5 on a profile and reduce the wage bill.

    if AW didn’t play TV5 or Sagna in the DM role this season, then you can forget about him changing any players for that role in the future from the current squad as well – hence you will only see a specialist DM occupy that position instead of a make shift one – and why the hell not ? we have the resources for it

    Pochettino has become a new Spud – so I do expect an exodus of quite a few players leaving the saints – sign up Schneiderlin and Lovren , sorted.

  61. What I cant understand about you, Stretch, is that you were sentenced once and got off early for good behaviour and then went and got married again !. hahaha
    You`ve now got parole again, so don’t go and fcuk it up again…..3 strikes and your out !.

  62. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha, whats Bronson gona be like next year after weve won the Title? If I was guvnor of his mental home i would make sure his request to replace butter with margerine was refused.

    I would also ban vasseline. That would also help the poor bastard that has to share Bronsons cell.

  63. AFC says:

    Thanks for reminding me JB. I forgot to wish TA and his family all the best. TA. I hope you and your family are dealing with the loss of a family relative quite well. I have never experienced anything like this so I can’t really give you any sort of advice.

  64. Hey Stretch……this new Spud boss…Pochettino….wasn`t he the same illegal Filipino who was living in your loft ?.

  65. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I dont think my wallet could take the heartache of a third time Cornwall, so of course your absolutly right.

    The emotional wrench of divorce on ones money is truley heartbreaking. The sleepless nights and constant sobbing as you watch all your cash slip away is unbearable.

    Last year everyone was like “Wow Terry, your such a mess, you must have really loved her”. I was like “yeah, I had dreams of a brand new black porsch, now shes going to buy one” hahaha

  66. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    No, that was Domingo Cornwall. I got him deported after catching him watching the Graham Norton show when he should have been folding my pants

    You have to be hard, firm but fair. Anyway, thats what i used to tell him at bed time. hahaha

  67. Ahh Domingo, that was his name, I remember now !. I should explain to our BK regulars that Stretch asked me to come around and fit a new entry system to his loft extension, Stretch wanted something high tech and was quoted 10`s of 1000`s of pounds and I said I could do it for 2 tickets at The Emirates !.
    We went over such thing`s as Retina Recognition Scanners and Finger Print Scanners, but come up with something completely new, an “award winning” idea of….Penis Recognition Scanner ! ( patent pending )….everyone`s Penis has it`s own unique DNA signature !. After numerous tests and trials, I came up with the proto-type which we fixed next to Stretches door to the Loft. Yes, I know it sounds very James Bond high tech, but in reality, I just drilled a hole through the wall and behind the wall was a small room, where we kept an illegal kidnapped Dwarf !. Stretch tested the PNS by inserting his cock into the hole, where the Dwarf would taste it !. Not only did she recognize it was indeed Stretch, but also had the ability to diagnose !….” Terry Mancini !…you have been scanned and are authorised entry and your cock has not been washed for 8 weeks….please visit Domingo for cleaning ! “.

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha…Good stuff all around…You guys are too nice about the previous post (if you’re not pulling my leg, with all the high praise)… In fact, I’m looking for a bit of an argument (which means maybe I need to invent an alter ego–For now I’ll just reserve the screen-name “Sasquatchdildo”)… While I see some logic to how we might really kick on, I don’t think we EVER really played great football (all season long… Well, OK, maybe that one night vs Napoli, but then we were nervous as ever at their place…) and we certainly had some trouble with the more pressurized situations…

    AFC, thanks for the long write-up. Overall there’s a lot more agreement than disagreement. I still see some spots where you’re hoping to have it both ways (like saying we need squad depth–injury protection and competition, but not a good #2 at Keeper–on high wages–like Fabianski). You’re also correct, in that I see us not having the same injury issues next season. 2 ACLs (Theo and the Ox) seems like bad luck and even smaller muscle injuries like those to Ozil, Gibbs, Kos really hurt; Lulu and Ramsey essentially missed at least a third of their seasons with theirs, as did Jack W. Overall, however, I agree that we ought to be able to field a full 25 and not do ridiculous things like bring ineligible players to Munich (Ryo) and field a short bench… Also, the discussion of politics is interesting…Replace “Wenger” for immigrants (when Arsenal have gotten disappointing results…) and the scapegoating problem seems a deep one. Of course football is just football and (hateful) politics is another thing… (Agreed also w/Cockie that Wenger is well-paid and thus should be held to a high standard. Still, the level of reflexive bashing seems too high, IMO…)

    Bond, Poldolski is kind of incredible as a goal threat but he needs to integrate into our style of play and I don’t see improvement there. I can see how he can be used as a second striker IF we can really get the MF humming so that he doesn’t need to drop deep and help with either possession or defense. My hope is that he has a big WC. As the event gets closer my neutrality is leaning Deutsch-wards, given that that’s my personal heritage and that, in terms of minutes on the pitch, they may have the most Arsenal representation… Normally you would guess France but Giroud is 2nd pick (behind Benzema) and Sagna isn’t at the club any more, or so it seems…England, of course, will be three and to the beach, I fear… 😉

    Finally, Terry…I have to say that I will have to look into getting over to London sooner than later on the strength of your invitation… Hilda sounds intriguing, but I might try and bring the family to any match I attend… My wife just got her braces off so I’m even more partial to her than ever… Cheers nonetheless…

  69. 17…….if you come over to London and visit Stretch !….you better send him a photo or some DNA cheese from of your todger, so he can put the data into his PRS ( Penis Recognition Scanner )…otherwise you wont get entry into his loft !.
    As for any concerned females or Goonerettes worried about trying to get into Stretches loft, I am working on another “award winning” idea of a ….Fanny Recognition Scanner ( FRS ) !…….testing is becoming a long winded affair on this one !…….the technology quite simple, but I`m dogged by small technical problems….basically a sore tongue…..buy hope to get it licked as soon as possible !.
    The FRS will probably need to manned on a 3 shift pattern….any volunteers ?. hahaha

  70. proudgooner says:

    VCC,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    It is good to hear a different view and maybe the giving the armband to Per would be a burden, but i would still love to see the BFG with it as i said i feel he is our John Terry – Vincent Kompany.
    He did the business in the semi final, with out him and Kos we would have no cup now i think.

  71. Right, that’s enough from the Professor of Smutology….I have programmes to watch !. 😀

  72. proudgooner says:

    17,
    Thank you.
    I do agree with you it is a tricky situation, you do not want to damage TV5 confidence by stripping of the captaincy but again for me Meresacker is our modern Tony Adams.
    But i agree with you and others that we need half a team full of leaders and i feel we are basically there.
    But just the fact that Per is German and say the German lads were talking behind another players back in German he could step in and sort out the issue.
    Time for the big man to take over and really lead the team to the next level.

  73. proudgooner says:

    AFC,
    ha ha ha ha, i do with him well, but the thought of seeing him in sky blue and possibly sitting on the bench just makesme lose respect for his choice.
    After the victory parade when ever one sang we want you to stay, yet he turnt his back for ££££ plain and simple.
    It saddens me, he is was our longest serving player i believe ;/

  74. proudgooner says:

    HH,
    Again thank you for the kind words, good to hear from you. You are missed by many when you are not about.
    It is good to see everyone still showing the strength of there support for our team even after the season is over.
    Also keeping this great site strong when Total Arsenal is busy with his family and the support for him.
    So imo we need
    A keeper
    Aright back
    Possibly a centre back
    Defo a striker
    A DM beast or can Diaby stay fit and fill the role.

  75. proudgooner says:

    HH,
    Jack will be captain 1 day . I love Rambo as much as anyone but i think he just needs to be playing and improving his game.
    Podolski i believe has leader skills and could do it.
    Arteta i have untold respect for. But i am with you the BFG needs to be leading us out.

  76. proudgooner says:

    Mr Cockie Monster,
    Thank you very much.
    The site would simply not be as good with out you and your knowledge of football , Arsenal and the jokes.
    I personally loved looking back on the early season fan vids, i thought it was funny as. Just shows how not to judge so fast after 1 freak result. ha ha ha ha. the look on some of there faces still makes me laugh thinking about it now ;D

  77. proudgooner says:

    JB,
    Thank you , i agree with most of what you have said and always like your scouting suggestions.
    You come up with great options and seem to know a lot more about players playing out side of England then myself.
    I hope people who work inside the club take a look at this site and think about what we would like to see happen. Because many of us on here like yourself come up with some great stuff.

  78. proudgooner says:

    What keeper do you lot fancy challenging Szsc for the number 1 spot?

  79. proudgooner says:

    We should not forget the Wenger has always brought though our young guns, i don’t expect that to stop now.
    1 or 2 will step soon.
    Eisfeld is my most likely Zaleem has to be just as. They are 2 special players and need to be considered going forward.

  80. VCC says:

    I would look no further than Ceaser from QPR. Had some experience in the EPL and would not break the bank.

    Dont forget guys, Wenger will say we have two new signings already in Theo and Diaby. That’s your attacking winger and BtB midfielder sorted. Only need a SQ ST and full back. 🙂

  81. VCC says:

    Proudgooner, I think Wengers reluctance to up the ante to keep Sagna is because he has Bellerin lurking in the back ground.

    If he keeps his feet firmly on the ground he will have a bright future.

    I’m gutted we let Barklay (CB) leave. He would have been a great back up for Per and Kos.

  82. VCC says:

    TCM…..can I be the first volunteer for the vacant FRS job. 🙂

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Good evening guys. Great comments by everyone and good to see the mature debate between AFC and 17HT. 🙂

    PG, well done for getting back to everyone and your usual enthusiasm is infectious. 🙂

    Giroud scored twice against a lacklustre Norway and looks sharp and hungry. Kozzer also played a whole game. If only we could get mad Pog, what a player!

  84. proudgooner says:

    VCC,
    A fine choice of keeper, his world class.
    I fully trust your vision for the youth players. Also with Jenkinson i have faith.

    Total Arsenal,
    Thank you, been a pleasure also gives me an insight to the work the posters do.
    Great to hear big Ollie is playing well. , Kos as always.. I would have watched that if i knew that said i needed to reply.
    If i missed anyone thanking them for kind comments sorry. Thank you everyone that has commented so far, I will write more i future. 🙂

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Looking forward to it, pg. 🙂

  86. proudgooner says:

    I just thought TA,
    What do you think of John Obi Mikel from Chelsea as a possible signing as a midfield beast?
    He is a natrual , played at the highest level in the PL for years and is probably avilable after they signed Matic back.?

  87. proudgooner says:

    Mr CM,
    Is Hayden ready to step up this season in the DM role, i watched him play live v West Brom in the FA CUP early in the season and he played there did well, except 1 tackle were he could have got sent off . It was a bad tackle. But he looked strong and committed . Also had the right build etc.

  88. proudgooner says:

    Thank TA,
    Il let you know.
    Right i am going to give me eyes a break from he laptop screen and watch the telly instead ha ha ha ha The life of a modern man
    I cant wait for the world cup, That is when our shopping will begin.
    It’s nice to know the cash is there and we don’t have to sell our hero’s, also making sure the players playing in Brazil come though un-injured because some will. At least Theo and , Diarby and Gibbs Sanogo will get a good break and start strong for us, thinking positively

  89. allezkev says:

    Interesting post…

    BFG as skipper seems the logical choice…

    Koscielny as vice captain…

  90. proudgooner says:

    Allezkev,
    That is a new 1 and I like it, KOS is our version of United Vidic , he is our warrior important goal scoring , great header brave committed warrior.
    It is a good and fair shout, where he may fall short is his not as vocal . So Arteta as vice of TV5 so as not to damage Thomas pride maybe good. But I would not mind seeing KOS as vice.

    I just thought can Flemini not play as a RB ? I think he can.
    If so we have Jenks, Bellrini , Flemini so it’s not to bad, but it also not Sagna .
    In Arsene I trust !

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    Not super keen on Mikel, PG. There is something missing.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Posts from the west coast of America, to England and now to Pakistan… that is what you get at BK, and for free! 🙂

    Umair relives the FA cup final and puts our win in a historic perspective! Enjoy.

  93. Yes you can Vic`s !. 😀
    Also, between me and you, I am currently in the first stage of inventing an “award winning “………..Rectum Recognition Scanner (RRS) !………same principle as the FRS, but so far I only have 2 volunteers…..Stretch and 17HT !…..and that’s because I told them that Wenger wants one installed around his arse….sorry…house !. hahaha

  94. VCC says:

    TCM….. 🙂

  95. proudgooner says:

    TCM,
    I was told by a member of staff that they had already installed 1 in VCC when last got thrown out if PC world. She said the security guard had tassered him whilst he was semi conscious they fitted a GPS from of the shelf to track him as a pre-shop entry system. A couple of the girls also thought it would be funny to slip a set of her love eggs from her handbag while he was bent over for a laugh.

    But she said don’t tell him ha ha ha

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