Unleash the Beast: Perfect DM is Already a Gunner!

It’s time to unleash the beast or will the ‘Captains Curse’ strike again?

Thomas beast

So Vermaelen is reportedly  off to Manchester United. Away he goes to join good mate Robin Van Judas. I say stuff that, he isn’t going anywhere! For too long our captains have left our club when we’ve needed them most.  Cesc left because it was in his DNA; a little boy told Van Judas; Gallas was a big-mouthed mercenary;  Henry wanted trophies, and Viera wanted trophies/money.

Thomas’ favoured position is at centre back; problem is, it’s occupied by Kozzer and the BIG fecking German. Both have formed a formidable duo boasting perhaps the best partnership in the league. Unfortunately for Vermaelen, both are extremely durable and don’t look like being overtaken any time soon. Mertesacker has the composure and experience needed to partner Kozzer; Kozzer the speed and agility to compliment Mertesacker. If Vermaelen is to stay with our prestigious club then he needs to reinvent himself. But most notably, he needs to want to change.

How much does he want to succeed at Arsenal? He’s our captain and is very passionate, so I’d hope his own desires coupled with his will to win means he would do everything required. I’m suggesting a positional change to defensive midfield. It could be a risk, but it could also be a master stoke, so why not give it a chance. He has one year left on his contract…a situation similar to Flamini’s situation in the 07/08 season. Put your hand up and show Arsene what you are capable of.

Why will it work? Here are my reasons:

  • He has the technical ability in his passing and shooting to handle the position. Normally the role doesn’t require such at trait but at Arsenal it does. Is he any different to Song or Flamini in that aspect? Even Arteta has toned down his creativity and range of passing to fit in.
  • Thomas is an excellent tackler. His highlight reel is bursting at the seams with goal saving sliding tackles. A desired trait to break up opposition attacks before they begin. He’s without doubt not one to shy from a big tackle. Beautiful…it would lift the spirits of those around him and get the supporters out of their seats.
  • Versatility. He can play as a centre back and a left back. Our style of play can leave us prone to counter attacking. If Gibbs or Jenks/new RB are caught up the pitch, who better to clean up the mess?! If a defender picks up a red card Vermaelen can slot in to their position without upsetting our style of play.
  • If Kozzer or the BFG go down injured, Vermaelen can slot in an fill the void without bringing on a cold defender that isn’t up to speed with the game.
  • Long range shooting!!! Sometimes we can be a touch too predictable in the final third. With Vermaelen pushing up he can give the opposition another thing to worry about. In his first two seasons at Arsenal he scored some absolute rippers from long range.
  • Unrivalled aerial ability. The last time he lost an aerial duel Terry had hair. Not only is this added value in the midfield but it brings added safety to opposition set pieces, and makes us dangerous during ours.
  • He is a leader of men and the captain of our team! What better position to organise the troops.
  • In his first season (09) he was selected in the PFA Premier League Team of the Season. So we know he is a world class player when injury free. A lack of game time and continual battles with injury has robbed him during his peak years. He can be a force again!
  • It won’t cost us a dime! He becomes our first choice defensive midfielder with Arteta and Flamini as backup. It saves us from spending a large sum of money for a position that tends to be overly inflated market wise. It’s a lot cheaper to bring in a quality centre back.
  • Welsh Jesus and Ozil. Both can focus more on what they do best, attacking. Thomas is a team player and knows his role in the team. If he’s told to hold the fort you better believe he’ll give everything he’s got to do so. The more we see of Ozil in the opposition half the better.

If Thomas works hard on improving his fitness base during the pre-season, has the desire to make this position his and improves his positional sense with the coaches, I see no real disadvantages.

cup (1)

Don’t agree with me?! Well let’s see what Arsenal legend and midfield destroyer Patrick Viera has to say in regards to being a midfield general:

  • Put the team first

“The first step to playing as a defensive midfielder is understanding your role and accepting it. You’re there to work hard and to help everyone else, before yourself. The role of the defensive midfielder has changed. In the past it was just about protecting the back four, but now you are asked to do everything: score goals, make assists and defend. Your team-mates need to be able to count on you. And when you’re having a bad game you need to know they’ve got your back. This kind of trust gives you confidence.”

  • Use your football brain

“As a defensive midfielder you must be tactically aware. You’re at the heart of the team so you have to hold everything together and allow other players to express themselves. To do this you need to talk a lot and use your brain, because quite often you have to be in the right place at the right time. You have to cover the gap between the midfield and the back four, cover the left and right full-backs when they go forward and the central defenders when they push further up the pitch.”

  • Impose yourself early

“Physicality was a very important part of my game. I knew that the first contact in the battle was going to be really important. This is the moment when you impose yourself and win games. Being strong in the first tackle says, ‘I’m here and I’m going to try and make it hard for you’. Intimidation is part of the game, but as a defensive midfielder you also have to be really good technically. You have to have the ability to collect the ball from the back four and pass it on to the front players.”

(source: http://performance.fourfourtwo.com/au/pro-tips/patrick-vieira-how-to-be-a-midfield-destroyer)

Personally I think Thomas covers all three areas easily. He will burn opposition midfielders like a f*cking supernova

So…Manchester United…piss off. Vermaelen…stay. Supporters…rally around him, it’s time to unleash the BEAST!



Written by: OzGunner

Message from Bergkampesque

Although we have a lot of regulars on BK, we always welcome new bloggers. Just write a comment (sticking to the normal blog rules) and you will be welcomed.

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Cheers, TA. 🙂

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251 Responses to Unleash the Beast: Perfect DM is Already a Gunner!

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Superb post, Oz, and written right from the gut. You argue your case so well and who is going to challenge you….?! I love it! 🙂

    TV5 is a proud player and it must have hurt him to be benched so much during last season. You are right re BFG-Koz though. Hard to get in between them at the moment as they complete each other so much. I like the idea of TV5 as our DM and I am sure he would make a success of it. Just somebody being able to tackle properly in our midfield would be such a nice change. He also has drive, stamina and puts fear into other players. Of course a DM needs to curtail his energy and bite as well, as they can get yellow/red cards very quickly. But I reckon he can do it.

    The question is whether Wenger wants a DM, or whether he will continue with two allround midfielders in the deeper midfield roles. He did not allow Cesc to come back home which should indicate he is now looking for a strong DM type rather than an allrounder like Cesc… But I just dont know any more. Wenger does it his way, and we just have to wait and see what will happen.

    If he were to go for TV as DM, we would need to get a couple of CBs this summer….. Not an easy position to find super quality for, or even good stand ins for KOZBFG…

  2. jw1 says:

    That was brilliant.
    I like to feel I have scope enough to look at every possibility strategically.
    This idea never entered my mind.
    TV5 would excel as a DM. He has every tool except the requisite experience.
    I don’t doubt this can be a rousing success.

    I certainly hope Mssrs Wenger and Vermaelen have had this cross their minds as well!


  3. LooshanGunna says:

    What can I say besides thank you OzGunner for posting what I have been thinking the last two seasons. TV5 is much more than traditional centre back and his versitility and physicality highlights why Mr. Wenger should not even consider letting him leave this club much less go to a rival. if i had Mr. Wenger’s contact info i would write him myself and paste every single word and analysis from this piece. A secret weapon that seems so secret that not even the brain of the so-called footballing genius who is our manager can’t seem to uncover.

    I think he custom built for the premiership and adaptable enough for Europe. Come on Arsenal, make sure he signs on.

    #TV5 #Arsenal #COYG #UnleashTheBeast


  4. Arsenal_VCC says:

    Nice writeup Oz. I agree that if TV5 were to solidify his standing as a gunner he needs to adapt to a different role (unless BFG / Koz had some bizarre injury or loss of form allowing him to get in and hold his own). Even Belgium rates JanV higher than him. I had hoped that Wenger would have tested him in the DM role this past season in some game. It would be quite awesome if TV5 becomes the new standard bearer in this role. But, having said that, Wenger is generally a bright chap. So why do you think he has not tried this role for TV5?

  5. Jason says:

    Pretty certain that he occasionally played as a dm when he was at Ajax as well, so wouldn’t be a complete change of position for him 😉

  6. Nasir Alayo says:

    What a post! I really love the post and welcome your invaluable idea. But whether Arsene is going to do so remains my headache. Should he does this, I am hopeful Arsenal is going to benefit greatly.

  7. matthew montgomery says:

    been saying this all last season to anyone who will listen

  8. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    thank you, always a pleasure to writing for your site.

    I definitely think Vermaelen has the discipline to succeed. He’s received 1 red card for Arsenal and 2 for Ajax. In the first 20 games of the 2012/13 season he only registered 18 fouls.

    In 2012/13:
    * passing accuracy of 87% (73% in the oppositions half)
    * tackle success % of 84.85%
    * had more defensive errors (leading to shots or goals) than previous seasons but he dropped off in form, hadn’t partnered with Mertesacker much before and had suffered chronic back injuries and a severe achilles injury.

    Vermaelen definitely has the all-round technique to have success in the role.

    @ Jw1

    thank you for taking the time to read it. I appreciate the kind words.

    I hope it crosses their minds too. In a lot of sports athletes need to re-invent themselves in order to prolong their career or to evolve with the game. I’d hope Vermaelen would evolve if given the opportunity rather than leaving

  9. oz gunner says:

    cheers LG.

    Tony adams v2 needs to stick around. Why not when we are only using Arteta or Flamini for the role. Whilst consistent they don’t really set the world on fire and Arteta’s lack of pace is being exposed more and more.

    agreed. Selling off another captain to the same team would be ludicrous.

    @ A_VCC

    I’m honestly not sure to be honest. To me it seems very logical. In his first few seasons he got up and down the field with ease and scored a few goals too. It’s not like he’s Senderos with the ball at his feet. Arsene said Song’s best position was at CB…yet he played as a defensive midfielder. It seems like the same could apply for Vermaelen. Even Djourou played as a DM at times and his agility and ftness are far inferior to Vermaelen’s.

    @ Jason

    That’s interesting I did not know that. I would like to know how he went in those games.

    @ MM

    keep saying it. Hopefully it’ll come to fruition

  10. Retsub says:

    Well written there is no doubt that Tommy V wears his heart on his chest and when you are a goal down with minutes to play, he’s a pretty powerful weapon. I have seen this suggested before and can only assume that Wenger has thought about it and rejected the idea.

    Would be great if it happened

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Impressive figures, OZ! 🙂

    Btw apologies for the post not coming out last night. My PC was running very slow and I had to abandon my efforts to get it out.

    I will be keeping a close eye on Nigel de Jong this world cup and I hope Wenger will do too. If he is not going to convert TV to a DM, NdJ could be a good option. But more importantly, it is about the necessity for a DM type of player who can also pass the ball reasonably well. Against Spain De Jong made a huge difference although not many will have seen it; but then looking at a hoover at work is not the most sexy thing to do! 😉

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Ooh and I love the TV Beast image. That is what we have been missing! 🙂

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    What a feast of football is awaiting later on: Spain v Chili could be the game of the tournament so far. Of course, me and Oz (and PPP and Alex – where are you?) look fwd to Aus-Holland too, but tonight’s game is one for the purists! 🙂

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great post, Oz….Really well done…Also, props to the blog owner for getting it out with the great pictures, despite a bad computer and existential questions lingering about whether or not to keep the blog going… Hopefully we’re back on track, at least somewhat…

    The arguments in favor of TV5 to DM all seem good, but they seem even better (to me) if you substitute LK6…Of course, people will reject that notion because we don’t want to break up the successful partnership with the BFG. To me that’s overly simplistic…

    Hear me out… The one doubt I have about Vermaelen is in helping play the ball out of our half. An important thing is being able to sense pressure and be able to turn (with the ball or while receiving it) away from the pressure or even towards it, drawing the foul or getting the jump on the over-aggressive guy who is trying to create the pressure. Kos seems particularly adept at playing the ball out in this manner whereas Verms always seems just a hair more comfortable if he has a touch line (the left touchline, more specifically) to help him define the spaces. Both players are more adept than most CBs with the ball at their feet and they’re both good enough that I’d like to see them on the pitch…

    Given the fitness issues at LB with Gibbs and Nacho it certainly doesn’t hurt that Verms is very solid over there. If it weren’t for the captaincy issue (which he’s handled with extreme professionalism) I’m not sure we’d even be having this discussion. He’s a fine player and he would be difficult to replace…

    So there you go…just another view if we’re looking at keeping these versatile defenders in the squad… Again, great job, boys…

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed, Koz could do a good job too, maybe even a better one than TV, 17. Thomas is so strong going fwd though and he adds the LD shot…

  16. tony says:

    great post/thinking ozG,btw was very sad at wembley when arteta was wearing the captains armband yet our real captain had to wait for the end of the game to get the cameras attention.
    Two things wenger should do without spending a dime 1.bring joel campbell to play as a winger/second striker 2.make tv5 a the beast of a DM we have all been crying out for.
    Do i need to add more when all has been written..nah

  17. Vermaelen’s biggest flaw is his weak positioning play.
    The most important thing for a defensive midfielder is his positioning sense.

    —> Vermaelen as a DM would fail miserably. He’d run headlessly to win a 50-50 challenge, just like he does today, they’d pass around him and expose the vast area between our midfield and defense.

  18. RA says:

    Ozzer it is no surprise that you have written a really very good Post, and the way you added meat to the bones of a suggestion for TV to successfully change his career emphasis is top notch.

    I absolutely agree with your idea to utilise TV’s attributes to both his and Arsenal’s advantage, and he certainly has the physique and the skill to do very well as a ‘beast’ of a DM.

    Where we part company is, not in our mutual thought processes, but where you are still hopeful that this may come to pass, and that Manure can go whistle because we will retain Thomas, I do not think he will stay.

    My reasoning is that we have been caught so often in the ‘final year’ syndrome, with Sagna the most recent example, that Arsene will not want to allow TV to run down his contract and walk away for nothing next year.

    Therefore it is my opinion that a deal for TV is in the offing, or a deal has already been agreed in principle and our man has played his last game for us.

    That is a pity, as I have always admired TV’s application and spirit, and as I said above, I am with you in thinking he could become a very fine DM — but he will not get the chance — or maybe he has had enough and wants to go. Manure are still a strong pull for players, as are Citeh and the Chavs – sorry – did I just mention money – again? 😉

  19. RA says:


    You have a point – though I would add a right back and a CF to your idea – but leaving that aside, I fear that if AW/Gazidis do not bring in at least two accredited, top quality players to ‘strengthen’ the squad, we will face a season of unmitigated misery as the wailers destroy the reputation of the manager and, in doing so, also the confidence of the team and with that the chance of any on field success.

  20. proudgooner says:

    Before i fully read Oz post,
    I wanted to say at first glance i am loving Arsenal new PL fixture list for 2014/15 🙂

  21. geoffchase says:

    Oz et al,

    My thoughts:

    a. It is well known here in this small blog anyway that I favour this solution. If TV has a weakness as a CB it’s his aggressiveness, so I think that DM solves it for him

    b. I think he would be fine for playing it out and remember who hed have around him. Ozil in front with AR, Santi, Theo, Gibbs and others out wide … lots of options like that should make anyone look relatively genius in distributing out of our half


    c. If he fails anywhere in your test it is in Vieira’s quotes about imposing himself. He does physically, but maybe not always mentally of late (on the other players of the opposing team). Perhaps his side-lining hasn’t helped his confidence and what he projects that way, but perhaps that would change if he got regular time.

    And keep in mind:

    d. AR isn’t a slacker so he’d be around to help out and against some competition and for rotation there could also be Arteta there with him …

    So, great post, I was already in favour so the choir is just saying “amen” here….

    cheers — jgc

  22. geoffchase says:

    Oh and PS:

    for the strategists…. if I was AW, and I am ** sure ** he reads this blog and takes our advice! 😀

    I would look for a DM that I didn’t have to make. If I couldn’t spend the money that way on a true solid replacement, ** then ** I would convert TV and take the risk of losing him on a free, and keep looking if/when I couldn’t get him to resign in January/December (presuming he worked out). We don t ** have ** to let him go this year, it’s just the risk on the free to lose him…

    Equally, for the conspiracy theorists, AW is already working on this and making TV offers but he is refusing them and wants out with the WC offering the opportunity to ignore AW for the moment. Could be that he cant be re-signed, but could be also that we just keep him away from others.

    To me it is easier, we look for a DM. If we cannot find one we keep him and deputise as a best of all other currently available options really (my opinion). If we can get a Schneiderlin or other very good replacement, then we can sell him in late late August to whomever. Like us in many years, these others too can wait, no??

    cheers — jgc

  23. tony says:

    Yeah a new right back is a priority because i dont rate that finnish guy 😳
    Problem with wenger and gazidis is that the moment they are shown the money tv5 will be gone for good.
    arsene nowdays worships the clubs money more than what he thinks is good for the team.

  24. proudgooner says:

    I love the icea fot TV5 the DM. i am totally sold.
    Thomas is also very good in the air and scores important goals like Kos, i feel ha would really benifit from being able to attack slightly more and to have a great defensive back up behind him.

    It is an idea a few ave said they want to see for at least a season now, will Wenger try it, i dont know. But i think he should.

  25. proudgooner says:

    Screamer by Cahill,!!! what a response good game.

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    Whoa…Nice goal from the bald divey guy but even better from Tim Cahill just as I was thinking this one was over…

  27. proudgooner says:

    lol 17 fair play to Cahill he smashed that in beautifully .

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    I agree with RA, I rather doubt that TV5 will be with the club come opening day…You never know, however…And the “internal” solution of getting him on the pitch, by hook or by crook, seems appealing…We also shouldn’t forget that Verms has had real problems keeping fit. I would tend to agree with those who might not want to lose him for zero money, esp. if he has trouble contributing due to injury…

    Of course, the rumors (rumours?…) about losing him to United will wrankle those who believe such dealings do not befit a club of our aspirations. As such, I also ave to agree with RA that we will have a large segment of the “support” against the manager and that “the wailers” may make things very tough this coming season. Where we differ is that I don’t think there’s ANYTHING Arsenal can do in the window which might mitigate the situation. Lines have been drawn and people have dug into one camp or the other… NO transfer is good enough and ANY disappointing result (that means draws or even low scoring wins) will be met with disdain, at least by a portion of the support. This is the main reason ownership might’ve been better off sending AW on his way, regardless of the stellar results from the end of the season…

    What Kroenke is selling is entertainment and for many, I fear, Wenger, even if he gets his squad to overachieve (again, IMO…), no longer entertains (and only angers). Sometimes a change, even if it brings worse results, might “sell” better. This is the sad fact of the situation. Whereas at Chelsea and City, ownership and “customer” (ticket buying fans) are both doing the same thing: spending their own money to support the team (and at United and Pool, the owners, at least, are taking on a bit of debt to help out with short term results, not unlike some of the supporters)… Kroenke makes everything adversarial. Each pound you spend, he wants to keep a few pence and only give back enough to keep the bums in seats…That he’s got frugal Wenger, the ultimate company man, stressing over each quid, works out brilliantly…

    Moreover, Wenger, I think, has given up on “public relations,” and sees a primary duty as protecting his players from the wrathful portion of the support, preferring to bear the burden himself. So, we can read all we want into his statements (or “hold him to them” or curse them, each and every one…) but who knows what’s really going on… Wenger lies and nobody likes being lied to. There are reasons for it, but it’s something we must bear…

    Don’t read into this that I’m down, I’m not. It’s not an article of faith (rather my own take on what I see…) but I’m deeply impressed with what the manager has accomplished and we’re (clearly, IMO…) winning the war of attrition with all the other clubs whose ownership cannot (or will not) make huge losses. Until the owners get together and collectively agree to “fix” (both meanings…) this situation, I see it as a (very) smart, if not a romantic strategy. For me it works and I like it that we’re in with a chance (United, for example cannot say that, regarding European competition at least, this season…) but I can also see why others are past it…

    Dang, Socceroos, with a bit of finishing might be ahead in this one…

  29. The Cockie Monster says:


  30. Evening Brewers Droopers !. 😀

    Back later after watching the Socceroos Vs Dutch Helmet Diseasers !.
    If I was Van Gaal, I would stick Van Pussy in a Kangaroo suit as a decoy, the Aussies would have no choice but to chase after Van Pussy and shag him, it`s in their nature !. hahaha
    Oz only had the time to write a superb post because I sent some of that line spray the Referees have been using to Skippy !. It keeps Oz 10M away from being arrested as a Marsupial Molester !.

  31. Yes, PG…..no body wants to join us and every cnut seems to want to leave !. That will be £10M for Verm….£5M for not acting out our Cesc buy-back clause, plus still owed money from Cesc and Song !…….rumour of £10M for Vela !…..we will be drowning in Wonga soon !. We are stinking rich and cant fcuking buy anyone !.
    Back to the match !.

  32. proudgooner says:

    Woooooooooooooo OZ posse delight

  33. Prince says:


  34. RA says:


    Oz and the Prince will be ecstatic!!!! Ozzies 2 : 1 Holland — Meneer TA will be even more depressed!! 😀 😦

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    2-1 Socceroooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooos…………

  36. proudgooner says:


  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Van Judas… 2-2… Fun while it lasted, however…

  38. Prince says:

    What a great game!

    Total Voetbal vs Total Heart

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    Messed up the offside trap there and the gray-haired boy doesn’t miss from there…

    Hey Prince… C’mon you Roos!

  40. Prince says:

    Hi 17

  41. proudgooner says:

    f***ing van pussy.

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    Leg breaker (De Jong-esque?) tackle there from VP, the f**ker…

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    Shoot that!!!!!!!! Argh… and bouncer at the other end makes it 3-2…

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    Damn, that was a fun 10-15 mins but I fear the bad guys have got this one now… Probably not a great time to go toe to toe with PPP… 😦

    Gotta give it to the Roos, they keep trying…Where’s ol’ man Schwarzer? He wouldn’t have let that bouncer get past him, no?…

  45. RA says:

    Monster Cockie,

    What is all this balderdash? No one wants to join us? That is treason – Arsene said 3 or 4 weeks ago that they were queuing up to join us!!

    And who is this King Cnut you keep referring to? Isn’t he the one who tried to hold back the tide of SQ players who want to join us?

    Or is he/she the one who can’t get no satisfaction? In which case you will have to up your game – so to speak, 🙂

  46. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey now, RA…

    I’ve got nothing but love for the Cockster… Still, you’d think a guy who has never seen us lose would have a more upbeat attitude… 🙂 It would seem to reinforce my point (long winded, as always…) up above…

  47. RA says:

    PG’s ‘Van pussy’, and Cocker’s ‘every cnut’ seem to go together quite nicely. 🙂

  48. Prince says:

    Take a rain-check on the toe to toe?

    Im drinking Heinekens for this match (ironic, i know), and Croatia play later, and ill be on the rocket fuel (Rakija) for that game…. Ive taken the day off work and told my guys to stay home too. Its a footballing public holiday for me… the results dont matter as much as your national anthem being played!!!

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sounds good Prince, though, of course, I’m a lover not a fighter… 🙂 On that note, I hope you saw my appreciation of your anti-greed tirade from the weekend…

    Croatia win would set up a good finale with my home team (Mexico)…

  50. proudgooner says:

    I am glad you puilled Cockie up on that 1.
    I am on the verge of stopping commenting and giving up.
    I have had enough of always have to stick up for Wenger .
    Just feels pointless,lol
    This TW is going to be a long nightmare, i am sure we will get some SQ , but its all the crap that goes with it.

  51. Prince says:

    ! believe we are good enough. Mexico have suprised me, different team,compared to the team that barely qualified against New Zealand. Should be good

  52. proudgooner says:

    Was joking a bit of course though.

  53. proudgooner says:

    Or was he i aint sure really, bit of both

  54. 17highburyterrace says:

    PPP, I actually don’t hold out much hope for Mexico. Your team with Mandzukic will be (MUCH) better… No hiccups (and nobody hurt) tonight, however, vs. Cameroon, of course…

  55. RA says:

    Unlucky Ozzer — and well done Clogger. That should bring a smile to your face! 🙂

  56. Prince says:

    A Croatians’ temperment is his biggest undoing.

    Off for a while. Thanks for the post, Ozzer… drinks first, read later 😆

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, gotta make some hay while the sun shines… Holland not quite as convincing this time, but good enough….

    Back for the next one at Noon…

  58. Fcuk me !…..I bet that Aussie goalie Ryan would have gone down quicker if there had been a picture of a Kangaroo`s cock on it !. That`s almost a match-fixing scandal dive for the winner !. There will be no saving Ryan`s private parts in the dressing room !.

  59. Now to the post !. Although I admire Ozzies rousing speech, I have always said that Vermaelen lacks stamina and I say this as in the past I have seen him casually jogging back after a sortie on the oppositions goal ala Denilsonesque !. Imo Sagna would have made a decent DM, but alas another bastard who has left !. So sorry Oz, Verm as a DM, not for me and I reckon he will be off !. Still, a quality post !.

  60. Gerry says:

    VCC – Check your email, ok

  61. I`ve been up to my usual tricks at the Strawberry Fields !. Eating 4 strawberries to one going in the basket…..4 for me….1 to pay for !. Trouble is I always end up with colic and once was in such pain I thought I was going to die !….child birth is a walk in the park compared to the pain I was in from overdosing on strawberries !. Now if that doesn`t get any raging woman comments then I`m a Aussies dream shag for the night Koala Bear !.
    Listen PG Tipster…..you`ve got to give up on this Wenger love in !…..you`re not young enough to be enticed by the sherbet strawberries !. He has no intention of signing anyone before the WC finishes as I have sent him my new award winning game called…….Finger Basketball , with video instructions !. Basically, you stick a small hoop on your bellend and using small spherical objects, you play one on one Finger Basketball using both hands !……I use grapes and slam dunk them into the cock hoop !……then offer them to the missus !. Word of warning !!!….don’t play too quick as you will make a mess of the bed with a …slam spunk !. hahaha
    Finger Basketball !!!….soon to be advertised by Darth Wenger !.

  62. And remember PG !……..the more it upsets you, Hairy Transvestite, 17 Highbury Terrorist and any other ACTN ( Arsene`s Cock Tastes Nice ) about anti-Wenger stuff, then we of the….In Arsene We Thrust !….will do more !. hahahaha

  63. Just looking on the BBC website and David de Gea has a ” buttock muscle injury !”…..keep an eye out during the game to see whether any Spaniard is running awkwardly with a cock muscle injury !…..my monies on Cesc as he would have to have been celebrating all the way to the bank in some style !.

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Well the Aussies gave us a scare with an Orangeboomerang, but we somehow won. A game to review and learn from and yet three points in the bag. What a goal by TC but never a penalty… Could have been a draw to be fair, but I aint complaining. Van Gaal has work to do in midfield…

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    Geez, Xavi dropped but Cesc can’t get his spot… Safety first, I guess, for Spain with Busquets alongside Martinez… I always rated Cesc ahead of David Silva as a #10 but maybe Del Bosque knows more than I… On that note, I wonder if Cesc will be automatic first 11 at Chavs…Probably, as they could never really afford to keep Lampard out…

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    1 nil Chile…Xabi Alonso having a bit of shocker so far and I guess he’s the one alongside Sergio B (Javi M in for Pique)… Defending champs are going out if they can’t score one and will have to rely on Holland if they can’t score 2 or more….

    Costa side netting and it seems they will get chances…

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oooh 2-nil… Wow…

  68. AFC says:

    Casillas has messed that up. How many times has fcuked up now?

    Not sure I want him at Arsenal now. Let’s see what JB has to say. 😀

    Oz, great post. 🙂

    Verm for DM if Wenger cannot get a DM. Would be a better option than Flamini or Arteta in the double pivot.

    Busy but just had to comment on Casillas.

  69. Arsenal`s goalie is the least problematic position imo and have always said so !, it`s always been a JB fetish !………he gets a hard pole at the mention of our Pole in goal !……….so I`m not even going to comment on Coco Casillas . hahaha
    By the end of this WC, I shall give my immense and sort after opinion on who we should be looking at ( if available …….I mean, not all clubs are like ours who keep fcuking give them away and add nonsensical buy-back clauses ! ) and probably do a list of who is SQ and should be bought !…….there`s two in this match at the moment and they`re not Spanish !.

  70. Just a question to all our different BK nationality`s ……I`m on record as saying Arsenal first !……England second and would rather we won the COC instead of England winning the WC !.
    How do you gays…..sorry guys…..feel about this ?. Are you country first, Arsenal second or the same as me ?. Don’t all rush at once . hahaha

  71. 17highburyterrace says:

    We could do a lot worse than St. Iker as a #2, and surely his price must be dropping… 🙂 Koke for Xabi as the only sub at half time…

    Cockster, consider me a complete neutral at the WC, just hoping the games continue to be played in a good spirit w/o too much pressure on the refs, etc.

    That said, I think some of our boys could use some games (Wilshere, in particular and more good stuff from Campbell, for example) and others a bit of a lift in confidence (Ozil, esp., but maybe also Giroud)… I’ll be chuffed if that Aurier deal is in the bag and just waiting for the window to (actually) open for an announcement…

    Whoa, surely Diego Costa has to score there… Spain at least on the front foot early in the 2nd…

  72. WC in Brazil ………..so where the fcuk is Alex ?. I hope it`s nothing to do with another one of my “award winning” inventions !. Alex is an Electrician and I sent him my prototype…Masochist Cock Limbo Game!…..basically you have an electric current wire going across the bed and while watching pornos, you try and get your knob to limbo dance under the electric wire !. I know it`s a shocking game to play and just hope Alex read the instructions and warning about not playing it in the bath !.

  73. That`s not the question 7eventeenho !……would you rather USA won the WC than Arsenal win the COC ?……off to watch 2nd half !.

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, All my would be home teams (USA, Mexico) have no chance, sort of like our shadow squad in the league cup…Though we may have to have a bigger squad this season due to the fixtures–7 away matches after CL midweek games…

    For me, it’s hard to picture a lot of “England first” Arsenal supporters (of the modern, blogging variety) but WTF do I know?… Where’s 007, that’s the real question you (and AFC) are asking, isn’t it?…

  75. 17highburyterrace says:

    What a miss by Sergio B, after the Brazilian bicycle… I meant to add…

  76. The reign of Spain falls…..many on the plane home !.

  77. Now if you gave me the option of England winning tomorrow or Arsenal buying Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal, I`d say…….come on Uragay !.

  78. VCC says:

    Cockster, what a great game that Vidal had. Livewire, skill and strength. Could he keep it up for ninety minutes in the premier league though?

  79. Now let me see Vics baby !…………he`s just come back from a knee injury after an operation in May , so it`s his 2nd comeback game !……….he just played against a known pressing team in baking heat !…..he plays for a Chilean team that is known for pressing !. What was the question again ?. Have you been using my Masochist Cock Limbo Game, you bastard !. hahaha

  80. Remember, it is I…..the logical master of reason, who nearly predicted the Scouse Bastards winning the EPL through lack of any other competition other than the EPL !. I am now telling you again, that Manshafter Std will be the team to beat in the EPL next season and looking at their opening 6 games and only having to play once per week, thus no burnout, they will be off to a flyer and everyone will be playing catch up, all they need is to bring in some players and we are talking Manshafter here, not pip squeak Arsenal, they will not take last seasons mediocrity lying down !. They play 3 bottom half teams and the 3 promoted teams………18 points before they are even out of first gear !………….The man in the know…..you know I make sense !. hahaha

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alex Song sent off after an idiot lash out against Mandzukic. Balotelli-esque, I would say… This one looking good now for Croatia…

    So, Cockie, United to win the league, but Liverpool to struggle with the extra matches? Maybe we’re still in with a shout for top 4? One at a time, I say, and let’s not look past Palace on Opening day… 🙂 Low expectations being the key to happiness, no?… You know, spend the whole date talking about your 4″ and then wow ’em when you pull out the 4.5…

    Or something…

  82. Gerry says:

    OZ – I agree with everyone, you do write a good post. Alas, I am not with on the the proposal/conclusion.

    ArsenalANewDawn – summed up my feelings. To be good at it you need more quality than Thomas has to offer. I am not saying he would not put a 100% shift in, he would. But it is such position where you need total awareness of everything around you, as well as the technical ability to play on both sides of the pitch. You also have to make your own decisions be good ones, so that does not square very well the the Kos/TV5 partnership not working, partly because Kos would lose his A game in doing the organising?

    Sorry, but I think it is just wishful thinking in that ‘it would be nice if we could find a spot for him to stay’? The realist in me thinks if there was an offer from Man U, they would be silly not to take it, and he would be silly to turn it down. They need a quality CB so he would get regular games. Arsenal would get a decent fee, which they won’t it he doesn’t sign a new contract before this TW ends. The loss of Sagna means we do need a couple of CB’s, but it is very likely they will be youngish, but have great potential, and together would not be the price of a top DM? At least one will be of sufficient quality to replace Per in times of need, and that is one thing TV5 cannot do on all previous performances?

    I have to say I was chuffed at the Chile v Spain match. Now if they can just knock over the Dutch misfits they will top the Group? A great ‘team’ effort tonight. But at least we get Santi back early, even if it is to clear his locker??

    This late game is too much for me, so you night owls can enjoy it if you can?

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    What is this Gerry? Croatia already have this one in the bag (Up 3 goals and a man…) Showdown with Mexico in round 3 for the 2nd spot…

    What is this talk about Santi leaving? I guess I need to click on one of those Atletico links, he looked a bright spot for Spain, I thought, at least as good as those Chelsea CFs (Torres, Costa) combined… Didn’t he just re-up with us? Also, Balo by the weekend?…Don’t these announcements need to wait until the WC is over and/or the window is actually open?…

    Maybe you’re just yanking our chains… The analysis about TV5, I fear, however, is pretty spot on…

  84. Prince says:

    YEAH BABY!!!!

    Never before 4. Id be ecstatic if we signed super mario Mandzukic

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not so good from Rakatic after Dudu sprung the break and now a Cameroon/ex Spud player (Assou-Ekotto) head butts his teammate…The former (N. London) folks, for Cameroon at least, didn’t do so well tonight…

    Congrats, Prince…

  86. JM says:

    World Cup 2014 bulletin (as of 18 June):

    Nike – 20 pts (Brazil /4, Netherlands /6, France /3, United States /3, South Korea /1, Croatia /3)
    Adidas – 15 pts (Argentina /3, Colombia /3, Mexico /4, Germany /3, Nigeria /1, Russia /1)
    Puma – 15 pts (Ivory Coast /3, Chile /6, Italy /3, Switzerland /3)
    Lotto – 3 pts (Costa Rica /3)
    Uhlsport – 1 pt (Iran /1)
    Burrda – 3 pts (Belgium /3)


  87. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    no apologies needed. You could have put it out whenever or not at all if it’s not up to par.

    I agree. I like De Jong, he’s definitely a specialist DM and he does the job very well. often unrewarded at times too.

    Things were a bit nervy during the clog vs kangas game. In the end the quality rose to the top. A shame though as it would have been good for the game in Australia (the supporters would probably be in drunken ecstasy until the world cup is over haha).

    @ 17

    cheers. you raise some very good points and I agree Koz would make a fine CB also. Perhaps with their skill both are wasted in the CB position. Now more than ever CB’s are coming through at a young age and doing a very good job (stones at Everton). I think it’s an easier position to fill than the DM position.

    I do however disagree with your standpoint on Vermaelen’s ball playing ability in our own half. He tends to drive forward a lot (as does Koz at times) and I think with his power he could start our attacks quicker and make us more dangerous going forward. He wants to attack as opposed to constantly passing sideways or backwards.

    @ Tony

    thank you. I agree. Two very good options and both cost nothing (an Arsene special!)
    I do feel sorry for Vermaelen too, he is such a passionate player. To not be out there would have eaten him up inside.

    @ Arsenalanewdawn

    I’m not suggesting he just slips in no problems at all. I think his positional problems are very exaggerated. He copped a lot of flack for the game against Tottenham in the 12/13 season. Some suggested lennon and bale got by him with ease. I think that’s a very simplistic view of the situation. For the first goal adebayor ran diagonally pulling vermaelen away, but it was Arteta who failed to track Bale and instead chose to raise his hand in hope of an offside decision. For the second Lennon snuck in behind and Gibbs failed to track his run (Verm hardly at fault).

    I think with a summer of positional work with Flamini and the coaches would help him out in that aspect. He’s a competitor so I have no doubt he’d put in the time and effort to be the best. If Denilson can learn to position himself any one can!

  88. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    cheers Redders appreciate the kind words.

    Unfortunately I do agree with you and I think it is the most likely scenario. The ‘flamini-effect’. The optimist in me says he plays there, blitzes it, and then re-signs. The realist says if that happens we share the same fate as before. I’m clinging to hope that he feels he owes Arsenal after multiple long injuries.

    It would really make me sick to my stomach seeing him at Man United. In 09/10 I fell in love with the thought of Tony Adams V2. So much so that I probably would have proposed to him had i seen him on the street. So much to love in his style of play and the season he had!

    The strengthening thing is worrying too. We needed to strengthen last season but Arsene went with the faith approach. Yes the players know one another and it showed at the start of the season. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and if it was it would have been a one off. I don’t want to see Arsenal win it for a year due to luck, I want to see strengthening that makes us challenge every bloody year.

    @ Professor

    Very good points and hard to argue with any. I think that with game time we’d have the old Vermaelen back.

    Based on market prices I’d go with Vermaelen first and look to strengthen our centre backs with 2 new additions (plus looking at bring in some fresh faces to groom through the youth setup).

  89. oz gunner says:

    @ PG

    thanks mate. I think it would cause major headaches for the opposition. Man marking Verm, Kozzer, BFG and Giroud. All are very dangerous.

    @ 17

    very very good comment at 17.39. One of the best I’ve read explaining the situation at hand.

    I’m a very loyal supporter of Arsene and have been for a very long time but if he fails to strengthen I may fall in to that category as well. For years and years we’ve thought “one CB and one DM” or “one more striker” but it never comes. Even when we needed fullbacks his hand was tied and he signed Monreal late,

  90. oz gunner says:

    @ Cockie

    cheers. very funny comments as always and I think you’ve managed to set the record for using the word ‘cock’ during a post hahaha.
    I think he has the stamina. Late in games he’s often the one getting up and down the pitch (Newcastle game) and appears to go another gear. Sure he’s no Ramsey in that regard but I still think he’s be one of our fittest players. The competitiveness in him would push him longer than others.

    @ AFC


    @ Gerry

    Like RA you are probably correct.

    In terms of positioning I disagree (see my response to dawn). If Mertz can direct Kozzer than he can direct Vermaelen in front of him also. I think he has the discipline to not get caught out of position (I don’t think it’d be a case of him trying to help out in attack all the time like Song did in his last season). If Jenks or Gibbs got caught up field who better to help out defensively?! A million times better than having Arteta fill the hole at LB.

  91. oz gunner says:

    @ 4.06

    I’m sure many would enjoy that part of the video.

    @ 1.01

    No one in the squad would put in that sort of effort (Sagna would have) but that is a will to win that cannot be taught.. Letting that go would be a massive shame.

  92. Edwin Muriithi says:

    I thot the same along time ago,i dont think Vamaleen’s position is unavailable,he surely would be a beast in the difensive midfield.

  93. rizal says:

    patrick forgot to mention – stamina, this is what usually lacking for CB to be converted to DM,

  94. Alan says:

    Problem is wenger does not get the importance of the DM POSITION. HE HASNT FOR ABOUT 10 years, and until he puts the spine of our team at the centre of his thinking we won’t win anything serious. It’s his biggest blind spot and why he s a specialist in failure.

  95. geoffchase says:


    First, condolences about the Orange game. Was watching most here in Budapest with some work , a colleague and some beer (with great weather and outside!) … Way better than winter back downunder.. Was amazed to come in at 1:1 and stayed so until the inevitable..

    Second, yeah, I agree that prices for a de Jong or Vieira -esque DM are likely almost as high as for your top SQ strikers… And harder to find them, perhaps the team effort they play makes them more loyal to their clubs?? They do seem to move around less despite their value. Versus say, your ego laden SQ striker (read RvJ-esque)… It’s a theory anyway..

    So, I suspect based on my take we would be keeping him. I think we can “afford” to keep him and lose him on a free if we try the DM thing. Cant be worse than the uncertainty we have now, but that’s my opinion. I.e. we lose 10M if we hold and he leaves on a free, vs spending say 15M on a top DM if, the BIG IF, we can find one for a net 5M loss.

    So, the difference is relatively minimal (at least for a modern top flight football club) and the risk is lower to hold until we get a DM or for the year. Them’s the economics I think

    cheers — jgc

  96. Gerry says:

    Thanks for the reply OG. Like I said, I never doubt his commitment. He is a thorough professional, no question.
    However, in your reply you give the exact reason why it would not work … him relying on BFG to organise him? You don’t see Per telling Flamini, for all his flaws, where to be? That is because ‘Le Flam’ is a specialist in that position. He moves around always making himself available for the short pass. You also need quick feet to avoid being tackled in that crucial area. That is something Arteta is very good at,.for all his lack of pace?
    Finally there is that injury worry. Back problems rarely go away, only get more frequent?

    Hey, let us not criticise Song too much for his attacking role, stupid as he was last night. He only did it because we had nobody else capable at the time. Remember those delightful chip passes to RVP?

    Talking of Dutchmen ….
    Nigel De Jong can be so crude at times, and EPL refs know that. He would be a marked man. I am amazed that in the Spain game the whole team got away with their ‘rotational fouling’. For a team so talented it seems unnecessary? If the Spanish side did not like it, neither did they when the boot was on the other foot against the Aussies.

    I feel also Vidal might struggle to keep his cool in the EPL, much as I admire his work rate? Sanches too put in one hell of a shift in. With that pair we could keep our high pressing game going for the full 90. I hope AW noted that having wing-backs high up the pitch can work great, but they need that same Chilean team ethic to get back and defend too, although I cannot see ‘Super Mario’ fitting into that role? I hope the rumoured pay packet will factor in his contribution each game?

    Sad for Chambo, as if he misses out tonight he could miss out on any meaningful contribution this time around? Good news for us is that they are treating his injury seriously though, unlike previous England managers who just sent back crocks for us to repair?.

    In the other Group match I fear for Joel up against Chiellini?. There is another sneaky fouler. That ‘dead leg’ tackle on Sturridge was a typical example. He knew exactly what he was doing, but has the ‘experience’ to do in a way that he can plead innocent every time … grrrrr!

  97. Bryan says:

    I totally agree,
    I have been saying all last season that we should try TV in DM position.
    I don’t understand why Wenger didn’t try it at least once or twice. last year.
    Sadly though I expect him to leave meaning we will have to buy a DM.

  98. Bryan says:

    I totally agree, I was saying that we should play TV5 at DM all last season.
    Thought Wenger could of at least tried it once or twice but sadly I think he will leave
    & we will have to buy a new CB & DM

  99. Bryan says:

    sorry double take as something went wrong & didn’t show first time lol

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    no worries Bryan and good point.

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Gerrry, the Dutch were tough against Spain but not unfair…. Are we just to stand there and let them pass the ball willy nilly around us?! Dont think so. Well done on predicting Chile going through though. I thought it would be Spain and Holland. You also got one wrong hahaha 🙂

    Re NdJ, who was Van Gaal’s MotM….. yep, Nigel the Nail. 🙂

  102. Morning Labia Faces !. 😀

    Did I tell you I`m on 3 weeks holiday ?. 😀
    Please please please….I know there are 1000`s of transfer rumours connected with us, but I just hope the Ballotelli one is a dud !. I want players who are SQ and consistent, could you see him putting in the work rate of Sanchez ? ( a rumoured player that I hope is true ! )….no way !.
    I`m glad the Diego Costa rumour was a dud as well, he has looked ordinary in 2 games , lets hope he plays that shit for the Chavs .
    Just one last thing on the Cesc debacle, something I read elsewhere which made a lot of sense !.
    Chavs have Matic, Hazard, Willian, Oscar, Schurle and Mikel, yet it did not stop them buying Cesc !. We have Ozil, Santi, Jack, Ramsey, Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini and Diaby……one is constantly on a life support machine and 3 are about to collect pensions and one if you believe the rumours could be off to Madrid !. That leaves us with Jack, Ozil and Ramsey……how many games did they miss from injury ?. The point is, Chavs have a wealth of talent in Midfield, but it didn`t stop them buying another SQ player and from all the rumours we have to swallow, this was a player who WE had the power over, a but back clause and HIM being a player who was begging to come back !.
    Here is a list of players off the top of my head who currently float my boat, there`s probably more if I had time to think, but this is a starter and none are the obvious Messi, Ronaldo, Bale likes or any from our EPL rivals who don’t sell to us like we do to them !.

    You bastards can sort out the defenders !. hahaha

  103. As much as I want Holland to do well, I think they are being ove rated ! ( Total is now strangling his Klompendildo ! ). They beat an Aussie team ranked lower than a Suarez dive, were outplayed by Spain in the first half in the 1st game and had Silva had scored an easy chance would have been 2 down and that could have been a different outcome !. Germany, France and Chile have been more impressive imo !.
    Right off to set up and prepare for an epic wall rendering experience for Saturday !. Monster Builder !…..the builder you can trust to do a great job whilst pleasuring you wife at the same time !…… References can be given !. hahaha

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough Cockie 🙂

    If Sneijder had scored early on it could have been 10-1. 🙂

    We were not outplayed at all, but they were able to put some pressure on us…. What a surprise.

    But to be fair, I think we will not win the WC as we are lacking quality in the attacking midfield area. Van Gaal knows this though and will find a way to compensate, but I don’t think it will be enough to win the WC. Also don’t forget the Aussies were well set up and disciplined and really gave us a hard time, and after all the euphoria of beating Spain it is hard to fully focus again. In a way it is a shame the Chile game is a dead rubber to a large extent, as players are likely to be rested. Both want to avoid Brazil but it is not clear whether they will top this group after all, and they play after us for some reason…..

  105. Wam says:

    What the hell is wrong with you? Vermaelen was tried for a couple of games in preseason as DM and he couldn’t hack it then. He doesn’t have the engine to cover the ground required and looked shot by the 55th minute.

    Anyone supporting this idea is a complete fool. Sell him for as much as we can get, buy an actual DM.

  106. oz gunner says:

    @ Wam

    haha good stuff. I don’t recall these games, can you please remind me. Strange every Arsenal supporter missed them and you didn’t.

    @ Professor

    very true. Then we can trod out the “we’ll play Vermaelen there until we can get Bender next season” haha.

    @ Gerry

    I wouldn’t say rely on in. It’s not like Vermaelen is going to turn around and ask him every time. He’s a professional at the highest level, surely it wouldn’t take that long to learn. He’s had DM’s in front of him his entire career. Not to mention he is probably used to position players himself around the pitch (especially as he is the captain).

    I’m not attacking Song. I’m a big fan of Song, I’d have him back in a heart beat. throwing that elbow in the world cup game was stupid (even though the player made an absolute meal of it). I think he was told to be more creative and to help out (yes that pass was a ripper as was the dribble and assist against BD), but he did neglect his role a tad too much. Then again I’m a complete fool 🙂


    Hi Ozzy baby, great post.

    Like Wam, i saw those pre season games and TV couldn’t handle it. In those matches however, I was the star player and the Dick wouldn’t pass me the ball, Also, half way during the second half my neighbours fit wife ran on to the pitch and I made frenzied love to her, the crowd loved it. So the whole thing may have been a dream.

    I do have big doubts, not that he cant do a job there, but more specifically whether he can do a job for us. We play a very systematic passing game, with Arteta getting more touches on the ball than any other player. Other teams know this and invariably press poor Mikel to the point were he can barely breath.

    For the above reason, I don’t think TV has the sufficient technical ability, and perhaps stamina? to perform the way Wenger would wish him to do.

  108. JM says:

    It depends on what we (primarily AW) are looking for, long term, to partner Ramsey(our Box-to-Box midfielder), in our engine room.
    Another Box-to-Box midfielder? (e.g. Aaron Ramsey with Arturo Vidal/Yaya Toure etc )
    A volante(holding midfielder)? (e.g. Aaron Ramsey with Javi Martinez/Sami Khedira etc)
    A regista(deep-lying playmaker)? (e.g. Aaron Ramsey with Andrea Pirlo/Luka Modric etc)
    Or a destroyer? (e.g. Aaron Ramsey with Javier Mascherano/Nigel de Jong etc)

    And how does Vermaelen’s “could be” new role fit into our play.

  109. gyirga says:

    I want to see Vermaelen in defensive midfield role (like P.laham, and D.liuz), please wenger don’t let our captain again to go, and he has the quality to play in that position. In the world the number of players in DM is very few, so use him for that position.

  110. Eoin2211 says:

    Good post, but does he really have the discipline and technical ability to play in midfield? Obviously he shouldn’t be sold to united and would be a good step up from Arteta, just I wouldn’t see him getting a game in midfield for Arsenal’s rivals?

  111. clockendjim says:

    I said this over a year ago and many Gooners online agreed with me then, so why in our hour of need has not Wenger given it a try, especially when Aaron Ramsey got injured. As mentioned above, it could keep a quality, versatile player in the squad and not cost us anything
    So many of these tactical situations have been screaming out at fans for so long now and Wenger does nothing – why?


    Probably because Jim, Arsene is a world class football coach who has won eight major honours at the Club, were as we are just a bunch of geezers who post opinions on a message board.

  113. This wil not be popular says:

    I’ve never seen it at all that Vermaelen could play at dm. A player there needs to be able to adjust their feet very quickly and Vermaelen is very much a straight-line running kind of player. Unbalance him slightly, and you’re away. Go at his right side, and he struggles. This is the reason he has often had a hard time at left back. Centre back is the position where this will cause the least amount of problems, thanks to being able to see the game in front of you and anticipate/ get in position.

    Then there’s his passing. Pretty good for a left-sided centre back, but again, most of what is impressive is done when he has time on the ball and can manipulate it onto that left foot. A deep-lying midfielder needs to be comfortable receiving the ball under any conditions, and either his weaker foot must be not too bad (one of the reasons Gerrard isn’t truly cut out for the role), or he must have a Matic-style ability to hold people off when necessary, along with masses of composure.

    I’ve seen no greater example of dm play in this world cup than Beckermann for the US, although numerous players in chile’s fluid team also showed many of the essential skills- show for your under pressure defender and, facing your own goal, receive ball and quickly give it to a forward-facing team mate;and interceptions : balanced body-position, able to react quickly off either foot, slow down opposition then nick in at right moment- in those positions yesterday.

    Can’t picture Vermaelen doing any of these things. Wonderful commitment, good heading and monstrous challenges,yes, but not ninety minutes with getting on to no mistakes. He lost his starting spot because of those mistakes ,in his natural position, and won’t at 28 in a new position make less mistakes there. Miscontrolling is not allowed there, losing possession will lead to a goal at an unforgiving rate (maybe 1 in 4 times against elite sides), hence why Wilshere really shouldn’t be playing there.

    If he goes to Old Trafford ,or elsewhere, it won’t be to play in midfield. And his success will depend on a fresh start and having the right player next to him. Would probably have had a great time here with a player like Tony Adams alongside him, but none of those we’ve had have been quite right.

    Arteta is miles more suited to the role, and we need, for Cl and top six opponents, an upgrade on him.

  114. Hey Stretchalobdopolous !……….have you finished that knocking shop……sorry …..loft extension yet ?. I`ve just come in to cool down for a sec`…..3 tons of sand to move 100M away and being naked it`s having the effect of sand blasting away the cheese off my helmet !……….I just thought you might all like to know that !. hahahaha
    Plus my perimeter fencing is struggling under the constant attack from frenzied female neighbours !…….who can blame them !…..I spend hours chasing my own body about the house and may have to spray a white line in front of the mirror otherwise I will be booking myself !. hahaha

  115. Emeka says:

    Beautiful article.
    A blog we share in Lagos, Nigeria had written and proposed for Wenger to try and gamble him in the DM position last year but no result. The best DM presently is De jong and if you put VM beside Dejong in stats you see that VM is by far sharper defensively, most intelligent and better visionary with the assist to Girould last season and 4 to VP before he left.
    But the question is how do we get the old fashioned and egoistic Wenger to key into our idea????.
    Pls find away of letting wenger take a look at least and channel the funds to buying lavezzi( the man to force defenders to make errors).
    Tnx alot

  116. VCC says:

    TMHT….man of reason, you should have been a politician 🙂

    Cockie, problem is, that white spray foam fades away within minutes….what are you going to do when it fades?????? smash into the mirror? 😉

  117. VCC says:


  118. geoffchase says:

    Wait, wait, WAIT?!?!?!?!?

    You mean that AW ** doesn’t ** follow BK like a religiously inspired mujahedeen??? Wow, well bust my bubble!!! 😀

    Anyway, Gerry, what I liked about de Jong in the game yesterday was that fierceness. If it doesn’t go over to nastiness too often, then that is, per the first post I ever wrote here, Presence! The thing, I think we need for a DM if we want, as JM put it, a “destroyer”

    PS: I’d settle for a Khedira as well…. but we do need something there…

    cheers — jgc


    Hi Cornwall. Got about two weeks left before the things finished. To get round the wife I had to refurb the whole house. Its looking bloody good though.. Sorry to hear about the mirror mate. I never have that problem. Once in front of a mirror I can stand there transfixed for hours. A removal van has turn up to cart me away. hahaha

    Greetings Vics. Ive often thought about politics. Been a slimly, greedy, selfish git, I think it could work. Been a bit put off by that expenses scandal though. Now there clamping down on them, they might suss ime on the fiddle when they see me claiming for visiting and meeting a constiuate at the Emirates or claiming attendance at a political rally held in a seedy Soho sex club. hahaha

  120. VCC says:

    Stretch…..just claim attendance allowance for your uncle Vic’s. I’m old enough and senile enough for you to claim.

  121. friday Thomas says:

    Nice piece dude I totally agree wt Ur submission. We can make our Philip Lahm out of him give our opponents more reasons to worry abt us than worrying abt them. But the question remain will Wenger reasons to toll this path? Am seriously in doubt. Up Gunners.

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    Emeke, friday Thomas, Eoin2211, gyirga, This will not be popular 🙂

    Welcome to the blog and thanks for commenting.

    ‘This will not be popular’, thanks for in-depth response. It is not about being popular at all here on BK. You have reasoned your case very well and that is what we like here on BK. OzG will, I am sure, respond to your comment sooner or later. I hope you will comment more often and hopefully you will change your name to something more suitable for an Arsenal blog! 😉

    Wam, have some manners when you blog here.

  123. RA says:

    Terry Mancini,

    I am surprised you have not told everyone why you went quiet on the blog a while ago.
    It was while you were doing your extension. No, not that one — the pigeon loft extension that Cockie is so jealous of.

    What you told me was that starting work on the loft one morning, you noticed that some tiles had blown off your roof, and being a mean sod, you decided to replace them yourself rather than get Cockie who is experienced in pigeon matters to do it for you.

    So you rigged up a pulley with some rope and attached a barrel to get the new tiles up on the roof.

    You then hauled up barrels of tiles, a few at a time. Then, after fixing the broken and missing tiles you realised that you had lifted too many onto the roof. It was easy for you to haul the empty barrel up onto the roof and tie the rope securely to a tree.
    Quick as a rat up a drainpipe, you climbed back onto the roof and filled the barrel with all the surplus tiles.

    Then when you climbed back down you got a good grip on the rope, and untied it from the tree.

    Your problem was that you had not realised that the barrel of tiles was heavier than you are, and after leaving the ground you hung on for dear life. Halfway up you met the barrel coming down, and it smacked into your shoulder. When you got to the top, you banged your head on the beam and got your fingers jammed in the pulley.

    What made matters worse is that the barrel burst when it hit the ground and spilled out all the tiles, which made it lighter than you and up it went and down you plummeted at great speed.

    Half way down you met the barrel going up this time and got a nasty smack under the chin.
    When you reached the ground, you landed among all the tiles, and the sharp edges painfully jabbed into your ass making you let go of the rope and down came the battered barrel again, neatly smacking you on the head.

    When I saw you in the hospital you had concussion, a dislocated shoulder, a broken jaw, a skull fracture and you were two fingers light, so you could not blog for the best part of a month, but you gleefully told me that it was all worth it because you did not have to pay that Monster Cock a penny for the work, and he could not get off with your best pigeon!

    You are truly a brave man — and a nutcase. 🙂

  124. Admir says:

    Any chance we get Cuadrado? What a player!

  125. AFC says:

    Brilliant by Gervinho. Just brilliant!

  126. Hahaha Redders…….that sounds like a script for a Road Runner/Wile E Coyote Cartoon !…..Stretch would have gladly gone through all that pain with both hands hanging on to his syrup stopping it sliding off !.

    Cuadrado !!!, Admir !…….I was just talking about him the other day, I need to put him on my list, what do you think ?. hahaha My list is getting longer and longer, but still no sign of movement in Darth Wengers wallet !. hahaha

  127. James Bond says:

    nice one @ Ozzie – but am not a big fan of TV5 as a DM or in the team to begin with

    1: Very injury prone.

    3: we could do much much much better in regards to a DM as opposed to him being our DM, he can be our 3rd choice LB or 2nd choice but ideally, get him off the wage bill – utilize it on someone reliable and off better ilk .

    out of the 4-5 years he has been at Arsenal, we only got like a decent season and half out of him.

    to all those mocking the spanish skipper – well, it helps in getting his price down as well as wages – anyone of his ilk or class ahead of Sczny, any time of the day, week or evening’s (late kick off’s aka Champs league !

    PS: apologies, have been busy busy as monday was a big day (think, I shared it with all of you ?

    now it’s time to watch England kick some cheats (URUGUAYAN) A$$!

    oh and England always first, then comes Arsenal – I know I know, shoot me but most of you are traitors and should be tried for treason for putting club before country , ha

  128. RA says:

    Well that’s not nice, JB.

    Shoot me for treason? The American Revolution War started in 1775 – bit late to start shooting us now! 🙂

  129. RA says:


    Stop adding players to your list — every time you do, it is like the kiss of death and Real Madrid sign them!! 🙂

  130. James Bond says:

    better late than never @ RA ; )

    and I much rather let Glics sort you out with his side kick aka Fozzie with a B

    am actually beginning to get worried about Fozzie – Skipper, is there a way to reach him by email and see if he is still alive and kicking ?:)

  131. Gerry says:

    Evening all, JB – errr is that Yamez Bond now? – I am not much of a flag waver either, so always club first …
    That was quite easy, as Coventry did not have that many internationals 😀

    Geoff – I did not see the whole game, but NDJ was quite industrious so I could quite understand why he got MOTM … but that was that match?

    Know I think JM has it right to define exactly what we each want as a DM?

    As I think along the same lines as AW, I can tell you what his preference is:

    Somebody between the typical B2B and a ‘volante’ type – Khediera fits the bill to some extent, as would Vidal, but he probably has got his own target in mind who will have the best bits of those two. The energy of Vidal,but less volatile.

    Enjoy the game

  132. Retsub says:

    Please give Ross Barkley some time, he does at least have some flair. It’s an early plane home if England don’t pull their socks up.

  133. AFC says:

    Retsub, it seems nothing has changed. Same old England.

  134. Retsub says:

    AFC it’s looking that way. Well Barlkley worked, let’s get Wellbeck off he’s a waste of space

  135. Retsub says:

    Oh boy am getting good at this, how about a goal

  136. LovetheseGunners says:

    Lots of really interesting comments but maybe TV doesn’t want to be a DM? He’s on record as saying he doesn’t like playing left wing and he only does it when he has to for the good of the team. He’s best mates with RVP and his girlfriend works in Manchester so I can see him going. I’m not really bothered as I think we can do better.

  137. AFC says:

    Retsub, I would Welbeck and Rooney are a waste of space. For me Wilshere should have been playing. England just can’t seem to score enough goals to win matches.

    Time for Roy to go to in my opinion.

  138. AFC says:

    say Welbeck*

  139. AFC says:

    Roy has taken England as far as he can. We need a younger more ambitious manager. Someone like a Van Gaal but younger.

  140. AFC says:

    Rooney scores!

    Still doesn’t do enough for me. One tap isn’t enough to convince to me.

  141. Retsub says:

    AFC am going to buy a lottery ticket now. Going to chance my are and predict a winner from Sturridge

  142. AFC says:

    You must be crazy. I would never put a bet on England. 😀

  143. Retsub says:

    AFC. You,re right I am crazy

  144. AFC says:

    Retsub, hope you didn’t put that bet on.

  145. AFC says:

    Suarez going off after demolishing England.

  146. Retsub says:

    AFC , no I am all mouth. What damp squib though. Doesn’t even look like we are going to put up a fight

  147. AFC says:

    No it doesn’t. Yet another mediocre England performance.

  148. James Bond says:

    wrong team selection cost us the world cup again.

    how can you not start with lallana in both the games and play both Welbeck and Sterling ahead of him is a mystery to me.

    both Sterling and Welbeck should have been used as impact subs.

    ok, Germany all the way now (so much for patriotism ehhh ahahahahhahahaahahhaahahahha

  149. James Bond says:

    I hope Stevie G announces his retirement tonight and let’s JW play the full game in the next one, along with Barkley

    them 2 can be the new fat franks and stevie g for the future. (or I hope not !

  150. AFC says:

    JB, I think Roy just got it totally wrong. I am not sure how you cannot start Wilshere. He might not he 100% fit but England lack creativity and drive. Ox and Walcott would have been perfect on the flanks but they were injured. Perhaps Roy should went for a narrow diamond 4-4-2.

    Barkley and Sterling not ready yet.

  151. AFC says:

    I would left the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Lambert and Johnson at home.

  152. James Bond says:

    Barkley is more ready than JW @ AFC.

    yes, I know – I’m being controversial but honesty is the best policy, I don’t actually think that JW has progressed the way we all wanted or knew he could.

    OX was a massive loss though, he could have made all the difference.

    but anyway, hindsight is a thing of beauty !

    you must be well chuffed though with your favourite player Mario Balotelli firing all cylinders ?

  153. AFC says:

    I am happy for Balotelli. I think the WC is a good way of him maturing before he joins Arsenal. 😉

    I would say Wilshere has more experience playing at the top level (CL, many EPL seasons) which is why I would say he is a better option than Barkley.

  154. James Bond says:

    that’s your opinion @ AFC

    I don’t actually think he is better than Barkley at this present moment of time, he playing more at the top level and so on was the yardstick, then there is no one better than Lampard in that one yet he was on the bench.

    football is not all about experience but how one is doing at that moment of time, fitness wise, form wise and so on.

    JW was given more than enough time to make a mark against Italy, he failed to deliver – miserably.

    as did the rest of the 10 jokers, mind.


  155. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys 🙂

    Well that was a disappointing game. Somehow, it felt like England were never really in it. The system and player choices just did not work, but I feel sorry for RH to some extent. At least he tried something different, but there just was not enough individual class in the team to make a real difference.

    Playing Jack next to Gerrard instead of the work horse Henderson…. for me every time. But if there is not enough movement and clever running in the team then we still will not get enough out of Jack. The big disappointment was the captain, though. In the last two games he added so little and the team lacked shape and organisation throughout.

    On the other hand, Suarez scored two great goals.. what a player he is.

  156. James Bond says:

    also, am not so sure about him ever maturing nor Would I want him to, he’s a character and I like him the way he is @ Mario. B

    off now

    as usual, been a pleasure talking footy with you !

  157. TotalArsenal says:

    Barkley is pushed to the international stage too quickly, just like Arsenal and England did with Ox. Just because he is fast and can go past a few players does not mean he will make it at this level. He is a great prospect though, but not more than that.

    What Jack gives the team is shape, and that is exactly what was missing imo.

  158. AFC says:

    TA @ 22:47 spot on. 🙂

    The same goes for Sterling too in my opinion.

  159. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Sterling is a good prospect and did some nice individual stuff, but it just did not add up for England. There was very little top level experience in the team tonight. How many players have more than 20 CL games under their belt? Not many, I reckon.

  160. Admir says:

    England… Eh. 😦 I’m disappointed with the fact this team – that has a lot of interesting players – has failed to deliver so far. What I don’t get is why Joe Hart went for that last attack. I mean, if Italy beat Joel Campbell, England will have a chance to go through on goal-difference. If Uruguay had scored third goal, it would have been a mission impossible.

    Against Italy, England lost because Sterling played down the middle and Rooney on the wing but even more because England didn’t and haven’t had a BFG-type of presence in the defence. Cahill and Jagielka failed to head the ball in front of Balotelli and Suarez – Hart conceded both times and England lost both games.

    Gerrard – at some point people should admit that he has done too much damage for the national team in important matches. He gave a chance to Thierry to earn the penalty in EURO 2004, he was one of three players to miss the penalty kick against Portugal in WC 2006 and now this.

    @Cockers – yep, Cuadrado is the guy I want at Arsenal (as well as Aurier!). He is a pacey trickster with a powerful shot. According to Le Grove, we are in for Sanchez and Reus. Now, Reus is injured and that makes him a Wenger-esque player. 🙂 I’d sign a piece of paper with names “Aurier”, “Reus”, “Arsenal” even if they are followed with words “Admir” and “threesome”.

    Sanchez, however… My brother told me that Juventus could have signed Sanchez for mere 20 million euros but Marotta didn’t want to offer more than 18 millions. I believe Barca will ask for at least 30 millions after this World Cup.

  161. TotalArsenal says:

    OzG 🙂

    This has been the most read post on BK ever, with almos 50,000 views! Well done, Sir and what a fine post you have written. Not just a brilliant prematch writer, are you?! 😛

  162. Admir says:

    “If we beat Costa Rica i want a kiss,obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen.😂😂😂.”

    Mario Balotelli on Twitter.

    He won’t return to England, will he?

  163. Hahaha Admir……Sanchez for £30M …..bargain !.
    Their coming home, their coming home, their coming, England`s coming home !…………unless there`s a minor miracle !..
    Don’t agree with my mate Totes !……..Barkley is more than potential , so is Sterling !. this is the World Cup, players should be there because they are good enough, not because they have potential !. I`d pay £30M for Barkley now, no problem !.
    I knew this was going to be a shit WC for England when for some reason from above ( The FA ), they left the Bastard John Terry out of the squad !.
    I never get all the media hype of England, we are a backward country in national football terms and I could probably count on one hand the amount of times/games since 1966 that we have looked a decent team…….nearly 50 years of park football !. Anyway, I`m more upset we haven`t bought any SQ yet !.
    Dear oh dear JB !…….you would rather England win the WC than Arsenal win the CL !……go slap yourself with your Arsenal slippers to within an inch of your life !. hahaha……….bet you was glad to get Jane home on Monday……. there must be months of washing up and cleaning to do !. hahaha

  164. Yes well done Oz !…….first human to impregnate a kangaroo !……oh, I see, the post, most read BK post ever !….well done !.
    I still reckon BK would get more hits/views if the headlines were more enticing !……..of course, just an opinion !………… Wenger and Mourinho on The Jeremy Kyle Show ……” Who`s the father of Cesc`s Baby ? “. That would surely get some hits !.

    Right off to bed and hope that one of you bastards has some good transfer news for me in the morning……and none of that Ballotelli shit, some proper SQ !.

  165. JM says:

    World Cup 2014 bulletin (as of 19 June):

    Nike – 21 pts (Brazil /4, Netherlands /6, France /3, United States /3, South Korea /1, Croatia /3, Greece /1)
    Adidas – 19 pts (Argentina /3, Colombia /6, Mexico /4, Germany /3, Nigeria /1, Russia /1, Japan /1)
    Puma – 18 pts (Ivory Coast /3, Chile /6, Italy /3, Switzerland /3, Uruguay /3)
    Lotto – 3 pts (Costa Rica /3)
    Uhlsport – 1 pt (Iran /1)
    Burrda – 3 pts (Belgium /3)


  166. Gerry says:

    AFC – I think you are suffering from a bit of post match depression.

    When they played Italy, Sterling was probably our best player. However, I said after that game they cannot run him into the ground like that with such a short interval between games. We know young players can recover very well physically, but too quick games? Well it showed, imo.

    Barkley is different matter. When he came on in the first game, the team were up for it. In this they looked shot. You cannot expect young a player to carry the rest of the team just because he is fresh. I watched the very experienced Baines wanting to take a throw in, and urging them to show a bit of movement. Sterling too shrugged his shoulders when he had to pass back to Johnson because nobody around him was’ offering’ in space?

    Then we come to the Ox. Which is where I think Roy will get it in the neck for not biting the bullet and sending home and getting in a replacement? But you can understand why. The options he had had none of that thrust and speed that Chambo has to offer? Gunners should know better than any other supporter that lack of options is the real killer for a manager. You are left with just shifting around the same limited group. Welbeck bless him, did not have such a good game, again partly from the lack of urgency in the first half, and also moving Rooney away from him meant he was more easily marked?

    It is also easy to be critical of Gerrard, but you needed some experience out there? Lallana would possibly have been a more exciting pairing with Henderson, who for all his weaknesses did provide a bit of energy in the middle.

    As for us having any hope on goal difference, that assumes Costa Rica lose both their next two games? Now, if they have any sense, they will rest JC, park the bus against Italy, may be lose 1 or 2 nil, but then come out fighting against a deflated England. 6 points will see them comfortably through to the next round because even though Uruguay could get the same points if they beat Italy, I cannot see them winning by more than the odd goal. Pity the old ‘head to head’ rule is not the first criteria?

    Talking of our wonderful prospect Joel Campbell. What a cheeky idea from Inter Milan? They want to get their hands on him and offload Balotelli … AND still get a fee!
    Now I have been a bit excited at Super Mario coming to Arsenal, and like JB, it is his character that makes him a bit special. That said, let me be clear where both AW and I stand on this; If Milan say that is their condition of sale then ‘they can go forth and multiply’!
    No way do you let a real potential star slip through your hands for what £8-£10 m? Not to mention the tension that the ‘rumoured’ £180k wage packet, even if sponsored by Puma, will do to the rest of the team?

    JM – as Chile are still waving the flag for Puma, any hope they have a link with Alexi S??

  167. oz gunner says:

    @ Alan

    I agree. He doesn’t value it. Song came good but Denilson being used for so long and now Arteta shows how little he thinks of it. Shame really because I think it’s the most important position on the field.

    @ Terry

    hahaha. That game would have still been more exciting than a Stoke match. Bloody hell your mr optimistic about everything else and here you are disagreeing with me, for shame!!! I think you are selling Vermaelen a little short there. Yes we do play a passing game but I think with Vermaelen there players could attack more without worrying about getting caught up field (gibbs/ jenks/ ramsey). Yes you may loss technique but you gain power and drive. Personally think it is a better trade off. Song had the turning circle of a london bus but he could hold players off and move the ball on. I think Vermaelen would do the same. Look at Yaya Toure for instance. He’s not the most graceful but that power and drive he gives is almost unstoppable at times. I’m not saying Vermaelen is that level but he could bring similar attributes to our midfield.

    @ JM

    I’d go with the destroyer. De Jong for sure. Arsene the deep-lying play maker.

    @ gyirga

    Well said.

    @ Eoin2211

    cheers. I think he’d be as discipline as any, and technique wise for sure. People want de jong, mascherano, m’Vila etc…I think Vermaelen out does each of them technique wise.

    @ Clockend

    haha agreed. I think we’ve all wanted to shake him at one time or another to get a message across.

    @ This will not be popular

    Sorry for the late response and thank you for taking the time to comment. Appreciate it.

    We all liked Song, did he have quick feet? Does Arteta play Cesc like through balls? No, he plays it safe 9/10 which is exactly what Vermaelen could do. I think a player bursting forward with power is very underrated. Look at young Jack for instance. He does it (as does Ox) and it makes things happen. When teams are setting up a press passing side to side slowly doesn’t help at all. A player running forward is a shock and tends to pull opposition players towards you thus opening up space for others. Far too often in games we’ve been crying out for a player to attack. Instead we pass it back and forth with no much luck and teams like Swansea constrict us.

    I will have to look out for Beckermann, i haven’t seen him play before.

    I disagree. As captain he would do what is asked of him and I think he would be very discipline. A lack of discipline would be from his teammates not covering his space if he pushed forward. I think the mistakes against Tottenham that lead to him being dropped were not entirely his fault (as mentioned previously when you break both goals down). A lot has been made of him being dropped. I think that’s a very simplistic take on things. Yes he wasn’t at his best but Koscielny was back 100% after an extended lay off. He’s the better centre back and had the better partnership with BFG so the change made sense.

    I agree that he won’t play in midfield for another team. As i stated in the post it comes down to him. If he was asked to make that change would he? does he enjoy playing for Arsenal that much that he would try an adapt at the risk of lessening his market value? I know I would, but that’s because like Jenks I’d shank someone if it meant playing for the mighty Arsenal. On the flip side it could pay off and it could increase his market value. He’s a competitor so I’d like to think if given the job he’d given 110%.

    Personally I think Arteta is a downgrade. What we’ve got isn’t working. If we need to take the next step we need to try something different.

    Thanks again.

  168. oz gunner says:

    @ Emeka

    Thank you. If that writing is beautiful I’d hate to see what you call ugly haha.
    Couldn’t agree more. And the beautiful thing is Vermaelen wouldn’t cost us a dime!
    I’d prefer Reus but unfortunately his injury makes it even less likely (not that is was that likely before but hey a man can dream can’t he?!)

    @ Friday thomas

    Thank you. I’m not sure. I could tell Arsene personally but he’s likely to think I’m a complete idiot (he wouldn’t be far off) and would get security to rough me up a little on the way out the door.

    @ BJ

    A decent season…PFA EPL team of the year…if that’s decent what is good? I know that season had most of us walking around with an erection 24/7. Unfortunately the Achilles problem was a kick to the groin for us all. It’s a shame really and the injuries have affected his game a lot.

    haha you chucked in a kick to szczesny too. you couldn’t bloody help yourself could you haha.

    @ lovethesegunners

    You’re right he probably doesn’t want to take the risk. A shame if true. Best mates with RVP…he’s clearly a poor judge of character and needs to sort his shit out. Arsenal hate him and we can’t have our skipper being seen with someone like that (yes supporters choose who players can and can’t be mates with…it’s in their contracts. Santi is not allowed to speak to fabregas any longer).

    @ TA

    pfft not sure how that happened. Probably that team I set up at uni. Their one task is to click refresh on BK over and over to boost ratings on my posts. That way you’re tricked in to thinking it’s good. The reality is it’s probably not good enough to make it on Legrove 🙂

  169. JM says:

    @ Gerry, June 20, 2014 at 06:26
    “as Chile are still waving the flag for Puma, any hope they have a link with Alexi S??”

    Alexis Sanchez wears Nike Mercurial Vapor IX.

    @ oz gunner, June 20, 2014 at 06:48
    “I’d go with the destroyer. De Jong for sure. Arsene the deep-lying play maker.”

    AW is leaning towards the “volante”.

  170. oz gunner says:

    @ Gerry

    AC Milan are cheeky to ask such a thing (if true). Perhaps we could include a sell on fee like we did with Fab and Vela.

    Mario is definitely an Enigma. But as you’ve stated you don’t want to take that character away from him. However, I would like him to be a bit more discipline on the pitch. Not a fan of the shirts off celebrations either.

    The bit with Mourinho at the end is pretty funny

  171. TotalArsenal says:

    I really liked the look of the South American version of Nigel de Nail, the Uruguayan nr 17, Rios a lot yesterday.

  172. TotalArsenal says:

    unfortunately he is 32…. too old now for us

  173. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Oz, I reckon if Glic would ever produce a post, the award winning lazy bastard, he would reach 100k clicks by mobilising his army of Lesbania. 🙂

  174. Talking of lazy bastards ………..WENGER !…..OPEN THE FCUKING WALLET !. hahaha
    Even though I have been on holiday since Saturday……did I tell you I have 3 weeks off !…….today is the first day I haven`t worked on my gardens/landscaping etc`, so off further into Cornwall today to see if I can find anything “award winning” !. 😀

  175. Hahaha…….I don’t know whether you remember, Totes, but you are the instigator of all my “award winning” comments !…..a long long time ago on a distant blog, you said something like…..” why is everything in Cornwall award winning ? “…..hence my constant use of “award winning” !. You gave birth to a Monster !. hahaha
    Laterz, Follock Cace Bunts !.

  176. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Cocker, thats soooo easy!

  177. AFC says:

    Gerry, I was probably was a bit annoyed after the game.

    You do need experience in midfield but the experience has to be good enough and offer something special to the team. Gerrard doesn’t do that for me. For instance Pirlo does. I expected Gerrard to be running the midfield yesterday and do more against Italy but he just didn’t seem to. Perhaps I am expecting to much?

    Agreed Roy had very little options which is why he could not send the Ox home. I wouldn’t have either. But then isn’t it down to him to find a system and formation that gets the best out of the players he has. To me it just seemed like he had his team in his mind ages ago and wasn’t prepared to change it. Look at Van Gaal, Strootman get’s injured and Van Gaal changes his entire system. Roy just played it safe in my opinion. If you look through the team the only person who he took any kind of a risk on was Sterling and that was only because Walcott got injured before the WC.

    I agree with you when you said Sterling and Barkley cannot be expected to carry the the team but it just seemed like they weren’t ready. I would liken it to when we play Gnabry or Sanogo. You can see they have potential but they look raw.

    Now we are Italy to bail is out.

  178. AFC says:

    didn’t do that*
    too much*

    Now we need Italy to bail us out.*

  179. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes I remember Cocker of Award Winning Vileness! It always make me smile in Cornwall, all this award winning stuff: toilets, pavements, pasties, fish and chips, views, sand, etc etc. 🙂

  180. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed AFC

    I would have kept Cole but move him into the CB positions, together with Cahill. I would have put Gibbs on the left ahead of Baines, although I could live with the Evertonian there. In front of the back four I would have put Gerrard with Wilshere in the b2b role, Rooney in the hole, Lambert as ‘holding striker’ and Sturridge on the right. On the left wing, I would put either Lalana, Sterling or Luke Shaw, depending on the opponent.

    Alternatively, Rooney could be the holding striker with Barkley or Lalana in the hole. But key is to give Gerrard the deeper role and have a quality b2b midfielder next to him, and when the captain played with Jack in the friendlies last year, England played their best footie.

  181. Gerry says:

    It all sounds very good with hindsight .. Italy baling us out is only half the equation?

    Why would we be favourites to be the side that just beat us might I ask?

  182. TotalArsenal says:

    please rephrase Gerriander, I dont understand your question… 🙂

  183. Gerry says:

    Yeah, bit rushed this morning. It should have read:

    Why would we be favourites to beta the side(Costa Rica) that beat the side that just beat us?

    Just not enough ‘beat’ in the original

    I think Costa are more than capable of holding their own against us, on the evidence of the first game, even if they don’t managed it against Italy.

    See how they get on tonight, as it could be academic if they win, or give England great hope if they get thrashed?

  184. Gerry says:

    Rushing again … getting close to race time

    ‘beat’ not beta

  185. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Gerry. The chances of England surviving the group are titchy now. Hodgson should use it as an opportunity to experiment properly and start the quest for qualification for the Euros.

    A real shame jack and alex have had so little game time as the experience would have done them good.

  186. Just back from a lunch at Café Mylor !. I was given an award for being just about the hunkiest bastard to ever visit there !. hahaha

    Honestly boyz, England have been so disappointing down the years that I expect us to be shit in tournaments, so they never fail to live up to my low standards expected of them and I can honestly say I will be more disappointed if we don’t buy some of these :

    12, the list is getting longer !

    I bet Oh Oh Sevennnnn strangled his loin cloth after last nights debacle !. I suppose he`s not like most Gooners !………..On her majesties secret service and all that stuff, he prefers England to Arsenal and probably stands up and sings God save the Queen before he has a wank !. hahaha

  187. AFC says:

    Gerry, I have said long before the WC that I’m not a fan of Roy and his management.

    TA @10:38 is a lot closer to what Roy should have done. Width on the left and utilising the strengths in the team. I personally think Lambert is average but if he is in the squad use him. He offers presence up front and allows others to feed off him.

    With England they always fall short and then the excuses come. Now I do not expect England to win the WC or even get to semis but I expect them to be drawing or beating Uruguay.

  188. AFC says:

    Joel Campbell. THAT’S A PEN!!!

    JC done well to get in that position. Balotelli has also been wrongly called offside twice. Refs and officials have been pretty poor.

  189. AFC says:

    Costa Rica score. Ruiz scores!

  190. AFC says:

    Seems that goal line technology has come in handy.

  191. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey AFC…Kinda fun watching our strike force–Campbell AND Balotelli (lol)–in action… Agreed that Joel got into a good position and it looked like a pen…At first…Replay showed his touch put the ball into Chellini’s path, however, so I gotta think the ref got that one right…

    Earlier that was a bad miss from Balo, but a nice volleyed shot right afterwards–too directly on target however… Definitely some weird offsides calls…Like they don’t quite know the rule about players not involved in the play…

    Later we get to see even more of the strikers (Giroud). Are we still in for Benzema?

    What do you think, are we actually interested in any of these big name strikers? Seems a little hard to fathom… For me, it’s all good fun even if I still don’t understand the “rules” regarding transfers. It seems some can be announced even though the window isn’t officially open and the WC is still on… Also, if Puma want to make some punts on salaries, I say go for it…

    Personally, I would love it if we could get Super Mario. He’s a beast and (IMO) he can play the game and would be a 3rd big CF (with Giroud and Yaya). Knocking down balls to Theo or Ox or Campbell and we’re re-inventing the Route-1…Even with all the “baggage” Balo brings he’s done a whole lot better than his 35 million pound English counterpart, Andy Carroll… That’s the sort of guy England could’ve used yesterday (IMO). Too much running and not enough presence with Wellbeck, Rooney and Sturridge. Maybe if they had some MFs, i.e., young Jack Wilshere (who has an eye for a good pass, at least when he can use his left)… Agreed with Total that it’s a damn shame Roy didn’t use him…

    Anyhow, a goal in the game now–Not good for England’s chances, but should be good for the 2nd half…

  192. Admir says:

    Muhamed Bešić in action against Argentina.

    Balotelli has done a lot to avoid being kissed by Her Highness.

  193. Admir says:

    @17 – Balotelli’s performances in two big away matches in 2011-12 say a lot about him.

    1) Manchester United – Manchester City 1:6 – Balotelli scored twice including a long-range opener that was forgotten due to that “Why always me?”-shirt. That victory and that margin gave Oilers the edge over their neighbours.

    2) Arsenal – Manchester City 1:0 – Balotelli was sent off and he should have been sent off at least twice for dangerous tackles on Sagna and Song. That defeat almost kicked the Oilers out of the title race.

    That’s Balotelli – Italian Janus, the one with Italian name and Ghanian origin, the one with explosive pace and implosive character, the one that can score a brace to lead his team to an international tournament final and then turn on the invisibility mode in that final. A huge gamble, if you ask me – the one that tickles you to think whether you can win when you role the dice or lose everything.

  194. AFC says:

    Hi 17ht 🙂

    The latest stories around Balotelli are that he is ours for £29-30 million as Milan are prepared to let him go. That would be a very good signing. As you say he’s a beast and can play. He would give us three things up front. Pace! Power! Presence! Reports are saying if we fail to get him then we will offer £15 million for Mandzukic. I would personally prefer Balotelli as he offers something different than Giroud whereas Mandzukic is very similar to Giroud.

    Thanks for pointing that out re-JC’s penalty appeal. I gotta re-watch that.

    I can’t see us getting Benzema if I’m honest. However a strikeforce of Giroud, Balotelli, JC and Sanogo would be more than good enough for me. Maybe a short loan for Sanogo would get him up to speed with the rest of the STs.

    Lambert was the only player in the England squad who would have given us presence. Wilshere should have been playing but I an not sure he would have changed much. Wilshere needs other players to link up with when he drives forward and tries to start things and I am not sure if some of the other players are on his wavelength. There are problems throughout the entire England team. And it seems we have another 2 years of Roy Hodgson. The FA have said he will remain as manager until 2016. 😦

  195. AFC says:

    JC coming off. I liked what I saw from him today. 🙂

  196. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Admir…Mario gets his yellow just as I read your comment… Seemed a little harsh but that’s life in the spotlight…

    So this Besic fellow… 21 and playing in Hungary? Is he getting a look in from anybody? Your vid suggests good acceleration and technique and very calm–on the ball and peeling from space to make defensive interventions. Hell, I might even find some time to watch those matches vs Iran and Nigeria…

    Costa Rica doing very well but Italy out of sorts and Insigne (another Arsenal linked player) living offsides isn’t helping…

    Campbell is done after 74 mins….Oooh a different replay of his penalty shout looks a good deal more convincing…

  197. AFC says:

    Italy seem to lack pace. Give them someone like Walcott and you will see the best of them.

  198. 17highburyterrace says:

    Insigne is supposed to have the pace…doesn’t work if you’re flagged off, however, AFC…

    Latest reports from Madrid suggest Benzema has just been offered a bigger contract, so he’s likely staying, I think, is the idea…

    Admir’s correct about the two sides of Mario. The missed chip must have him brutally frustrated today and you always have to watch him for a stamp-out on the defenders who drape themselves all over him… In England all too often you get refs who allow the serial fouling…

    Still 1-nil in the 81st…

  199. 17highburyterrace says:

    Italy look done…87th min now…

  200. AFC says:

    True 17. A player of his quality should be scoring that lob. However he is only 23/24. That consistency will come in time as it has with Walcott, Kos etc.

    Italy seem tired and could do with a worker like Ramsey.

  201. AFC says:

    Costa Rica doing really well in this WC so far.

  202. Admir says:

    England are done. Italy are flat. Costa Rica rule!

    @17 – Bešić used to play for HSV, had some issues with discipline but it seems he learned something in Hungary. He did his job on Messi pretty well – aside from a goal Messi scored after Bešić had been tackled by his own team-mate – and had a high pass completion percentage (92 percent or something like that).

  203. 17highburyterrace says:

    Insigne’s performance seems pretty shocking as he tries to make something happen here in injury time… Costa Rica look the more likely side to score as things wind down… Who’d’ve thunk they were the big team in the group… Maybe Jack can take them to task in the 3rd match…

  204. AFC says:

    Now England are out I want to see Roy Hodgson play our young players. Team to start against Costa Rica.

    GK- Forster
    RB- Johnson
    CB- Smalling
    CB- Jones
    LB- Shaw
    CM- Wilshere
    CM- Henderson
    RAM- Sterling
    CAM- Barkley
    LAM- Ox (if fit)
    ST- Sturridge

    If Ox isn’t fit then Rooney or Lallana should come in. I would bench Johnson but we only brought one RB.

  205. Admir says:

    If there is something that I like in England’s failure, it’s the fact Chambo and Jack will come home earlier. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if Jack starts against Costa Rica (dunno if Chambo will be available) and gave a good performance – that would do well for his confidence!

  206. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mario and Joel exchanging shirts? Or just taking them off? (No messages to be seen on the undershirts…)

    Nice result (even if it ends any English chances)… Italy going behind doesn’t seem a good thing…for them, at least…

    Thanks for the Besic info, Admir…You must be liking your chances after the first round of matches in your group…

  207. AFC says:

    Italy could actually go home. That would be shocking.

  208. Gerry says:


  209. 17highburyterrace says:

    You gotta worry about Ox’s fitness (to open our season) after Gary Lewin goes down… I don’t see him playing vs Costa Rica…

    To me, England are really between generations when it comes to their possession game. 4 years down the road and some of these guys will be a lot better. They also need better defenders and a keeper and a target man up top. Besides that, however…

  210. geoffchase says:

    Want to say I got to see the CR – Italy game, and note that Europe should start thinking more highly of the US, Mexico and CONCACAAF, since we regularly have to deal with the wildly difficult and awkward to play CR Ticos and they didn’t finish top of qualifying … Yet, that’s two scalps.. Down to Uruguay – Italy for spot 2 methinks…

    Both JC and MarioB looked good. I can see from how Mario works across the front line that he’d be a joy for Ozil to slide sublime through balls too… Question is at 23 is he finally maturing more to avoid the points Gerry or 17(?) made above that showed his two faced-ness (star or storm trooper).

    cheers — jgc

  211. Admir says:

    To be honest, I don’t know what to expect against Nigeria. If we lose, we go out. If we draw, we can hope for Argentina beating the crap out of Nigeria in the last match instead of resting Messi, Agüero, Di Maria and others (and we know which scenario is more likely to happen).

    Nigeria couldn’t deal with Iran due to Iranians’ defensive mentality. On the other hand, when they face us, they’ll probably sit back, let us have the possession and wait for the counter-attacks. If we score an early goal (and they have the best African goalkeeper so it won’t be that easy), we might show the world that poor rivals in the group weren’t the only reason why we averaged three goals per game during qualifications.

    If there is something to worry about, it’s our complacency. We lost a friendly match to Egypt (Salah was impressive) only to beat Ivory Coast and Mexico.

    We have two players to watch in terms they are Bergkampesque-material: Zvjezdan Misimović and Miralem Pjanić are joy to watch when they are at their best.

  212. Admir says:

    England defenders – Jagielka and Cahill needed a Per Mertesacker with English football nationality. Baines and Jagielka (again) needed more experience in big matches – it was the first time in their careers that they played at this stage and they are 29 and 30 respectively.

  213. Am I upset that England are out ?…….put it this way, I`m more upset than Scrooge McWenger has hidden his wallet in the concrete foundations of London Colney`s new fitness extension !.
    I too would play all the Arsenal youngsters in the final group game, nothing to lose apart from some serious injuries to our boys !.
    So I would play this lot to get the pride back for England and Arsenal against Costa Rica !.

    Coquelin and Arteta for some experience !.

  214. Admir, what about Missanopengoalvic ?.

  215. They had a Mert` character, Admir, but left the racial bigot Mr Terry at home !. I think him and Cahill play a bit together for some bastard team in West London.

  216. Admir says:

    TCM – we left Missy at home because it turned out he’s allergic to that spray referees use. Stupid bastard had found one in the locker room and mistaken it for a shave foam – his ass is still hairy as it was but it’s so red that we call him Red Arse!

  217. Admir says:

    And, it’s the fact Mr Terry was left at home why English players wanted to return to their homes and their respective wives!

  218. Gerry says:

    Yes, I so glad I said we should keep JC if that was the Italian’s last offer.

    I agree the comment made ‘ England could not play that high line(like Costa Rica)’. The thing about these Costa players they don’t appear to have any ‘old’ players, so they could maintain their running style. The Italians looked shot in the last twenty minutes, and even their subs couldn’t lift the others.

    Again, I made the point about the South American advantage of being better at playing slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, except there are two sides that can keep playing quick, quick, Costa and Chile. For that reason I don’t give the Italians much hope of progressing past the Uruguayans? It will be a rugged game for sure. PG, I should check the odds for a red card in that one, as both can get nasty when they are losing?

    HT – I agree about the OX. When it was first diagnosed it was a big risk to hope he would have been fit for the Uruguayan game, and that was when he was needed? Still it will be nice for him and Jack to introduce themselves to their new team mate. The more I see of JC the more I like him. Today he showed he has a good eye for a pass, and not just be the glory seeking goal scorer?
    Pity his next goal will be against England, they could do without having there failure being repeated. Again, it will be the hot conditions that will see we cannot keep up our game for 90 minutes, whereas they will just keep coming forwards?

  219. Hahaha Admir, I did say the same thing weeks ago that there would be a lot worried England players with Terry left behind !

  220. proudgooner says:

    Joel Campbell is going to be worth a good few quid now. How much will we get for after the WC2014 if he carries on playing like this? I would of thought he is up to £15,000,000 ish now 🙂

    I will be supporting France and Germany in the WC now then.
    I think both nations have a great chance of going all the way too.

  221. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud draws first blood for France…Not a goal but a bloody face meaning that the Swiss are now using two ex-Arsenal defenders (Djourou and Senderos)…Seems just a matter of time…

    The craziest thing out of the French camp is that Kos sits while Sakho plays AND that left off the team Nasri signs a new deal with Man City moments after Ribery goes down to injury…This may be the “group of life” but I don’t see this French team going very far beyond it…

  222. 17highburyterrace says:

    Olivier Giroud, hair and all… 1-nil…

  223. 17highburyterrace says:

    From the kickoff… 2-nil, Matuidi…

  224. proudgooner says:


  225. 17highburyterrace says:

    Kinda looks like a decent keeper might’ve stopped both of them…

  226. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pure comedy farce!… Djourou gives a stupid pen, Benz takes a bad one and Cabaye can’t hit the open net on the rebound…

  227. 17highburyterrace says:

    Giroud…from their corner this time, heads out AND crosses to the little man for the goal…Senderos running at his own goal = one of the worst sights in football…

  228. 17 !!!…………….you don’t see this French team going far !….sacre bleu !.
    What a piece of play by Giroud for the 3rd goal !. He heads out like a CB, then sprints into open space like a winger and puts it on a plate for Valbuena, brilliant counter attack and almost made on his own by na na na na na na na Giroud !.

  229. Add Benzema to my list, he constantly looks dangerous !.

  230. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cockie watching a little football and making lists…This seems like a dangerous thing… 🙂

    IMO, a lot of players can look pretty good at this level of play. Compared to the top of club football it’s just not the same (my opinion, again). The players don’t really know each other very well and there are always a few weak links. Tactically, in general, things must be kept very simple…

    Of course, the occasion is big and nerves can be magnified. Balotelli’s miss today was big, but not as bad as Busquets…Some of the howlers by the keepers have been impressive…

    Anyhow, somebody should write a post about it… 🙂 …

    Giroud out, Pogba in, not exactly like for like, even regarding the hair…

  231. proudgooner says:

    I think France can go all the way and i have backed them as my outsiders from the start.
    They will need a little , but they have as good a team and that team spirit that is needed.

  232. proudgooner says:

    little bit of luck lol

  233. proudgooner says:

    France have the defence, the Forwards and the midfielders .
    Great chance, i am looking forward to them playing the Germans, Holland etc.

  234. 17highburyterrace says:

    Now that one (#4 by Benz) was pretty nice… Kos on for 20 + mins…

    I dunno about France going too far (Quarters seems about right…) given that they won’t be playing two of their 4 best defenders (Kos and Sagna) and it won’t be so easy for their midfielders against the better teams. They do seem well unified, however, this time around…

    At some point, however, I’ll have to actually start looking at who will be playing whom in the elims…

    Swiss give up #5…

  235. 17highburyterrace says:

    5-2 now… Benz not so strong in the wall and Kos hung out to dry by Debuchy pushing up the line… Nice finish on #2…

    This WC must be waaayyy ahead of record pace for goals scored, no?…

  236. proudgooner says:

    I take your points and you might be right, we will see.
    For my very nation deserves respect, just qulifing is not easy, Costa Rica have shown no nation should be underestimated .
    In cup comps you have to play the best at some point Second round or te final, the draw does mater a little, but not as much as the league.
    I rate France and like there’s and Germany’s chance.

    Who are you backing to win the cup 17?

  237. proudgooner says:

    ex-spelling , shocking :/ lol

  238. Trouble with you 17…….. is that you have too many opinions, imo and lets not even mention the brackets !. hahaha

  239. I must be slipping !…..I haven`t mentioned any phallic references today !. hahaha

  240. proudgooner says:

    I just thought ,i have a question for hair transplant.
    Do you think if Rooney had kept the natural slick baldness , plus a lot of sweat. That that headr may have gone in rather then hit the bar???
    Does these new fake hair folicalls have extra grip?

  241. proudgooner says:

    It is great to see how Dr Peters sport physcology work so well for England and Stevie G.
    The man worked wonders lol
    Could Rooneys Hair vainity have cost England the world cup. He probably sent half the nation bald last night, hair transplant could be a wise move in the stock exchange

  242. JM says:

    World Cup 2014 bulletin (as of 20 June):

    Nike – 24 pts (Brazil /4, Netherlands /6, France /6, United States /3, South Korea /1, Croatia /3, Greece /1)
    Adidas – 19 pts (Argentina /3, Colombia /6, Mexico /4, Germany /3, Nigeria /1, Russia /1, Japan /1)
    Puma – 18 pts (Ivory Coast /3, Chile /6, Italy /3, Switzerland /3, Uruguay /3)
    Lotto – 6 pts (Costa Rica /6)
    Burrda – 3 pts (Belgium /3)
    Marathon – 3 pts (Ecuador /3)
    Uhlsport – 1 pt (Iran /1)


  243. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey PG, just getting back (sorry–and sorry for the opinions and the brackets, cockie)… I’ve truly got no skin in the game…no betting for me, but I like the idea that Rooney’s transplants are his undoing…

    Germany, I think is the European team to beat, but a lot of the American teams (Up and down the two continents) could pull some upsets. Brazil hasn’t shown much, except that the refs might be in their pocket… Overall, nice and wide open. Argentina (who I haven’t seen play) might be able to find a groove in their next two matches…

    Back again in the a.m.,,,

  244. Gerry says:

    Not a lot to add on the WC, but it will be interesting as the final Group games unfold.

    Interesting on so far as watching teams ‘manipulate’ themselves into 2nd place, if they know already who they will face from the other group winners.

    Not much has been said about Arsenal’s fixture list, but when I went through it, it looked to have a more ‘balance feel to it? Yes there are a lot of top teams to face, but they are reasonably spread out. From what I noticed it seemed like we have, for each top 6 club we face, both before and after there are lower clubs in groups of 3 at a time. This is ideal for rotation if we have a stronger squad with more options? We should be able to keep a strong 11 fit for the top games, and give opportunities to others without losing any momentum. Unlike last season, where we should not have lost our first game, but that helped focus our attentions for a strong run with a big batch of lower teams. They still needed winning, but we got a shock when the better teams exposed our weaknesses? And also that top heavy run in March. This time, have the CS game at Wembley to shake off any early season jitters, before the season begins.

    With very little pre-season travelling, and altitude training in Austria, we could find ourselves do rather well if our new signings, and our ‘like new signings’ can gel quickly… As has been shown in this WC, the teams who have complete unity can compete very well, even with players of lesser(subjective term) quality. I am rapidly cooling on my support for Balotelli, as that yellow card for yanking back a defender shows he has still not ‘grown up’ on the field, and when frustrated, that could easily turn red in the EPL with his reputation? Perhaps let another club take a risk on him at £30m?
    I will say again, he was not on my wish list, and I think their are other options out there, including the possible £22m offer for a ‘no clause’ deal’ for Morata?
    Are you still on my wavelength AW?

  245. RA says:


    As President of the Down With the No at the End of Sentences committee I am going to sentence you to an hour of Cocker tickling your ass!

    Look at this effort; — “This WC must be waaayyy ahead of record pace for goals scored, no?…”

    Well which is it? A record pace for goals scored – or not a record place for goals scored? 🙂

  246. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir, are you okay if I take this comment out and use it as a new post?

  247. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s assuming you have not posted the same comment somewhere else in footie blog world…

  248. TotalArsenal says:

    No No No No No No No No No No No No No No – There is No-limit! @Redders! 😛

  249. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post, no?! 🙂

    Admir reviews the WC games with a superb analytical eye 🙂

  250. Charles says:

    Totally Agree. i argued this a few weeks back. I dont know why AW does not see this. TV5 would be the solid rock upon the defence is built.

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