How to avoid the mega-losses: Time for a Mertesacker Plan-B?

What are Arsenal doing to avoid painful mega-losses in the new season? Answer: not much as yet!

Two months ago the season finished and there are just three weeks left till the Charity Shield commences. The question that went through my mind this morning is: what has the club done to prevent more embarrassing large defeats by title contenders in the coming season?

To a large extent this is a question about defending. There are two ways of looking at Arsenal’s defending: defending as a team and the defence itself. Defending as a team is as important as the quality of our defenders, but for this post I would like to concentrate on the latter. And for the avoidance of doubt, I see the defence as the GK, the back four and the two deeper laying midfielders.

Against Mansour City away, our defence got significantly weakened after Flamini was substituted in the second half. Against Pool away, the defence had a nightmare from the start and it was even worse against the Chavs away. These were big, big losses that hurt the club, the players and the fans a hell of a lot. I am sure not to be the only one saying that more of these heavy losses in the new season will be unacceptable. Of course, every club can have a bad day in a season, when everything goes wrong and the players get a real spanking. But with heavy losses against the above mentioned teams and a similarly painful one against Everton away in just one season, we cannot use the ‘bad day at the office’ excuse anymore.

Something needs to change.

And the club has not added to our defence with only weeks to go to the new season. Sagna and Fabianski left, and rumours remain strong that the Lion of Flanders is on his way as well. We got Debuchy to replace Sagna at right back, but nobody else has been signed to strengthen our defence.

We have been crying out for more metal and energy in our double-DM pivot and the links with Khedira were promising for a while. But nothing has happened and the momentum seems to have gone. Quality central midfielders – either DM (my preference) or all-round midfielder ala the German rock – are hard to find. I guess we can cope for a while with the Flamini-Ramsey combo and a fit Arteta can add value as well. However, to really make a step forward we need to add real quality and the sooner this happens the quicker the new signing can play himself into the team.

We also still don’t have a replacement for Fabianski, which could bite us in the arse badly at the start of the season. Whoever we will get, they will need to practice with our back four to get to know how we play and there is now very little time left to safeguard our keeper-cover. An injury to Sir Cesny and we could be in trouble.

But just as pressing is the Centre Back situation. Sagna provided cover for BFG but he has now departed, and TV5 might be on his way as well; which leaves us with just a tired/initially unavailable BFG and Koz. One injury or a straight red, and we could be in trouble.

So what is Wenger going to do here?

Is he going to push Ignasi Miquel forward? Or does he have plans for Jenkinson, Nacho Monreal or even Flamini to become back-up CBs? Or is he going to buy? Some might argue that we need a quality replacement for the BFG in the big games anyway, as to give us a defensive plan-B when necessary. The Germans left the BFG out in the final games and they looked stronger for it (as they like to play with a high-line which can leave our Per very exposed) and we might need to do this as well.

So, fine fellow Gooners, let’s be having your views:

What do we need to do to strengthen our defence significantly in order to make painful mega-losses against our competitors a thing of the past?

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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75 Responses to How to avoid the mega-losses: Time for a Mertesacker Plan-B?

  1. Ja gooner says:

    Keep tv5 at all cost an give him a game as a DM too where we can change to a back 3 at times wen in attack

  2. Rich says:

    Your right, signing Alexis and Debuchy is a good start but we’re nowhere near ready as a squad, we have so many squad deficiencies it’s unreal, who knows what we have planned? Will Arsene wing it again? Last season we went with 1 recognised striker who wouldn’t get into any of our rivals teams, and three centre halfs, one of which Arsene clearly doesn’t trust anymore.
    I don’t think Podolski gives us enough on the left and he’s not suited to playing up top on his own, but he’s still on our books.
    Still we have to many similar type players, not enough pace and power, unless we pull off a few exceptional signings I can only see more of the same

  3. shahid kassim yunde says:

    we need backup for matersaka and cosleney. And also a very clinical defencive midfielder

  4. AFC says:

    TA, will be back to comment on your post later but will just say this. We have lot of positions to fill and as of yet we have only filled two.

    GK- ?
    RB- Debuchy
    3rd CB (as it looks like Vermaelen is leaving)- ?
    4th CB- ?
    DM- ?
    LW and ST- ? With Sanchez filling one gap.

    So we still need a minimum of 4 signings with a possible fifth signing depending how you look at it. There is still a lot of work to be done by AW.

  5. alcide says:

    Per is one of the best CB back to the goal, and one of the worst facing it. We need that plan B, cutting ourselves from the tactical possibility of playing with a high line is criminal. Having some more pace in our double pivot is an important start, but keeping TV5, or have a new good, faster CB would give us much needed tactical options (and your German squad example is perfectly chosen).

  6. Mohamed says:

    Wenger said at the start of the transfer window that he would sign two or three players apart from replacements. Sagna is repalced, and TV5 will be replaced if he leaves. I think that with Sanchez signed, we should expect two more which I think will be a DM and a striker. Joel Campbell might fill in the striker vacancy though. The way he sounded after the Saturday game makes me think that we are in for some good signings to come.

  7. allezkev says:

    Interesting post Total.

    Wasn’t Liverpool’s first goal off-side?

    Also, if I recall, we suffered some questionable off-side decisions at Wastelands.

    Maybe the performance of the linesman is as vital as our defence?!

    Just saying mate…. 🙂

  8. Why don’t we just wait and see what happens in this transfer window before we all go jumping off the nearest bridge?!?! A little bit of patience is what is needed.

  9. geoffchase says:


    IMO, I think we will get Ospina signed soon, so given that, my thoughts are simple (or maybe they are simple all the time to take the wind out of TAs sails early 🙂 ). Anyway:

    a. TV will be kept. At the 10M being quoted for him he is worth more than that in insurance if we cannot **first** get an equal replacement. Thus, if he is sold it wont be until that replacement is signed and thus will be a late one for ManU. In fact, if I was AW (and I am not) I wouldn’t sell him until late anyway, just cuz… 😈

    b. We have Debuchy and I think youngsters will be brought forward to sit behind him and Jenks and others. I leave that to Gerry who is the expert, but recent resurfaced names like Coquelin might appear more in cup games and such..

    –> That said, if a great CB came available and **could** be signed, then… However, it’s not just a case of we go offer money. Clubs and players must also agree etc etc etc… no matter how highly we think of our club, others just may not…

    c. THUS, I think the B2DMB is the main element and critical. That is my new made up position to meet all the opinions of exactly what type of player is needed, as we do all agree someone in the middle who can pass and defend well is needed (we just differ on the weights for all those elements 🙂 )…

    Hence, I think Ospina or similar and one more signing at the B2DMB….. And any real target of opportunity, as we shouldn’t forget guys like Zelalem who will, each year, need/demand more exposure and time here or on loan.

    cheers — jgc

  10. geoffchase says:

    Carl Mitchell,

    Because it’s hot out and the water looks inviting?? 🙂

    — jgc

  11. geoffchase says:


    And since I didn’t answer part of TAs question. Well speedy, good in the air CBs are also very very rare, like B2DMBs, so that may require some thought? Perhaps there is a plan to convert one or more of whom we have. Gibbs might suit given his pace and Nacho’s reliability on the left?

    I recall in vague support of this that Per-Kos weren’t necessarily first choice 2 years ago. So, sometimes we should let the manager experiment.

    Equally to the post. While errors at the back didn’t help in those horror losses, they were in part set up by the inability of the midfield in each case to slow the run downfield. Regularly, not just occasionally… Followed admittedly, by capitulation of the defense as a whole.

    Just some further thoughts?

    cheers — jgc

  12. AFC says:

    Back with my response TA. 🙂

    So Wenger has said he is buying another ST with is fair enough and I can’t see Wenger buying a left winger either so that means the list of signings is now: GK, DM, 3rd CB and 4th CB if Vermaelen leaves. I agree with Alcide where he says we need a plan B for certain games where Mertesacker’s lack of pace might be exploited.

    Wenger also needs to change his tactics against the big teams and be more flexible. I doubt Debuchy will help us avoid big defeats as he is more attacking than Wenger.

  13. AFC says:

    More attacking than Sagna*

    The key to avoiding big defeats is the double DM pivot in my opinion. If Ramsey and whoever is playing there can protect the defence, stop counter attacks by stopping opposing players from entering our defensive third or slowing down a counter attack so we can get numbers back and not losing possession or being bullied off the ball in midfield then we can minimise the risk of getting hammered next season. Artera is pretty lightweight and Flamini is stronger but he lacks the other attributes needed to be truly effective at DM. This is why Khedira is key to our plans in my opinion. He is strong and has a good work rate and has some of the qualities Flamini doesn’t, which means our midfield is less likely to be overrun when we face the big teams. He would bring that presence what we need and currently lack in midfield.

    Another question is why does Wenger persist on playing with a high line when we play the likes of Chelsea, City etc? It just doesn’t seem to make sense considering the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool are counter attacking teams are Mertesacker is so slow.

    Another question is why does Wenger continue to allow both of our fullbacks to attack at the same time when playing the big teams? Surely our team would be better off if our fullbacks attacked in a see saw motion? By this I mean when one attacks the other stays back and vice versa.

  14. AFC says:

    “Up front we don’t need any more,” said Wenger. “It’s not especially for numbers. We need a goalkeeper for sure and after that it depends on how our midfielders get through without injuries until the start of the season. Maybe at centre-back we’ll still bring one in.”

    Wenger speaking to the press after the friendly. So Wenger is happy to persist with Arteta and Flamini for DM next season? If he is then we wave goodbye to the league and getting far on the CL. 😦

  15. AFC says:

    Can wave*
    In the CL*

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Very fine comments, especially by jgc and AFC the Night Rider! 🙂

    We are indeed done upfront and need strengthening defensively. Yes there is still time but why leave it so late once more? A DM needs time to settle into our 4-2-1-3 which demands so much of the double DM pivot players…

    Let’s see what’ll happen this week.

  17. jozefos2013 says:

    I really liked Micah Richards a few years ago but he waa underutilised at Mansour City. Still worth a punt though? Good at RB and CB from what I remember and appears to want a move? Just spithballing…

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see you back, jozefos2013

    Yes a good player but possibly too injury prone and expense for us. I like us to get a fit, 40 games a season defender with a good PL/top footie background.

  19. AFC says:

    Fathi has had an unsuccessful trial according to talkSPORT. Why take the guy on trial anyway. It make no sense whatsoever. Just a waste of time.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Just as well, AFC. Can you imagine the song: who ate all the pies, who ate all the pies…you fathi bastard, you fathi bastard, you ate all the pies. 🙂

  21. AFC says:

    Haha TA.

    United are close to signing Hummels for £17 million and we are signing… I would be tempted to sign him and replace Mert with him (just like Germany done) that is how good he is. I hope Wenger hasn’t gone back to his old ways.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    I hope so too, AFC. Sad to see that Hummels leaves Dortmund for Manure, after what they did to Kagawa.

  23. AFC says:

    Yeah it is TA. They ruined Kagawa’s career. It is kinda sad really considering that he was good enough and deserved to be in the team.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    So it will be Rodriquez, Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo v Neymar, Vampire, Messi….. and Atletico Madrid sold almost all their players…. What a rediculous competition. 😦

    Come on Khedira, come to the home of football and play in a proper competition; sign for the mighty red and white!

  25. AFC says:

    That is some forward line by Real and Barca.

    If Real can sign Falcao they will be unstoppable. Barca’s is better though. Suarez and Messi are prove whereas only Ronaldo really is for Madrid.

  26. AFC says:


  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Dylan, if you are reading…. are you going to see the boys in NY, and if so, will you write something about it? 🙂

  28. Admir says:

    Hello, people!

    Intriguing text, TA, as usual. 🙂

    First of all, I’d like to say a few things about our huge losses from the previous season. Each one of them had something in common – absolutely appalling performance from our left full-back, more specifically Nacho Monreal. He was brutally over-run against Citizens (Wilshere had started on the left wing and switched places with Walcott later in the game), totally Andre-Santosed against Liverpool (speaking of, have you read about Andre Santos being beaten by his own fans?) and Coleman did pretty much everything he wanted to do when we lost to Everton. Monreal didn’t play against Chavs though but they had been destroying us through our left flank even before Marriner sent off Gibbs instead of Chamberlain. Vermaelen didn’t improve our left side of the defence either. Let’s not forget that all our troubles against Bayern in London started after Gibbs had been replaced by Monreal due to injury.

    What I’m trying to say is, perhaps Arsene has already signed our greatest defensive reinforcement and his name is…Alexis Sanchez. With a pacey Chilean on the left wing we might relieve the opponents’ pressure on our left full-back. Podolski, Cazorla, even Wilshere were used as left wingers and it’s not like it’s their best position. With the menace called Alexis playing on his side, every right full-back will think twice before overlapping against us.

    Speaking of right full-backs, can Debuchy replace Sagna’s defensive skills? I’d say he can if we apply “Attacking is the best form of defending” with Debuchy-Walcott link-up down the right flank. That link-up has already suffered a set-back with news of Theo’s return prolonged till late August.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see you back, Admir, and with a very sharp and plausible explanation! 🙂

    Monreal has been a bit of a disappointment and indeed been our weakest point at times. The combos of GibbSanchez and debuchyWalcott are mouthwatering prospects. Wings avec grande vitesse!

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    I guess the post reads a bit negative to some. I am delighted with the signing of Sanchez, who is the best signing in the last fifteen years, if not more. And Debuchy is a good signing too. But I feel there is a lot of defensive support still required; and by applying a bit of logic, as per the post, I reckon we are some way off from properly strengthening our ‘back seven’ and the season is not far off.

  31. AB says:

    Understandable to feel a bit down given the press comments around Khedira – looks like it was too good to be true!? But lets see, there’s plenty of time yet to buy some more for the back. I still hope we land a quality DM; it does seem we are trying hard, so no one is in any doubt about the importance of this piece in our setup. I think saying we are “some way off” is over-stating the matter – if we bank a cover GK (and Wenger has confirmed this), then we are perhaps 2 players off what we would like. Not too bad as we are less than half way through the TW?

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    I respect that point of view, AB, although it does not quite work the same for me. The DM is the most important signing and he would need time to settle in. We have big games in September and October and we need a strong squad that plays well together from the start. We just cannot afford any injuries, that’s for sure.

  33. geoffchase says:

    Just a short 2-3points to add:

    a. Well, Per isn’t the fastest but played to his strengths is pretty awesome. Yes, we lose some high pressuring approach, putting pressure on midfield fitness, but similarly, we gain in defensive solidarity. IMO, sometimes you just cant find/get the right people (maybe always), so you have to play to the strengths you have.

    b. Regarding left side. I see your point Admir, but similar to “a” above, when we mix Gibbs and Pod we lose defense (both are attack minded). Add in Nacho and he is exposed if pressing, but adds other values. IMO, you are 80% right, but the other 20% comes from not playing the players we had to their best strengths, which against teams so strong down that side would have been shifting the DMs over and sitting back some more to shorten their field.

    c. Regarding the TW, and DMs and such, well we will see. We have done some very good work early this TW (for once!) but often players don’t become available until late (just like we wont let TV be available until late, if/after we sign a replacement)… So, patience is a virtue? 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    All good points, Geoff. Re c, why is it that other clubs can get their players early and we do not (Pool, Chavs)?

  35. proudgooner says:

    Apart from them few heavy away thrashings last season, we would have had the best defensive record in the league.
    So what I am trying to is there is really not very much wrong with our defence IMO .
    I think our back 4 was a very strong unit last season.
    That said there is room for improvement , in adding a strong DMB of course. My first choose is Bender now. Sami K is my second choose. I think Bender is going to be a lot better value for money man and he is younger and will only get better, this is something Wenger will like.
    Szcs won the golden glove last season and a big BIG part of that was due to the defenders in front of him, so again what I am trying to say is we really have a good side and are very close to having it spot on IMO

    Wenger has already said he has got a lot of work left to do still in the TW and I think he knows what he needs and I am sure he will get it right .
    I really feel he is ready to push on full guns blazing now with the team next season and the next 3 in fact . I get the feeling he want both the EPL and the CL won with Arsenal ASAP now 🙂
    Like some of you said it’s still early we will just have to be a little more patient .
    Wenger also admitted after the big defeats that he got it tactically wrong, I believe it was that he set up all guns blazing instead if parking the bus a bit, if we had of taken 3 draws or say 2 and a win at city we would have been about there at the end of the season. Wenger will have learnt , another reason why next season is going to be great 🙂

  36. omgarsenal says:

    TA… worry too much. Remember the best defense is a great offence and we have both a solid defense and a really strong offense IF everyone stays fit…..

  37. AB says:

    I’m not sure its that simple TA – though I totally share your desire to get the squad fully set up early, and preparing together for the season ahead. But which DM that has been bought this TW would you have wanted us to buy? And I don’t count Fabski in this category! We completed on Sanchez early this TW, not (IMO) because we simply ‘tried harder’ but because of the combination of the player we wanted, wanting a move to us (or thereabouts) as a result of the selling club needing cash to buy Suarez, and no major competitors for his purchase. We can’t engineer such circumstances – they either happen, or more often they do not. The oilers of course can create the right circumstances – but neither of us would swap our history for theirs. As for other clubs, well manure and spuds have not been ahead of us this TW. And do I covet the pool’s purchases, or do they look a bit like last years spuds…..? I seem to remember ‘king kenny’ did his business quickly too….., the TW before he got sacked.

    I hope we aren’t scratching around on the final day of the TW – though it won’t surprise me altogether if we are. But if we fill one space a week over the next 3 weeks or so (GK, DM and perhaps CB), then this will have been a red letter TW in my book; and I’m still genuinely feeling quite hopeful about it!

  38. AB says:

    TA on your question about big away defeats – I can live with one of these each season (live not like you understand), but 3 such clearly indicates a deep problem. One game, especially if played with half the team injured and shortly after an away leg in Europe – no great shame there. What I loved last season was that we mostly avoided the soft losses (yes some exceptions, but fewer than our main opponents); frankly I am more concerned that we maintain this than we pick up a few points of reduce our goal losses arising from our worst games (in the end we gained far more points from these routine wins than we lost through the headline games). Of course what we all want is that little bit more cover and steel, coming from a quality DM, to help us achieve both. As above, I’m sure we are looking hard for just this.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Maybe I do omg, or maybe it is just about straightforward risk management. Remember Murphy’s Law? 🙂

    Against the big teams attack has often not been our best defence….

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Pg, I love the first sentence… It’s just a shame those big losses still count! 😉

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Ab, all good points. Re DM’s. You make list of suitable players, you free up funds and go for it. If we must have one, we can get one tomorrow, but it will cost us.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    The big losses have such a big after effect, AB. We must iron them out as well as the point losses straight after them.

    Off to bed now. 🙂

  43. Frozen says:

    Christ, more BT sport nonsense. As if we needed another reason to boycott.
    Now it’s the Chelsea disaster. They must really get off to this.

    Phuck em’

  44. geoffchase says:


    I was reminded that DM or that area of midfield was what I was writing about in my first post. I mention this because, DM we can find, but the …


    … we want to free up our attack without fear and add spine to an already very good defensive back 4 + GK is very hard…

    Just 2p more — jgc

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed, presence is important but not that rare to find| Wanyama, De Jong, Bender, etc. we all know it has been a gap in our team for a long time so let’s hope this summer it will be filled

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Frozen, it hurts doesn’t it. Let’s hope the never again attitude will be burned into the players’ characters from now on.

  47. jgc says:


    Well, regarding earlier comment, lately, we don’t get them quick because we want the rarer beasts AND we want fair, not Oiler, prices. To me, that’s fine. I think we have gone early this year and STs seem plentiful as usual. DMs IMO of the type we want, are never plentiful and never as available as the papers would have you think..

    Re the other comment. Wanyama has presence! With small p, as does de Jong. Yaya, in full flight, has Presence! Capital P! IMO, a difference. One will more than do, and the other, much more so!

    Just my 2p — jgc

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    fair enough, jgc. I dont see any reason we cannot pay oiler prices if and when we are desperate to fill a hole. Not for four or five players a season, but just the one or two…

    Disagreed on the DM. Ramsey is our Yaya, we need a De Jong or Wanyama to strengthen our defensive abilities. Both have a brilliant pressence as well. Yaya is a great player and I guess IF we were to get Khedira we will get something quite close to him (but not the baskets full of goals).

  49. AFC says:

    JGC, but don’t the majority of these rare beast cost Oiler prices? There are very few around and they are in high demand. The clubs they belong to also have no reason to sell but sometimes will sell if the price is right. If you want a premium player, you have to pay a premium price and Oiler prices are commonly the price for these premium players.

    AW has to decide how much he really wants a beast and if he is serious we will get one. Actions speak louder than words. There is no point going on about how much you want a SQ beast of a midfielder but when it comes to the crunch you are not willing to pay the price needed to sign one.

    It is all annoying me now.

  50. AFC says:

    Surely AW could have signed a young 4th choice CB by now? Shouldn’t Ospina have already been signed by now?

  51. geoffchase says:


    Ok, I think to over pay is to over risk a flop. And there are many examples… According to economists about 65% of all big money transfers don’t achieve to same levels or their teams don’t achieve… Admittedly counting uncountables a bit..

    Think Arshavin or Bendtner who cost but produced little. They leave a bitter taste too…

    I thought Ozil and Sanchez weren’t over paying, and I’d pay 69M for Yaya two years younger and consider it low risk. Same for Khedira at his “price” who may have used us. Only to up his own deal(?) Carvalho, who knows? See,s young and risky. Next Yaya or next Santos?

    RE Ramsey. He’s more than Yaya going forward and tough in D but not the “beware all ye who enter here, for here there be dragons” fear factor Presence! On defense… Just my 2p.

    Admittedly I like the idea of him and Wanyama making two halves of a whole…

    2 more once for ya… Cheers — jgc

  52. geoffchase says:


    My solution for stress comes from just north of you.. In liberal amounts annoyances cease at least a little. … Except me.. 😛

    My response to TA is to you. I’m less about the price than the risk..

    Cheers — jgc

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Geoffski, you might – inadvertently – have hit the nail on the head: the fear of getting a big transfer wrong rather than the inability to complete one…

    Did we pay a lot for Bendtner?

  54. jozefos2013 says:

    Is risk not the name of the game? The parallels between football and life are scary at times.

    If we sit at work and do the same thing well day after day, year after year, we’ll get a paycheck alright and if that’s what makes us happy then all well and good, but if we want to start our own business and never do for fear of cocking up, we’ll never succeed at fulfilling our true ambition.

    If Wenger wants to win the big trophies now we’ve got a bit more cash sloshing around, he’s going to have to take a risk or two. The quality of football at the very top has improved, so Wenger can’t nurture and polish every player and needs to bring people in at market value (not necessarily Oiler prices as has been said) – Ajax were a force to be reckoned with in Europe before European teams started importing talent en masse from all over the world, but no longer.

    Yes I know it’s not quite as simple as just getting the chequebook out, and players have to want to join, etc, etc, but my point holds true.

    Now, this isn’t me being down on Wenger – based on Alexis I’m cautiously optimistic about what will happen between now and, preferably, the start of the season but realistically the end of the TW.

  55. jozefos2013 says:

    TA, we certainly paid Bendtner a lot…dangers of a socialist pay structure I suppose though

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Josef, in terms of salary, yes, but let’s not forget he was a full international and it was the going market rate. Good riddance though.

  57. Where are the BrokeBack boys, Terence and Monster Cockie…. taking a risk together in the name of the game! dirty little buggers 🙂

  58. VCC says:

    HI Ya NB69………..those two rascals have skidaddled…….they’ve jumped ship and gone to support QPR………as they are spending some money.

    Good riddance is what I say…… 😉

  59. VCC… whilst you are here, can you clarify a few things for me? With regard to names on this blog, so I don’t go making any serious mistakes, Cockie with the monster is also ‘cornwall’, yes?
    Transplant man is also ‘stretch’? or is ‘stretch’ you? You have to understand that I’m new to BK and it can get a bit confusing at times. I don’t want to start discussing some sexual preferences with stretch if I’m trying to talk to cornwall, and I definately don’t want to discuss such things with Cockie monster if she is really stretch. 🙂 you now what I mean?

  60. VCC says:

    No worries NB69…..

    TCM = The Cockie Monster = GLiC (Gooner lost in Cornwall) hence the Cornwall tag.

    He is the most ugliest human known to man….in fact he is so hideous, at halloween he doesn’t need a mask to frighten the locals.

    He resides at Launcestern mental hospital and is allowed out (on good behaviour) at week-ends.

    TMHT = Terry Mancini Hair Transplant = Stretch.

    This is top secret, so mum’s the word…….he is the richest man in Bounds Green, coming from a family of Greek ship owners. He is a young Greek gigolo, with a full head of jet black hair and pristine white teeth and looks to die for. Perhaps the most generous man who frequents the Emirates. That’s why I love him so because when we visit the stadium I don’t have to put my hand in my pocket he buys every round on top of tickets too.

    Any further info, don’t hold back, I’ve got all the gossip… 😉

  61. Thanks VCC
    That clears up a few confusions. So it’s Stretch who I should be offering my brokeback services 🙂

  62. VCC says:

    Definitely NB69…….Cornwall is a hobo. Be careful if you ever meet him, he’ll have the shirt off your back if it’s clean. His trick is to accompany you into an inn, and as your approaching the bar he will bend down and make out to tie his laces so you get there first. Then when your getting to the end of your pint, it’s the old soldier, “Just had a call from the wife”….”Must run” 😉

    Now Stretch, he is a totally different proposition. When standing at the bar with him you will be surrounded by beautiful women trying to get his attention. With money not being a problem, you can stagger out without putting your hand in your pocket. He is the one you need to offer your services to, with out a doubt. 🙂

    Hope this is as clear as mud, and sorted out your problems.

  63. jozefos2013 says:

    Sorry to interrupt with football boys…but @TA:

    We paid the going rate for Bendtner, a risk we could afford at the time we signed him up on a lucrative contract. And I think/hope AW is demonstrating that we can afford, and more particularly that he is prepared now, to raise the stakes. Perhaps he now feels we can take the hit if a gamble doesn’t come off without derailing his master plan.

    Pleased Rodriguez has moved for cash only as it means a) Khedira hasn’t gone in part ex and b) Madrid might need the €€€€€€€€€s (:)) )or however the hell you use smileys on this site…)

  64. VCC says:

    jozefos2013…….IMO I think Wenger will go with Diaby/Olsson/Flamini/Arteta and not sign another midfielder 😦

    Apart from Ospina (GK) the only further addition might be a back up (cheapie) CB

    You can forget about Khedira………that’s a pipe dream

  65. jozefos2013 says:

    Hope you’re wrong VCC…we’re crying out for a top class DM. I’m encouraged by Wenger’s comments (admittedly around a year ago) that one of his biggest regrets in football was that we didn’t sign Yaya. Now, a year ago, his major bit of work was bringing in Ozil. More cash around now, Wenger has acknowledged what a player we almost had in Toure, he has the money to spend on that position now. Even the pessimist in me is being repressed right now…almost to the point of actually believing we’ll sign someone. I can’t give up hope anyway.

    Wenger has said there’s still a lot of work to do, Gazidis has said there’s still a lot of work to do. You don’t say that if all you’ve got left to do is wrap up Debuchy and snaffle Ospina, surely? (:?)

    Then I saw Sanchez’s face…now I’m a believer!

  66. jozefos2013 says:

    Why are my smileys not working??????????????? (:() (:?) TA, any ideas?

  67. jozefos2013 says:


  68. TotalArsenal says:


    You need to leave out the brackets but allow a space on the left and right of your smiley characters. Keep trying buddy and read the guidance at the top of the site. 🙂

  69. jozefos2013 says:

    I thought I had! 😕

  70. jozefos2013 says:

    Ok, I thought the brackets were necessary. Reading comprehension obviously not my strong suit…let’s roll then! 😈

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Josef, you have mastered it now!

    Night all 🙂

  72. VCC says:

    jozefos2013….If you believe the red tops looks like my prediction is correct. Wenger will try and wrap Diaby in cotton wool. 😕

  73. Funminiyi says:

    Good post and great contributions and comments. IMO, if we want a beast of a DM with presence and a handful of goals, SerieA, they are lots of them there who won’t cost oiler prices. One is Josip Illicic, Ogenyi Onazi of Lazio is another

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Fun, don’t know them very well but if you say so! 🙂

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