Walcott – Ox – Welbeck: Wenger’s English WOW-Factor

Arsenal's new signing Danny Welbeck

With thanks to The Guardian for picture.

 

Anyone who has watched England play over the last few years will agree that it is in desperate need of a more potent strike-force. It has been dire up-front for a long time, with Rooney just not able to deal with the pressure being put onto him when it matters most (and the Dutch suffer the same with his grey-haired strike partner). 

A lot has been said about Wenger wanting to build a strong core of British players at Arsenal. I still believe he picks the players on their talents and value to the team rather than the origin of their passports; but of course there is something to say for finding, moulding and readying for the very top of a number of players from these beautiful shores. It could well become Arsene’s biggest legacy in the long term both for country and club…. well, other than the Invincibles of course.

And with Jack, Rambo, Gibbs, Chambers, Ox, Theo and now Welbeck – all young and now playing together in a proper team that plays proper football – something beautifully, predominantly British is about to be created at Arsenal. 

I have a good feeling about signing Welbeck, but must admit I did not see this one coming. At Arsenal, his role as ‘holding striker’ will allow him to miss chances and to be able to get over it; and in return, this will build his confidence and form the basis for realising the potential he has within him. Wenger’s philosophy is based on a multi-dimensional goal-threat, rather than a narrow, super-sharp arrow at the very front. The paradox being that the better the CF is the more the other players – often very astute finishers themselves – decide to channel the attacks through to him rather than take responsibility themselves. And over time, this will make us over-dependent on him and one-dimensional as well. 

And Welbeck’s role will be about a lot more than his lethality in front of goal. We needed a nr.2 to Giroud who has enough in him to surpass him eventually. I rate Giroud highly, but there is room for improvement and Welbeck will get the time to make the holding CF position his. And in the process he will be helped by Alexis, Giroud, Pod, Theo, Ozil, and many more to share the goal scoring load. 

I am convinced that when everybody is fit we will mostly play with TAO up-front: Theo, Alexis and Ollie, but I am also getting excited about the prospect of playing Walcott, Ox and Welbeck – WOW! – up-front, with Ozil, Jack and/or Ramsey, or even Alexis…. to feet them quality balls to really hurt the opposition.

Would that not be an exciting alternative? Can you think of a trio of attackers with more thrust, speed and menace than the WOW-boys?!

I admit that all three are still a work in progress, although Theo is furthest of them all (and let’s hope the big injury he suffered has not put him back too much). Ox. like Jack, will have to move it up to the next level now, and of course Welbeck is not the finished article either. But they all have youth on their side and are surrounded by experienced players they can learn from constantly. Maybe we will even see Dennis or Thierry join the coaching staff any time soon…..

One day they will be leading the line between them for England, with Jack feeding them from behind and together creating the WOW factor again – putting this proud nation back at the level where it belongs. It is about time, and that is coming from a Dutchman! 😛

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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152 Responses to Walcott – Ox – Welbeck: Wenger’s English WOW-Factor

  1. steve says:

    great post TA, it always makes me happy reading your stuff – multi-dimensional goal threat – you hit the nail on the head there mate, lets hope he realizes his potential – there’s no better place to do that than Arsenal 🙂

    Btw i went a step further last night and formed a nearly full Arsenal English line-up;

    (just need Macey to get to Szczesny level and for Wenger to find a left sided English CB – fat chance of that one lol)

    —————————–szczesny—————————
    ———————————————————————
    Jenkinson——–Hayden——–Koscielny———Gibbs
    ———————————————————————
    —————————-Chambers—————————
    ———————————————————————
    ———Wilshere—————————-Chambo———
    ———————————————————————
    —————————–Welbeck—————————-
    ———————————————————————
    ————–Akpom————————-Walcott———–

    Crazy fast team but also tenacious, hardworking and skillful

    Also:
    Akpom, Welbeck, Chambers, Jenkinson, Hayden, Koscielny
    All 6ft or over – some decent height in that team to go along with the pace – loving it.

    But back to reality though and i’m definitely with you mate, very excited to see the “WOW” factor happen at Arsenal.

    Great post TA

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Steve 🙂

    A very strong line-up and one full of potential. You just need Kos to change nationality.. 🙂

    Yeah there would be plenty of height and thrust at the same time. It could be close to a future Arsenal starting eleven..

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    BTW, Steve, please check your email.

  4. H Bo says:

    Nice post TA, it looks promising in a few weeks may come to fruition too but with Sanchez, Campbell, & Welbeck added to last seasons squad in an attacking sense it’s just pace I see 3 very quick players which last season without Theo we were lacking especially with the Ox and his injuries too so with 5 pacey players to attack we look a lot more threatening although on the slight everyone questions the quality of our squad but I without the BFG we have 18 internationals and other than the odd few most were at the World Cup with 2 winners.
    So in conclusion if we can find the right mix and formation the future is bright.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers H Bo and impressive punctuation! 🙂

    Yes, there is speed in the team now…. but we will see more and more park the bus approaches and for that we need more intricate passing and close ball control than speed…. it is a fine balance, don’t you think?!

    Btw, can I ask where you are based?

  6. allezkev says:

    Good post Total…

    Disappointed at Wenger failing to bring in the def-mid that I feel we need, and another defender would have helped as Koscielny is picking up a few worrying niggles. And BFG can’t play every game, even if he wants to.

    But delighted at Welbeck, he could really turn out to be another Chambers type of signing. Low profile uncut diamond.

  7. Retsub says:

    The WOW factor I like it a lot. With the exception of Debuchy, very few players are driving at the touch line and cutting the ball back. Plan A at the moment seems to be getting the ball up to the opposing penalty box and then play as many delicate little triangles. The WOW factor might just resolve this

    I hope Theo comes back and settles into his game quickly. He never suffered the trauma that Rambo went through (in fact he went out in style abusing the Spuds). He could make all the difference to this team.

  8. clikity clackity says:

    I ve been saying it all day and I ll say it again. Welbeck ll come good. He ll outscore falcao and put the manscum where they truly belong mid table. And for people who keep banging on about him not being prolific I ask this question….was titi prolific at Monaco or juve?? What about drogba at 23??? This guy is the shit. I rate him high and can’t wait to see him score the winner at old toilet. COYFGS

  9. Neeraj says:

    I think few weeks ago Wenger mentioned in a press conference that he will give England some really great young players and I see he is exactly fulfilling that promise. But I also think if we really want to be contenders we should now stop buying players who have potential and instead start buying players who are fulfilling their potential just a couple would also do wonders to our squad

  10. geoffchase says:

    TA

    Interesting post. I think you have my feelings in the last post. The pace and ability to get behind, are key. Even against parked buses. Short burst speed is favoured there, as well as the one thing we lack a little of which is the “have a go” shooters.

    for any flowing game, your choices are great. For a parked bus, I would consider Poldi in place of someone. His ability to cannon from the edge of box is enough to draw defenders that little further out to press him (and others) which opens it that little more perhaps.

    Just a quick thought…

    cheers — jgc

  11. Morning all at BK

    I think the Welbeck signing is excellent. When all are fit (except Giroud who I don’t think we’ll see again this season) the potential is amazing. I can see an attacking, pacy 4-3-3 on the horizon.

    ——————Chez—————-
    ———-Mert———–Kos———
    Debuchy———————–Gibbs
    Ramsey———Ozil——— Jacko
    Theo——–Welbeck——-Sanchez

    And we will still have Oxlade, Campbell, Sanogo, Flamini, Cazorla, Arteta to add into the creative mix. Lovely 🙂

  12. kelsey says:

    I am always cautious and I doubt we would have got Welbeck if the Falco deal hadn’t gone through.
    Say Giroud would have got injured this week, then we really would be in trouble.
    One can never understand Wenger’s quotes,moreso lately but however exciting our attack looks I still maintain that to really challenge we have to concede less especially against the top teams and score more.
    This is just phase one as by the end of the season several older players will need to be replaced namely Rosicky,Arteta and or Flamini and even Mertesacker.I also very much doubt Podolski has a future with us.

    Of course we still have got Diaby 🙂

  13. Kelsey

    Then we should be glad that the Fail-cow deal went through 🙂
    It’s obvious that Wenger will have to start looking to replace the players you have mentioned. Age and fitness will count against them after this season. I think Poldi may be used more this season.

  14. Gerry says:

    Top positive post TA – Yes the potential to do great things is definitely there.

    I agree with those who say Welbeck is the better buy than Falcao.
    To put it in crude financial terms:
    Welbeck:
    £16m transfer fee. Approx £4m wages. So first year cost, i.e. out of this season’s transfer budget, £20m
    Cost second season: £4m per year, may be £85,000 per week, incl add-ons

    Falcao – and the reason we ducked out of it early :
    £6m loan fee, redeemable on £50m purchase next season. Wages this season, because it is a loan deal, Man U have to pick up the tab for his equivalent tax free earnings on his Monaco contract, a quoted staggering £347,000 per week!
    Cost in second season:
    £54m purchase price, plus £300,000 pw, at a guess??

    Welbeck, 23. Young, strong, with development potential. Experience in EPL
    Falcao, 27. Fantastic player at his best, but bad ACL injury, and not fully back to his best yet. Not going to get an easy ride in the EPL, and is going to have to adapt to the speed of the game here.

    Conclusion: No Brainer!

    Interesting comment I picked up the European Football show, and the reason why the likes have Gervinho thrived so much better in La Liga. The commentator was saying about the space between the defence and attack tends to be greater, and allows players with pace more room to work in. Worth noting, given that people have commented on how far up the pitch Mert gets? Admittedly he usually has either Kos, Chambers, or Debuchy in the central area behind him. But I think it is not something we can afford to do against the current top teams, who have pace on the flanks, as well as in the middle?

    That said, we also do need the height and strength of Hayden, as opposed to Monreal being our 4th choice CB. I have also noted that Debuchy has been taking up the far post position when we are defending corners, from either side, and I am guessing that is to do with Monreal?

    Regarding how the team will shape up after this break should be very interesting. providing there are no more injuries, with Wilshere being a particular magnet for them in inter duties, I am hoping that AW will split certain pairings up so it is either; Cazorla or Ozil; Ramsey or Wilshere in defence, and Kos with anybody other than Per, although necessity will no doubt dictate otherwise!

    As for the next game; I hope Gibbs is back. He has had the extra week or so recovery time, but as I believe his latest injury was caused by coming back to soon from the tweaked achilles in the game before – either he persuaded them, Shad F was overruled, or AW made a poor decision – so if there is a doubt, stay out.
    I cannot see Walcott starting in this game after such a time out?
    Ozil does not often get caught, and he looked in real trouble so I was amazed he played on, again out of necessity. Hopefully nothing more than bruising?
    Ox too, lay there a long time, but played on. If he were a dog, that would have been 3 legged running? Of the two, he is the greater doubt, imo, but we shall see.
    Rosicky has been there in training, and I am hopeful we get to use his experience and urgency any time soon?
    I also trust Hayden and Bellerin are being given extra training and will be available if needed.

    For now, as HH points out, let us enjoy ‘our’ boys doing their stuff for England.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Allezkev, yes it is amazing the way we just don’t get a proper DM and take risk with our CB cover. You get the feeling that Wenger just does not want to do it the easy way. Non, je ne regrette rien! 🙂

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Retsub, good points. The problem is that when Theo plays, teams are even more likely to park the bus, which is far from ideal for him, or indeed the team.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Neeraj….. Surely it is a matter of balance, and with Debuchy and Alexis we bought two ready to role players, no?

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Geoff, good point of the shooters and Pod is the obvious candidate. It is also something TV had to offer.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    NB, that could well be our strongest line up in the next few months. But why do you think OG will not be back this season?

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Kelsey, maybe Giroud’s injury is the main reason Welbeck decided to sign for us as he saw a window of opportunity. Why would BFG need replacing next summer? He cannot get any slower and will only get wiser…. 😉

  21. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    TA.. Good acronim.. WOW could mean Walcott – Oliver – Welbeck also.. hehehe..
    but TAO is also cool.. I want to give another acronim.. WAG.. Walcott-Alexis-Giroud.. or even Welbeck-Alexis-Giroud.. hahaha..

    I love to welcome Welbeck to our club.. for he can be my next Arshavin 23.. hahaha..
    I wish he can be a greater LW than Gervinho and Arshavin..
    He play in that position in England.. don’t he..?? But he can also be our CF.. So either WOW or WAG will be very interesting to watch..

    Still feel sad about Carvalho.. Hope Diaby will be back stronger..
    How many players go for International break..?? Rumours said Ozil will not play.. How about Cazorla and Ramsey..?? Welbeck and Kosielny got injured.. hope only small injured..
    So.. More players have more rest before City’s game.. look nice..
    Can’t wait for Walcott to comeback.. with Welbeck and Sanchez.. We will have all the speed back..

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice comment Gerry and agreed on space in other leagues. Do you think we should sit back more ourselves to tease the opposition out and let them have the ball?

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    We will have the speed with WAGS on the pitch…. Sexy football is back, Henry! 🙂

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Falcao would have been an exciting signing but yes a risky and expensive one. It would mean a change in playing style which might have cost us a lot of points initially. Welbeck fits into the OG role although he has big shoes to fill. But the team will know how to play with him and help to settle in quickly.

  25. allezkev says:

    Agree Total, the more it is pointed out to Arsene, where the team/squad is deficient, the more detirmined he seems to be not to address it…
    He does enjoy risk taking.
    Where as I am more boringly pragmatic and tend towards the ‘just go out and bloody sign the player/players’…

    Is it just me, but does anyone else see the agent of Joel Campbell as a mischief maker in the making…?

  26. Totes,

    As always with our injuries, and especially with a break, it’s gonna take time for Giroo to get back and I don’t see that happening before the end of the season. Also, if Danny Boy does well, Giroo will be second fiddle.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Agents are a pest, Allezkev. They thrive on unrest and player loyalty is their enemy as no movement is no fees…

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough soixente neuf. I reckon he is a strong and quick healer and be back in no time, but could be wrong of course.

  29. henrychan says:

    Ohya TA.. with S.. Santi Cazorla.. or Sanchez if A is for Aaron Ramsey.. heheehehe..

  30. kelsey says:

    Agents really are the curse of the game. Quite often they represent players with shall we say a low I.Q. and will manipulate their man usually the way that suits them not the player best.

  31. Neeraj says:

    Yes TA I agree but Debuchy is a direct replacement for Sagna it is the same case with Chambers, Ospinia, Welbeck(Giroud). So only Sanchez is a new addition.
    But I am overall satisfied with this transfer window as we adressed all our needs except a CB. If we add one in January we might pose an outside challenge to the title. I also think if in games where we find very difficult to get into the box and score, Wenger should encourage player like Santi, Sanchez, Theo, Ox to take shots so that we dont find it difficult to break the deadlock.

  32. H Bo says:

    TA – Bromley – Kent – UK, North bank I like that formation and line up it just requires discipline from JW and Rambo they need to know when one goes one sits, as we all know we never got the DM we all craved so none are worse than MA but we need to remember which still baffles me he’s our captain so will play if fit most of the time unless we have another TV which would seem pointless I thought BFG or Kos would of got it, so here’s my realistic likely 11 not my favourite 11 although I like the fact we even have too many players even for the bench real depth.

    Sczeney
    Debuchy BFG Kos Gibbs
    Arteta Rambo
    Alexis/Ox Santi Ozil
    SaNOgoal/Alexis/Welbeck

    This is for city game which I think Sanogo will start

  33. Alcide says:

    Neeraz, I believe Sanchez and Welbeck replace Bendtner and Park in the squad?

    OG does not have a “complex” injury and there is no reason to believe (other than we’re the Arsenal and do things the hard way…) that he will not be back with the new year… I hope 🙂

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair point Neeraj. I reckon the age balance is very good now but agreed on the CB situation.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one H bo. Don’t like that line up very much though.

  36. Gerry says:

    Alcide – How could you? True, the departure of said two, did leave openings in the squad. But you cannot seriously suggest that non-playing Park has just been upgraded, Or indeed, that OTGSTEL who played out of position, is also an upgrade?
    These two are not back room boys. It is just a numbers game.

    I have just had my 4-1 prediction knocked back to a 3-2 by Neeraj – Yes I forgot about Fabby – so for you to step in and reduce me to a one new signing is too much 😀

  37. Gerry says:

    TA the answer to that question is, Yes, in the right circumstances.

    Personally I would take a 0-0 draw against City right now. So perhaps we should PTB and deny them space?
    I doubt AW will see it that way though :LOL:

  38. Alcide says:

    Gerry, you know exactly what I don’t mean 🙂 Just being over sensitive to the idea that we didn’t improve much when comparison of leavers vs. newcomers is very largely positive (and I fully recognize that we failed in a couple of areas).

  39. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one TA

    Its nice that Arsene is building an English core, but of course we also need our overseas talent

    Strange that when we were fielding an all foreign side the media demanded Arsene replace Guy Fawkes for the annual ritual burning

    Now City are doing it, its ahhh City are a bunch of foreigners, how delightful.

    It wouldn’t surprise me to soon see the media accuse Arsene of been a xenophobe who spends his leisure hours reading Mein Kampf. Hypocritical bastards

    We seem to have the right mix at the moment and its exciting times ahead.

  40. Alcide says:

    In / (Out)
    Alexis Sanchez (Nicklas Bendtner)
    Danny Welbeck (Chu Young Park)
    In / (Out)
    Alexis Sanchez (Nicklas Bendtner)
    Danny Welbeck (Chu Young Park)
    Mathieu Debuchy (Bacary Sagna)
    David Ospina (Lukasz Fabianski)
    Calum Chambers (Thomas Vermaelen (Carl Jenkinson loaned))

    And then we have Joel Campbell back from loan (with Miyachi going out on loan). So clearly, *much* more quality up front.

  41. Alcide says:

    *sorry for the copy/paste mess*

  42. steve says:

    Neeraj,

    “But I am overall satisfied with this transfer window as we adressed all our needs except a CB”

    I have a slightly different outlook lol;

    Way back at the beginning of the summer break my thoughts concerning the team and any new transfers were this;

    BFG’s pace was a problem in some games and after a full year with the entire WC tournemant played maybe his age and fitness may require a substitution to rest once in a while. so a very tall, strong CB in the same mold but with pace was needed. my choice was Jamaal lascelles who we have been linked with and even made a bid on in the past, but he went to Newcastle for about 4M.

    I also wanted backup for Koscielny as the guy is just immense and plays each game like its his bloody last – simply awesome, but that type of approach has frequently seen players injured eventually and i wanted backup just in case. My choice was Doria so we would actually have a naturally left footed CB who like Lascelles would also be comfortable playing second fiddle for a while.

    As a second choice to Gibbs i thought there were better options out there on the market than what we had in Monreal. Choices included but were not limited to Jetro willems and Umtiti

    Sagna obviously needed replacing but was happy that Jenkinson might get more games as his replacement may take a while to settle in and get used to the workload Sagna got through.

    In midfield i wanted a DM and a DM understudy as this position is completely empty at Arsenal apart from Flamini who i thought would be moving on pretty soon. We missed the DM purchase but got imo an absolute blinder of an understudy in Chambers.

    Imo as kelsey has stated a few times already there are an aging group of attacking / creative midfielders that will be moving on soon i.e Arteta, Cazorla, Rosicky and Diaby who nobody really knows whats going on with. I wasn’t really worried here as we have fine replacements already at Arsenal but thought maybe a bargain signing here may be welcome just to offset the large loss – maybe Ward Prowse, Will Hughes or even Ravel Morrison who i feel may actually realize his incredible potential at a place like arsenal. However it was not a priority area and indeed we did not sign anyone here.

    Strikers i just wanted to leave well alone as we had Giroud, Walcott (who at the time i thought would be ready for the start of the season), Campbell, Sanogo, Gnabry and even Akpom impressing all the time. I did think that Podolski may be moving on soon but was happy with what we had left. However Wenger decided to add Sanchez which was amazing and now Welbeck who has the potential to be just as important.

    And although i am very much still caught up in the joy of the signings Wenger did make as i feel they are all excellent additions to the team i do still look back at the actual positions i wanted cover for (and i know i am not alone in my choices) and wonder why are there so many signings left undone with the whole summer to do business.

    what i wanted:

    GK – yes
    RB – yes
    RCB – yes
    LCB – yes
    LB – yes
    DM(1) -yes
    DM(2) – yes
    MF – maybe
    ST – no

    what we got:

    GK – tick
    RB – tick
    RCB – X
    LCB – X
    LB – X
    DM(1) -X
    DM(2) – tick
    MF – X
    ST – tick, tick

    It seems a little crazy to me, but hey the TW is closed now so to late, I’m just going to have to enjoy the amazing attacking and shit myself every time there’s a counter attack – nothing new there then lol

  43. Neeraj says:

    Steve,
    Considering your wish list, it looks as if u wanted a whole substitute XI but I think inspite of our new found financial backbone we still lack that ability like Man C or Chelsea to hav 2 starting XI
    But I love the fact of u mentioning the names of Doria n Lasceles they are really top defensive prospects who were surprisingly not linked to any top clubs(including Man U n their defensive tragedy )
    While the DM situation is a very intriguing one
    Arteta -the captain
    Wilshere – the future
    Flamini-the actual DM
    Coquelin- the one who i think never gets his chance
    Above all this Wenger also insists that Chambers’ future lies at CDM
    So I never thought Wenger was gonna buy one
    I would also like to suggest everyone to watch monreal n flamini’s performances so far including pre season
    Monreal looked pretty solid at CB actually I never thought he read the game so well like he did against city(manchester and leicester)
    And Flamini is commiting very less fouls too which i beleive was impossible last season against lcfc he gave away just 2-3 fouls n not one that I remeber near the box

  44. steve says:

    wow just read that post back to myself and it seems excessively doomy for a Wednesday afternoon lol.

    so just to lighten things up;

    Maybe Hayden will step up and do the business if BFG gets injured or needs a rest and maybe Chambers will turn a backup DM role into the main DM role for us. 🙂
    So its not all bad defensively wise 🙂
    plus Monreal isn’t looking as fragile as he did last season so happy happy joy joy 🙂

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    You are funny, Steve. 🙂

    Remember the nr.5 shirt is still awaiting a body and Wenger will believe he can manage till Januaryn as you and others have outlined

  46. steve says:

    Neeraj,

    It always interests me when i hear people refer to Wilshere as a DM, I am not saying you are wrong loads of people think of him in this position. Someone even commented (sorry i cannot remember who) the other day that he should be looking to emulate Gareth Barry. My thinking could not be more opposite lol, i see Jack as the CAM or number 10 as i think he was developed as when younger. To restrict all his talents to a DM role for me personally would be a travesty. But i am quickly getting the sense more and more now that i may be the odd one out in this opinion.

    But yes you are correct i did want nearly a whole XI but only in defense – which i feel wasn’t too much to ask for as we only had about four defenders in the entire team and apart from Flamini no tough tackling DM so it was just cover for those positions.

    I also like you feel Chambers could excel in the DM position, he has a composure on the ball that for a 19 year old is not just unusual it downright backwards lol. I just wanted another option there as well for security and competition. just think Carvalho and Chambers as your two DM options, that would be amazing.

  47. steve says:

    TA, are you with me on the Wilshere positioning or am i the only one?

    Ahh yes the new No. 5, can’t wait mate 🙂

  48. Neeraj says:

    Completely agree with ur point about wilshere even i dont see him as a DM he is too goid technically and not up to the mark physically but like Ramsey played a whole season out of position I think Wilshere might aid frome something like that
    And also i think with Welbeck Wenget might opt for a 4-4-2 with welbeck n giroud or alexis or walcott upfront
    Then at that time the two positions in midfield are up for grabs one is obviously going to be Ramsey and if Wilshere works on his defensive side a little he can make that 2nd position his own
    Just Imagine 🙂

  49. steve says:

    Now you’re really talking my language Neeraj, ive been waiting for a 4-4-2 at Arsenal since the Invincibles. i would tweak it to the 4-4-2 diamond though as apart from young Bellerin and Walcott who i want to see as a striker i don’t feel we have many “hug the line wingers” in a large part due to Wengers choice and style of full back making them slightly redundant. with the diamond it would almost be like playing our 4-2-3-1 formation but swapping one DM (who normally goes forward anyway) for another striker.
    Take a look at the first comment on this post and substitute in Ramsey for OX (i was doing an English thing) and that’s the kind of midfield i’m looking for. A clear choice out and out DM, two box to box either side and a CAM as the tip of the diamond with the full backs providing the width and double the fire power up top – just as you said “just imagine”

  50. Neeraj says:

    Maybe instead of the diamond we can play the one withe two wingers either side of the two CMs

  51. steve says:

    I’m fully backing the diamond at the moment Neeraj, just look at the very attacking way Liverpool play at the moment while employing it and we have a far better team then them imo.
    But 4-4-2 or 4-4-2 diamond they are both better choices than than our current 4-1-4-1 lol
    and just like i feel you are getting at lets get some pace and quick play back in the wings and up top rather than overly condensed intricate passing in the middle.
    who would you put on the wings in your 4-4-2?
    Bellerin on the right, Campbell on the left, Welbeck and Walcott up top?

  52. Neeraj says:

    Actually I think if we had this preseason with the players staying and not going to the WC then maybe Wenger could have worked with ozil like he did with pires and convert him from CAM to LW so when we play welbeck upfront they could switch constantly between the diamond and wimgs just like the invincibles
    On the right wing I would play walcott as winger and as RF when giroud is fit he will play and for now sanchez
    Sanchez can also play instead of welbeck on d left
    And options on wings will be cazorla, poldi, chambo, campbell
    I would like play belerin frm the bench, this season atleast see if he develops as RB because we are short at back and assuming chambers is our full time CB backup

  53. Gerry says:

    Off Topic, but from the previous post.

    AwayGunner –

    Sadly, I think I am going to disappoint you. I had a scooter when I was 16, but I had 3 crashes on it, mostly with the front wheel slides. I quickly decided I would be better on 4 wheels.

    My older brother on the other was different. He bought a Matchless 500 before he could legally able to ride it. He set off on an around the world trip aged 17 on a Norton 350 .. but he never got beyond North Devon, and why I am here now.

    No, I just admire top sports people for doing what I am incapable of doing. If they have a great personalty like Thierry Henry or Valentino Rossi, then I get hooked. Same in Tennis, as my early heroes were John Newcombe and Tony Roche.

    I loved it on Friday when they asked Colin Edwards what Marc Marques was really like, amd he laughed and said, ‘ I haven’t got any juicy gossip’ ‘What can I say, he is just the full package. Always smiling. That’s it’. And it is pretty obvious that his fellow riders are taken by him. Even Lorenzo, who can often look grumpy and have a complaint about something. He didn’t hardly mention the final pass, as being improper or dangerous, jsut was pleased to have ridden his best race in finishing second. Marc and Vali were chatting and laughing on the podium as the Spanish anthem started. He is everything he appears to be, a genuine nice guy …
    with IMMENSE talent!
    I must admit I have seen more of the Moto 2 &3 since BT took over the coverage here, as previously only the GP races were shown live. So I am warming to Maverick Vinales in 2, but the younger Marques has that same infectious enthusiasm when interviewed. After Sunday’s race he was asked ‘Was that how you panned to ride it?’ – Big laugh ‘ ‘There was no plan!’.

    In answer to your question: My weapon of choice?

    My speed thrill was my Reliant Scimtar – 137mph on the Warwick by-pass …

    My fun car was the Renault 4, with its ridiculous high suspension, because you could throw it round any corner and it would grip, but the body lean was hilarious.

    On to Valentino country with the Italian GP .. That should be fun?

    Cheers
    p.s. 17HT – I remembered afterwards, Colin Edwards is a Texan. It was the laid back accent that made me think he was from the LA region.

  54. Shrillex says:

    Liverpool has SAS, Arsenal has SWAG
    Sanogo-Welbeck-Alexis-Giroud

    Best strike partnership in the world? Heck yeah…

  55. Gerry says:

    Steve – Unfortunately your Ozilphobia is keeping out the most talented player for the head of the diamond. I think AW will play a more 4-4-1-1 now, although it will be lost in how they line up. As we have said before, it is where the players mainly operate that will define the formation as a structure. Ours will be a little more fluid once the players get used to each other.
    For example. the 1-1 pair I see as Alexis – ( I’m being pedantic here HT, as the whole word is silent, unless you are reading aloud? So the ‘s’ stays 😀 ) – playing either side of Welbeck, depending where the space opens up? May be Ozil(1st choice) or Santi floating the Box line, and Ramsey & Bellerin making the width. The latter at least until Theo is back, and with the Man C game in mind?

    We probably differ here, as I like to see Ramsey start his runs closer to the Box, and JW is less good going wide? At the moment I don’t think there is much between their form levels though. In a lesser game I would think Campbell might get the left berth though, then it is a choice of who does the B2B, alongside Arteta or Flamini?

    All speculation until we know how everybody is after the break, of course.
    Cheers.

  56. steve says:

    Gerry, could you illustrate that line up for me cause i read it as something like this;

    ———————–GK—————–
    ——————Back four————–
    Bellerin—Cazorla—Ozil—Ramsey
    ———–Sanchez———————-
    ——————-Welbeck————–

  57. kelsey says:

    homerjay (Manchester United): Welbeck is going to be a quality player for you guys. His goal ratio will improve when he gets a run of games but it’s his directness that will be of more benefit to your team. Welbeck will force defenders 10 yards further back as they will be afraid of him getting in behind them. This will give players like Ozil and Cazorla more time on the ball and more space to work in.

    sammyd (Manchester United): You have a terrific player in Welbeck, some other fans are underwhelmed because he doesn’t score 20+ goals a season but he does so much more than that and you will find this out for yourself. For me I think we’ve made a huge mistake selling him on at all let alone to a top prem side.

    Taken from teamtalk.

  58. The Cockie Monster says:

    For my mate Vic`s as I know he loves talkSPORT and especially his ginger kids dad……Adrian Durham !. It is a collectors item !.
    http://talksport.com/football/daily-arsenal-adrian-durham-pays-tribute-gunners-140903111817

  59. Gerry says:

    Steve – Almost right, except: No Ozil Santi pairing. There was an ‘or’ planted in that sentence.

    However, as I did not complete that line of four, I can see where you are coming from? That was partly due to my effort yesterday including Campbell, with Ox and Rosicky likely not playing.

    Imagine a song sheet of music, and the 5 midfielders +1 striker:
    ____________________In attack mode__________________

    ________________________Welbeck___________________
    _____________________A _ L _E_ X_ I_ S_______________
    ______Ramsey____________________________Bellerin___
    _______________________Oziil_______________________
    _____________Flamini/Wilshere/Arteta_______
    Gibbs_______________________________________Debuchy
    _____________Kos____________________Per___________
    ________________________SZCZ______________________

    ____________________In defense mode__________________

    __________________________Oziil_________________________
    ________________Welbeck___________Alexis_____
    ________Ramsey__________Arteta____________Bellerin
    Gibbs_______________Kos____________Per_______Debuchy
    _______________________Szcz________________________

    Whereas on paper it would be like this:
    _________________________Welbeck_____________________
    Ramsey___________Ozil______Arteta ___Alexis_________Bellerin
    Gibbs____________Kos_________________Per_______Debuchy
    __________________________SZCZ_______________________

    Needless to say the Arteta role could be done by Flamini, Wilshere, or even Chambers? And both Ramsey and Bellerin would be switching back to a 4-3-2-1 at times. This is the defensive version, more attacking would be Campbell and Walcott?

  60. steve says:

    Gerry, cheers mate i get ya – sorry for all that explanation i made you do.

    funnily enough i would call that a 4-4-2 which is exactly how you described it in the beginning lol – sorry about that mate. but at least i got a better understanding of what you were going for system wise.

    ———————–GK—————–
    ——————Back four————–
    –Bellerin—Arteta—Ozil—Ramsey
    ———–Sanchez———————-
    ——————-Welbeck————–

    And i do get it by the way, it could be a very effective system however you know me lol its certainly not one i would go for – Arteta and Ozil for me are not strong enough to hold that midfield area imo especially as i would expect Sanchez and at least one other wingers to be quite high up the pitch most of the time.
    But hey what do i know lol, Sanchez has shown how good he is at tracking back and battling and obviously Bellerin was made for that type of job and Ramsey also does well in that department so it could easily provide an effective system – it certainly looks like one that is more on par with what Wenger is trying to do at the moment that’s for sure.

    4-4-2 diamond for me though matey a la Liverpool but using Arsenal class instead 🙂

    Oh and yep i just can’t get my stubborn Arsenal heart to lighten up about Ozil, in that you are very correct lol – still support the lad when he’s on the pitch though! its just before and after when we’re analyzing.

  61. proudgooner says:

    Podolski just comes on for Draxlar in the German game.
    Podolski has scored 47 goals for Germany, that is a lot of goals and shows his class

  62. proudgooner says:

    Argentina 2 Germany 0, lamella

  63. proudgooner says:

    ha ha ha ha Germany 3 nil down seconds after the 2nd half starts.
    Per absence is costing Germany clearly 🙂

  64. proudgooner says:

    4 nil ha ha ha

  65. proudgooner says:

    4-1 goals galore

  66. proudgooner says:

    Yeah Danny Welbeck is fit and on for the 3 lions

  67. proudgooner says:

    —————————————-Szcs——————————
    MD——————–BFG——————–KOS—————–Gibbs
    ——————————————–Arteta—————————–
    ——————————Rambo—————————
    Alexis——————————Ozil—————————–Walcott
    ————————————–Welbeck——————————

    Walcott and Alexis can switch wings it any time like Theo and Gervinho used to do if they are not getting the better of the full backs on either wing.

  68. proudgooner says:

    Or start Podolski on the left if Theo is not fully fit, Theo getting half an hour.
    Or even Campbell, i really want to get a good look at Campbell.
    Cazorla can come on for Ozil

  69. proudgooner says:

    Arsenal get a lucky 24m escape as Sami K suffers an injury to his thigh putting him out for 6 weeks
    http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2014/09/02/arsenals-lucky-escape-as-24m-man-injured-one-day-after-transfer/?

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    I liked Welbeck’s camio. He played with zipp and hunger and made things happen all over the pitch.

  71. geoffchase says:

    Kelsey, PG, TA, and others:

    At 17:35 quoting “homerjay (Manchester United): …”

    –> Yes! The one thing and my only complaint with OG, the lack of pace doesn’t force back defenders who then creep up on everyone. Without the threat of behind it get’s harder. Alexis brings some of it, as did Theo before his injury last year, and more with Welbeck now should really allow us more time. More time is what Ozil *and* Santi need as they appear less effective when they are constantly crowded off the ball.

    PG: Like the lineup, that would be one of my first calls and we could well see it vs City, which would be interesting indeed.

    TA: from way earlier: yes, I would prefer we sit back a little more to shorten attackers field, and lengthen ours. We are well suited to fast countering football as of the moment and it would likely benefit not only Merts but also our pacy, I want to get forward, wide boys in Gibbs and Debuchy.

    More specifically, I would press with our now active and stamina laden forwards (Welbeck and Alexis) on turnover ball, and let the mids press a higher line to cut off passes, but let the backs drop some. Force the long ball and low percentage opportunities. Instead of an all high line.

    The energy of Alexis is already seeing a defensive benefit as the ball doesn’t change direction nearly as fast (as often) as it used to last year. That is good for getting reset. A little more from Welbeck and a light press from mids, and we can force even more low percentage stuff going forward and more work for less reward from other teams if they want to shorter pass the ball forward. All good in my eyes.

    cheers — jgc

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    A very interesting read. It is still a bit narrow in terms of the way they are looking at what’s expected of a CF at Arsenal (as per this post), but they are right to suggest that Welbeck is likely to become a success at Arsenal for the simple reason he will get many chances per game, through his team mates and his own play, and a percentage will go in and that’s what matters most..

    http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/data/data-rant-danny-welbeck/

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed Geoffski…. It pays to be patient like the fox sometimes… 🙂

  74. H Bo says:

    Oh totes I don’t like my line up either I’m just thinking Arsene’s next team my squad 11 is a lot different especially after Welbecks cameo today and it goes a little something like this
    Ospina
    Debuchy BFG Kos Gibbs
    Chambers. Rambo
    Walcott. Ox
    Santi/Ozil
    Welbeck/Giro

    Sczeney still worries me especially when he hasn’t had much to do in a game, Arteta seems very leggy although I imagine could be a useful sub or if you wanna play two holding. In all honesty though a lot of our positions the understudy is not actually a lesser player ie Ox, Walcott and Campbell although Theo is the more experienced you will get more going backwards with the other 2 so it evens out a bit and we have Sanchez too, Santi and Ozil with whom you could associate Rosicky. Welbeck and Giro happy days with SaNOgoal and Akpom coming up not to mention Afobe. Wilshere and Rambo headache is a nice headache to have with the elusive Diaby a contestant for the same position. It’s just the DM which Chambers, Flamini and Arteta you can argue will contest but while we are short at the back Chambers won’t play there much in training so is unlikely to fill for now, but if you compare the quality even at the back bar Monreal who generally does a decent job we have quality international pedigree players all over and haven’t even mentioned the World Cup winning Podolski.
    We just need Arsene to play the players where they play best not what he has been doing and playing the best players, which sounds silly but I’m sure the ones who are been left out will give us a better shape, I mean even if it’s the same house the front door key won’t work in the back door but we will prosper and win something this year again

  75. AwayGunner says:

    Gerry, all agreed – Marc does seem to have all the makings of a future legend and almost equally importantly it looks like he’ll be a great ambassador for the sport for years to come.

    It’s too bad that things didn’t work out for you in the 2-wheeled scene, but looking at the Reliant and Renault you spoke of I’m sure you have had your share of fun. Heh.

    Have you ever had the chance to catch a TT? My dream would be to come up there and catch the Isle of Man TT and then see an FA cup semi final at the emirates. I doubt the timing would ever work out though so I’d settle for a stop on the Irish road racing circuit. One day..

    COYG

  76. geoffchase says:

    All

    some very balanced words here:

    http://arsenalgentlemen.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/danny-welbeck-another-frustrating-panic-buy-or-a-stroke-of-genius/

    including some good phrases about TWs in general in:

    “The trouble with us Gooners is we get fixated, even though there’s lots to it, we heard the names above and actually thought these were happening almost as if its our right, as if we have first refusal on these players. ”

    The first refusal thing especially for me. It’s important to remember players don’t get sold if the club doesn’t want to sell. A release clause only gets you to a decision from the player and his management.

    Even tho the author sort of reverses himself in his desire, like ours, to see a DM. All the top DM and mids that were talked of this year (Pogba, Khedira, Carvalho, Cuadrado, Rabiot) all went exactly nowhere.

    What was best however, was talk of fit to club and a good example of Dwight Yorke going to ManU and doing very well, despite not being big name, because he fit.

    In this, I think for all I see about Welbeck and think about it, should go well for us.

    cheers — jgc

  77. Gerry says:

    AwayGunner – I will reply to you first, in case you do like me and pick up from where you left off.

    Yes, unlike the triple ‘M’, I don’t have is innate ‘feel’ for for front wheel slides .. Ha Ha

    On the TT – I was on holiday on the IOM, just outside Kirk Michael, on the far side of the island.
    I was in my 20’s, which puts it early ’70’s, and I’d gone with my mother who was retired and was living in North Wales. The second week coincided with the first week of the TT.

    My abiding memory of what little I saw of the racing was the riders are stark raving mad.
    No, suicidal!

    Let me fill you in. It was a short walk down to the course from our country cottage, and I picked a spot just before a left hand bend. Think back to Marc’s final over take on Sunday. Focus on that, but add …a 6ft high stone wall along the inside of the kerb … a downhill left-hander with over hanging trees to add a little less grip …. a sharper kink … and speeds in excess of 150mph. I saw Mick Grant do that Marques move with very little extra room!
    Terrifying just watching …

    I believe it was Grant anyway, from the papers the following day, as the incident itself was a blur. You have to be a real enthusiast to sit out on the remote parts of the course, because the length of the track means riders come through quite spaced out. Not to mention the weather can change in an instant. … But if you are lucky, you will catch a blur that lives with you for ever.

    Is that a good enough promotion for you?

    Cheers.

  78. Gerry says:

    Football, ahem! – Sorry folks, I got taken back with that piece above.

    England, in the cold light of day, do seem to have the same problem Arsenal have against a well organised team?
    Key was not getting the ball forwards quickly enough, wrong decisions on key passes, and hanging on to the same team shape that was getting nowhere for too long?
    Depressingly familiar …

    Good news is all our guys played, and didn’t get injured.

    I wish I could think of more to say, but I can’t … I fell asleep during the second half.

  79. AwayGunner says:

    Haha – Captivating illustration, I think my heart sped up a few beats reading it.. So, ya, that’s effective promotion alright.. I’ll get there someday.

    Re: My earlier comment, it dawned on me that the FA semis are on neutral ground, so I suppose I’ll have to target a 6th round tilt at the emirates.

    2016 fingers crossed

  80. Gerry says:

    Steve – Agreed on Arteta, but: A, it is likely to be AW’s selection? b, Having Bellerin and Ramsey doing a joint effort forwards, but back to defend, does give him that cover.
    Difference between the two, Bellerin would advance down the line, and Ramsey the extra man on the centre/left.

    It sounds good on paper at least.

    Regards a flat 4-4-2, as opposed to the ‘Diamond’ you like, which England used to better effect when they moved Sterling inside at the head, I see the similar thing with Ozil on the pointy end.

    I have just checked the correct geometric shape,and it is an ‘isoseles trapezium’ known simply as a ‘kite’. In my thinking in transition the top pointy bit would be Ozil, but would change to an inverse variety as the ‘wings of the kite, Ramsey and Bellerin could move ahead of the point.

    I hope that clears that up 😀 😀

  81. Gerry says:

    H Bo – I think Ospina will make his debut in the COC, against Southampton … unless Szzezzer does something really stupid against Man C or Dortmund?

    Not got an easy program coming up, as ‘Villa follow on the COC, and that is likely to be another bruising encounter?

    Keeping the faith … with crossed fingers 🙂

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    You were asleep when our new, shiny signing came on? Have some more coffee before you start watching a game so you can hold out for 90 minutes! 🙂

  83. Gerry says:

    AwayGunner – Glad I caught you early. Glad you liked the promo.

    I have another more painful memory. Never,never,never, ever walk through dead bracken in bare feet. The dead stalks slash the inside of your toes to ribbons

    Tip of the day!

  84. Gerry says:

    No TA – I watched that bit, and his snapshot from the right hand side which brought a good save, his first I think?
    No, was what followed that allowed me to drift off. I never sleep properly afterwards if I have coffee.

  85. Gerry says:

    I’ve just read the our players registered with the football league

    I must say, RICARDO GIBBS has a lot more robust sounding to it? 😀

  86. Prince says:

    Im still a little cut. If we pushed, just a little bit more, we could have landed my second favourite player behind Rolls Reus.
    Some heavy rumours that we missed out by $5,000. We would have killed it if we got the tricky little Kevin Doyle. Id even say we would have given Europe a big tilt. Two missed opprtunities…..Doyle and bringing Cescy back…..

    I feel we have shot ourselves in the foot on these two, and NO im still not convinced on
    Danny Bambi 23, and only performances (great ones to make-up for K.Doyle) will sway me on his side..
    Princey dont much like these manchunian manUrian types….THAT he WILL ALWAYS BE..

    I shall name him the UN-PURE!

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Princey 🙂

    We’ll take the un-pure, if they say they have seen the light. He came out of his free will and not for money but to play proper football. Welbeck him all the way now! 😉

    You should really write a post on the great shame of missing out on Doyle… It would putd Cockie’s humour to shame hahaha 🙂

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    Geoff, do you seriously think that if Wenger really would have wanted a DM he would not have been able to get one? We can analyse it to death but surely it is just a matter of money and prioritising…

  89. jgc says:

    TA

    A top DM worth the investment. A Cuadrado, Schneiderlin, Khedira, Rabiot or Pogba. They were all wanted by many and none got any… Ooh, I rhymed. So, yes, methinks trying hard isn’t the only thing.

    I tried hard to meet women when younger and … Well, again, it takes two to tango. Three if you have to pry her away from her opinionated friend…

    Same analogy holds, and given she came to the party with her current beau, I mean team…

    So, yeah, I think he tried for someone who’d improve us and found little. Backup is backup, and we likely have it in board already. Equally, if we had the injuries to HAVE to rely on someone we bought only as backup, I’d prefer to go with Hayden or even Rosicky or JW at DM. I reckon their attitude would carry further than someone just hired to make the numbers work out.

    Mind, finally, replacing TV with Chambers doesn’t look bad so far at all. AND Debuchy for Sagna leaves us at last year and we pay to recall Jenks if needed.

    Thems my thoughts. Or succinctly, don’t buy twinkies to make up the numbers. Save and buy steak!

    Cheers — jgc

  90. geoffchase says:

    TA

    A top DM worth the investment. A Cuadrado, Schneiderlin, Khedira, Rabiot or Pogba. They were all wanted by many and none got any… Ooh, I rhymed. So, yes, methinks trying hard isn’t the only thing.

    I tried hard to meet women when younger and … Well, again, it takes two to tango. Three if you have to pry her away from her opinionated friend…

    Same analogy holds, and given she came to the party with her current beau, I mean team…

    So, yeah, I think he tried for someone who’d improve us and found little. Backup is backup, and we likely have it in board already. Equally, if we had the injuries to HAVE to rely on someone we bought only as backup, I’d prefer to go with Hayden or even Rosicky or JW at DM. I reckon their attitude would carry further than someone just hired to make the numbers work out.

    Mind, finally, replacing TV with Chambers doesn’t look bad so far at all. AND Debuchy for Sagna leaves us at last year and we pay to recall Jenks if needed.

    Thems my thoughts. Or succinctly, don’t buy twinkies to make up the numbers. Save and buy steak!

    Cheers — jgc

  91. H Bo says:

    I’m with totes on this I don’t think he wants a DM probably to prove he can do it without one, hence the lack of signing a 30 mil player who play in a few fixtures from start but be the first sub off and last one on, his game is about possession if you got the ball you don’t need to defend, charity shield match case and point

  92. Gerry says:

    So good he said twice 😀

  93. Gerry says:

    H Bo – Apart from ruining my link with jgc’s post, that just doesn’t ring true.

    Don’t use the CS match in your argument, we were the only ones bothered? How often is Arteta the first one subbed, except when injured? Or in Flamini’s case, ‘losing it’ on a yellow?
    He knows both these players are getting beyond their ‘best before’ dates. However, the £30m you quote might be nearer the mark. He was juggling other balls in the air, but once the CL groups were announced and Sporting Lizzie could recoup more than the difference between the fee offered, and may add further value to WC sale price, by getting out of the group stage? If they were in Man City’s group, there may have been room for negotiation late on around the £28m mark?

    That was a case of the poker gods going against you …

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Nah Geoff, bar Pogba we could have had any of them if we paid the right price. I am absolutely sure about it. Even Pogba would have had a price, I reckon. We did not get a DM because Wenger did not want (enough)… And this has been going on for years.

    But money can’t buy you love…agreed with that. 🙂

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    He’s got seven players who need to start as many games as possible, as per their pedigree and potential, in midfield and upfront – bar Welbeck and, at some point OG – for whom he has five positions…. Hence the main reason he did not do everything to get us the beast of a DM we don’t have….unless it is CC, which would make things even harder. But Steve is writing something about this and I better keep schtum about it… 🙂

  96. Gerry says:

    TA – Should we get past Southampton in the COC, we may get a kinder draw to rest a few?
    If we don’t go through then that leaves with just( I say casually), the CL and the League, until Jan, when we defend our Cup win. 🙂

    This is why I say it will be essential to at least test out Hayden and co, to enlarge the pool of players we can pair up? Maitland-Nles is another who might squeeze in if we are looking for pace down the left, or B54 as an extra LB?

    Talking of left sided players, on the BT Sports Box prog they were running during the TW, they pointed out that all bar Falcao, the players Man U have bought are all left footers? They did a funny team line up with a whole team down the left side .. 😀

    Anyway, what I am saying, let’s not pre-empt D&G, as we may be better off than it first appears.

  97. AFC says:

    I’ve got two questions for you guys:

    1) Did AW want Welbeck? I ask this because as far as I know Wenger has not come out and said anything about Welbeck. So either Wenger hasn’t got round to talking about Welbeck or he is a bit pissed off at the board? I heard that the board intervened ‘behind AW’s back’ and got the deal for Welbeck lined up without AW knowing and then told him about the deal to which AW reluctantly agreed. Now this seems like it could be true as I could just imagine AW thinking he doesn’t need a replacement and/or cover for Giroud and not getting one/it. What makes it weirder is that the deal is a permanent one and not a loan which makes me think even more that this was not AW or his thinking but the board’s. If it was I can’t thank the board enough.

    2) How much longer can/will people make excuses or give reasons for Wenger not being able strengthen certain positions and areas in our squad? There is always a reason why Wenger couldn’t do this or could do that. He couldn’t sign a CB because of so and so, couldn’t sign a DM because of so and so. People have made countless excuses for Wenger and co in the last 3 transfer windows. Are these guys going to make excuses for Wenger in the next 3 transfer windows or transfer windows up until he leaves Arsenal? It is all getting a bit silly in my opinion. So everytime Wenger and co fail to strengthen in areas we need it will be down to everything but themselves?

  98. AFC

    As to question No1… we’ll find out soon enough if Wenger wanted Welbeck or not. If he didn’t, then Sanogo will continue to cover for Giroud and Welbeck will be continually on the bench.

  99. AFC says:

    A very simple and logical answer Northbank. 🙂

  100. AFC

    It’s not what I would like to see mind you, I think Welbeck will be an exciting prospect, especially when Theo returns to the team. Sanchez—- Welbeck—– Walcott. Fuck me, wet knicker time 🙂

    Just on another subject… I’m forming a protest group, “The Cornwall ‘one’ is innocent group.
    Bring back Cockie, he’s just a misunderstood, misguided poor soul who gets led astray by the Transplant one. 🙂

  101. The Cockie Monster says:

    AFC.
    #1 No way !. Wenger is King !. He can fcuk anyone at the club including Stans Syrup !……..and as `69er implies, lets see who starts the games. If it were true, Wenger is so stubborn that even if Welbeck scores all the goals to make England qualify for the 2016 Euros and then scores all the goals for England to win Euro 2016, he would have done by only playing for our U21`s.
    Welbeck was a panic buy, simple as that !. The stats back me up as Wenger said he wasn`t looking for a Striker before Giroud broke a boner in his phallus !…and Arsenal had to ask for an extension on Deadline Day to tie up the deal !. How long was the TW open ? and we wait until the last seconds !. A panic buy, but an upgrade on Sanogoal !.

    #2) Love this comment as you are thinking like an intelligent and logical person….like me !. Goes back to Wenger being stubborn and arrogant when all the world and his dog whisperers knows what players and positions we need to fill !.
    Good stuff, AFC…..by the way, do you like Strawberry Sherbets ?……I`m glad you are seeing the light and have been groomed by me, before Wenger can groom you !. hahaha

    Wenger Out !.
    Strutter In !.

  102. AFC says:

    I’ll be happy to sign Northbank. 🙂

  103. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hahaha `69er….remember in the 70`s that …” George Davis is innocent ” banner everywhere, the bastard got released and then went on to commit 2 more armed robberies !.

    I`ve put up a banner on the Tamar Bridge………COCKIE IS INNOCENT !.

  104. AFC

    Looks as if it wasn’t necessary…….. the dodgy fucker was cruising the blogs, waiting for his chance to give out sherbets to all and sundry. 🙂

  105. AFC says:

    Cockie, that’s what I don’t get about the Welbeck signing. Wenger said he wasn’t going to sign another ST. Giroud then got injured so surely all you need is a ST on loan for the season or 6 months if you are lucky enough to find a ST willing to agree to such a move. So a permanent ST signing makes no sense especially when AW says we have Giroud, Sanchez, Sanogo, (Campbell), Podolski and Walcott for ST. That’s Wenger’s words not mine. 😀

    Strawberry Sherberts? I ain’t had them since I was kid. Not a huge fans of sweets. Some of them taste nice but they do more bad than good. All that sugar isn’t good for your teeth and your body unless you want to get diabetes type 2 or tooth decay. Rhubarb and Custard sweets are more my thing, wine gums and American hard gums. 😀

  106. Neeraj says:

    Does anyone know what happened to Rabiot ?
    As far as I know PSG had accepted Roma’s bid but wete goin to think about it for a few hours on TDD
    He is still a PSG player on the net as well

  107. AFC says:

    As far as I know Rabiot is still at PSG and wants to leave. PSG wanted €25 mill plus 50% of an future profits. I think we should move on from Rabiot now and target a midfielder in the same league as Ozil and Sanchez in the summer.

  108. The Cockie Monster says:

    I don’t think Wenger will ever be pulling the Rabiot out of the hat !.

  109. Gerry says:

    AFC – Alternatively, we will know when he is back in this country and gives a press conference?

    It sounds like some people are putting 2 and 2 together and making the biggest number over 4 that causes Arsenal embarrassment?. AW was avalable on the phone while he was out in Rome, so I am sure he was being kept abreast of all developments? Once the Falcao ‘loan’ was the option, which we quite rightly pulled back from, then other options were explored. There were about 5 clubs mentioned as being interested in Welbeck on loan, and Arsene would have known about that too. The fact that Welbeck wanted a permanent deal is probably the only reason Man U sold him to us? As to who gave the indication for us to buy first, is hardly dramatic because of the other loan offers. His name would have been either left by Arsene as an option, from the moment it looked like they would get Falcao. I doubt very much he would be disappointed at getting a young striker for £16m because he loves a bargain?

    Question two comes down to how close you are to the ‘only customer in the sweet shop’ business model I posed earlier, against Geoff’s ‘reality’ version, regarding DM’s, all targets stayed put? Like TA has said, these players all have a price, but some are so ridiculously inflated that it make no sense in a long term plan. Not everything can be fixed just to please the short-termists?

  110. I don’t think Raniot is on Wengers radar. But he will need to start looking this year for replacements for Arteta, Flamini and Cazorla. I still believe that AW would pull out all the stops to get Pogba.

  111. Gerry says:

    Northbank@14:27 – The Cornwall 1 is innocent’ … Innocent of what exactly?

  112. Gerry says:

    Neeraj – AW talked to his mother, and Rabiot told PSG he wanted to move to Arsenal. It was said we put in a late matching bid to Roma’s, how true I don’t know. But come January he can talk to any club he wants to if they cannot get him to sign a new contract.
    Patience is a virtue …

  113. AFC says:

    A sound answer for question 1 Gerry. With regards to question 2 I am inclined to along with TA’s comment at 12:19. Your answer to question 2 also makes sense and could be a problem in one window or two max but three windows? Surely we should be able to find a long term option after three TW’s? Does that mean we will never get the DM we need? Maybe AW and co might have to pay a ridiculously inflated price to get a DM in. For instance is Pogba for £60 mill (which I think we could get him for) really that bad considering he is 21, at a really good level already, likely to become one of the best midfielders in the world etc. We could get 10 years out of him quite easily while his wages should be affordable? When you divide the transfer fee by 10, 6 mill a year would be worth it for a midfielder of his caliber?

  114. Alcide says:

    AFC,

    On question number 1 – where did you “hear” this? It just doesn’t fit with the “Arsene controls everything” long standing assumption.

    On question number 2, I don’t “make excuses and find reasons” anymore than you rationalize our not signing X and Y your way, and we both do that based on a very limited amount of factual information.

    We didn’t sign a DM, a CB, I observe that despite extensive linking (“grapevine” but also including pre-and post TW comments from senior officials), close to all targets that were or could be deemed worthy of Arsenal did not move, usually because of not meeting the transfer fees requested by their owners, sometimes in relation to players’ high requested wages, or sometimes because they were just not for sale and didn’t want to move.

    Now TA is right that maybe our priority was not high enough to pay “more” and secure those players. I say it a bit differently – we didn’t want to be taken advantage of and overpay (on the basis of our means, our wage structure, the market, future demands…) to snatch players that are in decent clubs and close to their last year (for them, leaving on a free is also the opportunity to claim higher wages later, for us, we can save tens of millions by waiting 6 months, a year).

    I completely understand that you may have a totally different interpretation and argumentation, but again considering how little we actually know about dealings other than the result, I find implying that people like me (and Arsene, and the board) are “a bit silly” is a tad simplistic and a tad presumptuous.

    Rabiot – newspapers in France report he wanted to leave to Roma but PSG wanted more money, but no “official” comments. 25m is a LOT for a promising talent that has not proven much.

  115. Gerry @15;23

    I believe that the Cornwall one upset Totes in his own inimitable jokey way. 🙂

  116. Alcide says:

    Gerry, I couldn’t find the article back, but maybe someone has a link – it was more than a year ago but is based on an actual Arsene interview and I think I remember him basically saying that Arsenal follows a (relatively significant) number of potential targets, and on those he validates, he provides a price range to the negotiation team. He also has the final call. At least that’s about what I recall from the article.

  117. Alcide says:

    On Pogba,

    Bayern, PSG were reported to offer 8m per year – not cheap, but in any case Juventus did not want to sell. He’s got 2 years left so they can still cash in next year, but most importantly they are not a small club – their revenu is on par with ours, and they have a squad that could go quite far in the CL, it would be silly to sell their most promising players under those conditions (think us selling Rambo).

  118. AFC says:

    Alcide,

    Question 1: It was a newspaper article (can’t remember which). It said something along the lines of the board lining up Welbeck and then telling AW that they were going for him. AW reluctantly agreed and said not to offer no more than £16 million and not. The article may have been formed on false information.

    Question 2: I didn’t say you personally find excuses and reasons for Wenger not signing players on the areas we need. I was referring to the general ‘mentality’ that AW can never do this or that or always has a restriction.

    Alcide, I didn’t say that you, people like you, AW or the board are a bit silly. I said that the logic behind the premise of not having AW and co being accountable for their actions (not being able to sign a DM and a CB) after three windows is a bit silly. It’s perfectly understandable that AW and co might not be able to get a CB and/or DM in one window for example but after three windows? So I can’t see what is simplistic about it or presumptuous especially when you consider clubs in the BPL and other leagues have most likely addressed their needs after three TW’s in most cases.

  119. AFC says:

    Not to offer no more than around £16 mill for him*

    I read so many articles I forget which website they come from.

  120. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, I remember George Davis is innocent Cornwall. Used to see it plastered over bridges in North London

    This is true. After he got released he went and turned over the Bank of Cyprus on Seven Sisters Road. In the ensuing Robbery, my cousin Fat Telly, who at the time worked as assistant manager there told me that one of the Robbers threatened him with a shooter and demanded “Put all the F*ucking Drachma in this bag Stavros”

    Whilst all this was going on, the cashier, who had a skill of identifying men with nylon stockings over there face stupidly shouted out “That ones George Davis”, and thats when Davis went ape shit. “Ime fucking innocent alright. How can I be George Davis when ime F*ucking innocent”

    Anyway, whilst they were putting all the money in the bag, the other robber turned round to Davis and said “F*uck me George, were rich. Must be a million quid in here?”, sending Davis crazy again. “Dont f*ucking call me George you mug. How can I be Davis when ime innocent”

    Just when they were leaving, they removed the shooter from my cousin fat Tellys mouth and Davis is innocent asked “How much drachma in there Stavros?” To which fat Telly replied “Four million, Three hundred and twenty six thousand Mr Davis, equivalent to £23 and 27 pence”

    Davis went nuts and screamed “Ime not f*ucking Davis, ime f*ucking innocent” hahahaha

  121. AFC says:

    Alcide, don’t Juve need to sell one of Pogba or Vidal to balance the books? That’s what was banded around all summer. I am assuming that the 8 mill wages was in euros and not pounds so we should be able to afford it?

  122. AFC says:

    Held accountable*

  123. 17highburyterrace says:

    Just a quick chime in–It’s the wife’s B-day here and I’ve got to prep for a weekend backpacking trip…

    AFC, I love the questions which would seem to mirror the perspective of the Wenger dOUbTers. Please always remember that the papers/websites are desperate for hits and if they can twist things to enrage the support they will do so…

    Obviously, I would tend to agree with jgc re: transfers being more difficult than just splashing the cash and Alcide about Wenger’s typical way of doing things. The hidden narrative–the one designed to frustrate the support–is that it is NOT the way things go down with the Sheik-o-Garchs (including PSG and Monaco, until this window…) and the big (bank supported) clubs in Italy and Spain (and Germany, if you count Bayern) or just go for the big names being bandied about… Simply put, we will not overpay and/or lay down the prices these clubs will. In many ways, I believe our policy is something along the lines of, “OK, if that’s your price, you keep him and we’ll see how he does and talk to you at the next window,” i.e., he’s yours, on loan, until we come back for him… Of course, by the next window the player has either fallen flat and we (along with everybody else) no longer wants him OR he’s continued developing and one of the money-down-a-hole clubs comes in…

    This, I fear, is what happened with the Bayer Leverkuysen players (Draxler and Bender) and also what’s going on with Carvalho and Rabiot. We use the windows to “tap up” these players and see just how much they want to come our way…Over time, as the crazy money teams hoard players, Arsenal *should* become a more attractive spot for guys who actually want to play…in addition to collecting a big wage…

    To answer your questions, I think it’s very possible that Welbeck was a board driven signing (but a good one, I think). AW’s valuation was met and the trigger got pulled. If Theo can come back strong, Alexis continue in robust form and Ox can avoid the niggles we will have very good competition amongst the smaller, faster forward types. (In truth, it’s Campbell, who truly seems on the outside, looking in…) Sanago and Poldolski will also find some opportunities. IF Giroud can come back strong in the new year it will be those players who suffer. My thought on Welbeck is that he’s more of a replacement for Poldolski who really is biding his time at the club a la Bendtner a year ago. The big thing that happened because of the Giroud injury was keeping Lulu (and his very high wages)… Lulu (and/or Campbell) could be gone in January if big Ollie looks set to return or if Welbeck can score 8-10 goals (and appear robust, i.e., not an injury risk) by that time…

    So, that’s at the top… I remain concerned about injuries and too many versatile players being asked to do too much at the back. All those DMs we’ve been linked with might also have to worry about Calum Chambers (whose decisiveness in the tackle looks a LOT better outside of our box) if they want to become our longterm solution at the rear of our midfield… My hunch is that AW wants to see him play quite a bit, as he does with Nacho. The nerves, however, get frayed when the injuries happen and youth players (Bellerin, Hayden or back from loan, Le Coq) have regular bench positions…

  124. Gerry says:

    Northbank:@15.35 – I think you will find that TA made a ruling that child molesting was not a subject should be included on this site. This was his second offence, which I highlighted.

    If you think it is a subject of levity, it says more about you?

  125. Gerry says:

    Thanks TA!

  126. AFC says:

    Hi 17, thanks for the response. Podolski has come out and said he will only play for FC Koln so maybe he wanted to move there this summer but for some reason (wages?) he didn’t get his move. His contract is up in the summer (?) so he might find it easier to get his move back to FC Koln.

    Campbell’s agent really seemed to be pushing for a move but Arsene was reluctant to let him go? Either that are AW didn’t get a offer for Campbell that he was satisfied with, it was reported that AW tried to included him in the deal for Carvalho. Not really sure how true that was though.

    I also agree with your view on how the club do business and their policy. The problem with that policy is that the club miss out on a lot of their targets because they play the waiting game.

  127. AFC says:

    Or AW didn’t*
    Include*
    Will miss out*

  128. Gerry says:

    Alcide @ 15.58 – If it as over year a go, it no longer applies.

    During AW’s latest contract negotiations, it was that, from what I understand, a certain amount of non-transfer money was put in in the hands of IG to get some deals done. I have no doubt AW can say No to any player he doesn’t want, but the actual deals are done by IG and the lawyers. I am pretty sure AW was fully informed of how the the deal was going. The real hold up was dependant on the nitty gritty of Falcao’s contract?

    But it is too hard to believe that they went very far without informing him. It is not like he is replacing Giro completely … unless he is a staggeringly great success 😀

  129. Alcide says:

    AFC, don’t worry I know you didn’t intend the “silly” to be personal, but it can indirectly be felt as such. Re-read what you wrote:

    “How much longer can/will people make excuses or give reasons for Wenger not being able strengthen certain positions and areas in our squad? There is always a reason why Wenger couldn’t do this or could do that. He couldn’t sign a CB because of so and so, couldn’t sign a DM because of so and so. People have made countless excuses for Wenger and co in the last 3 transfer windows. Are these guys going to make excuses for Wenger in the next 3 transfer windows or transfer windows up until he leaves Arsenal? It is all getting a bit silly in my opinion.”

    Well I am one of these “people”, one of these “guys” making “countless” excuses. Sorry but you sounded much more personal than you are now saying, and the wording was slightly pejorative isn’t it? And why is it about “making” excuses? Making excuses is shifting responsibility (“he was sick, the ref was bad, the field was dry”), I, I think, provide potential explanations for not having succesfully procured players in some areas.

    But no harm done, and no grudges either, just mentioning how it felt for your information, as I like reading your posts even though I think different on some subjects.

    Now of course I keep Arsene accountable, but unlike you I don’t find his record so bad (not saying perfect, I’m saying not bad). I hear what you’re saying about the 3 windows, but I managed to rationalize each one of them 🙂 i.e. ignoring my disappointment (i.e. DM…) and focusing on noting the constant progress over the last few years (from constantly selling our top players to resigning our best to hiring top quality). I’m sorry but I don’t think we have not addressed ANY need in the past years, and I see no indisputable indication that we have completely missed on obvious opportunities at a right price (if we talk DM for instance),

    As Gerry say we’re not the only player, and there are other buyers in the market we have to compete with. I also note that talking to office colleagues that support other teams – they all seem to also have unfilled needs (although I have no City/Chelsea fans amongst my friends).

    I still think we badly need a faster version of Arteta whether box-to-box, Destroyer, Volante, Regista,whatever but I also recon that Arteta brings qualities that are not easy to find. Those names we often see quoted that have mostly not moved in the past 18 months despite attempts by us and other teams. Should we have pushed harder (more money) to land one? Perhaps, but if we didn’t, maybe it’s because it didn’t make sense in the grand scheme of things, and I, by default and ignorance, choose to trust the people in charge to have decided so based on the information that they have (and that we don’t have).

    And of course I might be wrong – but when information is scarce, I tend to value the simplest explanation.

    Anyway, I don’t care so much about agreeing – with the little factual info we have it’s not like we can reach a categorical rational answer – I’m interested in the different points of view and their correponsding arguments that can augment mine (and for that matter got a bit frustrated at the dismissive “silly” word)

    Cheers 🙂

  130. Alcide says:

    AFC,

    Euros from memory – 120k a week is still not cheap. That’s what was reported indeed (need to balance books) along with the fact that they would sell Vidal but not Pogba. But that’s the kind of unverifiable assumption, and in the end they sold neither, got Morata (sold Immobile?). And If Pogba had been for sale, I am convinced another club would have upped the stakes higher than we would have (on a side note, I love Paul, but he is a but too offensive for what we need in my opinion).

    Gerry,

    The article might have been from slightly before the new contract, not sure to be honest. But the team going “behind his back” or “against his advice” seems a bit hard to believe.

  131. AFC says:

    Alcide, no problems at all. Perhaps I did use the wrong choice of words looking back. The questions were put out to start a discussion and debate and they have done that. 😀

    I take all your points on board. I just always feel like we leave a TW one or two players short of what we need for the upcoming season or the rest of the season and then we fall short of winning the league (not by a huge distance either). Was it too much to ask that we could get one or two players in on loan meanwhile we wait on our long term targets to become available? At least we wouldn’t be left short in the CB and DM areas?

  132. AFC says:

    Alcide, Pogba is an attacking player but the majority of the top midfielders (who AW and co would be interested in) are more attacking type players apart from Busquets.

    At the moment our squad does seem a bit unbalanced just like United’s (although their squad seems more unbalanced). City’s and Chelsea’s squads are a lot more balanced. I think teams are finding it really hard to find a midfielder to play in the DM position who isn’t too attacking. Chelsea got Matic which I am actually impressed by as he is probably one of the last destroyer types around. He is of a good age as well and you can play anyone next to him even of they are kinda attacking like Cesc.

    So it is really hard to find a player who isn’t too attacking to play in the double pivot with Ramsey unless you just stick a defender with good technical ability (Chambers?) next to him. 😀

  133. AFC says:

    To start discussion and debate*

  134. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed with BOTH AFC and Alcide… And, I find all this stuff about the *new* communication on the interweb maybe the most fascinating topic of them all…We all want the banter we might get with our mates at the stadium or the pub but we use a lot of short-hand and we come from all parts of the world so misunderstandings abound. Personally, I love it when people take the time to try and explain and/or work it out… 🙂

    IMO, a huge part of the problem when we discuss transfers is the time range we look at. We have to remember that management serves at the pleasure of ownership (and to a much lesser extent, the board of directors). Clearly, our board and manager (and majority shareholder–who they more or less hand-picked) have a long-term vision for the club. Competitive results ARE important, mostly because they keep the bums in the seats (and the pitchforks and torches at bay). Wenger, as he was at the close of last season, is still under A LOT of pressure. If we get too many bad results the cries will get loud VERY quickly…

    Nonetheless he’s under less pressure than Van Gaal at United. Even with his pedigree he cannot maintain Moyes-ish results. As such, what he’s done up there in a single TW is huge. Still, there’s a lot on the line for him and pulling the plug on guys SAF liked (Welbeck, Kagawa and Carrick to name just a few–even RvP will no longer be a guaranteed starter)…means he’s put a HUGE spotlight upon his immediate results. If they don’t come, I can only wonder how much patience fans will allow… Let’s also remember that United, also linked with plenty of DMs, including Carvalho, and defenders like our own Vermaelen, were unable (or similarly chose not…) to strengthen in these areas of the pitch. As such, that 3-5-2 thing better work out for LvG…(That’s a troll for TA, when he’s got time… 😉 …)

    Moreover, IMO, assuming that transfers are always positive is just plain wrong. Football is an entertainment industry and hope sells. Still, it’s the product on the pitch which TRULY sells. Results are the biggest piece, but entertainment and character/values are also important. A team slowly improving–with loyal players coming good–and playing exciting football is what I’m after. I’d prefer that over spikes of success and a revolving door of players and managers. There are other brands doing the mercenary thing, including, it now seems, Man United. As impressive as their signings are, I would think it’s sad that the latest English record signing (Di Maria) from Real Madrid has come out saying he didn’t want to leave or that the big name forward they got at the deadline (Falcao) clearly preferred a move to the Spanish capital. Liverpool, trading in a sand-box terror (the biter…) for a better balanced squad but still retaining a place for big talent with big issues, i.e., Mario B… seems more fun these days…

    But hey, that’s just me and I’m pretty pleased with my club and its action in the window… All views are fine, of course… Dif’rent strokes, etc., etc., etc.

  135. kelsey says:

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/nikola-zigic-confirms-arsenal-approach-1464005?

    So we did try and get Zigic before signing Welbeck.The player has confirmed this himself.

  136. The Cockie Monster says:

    Yes Kelsey, we were close but then Wenger saw that Zigic has got ugly kids !……….oops !…that will be highlighted as a 3rd offence by the “Grass” !. hahaha

  137. Gerry says:

    Kelsey – Far be it from me to rubbish the ibtimes, but they do tend to run stuff behind the flock?

    However, that wasn’t the point why I am replying.

    While I was sitting at the bottom the stairs earlir this evening, waiting for the 15 year old to finish drinking, before I carried her up, I spied a torn piece of newspaper. It read, No kidding!:

    Wishere in trouble for Zigic tackle.

    It was a torn page from a Telegraph spots page dated from 2010. The accompanying picture was only showing the half above the tear line, and from the text it sounded like it was his second two-footed lunge of the day?

    Funny coincidence that was one of the papers I used for the dogs to lay on?

  138. alcide says:

    AFC,

    “I just always feel like we leave a TW one or two players short of…” yep, I do feel like that. We are short on defensive players, and with a bit of bad luck and despite some flexibility some players offer, we can be in trouble real fast. It’s a bit of a dangerous game we’re playing not “getting a body” in for the next few months,short term. I like the idea of Calum at DM, but it would be a lot of responsibility for a young player to play in the very crucial and tricky role in the Arsenal pivot. My remark about Pogba being too offensive stands, although I^’d love to have Rambo and him as our double DM pivot.

    17ht, good comments.

    Watching France-Spain while working… Santi is playing, nice.

  139. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thus encouraged, I’ll continue… Cheers, Alcide…

    Another fundamental problem with the TW is that people must extrapolate the performance of players with their current clubs and in their current leagues to their would-be role at Arsenal. It’s tempting to say that more bodies, i.e., more competition for places, is ALWAYS good… Given endless resources and no limitations (i.e., roster limits, FFP) this *could* be true. Still, confidence from playing–if you get adequate rest and recovery, is an intangible which even the biggest money teams must try and foster in their main group.

    Some of us tend to look at highlights or read scouting reports and think positively about potential transfers. Football is a game of hard work and rare opportunities at the attacking end and hard work and routine actions plus rare calamity at the back. In the middle, it’s obviously a mix and knowing when to take risks is huge. Evaluating midfielders, then, is probably the area which is most important when it comes to watching players over many–and entire–matches. Naturally, it helps if players get at least an occasional match against very good competition and if their current team plays in a style similar to our own. (As such, for example, I’m looking forward to our extra match (CapOne cup) vs So’ton, for an additional chance to see oft-suggested DMs Wanyama and Schneiderlin…)

    For me, I tend to emphasize the positive with our players (who actually get on the pitch…) and try not to over-hype those I haven’t watched. When we get linked (or if a blogger I respect mentions a name) I’ll try and watch them as well. It’s tough, of course, and my hope is that our scouts watch a whole lot more than I do. We can see the weak spots in our squad, but hyperbole often rules the day and gaffes and missed chances loom large. Style issues–from Ozil’s “laziness” to Szczesny and Flamini’s rash decisions to BFGs lack of pace to Wilshere, Ramsey and Rosicky’s one-footedness to Santi’s size, etc., etc.–ALL might annoy different observers to different levels. I would just argue that potential transfers should be subject to similar scrutiny… AW’s mantra, “I’m looking for players who will improve the club,” seems just about right…

    Again, that’s just my take and I don’t mind the speculation or the opinions of those who believe they’ve got the inside track on who we ought to buy…

  140. Gerry says:

    Special message to TA – please leave this up until the new post is up?

    TGM – I am waiting for you to tell a injured or disabled ‘joke’ and have one of our number fall out of his wheelchair laughing so much? Or may be can think up a good racist ‘joke’ ……

    OR better still, tell us how you can differentiate from not telling those ‘jokes’, but are happy to insult the victims of sex crimes? I really would like to know?

    Can I help? Is that Black people are very visible, and have no choice about the colour of their skin. Disabled people and accident victims did not ask to be disabled, and they too, are visible in society. Of course young children … Do they ‘ask’ for it? …..
    But I agree, they are largely invisible, or historic, so it does not matter about them. Is that it?

    Last week we were given the details of a 16 year long child abuse scandal in a northern town in England, where kids as young as 11, mostly girls, were abducted, beaten, shown vicious rape videos and warned they would be next if they didn’t go with whoever the gang chose. One was doused in petrol and threatened with lighted matches if she told anyone, that is what would happen to her.
    They have only brought one gang to justice, but this disgusting crime goes on in every city …. and yet you just want to trivialise under the name of humour????

    The real sick part about this, is you and I know kids don’t tell. Don’t we?

    You see that is what is such a big irony here, I, like you was approached by a pervert when I was a naive 11 year old. In my case, money to look after his bike while he used the public toilets, and more money when the kids I was with had moved on, but not for minding his bike.
    Like you, I ran. I did not tell a responsible adult, and thus preventing him from more being successful with some other poor sod. Kids don’t tell. They are not thinking of others, because they are too hurt themselves.

    Move on to 35 years ago. I enrolled into a residential college to study Psychology and Sociology. Nearby was a residential placement for kids in care. Previous students had gone there to help the staff, and I went on the introductory night.
    What followed was me working every weekend, every vacation, and at least one evening a week, for two years.
    Most kids are in the care system because their parents cannot manage them. Some are there for violent and sexual abuse by family members. I can assure you there is no humour in their side of the offence!
    34 years ago to this very week, a new boy arrived, just a week before his 14th birthday. He arrive with bright green hair, and I knew we were going to hit it off. He became instrumental in me being able to make amends for my failings as a child. .Because when my two years was up and I moved away, he kept in touch. That led to me being asked by a grandparent of another boy to come and talk to her grandson who had come back home for the summer holidays.

    I went. The boy,who I had first taken to this place two years before, which is why I had the contact details, began to tell in horrific detail what a member of staff was doing to him and others, including on the train journey home.

    We both know, don’t we glic,? DON’T WE GLIC?? Just how much that hurt him to do so. But I did not make him laugh, so he could make infantile jokes 50 years later, but never get over what happened to him
    No, I was the responsible adult now. I told him not to worry, I would sort it. And I did.

    Within a week of their return, the guy was arrested and charged. Unfortunately he fled the country, so there was no trial. But then none of the boys had to relive their horror in court.

    I stood up then, and I stand up now against anyone who thinks there is fun to be had on this subject. It is not a subject for any decent person to have to read, football website, or anywhere.

    I have written this because you keep on thinking there was nothing wrong in the post? Why, because it was football related?
    But also because of your inability to not realise you could have several paedophiles laughing on this public for forum. Not to mention kids who might think it is the normal thing that adults do, and give up ….

    Twice in the last two days the suggestion of bestiality with my dogs has been thrown my way. The last time that happened was out of the mouths of 11 and 12 year olds. Those same kids still live around here, but they don’t do it any more because they are all grown up now …
    There is a message in there …

    Finally, to my anarchistic, punk loving friend … Happy birthday and I hope you are well, wherever you are?

  141. Highbury Harmony says:

    Just watched both interviews from Welbeck on arsenal.com, the lad is an absolute class act and I’m so happy we bought him. He speaks about the family Arsenal are building and that couldn’t be more true. I also thought he played outstanding for England when he came on yesterday vs. Norway and was unlucky not to score.

    There was another article on arsenal.com outlining what Danny will bring to Arsenal and I thought it was a great summary of his strengths and weaknesses from United’s perspective. The best part was, “could you imagine how Arsenal fans would feel if Wilshere went to United? That is how United fans feel about Danny going to Arsenal right now.” Also, the article really falls in line with the perspective TA has been sharing with us for a while on how Arsene plans on setting up his team and using his strikers. He’s no longer looking for that SQ player up front that is a clinical finisher, but one that contributes to team play, can link up well and provides the strength to hold up the ball and play with his back to goal. However, this article even goes further to say (as some astute posters have observed) that Welbeck will offer us something Giroud does not: pace. He will be able to make runs behind defenders AND be able to press defenders high up the pitch. This will ensure that our ST is not just covered by a single defender (as OG is because he’s too slow), which could open up space for our creative, smaller players that we are currently missing.

    Good times ahead my fellow Gooners, I can feel it 😉

  142. TotalArsenal says:

    Fine comment, HH, and your enthusiasm is rubbing off on us. 🙂

    Lets hope that the Wilshere to Manure never happens though!

  143. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Thanks for sharing your personal story with us, which I have no doubt will have been a difficult decision. It underlines again that joking about acts of paedophilia can hurt other bloggers a lot more than people think.

    Cockies intentions are not to hurt anybody, but it is important that when we make comments and jokes we consider how they could impact on others.

  144. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, did you think you’d ever see the day when I’d be this uber positive? I’ve really enjoyed matching the analysis from your Giroud/Welbeck articles to what I’ve been reading on what the Welbeck addition brings to Arsenal. My biggest issue with Giroud was always pace and Danny brings that plus his work ethic, which is rare for a striker. I’m not 100% happy with OG’s finishing as you know, but I have come around on even that in the past year and a half. Now that we finally have depth up top, the reputation for inconsistent finishing from Welbeck/Giroud/Sanogo is not as frustrating because hopefully we will spread out the scoring (so long as we create more chances).

    I’m beyond excited about what is happening at Arsenal these past couple seasons, as we’ve truly turned it around, are keeping our top players, furnishing the cupboard with more young talent, while also going out and signing a SQ player here and there. Greatness doesn’t come all at once and what we’re doing right now is very special and I’ve really appreciated the process.

    I would prefer if we eventually get to the end goal (league champions, maybe one day CL champs) and stay there, than go all in one year and have nothing to show for it afterwards. Stability is key and the foundation with which we are now built on, is as strong as ever.

  145. TotalArsenal says:

    Hear, hear, HH. The basis is all good, the only thing I am worried about, at least a bit, is our soft underbelly in defence/DM area…. But let’s enjoy the ride and analyse the season in May. 🙂

  146. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Steve has used his surgical scalpel to fillet the 4-4-2 Diamond system…. Top stuff. 🙂

  147. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, even though there is a new post, I figured I’d comment about this here since it’ll be irrelevant to Steve’s article. The defense and DM obviously still need work, but patience is needed! I’m sure we’ll get it all sorted eventually, but at the current point in time, we can’t expect to go from where we were to a full fledged improved team. I am comfortable enough with the DM (Arteta and Flamini, Diaby hopefully if he is ever fit), but less comfortable with the lack of depth at CB if one goes down to injury.

    Of course, we COULD be much, much better if we bought a proper DM like Carvalho, but in time I’m confident we’ll get something done. Personally, a 3rd/4th CB is a higher priority for me in January.

  148. The Cockie Monster says:

    Nice story and well done on being a hero.
    This is the way I see it, you don’t have to read my comments or comment on them, just ignore them as no one is going to worry that you are condoning them by not commenting !.
    I`ve watched Jimmy Carr, Frankie Boyle, Jason Mansford and plenty more comedians tell savilesque jokes, with plenty of the audience being women and guess what, these programmes have been on TV, so maybe all the audiences, the TV companies and not forgetting the likes of the comedians I have mentioned must be paedos !.
    You have even started to widen the net saying that there cant be disabled jokes, I presume dementia is off the list as well !, not sure what a racist joke is ?, is it when I have joked about our aussie mates ?, they are a sensitive lot ! ( that`s a joke Prince, Alex and Oz ). I love watching Paul Chowdhry and he takes the piss out of white people and we love it !. Maybe you should put a list up as to what is acceptable in the humour stakes !. I`ve took the piss out of everyone on here in an endearing way and love it when I`m on the receiving end !. I`ve done wit, sarcasm, irony, satire, I`ve done my owns vids, I`ve even done some just using smileys, I`ve done Dr Glic and VCC has been on the receiving end of most, should we ask his opinion on that ?. I`ve tried to be original and imaginative and may sometimes hit the nerve with some, but, it`s always done in a genuine light hearted manner and you insult me by suggesting it`s meant in any other way !.
    Your comments on these matters in the past have left a suggestive accusation lingering in the air and have done the same to NB69 in your comment @16:58 !. I could go on , but it`s becoming tedious !.
    Honestly, you really need to chill out, others have said it in the past, you are making a mountain out of a mole hill !.
    Please, someone give him some drugs !.

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, I reckon we will go ‘soft’ in the double DM pivot and that both Ramsey and Jack will become our regular starters there….. Chambers will be developed as our hard man variant if required, and in the meantime either Flamini or Arteta will be played until RamShere is ready to take over.

  150. Gerry says:

    TGM – Thanks for the slightly more mature response. I will reply when Steve’s post has has a decent run.
    Perhaps then this subject matter can end.

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