A Win for Juve would be good for Football and offer Arsenal hope

Tomorrow night, I will be supporting Juventus.

Barcelona bought up Neymar and the ‘muncher’ in just one summer to add them to the best footballer I have ever seen play, and that includes Johan Cruijff. A club that was built around total football and boosted a phenomenally successful youth academy and strategy, is now just buying super starts left, right and centre. Why? Because it can. I understand that money is part of football and that will never change. But fairness and adventure are key components for the long-term survival of the game and both are badly missing, both in England and in Europe. No club should be allowed to field three of the world best in their attack if they are not all home grown imho. It is vulgar.

We have the old rich and the new rich and the former have become even more powerful with the introduction of Financial Fair Play (FFP). Bayern is so powerful in Germany that it can just brutally stretch its financial muscle to lure away the very best from its direct competitor. They killed the competition by taking Lewandowski and Gotze away from Dortmund, weakening their opponent and strengthening their own team in one go. What Klopp has done with Dortmund is phenomenal and should have formed the basis for long-term success, but as we know, he has left and that club’s future is uncertain now. It remains to be seen whether anyone can compete with Bayern for years to come.

Luckily, some clubs still defy the financial powerhouses and we all should rejoice in Atletico Madrid’s battle for another La Liga title last season. Simeone is the Spain equivalent of Jurgen Klopp and we have to hope he will stay put and fight the financial, power-corrupt beasts of Real and Barcelona for years to come.

In The Netherlands it is Ajax and PSV who will dominate the Eredivisie for years to come. Holland, like Germany, had an exciting period of multiple competition winners in the second part of the last decade, but the traditionally dominant teams have established themselves firmly at the top again. They do it by buying up the best players of their closest competitors: it deprives the latter of the talent to fight for the title and finances the former by reselling the best the Eredivisie has to offer. Strootman and now Memphis Depay last just a couple of season before they are sold on for many millions, and some of that money is used again to buy the next crop of talents…. It sucks.

Juventus – La Vecchia Signora – is of course a proper, established powerhouse, but Italian football has lost a lot of its dominance in Europe in the last decade. They don’t get the crowds and more and more top players prefer Spain, and often England or Germany, to Italy for the best years in their careers. However, Juventus has many supporters in Italy and the rest of the world and they have reinvented themselves after the dark years on 2006 and 2007, when they were relegated for alleged involvement in a football scandal and stripped of their 2005 and 2006 titles (won under Capello). They moved into 40,000+ stadium in 2011 and have dominated the national game ever since, with four titles in a row and doing the domestic double this year.

Juve have a very decent squad, and Pirlo is one of my favourite non-Arsenal players: despite his age he is still a joy to watch. Then there is the mega-talented Pogba, the energetic Lichtsteiner, the shrewd Patrick Evra and Carlos Tevez (who both know the secret of a long life…. is knowing when it is time to go), ancient Roman God Buffon and, hopefully soon to be Gunner, Arturo Vidal. They have bought well and have been able to keep hold of their players in recent years and, as far as I can judge, are managed properly now. Barcelona are of course the favourites, but would it not be good for football if the Old Lady takes the cup with the big ears home tomorrow? It would offer hope for Arsenal that the European powerhouses of Bayern, Barca and Real can still be beaten to the biggest club price in Europe.

By TotalArsenal.

127 thoughts on “A Win for Juve would be good for Football and offer Arsenal hope

  • Nice to see a post from you TA and very well done… The editor missed one at the bottom confusing “prize” and “price”…or maybe that was on purpose because they’re trying to buy it (the prize) at a very high price…

    I’d write more, but I wasted my blogging time on the previous post… Tomorrow during the match…

    Sorry, my friend, but I don’t see Juve in with much of a shout… Football is a strange game, however, and at least a few thought Villa were gonna beat us last Saturday… Who’s the ref and what sort of girls does he like… Gigi and Andrea P might have a niece or two… Put Calciopoli into your search engine…Not as bad as the straight up FIFA stuff, but none too savory, either…

    OK gotta run before the clock chimes in the new day (in England)…

  • Let’s talk more on football (and not with the endings of the previous blog post) @Steve, Gerry, 17HT & Cockie.

    CL Finals (Barcelona vs Juventus)
    Copa America 2015 in Chile (where Alexis & Ospina are involved)
    Euro U-21 Championship in Czech Rep. (where Gnabry, Chambers, Jenkinson are involved)
    Euro 2016 qualifiers in the summer (where many of our senior 1st team are involved)
    2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada (where some of our Arsenal Ladies squad are involved)


    On the CL Final, the Bianconeri are missing their lion-heart, Chiellini, in defence, though his likely replacement, Barzagli, is an experienced defender himself.
    Evra and Lichtsteiner will have to keep a lookout against Barcelona’s overlapping duo of D.Alves and Alba respectively.

    They will need help from the midfield, make no doubts about it. Pirlo, Vidal, Marchisio & Pogba are the key to victory (or defeat) for Juventus, this is my opinion. Should they negate the middle supply line to the Blaugrana’s front three, it will lay a good winning platform as the match goes on.

    Personally, I would issue Marchisio in the DM and at times, to move deeper into an unorthodox “liberio” role to help out their centre-backs, Vidal and Pogba in CM-R & CM-L as box-to-box runners and Pirlo in a free playmaker (deep or advanced) role (which he usually excels in) in midfield. Tevez to hassle Busquets and Morata to drop in between pockets of space behind enemy lines.

    Here’s a piece from the Guardian news on Juventus’s fortunes (w/o Chiellini) in the CL final.

  • It would be a blessing If Juve could derail Barca and a warning to the money Clubs that even their boundless pockets can’t necessarily guarantee an automatic trophy win. That said, it isn’t too likely as Barca have the 3 best attacking players in the world and Juve can’t even come close in that department.

  • Interesting line you take TA.
    I for one am glad if Chiellini isn’t playing because he is the persistent sly fouler that ever played the game.

    I shall watch the game in the hope it is an open game and won by the team who plays with ambition and skill to win it.

    As for the politics of the game, that is a post in itself. Barca, as I understand it are still banned from buying players until January. If anyone would like to confirm?
    Are we the only country in Europe that apply restriction to the area from which we can scout and recruit young talent? Unlike Spain, eh?
    I would have thought Wolfsburg are likely to be Bayern’s nearest rival, if they can recruit and not lose talent? When it comes to Bayern snapping their fingers and players come running. Is it just money, or the potential to win titles that make them such willing aides to the pyramid being ruled by one club?
    People accuse Formulae One as being boring because one team tends to dominate, albeit that can have shorter top of the shelf life than in other sports. But think how much more interesting the drivers championship would be if the grid was sorted by having the top 10 teams start at the back of the grid in reverse order, while the others places are decided by qualifying times?
    Apply similar thinking to football, and you could have the top team only able to one player over £5m, the second two players, and the third three. Then give them only the first two weeks of the TW to complete. The TW closes before the first league game, and the January one can be abolished, or the same rules apply?
    Of course there is no such thing as uniformity in Europe, except on the rules of the game.

    JM is quite right to point out this is quite a hectic summer, and a very short break in between. For example, I do believe in just 4 weeks time, West Ham play, let alone their pre-season stuff, actually play their first round of the Europa League qualifier. What sort of break do their players get? Two weeks in sunny Morecambe then back t’ mill?

    They really are squeezing the life out of the game. Arsenal have an Asia tour to fit in before the Community Shield, and the league fixtures are out in a fortnight!!! This on top off what JM has listed, where many of our players are involved.

    I predict attendance levels will fall this coming season …

    I have Derby day to enjoy.

  • I propose a win for playing football (from either Barcelona or Juventus) will be good advertisement for the sport.

  • Well written TA nice to have you back in the saddle. All those Scottish midges will drive you indoors anyway.

    I am with you on Juve, hope they can do the necessary. It is a sad fact that football is now run by money. You can almost guarantee the top four in the premiership next season. It is also sad to see so many pre-paid for seats empty at The Emirates………. Sign of the times I huess.. Still I digress. Looking forward to seeing Pirlo tonight, what a fantastic player, despite his age, he seems to do everything in slow motion.

  • Morning FFGs 🙂

    Am watching the cup final again, just finished first half. Brilliant midfield play with Ramsey, Santi and Ozil absolute powerhouses. The goal was special too and came at the right time. Loved our calmness in the Storm we created. That was one of the best halves I’ve seen us play in a big game ever. Wow.🎆

  • Wolfsburg might challenge, Gerry. They look closest to B right now. Lewandowski and Gotze were winning prizes with Dortmund and there was potential for more under Klopp, but they still went for money.

  • Playing football with buying the world best players means little to me, JM. I like football to be a sport build on fair competition and a sense of adventure. The CL will most likely belong to Barca, Real, Bayern for the next ten years, which is boring.

  • TA,
    I view this CL final as a neutral, with no bias to either Barcelona or Juventus. Both clubs are likely to dominate their respective leagues for the next ten years (along with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSG), which is boring to the rest as well.

    I will hope to be entertained by the footballing side of matters in this CL match-up, regardless of which of the sides have more money-in-the-bank (which we have no control on).

  • Not to bad thanks TA. Hopefully summer is on the way to make up for the loss o f football. Haven’t been to Norfolk since I helped sink a 38 foot hire boat many years ago on the broads. May be that they have forgotten now?

  • Excellent post Total…

    Yep, it’s Forza Juve for me too…

    Football has always been about money, the richer clubs buying the best players and having the best teams and winning the most honours generally…

    It’s just that the sums involved are enormous now, to such a degree that it kills competition…

    I doubt that I’ll ever again see a club like Nottingham Forest or Derby County win the top division in England…

  • Thanks Allezkev 🙂

    So true re winning the PL. Same goes for CL: the likes Villa, Feijenoord or even Porto winning it again is highly unlikely going forward. That cannot be right. The one hope we have is the lack of top quality managers. Real going for BeneathUs tells us something.

  • Nice post TA but i’m behind Barca tonight, don’t get me wrong i’m not a great supporter of how they assembled their team as you have highlighted but the football on the pitch in the end is what i want to prevail. Fast, tenacious forward drive with an abundance of skill and technical ability – hahaha i could be describing Messi simply on his own lol, but the whole team plays with the same attitude just like their man we’ve just nicked Sanchez. For football beauty sake i hope Barca do the business 🙂
    Oh i had better say i don’t count Busquets in that description, i find that bloke to be a diving, cheating dick head most of the times ive seen him play.

    Gerry, i left you a little response on the last post chap 🙂

  • No TA all retired now. Still have lots of friends there though. Halfway through writing my memoirs. Speaking of being a hooligan, I spent an interesting night in an Arsb prison on a triple murder charge in the US. Turned out I share my name with someone on the Fbi’s 10 most wanted list

  • Incidentally by chance I came across a documentary the other evening. I think it was called something along the lines of Truly Madly Wembley. It follows groups of Ársenal and Villa fans during the build up and the game. Quite entertaining for Arsenal fans. One of the Villa supporters was getting married and after the speeches a screen was lowered so they could watch the match at the reception. II share their love of the game, but I would have been castrated had I suggested it. It’s worth a look but the main reason I mention it, is it follows 2 cabbies one Ársenal and one Spud. As the match nears the end the Ársenal guy is celebrating a bet he had, when Giroud netted the fourth and blew his bet. Have we unmasked Proudgooner lol

  • I just won a bet with a 3-1 Barca win with the last kick of the game, this time it wnet my way instaed of Giroud killing the bet. Funny old game as they say lol
    Well done Barca, the front 3 were the difference , great side, hats off!

  • TV5 just got a CL medal lol
    You could see him laughing himself, funny s”””t man.

  • TA,
    I we want to to win that cup under Wenger and of course we do.
    Then he needs to buy a BIG world class player or 2 this summer..
    I dont even know a player of the top of my head that we could buy that can match any of Barca front 3 but i believe he is out there and we could really do with him.
    I am not sure about Barca keeper.

  • Best team won but Juve could have pushed through after equaliser. Ultimately, Pirlo could not impose himself anymore and Buffon should have done better with the Messi shot, and that was the difference (besides the rediculous attacking line up of B, of course).

  • “The Catalans are rattled” 😆 never mind TA 🙂

    btw I don’t get your harsh judgement of Barca’s ethics TA, especially if you are singling out there youth system promotion in particular as the cause. I saw six players, more than half on the pitch today who came through La Masia;

    If so you had better take a look at our own “ethics” 🙂

  • We have got a lot of goals in our team, but we dont have 122 goals out of our front 3 mate.
    That is the difference that wins the CL.
    I know me and you are on the same page on that 1 matey.

  • front three all the way PG
    Sanchez playing the Neymar role on the left
    Giroud, Welbeck, Theo or Podolski in the middle doing the suarez role
    new signing on the right 🙂 – a left footer to cut in just like Messi or Bale etc, gotta be someone out there 🙂

  • I like the sound of that ,i like the thought of Sanchez–Walcott–Bale. I believe Welbeck could do it under Wenger but next season will be important for him i know he will improve on his goals for sure and all dept of his game.

    Orrrr maybe left ??—-Sanchez—-Walcott.
    But yes matey a deadly front 3 would be very nice.

  • Your right TA,
    But sadly that is what Real and Barca do, Bourinho knows it and will to try to emualit so to win that in a way we must.???

  • Vulgar? Some might say its vulgar to buy Sanchez when you already have Ozil no?
    I suppose it all depends on each persons perception that allows us the high ground to judge other peoples actions? 😕

    I would think they asked themselves how are we going to create the best front three in football, we already have one out of three, ah yes Neymar and Suarez that will do nicely – first season win the treble 😆 not a bad decision i suppose.

  • Load of bollocks PG. We don’t need that many goals at all. Pogba next to Ramsey or Wlshere in the middle will a huge difference though. And Coquelin is in my team as well btw.

  • TA,
    I share your pain and worry the way football money has ruined local football player for local club mentality. That is why i love Stevie G a local lad playing for his local team that he loves, there is no loyalty these days and money has done that.
    I was shocked to hear that Suarez while at Ayax never played in the CL a big club like that in a big football country like that surprised me.

  • TA, just like me and PG are talking about wanting a front three for ourselves here at Arsenal and to make it happen i would love to see us buy Bale, others want to see Lacazette etc but most will want someone big at least. That will be Ozil, Sanchez and one more big name probably, along with players like Theo and Ramsey, Wilshere Cazorla etc – Vulgar no?

    PG, yes mate either way round it would be deadly!! 🙂 an Arsenal front three, the thing of dreams baby!! 🙂

  • Pogba was the 1 that impressed tonight Vidal did not for me he looked to risky and rash but he is still very good and i liked his battle ways. him and Maschrino and great players.

  • “Alright Steve,whatever mate.” – hey boss man, where did that come from? lol 🙂

  • Steve,
    For sure and have we not suffered enough over them 8 years selling all our best players we deserve to get some world class players back.

  • I know what you are saying TA, it is very unfair that Barca have 3 of the best 4 strikers in the world in there team, it is sad for world football, that is why we need to beat them .

  • to right PG 🙂

    I tell you what, with Sanchez in the middle and Theo on the right as you suggested then that left hand spot might just see one of either OX, Silva or Gnabry flourish 🙂

  • The only thing Wenger will be looking at is how he can get more goals from the right, PG. Ollie and Alexis are dead certs, Ozil, Ramsey, Jack can get 30 PL goals between them next season and so we need 15 plus goals from the right. Maybe it is Theo, but for me he is the alternative to Ollie; maybe it is Ox, but something is still missing to see him push through. Maybe it is Wellington, or maybe Wenger will buy another gem.

  • haha, yep i think he just had enough of trying to get his point through my thick head and thought fuck it, enough of you cretin “whatever mate” lol – i can’t argue with that 🙂

  • Of Gnabry he is going to be big.
    In Arsene i trust.
    I just want Wenger and our club to lift the CL cup, and its Barca that we have to beat , of of we can with our team now, but we wont be fav’s .
    We are close Wenger needs to think can the young 1’s step up fast or do i need to but big once or twice more imo. 🙂

  • PG, we have to beat Barca, Bayern and Real…. Who will buy more and more of the very best every summer without any restrictions. Who won the CL in the last five years, and who will win it again in the next five years…

  • I would of loved to have watched that game sitting next to Wenger and listen to his views and be able to know hat he is thinking on how he would beat Barca and get to lift that cup.
    He is sitting there now planning just like we are.

  • I know mate , we are on the same page there.
    But Wenger has big bulky pockets at the moment, if andone can catch them up it is him.
    I am hppy to just see what he does to be fair.
    I can see by what you have said that you believe we are close to being there about as well 🙂
    Be nice for the good guys to come out on top ay.?
    Keep the faith.

  • PG, I reckon CL is far way for us, but, of course, never say never. First we have to win the PL to build real belief and that will be hard enough. One season at a time. OSAAT!

  • Good morning all.

    TA, I think the CL final was a good advert for football, as both sides produced.

    It was the attack what won it, and Barca’s front three are a joy to watch. It also carries a warning to Arsenal in that it is very important that the players compliment each other, and enjoy each others game.
    I was particularly impressed with Neymar, who came with a hefty price tag for one so young, and struggled for a while. This was the best I’ve seen him play. Certainly over a full 95 minutes.
    Of course it helps when the other two are who they are, but that does not mean that anybody could slip in there and be as effective

    Just taking you back to your review of our FA Cup game TA. You admit they played well with Theo, Alexis, Mesut, Aaron and Santi doing their stuff. This was a team effort that worked well.
    It would be grossly unfair to make the comparison with Juve, when they brought on Llorente, to say he made a big difference, as they were fighting an uphill battle. But I don’t see that Olly would have been an improvement on Theo in our game?

    So, like you, I am a little nervous when rumours fly around about certain strikers, as I think we could lose a lot of cohesion.

    On show last night, Pogba certainly caught the eye. But if he moves it will be a massive fee. So not one for us to bite their arm off. RM might though?

    However, if we are going down the pass and move road, then we will need some body beyond Theo, and preferably that can compliment Giroud. Reading Higuain’s profile, who has been linked, I saw ‘ his mobility can be questioned’ I thought I hope we look elsewhere then.
    And loh! We are.
    Still on the theme of incomers, I was pleased a bid went in for Kondogbia. Possibly not high enough to get him, but at least it is the right way to go. If we hang around waiting to see if MS is going to United, we ought to get our nose in on a second choice. The trouble with having a list of options is knowing when is the right moment to move down the list.

    Back to the game. In the opening few minutes Barca were caught cold. But then the very neat first goal that had all the essence of a team that understands each others play. Ball going to just where the next player will arrive. Reminiscent of a Wilshere goal last season. The one with the Giroud back heel flick, I think?
    Amazingly it was still 1-0 at half time, despite numerous opportunities.
    I missed a bit of the second half, and despite the score being 2-1, Juve to their credit were still in there. Neymar deserved a goal for his efforts, and the dubious decision to disallow a non deliberate hand ball goal, did not stop him. He took his final minute opportunity really well.

    So the season has ended. Apart from Under 20’s final game – later today? Hayden and Akpom both got the full 90 minutes against China, but England struggled to keep the 2 goal lead needed to get in the 3rd 4th play-off place.
    That game will be against USA, so will will have the bonus of Zelalem playing for them.

    The Under 21’s play on Thursday, only a friendly though. Warm up act to the seniors playing Ireland at the week end I think?

    The Womens World Cup started yesterday, with the hosts Canada winning 1-0.
    I could go on with JM’s list from earlier, but needless to say, those who are desperate for a fix will find one somewhere. Otherwise it is the TW …

  • Glad you enjoyed it, Gerry. You know my stance by now. The CL is no longer a competition and I will watch it with less and less interest next year and beyond.

    Ollie is as safe as houses and I don’t bother with the TW as you know. So nervous? Hahaha. 🙂

  • To illustrate my point: if Juve had bought Neymar or the Muncher, rather than the Catalans vulgarly buying them both last summer, we would have had a fairer game last night.

  • I think a fairer point might have been is say, if Athelico bought both, would Barca have been in the final?

  • Hello, people! 🙂

    It was nice to read your piece, TA. 🙂 A bit of a refreshment in this warm days. Couldn’t find time to comment earlier.

    When it comes to Juventus, with all due respect to their quality and a lot of classy players (The Vidal One, The Pearl-o One, The Not-So-Much-Of-Bufoon One…), they’ve been dominating in Serie A in the same way Bayern have been doing it in Germany with a glimpse of Chelsea (a lot of players on loan or in co-ownership that play in Serie A like Domenico Berardi who has been regularly molesting Milan). The thing is, Juventus have been known for their brilliant business for 20 years. They got themselves Pogba and Pirlo for nothing, Tevez for 9 million pounds and Morata turned out to be a real gem. They have forked out a pretty large sum on the likes of Dybala though – very Bayern-esque. Their rivals are miles behind them – Inter and Milan are going through their post-Moratti and post-Berlusconi respective revivals, Roma would find their way to come second even if they were the only team in the league (with 39-year-old Totti still scoring goals and two top midfielders – Pjanić and Nainggolan – desperately needing a new challenge), Rafa Benitez hasn’t learned to play the league with Napoli and Lazio can get a team good enough for Top 3 (Ravel Morrison is about to join them; Felipe Anderson and Keita look like top-players, De Vrij has been excellent since the arrival) but the title-challenge is unlikely to happen.

    I must admit I didn’t expect Barcelona to have such a brilliant year. First of all, signing Vermaelen as a defensive reinforcement was a sign of desperation. Luis Enrique had a terrible spell at Roma a few years back. And yet they did it. All eyes are set on their attacking trio but their defence has been sharp as well. How they will cope with Alves’ and Xavi’s departure while this transfer-embargo is still on, I don’t know. They had some luck with injuries as well as Messi, Neymar and Suarez were fully fit since Suarez’ return in the middle of October while their opponents in Champions’ League had gone through a crisis before facing Barcelona (Bayern were without Robben, Ribery and Alaba, PSG without half of their team, City were without Yaya in the first leg).

    One big thing about their success is Messi’s open nature when it comes to new stars and their desire to subject to the team’s needs. A good example was their thrashing of Granada (8:0). Suarez was on a hat-trick and he was fouled when he was ready to pull the triger just before Barca scored – it would have been a penalty, a chance for Suarez’ hat-trick and a red card for Granada defender – but Suarez was happy with his team-mates’ goal. Ronaldo wouldn’t have been.

  • @admir,

    Barcelona also added in Jérémy Mathieu from Valencia, backing up Piqué & Mascherano in CB. Bartra also has his fair share of outings.

    Iniesta (starting captain of the night) has taken the baton from Xavi. Rakitić is playing regularly in CM alongside Busquets. Sergi Roberto & Rafinha are given more opportunities after promotion from their B-squad.

    Martín Montoya & Douglas should battle out the starting RB spot when D.Alves leaves.

    Gerard Deulofeu returns from loan this summer.

    Sergi Samper & Munir El Haddadi are some of their brighter prospects in the B-squad.

  • TA,
    Nothing lasts forever.
    Barca, Real and Bayern are indeed winning everything at the moment. Rapping every other club of its talent and weakening other teams and getting stronger.
    But you only have to look at Man United to know the bubble can pop very fast .
    The front 3 might not work together so well in the next season.?? Messi may fancy a new challenge , we know he likes Arsenal but the price would be just to big ness he ran his contract down, point is it can change.
    Fergie. 1 man who would have thought that changing 1 man could change the fortune of a club so much ? But it did , well to be fair i think we did know that would happen. At Barca it is not the manager who brings success but simply the players.
    Dortmund without Kloop? You do worry for them and know that Bayern will have it very easy again next season..
    Even when we sold Henry to Barca that front 3 was not bad and i remember them scoring 100+ goals. :/
    Henry—Messi—Ibra far to much for most teams to handle.

  • TA,
    Not to mention Paris St German, before we become to synical , even if we are right to be lol

  • Fair and good points, Admir. Yes Juve dominate in their own league at the moment but that is not related to the power of money Imo.

  • Late to the discussion, but it should be no surprise that I think it’s possible to be cynical (very cynical, in fact) w/o losing hope over one’s club…esp. if that club is Arsenal… To repeat many of my posts over the years…Current Arsenal management (which serves at the pleasure of its owner and board) is all about solidifying our spot as a challenger to the biggest clubs in the PL and Europe w/o risking the future for the present…It’s exactly the opposite of the clamor (clamour?) you get from the Piers Morgans of the world who want it all now and/or question the “sporting passion” of the powers that be at the club…Also expressed as Not. Good. Enough. around any single disappointing result or less than the quadruple…

    Barca had a moment of vulnerability in yesterday’s match but were clearly the better team. Hoarding good players and dispensing with morality (buying a biter, doing enough that was illegal to take down the previous club president and earn a ban on transfers…) will do that for you. Everybody should also remember that it’s always tougher in England where, more like we do over here in the States, the owners are banding together to make ALL PL clubs more competitive through profit sharing in the TV contract… Long term, a sense of competition or at least a better sense that the playing field isn’t completely rigged keeps the fans interested. England, IMO is way ahead of the continental leagues–in this regard at least…

    As such, I’m not quite sure how people can fail to believe that Juve are bossing things and are likely using “off-pitch” influence when they’ve been sanctioned in the past for such practices. They ARE the money club in that league (at the moment) and the best Italian talent will come their way. They’ve done well taking on talented but tortured players (Pogba and Tevez) who wore out their welcomes in England. Shopping in the bargain bin (like we’ve done in grabbing Ozil and Alexis from the Spanish giants…) is just good business, however… Credit must be given for blending youth with the aged and local plus Int’l talent. Bravo, I say and, in finishing runners up they were the best thing to happen in the CL (with Monaco next and PSG upsetting Chavs getting the bronze)…

    So, all told, it’s easy to be depressed by the way big money (and “governing bodies”) boss around the more responsible organizations in football (and all elements of global capitalism) but that’s the world we live in and Arsenal are (mostly) making all the right moves…

    In my opinion, of course. 😀

    If we can put together a better early season, keep the support at least more or less behind the team, and have the right guys fit next spring, I see no reason we cannot at least give a scare to the richer clubs who’ve done all that hoarding and illegal sh*t. We probably don’t have a real chance to win the biggest trophies, but If we can get into some big head to head matches, our opponents might at least have to drop some Pounds or Euros into the refs’ laundry bin…

  • On that last point HT, I think it may be difficult to get a good start with this shortened summer break. The one thing that Barca seemed to do, and Admir touched upon it, was the fitness regime that the new management put in place really paid off. Many of their players played more than 40 games, and some more than 50, and so used a very small number of players for the bulk of their games. Now clearly our league is more competitive, beyond the top 5 or 6, but Chelsea did similar right up until they secured enough points. Then again, that smash and control play probably helped? I think if we are going to play like we did in the last two games, proper rotation will be key.

    Last night I watch both the Under 20’s games and the contrast was stark.
    England played USA, who only had 4 subs to put on the bench, included in the departures was Zelalem unfortunately. Not only that, they only squeezed into the 3rd-4th place play off on goal difference, thanks to France dishing out hefty defeat to their rivals on the final group match.

    England came into the tournament unbeaten, but ony just rescued a point from their first game, albeit against the finalists, thanks to a super goal by Akpom, shortly after coming on as sub. They lost the second after scoring first, and struggled to win their last game to the team that finished bottom of their group.
    Every time I saw England play they looked like a team of very good players. The trouble was, they never looked like a team. Which is surprising, given the run they had coming into this tournament. It was not that they did not work hard either, and their were some very good individual performances. But as a collective it did not seem to work. Also, this being a World Championship for this age group, many were not that technically gifted. Nor were they that creative. In the second game they could hardly get Akpom into play. They played better in this last game, where they were allowed water breaks because of the heat, but that broke up the game into four quarters and disrupted any momentum. Credit the USA for fixing what wasn’t working and keeping at it. However, it took two controversial penalties to win the game 2-1. Particularly the second one, where the defender had turned to face his own goal as he was falling down. But that was when the ball was struck. The shot came under him, hit his leg and hit his outstretched arm? Outstretched as you do when falling … Penalty???

    Contrast that with the Final, France v Morocco.
    France won all their games in style, opening with a heavy defeat of the Netherlands, who were also fancied to do well, and continued in imperious form in their other two games.
    Morocco should have beaten England in their opener, but missed chance after chance, and only drew. They needed a win in their last game to get through to the final, but made hard work of it.
    So a one sided final predicted, and a French walk over?
    Not a bit of it. For about an hour Morocco had the French on the ropes. They scored after 3 minutes, and took that lead into the second half. They also looked like doubling their lead any time soon at the start of the second too. One brilliant save, and another dipping shot hitting the crossbar. It was at this point I was thinking, if Arsenal want a young reserve team for the 2016/17 season, sign this entire team up! They were that good 😀
    Brilliant in every way that England were not. Their excellent players played for the team, and each seem to know just where each other was was. Moreover, they had more than one game plan. At this point the French were a bewildered second best.
    But once again missed chances was going to cost them, and largely of their own doing. One, where the goalie came out for a corner, realised he was going to get there and got caught in ‘no man’s land’. For once, France did not balloon this over the bar. The came from a Moroccan defender slipping when attempting to clear up field when all other players were forward. The result was the French striker, Habdan, nipped in and scored. He had scored a 40yard screamer in the match before, but foolishly marred his reputation by running straight to the Moroccan fans, who were in the majority, to celebrate. What followed was a rain of plastic bottles, one hitting a French player who needed treatment. To the credit of the leading Moroccan scorer, who went straight over to calm the crowd.
    When play restarted, the French had now something to defend, and they defended much better now. Despite that, the north Africans never stopped trying. There was a brief period of hope near the end, when the aforementioned Habdan got a yellow for a needless foul, and a surprise RED card, as nobody had realised he got booked for his earlier celebration, least of all the player himself. Replays did show the ref issuing the card as Habdan ran past him.
    However, very similar to the CL game, Morocco threw everything forward, and a breakaway in the final minute of extra time and France scored again. Final score, 3-1

    If it wasn’t for the fact that the Moroccan team are preparing their team for the next Olympics, which is an Under 23 event, and all their players involved play in their domestic league, I would say two or three would handle themselves very well in the EPL. Moreover, when the Olympics come around, they are a very good bet to win it.

    It was a great game to watch and I would not sully it by making any comparison to what followed a lot closer to home. 👿
    However, their work ethic and team effort, along with undoubted high skill level do make interesting stuff for the way Arsenal need to proceed?
    And in keeping with the needs of the questions asked in the post’s title, this was a very good advert for the future of the game, barring one aberration from another talented player.

    And that is my digression for the day.

  • “newsflash” in transfers (non-Arsenal) round-up & related around Europe (early 2nd week June 2015):

    1) Danny Ings (CF) from Burnley to Liverpool (free)
    2) Tom Cleverley (CM) from Man. Utd to Everton (free)
    3) Fabian Schär (CB), from Basel to Hoffenheim for £4.2M. (previously fee not announced)
    4) Kevin Wimmer (CB), from Cologne to Tottenham for £6.2M.
    5) Kyriakos Papadopoulos (CB), from Schalke 04 to Bayer Leverkusen for £5.7M. (from loan to perm. deal)

    Aymeric Laporte (to 2019) signed new deal with Atheltic Bilbao.

    *England & Scotland: 9th June to 1st September (transfer window; before 6pm, 1st September)
    France, Germany, Spain & Italy: 1st June to 31st August
    Netherlands: 11th June to 02nd September
    Turkey & Denmark: 11th June to 1st September
    Russia (tentatively): 17 June to 6th September

  • So, Liverpool snap up their second Bosman.

    Milner and now Ings…

    Could be seen two ways?

    Liverpool are either doing some smart business.
    Liverpool are feeling the financial pinch?

  • Hi Gerry, interesting comments above from you.

    In a similar vein I’ve been watching the current FIFA U-20 tournament where Zelalem has been pulling the strings in an attacking midfield role for USA. He’s a very skilful player, with great close control and sublime passing, and I’d say that he’s a bit like Ozil in that he looks brilliant when the team are doing well (beating New Zealand) but the game can pass him by a bit when his team are getting smashed (like against Ukraine). He looks good enough now that he could do a job for the Arsenal whenever Ozil needs a game off.

  • DavyDavy, I agree 100% on Zelalem’s passing skills. He not only sees the pass, he can execute them with sublime ease. That is very much an Ozil trait.
    However, I cannot help think that in your comment, there was a backhanded slap at Ozil? When you say ‘…and I’d say that he’s a bit like Ozil in that he looks brilliant when the team are doing well (beating New Zealand) but the game can pass him by a bit when his team are getting smashed (like against Ukraine)? Errr, that is more the case of armchair supporters not seeing the whole picture regards Ozil, because the cameras follow the ball. The stats always show that the distance he runs every game is always high compared to most of his team mates. That is him moving into spaces, or creating spaces for others, and all the other off-the-ball stuff that goes unnoticed. But the media like to portray it differently?

    It is a team game, and I think Zelalem can suffer, like Akpom in the game I mentioned above, with the inability of others not able to get them involved. That can be excusable at youth level for a variety of reasons. A lot of it is down to how much continuity there is in the team at this level. The best team of that age group in the EPL, indeed, the Youth Cup winners was Chelsea. But their squad was pretty consistent. Unlike Arsenal’s Under 18s. Here, the key ones were pushed up into the Under 21’s, resulting in numerous changes in almost every game, made worse by key injuries. Even the Under 21’s lost players to the first team, mostly as unused subs, so those within that age group, 17-20, they never got consistent time together either. Rubens Loftus-Cheek did not get a start in Chelsea’s first team in the league until the title was won. Overall I think only a couple made the bench in the whole season.
    I am not saying this is a criticism of Arsenal, more a statement between the relative strengths between the two squads. However, watching the development of the above RLC in their last few games the lad looks like fulfilling the talent he had shown in the youth games. I come back to the Moroccan team I described above, where that whole group is being kept together for the Olympics further down the line. If that develops young players to be better individuals, or just a better team than their contemporaries remains to be seen.

    Getting back to Zelalem. At international level like this Toulon tournament, he has the opportunity to play with a better than average team mates, who were mostly 2 years older than him, but also capable of seeing spaces to run into. He did remarkably well to come off the bench and make such a difference in their opening game, with very little preparation. Then to follow it up with that sublime display against NZ shows a player of real potential. I missed their last group game so I don’t know the circumstances, but I can guess he was probably marked out of the game to some extent, because of what went on before? It is not often a video get shown of a player’s EVERY touch, rather than just the best bits, but that is what came out of the NZ game. Even the passes that did come off you could see Zelalem’s intentions, but there were very few that didn’t come off, and the others were truly amazing.
    However, as far as his future goes with Arsenal, I think it will be at least another season before he can step into Ozil’s shoes. Hopefully though, with the new signings that are coming in, our reserve team may have a more settled look about it. Yes, that will mean less opportunities to play league games, as the first team will be strengthened(hopefully), but the COC and possibly early rounds of the FA Cup will give them an opportunity to strut their stuff, and not just Gedion either. If we can avoid the injury plies ups of previous seasons, I think the rotation will come from the 18 who occupy the first team and bench, and few ‘young’ youngsters will get a look in, and those that do will be expected to be ready to play at the top level.

    Now I have always been wanting the quality youth players to get opportunities to play, but the way I see it going this coming season, the elite among them will have to be very very good, given the club’s ambitions. But that may not be a bad thing longer term. I would rather have them get regular games playing at their appropriate age level, than step up a grade and get crushed, or step up to the first team bench and not see the light of day.

    Of course, some of the better known ones will no doubt go out on loan. the number will largely depend on how the first team looks at the end of the TW. Incomings and departures will be equally important, and sadly, I think many of the early casualties will happen very shortly when a lot of very promising youngsters will be released. I am not going to name names here, it would be unfair to do so from my armchair perspective, but this season will be brutal for many. Those that remain will know they are going to have to put the work in if they are not to be the next in line to leave.

  • “newsflash” in transfers (non-Arsenal) round-up & related around Europe (2nd week June 2015):

    (1) Sami Khedira (DM) from Real Madrid to Juventus (free)

    Dani Alves (to 2017) signed new deal with Barcelona.

    Slaven Bilic appointed West Ham’s manager.


    2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup, in Canada:

    Big score lines wins for Germany (10-0 vs Ivory Coast); Norway (4-0 vs Thailand) & Cameroon (6-0 vs Ecuador). Holders Japan won (1-0 vs Switzerland), USA won (3-1 vs Australia).

    Brazil, Spain, France & England play next in their respective group matches.

  • Busy, busy these days but I like a little warm up writing before working on my more critical e-mails or (worse) phone calls… It’s only 8 in the morning here in California…

    JM, cheers for the updates about players moving…It makes it far simpler than trying to decipher the lies, er, headlines, I see in the NewSnow reports… 😀

    Davy & Gerry… Thanks for the scouting reports on young guns… I’m not sure Davy was slating Ozil there, but just in case, I guess, eh Gerry… 😀

    The whole “debate” on Ozil makes me think… In the past, i.e., when I was younger, I watched sports so that I could play them better. Yes, I watched some sports I knew I would never play but there was always a cross-over in terms of athleticism and playmaking…

    These days, with the internet, it’s sooooo much more about armchair narrative and things can get very critical very quickly with little (apparent) respect for the effort and craft the players bring, not to mention stuff that happens OFF the ball. Ozil is “lazy” (even though he ALWAYS clocks more meters than anybody…) or games pass him by. Anybody who watches him knows that he’s ALWAYS working off the ball to present targets and stretch defenses. Going the other way, he may not relish the leg-breaking challenge fans seem to crave, but he’s not bad (at all) in herding the other team’s play into areas where others can make the challenge. Like Gerry says, that’s team play. As the pundits might say, however,…”He’s not the guy who’s gonna put the team on his shoulders and carry it over the line…”

    Which leads me to Alexis’ statements about it being a disappointing season and my observation that he’s a great guy to carry a team but I wonder how far can that go. In the first half of the season with big injuries (Giroud, Ozil, Theo, Ramsey) not to mention a seriously wobbly defense…He DID more or less keep us in shouting distance of the top 4. As the better players came back and his scoring dropped off he had a LOT more trouble imposing himself on games. Everybody pins the home loss vs Monaco on Giroud (and Ozil or the BFG or Ospina…) but Alexis was in there too. Again, it’s a team game (played in a funnel–to get to the opposing goal…) and the careful observer can see when the minor characters are not doing what’s necessary to make the team function. Personally, like Alexis, I think the main group is on the right track and we just need some luck with injuries and maybe some additional competition for places in a few spots… Keep a bit of belief, keep working the system and good things will happen…Maybe…

    Anyhow, no football for me today but this evening I’ll watch the narrative in (one of ) the game(s) I play(ed) between the big stars (LeBron and Steph) but with a strong eye to the little men and screen setters or guys who have to make the open shots (or other plays…) when everybody is watching the main man. So far there have been two overtimes so margins are tight… Will it be all about the “star” or will the better team prevail?… My bet is on the latter…

    Party on… 😀

  • Nice one TA

    I wanted Barca to win 3-1 TA. Not because I like them or for some weird Rain Man fixation on the numbers 3-1, just that it pocketed me a nice £580 on a correct score. My debt collector will be delighted. The last time I saw him he was threatening me with emotional violence.

    Theres nothing worse than emotional violence TA. I dont mind getting a kicking, but showing me images of fat American tourists going hungry because of a lack of McDonalds within Buckingham Palace brings a tear to the eye.

    Neither club deserved victory. Juventus are a bunch of bribing, cheating, half wits who think there something special. The truth is the only thing special about them is that they gave fascist salutes during the war and then bottled it when an angry Greek approached with a kebab skewer. In the seventies and eighties Juventus were one of the first clubs with a sugar daddy and became so arrogant they behaved like a bunch of mad Roman Emperors with a grape and arse fixation.

    Barca are currently bared from transfer activity due to a rather nasty tale of child trafficking. The insidious twats have there own embryo factory were they are attempting to produce endless clones of Messi. The aim is for a Messi 11 to win 100 European Cups and to destabilise society by giving 11 Messi post match interviews. This should bore us all to death with tales of how Messi woke up, had cornflakes for breakfast, watched a bit of TV he didn’t understand, spent the evening playing on a bouncy castle, and then went to bed having a confusing dream about approaching some girl but messi-ng it up.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  • Well, after waiting months for even a snippet from Terry, andup he pops in the inbetween season , the ‘intertrannny’ if you like, when very little is going on and wades in with a blockbuster.

    What I want to know is, who supplied you with the power tools?

    Not so much as the ‘Ghost o’ the Thirties’, more a stab at the ’39-45′, the racketeering of the ’70’s, and a dip into the future for good measure .. 😀

    Nice to have you back TMHT

  • Be careful Terry, constable Gerry of the fun police may have you up on liable charges for reinforcing some notion that all Catalonian’s are child traffickers and that you hate their people you racist bastard lol.
    Mind you it looks like he overlooked the offense this time, probably because in his warped mind Catalonian’s are far less likely to actually be child traffickers so a joke can be implied and easily accepted whereas mention Ozil with the same joke trafficking subject matter and oh boy watch the fuck out mate lol. He certainly does hold a heavy preconception that all Islamists could well be child traffickers and so their connection to this at any level (even if not contemplated or implied by whoever writes it) will not be taken as a joke and should be condemned with prejudice enough that it may just hide his own guilt for making the link in the first place. 😆

    I could be wrong, it may just be that the person of subject was Messi and not his lover boy Ozil so their was no need to make an extreme jump to defend him lol – you watch he’ll try and get me on being homophobic now lol

    hahaha Gerry’s going to love me when he reads this in the morning lol

    Morning my little dumpling of happiness 🙂

  • Nice troll there for the old fella, F11ngers… He might take the bait, ya never know…. You should look into the archives to see his “pasts” with el Cockster… You ARE trying to get the site shut down for the Summer, it seems…TA, what’s the latest plan?…

    On the other hand…I keep writing that only AN IDIOT would be unable to appreciate what Ozil brings to the team…yet you never bite… 😦

    Oh well… 😀

    Indeed, nice to see Terry around these parts and good to know that he’s able to keep the emotional violence at bay… I think he’s suggesting Cockie’s remedy to take the Arsenal up to the next level–Uzzy In! Gotta get some agents and refs on some fresh rubles if we truly wish to compete… In the meantime, a note to any of our targets that they need to bite an opponent might help Gazidis in keeping fees down… Somebody surely gave the memo to Arturo Vidal who looked like he was trying to get himself sent off in the final…Alas, using only your head tattoos and your kicking legs just isn’t enough when the other team’s gonna win anyhow…

    For the people actually watching football or keeping abreast of the transfer stuff, keep us in the loop otherwise it’s just us trolls and our fish… Where’s the :guy eating popcorn: emoticon (emoji?) when you need him?…


  • Ah yes, I could watch Ozil play all day long – for me he’s the finest player in the Premier League bar none. I haven’t had the good fortune to see him in a live match but in games like the FA Cup Final he can be majestic both on and off the ball. But it seems to me that his vision, running, passing and technical virtuosity all rely on the team having possession of the ball to get the most out of them and I saw this with Zelalem playing for USA. It’s not that he wasn’t excellent against Ukraine, just that the opportunities to damage the opposition were greatly reduced.

    Gerry’s right in that nothing beats the live viewing of a game to see the true quality of a player. In this U-20 World Cup I’m so lucky to be able to go to one of the quarter-finals this weekend, and the final plus 3rd/4th play-off the following weekend. I’m hoping I’ll get another chance to see Gedion in action but there are also plenty of other superb young players in this tournament that I’d just love to see move to the Arsenal.

  • HT, Terry provided the hook (trafficking reference) and i baited that baby as quickly as i could 😆
    It was a team effort really, now we can sit back in our chairs and wait for a bite 🙂

    I would respond to your Ozil trolling HT but i don’t have any ammunition tbh, i only saw him come into screen shot once this season when he did a side foot gem of a flick to Giroud, the rest of the time he was in magical Ozil shadow land of non existence. So the only reference i have for him is a good one which doesn’t bode well for my arguments, plus i’m told he runs around a lot so there’s that, i hear Mo Farah has some free time atm maybe we could sign him up, he could probably run around even more than Ozil – automatic awesomeness 😆
    hahaha that’s the best i could do mate lol, its late over here and i spent all my effort baiting Gerry lol

    Is Ozil playing for Germany when they play USA today? if he is i will endeavour to note down points from that game as to why i still think he’s overrated and we can banter later on 🙂

    Night / morning all

  • Sounds good, F11ngers… I guess I should take a page from your book and always watch everything in order to confirm my prejudices… Keep up the trolling because I’m pretty sure you’re suggesting that your insight into football should be ignored… 😦

    I guess the only drama which remains is whether Gerry will ignore your troll or take the bait…

    Is that enough reason to tune in tomorrow?… Sadly, it probably is…

    :gotta get a life:

  • Tut tut Stevie, I had hoped we had left this discussion on the previous post.

    I know you are still trying you best to laugh it off as just one big joke, but the fact remains, within that ‘joke’, you cast an unnecessary slur one one of our players, as your way of defending another.
    That aside, you used a phrase which in the German right wing press, and by ‘right wing’ you know where I am heading , those that appeal to the fascist minority, who are still calling Ozil ‘the German Turk’. To which he quite rightly finds offensive, given he was born in Germany, declares himself German, plays football for the German national team, and has won the World Cup with said team …. so in that press, which in all honesty probably gets less public readership world wide than an Arsenal blog site, the phrase ‘Ozil, and his type, blah blah’ would not be out of place?
    Now, if you want to be associated with them by your choice of words, carry on defending your ‘joke’.
    Or you could just admit, with hindsight, it was in poor taste?

    But if you want to keep up this charade that the joke was innocent in the way you worded it, I would argue that in two ways:
    One, I have already pointed on on the previous post, that if you try and assert that it was meant as ‘the quiet ones’ (on the FA Cup tour bus), then replace the name Arteta it loses all it’s connection with the blah blah stuff. Of course, you could have just said ‘ …. keeping trophies locked up in the basement’? Still offensive, but no connection with current headline news every evening?
    The other, if you persist with the ‘quiet ones’ who are Ozil’s ‘type’. The thing I question is, but in danger of over analysing the ‘joke’, what evidence is there of the ‘quiet ones’ being involved in ‘people trafficking’? I would of thought by the numbers involved, these gangsters are probably millionaires splashing their cash and loving the acclaim that wealth brings them?

    I sorry Steve, as much as you want to warp it around to be me as a kill joy, the only way to take that joke is because YOU had a sub-conscious link with Mesut Ozil the Muslim, and Muslims trafficking other Muslims fleeing even more evil Muslims than the traffickers. The headline news stories.
    But you can be proud of yourself, they are probably laughing their socks off in Bavaria.

    Immediate apology to any Bavarians not of that right wing persuasion.
    Also to anybody who thinks it is only Muslims doing the trafficking. It isn’t. But that is what happens when you glibly troll out words that are offensive to many, and I did not use the phrase, ‘and their type’

    Stick to football chat Steve, you are pretty good at that.

    Yes, HT. I did bite.

  • Back to football for a moment. There is an interesting discussion started on the Just Arsenal site, as to whether the Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey combination is a viable proposition going forward?

    I don’t think it is one question that has an easy answer.

    On the one hand Ramsey’s boundless energy which allows him to get forwards and to the attack, at the same time get back to assist Coquelin in defence. It was this aspect that probably swung it in his favour in the Cup final?
    But against that you have the lack of width on the right, compensated for by Bellerin running the line. But is that a viable option against stronger teams?

    Or put the argument the other way. Is Ramsey more a finisher in attack – splendid headed goal last night – as opposed to his creative skills? I think he tops the former against Ozil, but just loses out to Santi, and yet both those beat him in the creativity role.

    Finally, of the three, Cazorla is the more consistent deep lying midfield that works with Coquelin. Thus he wins out on points for overall.

    What really lies behind this question, and the writer does stress he is thinking of the games against the other top teams next season, is are we missing someone who can do a better job in that role?

    This is where transfer speculation can make life easier as to the way AW might be thinking?
    Defensive midfielder. Not just any DM, but one capable of taking the ball forwards. MS was he first choice, but I am guessing it is not only the price that has knocked him off 1st choice, but also the fact that MS is even contemplating going to Man Utd. To be fair, I think he also realises that the Saints want to get the best deal they can, which sort of shifts it in favour of the northern club, and might just reward himself a better finacial deal into the bargain.
    The point here is the type of midfielder he is.
    Kondogbia, is a similar type, in that he can be an effective defender on his own, or carry the ball forward if in partnership. It is noted that Coquelin has been restricted in getting in that advanced role, butas shown in the Cup final he has still got untapped skills that could be developed further.
    I put that in because the next on the list, if the rumour mongers are correct, is KK, and a far more defensive type. So this would allow Coquelin to progress higher up the pitch whenever we use the double shield?

    That incomer, whoever it is, shifts the Ramsey role of defending into the car park. At the very least weakens his position to be a starter among the three named? Not least because his direct competition would be JW.

    However, both neglect the point that neither Jack or Aaron, or indeed do any of the DM ‘s mentioned, solve the problem of width of the right. An attacking midfielder who can attack, operate on the wide right, and also put a shift in defensively would be ideal .. Pogba perhaps?

    Like I say, it is not an easy question to answer.

    The new striker position may have taken a twist, as a young Belgian who we have shown interest in the past, is available on the (almost) free. Will AW find that more interesting than ageing £25m signing with little resale value?
    Especially as now Higuain has reportedly agreed terms with MU?

    As far as the DM signing goes, I think long term Kondogbia is worth a punt at £25m, if that is enough to scare off AC Milan? But I am a big fan of KK, and might keep Coquelin more involved.

    Here is the link to the author, Galen, of the discussion above, so you can read his angle:


  • ahh Gerry i swear to god its only you and crappy youtube videos that are getting me through this football drought at the moment lol, i had pinned my hopes on some international entertainment.

    I truly love the way you go right round the world on stuff you can attribute to my joke, reading too much into it just doesn’t even begin to describe it lol, now i’m a Nazi supporter as well i see 😆 😆
    I am sure if you take a closer look at it you will also find i support the use of biological weapons on civilian populations – quick go and take a look, it must be there somewhere 😆

    I guess if we dissect it rationally we have to ask did i actually know that Ozil was Muslim – no lol, i knew he was German and that’s about it lol, are there lots of Muslims in Germany – i don’t fucking know lol but i certainly never made the connection even if there are.
    Trust me Gerry i have taken every opportunity to call Ozil every name under the sun this season, Lazy, lethargic, non existent, a lady part, help me out here HT i know there are lots more lol but its funny how i have never once even in my most hate filled moment made any connection to his supposed “people” and there supposed (according to you) link to child trafficking lol
    I hope you realize this is ALL IN YOUR HEAD Gerry, i simply went for creepy and weird to describe people who sit in the background projecting a refined image – its like the basis for every murder mystery show ive ever watched for fuck sake, the quiet well to do family are always the ones hiding some god awful secret where they sacrifice drugged virgins on some underground alter or some shit lol.

    I am telling you now Gerry YOU ARE THE ONE MAKING THIS CONNECTION – i really hope you can see that, i will repeat, the connection (that nobody else seemed to make either btw apart from you) was NOT!! intended or even fucking known to me when i wrote the joke mate, thats all you.

    The other part i think you have a problem with not even taking into account this perceived link you have made to world events is that i singled Ozil out in the first place. Come on you moron of course i am going to single him out lol you brought up his name in the first place so that gave me automatic cause lol but you also know very well he is one of my least favorite players (i just simply don’t get what he does like the rest of you) plus he is the epitome of quiet, introverted and lurking in the background – its that simple for me Gerry lol, sorry to have to burst this all encompassing Nazi, religion crushing, racist conspiracy you have going lol

    How about this, i will make it fairer just for you… how about Sanchez? what a miserable fucker he looked on the bus lol, he looked mightily unimpressed, that can (in my mind) be said of pretty much every player up there save Jack, yes even Arteta who for some unknown reason you keep using as an example – is he muslim as well or something?

    Take a look at the pictures and reports of the Barcalona bus mate, climbing on the roof, every player jumping up and down, pissed, cigars – YES CIGARS!! they were SMOKING Gerry, i know how much you condemn that shit when Jack does it, you had better don your cape of politically correct fun killing and fly over there pronto captain righteous and condemn those bastards lol

    Jack was the only one i saw who was celebrating the way i would if i had just won the FA cup – or any fan for that matter and the poor fucker gets punished for it.
    I wonder if all the other fucking robots behind him had joined in properly and done the same, much like Barcalona whether the FA would have dished out 3 match bans for the whole team – very fucking unlikely!!! they would have just said the team was celebrating after a win, its natural and shrugged it off. But Jack was singled out because it was obvious it was only him showing some god damn fucking enthusiasm whilst all the Ozil types, Arteta types, Gibbs types etc etc etc fucking types were sat in the background doing fuck all.

    Can you see my point now Gerry???
    Can you see how amusing it is that after i made it i am now debating with you about religious stereo types, racism and even Nazi’s 😆 😆
    I am sure in your head it is a logical progression but please take it from me, from where i am sitting this is pure comedy gold and is keeping me thoroughly amused during this baron spell, so i am looking forward to the next installment of “what can we pin on steve’s joke” lol

  • Steve, I can officially inform you that you will not be invited to my house warming party.

    That is also a joke btw, because if I ever get any heat in this place, I hope it is not just from people wafting hot air around the place.

    You seem to go to the same school in the art of defence of any criticism as Joey Barton?
    First the hurt – Despite the fact it was you that put the words together in that order.
    Then the angelic smile(eys).
    Then blame somebody else.
    Then switch the attention to them.
    And eventually it is down to your upbringing, that you were kept in such ignorance of world wide facts that you did not know …?

    Yes Steve, you are right. I am the only one to see, AND voice my objection, to you directly linking Ozil with one the most despicable trades going on around the world at the present time. The words you wrote were unworthy of you. I said as much in my first response, that it was a bit much even for you. And by that I meant when you go off on a rage you often say things, and later come back and apologise for.
    You are taking it for granted that others don’t also see it?

    You can throw it all back at me if it make you feel better. It does not necessarily make you right?

    The bottom line is, you tried to portray Jack the lad as a hero for being a hero with the fans. Well, AW did not see it that way. The FA did not see it that way – mainly because he was warned about doing something similar on the tour bus the year before, apparently? – which is why he is now facing a 3 match ban. So you want to defend him.
    How do you do that? Oh yes, by comparing him to the player who brought the positive headlines for the club, Mesut Ozil.
    I had a perfectly sound reason for comparing the two. I am not sure thinking of weird images of an Arsenal player who had just received a high award in his own country, and the only bad headlines he has received, to my knowledge, has been visiting nightclubs until early hours, plus a few unattributable slurs made by his previous manager.
    Did he really deserves this:

    ‘Besides give me a guy who shows his true colours freely instead of Ozil types who may project a designed saintly image atop a bus in public but undoubtedly go back to their locked basement of trafficked children and stroke the necklace human ears they have collected over the years’.
    But you think it is okay? Fine.

    The biggest joke in your latest rant is calling me a moron.
    You are the one trying to make everyone believe that you did not know Ozil was a Muslim? Really? I am sure HT has mention it in many of his previous post. Put it down to selective memory, as well as ignorance, shall we?
    Arteta, is he a Muslim? You ask, innocently?
    I think since right back to the Spanish Inquisition that everybody with the slightest knowledge of history knows the vast majority of people are Roman Catholics. It doesn’t make Arteta one, but I am pretty sure he is.
    But I guess we can see that you wanted to overlook that possibility, despite me using him as an example of a ‘quiet one’, and in the above quote does not make any sense within ‘the joke’?
    Mind you, you also want to point the finger at me for calling you a Nazi?
    Truth is all, I said what you wrote would not look out of place with people who still call Ozil ‘the German Turk’, and right wing people in a part of Germany where such people still abound.
    Sorry, you wouldn’t know that would you?

    And you call me a moron? Get off the island occasionally Steve, there is a lot going on that you do not know about.

    It is hard to know where go from here. As long as you cannot see that you joke went beyond what most would assume is the bottom line in humour, ie not meant to offend people named, whether intentionally or otherwise. then there is nothing more I can say.
    Except, stop ranting Steve, because each time you do, you shoot yourself in the foot.

  • Thank you JM – I fully agree.

    This is what I feared in an earlier post. I had a feeling B54 would be among the casualties. Partly due to the rumours of us buying another LB. Providing he has got over his injury I am sure he will do fine.

    Diaby too. No fairytale ending for him then. I hope he retires and goes for his coaching badges. If not train up for a physiotherapy qualification. I am sure with his history he could keep players motivated right to the very last moment.

    Good luck to all though, but the above pair are the two I feel could have had a career here giving better fortune?

  • Gerry’
    “the vast majority of his people are Roman Catholics. It doesn’t make Arteta one, but I am pretty sure he is.”
    hahaha that is perfect mate, absolutely perfect lol, you are the same as me buddy boy, completely ignorant lol, you don’t have a fucking clue either lol
    That’s the same as me and Ozil or any other player in the whole squad to be truthful, i don’t know what their religion is lol and to be honest i don’t even think its ignorance, i just don’t fucking care. Like you said there’s a big old world out there and i’m quite busy enough living it thanks very much, i couldn’t even begin to register where Ozil’s religion registers on my scale of give a shit – ness lol.

    For you it seems a massive thing though so that combined with JM voicing his objections to this lovely little back and forth should bring this to a close i feel.

    I am not back tracking or apologizing for ANYTHING i have said and we shall have to continue on with the clear instruction that from now on you should take everything i say as completely seriously with any and all negative connotations that you could possibly attach completely and deliberately implied. There that should sort things out 🙂

    I’n your mind i continue on as the ignorant evil arsehole
    I’n my mind you continue on as the self righteous, humorless judge of comments

    Normal business resumed 🙂

    JM, cheers for the update mate, no surprises there for me though. Still a shame about Diaby

  • Always had a nagging suspicion that Baron Von Fingerstein was a Nazi !………………….I bet he sticks a German helmet on his nob dressing it up as Nazi Stormtrooper whilst using his ventriloquist skills shouting ….” Sieg Heil ! “….first thing in the morning !. hahaha

  • the cock helmet is just the start Cockie, its the vajazzled swastika in my pubic hair that really gets the Aryan ladies bouncing up and down for joy 😆
    You missed it Cocker, ive been on trial for acts of terror for the last couple of days lol, war crimes amongst the list of accusations i’m sure lol
    All good fun (well for some of us) but nevertheless you missed a good Tete-a-tete 🙂

  • USA 2 – 1 Germany – Big up the yanks!!! great performance, nice job!!

  • Watch Bully’s views above first then look at the top of his head looooool

  • Morning guys 🙂

    I have had no time to dissect the comments between G and S but I hope you are agreeing to not agree and now continue on in a friendly way. They were definitely tiresome to read and not showing much mutual respect or perspective. I removed the sick first part of your long comment, Steve, as joking about a method of suicide is a no goer here. Always remember that kids are reading (over our shoulders often) the blog too.

    I will keep the blog open for comments and the occasional post, and for a while I’ll have a bit more time to issue them. Blog writers are welcome to write posts about season review, player reviews, the one player for Arsenal to buy, your top five favourite players, etc. 🙂

    I am working on a post about Arsene’s recent appraisal with Ollie but it needs finishing.

    So stay good, try to understand before we judge, act through ‘I am ok, you are ok’ and live of the glory and beauty that is our Arsenal. VCC forever!😜

  • A much more interesting discussion point I forgot to mention yesterday .. Morning all.

    That was again on another site I perused, but I cannot remember which, so apologies to them.

    It concerned LVG, Pep G, Arsenal, and Barcelona. The person whowas putting forward this proposal:
    ‘It is not the formation that teams play that matters, but the philosophy behind it’
    He then goes on to compare Arsenal’s version of ‘possession based’ brand of football under Arsene Wenger, to that of Barca’s and the first two managers quoted.

    Basically, the latter play with players keeping to their positions, while Arsene is allowing a free flow style, where players can roam. He cites Busquets(I think?) who was explaining why Cesc Fabregas was a little unpopular with the other players because he kept moving, intuitively, out of the rigid structure the others were keeping. In Cesc defence, I hasten add, not as a criticism, as it was difficult to change from his ‘Arsenal ways’.

    The big question is, can AW get the balance right, particularly against the top teams, regards to defending? I certainly think that is what he is trying to do, as was demonstrated in the Cup final in playing Ramsey over Wilshere.

    To me he was playing a team short on the ideal set up, and that is why this window is so important to get the players HE thinks will fill the gaps.

    As I wrote yesterday on another borrowed idea, I think the ‘Ramsey’ position is going to be key.
    It is almost self inflicted with Ramsey declaring that , like Walcott, he wants to play centrally. And I would think most would agree, that is where he plays his best football. Theo has a little more to prove on that point?
    But the crunch comes is he going to be the second best defender (to Coquelin), or third best (to ‘X’, whoever the new signing is should we get one of our target. – KK, for those who might have said WTF is that? Well it is my phonetic shorthand, so where the Polish ‘ch’ sounds like a K. All clear?) If it turns out to be KK, then Ramsey’s role deep midfield would switch to Coquelin’s, but not I would argue against top teams, particularly away from home. Or indeed with teams where we will play one DM at the back.
    Following that line, is he the better choice to be in a line of 4 with Alexis, Ozil Cazorla, and ?
    It does not mean he would be out wide any more than putting Wilshere there, but the problem remains, How many players can a team sustain when they want to be in the middle?
    Or, putting Ox or Gnabry in as preferred wide choices, their options get even more limited. As would a more flexible option bought in, who could interact across the range of the front line, and that would include the centrally based Walcott into the equation.

    As I said, AW is going to have his work cut out to satisfy all the players, possibly some to the point of departure, if he is going to make a success of a fluid based possession culture.
    Indeed, if we throw in the fullbacks we are practically in ‘Total Football’ mode? 😀

    As I see it the order of merit goes something like this with the players we have in front of the back 4:
    Cocquelin best tackler/ DM
    Cazorla best assist to Coquelin with his availability, and moving the ball up field.
    Ramsey marginally the better defensive player than the next, but more of a runner without the ball going forward. Plus energy over 90+ minutes
    Wilshere the better ball carrier than the above, has pace out of defence and a better range of passing. Weakness holding on to the ball too long, getting caught in possession.
    Ozil the best ‘vision’ player who provides the most ‘key’ passes. Weakness, those around him.
    Cazorla best two footed player, great range of passes, and very good at holding the ball in tight spaces. Weakness, should score more often.
    Wilshere excellent thrusting runs, more skilful with his range of passes. Weakness, magnetically drawn to the centre, which makes others work around him to create space.
    Ramsey is the best finisher of all of the above, usually with timing of his runs. Weakness, his passing is relatively poor, and could improve.
    Alexis, King of the pack from scoring, best attacker going forward. Weakness, a tad too selfish at times. Makes poor decisions because of that. Loses possession because of that.
    Walcott A-game, top class. Scores, has pace. Can play across the front. Weakness, Walcott B-game, bench at best.
    Giroud is similar to the above in one respect. Confident A-game is something else. Makes difficult goals look easy. He play for the team both in attack and defence. Weakness is in part due to the way he is deployed, as a lone striker. Whereas Walcott benefits from having the ball played to him, he will have pacey players not far away. All to often Giroud is isolated when he receives the ball, his options are restricted, and that makes defending against his easy because he is predictable. However, his need for extra space to turn, and real pace when in the clear are major problems that soon erode his confidence.

    Given all that, are we title contenders without fresh blood?

  • I could see a possibility of Debuchy moving in CDM position as either an alternative or partner (in a more defensive approach) to Coquelin. He had played there previously with Lille (early career) before switching over to right back.

    With him recovering from 2 lengthly injuries in his first season with us, Arsene could be tempted to move in centrally, not to CB, but to CDM. Certainly, he would be more mobile than Arteta & Flamini; defensively experienced & can link up in attack; he wins a lot of headers & does good position covering as well, which is beneficial in that position when intercepting goal kicks and long balls up-field from the opposition’s GK and defenders.

    This above move could also mean Jenkinson and Bellerin would get to own our RB spot between themselves.

    GKs: Ospina, Szczesny

    RBs: Bellerin, Jenkinson
    CBs: Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gabriel, Chambers
    LBs: Monreal, Gibbs

    CDMs: Coquelin, Debuchy, Flamini
    CMs(Deep-lying playmakers): Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey
    CMs/AMs(Free-role, running in midfield and attack): Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky

    Forward Trio (any combination from):
    Alexis, Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck, The Ox

    Although, Ospina & Alexis could be short of starting next season due to likely extension of rest/holiday from their exertions in the Copa America.

    Personally, I would hope for fresh quality input in our attacking end. Defensively, depending on who would further be cut from the 1st team, should any replacement come in.

  • Gerry, that was a good read, i think i would have to say i prefer the Barca philosophy of a more defined position way of playing where they have only maybe Messi who is free to roam occasionally.

    I can’t see anything wrong with our squad save a new GK and DM tbh. Give Ozil a Messi-esque free roaming play maker / attacker role on the right of a three up top, alternate Theo and Giroud as the main striker in the middle as each bring something completely different to the table, and work out a structure where everyone knows their place – i have done it very simply by weekly wages in brackets down below lol but you get the idea:
    Maybe a younger, fitter, faster replacement for Podolski but that and the two other signings are all that i can think of (not including reinforcements for the U21’s). Btw I think cutting in from the right as part of a front three Podolski would be fecking lethal 🙂 He’s scores when he wants…….

    First team

    Sanchez (140)—————-Walcott (100)——————-Ozil (140)
    —————Ramsey (90)——————-Cazorla (90)——————–
    ———————————–New DM (?)————————————-
    Monreal (50)———Kos (60)———–BFG (70)———Debuchy (70)
    ————————————New GK (?)————————————-

    Their Competition

    Silva (?)————————–Welbeck (50)——————–Podolski (70)
    —————–The OX (60)———————-Wilshere (90)——————-
    ————————————-Coquelin (20)————————————-
    Gibbs (50)———–GP5 (30)————–CC21 (10)————-Bellerin (?)
    ————————————-Szczesny (50)————————————-

    Ospina – reserve keeper (20)
    Rosicky and Arteta – on their contracts last year

    Out on loan

    Job done 🙂

  • Steve, a question. Would you play that same formation every time?

    Thinking basically of a double DM?

    Somebody suggested a more radical twist, by having Monreal move inside as a LCB, BFG in the middle, and Debuchy at RCB ….. and Koscielny as sweeper.
    I think it was to have cover behind the back 3 if they press high?

    I still think that 1st team lacks pace out wide, and 4 players angling to the middle?

    But it would be more popular than my suggestion 😀

  • Interesting list of players put up on NewsNow – with contract expiring 2016.

    I would be interest in three of them, although Tevez could be a short term thought for that second striker role? Wages might be a problem, as with Zlatan, but they are on the list.

    I though this morning that the transfer pre window was hotting up, but no confirmations yet.

  • I would love to see the sweeper tactic employed Gerry, it would certainly help to lessen the risk we inherently pay with using our style of play, in contrast though i can never bloody understand why when we attack both full backs always seem to find there way right up the pitch lol. I think a lot of Arsenal’s problems would be solved (in that department at least) if when the play develops up one side then that fullback has license to join in the attack but the other must stay back to create a 3 at the back, leaving width up top on that side to be maintained by a wide playing attacker i.e not cutting, like the other side could do since they have the forward playing fullback providing the width over there. Mind you i am sure this has been noted many times before, indeed by you and me both in the past i am almost certainly positive.

    I take your point about width out wide but in all probability with Ozil drifting centrally more often than not i would expect Sanchez and Walcott to become wide playing front men doing the out to in runs all the time with Ozil acting like the tip in a diamond formation, finding those runs with passes.

    As far as Being able to change the formation to adapt, yep it would be pretty easy to drop one of the attacking midfielders for another DM, it would most likely force the formation to become more of the 4-2-3-1 we are used to. Play it all the time or not is the big question and one which always fascinates me when i watch Barca, every time they come up against a really good attacking team i always think this time, this time they will be caught out and taken to the cleaners playing with only one DM but they always seem to persevere so i’m not even sure anymore whether a change would be necessary, just maybe a better understanding of defensive duties throughout the team?

    I’m not completely sure tbh lol but i know one thing, i am desperate to see a front three up top for us 🙂

  • Gerry, do you have a link for that newsnow headline, i can’t find it for the life of me

  • Not a bad free agent team there, if you added Diaby and Micah Richards you almost get a full team, just need a LB 🙂


  • Yes, the three I like are in that diagonal from top right.

    Gray for the near future. Alcantara could be Santi’s replacement (but in a season or two’s time). N’koulou behind KK in the current DM pecking order.
    But as I said, Tevez, if you can keep him fit (and interested) would be ideal with or without Giroud. But for two seasons, very little return on purchase price, I don’t see him being AW’s type? However, he could make the difference in finishing top or 4th?

    Dreaming on …

  • Nearly Springwatch time, so I am off for the night.

    I might record the Chile opener, as 00:30am is a bit late for me …

  • Micah Richards on a free is going to be greatttt signing for which ever team gets him, i hope we snap him up. I think he would make a great CB, along side Kosielny along with Gabbi. So for me Richards would be a long term replacement for BFG.
    Higauin would be every nice, but i would warn caution on buying a striker, the reason being i would like us to get Theo on a new contract first , then buy 1 more and move on Podolski, Ryo and maybe sadly Sanogo who i had big hopes for, He is still very young though may well be great yet?
    Cech would be the best piece of business all summer but it is down to Chelsea, i am not to sure about Casilas is the Real mans confidence shot or can he get back to Loris high stanards, i would like to say yes he can. But Ospina has done a fine job. If we sign another TOP top keeper, then sell Szsz imo.
    Winning back – back FA cups and being in the CL for 18 years in a row makes us the best place to be for and top player wanting more, even more so when they look at the best manager in the world at improving players. Yes i said it the best manager in the WORLD at improving a player, only Fergie had an arguement on that front and he is no longer i the game.

  • Gerry,
    Great anaysis of our players by the way.
    Bang on the money showing great knowledge of the game and out team.
    We are so close to be world beaters , i am so keen to see what Wenger does this summer.
    In Arsene we trust1

  • Apparently, since Mikel Arteta has been out injured, he has been doing some coaching at Hale End.

    By all accounts the Kids love him…

  • Last 1 from me is a question. ?
    After giving Joel Campbell a new contract last season.
    There is rumors that he wants away and fenabache want him.
    So should we sell him or not?
    Because he has 3 years left with us he would give us a healthy fee.
    He is a good player!
    But i just looked at his Villa Real stat’s and well there shocking!
    About 10 appearances and only 1 goal in his half a season there.
    So would you sell or keep him?

  • Cheers PG. I did not record the Chile match, in fact I have still to see the rest of the under 21’s, as I was falling asleep.

    Sadly, I think many might be disappointed with the way the TW may unfold, including myself.

    For example, I am pretty sure AW’s non denial of interest in Randy Jackson (USA X Factor) does not mean we are just waiting to snap him up. For a start, the purchase price is his release clause. That has been available all along, so why bite now?
    No I think the silence is for two reasons. One is to hope one of our rivals will buy him, and thus take them away from our real target. The other is so our real target can sign up the longer the delay in the non-deal.
    Where Higuain fits in I’m not sure. No1 target, or anther blind?
    Of course it could be all about money?

    Petr Cech might fit that category. Unless AW is being pressured, I cannot see him paying £10m for a GK?
    Oh, on that item, I think Martinez could be the one to leave. Although he is on less wages, the other two might not want to move and our current 3rd choice would get little playing time should that be the case. Then there is the possibility that Szczesney might go out on loan?

    As for Milner, I only put him in the category of ‘useful’, given our midfield. But his wage demands scuppered that anyway. As it will anyone else coming from Man City, so they may have trouble moving some others on.

    The DM situation is more about how much AW is willing to pay. With MS I think he was expecting Southampton to asked less than last time, but such is the demand, it will remain at £25m. Second choice GK is virtually the same price, although there may be a saving on wages. He has a few rough edges to work on, but with age and AW on his side, he could be the one for a long term future. 3rd choice Kk is probably the better for an an immediate return, and with a £21m release … but, also in high demand.
    With a list, you have to bite the bullet some time or miss all three. Yesterday’s freebie list provides a good consolation prize.
    I think Kk has the most plusses, one of them is to bring along young Bielik in his native tongue?

    I am ever hopeful we will add pace up front, if only to cover the possibility of Theo’s role not working out. However, I think we may have to trade a midfielder in order to get the right one?

    p.s. I’ll be chuffed if B54 gets a contract with Swindon, he deserves it and they will suit him well.

  • I agree with you Gerry, I’m not expecting a lot of transfer activity from Arsenal this summer, unless Arsene tries to do a couple of last minute deals on deadline day…

    Mourinho will string out the Cech transfer as long as he can and then probably block it at the death.
    He did it with Demba Ba and I have no reason to expect him to do anything different this time…

  • allezkev, I did not say Arsenal will not buy, and very likely one will be announced over the weekend. It is just I don’t think he will buy the ones many are expecting him to.

  • Gerry, I didn’t say that said that Arsenal would not buy either…

    I just don’t see there being as much transfer activity as many expect or hope…

    Although I do hope you are right about this weekend, but I won’t hold my breath.

  • just watched the Chile match, what a great style of football they play!! 🙂
    So energetic and forward driven 🙂

    Post your “Arsenal does the Chile formation” best concoctions below 🙂
    (they play the 3-3-1-3 btw)


    ——-Ramsey———-Coquelin————The OX——

    Could have just as easily placed Ozil or Cazorla in that Wilshere role but as you know i favour Jacky boy. Now thats a team with energy and pace throughout 🙂

    Interesting to see what you lot come up with

    Come on Chile!!!! 🙂

  • I think you are filling your ‘Wellington’ boot before you have seen if they fit.

    So my modest shift in your line up, for now at least and who we have, would be shift Ox up in place of Silva, and Bellerin in his place?

    In fantasy world it makes little difference between Ozil, Cazorla, or Wilshere for the creative stuff. In fact if you are looking for instant pace thrust forward, he is probably the best of the bunch … as long as the bolshy little git remembers he is their to provide for others!

  • haha nice little complimentary insult there lol
    Good shout on the Bellerin switch i think he would do very well in that role in that set up, i have big hopes for Silva still though 🙂

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