Nasri to Captain Arsenal

If Cesc Fabregas leaves Arsenal this summer then you should put a tenner on Samir Nasri taking over as captain.

Let’s deal with the ‘if’ first.

There is no guarantee that Cesc will depart, but there are strong hints coming out of the club (and from people connected with the club) that this time he really is going.

Most recently Nigel Winterburn has added his voice to those saying they expect him to leave.

And he apparently bade his farewells to the staff and gave all his team mates a “little gift” as they went their separate ways last month (you know, a DVD of My Left Foot for Robin van Persie, a copy of Humility: The Finest Grace for Nik Bendtner, some Play-Doh for Emmanuel Eboue and a revolver with one bullet in the chamber for Manuel Almunia).

Last year Cesc asked for a move to Barcelona but was persuaded to stay by Arsene Wenger, whom he trusts and respects. I also believe that Cesc is not the type of man to unilaterally break a contract (“doing a Cashley” as it’s known in Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable).

If (when) he moves on, it will only be to Barcelona. Manchester City and Chelsea can dream on and, although Inter may seem like an attractive move, it’s clear Cesc dreams of playing at the club he grew up supporting and where he started his career.

And so to Nasri.

The little Frenchman with the dribbly feet and feisty temperament has one year left on his contract and he’s not afraid to use it.

If he doesn’t re-sign then he knows we have to sell him this summer and, based on his form in the first half of last season, he would not be short of offers. (If potential buyers examine his form in the run-in they may think twice, but I don’t suppose they will).

He apparently gave some quotes after France’s recent international game which suggested he would be open to at least listening to approaches from Manchester United and Manchester City.

So, the first big question facing Arsene and Arsenal is: do we want to keep him?

With Cesc almost certainly going the answer has to be a resounding ‘yes’. Nasri’s form may have dipped in the second half of the campaign, but so did the form of the entire team with the exception of van Persie. Whatever the cause of the late-season malaise that afflicted Arsenal, Samir certainly picked up the virus but it does not mean he is not potentially world class.

Prior to the run-in he was in blistering form and was probably player of the season until Christmas (despite the media’s love-in with the monkey man from N17).

He is also arguably the player best suited to functioning as a direct replacement for Cesc in a 4-3-3 line-up and he has apparently made it known that that is the position in which he wants to play.

IF Cesc leaves then Nasri knows he has a fantastic bargaining position (a) to get a much better financial deal and (b) to insist that he be played in the “Cesc role”. It might well be that his drop-of-the-shoulder, show-a-bit-of-bosom comments to the French press about a potential move to Northern Chavland were a way of applying leverage in the deal negotiations.

Of course it’s also possible that he really does want to leave. Particularly if Cesc moves on, he may be thinking “I’m in a team that can’t seem to win anything; the team’s best player is leaving, which presumably will make it even harder to win things; perhaps I should leave too.”

Footballers have short careers and if they are a top talent like Nasri it’s unreasonable in the modern age to expect club loyalty from them if they think they can be more successful elsewhere.

Unlike we fans, the players still place a huge emphasis on the international game and Nasri might feel his place in the French team will be more certain if he’s playing in a side that’s winning trophies.

Which brings us to the captaincy issue.

What does Arsene Wenger usually do when he has a star player who wants to leave but whom he wants to stay?

That’s right, he improves their deal and offers to make them captain of the team. He did it with Henry and he did it with Fabregas.

In the current circumstances (and, again, IF Cesc goes) it seems almost certain to me that AW will offer the captaincy to Nasri to help persuade him to stay. I suspect he will also guarantee that he can start the season playing centrally in the “Cesc role.”

I would have very mixed feelings about this.

First, I want Nasri to stay so anything that persuades him to do so can’t be all bad. But, second, it would be a disaster to make him captain.

Arsenal of late has been a team crying out for leadership – vocal, old-school leadership of the type best personified by TA6 (with the kind of vocals that are occasionally backed up with a hefty size 12 up the jacksie).

It may be that Nasri has it in him to be that kind of leader and he has just been hiding his light under a bushel. But to me, at least, he isn’t old enough or experienced enough to carry the team forward in the deepest adversity.

Nevertheless, that may well be how we embark on next season’s tilt at four trophies.

RockyLives

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205 Responses to Nasri to Captain Arsenal

  1. DeiseGooner says:

    lets not use the captains armband as a sweetener any longer shall we.

    Nasri’s comments are simply agent tactics to show they have a strong hand at the negotiating table. The trouble with those comments is that it also shows a lack of respect to Arsenal. ‘havent thought about it’ & ‘lets wait and see if interest is concrete’ are not whole truths, in fact i would say they are lies. Are we to believe Arsenal havent offered Nasri a contract until now? Damn right we have. So to say he hasnt thought about it when its clear to reject an offer he would have to think about it is wrong. And using comments from that knobhead Evra to suggest there is a chance of going to united smacks of his agent trying to make sure his 20% is as high as possible. Really disappointed in Nasri using tactics like that. Keep it behind closed doors and respect the club please. But then again, this is just how it is nowadays with a lot of players isnt it, so we have to live with it. It happens at all clubs so why should ours be any different.

  2. Carlito11 says:

    Great post Rocky- loved “Cesc’s little gifts”! :-) An interesting note of fatalism about giving Nasri the captaincy. If that happens I think the “wenger’s lost it” faction will gain in numbers- we need Wenger to show some new ideas or the gloom will continue to gather…

  3. London says:

    Just for a moment imagine that you are Nasri. Are you sure the club won’t sell you if the price were right? Are you really, really sure? I don’t think you are.

    When it comes to contract negotiations Arsenal are just as capable of playing hard ball as any player or agent.

  4. mortimer says:

    What do mean by monkey man ?

  5. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, salient points to bring up there Rocky and well elucidated too.

    I heard the “leaving presents” were just headphones, crikey, you can get them from Poundland so for a guy on Cesc’s wages to read that they are “leaving gifts” makes him out to look extremely niggardly.

    Mortimer – “monkey man” = Gareth Bale, for obvious reasons.

  6. Rasp says:

    monkey man = Bale

  7. Family Enclosure Man says:

    My bet is that you’ve got it the wrong way around with these two players: Nasri will leave, Fabregas will stay. Contractually, the former holds the whip hand, but the latter doesn’t. The likely departure of Nasri will only increase the determination of AW to keep Fabregas. He only wants to join one team, but that team won’t pay what AFC want for him. He has 4 years left on the contract, so AFC are in a strong position. I just don’t see them letting him go unless they get around £50m. Fab will have to tough it out at the Emirates for a while longer. How dreadful for him.

    With Nasri it is very different, of course, and I thought it was very telling that AW spoke about the situation last week. He suggested there were difficulties over the wages being offered to Nasri. First, it is extremely rare for any Arsenal official to talk about contractual details in public, let alone AW, who is very discreet about these things. Second, to admit that it comes down to a question of money seems to me to be a sign that he is preparing the way for Nasri’s departure and hinting it is because of player greed. He’s making sure he gets his revenge in first when the blame-game starts. At the same time, he’s reassuring us that there’s no way the club will permit a transfer to Old Trafford.

    If I were a betting man, I’d put a small flutter on Sneijder going to OT this summer and Nasri replacing him at the San Siro.

  8. johnQ says:

    If there is one man that look like a monkey it is Gareth Bale

  9. clockendjim says:

    This article is only relevant if :-
    1)Fabregas leaves which I am still very doubtful of
    2) Nasri stays at Arsenal which is beginning to look unlikely
    3) Wenger doesn’t hand the captain’s armband to the only natural leader we have in the squad – Vermaelen
    4) We could be sure of seeing the Nasri of the first half of the season. One of the reasons the team faded so badly in the second half was that Nasri was one of the players who disappeared in too many games. That Nasri I would shed no tears on seeing the back of

  10. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Another fine read.

    I am in an “I don’t care about Nasri” mood today. Sure, he has shown glimpses of fantastic talent but that is why we bought him at such a high price in the first place.

    What we need in this team is consistency. If Nasri produced for the entire season then fine, “show him the money”, but until he can prove that he has the balls for a season long campaign then I say we stick to our original contract offer (+ a little sweetener) and if he does not sign by July we should cash in, and do it soon before we get a nasty dose of the “one bad apple” syndrome.

  11. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Re: CB’s.

    Yours is an equally good idea ….. (playing an existing CB at DM and buying another CB)

  12. London says:

    Family Enclosure Man

    That is the most logical comment I have read to date on the transfer situation. This is not meant to be argumentative but do you know where and when Wenger commented on the Nasri transfer negotiations? If this is official i.e. we can see and therefore definitely believe it then, as you infer, we could well have a game changer on our hands.

  13. London says:

    Don’t we already have a CB playing as a DM?

  14. London says:

    I am being flippant, Vermaelen is head and shoulders better than Parker and probably more than capable of playing as a DM.

  15. kharadonha says:

    Players may come and go and Arsenal will be here forever. I’d like to give advise to those who want to be remembered in Football history, you should follow in the footsteps of Kaka, Messi, Rivaldo, Giggs just to mention the few. Football is not about making money thoug it puts food on the table and shape up your future and those of your kids. when play for money you always have an extra pressure and that you end up not concentrating as the contract has been signed. Look at Messi, we never heard the boy complaining about how much he is getting. Rooney is the most paid player at ManU and that makes him earn more than Messi, Kaka but what image does he give to football loving nations?

    Nasri, you haven’t play your best football and if you continue listening to your agent you might end up being “was once famous”.

    You may leave if you want but if bad luck of not winning trophies likes you, you won’t get trophies where you going and ended up going to France.

  16. pat says:

    Nasri has only had a decent half season – he was good while the going was good, but fell away when we started the struggle. Has not stepped up to fill Cescs shoes while he was away at all.

    I would also put Vermaelen as captain over Nasri any day…

    I pretty much echo clockendjims thoughts really…

  17. V.C.C. says:

    One good half a season and Nasri thinks he is a world beater.I say get the hell out of Arsenal if you don’t want to play for us. Wenger stop pussy footing about with the temperamental French man, call his bluff and put him on the market and sell him to the highest bidder. Incidentally I don’t think Alex Ferguson will buy him so that maybe a kick in the teeth for him.
    NO player is bigger than Arsenal, take the money and move on. We have enough cover (Walcott, Ramsey, Song, Wilshere, Arshavin, Lansbury) and Fabregas IF he stays plus new signing with half the money Wenger gets for him.

  18. Alex Ice Cream says:

    AW also did the same with Vieira when he wanted to leave.

  19. Evonnethegunner says:

    Family Enclosure Man – I didn’t hear Wenger commenting on Samir’s wages. When did that take place?? Has anybody else heard that? There was a mention on the subject in the Daily Mail, but that’s usually rubbish

  20. WiganGooner says:

    It seems folks on here echo the thoughts of my website today.

    Nasri’s wranglings frustrate me, if he wanted to be at Arsenal he wouldn’t be playing these games IMO. If you want to be at a club you don’t worry about an extra ten grand, or whatever it might work out to be.

    It’s a shame because I really like the lad, he’s a great talent but he’s obviously not committed.

    WG

  21. Steve says:

    Nasri is not captain material he had 3 good weeks out of the season and never performs when it matters. We don’t need another moody French captain

  22. Big Raddy says:

    London. Perhaps that is the essence of the problem. We have 3 CB’s who we can envisage playing as DM’s (and a DM who is a converted CB).

    Can’t see JT or Vidic as DM’s, nor TA, Bouldie or Keown.

  23. Red Arse says:

    A good and interesting Post, Rocky.

    Supporting a football club is an emotive and all consuming passion for every ‘real’ fan.

    Therefore everything a player says or is alleged to have said, irregardless of the context is pored over, analysed and picked to bits.

    That is all well and good and understandable from the fans point of view. They will support their club until the end of their lives, and they want everything that is in the best interests of the club.

    While from the players perspective, however good they might be, they know that they and others will come and go, and have a relatively short playing career.

    Personally, I cannot begrudge a player doing his utmost to negotiate the very best financial terms he or his agent can achieve.

    Stripped of the fans deep seated love of their club, it is, at core, a business and both sides would be remiss not to negotiate and agree a contract that suits both.

    Frankly I abhore the salaries that players and their agents screw out of the clubs, because in the end they are screwing us too. But that is football, and while one club is prepared to pay nonsense salaries the others have to follow suit, or die!

  24. Family Enclosure Man says:

    To those asking about where AW is reported to have spoken on the Nasri contract negotiations, see here:

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2011/06/01/2512482/arsenals-arsene-wenger-contract-negotiations-with-samir

    Incidentally, I’m interested in the idea that someone has mentioned today of converting a CB into a DM. I’ve been thinking about this myself in recent weeks, and arguably we have three players who might make this change: Vermaelen, Djourou or Koscielny. I’ve been thinking about the last of these in particular in view of his performance against Messi at the Emirates. Remember how he followed Messi deep into midfield in the second half and more or less suffocated him? Koscielny made a few blunder at the back last season, but he had his strong games too: he is pretty quick and mobile, and fairly tough-tackling despite the fact that he looks quite fragile. He likes to pressurize opponents, and while that can be worrying when he does it in the box (danger of giving away penalties) it is not so worrying outside. He’s not a bad passer of the ball – quite composed on the ball actually – so maybe he could make the transition to DM?

    I’m old enough to remember Peter Storey making a similar change from mediocre full-back to Alf Ramsey’s replacement for Nobby Stiles as England’s midfield hard man. Could one of CBs be transformed as successfully now?

  25. London says:

    Wigan Gooner

    Read my 9:47.

  26. Red Arse says:

    Hi Evonne, :-)

    Pan Wenger przytoczono jako telling widowni francuskiej telewizji nie miał on uzgodnione kontrakt z Nasri, ale że w każdym przypadku on mogłoby nie sprzedają go do Manchesteru United.

    So that’s that! :-)

  27. Rasp says:

    Nice article Rocky. Personally, I’d rather see Nasri and Clichy go if we could keep Cesc. If Cesc stays, don’t think Nasri would need to be replaced as we have LJ, Ramsey, Diaby etc etc any available funds could then be used to buy a potent striker.

  28. Rasp says:

    I may have given the wrong impression there – that doesn’t mean I want Nasri and Clichy to go

  29. London says:

    I am a bit confused as to why people want to convert either Vermaelen, Koscielny or Djourou to DM in the first place, do you think anyone of those can do a better job than Song?

    Please don’t say that Song ventures too far forward he was told to do that in an attempt to compensate for Wilshere’s short comings: zero goal threat.

  30. Red Arse says:

    London,

    Yes.

  31. London says:

    It seems what is happening is that Arsenal fans are now starting to see the advantages of Nasri leaving. I have been banging on for ages about how it could well be the club that are engineering this rather than Nasri being a money grabbing mercenary as some in blog world have been quick to suggest.

  32. London says:

    Morning RA

    I walked into that one didn’t I?

    Vermaelen, Koscielny and Djourou do not have anywhere near the close control needed to play in midfield.

    Song still makes glaring errors but his passing ability is pretty bloody good.

    Familiarity breeds contempt.

  33. Rasp says:

    I think TV could potentially be a better DM than Song if he is not one of our best two CB’s from the current selection (which he is!)

  34. London says:

    Fair point

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great stuff Rocky, we could debate the permutations of this one for a week.
    Here’s a thought. Would Nasri’s form been allowed to tail off at Old Trafford. I think not. In other words, Arsene needs to man up, and I believe I have the solution. As a club we need to “twin up” with some shithole of a club in somewhere like the Republic of Kazakhstan, and disloyal players would be flogged for the price of a one way ticket with the deal ensuring that the player could not be moved on for a period of no less than twenty years. That’d learn ‘em.
    Morning all, bit busy but back later to accept the fallout.

  36. Red Arse says:

    London,

    Song is a bit like the Parson’s Nose.

    He can be excellent at times, but then spasmodically poor.
    He can score great goals, and then give the ball away in poor defensive areas. He can be the best player on the pitch, giving his all, and sometimes the worst, as we have seen too frequently last season

    I am not contemptuous of him, and you should not infer I am.

    Kozzer or TV would bring different attributes to a DM role; for one thing each of them would be faster and more athletic.

    However, it is a moot point because AW, despite seeming to delight in playing square players in round holes, so to speak, would not countenance such a move.

  37. Red Arse says:

    Hi Micky,

    Hasn’t Arsene done something similar in the past?

    With the most recent instance coming to mind being that of Gallas.

    Gallas wanted a 2 year contract, AW wanted to give him a 1 year contract. Gallas was sent on his way when he bellyached about it.

    Good old ‘Arry made an astute grab which suited Spurs, but AW did not blink. Good for him!

  38. London says:

    RA

    I agree with the view that Song is far from perfect; I could be persuaded that Vermaelen is capable of doing an equally good job but I will never be convinced that Koscielny or Djourou would be better than Song.

    Someone wrote above how they could never envisage Ferdinand or Vidic in midfield, what is the difference? We have only ever seen Koscielny spray a couple of long balls around which is no more than the two mancs can do and Djourou is way too jittery to play as a midfielder. I remember he had delusions of playing there before so he was sent to Birmingham in order to scratch this itch: he was pants.

    If someone said we should sell Song move Vermaelen into the midfield and buy a new CB then fair enough…..but that is about as likely as me winning the lottery on Friday.

    Oh, last thing, the idea that Song is not athletic is a myth. I suggest anyone who doubts this should re-watch the manu home game in which Song chased and tackled Nani, yes the fastest player they have, enough times to cast the doubts out of anyones mind, once and for all, as to his speed.

  39. Herb'sArmy says:

    Morning all,

    what a mess! Personally RA, I think Wenger made the wrong call on Gallas. I think he was wrong to strip him of the captain’s arm-band, and wrong to let him leave. If you were a world-class footballer, why would you consider Arsenal to be a good move right now?

  40. London says:

    Hmmmm I am really tempted to say that Wenger should have anticiapted Vermaelen’s injury that kept him out for the whole of the season and in this knowledge he should have ensured that Gallas stayed but that would be a tad sarcastic.

  41. Red Arse says:

    Hi Herb, :-)

    I do not imagine AW wanted to let Gallas leave, but the Arsenal policy was to offer only 1 year contracts for over 30′s players.

    The easy thing would have been for AW to capitulate and grant Gallas his wish. Of course Wenger would then have been labelled weak. He can’t win can he?

    The only reason professional footballers want to move to another club, including to Arsenal, is money.

    Money and the wish for trophies; with money coming first, second, and third.

    So the concatination of events is Money — Top player — Trophies!

    No money; no top player; no trophy.

    Nothing in life, let alone football, is ever black and white, but the above aphorism is undoubtedly mainly correct.

  42. Red Arse says:

    london,

    I admit that I sometimes (often?) misunderstand you, but I suspect your 12:22 is somewhat disingenuous.

    Am I correct?

  43. RockyLives says:

    Good Day All and thanks for the comments.

    Quite a lot of “who cares if Nasri wants to go – he can go” sentiment around today.
    He may only have had one really good half-season since he joined us (plus some great cameos) but he does seem to be progressing and I would hope that next year he can maintain top form for most of the season.

    I hope that Cesc doesn’t leave but I would be amazed if he is at Arsenal next season, which makes the Nasri situation more fraught.

    On other points raised, I believe Koscielny would make an excellent DM and that Song went backwards last season (in the second half of the previous season he was becoming very reliable, but seemed much less consistent this term).

  44. Herb'sArmy says:

    London,

    you seem to enjoy firing sarcasm in my direction. No-one could have foreseen Vermaelen’s injury (though we do seem to acquire them at an extraordinary rate), but if Campbell was worth bringing back at 35, Gallas at 32/33? wasn’t that bad an option, especially when you take into account that he would have been cheaper and a lot more reliable than Squillaci.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    HA. No-one can argue with that logic, however it must be said that signing Sol was in response to a specific situation..

    Players are taught from an early age to play in a particular position on the pitch and when under pressure they respond intuitively, as such we need a CB who is a CB not a DM. and the same in reverse.

    We have the money, so why not buy a proper DM as cover for Song, and if AW is unconvinced by JD & Kos, then sell them and buy a proper top class CB.

  46. Big Raddy says:

    HA. And Gallas was one of the top earners at the club (rightly so). Signing Squillaci was a cheaper option and a gamble that didn’t work.

  47. London says:

    With hindsight Gallas probably would have been more reliable than Squillaci but it is all too easy to forget just how injury prone Gallas had become just before departing. It is equally easy to forget what Gallas did after he left: thinking he was still gods gift to football he asked for an outrageous amount of money to play for Juventus who promptly told him where to go which left him with the potential ignominy of not having a club for the forth coming season. Enter “Arry” who picked up what turned out to be a bargain but that could have gone either way as Gallas did miss the first half of the season due to injury.

  48. irish gooner says:

    why dont they just pay nasri what he wants,its not like 110k a week will break the (wengers) bank.im sick shit of all things arsenal at the moment,,,,always pinching pennys ,whilst robbing the only people who REALLY care,,,,,,,,if nasri and cesc both leave this summer it will a be a f***ing disaster and der is only 1 man to blame,,,,SORT IT ARSENE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Herb'sArmy says:

    Let’s not question the great man’s judgement, God forbid. I mean, we won two of our last ten games, and only lost to teams who wouldn’t give us our ball back so that we could weave a myriad of pretty patterns. And Almunia really was a great goalkeeper, wasn’t he? He held the number 1 jersey for four years and was even made captain on a few occasions, surely it’s only a matter of time before he’s inducted into our hall of fame. Our visionary manager paid £9m for England’s next big thing, and next year he’s going to explode and prove all his critics wrong. Or maybe he’ll wait another year, or even two, don’t want to rush these things. Paying £10m for someone to cost us a cup-final? Master-stroke! Where were Ferguson and Guardiola? Probably too busy preparing to give their fans what they really crave. Not for us, the glory of winning tacky silver-ware. Not while we can hypnotise our supporters with a plethora of beautiful but ultimately ineffectual dazzling football!

  50. GoonerSef says:

    Sorry but both Nasri and Wenger have said that they prefer Nasri either on the left of the right, as hes more efficient there.
    So many arsnal fans make the assumption that hes better through the middle but hes got his goals and assists from playing outwide, eg. Man City , Spurs….

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. Hope all is well with you.

    AW and the club have a rigid wage structure. If they give in to player blackmail, where does it stop? Over €5m a year to a player who has yet to really establish himself in the side – how much would one pay RvP? Or Sagna?

  52. njen says:

    Not a chance of Nasri as captain with TV5 and Van Persie and AA23 in the team.

  53. London says:

    Goonersef

    That is a good point that many people forget: Nasri was given quite a few opportunities to play through the middle and I think I am right in saying that he did not cover himself in glory on a single one of those occasions.

    BTW, I notice he is given the opportunity to play the same role for France and is usually hauled off and replaced by Goucuff (spelling)

  54. Radders, I don’t think it is the Irish gooner you’re thinking off, she’s a one word nom de plume n’est-ce pas?
    I’d wager the poster @ 1.18 is a bloke.

  55. London says:

    Good spot Chary

    That threw me for a moment but Lady Gaga is missing.

  56. dandan says:

    Nicely thought out piece Rocky,IMHO We will be there or there abouts next season with or without Cesc or Sami or both.

    For those whose sun has stopped shinning, apparently extinguished by Arsene’s culpability a few words to ponder.

    Autobiography in Five Chapters

    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
    I fall in.
    I am lost… I am hopeless.
    It isn’t my fault.
    It takes forever to find a way out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don’t see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
    But it isn’t my fault.
    It still takes a long time to get out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in… it’s a habit
    My eyes are open
    I know where I am
    It is my fault.
    I get out immediately.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

    I walk down another street.

    Hope your sun shines brightly soon, as Arsene’s surely will

  57. I forgot about the lady Gaga London, just the prose style was a tad different to Maire’s.

  58. Irishgunner says:

    Ha ha saw the earlier post, the Irishgooner with the Gaga picture is here.

    I think Nasri will sign. I think its a case of 1) very bored journalists needing a story other than the gig one, 2)Nasri’s agents looking for more money and 3)Nasri seeing do we strengthen – if Cesc goes does someone come in? Are we getting another defensive player? Can Wenger bring in the players to launch a sustained challenge?

  59. I knew it wasn’t you Maire, bless you.

  60. Irishgunner says:

    Ha ha Chary :)

    Just logged in at the nick of time.

    I expect to see Bendtner, Arshavin and Denilson to go. I think Cesc and Nasri will stay.

  61. My wish list for departures is Denilson, Almunia and Diaby(Bendy is clearly off, and after being mucked around with as a right winger who can blame him?)
    As for Cesc and Nasri, Cesc’s loss would be the more injurious to the team except if Nasri joined the claret conked one’s team.
    We do sell to competitors sadly, look at Toure, The Whore, Gallas et al.

  62. RockyLives says:

    Looks like Eboue is off to QPR as well.

    I think AW will relish the chance to change quite a few faces. He knows he needs to shake things up a bit after this season’s collapse.

    I’m surprised so many people think Cesc will be around next year. He’s gone. It’s just a matter of haggling over the fee.

  63. Irishgunner says:

    I’m a small bit upset over the Bendtner situation to be honest. I’ve always rated him, and to me he has always worked hard but Wenger seemed to refuse to play him in his best position for a sustained period. I think Bendtner will go on to have a good career, nothing spectacular but a good career.

  64. dandan says:

    Time for some of our youngsters to come through and take their chance in the squad as well as the newcomers.

    Irish Bendy has had his turn, I think his chance went out the window at Barca when he missed that one.

  65. London says:

    Hi Rocky

    Every year Cesc is gone and every year it is just a case of haggling over the price and yet every year he is on that pitch wearing red and white for the first game of the season. What’s different this year?

  66. Herb'sArmy says:

    Wenger is the ‘nearly’ man. He nearly signed Drogba, Cech, Ronaldo, Berbatov etc, Hernandez was ‘on our radar’. He nearly won the CL in 2006, and nearly ended the six-year drought in CC Final. He keeps trying to convince us that his team is nearly there, even though the run-in was relegation-form. And for a man who allegedly likes ‘beautiful’ football, he has never bought us a player with Bergkamp’s class or technical ability. The nearest is probably Thierry Henry. I can’t remember the last time he actually gave us an ‘exciting’ signing, just players that are ‘nearly’ there and are just waiting to prove their undoubted class to the world. Bruce Rioch may not have been the best, but at least he bought us Bergkamp. Had that been Wenger we’d have missed out, and been told we came close to signing Bergkamp, and that he was definitely on our radar. World-class players win multiple titles, nearly men are exactly that.

  67. London says:

    I bang on and on about if you buy a CB who is better than Djourou which will force him onto the bench Johann will ask to leave. I say, if we buy a winger that forces Walcott onto the bench then he will ask to leave to which I am met over and over again with people saying nonsense they will stay and fight for their place.

    Well look what is happening with Bendtner.

    Do you get it now?

  68. London says:

    Herb

    If you want Wenger replaced just say it.

  69. Evonnethegunner says:

    RA – serdecznie dziekuje, juz wszystko jasne!

  70. Irishgunner says:

    Djourou had a shocker against England – well in the second half from what I saw.

    London, it all boils down to what is good for Arsenal not the players. Other teams can manage to keep most of the players happy so why can’t we? Instead of looking to leave, they should fight to win their place back, thus showing some metal and helping Arsenal along the way. Our players are too comfortable in their positions at times.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    RL Great post – ‘Cesc’s little gifts’: very funny. I rather wait and see what happens to both ‘Nasty’ Nasri or our captain Cesc, before making any conclusions. Regardless of what happens, I would make RvP captain with TV as back up, or the other way around. They are both great leaders and work their socks off. But if Cesc would stay, Wenger would not take the armband off him…

    On the DM position debate. For me Song is no.1 again for next season, but we need a bit of back up to give him a rest now and again.

    I am a big admirer of Koscielny and feel he would be good back up (if we were to buy an additional CB).
    What are the attributes of a good, classical, DM? He should have a great engine, never-say-die attitude, be good in the air, a great tackler – wins a lot of one-to-one’s – decent passer (take the ball of opposition and give it to an attacking players asap), can make quick moves forward when space opens up. Koz has got it all imo. But, he is also a good CB, in which position he had a fine first PL season.

  72. kelsey says:

    It’s a public holiday in Ireland today so …hello Irish.

    I stick to what I said a few months ago.there is unrest in the camp.When have we ever had so much speculation about players that are alleged to say they want to leave or are holding out for better deals.You all know the list.

    We may have had a dip in form towards the end of the season but the majority of the other clubs would be more than pleased to have finished top 4.

    What concerns me most is that several players are coming out with quotes which are dispectful to Wenger and ultimately the club.

    Why should players earn more and more or say they want to win trophies when it is they themselves who ultimately are responsible for the performance on the pitch .Not many that have left us have gone on to better things.
    AW is definitely going to let more go than in previous season, who he will buy is anyones guess, but keep the faith.
    It may turn out to be the real pivitol season for manager and club.There has to be rspect for the manager and the fans and want to play 110% for the club or go.

  73. Herb'sArmy says:

    Would you rate Walcott an ‘exciting’ signing London? Has Wenger ever bought anyone that comes anywhere near Bergkamp’s quality?
    Hi TA, not sure I agree with your sentiments regarding Koscielny.

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi London, we don’t know yet what is happening to Bendnter, but let’s assume he is indeed leaving this summer. He plays football at a topclub and believes in a few years time he will be the world’s best, but we are yet to experience the super-super Nik. You might argue, we did not give him enough chances to prove himself, and I would propably concur with you. But, he did not take the few opportunities he had to impress and that is topsport for you. Wenger is one of the most patient managers around and if(?) he believes that Bendtner can leave, then he will have had his chance and that’s the way it should be.

    A top club needs plenty of cover in all areas and healthy competition for the 11 coveted positions on the field. Your continuous argument that we can only buy a new player if we sell an excisting player in that position, or the incumbent will want to leave/ gets disgruntled, does not fit with what a topclub is all about. Players either fight to become first choice, become happy to be (temporarily) on the bench, or choose to leave (if we let them in the first place).

  75. Big Raddy says:

    If we had a conventional left winger who can cross a ball and score say 8- 10 a season, we could add another attacking option and at the same time improve our defensive cohesion. A proper winger doesn’t need an overlapping fullback. Theo/AA do because they are prone to wander infield leaving the space for Sagna/Clichy, and cannot cross consistently.

  76. Irishgunner says:

    Hi Kelsey, and indeed it is a public holiday. I even had a four day weekend because I’d Friday off to go to a gig – Imelda May, even got to meet her, her world dominations is imminent :)

    Anyway, yeah, there is a lot of truth in what you say, but is it just the normal unease this time of year or is it more? Or do we think its more cos we are so uneasy? I’d happily sell Cesc to bring in someone like Schweinsteiger. Cesc’s heart isn’t in playing for Arsenal anymore even though I’ve no doubt he loves the club. We need something fresh and not just a token freshness like Koscielny.

  77. dandan says:

    Irish if you want to know why our players want away, then read 50% of the comments on AA over the last week, that plus booing players is not conducive to loyalty.
    Arsenal supporters have always chosen a scape goat to have a down on, you can go right back to the fairs cup final that signaled the start of the new era arsenal. Jon Sammels a very skillful player had a blinder scored and assisted that night, but it didnt stop the boo boys, in the end he asked for a transfer and had successful spells elsewhere.

    There have been many since then of whom Dennilson is the latest example, Bendy is bright enough to know that when Denilson leaves another player will be picked on and probably doesn’t want any part of it, so look out any one of a number of the current squad and god help any young lad who might get promoted, if he doesn’t have LJ’s talent

  78. Herb'sArmy says:

    I think my comments invoke enough of your acid sarcasm already, London, without adding more fuel to the fire.

  79. Irishgunner says:

    Dandan – are we truly any worse than other club when it comes to support? Don’t the Mancs have their scapegoats – John O’Shea for one always seems to get a rough doing from his own fans.

  80. Herb'sArmy says:

    Dandan,

    Jon Sammels went to Leicester, which is hardly a step-up in class. Bertie Mee won the ‘Double’ with nine of Billy Wright’s players, then broke the side up with disasterous consequences, proving that he should never have left his position as club physio.

  81. RockyLives says:

    London
    Last year I thought Cesc would stay. This year I think he’ll go.

    What’s changed?
    If you’re looking for hard evidence, then nothing. But if you’re content to consider circumstantial evidence, quite a lot. Certain people with ‘inside information’ claim he is going; ex Arsenal stalwarts have been queueing up to say (in slightly guarded terms) that they think he is going; his farewell gifts to players; the fact he said farewell to all the backroom staff; my interpretation of what happened last summer (Cesc asked to leave, AW persuaded him to stay for another year); the fact that last summer Barca had no money, this year they’re backed by Qatari oil billions…

    It’s not scientific but I feel it pretty strongly.

    In fact, I might be tempted to bet dandan’s house on it…

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky Hi,
    Word of advice. Bet Raddy’s pad in the Italian Alps :-)

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi London,
    I don’t understand your 2:56. If we buy someone who “is better” than someone we already have, then we are better off, whether t’other stays or not, neh?

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HA, which of the DM/Koz attributes in my 3.06 comment do you not agree with, et pourquoi?

  85. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky,:-)

    You will need to clarify the ‘Quatari Millions’ for me.

    Have Barca sold their souls, (or their shirts)? :-)

    [We would never do that, of course] :-)

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    B Raddy, agreed on the new winger for us. Who would you like it to be?

  87. kelsey says:

    It’s as clear as mud.cesc wants out and it is all a question of a valuation that is accepted by both parties.If that can’t be agreed then he stays .I assure you 3 clubs want him, but he only wants to go to one.

  88. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, :-)

    I am sticking my nose in here, but Herb must be referring to — ‘Koz has got it all imo. But, he is also a good CB, in which position he had a fine first PL season.’

    The attributes you would like to see in a DM seem pretty good to me.

    Whether or not Kozzer has got those attributes or is a good CB is a matter of opinion, of course, and I’m sure Herb was only voicing a difference of opinion

    I’m inclined to agree he had a good first season overall, because coming into a team that seemed to be forever changing personnel thru’ injuries must have been difficult.

    Now you can both argue with me! :-)

  89. RockyLives says:

    kelsey
    the three clubs who want Cesc being, presumably, Barca, Inter and Citeh, right? What about Chavski?

  90. kelsey says:

    Hi RA,

    no i don’t think so but they are reporting over here that the CL victory earned them 100 million euros which comes in very handy ;)

  91. kelsey says:

    wrong RL, 3 bids on the table, who may want him is an entirely different matter.

  92. Red Arse says:

    Herb,

    I have been saying for a couple of seasons that I doubt Walcott has it in him to make it at the top level.

    He has pace, and that is about it.

    Injuries have been a problem for him for a while, it is fair to say, but ………

    If we brought in a ‘proper’ winger and Walcott asked for a transfer, well tough titty! :-)

    Same for any other player who did not like competition from a new acquisition.

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA Howdee,
    I know it won’t happen (apart from anything else, he is our best CB) but TV has a great shot on him.

  94. Red Arse says:

    TA, je negeert mij door te doen alsof om te werken? :-)

    Hi Micky, :-) I totally agree with you about TV.

    Ajax played him in midfield quite a bit so it is a no brainer to play him there for us too, on occasion, depending on which CB’s we have available and also dependent on the opposition.

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA, can only agree Koz had a good to great first season (it clearly is a very different league for almost any foreigner and many just don’t cut it) and I just love his energy and enthusiasm (combined with his obvious footballing qualities). It would be good to see TV and Koz together, the former is the calmer, more level-headed whilst the latter is mr Energy and maybe a tat too erratic at times (?). If they are able to cope with the height issue, on which I have my doubt, it could be a great pairing…

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cesc understandably only wants to go to Barca, but what do AFC decide should there be considerably better offers from City or Madrid for example?
    (Naturally I want him to stay!!).

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA, not bad at all. It should have been: ‘je negeert me door te doen alsof je aan het werken bent’, but I guess it is double dutch to you anyway.. insert cheeky smily face. Vous etes un homme de beaucoup de merite.

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Tough Titty”. Surely the expression I was after. Better is better.

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, how could I ‘negeer’ you? I am just not as quick as you, Cul Rouge.

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Its mighty tough being an Arsenal 2011-12 Speculator, without having any idea as to our budget and Leavers.

  101. Herb'sArmy says:

    TA,

    Wenger identified defensive frailties and said 41 goals was too many to concede if you want to be champions (which Vermaelen was at the heart of). So four CB’s left, Campbell, Gallas, Silvestre and Senderos, which should have signalled revolution. Instead we got two players we’d never heard of, Koscielny for £10m and Squillaci, £3m or £4m. Two players with no Premier Lge experience, and a big leap in terms of pace from both Lorient and Seville. Even without Vermaelen’s unfortunate injury, Wenger was relying on a couple of rookies to solve his defensive woes, and as has been too often the case, it back-fired. Koscielny had two red-cards, gave away needless penalties, and screwed-up big time at Wembley with the world watching. We conceded 43 league goals, two more than last year, when Wenger identified the problem, so I don’t agree that he had a good season. And Djourou’s performances against Bolton, Stoke and Villa have proved that he isn’t the solution either. If the side was set-up properly and we had a decent defensive unit we wouldn’t need a DM. It is Wenger’s achillies heel, and if he doesn’t get it right soon he will be remembered more for his defensive failings than any of his past glories.

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    TA,
    Regarding the TV/Kos pairing, height is a major issue. Has to be springs or heels.

  103. Red Arse says:

    I need to do some work, but first, I have to admit I am worried AW might slip back into old habits, as I have just read that he is interested in re-signing Seb Larrson from Birmingham.

    Rumours are just that, but Arsene does have form in these matters. Buying an average player because he is out of contract is a yellow card offence in my opinion.

    If you fill up our squad with new ‘average’ players because they are cheap, that yellow card could become a Red.

    Not exactly a whinge, Dandan, because I have no reason to complain, as yet, but it would concern me if this type of transfer happened, so it is voicing my concern in case AW reads AA later today, as usual! :-)

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Vertonghen is the answer. 6′ 2″ and can play CB or DM. Also, his name begins with a “V” and alongside Vermaelen someone like RA could easily come up with something cool :-)
    Seriously, he is the answer.

  105. Red Arse says:

    TA, :-)

  106. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    The Meedja like ‘dynamic duo’ etc, but In the interim, until we sign the said Vertonghen (and I agree with you he would be an ace buy) I would open with ‘Vicious Vixens’, after a tough game; or ‘Veeble Vellows’ if they are crap! :-)

    If he does joins us that would have to be amended to something more butch, of course! :-)

  107. dandan says:

    Been at the dentist since my last post. HA I am aware Jon went to Leicester but as I didn’t say he went to a bigger club I don’t see the relevance.
    All my comments made in that post at 3:32 stand.

  108. Nasri shouldn’t be our captain at all. He is nowhere near Cesc. We should try harder to keep cesc than Nasri.
    I think we need Fabregas a lot more than Nasri.Cesc has been the heart of the team while Nasri has only played well this season(only the first half).
    If Cesc leaves, it’ll surely be more difficult to cope than if Nasri does.
    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/what-to-do-about-samir-nasri/

  109. TotalArsenal says:

    HA, there is merit in what you are saying, but do you think partly measuring a defender’s individual performance through penalties and red cards conceded, is reasonable? It does not tell me that much about the individual, Vidic, Ferdinand, Terry, Vermaelen all concede penalties and get red cards now and again.
    It has been mentioned many times before that we as a team have defended weakly throughout last season, which again makes it even more difficult to use pen/red cards conceded as a measurement.

    There are more examples, but the Barca away game told me a lot about what Koz has to offer to us (even when he condeded a penalty). I guess in the end it is all about the different ways you and I measure somebody’s performance.

  110. dandan says:

    RA Wasn’t Seb Larrson a good player who wanted out because he didn’t want to wait for a place when he could play first team at Brum.I believe a number of clubs are after him, but how good he is I don’t know. And no I don’t consider constructive criticism a whinge. But the amount of vitriol poured out on our selected players is matched in my experience only by the spuds.

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    I knew I could rely on you.
    Much talk of a DM and/or a CB. Vertonghen does both. It is all so simple!

  112. TotalArsenal says:

    HA, forgot to say I agree with you tactical/personnel management mistakes were made at the start of last season regarding our need to ‘revolutionize our defense’.

  113. Herb'sArmy says:

    Dandan,

    you said he went on to have further success, if helping keep Leicester up counts as success then you’re right. Just briefly referring back to that time, I never forgave Bertie Mee for selling Charlie George to Derby! Typical Old Etonian!

  114. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    You have a point about the ‘scape goat’ tendencies of some, and boo-ing is reprehensible.

    On the other hand there are players who, for what ever reason, do not play well enough, and, in the heat of the moment, almost any fan can yell something derisive, even sitting at home throwing cushions at the TV.

    I bet, for example, many England fans expressed their dismay at Bent on Saturday for missing an ‘easy’ chance. These are the same fans who delightedly cheered him in earlier games when he scored.

    Human beings, eh? :-)

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Herb,
    Ah ha, the Charlie George “V” sign. Classic.

  116. desigunner says:

    If Cesc leaves there’d have to be big changes. I can’t see anyone in the current squad delivering at his level. He is better than all of them even on his off days. That’s just my opinion of course. Only Sneijder comes close in terms of attacking contribution but I doubt we’ll get him. That means a change of system with lesser emphasis on the attacking midfielder even if there is one in the form of Jack, Ramsey, or Nasri.

    Can’t see Nasri as a captain. He’s had trouble with a lot of people. Doesn’t seem mature enough either. And there is Van Persie who clearly deserves the role more.

    Also agree with posters who have said captaincy should not be used as a sweetner anymore and Wenger has to do something different.

  117. dandan says:

    HA Charlie didn’t endear himself Riding bikes and buggering about during training sessions, he and Mee hated one and another.

    Mind you I heard Bob Wilson say Charlie did push his luck and he had known him since he taught him in school.

    Bob quite liked Mee but it was his army discipline that Charlie objected too.

  118. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    Our comments have crossed, I think, making my 5:31 redundant. :-)

  119. Red Arse says:

    dandan,

    Didn’t Bruce Rioch have a similar problem (tough disciplinarian) with the players that led to his departure?

  120. TotalArsenal says:

    Family Enclosure Man – are you GiE in Welsh disguise?

  121. Herb'sArmy says:

    Micky, Dandan, he’ll always be a legend for me. The North Bank loved Charlie more than they did Bertie Mee. Maybe it was the working-class identity.

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    M89, Vertonghen would be a great signing but Ajax will not let him go this year. They just became champions of Holland, have qualified for CL and Frank de Boer is keen to keep them all together to start building another great Ajax-side. For Dutch football this is crucial and highly overdue.

  123. dandan says:

    RA: of course people curse and swear when chances and tackles are missed no one minds that,nor does constructive criticism as long as it is constructive. It is the constant vitriol that some folks feel necessary to indulge in, in the blogosphere and of course the pathetic booing, that demeans us all, that is the root cause of my satisfaction.

    One wonders if it were our children being so abused how we would react.

  124. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    I wish you had not started me on an acronym for Vertonghen and Vermalen, ‘V V’.

    My head is full of suggestions, most (all) of them complete rubbish! :-)

    How about ‘Vengeful Valkyries’ or ‘Viking Valkyries’?

    Only trouble is, TA will tell everyone, altho’ you will all know anyway, that a ‘Valkyrie’ is a female god/warrior who chooses who will die in battle.

    Damn you Micky, what have you done to me? :-)

    Herb, don’t be so down. At this time of year we can all dream/wish/hope that AW will magically buy the two or three players that will make us champions next season. [And it's fun while it lasts!] :-)

  125. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I agree with that.

    You are absolutely right, it is a corrosive, debilitating and self defeating attitude that does demean all who engage in it, and is totally unforgiveable.

  126. dandan says:

    HA: Yes Charlie was indeed a cult figure, my particular favourite was Geordie. Charlies if you are interested was DB10 he told me that he could do things with the ball that had to be seen to believed.
    I suppose his Newcastle goal was proof of that.

  127. Herb'sArmy says:

    RA,

    I don’t think Wenger has the ability to take us to the next level. As I said earlier, he’s never bought us a ‘Bergkamp’. His signings are ordinary and functional in comparison. Keeping Pat Rice on spells alarm bells.

  128. Herb'sArmy says:

    Dandan,

    Geordie Armstrong, brilliant!

  129. RockyLives says:

    dandan
    I wholeheartedly agree that crowd abuse of our players is a really unpleasant feature of the last couple of seasons.

    However, I’m not sure I would say that is the main reason why players are moving on. I think there was a collective realisation that this group of players were never going to win anything together. Some have decided to ship out to try and find success elsewhere. Others want to stay put and hope that the replacements will turn out to be the ‘ingredient X’ that’s needed to turn a very talented team into a team of winners.

  130. Herb'sArmy says:

    Dandan,

    ‘Geordie’ Armstrong, brilliant!

  131. dandan says:

    HI Rocky I dont think I said it was the main reason that players leave, it was rather a reply to Irish’s question why we couldnt keep players. Most of the players with the exception of Firmani have stayed a reasonable time, and abuse of selected players has long been a feature at Highbury/Emirates and the only fans who are worse to my Knowledge are the Spuds.

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    I am sure you are right about the players and their expectations of the “ingredient X”. My frustrations are that I believe we very very close, and two, maybe three, signings would get us to where we all want to be, while playing beautiful football. However, these signings need to be very good, as well as for now. The finished articles to add shine to our team.

  133. RockyLives says:

    dandan
    as you say, there have always been individuals who took stick from the crowd (I seem to remember Keown being one of the victims for a short while – does anyone else remember that?).

    But it seems more widespread now and includes targets who would not have been pilloried in bygone days (booing a 17-year-old Alex Song, for example).

  134. RockyLives says:

    micky
    I also think our brand of football and our group of players are just a small tweak or two away from becoming winners. They had enough ability to have won the 2010/11 title but were let down by some sort of psychological flaw, which is what AW is going to address.

    I firmly believe he is going to make some important signings this summer.

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Go on Rocky, give me your two. Vertonghen and Eto for me.

  136. Herb'sArmy says:

    Those two would be immense Micky. Would Eto’o come to the Emirates though?

  137. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Herb,
    With Cesc and Nasri staying…for sure.
    Defence and midfield sorted out. Eto alongside RvP…game over :-)

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Coward Rocky :-)
    Childish game, but hey ho.

  139. Hi all

    We have a post for tomorrow and then none for the rest of the week, so if you have something to say, write it up and send it in. Thanks

  140. Herb'sArmy says:

    Is Eto’o the type of player Wenger would go for, though? Doubt if he’d be cheap, and we know Wenger doesn’t like paying big money.

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Come off it Herb. We could flog Ros, Den, Eboue and either MC or NB, hold a raffle and borrow the other tenner.

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    I have something to say and it concerns Pak Choy, so I’ll get cracking.

  143. Herb'sArmy says:

    Agreed Micky, we know the money is there, but will Wenger make that sort of marquee signing?

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA, as you know Vertonghen is a Flemish name and most good things in life start with a V in Flemish/Dutch):

    Voetbal = Football
    Vrijheid = Freedom
    Vrouwen = Females
    Voedsel = Food
    Vriendschap = Friendship

    It might not cover all that is needed in live, but boy, we can all become quite happy with those V’s (F’s in english) in life… so I agree ‘V’ should be our sign!

  145. TotalArsenal says:

    Oh, forgot to think about our fantastic female AA’ers:

    Vriend = (boy)friend
    Vriendin = (girl)friend

  146. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    Me? A coward?
    “squeak”

    I had to pretend to do some work. Now I’m back so I’ll give you my two signings. Well, actually three:

    Leighton Baines, Jagielka, Ibrahimovich.

  147. RockyLives says:

    I probably should have said Vertonghen or whatever he’s called, as he seems to be the flavour of the moment. But I can’t really remember what he plays like. I suppose I must have seen him – did he play for Holland in the WC?

    He sounds a bit like a character from Asterix the Gaul.

  148. RockyLives says:

    Vertonghen + Vermaelen = V-V-Voom….

  149. Herb'sArmy says:

    My two? Chiellini and Benzema.

  150. London says:

    If Benzema arrived do you think that Wenger would be forced to play 4.4.2 bearing in mind that he would have to find a place for RvP in the starting line up?

    And if Chiellini arrived do you think Song would be sold?

  151. RockyLives says:

    London
    That would be a double win!

  152. Big Raddy says:

    London. Yes. No.

    Ibramovich would never come – he is supposed to be the highest paid player in the world – but what a record he has – he has won the league with every club he has played for and won the league for the last 5 years with 3 different clubs.

    Eto’ø would be great but again we will not pay his ages.

  153. RockyLives says:

    BR :) I love the way you’ve turned Eto into a Scandinavian!

  154. TotalArsenal says:

    Rocky, Vertonghen is Belgian (I wish he was Dutch though: CB’s is the only area of concern for the Dutch national team).

    My two/three players:

    Vertonghen: good in the air as well as on the ground and has played with TV. Great personality.

    Affelay (winger at Barca): multi-functional, can play as a winger, in the hole as well as central midfield. One of the most beautiful footballers too watch at the moment, but not fully in the Bergkamp-category (yet).

    Malouda. Great winger and allround footballer; would fit in perfectly well at Arsenal.

    If Cesc were to leave: Van Bommel or Steven Gerrard (both highly unlikely) to lead/mentor the young talents of Song, Wilshere and Ramsey.

  155. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    I’ve put the second part of ‘the season in headline’ into drafts.

  156. Herb'sArmy says:

    To answer your question London, I think van Persie and Benzema could do what Bergkamp and Henry did, as for Song, I’ve never been a fan. I’d love to see Arsenal go back to 4-4-2, it is a more direct and attacking philosophy. It would render Song redundant (unless he was used as a CB), but I don’t rate him good enough to be here anyway, so I wouldn’t mind him being sold.

  157. TotalArsenal says:

    HA, who would you play in centre of midfield in a 4-4-2?

  158. Herb'sArmy says:

    TA,

    Maybe Ramsey and Wilshere.

  159. TotalArsenal says:

    That seems to be the future pairing. I would prefer Song and Cesc in a 4-4-2 at this stage, with one holding back and one leading our attacks. If Cesc were to go, I would prefer Song and Wilshire or Song and Ramsey.

  160. Herb'sArmy says:

    I’d prefer to see Song replaced TA.

  161. TotalArsenal says:

    HA, fair enough, that is where we differ on opinion. What part of the UK are you based? I am based in Norwich.

  162. RockyLives says:

    TA
    I assume you know that GiE is in Norwich too….

  163. RockyLives says:

    I wouldn’t mind a 4-4-2 with Song and Cesc in the middle, provided Song played more of a Gilberto role.

  164. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes,thanks RL I do know, GiE has even suggested to go a game at some point next season.

    One of the best midfield pairings in recent history, for me, was the one between Zidane and Davids at Juventus. Davids sacrificed his attacking intentions (which were not bad at all) so ZZ could go forward and be the absolute star, but without Davids’ hard work in midfield Juventus would not have been as successful. Song could play the Davids’ role if he wanted to and Wenger would let him…

  165. Herb'sArmy says:

    Place of funny accents TA, Birmingham. No, I’m not a ‘Brummie’, more a drifter.

  166. TotalArsenal says:

    I am more of a drifter too HA. I have just returned from a couple of years in south-Scotland and before that I worked/lived in London. Good to hear you have not got the Brummie accent.

  167. Herb'sArmy says:

    If I was cursed with that TA, I may have had to cut my tongue out. Scotland’s nice, I once stayed up in Ayrshire.

  168. TotalArsenal says:

    Scotland’s my favourite part of the UK, especially Ardnamurchan and Highlands in general. I lived in Larnarkshire, which I am sure you know, is adjacent to Ayrshire.

  169. Herb'sArmy says:

    Yes TA, beautiful landscape etc. Winter was quite a culture shock!

  170. RockyLives says:

    Love the Highlands too, have had some great hols in the Oban area – but live in Canada now (the flat bit around Toronto).

    Making my first trip to the Rockies at the weekend though (Banff – apparently it’s breathtaking).

  171. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes winters (2009, 2010) have been very cold up there. I drove through Glencoe last December at midday with a temperature of -15 degrees Celsius, but it was unforgettably beautiful. Hardly any cars around and everywhere you look serene white mountains and landscapes with deer, birds of prey etc everywhere. I found the summers harder to bear though: we had the second and third wettest Augusts on record in Scotland. Now that was grim.

    I am going to switch off now HA. As always, good ‘talking’ to you, and till tomorrow.

  172. TotalArsenal says:

    I am so jeaulous Rocky. I really miss the mountains here in Norwich. Enjoy the Rockies! Will you be doing some hill walking or is it more of a car trip?

    Speak to you again tomorrow.

  173. Herb'sArmy says:

    Cheers TA, goodnight. And to you too RL.

  174. [...] Nasri to Captain Arsenal If Cesc Fabregas leaves Arsenal this summer then you should put a tenner on Samir Nasri taking over as [...] [...]

  175. RockyLives says:

    Hi TA & HA
    I’ve probably missed you both now, but always nice talking to you chaps too.

    As for Banff – it’s a work trip – flying in for a few days for a conference.

  176. dandan says:

    Rocky you really are going to Gods country the Rockies are breathtaking, I keep going back.
    As you are visiting Banff, if you like Mexican food, look up a restaurant called The Magpie and Stump. It doesn’t look like the Ritz, uses Jar’s for wine glasses etc, but is very reasonable and the food is superb. You will love it,a great atmospheric place to go with colleagues for a bonding night out. I bet Rasp’s house on it. :-) No doubt you will have a trip to Lake Louise magnificent and Chateau Louise is much more upmarket but again the food is great. But I prefer the stump :-)
    Your part of the world is not bad either :-) some great lakes and Canoeing, my Brother lives in London and my wife I among other Canadian trips, have spent 6 weeks driving from Montreal to Vancouver. So know your country a bit. Enjoy your trip.

  177. Big Raddy says:

    DD. I have been to Banff and had dinner at Chateau Louise. After dinner at the Chateau we returned to the car to find the driver’s door blocked by an enormous moose sleeping by the warm car – scared the bejeezus out of me!

    I won a 2 week ski trip (raffle) about 10 years ago which was based in Banff and spent much time in the Lake Louise area. Loved Banff so much that I used a few days with estate agents looking at properties with a plan to emigrate. Came back to UK, went to the Canadian Embassy, started the immigration process and then life got in the way.

    A divorce and some wonderful good fortune has led me to live in a land that has the complete opposite nature to Banff, which is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Canadian Rockies are life enhancing and Lake Louise truly spectacular.

  178. dandan says:

    BR We are indeed the lucky ones.

  179. dandan says:

    RA: Urgent message for you.

    The TSA is alert and ready…………….

    A public school teacher from Tennessee was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International airport as he attempted to board an international flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator.

    At a morning press conference, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said she believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. She did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

    ‘Al-Gebra is a problem for us’, Secretary Napolitano said. ‘They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.’ They use secret code names like “X” and “Y” and refer to themselves as “unknowns” but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, “There are 3 sides to every triangle.“

  180. Evonnethegunner says:

    Morning all,
    Interesting chat about Canada and Scotland. I haven’t been to Canada yet, but Scotland is awesome. But so is Poland :) Tatra mountains are magnificent with 30 degrees during the summer and -30 in the winter, take your pick.

    Now the serious stuff – Nasri has to say all those daft things, like him not ruling out ManU move, because he is negotiting a new contract. If he said that he has no intention of leaving Arsenal, his salary offer would have been peanuts, no more than 50k

  181. kelsey says:

    All you jet setters.I have to slum it in Marbella :)

  182. Big Raddy says:

    Evonne. I do not accept that! Nasri has no reason to go public. Arsenal know precisely the dangers of negotiating with a player in the final year of his contract, and Nasri’s implied threat belittles him.

    My guess is that Samir watched Rooney’s wage negotiations with SAF and copied him. The difference is that the idiot Mancs swallow his kissing the badge 2 weeks after saying he would leave, Arsenal fans don’t (see Adebayor).

    Stating publicly (IF he did) that he would consider a move to MU is a publicity disaster and shows just how misguided modern footballers are.

  183. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Marbella weather may be good but you are living in a place where everyone assumes you and all your fellow ex-pats are criminals :-)

  184. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy, Evonne,

    There seems to be a pattern here. Why is it that several players have had half a good season and then think they are the bees knees and deserve a move to a ‘bigger’ club?

    It happened with Flamini, Hleb, Ade and now Nasri – do we just make too much of a fuss of them when they do well, or have they really only seen Arsenal as a stepping stone I wonder?

  185. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey :)

  186. kelsey says:

    Right that’s it BR our engagement is off.

  187. Red Arse says:

    Morning Dandan, :-)

    Thanks for the tip off, I was wondering what had happened to my fellow agent in the axis of co-ordinated equilateral triangulation! :-)

    You are brilliant!! :-)

    Here’s something for you as a grandparent.

    – My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 62. My grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, “Did you have to start at 1?”

    – After putting her grandchildren to bed, which she had done many times before, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse, took out her teeth and proceeded to wash her hair.
    She heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, and her patience grew thin. Finally, in exasperation, she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings.
    As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, “Who was THAT?”

  188. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. ……. sorry…….. (in a very small voice)

  189. Evonnethegunner says:

    Hiya Rasp, yes, there is a pattern and I was saying last December that Samir will either look for a transfer or the captain’s band.
    BUT in his defence may I add (soz about polish grammar), that he played with Wiltshire at the start of the season and that suited him marvellously. Upon Cesc’s return his position changed and so did his effectiveness

  190. Red Arse says:

    I worked for a short time in Seattle, and decided to drive up to Vancouver and do the ‘touristy’ thing and catch the Rocky Mountaineer to Banff.

    The whole deal was fantastic. And, apart from being chased by an elk when returning from a restaurant to my hotel, the reception was very friendly from all the resident Japanese!! :-)

    If you go walking, keep an eye out for grizzlies — close up, say 250 yards — they look as big as elephants! :-)

  191. Evonnethegunner says:

    RA – I love the grandma joke, excellent

    Morning Kelsey, long time no hear :)

  192. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. It would appear as a stepping stone. Yet there are very few bigger clubs than us and the players play a dangerous game by flirting so obviously. If AC/Inter/ Barca//RM/BayernM/MU or the Chavs are not interested then there is nowhere to go but down.

    Plus the money men at these clubs must be fully aware of the record of players who leave AFC. Apart from PV and TH, who were already huge stars, only Flamini has done well.

    I say that it is time the club took back some control from the players but how I do not know

  193. Rasp says:

    Morning RA,

    How are you these days? – are you likely to get a chance to join the AA’ers for a pre-match drink in the rub-a-dub next season do you think?

  194. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Never been to Seattle, I hear it is a wonderful city. Should I put in on the future travel agenda?

  195. Rasp says:

    I agree Raddy, maybe we should make an example of one or two and be more ruthless when they step out of line – hopefully the message will percolate through the squad and they will come to understand that they should be honoured to play for Arsenal and not the other way around.

  196. Morning all

    There’s a New Post

    Marbella is very nice ;)

  197. Red Arse says:

    Hi Evonne, :-)

    Morning Rasp, :-)

    I am cautiously optimistic that I am well on the ‘mend’, and would love to meet you regular alcoholics in the ‘rub-a-dub’ (pub?) next season, if only out of curiosity :-) provided I am still in the UK at the time.

  198. Red Arse says:

    Hi BR, :-)

    In the 6 months I was in Seattle I did not get around as much as I would have liked (work), but it has a lot to offer as a modern cosmopolitan city with lakes and wildlife very accessible (but don’t mention the rain) and I intend to go back again when the opportunity arises.

  199. WiganGooner says:

    Mornin all!!

    Seems like a slow news day!! I’ve sent in another post so I hope it has a similar effect to my last! :)

    At the very least I expect someone to disagree with me. :)

    WG

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