The Arsenal Defense Cornered

After watching our first two matches, I have some thoughts and observations I’d like to share. This may be (hopefully) a busy week, so as you read this some personnel may have changed.

I have been keeping up with the blogs, and there is an unusual amount of agreement among fans about the defense, and the team in general. It seems Steve Bould’s influence is apparent. The discipline and cohesiveness are plain to see. Tommy Vermaelen only bombed forward a bit – late in the match vs Sunderland, when we were chasing a win at home against the bus, and in those circumstances, I was happy to see it. Much better than being in the opponents box when we are nursing a lead, like last season. Mertesacker has been his normal, under-rated, steady self. But effective as usual. Hopefully we will have our best defender Kozscielny back soon. I have said before, I would stack up our first 3 CB’s against any team’s.

A lot of us have noticed how well Gibbs has played – for me it’s obvious why he has defended so well. It’s FOCUS. I don’t mean that in an abstract, cliche way – I mean.. he has been told to be a defender first. He needed this, because in the past he didn’t excel in any facet, now he has shown he can be a very good defender at least, which is more than before. The same for Jenkinson, he has so far avoided being caught out of position as he was in the pre-season friendlies, which had us all worried. So our boy Sagna, with Jenks, Coquelin and Yennaris, might leave us well covered at RB. But these defensive improvements come at a cost. As you know, a big part of our attack has always included our full backs participating, and I do feel like I’ve noticed that has been curtailed so far in the two matches. I’m not saying that it’s the problem, but we all knew in the back of our minds, that the discipline we were asking for would make for a slightly less exciting attack. I do believe, that when our coaches see enough defensive discipline, the fullbacks will be encouraged to help a little more -but hopefully in a responsible way.

In the comments section after the Stoke match, our friend LB made a great point, which I had been pondering during the match, and that is – if our defense is looking so tight, maybe we don’t need a killer defensive midfielder. But I will disagree, because, even though I considered it, I remembered how I felt watching some of our future opponents offensive squads in the past two weeks. Chelsea with Torrez, Hazard, Mata, Oscar, Marin, Sturridge ( and probably another top striker to come). City with Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko, Balotelli, Silva, and Nasri. United is the weakest of the top teams with Rooney,VP, Chicharrito, Berbatov (?) Kagawa, but the worst midfield behind them. And the next tier of teams including an improved Everton, Newcastle, and Spurs are all more dangerous than the teams we just held scoreless. At Liverpool, Suarez alone has more talent than anyone we have faced so far. By the way, looking at that list, I really think we need one more striker, I like our crew, but if we really want to challenge in all competitions, Giroud and Podolski will be way overworked. But we will have the best midfield in the league, talented and deep, for sure.

I am amazed at the divergence of opinion about Diaby, everyone watching the same performances can have such disagreement. I see it this way: I’ve watched some older matches over this summer from 2009,10.. and obviously so far this season. I think he is talented, but in a subtle way, he is not as slow as he appears, very fluid, with a nice shot in him, uses his upper body very well to keep players at bay, but I don’t see him as a DM. Arteta does everything and anything asked of him, and very well, including excellent tackling, but I think we are a little better if he is free to go forward more, especially since we didn’t add Sahin, and we don’t want to rush or pressure Wilshere. By the way, even though I defended Song alot last season, he was a clown, and WE are better without him. He can be coached into playing well as CB/DM for Barca, I will admit. Thy do know how to recognize physical talent.

So, I think, particularly in those big matches, I would feel more secure having an aggressively defensive midfielder, who is also a very good passer, if only to protect our new organized, effective back four, which I think we will all be proud of this season.

Written by JNYC

MJC has submitted the chart below that compares the corners won against those conceded after the first two games, this data adds weight to some of the points made in JNYC’s post today………..

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210 Responses to The Arsenal Defense Cornered

  1. Norfolk Gooner says:

    A fine thought provoking post JNYC.

    I’m more than happy that the defenders have started to operate as a defensive unit with the primary object of defending. Gone are the days of “you score three and we’ll score five” (Spuds last season) .

    I think we do need a mid-field destroyer to sit and protect the back four, especially in away games against the better teams, in home matches then perhaps a player with a bit more subtlety can be utilised.

    Eighteen corners “won” none of them resulting in a goal? Hmm!

  2. Red Arse says:

    Good Post, J, :-)

    I agree with everything you have written.

    I would have preferred Song to have stayed with us for another couple of seasons until PingPong reaches maturity, as he is physically well able to cope with some of the bigger forwards we come up against, and despite appearing to ‘showboat’ occasionally, his defence splitting passes to Batman’s friend turned games for us last year.

    It would be less of a concern if AW replaced him with an equivalent sized DM, but he has said we have enough midfield cover so that does not sound altogether likely.

    Let’s see what happens in the next two days.

  3. kelsey says:

    Morning All, sorry to go back to the end of the last post.

    I have never been a lover of Walcott but let’s just presume we would have won the league in the last two seasons or even the Champions League, do you think any of the departed players would have stayed ?

    It’s all about money,money,money and agents and three teams can blow us out of the water when it comes to wages.
    Hopefully FFP will work, though I have my doubts, but don’t expect any silverware for a while

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hole in One, Johnnie. Thank you.
    It is possible for us all to agree on this elusive DM Fella. He is 6’2″, chiselled features (obviously), hard as the very hardest nails with silky skills and precision slide rule passing abilities. Now, where is the big bugger?

  5. mjc says:

    @MickyDidIt89:
    I believe he’s doing some odd jobs around the Etihad at the moment – but he’s knocking on a bit now….

  6. Red Arse says:

    Adrian,

    You may or may not have made some valid points, altho I suspect the latter.

    Without putting in the occasional paragraph your comment is too lengthy and difficult to read, so I gave up half way thru.

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning Adrian,

    Thank you for the comment, as Red Arse says it is rather too bulky …. but you make serious points and it is well written, so if you agree, I can remove it in the next few minutes and after a bit of creative editing, publish it as a headline post on the site tomorrow.

  8. glic says:

    Is that you Durham ?, I knew you were a closet gooner !. just kidding :).
    An extra £6.25m over 5 years to keep Theo and If we dont like him next year we can sell him for a lot more with the longer contract .
    If we do sell , then we missed out on Moses, imo a steal at £9m .
    Still 2 years to go before we properly hit the ground running , but I will be disappointed If we dont bring in a quality player by the end of the window. Imo , it looks like the Spuds are doing better business.

    PS
    Fine post jnyc

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GliC,
    You are dead right about tickets for Southampton.
    This minute, there are two singles available in the entire stadium!
    Some people don’t mind the ludicrous prices, the rubbish team and the zero prospects of trophies.

  10. Red Arse says:

    Hi Glicster, :-)

    I totally agree with the points you make.

    Rather than let Theo go for nowt next year, or sell him Friday for peanuts, we should give him a contract for the money he is asking for, and then see how he goes this season and if he is still not consistently producing the goods we can sell him next Summer.

    Errrm, I think I just said, in a long winded way, what you said far more succinctly! :-)

    Darn these run away fingers — how do you suggest I discipline them? :-)

  11. Red Arse says:

    Micky, :-)

    I know. It is shocking how people are put off by all these negatory comments.

    Still, if these know alls said anything positive there would be TWO people for each seat — and arguing about who sits on whose shoulders!! :-)

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    The two non-attendants have formed a Protest March.

  13. glic says:

    Thanks Redders and Micky :)
    Thats 3 people who have agreed with some of ny comments today, Raddy actually said that I made sense !. I`m now of to buy myself a medal ( Mutley snigger ).
    Micky , you have to keep pressing the refresh button on Ticket exchange and you`ll eventually see some tickets, my problem was trying to find 2 together, I`ve given up !. It would have been easier to get a few thousand tickets for the Chavs home CL semi against Barca !.
    Right off to get a medal !.

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Glic
    Easier to get tickets for Chavs CL Semi :-)

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right,
    I’m off to manage my tiny business. Boring stuff really. Ensuring positive cash flow, no debts and that I’m not at the mercy of unscrupulous creditors and whatnot.
    Funny old life out in the real world.

  16. Bob Bobbington says:

    Give Walcott his raise now and if he performs next season great. If he doesn’t then just sell him?????? Are we not in a situation now where we have players not good enough, but on wages too high we can’t sell them???? Would you not be one of the supporters giving out in two years time, if we ended up in this situation involving Walcott??

  17. LB says:

    GLIC

    The problem with your assumption is that it relies on Theo accepting 100 a week. With other clubs like city capable of offering him 200 I am not so sure.

    It is this disparity that creates a tipping point for AFC. That’s to say that there must come a time when we could get better value for our money.

  18. LB says:

    Give Theo a new pay rise?

    Do you really think the club have not already offered him one?

    For goodness sake, get with the program.

    Arsenal cannot match the wages that city offer, everyone and their cat knows that. So Arsenal can do no more than make a decent offer in the same way as they did to RvP and if they chose to take it then great and if they don’t, well then the can just go f..k themselves.

  19. kgooner says:

    The defence has improved, no doubt about that and its clear that our attacking has stepped down a notch. I feel tho that our bulging midfield would compensate for this. The Ox, Diaby, Arteta, Wilshere, Carzola, Rosiscky can all score and have done it before. Add Giroud and the Pod and we have all except the back 4 capable of scoring on attacks. Barcary, Mert, Verm and Kosc can score on set pieces. I am confident once the midfield adapts to playing together and pass-touch-pass footie, the attacking problem we’re having will only get better. I would rather wait for goals than concede. The back four should keep up the fine job.

    Theo should go if he wants. We’re already having trouble settling in newcomers. It’s no extra load having more come in and taking time to adjust. Theo finds himself playing upfront with non-veterans. Changes at this point are hardly a baggage.

  20. Total says:

    Hi Johnnie, thanks for another well-written post. I am with you re bringing in a midfield destroyer and Arsene has said that if he is to bring in a midfielder this TW, it will be one with predominantly defensive skills.

    Your observations re our defence are also spot on. I have been laying awake at night thinking where are we going to get our identity from this, and following, seasons. With the departures of bsr and Song and possibly Theo we lose so much in terms of Arsenal identity once again. All the new signings, from last year and this year, have been left in quick succession with hardly anybody left who breathes Arsenal, who represents what the club stands for, which is shit.

    Our best hope is that our defence becomes our base, a strong part of our identity, on which the likes of Arteta, Wilshere, Rambo, Frimpong, Rosicky, Coquelin and our new signings help us build our future. Back to basics and hopefully we can stem the loss of key players for a while.

  21. goonermichael says:

    I think you are missing the point here. Theo will only get 100k at a very few clubs and they won’t want him. I could only see him going to the bindippers.

    I can’t see any logic in paying him more than santi.

    Antonio Valencia is on 90k at a club that pays higher wages and he’s a better player

  22. 26may1989 says:

    Agree with LB as to the realities of what can and cannot be achieved on wages, which explained losses like Nasri and Adebayor. It’s possible Walcott has already decided to go, in which case game over, let’s sell him asap, but I think his agents are playing hardball in order to get the best deal possible out of Arsenal. Gazidis and Laws may not like being treated that way but I think the club will still end up having to improve its offer. Of course, it won’t be anything like £200k p.w., but it wouldn’t make sense to risk losing a young player for nothing in order to avoid spending a few million spread over a number of years.

    The RvP situation was different, becasue (a) everyone and his dog knows chocco legs could get an injury any minute and (b) even if by some miracle he manages to stay fit, his age means he has no sell-on value. Fail to ship him out and the chance was we could end up carrying a year of liability without a pay-off and possibly without any contribution on the pitch, with no certainty about being able to retain his services after 2013. Most importantly, RvP had made it clear he wanted to leave. If Theo resists efforts to sell him in a rush, the incentive will be on the club to offer more, at the very least to preserve their asset.

    Thanks for the post JNYC, I agree with most of it, it’s refreshing to see the defensive aspects looking more capable, and hopefully that will provide the foundation on which the attacking elements can build. I do think Barca have made a mistake signing Song though, he was only just good enough for us (netting off his bad stuff against his good stuff), but at Barca he’d be expected to consistently pass straight, run around a lot and always be there for the defence. Can’t see it happening.

  23. goonermichael says:

    Theo is is manipulated by his agents. I don’t think he thinks for himself that much.

  24. Adrian says:

    Sorry, was typing it on my phone otw home. If you want it, I guess you could, don’t really mind.

  25. goonermichael says:

    You typed that on your phone Adrian? I can just about manage a text.

  26. Adrian says:

    The thing is Theo wants 100k a week, which is another 20k+ more than the barely improved contract offered. When there are other players are demanding 200k per week, I do not think theo’s 100k a week request if that absurd, considering that hes improved considerably the previous seasons. As i mentioned, to be able to even compete for trophies depth has utmost importance and a decent replacement for a winger would easily cost around 10-15M, which is far higher then theo’s new salary added up over the next few years. Bear in mind that theo will have a great resale value too in the future too (To those of you who are way too concerned about the club finances), so the club always has an option to sell him in the future when deemed fit.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM,
    I posted my first ever comment on here via phone on the way back from the Sunderland game, and it read: “kfoco jrjvivb de seoyorik ejieiv sis wp wovob, aoe”.
    I bet some people just thought I was really really clever.

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh no, bad thought.
    What if the only offer for Walcott is totally unacceptable? Then what?

  29. Rasp says:

    Adrian, I have removed your comment from earlier to see if we can use it as a headline post. If there is anything you would like to add, please email it to arsenalnuts@live.co.uk

  30. Adrian says:

    Yes i did, typing on the on screen keyboard is a hassle but a great way to kill time. Anyways, heres an article about the theo situation that mentions many of the points I presented too and worth a read. http://m.mirror.co.uk/article?id=1285339/

  31. Adrian says:

    Okay thanks, I apologize beforehand if there are lots of typos. Typing with the iphone’s on screen keyboard is a pain.

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Adrian,
    Don’t learn from the master :-)

  33. evonne says:

    So if Theo doesn’t sign and nobody buys him now, he walks for free next summer? Great

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi evonne, it’s not so much the ‘walking for free’ that worries me, its what kind of preformances can we expect from him and how will he be affected by the negative reaction from some fans.

  35. 26may1989 says:

    I’m sure you’re right Rasp, that there would be negative reactions from the fans if Theo holds out, and to an extent that would be understandable. But both the club and his negotiators are doing the same thing, they’re both trying to apply pressure as a negotiating tool. It’s not like he’s published a statement undermining the manager and the direction in which the team is going…………

  36. Rasp says:

    This is what Patrick Barclay has to say about our handling of the Theo situation ……

    Theo Walcott joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old of almost frightening potential. He is now a 23-year-old of almost frightening potential. Only when more of that talent has been realised will he be worth in excess of £75,000 a week.

    So reports that Arsenal have decided to sell him rather than increase an already generous contract offer reflect well on the club in an age when football’s apparently mindless profligacy often turns the public stomach.

    The Emirates Stadium is unlikely to be stormed by disgusted season-ticket holders if Walcott leaves. He is popular, and rightly, for the effort he puts into his game and an improvement in its quality was evident last season as he set up several of Robin van Persie’s goals.

    But the hope of greatness has been transferred to Alex Oxlade‑Chamberlain, whose progress will face one fewer obstacle if someone can be persuaded to stump up £12million for Walcott.

    Spurs were among those disappointed when Walcott chose to leave Southampton for Arsenal but would they now swap him for yet another St Mary’s graduate, Gareth Bale? Would Spurs even reckon they have fared worse with Aaron Lennon on the wing these past few years? And why do England, who took Walcott to a World Cup six years ago and enjoyed the benefit of his career-best performance in Croatia while in his teens, still not regard him as a near-automatic choice?

    Every Emirates regular knows it is a question of consistency. If he believes he can discover that quality elsewhere, or even crucially change his game by playing through the middle, where he believes his speed would be most effective, let him try.

    If — and seldom is it possible not to overuse that word with Walcott — he becomes the player we all hoped he would become, he will be able to march into any chief executive’s office and write his own contract. Until that happens, common sense is in order and Arsenal are to be commended for displaying it.

  37. Bryan says:

    I agree with alot of your post apart from the Song bit, as I am really annoyed we sold him as we clearly could of kept him & it was our decision to sell. I believe he was a much better player than ever given credit aof being & probably the most underated player in the EPL.
    I believe we must buy a DM, for me it is our priority, I would still like it to be M’Vila as I think he is exactly the player we need, A big no nonsense bruiser who will just sit in front of the back four.
    Also yes we have defended very well so far but lets not get to carried away as the 2 teams we faced are hardly that great & on top of that seemed pretty content playing for the draws.

    As for Walcott, if he wants more money that he clearly does not deserve as he has done nothing yet, I say sell him now & take the money & go out & get Afelley or even better Nevas ;-)

  38. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m, I agree. I think Theo is a very decent young man and wouldn’t dream of releasing anything negative about the club as a negotiating ploy or after (if) he leaves.

    I have no knowledge of his agent but in my book they’re a cancer in our sport – let’s hope the governing bodies can find a way of neutering them :?

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    So, according to Partrick Barclay “The Emirates Stadium is unlikely to be stormed by disgusted season-ticket holders if Walcott leaves”.
    I have news for you, Mr B. Judging from the plumetting ticket sales for the Southanmton game, both disgruntled fans have already mobilized.

  40. evonne says:

    Rasp – yes, that too, but I would worry less about his performance – he’d try his hardest to impress the buyer, just like scumbags like Flamini, Na$ri and Per$ie have done.

    The whole thing stinks. Who or what am I supporting? Players that we adore today are going to be gone next season if more money is offered. Manager can change too, stadium has already changed, what am I losing sleep over?? The concept of the Arsenal FC is becoming very elusive. I am not blaming anybody here, but would shoot the likes of Abramovitch and Massuri

  41. Total says:

    That’s the spirit Evonne! :)

  42. Rasp says:

    Micky – I can’t get a ticket for the Southampton game …. sold out :(

    evonne, your second paragraph is poetic truth …… who or what are we supporting? …… it’s like we’re supporting an outdated concept rather than a team of players.

  43. 26may1989 says:

    Patrick Barclay really is an excellent observer of the game, thanks for that.

    It’s interesting to see Barclay take a position on what Walcott might be worth. In my work, I often have to work with economists and forensic accountants in order to have valuations of businesses undertaken. And one of the things they love to say is that value is literally what someone would be willing to pay for something, and that the figure will vary according to many things, including the specific circulstances of the buyer and the seller. So is Walcott worth more than £75k a week? In any sane world, of course not, none of these elite players is worth more than a tiny fraction of what they get. But given Arsenal as they stand today, not much more than 48 hours before the transfer window closes, it can be argued that he is indeed worth more. Others will say no, and refer to his track record and his faults, but that retrospective analysis of what the player might deserve is only part of the equation. In the here and now, Arsenal may not be able to maintain a firm position they might want to take.

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Evonne and Rasp,
    Group Hug and all that bollocks.
    We support a slice of English Sporting History. The best shirt in football. The Legacy of ’71, ’89, the 30′s, ’79 Cup Final. That little bit of England that will always be The Arsenal. We, the fans, own that. Not Persie, Walcott and all the other turds that turn their backs on us.

  45. Rasp says:

    26m, yes market forces and the devious ways of agents will eventually conspire to produce a valuation for Theo.

    I agree the closer we get to transfer deadline without a replacement in waiting (and why would any decent player want to be a replacement in waiting) the higher Theo’s value to Arsenal will grow.

    I wonder how Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla will feel having just negotiated what they believed was the best contract possible only to find that Theo will be on £30-40k more a week?

  46. Total says:

    Every decent organisation has a proper pay-structure that needs reviewing regularly. If Theo were to be offered £100k and the likes of Podolski, Arteta, Vermaelen are on less than that, then clearly the club would create a disparity that would not go down well with those on lower pay packages. The club would have to adjust their pay-structure or face dissatisfaction/disharmony.

    If a player does not accept a pay-offer that suits the existing pay-structure he has to be sold. As others have pointed out, adjusting our pay-structure upwards has little use if you are competing with oil-financed, heavy loss-making teams like Citeh and the Chavs. They are the real cancer in football as they govern their clubs by impossible morals and financial principles. We just have to ride the storm and hope that Wenger can replace players successfully quicker than the loss we experience from their departures.

    I am hoping though 26 is right and that Theo is simply negotiating hard to get a better deal, before he will sign a new contract. I doubt it very much though. It looks like Citeh have made space for him on the right side and offering an acceptable pay-offer for Theo is the easiest thing in the world for them. A six-figure weekly packages can be typed into a single text message.

  47. 26may1989 says:

    That would be a problem, Rasp, I agree.

  48. 26may1989 says:

    It’s only my guess, Total, I’ve been wrong even more times than LB…..

  49. Total says:

    That’s impossible 26! ;)

  50. jnyc says:

    Hi all, glic, RA, i also was thinking, why not just give theo close to what he wants to get him to sign and sell him in a year or so. This was let to run much too late. We always say to give players an ultimatum about re- signing 2 years out or sell early avoiding Nasri, vP situations, and now we had all summer and let it go to the last days? Have we learned anything.? I dont think its a big loss really, but we lost the chance to get Moses, Hoilet, adam johnson. I would LIKE to think Arsene has a plan. But this last minute business is costing us early season points. One thing is for sure, this team is being completely re- made, and i do like the squad alot – i just dont like the wastefulness and confusion with walcott. Please Arsene give us a good surprise.

  51. Bryan says:

    for the first season in ages we were 3 good players up before we had lost any, then RVP goes, shortly followed by Song & next it may be Theo. It is really starting to annoy me, just one season can we bring more quality in than we lose & with only a couple more days left i would like to be reading more about players we look like signing grrrrrr

    vent over ;-)

  52. goonermichael says:

    My bindipper butcher just told me Suarez has a new contract of £100k. Walcott is not worth that. I don’t want him to go but I wouldn’t pay him that.

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My Postie (A Liverpool Man) has just suggested a Downing + cash swap for Walcott. Told him I’d let him know tomorrow.

  54. Rasp says:

    Wouldn’t take Downing if they paid us, he’s Theo lite and that’s saying something :(

    Great news, this blogging is a wonderful thing, a new ticket fairy has materialised and it looks like I may be going to the Saints game after all …. :P

  55. Bryan says:

    Downing has the same record as us so far this season : no goals & no assists, apart from his was the whole of last season :-D

  56. Rasp says:

    BTW, I do want to keep Theo, and play him tactically so we can capitalise on his strengths in open games instead of getting frustrated by his failings against packed defences.

  57. Bryan says:

    Rasp
    Does Headless chickenary count as a strength?

  58. GunnerN5 says:

    This morning, like most mornings I turned on my computer, and hoped to read something positive about incoming players but yet again the only news is about the possibility of losing yet another player that we would prefer to retain.

    Contact negotiations are in many ways a game of chance, you lay out your considered position and take your chances on a favourable response. The current game of chance seems to have revolved around the timing of the negotiations, we were all concerned about the silence surrounding a new contract and it appears we were right to be concerned. Now that it’s out in the open the most likely scenario will be for him to take the money and run – into yet another blind alley!

    I, for one, was thrilled with the acquisition of Cazorla, Grioud and Podolski as it appeared that we had learnt our lessons and had made some early, positive moves. In light of what has transpired since the early days I’m now far less enthused and can only but hope that AW has a few aces up his sleeve.

  59. jnyc says:

    I also wondered about Miirallas as a cheap alternative, may even turn out to be good,or better than theo , but again, did we lose out on the opportunity because of the timing? Frustrating

  60. Bryan says:

    Yep GunnerN5 kind of exactly what I was saying at 1:41
    the great early signings are being thinned out by more selling & I really think we need another decent signing

  61. Rasp says:

    :lol: Bryan, the ‘lying stats’ would suggest that Theo is a headless chicken who chips in with a significant numer of assists and goals…… but I get your drift

  62. Rasp says:

    A late deal for Cabaye would ease the pain of losing Theo. AW has ruled out Tiote and Afellay seems to be tarting himself around too.

  63. Bryan says:

    Rasp
    Joking a side, on his day he can be brilliant just far to often it isn’t his day.
    Last season was deffinately his best but still below the standard we should now be getting from him.

  64. LB says:

    Hahahahah

    That was funny, when I read 26′s comment about being wrong more often than me I laughed and said to myself……that is impossible.

    And then I scrolled down and found exactly that from TA.

  65. Rasp says:

    I agree Bryan, I think the answer is just to use him in the games where he can function effectively – in which case he wouldn’t have had much pitch time so far this season.

  66. Bryan says:

    I think Theo & Gervinho should sit down with the Ox & let him give them a lesson in decision making on the pitch as he is streets ahead

  67. LB says:

    OK

    So if Theo is playing hard ball to get the best deal he can at Arsenal then the general agreement seems to be good luck to him.

    If he wants away then the majority are saying good riddance.

    Neither of these two bother me, it is the possibility that he is playing for time, purposely avoiding renewing his contract in the full knowledge that he will be able to command an even higher salary if he is able to leave on a free. The problem with this is, as we all know, is that the club will lose out and as a consequence if the club do not have as much in the kitty to buy quality replacements then so will we.

  68. Norfolk Gooner says:

    For those of you unable to get tickets for the Soton game, how about tonight’s NextGen Series match against Marseille, at Underhill, 19.45 kick-off and free admission.

    Bargain!!

  69. TT says:

    Great article, jnyc. I would love know if Arsenal has a backup for the defensive role that Arteta currently occupies. Coquelin? Not sure if Frimpong can do that job well.

  70. goonermichael says:

    I’m weighing that up NG. I’m being a bit lazy

  71. Norfolk Gooner says:

    That kick-off time could be 19.00, still to be confirmed.

  72. goonermichael says:

    It’s 7 I think NG

  73. LB says:

    TT

    Coquelin………..no brainer.

    When we need a bit of height.

    Coquelin, Arteta

    ——Diaby

    Or

    Coquelin, Arteta

    Carzorla

  74. goonermichael says:

    I’m going. Anyone else fancy it?

  75. goonermichael says:

    photo/1

  76. Rasp says:

    Being the world’s worst cynic, I would just like to point out that a year ago, RvP and Theo seemed happy to stay at Arsenal with 2 years left on their contracts ……. they subsequently have their best ever season playing for Arsenal and then magically want to leave for bigger bucks elsewhere …. :roll:

  77. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp

    We don’t actually know that Theo wants to leave. In fact, the club said today that negotiations are ongoing and Theo’s reps said no comment.

    But your cynicism has more than a little basis in reality. Off the back of his assists, Song probably also felt he’d had a magnificent season, hence thinking it was ok to expect to renegotiate his contract when it had three years to run. We just seem fated to recruit players with great characters, only to see most of them morph into egomaniacs, convinced of their own brilliance.

  78. evonne says:

    Rasp – poetic or pathetic :)

    Sadly, the fact that so many players leave us to go to wealthier clubs is Wenger’s ‘fault. He makes sure that our players play the beautiful game to the highest standards and if you can perform for Arsene, you can perform for anyone.

    Tht is the reason why other clubs want our players. And the sad truth is that if we were rich, noone could touch us

  79. glic says:

    Back with my medal ( mutley snigger) ( how would you type a mutley snigger ? , any advise please ).
    Glad to read Micky is running his business the Arsenal way, in accordance with TBFP ( Tiny Business Fair Play ) :lol:
    LB
    Dont get me wrong, there`s no way we would or should try to compete if someone wants to pay Theolocantgetrounddebuss Wildebeeste £ 200K per week. He can swivel !. :) But imo, if it`s only us offering £100k then sign the little speedster up !.

  80. glic says:

    Champions League draw tomorrow @ 5pm, which is good timing, it will show potential leavers what they could miss and potential signing`s what we are about. Hope you enjoy Thursday nights Sahin , Dembele, Theo ? and other shysters ( is that the correct spelling ?)

  81. Norfolk Gooner says:

    This is a cut and paste from my post at 9.24 this morning.

    I’d be sorry to see Theo go because he has always seemed to be a nice bloke, ready to play whatever role Wenger wanted him to, perhaps that was the trouble, too nice and no steel. Apparently he is a fan of the bindippers so maybe it’s his scouse DNA that’s calling him home.

    No doubt there is a deal in the pipeline for a Walcott replacement, although The Ox is ready and waiting to take up the role or even Gnabry could do the job.

  82. goonermichael says:

    According to Song’s agents Arsenal said they would negotiate on September 1st. He didn’t want to wait til the window closed. Wenger did the right thing.

  83. glic says:

    gm
    That reminds me, I haven`t had a new marriage contract for 36 years !, the wife said we will renegotiate on 1st April 2013, so I should be OK !. Didn`t have much luck trying to get some PPI ( Peanuts Protection Insurance ) back from her though, she said the way I`m heading , I should increase it !.

  84. LB says:

    I saw an interview with Wenger and he said quite plainly that Song wanted to leave.

  85. Norfolk Gooner says:

    glic,

    Has she got any other offers on the table? Have you been tapped up? Perhaps you could go out on loan?

    If you need an agent, you’re really in the s**t.

  86. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the Post Johnnie
    The early defensive solidity is really encouraging. Admittedly the defence will face sterner tests, but if we keep it tight at the back the goals will follow at the other end.

    I seem to be in a bit of a minority in thinking quite highly of Theo as a player. All wingers are inconsistent (with some very rare exceptions). But I watched the Manc v Fulham game at the weekend and Young and Valencia did very little of substance. If either of them had been Theo there would be people slagging him off the next day.

    Also I don’t like the disruption another high profile departure would cause with the season already started.

  87. glic says:

    NG :lol:
    Offers on the table !, I dont even get hot meals on the table !.
    Tapped up !. more liked taped up and bunged in the cupboard under the stairs !.

    She`s lovely really !. :)

  88. 26may1989 says:

    As you know Rock, I also rate Theo. Even ignoring the fact that he is a talented footballer (something not everyone accepts), his speed gives us variety in the squad and which can totally destroy a defence. Most of the names thrown around as potential replacements are very good but do not have his pace. We’d be worse off without Theo, I have no doubt of that.

  89. I’m really tired of players that could help the team win something deciding that they want to go elsewhere and I’m feeling very sorry for AW I have to say. If Theo does want to stay and his agent is screwing it up for him then I hope he sacks his agent.

  90. Bryan says:

    LB what Wenger says & does are 2 different things.
    He said Cesc, Nasri & RVP were not going & how many times has he said we will buy & we haven’t.
    I have read loads saying Song was happy & wanted to stay & with 3 years left on his contract, I think Wenger decided to sell which imo was a bad call.

  91. Adrian says:

    As I mentioned before, Gnabry is still an academy prospect. Huge potential no doubt, but we would be very naive to think that he would hit the ground running instantly in the EPL. Navas is nothing more than a rumour, he’s one of the very few players that get homesick easily and there is very little chance that he would ever come to England. If indeed Afellay was available to us, it would just be on loan. Do you think that he would play with more heart than Walcott if he is on loan? No, I don’t think so, his first club in his heart will still always be Barcelona. Finding a decent replacement(At a decent price, #1 requirement for the club) for Walcott in these short 3 days is going to be hard. No matter what, losing 3 first team players in a row for 2 years consecutively should not be happening at a top club, especially Arsenal.

  92. Bryan says:

    I think it is possible to buy Afellay, He is not in Barca’s plans & he needs to be playing, I would go for him but if we are only going to buy one more, it has to be a DM

  93. Adrian says:

    I read somewhere that Barca would only agree to loan him out for this season.

  94. chas says:

    Nice post, johnnie.
    I love the extra steel Stevie Bould seems to have injected into the backbone of the team. Anfield will be a big test on Sunday, as you say.

  95. chas says:

    Evonne,
    Arsenal is us, not a set of players, manager or stadium but a huge memory bank of shared experiences.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WonD0yYGy70

  96. chas says:

    Has anyone got a picture of themselves in full kit? :)

    http://richardp1975.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/full-kit-wankers/

  97. RockyLives says:

    Having read the club statement about negotiations with Theo being “ongoing” I am reasonably confident a new deal will be signed before the end of the window.

    Which would be a good thing.

  98. Red Arse says:

    Hi 26, :-)

    Hope you and the little 26ers got to see the Paralympic Torch procession, despite the delay.

    Going back to your 3:31, you said, among other things, that “his (Theo’s) speed gives us variety in the squad and which can totally destroy a defence.”

    Now for me that is the crux of the problem that I see with Theo.
    I would happily forgive (not the right word, but you know what I mean) all his technical frailties if he would only use that pace a little more frequently and effectively.

    It can be potent!

    It might be me, but I can not think of too many times he has used that pace, effectively. Far too often he lights the afterburners and disappears behind a defender, or two, and makes it impossible to receive the ball from a team mate.

    A great deal of the time, when he does have the ball at his feet, he runs into the defender(s) at great pace, or quickly passes it back whence it came. (ducking responsibility?)

    I would love him to stay and show what he can do, consistently, but I am really beginning to run out of patience, and am very laid back about him either going or staying.

  99. goonermichael says:

    LB
    Song wanted to leave because Arsenal wouldn’t discuss a new deal til 1st september,. That’s from one of his advisors. song said he wanted to commit forever and ever amen.

  100. Bryan says:

    thats pretty funny but I prefer to get my kit off than on :-D

  101. glic says:

    Get the missus to wear a Spud kit in bed and it will stop the prematch adulation, not that I have that problem, but I was just thinking for you less than handsome bastards !.

  102. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, :-)

    Just to get away from the infernal and nerve shredding transfer window discussions, I don’t know if you get a chance, or the inclination, to read the Washington Post?

    They run a weekly contest in its Style section called the ‘Style Invitational’.

    The requirements a little while ago were to use the two words ‘Lewinsky’ (the Intern) and ‘Kaczynski’ (the Unabomber) in the same limerick.

    They published a number of responses, all of which were slightly risqué, but as we are all adults here, I thought I might share a couple with you.

    In second place was:

    Said Clinton to young Ms. Lewinsky,
    We don’t want to leave clues like Kaczynski,
    Since you made such a mess,
    Use the hem of your dress
    And please wipe that stuff off your chinsky.

    And they decided this was the winning entry:

    Lewinsky and Clinton have shown
    What Kaczynski must surely have known,
    That an intern is better
    Than a bomb in a letter,
    When deciding how best to be blown.

    And you thought the Post was stuffy!! :-)

  103. glic says:

    I allways thought Song looked a bit of an “Iron” personally, all that funny coloured hair and outfits, infact he couldn`t have looked more shirtlifty if he wore a pink micro skirt, pink blouse with pink high heels and a pink hand bag with a pink poodle in it, shouting ” shut that door “and ” I`m free ” and had a gold and silver hedgehog dangling from his rectum !. He will feel at home with the Barca Bum Bandits !.
    Just an honest observation.

  104. kelsey says:

    Does anyone know the exact details as to the cost of buying Walcott from Southampton.

    If my memory is correct we payed an initial 5 million rising to 12 million at some point and then add ons if he got capped. So I think he stands us in quite a bit, but I maybe wrong

  105. goonermichael says:

    That’s so homophobic glic. You are awful but I like you!

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Your “full-kit-wankers” link is seriously disturbing.

  107. Slimgingergooner says:

    In 09/10, Theo scored less than Denilson and Gallas, and the same as Ramsey.

    In 10/11 Theo scored 4 more than Bendtner, 3 more than Arshavin and 2 more than Chamakh.

    In 11/12 Theo scored 5 more than Benayoun, but played an extra 21 games, and 5 more than Vermaelen, who plays centre back.

    These stats are just a bit of fun, but if you look at his stats closely, they are as follows:-

    Arsenal career average per season.

    GAMES 36
    GOALS 7
    ASSISTS 6.5

    Last 2 seasons average.

    GAMES 42
    GOALS 12
    ASSISTS 11

    A common argument for us keeping Theo is that his stats are really good and he is an effective player, but do they really show that? If his goals and assists all come in different games, then that means on average he does very little for 23 games out of 36 a season! To be fair that has improved in the last 2 seasons to just 19 ineffective games a season, but still, 100k a week???

  108. 26may1989 says:

    With apologies to peaches’ Mum if she’s logged on today, something from the Guardian’s blog pages:

    “Been a born and bred Arsenal supporter for over 30 years and have attempted to remain optimistic in the last three (things change,deal with it etc) but our apparent inability to hold on to even Theo days before the window closes has now convinced me that we have passed through the tipping point and appear to be in a death spiral in which professional player consensus throughout the industry has reached the level wherein we are thought of as a club to abandon at the first opportunity.

    I believe that this is almost completely ‘psychological’ and exacerbated by agent and media pressure (c’mon, third place last season is very far from terrible) but no less the real because of this. The game is fucked up beyond belief if a team who came third in the country’s top division and consistently plays in europe every season whilst remaining financially self-sufficient in the current football false economy is deemed a failure.

    £75k a week isn’t enough money to do something you dreamed of all your life?
    Fuck you. Seriously, fuck you.

    I know for supporters of other teams this might be hilarious but myopic greed, debt and avarice are completely killing football like they’re slaying everything else in the world and there but for the grace of god go the rest of you too. And that includes the funny money sides too.”

  109. glic says:

    I apollogise if I have offended any ” Iron” AAers on here and I have nothing but good things to say about you all. I am probably the most virile and hetrosexual AAer on here, some of the nicest people I know and shag are shirt lifters !, As I said, apollogies ! :)

  110. chas says:

    Twatter rumours say Walcott won’t be sold before the window shuts.

  111. RockyLives says:

    Redders :)
    Much appreciated.

  112. evonne says:

    Chas @3:50 – very funny :) the Daglish dudes look best :) I might wear a full away on sunday with Wenger at the back

    Is Arsenal the fans? Maybe… I was thinking all afternoon how nice it would be just to watch football without supporting any team, just wanting the underdogs to win. Unfortunately once you are hooked, it is difficult to get out. And the ambitions for my club to win, to be best are mine so I know i am supporting the best team. I don’t know what to think, I am in a huge turmoil.

  113. goonermichael says:

    Only joking glic. I’m sure terry won’t be offended :)

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Slim,
    If I was being nice about Walcott (he will return to Theo if he signs up), I’d go along with the line that very few wide boys in a front three have better stats.
    There is no doubt he would be worth keeping if we could afford to only play him in the games (or parts of a game) where he could be effective. In other words, when opposition teams actually attack us and leave space. We cannot do that and pay a bit part player more than £70k odd per week.
    Very few teams could afford a luxury like that. In effect, if City or Chelsea don’t want him, he stays.

  115. RockyLives says:

    Slim
    Those stats from the last two years are exactly why we should keep him. Especially given that last year we played the entire season without a playmaker.

    Now we’ll have Cazorla (and hopeful, soon, Wilshere) playing perfect balls for him to run on to.

  116. Red Arse says:

    Glic,

    I am never going to speak to you again. That is so …….. so …….unkind!! That description ………… well

    “he couldn`t have looked more shirtlifty if he wore a pink micro skirt, pink blouse with pink high heels and a pink hand bag with a pink poodle in it, shouting ” shut that door “and ” I`m free ” and had a gold and silver hedgehog dangling from his rectum !”

    You have clearly been peeking, because you have described me to a tee!! I happen to think that is the height of fashion, in certain circles.

    Admittedly I did not see you in the club, per se, but I noticed a rather large bent banana standing admiring me over by the bar, and wearing a very passé pineapple toupe.
    I simply thought it was TMHT freeloading, but I should have guessed it was you …….. you, you ….. cad ……………… you bounder!! :evil:

  117. evonne says:

    Rocky – Arteta?

  118. goonermichael says:

    Anyone going to Barnet tonight?

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM,
    Transplant?

  120. 26may1989 says:

    Hi Red Arse.

    The scenario where Theo uses his pace to sprint past defenders is one where he’s at his most dangerous. But he’s also a great recipient of sly little passes from clever passers like Cazorla/Fabregas/Wilshere/Arshavin, the ones that are threaded through little gaps between defenders. Numerous times in the last few years Theo has received the ball in those situations, bombed into the penalty box and then either found himself in a good shooting position or been able to cross or cut the ball back. There’s a reason van Persie was singing his praises last season, and I for one think van Persie had a point.

    If we’d been selling Theo a month ago, I’d have been (a bit) more relaxed about it, but it’s nuttiness to think we can replace him in the space of two days without over-spending and/or getting someone who doesn’t have all the qualities needed.

    And yup, the little 26ers (2.6s?) got to see the mighty Paralympic Torch parade this morning, even if there was a series of grumpy parents muttering about having got out of bed too early….

  121. 26may1989 says:

    GM, I’m interested in the Underhill thing, but may need to get clearance from the relevant authorities (ahem…). Did you say the kick off is 7pm?

  122. goonermichael says:

    The soccer stadium micky

  123. glic says:

    Sorry Redders on revealing your identity !. :lol:
    gm
    I watched a documentry on Dick Emery a while back, I loved his show and from the clips it was still so funny !. :)

  124. Big Raddy says:

    JYNC. Fine post. If we can take 15 goals away from last season’s goals conceded column we will be there or thereabouts.

    The fact we have yet to concede a corner is a damning condemnation of the two teams we have played. Are we the only team which has to play against these dreadful tactics? Do Sunderland play like that at OT?

    I thought football was an entertainment.

  125. glic says:

    Have to agree with 26 and Rocky, Theo can only benefit even more with the mouthwatering partnership of Jack and Santi…….Mmmmmmm…..delicious !.

  126. Red Arse says:

    26 @ 4:51,

    Now the Theo you described is one I would buy into, but seldom saw, unfortunately.

    Theo obviously played well with RVP last season, but I thought that Batman’s friend, as our erstwhile captain was trying to boost his (Theo’s) confidence by over-praising him.

    I’m glad the young uns enjoyed the spectacle — you are clearly a very good dad! :-)

    Glic,

    Don’t worry, I will wear a pair of borrowed spectacles with my outfit next time and you will never realize who I am.

    Well, it works for Superman! :-)

  127. Red Arse says:

    You may not believe this, but I have recently been translating latin into English over on the HH blogsite, where Kelsey and I sometimes hang out!! :-)

  128. glic says:

    Make sure you get to the right stadium guys, thats Underhill, Barnet, London. Not to be confused with the Underhand Dealing Stadium, City of Manchester !.

  129. RockyLives says:

    evonne
    Arteta could probably play the playmaker role, but he hasn’t been doing that since he’s been at Arsenal.

  130. goonermichael says:

    I think I’m going on my own glic

  131. glic says:

    I`m probably lining myself up here, but OK Redders whats the HH blogsite ?. Give me both barrels !. :)

  132. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I see, turn my back for 2 minutes and am outed as a raving homosexual. It is true that whilst working for the YMCA i did try to join the club on many occasions but my application was always rejected on the grounds of lousy fashion sense. There loss. hahaha

  133. glic says:

    gm
    You can give us a live commentary and tactical info, something like, “we have two little wingers and a dwarf centre back, their playing with a short back and sides ” !

  134. glic says:

    Hi Stretcher :lol:

  135. Red Arse says:

    No, you are OK, Glic, I was not laying elephant traps. :-)

    HH or Highbury House, is another blogsite run by someone who is well known to the guys and gal who run AA.

    I sometimes go there for a read and to comment, as I used to write the very occasional and very poor quality Post for Rico the boss over there. :-)

    Another Yankee blogger and I were allowed to chat about the NY Jets (his team) and the NY Yankees (my team) in the baseball season, and we both supported ‘Big Blue’, the NY Giants in the NFL.

    Unfortunately he does not blog there anymore. :-(

    See ….. I am a mine of information!!

  136. glic says:

    That could be interesting, If Arsene ever shouts , ” bring on the Stretcher ” !.

  137. Slimgingergooner says:

    Micky,

    I think, ideally, we would all want him to stay, but not if it means having to pay him 100k a year to play well in 50% of the games we play.Like you have said, we cannot afford that luxury.

    His stats are decent, but not amazing, and certainly not worth a 100k a year at a club with such a rigid pay scale.

  138. RockyLives says:

    I think GM should just provide the highlights :)

  139. Red Arse says:

    Huh! You should worry, Terry, if I can’t scrounge a pair of spectacles to wear as a disguise, everyone will recognise me in my favourite outfit. :oops:

  140. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, i kid you not. During my time at the YMCA the Directors had to install cameras in the Gym area and isued a statement banning all forms of Stretching.

  141. glic says:

    I`ve looked on there Redders, the site design looks very similar to AA. Haven`t commented though ,as I dont want to be unfaithful !. I could be sent out on loan though, just to rough `em up a bit !. :lol:

  142. chas says:

    Slim,
    100k a year. :)

  143. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Redders do what i do. When you want people to recognise then leave the wig on head. When you want to go incognito, remove wig from head and pace on chin thereby donning a luxourios beard. Its amazing how different you will look. Worked for me in the YMCA gym hahahaha.

  144. glic says:

    Stretch
    Did you say you are going to the QPR ( now thats a shirtlifting sounding team if ever there was one ! :lol: ) game ?. I might try for that one instead .

  145. glic says:

    Redders, when Stretch does that, it looks like his head is on upside down !.

  146. glic says:

    Right, bit of Stretching and out for a 4 miler whilst the suns out !.

  147. Red Arse says:

    Glic/Terry, :-)

    I am off before I get banned for encouraging the pair of you!! :-)

  148. Slimgingergooner says:

    Chas,

    oops!

    im from up norf’, i wouldnt even pay him that!

  149. goonermichael says:

    Very good Rocky!

  150. RockyLives says:

    Thankyou GM.
    You must get a bit fed up of hairdresser jokes!

  151. LB says:

    I am caught in two minds

    Do I believe the interview I watched in which Arsene Wenger, when asked about Song, said quite clearly that he wanted to leave.

    Or

    Do I believe Alex Song’s agent who says that Alex was prepared to stay for ever?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  152. LB says:

    So Theo has managed to go into the final year of his contract without extending.

    This is a shafting waiting to happen.

  153. goonermichael says:

    I’m off I’ll see you all later

  154. goonermichael says:

    LB I think both are true.

  155. goonermichael says:

    Rocky
    When I get back I’ll tell you the Pope hairdresser joke

  156. Shard says:

    Olaf Myfrentzargay, I presume.

  157. RockyLives says:

    Cheers GM – enjoy!

  158. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks for the post JNYC. I like the way you think about the game. A while back you wanted Mvila, would you still take him? you might be right about another striker to, but the question is who?

  159. Shard says:

    Well the Walcott debate seems to have arisen again. I think I’d resigned myself to him going anyway. Of course if he stays I’d be happy. I think keeping Walcott is important for continuity at the least. I do recognise his inconsistencies and his limitations, and admit he has to get better. I think he will. And losing him on a free would be a bitter blow. Worse than losing him now. However, how much to pay him is a judgment call. Making him our highest paid player might well have negative repercussions. In this case, I’d side with whatever decision the club take. Walcott himself, should hopefully not be too greedy and recognise that staying at Arsenal is good for him too.

    The article itself. I think I agree with the call for a defensive midfielder. I don’t think its going to happen though. We haven’t had a ‘destroyer’ since Gilberto left, and even he wasn’t a pure destroyer. As arseblog pointed out a few weeks ago, the Makelele role was made famous by …Makelele…and he was no great physical beast either. He (arseblog) also brought up Coquelin as being someone Arsene sees in that role. Actually, if pushed to choose 1 position we should strengthen, I think it would be a striker who can also play out wide (I know that’s cheating, covering 2 positions, but still) A DM would come next. Followed by a fullback and a GK.

    4 signings is too much to hope for. I really HOPE we get 2 in, especially if Walcott is set to leave, although the latest rumours lean towards him staying WITHOUT signing a new deal.

  160. JM says:

    Deals going all around Europe:

    Bayern signed Martinez (€40m, 5-year deal).
    Dembele joins Spurs (€19m, 5-year deal).
    Bojan loaned to Milan(with option to sign at end of season).
    Berbatov close to Fiorentina switch.
    Lloris @ 50/50 to Spurs.

    …..

    Last check on other EPL players (worth looking into) on final year contract:
    - Sinclair(Swansea)
    - Dempsey (Fulham)
    - Sturridge (Chelsea)

    And players (worth looking into) elsewhere in Europe on their last year of contract:
    - Granero (Real)
    - Tello (Barcelona)
    - Buffon(Juventus)
    - Vargas (Fiorentina)
    - Huntelaar (Schalke)
    - Holtby (Schalke)
    - Bodmer (PSG)
    - Sissoko (Toulouse)
    - Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier)
    - Boudebouz (Sochaux)
    - Sulejmani (Ajax)
    - Honda (CSKA)
    - Yarmolenko (Kiev)

  161. Big Raddy says:

    Sissoko is one who has been linked with us in the past.He fits the bill – French, 23, a rangy DM, good in the air and on the verge of the French team – someone who can be moulded by AW.

  162. johnnie nyc says:

    thanks TMHT, i usually dont like to ask for specific names, because no one knows what the boss has in mind,(anybody we havent heard of yet could be good..i trust arsene) but i do like mvila from the scouting reports ive read, and stats also..and the little i have watched..i read a great article a long while back comparing to Capoue..they said basically Capoue is more intimidating strong shut down type, but not as good a passer..has impact on the opponents attack..Mvila more efficient with better upside potential..so i prefer him for our style of play..for a third striker, which we badly need because Chamakh seems beyond repair..im afraid its very late to find someone good..i would have considered alot of players..but its going to be hard at this point..i hope we can do something..i love podolski and giroud, but they will need some rest, and God forbid there is an injury!

  163. johnnie nyc says:

    if theo isnt sold and doesnt extend this week..i still think the right thing is a shorter extension closer to his numbers, so we dont have to lose him for nothing. he could then be extended or sold later. the incentive for him is to get his price now, and gives us options

  164. GunnerN5 says:

    From BBC Sports.

    Sounds very civilised, and not surprising when you think of the two people involved.
    …………………………………………………………………………………….

    Theo Walcott: winger set to stay at Arsenal after ‘amicable’ talks

    Theo Walcott looks set to stay at Arsenal this summer after holding amicable talks with manager Arsene Wenger on Wednesday.

    It is understood the 23-year-old gave verbal assurances over his short-term future but has yet to sign a new deal.

    Arsenal’s latest offer of a five-year £75,000-a-week contract was rejected by Walcott last Friday but the club are now convinced the player wants to stay.

    Manchester City remain interested and could yet test Arsenal’s resolve.

    There is, however, a feeling that a breakthrough has been made with senior figures at Arsenal now resolved to allow Walcott to enter the final 12 months of his contract, despite the risk of losing him for nothing next summer.

    The change of mood came after talks between player and manager at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground, where Walcott left Wenger in no doubt about his commitment to the club.

    Arsenal had previously been prepared to sell their winger if he did not agree to sign a new contract by Friday, however that position has now softened.

    Further talks are planned in the weeks ahead, with both parties having made a commitment to work towards a resolution.

    Walcott, who played for England in Euro 2012, joined Arsenal from Southampton for £12.5m as a 16-year-old in 2006.

    He has scored 42 goals in 222 appearances and won 28 England caps during his time at the club.

    Last season, he contributed 12 assists in the Premier League, many of which were for Robin van Persie.

    Striker Van Persie moved to Manchester United for £24m on 17 August, three days before Alex Song joined Barcelona.

    Walcott started the home draw with Sunderland on the opening day of the season but was left on the bench for Sunday’s draw at Stoke.

    Arsenal waited until after the campaign began to open dialogue with Walcott’s representatives.

  165. LB says:

    What a mess.

    If nothing is settled in the coming weeks the only course of action left to the club is to try and sell him in the January window, the obvious problem with that is he can refuse to go knowing full well he will increase his salary by leaving in the summer on a free.

    The other, really, really annoying thing about this situation is that Arsene has to pussy foot about with him while he ums and ares about signing a new contract and that will mean playing him to keep him happy in games when he really should be on the bench.

  166. GunnerN5 says:

    LB,

    I’m confident that AW will put the good of the club ahead of the need of an individual.

  167. Norfolk Gooner says:

    NextGen Series result, Arsenal 3-0 Marseille.

  168. TT says:

    Perhaps Walcott told Wenger that he will prove his worth this season, and if he does, Arsenal is to pay him 100k/wk (or whatever) for next 5yrs. If he doesn’t manage it, he’ll take whatever Arsenal gives him at the end of the season. (Of course no invoking Bosman,)

    Wenger might go for this? Hard to see what other “gentleman” agreement would convince Arsenal to take him off the market.

  169. 26may1989 says:

    Has the club done anything more than recognise the reality of its negotiating position? They tried to impose an ultimatum of “sign or be sold”, and had their bluff called by the player saying he won’t be sold in a rush. Result: the club has to cave in and continue to negotiate while exposed to the risks of a Bosman.

    I don’t know whether the situation has arisen due to agents’ Machiavellian manoeuvring or negotiators’ sloppiness, but the ultimatum didn’t sound very convincing when it was thought through. Players aren’t slaves, they can’t just be sold if they don’t want to be. And the threat doesn’t work if delivered in the week the window closes as opposed months or years earlier.

    Walcott has said nothing against the club and has said nothing about wanting to leave the club, despite there having been options for him earlier on (Chelsea and Juve for example). I don’t know whether he’s being greedy, none of us can know what figures are really being haggled over – ignoring what we think of his abilities, I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt about his intentions. He and the club have just been butting heads and he’s won this round.

  170. 26may1989 says:

    Re Champions’ League draw, the dangerous teams in pots three and four appear to be Juve, Ajax and PSG in pot three and Dortmund who (worryingly) are in pot four. See http://mobile.theshortfuse.com/2012/8/29/3277895/champions-league-2012-draw-pots-arsenal.

  171. RockyLives says:

    Concur with all that 26.

    It’s all speculation. The only facts we have are those in the official statement that both sides are negotiating amicably.

    Although if Theo has been reading the Arsenal blogosphere I wouldn’t blame him for wanting to scarper.

  172. goonermichael says:

    I missed the first half hour and first 2 goals as it took me ages to get to Barnet. It felt like the summer had truly gone too. Enjoyed myself though.

  173. RockyLives says:

    Did anyone stand out GM?

  174. chas says:

    The CL draw link suggests it’s at 12:00, but I thought it was 17:00?

    I’ve put possible opponents in a rough order of difficulty. (Pot 2 based on us not travelling well to eastern Europe).

    How about Schalke, Anderlecht and Malaga?

    Pot 2
    1 Schalke 04
    2 Shakhtar Donetsk
    3 Zenit St. Petersburg
    4 Dynamo Kyiv
    5 Valencia
    6 Benfica
    7 Braga
    Manchester City

    Pot 3
    1 Juventus
    2 Spartak Moscow
    3 Ajax
    4 Paris Saint-Germain
    5 Lille
    6 Galatasaray
    7 Olympiacos
    8 Anderlecht

    Pot 4
    1 Borussia Dortmund
    2 Montpellier
    3 Málaga
    4 CFR Cluj
    5 Dinamo Zagreb
    6 BATE Borisov
    7 Celtic
    8 Nordsjælland

  175. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.
    Surely what this means is that neither City or Chelsea have made a bid.
    He’s not going to a club that don’t offer him more than £75k/wk, and Arsenal probably have a fairly high valuation of him.
    Theo holds all the cards.

  176. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    “Schalke, Anderlecht and Malaga”
    I think you’ve managed to pick the three least desirable destinations.
    Oh, I see, you pick teams on beatability. I pick teams on nice places to go :-)

  177. chas says:

    Which three then, Micky?

  178. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, I’ve been saying for a while now that the Theo situation is very different to RvPs. Theo is 23 so by normal standards has his best years ahead of him in footballing terms. 1 more year on Arsenal wages is not going to affect his long term financial security. Even if he picks up an injury it won’t put off any pursuers because of his age.

    The big thing is the earnings capability with a price tag or without, whether at Arsenal or somewhere else. If we tried to sell him he could simply refuse to go. In a years time either Arsenal will have to pay him significantly more money, or he will walk away to another team who will pay him his transfer fee and his wages. We will probably have to pay more too as we will have to weigh up what we need to pay Theo and what would we need to pay for a new player plus wages.

    All in all it’s a messy situation but one we can do bugger all about!

  179. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I want Benfica, PSG and Nordsjælland (my surprise “where he hell are we?” trip).

  180. chas says:

    Might see tomstoned and the Peter Storey ice bear!

  181. chas says:

    I quite fancy a trip to Lisbon.

  182. Gooner In Exile says:

    Could be some proper groups of death in the CL draw.

  183. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    You are making the assumtion that in a years’ time, someone will want to pay him 100k’wk. Although they won’t be paying a transfer fee, not everyone might want him on 100k.
    So for me, he has to impress a big club. Right now, he clearly isn’t.

  184. chas says:

    I think we all know that the players hold all of the power these days. That’s why I quite like the club fighting back a bit.
    All in vain though, I suspect.

  185. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The one time you actually want City to make a bid and what happens… :-(

  186. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Why are Juve in a pot? Surely, as Italian Champions they are seeded.

  187. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just googled. Nordsjælland is Denmark, so no bears, just Big Raddy.

  188. chas says:

    Juve are a surprising 43rd in the coefficients table.

    Dortmund were German champions last year but in pot 4 because of their poor history in the comp.

    Tottnumb are in pot Thursday nights. :)

  189. chas says:

    Fancy me assuming it was Norway. Pfft.

  190. chas says:

    Whoops forgot to post the link to the coefficients table.
    http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/uefarankings/club/index.html

  191. 26may1989 says:

    Exile @7.36am: exactly right.

    Re CL, usually the nightmare is getting tough draws from pots three or four but this time pot two has some very manageable oppo, so even we got Juve or Dortmund, might not be so bad.

    I think I might be on for a CL away trip or two, so I’m with Micky, let’s have some nice places to visit.

  192. evonne says:

    Theo would find it difficult to impress any team from the bench

    Is today the last day of transfers? Can I start breathing again?

  193. chas says:

    No Evonne, we still have ‘fun Friday’ to come.

  194. 26may1989 says:

    I think the deadline’s tomorrow night evonne, still a while to hold your breath….

  195. Morning all

    Talking of ‘Fun Friday’ we’re going to need a post for tomorrow ….. with the Champions Lge Draw this afternoon I wondered if anyone wanted to take charge of writing a small post about the outcome of that to start us off in the morning.

    The blog will be going nuts tomorrow with chat about transfers even if we don’t move anyone in or out so the new post doesn’t need to be too cerebrial ;) Anyone??????

  196. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How much longer on Nic Bendtner’s contract?

  197. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Not too cerebral” eh. You are looking at me, aren’t you, Boss!

  198. evonne says:

    oh dear :(

    Someone made an interesting point on the radio – it was Arsenal who introduced exorbitant wages to players; Sol and PV receiving 3 times as much as players from other EPL sides. At that time nobody heard Arsenal fans complaining. Of course not, we didn’t know the Abramovitch and Massouri would arrive on the scene

  199. chas says:

    I’m out early doors this evening and will be drunk by the time I get back. I would have volunteered otherwise as it’s a dead easy post.

  200. chas says:
  201. chas says:

    Scientists have now stated that they were looking in the wrong place for the “God” particle but have now found it. :)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27453474@N02/7887411102/in/photostream/lightbox/

  202. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks Chas on Bendy, and two ROLF’s to you for the other comments.

  203. chas says:

    This chap looks so much more attractive without his hat!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27453474@N02/7865430536/in/photostream/lightbox/

  204. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……

    …. New post ……….

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