Is Defence Our Best Form Of Attack

We have been a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team over the last number of weeks, sometimes looking like the most prolific attacking team on the planet and at other times looking like we don’t have the foggiest idea how to open up the opposition.

To make matters more confusing the vast contrast in performances often happen when very similar teams have been fielded in two separate games, and have often included combinations of Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud, and Walcott or the OX all in the same team. This is not an insignificant attacking line up especially when combined with our traditional overlapping full-backs. This combination of players should really give any top side in the world a headache in defence, but have at times even struggled to make mid to lower table teams look at all uncomfortable.

When you look at the above names on paper it is difficult to understand how they can, at times, offer very little attacking threat. To try and explain it to myself I have considered the contradictory possibility that maybe we are fielding too many attack minded players to make our attack effective. I would obviously like to open this up for debate, but before I do I will explain a bit more what I mean by this statement.

In recent discussions on AA regarding what types of players Arsenal need to bring in, one type of player frequently mentioned is a more powerful defensive midfielder. This is usually mentioned in reference to a need to solidify the defensive aspect of our team, and therefore make us harder to breach, and is a sentiment that I am in full agreement with. Could a more pure defensive midfielder, however, actually make us more effective in our attack as well?

Conventional thinking would state that the more defensive players you play the more defensive you will be, but I would suggest that there are times when too many natural attacking players in the one team can leave us imbalanced, and upsets our shape so that players that should be supporting the attack more are pulled into positions of defence too often. Conversely the right defensive midfield screen can provide a better platform and reduce the need for other players to have to drop back as often.

Our current first choice defensive midfielder seems to be Arteta who more often plays that role in the midfield three with Wilshere and Cazorla. I like Arteta and think he is an excellent and very important member of our squad and am not in any way suggesting he is replaced and pushed to one side. I think he is and should remain a regular and important first team player. He did however come from Everton not as a pure defensive midfielder, and he has obvious offensive qualities to his game also. In many games he plays the deeper defensive midfield role very well and certainly never lacks heart and effort, and is not afraid of getting stuck in.

I have questioned, however, whether in some games he gets slightly exposed because he is not really a specialist in this role. At these times he seems to require more help in protecting the back four and breaking up attacks, and my observation has been that this more often than not drags Wilshere deeper to help cover in these areas.

Some will disagree and see the deeper role as Wilshere’s role anyway, and I would agree that all players need to perform some defensive duties, but for me Wilshere has far too much ability on the ball to be kept too often in a deeper role. He is not the finished article yet but those bursts of pace and ability to surge past people should be utilised in attack as much as possible, and this is where I personally see his long term future.

I remember, as one example, in the Southampton game thinking that we needed to release Wilshere further forwards to support Cazorla and try and get some attacking intent back into our game. It was not Arteta’s fault, but I felt he was a bit under the cosh in that game and he was struggling to screen and protect the back four effectively on his own. If we had been playing a more specialist defensive midfielder out there, who could have more effectively covered the defensive midfield area on their own, would that have released Wilshere from having to help out so often in defence and, if he could have played higher up the pitch more often, would that have seen us start to take more attacking control of the game?

You could argue that it may not have worked out that way and how can anyone really know, and I would agree that no-one can say for certain. It is more an observation and opinion that potentially a more specialised midfield destroyer to break up the opposition attacks would have given the platform for our attacking players to get into more dangerous areas more often. Once we turn the momentum of a game in our favour sometimes it becomes difficult for a team such as Southampton to get a foothold back in it.

For me a top defensive midfielder should obviously be a good tackler with a good physical presence. He also needs to be able to distribute the ball well, but for me he doesn’t need to be a “Bergkampesue” defence splitting passer of the ball, but more a decent passer who can redistribute possession once we win the ball back. I have always felt, though, that maybe an even more important characteristic for a central defensive midfielder is pace. I feel it is possibly even more important than for the attacking central midfielder where good positioning, awareness, quick thinking and the ability to play a killer pass are potentially more important characteristics. The defensive midfielder obviously needs to break up play but also needs to try and intercept and cut out threats from the opposition. The ability to cover ground quickly with pace is for me an important feature to defending well in front of the back four, and it is the one thing that Arteta unfortunately is not blessed with.

Many players are mentioned as being suitable players to bring in and play the defensive midfield role but some of you will be aware that I have championed Vermaelen for the role. Some would argue that he is not a good enough passer of the ball, but again I would question how important that is. He is a more than adequate passer of the ball for me and would have no problem in effectively redistributing the ball when we have won back posession. The plus side of his extra physical presence, good biting tackles and pace over the ground would far outweigh anything else for me. He could be considered as a defensive midfielder or even as part of a back three where he plays as an advanced sweeper.

As a pure defensive screen Vermaelen could likely provide 1 ½ times the protection that Arteta can in games where it may be more necessary, and if it allows us to play the other two central midfielders to take up more advanced positions then we may actually end up with a more potent attack by playing a more defence minded player in that deeper role.

I am not actually suggesting that Arteta is permanently pushed aside in this role. Far from it, I believe there will always be games where we can play him with Wilshere and Cazorla, as we do in our current first choice midfield three. These three for me do seem to be somewhat overplayed currently anyway, and I feel need a bit more rotation. Arteta could even revert to his slightly more traditional, pre-Arsenal, more advanced midfield role at times if TV is played in the deeper role and Wilshere or Cazorla need a rest or are carrying a minor knock. It is all about having alternative options for me and all of these players would still get plenty of playing time but hopefully with the added bonus of avoiding burn out and possible injury.

So what do AA’ers think. Do we need a more specialist defensive midfielder at times and if so who would be your choice? Would the addition of this player only be to make us better defensively, or could it actually have the additional effect of making us better offensively as well by way of freeing up other players?

Written by GoonerB

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151 Responses to Is Defence Our Best Form Of Attack

  1. kgooner says:

    An important question you raise goonerB, given our defensive for since the loss of Diaby.

    I have no doubt a proper defensive minded DM would suit us well. The team i believe, is already attack oriented. Gibbs, TV, JW, Carzola, Arteta etc. The addition of a DM would override the ‘potential’ loss of an Arteta like DM who at times gets caught up forward. Enough times i have seen Carzola drop deep to receive a ball from the CBs! That’s tiring for someone who supposed to be focussed up front. Many a times Sagna and Gibbs get caught out of position and forced to ran back and catch up. Arteta at times is up front also doing the same. A stationary(not so much) DM would break such runs by the opposition and always available to cover for the LB, RB and overly ambitious CBs (read TV). I was watchin the Chelski Swans match yesterday, and i liked the imposing figure of Luiz. I picture someone with his strengths in that role. Imagine how much of a threat we’d be if santi and jack focussed on breaking the opposition and pushing forward? end of my 2 cents

  2. kgooner says:

    *recent defensive form

    Another great AA post. Thanks goonerB for stepping up

  3. Gooner In Exile says:

    GoonerB that’s a very good look at where something is amiss, last year Arteta coped better with his duties. This season not so much, does he miss Song? Is it lack of pressing further up pitch, failure to hold ball up top meaning we can’t get our shape back?

    All questions I’m not sure I can answer!

    But one thing I do know, I miss Gilberto Silva, he wasn’t called the invisible wall for nothing, and I thought Artetas reading of the game last season put him as close to Silva as we’ve see since he left. I’m sure some will put this down to the absence of Alex Song.

    However the one thing that bugs me is that a good percentage of our goals against this term have come from individual errors, in recent seasons I have put a lot of our defensive frailties down to team defending (corners, set pieces etc) but this season it is from open play that we have more often than not been opened up.

    Also in terms of too many attack minded players I think being attack minded is not necessarily a problem, I think we have cause ourselves problems from players getting too far forward too early, and eating up space up top by standing on defenders toes and reducing the waves of attacking options that would come from more staggered positioning.

  4. Vermaelen would never make a defensive midfielder. To succeed in this role you require immense concentration, focus and discipline.Vermaelen has shown in his performances at centre back, that he doesn’t possess these qualities.

  5. GoonerB, a well argued and deeply thought out post there, and thanks for your efforts.

    I’m in the camp that says a physical presence in the centre of the midfield, just in front of the back 4, would work well in shoring up the team so that we are not vulnerable to counter attacks, or just the simple diagonal ball over the top that inevitably leads to a goal conceded.

    Naturally a DM wouldn’t be needed in every game as you should switch your team/formation to nullify thew opposition’s greatest threats, but most teams will sit back against us and hope to counter attack.

    As I thought yesterday about Arse.com bigging up Diaby in his comeback; guess what the headline for a report about the match on Arse.com is ?

    “Diaby did well and controlled the game” – cue the inevitable “Diaby is like a new signing” nonsense and “If I sign M’Villa it will kill Diaby/Ramsey/whoever” we are going to get to justify no transfers in for a DM.

  6. VCC says:

    Good thinking GoonerB. Not looked at it quite like that before. The defensive midfielder in your role will have to have plenty of stamina as well as speed, and I also think you could be right about Vermaelen being able to fulfil this role.

    It’s certainly worth a try, as I cannot see Wenger splashing out much cash in this window, especially as Diaby is now back on the scene.

  7. TT says:

    Sorry for not commenting on your article, GoonerB. I don’t have time to do it justice at the moment. I’m just wondering about the League projection table. I don’t understand how it works, and its prediction is depressing me :(

    Particularly, how does it get 43 pts for 11/12 after 20 games? According to the Point Total table above it, after 20 games the total was 36 pts. For comparison, the table says ManU and ManCity at with 45 and 47 after 21 games. Surely we were not that close to them after 20 games? After all, we were still fifth then as we are now.

    I’m thinking something must be amiss with this table. Hoping to see a brighter projection :)

  8. GoonerB says:

    Martin @10.27. I cannot say that I would disagree with you and I would not say that Vermaelen is necessarily the best option but I would consider him as an option that we could try. He has had a loss of form to some degree recently but I still believe he is a top player. I would be interested to hear your opinion firstly as to whether you feel a more powerful defensive midfielder would be of benefit to the side and if so who would be your choice and why.

    My thoughts would be that a central defender actually requires a higher level of concentration and discipline than a defensive midfielder. I am obviously not saying that discipline and concentration are not required at all for the role of DM. I think the best defensive midfielder that I have seen was Vieira. he had the lot for me, but he was exceptional and Vieiras don’t grow on trees. I don’t think there has such a good powerhouse midfielder as Vieira since him anywhere in world football, so I feel whoever you put in the role you will likely have to sacrifice in one technical aspect or another.

    If I was listing the characteristics that I would see as being more important for the role I would put pace, physical presence and tough but well timed tackling as my priority. I believe TV is good in all these departments. Following that I would look at technical ability on the ball such as passing ability. I would want that to be decent but wouldn’t be overly bothered if it was only that. One of the reasons that I would like to see TV tried in the role is that you then in essence have another CD out there, and if one of the other 2 CD’s has been pulled / caught out of position I believe TV’s natural instinct as a CD will see him more ably cover for that scenario, i.e chasing back and possibly making a last ditch tackle as a striker is about to shoot. As I say I can’t be certain about him so would be interested to hear who you would have.

  9. Mike says:

    Having sold Song was A big mistake!

    Now said, I am definitely sure TV can play a decent and even more defensive midfielder.

    Here is a team I’d like to see perform:

    Sczesny

    Sagna Mertesacker Kos Gibbs

    TV

    Wilshere Arteta

    Walcott Cazorla

    Podolski

    Also, I’d like to say that I think Mertesacker is not good fitted for Arsenal…. he’s tall okay but he’s not bully enough
    and too many times on his butt sliding like a non enough strong fighting spirit he is. I would see him do well in another league.

    We definitely need a DM and a Central Defender

    Wanyama and Yanga M’Biwa are the ones we need.
    The first one in DM position and the other one in CD.

  10. Rasp says:

    Top post GB, and one that is highly relevant to recent debates regarding the defence.

    Arteta was our most important player last season IMO, but for whatever reason, he isn’t providing that extra defensive solidity this season.

    If we are to have 1 DM, I would opt for a big strong box-box type (the usual 6ft plus, good engine, hard tackler etc) and use Arteta as a deputy for him, Jack, Santi etc as a form of squad rotation.

    Ideally I’d go for a 4:2:3:1 system with 2 DM’s and a fluid front 4 supported by the wing backs out wide.

  11. JM says:

    (Posted a comment earlier which was due for moderation, possibly due to video links):

    This is a re-post:
    ——————————————

    Option 1 (look within the squad in 4-2-3-1 line-up):

    (CB) Mertesacker & Vermaelen/Koscielny; (RB) Sagna; (LB) Gibbs; (DM/CM) Arteta & Diaby; (AM) Wilshere; (RW/LW) Cazorla & Podolski; (CF) Giroud or Walcott.

    Back-ups: (CB) Vermaelen or Koscielny, (RB) Jenkinson, (LB) Santos, (DM/CM) Coquelin; (AM) Rosicky & Ramsey; (RW/LW) AoC & Gervinho

    We have been missing Diaby playing beside Arteta for these few months. It will allow Wilshere to push up to the centre attacking midfielder/playmaker role and Cazorla to occupy either the right/left wing as the alternative winger/playmaker.
    Having capable ball-winners in Diaby, Arteta & Wilshere in centre midfield areas shall help the team retain possession better. (The 60% to 40% rule in field domination/influence of players during a game. 60% along the centre length of pitch and 40% from both sides length of pitch)

    =====

    Option 2 (change in line-up to a 3-4-1-2/ 3-5-2 / 3-3-1-3 variants)

    (SW/CB) Mertesacker; (CB/DM) Koscielny & Vermaelen; (RWB) Sagna; (LWB) Gibbs; (DM/CM) Arteta; (CM/AM) Wilshere; (AM/ free-role behind front 2) Cazorla; (HS/CF) Walcott & Giroud/Podolski

    Back-ups: (SW/CB) Miquel, (RWB) Jenkinson, (LWB) Santos, (DM/CM) Diaby & Coquelin, (CM/AM) Ramsey, (AM/free-role behind front 2), (HS/CF) Gervinho, AoC & Giroud/Podolski

    Both Koscielny & Vermaelen playing dual roles as CBs and “False-DMs” when bringing ball up from defence/ covering gaps between defence & midfield/ marking attackers.

    =====

    Option 3 (Get a DM in the mold of a “100%fit Diaby” in within this transfer window):
    For example,

    Étienne Capoue, French (Toulouse)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89tienne_Capoue
    (youtube) watch?v=7kATR1RaUFg

    Maxime Gonalons, French (Lyon)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxime_Gonalons

    Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, Belgian (Club Brugge)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vadis_Odjidja-Ofoe
    (esp last part of video. Movement from defence to attack)
    (youtube) watch?v=w6n3cEGshZw

    Lucas Biglia, Argentinian/Italian (Anderlecht),
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucas_Biglia
    (youtube) watch?v=xaeT1y1lvR8

    Mario Suárez, Spanish (A. Madrid),
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Su%C3%A1rez_Mata
    (Immense display against A.Bilbao in the Europa League final)
    (youtube) watch?v=4J64G2mz9f8

  12. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice stuff GB

    I admit i would like a stronger physical pressence in the middle.

    i feel in the long term we need a deep midfielder who can win the physical battles and at the same time has the technique required to keep possesion but also pass the ball forward, not sideways.

    We also need a midfileder who can cope with the pressing game by beating his man. Diaby has this ability, but at the moment does not play enough games. Jack will do it, but he needs more time to mature and develop his game

    I certainly wouldnt like the side to more defensive. We have too many players not suited to that approach and to be honest, the older i get, the more i want to be entertained.

  13. GoonerB says:

    Mike I keep hearing about Wanyama but haven’t seen him play. I don’t know how big or how quick he is or what his technical level is. Can you tell me what is he like and who could you liken him to?

    M’Biwa I saw over the 2 legs we played against Montpellier and was reasonably impressed. he seemed to have the required attributes of size, pace and a reasonable technical level, and I was interested to note that he played one game at CD and one at DM against us and looked reasonable in both.

    Rasp, maybe if we need a more box to box type player it could turn out to be Yann M’Villa after all. he has the classic Wenger written all over him. Last year of contract, slightly out of favour and price dropped dramatically. I believe from what I hear that he sounds the most technical of the different DM options out there and has a good passing range so could offer something higher up the pitch as well as deeper.

    I still think that I would prefer to see a powerful DM that retains a disciplined position in front of the back 4 and doesn’t feel the need to bomb up the pitch leaving a gaping central hole in front of the CD’s as we used to see often with Song. I would then like to see one CM as the focul point of the central attack who stays in a more disciplined advanced role, first choice being Cazorla. The third midfielder I would like to see link the 2 others by being a bit more box to box so that they flit from defence to attack when needed. I would be happy with any of Wilshere, Arteta and when fit Diaby for that role.

  14. GoonerB says:

    Terry, if you want to be entertained pop round to mine on friday for a party. The theme is going to be a hybrid of the classic cheese and wine party mixed with a large dosage of Tarts and Vickers all in a come dine with me type setting. If you need some help with your tarts outfit I will look out some of my wifes old clothes…… those were the days when she used to adorn them outfits for me without having to ask…..

  15. Rasp says:

    GB, M’Villa’s tackles won/interceptions stats are exceptional, the main worry is with his temperament. If he can control himself he would be a great acquisition – we don’t want a ‘Baloteli’ on our hands

  16. vp says:

    I think that we’re in dire need of a defensive midfielder, and was one of the burning concerns amongst a lot of the fans at the start of the season. And With the passing of each game, it is become increasingly apparent that Arteta is not a defensive midfielder.

    The club is littered with midfield centrals. We probably have more MC’s than any other club in Europe and yet, not a single renowned tackler ; I wouldn’t be surprised if the professor is lining up some twelve year old French kid as we speak, in which time, we’ll utilize the medico coquelin until his twenty fifth birthday.

    I don’t know whether it’s down to cost cutting or whether Wenger still believes that we are the second best ball retainers in the world (after Barca) and that an ugly enforcer will only compromise beauty. Surely, he can’t think that Arteta is equipped to play there game in game out. Either way, we now find ourselves flirting with the January transfer window, as a direct consequence of the manager’s continual reluctance to make direct replacements (song). When are we going to start being precautionary rather than reactionary and approach transfer windows with the intent to thrive and not survive.

    It’s a real shame because I think that our central midfield is the strongest part of our team (and better then most), namely Carzola and Wilshere ,for which the current setup doesn’t allow them to fully express themselves

  17. kgooner says:

    Victor Wanyama

    Ironically he’s from my country but only now is when i’m watching his you tube clips. Shame:(

    He’s cup tied tho. Maybe over the summer. He refused to sign another contract and has a year left on his current one.

  18. SPECTRUM says:

    GoonerB – Yann M’vila – nope, incredibly, after eyeing him since last season, we’ve turned down a cut price deal of a measly 8 million.
    Demba Ba – Nope
    Wilfred Zaha – Nope – apparently his “demands” put us off. United are set to sign him.
    Huntelaar – Nope.
    All players who could have been bought, but weren’t. We are now a third of the way into the window. A window in which we need to aggressively pursue and SIGN players to expand our thin squad. Yet Wenger has spent all that time and months before, still dithering over negotiating new deal for an average talent like Walcott, instead of going for the ones that could really make an impact. While others are making their moves early, we are moving at a glacial pace. Exactly the same situation as last year. Coincidence or incompetence ?

    As Gambon, a contributor on “Le Grove” pointed out –

    ( quote ) ” The Arsenal Supporters Trust were of the opinion that we had £70m to spend in the summer, but that we had no room to manouevre on the wage bill, and that Wenger refused to spend it.

    Well since then we made £11m profit in the summer transfer window, we have sold Queensland Road for £26m, we have about £5m more property sales going through this year, we have struck a new £30m pa deal with Emirates, we have almost certainly agreed a big new kit deal, we have added 2 commercial partners, and TV money is confirmed as increasing dramatically next season……minimum £30m, possibly £40m for 4th place.

    We could easily, easily spend £100m tomorrow, and have absolutely no issue at all “. ( end quote ).

    Given the above, why is it that Chelsea are said to be about to pay 22 million pounds to trigger Fellaini’s buyout clause. Twenty two million is a figure WE can NOW easily afford. Fellaini is a player Wenger has said he admires. Everyone would surely agree that he’d be just what we need as a box to box midfielder at Arsenal. So why have we not paid up, and secured him ?

    M’Vila. He would’ve been worth taking a risk on despite his disciplinary problems. At just 7.5 to 8 million he’s a steal. Yet we refuse to act.

    And on the one that got away – Michu – “Le Grove” says this ; (quote) ” We have scouts climbing fences to look at 15 year olds in back water French villages, but we don’t have someone keeping an eye on the top talent in La Liga? Honestly, if ever an investigation was needed into the way we do things, it’s over our lack of interest in that man. Our scouts are getting paid upwards of £250k a year to bring in the talent. Why has it dried up ” ?

    Why indeed.

    But nothing to do with ” In Arsene we rust ” though, hmm?

  19. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Excuse my manners GoonerB…

    Thanks for last nights link GiE. You did update it around the time of the recent Beeb article (18-19th Oct). But that link will suffice to illustrate the point I need to make.

    Cheers

  20. Mike says:

    About Wanyama… with Video

    Well first he’s a quick thinker and take his chances, I like that about him.

    He has a strong physical presence, a good pass that would surely improve under Arsene’s training.

    He scores. A good header.

    But the best of all He fights.

    I believe this guy understands how great his career gets after his move to Celtic FC and gives a lot of himself while playing.

    I mean he’s got the right attitude. Which we apparently can’t say about M’vila.

    He has what Song didn’t, an attacking side to his game.

    I think that if Arsenal has to battle during January or in the summer with any team (especially with MU) for a player, Arsenal must fight too get Wanyama, maybe harder than for Zaha.

    He’s the next Yaya Touré to my point of view.

    Here’s a couple video to have a preview of his talents:

    Enjoy!

    Mike

  21. Gooner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, god I love Wojcech

    “Ever since I signed for this club, I’ve become an Arsenal fan,” Szczesny told Arsenal Player.

    “It feels like it’s more than me just playing and doing my best on a Saturday afternoon. I feel like I have a much bigger part to play at this club. It means that little bit more to me.

    “I think there’s a lot of players in this team that are genuine Gooners. You’ve got people like Carl Jenkinson, there’s Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong – a lot of young players who really feel it’s the biggest honour they could have, to play for this club.

    “I think that’s very important for the future.”

  22. GoonerB says:

    Thanks both Kgooner and Mike. I am normally a bit wary of assessing a player via you tube but I have to say he looks very impressive and would be exactly what we need. Wikipedia have him at 6’2″ and you can see he is big physically with it. On top of that his pace and ability on the ball looked good and he passed off both feet often looking for the forward pass when he could. seems to be a goal threat also. I would snap him up now before someone else does and not worry about him being CL tied. based on that I would put him well above another attacking wide player or attacking CM as a priority as you say Mike.

    Spectrum, I would like to see us get any January acquisitions in early as well because there are 5 EPL games in Jan so 15 points up for grabs. When 3 of those games are Citeh, Chelski and Liverpool then early strengthening seems to be more important. We do have prior form for over playing the waiting game to our eventual cost in league points so your frustrations on this point will align themselves with most of us on this site. The past is the past however and it is difficult to know exactly how much work is being done to secure any new players so I will have to defer my judgement for a bit longer on this matter.

  23. Gooner In Exile says:

    TT, the league projection table is depressing and it could get worse after our next two games.

    Last season it cheered me up….here’s a brief how it works

    Rather than comparing this seasons league points on a chronological basis (as the one at the top does) it compares the games played.

    So Norwich Away 2011-12 Win 2-1, 2012-13 Lose 0-1. Therefore that is minus 3 points on the swing. I so the same with all games replacing last seasons relegated teams with newly promoted teams. I then apply the swing to remaining points from prior year and add to our current total resulting in my final projection (I do the same for all teams)

    So at this point we are 9 points down against the same games played last season, Norwich Away, Swansea Home, Villa Away, Sunderland Home being the worst offenders. (We gained a point back away to City).

    ManCity home and Chelsea away both have 3 points last season, if we do not achieve the same result this year that swing will look a lot worse and will probably show us in bottom half. However salvation comes from some of the stupid games we lost or drew last season have still to be played, but we need a fair amount of consistency to get it back.

  24. SPECTRUM says:

    Forgive me for quoting others, but in the interests of stimulating debate, I thought it worthwhile to post these. Some people have an eloquent and incisive way of cutting through. Gambon, from “Le Grove” again……

    ” It beggars belief that Wenger sold Song and didnt replace him in order to gift a first team place to that useless *%#@&* Diaby.

    It beggars belief that Wenger bought Gervinho & Chamberlain when Mata was available for £23m, and he’s the most creative player in Europe.

    It beggars belief that Wenger threw last season away by waiting 3 months before panic buying on the last 2 days of the transfer window.

    It beggars belief that he refused Hannover an option to buy Djourou.

    It beggars belief that Wenger pays £60k per week to Squillaci, Santos, Rosicky, Diaby, Denilosn, Gervinho, Arshavin (£80k), Chamakh.

    It beggars belief that he has refused to spend his transfer budget in each window going back to at least 2008.” ( end of quote )

    I should also mention that it beggars belief that we had a choice of Hazard or Gervinho from Lille. Wenger went for Gervinho.

    And this……

    ( quote ) ” The fact that Wenger said just a few days ago ; “I change my mind every day on whether we need to sign players” should signal his immediate sacking.

    Any manager that can go through the 18 months we’ve been through, and NOT have any idea whether we need to strengthen, is absolutely finished as a manager.

    If this is his attitude to the transfer window, can you imagine how the football side of things are going to unravel in the coming months/years “. ( end of quote ).

    He’s got a point, no ?

    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  25. Gooner In Exile says:

    Spectrum heres a number 08457 90 90 90 give them a call. Or how about you stop rehashing others comments as interesting for debate, if I wanted to know what Gambon thought I could go and look on LG.

    Oxlade – Chamberlain is in that quote, ho hum. Arshavin is rubbished ho hum.

    What does beggar belief is how much hindsight people use in criticising the manager. Without Arshavin we would have been a lot worse off sooner, he did a job when needed.

    It also beggars belief that fans cobtinue to spout wage bumbers around as fact. He doesn’t pay Chamakh £60k a week that has been disproven by Fiorentinas chairman stating that he wouldn’t pay him what he was on at Arsenal, around £40k a week.

    And finally it beggars belief that people use quotes out of context.

    The rest of the quote states that the indecision is based upon the performances from one week to the next. Be honest after we took Liverpool apart were you thinking “sign more players”, or when we earned more at Shitty than the point we got, but then after losing at home to Swansea and drawing at home to Fulham you think different. And then we run out heavy goal winners against Reading and Newcastle and things start feeling better again

  26. The font says:

    Spectrum
    based on your theory although I am bald I should buy a hair dryer
    Because I have the budget to do so let me guess your age 25

  27. GiE, up until last August I would feel similarly heartened by what Chesney said but after van Judas’ trechery I will never believe a footballer who says this kind of stuff anymore.

    All I’ll demand from them is that they try their best, any words that express love for the club – like I said before – be how David Beckham views his tattoos: “they mean NOTHING”

  28. LB says:

    I reckon Columbus would have had an easier task of explaining to people that the world is round.

  29. Wonderman says:

    Afternoon all, very good thought provoking post Gooner B.

    I dont see Vermy as the answer at all, I think his positioning would be suspect and he would give away far too many free kicks, plus there is no guarantee he has the engine.
    In my opinion Wenger believes Coquelin is made for that role and failing that Frimpong. The problem with those two is while they are very mobile, destructive players their abilities on the ball is not great.
    There is without doubt a vacancy for a box to box midfielder in the Diaby mould ( without the injuries)…but I cant think of an obvious candidate who is available.

    The problem our team has is we often enjoy large periods of possession which means that this illusive defensive mid would be redundant for most of the times in most games.

    As GIE said earlier many of the goals conceded this season have come from individual mistakes.At the time of writing we have the 3rd best defense in the top 6, and 4th best in the league…not that grim surely?

  30. The font says:

    Spectrum
    Acting on your advice I have just bashed the wife up she only went to tesco bought steak and kidney pie for tea and although she still had money in her purse she failed to see the outstanding desert apple pie when questioned she replied you already have three deserts in the fridge cheeky bitch

  31. TT says:

    GiE, depressing! Thank you for the explanation and the hard work you put in to construct and maintain this table.

    GoonerB, great article. I hear someone in the background whispering 3-5-2? :) Seriously though, for me Vermaelen’s ability to redistribute is the big question mark. I probably unfairly remember the few times he made really questionable outlet passes, which resulted in dangerous shots on goal. They are seared in my mind :)

    Even though Arteta’s passes do not look complicated, I think his reliable pass selection even under pressure make him safe redistributor. Unfortunately he has the other drawbacks you’ve pointed out.

  32. SPECTRUM says:

    Gooner In Exile – On Wenger’s indecision – Doesn’t affect the point that was being made at all. You’re trying to avoid the issue. EVERYONE who has been following the team’s fortunes KNOW or SHOULD KNOW by now, that our squad depth not only lacks quality, but lacks numbers. Wenger does nothing about it. He didn’t last season either, even after we had signed Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud. They mainly made up for the ones that left or that we sold. The net result is that we were left short THEN, and ten days into the window so far, will likely be short NOW.

    You can see it coming, can’t you ? ; Wenger will say at his press conference ; ” Diaby is back, Walcott has a new contract, they are like new signings.” and “We could not find the quality. I consider our sqaud is strong, and we have great spirit.” How much longer will you fall for his spin and lies ?

    You don’t think it’s negligent to rely on crocks who can’t put more than a handful of games together ( Diaby, Gibbs, Rosicky e.t.c.), to get us through the season ? You don’t think that’s an irresponsible and UNNECESSARY risk, when we HAVE the funds to avoid it ? If you can’t depend on a player’s availability, then sell them. Do your due diligence with their medical tests, and get someone who is capable of STAYING fit. He gambled last season, and look at what ( predictably ) happened. We could see what was likely to occur. He couldn’t.

    Not only that, but what about player burnout ? Wenger overplayed Wilshere last campaign. He ran him into the ground. Why ? Because he had no option but to. We didn’t have anyone else who could step in. Arteta, Cazorla, Jack and others are tired and need a rest. The squad needs rotating. But we don’t have the numbers to do it. Whose fault is that ? And Wenger says he “changes his mind every day on whether he should sign players” ? Whether he should ? It’s a no-brainer !!! He’s playing us for fools.

    To The font – Poor attempt at mockery / ridicule. How about addressing the points made ? If it won’t tax your brain too much, that is. I’m waiting for you to claim ” Wenger knows more than us, so we should just trust him and shut up.”
    Well that’s worked out well for eight years, hasn’t it ?

    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  33. SPECTRUM says:

    the font – ” So let me guess your age, 25 ” ?

    No, 55 y.o actually. Supported the Gunners since 26th May 1989. A date we all know and cherish. As you’re having a dig at me, let
    me guess your I.Q. I’ll be more generous than you were with me. I’d say 26.

    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  34. RockyLives says:

    Excellent article GoonerB

    I agree with all you say – except that I’m not sure Tommy V is the man for the job.

    I wouldn’t object to him being given a try out in the role, but I feel he’s a bit rash in the tackle and would give away too many free kicks.

    As someone said above, a Gilberto type would be lovely.

    The video of Wanyama against Inter is pretty impressive.

  35. LB says:

    Hahahahah

    So Spectrum, you are 55 and you have only supported Arsenal for 24 years.

    Who did you annoy for the previous 21 years?

    The fact that you started “supporting” Arsenal after the league victory at Anfield explains a lot. It makes you are hollow as your irritating last line.

    You have never once come on this site after a good victory and spoken highly of a performance, you only come on here to try and spred your poison.

    In brief you are everything I hate about a particular section of Arsenal “support”.

  36. Wonderman says:

    Hi Spectrum, I agree with some of your points, but based on your statements you seem to know very little about management and even less about football management.

    One of my frustrations has been Wengers continued support of the what appear to be forever injured players Diaby, Rosicky, et al….I remember people calling for Van Persie to be sold as he was a ‘crock’….well look what happened last season. When you are a coach seeing players in training day in day out, you KNOW what quallity they possess. The successful managers/coaches are able to transfer this quality into games and more importantly points. Wenger has been contiually gambling that the injured players will get over their injury and contribute…he has lost on that count

    On your point of “like new signings….and couldnt find the quality ….”
    you are probably right…..but what do you expect hm to say

    “Im devastated that I couldnt get the targets we tried to buy as my existing squad is sh*t and needs a complete overhaul”

    learn to play the game matey, historically he has always done the complete opposite of what he says….on that basis I dont expect us to buy anyone in January

  37. Goooonner says:

    Arsenal should get matt hummles

  38. evonne says:

    Spectrum – I don’t know what GiE’s IQ might be, but I know that he is more than capable to knocking your block off, so be careful :)

    Were you not the one suggesting that we must get rid off the dead wood last year?

    Too many players can be a poisoned chalice, it has its disadvantages, ie paying wages, unsettling the team, problems with bench warmers getting too fat, not to mention upsetting the FFP rules. I am certain that AW has a formidable task to balance the squad

    Columbus was a nasty psychopath; it was the lovely Polish gentleman Mikolaj Kopernik that discovered the earth wasn’t a flat discus.

  39. evonne says:

    GoonerB – very good post and an interesting question. I think I agree with your suggestion, especially now that our defence is still wonky to say the least. I have always believed that defence is the best form of attacking, so defensive midfielder sounds much much better than parking a bus while defending.

    I thought that Stoppila was exactly the man you were looking for. Are we going to get him?

  40. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Again Gooner B …apologies.

    Spectrum is back spouting that tripe again. I say that whilst confessing that I only looked to see if his ‘oh so witty sign off’ had changed. I see that it hasn’t, then refuse to read anything that preceded it.

    I’m with LB @3.49. We need an explanation of how that came to pass. Not that I’ll actually get to read it as I recall just how stubborn and protective Spectrum gets about his ‘oh so witty sign off’.

  41. I don’t get why Spec’s sign off upsets so much; I get wound up immensely by Talk Shite but others here don’t so I suppose different things wind up different people.

    Yeah, I know what you’re thinking – “No shit, Sherlock” :(

  42. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    Actually, Eratosthenes, a mathematician, calculated, in 225 BC, the circumference of the earth, and the distance of the sun from earth.

    In addition he worked out, by measuring the length of the shadow cast by a vertical stick at noon, and then again at another fixed point (city) at noon, and could work out from those measurements that the sun at noon cast shadows at different angles to the sun.

    From that he could deduce that the earth was curved — ipso fact not flat or disc shaped.

    Columbus and the polish guy were 1800 + years behind the times!! :-)

  43. GoonerB says:

    Wonderman and TT. Thanks for your comments. I always considered Vermaelen as a potential option for this role but am very willing to change my mind to another candidate. In fact I have been swayed by Mike and Kgooner towards Wanyama. I have now made the cardinal sin of being convinced on a player by a you tube video. Every now and then you can get a true reflection of a player from video footage and I believe that Wanyama could be the one to look at now.

    Spectrum, you actually bring up some valid points and you may be surprised to know that many of your feelings are reciprocated by many regulars on this site. The problem is you seem to package your points into one big aggressive rant. We can’t see each other on here so I don’t know you or how you are at all, and you may be a really nice fellow and a genuinely good laugh and a person that I would get on with if I was sitting face to face with you discussing our club. I have good gooner mates that I totally disagree with on some subjects. I only have what and how you write to go on though as an impression to form of you. What I seem to come up with is an image of Frank Rottweiler after an overdose of anabolic steroids. I think your closing cliche puts the icing on the cake also for many readers. You may feel that personally about Wenger and that is your right as a fan that invests money in the club, but it looks like the sort of taunt that would be flung around at school. I agree with some of your points but not all of them, as I do with many on this site. The point is that I have always found the regulars on this site to provide reasoned debate on any point raised, and we can then agree to disagree in a polite way with another if that is the case.

    I know you favour some other sites and I have actually been on a couple of these sites myself in the past. The problem I found, and my impression was, that almost every blogger on them tended to be angry about everything and had entered a mind frame where they actually didn’t want to talk about anything positive. It seemed the sole purpose was to be negative about everything from morning to night, and in following some of the threads I got the impression that each person was winding up the next one until everyone was in a frenzy of anger and hatred. Even then I could see that many points did have merit but it was mixed in with what I would term inaccurate and highly negative statements on almost every aspect of the club. I tried posting a couple of times to agree on some points and disagree with others and found out that you don’t go on those sites and not agree with something negative that has been said. Wo betide the blogger that doesn’t embrace the anger and ranting and try and bring some positive aspect to certain subjects. I could literally see the spleen of some of the bloggers being vented at me as they crashed their keyboards with steam coming out of their ears in an attempt to see who could insult my opinion the most. I leave those sites to others now as I can’t be bothered to be that angry all the time.

    I think many here would enter reasoned debate with you on points you raise if it didn’t come across as you literally only want to talk about negatives all the time, and that you are not interested in entering reasoned dialogue with anyone who would disagree with you. You may not intend to give this impression but I am just saying it is how it comes across and the slightly juvenile signing off statement almost seems to act like a drawing of the line under what you have said and that it is not open to debate or question. Shame really because reading between the lines I think you could probably have some valuable input on many discussions.

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    Chary,

    I guess it must mean that Scrotum has rotten nuts.

  45. Eh N5, who is Scrotum ? I think I’m being dense here but I had to ask anyway.

  46. Red Arse says:

    GoonerB, your Post is a good read, but I have an odd sense of déjà vu, as I could swear we discussed this at some length a couple of days ago. :-)

    Of course it might be that we are psychically conjoined and I was just reading your hidden most thoughts!! :-)

  47. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Hery Gooner B – quality write up. A lengthy and enjoyable read.

    For me when describing a good DM, you could have just written down the name of a guy we sold last summer – Alex Song.

    Personally I think LeCoq fits the bill for us…and just needs more games to hone his craft. Wonderman always tells me that the owner of an Arsenal shirt keeps said shirt according to Arsene’s law, and the evidence is surely mounting.

    Once Diaby was injured Le Coq should surely have been granted more game time. We should be using 3 from the 4 that is Le Coq, plus our regular 3. Cazorla should not be starting and finishing almost every game in a new League, nor should Wilshere who is back from serious injury. Arteta is not getting any younger either. Rotation amongst those four would allow Caz, Art and Lil Jack to rotate thru the one or two offensive CMF roles. Caz could even play as one of the front three if required. Treat Diaby as a ‘spare’ to be used if and when available and we should be fine.

    I’m not convinced about ‘turning players around’, so it’s a no from me on converting a CB used to everything being in front of him, into a DM who needs to have been brought up (footballistically) with a real 360 degree awareness. If he’s gonna play it sin a ‘kick everything in front of me – Lee Cattermole’ fashion, then maybe. But we need our DM to come short a lot to receive the bal and and build play.

    Getting Jack higher up the pitch is a great idea, as he has absolutely everything to make him a huge success there. His biggest problem would be having the patience to wait for the ball to come to him.

    Again, top quality debate starter GoonerB, and apologies for repeating any other points made by others as I’ve read barely 2-3 other comments today.

  48. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    I think you know GN5 was talking about your friend. :-)

  49. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    GB 4.27. Quality

  50. Aaaaaaaaaah, I get it Redders. :)

  51. Red Arse says:

    SSG,

    Good points, and I had hoped that Le Coq would be the real deal at DM, or failing that, I was convinced that PingPong would be the man.

    Now I am not so sure.
    Le Coq is technically fine, but very lightweight for a position that be definition needs a no nonsense, tough nut.
    Frimpers on the other hand is physically well suited for the role, and technically too, but so injury prone.

    [GoonerB Good, writing the above that sense of déjà vu is sweeping over me, again.] :D

  52. evonne says:

    RA – too much info :) I am surprised nobody said that Chinese discovered the truth about the earth, after all they have discovered everything else

  53. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    You mean the Chinese are like Raddy’s explorers — they are always pinching things off the Yankees! :D

  54. chas says:

    Thanks for the post, GoonerB.
    Love your 4.27, too.

    I really think we do need to bolster our defensive midfield options.
    Then again, we’ll never know if Le Coq is good enough unless he gets a few games under his belt. I don’t think TV5 is disciplined enough to play the role. He struggles to stay at centre back, ffs. :)

    chary,
    Referring to speculum as “spec” has just lost you any respect I had for you. :)
    He is an annoying troll unwilling to engage in any kind of two way debate. Haven’t you seen his comments all over the blogosphere before? If he posted on here every day, I would stop visiting.

  55. chas says:

    RA,
    I just tried to look up Frimmers and Le Coq’s respective heights and weights. I think they’re identical height wise. Weight is a different issue, Frimpong is quoted as anywhere from 67 to 83 kgs, Coquelin 70 to 75 kgs.
    I realise you may have been talking about Frimpong’s attitude rather than his physique, but ask Makelele what it takes to be a world class DM. :)

  56. GoonerB says:

    Redders, I know what you are thinking right now…….

    We did indeed discuss this the other day and I saw Peaches impassioned plea yesterday evening for some posts. I didn’t have so much time so I thought I would just expand on the subject that we had discussed more in brief before. Anyway for me it was worthwhile revisiting as I have had my opinion changed by the likes of Kgooner, TT, Wonderman and Sharkey’s more recent insightful comment. I have moved away from Vermaelen now and as I said above have had my head turned by Wanyama. i had not seen any footage of him before today.

  57. Red Arse says:

    A valid point, Chas, but Makelele was squat, and low to the ground with a great centre of gravity, and has a beautiful Mrs.

    He could play where he liked in my team, provided I got to see her occasionally!

    My view of Le Coq and Frimpers, nowadays, is only the perspective I get from TV pictures, as much as anything, as I don’t get to the games like your goodself.

    Le Coq just looks ‘frail’ and simply gets brushed off the ball too easily.
    Frimpers is much more robust, and the fans (on those rare occasions when he is not injured) like to urge him to pingpong the opposition with a crushing tackle — which he did a couple of days ago – again. :-)

    I am sure I have bored you before with my tales of watching, for a number of years, the youth teams play at Barnet, and there at that tiny ground, seeing them up close and personal, even though they were in mid to late teens, I had much the same impression, although Le Coq was not seen by anyone, then, as a DM, but more of a gifted link up midfielder, which I still think he is.

    Subjective I admit! :-)

  58. 26may1989 says:

    Great post, GoonerB.

    Quote of the day so far: “I reckon Columbus would have had an easier task of explaining to people that the world is round.” (LB)

    Second quote of the day so far: “No, 55 y.o actually. Supported the Gunners since 26th May 1989.” (Spectrum) Don’t you just love gloryhunter fans, who only know to jump on a bandwagon once the silverware comes in? Spectrum, mate, didn’t you realise that the reason 26 May 1989 is so special to us is that we all suffered for years before that? The 26th can’t mean much to a 31-year old who chances on the revived fortunes of the English game’s classiest club.

  59. Red Arse says:

    GoonerB, :-)

    I was just teasing, as I was out for much of the day allowing people to stick nasty things in me!

    It is a good topic, and well worth discussing further, and we are lucky to have you to lead the conversation!!

    But as we can read each others minds – you already know that! :-)

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Gooner B. Very good read.

    I haven’t been around recently so it is not a re-hash to BR.

    IMO the selling of Song was an important step. He wasn’t good enough to take us forward and removing him from the squad whilst making a few mill was excellent business. One only has to see his rating as the 2nd worst buy in Spain this season (ratboy is 1st) to recognise his limitations

    Unfortunately, I don’t see anyone at the club with the skill sets to replace him and therefore a signing is necessary. The Celtic fellow seems to be the best option having acclimatized but Biglia is also a fine player and being Belgian will not go to the ACN.

    We need some muscle, another PV4. Someone who frightens the opposition. Frimpong could become that player but at the moment is lost in his own hype.

    That said a fit Diaby …………… yawn

  61. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha, that speculum div might as well have come on here and addmitted hes a virgin. He would get more respect than his “started to support in 89″ comment. Priceless.hahahaha

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Spectrum BTW Gambon is one of the reasons many stopped blogging on LG. Please don’t quote him on here.

  63. 26may1989 says:

    Nice comment Raddy – completely agree re Song. He’ll probably be playing for Villa or Fulham next year. I’m in a minority in being happy with Arteta as our deepest lying midfielder but if we did go into the market, Victor Wanyama would definitely be the one I would want. And since Kenya aren’t in the ACN, he won’t be going AWOL any time soon.

    Diaby? Like him but it’s got to the stage where I can only assume his retention on the payroll is Aresnal’s charitable contribution to the community.

  64. Hi Gooner B. I’m sorry I can’t make a suggestion for defensive midfielder, but the best I’ve seen this season is Sandro, just up the Seven Sisters Rd. You can see he just loves defending, and has the required discipline for this role. This is not really something that you can easily coach into someone. A great example of the qualities required was Peter Storey circa 1971. Unfortunately they don’t grow on trees!
    Agree that Vermaelen is a better player than he has looked this season, but I would be amazed if Wenger tried him in CM.

  65. Spectrum
    You are 55 (a year older than me) but you only started supporting Arsenal when Micky Thomas won us the league in 89. What were you doing before that?

    I agree with what someone else said. If I wanted to hear what gambon said I wouldn’t have stopped going on LG. I left when he tried to convince me that shrek was better than RVP. gambon is the biggest troll ever

  66. Red Arse says:

    Hi Raddy :-)

    26M, I think Arteteta is fine, but there have been signs of fatigue in his play recently, and as he is not the quickest anyway, that makes him struggle when the oppo have fast moving forwards who bypass him.

    Age gets us all I am told!! :-)

  67. Bye the way, we sent our Scouts to Brazil and came back with Denilson, the Totts did the same and in came Sandro….very sad.

  68. evonne says:

    Quote of the day for me was on Talkshite radio coming from Gary, a passionate Chav: “Abramovitch has done a lot for us, thank you Roman. But I won’t be sorry to see him go, because it’s all about the club that I support”. I liked that alot

  69. evonne says:

    yes Martin, Spurs are great, don’t you just wish you were supporting them? Or do you?

  70. 26may1989 says:

    RA, someone called me an old lag today – cut me to the quick that one.

    Personally, I intend to grow old as disgracefully as I can.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Martin. I don’t know why but Sandro just doesn’t do it for me. I doubt he would get into Spurs first choice midfield (Monkeyboy, Dembele, Parker. Lemon) though it must be said that he has done very well in Parker’s absence. (I must admit to not watching much of the miscreants)

    If we are to push one of our CB’s forward I would suggest that Koscielny is the better ball player.

    I would take Billy Bremner over Storey :-(

  72. most of the gambon quotes are bollocks anyway

  73. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Agreed MW….Sandro is quality.

    Not sure why you need to make a negative comparison like you do re Denilson.

  74. Red Arse says:

    Martin,

    I happen to agree with you re Sandro.

    On the other hand, when we bought Denilson he was seen as a 17 y.o. with all the potential in the world. A similar story to Carlos Vela.

    It did not work out, but that’s the risks in buying kids. Cesc was brilliant — these two not so much.

    The Spuds bought a more mature and experienced player in Sandro.

  75. Big Raddy says:

    26. 5.47 It’s not difficult

  76. Red Arse says:

    That said 26, I will be happy just to grow old! Not fussy – me! :-)

  77. Red Arse says:

    GM, Used to be Sandra until the op!! :-)

  78. chas says:

    Suddenly the blog seems a far friendlier place now the troll has gone to bed. (I believe he lives down-under).
    The other excellent bloggers from oz on here must be ashamed of him.

  79. 26may1989 says:

    When I get really old, say 55, I think I’ll find another football club to support. To make life easy, I’ll just go for the club that wins the title that year.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    26. As a representative of the over-55 club may I respectfully ask you to go forth and multiply…. (though I get your point!)

  81. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Gambon aka T***pon ??

    He who wished cancer on Arsene, and thinks the Invincibles as an achievement is overrated…??

    Yeah we really should all bow to his superior knowledge !

  82. 26may1989 says:

    Soz Raddy! Couldn’t resist….

  83. Red Arse says:

    I used to dally with LG, until I got aggro for being too intellectual, and an educational elitist or some such crap, and the attraction for me was Queen of Suburbia.

    She was witty, intelligent and sensible (no, they don’t always go together! :-) ) and more than matched the effers and blinders on there, and never used a bad word, to my knowledge. Classy! :-)

    I suspect the blog nomenclature hid the Rocker’s alter identity! :D

  84. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I think people like speculum are so desprate to convince people that there views are correct, that they border on mental illness. This Gambon bloke sounds like that too. Its a form of vindication and superiority usuly sought after by emotionaly stunted psycopaths.Like speculum there posts tend to come over as pleas, almost a form of begging that you acknowledge and follow there view. They tend to end there comments with a silly catch phrase

    Now listen here you lot. Arsene is the greatest manager of all time and i implore you all to accept this fact. In time you will all acknowledge that ime correct

    The Ghosts of The Thirties are stiring

  85. Red Arse says:

    Raddy, I think 26 was being provocative — I would punish him by singing to him – if I was you!! :D

  86. Red Arse says:

    Terry,

    You have to stop calling that stirring in your pants a thirsty ghost! Too much info. :-)

  87. Big Raddy says:

    RA. In Danish !

    TMHT. For some, supporting a football team is a masochistic act. Just witness those thousands of fans who pay all that money to go to the Ems and spend the whole match moaning. Seems strange to me but it takes all types …

  88. Red Arse says:

    Raddy, inDanish, even better! :-)

    For those many of you who are friends of Total Arsenal, the amazing news is that BK (Bergkamperesque) has topped NewsNow today with a million hits. OK – not sure about the hits!! :D

  89. 26may1989 says:

    Danish is perfect – am fully addicted to Forbrydelsen (The Killing) and Borgen!

  90. 26may1989 says:

    I miss Total.

  91. Gooner In Exile says:

    “You don’t think it’s negligent to rely on crocks who can’t put more than a handful of games together ( Diaby, Gibbs, Rosicky e.t.c.), to get us through the season ? You don’t think that’s an irresponsible and UNNECESSARY risk, when we HAVE the funds to avoid it ?”

    Arsene Wenger must sell Jack then!!! Good for nothing crock who stayed in the physio room for 14 months. Oh and TV5 he was out for erm….a bloody long time a couple of seasons back. Oh and it’s a good job we sold that other physio bed lover RvP what a waste of space he turned out to be!

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Gooner B
    Superb article. Thank you.
    I completely agree about the need for a big, tough, strong and fast footbally DM.
    I also agree that it will help with the offensive side to our game, although in the past I have advocated giving Verm a go, that was only based on finding someone from within as I really don’t believe he has the full skill set to be better than MA or Coquelin.

  93. chas says:

    I miss TA’s contributions to Arsenal Arsenal, too.

  94. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh how I have enjoyed the LB and 26 put downs towards Spectrum.
    Starting supporting after Anfield aged 31 is ROLFISTERICAL

  95. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ahh the 26th May 1989 best night of my life, at 12 soon to be 13.

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    “Who did you annoy for the previous 21 yrs” ha ha

  97. Gooner In Exile says:

    I miss TA because he was a work shy Dutchman with time on his hands to fill our post gaps :D

  98. chas says:

    As an aside, can I suggest that all AA posts for the rest of January include the word ‘signed’.
    It’ll do wonders for the Newsnow hits. :)

  99. chas says:

    GIE,
    How much is left of your barrel?
    And are the gorgeous Mrs GIE and George Exile home yet?

  100. Gooner In Exile says:

    Still haven’t opened the barell :(

    Mrs Exile and George are still at hospital, where I am now, he lost a little more weight than they would like as a result of his tongue tie (which meant he couldn’t feed properly).

    Hopefully now that sorted he can start piling on the pounds. He is a bit like me, a lazy bugger who just sits and waits for food to be given rather than work for it himself!

  101. Red Arse says:

    That’s a bit personal, Chas. His barrel?? :oops: I have come over all unnecessary!! :-)

    I loooove, the English language (UK) it is soo creative!! :D

  102. Red Arse says:

    Ohhh, that is what you meant! :)

  103. GoonerB says:

    Terry @6.26, that is what I was trying to say in my 4.27 but for some unknown reason mine stretched into 2 sides of A4.

    I have enjoyed the first 2 series of the killing but obviously had to stare intently at the subtitles to follow it. I watched them with my wife (who is from Norge) and it became very annoying when after a couple of episodes she started to understand the language and could play games on her phone and watch it at the same time. I have got the 3rd series recorded and ready to see as well. Raddy my wife says the Danish title actually literally translates as “the crime” and not the killing. Can you confirm that, and by the way I would love to hear you sing in Danish. If you could do a little clip and send it to Chas to put up…

  104. chas says:

    RA,
    I would have hit the barrel immediately driving was no longer required at the drop of a hat.
    I’m not sure you should come over all unnecessarily ever.

    GIE,
    Have you bought him any keeper gloves yet?

  105. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Hi
    Good evening just been reading today’s posts,then zzzzz spectrum turn up and annoyed a few.
    Still no news on Theo I see,and still no signings,as an extra defender I’d get Hangerland from Fulham he an international and prem experience.
    And he’s free,a good signing I’d like to see

    Much love
    Sheep Hagger

  106. Red Arse says:

    GoonerB,

    I am writing this as a formality as we can communicate thru the aether.

    You should watch the US version of The Killing, weird, atmospheric — and you can probably get every other word of the American English!! :D

  107. GoonerB says:

    RA, could you tell Glic to also pay a little visit back at some point. I miss his deviant sense of humour.

  108. GoonerB says:

    I must admit RA that I did consider the American version but didn’t follow up on it. My reasoning was that I have watched and still sometimes watch so many American crime dramas such as Criminal minds, Bones, and CSI that I thought another one wouldn’t really bring me anything different. I also reasoned that it was the Scandinavian settings that gave it a special atmospheric feel. If you can recommend the American version of the killing to me however I will obviously take note.

  109. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Last film I watched was Debbie does Dallas.
    I enjoyed it,very good acting and sound track

  110. GoonerB says:

    Sheep, is their a Welsh version of that?

  111. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Yes gonner B
    It’s called Sheep does Swansea

  112. chas says:

    Delyth does Dolgellau

  113. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Bethan does Brigend is due out soon can’t
    Wait to see it.

  114. Red Arse says:

    GB,

    The US version of The Killing is set in Seattle, and it could just as easily be Scandinavia because of the weather, the setting and the brilliant acting. [nothing like CSI -- I do not watch the other shows you mention].

    These things are difficult to recommend – different folks etc – but I loved it!

  115. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    If you are still around, Herb asked me to forward onto you and Mrs GIE, his congratulations on the birth of your son, George, and his best wishes to you all! :D

  116. Red Arse says:

    GoonerB,

    I have passed on your message to Glic, altho’ you could have done it yourself — there is no passport necessary!! :D

  117. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp/Peaches.

    Check Arsenal nuts for a new post.

  118. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    Glad you understood my Scrotum comment.

  119. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    Seattle is one great place to visit, I lived in Coeur d’alene Idaho for a couple of years and spent a lot of time in Washington.

  120. RA
    QoS is on twitter. She’s slightly negative at the moment but still nice to chat too.

  121. Red Arse says:

    You will know far more about it than me then GN5. :-)

    I have only visited it for a couple of conferences [boring] and for a gentle drive up to Vancouver from Seattle airport to visit friends there.

  122. Red Arse says:

    Thanks, GM. :-)

  123. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA pass my thanks for his congrats back to Herb. :D

    Chas, very remiss of me I hadn’t even signed him up for Junior Gunners until 10 minutes ago, let alone keeper gloves. Arsenal baby gro incoming :D

  124. GIE
    If you say he’s 15 you’ll have a silver membership in 3 years

  125. Gooner In Exile says:

    Haha GM I was thinking I might do that for me anyway, and then cancel my Red Membership to get Silver.

  126. Gooner In Exile says:

    Reckon 4 years old is old enough for a train ride to London and a trip to the Arse with Dad to meet the boys in the Tavern for a beer or two.

  127. haohaohaohtc says:

    Petit!

  128. mickydidit89 says:

    Thinking of Manu, there’s a bloke in North Bank Upp,erwho attends games in full kit, shorts and all, who sports a Manu ponytail.
    It is perfectly reasonable to ask questions
    Morning Chas

  129. chas says:

    Morning, Micky.
    Do you mean the bloke who has two kits sown together?
    We often see him on our travels. I think he drinks at the supporters club on Gillespie.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27453474@N02/8346887899/in/photostream/lightbox/

  130. chas says:
  131. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    There cant be more than one like him. Very weird look.
    Crazy man talk here ahead of such a massive fixture but do you have one spare for sunday?

  132. chas says:

    Micky,
    There is a faint possibility.
    I’ll look into it and get back to you.

  133. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Who couldn’t love Petit? The pony tail, the leather trousers, the chiselled good looks ……. and best of all the song

  134. Big Raddy says:

    I recall that chap. He sat near me in the Clock End.

  135. Red Arse says:

    Morning, Mes Braves, :-)

    All well in the world?

    Damn – a stupido, rhetorical question to start Friday morning! Doh! :-)

  136. Big Raddy says:

    In BR world all is well apart from the need to get out and shovel snow

    How is RA this chilly morning?

  137. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    Just remember, there is no more untrue saying than “blood is thicker than water”.
    So feel no guilt about conning a brother out of a match day seat :-)

  138. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning RA und BR

  139. Red Arse says:

    All well -ish, with the yankee doodle, thank you, Raddy.

    Snow? Do you have much there? It is cold enough to snow here, about -1C, and it seems you are shovelling too hard, as we are told there will be a ‘light dusting’ in the South East. keep it to yourself!! :D

  140. Big Raddy says:

    God Morgen Micky

    Hvordan gør det?

  141. Red Arse says:

    Hi micky, :-)

    I loved your ‘Magnificent Octopus’ comment yesterday. Perfect description!! :D

    Mind, you are always interfering with the sea life down there in rural Devon! :-)

  142. Big Raddy says:

    Hope there is some football to chat about today, a transfer or two. Demba Ba looks a fine signing for the Chavs but once they wanted him we had no chance.

  143. 1derman says:

    Looks like any hopes of signing David Villa are rapidly diminishing, he was forced off with a thigh injury last night

  144. Rasp says:

    Morning all …..

    ….. New post …..

  145. SPECTRUM says:

    The story behind my starting to follow Arsenal since 1989. It’s quite simple. Before then, I liked football in general, but didn’t follow any particular team. But I did hate Liverpool, who were winning everything at the time, and dominating before too. So I was looking for a team to follow. When we went to Anfield that day, I vowed that if Arsenal somehow won, and stopped Liverpool from winning yet another title, then I would adopt the Gunners as my official club. When they did, I was over the moon, and that’s how it happened.

    Since then we have had our ups and downs, Wenger came along later and transformed us. Three titles, ( one unbeaten ), and some cups, and I adored him as much as you. Sadly I’ve watched his and the club’s, steady decline from 2005 onwards, to the point where now I have lost all faith in his ability to ever achieve a fraction of what he did. In fact, I’m convinced that he’s damaging the club by staying as long as he has, when it’s apparent to any objective observer that he’s changed into a vain, obsessive, stubborn man. He’s lost any respect and affection I had for him, with his continual neglect of the team’s needs, his inept tactical and man management, and general incompetence. Frankly, I now want him out, so that we can start afresh, and actually COMPETE to be WINNERS again, not be content to settle for mediocrity as he wants us to do.

    Of course the board are to blame for a lot as well, but Wenger is the manager, and as such, needs to be held responsible and accountable. This applies to ANY manager. We should not elevate ANY individual over the interests of THE CLUB, whether it be A.W. or Joe Bloggs. But at Arsenal that is what has happened. It’s a disgrace. By their ( now irrational ) support of Wenger, the A.K.B.’s are condoning this situation. Their sentimental affection and cult worship for his past deeds, has blinded them to the reality of the more recent past, and present. That is what gets the realists ( “Doomers” as you like to call us ) so angry.

    So that’s my background, just to set the record straight. And to give you some insight into why I come across the way I appear to you on here. Mainly borne from frustration at the direction we’re headed in under the current regime. I want our club to prosper, but it can’t until the whole set up is changed.

    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  146. SPECTRUM says:

    As for my catchphrase that gets so many of you upset – It’s not so much that the phrase itself is offensive to you, but the fact that it goes to the heart of what I described in my post above. Anything that remotely holds Wenger responsible, is considered sacrilege and unthinkable to many of you. Even when the term “rust”, describes the situation accurately.

    If we’re stagnating, which we clearly ARE, not winning anything for years, which we clearly HAVEN’T, and have NO PLAN to turn things around, isn’t that analagous with something deteriorating – “rusting”, even ?

    I think a lot of you need to wise up, and fast.

    ” In Arsene we rust.”

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