The Surprise Identity of Arsenal’s Next Superstar

Whatever you think about Robin van Persie, he is a genuinely world class player.

The same is true of Cesc Fabregas.

But, since the break up of the Invincibles, those are the only two players we have had at Arsenal who can indisputably be called world class.

Recent results (since the Totteringham away game last season) have shown that something good and potent is brewing at Arsenal. A group of players has come together and formed a powerful team spirit. The players are working for each other and they are increasingly understanding each others’ game. There is a good balance of youth and experience and there were no significant departures during the close season.

These players are a wonderful foundation for Arsenal’s next trophy-winning team.

But there is something missing.

The teams that win the biggest prizes have at least one “worldy” in their ranks and, at the moment, Arsenal do not.

That’s one of the reasons why this summer’s transfer window has seen the sort of hysteria more suited to a One Direction concert (not that any of 1D are half as gorgeous as Ollie Giroud and Tomas Rosicky… or so the ladies tell me).

Talk of players like Suarez, Higuain, Rooney and Benzema has been exciting because any one of them would add that missing “world class” dimension and, maybe, push us to another level.

Maybe an A-list name will be joining us in the next week. But even without a last minute transfer coup I believe the identity of our next “worldy” has already been discovered.

I refer to the diminutive Spanish maestro, Santiago Cazorla.

santi pic

Last season, in his first year in English football, Santi was an ever present in our league campaign, scoring 12 goals and providing the assists for 11 others. He also created more chances from open play (80) than any other EPL player except Luis Suarez (94).

And let’s remember that this was in a team that struggled for a considerable part of the season and with players whom Santi had to get to know as the campaign went on.

In its own right it was a stellar debut season.  And now we have every reason to believe that Santi can go on to do even better this time round.

He has had a delayed pre-season compared with most of the squad through having been away with Spain during the summer and then having to make a round trip to Ecuador the week before the EPL started (thanks Fifa).

But against Fulham he showed what he can do when he starts to get back to his best.

His stats from that game make for impressive reading: as well as getting an assist, he led both teams in passes in the attacking third (29) and in chances created (6); he was also just one behind Theo in take-ons (what we used to call attempted dribbles) with five. He had a pass completion rate overall of 94%, but if you look at his passing in the defensive and middle thirds of the field you’ll find he was 100% accurate: he was taking no chances at our end and saving the riskier passes for the attacking third.

But stats don’t tell the whole story with Santi Cazorla. Those of us lucky enough to have seen the full 90+ minutes on Saturday were able to bask in the warm glow that comes from watching the Spanish magician’s incredible footwork and vision.

When he receives the ball under pressure he has that rare skill (seen only in the best players) of being able to suddenly find himself with space and time when most other players – even really good ones – would be having to battle off an opponent or two. At times, when he pings the ball from one foot to the other and shimmies away from trouble you’d swear he’s taken lessons from Michael Flatley. Or that he had a previous career as a bull fighter (“El Munchkino”).

If this Arsenal team starts to achieve anything this year, then Santi may well begin to look like one of the top two or three players in the EPL.

He can bring us elements of Dennis Bergkamp, Cesc Fabregas and Robert Pires combined: time on the ball, vision, killer passes, quick possession play and an eye for goal.

If he looked good last season, he could look great this time round.

And who knows, perhaps a great season for Santi in an Arsenal team that competes well in the EPL and Champions League may even force the Spain coach, Vicente del Bosque, to promote him above one of the more familiar names in the famous Spanish midfield.

Not that I really care about Spain.

But in the miasma of negativity that has surrounded our club this summer, let’s not lose sight of the bright diamond we already have shining in the team that we love.

RockyLives

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152 Responses to The Surprise Identity of Arsenal’s Next Superstar

  1. Rasp says:

    Superb Rocky. Even Alan Hansen had to acknowledge the brilliance of our ‘El Twinkletoes’ on MotD. He’s a player that would get into any team in the world IMO.

    On top of his audacious skills, he’s not afraid to take a risk and plays with a smile on his face – what’s not to love :P

  2. Harry Barracuda says:

    Yep, so he gets good then Barca or Real nick him.

  3. Rasp says:

    Chill out Harry, even manure lose their best players on occasion – no team is immune to it. For every good player that leaves there is another emerging. In terms of ‘emerging players’ I think we have more than our fair share.

  4. El Twinkletoes v Fulham

  5. flashygunner says:

    brilliant write-up, couldn’t agree more. i am begining to think this team will shock TEAMS.

  6. Kgooner says:

    Super post Rocky! I enjoyed every single line. The 1D pun got of laughing. Good laugh.

    Santi is world class and you’re right in pointing out how crucial he’ll be for us this. I’d love for him to get a break and start fresh. He works so hard for us. I believe once he perfects his shot accuracy into goals and takes more of them, he’ll be lethal. I an a huge fan of his shot taking style. And his cheerful demeanor.

    Oh santi carzola! Oh santi carzola! Oh santi cazorla!

  7. Macky says:

    I totally agree with your article….carzola is a piece talent,a class act….he is just a fine line away in becomin’ a world class player,he is a top player in my opinion…my worry is that wenger over-use him & his form takes a little dip & i think if rocisky & wilshere stays injury free,his best is yet to come,he needs rest sometimes so as to maintain his sharpness.

  8. kranich says:

    Exceptional cazorla

  9. Great post Rocky Santi is a great player he is a pleasure to watch on the pitch .When Santi plays the team seam to play much better.He sure has the eye for the ball very much like Cesc considering Cesc was the one that talked Santi into joining our football club. I am a huge fan love the the way our little Spaniard controls the game !!!

  10. kranich says:

    What a world class player we have.santi cazorla eeii.tooo much

  11. dandan says:

    From Four Four Two Very interesting

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has claimed that the club’s fans have been “brainwashed” by the English media. The Frenchman has faced intense scrutiny of late, with the London club’s failure to add in the transfer market and opening-day defeat to Aston Villa leading to unrest among fans at the Emirates Stadium. But Wenger believes Arsenal’s recent record means he should not be under pressure from supporters. “The media in general has brainwashed a little bit the Emirates,” he said. “Maybe rightly so, I don’t know, because we haven’t won trophies for years everything is negative. But we have to live with that and focus on playing well football. “We lost one game since the beginning of March. That’s why it was a shock. But we won in the Champions League at Bayern Munich. We won at Fenerbahce. It is just like that at the moment. “People always want news. We live in a world which is very interesting but very excessive. When people are not loyal, you are critical. When people are loyal, you say they have been there too long. “It’s always excessive reaction. The people in charge need to keep their distance from that more than ever.” The 63-year-old also rejected suggestions that his stubbornness has led to Arsenal’s disappointments in the transfer market, and insisted the club are still looking to add. “Someone told me I have had 956 games for Arsenal,” he added. “I care about this club and when we had last week’s result I was deeply disappointed. This is not a personal trip. “This is about doing things well for the club I love and I am happy we are back on track. “If we can gain one, two or even three more, we will do it. They (the players) want to win the league. They enjoy playing together and this is the first year when we have not been traumatised by losing players.”

    Great Stuff Rocky as usual, the little man is a joy to watch

  12. Auta sunday says:

    I so much LUV dat guy calld santi carzola..am alwy happy watchin him playin

  13. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan, I think that article is balanced by today’s offering on A Cultured Left Foot

    http://www.aclfarsenal.co.uk/2013/08/26/the-final-transfer-countdown-begins/

    Yogi is an excellent writer and manages to couch his points in terms that aren’t overly negative yet still pack a punch.

  14. Goonertom says:

    I like cazorla, he is certainly top draw. He is exceptional when hes playing at his best and would easily get into ANY team in the league. But you have to be balanced when giving a critique on a player. Simply because he’s our best player doesnt mean he’s without fault. I actually think he is prone to getting caught in possesion. I also think he lacks some physicality, hes just too small to brush off strong challenges. He gets out of tight positions using superb footwork and technical skill and a quick burst of pace, but then has to offload the ball imediately because he cannot stand up to continued heavy pressing. His small stature allows him to have that great footwork and turn of pace, but equally works against him in this league. I think we still lack a viera/diaby type player in the middle of the park. Someone who can keep possesion under intense pressure. The way viera could hold off two players challenging him, facing his own goal, dupe them both with a bit of skill, then turn and run at their defence and gain yards is what we still need. That opens the play up and allows cazorla/rosicky to work effectively when they pick the ball up. At the moment they are closed down too quickly which is why too often we endlessly pass the ball around in the final third without probing with enough venom. we need a spike to reduce the pressure on our creative players.

  15. Goonerwife says:

    Can I just say, this blog just goes from strength to strength. I guess Santi is world class when the press deem him so, then they’ll help us sell him off to other teams.

    This team will have to go out there and win and then the wider world would start to see them. Hopefully once we’ve won, the players won’t want to leave.

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Before I read today’s post I have an important question.

    Where is Red Arse?

    RA – if you are unwell and cannot blog then I wish you all speed in your return to health. You are a vital part of this site and you are sorely missed when we don’t hear from you.

    However if you have decided to quit the site for any reason then I only have one thing to say -

    Get your Red Arse back on here!!!!!

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Goonertom.

    Santi couldn’t play his game if he were a bigger man. I have yet to see him pushed off the ball by a bigger player or bottle a challenge.

    I agree we could use a big man in the heart of the midfield but we are doing OK without one.

    In the PL at the moment I can only see YaYa Toure as having the skills you write about. We should have bought him when we could.

  18. ArnSam says:

    He is Top drawer no doubt…still wonder how he didn’t make the leagues 11

  19. Big Raddy says:

    RL. I wish I could agree. In my mind to be world class you would have to get into a squad of the best 22 players in the world. As yet, Santi doesn’t make it.

    Who in the PL does? Very few. Possibly RvP & Suarez. Bale, Ya Ya, and ???

    Go back a few years and there were many – PV4, TH14, DB10, Lampard, Terry, Ferdinand, Keane, Giggs, Cole, Drogba, Essien ++.

    Sadly, the PL has been overtaken as other leagues find billionaire backers. The vitality still exists but the quality of players has diminished.

  20. major says:

    how much did we pay for him ? wow

  21. GunnerN5 says:

    BR;

    We happen to have a big midfielder who possesses great control and skill but unfortunately Diaby has serious bad luck with injuries.

  22. tammy says:

    Please this post is about Santi Carzola and not about a defensive midfielder… Wait untill something is posted about a defensive midfielder before you talk about it! BTW El Twinkletoes is a World Class player! Just because he doesn’t play for Real or Barca doesn’t make him any less. Point of correction: he WOULD (not could) easily waltz into any top club in the world! Oh Santi Carzola, oh Santi Carzola, oh santi Cazorla!

  23. kelsey says:

    I would say on his day Santi is the most exciting player to watch in the current set up. There is a bit of Brady in him and last Saturday regardless of the oposition he showed he is a class act.

    He needs to do this regularly against the big boys and I think this being his second season,he will.

  24. chas says:

    Excellent, Rocky.
    Santi is a twinkling, sparkling gift from the gods. He’ll do me.

    As you say, the team has grown together and one of its strengths is that we haven’t got a johnny big sphericals lording it over the others. (I’d still have Suarez though :) )

  25. wally says:

    Sweet little player.
    If only wenger would surround him with more talent.

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    Another superb article Rocky, Santi is a pure joy to watch and has close skills the likes of which I have previously never seen.

    During the 1st half of the Fulham game I posted this comment -
    ……………………………………………………………………………………..
    August 24, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    For some reason Santi is not having the same dynamic impact he had last season.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

    In the 2nd half he showed me exactly what was missing; he was absolutely extraordinary and showed just how good a player he is and how he can control a football game.

    Goonertoam, in order to knock a player off of the ball you first of all have to touch the player and Santi typically does the old one two and disappears before being touched – if they are lucky enough to touch him it’s usually a foul.

    Give me more just like him – a 5′ 0″ magician!

  27. Rasp says:

    Ok, so from now on Santi shall be known as ‘Twinkletoes’ :)

  28. JanMan says:

    Good morning Kelsey, Actually I have been posting on here a little longer than five minutes :-)
    I actually know nothing about you other than what you have posted about yourself on this site or whatever other people have spoken about you on this site. I know I said I would ignore your comments but I just wanted to clear that point up. Thank you.

  29. Rasp says:

    Arnsam @11:30. The club have never divulged how much we paid for Santi. An online search will produce figures between £12 – £16.5m …. just goes to show how reliable information on the internet can be.

  30. Jamie says:

    So I disappear to a village with no electricity and no Internet connection for a week and we stack up two wins and Santi becomes the new Messi?…….. Maybe I should move there permanently……… Or stay and support Totnum 

  31. kelsey says:

    17 million euros Rasp in the Spanish press at that time, so I guess you are in the right ball zone.

  32. Rasp says:

    Thanks Kelsey, even at the upper price he was a steal when you consider how much has been paid for some other players who aren’t a patch on him.

    Incidentally, may I just echo GN5′s comment and shout out ……..

    …… REDDERS, WHERE ARE YOU????? ……..

  33. Big Raddy says:

    yes. REDDERS. ,COME OUT TO PLAY.

    If anyone sees a very large American,please give him our best.

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In the spirit of things, I just saw an enormous American. Muttered something about red arse, best wishes and whatnot. Hey presto, I’m going out for dinner and a musical.

    On a less serious note, you did ban him from talking about finances :-)

  35. Rasp says:

    That’ll be Mamma Mia then Micky :lol:

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,

    Just popped in for a sarni and spotted you here. Would it be ok if I shared with our little community, that The Didits witnessed you playing guitar in a bar in Italy, and we couldn’t help but notice that you’re shit hot?

    Let me know. Happy to remain discreet if that is your wish.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Spot on Rasp. A box for two as well.

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops, excellent post Rocky, and thanks Peaches for the brilliant vid from the Fulham game.

    Superb buy and the type of player to put bums on seats, oh, and get them up off them as well. Love the little fella.

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Pleased you enjoyed it Micky. I wouldn’t have enjoyed sharing if you thought I was just shit :-)

  40. jnyc says:

    Great post, and love the stats Rocky

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy, Raddy, Raddy,

    Have I got big plans for you?

    Yes. I do.

    Thing is this, got back from hols Thursday night, and off to festival next three days. Usual pop stuff, Texas, that sort of thing, but, we saw Seasick Steve, and this is where my plan for you comes in.

    Lose the Missis. Get yourself homeless. Grow a Zee Zee Top style hillbilly beard. Lose the expensive guitars. Lose three strings, and stick the others on in the wrong order, then, and here’s the clever bit, we come over to Denmark and “discover” you.

    Right, boring jobs done, surf awaits. Later lads.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Micky.Great idea. I will put it to Mrs Raddy.

    Spurs say someone else in for Bale …. don’t believe that, do you? They will be steaming about Willian especially as it appears Chavs refused to sell them a striker (must be Torres orBa)

    I can see us continuing our pursuit of Torres which was reported many weeks ago by Kelsey

  43. evonne says:

    I feel cheated Rocky, I expected someone I never heard of and instead you give us Santi, old news my friends. Good read nevertheless, big thank you.

    Spurs are beginning to panic. They spent all the ‘Bale out’ money already and Real seem to be dragging their feet now. They know Spurs need the cash, so are probably offering less. So Totts (or Tits) are spreading the rumours that some other club wants the simian. This could get hilarious yet :) Providing that RM don’t get our toothy target

  44. evonne says:

    I expect a boring game tonight, both managers will be happy with a point, so the teams will play for a draw, yawn

  45. Shard says:

    Santi Cazorla is what I’d call world class. Absolutely brilliant player. BUt I’m only too happy if he isn’t recognised as ‘world class’ by everyone else. It’s a label which means nothing anyway.

    I’m struggling to think who at Bayern would be dubbed world class, even though they won everything last season. Ribery? Not for me. Nor Robben. I like Schweinsteiger and Muller, but world class? Madzukic? Kroos? maybe Neuer actually. So I suppose you could argue that every team needs a ‘worldie’ to win the biggest prizes, although I think that is a slight fib. In my view, teams that win the biggest prizes invariably get some of their players dubbed as ‘worldies’ :)

    Thanks for the read Rocky.

    I’ll also add to the voices asking about Scarlet Bottom’s whereabouts. Come back RA!

  46. Shard says:

    evonne

    A draw is fine by me. Especially if it’s a 1-1 where Rooney scores for ManU, skips past RVP, and runs up to hug Mourinho and give him a kiss on the cheek. While Mata comes on as a late substitute, scores for Chelsea, and runs up to Jose, and kicks him in the jewels.

    In the aftermath both clubs hate each other, and just out of spite for each other sell Rooney and Mata to Arsenal at a discount.

  47. evonne says:

    Great plan Shard, I like it a lot :)

  48. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Thanks for the post Rocky,

    Can’t say I like the idea of an “A” List player, Top of that list Is Adebayor closely followed by Agbonlahor. Now if your talking “L” List, Lewandowski will do nicely, but I don’t want any “T” List signings.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    I would like a B list player.

    Could we be the other club interested in Apeboy?

  50. evonne says:

    No Raddy, we couldn’t :)

    What is a B list player?

  51. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bang on Rocky, Santi was simply a joy to watch on Saturday.

    Now to pick up on some other points, someone said he isn’t strong enough beats one or two then has to lay the ball off because of being unable to hold off the heavy press. This isn’t a negative, he has just taken 3 players out of the game, if his next pass is TR7, Giroud, Pod or Theo it’s more than likely we have players over and a chance to score because Santi has sucked players towards him, that’s a skill in itself and mainly achieved because he has the ability to shoot with either foot and pass with either foot. And not just a swinger or a lay off, a proper meaningful shot or a defence splitting pass. That’s a gift that few have in the world and fewer have in the PL.

    I would guess you could count the true 2 footers in the PL on one hand.

    You know what makes me laugh about Chelsea nicking William, it proves no one else really wanted Spuds other signings. Remember what happened with Mata? Well it just happened again, except not to us. :D

    I think Mata leaving Chavs is likely, Maureen has played him but I’d guess reluctantly, neither he or Oscar strike me as Maureen type players.

  52. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Evonne,

    “B” List …Bale, Barry, Begovic ooh! I like that one!

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Benzema, Ba, Bessi, Bonaldo, Borres,

  54. Norfolk Gooner says:

    B raddy

  55. Rasp says:

    In case any of you missed my comment earlier, have a read of ‘Room 101′ at the top of the page and let me have any suggestions.

  56. evonne says:

    right, silly time here :)

    Raddy – Levy could not do that to his fans, ie sell the simian to us, no way. Plus, as I mentioned before – nobody is interested in Bale, not even Madrid apparently. Egg on some faces? Poached with spuds please

  57. Rasp says:

    GiE, your suggestion has gone into Room 101 :)

    Evonne, your hasn’t because it is time sensitive :(

  58. Umar says:

    I thought it was about ramsey at first few words

  59. Rasp says:

    I’m waiting for LB to suggest a David Dein related comment for Room 101 :lol:

  60. LB says:

    Hi Rasp

    Just back from a swift London to Brighton and back, cycle ride (200k)
    Training for a trans-Pyrenean trip next week, hey ho.

    Room 101? Interesting, I don’t really use any of them, doom mongering is as close as I get to that lot. I really hate “dead wood”

    As for David Dein, I often defend him especially about this nonsense that he was unhappy about the move to the Emirates, only wanting Wembley — ridiculous.
    However, as I have also said often he was not the Saint that people seem to think he is, the man with the magic wand who could sort out our transfer ills with one stroke — equally ridiculous.

    “Redders” is a good name I am surprised no one has used that before.

  61. LB says:

    Spuds have announced that a new club have entered the race for Bale.

    Go Ivan.

  62. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, that makes my regular 10 mile cycle ride most evenings look really pathetic :?

    I agree with all your points about DD – have you no other suggestions for Room 101 a – relating to the failed transfer of Mata maybe?

  63. LB says:

    Rasp

    Not, really, I am not entirely comfortable with it as it is a bit too close to censorship for me.

    Maybe, I am missing the point but hey ho, that is the way I feel.

  64. Rasp says:

    It’s supposed to be light hearted LB and the very first line on the page says it is not an attempt at censorship. Maybe I’ll reword it and just say it is a place for annoying phrases and misconceptions and leave it at that. We have no intention of trashing any comments that contain such words.

  65. LB says:

    As I said I could be missing the point and it seems I was, my excuse is, I am a bit tired.

    Hasta Luego.

  66. chas says:

    Rasp,
    I’ve added a couple.

    How about a tab explaining blog peculiarities such as
    ROLF
    as good looking as Rory Delap
    punched a lesbian’s pregnant husband
    etc?

  67. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB Ivan did indeed make a bid, unfortunately it was £85,999,999, just that £1 and we could have got him! ;)

    I don’t think I believe Levy, I think he needs more to try and buy Hulk.

  68. Gooner In Exile says:

    Room 101 is a place to put things we don’t want to see anymore, can we put Spurs fandom there?

  69. fatgingergooner says:

    Sevilla have loaned Mbia for the season which probably means Kondogbia is on his way out. Reminds me a lot of Alex Song. Looks a bit lazy but quite effective in front of the back 4. Young, athletic and French, Wengers favourites!

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas and GiE
    ROLFS :-)

  71. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, IUF and others, there are some real beauties there – had me Rolfing all over the place :D we should put the suggestions up on this post for all to read. I’m not sure if I can put many of them in Room 101 – but I know what you mean

  72. Rasp says:

    I’m gonna have to stop using IMO now :oops:

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    FGG
    Chas also likes young, athletic and…errr, from absolutely anywhere as it happens

  74. chas says:

    Micky,
    I’m not sure I like being categorised with Benzema.
    Though athletic is usually criteria number one. :)

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    Strictly personality at number one for me. Not bottoms.

  76. chas says:

    Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen, Alan Smith and Stewart Robson all belong in Room 101.
    In fact any of the commentators and pundits ( expert analysis, my feckin arse).

  77. evonne says:

    right, another spin – Monkey to Manchester, Fatso to Chavs and Mata to Arsenal?

  78. chas says:

    Micky,
    Was that the case in the eighties when you were after Wendy James?

  79. OMGArsenal says:

    Hello once again……..My take on all this superstar speculation is that we have numerous players who are now or will soon be at that level both domestically and internationally.

    1) Szcesny appears to be more and more at ease as our #1 and with more training and experience, we can expect him to reach champions level quite soon.
    2) Walcott has become a proven scorer both locally and nationally and has matured to become a real star at AFC.
    3) Koscielny is showing why Wenger considers him the first choice CB at AFC. He will soon become that for France as well.
    4) Ramsey has become a stalwart and one gets the impression that this is his breakout season. He seems to be getting better and better each game.
    5) Wilshere has been touted as England’s great white hope and maybe this season will be his year….he is already a first choice England player.
    6) Rosicky seems a new man this season and if he can stay injury free, we can expect him to reach star status in 2013-14.

    We already have Cazorla, Sagna, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Podolski and Giroud who play for their respective national teams and if that isn’t enough to merit consideration as world-class, then what is?

  80. Rasp says:

    OK,Arsene FC and Wengerite have been added to Room 101, the others have merit but are more of a personal rant :) I’m surprised no one has suggested warchest haha

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    No, it was not Wendy James :-)

  82. chas says:

    Toyah?

  83. chas says:

    OMGA,
    I like your thinking.

  84. Rasp says:

    Chas, what do you want to call your blog peculiarities tab – I’m expecting a facetious reply :lol:

  85. chas says:

    How about
    “Evonne said…..”?

  86. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off to get the salty sea off, then watch Utd Chavs. Not normal for me, but I am feeling very football deprived having missed first three games.

  87. evonne says:

    oi! Chas!! go and pick on someone your own size

  88. chas says:

    mancs v chavs positives

    A draw
    Both sides drop two points.

    Home win
    Mourinho’s face
    chavs not 6 points ahead of us

    Away win
    bsr’s face
    gollum’s face
    mancs on same points as us

    Obviously a 22 man brawl, points deductions and a few severed limbs would be the best outcome.

  89. chas says:

    Haha, even midgets look big behind a keyboard.

  90. chas says:

    By the way, I can’t believe LB is tired after a little 200k bike ride.

  91. JanMan says:

    After seeing the Chelsea team sheet it would appear that Torres has no part in the future plans of Mourinho. If he is excess to Chelsea plans does anyone think he would be a decent gamble for Mr. Wenger as a new striker. AW has a record of bringing out the best in someone perhaps he could do that with Torres if the price is right. Any thoughts?

  92. Big Raddy says:

    I cycled 50+ kms on Sunday and was proud then LB writes about Brighton :-(

    A draw and two red cards for tonight.

    Janman. I would prefer a better finisher. Torres is a poor man’s Giroud

  93. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Lovely post Rocky

    As i ponder the important things in life, the contribution of the micro wave machine to disheveled men like myself or why my Chemist Mr Shah always gives me a suspicious look when i enter his premises, i ask myself who is Santi Carzola?

    When he arrived at the Club i knew nothing about him. Santi who? On the pitch Twinkle Toes is spot on. What delightful skill and natural ability he has.

    But i know nothing about him. Why did he join us? What does he want? Is living in London a culture shock for him?

    Been a Philosophical Bender, i realise these questions do not require answers. Who cares if Shah stares at me then gives a cursory glance towards the Viagra shelf.

    The only thing that matters is that Santi is here, is brilliant to watch, and for us is world class.

  94. fatgingergooner says:

    Suarez’ teeth, Bale’s heart shaped fingers and Anthony Taylor’s eyes for room 101!

  95. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp surely the warchest is one thing we are trying to remove from Room 101? :D

    Maureen’s team selection shows how little he has changed. Defence, counter. That’s it. Ok it works more often than not but it requires no flair.

    It is no surprise Madrid wanted rid, he takes some of the best talents and turns them in to workhorses, that play the percentages. The only thing that differentiates him from Pulis and Allardyce is disposable money.

  96. Shard says:

    Is it just me, or does Van Persie look much bulkier than he did when at Arsenal?

  97. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    What are you suggesting Shard? Pies or Alex Ferguson with a large needle and syringe?

  98. evonne says:

    I know – Bale and Suarez to Manyoo; Wayne to Chavs and R$P back to us. Would we be happy with that?

  99. Shard says:

    Well the latter wouldn’t surprise me in the least, but wasn’t suggesting anything right now TMHT. I just caught a glimpse of him, after a fairly long time, and he looked to me to be carrying more bulk than I remembered.

  100. fatgingergooner says:

    Shard,

    You’d think he’d have slimmed down having to share food with Anderson and Rooney!

    On Santi, there’s not a lot that hasn’t already been said. I’m pretty sure when Arsenal warm up we don’t have one man trying to get the ball whilst 4 pass it around, instead we give Santi the ball and have 4 men trying to get it off him! His ability in tight spaces is phenomenal and a joy to watch.

    I do think we need to use him a bit more sparingly this season though. He had a very long season last year and must be on the edge of the red zone (room 101!?). I would love to see Di Maria brought in to ease the burden. Then around Xmas we can unleash him again on the footballing world!

  101. evonne says:

    did you all see Riley at the game? Is he having a medical at Manyoo?

  102. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well Mike Riley certainly there overseeing United’s continued favours.

    De Bruyne booked first tackle, how many has Valencia for away with?

  103. Shard says:

    Valencia’s tackle on Oscar was a definite yellow. Riley apparently, was also present at the Arsenal-Villa game.

  104. Shard says:

    On seeing replay, Valencia should have had a red card.

  105. chas says:
  106. Gooner In Exile says:

    ROLF Chas, that was a pretty dire game.

    I particularly liked where Gollum went and sat next to Phil Neville and the Asst Manager and said “I have not got a clue how to win this…any ideas?”

  107. RockyLives says:

    Evening all and thanks for the comments.

    Busy day today so wasn’t around to chat.

    Caught glimpses of the ManUre/Chavs game – including one of the most embarrassing dives-to-try-to-win-a-penalty that I’ve seen in a long time, from none other than Cashley Hole.

    So now in our “crisis” we are level with Man City and a point behind ManUre. I might just have to top myself.

  108. Rob Lucci says:

    Cracking post Rocky.

    I just watch Napoli vs Bologna and Higuain is definitely not better than Giroud and Giroud work much harder, though maybe he’s still bedding in with his new team. I can see why Wenger goes for Suarez instead of Higuain.

    I have a hunch that Higuain will be like many other player that most fans gone crazy because we miss out and then forgotten about them a year later.

  109. RockyLives says:

    Cheers Rob
    My entire knowledge of Higuain is based on a YouTube compilation in which he looks sh*t hot.

    Mind you, even Adebayor looks sh*t hot in his YouTube video and – as we all know – he’s just sh*t :)

  110. Rob Lucci says:

    Yeah, actually me too Rocky.

    But I got fed up staying up to watch a horrendous game between Manure and Chelsea that I switch channel and watch Napoli vs Bologna instead.

    Mind you the Napoli captain Marek Hamsik is very very good. I dont know if you have heard of him before but he looks like the 2007 version of Rosicky.

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sounds like I missed a nothing game. As GiE pointed out, that’s Maureen for you.

    Had terrible problems with Liveonline. Alone? Must sort it out before tonight.

    Morning all.

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE

    Are you doing the Predictometer this season, and I’m not taking the piss.

    On the other hand, I’m not talking to Peaches until she puts up a fixture list. The League Table, I like very much, thank you. Really over the moon that the assist list has been binned.

    Must say, I would like a “Tosser of the Week” Didgit.

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I like the Tosser of the Week idea though sometimes it would be hard to limit it to just one. And who would decide?

  114. kelsey says:

    No response which supries me to the arseblog link I provided above.

    These are some of the key points .I am not in a position to judge.Anyway..

    What can this quick-and-dirty review of American sports tell us about Stan Kroenke? I would say a few things.

    One, he’s going to defer to the sporting side of the organization to decide how to spend and allocate money. Arsene Wenger will continue to have almost complete autonomy over the football side of the club. The lack of checks and balances in this arrangement are, at least partially, responsible for the club’s current state of affairs.

    Two, he’s not going to go out of pocket to dump huge sums into transfers or wages. Arsenal will be expected to be self-sufficient. Kroenke’s hiring of Ivan Gazidis, who has modernized Arsenal’s marketing deals and stabilized cash flow, reflects this priority.

    Three, he’s in it for the long haul. Kroenke will view Arsenal as a remarkably stable long-term investment, given the stadium, the club’s north London address, and history. Unless bowled over by a ridiculous bid, he’s not going to sell out. In fact, I am unaware of any situation where Kroenke has sold a sporting franchise (although he will have to divest himself of the Avalanche and Nuggets due to NFL regulations in 2015, ownership will probably devolve to his son).

    Four, Amy is not going to get an answer to her questions. Kroenke is going to remain at his Montana ranch overseeing (but not micromanaging) this investment.

    I do not think there is anything wrong per se about Stan Kroenke running Arsenal in this hands-off fashion. However, in the club’s current position, it sure doesn’t help. Arsene Wenger appears hell bent on assailing the Premiership season with a threadbare squad and has, thus far, assigned no particular priority to spending a chunk of the club’s resources on reinforcements.

    Kroenke is not going to inject himself into that decision. I firmly believe, by contrast, that Kroenke would back Wenger to the hilt if he chose to spend, and spend big, this summer. Moreover, the club’s negotiations this summer, run, by all accounts, in an amateurish fashion, have contributed to the frustration. Arsenal fans are eager for someone within the organization to shake the club out of this apparent malaise.

    Unfortunately, Stan Kroenke is not that man.

  115. kelsey says:

    Tosser of the week why not two :)

  116. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. I read the Arseblog report and decided not to comment – I do not see how one person’s impressions become fact.

    And I disagree with him.

    Firstly, The decision to spend 40 million on one player shows the intent and resources are in place, and that must come from the top..

    Secondly, and far more importantly, Kroenke owns the club (or most of it) and nothing I do will change that. So why worry about it?

    3. The writer wants Kroenke to be more pro-active in the club. Why? The man knows nothing whatsoever about football and a football club is a completely different entity to an American sports club.

  117. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey I read some of the article it’s nothing we haven’t heard elsewhere, so adds nothing to the debate (if there is any).

    And this thing that he doesn’t go to any games…I heard an interview with someone at Arsenal (not in their employ….from memory it might have been Bob Wilson) last year who said Stan was at more games than we knew he just doesn’t sit in the Directors Box or make himself that visible.

    Would we rather the Owner run down to the pitch to celebrate the win with players and manager like the Malaysian who owns Cardiff did on Sunday? Would we prefer the camera cuts to Kroenke at every key moment in the game like it does at the Bridge to Abramovich?

  118. Gooner in Exile says:

    Micky the assists widget is returning, Rasp is waiting for them to have a bit more info in them.

    As for my swingometer, I am doing it for my own amusement, if people want it up and won’t take it too seriously then fine I will send to Rasp, if i keep getting questions or accusations of not taking in to account XY and Z’s injury, suspension, or the movement of the wind then i won’t. :D

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahoy Raddy, Kelsey and GiE.

    I do realize I’m the only juvenile transfer speculator left, but here’s the man we want.

  120. kelsey says:

    I don’t disagree with both of you but I do believe that Kroenke is here for the long haul.Time will tell if that is beneficial to the club in the long term..

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hooray GiE

    I had firm words with Peaches last term about some of the useless didgits and insisted on the only two useful ones ie fixtures and league table.

    I am happy with top goalscorer and something fun like your swingers table. Obviously my Tosser of The Week is a sound idea as well. The danger lies in that, if like the World Cup you win the thing three times, off with the trophy you trot. Sniffer would have two on his playroom shelf already.

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The great thing about our owner is that he takes nothing out of the club and has not leveraged it.

  123. kelsey says:

    Morning Micky

    I didn’t know Darren Dein was Flamini’s agent.

  124. Gooner in Exile says:

    Just read this on the Mirror website talking about Hart’s loss of form:

    “In fairness, Hart was not helped at Cardiff by a makeshift central defensive pairing of Joleon Lescott and Javi Garcia – usually a midfielder – pressed into service with first-choice pairing Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic both out injured.”

    Did anyone know City were without two of their three centre backs?

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen or heard the press coverage about poor planning and being a bit light going into the new season.

    Of the four top clubs from last season only Chelsea have a goalkeeper who can be considered solid but he is 30+. Hart, De Gea and Szczesny are not exactly proven, don’t get me wrong Hart had a couple of very good seasons but they seem to have literally gone to his head (and shoulders :D ) and he has regressed over the last two seasons, maybe due to being unchallenged Internationally and at Club, but probably to do with his own attitude.

    Hart has always been a confident, bordering on arrogant, keeper, Szczesny shares the confidence attribute and it is essential he is kept from verging on to the cocky side, i think his dropping for Fab1 last season helped curb it a little bit.

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey, I have ahoyed you :-)

  126. Gooner In Exile says:

    Now before you read this next link you need to make sure you’re sitting down, have had your morning coffee and cigarette, I don’t want any heart attacks on my conscience:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23830407

    Did you see? 4 players in BBCs team of the week! I can only imagine the sub editor was off and not around to make the adjustments.

  127. LB says:

    I read that Arseblog article and it just annoyed me, we don’t learn anything new about Kroenke; he expects the club to balance its books and does not interfere with the day to day running of the team.

    But, the tosser of an author can’t resist taking a swipe at the club can he?

    “the club’s negotiations this summer, run, by all accounts, in an amateurish fashion”

    By “all accounts” of who?

    Who the hell does this person think he is?

    It makes my blood boil.

  128. Big Raddy says:

    LB. The beginning of today’s post refers back to an argument you made on AA.

    If it misrepresents your case I am sorry – I was working from a worn out and over-used hard-drive (memory)

  129. evonne says:

    GiE @ 8:13 – OMG!!!!! How proud are we???? VERY
    Mind you, I would stick Koscielny and Per in there too

    I was delighted with ManU v Chavs result; I had a bet on a goaless draw :)

    Raddy – so the signings are happening in 4 hours?

  130. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. For the next few hours the signings are in the bag – after it will be a case of “Arsenal miss out again” :-D

  131. chas says:

    Micky,
    Did you know the game was on ITV?
    I realise you might want it on your lap (Nigella stylee) to avoid monopolising the family tv.

  132. evonne says:

    P&R should publish your prematch early today. Once the signings start arriving, everybody will be getting excited/disappointed/told you so’ing and I knew it’ing about it

  133. chas says:

    I can’t believe no-one commented on those two videos I put up this morning. As usual everyone is ignoring me. :)

  134. chas says:

    I thought the signings were after lunch on Thursday?

  135. Big Raddy says:

    chas. I can’t remember!

    As to the vids. Can anyone tell me why Russians (I am assuming the first vid is a Russian) are always pissed?

    Love the keyboard/drums and guitar accompaniment from the young lad. Give him his due…. a good effort.

  136. evonne says:

    not because you are being ignored, but because they were awful, especially that second one…..gosh…

    ok, last chance everybody – who do you think is coming our way?
    not wishful thinking, just professional guesses

    for me
    1 Mata
    2 I don’t believe in angels, but di Maria seems very plausible

  137. evonne says:

    sorry, the first one was the worst. drunken ape

  138. Gooner In Exile says:

    Who do I believe? No one

    Who would I like?
    Rooney, Ronaldo, Messi

  139. Big Raddy says:

    Imagine Messi at the THOF. The man is a phenomenon

  140. Big Raddy says:

    Work beckons ………

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Vintage GiE earlier.

    Such sound advice. “have had your morning coffee and cigarette, I don’t want any heart attacks”.

    Quit the accounting, and take up doctoring. I’ll sign up right now.

  142. JanMan says:

    Not sure why anyone should even be concerned about Kroenke? He has not done anything negative or positive for the club other than to let the club be run the way it should. The author of the subject matter article was a one off and only stating his own thoughts. In all honesty it was a rubbish article with no facts just heresay.

  143. Gooner In Exile says:

    A little bit in moderation Micky :D I’m sure you saw lots of aged Italians over te last few weeks who haven’t gone too far wrong with a diet of nicotine, caffiene, protein and wine. All you need to do is add Olive Oil to everything to counteract the toxins :D

  144. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE

    You should know full well by now what I think of people who do things in moderation.

    Average dullards :-)

  145. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy, I’m afraid I left my memory stick with the pitch graphic at home and so there’s no pretty picture in the post :( sorry

  146. Rasp says:

    ….. New post ……….

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