Four centre backs at Arsenal is a thing of the past.

For years the accepted wisdom at most clubs and certainly at Arsenal has been that you should start a new season with four centre backs all ready and able to be called upon whenever needed.

As recently as last season, we started with Mertasacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen and Squillaci. The problem with this system becomes clearer as you move along the list; the drop in quality is substantial.

The practicalities have been to have two centre backs playing, one on the bench and one doing very little apart from losing match sharpness in the reserves and picking up a large pay cheque.

Now as tough as it sounds to have to pick up a large pay cheque for seemingly doing very little, there is an expensive trade off; the fourth choice CB will almost certainly lose his chance to play first team football, ok he will play one or two games here and there but that is it.

So it becomes a balancing act, clubs want the best player they can get while knowing that if the player is any good he will not want to give up the opportunity to play.

It is the same at all clubs, a forth choice CB trades his chance to play football for a wage that is higher than he would be getting at a lesser club and so it follows that the higher the wage a club is prepared to pay the better the quality of forth choice back up will be.

Man city had Kolo Toure on a huge wage for doing very little apart from putting on weight but even he got bored enough to take a pay cut and move to Liverpool in the hope of playing regular football. (Ok, the pay cut part is a punt)

It is a thankless task being a forth choice CB and even more so at Arsenal where the player is not getting a man city pay cheque and to make things worse he is constantly moaned about by the fans for not being good enough.

This is why I have always had a great deal of sympathy for our forth choice CB’s and defended them when ever I could. Take Squillaci, it was not his fault that his job was to simply be an insurance policy against disaster; that’s to say if illness befell the three other CB’s in front of him.

The point of this post is that I think the club may have changed its policy; they still know that we need the depth, hence Mertasacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen; but, now instead of having another in the reserves I think that AW views Djourou as the fourth. It’s the reason why he was never sold and there have been plenty of opportunities to do so.

It makes a lot of sense, far better to have a fourth choice playing week in and week out, keeping his match fitness than languishing in the reserves. The loan deal probably has a clause that says we can have him back in case of disaster.

Makes sense to me, why would someone like Williams of Swansea want to give up the opportunity to play first team football again; in fact, why would anyone half decent want to?

Written by LB

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229 Responses to Four centre backs at Arsenal is a thing of the past.

  1. fatgingergooner says:

    So that’s Goal.com saying 2 year 50k, and Mail saying 3 year 40k!

    Sorry LB, will read your blog now.

  2. fatgingergooner says:

    Agree with most of that LB, except the Djourou deal. I thought the loan was with a view to a permanent move? Which would suggest he’s surplus to requirement.

    I think AW has seen enough from Sagna to know that he can be our 4th choice when needed. The only issue I have with that is number-wise we are still 1 man short in defence. I would’ve liked to have seen Miquel kept at the club as he can always play reserve team if not needed.

    Funny that Charlie Nicholas was saying we were 2 CB’s short on Sky the other day!? Crazy.

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB, thank you.

    Completely agree with your thinking. Anyway, as I pointed out in one of my more sensible posts, if we are to aspire to Utd’s Championship winning GD, then we need to concede a few more :-)

    I honestly think our defence is fine, and Sz will only get better.

  4. arnie says:

    Fantastic post, LB. Yes, precisely the point. As much as CB, this applies to any position. Not only would the 4th/3rd choice “insurance policy” lose sharpness waiting in the reserves, it is very difficult to get a player who is willing to do this in the first place. This must be even more of an issue in a World Cup year when players are keen to play regularly.

    I think, this is also why I like Arsene’s preference for versatile (total) players, whi can play at multiple positions. This way, the player can increase the chance of playing regularly, at the same time as the club has an insurance policy in place for multiple positions.

    Hence also, even if not a perfect solution, I like Arsene’s idea of sometimes playing people outside their preferred/ main positions, to give them the practice, and the club the option.

    What does all of this mean for transfers, though? I have to say, part of me is gettinfg very nervous indeed. While the rational part says, something is surely being done!!!

  5. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all.

    On the Djourou question, hasn’t he gone on a “season long loan”? If so he cannot be recalled. I’m sure that he would rather be playing than just sitting around counting his money, the reality is more likely, that nobody wanted to buy him, Arsenal don’t want him so his only option was a loan. Hopefully he will do well and get himself a permanent deal and we can receive a modest transfer fee for him.

  6. fatgingergooner says:

    I think what should mean for transfers is that there will be fewer, but for players with real quality. We have enough versatile players in the squad already:

    Sagna RB/CB
    Vermaelen CB/LB
    Gibbs LB/LW
    Arteta DM/CM
    Ox AM/RW/LW
    Cazorla AM/LW
    Podolski LW/ST
    Walcott RW/ST

    What we need now are a couple of quality specialist players for DM, ST.

  7. Norfolk Gooner says:

    We are all aware that the pool of players available to Arsenal is restricted by wage limits and a reluctance to pay over the odds in transfer fees. It is further limited by Wenger’s refusal to consider players over thirty. There are good, experienced players in all positions available who could do a good job for us,but we won’t sign them because they are perceived to be too old.

  8. fatgingergooner says:

    IF Flamini signs, which is apparently sorted, are we then expecting Frimpong to go out on a season loan?

  9. LB says:

    Morning all

    I would expect Frimpong to go out on loan if Flamini signs.

  10. LB says:

    NG

    you could be right, Djourou might have signed a fixed season long loan, but the thought crossed my mind that maybe it isn’t fixed.

  11. fatgingergooner says:

    We definitely need a LW now! Podolski out for between 8-10 weeks!!!
    :(

  12. fatgingergooner says:

    Verm back after the international window so that means defensively we are up to full strength.

    That would suggest any incoming transfers will be DM, LW or ST.

  13. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post LB. I subscribe to your theory about utility players, but somehow it falls down when TV for instance has never been deployed as a DM (a position he’s played before) I’m more than happy with Sagna at CB as 3rd choice but that means we need Jenks to keep fit.

    I wasn’t impressed with TV when he filled in at LB but at least we have 2 quality players for that position and we know Flamini can play there, so an adaptable RB/CB would strengthen the squad. – unless Flamini may also be considered to be cover at RB?

  14. LB says:

    Morning Rasp

    Don’t we still have Yannaris, he has played RB and did quite well I seem to remember.

  15. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, I’ve just checked. Yennaris isn’t listed in the first team squad but is in the academy as a midfielder. I’ve always been impressed whenever I’ve seen him play. I also like Eisfeld – a lot!, but he doesn’t seem to be figuring in AW’s plans either.

  16. Jamie says:

    If Coquelin returns from his loan spell then we would have someone who can play DM CB and FB. I still don’t understand why Arsene chose to loan him out. If we sign a DM now, Coq will definitely be banished to the bench, and he may want to leave the club and I honestly think he has the potential to be our best DM since Gilberto.

  17. Rasp says:

    Hi Jamie, I can only assume AW sent Coquelin out on loan because he demanded (asked forcefully) for regular first team football. There have been games where I thought Coquelin was one of our best players.

    Maybe he falls into that no man’s land category = too good to be on the bench but not quite good enough to be in the first team.

    He’s a very good player and I reckon would have a future with us if he could be patient.

  18. fatgingergooner says:

    Rasp,

    Surely we have to sign at least 1 player, not including Flamini.

    Don’t we!?

  19. Rasp says:

    It is possible for managers to say no to players, you’ve signed a contract, you’ll perform the role I want you to in the team, but it doesn’t seem to be AW’s style.

  20. Rasp says:

    FGG, out of the targets we know of, only Cabaye has a greater than 50% chance of happening. I do expect there are several targets of which we are completely unaware – so who knows? :?

  21. Bryan says:

    To me the player we need least is Cabaye, for the first time ever I am really starting to question Wenger.
    I think it is totally unacceptable that we are a 5 days from transfer deadline & we have bought no one, found it unacceptable to go into new season without buying.
    The way this club does its transfer business is farcical, It guts me to say but Spurs have shown us up & done very well with their purchases & shown ambition.
    I do not believe we can win anything with this squad, it is to thin & there is not enough quality.
    We need 5 players minimum & 2 of them need to be world class & where are we going to get them from.
    Whether we wanted Saurez really or not, why did we wait for half the transfer window until we made a move.
    Am really worried this year & feel have nothing to look forward to this season, I know I am opening myself up to be attacked on here but it is how I feel, so bleeding depressed with the club I love being run by tight fisted 4th place is a trophy idiots

  22. LB says:

    Bryan

    We have all waited this long, five more days is not going to kill us and then without new signings you may get a lot more support for your view than you have right now.

    Always remember, spud envy is always wrong on every level lol.

    Go through every new spud signing and show me where and who he would oust from our first team? Don’t give me back up, or rotation, those spuds are good enough to demand first team football but that is not something they would get at THOF.

    In brief, Wenger started building this first 11 a few seasons ago, AVB is simply playing catch up. We need top quality to add to what we already have whereas AVB needs bodies — big difference.

  23. kelsey says:

    Bryan

    You wont be attacked on here (I hope) there are many other supporters that feel as you do.

    I have tried to look at every angle and none of it makes sense be it in a business or football sense.

    One can’t account for sudden long term injuries such as The Ox and Podolski but when the club openly declare that there is more money than in previous years that to me was a foolish statement to make in public.

    We have released more players in one Summer than ever before some sold,some free and some on loan, so it would be reasonable to think there would be a constingency plan drawn up 5/6 months ago to bolster a squad which nearly everyone agreed needed strengthening.

    We sell to our rivals but they not to us.

    Hopefully we will still get at least 2 or 3 players in,but that is not ideal preparation, but I am beginning to have my doubts.

    If one believes half of what one reads I ask myself the question why don’t so many players that we are trying to buy,snub us. I honestly don’t know the answer.

  24. toggablogga says:

    Good points in parts. However if you are going to challenge on all fronts (which arsenal struggle to do at the best of times) then you need to have cover, even if that means alternating to keep them happy. Common sense really???

  25. Bryan says:

    LB
    I believe Paulinho is quality & Capoue, also they are both players we have looked at, Lamela is pretty good too but they have shown ambition, something we dramatically lack.
    Also you are missing my point, even if we buy players in these last few days, its wrong that we have left it so late & personally I
    don’t think we are likely to get the quality we need this late.
    Man Utd haven’t bought either but they won the league & have a team that is capable of challenging.
    What is going on at Arsenal? they moved to a bigger stadium so they could challenge the big clubs & are now in a position to buy top players & still no one. Even when we are signing someone we seem to make complete hard work over the transfer & it takes weeks.
    We are like armatures it is unacceptable, we are a big club, why do we not act like one.
    It makes me think that Arsene has totally lost the plot & if we do not buy, I want him to go at the end of his contract, so we can get someone in who can see the bleeding obvious.
    So far the highlight of the transfer window for me was getting rid of Gervinho.

    Kelsey
    I’m with you, I’m not convinced we will get anyone in now & if we do they will be average

  26. Shard says:

    What I’m surprised about is that Wenger has confirmed that Podolski will be out for 8-10 weeks. Why would he do this if it weakens our hand in negotiations? It might be to convince a player we’re trying to sign (Di Maria?) that they’ll get enough game time.

    Kelsey,
    I used to think that the Gazidis statement of intent was aimed at calming down the fans. There might have been an element of that, with the club hoping to have signed a marquee striker by now. However, maybe, it was a statement to all agents to think of Arsenal as well when touting around their high priced clients. I don’t think the statement made other clubs any more aware of our spending power. The accounts would give them a fair idea of that anyway. It might have made us more desperate because of the pressure it puts the club under from the fans, but apparently that hasn’t happened either. So, the agent hypothesis seems the most logical to me at this point.

    We’ve won 3 out of our 4 matches this season, and that is despite losing Arteta just before it started, then the Ox. We lost one game in a large part due to a corrupt refereeing performance. I don’t think it was unreasonable on the club’s part to expect that we could get by for about a month, if that is what it takes to get the players we want, at prices we are willing/able to pay. Time’s running out though. I think we need 4 more signings apart from Flamini. 3 if Eisfeld/Yennaris is given a chance instead of buying Cabaye.

    Why we’re being turned down by players is an interesting question. If we are that is. Suarez didn’t turn us down. Higuain seemed like he was willing to come. (Our fault there) But Bender, Gustavo etc have turned us down apparently. Benzema, Ozil etc don’t count as turning us down because they simply said they want to stay. And that could well change. Still, I suppose our ‘brand value’ among players isn’t very high right now. With the constant negativity around the club in the media, I’m sure even the players absorb that message and it affects how they view the club. Not all our fault, but we do need to set it right, and I suppose the only way that happens is if we pay for it. Right now, I don’t know if we can do that too much because our squad needs are more than just needing a marquee player. We need depth more than superstars, even if one genuine superstar will lift the mood, and make us challengers.

  27. Shard says:

    From an article in the Express, but sure to be repeated almost everywhere.

    “He (Flamini) becomes Arsene Wenger’s second summer signing after Yaya Sanogo, however Arsenal are yet to spend a single penny in the transfer window.”

    I bloody well hate sentences like that. Who gives a toss whether Arsenal ‘spend a single penny’ or not? As if spending money is what it’s about. Flamini fills a need, and on that basis, is a good signing. Would it be better if we spent 10m on him?

  28. LB says:

    Bryan

    Yes Paulinho and Capoue are quality but you didn’t answer the question, who would they replace in our first team, it’s a rhetorical question, they wouldn’t so that being the case how are spuds showing us the way?

    One of the bloggers on here answers the second part of your question better than I.

    “Should have got them in earlier”, but you just don’t know what is going on or why deals cannot be concluded earlier. There isn’t a red button to be pressed to nullify the free will of the selling club and the player, everybody actually has to agree. (26)

    I knew this was going to come in handy.

    If when the window closes all we have to show for our summer signings is Flamini then I will join you but the window is not closed is it?

  29. LB says:

    Yes, go Shard.

    Your a good blogger, I like you.

    (having only read your 2.19)

    Great comment by the way.

  30. LB says:

    Shard

    Didn’t see your 2.09 when I said that, I am afraid I don’t agree with it all, please explain why it was the club’s fault that we lost out on Higuain to Napoli? This is the club that had just got 50 million from the sale of Cavani, had a Spanish speaking manager as well as it being easier to come from the Italian league to the EPL than the other way round which means that he can still get a big move here in four years time if he wishes, so apart from those things could you explain why it is the fault of Arsenal for missing out on him?

  31. dandan says:

    Shard did they point out when we tried to up a bid and spend an additional pound the media world castigated us for our meanness then. Its the price of being the Arsenal, journo’s detest AW because he doesn’t give them enough sensational copy and has been sitting there frustrating them since god was a boy. :-)

  32. Bryan says:

    LB

    I think they would replace our DM, oh I forgot we have not got one ;-) personally I would play them in the DM role meaning Arteta does not play there & he can play jointly with Jack, Ramsey & Carzorla in rotation.
    Jack is very injury prone & dare I say it slightly over rated in my opinion, so we would have the space.
    Spurs are showing us that they just missed out last year by 1 point, so they have shown ambition & bought 4 or 5 decent players.
    We should be saying, damn we only got 4th place, we want to be challenging & buying 4 or 5 players, don’t you think?

    & I’m sorry but I’m not having it, that we can’t of made a decent purchase until now, that just does not wash, we are just embarrassingly poor when it comes to doing transfer deals.

    I agree that you can get OK players free but Flamini just suits us & comes in handy at right time because we haven’t made any damn signings.

  33. dandan says:

    Kelsey, Perhaps it is the fisherman in me, but I quite enjoy sitting here waiting for the float to be buried whilst ignoring all the little knocks and bounces that indicates something is interested, the journo’s meanwhile try to grab these little line bites as a scoop and get bolshi when they end up with an empty hook and no fish. Be patient my friend. Sept the second approaches, you will hook a specimen by then.

  34. LB says:

    Bryan

    I believe the club are saying damn we only come forth and would like to improve, but do bear in mind that to come third or second we have to outspend Chelsea and Mancity and I am not just talking about their spending during this transfer window.

    I knew you would use the rotation argument about Paulinho that is why I said what I did in my first comment

    “Don’t give me back up, or rotation, those spuds are good enough to demand first team football but that is not something they would get at THOF.”

    I am not trying to change your mind, there are those who think the glass is half full and those who think it is half empty. This will never change.

  35. dandan says:

    Bryan if you want to judge us a against the spuds, I suggest you look how often they have finished above us since AW arrived and how many managers have appeared at WHL to spend their money in that time. Fear not the spuds, fear more the noise of our minority of disgruntled fans, who boo and criticise players (Ramsey) and the manager at a whim. without acknowledging the miracles worked in recent years.
    Some of our most loyal and consistent contributors harbour negative vibes all through the season and suffer during games, it is known here on AA as the behind the couch syndrome.

  36. Shard says:

    Haha LB. Taking back unqualified praise :)

    I don’t say our fault on Higuain with an assertiveness because I understand that there was the Madrid raising their price, and that this would have continued upwards as long as Napoli also kept bidding up. Still, I also think that we decided to ditch signing Higuain (probably once the price went up) and go after Suarez, based on, as it seems, false information. I know you think he’ll still come to us, which he might (though I think unlikely) But that 40m clause wasn’t a release clause as we probably thought. Not getting Suarez who we jettisoned Higuain for, makes it an error. Potentially a costly one. But, it does show that we were willing to pay MORE for someone we thought was a better player. Our ambition is there. No question about that for me.

    In fact, I’ve said it before. The club might actually end up with buys at the level that Spurs bought. But it won’t be for lack of trying, and it won’t be just taking the first player you can get your hands on. I’d rather we try to shop in the top shelf, and fail at getting those players, than just take the safe option and buy players like Soldado, or Paulinho. They’re not better than what we have.

  37. Shard says:

    dandan

    Loved the fishing analogy :)

  38. Rasp says:

    We can’t have it both ways, even the most ardent supporters of AW have expressed their belief that we need to bring some players in – I include GN5, Shard and LB in this.

    So as much as I am happy to accept the ‘wait and see what happens in the next 5 days’ approach, I will not be happy to accept our lack of activity if we fail to bring in the players we need to shore up the squad. I am not implying that either LB, Shard or GN5 have said they are, I just mention them as respected bloggers on this site.

  39. dandan says:

    Rasp; Dont I get a mention. :-(

  40. Rasp says:

    And of course there is the daddy of us all ….. dandan :lol:

  41. Shard says:

    It’s so weird seeing Flamini’s photos on the official site. He looks like someone who looks like Flamini…If that makes any sense.

  42. evonne says:

    No Dandan, you and I are clearly not respected bloggers :(

  43. dandan says:

    Hells bells Rasp GN5 will have you for that LOL

  44. Rasp says:

    Oh, and the mummy … evonne … too :oops:

  45. Rasp says:

    … but strictly speaking GN5 is the patriarch of the site …. phew …… :roll:

  46. Rasp says:

    And Rocky is DB10 …………

  47. dandan says:

    Rasp a career in politics awaits :-)

  48. Rasp says:

    Can I stop now? ……. :?

  49. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Very nice post LB. I hadn’t thought about it like that before but I feel your right. We might need three right backs though hahaha

    As for transfers, put your faith in the manager. If he feels he cant get the players that he wants, then that’s all right with me.

    If he have to wait till January or even next summer so Arsene can develop the team he wants then so be it.

  50. evonne says:

    grandma Evonne :)

  51. Rasp says:

    I’m too honest to be a politician dandan … ;)

  52. evonne says:

    spurs are signing another player – Chiriches or something like that. Money is growing on trees in N17, evidently. I may take a spin there

    They are desperate to finish above us. And their chances are improving as we speak. Tick, tick, tick……4 days left

  53. wally says:

    Other big clubs have no problem carrying four CBs. Of course they demand they play elsewhere along the back as well.

    wenger plays a very dangerous game waiting til the very, very end. A roll of the dice on bale getting done and rm peeling off their excess. If i were levy, knowing that, i’d wait til 5 min to midnite to agree.

    I find that to be unacceptable.

  54. evonne says:

    LB – very good post and a topic I never thought about. I have not read all today’s comments, but I am sure everybody has had an idea how to resolve the situation in case Wenger doesn’t know.

    I am a great fan of having 2 top players for every position, just to be sure, but even I know that this is not feasible. However, we seem to have more than enough quality midfielders, so the solution might be in having a player that can switch positions. Like Flamini?

    Thank you for yet another great read.

  55. Shard says:

    wally

    Spurs need to sell now more than Madrid need to buy. If Madrid do buy, they probably need to sell too. So it’s not like they’ll be open to buying Bale for 90 odd million at the last minute without being able to get rid of some of their squad to balance the books. The sale probably goes through tomorrow, and we’ll probably get our new signings (if they are Madridistas that is) on the last day after finalising contracts over the weekend.

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    From a club point of view, would you pay £20m for Cabaye or nothing for Flamini? It does make sense, but can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed.

    Hopefully we will spend the £20m somewhere else, ideally in an attacking area.

    The way I look at Arsenal is like that clip from Monty Pythons Holy Grail, when 2 guards are watching John Cleese charging over the field. Every time they look at him he appears to go back to the start, until eventually he is at the castle gate and stabs the guard!

    There always seems to be something taking us back to square one, but one of these days, out of nowhere, we will surprise everyone and win the PL.

  57. arnie says:

    Good comment, Shard. Who gives a flying fig, indeed!! So far so good. I do not know what we can expect. Surely, Flamini now will not be the same player that we in Arsenal remember him as! Anybody knows how he has been doing last year?

    Speculation in the market was that this deal would be announced right at the end of the transfer window. Does this mean other negotiations are not proceeding well? Or it this part of the grand transfer market game Arsene loves to play? Who knows what is going on!!!!

    Pity on us, fans! Good news on the whole, though.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post LB. You fail to mention Miquel who will almost certainly return to THOF. Still a youngster and full of promise.

    Flamini: I cannot see anything but good in signing him. Hugely experienced, French, knows the system, younger than Arteta, hard as ….., energetic and cheap. Ticks all the boxes.

  59. Bryan says:

    Dandan

    I am judging us against Spurs this year only, the point I am making is they are showing ambition after finishing a point short, the one thing truly missing from the guys who run Arseanl.

  60. Bryan says:

    LB

    You don’t always have to spend more to come above the teams you are challenging (Man City & Chelsea) but you do need to try & improve, especially if you are clearly not good enough.
    We have never spent big but managed to beat Man UTD to the league on a number of occasions just a decade ago.
    I just believe if we had spent wisely, we could of improved dramatically & I don’t think that is going to happen in the next few days.

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dearie me another day and the same stale old topic regurgitated.

    I realize that I stand tall in a small group but I think Flamini is a very sensible acquisition – we need versatile players and he fits the bill, despite being right footed he is excellent cover down our left flank.

    Still 4.5 days left in the window, plenty of time to acquire additional players, even if it is later than the ideal timing.

    I’m with dandan, I just hope that AW’s fishing in the right spot.

    Patriarch indeed – venerable old fart is a better description.

  62. Jamie says:

    Shard
    The best thing that could happen is for Real to ditch Bale and go for Rooney, Tottenham end up in major debt and go into Administration. Then we snap up Mata and Benzema in the closing moments of the window.
    Then something happens to RVP on Sunday morning and Man u are left with no attacking options.

  63. arnie says:

    Does anyone know how Flamini has been playing? Serious 1st team contender or a good insurance?

    Spot on, GN5, “hope that AW’s fishing in the right spot”.

  64. Norfolk Gooner says:

    The re-signing of Flamini should put the kibosh on the Cabaye deal, so that will be a saving of between £10 and £20 million and will have the added benefit of further upsetting Alan Pardew.

    It looks like Wenger is content to go with Sagna as a back-up centre back, at least until Vermaelen is fit, so I don’t think we will sign anyone in that position.

    We still desperately need a striker and to a slightly lesser extent a ‘keeper.

    Diaby has relinquished the number two shirt so perhaps Wenger has his sights on a right back.

    The club really needs to get it’s skates on though.

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    Flamini does make a lot of sense, but for once I just wanted to enjoy a transfer window where we were keeping all our players and showing a bit of intent.

    We’ve done some good things this window, mainly on the selling side, but I just can’t help feel like we’ve missed an opportunity.

    As usual, time will tell.

  66. LB says:

    NG

    What does that mean: “Diaby has relinquished the number two shirt”?

  67. LB says:

    Slim

    The–Window–Hasn’t–Closed.

  68. Bryan says:

    fatginger

    Missed opportunity is an understatement

  69. arnie says:

    OK, good goals dont necessarily prove one’s worth, but I like what I see:


    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xzp4df_pescara-0-3-ac-milan-51-flamini-sport

    All recent ones.

  70. Norfolk Gooner says:

    LB,

    It means that Diaby now wears the number 24 shirt.

  71. Thanks for the post London, you have tried to explain why the view I held re. number of centre backs is may no longer be held by Wenger.

    Abou fornicating Diaby has had his squad number changed to 24 this season, AFC announced this in July, thus “relinquishing the number 2 shirt”.

    A reminder of the circumstances of our other french, free “new signings” departure : http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/7383314.stm

  72. arnie says:

    Another thing about Flamini is that, he is sufficiently senior and “old guard” to provide/ enhance leadership within the team. The more I look at it, this looks good to me.

    Still awaiting some reinforcement in the “right spot”, though …

  73. GunnerN5 says:

    He shows real intent, he’s already talking as though he is a starting member of the squad.

    ……………………………………………………………

    Mathieu Flamini

    The versatile midfielder is determined to make an impact during his second spell in north London – starting in Sunday’s derby against Tottenham.

    Flamini – I’ve unfinished business here

    Mathieu Flamini says he has some “unfinished business” at Arsenal after returning to the Club this summer.

    The France international spent four years with the Gunners from 2004 to 2008, during which time they reached the Champions League final and came close to winning the Premier League.

    It’s a great feeling to be back. Once you’re a Gunner, you’re always a Gunner.

    “It feels good to be back home,” Flamini told Arsenal Player. “I have some unfinished business with Arsenal so it’s a great feeling to be back. Once you’re a Gunner, you’re always a Gunner.

    “Unfinished business because we had the opportunity a few times when I was there to win trophies and we didn’t. I’m thinking about the Champions League final, the 2007/08 season when we were in the running for the first place and we didn’t close it.

    “I feel good, I have been training for three weeks with the fitness coach, Tony Colbert. So I feel ready to start competing for Arsenal, especially on Sunday – it’s going to be a big game.

    “It’s a derby, everyone knows how important it is. We have to win it and we have to be ready for it.”

    Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc.

  74. arnie says:

    Sounds good, GN5.

    Come on MF, thats the spirit!

  75. Bryan says:

    I have unfinished business after I had one good season & stabbed the club in the back & buggered off to Milan ;-)

  76. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie,

    I’m not sure how much “leadership” Flamini can show, he’s hardly set Serie A alight, he’s a free transfer and I doubt that there are any current players that remember him from his previous spell. He’s certainly not the sort of signing hinted at by Gazidis earlier in the summer.

  77. NG – I think Rosicky will be just about the only one who will have played alongside him much, those 2 and Cesc were like the 3 musketeers of our midfield back in the 07.08 season.

  78. Rasp says:

    C L draw just starting …….

  79. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Chary,

    I didn’t realise that we got Flamini on “a free” last time. No doubt he got a nice fat signing on fee then, just as he will this time. Certainly his agent will get a tidy sum as well.

  80. arnie says:

    NG,

    I take your point fully. But, players who were coming through the academy at that time will remember him. He was not one of the leaders, true, but is associated with the that-time decent team that AW built.

    But, true as well, still waiting for the “holy grail” that Gazidis had promised. Losing hope fast, it has to be said, but still hoping! Let us see.

  81. Kgooner says:

    Hello AA gooners
    i’ve been keeping up with the comments today.
    For me, i think flamini ticks a lot of boxes for us. He is mature, versatile, experienced in different leagues, loves the club and understands its trophy history and ups and downs. He’ll fit right in. There is very little not to like. For a free and supposed 40K a week, its like a new signing! I kid.

    I think fans have high expectations thus the disappointment. More will come after the cl draw so lets not give up just yet.

  82. RockyLives says:

    LB
    Interesting Post – thanks.
    I still think we need a fourth CB, but in an ideal world it would be the best one coming through the youth set-up (which is why it was a bit of a shame to see Miquel sent out on loan).

    As for Flamini: I’m delighted that we’ve picked him up (and even better that it’s on a free). He’s a good quality, versatile, senior player who has performed at a high level in European football for many years.

    However, if he’s the only signing, I’ll be disappointed.

  83. chas says:

    Ben Ficker – hahahahahahaha.

  84. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Livid is the word Rocky :-)

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I am convinced that with a world class player who could operate down either flank, we could seriously compete for the title.

    I am 100% sure that Mata will be a Gunner by Monday night, so much so, that I have had a wager on us winning the league at 14-1.

  86. chas says:

    Marseille – Nice

  87. chas says:

    Not Nice, but nice

  88. fatgingergooner says:

    This draw is a farce!

    Good start though I suppose if we prefer an easier group with countries close to home.

  89. arnie says:

    While we were discussing Flamini, I suddenly remembered Alex Hleb, after a long time, and wondered whatever happened to him. Looked up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Hleb) and felt a bit sad!!!!!

    Apparently, he has said in an interview that the worst decision in his life was to leave Arsenal for Barca.

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oooo, where’s the CL Draw on? Off to googleize

  91. fatgingergooner says:

    LB,

    That’s why I said time will tell. We still may do some great business, but I’m just annoyed it hasn’t been more enjoyable. It’s been a pretty depressing window up to now when it could’ve been so much more enjoyable.

  92. arnie says:

    FGG,

    What else did you expect? Serves you (and all of us) right for supporting Arsenal. But, in some ways, I suppose we derive pleasure out of it. Sadistic pleasure!!! Would I have it any other way? Ummmm….

  93. chas says:

    Dortmund

  94. fatgingergooner says:

    Dortmund!

    Should be some fun games!

  95. fatgingergooner says:

    Arnie,

    Arsenal are ageing me quickly, and I don’t like it!!

  96. Big Raddy says:

    Goodness this is drawn out.

    We are not so lucky this year -sp far. Man Utd have an easy group.

    Not BD again FFS !!!

  97. Kgooner says:

    Ars vs dortmund will be a very good game and test for us. Finalists plus they play good footie. It could well tell us how good we are.

  98. chas says:

    Napoli – hahahahahah

  99. arnie says:

    Napoli

  100. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just a question, why was Leverkeusens only possible group United and Basle? Surely they could have gone into our group?

  101. Shard says:

    Dammit… Dortmund AND Napoli..Marseille are a good team too.. Bloody hell this is going to be tough.

  102. evonne says:

    of course we get BD, and Napoli, shit

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    Seems I got my wish of a tough group!

    Starting to regret it now though! :)

    Oh well, at least they will be games worth watching rather than playing rubbish like Olympiacos and Victoria Plzen.

  104. evonne says:

    bloody united have the best group, of course

  105. arnie says:

    Topping this group will be very difficult!!!!! Oh dear!

  106. chas says:

    Leverkusen were paired with Schalke, GIE, so had to play on a different night.

  107. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hang on a second Napoli with Cavani I would have been worried, they tore City a new one with his pace on the break. Higuain a very different proposition he can’t even standup on rocks :)

  108. evonne says:

    we’d better concentrate on winning the League

    And look at Chavs!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s all fixed

  109. Kgooner says:

    GIE
    I didn’t get that as well. Maybe its alphabetical. Manure is in group A

  110. chas says:

    Fantastic group.
    Some great matches to look forward to instead of the usual dross we get lumbered with. Bring it on.

  111. LB says:

    Oh well, at least we all know from the outset that it will be tough, no sitting back thinking about easy games.

  112. Bayonne Jean says:

    The silver lining….maybe this will force management to spend some fecking money…..

  113. Gooner In Exile says:

    Thanks Chas….I suppose it makes sense?

  114. fatgingergooner says:

    United’s group is harder than it looks.

    Could be worse, we could be Celtic!

  115. RockyLives says:

    Great group – I love it!

    Proper footy matches.

    (But if we don’t sign anyone I’ll be SIMPLY LIVID :) )

  116. chas says:

    It does make sense.
    A-D play on one night and E-H on the other.
    Schalke in E meant Leverkusen couldn’t be in F.

  117. chas says:

    Just remember when we had to play FC Thun. :(

  118. Shard says:

    GIE

    It’s to do with demands of the TV companies.. All the clubs from one country can’t play on the same matchday. And so Groups A-D, and E-H will be used to distribute the clubs from the same league. Schalke having been drawn against Chelsea, Leverkusen were not to be in the same group.

    What I don’t get is that is it already decided that Leverkusen can’t be paired with Schalke, or is it just that the 2nd German club will go to a separate day, and let the 3rd go where it may.

  119. chas says:

    No horrible trips to Outer Mongolia either.

    AA trip to Germany or France? haha

  120. Rasp says:

    Maybe the administration will now appreciate the need for some depth to the squad – we won’t be resting many players for those CL games.

  121. Shard says:

    I agree fgg. United’s group isn’t so easy. Chelsea on the other hand….

    Even mancity have it fairly easy, despite having Bayern in their group. So much for being in pot 3.

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Calm down Evonne, it’s not a fix.

    Great group, I really don’t like the minnows. Losers the lot of them. I boo the underdog :-)

    Some great nights at THOF

  123. Shard says:

    Rasp and Bayonne Jean

    Good on you for trying to find some consolation in the tough draw, but I am almost certain this will not impact any decision the club makes in the transfer market.

  124. fatgingergooner says:

    At least it’s 6 games to challenge ourselves in Europe rather than the usual 2 or 4 that we get in the knockout stages.

    Makes qualifying worthwhile.

    As someone said before, no long haul trips. It’s a big bonus.

  125. chas says:

    3 crucial injuries, squad paper thin, spuds with their best squad ever, opening day defeat, no player wants to come to the Emirates, n club wants to sell to us and you expect the CL draw to be a wake up call. :)

  126. Shard says:

    Don’t we also have 5 away games in the league after CL group stage games?

  127. RockyLives says:

    Am I being too hopeful in thinking that those games will be a draw to any big European star who’s thinking of joining us…?

  128. chas says:

    Shard,
    Away games are better for us.

  129. RockyLives says:

    Shard
    That’s true – so another reason to be really glad that there are no long-haul trips.

  130. chas says:

    Suarez must be thinking – yes please, give me some of that.

  131. Shard says:

    haha..chas.. I suppose that’s true.

    OOhhhh Rocky.. The prize for most desperate silver hunt :)

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    Germany. Love the Krauts, hate the Frogs :-)

    Or, even better, we all chip in and send Ant n’ Duck on a European Ride of Carnage :-)

  133. chas says:

    European Ride of Carnage.
    That could be the title of Arsenal’s tilt at the Champions League this year. :)

  134. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Come on lads, let’s face it, who would you rather pay and see at The Ems, Dortmund or Viktoria Plzenzrboabsjbdbz?

  135. kelsey says:

    8 new signings by Tuesday should see us sail through :)

  136. kelsey says:

    Cold Play, micky ;)

  137. Shard says:

    Kelsey :D

  138. wally says:

    Shard,

    Real don’t ‘need to sell’ they’re squad currently sits at 24. They may like to but they don’t need to.

    And it’s still a very very dangerous game wenger plays. If not the madristas then what ‘super’ talent is out there.

  139. Shard says:

    If I knew the answer to that wally, I’d be touting my services to all the clubs across Europe (Arsenal would get a first refusal of course) But unlike us, the club don’t rely on newspapers to make them aware of ‘super’ quality.

  140. Just had time to read the post following the excitement of the CL draw.

    I tend to agree LB, it would appear versatility is the order of the day if we want to retain our better players by paying higher wages (and hopefully attract new ones).

    Whilst the signing of Flamini is not what most fans hoped for I can see why it has been done he has an experienced head is releatively cheap, and fills an important utility role in the squad. But he will need game time to be of use, which kind of goes back to the point of todays post……..

  141. wally says:

    Shard, that would be my point. If we’re not signing madristas we’re signing squad players who could have been had long ago. And wenger will have done it to us again.

  142. fatgingergooner says:

    Whatever happens in the TW, I pray that we beat the Spuds this weekend. Otherwise, this International Break is going to be an absolute bloody nightmare!

  143. LB says:

    If you were in charge of the club’s PR, would you release the information that we have signed a utility player first followed by an off the scale super star or the other way around?

  144. Shard says:

    wally

    I’m sorry. That doesn’t compute. How do you know we could have bought, whoever else we’re buying, a long time ago? You don’t know who we’re looking to buy. You don’t know what complications and issues needed to be ironed out, and yet somehow Wenger would have ‘done it to us again’. Done what exactly?

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB glad you are remaining confident :)

    I could understand waiting for CL Qualification to commit to transfers already in pipeline, thing is I thought they would be waiting a rubber stamp with everything done except our CL status.

  146. arnie says:

    LB:

    Right, that is my fear. I suspect the Flamini deal would have been tied up a while back. Announcing this now seems to indicate there is no “super-star” signing coming. Not that this would signal the end of the world. But a ST will still be good, even if an utility ST.

    Who knows!!!!!

  147. LB says:

    There must be more signings to come it is simply impossible to go the whole season with the squad as it stands.

    Giroud could pull a hamstring on Sunday and then what happens?

    No, we are not on the naughty list we will get presents.

    Actually it could get quite interesting if Giroud were to get injured.

  148. fatgingergooner says:

    LB,

    To go back to today’s post, Walcott, Podolski, Sanogo and Akpom is more than enough cover for Giroud. Or that’s how Arsenal will tell it anyway!

    All I keep thinking is that Wenger knows a lot more than I do about his current squad and what they do and don’t need. But when the players themselves are demanding signings, it makes you wonder what’s going on.

    I’m now looking forward to the end of this window.

  149. arnie says:

    FGG:

    I feel the players say what the club expects them to say. If the club expects them to provide the signal that Arsenal is trying hard to sign players, they will say that. I think this does not provide additional information.

    Agree: looking forward to the end of the window. If only I could do something all day until then, and not look at AA. …….

  150. LB says:

    Slim

    The players are “on message” I don’t believe that anyone of them would dare say such a thing with out being given the all clear.

    I see it once again as an advert on behalf of the club by the players.

    Come and join us, you will be made to feel welcome.

  151. LB says:

    Ah, Arnie

    Great minds and all that.

  152. jnyc says:

    I have been saying for three months that im waiting for arsene to surprise us on transfers. We will know soon. No excuse in this world for failure.
    im not obsessed with transfers really, but i like our squad and believe a couple big additions could have made us an exciting contender.
    if we dont do something, it shows no committment to titles, and worse, santi, kos and maybe jack will all be leaving. Its already hard enough to get someone to want to join us. We will be cemented as sellers and second tier club.
    but a couple big moves now can change all that.
    still trying to keep the faith, and optimistic. The disappointment could be painful, and a bit embarrassing.

  153. fatgingergooner says:

    Arnie,

    It’s only the positivity on AA that’s keeping me from doing something stupid, like supporting Spurs! :)

    Maybe there is some truth in what you say about our players, but we’ve needing signings for many a TW and never have so many of our first XI been so outspoken about it. These players want to win trophies and they are honest enough to know they need more quality to achieve that.

  154. arnie says:

    LB: or “fools seldom ……”

    FGG: Agree. On Spurs, how about a howler tonight!!!! If wishes were horses ….

  155. wally says:

    Shard,
    players we’ve been linked to like turan, capel et al have been available for awhile.
    What has wenger done? Promised more (“only top quality”, “better than what we have”) and delivered less.
    I hope he gets it right. History suggests otherwise.

  156. chas says:

    I’ve had a quick look and can’t see any of the current players “demanding” signings.

    This from Giroud
    “In my opinion, it’s necessary for the club to recruit another striker. Obviously, I think about it a little bit. It may change the play one day, especially if it’s a high profile signing.
    It’s useless lamenting this though. I know what I have to do and what I’m capable of. I’m focusing on me and my work. The coach is counting on me, so I don’t think too much.”

    Obviously talking about his position as no 1 striker gets turned into this,
    “Arsenal striker Giroud broke cover to voice his concerns and Mirror Sport understands other players have been left bemused, unhappy and questioning whether Wenger really wants to make big signings.” by John Cross of the Mirror.

    This from Arteta
    “I’m convinced there will be signings this summer. We already have a very strong team – and if we get new faces they will be welcome.”

    becomes this from EatSleepSport
    “Arteta calls for new signings”

    This from Wilshere
    “You look at the type of players, like Higuain, we’re trying to bring in, and you’ve got to be encouraged. I think we need a few more – not to step right into the team but to add to the squad.”

    becomes this from some other dick at the Mirror.
    “Arsenal’s Gonzalo Higuain swoop is great but we need more like him says Jack Wilshere

  157. Hi just got home .
    Not a bad cl draw could be worse .
    Sheep

  158. Matthew fanny back I see on a free , again no money spent .
    Drives me nuts
    Sheep

  159. Ian Ure Face says:

    Have you a steering wheel on your nuts ?.

  160. Shard says:

    Aah but wally. That was the whole point. How do you know those links are anything other than paper talk. Also, even if we do eventually get players of that sort, and let’s agree we could have gotten them earlier, would you want the club to have done that, and not even try for players like Ozil?

    And if you feel we never had any intention of getting anyone, then ask yourself why the delay? Do you think Wenger doesn’t see that he’s short of players? He’s even said it so many times that we’re short. Do you think Wenger doesn’t want to win? He doesn’t want the best possible players that he can get? Maybe that makes sense to you, but it doesn’t to me. You’ll never convince me Wenger is out to hurt the club for some vague vanity project. Everything about him suggests differently.

    But that’s the other thing. Arsenal’s recent history can suggest anything you want it to suggest, because there are too many gaps in our knowledge. Arsenal’s definitive history of the past few years is yet to be written. But so many already have convinced themselves they know exactly what is going on.

  161. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Lovely bass line. Don’t remember the original having those lyrics but as the Blockheads live in Crouch End or Stroud Green, they would be certain to endorse the new version.

  162. LB says:

    A very catchy chorus lol.

  163. LB says:

    Do we know what length contract Flamini agreed?

  164. fatgingergooner says:

    The cause of our transfer difficulties is straight forward. The quality players that we want either don’t want to come to Arsenal, their clubs don’t want to sell them, or we can’t agree a fee.

    The problem then, which is much more difficult, is what does AW do about that? Does he stick with what he’s got until the next window? Does he fill in some of the gaps with youngsters and short term signings until his main targets become available? Or does he opt to sign other players who may not have made his main list (some call these panic buys)?

    Or is it that he is still negotiating for some of his main targets but its taking a bloody age due to other circumstances!?

  165. fatgingergooner says:

    LB,

    Sky saying 3 years. On the Arsenal website AW said something like “at 29, his best years are still to come-the next 3 years….”

    Which would maybe indicate its 3 years.

  166. We can’t sign any one apart from rejects
    Sheep

  167. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas..loving your work.

  168. GoonerB says:

    Nice post LB. I have said for a while that I think a top team can have 3 rotating senior CB’s but with 4 senior CB’s someone becomes unhappy. Beyond the 3 I think you need to have a good 4th option which for me is Sagna. I would like to have an emergency 5th option as well in a younger developing player but I don’t know if we have that option.

    I haven’t been able to read all the responses today so I don’t know the general feeling but for me Flamini is an astute signing. He is experienced in this league and has had experience in another top league as well and at 29 is at a good age of still being young enough but having an experienced head. I would drop him straight in to DM on Sunday. I am also happy with his versatility. We all know he performed admirably at LB in the past when we needed it but as a right footer he would surely be even more comfortable as a RB. That gives us good cover across our defence so in short LB I agree fully with the general gist of your post.

  169. neamman says:

    I am certainly an Arsene knows best guy but I hate this last minute dealing. To me all deals should be done by July 31 as much as possible.

  170. wally says:

    You don’t know with 100% accuracy. And if that’s your benchmark for making decisions i can only ask how you find the courage to get out of bed in the morning. There are writers who are good, who do have contacts within the organization and are usually pretty good. There are people worth paying attention to.
    Ozil would be magic and the odds are extremely slim that we’d get him. So if the choice is 20% ozil and 80% nothing i’d sad that’s a bad bet. The squad is too thin to be taking those kind of chances. We’re down to six healthy midfielders. There’s no way on god’s green earth you can expect to play a 55+ game schedule with that few bodies. they’ll be exhausted by the time they hit 35. And the same applies to the strikers we’re down to two. Can’t even start an experience forward line.
    We’re going to be playing juniors come saturday.
    I think wenger always thinks he’s going to get someone, but then he just can’t make a decision or be brave enough to make a decision and the opportunity disappears (see higuain).
    I believe he does what he thinks is right for the club and the team. The problem is the world has passed him buy. They’ve moved on without him and it’s costing the club. What he wants to do, what he would like to do, and what he’s capable of doing are different things. He has a vision and he’s going to stick with it til the end even if it kills the team and the club and him.
    in sum if he gets di maria and benzema it merely means his lottery ticket came good, not that he’s mastered the tw. but it should never, ever come down to a roll of the dice as it has. That is unforgivable in my opinion.

  171. chas says:

    Too many mutha’uckas
    Uckin’ with my shi-

  172. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    What time do you go to the gym these days?
    (Preparing yourself for the ladies of the world :-) )

  173. fatgingergooner says:

    So it’s Kaka today! Anyone in Madrid we haven’t been linked with?

    Glad I’m working for the next 3 days. When I’ve done will only be Monday and Tuesday of the TW to go and that’s when all the fun will happen! See you after the weekend!

  174. kelsey says:

    Start at Marseilles away then back to back games against Dortmund. Of course it has to be mentioned that it’s not a given that the two named above and Napoli are the strongest in our group as they will all take points off each other. I feel more confident about us achieving points away than at home.If we could only address our home form in general we have every chance of advancing past the group stages providing we get no more injuries and that quality signing or two,whoever they are are signed by Tuesday.If not IMO we will really struggle as these games together with league and Carling Cup come thick and fast

  175. MickyDidIt89 says:

    FGG

    Some nutcase, BR or Rocky I can’t remember which, introduced me to Newsnow about six weeks ago. Brilliant. Yesterday, they had Di Maria in talks with Galatassaray!!

    You say today it’s Kaka, I thought today it was Ozil. Mmmm, confusing when I know it’s Mata.

  176. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey Morning

    Agree with that. We cannot possibly compete on any level in the League as well as CL as the squad stands.

    However, there is zero chance of not bringing in two more players, and one will be world class.

    My biggest fear is coming third in the group as I believe that means Thursday football, and only pathetic and weak teams play in whatever competition that is :-(

  177. kelsey says:

    Morning Micky

    we have the F FACTOR

    French,Flamini and Frimpong :)

    Kaka must be the most expensive disappointing transfer in recent years but peaches would like him as he is cute.

    Did anyone mention Torres ;)

    I believe Mata will leave Chelsea.There is previous between him and Mourinho,but I doubt he would come to us.

    What about a cheeky bid for out of favour Chico at United, a real fox in the box.

  178. Gooner In Exile says:

    If we are in for the Madristas it’ll be Levy that is stalling on Bale transfer which in turn prevents us from having those players by Sunday.

  179. LB says:

    Chico

    Is a good call

  180. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Anyone think Flamini will start in the NLD? (on reflection that could be a post)

  181. evonne says:

    Are you saying dear GiE that Levy is stalling deliberately?

    Kelsey – see, I told you that men who think they look good in pink are deluded :) Torrez psssshhhhh……

  182. evonne says:

    sold Park to St Etienne, who’s next? they must be scared sh****less

  183. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning The Rest of You

    Raddy: that post would get about 3 votes!

    Kelsey: Maureen hates Mata. AW likes Mata. Mata’s Dad/Agent was at THOF Tuesday. Mata’s best mate is Santi.

  184. evonne says:

    what are you implying Micky?

  185. Big Raddy says:

    Moyes is no fan of AW. He will not sell Hernandez to us though it is a sad waste of a decent player. Decent but not World class.

    Tragic to think of good players like Nani, Hernandez, Ashley Young, Kagawa, Zaha, Anderson, Rafael 2, Smalling etc wasting their lives on bench or worse at OT. And having to live in MAnchester.

  186. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    The Park transfer is not confirmed – we can only hope :)

    We need a post for today …. any offers?

  187. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE

    That’s one theory, but the more fun is that RM know Spuds have spent the money, so can offer what they want to a club whose player has made up his mind where he is going.

    Sounds familiar? Should do.

    RM : “I know we said £80m up front in one payment, thing is…….”

  188. Big Raddy says:

    Didit has the ear of Mata’s agent (in a jar in his smoking shed)

  189. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Park out, Ryo back.

    Hello Carling appearance with dedicated advertising :-)

  190. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. If no-one volunteers what about chas’s 7.52 with a snappy headline? It is informative and entertaining.

  191. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It’s a fact Raddy :-)

  192. Big Raddy says:

    We need to sign an Indian and a Chinaman to get more exposure.

    Thinking of which, I sincerely hope that the rumours of Christian Eriksen (whom I told you about when he was just 18 and very cheap, Mr, Wenger!) going to Spurs are untrue. Blanket coverage of the murky swamp dwellers would be guaranteed over here.

  193. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy
    Do you mean Chas’ 7.42pm? If so, good idea, and Rambo’s post Fener Match comment could be added.

  194. kelsey says:

    “We need to sign an Indian and a Chinaman to get more exposure.”

    A porn site Raddy,good idea more revenue for Mr Syrup.

    Why not add the odd ladyboy.

  195. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all

  196. evonne says:

    morning GiE
    Did you get up, had a fag, put the kettle on and ran to check the transfers news? I did

  197. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Yes. 7.42.

    Must be either these new glasses or this old brain

  198. Big Raddy says:

    There is some very good news this morning. Pre-Park we have signed two players and are 10 million in profit.

    Think of the balance sheet!

  199. Rasp says:

    Good idea Raddy.

    Sorry chas but I’m stealing your comment and turning it into a short post …. sue if you like :P

  200. Gooner In Exile says:

    Working on something

  201. Shard says:

    Wally

    100% accuracy is not my benchmark. Neither is judging on the basis of hit whoring news reports. Had we heard of Cazorla joining us last season before he did? Is Cazorla a top quality player?

    You have one interpretation about Wenger’s ability, or lack of, in the transfer market. You might even be right. Or you might be wrong.

    I do agree however, that going after the bigger players (eg Ozil) was/is a gamble. It’s a gamble because we are competing for an even smaller pool of players with some clubs who have either much more money, or prestige, or both as compared to us. You might deem this gamble not worth taking, I don’t. We cleared the decks at the start of the season to make room in our wage bill so we can pay ‘market rates’ for big players. What would be the point of then stacking the squad with players of similar calibre to those that were let go? In the end, we might have to go back in for players of the sort, because the squad is too thin (you and I both agree with Wenger on this) but we’ll be doing it after having tried for something better.

    It’s easy to criticise a lack of early purchases and point to Tottenham who have a plan.( As an aside, selling your best player and bringing in replacements with that money is exactly what Arsenal were destroyed for last season.) But if we’d acted early to buy players like Soldado, a lot of fans would still be underwhelmed. I would accept it, but I was never convinced by Soldado. The only one of their purchases that I would definitely want in our squad is Capoue, and that’s because we have no one of that sort. Yet, we could have got him if we wanted him. Wenger must have known about him for years, seeing as he knows the French market. My guess, we didn’t want him. But why? I don’t know. Either because Wenger doesn’ feel the need to buy a player of that ilk, or he doesn’t like what he sees in Capoue.

    Anyway, I’ve rambled long enough. I’m prepared to wait and see what happens in the next few days. I’m not too worked up about it normally. I think we desperately need some players, and one player of renown will really lift the mood among our fans and I hope we get them.

  202. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. 3rd & 4th para get one of those Facebook thumbs up.

  203. Shard says:

    Morning everyone,

    There was a little paragraph in one of the reports yesterday that Gazidis had gone to Monaco for the CL draw, but didn’t attend as he got called away on some business. I’m hoping that means we announce a signing today, but with our luck, this probably means that Gazidis’ personal touch was required to convince St. Etienne to buy Park.

  204. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE
    “Working on something”
    Coffee and a Fag. Works every time.

  205. Shard says:

    Thanks BR.. What do the other paras get? :)

  206. Rasp says:

    GiE, have a read of the post I’ve put in drafts based on chas’ comment. I’m sure you can come up with better (not chas, but my part in it) so by all means publish your post

  207. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. I have amended my comment. :-)

  208. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. We will need a post for tomorrow

  209. Big Raddy says:

    Shard 8.58. Or his new Russian “girlfriend” was at reception.

  210. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp you choose….mine might need moderation turned on :D

  211. Shard says:

    You oldies always think about sex :)

  212. Rasp says:

    I’m gonna let peaches choose :lol:

    My headline will get the most hits :?

  213. Shard says:

    Rasp

    You’re a hit “girlfriend”. :)

    haha..that reads even funnier than it sounds.

  214. Rasp says:

    Haha Shard that reminds of the letter the Secretary sent to the office supplies company …..

    …. Mun typswrincter ash gonnne wrunk

  215. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shard
    You Young’uns are always at it like rabbits :-(
    We simply recall the good old days.

  216. Rasp says:

    Actually no, GiE’;s headline would get more hits but we’d need ten of us with our fingers on the delete button for the responses it would attract :roll:

  217. Shard says:

    Micky

    Either your memory is fuzzy with age, or your good ol’ days were better than mine will be :(

  218. Morning all

    ………New Post …………….

  219. Sherri says:

    I’m gone to inform my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this web site on regular basis
    to get updated from latest reports.

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