Arsenal Profited From Selling Van Persie

Yesterday Rocky posted an interesting piece, but I disagree with the bit about losing BSR and the disruption caused. Personally, I think that we dealt with the departure of BSR pretty well. We signed a proven world class striker in Podolski, who had progressed as far if not further on the world stage than BSR and won trophies in a tough league, we signed a striker who had potential in Giroud and we signed an attacking midfielder in Cazorla. And left room for the purchase of a world class player who knows that a team is really about hard work, having played in a a team full of world class players.

Yes we had an edgy season last year, but we got our business on the replacement front done early and still made the top 4. The reason we didn’t push on as much last year was that we didn’t have a second holding midfielder when every armchair manager could see we needed someone else to help Arteta. Rosicky, Ramsey and Wilshere were all coming back from serious injuries, add on “Glass Legs Diaby” plus Vermaelen being given indulgences to play when it was clear he was still struggling with an injury or two, plus the weight of the armband and you have a perfect storm where the spine of the team didn’t function properly. Oh, and Szczesny was feeling a bit smug until Fabianski showed that he could do a job.

Contrast that with this year. The spine of the team is currently fully operational. Szczesny understands that Fabianski has matured and can do a job for us if he messes up, so he stays switched on. Vermaelen has been given time to convalesce and a fairly stable central pair is available virtually every week. Note the problem at Manure was where the BFG would probably have been. We now have a pair of defensive midfielders who don’t take chances when protecting their CBs, talk to each other and only move forward singly unlike when Song was there. Further up we have a revolving midfield where it’s like the opposition are playing sick russian roulette. All but one shell is in the chamber, so the likelihood of someone taking a shot and anteing up the attack is much increased. And of course Gorgeous Olivier has proven why he should allowed mousse as part of his rations.

If BSR was still here, Giroud wouldn’t have developed, everything would have been slung in to him so he could have a shot. A bit like the end of the Invincibles when Henry became a get out of jail card or Fabregas became the playmaker we relied upon. Now we are a team, more people are seen as equally good and there is no one looking as if they are carry the team and our hopes with it.

Ask yourself this, “We have had Podolski, Walcott and sometimes Wilshere missing, that’s 16 goals, 21 goals and a bunch of creativity” and what have we done? Won 10 Lost 2 and Drawn 1. Whether by accident or planning the loss of those players, unforeseen, unmanaged or otherwise has turned out to have shaped us into a cohesive unit.

Written by N5Artillery

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128 Responses to Arsenal Profited From Selling Van Persie

  1. Gööner In Exile says:

    No comments to this thought provoking piece?

    I think although we had business done early (I guess because CL money was in the bank last season) the effect of selling BSR at the last knockings when it looked like we might hold on to him had an element of negativity for the fans. We seemed to forget we had already brought in a couple of players and unfortunately comparisons were drawn quickly to the recently departed.

    There was also unrest over the protracted contract negotiations with Theo.

  2. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    N5Art: Is this your debut post? Well done you.

    Well, B$R’s departure would have cost us some goals, but brought benefits in terms of unity and team-spirit and single-mindedness towards the pursuit of the ultimate goal. When, when you climb a summit, you would occasionally have to take a few steps downwards to try and find an easier way to the top (not the Munros where the line of best ascent is clearly marked and signposted). B$R’s departure is a bit like that. In the long run, it does not matter. Good riddance!!!!

    We love our team players more than individuals, no matter how good they are. To hell with the Me Generation, as Raddy would probably put it!!!!!

  3. Morris says:

    What a masterpiece of an article. Very incisive and pretty spot on. However, I would like to know what BSR and BGF acronyms stand for.

    I am eagerly awaiting December 14th and 23rd. These are the dates and matches (Man Shitty and Chelski), that will ultimately define our imperious season.

  4. arnie says:

    BSR stands for Brave Sir Robin, otherwise known as Robin (Dollar) Persie.

    BFG stands for Big Friendly German, also known as Herr Giraffe-legs Per Mertesacker

  5. Räsp says:

    Welcome Morris,

    BSR = Brave Sir Robin, this is after a Monty Python character who was anything but brave and is used because some cannot forgive van Persie

    BFG = Big F$%^&ng German, a play on the BFG in the Roald Dahl story

  6. Räsp says:

    Thanks arnie, you got there before me. This is N5Artilery’s second article for AA – so a maiden +1 :)

  7. arnie says:

    Rasp: :D

    N5Art: Yes, I now remember your previous post. Apologies. Thanks, Rasp, for reminding me.

  8. Räsp says:

    Interesting take on events GN5A. I see where you’re coming from but I tend to agree with Rocky’s view that the disruption in the dressing room and the effect on moral of losing a captain and top player damaged our belief and affected performances at the start of the 2011 and 2012 seasons. This season we are performing to our potential I believe because we are a much more cohesive unit.

  9. Räsp says:

    …. Having said that, the acquisition of the players you mention has significantly strengthened the squad and gives us an extra dimension in coping with the vast number of games ahead.

    One of the great successes of last summer’s transfer activity was that we managed to move on a lot of players who seldom featured and to free up money from the wage bill and invest it in those who have a great future with us.

  10. arnie says:

    Financially, we would have profited from B$R’s sale, no doubt. Which is important as well, I think! But the most important benefit was getting rid of a twat who thought of himself as being bigger than the club, and of other players in the team as minnows. At the same time, he was thought of as being part of the project, so to say, and a leader of the team, so his departure would have hurt. And of course the goals, which are important as well.

  11. LB says:

    A very interesting read and a well reasoned argument.

    Isn’t it possible to financially profit and yet suffer from the disruption of a departure at the same time?

  12. Räsp says:

    Hi LB, the title was mine I’m afraid and may be a bit misleading. It’s done its job as the post has been viewed more than 2,600 times so far. I used the term ‘profited’ to mean in terms of the effect on the team rather than purely financially.

  13. TT says:

    Interesting perspective, N5A. I think your premise “I think that we dealt with the departure of BSR pretty well” doesn’t necessary come into conflict with the idea that his departure caused disruption. I would synthesize it as: Arsenal brilliantly overcoming disruption by BSR :)

    May I also take this opportunity to mention:

    Wenger said RvP was convinced by the “Dutch coach” [Meulensteen] to go to ManU (http://www.espn.co.uk/football/sport/story/255747.html#1r6eY7Mcb7P51ovS.99)

    Meulensteen is now head coach at Fulham.

    Ergo, BSR to Fulham! :D

  14. LB says:

    Hmmm, good point TT.

    The influence that Meulensteen inevitably must have had hadn’t crossed my mind.

  15. N5Artillery says:

    Thank you all for your thoughts. I would like to point out I am only postulating that 2012 wouldn’t have been any better if BSR stayed and that the benefits of his departure was a good thing. On the matter if 2011 and the departure of the money grabbing boy band member and Fabregas that was not handled well and we had to rely on BSR to bail us out of the do-do which swelled his head. Look on the bright side we benefited from one of his two healthy full seasons.

  16. GoonerB says:

    Excellent write up N5 and it ties in very well with Rocky’s excellent post yesterday. I am in the camp that we overcame the departure of BSR in fine fashion but that his loss did hurt us. I love Giroud and the way he brings his team-mates into play, but I still feel we are missing a striker in the squad that can win a game with a bit of majic.

    I hold out a desperate hope that Podolski can start to play more as the main striker and finally develop into the world class striker that he has the potential to be, and we can stop worrying about who we need to buy up front. I am not sure, however, whether he will make that final transition, but the step up of Ramsey’s level should give us the hope that if anyone can make it happen at any club then it is AW at Arsenal.

    Unfortunately, I hate to admit it, but I feel that BSR is one of those rare world clas strikers that can win a game single-handedly, and if he was still with us we would currently have the complete attack which would be the match of any other team in the EPL or world football. That is why I hate him so much. Just as we were approaching the completion of the jigsaw puzzle that would take us back to the very top, one of the key pieces ups and leaves.

    I believe AW is aware of this which is why he went after Suarez who, as a striker, can replicate that majic moment of individual brilliance that we are arguably now missing. Our midfielders are carrying the team brilliantly but what would happen if Rambo suddenly goes through a lean goal-scoring period?

    I have always believed in taking a balanced view and not going to one extreme or the other, so I try and not go into full negative mode if things aren’t so great, but similarly will try and be constructively critical when things look brilliant. Not sitting still in the good times could be the key to being the eventual winner or the runner up.

    I feel that ourselves, Chelski and Citeh have the best midfield units in the league. Looking at Citeh in particular I think they will be very strong from here on in, and I feel we are more or less equal in our midfields, maybe with us having the slight edge here. When I look at the strikers though and I ratlle out Aguero, Negredo and Dzeko I don’t feel, unless Podolski and / or Walcott step up another level, that we are as strong as them and that could prove to be the difference at the end of the season.

    So in normal GoonerB protracted conclusion I still feel that the loss of BSR still potentially affects us, in terms of winning the EPL and / or the ECL, even now.

  17. TT says:

    It was Wenger’s point, LB :) I only repeat the great man’s observation.

    If true, this would mean an extreme example of “tapping up”, which I thought wasn’t allowed?

  18. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one N5

    I agree with you. Van Persie is yesterdays man.

    It just shows that Arsenal is an unstoppable force. This leads on from Rockys post yesterday but as soon as we find a bit of stability we are right bang in the the mix again.

    And this is only the beginning. What we can achieve going forward is frightening.

    Lots of League and Champions Leagues coming our way.

    On a sour note, theres a bloody tube strike tomorrow. last time I went to a game with that type of chaos I got home wearing only one shoe and wigless.

  19. Excellent post N5
    I think you make some great points.
    When RVP & Song left we replaced with Poldi OG & Santi which more than made up for lost assists & goals.
    A defensive MF may have helped but for me last season was transitional, we took half a season to gel and also get used to the Steve Bould effect.
    This season we are continuing the form from the second half of last season and also brought in a worldy.
    If you take the EPL’s points tally from the last 38 games, AFC sits top of the pile 3pts ahead of MUFC who walked the league last year.
    I really believe this is our year. :-)

  20. Big Raddy says:

    N5A. Very interesting and well written post.

    I think Gooner B reflects my thoughts. Add RvP to the current Arsenal team and we are nailed on champions. Giroud – much as I admire him – is not in the same league.

    That said, let us look at history. ….

    1665. London. Plague
    1666 Great Fire of London. The fire not only (some say) eradicated the plague, it also cleared a huge area of medieval London which created the space for the building of St. Paul’s and Wren’s other churches. This allowed London to change from a rabbit-warren to one of the world’s most elegant cities. So it is with AFC.

    If RvP hadn’t left would AW have chosen to develop a team with so many tactically aware and fluid players? Perhaps not, perhaps he would have enjoyed the luxury of having a 25+ goal a season player and telling his team to “find Robin”.

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Thinking RvP and how he made a mistake….

    MU rely entirely upon him and Rooney. They have scored 15 of the teams 22 League goals.

    How many MU goals have come from the midfield of Carrick, Anderson, Cleverly, Giggs, Nani and Fellaini??? One (Valencia)

    Who wants to go and watch long-ball?

    Moyes is just a slimmer Allardyce.

  22. Räsp says:

    Hi Raddy, that’s a great analysis – ‘find Robin syndrome’. We definitely suffered from find Thierry syndrome in his last season. I agree Ollie is not in BSR’s class as an out and out goalscorer but his other attributes have brought out the best in those around him.

  23. fatgingergooner says:

    Definitely agree that we are more of a team this season. Goals, assists and quality performances are coming from all over the pitch. Confidence is the key to all of this.

    The only thing that I feel could de-rail our season is injuries. We lost at United, yet we have won 3 in a row since, which shows the amount of belief and confidence the team has. Injuries will be key this year.

  24. Chas/Rasp,

    Sorry i questioned your stats yesterday, you do a smashing job and i always enjoy referring to the widgets on this blog. Please carry on as you were, you wouldn’t be able to post a link to Opta anyway unless you paid for the privilege.

    Stats are subject to a lot of scrutiny in modern football and there are many differing views on who is right or wrong.

    Opta are certainly recognised as the governing body of the EPL and supply most of the big sites with their stats ie ESPN & WhoScored.com

    They list Theo as having only 2 assists – Spurs & Cardiff. Which is why I raised the issue with this site, I too have debated and been lambasted when I claimed Theo had 6 assists.

    Why these sites choose to not recognise our stats from the Fenerbache games is beyond me, but they don’t. I have raised the question with both sites & also Opta.

    Opta’s definition of an assist:-
    “the final pass or pass-cum-shot which directly leads to a goal scored by recipient of the ball.”
    They don’t recognise free kicks or penalties won & subsequently scored.

    They don’t recognise parried shots or deflected passes that are scored.

    Fantasy football sites are kinder on their definitions and set their own rules.

    Opta or not? That’s the issue.

  25. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Have you seen him play Rasp? Ive never heard of him.

  26. Räsp says:

    No worries, Jonathan, as I said yesterday, it’s good to know folks take notice of them – we’ll keep compiling the stats according to our own criteria :P

  27. Räsp says:

    Hi TMHT, we must remember that the club haven’t confirmed the story. He’s definitely a great prospect, I hope there is a right to buy clause in the agreement – but why would Real?

  28. Räsp says:

    He’s more van Persie than Giroud in his play I’d say.

  29. Räsp says:

    I’d love the story to be true :?

  30. Räsp says:

    He’s good with both feet – am I getting carried away? :lol:

  31. TT says:

    Maybe not, Rasp. Quoting Arsenal.com:

    [on speculation over a move for Alvaro Morata…]
    No. There is no truth in that. That is all I can say, I have not been in touch with them [Real Madrid].

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/extra-wenger-on-transfer-speculation

  32. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    He looks very tasty Rasp

    Mind you, ive seen a youtube mix were Alex Song passed the ball like Glen Hoddle

    It makes sense though. We need top quality, Januarys a hard month to buy, so why not a loan deal that suits all parties?

  33. TT says:

    On the other hand, one can always hope that Wenger is playing with words :D “I have not been in touch with them.” But our negotiators have”???

  34. Räsp says:

    Thanks TT.

    Terry, it doesn’t make sense to me that Real would loan such a player to us … but you never know?

  35. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Why not Rasp? He needs games and top level experience?

  36. Räsp says:

    It doesn’t seem very AW … but …. here’s a theory ……… AW knows who he’s going to buy in the summer (Suarez when pool fail to make top 4? ) and so this move makes more sense.

    Do Real have that many top strikers that they are sure they won’t need Alvaro – maybe they do?

  37. Räsp says:

    Hmmmm, I think the statement on arse.com is definitive – it appears – the report is bollix (sadly)

    I do not share AW’s optimism on Sanogo’s ability to contribute after January going on the 2 times I’ve seen him play.

    His youtube compilation is impressive, but not as much as Morata’s – it lists his weaknesses as: passing & creativity!

  38. LB says:

    Morata needs game time; he is a fantastic prospect and a perfect Wenger signing if ever there was one.

    Think Cesc, Morata has genuine talent but is in danger of getting lost at Real in the same way as Cesc would have easy got lost at Barça.

    The club may have denied it but this one is going to run. A six month loan sounds odd, we need to sign him on a long term contract.

  39. Räsp says:

    I hope you’re right LB, I want it to be true. Have you read the statement on a.com?

    Cesc was 16, Morata is 21

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/extra-wenger-on-transfer-speculation

  40. arnie says:

    This is a tasty one as well – Deulofeu. we stand almost no chance :razz:

  41. dandan says:

    N5A that is a very well reasoned article.
    RVP engendered much vitriolic abuse from a section of our fans when he left, both vocal from those at games and literary from armchair warriors such as myself. His passing however may well as you have surmised have led to the reincarnation of the team into its present form.

    This article from the today’s times by the Psychologist,writer and Cricket Captain supreme Mike Brearley may well interest those, who like me find the vilification of players somewhat distasteful when it is for anything other than deliberate foul play with intent. Choosing to change clubs does not come under that heading and indeed may in my opinion motivate the ex-player to greater heights, particularly when returning with his new club to face his abusers.

    When banter oversteps the mark, cricket’s spirit shrivels

    Mike Brearley
    Published at 12:01AM, December 3 2013
    Mike Brearley says there is a fine line between legitimate methods of unsettling opponents and damaging the image of the sport
    MCC has a maxim: “The Spirit of Cricket” — a phrase now incorporated, as a preamble, in the Laws of Cricket. One of the club’s former presidents, Doug Insole, used to say in his annual pre-season meetings with the county captains: “You can drive a horse and coaches through the Laws of Cricket.” And to the Essex players he would say, “It’s good to win trophies, but it’s not the be-all and end-all.”
    He was right. For the game to be played properly, something else is needed besides following the Laws, or only being in it for the winning. It’s hard to find a better word for that something, that je ne sais quoi, than “spirit”, especially when MCC adds “play hard but fair”.
    Yet human nature is an unruly thing. Put 22 young men in an arena, 11 on each side, all pumped up, anxious, and divided into two antagonistic groups according to old tribal loyalties, and you have a toxic mixture. You have, in fact, the makings of gang warfare. You have the Ashes.
    Not that anyone wants them to be tame, these sporting battles, these Coliseum-like spectacles. When Derek Randall arrived at the crease to bat in one Ashes Test in 1977, he quirkily, perkily, chirped to Rod Marsh, the Australia wicketkeeper, “Eh oop, Marshie, how’s things?” Marsh growled back: “What do you think this is, Randall, a garden party?” I like both sides of this dialogue.
    One central feature of gang culture, and gang conflict, is mutual humiliation. You score emotionally off the other lot, put them down, make them look small. If they humiliate you, honour requires you to return the compliment. Indeed, being made to feel small or look weak is the ultimate shame; it may be unbearable, castrating, a matter of life and death. The only resource might be, with the help of your mates, to force the insult back down their throats.
    Such interactions occur at both group and individual level. The overall demeanour of the team sends its haka-like message to the other team; there are also individual recipes for destabilising each opponent personally. He (or she) will feel not only their private shame or smallness, but also have to deal with the discomfort of feeling they have let the team down.
    It is fully within the spirit of the game to unsettle and disturb the opposition, which may be achieved by one’s group solidarity, one’s overt toughness, the hostility of one’s bowling and batting, one’s strut, and indeed one’s tactical ploys. Think of the ebullient confidence of some great players, Viv Richards and Shane Warne being paradigms of this. (I recently told Viv about seeing on television Dennis Lillee hit him on the unprotected cheek with a bouncer in World Series Cricket, and Viv merely shaking his head and carrying on. He said: “Sometimes you have to make it look as if you’re not hurt.”)
    Ian Botham was not nicknamed “Guy the Gorilla” for nothing; one of the sources of a fine sportsman’s appeal is to be found in his wholehearted, whole-bodied commitment. Such a presence, when combined with great skill, is intimidating. Ian Chappell’s Australia team exuded belligerence.
    As a captain, putting a fielder in a certain position may be based on several rationales. One that he is likely to get a catch there; another to cut off run-scoring. But there is also bluff and counter-bluff, along with a combative message, for example, “We don’t need a mid-off for you.” Or “You don’t like it at your throat, do you?” Or “You can’t play this bowler, we all know that, so I’m taking off the bloke who’s just taken three wickets and I’m putting him on.” The message may or may not require words. Actions and gestures speak loudly enough.
    Such messages may be conveyed with humour or with scorn. A young middle-order batsman, who murmured sycophantically to Fred Trueman on his way back to the pavilion, “That was a fine delivery, Fred” — received the reply “Aye, and it were wasted on thee.”
    The message is plain: the batsman is not up to much. His confidence undermined, he either becomes timid, or he accepts the invitation to a fatal rashness in an attempt to assert himself. Playing for Middlesex as a young batsman, and in the middle of a bad run, I remember being virtually shamed out by the chorus of moans and disdain from Surrey’s slip cordon. I found myself in self-denigrating agreement with them; I had no right to be there, sharing the spotlight with them. And soon I wasn’t.
    There is a narrow line between such more or less legitimate, discomfiting gestures and messages, on the one hand, and behaviour that goes beyond the spirit of the game on the other.
    According to Steve Waugh, sledging aims at mental disintegration. As I say, verbal and non-verbal communications, on the field, including some of what the present players euphemistically refer to as banter, are part and parcel of wholehearted rivalry. But such banter can tip over the top. And if mental disintegration actually occurs, partly caused by the gang elements that lurk not far beneath the surface of high-powered teams, then the time has come to draw back, to reflect: does the problem lie in the vulnerability of the recipient, or has the banter gone too far?
    It’s not altogether surprising that the atmosphere in Brisbane bubbled up to a dangerous point. England had not been shrinking violets last summer in their third successive Ashes victory. They had voiced that dangerous mantra “we want to win at any cost”. (That’s the point of the Spirit of Cricket — there are limits, one doesn’t go to any lengths to win. It is what tends to modify the sadistic and self-punishing attitudes of the tendencies to gang-like behaviour.) James Anderson had shown a penchant for the sneer or jibe at struggling Australia batsmen. And losing Australia teams are not given an easy ride by their compatriots. The Australians were wounded, and not long ago.
    A wounded animal, when not allowed to hide and recuperate, is liable to be dangerous. And a wounded cricket team that fight their way back to a position of superiority over their recently triumphant — and perhaps triumphalist — rivals, are unlikely to celebrate faintly, or behave with vicarage tea party decorum.
    Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook both made the right kinds of comments after the match. They spoke of mutual respect, acknowledging that if you live by the sword you are likely to get wounded by the sword. Will the Spirit of Cricket win out in the remaining four Tests? Or will the ethos of the gang —become even more intrusive?
    Much will depend on England’s response to their drubbing, and to the loss of Jonathan Trott. Sport is a field in which failure is public, because one is exposed to many witnesses; the details of one’s shortcomings are scrutinised by experts; failings occur in a frankly gang-like environment, and are all too literally measurable. They may also be repeated. The batsman suffers the humiliation of having to leave the field on his own, defeated.
    The best players and teams suffer failure less often, of course. But no one is exempt. And one element in the sustained success of the successful is their resilience. Their confidence is not too absolutely, too permanently, dented. The immediate present, humiliating as it may be, does not, or not for long, blind them to their good qualities. They recover their proper pride. They address their technical and personal glitches. They do not rely only on retaliation. Being less gang-like as a group, they support each other. They bounce back.
    It is instructive to see how differently batsmen respond to a fast bowler’s hostility, to his verbal and physical provocations. Cook simply turns his back on Mitchell Johnson, walks around a little, and gets on with the job. I doubt if the Australians waste much breath on him. They know the impact will be slight. He is resilient. Joe Root tends to smile at the bluster and the language. At one point this elicited from Johnson a pantomime villain’s fixed grin, parodying the young Englishman. I suspect Australians see the grin as arrogance; it was Root who got punched in the bar in Birmingham last June.
    Each person has to develop his own thick enough skin, with a response that suits himself on a scale that runs from outright aggression to quiet self-containment.
    The next Test will be fascinating, from this angle among others. If England can reconstitute themselves, without necessarily going in for blatant tit for tat, the series may be well fought, and Australia may quieten down. But if England collapse again, or if they do better but in a gloating style, then the match referee may find himself, headmaster-like, awaiting in his study a procession of miscreant cricketers who have crossed the line into gang-like behaviour.

  42. @Rasp 1:48pm et al.
    If we were to augment the team by buying a striker I would continue to have a big problem with Suarez being the target because of the disciplinary baggage, but more so over the racist name calling he resorted to. Perhaps I should forgive and forget as he has done his time, but he never really apologised or repented. And having been on the receiving of a great deal of racism for much of my life, I have no desire to be even remotely associated with anyone who is racist.

    So much for the sociological reasoning. On a footballing level, while we know that Giroud is a team player, what would the addition of Suarez do to the team? Is Suarez really a team player? His agitative actions at his current and former clubs would say not. Would he understand the team ethic that seems to have formed? Or would this be a step back into the cult of the ego’d player?

    In the last two pieces we have already talked about the disruption to the changing room and how we suffered, so why would we voluntarily do it again? On this basis I would look elsewhere.

  43. LB says:

    Rasp

    I read the denial comment above but I have long learnt not to trust a single word Wenger says when it comes to transfers, this is not meant to be disrespectful, it’s just the he really is a team player and probably a very good poker player as well and as such he never gives anything away because he knows full well that if he does the selling club will raise the price.

    On a slightly different subject I have always argued that Arsenal supporters who think that the club should explain their transfer intentions are being naïve to the point of being silly.

  44. arnie says:

    dandan: Point well taken, but Mike Brearley is hardly an example to talk about sportsman spirit. Ask any one from the cricket playing countries, except perhaps England, though I dare say he may not be such a big hero in England as well. Sorry. But good point. :razz:

  45. arnie says:

    LB, Rasp, TMHT, N5Art, et al: We do not know who Arsene is targeting, but we would be very surprised if the scouts are not looking at quite a few players. What matters is that we have a look at Morata and say: OK, someone like this will be good, or Deulafeu, and look at Suarez and say, great player but sorry too much baggage!!!! Arsene would not consult us about who he should bring in, and we as fans reserve the right to criticize, in a constructive way, if we do not like who he brings in!!!!!!

  46. @Arnie 2:31pm Good point. We aren’t running the boat, just being towed along behind on waterskis. If we don’t like where it is going we can wave our arms, shout or let go until it comes around, but we aren’t actually steering.

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can’t stay long, but wanted to say how much I enjoyed the read N5.

    Thank you.

    On Persie, well, there’s no substitute for a class finisher of his stature, but he’s a gonna, while we’re going to win the league :-)

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Love the article posted by Rasp on us after this Madrid bloke.

    Can’t get enough of the line “Arsene Wenger set to pounce on…”

    Just have an image of him sitting back on his haunches, eyes ablaze with teeth gnashing :-)

  49. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good day AAers,

    A great effort N5 Artillery, it dovetailed nicely with Rocky’s post.

    Swings and roundabouts comes to my mind when discussing the various defectors and defections. The thing to remember is always face the in the direction the roundabout is revolving and never turn your back on a swing, failure to do so in either case can result in a nasty bash on the back of the head.

    The Morata six month loan was reported as a done deal in one National Daily paper, Wenger’s comment of him not being in touch with Real Madrid does in no way rule out the switch. There’s no smoke without fire! :D

  50. RA says:

    A very well reasoned Post, N5.

    I may not agree with all you that you posit, but as a point of view regarding the impact RvP’s departure had on the team, it is difficult to argue with.

    From my perspective the biggest impact was not just the effect on Arsenal, as even with him I doubt we would have won anything last season, but the impact he had on Manure, as without him they would almost certainly not have won the Premiership.

    Two sides of the same coin, unfortunately.

  51. RA says:

    Has Wenger ever brought in anyone on a loan basis before?

    I just cannot see that particular leopard changing his spots.

  52. arnie says:

    Redders: good point. I have sometimes wondered why we allowed B$R to go to ManUre when our EPL rivals would not allow us the same privelege. It did not help that there was some speculation this was Arsene’s farewell gift to RedNose. :D

  53. Mike says:

    Very speculative to say what would or wouldn’t have happened if Van Judas had stayed.I think he was very committed to Arsenal until he decided to go and could have been very toxic if we’d kept him against his will. No sure about the “killing Giroud” theory although it’s obvious he’s benefitted from playing as opposed to being a back up. If we continue to challenge this season, hopefully even win it, and Manure don’t (which seems likely), I think all’s well that ends well. I also think RVJ will surely regret his decision. Time will tell.

  54. GoonerB says:

    Going with the Morata thing, I know it is not always good to base things on you-tube footage but from the footage Rasp put up I would say this kid is the missing link and AW should just hand over £25m to Madrid for him, or at least get the option to buy loan deal.

    We have a lot of left footers so another right footer is welcome IMO and he seems to be adept on his left as well. Wiki has him down as 6’3″ and his footwork and pace look excellent for someone of this stature. The rumours seem to be that Madrid really want Suarez and / or Aguero. They will need money for this so it would be worth our while testing the water for this lad.

    There are also strong rumours circulating about the DM Mulumbu. What do people think about him?

  55. GoonerB says:

    Kitty, fortunately I think we are playing attractive football and winning as well, so I can have very few complaints. A little bit more firepower up top to finish off teams a bit more effectively and we will be an unstoppable force.

  56. Räsp says:

    GoonerB, did you know that trolls are hermaphrodite? :?

  57. Shard says:

    I think what fuelled the perception of Arsenal’s great loss was the fact that ManU greatly benefited. Those statements were seen as indicating the same thing, but I don’t think that is true.

    I know Arsenal lost a great player, but since last season I’ve been saying that we’ve gained the foundations of a great squad, and that BSR’s 5 year contract with ManU was opportunity for us to prove him wrong over the next 4 years.

    The same RVP that played since the beginning of the 2011-12 season would certainly be a great addition to our current squad. But that wasn’t the player we lost. We lost a player who had lost sight of his role in the team, the contribution of his teammates, who was a year older and a few multiples greedier. Would I have rather he stayed? Yes. But would I exchange the blossoming of the team for his stay? No. We benefited from his sale through the additions we made, and the new proper leaders we’ve seen emerge. As well as a certain Aaron Ramsey who was apparently considered not good enough by BSR, and who I remember publicly berating Ramsey for not passing the ball to him, when the shot was the correct decision in itself, even though he didn’t score.

    I trust Wenger will find the player we need to add that special match winning touch to our already great squad. There’s still Podolski and Sanogo (although injury has set them both back a bit, especially Sanogo) Afobe might have something to prove too. So we don’t need to buy just anyone.

    As for myself and my prolonged absence. I have given 4 of the 9 papers I need to. I’ll be done by Sunday, after which I’ll join arnie in Scotland, wear a kilt, paint my face blue and shout FREEDOM!! at the top of my voice.

  58. arnie says:

    Shard: :D :D Top comment, fair points made. Good luck with your exams. By all means, drop by for a drink!!!! :D :D

  59. Räsp says:

    :lol: Welcome back McShard, we look forward to hearing more from you when you’re a free man

  60. Just got out of the bath with a dripping wet fist !………………..here kitty kitty !.

  61. Shard says:

    Thank you arnie and Rasp. It’s been a hectic few days, and will be till Sunday. I will also be missing an Arsenal match for the first time in years, since I have an exam the next morning. I’ll try and avoid the result if I can, and enjoy a double header on Sunday, and hopefully celebrate my freedom with two victories (and a dozen beers)

    If I’m ever actually in Scotland, I shall come see you arnie. Although not wearing a kilt :)

    See you guys soon. Cheer on the Arsenal extra loudly tomorrow.

  62. arnie says:

    ha ha. Good luck, Shard. No kilt for me as well!!!! :D :D

  63. RA says:

    Well that’s a relief — arnie and the notorious Shard will not be wearing kilts when they meet up.

    In case you do not know, arnie, Shard is so competitive he would want to challenge you about something or other and the thought of the pair of you arguing the toss about what if anything is worn under a kilt would inevitably end up with you comparing your prized assets.

    The weather here in good ol’ Wichita has been pretty good lately with plenty of sun, but the temperature is slated to plunge tomorrow, and it will be no place to be wearing a kilt. :-)

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kind of glad my message to Cockie didn’t transmit from my mobile.

    Yes, I would have enjoyed watching, but there would have been one sore cat in town :-)

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA

    A spectacle indeed. All they do up there is hurl telegraph poles and haggis about the glens.

  66. arnie says:

    Redders: no, a kilt stands no chance!!! reminds me of Raddy and Micky’s mooning story from Dortmund!!!!! :D :D Talking of temperatures, we are planning to spend the New Year in upstate Michigan, after spending Christmas around Orlando!!!! Will be interesting, not least for the contrast!!!! :D :D :D

  67. arnie says:

    ha ha, Micky!!!!! :D :D :D

  68. arnie says:

    Micky: The Highland Games are fun. Drop by and enjoy, very soon you may have to cross an international border!!!!! :D :D :D

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    arnie
    My favourite place in the world are The Highlands and Islands. Can’t get enough of the place.
    Must dash.

  70. RA – When you say Wichita, do you mean you are in Wichita KS?

  71. chas says:

    Excellent post, N5 Art.

    I think you’re right that we benefitted in several ways from the departure of bsr.
    Mostly from not allowing one bad apple to continue to spoil the whole bunch.

    “When the wrong people leave your life, the right things start happening.”

  72. chas says:

    It looks like good news about the Piccadilly line for tomorrow.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-25207118

  73. chas says:

    More twatter rubbish no doubt, but funny in the light of today’s post.

  74. chas says:
  75. My comment means nothing now kitty ( Sniffer ) has disappeared !. hahaha

    I too am glad Tom Daley has been brave and come out of the locker, but I did wonder what sort of swimming/water terms he may now be referred to………Towel Lifter, Budgie Smuggler Inspector, Snorkel Sniffer, Broke Backstroke !.

  76. chas says:

    Cockie,
    You’re not meant to be engaging da troll at all. Please desist.

  77. chas

    I don’t want to get engaged to him, I hardly know him, but he does somehow humour me !. hahaha

  78. dhakka09 says:

    Fine post, N5A (its not NSA guys, squint harder :P ).

    I, personally, will not forgive BSR for what he did. He still owes us a lot and his behavior since leaving us, the club and the manager who made him what he is today, has been nothing but appalling.

    But, I think, its fine and dandy for all sides since we got to sell him for substantial amount and build up from there and he got what he wanted. I don’t think there’s any ill-will on any sides (maybe disappointment in his lack of faith from Arsene’s POV but that’s a discussion for another day).

    All in all, it turned out okay for us and BSR may still regret leaving his legacy in tatters to join them lots for one season of riches and, potentially, multiple season of tears.

    And, oh boy, won’t I love every single drop of his tears dropping into the Old Toilet’s rim when he’s sobbingly dropping poop in his new stinky home before Moyesie wipes his arse like those Japanese auto-wiping Toilets ;)

  79. dhakka09 says:

    P.S: hey guys, can anyone tell me what’s the correct email address just in case I get overwhelmed in the middle of the night, once in a blue moon, to write my gibberish and mail it to AA?

    I am confused between arsenalnuts@live.co.uk and arsenalnuts@aol.com :(

  80. chas says:

    The first one, dhakka.

  81. dhakka09 says:

    I swear i saw someone address N5A as NSA earlier; now that I search crime-scene for the evidence, it has been wiped clean off any finger-prints. This is massive conspiracy. I bet Sepp Blatter or Michel Platini is behind it :(

  82. dhakka09 says:

    chas: thanx :D

  83. arnie says:

    Can I just say that this troll thing is a bit confusing. It is not always clear as to whether it is THE TROLL, or just a somewhat cynical fan who has wet his/ her bed. Maybe I am being dumb, but I suspect there may be others sometimes confused as well. Sometimes there may be two trolls, and are not sure whether one is THE TROLL, and the other one is just an imposter.

    I understand perfectly house rules are that nobody should engage the troll. If then we find that any senior AA pro is engaging a supposed troll, can we perhaps then assume that this is not really a troll, but a chameleon. Or perhaps, would the moderator (Rasp, Peaches, Raddy, or whoever is around) clearly indicate the troll’s presence. I know Rasp sometimes does this, but not always. Perhaps, it is too much work, and I am sorry, but this creates confusion.

    Finally, I apologise is the above reads like a Rumsfeld-esque known unknowns and unknowwn knowns, and so on. :razz:

  84. dhakka09 says:

    arnie: a pom-pom for you

    Up and down the page – I scroll, scroll, scroll
    Everyone is saying it but I don’t see a troll
    Is he under the bed? Is he left for dying or dead?
    Or hiding under his bridge, having said all that he’s said :D

  85. arnie says:

    dhakka: the troll has been throttled, maybe teh thrid line needs a slight modification. :D :D

  86. arnie says:

    wordpress just ate my comment :sad:

  87. arnie says:

    #bbcfootball Wenger's seemingly impossible to zip up sleeping bag coat.Always a joy to watch him spending half the match doing the thing up!— Harry Partridge (@harrypartridge) December 3, 2013

    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/71510000/jpg/_71510546_hi019943376.jpg

  88. arnie and dhaka09.
    A limerick to our lost troll.

    Arsene told Sniffer, it`s all about…..the mental strength.
    As he slipped in his 12 inch cheesy baguette length.
    Sniffer cried out loud in the most excruciating pain.
    Over 50 years of no title….he`s from white hart lane .
    Calm down Sniffer, I`ve only slipped it in…..one tenth !.

  89. dhakka09 says:

    haha Cockie: If ever AA were to organize a limerick competition, I look forward to see you in semis or finals. Don’t know if I can keep up with your tiki-taka style though; well, I’ll have my Chelsea-esque long ball strategy lined up ;)

  90. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, just a quick thought on strikers.

    Who in the PL if you could have anyone would you want to sign to improve our team immediately?

    For me it’s a no brainer….Aguero…he is the striker that would most fit our team and is by far the most enjoyable to watch.

  91. Agree there GIE !.

    Although another no brainer is Sniffer as a stunt double for Girouds cock !.
    He`s a doppelganger for it !. Can you imagine ( sorry to put you off your pint and kebab ! hahaha ) Sniffer walking into the toilets and seeing Giroud handling his Sniffer into the urinal !. Looking at Girouds Sniffer would be like looking into a mirror for him !. What a surreal moment that would be !. Fcuk the mental strength, he`ll need some Red Bull !. hahaha

  92. arnie says:

    Agreed, GiE. :D :D Nive limerick, the TRUE cockie!!!! :D :D

  93. arnie says:

    Nice limerick, the TRUE Cockie!!!! Good fun!!! :D :D

  94. GIE – or Rickie Lambert, Lukaku, Benteke.

  95. arnie says:

    Early days, but if we were looking towards the future, I would take Delofeu. :D :D :D

  96. Gööner In Exile says:

    Lambert would be an interesting one…..very similar to Giroud, probably at 31 a tad on the old side for Arsene, the one stumbling block would be why he would leave Southampton, clearly the chance of glory but this is a lad making up for lost time, it’s taken him awhile to get to the PL and he would have to make a choice between regular football and time on the bench at a bigger club.

    Benteke and Lukaku are both very good….doubt Chelsea will let Lukaku go, Benteke having just signed a new deal would be pricey.

  97. arnie says:

    Crystal Palace 1-0 West Ham, Chamakh scored the goal!!!!! Pulis pulls one off!!!!

  98. arnie says:

    Sagna has a hamstring injury and set to be replaced by Jenks tomorrow. In that case, I would think Theo will start!!!! :D

  99. Räsp says:

    Guys- a gentle rebuke :(

    The troll has been active this evening because some are deliberately disregarding our policy and interacting. This makes us work and degrades the site. Please exercise greater self control

  100. arnie says:

    Apologies, Rasp, this was not intentional. :sad:

  101. dhakka09 says:

    Interesting Trivia (one I noticed from points comparison table here): at this point last season, Arsenal had recorded only 5 wins from the starting 13 matches that included 5 draws. This season we have twice as many (10) wins and just 1 draw. I attribute it to our recently acquired ability to see the game out and not slip while leading; I also suspect we have the fire-power to roar back from a losing/draw position to go for the jugular this season (yet to be seen).

    Beginning of last season, Arsene was forced to play a pragmatic and cautious game trying to bed in new players that were vital being the cog in the system. We also couldn’t find the extra impetus with unsettled team to win matches that were heading towards draws. That’s not Arsene’s nature but circumstances forced him to.

    This points comparison also shows why a manager like Moyesie who naturally likes to play it safe (not because of external factors) and more susceptible to draws is not suited for a club trying to contend for title as 2 draws would only give 2 points, while a full-throttle attack from a position of draw in those 2 matches likely results in 1 win and 1 loss which is still a point better off than the 2 points from those draws.

    That’s one of the reasons I like Arsene. When spoils are about to be shared, he always goes for the win, at the risk of a loss. Our loss at home to Dortmund saddened me but I wasn’t particularly disappointed because we played to win and refused to take the draw. Things didn’t go the way we planned but as they say, “Its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” :D

    #rant-over

  102. chas says:

    Interesting dhakka,
    I remember Fergie sayig that The Invincibles drew far too many games! :)

    The problem with going for the win in small CL groups is that losing has a large beneficial effect on your opponent’s points total. It was one of those occasions where a draw would have been prudent.

    The other consideration is momentum, but consecutive draws can damage that, too. If we drew against both oily clubs, would that be better than winning won and losing the other? Not points-wise obviously.

    Anyway maximum focus for Hull,said the beard. :)

  103. RockyLives says:

    Very good and well argued post N5.

  104. chas says:

    Motning, Rocky.
    Are you getting over here any time soon?

  105. chas says:
  106. chas says:
  107. chas says:

    Forever in our shadow /\

  108. chas says:
  109. chas says:

    Off to work.
    See those going later. :)

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh good. Late again :-(

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Fantastic skill from DB10. How he saw Freddie is a complete mystery

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Has the Raddy landed?

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My new sleeping regime is playing havoc with my blogging. Not good.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Interesting question about footballing intelligence.

    You have people with extraordinarily high IQ’s who are plain moronic, then there’s Emotional Intelligence. What is footballing intelligence?

  115. Big Raddy says:

    MUK Not left yet. ETD 12.00

    That is a good question. Spatial awareness allied to an innate understanding of velocities.

    In the DB clip he knows he has to wait, then judge the speed of Freddie’s run and where he wants to place the ball, AND the weight of pass plus that he needs to elevate the ball AND be aware of where the two defenders marking him are likely to move.

    Remarkable

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR
    Thank goodness RA is not around at this time of day. He’d have one of those formula thingies :-)

    Quick school run, then back.

  117. LB says:

    “He has to wait”

    I didn’t realise that until you pointed it out………..incredible, it really is football skill and intelligence of the highest order.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very true LB

    Chuck in some of that Sprezzatura stuff, and you have the difference between Dennis, Mesut and the rest.

  119. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning AAers,

    Mickey football intelligence is knowing which matches have been fixed early enough to get your bet on. :D

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Norfolk

    Are you a Fixer or a Gambler? I sense an underlying message :-)

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can’t wait to read the BR PM.

    Hope he’s wringing the changes. About three from Saturday would do me. I haven’t seen Hull play at all, so no idea what to expect.

    What do they normally do away from home against a side like ours. Set up camp or go for it at least a little?

  122. Räsp says:

    Morning all, Micky, you won’t be disappointed. I’m sitting with Raddy this evening, I see tonight’s game as a possible stumbling block and in my opinion it would be unwise to make too many changes :(

  123. Räsp says:

    Ok, all done ……..

    ….. New post …….

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah, but Rasp, who is more effective, a slightly knackered 1st XI’er or a fresh, eager to impress, bright eyed and bushy tailed 2nd XI’er?

  125. Nyakundi N says:

    ,, ffklhjn On Dec 3, 2013 12:26 PM, “Arsenal Arsenal” wrote: > > peachesgner posted: “Yesterday Rocky posted an interesting piece, but I disagree with the bit about losing BSR and the disruption caused. Personally, I think that we dealt with the departure of BSR pretty well. We signed a proven world class striker in Podolski, who had progr” >

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