Walcott to Follow Van Persie

There is a worrying trend at Arsenal of players having their best ever season for us and then immediately departing to pastures new.

Samir Nasri was always something of an enigma for us until his final season. He was capable of great runs and great goals, but was also frequently a lardy-arsed passenger in important games.

Then came the first half of the 2010-11 campaign and Samir was like a man possessed. He was arguably the best player in the EPL up to Christmas.

As it turned it out, he had been possessed: by the spectre of a huge pile of filthy wonga dripping with crude oil.

Likewise Brave Sir Robin who, last year, finally fulfilled his potential to become one of the best strikers in Europe. We had nursed him through injury after ludicrous injury so that he could achieve his destiny. But once he did he shoved all those years of support back in our faces and upped and offed to the red half of Manchester.

Hleb and Flamini both also decamped immediately after their best seasons for us.

And now it looks like Theo Walcott is about to do the same.

In just nine starts this season (plus nine more appearances as a substitute) he has already clocked up the sort of stats that it has previously taken him a whole season to amass.

In his 18 games this year he has 11 goals and 7 assists – which is a quite phenomenal return. In the whole of last season (with 41 starts and 5 sub appearances) he scored 11 and made 10 assists. The year before that, in 25 starts and 13 outings as a sub, he scored 13 and had 9 assists.

In other words, this season he is performing at least twice as well as we have become used to.

The sad thing is, Theo’s displays have all the hallmarks of yet another player busting a gut to put himself in the shop window so he can make a big pay day when he leaves.

I would love to think Theo will stay, but every sign points to him departing. I don’t believe Arsene Wenger will let him leave in January (indeed Le Boss has categorically stated that that will not happen). But a summer exit is on the cards and, if rumours are to be believed, there is every chance an unofficial deal has already been done.

It’s a depressing thought: yet another hero whom we need to boo and harass when he turns out against us in alien colours. To be honest I’m getting pretty bored of booing our exes.

Some of us regulars on AA have better relations with our ex wives than we do with our ex players (although I believe Goonermichael still boos some of his erstwhile spouses).

Against Reading on Monday Theo got his wish to play as the central striker. You could argue that Wenger’s willingness to give him a chance there is an indication that Le Boss thinks he may still sign for us.

After all, we all know Theo has said it’s not about the money – it’s about wanting to play down the middle.

In truth, I just think it shows how all the cards are with the player: Wenger has been benching him and refusing to play him centrally precisely because he knows that he is going to leave.

But in the end, none of our other central attacking options (Gervinho anyone?) have really convinced so Le Boss has had no choice but to go with Theo, even knowing it can never be a long term solution for Arsenal.

So what do you think?

Is Theo having a stellar season simply because he is putting in more effort in order to get a huge new deal elsewhere?

Are footballers really that capable of turning on the brilliance switch for such venal, materialistic reasons? I find it hard to countenance, but the facts are starting to bear out the theory.

Or is it just that Theo’s years of learning his trade have finally started to come to fruition. He is now 23 and is about to enter his prime years. We fans have watched him thrill and frustrate us in equal measure but now he is turning into what we all hoped he could be: a deadly forward with devastating pace and a clinical finish.

Just in time to b*gger off elsewhere.

RockyLives

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179 Responses to Walcott to Follow Van Persie

  1. Morning all, I’m in agreement with pretty much all of what you say Mr Rock – it’s exactly what my head has been saying since we failed to get Feo to sign on another contract in the summer.

    Of course my (Gooner) heart hopes he will stay but that flies in the face of previous evuidence, namely the long list of one season wonders who depart once their spell “in the shop window” has borne fruit.

    I also wouldn’t hold much store with Wenger saying he won’t sell Feo in January – I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s made similar claims and, like a cheap whore, our club cave in and take the money when a offer comes in from Shitty/ManUre/Farca.

    My worst fear is Feo goes in January, we sign TH14 no loan and Wenfger says those dreaded words “I am happy with the quality of my squad”

    Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!

  2. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Moaning

  3. Leandroo says:

    Just reading this article makes me sick to my stomach.
    Imagine Theo moving to Man U and succeed would be so hard to see. And I’m so angry with Arsene Wenger and the rest of the board for letting all this happen.
    I sincerly think Theo has some golden years in front of him, and I would HATE it for it to be alongside Van ****
    Please give him what he want’s and sign some more players, for it is hard times being an Arsenal fan, so please don’t make i worse

  4. max says:

    Its taking a long time to dawn on you where the club is at at the moment, a calculated policy to make money with little pressure to actually win something. Wenger is the top paid manager in the EPL, Gazidis the top paid in his position, where’s the incentive to change. Whilst they continue to paper over the cracks that’s all we’re gonna get.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    “Are footballers really that capable of turning on the brilliance switch for such venal, materialistic reasons? I find it hard to countenance, but the facts are starting to bear out the theory.”

    Do they (the facts) or are you being selective? I believe the players give their best every time they walk onto the pitch otherwise they wouldn’t be top players.

    But then again you may well be right and I am being naive,

    Should he stay or should he go? I do not blame Theo for stalling and think he is acting with respect. His attitude is “I play football , my agents do business”. Ultimately the decision rests with him but one cannot attack a player because he wants to maximise his earning potential.

    I want him to stay but should he leave he will just become another Shaun Wright Phillips – a journeyman player in an opposition shirt who gave up the chance for greatness to “ride the pine”.

  6. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Great write up Rocky. I believe he is off, good luck to him. Personally i believe if he goes he will be lost without Wenger and we will sooner see Sterling or Zaha on the right side in the England set up as regulars.

    On the other hand, if he stays i trully trully believe that within 2 seasons he will become a world beater.

    Walcott to manure? Very possible, in fact i made that statement during the Reading game. Move over Valencia, Van Judas wants his boyfriend back

  7. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Chary, what Wenger wants and what the board want in terms of our players are two very different things……… imo

  8. What I meant to say, PPP, was that the club acts lik a cheap whore when it comes to taking the cash for the highest offer when it comes to selling off our best players; what Wenger says/means is another question altogether.

  9. Alphonsus says:

    Theo no doubt is a deadly finisher and everybody want him to stay, but, the knife and the meat are all in the hands of the manager. We pray that he signs for the club.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Oh dear … Chary has upset the WordPress Gods :-(

  11. Randy, since one of my match reports got barred from Newsnow, WordPress and NN have been in cahooots to muzzle me…the gits !

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Potentially a very depressing read Rocky.
    However, there are some unanswerables.
    Is Theo really demanding a central role?
    What does Arsene really think about this?
    Does Arsene value him as one or equal to, the most valuable players in his squad?
    Do the noises from the board indicate their will be a shift in wage distribution (not structure)?
    .
    What do I think? Well, based on no factual knowledge whatsoever, I’d say it would be bloody madness to let our top scorer go in January as it would cost £25m+ to replace those goals in the same window.
    .
    Thank you for a great thinkster of a post.

  13. slime says:

    There’s a difference between Theo and RvP or Cesc, and that’s that he’s not actually good enough to get in the other top 4 teams who pay out all the money. For that reason, I think he will stay.

    He played well the other night, but the fact is, he should’ve had a hat-trick, and that’s the problem. He is only 23 and will undoubtedly improve, but will he improve if he’s playing 1 in 4 games at a Chelsea or City? No.

  14. Mdi89, for “Bloody madness”(Dec 2012) read “Footballing reasons” (Aug 2012).

    I’ll believe the board/club have changed their policy on selling our best players when I see it.

  15. I don’t think Theo is a deadly finisher. I’m still not bothered one way or the other as long as we replace him.

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Slime,
    If he goes in Jan, I’m certain it will be Utd, and less face it, he’s worth £10m (max) of anyone’s money.
    Picture this: we’re playing Utd, and Nani goes down injured. Theo comes on against Gibbs or Santos. Scared?
    I would be.

  17. Humail says:

    Theo will leave, if we start being rational… Reason he will get better wages and better chances of winning silverware… The only point which would have swayed his preference in favor of us was the regular game time and maybe in his preferred position… But a counter argument to that is, if a player believes he is good enough he will always think he can make his mark anywhere(whether he is proven right or wrong) but no footballer worth his salt wont think he is not good enough. So there goes that point(the only point in or favor) out of the window….

    And even if he is warranted a place as a second choice striker at another club he will accept it. Why? Coz we all know, Arsene wont immediately make him the first choice…. Now if you have to choose between being a winger+second choice striker at chelsea(more chances of silverware) or Arsenal, what will you do(emotions aside plz)… And I have already stated he wont have questions over his starting place if he thinks he is good enough…. So not even an offer of 100k can stop him now unless we match the package what others are offering, which we wont…

    The ship has sailed, we have been a little late in our decision making… Theo off to chelsea!

  18. Fab post Rocky
    I’ve nothing new to add, this subject has been done to death.
    However why would Wenger give him CF role v Reading instead of OG, that doesn’t make sense. So i still believe there is hope.
    One thing for certain is that if he is off, he is definitely trying not to upset the fans, with careful wording in interviews and productive displays on the field.
    Another negative is all the talk of 4 core british players about to sign long term deals, but Theo doesn’t seem to get a mention in the same breath.
    If Theo is going then he ought to repay Wengers faith in him by signing a new contract so that we can get a good fee in the summer.
    If he wants the No1 CF role at another club then he’s going to have to take a step down in club stature to achieve this, unless their is an inferior club out there who would pay through the nose for an overrated english prospect……………..

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM
    Replacing someone with 11 goals before we have reached the half way point won’t be cheap.
    Can I refer you to Chary’s concerns :-(

  20. slime says:

    I think people are getting a little carried away with Walcott this season. Half his goals came in the C1 Cup against Coventry and Reading.

    People have been saying how crap Podolski has been playing yet he’s our top PL scorer this season from the LW!

    Neither of those stats show us the full picture.

  21. Humail
    I’d disagree about him having a better chance of silverware. I think he’ll go to Liverpool. If he’s wanted by the chavs or mancs he’s gone anyway. We have no chance of keeping him.

  22. I was just about to type that slime.

  23. slime says:

    *Podolski meant to read top PL+CL scorer this season.

  24. slime says:

    You can do it next time GM, I f**ked it up! :)

  25. max
    rednose earns more than Wenger. if you’re going to come on and make out we’re stupid get your facts straight

  26. I believe that selling Feo will further confirm our status as a club that is happy to sell anyone if the price is right; the sale of VanJudas was the watershed moment, this will just rub salt into the wound.

    While it’s true half of Feo’s goals came in the Cap One cup, assuming we wanted to progress, it was telling that not having Feo available for the Bradford game meant our attack was shorne of another option – I mean losing to a League 2 team (equivalent to the old 4th division) with our first XI ; that was surely the nadir of despair in recent times ?

    Yes, I know, I’m rehashing an old gripe, it still hurts.

  27. Theo was through on the keeper on Monday night and he messed it up. Two of their players had the same situation and gave Sir Chesney no chance. I’d rather keep him but if he goes i won’t be that fussed. I’d be gobsmacked if the mancs want him. He’s not their type of player. He can’t cross to save his life

  28. Don’t worry GM, if alchyface Fergusscum wants Feo, he’ll make good use of him and get the best out of him, and as all buying clubs know AFC are a total push over when it comes to letting it’s assets go.

    I may hate the red-nosed, scottish front bottom but he does know how to get the best out of his players.

  29. evonne says:

    Rocky – ta, excellent read

    GM + Slim – absolutely! Not that long ago people were calling for Theo’s head, booing him and laughing when he said he wanted to stay at Arsenal. Few good games and 180 degrees change in attitude.

    I am still not convinced by Theo, but would like him to stay and prove me wrong.

    So Walcott, Walcott, Walcott sign da ting, sing da ting

  30. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, Theo can’t be criticised for his behaviour to this point – if he was my son I’d probably advise him to take the course he has chosen (if I wasn’t a gooner :? )

    At the moment, Arsenal is rightly perceived as a club where economics tale priority over footballing ambition. The club is in a vicious circle that has to be broken either by refusuing to sell a player who won’t sign a contract or by bringing in a truly world class player. The problem will be that if we slip further back in the rankings, world class players will not want to join us whatever we are prepared to pay.

  31. LB says:

    If the club sell Theo now they are cheap whores and if they let him run down his contract enabling him to walk in the summer for free they are incompetant……………some of us can see the impossibility of this situation which is one of the reasons that people like me continue to stick up for the manager and the board.

    As for Theo. I cannot improve on this:

    goonermichael says at 10:58 am

    “I don’t think Theo is a deadly finisher. I’m still not bothered one way or the other as long as we replace him.”

    Actually I fibbed, I am very excited about the possibility of replacing Theo.

  32. kelsey says:

    i agree with slime @10.52

    “There’s a difference between Theo and RvP or Cesc, and that’s that he’s not actually good enough to get in the other top 4 teams who pay out all the money. ”

    and I would add that he wouldn’t play central for any of them.it’s all a red herring and that’s why Wenger gave him his first chance on monday.

    Agents will decide his future not AW.

    Thanks again Rocky for a fine post.

  33. RockyLives says:

    Good day all and thanks for the comments.

    I am in the minority of those who thinks Theo is a really, really good player.

    So he missed a one-on-one against Reading? Big deal. BSR missed lots of one-on-ones last season. All strikers do (even TH14).

    His goals and assists stats continually show him to be more effective than other players in his (wide) position (including the media’s favourite performing monkey).

    Can he cut it down the middle? It’s at least worth a try. His speed forces teams to play differently against us and he will finish plenty of his chances (look at how composed and skilled he was for the goal against Reading the other night).

    As for “half his goals came in the C1 cup against Coventry and Reading” – well, fair enough, but let’s not forget that one of those teams is in the EPL. A striker who can bury a few against low-ranking premiership opposition? Yep – that’ll do for me. We certainly haven’t had anyone doing that for us so far this year.

    But as we also know, Theo can score against supposedly better teams too (remember the Spuds at home last year?).

    Anyway, I don’t expect to convince anyone, but I feel Theo is coming into his best years and it’s sad that he will be enjoying them elsewhere.

  34. LB says:

    Yep

    I agree with that kelsey.

  35. LB says:

    Hi Rocky

    Thanks for the post, is it snowing in Toronna yet?

  36. RockyLives says:

    I don’t :)

    If was at ManUre or the Chavs he could play as part of a front two.

  37. LB says:

    I hope Wenger does give Theo more of a try down the middle over the Christmas period. Wigan, West Ham, Newcastle, perfect.

  38. kelsey says:

    RL
    Oh yes a swap with balotelli or Chico would be acceptable :)

  39. RockyLives says:

    Morning (my time) LB :)

    Toronto is pathetic for snow – we’ve had none this year and none in time for Christmas last year. Meanwhile in the Old Country it seems to have been snow snow snow ever since I left to live in Canadia :(

    They call it “lake effect” here – something about how being on Lake Ontario stops us having much snow.

    Go a few hours away to where Gn5 lives and they usually have several feet of it.

  40. LB says:

    Somebody not agreeing with me………is that allowed?

  41. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Believe me, snow is over-rated

  42. Big Raddy says:

    The Torres suggestion was in jest – he is finished but I see Theo at Chelsea as their second striker, especially with Sturridge off to L’Pool

  43. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Can somebody please tell me why Theo is not good enough for any of the top 4 teams?

    We are not talking about the Theo of yesteryear, he has improved a shit load. He may not have reached our expectations yet but he has improved in leaps and bounds. It may be that Theo carries a certain skill set that would suit any of the top 4 clubs. Is he better than that forgotten dude that went from shitty to sunderland? Yes. Is he better than Sinclair? sorry, but Yes. Valencia is starting to get grey hairs and Nani is a has been in the EPL. Better than Moses? Maybe, its your call. Better than Hazard? No, but even that 40mil kid has gone stale for the moment and Theos stats leave most wingers in the league for dead..

    Lets not forget that Theo holds a certain worth amongst clubs because he fits perfectly within the home grown rule, something that ppl fail to adress.

    Funny that in some peoples eyes Theo is not good enough for a top 4 club yet he is an England international. That says it all.

    When talking about wages, Huntellar is on 100k and i promise if we snag him he will not take a wage cut. Yet we dont even want to meet Theo half way on his supposed wage demands. Id rather take a 100k a week punt on a very speedy, home grown and still very young England international who is getting better and better in the Arsenal mould rather than a 30 yr old who no one can guarantee will settle quick enough for our liking.

  44. Rasp says:

    I agree with Rocky, Theo is an asset to the team and the business. The pics of him in training with Jack and the Ox with beaming smiles gives me hope for the future. Theo showed me in the Reading game that he is developing the close skills needed for a centreforward (we already know he’s one of our best finishers) and I see him as a great foil to the physical presence and power of Giroud.

  45. Rasp says:

    We definitely don’t need Huntelaar, I prefer Giroud …. and so do the Emirates faithful. For once our supporters can’t be criticised for being impatient or fickle, Giroud was receiving great suppoprt before he started scoring because we could all see how hard he was working for the team.

  46. RockyLives says:

    Great comment PPP

    LB
    I thought it was safe to disagree since Micky said you’re a pussycat.

    But then a tiger is also a pussycat…. Hmmmm….
    ;)

  47. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    By the way, can Valencia, Bale, Sinclair, Moses, Nani, Sterling, Lennon etc play centrally? No chance, so our Theo is multi skilled. That is something very enticing to all top clubs, a utility up front

  48. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    Also a great comment (Huntelaar/Giroud).

  49. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Rasp, my referance to Huntellar was purely to do with wages, well that and the fact that he seems to be the flavour of the month. I agree, we dont need Huntellar although it would have been a joy to see him piss on Van Judas’ parade and be the EPLs top scorer in our shirt after last season, but that ship has sailed

  50. Rasp says:

    Hi thanks PPP, I’d like any forward player we get to be younger and quicker than Huntelaar. If we can develop players that are quick in foot and in mind then we will cut defences to pieces. It’s the quality of finishing that sets the really great strikers apart and pushes their value through the roof, and that is why I think we should break our transfer record if we buy another striker – but I like LB’s suggestion that we play Theo up front for our next 3 games and see just how effective he can be, we may not need to break our transfer record!

  51. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Agreed Rasp

    good call LB ;-) meow

  52. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Is there any chance of turning Pedros’ head if Theo leaves?
    Marco Reus or Muller?

    All three players can play on the wing in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 and can also tuck in behind the striker in a 4-4-1-1.

    @ JM, HELP?

  53. Rasp says:

    I’d love it if we played 4:2:3:1 – or at least gave it a try.

  54. jjgsol says:

    I wonder why so many people think that the fact that TW has not signed so far is the club’s fault. That they have been, somehow, negligent, in allowing his contract to run down.

    They forget that it takes 2 to tango. A contract has 2 parties and if one party does not wish to sign, then there is no contract.

    Where one party seeks a wage considerably hgher than his employer eiither values him at or can afford, then it is not the employer’s fault.

    THis is what has happened with all the previous players, except for CF, who was allowed to go because his heart was clearly not in playing for us anymore.

    In truth, it invariably comes down to money. Since the rise of the money-bags clubs, it is not surprising that our better players have all sought those clubs where they get more (and much more) money, and a chance of a winner’s medal, which, in recent years, has been more likely at one of those clubs.

    A bit of reallity can do not harm.

  55. VCC says:

    It’s official….Arsenal v West Ham on boxing day has been cancelled due to a rail strike.

  56. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    :-(

  57. Rasp says:

    Fair point jjgsol although the post doesn’t suggest that the club has been negligent and I cannot see many references in the comments – but I agree it is something that the ill-informed often spout.

    As I said earlier, we need to make Arsenal an attractive proposition to players again and that will not be easy to achieve as we are perceived as a soft target when it comes to lifting our players. We may not have the spending power of the big 3 in the UK but we are (should be), head and shoulders above all the other PL clubs.

  58. Rasp says:

    The cancellation of the game could be good news as it means we will not be playing a game every 3 days – but if they rearrange it to midweek between two saturday games, that advantage will be lost.

  59. slime says:

    The point of Theo not being good enough for the other top 3 clubs is based on him playing centrally. Is he a better striker than Rooney, RvP, Aguero, Tevez, Torres? No. Chelsea is the only one you could have an argument for, but if they weren’t willing to take a risk on Sturridge then I can’t see them letting Theo be their striker for the next few years. If you can buy anyone in the world, your not looking at Theo.

    As for playing out wide, Valencia/Nani, Hazard/Mata, Nasri/Silva? I think he would get more games playing RW for these teams but still wouldn’t be first choice.

    I’ve no doubt he can be great, but if he’s playing 1 in 3 games then that won’t happen.

    I still think he will sign.

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    The Christmas fixture pile up is the same for everyone, aNd it will be rescheduled for a midweek between two games.
    I can’t imagine it could be better placed than between Wigan away and Newcastle home.
    I see the cancellation as a real bummer.
    Particularly for families as Boxing day is a traditional event for many.

  61. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Rasp, Micky,
    The game has been re-arranged to 23rd or 26th of January. That would be straight after our chelski game and before our FA Cup tie. Not good in my books

  62. Rasp says:

    Fair point Micky – but you never know, Diaby may be fit by the time they replay the fixture :roll:

  63. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Arsenal have announced that their Barclays Premier League contest against West Ham United on 26 December has been postponed.

    The decision has been taken in the wake of confirmation of industrial action on the London Underground that day.

    “We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused supporters”
    Arsenal statementThe rearranged match will take place on Wednesday 23 January or Saturday 26 January, depending on the two clubs’ results in the FA Cup third round which takes place on the first weekend of January.

    “This decision has been made now, due to the preparation period needed to safely operate Emirates Stadium by all the relevant agencies,” read a statement on Arsenal’s official website.

    “The Club liaised closely with all the relevant agencies, including the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Underground, The Premier League, West Ham United FC and Islington Council, in order to reach this decision.

    “The paramount concern was always the duty of care towards the Arsenal supporters, West Ham United supporters, matchday employees and workers and indeed everyone who was planning to attend the game on Boxing Day.

    “We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused supporters but we feel that the right decision has been made.”

  64. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Sorry. Taken from the official Barclays Premier league web site

  65. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    @ Rasp.
    Diaby fit? :lol: Give up the cricket, your true calling is comedy

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We are in a fight for 4th. Theo’s goals/assists/pace are valuable.
    Can anyone suggest an affordable replacement that has all of those attributes, and I mean now, this season, ready to hit the ground running?
    Ox is not that man yet imo.
    I think the man we need would cost £25m.
    So, which option makes more sense for this season at least?

  67. I agree Mdi89 – it’s all very well acting like a spurned/jilted ex-girlfriend by saying “Theo can go, he’s no good anyway” but the the truth is we will have to spend more to replace him with equivalent quality that is PL ready.

    If there is a PL striker scorinhg more goals at the moment than there’s no team in the PL that would want to get rid of such a player, only Arsenal would do that, especially to Shitty or ManUre, we just can’t resist the filthy lucre.

  68. kelsey says:

    We could have bought defoe 2 seasons back.he didn’t get a look in under Harry and would have been a good asset. Not as fast as theo but more central and can shoot and score equally as good/bad as theo and he wouldn’t have cost 12 million.

  69. LB says:

    No football on Boxing Day, that is just plain cruel, now I will have to spend the whole day with the inlaws.

  70. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    Nice Post! :-)

    (1) You are nothing if not consistent in your assessment of Theo’s value to AFC.

    I am amused that many (?), well, some, of the fans who were berating Theo have changed their minds and are desperately keen for Arsene to pay him whatever he is demanding – including a contractual clause stating he can become our new goal keeper, or first choice Centre Half, if that is what he wants.

    Why? Well the news that Manure might want him has had a cataclysmic effect on their assessment of Theo’s skill sets. :-)

    (2) Theo will not leave. And this from someone who is just as consistent in saying “I am still not convinced about him”. Me! :lol:

  71. slime says:

    We shouldnt be assuming that Theo will let us know before the end of the window.

    If he’s smart he will try and hold out until after the window, thus forcing the club to give in to any demands or lose him on a free. Plus, he will be able to negotiate larger prices elsewhere.

    If he doesn’t sign, he has to go. Then it’s up to the club to replace him. I don’t agree with blaming the club for Theo not signing, but I do agree that it’s upto the club to replace him.

  72. LB says:

    If Chelsea spend big on another striker they would probably want to off load someone; do they have anyone we could use? Do we want Sturrage?

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB
    One piece of advice regarding inlaws
    Never make eye contact

  74. LB says:

    Slim

    You’re good. Faultless observations in my not so humble opinion.

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Business head on
    We could pay 15 goal (at least) and 10 assist Theo an extra £2m a year (and make him a £25m asset in the process) or lash out £25m plus wages for a like-for-like replacement (who won’t be available now anyway)
    Errrr

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    One big proviso
    If he wants money AND trophies and City/Utd/Chavs come in, we’re buggered.

  77. slime says:

    LB,

    Sturridge is Liverpool bound.

  78. ST says:

    “Wenger has been benching him and refusing to play him centrally precisely because he knows that he is going to leave.”

    That’s really far fetched. How about the fact we had Adebayor (62 goals in 114 starts), RVP (132 in 211 starts). Also playing fast players only really works when teams play a high line. How effective have Owen, Bent, Defoe been in their careers when they had explosive place. They have blown hot and cold, the modern great forward offers much more.

  79. RockyLives says:

    ST
    You’re right to question that statement – and in fact none of us knows the truth. But I disagree that it’s far fetched. If AW is convinced Theo is most likely to leave, he’s hardly going to want to restructure the team around him only to have to start all over again next season.

    Michael Owen is a good name to mention because if (and I do mean IF) Theo can play centrally, Owen would be the best role model for him. Owen was devastating until he started to suffer serious injuries, then he lost a yard of pace and was never the same player again.

  80. RockyLives says:

    Micky @2.10

    Spot on Sir!

  81. JM says:

    @PPP 1:29 pm

    No chances of getting Pedro(contract till 2016), Alexi Sanchez(contract till 2016), Cristian Tello(contract till 2016) & Isaac Cuenca(contract till 2015) in terms of putting up the transfer fees+player’s wages+agent fees. Barcelona play 4-3-3, though the front 3 forwards would adapt to our 4-2-3-1 either in the AM-C/L/R or CF positions.

    There might be a chance of David Villa(contract till 2014) leaving Barcelona next (with Neymar looking to join them after WC2014), although he is already 31yrs old this year.

    Thomas Muller is also on long term contract (till 2017) @Bayern Munich, and he will like to win more at the German club firstly (Bundesliga & CL titles) before considering even to venture abroad.
    Marco Reus just started his 1st season with Dortmund and also on a long term contract (till 2017) and as such is unlikely to consider another move too soon.
    Both Reus and Muller could of course play in the 4-2-3-1 and its variations (as what they are doing in their club and national teams), although not an easy transition to a 4-3-3 as the players’s roles and responsibilities in that team are different.

    Should Walcott leave ….

    Category A:

    Some other players (who are playing in their senior club teams) to look into (which could involve big fees):

    (1) Stephan El Shaarawy(AC Milan/Italy), 20yrs, 16 goals & 4 assists
    - Serie B Best Player of the Year in 2011

    (2) Henrikh Mkhitaryan(Shakhtar Donetsk/Armenia), 23yrs, 20 goals & 8 assists
    - Armenian Footballer of the Year in 2009, 2011

    (3) Andre Schurrle(Bayer Leverkusen/Germany), 23yrs, 6 goals & 8 assists

    (4) Evgen/Yevhen Konoplyanka(Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk/Ukraine), 23yrs, 5 goals & 5 assists
    - Ukrainian Footballer of the Year in 2011, 2012
    - UEFA Europa League Team of the Year in 2012

    Category B:

    Youth players in their reserve teams of top teams.

    (1) Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona B/Spain), 18yrs, 11 goals & 6 assists
    - UEFA U-19 Championship Golden Player in 2012

    (2) Jese Rodriguez Ruiz(Jese) (Real Madrid B/Spain), 19yrs, 15 goals & 4 assists
    - UEFA U-19 Championship Top Scorer in 2012

    (3) Denis Cheryshev (Real Madrid B/Russia), 21yrs, 6 goals & 5 assists

  82. Red Arse says:

    Didit, Esq, :-)

    Your advice, “Never make eye contact!” is splendid!

    I find it works a treat when blogging!! :lol:

  83. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Stop staring at me!
    And grinning!

  84. Red Arse says:

    Rock A Bye,

    How do you know I am grinning — I am — but my smileys and the avatar/gravatars have gone walk-about!

    Probably my laptop, but it is more likely to be that no account, cotton picking Rasper! By the way — while you are working out explanations, Rockafeller, where have my seasonal, AA snowflakes gone? :lol:

  85. Red Arse says:

    Doh!

    Just as I posted my comment, the ‘lights’ came back on, telepathy – now, where are my snowflakes? :D

  86. RockyLives says:

    Hear hear!

    Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow!

  87. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ve awoken from my slumber to bring great tidings from Arsenal.com

    AW strikes again…………….

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Five young internationals sign new contracts

    Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that five of its young internationals have today signed new long-term contracts.

    The quintet of Kieran Gibbs (23), Carl Jenkinson (20), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (19), Aaron Ramsey (21) and Jack Wilshere (20), who are all full internationals, and between them have already made more than 350 first-team appearances for the Gunners, have all committed their long-term futures to Arsenal.

    All five players who have signed new deals represent British countries. Midfielder Ramsey has made the most appearances for his country, playing 24 times and also captaining the Wales national team. The other four players who have put pen to paper on new deals, are all full England internationals. Defender Jenkinson is the most recent to win his first cap, making his full England debut in November in the friendly international in Sweden. Defender Gibbs was a regular under-21 international and has now won two England caps, with midfielder Wilshere representing the Three Lions on nine occasions.

    Manager Arsène Wenger said: “We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts. The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players, in order to get them to develop their talent at the Club. Jack is certainly the best known, the leader of this group – but the other four players are exceptional footballers, and we’re very happy that we could conclude their new deals at the same time.

    Wenger continued: “Gibbs, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey and Wilshere represent a core of the squad and it’s an extension for a long period for all of them. I’m a strong believer in stability and I believe when you have a core of British players, it’s always easier to keep them together and that’s what we’ll try to achieve going forward.”

    Everyone at Arsenal Football Club looks forward to the continued contribution of Kieran, Carl, Alex, Aaron and Jack in the forthcoming years.

  88. johnnie nyc says:

    great post Rocky. I think Theo would love to reuinite with VP at MU, but then, he would be a winger forever..never a striker as he wants. AND, i dont see why everyone doesnt get what i’ve been saying—FINALLY (i think) Micky has expressed today, all of what he is saying makes sense. why lose Theo for next to nothing, or nothing. when we can sign him at the higher number, (we offered Nasri a higher wage before he left) and if it works out with Theo- great- and we have also made a statement about keeping our prime aged talent, if not, he can be sold later for still much more than now with contract running out……….
    of course, using my logic, this decision to pay him should have been done much earlier. and Arsene shouldnt have been so stubborn in not giving him a run at striker. Theo earned a few games opportunity at striker by improving his finishing greatly in the past 2 seasons. people are too harsh on his misses, focused on the negative…………..
    i wanted to sell him a year ago, and did a post here saying so. his improvement has changed my mind- and i think there is still upside possibility because it was his dream to be a striker for us. I love Arsene, but what a mess he has made of this.

  89. johnnie nyc says:

    and Rasp, i liked your point about the fans being patient with Giroud. Most of us were saying he was playing well and would come good, even when he wasnt scoring—noting his intelligent runs, team play and assists. I felt that way, and was surprised how many agreed with me, although, of course the media was on his back for not scoring after 2 matches. but we fans stuck with him..

  90. slime says:

    GN5,

    That’s great news, and it puts the pressure on Theo. Hes going to be made look a bit of a traitor for leaving when this 5 have all just committed to the cause. Great move by the club and good timing.

    For anyone who doesn’t know, there’s a great website called http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk it’s like eBay for footballers! It’s a great place to look at possible targets.

  91. weedonald says:

    Well Rocky, it looks like Wenger’s youth policy is bearing fruit. Regarding Theo, I have the feeling that this time it will be different:

    1) Theo is DEFINITELY not RVP, Nasri or any of those other mercenaries who abandoned the Club that nurtured them.
    2) He has shown some talent as a central striker and Aw is no fool…he will try him out a few more times in that position, as he did with TH…and if it works, we are all for the better.
    3) AW, as I may have mentioned already, has more football nous in his little toe than the entire mob of his detractors combined…he knows how to manage his resources and will likely succeed with Theo.
    4) Theo seems to really want to stay but AW is not one to be blackmailed so things are very delicate at the moment.
    5) The Board seems to have provided Aw with funds to meet his needs for strengthening the Club but left the strategy up to Wenger, a wise move indeed.
    6) We have spent 90K so far this season so AFC, contrary to media myths, is ready to spend, but wisely and surgically.

    If we had kept all the players who left, would the 5 kids we resigned have ever been able to find a place in the first team? We didn’t do much better (in 2006 maybe) with those guys than we are doing with our youth and senior players right now so project youth is still alive and flourishing…and a good thing that it is!

  92. GunnerN5 says:

    weedonald,

    Wise and thoughtful words.

  93. kgooner says:

    Hello to all! 3 months ago most gooners weren’t sure about Theo. Now, the tables have turned, majority now want him to stay.
    I am of the opinion that if left to him, he’ll wind down his contract till the end of the season. Give his all for the club and at the end, decide whether to stay or leave based on the prevailing conditions at the time (club’s league position and interests).

    There is however a different side to this on whether the club is willing to let him leave for free or cut their losses and sell him in January? Therein lies the dilemma and hats off to Theo for playing his cards right.

    The best we can hope out of this is that we know he’ll give us a good run of games over the holidays before the January window closes when we’ll know for sure. Those games are crucial for us right now and am ok with him leaving in January if he impresses. I hope we break our transfer limit in January and make some good signings if he leaves. He is good, but not irreplaceable. His departure is unlikely to leave a gaping hole like in BSR’s case. A class winger + a striker will more than make up for his departure. IMO.

  94. dandan says:

    Fine article Rocky, as one who has never doubted Theo as a player or a person I am not in the least surprised that he is proving his worth now that we have lost ball demander’s like RVP and Cesc. He now has the space, pace and opportunity to show all those anti Theo Arsenal fans just how ill informed they were in demanding he leave. Whisper it quietly but it seems that even the mighty Kelsey may be changing his mind, who would have thought it :-)
    If i was a brave man I would point out that RA never can make his mind up :-)

    Rocky my Brother lives round the corner from GN5 so to speak and he gets so fed up with the snow that he tends to be a Snow bird. Florida the Caribbean and even Europe call him every year after Christmas.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Worst case scenario is that Theo leaves in January. We may get a few bob for him but so what. It will just give more ammunition to those who say we are a selling club.

    I would offer him €100k p.w. and a €5m signing on fee – if he won’t take it then nothing will persuade him.

    IMO. Our real problem is not even on-field. For many years TH was the “face ” of AFC , then it was Cesc, then BSR and now Theo. We have to have a name the kids know and constantly losing them is damaging.

  96. Big Raddy says:

    It is strange. I do not begrudge Theo maximising his earning potential but I am bloody furious about the London Underground swine who earn a fraction of of Theo’s wages

  97. dandan says:

    BR Paying them all obscene bonuses to do a few hours overtime during the Olympics made this strike a certainty, Rail unions! ask any hard pressed commuter what they would do with them and you will probably get a very rude answer.

  98. weedonald says:

    Gunner N5….thanks. I had a few more thoughts about Walcott and his relationship to the other British Gunners Wenger has developed:

    1) This British spine, which so many feeble-minded fickle plastic fanboys whine on about, is now almost in place and that includes Walcott. This is Wenger’s greatest achievement and proves that those faithless anti-Wenger cretins should stick to FFM and leave the real management to the master.
    2) Wenger’s strategy now seems to be to blood as many of these kids in different positions, and beside different seniors in order to find the right chemistry and balance. The morons screaming for Wenger’s head and at the same time whining for us to buy,buy,buy fail to realize that bringing in more experienced and far more costly ¨stars¨ hasn’t really worked for Shitty and Chelsea.
    3) Our biggest concern should be Clubs like Shitty and Manure poaching or tapping up our best like the OX,Walcott, Wilshere etc. as they did with countless others beforehand.These are immature kids who can easily be star-struck by so-called silverware hypnosis and crafty agents like Dein the lesser and SAF’s allure.
    4) The Board and Wenger, as well as Gazidis seem to want to preserve the best elements of our current wage structure while modifying those that need it…a wise choice indeed. IMO Walcott is a test case for future tactics when faced with situations like RVP, etc.

    what do you think?.

  99. Red Arse says:

    DD,

    You could be right about my vacillations.

    I have been known to say that if my principles don’t suit, I am sure I have another lot lying around somewhere! :-)

    Ditto my opinions. They are not facts and I am open to persuasion by those with a convincing case that differs from my own.

    To recap, I was excited by Theo joining us, as I had seen him play against us as a junior and for the England U21s, and he was fantastic.

    I have been less than enthusiastic with his first team performances since then, and I am not bothered if he leaves or stays, (subject to a suitable replacement).

    A few cracking performances and I would swiftly change my mind.
    Can’t see it tho’! :-)

    There are some things I will never change my mind about, but I am happy to agree with you, my mind is not a closed book and can be changed (sometimes more than once) by better information, a persuasive tongue or a different perspective! :lol:

    Go… the vacillators of the world!!

  100. RockyLives says:

    WeeD
    I am in broad agreement with you, but saying that “bringing in more experienced and far more costly ¨stars¨ hasn’t really worked for Shitty and Chelsea” surely can’t be right.

    If you asked their fans whether they would prefer to go back to pre-Abra and pre-Arab days they would most definitely say no.

    Two clubs who hadn’t had a sniff of a league title for decades both now have those baubles to dangle – and the Chavs have the ECL too.

    Not saying I’m jealous of them – I like the way we’re doing things at Arsenal. But one of the problems with the current league set-up is that you can buy trophies.

  101. RockyLives says:

    dandan
    There are a lot of Candian snow birds. Florida is full of them at this time of year :)

  102. Red Arse says:

    weedonald,

    You make a lot of sense with your comments, and I agree with much of it.

    It is a pity that you use unnecessarily pejorative terms to describe others who disagree with you tho’.

  103. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I know some NYPD guys who like to flee to Florida in the winter too.

    One of them, who is very funny but not someone to be crossed, told me, 3 or 4 years ago, that he preferred to drive down, and put his foot down whenever he had the chance.

    The upshot was that on more than one occasion he was stopped by the local police in other States, and when I asked him what happened, because it must have been embarrassing, he told me “I show em dis (waving his badge) and den I show em dat (waving his service revolver) and my brothers wave me on — and what the fook are you doin’ sittin’ dere grilling me without a beer in yer paw?”

    Cops, eh? :D

  104. the rail unions are greedy scum. Give me bankers any day. they work much harder.

  105. There are people on twatter moaning that we’ve signed our young players up then moaning that walcott is going. Some people are just whingers

  106. chas says:

    Great post, Rocky.
    Theo is definitely back on the menu, discussion-wise.
    Sign da ting, Theo. Prove to us that it isn’t all about the money.

    Wilshere left-footed, right-handed. Gibbs a leftie both ways.

    GM,
    Whenever you talk about people moaning on twitter, they are never on my timeline. I suppose I must have unfollowed them ages ago. :)

  107. kelsey says:

    I feel one has to be more than ever very careful what one says on here.
    All of us to the best of my knowledge are committed supporters regardless if we attend or not,but I always wear my heart on my sleeve and don’t mince words.
    dandan,my dear friend, I haven’t changed my mind about Walcott and if i was a betting man i would suggest that whatever the outcome is with theo, it has already been decided by all parties concerned.
    If i feel that certain players do not come up to standard for a club such as Arsenal even allowing for an extended transition peruiod I would say it,but that is not a rant or vendetta against a particular player.
    The one bright spark for me this season has been Santi,he makes me enjoy our football again after a couple of indifferent seasons and though one man doesn’t make a team I enjoy watching us play when he is playing as he did at reading.
    I still maintain that we have more than a fair share of average players apart from the deadwood but I and all on here can’t change that,though many will disagree with me.
    hopefully we are going in the right direction and AW has to give thought as to who plays where as we saw for a great proportion of the game on monday that “we were up for it”. that’s all i want for now. A fight from the team to give all regardless of the result. We need at least two more quality signings to make that happen more consistently IMO

  108. kelsey says:

    Bitscores is back on line folks

  109. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey, oh yee of the silvery barnet, I am tempted to ask you which players you would place into which category — ‘deadwood’, ‘average’ and ‘acceptable quality’ — but I am afraid it might occasion a great argument in this pre-festive season. :D

    Of course you could just tell us who is in the ‘acceptable quality’ group, and we could secretly make up our minds about the rest! :-)

    To start you off, I think the following are in that group – now let me see;

    Chezzer, Sagna, Gibbs, Mert, Kozzer, Verm, Jack, Arteta, Ox, Cazzor, Pod and Giro. Where does that leave us — umm, that’s 12 players — so away you go!!!! :P

  110. dandan says:

    Kelsey I thought my reference back at 6.07 might have made you smile, I did after all say “might” and added a smiley it was meant to be a bit of gentle fun, knowing how serious you are about all things Arse. As was my little pop at RA and if you read his reply you will see he took it as such, but if it upset you I apologise my friend.
    Ring me when you can, would be good to talk

  111. kelsey says:

    dandan,

    no offence taken you know me :)

    RA I will have to think about this in a little more detail after Xmas festivities.

  112. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Rocky. Yes. Theo might stay or he might go. He could decide he wants his future with us or else were. The money might be enough it might not. As you can see, i am a bit on the fence about the outcome. hahaha

    All that matters is that Arsenal have a new strategic plan to go forwards. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my belief is that the club intend to build a new team with a British spine allied with excellent foreign talents.

    The above will be done in conjunction with increased turnover providing the backbone for competive salaries as well as legislation from footballs governing bodies providing a framework which will benefit clubs who are self sufficent.

    I have no idea about Theo, but i have no doubts about our future.

    We will build, and just as importantly maintain, a team that with the guidance of one of the greatest managers of his generation, cement our place at the very top.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stiring

  113. Sheep Hagger says:

    Hi
    Few in tonight I see the Boxing Day game is off tube strike ?.
    We don’t have them in Wales.
    Good to see the famous five signing up today for us keep them at arsenal.

  114. RockyLives says:

    We often bash the club for its PR ineptitude, but signing up the five young Brits in one hit and doing a five-way press conference was really nicely done.

    Although I was expecting Louis Walsh to appear at any moment and announce that he was launching them as a boy band.

  115. Rasp says:

    GiE, if you’re watching, can you send a more up to date spre
    eadsheet of your widget showing 17 games (except the chavs) please

  116. Sheep Hagger says:

    The famous five may do a Xmas single
    Featuring Shaking Stevens

  117. Get in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  118. Rasp says:

    I’e just updated the widgets. Theo is top of the goalscorers by 3 on 11 and equal top of the assists with 7 and the season hasn’t reached half way yet

  119. I stopped following all the moaners too chas. People keep retweeting negative stuff though.

    bollocks chelsea goalie had that

  120. Gooner in Exile says:

    Interesting post today Rocky, and interesting comments.

    Anyone else see that Balotelli finally accepted his two week pay (max under PFA rules) fine today…..figure given £340,000.

    Thats £170k per week, now assuming Theo is better or as good as Mad Mario and assuming his agents have hawked him around a fair bit, and knowing that he has no transfer fee if he leaves in the summer, just how much of a payrise will it take to keep him at the Emirates?

    Thankfully a we have now signed up Jack, Rambo, Ox, Jenkinson and Gibbs to 5 year deals they cant go straight in and ask for another payrise if the club do decide to give in to his demands.

  121. Sheep Hagger says:

    I’m oft the age were I call Leeds
    Dirty Leeds. Gives my age away .

  122. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp on its way

  123. I just noticed I was mentioned in the post :)

  124. RockyLives says:

    GM
    I hope your ex-wives don’t read AA :)

  125. chavs running away with this now

  126. I hope they do Rocky

    you nasty cows (except number 3) :)

  127. RockyLives says:

    Well, at least if the Chavs win we won’t feel so bad about our exit.

    If the Chavs go out there isn’t a single “top” team left.

  128. RockyLives says:

    Ah… good old Number 3…

  129. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, your widget is now up to date

  130. Sheep Hagger says:

    Swanz villa and Bradford in the draw

  131. Sheep Hagger says:

    Living in swansea as I do I hope they win it they have never won a cup final .
    But I’m still a gunner,
    Much love
    Sheepy.

  132. Hi all, really busy at the moment so just popping in to ask for posts for the next three days please ……………

    I

  133. Sheep Hagger says:

    Wat u doing peaches face books ?

  134. RockyLives says:

    Sheep
    Are you in Swansea itself?
    I’ve spent a fair bit of time along the coast from Swansea in a place called Caswell. very nice too.
    Seen the Whites play quite a few times too.

  135. weedonald says:

    Red Arse……I agree I am pejorative to a certain degree when dealing with blinkered and persistently stupid so-called ¨supporters¨ who seek to demean anything Arsenal because they cannot abide anyone being constructive or positive. Until those birds have flown South, I will continue to take potshots at them but will tone it down a bit, as i respect this sites openness to all. I hope my comments will entice intelligent and constructive debate….afterall that is what we need the most at this time.

  136. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just thinking aloud, how important is it to secure Szcesny and Miquel to long term deals?

    I think they are both talented, Szczesny loves the club it would seem and has a presence about him that is growing even bigger, loved the two high ball claims he made inthe Reading game, think he has to be a little less risky with the ball at his feet.

    Miquel is maybe not so much in love with the club but has been with us a while an played with most of the youngsters that signed today, and is a similar age.

  137. Sheep Hagger says:

    Yes rocky I’m in mumbles.
    4 miles from swansea

  138. RockyLives says:

    Mumbles – very nice place Hagger.

  139. Gooner In Exile says:

  140. chas says:

    In order of difficulty?
    Barca
    Bayern
    Dortmund, Juventus, PSG, Malaga about level.

    Malaga would be a great trip.
    Munich was lovely.
    The Westfalenstadion looks well worth a visit.
    Don’t fancy Paris or Turin.
    So Barcelona it is then. :)

  141. kelsey says:

    Morning chas.

    It’s a lottery but I fancy we will get Dortmund or Bayern.20% chance we get Barca.

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    End of the world tomorrow apparently.
    Anyway, great news about Bitscores for saturday.
    Thanks for that Kelsey.

  143. chas says:

    kelsey,
    1 in 6 = 20%?

  144. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Yes. That is great news about Bitscores

    I hope we draw PSG. I think we can beat them

  145. Big Raddy says:

    Why is it the End of the World tomorrow?

  146. Big Raddy says:

    Bitscores Still doesn’t open. What makes you think they are resurrected?

  147. Rasp says:

    Morning guys, we’re desperate for a post for today if anyone has any ideas?

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mayan Prophecies. Some Frenchies are gathering in the Pyrenees to be whisked away by Aliens :-)
    PANIC
    Cannot find Bitscores

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey Rasp

  150. Big Raddy says:

    Mmmmm Let me think.

    Nope nothing we haven’t covered in depth…. wait a minute ….. I have an idea ….. but have I time to write it? …….. Yes, I do.

    Can I write it by 9.30? Mm Maybe at a stretch.

    Will it be entertaining? Does it matter?

    OK. I will start now ……..

  151. Adrian says:

    This is a really long post and I would firstly like to apologize for this.

    Theo is not a deadly finisher? I’d love it if those who think so could name me who they think is a better finisher in the squad besides probably Podolski or even better yet, who else is a better finisher in that CF spot. Giroud? No, he isn’t a bad player but Theo’s finishing atm is without a doubt better than him. More on Giroud later. Chamakh? Ha-ha.

    I think too many here are focusing on Theo’s 1 on 1 miss against Reading (mind you, TH, Rvp, or even Messi misses 1 on 1, not even the greatest striker manages to score in every single 1 on 1 situation) and not on his contributions or his goal which he scored with a cool finish. That game against Reading while arguably not the most free flowing we have witnessed, was probably one of the best games in terms of free flowing football and crisp passing armed with lots of attacking play that we have seen this season. The fact that we’ve been served totally dismal and poor football for the past couple or months or so only made the Reading game so much more pleasurable to watch.

    I would like to give some credit to Theo for Cazorla’s amazing performance and hat trick the other night. Theo made some great runs and every single time he did, he pulled defenders away which opened up a great deal of space for our midfield players to push further up. His intelligent run also seen him being placed in a 1 on 1 with the keeper which unfortunately he didn’t score. Nevertheless, I was quite impressed with his performance the other night and he capped it off with a decent goal with a cool finish which settled all fears of a comeback (I know, Reading wasn’t exactly world class but hey, neither was Bradford.)

    I know a minority of the people here aren’t exactly convinced of Theo, but IMO generally we play much better when he’s on the pitch. Theo’s performance in that CF spot the other day was miles better than any of Gervinho’s which makes it seem all the more atrocious when you realize that Wenger has been playing Gervinho in that CF spot all season so far. On to Giroud. I like Giroud as a player and he is an intelligent player with a decent footballing brain and has an amazing work rate, but unfortunately I don’t think we play very well with him. He has had his flashes on brilliance while playing for us but ultimately, it’s the way that he makes us play and not the player he is that leads to me concluding that we play better without Giroud. I have observed that we tend to hoof the ball up every single chance we get (which is very un-arsenal like and doesn’t match our footballing philosophy) when OG is on the pitch and let’s just say that our crossing isn’t anywhere near world class and we don’t get the best out of OG. We play much better with the ball on the ground as most of our players have been cultured to play that way. While OG can hold up play for us, it is highly unlikely that he can outpace or dribble pass a CB which makes our forward line static. Which is why I say that we play better with Theo on the pitch (this is just my opinion, I realize that not everyone will agree with me on this). We just aren’t a team suited to hoof the ball up ala Stoke. Giroud however could prove to be a valuable player against teams like Stoke/WHU.

    About Theo’s contract, imagine how bad it would look if once again we lost another of our first squad players. That will truly nail the image of Arsenal being a feeder club and it’s time to end this vicious cycle once and for all. We need to send a message to other clubs that we’re not to be pushed around in the transfer window. I know it takes two to tango, but IF its just a matter of ten or twenty grand, just give it to Theo for goodness sake. In the event that Theo leaves and we need to seek a replacement for him, the transfer fee for his replacement will not come cheap if we’re looking for a player who is in the same caliber or perhaps better than him. Even if Arsenal wanted to sell Theo in the future, he will have great resale value which makes it even more absurd to not come to terms with Theo for the sake of 10 or 20 thousand dollars (If reports are to be believed that he is holding out for 100k per week. Ofc, it could be that he’s simply waiting to leave to another team for a huge signing on bonus but I do believe that Theo actually likes the club. Then again as Big Raddy mentioned, we could offer him a 5M signing on fee as well which honestly isn’t a bad idea.)

    Basically, I sincerely hope that Theo will stay and it’d be a great Christmas present as an Arsenal fan if he did as I truly believe we play better with him and he could have the potential to be truly world class under Wenger’s guidance. He has improved leaps and bounds the past couple of seasons and I do not think he will stop to improve anytime soon.

  152. kelsey says:

    Raddy,

    didn’t you get an e mail with a link,mine opens they had Leeds v Chelsea on last night
    Chas 20% think again

  153. kelsey says:

    Change of name lads:

    Our servers are back online – your subscription has been updated to benefit for a month of free hosting.

    *Note that we changed the website address, you can find it below.*

    You can login at the following address: http://dhmediahosting.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ee71dbf2a8a47a3adfe1b6ab9&id=9f206f3db2&e=fb4267d856

    ==============================================
    You are receiving this email because you have an active membership on our website.

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Got an idea :-)

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, looks like Raddy is on it.

  156. Rasp says:

    We need one for tomorrow too micky :P

  157. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey
    Managed to get in using your link. My membership expired 18.12.12 so may be why I didn’t get email. Still opens though. Strange. Do you think they’ve cut me some slack as paid while site down?
    Won’t let me renew.

  158. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    Okedoke, although I won’t be around to take the flak as I’m off to The Metropolis for the night.

  159. kelsey says:

    Don’t know micky.

    they have given me 30 days grace based on my 2 months subs.

  160. kelsey says:

    Looking at the league table United have conceded 24 goals, 2 more than Southampton in 17th.

    if only our attack had turned draws into wins we would be at least be closer in points terms to united.

  161. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning, mes amis, :-)

    Bitscores are on the run it seems!

  162. Rasp says:

    chas, I’ve just noticed we haven’t listed TV’s goal in the C cup – do you know who got the assist?

  163. Big Raddy says:

    OK Post done- a little whimsical tale from Raddy’s past

  164. Kelsey is right chas 20% we can’t play Shalke, the mancs or ourselves.

  165. slime says:

    Rasp,

    It was Cazorla.

  166. slime says:

    Morning Kelsey,

    The more amazing stat is the 18GD we are better off than Norwich, yet only 2 points above them!

  167. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Moaning all,

    @Adrian, agree with every single word, and for me you dont have to apologise for a well written post/comment no matter how long.Hats off son.

    Champions League draw, Hmmmmmm, after progressing through the group stage with some nervy displays i was sort of hoping we would get knocked out immediatley in the next stage. Whaaaaat?? Ease up tiger, the reasoning behind this is that when considering our domestic form, we really aren’t hot at the moment, at least not consistently (Reading was a backs to the wall game.)

    For that reason i would like to draw Barca. It would completeley take the pressure off as no one without the rosiest of rose tinted glasses would give us a chance. i also believe it would be the greatest experience out of the 6 possible fixtures for our young ‘uns. In terms of atmosphere, level of technical skill involved both in terms of playing and trying to shut them down. The experience would benefit our pressing game (have we got one?), and it would surely benefit our domestic challenge. Who knows, we have done it before when nobody gave us a shout and Celtic have done it this season. WHO? Yes Celtic. Flukes are also possible as chelski proved?

    Borussia Dortmund are in my eyes the dark horses and i believe they can win it. I just feel that if we draw them, there will be plenty that give us a chance and if we fail i worry that it will have a knock on effect and strip us off any confidence for the EPL, and finishing 4th this season is paramount!

    I believe if we are to have any chance of progressing it has to be against a team that play a slow tempo, who give us a chance to set up and play Arsenball. Malaga is not that team, although i hope for Chas’ sake we draw them. But in saying that, i think going away to Spain is as bad as going to Germany, and we would have to win (no draw)our home game regardless of who we play out of that 4 as i cannot see an away win happening.

    So that leaves two teams. The greasy oiled parisians or the ‘Ginos’ from Turin. At first thought i agree with Raddy, PSG would be great. They play a slow tempo and relatively inexperienced. Then when i think of their line up, i dont think i wanna see Ibrahimovichs big shlong of a nose giving us a hard time, because if it goes his way HE OF ALL PEOPLE has a big mouth and will surely let all the tabloids know. (remember it was he that first suggested he should leave our club!) I believe the man has grudge against us/Wenger from the early days.

    So if we really want to progress its the old lady for me. Good ol zebra stripes Juve. They play a slow tempo but also like to attack in numbers which leaves them vulnerable on the counter, also Theo will want to impress them ;-). On paper we match them, player for player we match them, on form we are nowhere near close but every time we have scalped an Italian nobody gave us a chance and i tend to think we do well against eye-talian teams.

    Sorry for the long comment/back to work for me ;-)

  168. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    * it was he that first suggested that Van Judas should leave our club

  169. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    damn, with a bit of editing that could have been my maiden headline post. So much for losing my virginity ;-) Later all

  170. Rasp says:

    Morning all, thanks to Raddy, we have a …..

    ,,,,, New post …..

  171. kelsey says:

    Whoever we get it’s imperitive we don’t concede in the first leg at home to stand any chance to go further in the competition.

  172. kelsey says:

    i think you do that on purpose to me Rasp :)

  173. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s
    the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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