A message to the boys during a timely break, and the way ahead.

Timely for the purposes of fitness, form, and momentum…

I think we can all see that you – collectively – were struggling.

Chances created, chances spurned…Slow starts…Defensive mistakes…A lack of collective confidence and dropping of heads as goals are conceded, calls have gone against you, and key first-teamers have sustained injuries seemingly at the rate of 1+ per match…All these have been on display as you have struggled mightily during the month of March.

This particular supporter is relieved that Arsenal FC will not play another competitive first team match this month – as I am confident many of you, the players, are. As bad as March has been, however, it could have been even worse…I think we can see some light at the end of the tunnel – it is down to you to make sure the light is not a false dawn.

Some of you are with your national squads, training and getting ready to play for them. Others are rehabilitating from injury. Still more are doing neither of these two things…

Whichever each of you are respectively doing, I urge you to make the best use of the time. If you play/train, try to avoid injury as best you can.

If you are rehabbing, try everything you can to get yourself back for April 2nd (if possible), without overdoing it and extending your period on the sidelines. If you will neither play international football or rehab during these two weeks, use the time to work on things you know you need to improve. It may be finishing off a break from the opposition half, it may be tracking an opposing forward and giving him no place to go…It may be delivering set pieces, it may be improving in-match decision-making…

Regardless of how you are spending this break from club football, please maximize the time you have – including giving your body whatever rest your situation allows – and return ready to go, focused on nothing but the task at hand. Nine games, twenty-seven points…That is all that should matter – it is as simple as that.

If you, as a team, can clear the external distractions out of your minds, and set your focus to attaining that, three points at a time, then we will be in a very, very nice place after the final whistle on May 22nd.

We are all human, so blocking the “other stuff” out of our minds is easier said than done. I certainly struggle with it personally, and I expect many of you do as well. If this is you, why not draw inspiration and extra motivation from it?

I know that many of you read the supporter blogs – and those of you who do not can ask the club’s communications department (who most assuredly read them) or your teammates for a snapshot of the prevailing mood.

As with everything else, supporter moods range from wildly optimistic, to supremely confident, to cautiously positive, to time to start over. Certain players come in for more criticism than others, other players are lavishly praised. This is life. Whatever is being said about you, why not draw inspiration and motivation from it?

If you are one of the players who sections of our support no longer want at the club, why not use this situation as extra motivation to prove those who doubt you wrong? If you are one of the players regularly praised, regardless of results, why not use that praise as a reminder that standards are attained to be exceeded?

After all, it takes only an instant to negate the positive feedback. I will readily admit that some of the comments – at both ends (positive and negative) of the spectrum are extreme, but as supporters, we see things as we are, not necessarily as they are.

Regardless, there is no reason why you cannot use these supporter views as extra motivation for these last few games…

If the supporter view is unimportant to you, that is your choice and I – as a solitary supporter – have absolutely no problem with that. But may I ask if you can recall the last article or match report (from print media, not supporters) saying that you will go on to win the league? Specifically because the bad recent run is not an indication of mental fragility? Or that recent seasons where you sustained early springtime losses in bunches means nothing now because this is a different season?

Neither can I…I don’t like it any more than I suspect you do, but you are once again being labeled a group of mentally weak bottlers, unable to deliver with real pressure on, and predictably collapsing as the season enters the final phase – like clockwork.

Arsene talks about your mental strength at every opportunity, trying to convince everyone that you have what it takes to go the distance – and is roundly ridiculed, both in the media and large sections of our support. However you look at it, only you can change this perception, and your last shot to do it this season is by winning the league.

If whatever points you are able to collect from these final nine games do not add up to first place after the final whistle on May 22nd, you and all us supporters will have another summer to reflect upon what might have been…

But it doesn’t have to end that way.

Let me ask you – why not you? Is there REALLY any reason you cannot win the league title this season? You have injuries – so do Man United. You have a tough run-in. All the other teams in the top five have fixture congestion, Man City and Spurs still in two competitions and United and Chelsea still in three. Slumping from four potential trophies to only one in the space of a few weeks is discouraging enough, but why not use that to your advantage?

Why not take to the pitch determined to jump on these sides, score early and wear them out. And if either Manchester side and/or Spurs exit from one or more of these cups before we play them, then look to increase their misery and suffering – after all, it was only what Barcelona and United did to you.

So…Come back from the break fit, focused, and ready to go. Each and every one of you will have a part to play in the run-in, and each of you must be mentally and physically ready to do your job at a moment’s notice, with one hundred percent commitment and focus.

If you don’t think this is the case, just look at the players who are currently injured. 27 from 9 will do the job, and there will be nothing anyone else can do – that has to be your goal. And it is attainable, so long as you don’t take to the pitch tense, inhibited, and afraid of losing.

You have come up short in the past few seasons and were eliminated from three cups in the past 23 days – you have tasted this failure; you have had more than your share. Is it really something to be so scared of?

Why sell yourselves short by taking the pitch nervous and inhibited? Why cross that touch-line thinking about failure? Why not stride on to the pitch thinking you own the place, the three points are yours, and the opposition can do nothing about it?

This is an opportunity, guys – an opportunity to come of age, accomplish something tangible, silence the doubters and bring the first trophy to Emirates Stadium. It is nothing to shirk from, nothing to be afraid of – nothing at all.

It is an opportunity for you to banish the ghosts of Arsenal sides past and silence all the whispers about you, your character, Arsene, and where our club is headed. It’s an opportunity that very few other sides have – so make it count and go out and win this thing!!

Written by Oliver

107 thoughts on “A message to the boys during a timely break, and the way ahead.

  1. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 9:19am

    good post
    covers the lot from injuries to desire
    only problem is theres no point talking to players like diaby or denilson about any of this stuff, neither have any desire and diaby gets injured getting out of bed..
    morning peeps

  2. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 9:26am

    and without cesc, song and walcott we wont even finish above chelsea..

  3. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 9:29am

    Morning guys, nice one oliver….

    i think fourteen of our squad are representing their country and other than the injured and useless like the double d’s, they wont get a break.

    But, this break is great for Song., Theo and Cesc to get fit and come back ready to whip B’burn….

  4. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 9:30am

    hi jj, we sure need them back, get back to the fast tempo in our game, which has been seriously lacking in their absence…

  5. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 9:31am

    i dont think we fail because we are scared of success..
    we fail because we are not good enough..
    we make the most basic errors seen in the pl…
    utd, chelsea etc do and will get beat but teams have to play bloody good to beat them
    teams can play like shit v us have two shots at goal all game have 20% possession and still go two goals up…
    same ol same ol

  6. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 9:37am

    its not just the tempo ricolicious,
    its the whole balance of the midfield
    losing cesc loses our best creator and losing song loses our best defender..
    losing them both and you end up with a tippy tappy rabble who gets run over..
    the recent stats about never winning a game without song isnt a suprise
    i think about 99.9% of ppl said from the start of the season if song gets tired or injured we are fucked because the squad is overloaded with attacking mids..
    weve only got one song 😉

    only the idiots thought denilson and diaby were able backup..

  7. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 9:43am

    agree re the balance jj but when we play with pace the oppo has fear and it keeps them back but, yes, we sure miss the right balance in midfield, especially when Song doesn’t play….

  8. Erick

    March 25, 2011 at 9:43am

    Morning Friends, Oliver I wish the lads could read this spot on mate. I think Chelsea are in two competitions! I may be wrong

  9. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 9:43am

    Agree to, we lose out because we just aren’t good enough – even rvp has said the same today….

  10. Erick

    March 25, 2011 at 9:45am

    JJ i saw the Song stat and blamed Aw for not buying cover he is the only one who can play DM and Frimpong may be

  11. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 9:50am

    cos rvp dont mince his words..
    think even hes getting sick of it..
    and yeah we miss theos pace as part of that tempo

    hey erick yeah chelsea are in the cl too but they are a machine once they get going, once they go on a winning streak they go on and on, if we dont start picking up some points we can forget about the title altogether and be more worried about chelsea catching us
    they are 4 points behind us and 9 behind the mancs with a game in hand, and they play the mancs..in theory if they beat the mancs and win their game in hand that puts them 3 points behind them..and we need them to beat the mancs to be honest…
    so we need to start winning again…

  12. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 9:54am

    Howdy Erick, i think you are right PL and CL only…

  13. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 9:57am

    But he does say he has no intrest in moving elsewhere which is good – he says he’s very happy at Arsenal…

    its in our hands though, we need to buck up, win our games and the we can’t be caught, but we have a couple of tricky away fixtures, the one v the spuds is going to be the tell tale sign of how much we want this league…

    i still see the mancs and chavs dropping points too though…

  14. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 9:57am

    i got to go and get my potatoes in the ground, back in a hour or so….

  15. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 10:03am

    i dont think he’ll leave arsenal, but hes the same as the average fan, loves the club but wont be blind eyed to where its going wrong

  16. Joaquim Moreira

    March 25, 2011 at 10:37am

    Good post. Nothing to add. The die is cast. We depend on us, our performance, our mental consistency, our will and desire to be real champions!

  17. Steve Palmer

    March 25, 2011 at 10:58am

    Morning all,
    Blinding motivational post Oliver, had me standing to attention, hope the boys take the good advice, they could certainly do with a boost in the right direction. I would suggest Stamina training as the run in will be quite strenuous, I, like the writer believe you can do it if you put your mind to it, work as a team, and look to put that extra bit of commitment in in these few remaining games. I would just like to point out that some of you may not start the next season with us, and i would wish anyone who does not all the best in your next position, but if you are one of those, go with a Premier league cup medal in your pocket and be proud of the fact that you have helped, to make our year.

  18. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 12:02pm

    Boo, hi all :)

  19. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 12:03pm

    Quiet old day again, bring back the PL…..

  20. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 12:19pm

    morning all…amusing indeed, rico – circular reporting of unsourced, speculative nonsense…tsk tsk…

    we may well have a couple of departures in the off, but i cannot see six going. i think one big name (cesc) sale, probably al, and perhaps one of our squad players…no big purchases, the squad to be supplemented with players from the youth set-up…at least that is what i speculate at this time.

  21. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 1:00pm

    Hi oliver – i hope its six :)

  22. Will

    March 25, 2011 at 1:11pm

    This has to be the season Wenger sees half his players are not good enough.

  23. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 1:12pm

    hi rico…i think a change of scenery would benefit some of our players as well, but in what i see of arsene’s current model, i think that outside purchases to supplement the squad are very much the exception to the rule. he has said on numerous occasions that he wants to grow this squad together, and i think that includes almost everyone we have. i expect that he will persist with most of what we have, and subtractions will be minimal – and then more to make room for younger players who are on the verge of a breakthrough. i think anyone expecting a mass clearout and more than one or two purchases will be sorely disappointed.

  24. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 1:16pm

    will, we see that and we say it, but i really don’t expect arsene to change his model here. i expect that he will stick with most of the players who have underperformed in their opportunties – denilson and nik are two who come immediately to mind – in expectation that these players will improve. perhaps nik’s attitude will see him shunted off, but i think that is unlikely…

    i am not in any way saying we don’t need to freshen up the squad – i think we do, and i think we need to adjust how we play as a team as well – but i don’t make these decisions…arsene does, and i have seen nothing (yet) this season to suggest that he will change his current formula.

  25. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 1:17pm

    I think so too Will,

    we have Robin saying we are not good enough and he’s right, six out may sound drastic but to be fair, its pretty much spot on if we want to become real contenders each year and not fall at the final hurdle..

    I don’t however believe we will need six in to replace the outgoings, 3 would be enough, 4 the reality of what we need…

  26. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 1:21pm

    Trouble is though oliver, while we have the likes of Denilosn, Diaby, Nikki in the first team squad the up and coming younger players won’t get their chance.

    Add Almunia to those three and we already have four who need to go – then looking at the reserves we have Hoyte, Randall, Eastmond who need to find themselves the right club and there’s 7 already…

    We have Lansbury, JET, Frimpong, Chuks, Afobe, Coquelin, Miquel and Bartley – all of who need to be given the kind of chance that Nik,D&D have had…

  27. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 1:23pm

    I’d like to see Wenger buy a Striker who knows where the goal is, a central defender and a winger.

  28. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 1:26pm

    rico, robin’s actual words were “it’s not good enough…” specifically talking about how we have gotten ourselves to the brink of achievement, only to fall at the last…he also said “i firmly belive in the team, arsenal…” suggesting that he is happy with the squad.

    it is all about nuance and interpretation – i personally think there is veiled criticism of the overall quality and maturity of the squad in his comments, but what is being widely portrayed is not actually what he said…

    i would fully support one of our senior players coming out and saying we need more experience and quality in certain positions – as i personally agree with such a view – but i don’t expect that to happen…

  29. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 1:33pm

    rico, he is not going to…i think both you and i already know that…a potential cesc sale will open up a squad slot for the midfielder deemed most ready. al’s departure may herald either a return for mannone, or more squad time for shea…let us hypothesize that arsene grows tired of nik’s act moves him on…that may mean vela joins chamakh as robin’s understudy…with perhaps jet joining the first team squad…

    as for the others? we certainly have some players on the verge of a breakthrough, and i think arsene will use domestic cups once again to look at them in these situations…i also have a suspicion that arsene may be planning for the inevitable injuries, and using these as a means to introduce some of the other almost-ready youngsters to the first team squad…

    however the season turns out, i simply cannot see a mass clearout in the summer…i think what we have now is more or less what we will start next season with.

  30. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 1:35pm

    i think it matters not re the wording oliver, all he’s saying that when it comes down to it we are not good enough and he’s right…

    The reason we are not good enough is that when injuries hit us our depth in strength is exposed as some of the players who have to step in are poor….

  31. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 1:39pm

    I can hope re the clearout oliver 😉

    Seriously though, the players we mention like Al and Nik I think will leave, Nik’s dad (agent) says they are unhappy as he’s not playing and i don’t think wenger is happy with him keep partying and boasting…

    Al, well for his own sake i think he knows he has to move on, he’s only playing because of the injuries and even he must have a bit of pride, how can he go from 1st choice to 3rd and just accept it – i know i wouldn’t…

    D&D – sadly, as much as want rid of them, i’m sure they will be around next season but i don’t see where they will fit in anymore….

  32. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 1:40pm

    Re cesc, just like last summer, i don’t care if he stays or goes if i’m honest – not if he’s not commiteed to our club….

  33. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 1:42pm

    sorry rico, i think the wording is everything…he is certainly saying that we are not good enough to win yet, but that is not the same as saying we have many players who are not good enough – as has been widely portrayed. what we have seen this season – and the past couple – is a team that freezes at the final hurdle, cannot adapt to different situations, and is often more afraid of losing than excited about winning. no matter how any of us slice and dice it, his comments have truth in them…but i don’t think these comments can automatically be interpreted as robin saying we have players who are not good enough. i think he is attributing our failures to collective mental weakness…

    now, one obvious solution is to move players who shrink at challenges and inhibit the rest of the squad and perhaps his comments are meant to give someone (arsene) something to consider along those lines…but i think he would have to either discuss this privately or use more direct language to get arsene’s attention.

  34. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 1:49pm

    i think cesc still wants to win with us, but his comments prior to the start of this season were an eye-opener. there is no longer any doubt that he hoped to join fc barcelona during the summer, and i think it is entirely reasonable to expect that with each successive season, that desire will only grow stronger – particularly as they progress through their cycle of winning, which will eventually end, as all cycles do…

    there are pros and cons for selling him. i would personally hate to see him go, but there are pragmatic reasons for sanctioning a transfer this summer – his position is the probably the only one where we have options already in the first team to step in. we should get a good fee from barcelona for him – which is not necessarily a priority for me, but judging from some of gazidis’ comments, it seems that a major player sale each summer is part of our strategy to bring revenues in. and it may herald adjustment to our playing style – and here is hoping that any change will reduce our vulnerability to counter-attack goals. the biggest con is that he is our captain and playmaker extraordinaire…without him in the side, we often look toothless and aimless. on the other hand, we have to face up to the fact that sooner or later he will not be at our club…there are reasons for and against…

  35. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 1:51pm

    But he cannot come out and say that anyway oliver, even if it is how he feels, it would cause massive problems within the club…

    I have a sneaky feeling thats what he means though, but hey, we’ll never know and i have no evidence to support my theory :)

    All i know is from what we have watched since the injuries have come in, i think we have quite a few who are not good enough IF we are to start winning trophies and if wenger doesn’t make the changes we will always be a ‘nearly side’….

  36. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 1:57pm

    rico, i’m not arguing against that premise that we are short on quality in some areas of our squad – even if i wanted to do so, recent results would counter such an argument quite well. i think we are at the point where this squad is starting to grow a bit stale, and some in it may think they are at no risk of losing their places.

    i also think robin had some veiled criticism for certain players in his comments, but if so, that is as far as i expect him to go with such comments.

    with all this, i still come back to arsene – the pattern for recent seasons suggests that player acquisitions will be minimal, first team squad departures will also be minimal, and supplementing will be done from our youth structure. there is nothing – at this point in time – to suggest that he will change this pattern.

  37. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 1:57pm

    I honestly dont want players at Arsenal who don’t want to be there and if he wants to go, then we should let him. To be honest, he is becoming more and more injury prone and over the next few weeks i hope we see more of Ramsey, i personally believe he will be the one to step into Cescs shoes when he goes…

    Cesc is a great player and has been awesome for us but i don’t feel he is a great captain…. Don’t get me wrong though, if he wants to stay and play for our club, then of course i would be pleased, but if he doesn’t, so be it for me…

  38. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 1:58pm

    Hi all.Good read oliver.lets hope the players do that.

  39. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 2:00pm

    History tells us Wenger will do little during the transfer window but, at some stage he has to open his eyes and see what most fans see…

    Will it be this summer, no-one knows only him, i’m just hoping it will be….

    Until July 1st, none of us will know….. If he doesn’t buy players to strenghten, i think he’s in for a really hard time…..

  40. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 2:00pm

    Got to pop off for 45 mins, be back later….

  41. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 2:08pm

    rico, i am cutting him slack here because i think part of him wants to be here and win with us…i also suspect, however, that part of him may see the window starting to close slightly with barca – particularly with their era of dominance – and he may hope to join them before they arrive at the end of this cycle…and before his body breaks down…he has made no secret of the fact that he is a barca lad at heart – and has always hoped to play for them. i still think he loves arsenal and hopes to win something with us, but i suspect the lure of barca is getting stronger and stronger.

    quietly concluding an early summer sale to barca – before speculation really cranks up – may be in the best interests of all parties…it will be arsene who ultimately decides whether the transfer happens this summer or not. sooner or later, it will.

  42. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 2:08pm

    Cesc’s sale will destroy 4 years worth of building.losing a player with almost 300 appearances will be almost catastrophic.problem is if cesc leaves we’ll have to either change tactics or personell because we are built around him.AW will not change the 4-2-3-1 and neither will he buy a new replacement.if nasri gets drafted in we’ll not perform well unless the system is slightly tweaked.if ramsey is promoted he doesn’t have the experience or cesc’s ability yet to dictate our play from there but still remains the closest thing to cesc.in both the above scenarios we’ll suffer since wenger won’t change tactics or buy a replacement which means a sale at this point will do us more harm than good despite what your views of cesc’s commitment are.

  43. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 2:09pm

    thanks k…i am sure some of our players have/will read it – but it is just words…the players are the ones who have to do it on the pitch. supporters can only support and encourage, we cannot play for them.

  44. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 2:14pm

    k, what i am hoping for – if cesc is sold – is that samir will take the mantle on, and that he will flourish in it, knowing that is now his position. if that heralds an adjustment in tactics, all the better, provided they address specific vulnerabilities this squad has. i would also hope that it would break what seems (on the surface) an almost subconscious dependence upon cesc to bail us out…

    another of the cons about a sale is that – as you pointed out – cesc is the centerpiece of our emirates model. selling him now constitutes an admission that we could not win with him here, as captain…there would be other circumstances contribituing to a decision to sell him, of course, but such a sale would be remembered as deconstructing this team before it won. that, i personally think, will be one of the biggest impediments to arsene deciding to sell cesc this summer. we’ll see…summer is still a ways off. but sooner or later, cesc will be sold to barca.

  45. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 2:22pm

    Oliver after Cruyff’s dream team 1 were absolutely battered in the early 90s by Milan in the CL final he said afterwards that every team needs to be refreshed after 5 years.our current team reminds me of barca under Rijkaard in his final days at barca.they played tiki taka too much but no end product but the talent was there for all to see.Guardiola came in and got rid of Deco and Ronaldinho and promoted messi and iniesta.messi/iniesta have clearly blossomed after the aforementioned players we trimmed off.you could argue that you could relate the above to cesc/nasri too.they also shelled out 30mil for Alves and as a result the team became rejuvenated.i also feel we are at such a point and if Aw decided to let go some deadwood and buy some new players we could become frightening next season.

  46. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 2:34pm

    k, i mentioned a few comments ago that i think this squad is growing a bit stale, so we are in accord there. i think we have enough quality already in our first eleven to overcome a loss of cesc, but i think there will also be a transition period. we have some great young players looking to make the breakthrough, but we still lack a talisman player with a record winning domestic cups and european titles – we cannot grow such a player at this point in time, so we have to look to bring someone in.

    we’ll see how it goes. a premiership trophy will factor in what the club decides re cesc, either way.

  47. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 2:43pm

    Tactically speaking,i hope you bear with me,nasri is by no means cesc’s replacement.nasri is more of a dribbler while cesc is a passer.in our current set up apart from theo we play AMs in Wing forward positions.such players like to cut in and latch onto through balls.with nasri in there he tends to dribble alot and hence he’ll make us more direct and provide more goals.with rvp dropping deep nasri can provide extra penetration and directness since he is so quick and almost impossible to dispossess.however nasri can’t spot a pass like cesc and our wing forwards may suffer abit.Aw will have to buy a winger or two that can outpace/dribble past an opponent in case the pass isn’t a defence splitting one that cesc particularly provides.this will also make us more direct and pacy.once jack/ramsey can be able to replicate anything close to cesc’s passing we’ll be absolutely devastating.teams will not be able live with a combination of speed,technique and dribbling by our forwards.lets hope that happens.

  48. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 2:54pm

    k, if cesc is sold this summer, i am certain there will be an ajustment period, whether we modify tactics/formation or not…if we don’t, we will be taking a significant risk in my opinion, as it is all built around cesc. i expect arsene is pragmatic enough to see we cannot play a formation central to cesc without cesc, but what he does to compensate will be the big question.

    if cesc leads us out for opening match in late august, this discussion will be moot – but only for now.

  49. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 2:54pm

    Vermaelen has said he has addressed some of his weaknesses.he has said he has learnt alot in terms of positioning and if he has he’ll be absolutely top draw.positioning was what i view as his kryptonite.against barca/mancs he was absolutely murdered by rooney/messi who exploited that.im glad he was in the stands against barca as he must have learnt alot more than he’ll learn in training.lets just hope him being 7 months out doesn’t wreck him as it did to rosicky.

  50. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 3:12pm

    if cesc is sold then we re invest every penny back into the team and buy two wingers and a striker
    our whole system is based around cesc if he goes the system goes..

  51. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 3:28pm

    Hi jj.i agree with you.what other tactical tweaks do you think we need if cesc goes?

  52. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 3:29pm

    I’m hoping he wants to stay too oliver, we’ll know soon enough, after all he did say he won’t leave until he’s won something with us, good job we didn’t win the CC 😉


  53. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 3:31pm

    thats about it ktr
    our entire attacking style is dictated by one man..

    the rest of the tweaks are required whether cesc stays or goes..

    everything goes thru the middle because of cesc and when he doesnt play we still try to take that route..
    using the wings instead would enhance our chances and a striker will take them when rvp doesnt..

  54. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 3:41pm

    I don’t entirely agree re cesc, yes he is a major player in our side, but i don’t think its all about him anymore….

  55. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 3:43pm

    it is..
    we have the players to play with him now where we didnt before but the system is still designed to suit him
    nasri/aa can play without cesc easy but the system they are used in is designed for cesc and not them so their games are not fully utilised..
    especially aa’s

  56. oliver

    March 25, 2011 at 3:43pm

    hi rico and jj…we’ll see what happens this summer – i think there is a reasonable chance we sanction a cesc move to barcelona. if that is the case, i do not expect much – if any – of those proceeds to be reinvested in the squad. and any reinvestment may well go towards improving existing squad members contracts, not transfer fees…

    i will be delighted a committed, determined cesc stays on…there are reasons both for and against a transfer this summer and i think it come down to arsene – more than anyone else -ultimately.

  57. Joaquim Moreira

    March 25, 2011 at 3:44pm

    The salaries of players on loan is all paid for Arsenal?
    As this total value?
    At present, this will be the most sensible policy?

  58. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 3:45pm

    its the reason why we look disjointed sometimes when he doesnt play
    the 433 or whatever is cescs system
    yet weve seen many times that when cesc dont play wenger still uses it and everyone falls over eachother..the tempo the passing everything goes out of the window

  59. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 3:48pm

    some salaries are paid by arsenal
    some are paid by the club
    some are 50/50..

    depends on the situation..
    vela will be paid by wbrom
    whereas because feyonoord are our feeder club we are paying ryo’s..
    norwich probably pay half lansburys..

  60. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 3:50pm

    Rico in the system we play cesc is an absolute MUST as i’ve just explained above.if he leaves we must either buy a direct replacement (i don’t think there is one in our reach) or change the system to maximise nasri and AA (if he stays).

  61. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 3:50pm

    i dont know whether cesc will leave or not and to be honest i dont care anymore
    it goes on every year we talk about it every week..
    hes a good player but weve never won anything with him so whatever happens arsenal will live on..

  62. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 3:53pm

    jj – then how do you account for our great start to the season?? We had no cesc then….

  63. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 3:54pm

    when nasri played in france he played in the cesc role with wingers
    aa played at zenit in the cesc role with wingers

    at arsenal cesc plays the cesc role 😉 but our wingers are nasri and aa..

    their games are minimalised to maximise his..and when hes out they are still deployed as wingers???

    wenger should change it but he wont..

  64. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 3:56pm

    we didnt have a great start though did we
    not really
    we lost 4 games before october/november we didnt climb the table or go on the unbeaten run until before xmas when he and rvp came back

    we got by but we werent great..

  65. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 3:57pm

    KT, we’ll just have to agree to disagree re cesc, i don’t think he is the be all and end all anymore…

  66. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 3:59pm

    nasri and chamakh were making a good pairing and holding it together but nobody else got going until cesc came back..

    then he gets injured again, nasri and chamakh cant score and we go back to being average

  67. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 4:00pm

    JJ i’ve been thinking for a while about AA.he said he prefers playing as a wing forward in the 4-3-3.i don’t think he looks comfortable there at times.as the game against w.brom showed he is at his best when making short busts of acceleration through midfield not lung busting runs out wide and linking up play.this means he is better suited to playing behind rvp to maximise this.similar to how messi has exponentially improved his output after being shifted from RW to false 9,AA may need the same.he however lacks the stamina and hunger to gamble building the team around.at the end of the day it will be nasri vs AA and we all know who wenger will back.its sad really that we never got AA earlier in his career as he would’ve had the team built around him and would be an annual contender for the Ballon d’Or.

  68. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 4:01pm

    hes not the be all and end all
    but until the system is designed to suit everyone and not him we will always look shit against teams we should be beating

  69. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 4:01pm

    Thats harsh on the others jj 😉

  70. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 4:02pm

    I thought AA said he prefers a central role?

    Yes, i am being argumentative today :)

  71. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 4:03pm

    JJ@3:54-spot on!i’ve been saying that here.it seems we agree on tactics.

  72. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 4:08pm

    Rico i hope you don’t get me wrong.in our current system cesc is a must because when he isn’t there we don’t tick.if he leaves and Wenger changes tactics/personell we’ll cope.my fear is that if cesc leaves we don’t change the system/personell which will be catastrophic.

  73. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 4:14pm

    KT, i just don’t agree, its fine though – i think he is getting a bit like Henry was towards the end of his arsenal days, he ‘demands’ the ball when sometimes there is a better option..

    of course i want him to stay, but if he goes, i don’t care anymore….

  74. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 4:14pm

    Capello has confirmed jack will start against Wales.

  75. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 4:16pm

    im the same rico i dont care anymore either..

  76. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 4:16pm

    Wenger has yet to decide who will start against Blackburn.

  77. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 4:21pm

    Fair enough rico.my only hope is you get where am coming from.if cesc leaves good luck to him but if wenger doesn’t make changes we’ll be poor and fans will castigate wenger for not holding cesc to run down his contract.i don’t care anymore about the cesc saga but whatever happens changes must happen to make us better.

  78. JonJon

    March 25, 2011 at 4:24pm

    wenger doesnt know who will be fit to play blackburn 😉

  79. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 4:27pm

    jj, i’m just bored with it – we had it with Paddy, had it with Henry, every season linked to leaving… if he wants to go Rambo will step up and fill his boots and who knows, he may just turn out to be perfect…

  80. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 4:29pm

    Kt, i just think his position is one of a few that we have proper players coming through to take over, not just make do’s…

    i think wenger could spend the money in other areas of our side rather than replacing cesc…

  81. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 4:33pm

    Rico you reckon ramsey/jack are ready?…i don’t think so but we are entitled to our own opinions so lets wait and see.cheers!

  82. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 4:37pm

    I do KT, how old was Cesc when he got thrown in??

  83. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 4:50pm

    Cesc is a freakish talent rico.he is an absolute genius.not many players could’ve coped.rambo/jack may/may not cope but its too big a gamble to take.rambo has just recently returned and jack is doing fine where he is.a big club like ours shouldn’t have a midfield trio with less than a centurion of appearances between them.am sorry but thats too big a gamble to take.

  84. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 4:58pm

    If wenger plays a trio of jack/ramsey/song trio he’ll get slaughtered for not having ‘experienced’ players.

  85. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 5:00pm

    like we said kt, we’ll disagree but its good to debate it – what i believe is that an british player like rambo/jack will not only play with flair but with more grit than cesc….

    But, lets be honest here, when Cesc was thrown in at 18, and supposedly for Paddy, no-one knew whether he would make it happen. He did but he’s no Paddy…

    Right now, none of us know whether Rambo or Jack has it in them to replace Cesc if he goes… Jack is young but he has shown he has it and in abundance..

    Rambo, well, i think he will be equally as good and affective as Cesc is one day real soon…..

    Did you see the post yesterday KT?

  86. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 5:02pm

    KT – wenger doesn’t have to play that trio right now, we are talking about IF Cesc goes and IF Wenger doesn’t replace him….

  87. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 5:04pm

    Anyway, we have done all that, what else is in the world of AFC today 😆

  88. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 5:16pm

    Rico i was here yesterday.you spoke about jack/ramsey and you even had a board comparing the two.

  89. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 5:21pm

    At 5.00pm-Thats just it rico.ramsey may be the answer but not yet.soon-yes but now-not sure.

  90. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 5:40pm

    sorry kt, blame my old grey matter for forgetting 😉

    thats just it, we cannot be sure about rambo but he certainly shows all the potential…

    we cannot be sure about jet, lansbury, chuks, afobe freeman, sunu and many others but all we can do is watch and see how they do…

    at 18, we didn’t know cesc would turn out to be just as awesome as he has…

    but he did and i hope some of those mentioned have it in them to show the same kind of application and commitment….

    i just hope they get at least half the chance that the likes of D&D have had…..

    Trust me, Rambo will a world class player, and he’s ours…..

  91. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 5:47pm

    I can’t argue with that rico.if jack and ramsey maximise their potential we’ll have one of the best midfields in Europe to be honest.

  92. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 6:24pm

    Absolutely KT, and we haven’t even lost Cesc yet 😉

  93. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 6:44pm

    And with that rico you’ve let the cat out of the bag…!imagine having xavi/iniesta/gerrard qualities in 2 players…i can’t wait.

  94. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 6:47pm

    Thats just it KT and the way we are going we will have the similar but, we need to sure up the defence now and sort out a goal scorer..

    did you see freeman has signed a new contract, wenger obviously has faith in him – having been named in last seasons CL squad, he could be asked to make the step up nest season?

  95. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 7:02pm

    True rico.i however want to speak out about vela.i want us to see the played that played in the CC a few years ago.that boy has got so much talent that he reminds me of messi when he has the ball.we are asking for a striker but if vela gets his shit together he is the answer.Wenger loves him since the potential is there,he just needs something to click for him similar to jack.he has got so much talent its painful to watch him struggle.

  96. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 7:05pm

    Wenger seems to rate Freeman highly so lets just wait and see.

  97. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 7:27pm

    i want us to keep vela kt, i think he has been hampered with playing for mexico and the partying – at wba he is doing ok and i think there is still a plce for him with us, if only wenger would give him a chance….

  98. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 7:31pm

    Vela could save us millions rico.he surely deserves a chance.

  99. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 7:36pm

    Its actually amazing what wenger has done.we are so effin close…!take that final step Wenger!

  100. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 7:43pm

    i agree kt, he deserves a chance, just one season… and if he were to get that chance i think he could shine….

    spot on re the final step and that for me is just 3 players…

    build on the defence first and go from there….

  101. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 7:45pm

    KT, i have to go now – catch up tomorrow my friend, you have a good evening…

    nighty night…

  102. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 7:48pm

    It seems we are all in agreement regarding the 3 players.in the post that am preparing i’ll cover part of what we have been debating today.

  103. K-TR7

    March 25, 2011 at 7:49pm

    Night ricolicious.

  104. rico

    March 25, 2011 at 7:54pm

    night kt :)

  105. rico

    March 26, 2011 at 9:10am


    New Post up

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