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Wenger on the Verge of Magic again? New Season = New Chance……

I think its time for all Arsenal supporters to take a deep breath and a step back.

All I seem to be reading on all the blogs is negative comments, derogatory reports about certain players, our manager and players that are linked to us. The Newspapers write the same old critical comments week in week out too and continue to regurgitate old transfer stories just to have something to write, usually negative of course.

Well let me tell you something, Wenger will tell you when we have a new player, you wont have to read it in red top papers, you will hear it from the manager and you will see the player with his Arsenal shirt.

Granted you may never have heard of him but that is something else. I get the impression that a lot of you supporters are turning against our Manager, perhaps you feel that he hasn’t done things quick enough, perhaps he hasn’t spent enough money or he’s brought the wrong player’s but whatever your view on this, Arsene Wenger is our Manager and a mighty fine one in my opinion.

He’s the longest-serving one we have been lucky enough to have had and while you talk about loyalty in players, remember that you couldn’t find a more loyal manager if you tried.

Yes he borders on the eccentric and yes we have seen the ‘Basil Fawlty’ on the touch-line, maybe his interviews are repetitive but what would you say to all those reporters that will probably misquote you as soon as they get back to the office?

I know what I would like to say to them!!

Most of the newspapers print anything they think might sell their comics and we as supporters fall for it every time and start to question our man at the top.

Most supporters have long memories of victories in the past, well they are in the past but Wenger is putting together a team for the future, leaving the past for the history books.

Granted we had some fantastic players but they have gone and we have a team of youngsters now that need our support, they need to feel that you are with them and not against them.

Just because we have gone through a bad patch it doesn’t mean we have to slag them off. Sure were all disappointed, I am probably one of the worst but i have seen the light. I have seen that just because we haven’t won anything for six years it doesn’t mean we  have to get on their backs does it?

In fact we have to support harder, make the teams who come to The Emirates know we love our team and we are right behind them regardless of whether we are winning or losing.

Wear that Arsenal shirt in the stands with pride and if you can’t do that try not to give off negative vibes because this team will show you skilful football, they will show you football that after you watch it on the terraces you will want to go home and watch it again on the box.

This team has got the potential to win something, have no doubt and personally I think its going to be next season that this side will get its first of many trophies and we will be on our way again.

Some teams have gone forever waiting for their team to come good and some will probably never come good but Arsenal is not one of them. We were winners, we will be again very soon.

Remember if you can life without the Champions League, yes you know what’s coming don’t you?

Our younger Gooners will have seen us always in this great competition and that’s because of Wenger, the same w****r that some of you are calling ‘Passed It’.

Never will never be passed it, he’s staying unless he’s sacked and that could happen with some of the comments I read.

Remember all of those good times in the past, well a lot of them have been with Wenger at the helm and he will be there again this season and I predict this is the season when all those teams that have spent Millions they can’t afford will be saying, how does that old sod do it with the money he spends?

I’ll tell you how he keeps us up there in the top flight, it’s by having a genuine football brain the passion that it takes to stay a Premier League Manager and the knowledge to keep us in the Champions League every year since it started. We have been in the top four for all those years!

Magic, what else can you say about that achievement and us,  well we are lucky to have him, he has such a good eye for spotting talent.

Don’t kid me that you haven’t gone home after a game and thought Christ they were good today, this team can win something?

Arsene Wenger will soon have us back to winning ways, just have a bit of faith, that’s all I ask!

As Thomas Vermaelen says:

Everybody starts from zero and everybody has to start again. You get a new chance and that’s always a good feeling when people give you another chance to win something. The past is behind us and it’s good to look into the future.

That’s what we do now – we start all over again with a new chance and we will go for it this year.

Fellow Gooners, we have to be right behind them too when our Arsenal side starts all over again……

Written by Steve Palmer

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174 comments on “Wenger on the Verge of Magic again? New Season = New Chance……

  1. what a load of bollocks!

    Wenger out!

  2. Morning all….

    Steady Alan, one mans thoughts may not be yours but a bit of respect please…. Steve supports Arsenal and our Manager and is calling for us to get behind the side, thats all – tell why you disagree rather than just call the article bollox??

  3. If ‘Project Wenger’ was so good at Magic he’d make Diaby, Almunia, Eboue, Squillaci all disappear.

    In fact if he doesnt make the signings before end of the window…he can fucking disappear too.

  4. Wenger shld go we are fed up of his old policies,young players are not the answer to the problem i have seen Drogba scoring stupid goals against arsenal just because the kids can not knock him off let him buy players with physic.

  5. Morning Dg – i like the magic bit, i’d add nikki to your list though….

    Read that JET seems on his way out, how come so many players like denilson, nik, almunia etc get their chance time after time yet this kid is being moved on before he gets a proper chance….

  6. Great one, mate! Something positive to read at last! Keep up the good work!

  7. Morning Rico. I love the smell of optimism in the morning.

  8. I see Mr Vieira has it spot on…………

    Oh and morning all ;-)

  9. this is the last chance 4u arsene.last season to win something

  10. gunners for life….
    good article

  11. Steve –

    I for one will be right behind the side when the season begins, i don’t have a choice, its just something that happens naturally and i have no control over it…

    I admire the support you have for Wenger – and you are of course right, he has achieved an awful lot in his time with the club – but that is also why he naffs me off big time, we all know what he can do because he’s done it.

    Two/three players minimum could get us back to being winners, it’s been the same situation for 3/4 seasons now so why hasn’t he by now….

  12. cant belive some of the comments comming from some of you. we need more articles like this and more gooners to have faith in our team and manager. this is when arsenal needs our support the most.

  13. Morning to those just joining HH today

  14. :lol: Adam, so do I….

    Why he needs to be saying that though WATH, I don’t know, he should mind his own and concentrate on how he’s going to spend his dirty money ;)

  15. A nice optimistic, over the rainbow view of our beloved club and manager. Sadly, blind faith (like in religion ) is stupid and non productive. Right now, the only information we are getting is (a) bids that have failed or been gassumpt (b) Bids not near high enough for average players (c) We are to offer great young UK players (Jet,Lansbury) to raise a few million, whislt hanging onto failures like Diaby,Squillaci,etc. (c) We are linked with players after Chelski,Manure,or City have already outbid us. That is ARSENAL OF TODAY……If it emerges that we could have signed Romuelu & Lukaku two years ago for a few million and we have lost them both well, whoever (probably Gasidis) is responsible for that should be sacked…..the same people are also responsible for bids after the event for Smalling, Jones, and many others….Silent Syan should now be shouting through the corridors at the Emirates for his employees to do their job.

  16. Ah, a well considered, rational and expertly argued response to the article above which of course would have taken time, dedication and passion things you obviously are missing, along with a Brain,

    Judge what Arsene has done with the club after the transfer window has closed. A lot of this negativity to the club is due to the press and their coverage is examined on the untold arsenal site well worth a read, but only for those who can think so not the person who posted above

  17. If Barcelona have bought Sanchez, isn’t that their stated transfer budget gone? I love the clip that everyone shows of Sanchez strutting his stuff. He jumps around the ball like a rabbit with a cattle prod up his arse before taking a touch and then ballooning the ball into the crowd. Anyway, how are they going to afford Cesc without a major sale or two. To quote Basil Fawlty ” Gawd knows how they got an armada together”.

  18. We are a spoilt club. A bunch of spoilt kids that won’t make the first team and a bunch of spoilt supporters who expect the good times as a permanent fixture. These idiots scream “Wenger out” without a thought about where that would leave the club. Most people will only appreciate AW when he is gone

  19. All the Anti Wenger ranters are prolly Spuds fans trying to create the negativity. Long live Wenger for everything he has done for our club.

  20. Hi GunnerPete

    ‘We are to offer great young UK players (Jet,Lansbury) to raise a few million, whislt hanging onto failures like Diaby,Squillaci,etc’

    Spot On!! The thought of Lansbury going really naffs me off…

  21. Good post we will get signings soon just be patient we have a good squad already 2-3 players and were going to be hard to beat

    I too believe that we don’t make the emirates intimidating enough, we give the opposition a bowling green of a pitch to play on and complete silence so they can concentrate whilst they park the proverbial bus in front of their goal (a comment i made of which a so called gunner labeled me a moron and a idiot on another blog) i’m stating a basic fact were far to quiet.

    We need to start making noise for the sake of making noise like they do in turkey and the eastern block. teams don’t like going to these places because of the hostility of their crowds we need to make the game as hard as possible for the other teams f~@k respect to the other teams their quick enough to call us over when we lose, next season lets make their lives a living hell when the come to our home.

    Start the campaign here!

  22. Am just tired really tired….I wake up every morning surf through the web to see if we have signed someone but no every morning I get dissapointed…..what is the use? My little nephew thinks am a loser cause I support arsenal and he’s just FOUR!

  23. yey we’re the underdog and thats the way we like it stan

  24. good morning
    good luck for the next season :-)

  25. I got him a cute arsenal shirt yet the little prick ran out crying to his mum….saying he does not want to be a LOSER….men the nerve of that little punk! Me a loser? Now I have seen everything..

  26. ARSENE WENGER’S CIRCULATION FOOTBALL

    Arsene Wenger’s “Circulation Football”
    A belief that championship side can be nurtured by building a core group of youngsters from Hale End Academy to senior team playing together and develop that telepathic understanding and Special Togetherness so vital in modern football.

    Arsene Wenger was determined to impose his “Circulation Football” philosophy onto the team; and he started a major and massive re-structuring with HIS players, and not inherited players from 1996 nor his buys of ready-make players. That is, a combination of Ajax youth system and Barcelona’s policy of scouting the global market to sign-up the best youths for his academy.
    Arsene Wenger’s ambition is to build his 3rd and greatest Arsenal team from ground level starting at Hale End Academy.
    In 2007/08 season, Arsene Wenger was on the cusp of fulfilling his vision of Arsenal’s “3rd and greatest team” with a MDIFIELD of Rosicky-Fabregas-Flamini-Hleb, playing harmoniously together, friends on-and-off-the-pitch, and a potent strike force in Van Persie, Adebayor, Eduardo and Walcott coming along nicely.

    The guile and ball-holding ability of Hleb with the darting runs of Rosicky will tear any defence to shreds. And there is Fabregas’ deep-ball playing ability, that vision to spot an opening a split second ahead of his opponents, working in the centre with a terrier-like tenacity of Flamini providing the muscle and ball-winning ability in MIDFIELD.

    Not forgetting that Adebayor was that tenacious hard-running forward that covered every blades of grass on the pitch, instantly hounding the opponents whenever he lost the balls and tracking back right to the box til he was exhausted and needed to be substituted during 70th minute!

    That was “Circulation Football” at its best; till it all imploded at BRUM in February 2008, which I suspected that this current team never recovered from. And like Groundhog Day, the 2010/11 team repeated the same feat and collapsed shamefully in February 2011.

    Today?
    We have only one playmaker – Fabregas. But after WC2010, he was carrying chronic injuries and just a pale shadow of himself of previous seasons. Worse, mentally, he was not ready to play for Arsenal with his failed transfer to FC Barcelona.

    Our bright start of the season was not due to our “brilliant” team, but to our title contenders being out of sorts, plenty of their own internal problems, ageing players, etc. and when they got their acts together in the New Year, they simply accelerated away from Arsenal, showing us as a charlatan of a title contender.

    Nasri?
    How assist had he got for the season? One or two?

    Arshavin?
    Hardly a starter is he?
    I suspect he has problem getting physical fit to play attacking 4-3-3 and his bout of homesickness was affecting his performances.
    Form is temporary, but class is permanent.

    Rosicky?
    Just returned after a 18-month injury layoff and hardly developed an understanding with his new teammates.
    This season is his “Last Chance Saloon” to show his class with Euro2012 around the croner.

    Diaby?
    Injury-prone and hardly a starter.
    He is simply not that “vieira’-type of player, lacking that “football brain” and peripheral vision to spot an opening in an instant and make that through pass or play “give-and-go” or “one-two” to bypass a wall of defenders. He dwelled on the ball too much, over-dribbled and slowdown any quick counter-attacks.

    Walcott?
    No doubt he is improving and had plenty of assists. But hey, he is neither an attacking midfielder nor an outside forward, but Walcott is simply a pacy central striker and needs to play off a tall and ball-winning centre forward in the typical English style.

    Wilshere?
    Our only bright spot last season, but open verdict this season as he may very well suffered from that dreaded “2nd Season Syndrome”.
    But is he that deep-lying playmaker that we need to complement the playmaking ability of Fabregas higher up the pitch?

    Or Fabregas and Wilshere are playing in the same space as deep-lying playmaker?

    And Fabregas will very much like to play as a deep-lying playmaker as his hero, Pep Guardiola. Last season, what was missing was that Fabregas’ ability to come in from deep to join in the attack as a goal-scoring threat. The team missed Fabregas’ ability to recognise the correct moment to push forward and that knack of spotting an opening to spray his accurate long passes to the flanks or into the centre.

    Bergy’s Hole
    Arsene Wenger’s 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 will not work as he simply does not have an attacking midfielder to support Van Persie. We can see he is highly individualistic and he has developed an understanding with Fabregas only. Perhaps this summer pre-season training will remedy this defect in this Arsenal team.

    What is missing is the second (fake) forward – Number 10 – as the deep playing playmaker, function in the role of “creator of the attack”. He is the target player who is played a deep pass to his feet. Such a player has the technical and tactical qualities of a playmaker, however he operates in smaller spaces than the classical number 10 (attacking midfielder). He is a player who can dribble, give chip-passes, play give-and-goes (one-two) and shoot on goal. This creator of the attack wants to receive the ball while coming toward the midfield.

    The other variation of the second forward is a player who correctly times his runs and turns up deep. He does this in combination with the actions of striker and the actions made via the flanks. In contrast with the function of the “creator of the attack”, the task of this player is to receive the ball behind the defence [read Fabregas and why Nasri wanted to play this role as attacking midfielder cum deep forward].

    This places high demands on recognising the correct moment to sprint deep in combination with the actions made by the other attackers. Such players score goals on a regular basis because their actions surprise the defenders of the opponent.

    2011/12 Team?
    Arsene Wenger is not daft and knew exactly what ails the team and how to remedy them. August 31 is still 45 days away and we msut all have blind faith in him to get this team right and to turn a bunch of 2010/11 bottlers into title-winning contender this season.

    But can he do it and fulfilled his belief that “his team’s destiny is to win the title”?
    Like he said he team can go unbeaten in 2002, got laughed out of the room in 2003 with Manchester printing “Comical Ali” T-shirts? Guess who got the last laugh in 2004?

    But is his present stubbornness to retain unhappy players who do not wish to play for Arsenal and who lost faith in Arsenal ever wins anything within their career is good for his rebuilding programme?
    Read on:

    Rinus Michels:
    In conclusion, no matter how effective the performance of the team may be or how well the tasks, functions and strategies are executed, everything rises and falls with the individual qualities of the players. I cannot repeat this enough. His technical, tactical, physical and mental baggages are the determining factors. This is the golden rule.

    The team building process is not the only important factor to achieve success. However, it does provide the team with a good dose of stability, so they are able to handle set-backs on and off the field. This optimally developed resistance against setbacks must be supported by a strong match mentality for each player.
    The elements of match mentality are:
    – Conviction and willingness to be a winner;
    – Courage, self-confidence and controlled fear to lose;
    – Controlled aggressiveness, stamina and physical fitness;
    – Ability to handle losing;
    – Take and demand responsibility;
    – Team discipline and team spirit;
    – Responsibility for the team.

    The match mentality is pliable and can be developed in nuances and patterns. Naturally, a ball virtuoso will not become a fighter in duels with the opponent. The controlled fear to lose also has its limits, a true goal scorer will not get thrown off balance by shooting a ball in the bleachers or when he misses a goal scoring opportunity. However, another player might be too scared to shoot or play the long ball. It is this solidarity and the effect players have on each other that will have a positive influence on their match mentality. To be responsible and feel responsible for achieving a collective performance is the most important tool for the coach to influence the individual match mentality.
    It is obvious that every coach should always be alert to the atmosphere in his working environment. This is not an easy assignment, and there is no recipe for it.

    And the above conclusion explained the shameful collapses we had experienced for the past two seasons, namely 2009/10 and 2010/11 – match mentality.

    Come August 13, 2011, what kind of 2011/12 team we will seeing?

  27. James, not a bad shout re the crowd so quiet but doesnt help when you have pathetic stewards put in place by the club who behave like the gestapo and shun any type of passionate fans trying to make noise sing and get involved !!

  28. AW apparently grew up in a pub and learnt all he knows about football there.

    “There is no better psychological education than growing up in a pub… I learned about tactics and selection from the people talking about football in the pub – who plays on the left wing and who should be in the team.”

    I’m not sure if he’s worked half a day in the psychology industry, but maybe an hour or two in some of the pubs around Finsbury and Highbury may act as the perfect refresher course. It would also be good PR.

  29. Got to pop off for an hour…

  30. wow goonerstan, is that all that’s required to make you tired? The fact we have made “only” 2 signings in the last 3 weeks?
    I understand your nephews mentality, it is symptomatic of how most people in the west tend to think, unfortunately. They “need” things and they “need” them now. Personally I feel a period of failure will do the club some good, it may get rid of all these coat tail hangers that grasp on to the success of others without any integrity

  31. we arr been mocked daily by the press and everyone that knows the game..concerning wenger,it either he has something up his sleeves or he has gone nuts..the latter is more likely…with alumnia, squill, rosicky still in the team..we need no opponents!

  32. Thank you Steve, Sense and reason at last.

  33. I thought I was reading “Goonerholic ” and I want a pint of whatever you are on. Wenger’s problem is that time does not stand still and he has, whether on his own volition or because of board pressure is a further question.

  34. Erm hello DAV am not in the west! Am African

  35. goonerstan has it it on the head….. the mentality that says Arsenal are losers is about right for a four year old. All the whinging fans who call for Wenger’s head just because we aren’t winning anymore are on a mental par with said nephew.

    In psychological tests, the way to tell whether someone is still mentally a child is a simple one. They offer the subject a choice: Would you like 10 sweets in a weeks time or 1 sweet now? The person with the child mentality will always take the “now” option.

    I personally prefer the idea of having a lean period while we pay off the stadium & then watching the swing when we have some proper dough to spend. The Wenger Out Brigade want their sweet now.

    The press want to encourage this because Wenger has made them look like fools in the past. He proves them wrong & they hate him for it. The only revenge they can take is to whip up bad feeling in the fans, and the less developed among them go for it.

    Let the children whimper & whinge while the grown ups actually take care of what is important.

    True Gooners stay the course.

  36. “If it emerges that we could have signed Romuelu & Lukaku two years ago for a few million and we have lost them both well, whoever (probably Gasidis) is responsible for that should be sacked” from Gunner Pete – my favourite comment of the summer. It’s actually Romelo Lukaku (first name, second name) – he’s just one person – so if Chelsea get him instead of us it will only be half the blow. Yep – I say sack Gazidis because we’re always missing out on good young players – in fact, that’s probably the worst thing about Arsenal – we never bring any youth through. I must have missed all those players signing for Chelsea this summer that were going to come to us instead. If only we could have signed an obscure Belgian keeper we’d probably win the Champions League. Observanty readers might have noticed a touch of sarcasm above.

    Seriously though, give the club a chance – don’t just read the tabloids and blogs and take everything they say without thinking about it. We always do our business away from the press, we never comment on players until they’ve signed – there’s over a month until the window closes. Once we’ve played the Champions League qualifiers, Liverpool at home and Man U away then we’ll have an accurate picture of where the team is.

  37. Concrete proof that Wenger is OBSESSED with Africans.

    Can you name one Formula One driver from an African country, apart from South Africa? And can you really imagine that there is not one guy in Africa with the talent to be a Formula One driver? Why are they not there? Because no one has given them a chance.

  38. Excellent post Steve,

    Always good to hear of someone’s ‘Road to Damascus moment’, and so refreshing to hear a voice that refuses to be drowned-out by the philistines and loud-mouthed minority.

    Looking down the posts, there are clearly some still desperately waiting for any form of evangelical guidance, but I am starting to detect a more positive atmosphere among the blogs, as we progress on our long and hazardous journey toward Arsene’s promised land.

    Bless you my son :lol:

  39. If you are an Arsenal fan, never dream to win anything.

    U r a fan of the club doesn’t want to win anything, doesn’t try to win anything and making more profit from their business (called as youth philosophy).

  40. Sim,

    didn’t you read… goonerstan gets his guidance from a four-year-old ;)

  41. I agree with some points and disagree with others.

    Biggest problem in my eyes is we can all see we need a centre back, so when he does finally bid for one Jakielka, he bids £10m. whats the point hey are never going to accept a bid of less than £15-£18m, so it makes all us fans think he isn’t serious. if he went in with a £14m bid it would make us think that we at least had a chance of getting the player.

    We lose Alverez to Inter Milan because they bid £500,000 more for him than we did, (£10m v£10.5) he is a top player who we have lost for a months wages !!

  42. wow gambonhead on HH….God help us all

  43. Sorry but i can’t agree with this post at all,
    Ive made my feeling clear over how much respect i have for wenger.But everyone has the right to start questioning Arsene after he has given promise after promise and spewed the same lines over and over again.

    And talk about support,we have supported him and he had the fan base right behind him,even thou he didnt bring in the players he said he would and judge me at the end of the season.

    I’ll never forget how much the fans wanted it and pulled the team to a 2-1 win against Everton where we had found it so hard to break them down.We was behind them all until they started choking and playing without a care in the world,with no passion at all.

    This post may have rung true last year and the year before that.But not this year.Arsenal have to act and show us fans some ambition this year and bring back the pride that this great club has always had.

  44. I keep saying, we are not that bad a team, we just need organising and a defender with some know-how and a voice. Then, add a real defensive midfielder who knows about positioning and we are sorted at the back.

  45. Thanks MIKEB….where do u get yours from? Why must we all turn against each other…what did I do to warrant you insulting me. My little nephew calls my club a LOSER and u pick on me….Lord give me strength

  46. The problem with some people is that they don’t like the truth and will swear blind that there is nothing wrong.

    If the club bettered its PR department and made a few moves in the market,i guarantee the whole mood would change everywhere.

  47. MR wenger dose knw magic if he really dose magic he should have do it 4 seson ago dose days of magic are gone now let him do the magic of geting new players or we are get the same resutl nxt seson lose it when it important….we need to get players like at the backline were we have ar problem.

    .vermaele…samba..kosly…chaill

    Jack…. song

    Wcut……..nasri…….Gaviho

    VP
    than we have ar good bench too and this could be the magical team and fabrgas can go fuck himself

  48. Nick E: if you’re going to correct others at least spell the name right…

    The reason Arsene is getting ripped by the press is ‘vengeance’. He never tells anyone in advance what he’s doing; it saves the club millions in transfer fees if he can do the business on the QT. The press don’t like that.

    let’s get behind the team this season (and the manager)!

  49. Hi Mr Is, Will and those just joined this morning, sorry for the delay, first comments go into moderation….

  50. People seem to have forgotten that AW put together a team and a run of games that got us to the CC final. It was the players that stuffed it up, not AW. They were woeful on the day and let everybody down.
    If they had reacted well by playing with passion for the rest of the season I would have forgiven them but the end of the league was just as bad.
    know AW wont be with us forever, but where is the better option at the moment?

  51. We are not a bad team at all Will and that’s the thing.We are so close we can almost taste it!!

    But it’s always a couple of area’s that let us down and never seem to be adressed that get’s me.

  52. Just hope we get someone soon….

  53. goonerstan,

    It was a joke… remember those???

    Stop being so bloody precious!

  54. Morning Rico,

    Hope Wengers found that key ;)

  55. great post. reading the comments section it appears there a
    too many bleedin negative sp*rs-type “supporters” out there who should all take a wee lesson from the fantastic Asian fans who had a poster shouting out “better to play good footie than win trophies” of course it would be nice to do both but Arsenal cannot compete with the credit cards of yanks or the slush funds of deserts in mid east.

  56. Good mix of comments this morning…. ;)

    Wenger’s magic is in the past, is there really a chance that he could bring it into the present??

    I know I always call him Ebenezer and even the real Ebenezer woke up one day….

    Can Wenger?? Will Wenger??

  57. I disagree with the statement that Wenger is building a team for the future, hasn’t he being doing that since Vieira left? And where is this futuristic team 6 years later? I think he has become obsessed with trying to prove he can win trophies with this team he has assembled, that he cannot see the changes we need. We do not need the likes of Phil Jagielka, we need Chris Samba, a 6’4″ Physical defender, Phil Jagielka really?! Oxlade-Chamberlain is another name that we should not be linked with, we are still dealing with the last flop we took from Southampton. I feel we need to go back to a 4-4-2 formation, asking rvp to be the main striker is too much for a player who will spend a few months on the treatment table. A left back is also needed, does anyone have faith in Gibbs? Genuine Left and Right midfielders, no more playing players like Nasri and Arshavin out of position, A tall DM is needed also, Whilshire and Ramsey are great players for the future, but neither are good enough for our midfield right now, Nasri should play alongside a Large, solid DM in the centre. Fabregas should be stripped of captaincy before he is let loose, his display in the tunnel before the Barca match this year would have been enough for me to take it from him there and then. TV5 should be our captain for the new season, one of the only players whos heart is still in it. I would love to see Usmanov take over from silent stan and send the board packing, placing David Dein at the head of the club. But…. none of this will ever happen. Heres to another season of scrapping for a champions league place!

    P.S, I would be very loyal for 6 million a year also….

  58. Got u there MikeB…..just fooling with ya of course I knew u were kidding

  59. Rico,

    Just read your post at 9.49 and was just sitting here nodding my head in agreement to everybit of that post.

  60. Hi MikeB –

    would you like someone to leave you a comment like your last to stan??

    I wouldn’t….

  61. Thanks Mr Is and i doubt if he has found the key yet ;)

    What makes me chuckle is just because some of us can see that things need tweaking here and there they automatically assume that the same fans want Wenger out.

    I don’t and I am sure most don’t, not yet anyway…

    Changes are needed, additions are needed..

    Wenger is a great manager but he is not Arsenal, Arsenal are Arsenal and always will be bigger than any one person within the club……………

  62. Hi Rico,

    someone did…. goonerstan… a comment he has since qualified.

  63. Three players and some organisation and we win.

  64. Eastsidepaul

    Apart from the bit about Jack and Aaron, i pretty much agree with you comment – Jack was one of our best players last year, one who actually showed fight and deternination, unlike some of those who are older and wiser than he…

  65. Rico,Amen to that!!!

    Most level headed gooners really want Arsene to succeed and just get with the times abit.

    Arsene has brought alot of stuff on himself with silly comments and making out that Arsenal fans are stupid and want the world.
    Getting invovled with other club’s business when we should be looking at our own and leaving other manager’s to make them comments if they want too.

    All it does is make Wenger look like a moaner and you know how the press love to get on the anti Wenger brigade.

  66. Fair comment mike, didn’t see stans update, just we have had enough squabbles here recently and didn’t want anymore….

    done with all that….

  67. This lame excuse of champions league football just makes me want to throw up on my Arsenal faith.

  68. You know that is so true Mr Is, i’m not daft enough not to realise that the press love to ask Wenger silly probing questions about other teams and what they are doing with their money, who they are buying for so much etc etc but there comes a time when Wenger needs to stop answering them, and that is now…

    His comments then sound all bitter and twisted when re-printed with bits added and he then looks like a fool who is obssed with other teams.

    He is far better than that, tell the reporters he wants to speak only about the club he manages, end of!

    You recall when Rafa was under the cosh and every reporter wanted to ask him about what was going on… He repeated one line to every question.

    ‘I am concentrating on training and preparing for the next game’..

    They soon gave up….

  69. Finally! A blog with something positive to say. Im so sick of reading Wenger out blogs. Its those people who carry a big responsebility for the negativity thats building up around the club.

    Keep up the good work Steve!

  70. Hi BDM,

    Pretty good considering how little money he spends – again, if only he had dug a bit deeper in to the funds we may have won it by now….

  71. What time do the squad leave for Germany today anyone??

  72. Rafa became very funny towards the end and had a great sense of humour with the press.I loved that Fergie and man u rant he come out with.

    He kept coming out with every line he made at the end with “FACT” :LOL:

  73. That was funny – poor old Rafa ;)

    is he still employed or now looking for a job…..

  74. Nice article, optimism is one thing realism is another. I adore Wenger, there is no one like him in this world and we indeed are indebted to him for ever. My only concern is the attitude of the team sucks. There is no longer the pride that one attaches to a player who plays for Arsenal. How can our club captain be at a grand prix when the team is playing at fulham? Fit or not fit could he not have been in the stands? If he wants to leave let him leave, i cant understand why we are hanging on to him like dear life. of course he is brilliant but no player is bigger than the club. Wenger needs to install a sense of pride for every player who plays for Arsenal. We need battlers than ball players for all skill doesnt merit into substance.

  75. Rico

    No disrespect to Steve intended.

    You can’t support the club as the business model is ruining the football

    Private ownership, especially with this lot is ruining the thing

    Barcelona is allegedly $400 mill in debt, yet as a publicly owned club, can work it’s way out of debt. There is nought wrong with a club being continually in debt from buying players, so long as it can service the debt

    This lot of cheapskates won’t buy. It’s their money, not ours and THAT is the problem

    We have no say, and are legally not entitled to a say

  76. Come on, get real. Magicians play on people’s illusions. Wenger plays on people’s blind faith.

  77. WELL WE NEED ENGLISH PLAYERS AND PHYSICALITY ON THE PITCH-FACT!
    NOW OUR TEAM IS GOOD AND LACKS A COUPLE OF INGREDIENTS TO BE GREAT… AS MENTIONED UP HERE.
    IN ARSENE WE TRUST BUT IN HIS STUBBORNESS WE ANGUISH.
    I REALLY HOPE HE GETS WHAT THIS TEAM NEEDS.
    I WILL SUPPORT ARSENAL BUT EVEN IN A MORE CONFIDENT WAY IF AW PULL UP HIS SOCKS AND HAS GOT ALL THE PLAYERS WE NEED.
    CAHILL IS A MUST. A STRIKER LIKE BENZEMA OR FALCAO OR LUKAKU IS THE BONUS WHICH WILL SURELY GIVE THAT TEAM NO INJURY GAP LIKE THESE LAST SEASONS AND IN WHICH WE WILL COMPETE ALL THROUGH EVERY GAME.
    COME ON ARSENE YOU ARE A COUPLE OF SIGNINGS AWAY FROM STEEL HARDNUTS AND ENGLISH BULLISH SUCCESS DREAMING FANS AND MAKE SENSE TEAM.
    have a great summer Gooners!

  78. Thats a fair comment Rico, I just think Jacks 1 goal and 3 assists for an attacking midfield player is not good enough, Nasri’s contribution in the same position was fair greater than Jacks, now don’t get me wrong I think he is a great player, but not better than Nasri. Can someone explain to me why Nasri was moved out of that centre playing role?

    In my own opinion Arsenal really need to revert back to 4-4-2. And the key element to doing that is having someone like Vieira or like Flamini (a player I would welcome back to the club in a second). (These are all my own personal opinions by the way). Fabregas was at his best with Flamini beside him, a no nonsense DM player would would clean up in midfield while Fabregas could push on and express himself, when Flamini left, he no longer had someone to do the donkey work in midfield and I think his game suffered because of it.

    Now we come to this 4-5-1 (which more often than not is just that, a 4-5-1 formation). The problem with this is simple, we no longer have two independent strikers who can get you 15+ goals a season. To start with Song, I feel his is never quick enough, or phyical enough, he fancies himself as a playmaker and can leave us exposed all too often at the back, he defends (like the rest of the team) like a basketball player would, he presses and presses with no real product, he will also do this only in our own final third. We need to do, like Man United do all too often, sort our problems out high up the pitch, if an attack is formulating, they committ foul after foul high up the pitch to stop it, and they do this very sussessfully.
    So, Song does not do the job Vieria or Flamini did before him, therefore we need 3 players in the centre instead of 2. Generally Whilshere-Song-Fabregas (none over 6′ tall). We need to cut this to two, Fabregas, does not want to play for us, no reason to keep him (Although, no reason to sell him to Barca for pennies, i’m sure other clubs would pay good money for him). Song, as I explained, simply not good enough, Jack, qualitly player, not better than Nasri in that postion. So I would like to see Nasri play alongside mabye an on loan Parker next season? Right midfield, Gervinho over walcott in my view. left midfield, I would like to see Miyachi gain a work permit and play there for us, I was impressed at what I saw from him on loan last year. (Does anyone else think TV5 or Johan Djourou would make decent Dm players?)

    Another point I would like to make is the overall size of the team. I would like to compare 04 to last years team. Just look at the overall squad size between the two, with a high % of 04 being over 6′ tall. Compared to the roaming band of midgets we cart around the country like a travelling circus show at the moment. I remember hearing the fountain of all footballing knowledge Jamie”Definitly would smash it” Redknapp saying that in the tunnel before the game they would look up at the Arsenal players and feel intimidated, does anyone believe that happens these days?!

    Anyway, i’ll finish with my ideal team for next season – (If I could have them!)

    GK – Given
    RB – Sagna
    CD – Samba
    CD – Cahill
    LB – TV5 (c)
    RM – Gervinho
    CM – Parker
    CM – Nasri
    LM – Afellay
    FW- RVP
    FW – Benzema

    Subs: 1. Szczęsny 2. Koscielny 3. Djourou 4. Whilshere 5. Ramsey 6. Arshavin 7. Chamakh

    And of course, we will have a gaggle of talented kids to pick from if needs be!

    Ah well, I can dream!

  79. Good comment vinay

    Players with Jacks heart is something we need more of – trouble is they are all paid too much, its about time they grafted for their earnings a bit more….

  80. Get your point mikee, no need to shout though ;)

  81. But Jack is still young and he’ll only get better – it was his first season too, i bet his stats increase hugely this coming season.
    His passion and never say die attitude is top draw, he got stuck in a broke up a lot in the middle of the pitch – i don’t think we should judge every midfiled player on assists and goals though… imho ;)

    Given has signed for Villa so you got no chance of seeing him at Arsenal…

    Cahill and Samba – most of us want them both too, would be ideal but TV doesn’t want to play LB, not that AW will listen…

    Parker seems to want to go to the Chavs, why i don’t know, didn’t work the first time for him….

  82. Pretty right Rico

  83. Arsene has an attacking philosophy, but as Ferguson said once he needs to buy defenders as well.
    Because we may be very good going forward, we need to compete backward.
    We have not had enough talented defenders recently.
    4 center backs is not enough.. even Wenger said it last year.. one month later we ‘ve lost Vermaelen through injury… but he didn’t buy anyone in January.
    I think by trying to spend wisely, AW ends by losing more money and credibility because the ends of seasons for 5 years were all but a success.
    Face-it! We can’t say that Arsenal fought till the last second of the season with a high look.
    Being cheap in the market weakens the team.
    We don’t ask to spend as does MU or big spending others..
    But to be realistic.
    To buy enough defenders! Strong one! English better!
    You don’t succeed in England without English players.

    And I wasn’t shouting, just epressing my thoughts with vigour ;)

  84. I know Alan,

    i understand how you feel too, the club doesn’t need to get into mega debt for us to improve though – i’m sure there is money, there has to be and even more when cesc goes…

    what wenger has to do is spend what he has instead of banking it….

  85. Mikee

    i don’t think we had four defenders last season – Kos, JD, TV is three, i don’t count Squilli, he’s hopeless ;) i still think we need to sigh two, cahill and samba….

    sure up the defence, get a goal scorer and we are almost there ….

    Re the Shouting ;)

  86. I meant in terms of numbers, we had 4.
    In truth we had 3 and 1 who did a good bargain of himself (Squill)

  87. I know Mikee, was just jesting – I think we all hope Squilli will depart ;)

    Sure need two though IF Tv is going to cover as LB, can’t see Gibbs going a whole season fit, likewise up front, can’t see RvP being fit for the season – i sure hope he is though…..

  88. Another thought.. I think maybe Gervinho could play a Bergkamp role???

  89. Great Post, 03-04 season was under Wenger. They wasn’t questioning him then was they.

    In Arsene We Trust!

  90. Off for a bit guys, back in a couple of hours….

  91. We got Arshavin Mikee, that’s his natural position I think??..

    Got to go Mikee, hope you stick around, and others who have been on today…

  92. Those who want wenger to go have not been supporters of Arsenal when after 71, we had a barren patch. Do you want those Managers , or managers similar to them to take over? YES WE Need more toughness, but the passing skills should not be lost. Clichy had speed not toughness, good to see him go. Even Patrick said that Arsenal are more akin to Barcelona than an English team.
    Now who rates Barcelona? We need Defenders like Campbell, who are tough and fast, put skill there and you have the best defenders in the world.
    There is no one like that in the Market. Both Cahill & Samba suffered from the likes of Droba, otherwise how could Chelsea beat them? That’s why they aren’t good enough.
    Again those who want wenger out, can we have your replacement for Manager?
    The Kids should be loaned out to clubs like Rangers, Celtic, Anderlect, Copenhagen, Juventus, Valencia for regular first team football, these teams want to win like Arsenal.

  93. morning all…while i cannot say i agree with all you say, you still made your points quite well, steve. and the comments capture the polarization among our fan base quite well…

    regardless of how any of us feel about what is (or is not, depending upon respective point of view) currently happening with our club, we’ll have to wait and see how events unfold…at least we have a friendly game this weekend to look forward to.

  94. I think you have been reading my messages?
    This morning I did an exercise where I spent nearly all of a 110m budget(assuming both Nasri and Fabregas leave … and I did not get to the defence shortcomings. I did however, lay out a strategy that would get us the key players we need, and not see them slip through our fingers.
    With a bit of income from other sales, and maybe a dip into the reserve funds, the defence could be also sorted, but for a lot less.
    That would be a team to start the season with … I just hope Arsene is thinking along the same lines?
    And No!, before you ask, I am not naming players on an open forum.
    Too much of that has gone on already.

  95. hey vinay… im a huge wenger fan.. massive in fact..but if i could point out 1 major major decision that DID come back to bite us all on the arse is that wenger didnt sign a CB in the january transfer window of last campain..we all expected one, with TV5 n djourou out n squillacci not worthy of playing in australias A-league..i believe it was his one big mistake that cost us on all four fronts..optimism vs reality hey??? last season was ours, the stats in defence were great until you check out goals conceded from set plays..there is 2 teams in every football side, attack n defence!!! the optimism of last term and now is justified with our attack playin great football n scoring goals, just not as many as our defence had leaked in, but reality last term was our medical staff, if any deserves the sack its all of them.. last year we heard them say that vermaelen would be fit n training ready to play in 2 weeks.. those 2 weeks i heard all season.. unfortunately wenger had to trust his staff believing TV5 would be back to cover wenger.. reality is we didnt sign the cb we needed n its the only thing that cost us…reality is that going by mr wengers antics on the side lines, he too knew it was meant to be our year…SO BE OPTIMISTIC, i believe our reality this term will change to that of the last

  96. Great post.
    Bravo Steve P.
    Can’t stop, i’m at work.
    Hi Rico\Gooners, & er goodbye.
    COYG.

  97. Yeah I agree jack will get better, I have no doubt there.
    Given would have been perfect for us, at 35, could have played for 2 years switching with chezzer while he developed.
    Cahill and Samba would be just what Arsenal need, What do you think of playing TV in a Flamini role?
    We also need that second striker, would love also to see us pick up Lukaku. Over the years we have been so close, would hate to see us drift further behind.

  98. To a point you are correct but,It costing me £1300 a year for AW to do it his way .At 70 years old I can not afford the luxury .Arsenal get in line with other teams prices .If I was a Tottenham supporter I would be paying £300 for the same seat (god forbid ) but they manage to challenge in the transfer market.

  99. Hmmm… This post reminds me of something. Oh, I know:

  100. Eastside Paul, you say we are midgets in midfield and then say we should buy Parker, hwo does that work?

  101. Will –

    I have also suggested that we buy Cahill and Samba both well over 6′. And we all know what Parker is capable of, we have all seen him play over the years, he is a very similar player to Mathew Flamini, one of the biggest losses to the club in recent years. Thats how it would work..
    But Scott Parker would not be my first choice, I would love to see a 6’4″ DM player arrive.

    On another note:

    I also don’t think buying english will automatically solve our problems, the problem is attutide not nationality. Will anyone say that the likes of Vieira, Ljungberg, Pires, Bergkamp, Henry, Overmars, Petit and Wiltord didn’t give it their all everytime them stepped out in an Arsenal jersey?

  102. Team

    Ches

    Sagna TV Samba Gibbs

    Jack Cesc JD Rambo

    RvP

    Vela/Theo.

  103. ESPaul, Yann M’Villa or Moussa Sissoko for defensive midfield and am with you on Cahill and Samba…! The so fragile “spine” needs to be addressed and strengthened, add mata and we’d be competative again.

  104. Arsène Wenger has named four of the clubs promising youngsters in his squad to face FC Cologne this weekend. Ryo Miyaichi, Emmanuel Frimpong, Benik Afobe and Conor Henderson will all travel to Germany, along with summer signings Gervinho and Carl Jenkinson.

    Afobe, as we told you earlier in the week, will travel after being pulled out of the England Under-20 squad. He’s joined by versatile midfielder Henderson in earning a first callup to the first-team during pre-season. Conor gets his chance after Henri Lansbury failed to prove his fitness in time.

  105. W.A.T.H

    I totally agree with adding either Yann M’Vila or Moussa Sissoko to play the DM role. The spine at the club had been non-existant for some time now.

    Anyone else feel the need to bring in a new LB. I think Gibbs is a bit light weight and very prone to errors.

  106. Fabregas doesn’t go to Koln. And Nasri ? Diaby? Lansbury?
    Juventus want to loan Felipe Melo (Brazil international player). 2 millions??? Maybe a god player for replace Denilson. Isn’t a good chance ?
    Is a good player, international and experience player. He wants relaunch the career.

  107. Most of us forgot that we didn’t have a TEAM last season with injured players after WC2010, RvP missed half the season, TV missed the whole season, Djourou, Wilshere, playing thier frist full season, new CB in Squillaci, Kosceilny, CHamakh and new goalie in Fabianksi and Szczesney…….and Wenegr did not had a chance to field the same team in 3 consecutive games.
    Plus Cesc was distraughted, disinterested and lacked fire in the belly and gone a wanderlust aka Vieira in his last season with us.

    Nasri gone missing in 2nd half of season, Arshavin never hit any sort of form, Rosicky just came back from 28-month layoff, Walcott and Diaby as inconsistent as beofre….and just a miracle that we still mantianed our Top-4 status..unlike our deprived neighbour, a “one-season wonder” at that.

    2011/12 season?
    Our “Core” is still there and we need a decent run of luck without our perennial “Horrednous Injury List” which blighted our season since 2005/06 (remembered the groans at Highbury when our 7th LB in CYgan went off with hamstring injury and FLamini our 8th LB?)

    In Arsene Wenger’s Circulaiton Football, it is a well-driled team that will win championship and trophies; and this team had been playing together for 2 years or more. One more year of experience for teh likes of WIlshere, DJourou, Koscielny, Fabianski, Szczesney, et al which may see a quantum leap in perforamnce this season.

    Perhpas Wenger may buy another 2 or 3 players after all those “Cesc-Nasri” transfer saga came to a conclusion…perhaps he may not if he is that daft.

    Look at our “COre” now:

    ………………………………..Fabianski / Szczesney

    …..Sagna….Djourou/Kos/new CB….Vermaelen…….Gibbs/new LB

    ……………………….SOng/new DCM……..Wilshere

    ….Walcott/Gervinho………Ramsey/new ACM…………Arshavin/Rosicky

    ……………………………..Van Persie / Chamakh / new buy

    That is, our “Core” is there and Wenger always keep his transfer targets secret and he knew that this season is his “Last Chance Saloon” to get his team right…otherwise, by summer 2012, he will be branded a failure and STan will not hesitate to remve him…like what AS Monaco did to Wenger in 1994.

  108. Merlin96 –

    You’re looking at this like Stan Kroenke is interested in winning, where as I believe he will be content to keep Wenger in a job as long as he is bringing in a profit each year. Kroenke is not an Arsenal fan, he is a business man, and Arsenal is a company to him. I will think differently once he pays off our stadium debt like Mr. Usmanov suggested he would.

    Your model for the team next season is 4-5-1, do you think this is really the way forward as it has yet to bring us any success? (Eventhough I am aware the Arsenal began the 2005 FA cup final with this formation). You also suggest playing Rosicky or Arshavin on the left when neither are left midfield players. We need to get away from playing players out of position, you mention Nasri going missing in the second half of the season, do you not think that was due to Wenger playing him out of position, I mean its no coincidence that Nasri played his best football in the position he prefers to play, and if you want a new attacking midfield player, how about playing Arshavin or Rosicky in an advanced position behind the main striker?

  109. Afternoon guys and gals…

  110. Paul,
    It is 4-2-3-1 and change to 4-3-3..or 4-4-2 with Walcott driving into centre in support.

    4-3-3 is like Walcott-Van Persie-Arshavin playing as 3 attackers with both of them not being wingers, but attacking forwards who can play at the flanks, go outside to stretch the defence and to drive into centre.

    It is like 2007/08 seasoon in 4-4-2 like:

    ….Hleb….Fabregas….Flamini….Rosicky

    ……………..Van Persie……Adebayor

    ANd it is a “false” 4-4-2 with either Arshavin or WEalcott cutting into centre to support Van Persie or vice versa with Walcott as central striker and Van Persie plays in “Bergy’s Hole” as in 4-4-2 like “Bergy-Henry” partnership with Arsahvin doing a ‘Robert Pires”.

    That is, the TEAM may start as a 4-2-3-1

    ………………………..Fabianski

    ….Sagna……….DJourou…..Vermaelen……Gibbs

    …………………..Song………….WIlshere
    …..Walcott…………….Rosicky…………….Arshavin

    ……………………………Van Persie

    Adn when we need to get a result in the lst 20 minutes of the game, Wenegr cna switch to attacking 3-4-3:

    …………………………..Fabianski

    ….Sagna………………DJourou…………….Vermaelen

    …Walcott…….Song…………Wilshere……………Rosicky

    …..Gervinho…………..Van Persie……………..Arshavin

    We have “triangle” in Sagna-Walcott-Gervinho and Veermaelen-Rosicky-Arshavin protecting the flanks…..
    Isn’t that was what Wenegr alwasy do by throwing in FOUR striekrs when he desperately needed to win a game?

    Yes, Wenger stil has the option to rotate Little Mozart intot eh centre and depend on the attacking Forward-3 in Walcott-Van Persie-Arshavin to interchange, to stretch defence and to cut-in to join in the attack like what David VIlla did so successfully with BArca…and of course Henry cutting in from left flank and into the box.

    But I see Walcott being in a more central position with Van Persie playing more and more in “Bergy’s Hole” but deadlier as his goal scoring prowess is better than Bergy.

    Arsene Wenger’s Circulaiton Football is no more of any fixed formation, but very much dependable on versatile players that cna play in more than one position, and the team well-drilled in playing with PACE, MOBILITY and INTERCHANGEABILITY.

  111. ESP (eastsidepaul)

    I think the only thing Stan is interested in is boosting the value of his shares so he can sell them for a huge profit in 2/3 years….

  112. Where are you miserable lot ;)

  113. afternoon rico…arsene now saying that nas’ future “not completely sorted” and “i want him to stay”…this off dot com, so there is no chance of a misquote.

    this may be a prelude to selling him…certainly arsene’s stance would seem modified from his unequivocal one from last week. i suspect that arsene may be isolated on this – i.e. the chief exec and board would prefer to cash in…we’ll see…

    should arsene want additional cover for the slow pace of player acquisitions, this will probably do nicely (i.e. no purchases until nas/cesc futures sorted)…

  114. - Rico

    I couldn’t agree more, he is a business man, and who could blame him for wanting to make as much money from the club as he can. He has no ties to the club, it is merely a money making entity. Now saying that Usmanov is any different would be foolish of me, but I do know that if David Dein is reinstated into the club, you can bet that it will be in safe hands.

    -Merlin96

    I appreciate the point you are trying to make, but I see no reason why we should continue with this formation. I saw no problems with a fixed 4-4-2 in the early 00s when we were challenging for honors. We attack with 4 and defend with 6. Two strikers, a Left and Right midfield player, and the mentioned 4-4-2 formation you pointed out with Helb et al. worked as 5 atteckers 5 defenders. fixed formation.

    The problem with this Circulaiton Football is that you tend to chop and change, so players never get a rhythm going. When we had Bergkamp, Henry, Pires and Ljunberg they played in the same position week after week and the gelled as a team. And with someone like bergkamp picking out passes the system worked beautifully. I see no reason why RVP cannot do the same as Bergkamp, sit in that hole and pull strings.With a Striker ahead and a left and right midfielders who do their jobs, both offensively and defensively. which right now, doesn’t happen.

    As it stands now, we like to play 4-3-3 which will always end up being 4-5-1, come on we all talk about the 3 up front, but has that ever been the case? Is it not more often you’ll see Walcott glued to the right with arshavin the same on the other side of midfield as we pass back and forth in front of the oppositions goal. We have become very predictable with our formation, it never really “circulates”.

    On a different point, I know its a cliche at this point, but when did we stop having a crack at the goal outside the box? Am I wrong in saying that we score ONE goal this season from outside of the box? Is that correct? With Arshavin, RVP, Nasri, Fabregas. One goal outside the area? Do people remember when Rosicky first came, he was firing them in form all angles. Is this something that they have been told not to do by the coaching staff? How many times have we watch our team camped outside the oppositions penalty area screaming just shoot!

    Also are we going to continue this zonal marking nonsense? We coincided 28 goals this season, nearly half of goals coincided I think, from set plays… I’m blaming zonal marking and overall lack of height in the squad.

    When I look at the United team that won the league this year, the worst that I have seen in many years, I couldn’t help but think the only difference between us and them is that they are a team of winners and we are not, and it kills me to say that. As footballers, Arsenal will out football Man United every day, but United are winners and thats what matters in the end. Can you imagine ferguson (that prick…) allow the implosions that have occurred at the end of the season passed and many before that? I think if it did occur at United heads would roll and no one would be spared in the search for success. Just look at this years transfer window. United who won the league last year are strengthening their squad (Because fergie knows how bad they where last season), and they are spending big, where as the only reason we qualified for the CL was because we ran out of games, don’t fool yourself if we had another 3 or 4 games at the end of the season we would be playing Europia league football this season (If that).

  115. and here is his cover: “As long as the situation is not settled, we have to focus on the coming season with the players we have. The players who are uncertain, it is difficult for them to focus on being completely committed.”

    if there are no further player purchases, arsene can point to this statement as having told us that transfer activity hinged upon getting nas and cesc’s situations straightened out…if he chooses to use this as cover.

  116. I don’t think we really know what Stan wants. Its too early. And I don’t trust Usmanov – its one thing for him to say things that the fans like to hear (pay off debt, spend big on players), it’s another thing to do it. I would be willing to bet that were Usmanov in control, he’d be just as focused on profits.

    I like the idea that Arsenal is a club that is run like a business that can support itself financially. I don’t object to that at all.

    What I do object to is Wenger and the higher ups saying they are going to be active in the transfer market, saying that we have the funds to make some big signings, and then failing to do so year after year.

    It seems we always miss signings over 2 million pounds here, or an extra 10 thousand pounds a week there. Those are big numbers for sure, but it’s not going to break the bank and its nothing compared to the 30, 40, or 50 million signings that our competitors are making. Dont go crazy, bu splash a little cash Arsenal!

  117. Afternoon oliver, hope all is well…

    I reckon Nasri could go in the last couple of weeks before the window closes – if he doesn’t sign, no way on this earth will a man like Stan let him walk free…

  118. ESP – I guess you are right to some degree about ‘who can blame him’ but this is where football is going wrong imho..

    Folk who are allowed to buy clubs with the intention of lining their own pockets are not ‘fit and proper’ in my own view but sadly that is the way the game has gone and we all have to put up with it….

  119. Hi Doc, who say’s

    ‘What I do object to is Wenger and the higher ups saying they are going to be active in the transfer market, saying that we have the funds to make some big signings, and then failing to do so year after year.’

    Spot on, exactly the reason i get so frustrated…….

  120. -Rico

    Arsenal in essence is a business, run by businessman to make a profit, football is just secondary thought for these guys. Its sad yes, there isn’t a single thing we can do. I know people don’t trust Usmanov either, the man didn’t get rich from writing cheques, but I have to believe a man who is wealthier than Mr Abramovich cannot be bad for the club, I mean have Chelsea suffered? Sure they are in debt now, but they were in debt before he arrived too, and I don’t think they had so many trophies before his arrival either…

    I think Nasri will be sold too, if he hasn’t signed by now he won’t, who do you think he will bring in to replace him? I firmly believe no one… He will cite that fact that he has Ramsey and leave it at that, or it will be a last moment sale, and then make the excuse that there was not enough time, and the quality wasn’t available and yadda yadda yadda… So he will get 20m for Nasri, stick it in the clubs back pocket and we as fans will forget about it, like we did with the Adebayor and Toure money. How many times have we heard the board state each transfer window that Arsene has 40m or 50m to spend, then we flog players off and never seen the money reinvested in the team. And what sort of message does it put out when 15m is our transfer record? does that sound like a big club? And people will say we’re self sustaining and such… but I’m sure half the clubs in the league have a higher record fee than ours and they aren’t going broke anytime soon.

  121. hi rico…i think it is evident that arsene wants to keep him, even to the point of allowing him to walk away for nothing at the end of the season. but i think it was always a tall ask for the club’s front office to buy in, because of the money potentially left on the table…

    i think i see both sides…i think i understand what arsene is trying to do: prevent the loss of two significant players in the same summer, likely with no intention to replace either with a credible, established world class player, and not strengthen either of the manchester clubs. the problem is that buy keeping nas on just to let him run his deal down, he walks over to the club of his choice in a year’s time…either course has risks.

    i am not nas, so i cannot know for sure, but i would think that if he saw his future here, he would have already committed. going on what little i know now, i would prefer to move him this summer, provided it is not to a top six rival. but i fear that we will be left with two choices: do business with the manchester clubs, or do nothing this summer…there is also that question of, assuming we sell him to one of those two clubs, we take the fee and simply stash it away. would it be worth it then?

    you know i also enjoy talking about the other teams – other sports – i follow, and i have actually been following the mets situation closer than this, during this week…

    mets are in a somewhat similar situation to arsenal. outfielder carlos beltran is in the final season of his contract, and the club are shopping him, hoping to move him before the july 31st trading deadline. beltran will make $18.5 million this season, the final one of a 7 year/$119 million deal. his contract contains a no-trade clause (where he can veto a trade to specific teams), so moving him is difficult. right now, there are supposedly six teams that the mets are talking with. a problem, however, is that many teams will not be willing to trade prospects (what the mets hope to get in return) for a player who may only turn out to be a three month rental. or one who they may be able to sign when his existing contract expires. a player who is certainly the best available on the market, but also 34 years old, with dodgy knees and diminished range in the outfield. so the mets are offering to pay beltran’s entire salary for the remainder of the year, in hopes that another team will trade a decent prospect or two for him…

    so arsenal are not the only team who have these kinds of decisions to make…

  122. ESP..

    I have to admit that i was one of a few who preferred that the big russian had bought us out, rather than Stan – and yes, that is down to him being richer by miles…

    Some doubt the Russian but my question now is:

    Why is he hanging around? Why has he not sold his shares?

    I really don’t want us to be a club that spirals into debt, I don’t want us to throw good money after bad either…

    But, I also ask, is he waiting in the wings to buy us eventually??

    Ok, he may be mega rich but to be fair, he wouldn’t have to spend too much to make us worled beaters…

    I once truly believed that Roman would walk away from the Chavs having played around with his new toy but he hasn’t, he’s become a massive fan and i see him going nowhere for a long time…

    Could Usamanov do the same, be the same and fall in love with AFC…. Or has he already and thats why he’s playing the waiting game??

  123. ESP, if ever you get the desire to write a post about your views, thoughts and feelings, please let me know :)

  124. Thank you very much Rico, I will keep that in mind!

    And I agree what you say about us needing very little compared to that spent on Chelsea to become world beaters. In a way I am all for our self sustaining model and am proud of what we have achieved from nothing, but we can still hold firm that model and bring in who we need, keep who we want to keep and more importantly let go of who we need to let go. As I expected Arsene has found if very tough to offload the fringe players, for the simple fact is that they are on huge wages for players that should be back up to the back up. So sending them on loan is really the only option he has, and I would love to know how much of Denilson’s wages we are still paying..

    There is no problem with Wenger continuing his youth policy, as long as it is back up with bringing in older experienced players, say for example if he sells Nasri, I would like to see him bring in a player like Gourcuff to replace him, big player leaves and a big player arrives.

  125. oliver

    the one thing i love about you and your comments is you make everything so clear to see (and that is not meant in any other way than a compliment)

    i also think you are right, AW doesn’t want to lose Fabregas and nasri in the ame transfer window as it doesn’t look too good but, I don’t think he is a fool either…

    For sure and there is little doubt in my mind that he would love to keep both but he knows Fabregas has no future with us anymore so he is no doubt doing all he can to keep him…

    Sadly, I feel that a man who never breaches his contract, who never gets tempted away to a ‘bigger club’, who doesn’t believe in money being the be all and end all, will be let down by his fellow Frenchman….

    Nasri has seen that Citeh could take over the world in English and Euro footie and he want’s a slice of it – especially in his pocket…..

  126. ESP, another good comment..

    Most here don’t want us to be run in a ‘kid in a sweet shop’ way, that would destroy us…

    We can’t get rid of the fringe players because everyone has seen how they are on the pitch. Look at Nikki B, if you read all about him, he’s a world class player but we all know he is far from that…

    He can score a super goal one day but just like so many, when it comes down to the nitty gritty footie, he goes missing…

    And, yes I agree, we pay them far far too much for doing what exactly??

    Look at Nasri, he wants a massive pay rise for a great three months, whre was he when we need a great run in to win something last season???

    AWOL is the term I would use, and he wasn’t alone….

  127. Evening all,
    I appologise for not being here to take your comments and many thanks to Rico. Some of you appear to not realy be behind our Manager, well that is certainly your perogative, and you have your own views, Name another Manager that would put us in the top four for the next twelve years, you probably have your ideal man lined up in your minds eye. Now all you have to tell him that he will not have unlimited funds for new players, he will also have to make sure that there is still money left over for our payments on our stadium which by the way is new put in place under the previous manager the same with the training facilities, also tell him that a top four is not good enough for you and only winning is good enough, all i have to say is good luck.

  128. Hi Steve, no probs…

    I think it was a top post ready for the right time in the year..

    Our club has thre types of fans..

    1 – No time for Wenger

    2 – wanting the old Wenger back and being honest about how they see things.

    3 – Wenger stays, regardless….

    I’m no2, i want the old man back, the old manager who bought justa few p;layers here and there that brighten the mood of all gooners…

    You ask which manager could replace him, well the only one i can think of is Dennis Bergkamp and if that means he needs to bring Frank de Boer with him, then so be it ;)

  129. And, to add to my last, I honestly believe that DB will be our next manager, ok he cannot fly, but where there’s a will there’s a way…..

  130. thanks rico, appreciate it…

    i am starting to think that nas will be gone within a couple of weeks, perhaps before the season opens. last week, based on arsene’s comments, i thought things were set and he would stay here this season, come what may after the final whistle next may…today’s remarks, however, clearly show that the issue is not settled…there is no way of knowing what changed arsene’s stance, but i will guess that he and front office were not on the same page when he made his initial comments, and that he now understands he is isolated on this.

    i think we will lose all around on this one: there appears to be little interest in nas from spain/italy/germany, meaning the field is effectively city and united. if we have to sell him to either team, we will have strengthened them – particularly united, where nas will fill their one glaring weakness. and i am skeptical that any fee we receive will be put towards buying an experienced, credible, starting-eleven ready replacement…we’ll effectively have a number to show for all this…

    i am not going to kill nas over this. i see this from a fan’s viewpoint and i imagine that he sees this as from a business viewpoint. most everything i have read from supporters is that he is a greedy, so-and-so and this is all about the money…i am sure that wages play a large part in it, but i am not so quick to say that is the only factor. for one, united were the first side to linked with him, not city. would they pay wages significantly higher than us? i doubt it, and i seriously doubt they would be willing to offer anything close to what city reportedly did. then we had evra’s out of the blue comments about his joining united – back in late may, well before this story evolved into what it is now…

    if nas has doubts about where the club is headed, how we play, the quality of players we recruit, or anything else relevant to us fulfilling our potential, arsene is the last person we should expect to be frank and forthright about it. as long as everyone believes this is strictly about money, arsene does not have to face questions – questions fuelled from inside the playing squad – about the team, tactics, makeup, maturity, etc…

    however this ends, i hope that it gives arsene serious pause for reflection. i think it’s time for him to seriously consider whether or not the blueprint needs to be tweaked or modified…i have often said i think he can be more flexible on certain things than he has been. now is the time for him to look inside and question some things, not dig his heels in and dismiss any questions outright.

  131. nik will always polarize opinion, even after he is long gone. many will dismiss him as a load of hot air…others, such as me, will wonder what he might have become here if arsene had been more flexible about playing him to his strengths more often.

    regardless, he will most likely be remembered for fluffing his lines at camp nou in the dying seconds. if he were just able to control the ball and get a shot off, who knows what would have happened? barca almost certainly would have gone home, and who knows how far we would have gone?

  132. oliver…

    However the Nasri situation unfolds remains to be seen and what will be will be I guess – if it’s for money, then best of luck Nasri, it doesn’t always bring happiness…

    If he goes to Citeh can anyone see him starting every game like he does with us??

    We should never be, is to be in this situation but as much as i am not keen on Stan being the boss, he is shrewd and wont let this kind of circumstance to reappear, i am sure of that.

    You know, I think AW is naive, he judges his players by his own standards – he has always honoured his contract and he expects others to do the same – sadly, they don’t…..

  133. rico, i think it will be resolved within the next couple of weeks…if you held a gun to my head and asked me to forecast, i would probably say he will be sold to city – i personally think that is the lesser of two very, very bad choices – for probably a bit more money than united will offer.

    whichever side he goes to, i expect he will start more games than not. i think he will strengthen both sides more than he weaken us…

    i wouldn’t call arsene naive as much as an idealist. but…if nas could leave “his” club (om) for us, than should we really be so surprised that he is apparently willing to leave us now? we have love for our club; i doubt he has anything close to that love.

    if we start negotiating a new deal some two years about and the player refuses to sign, there isn’t much we can do; short of bringing don corleone and luca brasi in to help, that is…from a complete outsider’s perspective, where i would guess we went wrong in is perhaps not being proactive when he didn’t sign the new contract. from the timeline i understand, that was around jan/feb, coinciding (or not-so-coinciding) with his vanishing act. at that point, i would have put feelers out to clubs in spain/italy/germany, in the knowledge that united and perhaps chelsea would be seen as logical destinations. i would have been more active earlier in trying to move him, than the club appeared to be…

    of course, i say that without direct knowledge of what went on. for all i really know, he and his team strung the club along, perhaps saying we’ll take care of it when the season is over – like jose reyes (mets ss) is doing now. even so, i would have still hedged my bets and made discreet inquiries as to interest among overseas clubs…

  134. I understand what your saying about the old Wenger back, that will never be, for the simple reason the climate has changed circumstances have changed and chalenging teams have changed, what Will was saying the other week about cheating he put it, i don’t think he actually ment cheating, b ut when clubs have a lot more money to spray about like confeti and others are struggling how can it be fair, a good player comes on the market where’s he going to go, where he gets the most money and i don’t blame him, Nasri being a prime example, rules should be implemented where clubs can only spend what they earn, untill that happens the goalposts are always moveing and in my estimation at the moment a top four position is about as good as we are going to be unless of course were lucky.

  135. Thing is though oliver, if Nasri goes to Citeh, will he start every game?? I’m not so sure, they have so much money they will no doubt end up with an oversized squad, fullmof players who cannot be kept happy….

    deep in my heart i believe if he goes there he will get found out…

    I do though hope you are right about you view of this matter being settled very soon, for the sake of the team, our clubs future, it needs to be….

    One thing that i fnd quite interesting and that is players are saying that no matter what is happening with him and Fabregas, they are not ruffled….

    To me that speaks volumes and I admire the words and attitude of some…..

  136. we’ll see how it goes. if he goes to united – and strengthening the team we are trying to take the championship from is worse business than selling to city in my opinion – he is an automatic starter. in city, perhaps not quite so. but if he goes there, i still think he will start more often than not…

    in fact, i think the bigger danger for him at city is not that he won’t start so much, but that he will, be less than effective, and become one of the first players that mancini regularly substitutes early…in other words, i think he will have a first team place to lose…if he is ineffective – or invisible – at united, the likes of rooney and nani can mask that, at least initially…at city, that won’t necessarily be the case…

  137. I’m not entirely sure what Will means by cheating Steve, the way i see it he suggests that because they have suga daddies and have more money to spend than they earn he calls it cheating but i don’t know..

    Reality is, the rules of football have allowed that to date so it’s not cheating but, if the FFP stop all that and they can only spend what they bring in then we ‘should’ all be playing on a level field….

  138. Dennis was a great player for us but Manager not in a million years fans moan about Wenger, and Wenger has years and years of top Management experience. there is not a manager around that can do what Wenger has done with what he has had to work with, i believe your heart is ruling your head, Dennis would need a stand in for nearly every overseas games and what makes him a manager. who is he managing now, i don’t mean to mock but i cannot for the life of me see Dennis ever in the hot seat with us , Wenger has achieved more than most Managers will ever achieve and he is not finished yet, mass clear ups are in the past, but the odd competition will always be available, give him time to sort the team out and all the doubters will wonder what all the shouting was about

  139. oliver – i don’t see him as a first choice for Manure either if he goes there, who would Nasri nudge out?

    However, i don’t think he’ll go there anyway – like you, i would much rather he went abroad and if he wants a good wage, PSG could give him that and he’ll be home again….

  140. I would sell him to the biggest offer and cross that bridge when the time comes, Nasri has shown he wants away, we shouldn’t stand in his way, he has shown he has talent but not for a whole season, he has been with us what 3 years and has not done that great, i am at a loss to know why he is valued so highly, i would sell him to anybody, as i don’t see him as a threat, if we do ever get the defenders that i’m hoping for, we will see him off in my opinion Rooney in my opinion is by far a better player than Nas and we held him out with a shit defence, grab the money and buy our defenders, very good business.

  141. Steve – i echo your last comment – yep it would be good to keep him but at what cost??

    He started all this about leaving, put him on the market and sell him to the best bidder – if that is Citeh, so be it…..

    He’ll be just one of many who have gone on to an average career after AFC…..

  142. i would think he would fit into the scholes role, albeit not as effectively as scholes had. he would certainly be an upgrade over carrick, gibson or park…with young joining valencia and nani, and giggs still there, albeit in an increasingly diminished role, there is probably little room for him on the wing.

    i would be shocked if he joined psg. i know he left om, but i can’t see him joining rivals like that…

  143. i say psg oliver because they are a french club with money right now….

    reality is, he’s still ours so we’ll have to watch it all unfold, all i know is if goes and wenger re-invests, i won’t be too upset….

  144. steve, the problem i see is that while losing him may not weaken us all that much, i think he instantly upgrades one specific club in an area they desperately need improvement. and to me, that is a risk…

    when we say nas cannot function as the creative hub that well, we do it comparing him to cesc, who is the best in england at that role. nas may pale in comparison to cesc, but he is still head and shoulders above the current options united have. that is why i think selling him to them is a no-go. he will significantly improve their one glaring weakness. if we want to topple united, we should not be helping them get better.

  145. Talking of those on their way out, its near my time too – so i’ll bid you all a good night, enjoy the rest of you day and

    As Sarah Kennedy says, If the good Lord spares us’…Chat tomorrow…..

    TTFN, Til tomorrow all, nighty night….

  146. night rico…better you quote sarah kennedy than governor palin!

  147. Rico, what I mean by cheating is, they are spending far more money than they make, therefore making the entire idea of fair play and sport null and void.

    All players will go where the money is, come to Arsenal where you may get £100k a week or, go to Man City where they already have 20 world class players and because of their owners, can pay you £250k a week.

    Banish any idea of sporting chance from your head.

  148. Night Rico sleep tight and thanks again
    Oliver we cannot risk keeping him and letting him go for free he could still end up there and we get bugger all, get the money and worry later.

  149. I may upset rico but that no matter how you look at it is legal cheating no doubt about it.

  150. Buy replacement, sell Nasri.

  151. It is legal cheating and it is ruining the game.

  152. To bo honest Will, i am more worried about the FA taking bungs as they worry me,, its pretty blatent now

  153. steve, that is our dilemma. i am operating under the premise that nas will not resign with us. so we have the choice to either sell him to the highest bidder – or the one that needs him less; or keep him and allow him to walk away for nothing, to the team of his choice. either way, arsenal lose. so we’ll see what they do – for me, man united is the absolutely worst choice because he will fill a glaring need for the current champions, and i think he will help make them a better side than he would make city. so, as distasteful as this is, i would sell him to city. especially as it does not look like any other side (i.e. foreign) is a realistic proposition.

    and yes, i would take less money from city, in the event that united offered more. i say that because i have my doubts any fee we receive will be allocated towards buying a credible, experienced, first-team ready replacement. if it is stashed in the bank to collect dust and interest – or goes towards improved wages for squad players, then the side of the fee is not so important to me…

  154. Steve, bungs?

  155. Good point there Oliver, i would be more suspicious if a smaller club came in for him, as we wouldn’t know if they were being like a third party, imagine a third party say Bolton put in an offer of fifteen mill, now that would suit us right down to the ground, and we sold him, only for Bolton to sell him straight away to United and make 5 to 10 mill, tell me that can’t happen.

  156. Will FIFA, as has been reported are accused of taking bungs, our own Fa are allowing the premier league to run themselves where the FA used to govern all the leagues you only do that where there is money, and the premier is earning bundles with 4 teams entered into the Champions league every year with rich pickings of around 30 million, certain results throughout the season could make sure a team that gets in it could slip a few quid to a helpful organiser

  157. steve, i think if something like that were to happen it would receive immediate scrutiny. i am not sure, but are there rules about players moving clubs twice in quick succession? or even in the same transfer window? if the small club were to buy and immediately sell, i think many would see right through it…

  158. Oliver i don’t know of any rules that would stop it, as Wills theory about rich clubs spending more than they earn, this could be one way of getting a player like Nasri knowing that Wenger would not want to sell to a top four team.

  159. - Oliver

    My understanding is that a player cannot play for 3 clubs in one year. I can’t remember, but didn’t Liverpool have a similar situation not too long ago?

    I have always thought about clubs buying players to use them as a negotiation tool to acquire another player.

    My only hope with the Nasri situation is that maybe an Italian club will come in for him, would hate to see him line up against us for either Manchester club. Shame it has come to this. I believe if Arsenal had offered him 100,000 a week, first offer, he would have signed.

    Also another thing, why have all our transfers become so drawn out, its like pulling teeth these days, I remember when Dein was in charge of transfers, you would here about a player joining Arsenal and the next day he was in a Jersey, why now. like Gervinho, has it become such a struggle to bring players in? If wenger wanted a player Dein made it happen, another reason I would like to see him back!

  160. There is a limit to the amount of teams a player can play for Steve in a season. I think it is two.

  161. Hi ESP, When Dein was around Arsenal was on a par with the top teams, now we are in a dilema with payments for our debts. although our payments are affordable, we still have to watch what we spend so negotiations is parramount to our transfer dealings, and more often than not if Wenger shows interest in anyone it appears as if lots of other teams start showing interest as well, wait untill Wenger puts in an offer for Cahill, now he’s been available for ages ,but if wenger shows interest one of the big boys will outbid us.

  162. Will the word is playfor not owned by

  163. I am off guy’s nte nte, thanks for your comments.

  164. - Steve

    I just feel that Dein may have been a better businessman and negotiator than who ever deals directly with transfers now, any chance that is actually Wenger himself? I have never liked how late Arsene leaves his transfer dealing, I feel the quicker the better, Ideally the first week the window is open you do your business. Players in, players out, you now have an entire preseason to prepare your squad, now I know this is not possible as players may only become available at a later stage, but Arsene and the club both know who they want, they know their value and they know if the clubs they are dealing with are willing to sell, its their jobs to know.

    So why do we have bids for players that even we know will be rejected? Now Phil Jagielka, a player I have no idea why Arsenal would make a bid for in the first place, he is an English player so his price is inflated straight away, his is worth about 10m, but under no circumstances will he be sold for that, so why bid? Arsenal know exactly the price it will cost them, it may not be the media price of close to 20m or whatever ridiculous price was quoted, but it may be 14-16m, why not bid that, have it accepted and open negotiations with the player and have all that done inside a day or two, why drag it out over weeks?

    I know you have mentioned Arsenals tight budget, but I don’t understand where this tight budget comes from? I know we have stadium debt that needs to be paid off, but my understanding is that it is a fixed amount we pay back over each year, I’m sure when this figure was being bashed around before the loan was given that our board sat down and made sure we would remain competitive in the market regardless of the debt we are paying back. Surly they didn’t count the transfer sales of players into the estimate of payment? So why hasn’t all that money been reinvested in bringing new players in? Once both Nasri and Fabregas are gone, do you really believe that money will be put back into the team or will a sizable chunk go into paying shareholders? With maybe 40% out back into the squad?

  165. ESP, the shareholders don’t receive dividends from profits so all thats been happening is profits have been used to pay off the debts quicker but the main debt is ringfenced that if cleared early has substantial penalties attached so where does the profits go now when there is only one major shareholder in place, the rules are still the same though, there are no dividends…!

  166. For me we need to buy now….. spend what ever is necessary and then flog Cesc n Nasri if we only look to buy after they sold how dumb is that..? everyone knows we looking for players the prices go up more and we lose out so do the buying now hardly rocket science is it…!

  167. Rinus Michels: “Team Building – The Road to Success”
    This strategy is distinguished by the ability to circulate the ball from player to player until the correct moment arises for the attacking phase and thus, the ball can be played deep. That moment can arise very quickly, but it can also take many passes over many stations. It places a high demand on the build-up qualities of the team, together with high-quality positional play. This is a tough assignment, especially if the opponents pressure you constantly.
    Circulation football is linked to two guidelines:
    – It is a means to be able to play the ball deep and not an aim itself.
    – It has to be linked to a healthy dose of opportunistic football via for example, the lucky pass and the cross.

    Fast combinations and excellent positional play are a must – Circulation football!
    The coach who “forgets” these guidelines when playing circulation football, chooses to play boring football without many surprise, and thus easy to defend.

    In the golden era of Ajax, there were able to perform this style to perfection, just as FC Barcelona.

    In comparison to Spanish players, there were trained in the principles of this style while they were young players. A structural approach in the youth education system of Barcelona could lead to some success, but a top-team such as Barcelona will always be dependent upon the global market for its players.

    KICK AND RUN
    The counterpart of circulation football is the refined kick and rush football as seen mostly in UK and Norway. However, top-teams from these countries are putting more elements of circulation football in their game. As coaches though, we cannot forget that the spectators in England enjoy watching these kick and run games. There is always something happening around the penalty box.

    [Unlike watching 3 seasons of Arsenal’s Crab Football with 20 to 30+ passes around the box with the final pass invariably hitting a defender’s leg, body or butts.

    Those great 1970s and 1980s’ Liverpool teams and Fergie Fledgings plus Ferguson’s title-winning teams melded “Kick and Run”, “English Grits” and “Circulation Football”.

    Sadly, Arsene Wenger had under-estimated teams like Bolton, Stoke City, BRUM, S*CUMS, etc. which beat Arsenal using two elements, “kick and run” and “opportunism” plus surprising, the do play an element of “Circulation Football” as well.
    The day that Arsene Wenger acknowledged that lower premiership teams knew how to play “Circulation Football” as well and exploited “opportunism” to beat Arsenal, is that day that Arsenal FC will beat all these teams at any time of the day of the week with its superior brand of “Circulation Football”; like FC Barcelona 2010/11 beating any premiership teams.

    Sadly, Arsene Wenger had forgotten our French Spine’s “Kick and Run” strategy that within four touches of the ball from box to box; an Arsenal player was in a clear position to shoot at goal. This is the 2nd Strategy of “Circulation Football” – play deep ball.]

    OPORTUNISM
    Opportunism is the 3rd strategy for the build-up. There is a need in football for a surprising action in the build-up and the attack. This is possible through opportune plays. You need to have the courage in the attacking third of the field to sometimes “blindly” cross the ball and not choose to play a square pass or a backwards pass. It sometimes seems like they [Dutch team] only want to score a goal out of very elaborate combination play. Perhaps they will succeed at times, but most of the time it does not work.

    [Isn’t it that perennial complaints against current Arsene Wenger’s team a “over-elaboration” and “attempting to walk the ball into the net”? That one through ball or visionary pass will do instead of indulging in 30+ “Crab Football” around the box?

    In the predictable “Crab Football” style we are playing now, there is no opportunism, thus it lacked the surprise element. And it was rubbed deep into us at Nou Camp where we can’t marshal a single shot on target, nor able to string three consecutive passes together!]

    I believe that when you have a chance to cross the ball into the box, that you should take full advantage of that situation and play the cross. I have had discussions about this with outside forwards during my time at Ajax. The player wondered what good it would do if he crossed the ball when there were no teammates in the box. I made it clear to him that this was not his problem. When nobody is positioned in front of the goal after a good cross is given, I can confront the other forwards with this. When the cross is not given at all, then the next time they will not make the run on time.

    [And that was what Clichy, Sagna and Walcott were attempting to do – crossing the ball from the flank. But it was awful and utterly predictable that opponents would just wait patiently in the box in anticipation for the predicted cross to swing in.

    Worst, we had a bunch of cowardly lions that absolutely refused to go into harm’s way in the box going for headers!]

    However, if there was a disappointing score in the game with only 20 minutes to play, then we would switch to a more opportune approach, namely, to a more “kick and run” strategy. When such a situation occurred, the team had to get the ball into and around the penalty box as soon as possible, preferably with crosses from the wings. My sweeper would act as an extra forward in the centre; he was strong in the air. The opponents were constantly put under pressure in and around the opponents’ box. There were only three defenders left over who were not allowed to take part in the build-up or the attack.

    The advantage of this “English Style” football was that the crowd would get behind the team, because we were constantly putting attacking pressure on the opponents. This style of play also prevented the ball from being lost in an early stage in the midfield. This does happen a lot in the final minutes of a game, if you are losing and sticking to a deliberate build-up.

    __________________________________________________

    ES Paul, you are correct on “shooting from outisde the box” as what was missing from last 2 or 3 seasons is OPPORTUNISM.
    That somewhat, the team ahd morphed into playing Crab Football with 20+ sideway and abckward passes around the box without any penetration.

    We lost teh art of playing direct and opportunistic footabll with players like Bergy, Henry, Vieira and Pires that can slipped in a thru’ ball or a visionary pass that team-mates like Pires and Freddy and WIltord had developed a telepathic understanding that even WIltord said that he can run with his eyes closed and knew that the ball will be there.

    We actually attack with 8 players with only one CB and one FB hovering at the centre-line; and Song acting like a deep-lying playmaker driving into the box like a libero aka Lothar Matteus.

    The porblem is that Walcott and Arshavin have not developed an understanding with their team-mates, plus still struggling to adapt to their role as “outside attacking” forwards, using the “outside” to stretch a tight defence..say 4-6-0.

    And yes, to play Circulaiton Football, we need a superb man-marker central midfielder, plus a superb man-marker CB when on defensive duty with the other CB joining the attack or launching an attack as another deep-lying playmaker.
    That is why Wenger is looking for attacking-mind CB, who can defence and who are actively involved as a deep-lying playmaker, joining in the attack from deep.

    Whatever it is, I am looking at the glass “half-filled” and just pray fro teh best that finally, 2011/12, we got a team that cna play “Circulation Football” and we buy a superb man-marking DCM and another man-marking CB.

    And we may very well see that with gervinho, Wenger has an option to rotate Walcott (and perhaps Vela) into a central striker’s role with Van Persie sitting in Bergy’s Hole.

    You will never know as Wenger, with Gervinho, perhaps 2 or 3 more new buys and revert to 4-4-2 with Van Perise finally ahivng support.

  168. New Post up guys….

  169. Such a refreshing article and thank you so much for taking the time to write it. Arsenal is such a fantastic club and a lot of this is down to Wenger. Arsenal don’t have the money that the other top clubs have, and not only have they managed to remain competitive but also with a style that is revered worldwide. Yes, we are entering a period of consolidation where Wenger needs to make a couple of acquisitions, but if we can hold on to our key players then we have a fantastic base on which to build a championship winning team. We are lucky to have had some consistency at a managerial level at a point when the club has been going through a transitional phase, including re-branding and a new stadium. To have a figure head which captures the essence of Arsenal over this time has helped us to retain our soul. Wenger has created the Arsenal we know and love and for those fans calling for his head have obviously lost their way somewhere and need to get behind the team and support them to the title this year!

  170. Thank you James and well said

  171. You have it wrong. AW is following board policy. It is the board who are the trouble

    AW is an employed moron, a salary man. He’s paid to take the heat

  172. good article steve. it was nice to hear you speak in that optimistic way.But you see,our team sometimes lose the plot when it comes to delivering when it matters most, For many many seasons now we have been waiting for the moment when our team will bring some cheer to us, but come the end of the season, we have nothing to show for the best football we play. pardon me steve, but i of all people believe that ARSENAL the third richest football club do little to show that we really have ambition to do what it takes to be called a winner.however, i will go with you with the fact that we should support wenger and the team.Do you know why i am saying this? it is because that i can’t support any other team in the world except for ARSENAL

  173. Many thanks BVG Thats my problem as well ARSENAL born and bred.

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