That's Our Ticket to The Ball Secured…….

A few hours after a certain Samir Nasri was unveiled by his new employers at Eastlands, our moment of truth arrived as we kicked off the second leg of our Champions League qualifier in Northern Italy. Holding a 1-0 lead and sporting a clean sheet from the first leg is a good place to be, but not at all a secure one.

Memories of how Udinese – who’s league season has not yet started – fashioned several good chances (particularly through DiNatale) in that first leg served as a reminder that this tie is far from over, especially as the decisive second leg is on Udinese’s patch…

While the build-up was dominated by Nas’ impending transfer, there was also plenty of speculation regarding who would/would not be available. In his Tuesday afternoon presser, Arsene confirmed that JD and Traore were good to go and that Rosicky would make at the least the bench. Hopes were raised that Jack would recover in time to make the trip and perhaps play a part; as he suffered a setback, he was ruled out and may face an extended period sidelined.

So we lined up Szczesny, Bac, TV, JD, Jenks, Frimpong, Ramsey, Song, Gervinho, Robin, and Theo.

Fab, Traore, Miquel, Rosicky, Arsh, OC, and Chamakh comprised our bench.

The inclusion of Frimpong and Song together was particularly interesting, suggesting an emphasis on solidifying the midfield – an area where Udinese arguably outplayed us last week. The task was simple: win and go through, draw and go through.

A quick start was key to our first leg win, and we started in a similar bright vein, with last Tuesday’s goal scorer (Theo) once again involved early, forcing Handanovic to save just a couple of minutes in. A couple of minutes later, a Ramsey shot from the edge of the box was put behind for a corner which Theo took, but was unable to put a good ball in.

While Udinese had seen little of the ball up to this point, they quickly built an attack and DiNatale smartly finished the move off but he was rightly give offside. This provided a reminder of the danger Udinese posed.

The first 20 minutes saw us move the ball effectively, particularly through Theo and Gervinho, and create the better chances. In once such move, Robin fed Theo with a great pass, but the latter was already offside when he collected it. A few minutes later, Robin headed over from a good Gervinho cross. Udinese immediately countered, and DiNatale got a shot off, forcing Szczesny to save low.

On 25, we had a huge let off, as Isla was given far too much room down the right, crossing for DiNatale, who whacked another low shot off the post. But as the half progressed, Udinese saw more of the ball and were able to slow the tempo down.

Just before the half hour mark, Robin got a sniff inside the Udinese box, but couldn’t make a clean connection and sent the shot high over goal. A few minutes later, both Theo and Robin had chances to extend our lead and get a priceless away goal in the bargain but Handanovic did well to deny them both.

Six minutes before half-time the goal Udinese had threatened since the first leg finally arrived. This time it was Pinzi allowed way too much time and space. He put in a cross with DiNatale met with a firm header over Szczesny and into our net. So back to square one…

We were shaken, but managed the final chance of the half – in stoppage time – as Song headed a Robin corner into the side netting. The whistle went, with 45 (possibly more) minutes remaining and all to play for…

We kicked the second half off with one change, Rosicky on for Frimpong.

As we were unable to keep the door closed in the first half, the situation now dictated we needed at least one goal and had to bring someone on who could create one. A few minutes in, Song became the first player booked, for a challenge on Pinzi.

We then had a bit of argy-bargy when launching an attack with an Udinese player grounded. When play stopped there was a bit of shoving and posturing, with Isla eventually booked for the home side. Our free kick came to nothing. Theo followed that up with a tame shot at Handanovic from our next attack…

While we had not finished any of these moves, they did build up early momentum and ten minutes after the break, we cashed in. Gervinho got free once again and pulled the ball back for Robin to smash into the net. The away goal leveled the scores on the night, gave us a 2-1 aggregate lead and perhaps most importantly, was worth double as an away goal.

The question then came – as earlier on – could we keep the lead?

Two minutes later, Udinese earned a corner. DiNatale took it, Danilo tried to get his head to the ball, but whiffed. The referee suddenly blew for a penalty and booked Vermaelen.

It took a few minutes to sort everything out but the referee awarded the penalty for a TV handball during the corner. Seeing it again, it looked quite harsh to me and I thought there was also a foul on TV as he went for the ball but the referee’s decision is the only one that counts.

DiNatale took the penalty, striking it well but Szczesny quickly got across to his right, batting the ball away to keep it out!

That save lifted our players and seemed to visibly deflate Udinese and we re-asserted control. Ramsey burst into the box and went down under what looked like some contact but the referee did not give anything. Nevertheless, we went right at Udinese, kept the ball and kept them under pressure, looking better than we had at any point during this season.

Udinese made their first change on 63, bringing Fabbrini on for Pinzi but we were in the ascendancy and this did not stall our momentum. Gervinho then forced Handanovic to save his low shot but another Arsenal goal was coming and it duly arrived in our next attack.

Sagna sprung Theo, who went clear, drew Handanovic and finished calmly to give us a 3-1 aggregate lead, and 2-1 lead on the night.

Even after extending our aggregate lead, we still looked for more and should have had the chance to go further ahead 20 minutes from the end. As soft as the penalty given against us was, the one we were denied was almost as obvious as possible. Robin played Theo, and Benatia whacked the latter in the head with an elbow. Probably unintentional but an obvious foul, to everyone except the officials. To make matters worse, Theo was booked for taking exception.

At this point, we started to lose composure a bit, and Jenks then saw yellow for kicking the ball away after a foul was awarded against us but we quickly calmed down, reasserted ourselves, and controlled play. As the game entered the final 15 minutes, we continued to try and extend the lead, with Ramsey and Theo both working Handanovic. At the other end, Szczesny punched a DiNatale free kick clear.

Four minutes from time, Arsene brought Traore on to replace Gervinho, who had an excellent game. Arsh replaced Theo in the first minute of stoppage time and we comfortably saw about the three added minutes. Right at the death, first Robin and then Traore had chances to extend the lead – and perhaps make the scoreline a bit more indicative of our second half performance – but Handanovic denied them both.

No matter, as we completed the job and now await tomorrow’s draw to see who we get in the group stages.

I won’t argue that after all that has – and has not – occurred at our club (particularly during the past couple of weeks) it is easy to paint the picture of us as a club in crisis. Perhaps it is too easy; it makes for juicy headlines, sure but it also underestimates the resolve and determination of our players.

I think this may have been an instance where the constant piling on from the past several days galvanized everyone.

They certainly responded with a performance and result, in a high stakes situation against a quality opponent – what more do you want?

That is not to say everything is suddenly rosy at Arsenal FC – far from it. We are still short (by Arsene’s own admission) in at least one area (I think more than one); our depth is still compromised by injuries, and three key players (Gerv, Song, and Frim) return to the penalty box for the next two matches (Frim’s ban is only one, I think). Who is not on the pitch will get more mention than who lines up for us.

Yet, as we showed tonight, the players are capable of putting in quality performances and winning in difficult circumstances. If they can push on from here, then surely the results will overshadow these other factors…

As always, it will be up to the players and Arsene to deliver and get the results we need.

Bringing in quality reinforcements will be a great way to follow this win up – and push the crisis headlines even further away. We’re in the champions league proper, so if there actually were any targets waiting to see what European competition we qualified for, that is no longer a factor.

We’ll see how it goes…

If nobody comes in, sure I’ll be disappointed but then I’ll put that to one side and support the squad we have. Four games in and the players look committed and determined, even if they have not always gotten results. Surely they are worth backing to the hilt this season?

Anyways, job well done to the players. We have the small matter of a trip to Old Trafford on Sunday – never an easy place to win, and even more difficult when your squad is so depleted. The odds are hugely against our players: the reigning champions were unbeatable at home last season and have started the season with two wins.

Surely such an under-strength side will be mere lambs to the slaughter? Perhaps.

The deck is always stacked against Arsenal at Old Trafford and this time we will be without our first/second choice DM’s, our best creative mid (Jack), our starting left back and our new winger among others. Sounds like just the challenge our remaining players should relish.

Shock everybody and roll the champions in their own house?

Why not? Why not indeed….

Written by oliver

204 thoughts on “That's Our Ticket to The Ball Secured…….

  1. adam

    August 25, 2011 at 8:56am

    Morning all. Wenger earned his money last night. At half time he addressed all the areas where we were not quite “at it” and the second half was much better. Really good performance and nice to see Rosicky roll back the years and look a player again.

  2. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 9:01am

    Great result – this is all part of the confidence-rebuilding-program.

  3. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:01am

    Morning all..

    Cracking write up again oliver, this one was a pleasure to read :)

    What a night…

    Hi adam, Wenger gets a bit of stick for his subs often, last night he got it spot on, Rosicky changed the game imho …..

  4. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 9:05am

    Interesting to see the Song and Pong combination didn’t quite gel last night. Early days still. A twilight season for Sicko?

  5. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:06am

    Just watching the players talk after the game, we may have lost a few but those who remain are full of smiles :)

  6. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 9:09am

    Morning all.good read oliver.am back rico and as i promised i’ll write all CL posts this season.

  7. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:09am

    Savage, I thought Rosicky was immense, like adam says, he’s rolling back the years :)

    I don’t think we’d often see the two play together…

  8. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 9:09am

    I was interested to see RVP going to each of the players before the game and talking them up – I don’t remember Cesc doing that.

  9. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:10am

    Morning Kt, glad to see you back, i take it you enjoyed that game :)

    Thanks in advance for the CL posts….

  10. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 9:11am

    You can sense the disappointment in the media match reports that we won.f*ck them.

  11. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:13am

    I was listening to Mick Dennis from The Daily Express – he seemed genuinely chuffed that we had got through and says we are far from being a club in crisis…

    He expects Wenger to sign a few ;)

    But not Kaka it seems ….

  12. goonster

    August 25, 2011 at 9:14am

    COYG’s…….Get in.

  13. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:15am

    We are through now, if the stories about transfer targets waiting to see if we qualified, we should get some news soon ;)

  14. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 9:17am

    Such a pity we’re missing 3 players through suspension for United – how often does that happen? Not very often.

  15. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 9:19am

    Rico i was beginning to feel disillusioned about where football was heading but yesterday i got a reminder of why i love the sport and Arsenal FC.seeing szczesny palm away that PK was like a shot of adrenaline to my passion for football.i give arsene lots of stick but the way he brings through players like szczesny is a delight to watch.jenkinson barely played in league one but yesterday he played in a very crucial CL game and looked totally at home.cheers arsene.

  16. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:20am

    key positions too savage….

  17. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:20am

    happy goonster ……

  18. Joaquim moreira

    August 25, 2011 at 9:22am

    yes, but we need more 4-5 players.
    Di Natalie will be much more interesting and important then Kaka

  19. adam

    August 25, 2011 at 9:22am

    Very, very cheap shot from Nasri about the lack of passion from the Arsenal fans. I think there are quite a few things that he could be accused of lacking. Bottle, for one. Also a calculated knife in the ribs from him about Vieira persuading him to leave Arsenal to go there. What a classless and selfish individual he is. Still, the last person I heard spout that particular blend of vitriol was Adebayor and look where he is now. Karma, oh porky one, don’t underestimate the power of Karma!

  20. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:23am

    I know Kt, i honestly didn’t expect jenkinson to be as good as he has been so far…. just shows that big price tags are not the be all and end all…

    he’s a gooner too and he’s thrilled to be playing for us…

    so up yours nasri….

  21. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 9:24am

    We shouldn’t forget that United’s injuries have played into our hands too. And their victory over a highly depleted Spurs squad possibly exaggerated this.

    Any odds on a De Gea blunder?

    I expect us to lose, but on second thoughts, there might be a game on here.

  22. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 9:24am

    Goal.shite were very disappointed.they gave us no chance at all.i remember last week they produced an article about how udinese outplayed us at the Ems barely after the game.today they have diddly squat to say.f*ck ‘em.

  23. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 9:26am

    *barely an hour*

  24. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:26am

    We do JM, i don’t think we’ll get all of them but i’m expecting a few….

    adam, he knew he was going at christmas i’m sure, that’s why he was rubbish second half of the season, we are better of without him, lets get a player who wants to play for afc…

    Lardy, yep, he’s now at the tiny totts, what a joke…..

  25. Joaquim moreira

    August 25, 2011 at 9:28am

    we are one of the 8ths on the fist header stage for CL today!
    :-)

  26. goonster

    August 25, 2011 at 9:28am

    Hey adam fuck the fat ponce….we won without him and fab and we did it in style..today we celebrate no nasri on here. Anybody that mentions him ll be kick out. Ask rico.

  27. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 9:29am

    I can only sum up Rosicky in two words:Rolls Royce.

  28. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 9:31am

    I expect frimpong to take out nasri when we meet again…if he even shows up.

  29. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 9:34am

    What Gervinho did last night is what I was always wanting Nasri to do for us. How often do you remember Nasri beating his man down the flank?

  30. ArsenalDK

    August 25, 2011 at 9:34am

    The most important thing right now is that we have qualified. Guys, lets hope Wenger will bring in some more quality before the end of the window. If not, then what can we do? We can support our team as good as ever! Booing won’t get the younger players anywhere! COYG

  31. Lee

    August 25, 2011 at 9:35am

    Morning HH, yeah agree fuck nasri buck toothed prick!! Come on Arsene, get the cheque book out…

  32. Joaquim moreira

    August 25, 2011 at 9:37am

    from http://www.eurosport.com
    The Walcott conundrum
    Nobody confounds and confuses quite like Theo Walcott.
    The man is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Inside a nice middle-class boy with silly facial hair, who runs very quickly but doesn’t always kick a football in the right direction.
    In the first half against Udinese last night, Gervinho set him up for what looked a simple chance, but instead of lifting the ball into the net he shot low at Samir Handanovic.
    This was ‘proof’ of Walcott’s terminal lack of finishing instinct and subtelety, laid bare in front of a continental audience.
    Everything critics have said about his failure to improve, his non-existent ‘football brain’, his unreliability – it was summed up in that single moment.
    Walcott. Will. Never. Make. It. FACT.
    Midway through the second half, with the tie still thrillingly in the balance, he raced through on goal down the left channel.
    We all knew what was going to happen next – the same thing that happens every time he has a one-one-one. He was going to telegraph a sidefoot curler to the right side of the goal, and the keeper would make an easy save.
    Sure enough, Walcott looked to the far corner, he opened his body… and he planted a beautifully-disguised finish into the net at the near post. Game over.
    It was a brilliant, cool piece of play from Walcott. One showing technique, poise and presence of mind – all the things he is routinely accused of lacking.
    What to make of it? ED’s head hurt to the point where it genuinely feared its brain might explode. Although that might have been something to do with the medieval trepanning surgery ED underwent before kick-off.
    In an era of snap judgements, Theo Walcott is a most perplexing footballer. We want to pigeon-hole him but we can’t.
    One moment he scores a hat-trick against Croatia, the next he flares six straight crosses out of play for goal kicks. One moment he makes Barcelona have kittens, the next he runs down blind alleys for an hour and a half.
    The modern football observer cannot accept the reality – Walcott is simply an inconsistent player, by turns electric and execrable.
    But that’s not good enough. We need a conclusion. He has to be either Thierry Henry or Bebe, and his habit of flitting between the two upsets us.
    The desire to draw lavish conclusions from small scraps of evidence is only increased by the fact we cannot quite work him out. If it could be generally accepted that he was one thing or the other, we would ignore the evidence that contradicts us – just like we do for everyone else.
    Take Javier Hernandez, who made such a positive impact for Manchester United last season, and whom nearly everybody recognises is a high-class striker.
    Nowhere was his predatory eye for goal more in evidence than when he took just 36 seconds to score against Chelsea in a virtual title-decider at Old Trafford.
    That early goal fit the Hernandez profile perfectly and made a neat story, so we ignored what followed.
    He missed a gilt-edged chance on 10 minutes, and other on 87 and yet another on 89. In between he was caught offside about half a dozen times.
    Now that doesn’t *prove* Hernandez is rubbish any more than his early goal proved he was great. But because we think Hernandez is good, we focus on the evidence that supports what we already believe.
    The problem with Walcott is that, five years into his career, we still have no real clue what sweeping generalisation to make about him. And that bothers us

  33. Lee

    August 25, 2011 at 9:37am

    KT, he’d shit himself with the first Frimpong challenge…

  34. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 9:37am

    I hope our forwards watch Di Natale’s movement and learn from him.

  35. adam

    August 25, 2011 at 9:38am

    Goonster. Delicately, but accurately said.

  36. Ezeukwu Emmanuel

    August 25, 2011 at 9:42am

    The two Arsenal goals scored against Udinese in the 2nd leg play off of the champions league 2010-2012 had one thing in common.They look like the Arshley Young much talked about goal in the league match between ManU and Westbrom.Gervinho and latter Wallcott both took their pace to a productive level when they were served with the ball near the edge of the box.They both ran in with a terific pace into the vital area ofthe opponent,with Gervinho making a vital pass to the goal scorer RVP and Wallcott scoring himself after he convincingly outpaced his opponent.For ARSENAL to win games always expecially the big games that are more difficult attackers must inculcate the habit of outpacing their opponents in the edge or in the box.

  37. goonster

    August 25, 2011 at 9:43am

    COYG’S

  38. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 9:44am

    Guys, I have to go off for a while, shame as i’d rather be here talking arsenal than visiting the in-laws ;)

    Back around 5ish i hope, don’t waste time of the french poodle, he’s long gone and forgotten…

    Cheque book out please Mr Wenger…..

    Cahill by Saturday would be nice ;)

  39. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 9:44am

    Can’t wait for the draw. I guess I got a reminder that we’re eating at Europe’s elite table – 14 years makes you take it for granted.

    Who would you like to get and who would you like to avoid?

  40. ArsenalDK

    August 25, 2011 at 9:53am

    ideally, CSKA Mocow, FC Basel and Victoria Plzen would be a great group..

    Avoid a group like: AC Milan, Man. City and Borrusia Dortmund

  41. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 9:58am

    Will we be top seeds for the draw?

    Nasri talking s*** already, and there is something bitter about Vieira, he turned down an oppertunity to come back to Arsenal as a coach, a player where he made his career and won titles, to stay at City for the money, and if he is now telling players they should leave us then there must be a chip on his shoulder.

    And I going to bet Nasri doesn’t play when the teams meet at the Emirates, I could see several pig heads being smuggled in that day if he did.

  42. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 10:05am

    I’d like to avoid Shaktar Donetsk – be nice to distance ourselves from last season. Everybody else is fair game.

  43. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 10:15am

    Good Moaning,
    What a fantastic result last night, it was definately a game of two halves, we were wasteful in the 1st and it was backs against the wall, but we came out in the 2nd half and done the business.
    Gerv was man of the match, but a special mention must go to Jenks, especially when you think where he was this time last year, I thought he showed great composure and was great on the night.

  44. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 10:22am

    hi all good time wherever you are. Im glad we won.

    I think Ramsey’s getting better. He has fully recovered but he’s dribbling is back and he’s passing is more accurate. It’s obvious another playmaker partnering him. He can’t play with two DMs.

    We don’t need to buy anyone after todays. Lol.

    3 weeks while discussing with my brother Arsenal’s potential replacement for Fab/Nas as a playmaker I said that Rosicky would be the internal option if there’s ever one. My brother believed Arshavin would be better as he have better dribbling and ball control skills. But, I believed that Rosicky is a very talented midfielder, and with his happiness to finally got over his injuries, and his realisation that he’s at this moment that we lost our 2 best players, he would be motivated enough for a last stand I thought.

    Last night he showed that he can still be able to a good job for Arsenal this season. He may not be as effecient as Fab, but he’d definitely be improving as the season goes if he lucky with injuries.

    I believe we finally found someone who isn’t shy to dribble and who little tendency to pass sideways. Gervinho.

    I think if we continue to have more injuries to Song, Frimp Sagna should be slot in the DM role. That man can do anything. Some commentators said he struggled with left back, but who didn’t struggle in that position? Clichy? I think he played intelligently and with big heart.

    We don’t need to buy a striker because we have Theo WALL able to break the BERLIN Wall.

    What Chezzer? Nothing special. He was like that all I remember.

    I select the following comment for the The Guiness Book for the Dumbest Football Analysis or Report, ou Le betissier as the French may call it.

    “Wenger is almost alone in his refusal to acknowledge that Arsenal would be better with a commanding central defender.” Martin Samuel, Daily Mail.

    How can a journalist says that wenger refuses to see he needs a defender when he’s own newspaper is reporting on a daily basis that Arsene Wenger is after Cahill and Jag for which offers were rejected. Plainly stupid.

  45. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 10:29am

    Liam brady was on the box last night, he was saying Wenger will add to the team but we would not be breaking our wage cap.
    Me personally I would love to see another 3 players come in, we still need a centre half, a midfielder and a striker who will bang in the goals.

  46. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 10:45am

    “Thursdays from now on, are known as Spursdays.” Le-Grove. Top Line.

  47. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 10:47am

    This M’vila story seems to have some legs. I’m also fairly sure there has been some enquiry about Hazard, but that probably won’t happen as Lille simply can’t sell their whole team. Expect a defender in too. It might be just the two players.

    Still waiting for my first sight of OC, as well as Ryo’s prem debut. Plenty to look forward to.

  48. Lee

    August 25, 2011 at 10:53am

    Hazzard warning?

  49. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 10:54am

    Savage i don’t believe Hazard wants to stay. I listened to him in a TV programme interview and he didn’t dismiss the Arsenal rumour. I can’t remember on which channel the interview was, but it was a French channel. He didn’t say that he wanted to stay one more season to mature as it’s usually the case with young players when there not sure about their departure. all he said was the he loves Arsenal, Arsene, but at the moment he’s a Lille player.

  50. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 11:08am

    I hear you, but I’ve listened to journalist Auclair who is in close contact with Lille. Basically their plan was to sell 3 main players and keep Hazard. The 3 players have gone and they’re now in the Champions League. It would create huge problems for them to now sell the last main player.

    This case is different to Modric as Hazard is happy to stay, and different to Mata as Valencia really needed the money.

    Still, the right offer could change their minds, but just how much over-pricing are we talking about?

  51. goonster

    August 25, 2011 at 11:12am

    COYG’s……Yeeeeeaaaaah. Come on.

  52. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 11:15am

    Dunno if I want Hazard, another 20 year old, we’ve already got enough of them, there would be a lot of weight on his shoulders at Arsenal, I don’t think he could do it week in week out at the moment, another season in France will only help him, I think we need to address the defence first, starting with Cahill, good in the air, good on the ground, him and TV5 will do me.

  53. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 11:15am

    Savage Im not saying Lille the [club] want to sell him because as you said from their perspective they can’t just loose all their star players in one season, however, Hazard can be convinced by some serious offer from us. He spoke as someone who wanted to just appease his club but to go on good terms with his club.

  54. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 11:19am

    Maybe Osi – I would be happy to see him as our creative midfielder. As a wanted and rated player, it would be a big signing for us. We have the cash, and perhaps Lille have a price.

  55. goonster

    August 25, 2011 at 11:22am

    Sorry Osi but I don’t see hazard coming to us….I ll won’t be fussed though. We need marvin martin……Come on

  56. Lee

    August 25, 2011 at 11:23am

    Is TV injured?

  57. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 11:25am

    I would take Gourcuff over Marvin Martin.

  58. Lee

    August 25, 2011 at 11:27am

    Don’t know too much about MM but Gourcuff seen a few times he’d slot in no problem, gotta get a CB though…

  59. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 11:27am

    Micko I always judge players on their quality and not on their age. Yes, Hazard is 20 yrs of age, but he had experience of top club football in abundance. He was Lille maestro since he was just 18 dazzling defenders with his quick feet, dribbling skills. I normally watch players I like on Youtube clips, but not this one; I’d watched him in full matches and was amazed with the things he’d done and the chances he created for his teammates. He would be great signing if we do buy him. I am normally not in favor for big money on players, but in his case I would be happy is Wenger parts with £30plus to get that man.

    He’s the sort of the player who doesn’t shy away from stand up to violence by doing only what he does best. He’s a big name as well in the European football already and can sell Arsenal more than FAB/Nasri.

  60. goonster

    August 25, 2011 at 11:32am

    Sorry guys gourcuff won’t fit into our style he plays a lot of long balls…..he ll better off in manure or the chavs

  61. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 11:32am

    Another bonus with Hazard is that he and Gerv already worked together in a title-winning team. It would help him to slot in.

  62. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 11:34am

    Nah, I think Gourcuff would fit right in with Arsenal, I have watched him play for a number of seasons (as I did with Nasri…) He is more direct, but that is exactly what we need.

  63. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 11:37am

    Osi, there’s no doubting he a good player, I just think we should be looking for more experience, he’d definately face a sterner test in the EPL, he’s not the biggest and it may take him some time to bed in, we already have ox and ryo who we can play on the wings, having said that you’ve watched him a lot more than me so I respect what your saying.

  64. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 11:46am

    What’s the story with Marvin Martin? What kind of player is he?

  65. goonster

    August 25, 2011 at 11:46am

    Yeah but will lyon release him? That’s the question.

  66. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 11:52am

    Goonster agree with you on Gourcuff; he doesn’t fit the qualities we need at Arsenal.
    Savage, I watched a clip 2 days ago of Hazard and one combination between him and Gervinho was breathtakingly delicious. Gervinho make run in the penalty area and a long pass waist height was made to him on the right hand side in the penalty line. It was hard ball to control, but he turned backwards to control, stopped it with his waist or something and then quickly passes it quick to the onrashing Hazard, and Bang, he matched it with great volley. The two indeed combined extremely well and they both have great dribbling skills and pace.

  67. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 11:53am

    -Osi

    How does he not fit the qualities needed at Arsenal? Too tall maybe?!

  68. ArsenalDK

    August 25, 2011 at 11:55am

    Does anyone know why OC and Afobe haven’t played for the 1. Team yet?

  69. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 11:57am

    Rating from the Independent:

    “Wojciech Szczesny
    Struggled to command area and poor positioning for Di Natale opener, before atoning with fine penalty save. 8/10″

    Abysmal journalism blaming him for the goal. Wow.

  70. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 11:58am

    ArsenalDK, its a long old season mate !
    We’re gonna be really short in midfield on Sunday, the Ox might make an appearance at some point.

  71. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 11:59am

    -Savage

    I mean they have a point… if he just stayed glued to his left hand post all game he would have easily caught it…

    Yuck…

  72. ArsenalDK

    August 25, 2011 at 12:00pm

    Savage, whoever wrote that is a word that is banned here…

  73. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 12:01pm

    Savage, it was a great header, end of.

  74. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 12:02pm

    ESP, no He’s a very good crosser of the ball; that being his best quality I think Arsenal won’t benefit from him as they would with good passer and visionary. People blamed SAGNA and even nasri for not crossing enough, but i think they both can cross well but the problem is that Arsenal system is build on collective passing and they don’t commit a lot of players to get at the end of the crosses. What is the point of having a skill not utlised properly, that’s what I mean in saying he doesn’t fit.

    I don’t know about Martin Marvin expect his English sounding name. Just saw him first time playing for France for about 1/4 an h.

  75. ArsenalDK

    August 25, 2011 at 12:02pm

    I guess you’re right Micko, but what a game to be thrown in eh?

  76. arsenal fan

    August 25, 2011 at 12:02pm

    hi guys,
    great post….
    we deserved to win….
    either team could have won though….
    after our initial dominance they got the goal….they hit the post as well…..scezeny save made changed it….i think after this game scezeny has gone to his next level…..

  77. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 12:03pm

    I agree with everyone who says Djourou should have been tracking him, but take nothing away from an unbelievable header.

    If they say Di Natale is regularly Serie A golden boot, then you only have to see that goal to understand why.

  78. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 12:05pm

    Yeah, but a nice way to make your name.

  79. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 12:10pm

    At the current rate, Chez is going to be Wenger’s best ever teenage signing.

  80. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 12:11pm

    Chezzer was saying on the box last night that before Di Natale was about to take the penalty he was giving him some verbals which he couldn’t say on air, then after the game Di Natale was the 1st to congratulate him which made him feel quite bad, he definately come on a lot from last season.

  81. goonster

    August 25, 2011 at 12:13pm

    Am still on a high fellas….so don’t blame me….COYRG….and we did it without nashit.

  82. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 12:14pm

    I read the independent piece and it was plain stupid rating. I think Chezz did very well and can’t blame him for the goal which, it has to be said, was of the highest quality. Even the assist, you can say that the defenders should have stayed close, but it was a classy cross-chip.

    Media are plainly stupid anti-Arsenal tossers and I don’t pay attention to their ratings and reports. Some even said that Arsenal were dominated last night; others just remembered how many times were ripped apart and were lucky to win. They forget that we also created great chances and were in control for most of the match.

    Even emphasising that the Chezzer save was the ‘turning point’ of the match is bit exaggerated or rather false. The ‘turning point’ of the match was the VanPersie goal because from that point they needed to score 2 to qualify which they didn’t. So actually that goal got us through. Plus our determination.

  83. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 12:21pm

    -Osi

    Gourcuff is a centre midfield player, and actually does quite well sometimes playing off a main striker, but he isn’t exactly known for his ability to get up the wing and cross a bad, what he does however is find a pass like Fabregas did for us, and has great feet with plenty of skill, very (forgive me for using this term) Zidane like.

    What I will say against him is that he is not the best at tracking back and isn’t the fastest player on the pitch, but neither was Fabregas.

    He is 25, a regular for France and has an decent goal return from midfield. I think he is exactly the type of player we need.

  84. goonster

    August 25, 2011 at 12:21pm

    guys stop reading the dross out there….we won FFS. Avoid the media just log on to the arsenal blogosphere for the feel good factor. We don’t need them…..we are the GOONERS.

  85. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 12:25pm

    in my last post it should read *cross a ball
    I hate when I post, then read over and find spelling mistakes because I’m rushing so as not to be caught posting in work!

  86. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 12:26pm

    ESP, Zidane Like? don’t even go there. He can’t even be compared to Nasri. I watch him at his best for about 3 seasons now and I don’t see anything special in him. He definitely can cross the ball [not only long crosses but short skilled and chipped cross], link up with the striker as you said, but he has not a great a feet as Nasri’s. He’s reserved a place in the French team instead of Nasri for reasons I don’t know, but not only for footballing reasons.

  87. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 12:28pm

    Posting at work, I heard you were at a cricket match !

  88. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 12:30pm

    - Osi

    My bad then!
    More kids that can’t reach top shelf magazines are the order of the day!

  89. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 12:31pm

    -Micko!

    I would much prefer to be at a cricket match! Yep posting in work! ;)

  90. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 12:35pm

    ESP, I haven’t looked but surely it must be raining in Dublin, I’d be surprised if the game wasn’t rained off, any port in a storm springs to mind.

  91. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 12:36pm

    ESP have you watched him enough? look I like the way he plays and crosses the so skillfully and so often assisting, but I don’t think he can fit the Arsenal system rather the ManU system as someone commented earlier. I’m not one to advocate that we buy young players, but Hazard is something else because, unlike the other young players I see in football, he so consistent in his performances. That’s why I think he’s best fit for Arsenal.

  92. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 12:40pm

    -Micko

    I am working in Wexford for the summer, but I can only guess that its also raining in Dublin, was pretty damn heavy down here!

  93. Joaquim moreira

    August 25, 2011 at 1:07pm

    M.City by the rules, can’t be in our group.
    Second pot: bad… Ac Milan is very strong this year; Benfica too; Lyon is also strong; Shactar log trip and always dangerous; Marseille is strong too; Villareal plays well but it’s not so stronger then Valencia; CSKA always the same problem: long trip and dangerous. Well: VilaReal or CSKA
    Third: no : Zenit and Leverkusen
    Fourth: No: Dortmund and Naples

  94. Joaquim moreira

    August 25, 2011 at 1:14pm

    Alvaro Pereira is going to chelsea.
    Bye bye A. Cole…

  95. South Yorkshire Gunner

    August 25, 2011 at 2:07pm

    Afternoon all.

    Saw the game last night. Great win. Tidy performance.

    Djourou definitely at fault for the first goal.

    SZCY? I knew before De Natale hit the penalty that it wouldn’t go past him. SZCY is what we have been after for the past 4 years. He was brilliant and commanded his box with style.
    I reckon he save us 10-15 points a season over Almunia or Fabianski.

    Gervinho – A nice assist for the equaliser. I hope that’s a sign to of what’s to come!

    Walcott was a bit frustrating, but credit where credit’s due, he took the winner nicely.

    And as stated, Rosicky was all over the pitch last night – Good for him. You don’t just become a bad player.
    Long may it continue.

  96. Savage

    August 25, 2011 at 2:22pm

    Perhaps we should start counting the number of times Gervinho skins his man. There could be some records on the line…

  97. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 2:57pm

    morning all…draw coming up later today – interested to see who we are paired with.

  98. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 3:44pm

    Don’t think anyone has mentioned how well our new leftback played last night, I think he could go all the way !

  99. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 3:50pm

    there were great performances all around. bac can clearly play on either flank – and he did quite well last night…

    we’ll be expected to lose rather comprehensively on sunday, so we shall be flying under the radar a bit…i hope the players see this is a good opportunity to go there for a result and punch united in the mouth…

  100. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 3:57pm

    Oliver, your about as subtle as an air raid !

  101. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 4:00pm

    “It is unfair because I think we have more merit as a club than those who have built their teams with millions of pounds whereas Arsenal have brought in young footballers, who have come here to play a certain kind of football and who have developed” – Samir Nasri, April 21, 2010.

    “Patrick (Vieira) said City is the place to be because they are the club of the future and they want to win everything…In France they are already calling Manchester City ‘Galácticos’ like they did with Real Madrid when they had [Zinedine) Zidane…I’m a City player now and that’s what I wanted from the start” – Samir Nasri, August 24, 2011.

  102. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 4:06pm

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  103. EastSidePaul

    August 25, 2011 at 4:12pm

    “I’m a City player now and that’s what I wanted from the start”

    Why not join them in 08 then??

  104. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 4:20pm

    perhaps, micko…remember in 2006-7, when we got off to a pretty rough start? i think we had not won any of our league matches (three?) when we went to old trafford…then we proceeded to win 1-0 there, dominating the game and winning through a late adebayor goal…

    i don’t think we are strong as that side – and i think this united side is better (c. ronaldo excepted) than that 2006 side…but there is really no point in making the trip if not to go there to win…odds are we will get stuffed – but don’t tell our players that, and let’s just see what they can do…

    esp, did the guy you are referring to ever actually play for arsenal? or did we – and he – just imagine it all?

  105. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 4:29pm

    You mean a bit like bobby in Dallas ? One of those moments.

  106. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 4:40pm

    cl draw commences in another ten minutes.

  107. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:05pm

    man u in group c.

  108. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:07pm

    chelsea group e.

  109. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:09pm

    arsenal group f.

  110. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:16pm

    group c: man u, benfica

  111. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:17pm

    we have om with us…group f, arsenal, om

  112. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:18pm

    group e: chelsea, valencia

  113. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:18pm

    no cska or shakhtar, so there are two potential long trips east that we won’t have to make…

  114. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:21pm

    Marseilles……hmm, not bad, could have been a lot worse.

  115. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:25pm

    agree…pot 3 coming now, we will not get either city or lille, so it will be one of zenit, ajax, leverkusen, olympiakos, basel or borisov…

  116. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:27pm

    city will get either barcelona or bayern.

  117. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:28pm

    olympiakos

  118. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:29pm

    darn…city drew bayern…wanted them to draw barca.

  119. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:29pm

    Lucky lucky Newton Heath

  120. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 5:30pm

    Evening guys and gals….

  121. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:31pm

    I bet Newton Heath get Apoel…

  122. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:32pm

    man u get basel…chelsea get bayer 04.

  123. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:32pm

    Evening Rico and
    Afternoon Oliver, great post btw.
    Olympiaikos is ok…

  124. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:33pm

    hi ricco…

    ak, they usually get cupcake groups…the problem, however, is we got one of the softest groups in the history of the competition last season, and made an absolute mess of it…

  125. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 5:39pm

    Hi Kev & oliver – cracking post indeed…..

    CL fixing it for Barca, Manure and the Chavs again then ;)

    Hey Ho, we’ll whip Citeh in the final :P

  126. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:39pm

    dortmund or trabzonspor

  127. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:40pm

    dortmund…not who i wanted.

  128. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:41pm

    Trabzon were never going in with the Greeks…
    We’ll have to do it the hard way, as per usual…

  129. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:41pm

    ok…

    group f: arsenal, om, olypiakos, borussia dortmund.

  130. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:42pm

    group a: bayern munich, villarreal, man city, napoli

    group c: man u, benfica, basel, otelul galati (who?)

    group e: chelsea, valencia, leverkusen, genk

  131. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 5:44pm

    I’m glad, we faffed up the easy group last season, maybe a bit tougher will make us concentrate a bit more – we should go through and no reason why we cannot win that group…

    Now all of that is done and dusted – lets get the squad sorted out Mr Wenger…..

  132. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:44pm

    not a great draw for arsenal, but not the worst. thanks to the uefa coefficient system, we got the toughest opponent from pot 4 (dortmund). of course, we can thank the same coefficient system for being seeded in pot 1…

    none of the three opponents will be easy…

  133. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:44pm

    Porto going to the old Soviet Union in winter, lucky lads.. :)
    Marseilles and Olympiaikos, nice warm trips, get a bit of sun on our backs in winter time…
    Dortmund are gonna be strong, but it looks very interesting…
    Arabia City are in for some real tough ones… :D

  134. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 5:44pm

    Tricky one for Citeh….

  135. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:46pm

    Lucky ManUre and Barceloona

  136. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 5:46pm

    Dortmund is my 2nd favourite team.

  137. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:47pm

    yeah, city have three difficult – but beatable – opponents as well…how i wanted to see them in group h with barca and milan…

  138. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:49pm

    Napoli was a nice finish to group A…

    Now expect all the Press/media scummers to write us off….

  139. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:50pm

    hi k…the matches against dortmund should be interesting…this is not herr hitzfeld’s european champions dortmund side, it’s a lot younger, a lot more vibrant, a lot more attacking under klopp…

  140. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:51pm

    Does anyone suspect a UEFA helping hand in ensuring that Barceloona got a winnable group….?

  141. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:52pm

    one can say similar about deschamps’ om…

    i personally think bernard tapie is arsene’s biggest demon, so the trip to the velodrome should have some personal significance as well…that was almost 20 years ago, but i imagine he will desperately want to win there…

  142. arsenal fan

    August 25, 2011 at 5:52pm

    saw the draw live,
    city are gonna find it difficult….
    dont know if they will qualify…
    we should win all our home games and away at olympiakos……draw at marsellei and win at dortmund……guys what do you think….

  143. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:54pm

    kev, barca got a couple of minnows, but i don’t think milan will roll over for them…those two will surely progress from that group, but i think milan will give them some problems.

  144. arsenal fan

    August 25, 2011 at 5:54pm

    we are in f….
    who are in grp e i forgot
    is it the porto group…..

  145. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:55pm

    e is chelsea, af…they have valencia, leverkusen and genk.

  146. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:56pm

    Yeah, i agree Oliver, but Group H is one of those groups where the top two finishers are nailed on…

  147. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:56pm

    kev, how sweet of him…

    there is no more “we” with us and him. he chose to leave our club, he cannot have it both ways…

    we are trying to move on, he should too…

  148. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:57pm

    Agree with your points on Marseilles Oliver, it’s probably the draw that means more to Wenger than any other…

  149. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 5:58pm

    Dortmund will be tough AK.it could’ve been worse…we would’ve not been in the draw at all if things had gone differently yesterday.

  150. arsenal fan

    August 25, 2011 at 5:58pm

    so in round of 16 we either face valencia or leverkusen….im sure….

  151. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 5:59pm

    Oliver, that was just a bit of PR methinks….
    Pity Nasri doesn’ have the same charm..!

  152. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 5:59pm

    af, i think there will be a second draw for the first knockout round, and q/s final groupings will be made that time as well…

    just called into a meeting, back later.

  153. arsenal fan

    August 25, 2011 at 5:59pm

    guys dortmund are not that tough….h they have lost sahin….and saw them in europa last time ..they were horrible….marsellei are tough….

  154. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 6:00pm

    KT, i think Dortmund are the hardest of the three in our group.
    Arsenal have good records against Greek and French clubs, less impressive against Bundesliga opponants…

  155. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 6:02pm

    I’d have much rather we drew the Czech side that the German but it is what it is and we’ll cope ;) Smudger reckons if we have a fit squad as it is now, we’ll breeze through ;)

    Cesc’s funny and what he said was quite sweet, shows he loves us and always will – ‘We played well’ – I don’t resent him for leaving, not one bit…..

    Unlike you know who…..

  156. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 6:08pm

    Yeah, i agree Rico…
    He could have stitched us up like ‘Goofy’ but he signed a long deal and we made a fair bit out of him…
    Not his fault Barceloona are a bunch of tossers…

  157. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 6:12pm

    Also, he went home kev, he wasn’t chasing the money, he’s given up a fair amount of pennies to make his move and he made it clear, if he couldn’t go to Barca, he stay with us….

    Unlike Goofy with the big bum ;)

  158. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 6:14pm

    Good move for Boateng, Paolo will teach him how to push refs over ;)

  159. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 6:15pm

    I couldn’t possibly comment boss……. :D

  160. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 6:16pm

    :lol: Rico…..
    Winterburn will teach him how to start a punch-up and leg-it.

  161. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 6:20pm

    Seems that Goofy is slagging us off in an E’Quipe interview….
    What goes around, comes around..!

  162. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 6:26pm

    Its massive Kev, trust me, i have looked on more than one occassion, mostly with despair ;)

    Another trouble maker gone – lets not waste our time talking about the poodle, money grabbing git!

  163. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 6:28pm

    Ah, I see the part-timer is back then.
    It was all going so well until we drew dortmund, they could be dark horses you know.

  164. K-TR7

    August 25, 2011 at 6:31pm

    City are unhappy with their group.they have bid £50mil for Porto’s group ;)

  165. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 6:38pm

    Kt, thats funny :)

  166. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 6:43pm

    Rico, your not biting !
    Right now i’d be over the moon with cahill, parker and benzema, not everyone’s cup of tea but would make us stronger.
    I don’t think we could afford sneijders boots.

  167. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 6:48pm

    Micko, I don’t bite usually, unless it’s a nice square of cadbury fruit and nut ;)

  168. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 6:51pm

    Talking of players, I always smile as we banter their names around, everyone has their own favourite…

    But, we all agree in the positions we feel we need to strengthen :)

  169. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 6:51pm

    The result yesterday cheered everyone up, I hope its not a false dawn, hopefully see a bit of action in the transfer market over the next couple of days.

  170. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 6:55pm

    Micko, we can only deal with one game at a time, and right now we are all happy as you say but, how will we all feel sunday evening?

    Fridays are signings day, please Wenger, prove all the rumours about Cahill signing tomorrow come true…..

  171. Micko

    August 25, 2011 at 6:58pm

    Hope your open weekends, I’ll pop my head in the window to say hello if so, that’s it i’m gonna be whistling that tune to your 6.48 all evening now, thanks a bunch.

  172. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 6:59pm

    365 days a year Micko :)

    You started that tune ;) ;)

  173. allezkev

    August 25, 2011 at 7:22pm

    hmm i used to love a few chunks of cadburys Old Jamaica, don’t even know if they still make it…

    Schneider! Now that is a mega-wind-up….But a lovely thought all the same…

  174. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 7:29pm

    bloomin heck Kev, i remember that choccie bar, yum yum…

    love the wesley rumour, maybe rvp can have a word ;)

  175. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 7:38pm

    Kev, you can still buy the OJ, £3.18 online ;)

  176. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 7:55pm

    hi all, are we scared of Dortmund? I just we shall leave that for now and think about who is going to play against ManU. We have all our players [the experienced] injured; song and Gerv suspended. Do we have anymore Dms?

  177. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 8:02pm

    Hi Osi, nah, no way – we are not scared of any team, especially the Mancs ;)

    We are threadbare in the DM stakes, I hope Kos is fit and throw JD in there……

  178. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 8:09pm

    rico i heard Kos in the French team? Anyone wants to see Alex Chamb playing? or Ryo? I want Ryo to start against ManU. there will be acres of space in the midfield because Manu, unlike the past games where they were bit conservative, will attack , attack. It will be useful to have pace on the wings: TheoRyo.

    I’m glad to see Rosicky playing better, he can be great on Sunday.

  179. Osi

    August 25, 2011 at 8:11pm

    Rico what do you think about KK joinin us?

  180. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 8:19pm

    Osi – good for kos he deserves it :)

  181. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 8:27pm

    afternoon all…so adebayor’s loan move to the spuddies has officially been confirmed…guy’s gotta play football somewhere i suppose…it certainly was not going to be at city…

    what odds that nas ends up there within three years?

  182. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 8:31pm

    Hi oliver – i was listening to Arry the other day, he said if Lardy scores the fans will love him, if he’s rubbish, they’ll ‘kill’ him…. we all know for a couple of months he’ll be good, after that, he’ll be back to his usual self…..

    Nasri won’t even start for that side in blue…..

  183. stevepalmer1

    August 25, 2011 at 8:34pm

    , Good read Oliver, not had a chance to read the comments but i would assume were happy

  184. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 8:35pm

    oliver, i have to go now, sorry to desert you :(

    Enjoy the rest of your day….

    Night to all here, catch up tomorrow….

  185. rico

    August 25, 2011 at 8:35pm

    Hi SP, night SP ;)

  186. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 8:37pm

    i think if adebayor scores for them against us, they will appreciate him. if his scoring pattern is the fifth goal in a 5-0 drubbings of the likes of wigan, than they will probably be indifferent…

    i remember city fans talking about how signing ade from us was a coup, that we unfairly ran the guy out of town, that he was just what they needed…by the end of that season, he barely featured and they were bemoaning the waste of money…i think it is definitely possible a smilar thing will happen with the spuds…

    i think nas has a starting berth to lose, not to win. i expect mancini will pick him, but will have a quick hook if the former does not deliver…

  187. stevepalmer1

    August 25, 2011 at 8:38pm

    Helo goodbye was it bsomthing i said rico, nte nte

  188. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 8:45pm

    hiya steve…feedback shows that most of us are enjoying the win. i don’t think anyone is going over the top and making us favorites for a cl/prem double; but most of us rightly see this as a very good result, a confidence boost for our pretty young squad, and confirmation that, when we are not doing to basically once choice for most positions, we can play well and get results in tough spots…

  189. stevepalmer1

    August 25, 2011 at 9:02pm

    Not a bad squad Oliver, as we have all said we need a couple and soon, a few rough edges but on the whole once we can field all our squad we will know a little better

  190. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 9:16pm

    i think we all fell into the trap – at least to an extent – of forming premature conclusions, based on an incomplete squad, and a limited data set (only a couple of matches). if we can get everyone healthy/back from suspension, then i am sure results will pick up. i do think we will still need a couple of experienced additions, and i think there are affordable players out there we can add to the squad.

  191. stevepalmer1

    August 25, 2011 at 9:18pm

    Well at least were not short of dough now Oliver

  192. Joaquim moreira

    August 25, 2011 at 9:30pm

    The draw is difficult but not impossible.

  193. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 9:31pm

    shouldn’t be. and i would think there is less threat of city or chelsea trying to gazump us on certain players – if they would even feel it worth their time – as both have already spent plenty and have only so many squad places…

    perhaps we’ll see a bit of movement – inbound, as well as out bound – in the next six days. if not, we go with what we have…

    nik’s omission suggests that he may still move in the next few days…

    i also think it is overdue to for arsene to give the number one jersey to szczesny. i would also like the club to, once and for all, drop manuel almunia from the first team roster. for his sake and ours. he clearly has no future here, and his prolonged presence on our first team roster gives the impression we cannot move on.

  194. oliver

    August 25, 2011 at 9:33pm

    not impossible, jm…but i don’t think any of those three opponents will be easy. i think ricco mentioned the hash we made of last season’s cupcake group – a healthier respect for this season’s group opponents should hopefully eliminate any complacency.

  195. allezkev

    August 26, 2011 at 12:07am

    Is this Mike Riley????

  196. Merlin96

    August 26, 2011 at 2:40am

    “The Mirror” reported that our Scrooge bidded 6-mil for Cahill..lol.

    I believe it is another “Chamakh” scenario or “Sol” scenario like:

    Wenger is tellign Bolton that “Fine, we will wait for January 2012 if you are still interested in selling for 6-mil.
    Otherwise, we are happy to sign a pre-contract with him in January 2012 to join us on July 1, 2012 on a Bosman.”

    That is, what Wenger is doing as follows:
    – Pay Bolton 6-mil.
    – Pay Cahill’s agent a signing-on fee & bonus at 3-mil to 5-mil.
    – Sign Cahill on a 5-year, 4-mil per annum contract = 20-mil

    Total cost = 6 + 5 + 20 = 31-mil.

    Amortize over 5 -year = 6.2-mil, which will come out of our annual “Player Wage” Budget.

    Think again.
    This is how much it will cost Arsenal Inc whenever we sign a marguee players with transfer fee in excess of 20-mil and demanded 5-mil per annum.

    E.g…Eden Hazard or Juan Mata or benzema:

    Transfer fee = 25-mil
    Annual salary = 5 mil per annum for 5-year contract.

    Annual “Salary Wage” = 25/5 + 5 = 10-mil per annum.

    Assuming we sign 3 no. marquee players before Aug-31:

    = 10-mil x 3 = 30-mil per annum for the next 5-year.
    ________________________________________________________

    Assuming our existing 2011/12 Salary Wage = 110-mil now (including all those new players and promoted youngsters).

    Assuming pay-rise for Szczesny, Wilshere, Van Persie, Vermaelen, Song and Walcott to entice them to sign a new contract extension = 10-mil more.

    Then, by adding 3 no. marquee players to our payroll:

    = 110 + 10 + 30 = 150-mil per annum.

    Then, with this targetted budget at not more 50% of revenues generated:

    Then, FY2011/12 revenues must be 300-mil generated to ensure we will not have deficit.

    People, I hope you do understand that Wenger is being a responsible “manager” (perhaps due to his Alsatian roots which is more Germanic rather than Gallic) and what we stakehodle said: ‘He has a fiduciary duty to his employer and shareholders”.

    ________________________________________________

    ON THE OTHER HAND AS SHOWN ABOVE ESTIMATION:
    We can afford to sign at least 3 more 25-mil marquee players playing ‘em 5-mil per annum over 5-years.

    Assume FY2011/12 receipts or revenues = £270 million.
    50% of ‘em budgetted as “Player Wage” = £135 million
    Then, annual “deficits” = 150 – 135 = £15 million

    Then, 5 years – 2011/12 to 2015/16 – “deficits” in Player Wage:
    = £15 million x 5 years = £75 million

    That is, Wenger and Gazidis cannot cite “shortage of transfer funds or high salary demands” as reasons as to why they can’t sign at least 3 no. marquee players as that £80 million (sales of Clichy, Eboue, Cesc and Nasri) is more than sufficient to cover “Player Wage Deficits” for the next 5 years basing on an annual gross revenues of £270 million, wiht 50% of ‘em budgetted for “Player Wages”.

  197. rico

    August 26, 2011 at 9:01am

    New Post up

Comments are closed.