Striker to leave, Defender linked & All over in seven minutes……..

Snippet on Ryo from Wenger:

I will have a chat with him tomorrow and I have a little plan. Oxlade-Chamberlain plays on the flanks now too, so if I can find an opportunity for him to play somewhere I will decide whether to do that tomorrow. It will have to be in England because he will lose the homegrown [status] if he leaves the country.

The good thing is he will be staying in England, so we’ll get to watch him a whole lot more than we do now….

Watfords Adrian Mariappa is the latest defender linked to us, he can play right back and centre back and is valued around £2-4 Million. Newcastle are reported to have had a £1.5 Million bid turned down so watch this space. He’s 25 years old, 5′ 11″ and English.

Oh, and cheap…. 😉

Back to yesterday:

From somewhere within the bowels of a team devoid of confidence, Robin Van Persie, Arsenal’s best player, their captain and talisman drove his beaten team forwards, to produce its most sparkling period of football since Stamford Bridge and possibly the season as a whole.

Maybe Robin senses that winning this competition, the last trophy won by Arsene Wenger in 2005 and which he was a part of, would be some form of salvation,  for a season that is fast going down the drain?

Robin is a proud man, he is proud to be the Arsenal captain, he feels that this is his team and his responsibility, to drive it towards some long overdue success. He can’t do it all on his own but he’s doing a bloody good job at trying….

If anyone deserves a winner’s medal this May, then it’s Robin Van Persie…..

Yesterday was mostly about a seven minute period of play….

A football match is about what happens over ninety minutes, not forty-five, and thank goodness for that eh?

Same old in the first half – good possession but little end product and then a shocking piece of defending gifted Aston Villa their first goal, and to be honest, the second goal was a bit of a gift too – ok Bent finished with real quality but where was our defence?

The first goal was a real crippler – as Villa approached, Merts was all over the place, having been dragged out of defence and then when Dunne jumped to head home, Flappy did what he usually does; Kos didn’t seem to even get his feet off the ground and any other defender just seemed to watch Dunne head home!

Not long after, Bent was clear in the box and fired a shot in, Fabianski made a good save but the ball came back to Bent and from a very difficult angle he slotted home….

2-0 down, yet we’d had all of the possession – same old then I thought!

Well, I wonder how many fans at The Emirates thought, ‘that’s it I am off’ – and left the stadium?

I know I just wanted to switch of the television and stop watching but of course, I didn’t….

Halftime soon came and went and the whistle blew for the second half and what a different half it was….

There was fire in the bellies of our players and we looked a totally different side.

The forty-five minutes that were to follow was all that we had been hoping to see from the beginning of the season. We can’t get that time back but if they can play like they did for the rest of the season, we have hope….

Bloody Love Em!.....

Walcott came to life, as did Song and Chamberlain – even Kos decided to attack their defence, and it all paid off….

Our first goal came from the penalty spot – Song played Ramsey in and he was clean through on goal but Dunne, already on a yellow card, hacked him down. No yellow, no straight red but we were rightly awarded the penalty and yes, none other than Robin van Persie stepped up and calmly slotted home.

Could we??

Well, it wasn’t long before we levelled through the much maligned Theo Walcott.

Walcott darted in from the right, reached the byline and poked a cross into the heart of the area. Hutton took a swing at the ball in attempt to clear the shot/cross but his clearance hit Theo and the ball rebounded into the net – just what we need, an ugly goal – who gives a toss how it went in eh, you have to be there to score and Theo did!

Remember poor old Miquel conceded a similar one against Liverpool earlier this season?

At 2-2, this was anyone’s game but we still had the possession and looked dangerous and it wasn’t too long before we made that count – of all people, Koscielny decided to go racing down the left like a winger and as he cut into the penalty area, Darren Bent gifted us a penalty with a clumsy tackle which left the referee with no choice but to point to the penalty spot.

Up stepped Robin van Persie and the rest is history……..

Listening to Theo speak after the match, it seems our captain was the man who delivered the rocket at half-time and whatever he said it worked so good on Robin.

Other than the victory, the bright lights were seeing Bacary Sagna return and of course Thierry Henry make a cameo appearance towards the end…

All in all a good result, but we still have a few serious issues to address – and yes, they are in defence.

How was Dunne allowed to out jump our defence?

What was Flappy doing when the cross came in?

Who was tracking Bent when he scored?

Pedantic maybe, but if we want to keep on winning, we need to rectify these school boy errors…

We don’t and we won’t always get away with it…..

Neither will Arsene Wenger……

There was an incident during the match involving our captain and the bitter and twisted Alex McLeish has suggested that the incident be looked at by the FA – he’s accusing Robin of deliberately elbowed Carlos Cuellar in the face.

No doubt the FA will jump at the chance…

Have a good day all……

184 thoughts on “Striker to leave, Defender linked & All over in seven minutes……..

  1. Adam

    January 30, 2012 at 9:22am

    Morning all. Alec McLeish? That paragon of clean play? Surely not.

  2. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 9:24am

    bitter and twister old fool eh Adam…. maybe the FA should take a look at Dunne’s penalty incident too…..

  3. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 9:24am

    Good morning Guys and Chicks of the Gunners’ Faith.

    Good morning Rico. Good report.

    I have always said it and will continue to say it for ever and ever. AW will not do any wrong by putting Koscielny in midfield. The guy knows how to read the game well and was even attacking the danger areas. He can run very well with the ball, is not afraid to run at the players, finds space and creates it and would be formidable in midfield in the same manner as Petit was. IMO he will give us what Flamoney used to do. He has an engine which is comparable to the best and besides that he also is a clean tackler and never gives up. Imagine having him alongside Song with Arteta pulling the strings.

    Regarding Mariappa, the guy has never been on my radar seeing that usually I do not watch a lot of 1st division football, however I have read that he is quite a good player.

    Regarding the Dunne goal…..I was wondering why their tallest guy was not MARKED by our tallest guy. How come Merts was pulled out of the defence when he should have marked Dunne??? How come Kozzer was marking Dunne?

  4. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 9:30am

    Thanks devil,

    you know why he wouldn’t consider the idea of switching Kos though, he’d have to cough up a whole lot of money to buy another defender.. But you are spot on in the way he plays, second half he was pretty good 😉

    TV is another, he could quite easily play in midfield, he too loves going forward and can often be a huge threat.

    Not overly fussed on Mariappa, at 5′ 11″, he’s not going to offer too much, unless he’s got the spring in his legs that TV has 😉

    Merts also got drawn out of defence before the cross came in, he does that too often….

  5. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 9:32am

    Nice to see Sir Bobby at the game yesterday….

  6. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 9:33am

    back to Merts…….your comment simply shows that positional tactics in set pieces are not coached during training. No defender does the same mistake time and time again unless there is a negligence during training.

  7. Adam

    January 30, 2012 at 9:35am

    If that freak Crouch can get away with slinking up behind a player and deliberately gouging across his face with his hand, paying special attention to his eyes, the Robin will be ok. I also thought Dunne should have gone simply for preventing a goal scoring opportunity. Arsenal numbingly bad in the first half and are becoming a one-half team.

  8. Erick

    January 30, 2012 at 9:35am

    Morning lads, wat a game at half time i had a feeling that we could do still do it but i was worried we might lack the mentality

  9. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 9:37am

    But the notion of not paying top dollar is idiotic. Imagine he buys another centrehalf……….or if he gets Mariappa and he turns out to be a belter. It would make more sense if he moved Kozzer further upfield instead of buying a defensive midfielder.

  10. Erick

    January 30, 2012 at 9:38am

    Its clear we still have problems and we must address them, yesterday we were lucky next time we won’t have such luck

  11. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 9:38am

    we seem to concentrate on the offensive too much, just wish wenger would get keown back, he’d sort the defence out in a matter of days i’m sure

    morning Erick…

  12. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 9:41am

    We do seem to play better in the second half Adam, why, i don’t know – yesterday we managed to get the aswell, something we haven’t always been able to do….. just look at last weekend…

    but it is the same old defensive frailties letting us down….

  13. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 9:42am

    SS’s are reporting that Jacks set back is not as bad as first thought….

    But you know Wenger devil…..

    Erick, Keown, that’s the answer….

  14. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 9:50am

    We seem to be like the famous Brazil side of 1982…..super going forward but hapless at the back. This may imply two things….either all the training is spent on offensive tactics alone, or else our players/coaching staff view the defensive part of training with disdain and are simply arrogant enough to think that that aspect of training is time wasting.

    However we are found lacking not only in the defensive set piece practice only. We are also found wanting in the attacking set pieces. Who saw the game yesterday could definately see that the move which led to Villa’s first goal was well rehearsed in training. The move between the corner taker and the player coming out and pulling a defender with him and at the same time the whole Villa team moving towards the ball left Dunne with practically a half free header. Do we do things like that?? The answer is no. Freekicks, corners, throw ins, you name it and its just a cross in the goalmouth with the hope that someone gets his head to it.

    It would be great to have an attack minded team….provided that we score more than they do. And believe me….we have one of the most scintillating teams going forward. But do we have many goalscoring players??? Not that much. So we need to have more scorers in the team not just 1 or two. We need 4 or 5 players who can get at least 10-12 goals a season. Try to mark that and you would be murdered. But mark RVP and there is not much the team can do.

  15. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 9:50am

    Got to go off for an hour, back shortly……

  16. Adam

    January 30, 2012 at 9:54am

    I think it mirrors Wenger’s mentality at the moment RIco. He is totally reactive and never proactive. The team just seems to go out, see what they are up against, then blaze away for 20 minutes in the second half. They know the tactics that other teams will use but seem unable to impose themselves until the second half when they are a goal or two down. Frustrating hardly covers it.

  17. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 9:58am

    DG,these are grown men,professional footballers who should have learnt positional play long,long ago……aged 5,even!!
    I agree with you on Kozzer being a potential midfielder,but add one trait you didn’t mention-his passing game,which is terrific.
    Maybe when all players are back on deck,he might get a chance,but I doubt it.
    On Bents goal…..the ball could have ended up in a hundred safe slots,yet it lands in the single dangerous one…..when your lucks out……

  18. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 10:04am

    I think you touched on our biggest problem…..a lack of goalscorers.
    Even v Utd,we created more,better chances,yet scored one.
    Everyone blamed the defenders,but we should have had at least three.
    I’m not blind to our defensive problems,but its definitely not the full story.

  19. Potter

    January 30, 2012 at 10:16am

    Can’t argue about Fabianski’s part in Bent’s goal. He got down well and pushed the ball wide, unluckily it went straight back to Bent.
    I was too far away to get the full picture of the elbow but can’t help feeling that Mcleish is using it to hide from the fact they lost a two goal winning position.
    Devil you say Kos and Song in midfield but I would think instead of. Agree with the comparison with Petit , he is so much more mobile ,has just as much strength and nothing like as clumsy.

  20. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 10:18am

    SFO…..these are grown men,professional footballers who should have learnt positional play long,long ago……aged 5,even!!

    If they have been playing for a long time together yes. But seeing that they are constantly changing every game then there is the need to drum it into them, continuous defensive shape and formation. The great Milan side of Capello/Sacchi which won countless trophies in the late eighties and early nineties used to have defensive tactics 3 times a week…..and they were grown men and professional footballers some of whom had won on international level also.

    For a manager to think that players should be able to switch on and defend without prior practice shows a serious tactical negligence problem.

  21. Adam

    January 30, 2012 at 10:20am

    Just heard BBC Radio Five Live in the car. They are going big on Robin’s elbow. No mention of the game really, just quotes from McLeish about wanting the FA to look at it. Seems like a ban by proxy might be coming. Pathetic really.

  22. Potter

    January 30, 2012 at 10:30am

    Talk sport have led with it all morning too.

  23. stevepalmer1

    January 30, 2012 at 10:47am

    Morning all, nice one OliveRico.
    One day to the end of the window, when asked yesterday wenger said the chances of a new player is doubtfull, which in Wenger Language means thai if his cheap offer to whomever is turned down then no we will not be enlisting. Interesting reading some of the comments about Kos and Virming as midfielders, Blinding idea in my oppinion but what do we do at the back. Merts is a wrong un, Samba and Vertonghen would be perfect

  24. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 10:53am

    DG,fair enough,and of course it would help,but plenty of their errors are simply amateurish……no amount of training should be needed to prevent ball watching.
    Pros should know better.
    RVP was anticipating a bump from his opponent,so leaned in with his shoulder.
    The defender was a yard further away than expected,so his timing.was off,hence the contact with the elbow……minimal contact!!
    Straight forward,no intent,McLeish is a Dick.

  25. alan b'stard M P

    January 30, 2012 at 11:11am

    We won thanks to 2 spot kicks. We have problems

    Darren Bent again proved his worth. He should be a Gunner

  26. alan b'stard M P

    January 30, 2012 at 11:18am

    Scott, you are right. We have both defensive frailties and only onr bloke who can finish

  27. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 11:25am

    I must have aged 10 years watching that first 45 minutes.

    If Arsene doesn’t strengthen before the deadline tomorrow night he must have a screw loose.

    Every game from here on in is a must win if we’re to have any chance of making fourth place, the pressure is gonna be immence, something has to give.

    Great to see Sagna back, Henry and Arsenal seem made for each other, there’s something reassuring seeing him around the team.

  28. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 11:27am

    Probably our training system is geared towards what we do when we have the ball. Does it include how the attackers should station themselves when we loose the ball?? Does it include what should the midfielders do when the strikers are pressing for the ball and what position should they take. Or is it simply everyone passes the buck??? I know that players today are fast, however the ball does not travel at the speed of light and too many times we are caught off guard or switched off. This mental 90minute concentration should start on the training pitch not during the game.

  29. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 11:27am

    Micko,Chelsea are going pretty ordinary too……we don’t need to win every game at all.
    We will get 4th.

  30. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 11:34am

    One thing stands out to me in every game…..we never seem to get as many players in the box when attacking as our opponents do.
    I kkow we break fast in attack,but we also tend to loiter when 20-25 yards out,so is it simply a lack of intencity?

  31. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 11:37am

    Pretty ordinary Scott but still ahead of us, what does that tell ya.

    We’ve been dropping points left, right and centre, it ain’t good enough, can’t afford to drop anymore points starting at Bolton on Wednesday.

  32. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 11:40am

    Micko,seriously….after the start we had???
    Obviously we can’t afford to drop points as we have in the last two weeks,but we’ve proven we can go on a run….Chelsea can’t.
    Plenty to look forward to……..maybe even a signing or two lol.

  33. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 11:44am

    A lot of empty seats as well yesterday, I always thought Blackburn had the monopoly on that.

  34. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 11:48am

    Well,that just shows a lack of support from supposed supporters.

  35. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 11:52am

    Ryo to Fulham on loan, that wouldn’t be a bad move for him.
    That was doing the rounds last month.

  36. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 11:54am

    The problem with the chavs is that their ordinariness is collective. It is the whole team whichis the problem. With us its not an overall collective, but injuries and a couple of back up players and their general attitude. a lack of depth quality also is hindering us.

  37. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 11:57am

    Bolton want him too…yeah right!!!!

  38. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 12:04pm

    With Sagna back,Gibbs nearly back……what does this do for us?
    It’s pretty big.

  39. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 12:05pm

    Yeah, your right Scott, some very fickle fans, many of these supporters have been following Arsenal long before Wenger turned up, may be they’ve just had enough.
    If your happy with the way things are panning out, fair enough.

  40. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 12:17pm

    What they were booing and those who were speaking through their absence are all concerned with one thing…..they have grown tired of some of the dross we are served. A club like Arsenal should not be standing or behaving like they are doing now. We are the third richest club in the world so it is expected that we act like one. And we do need to buy players. Yes the first 11 are good by all means but we always need to improve the team. If we have 4 strikers who are constantly scoring goals we do need to find someone better who will improve and introduce different options. We need different thoughts on the pitch not the same old mentality. We murder teams through our passing and superb ball movement but are found wanting in the defensive and scoring department. The supporters are tired of paying top money for seeing three or four super players carry the rest of the team. We cannot afford to have a player who wants top dollar but cannot get past Gardner and Dunne. Yes he murdered Cole against the chavs but what does that tell you. Either Cashley was not focused that day and was disinterested or else our player wants to play when he wants and does not give a shit any other time. That is why it will be interesting to see what happens when Gervinho comes back hopefully fit. Who drops out??? The Ox who is cementing his place or Theo?? Personally I hope we will see an attack of OX,Gerv, RVP. Three footballers. Theo is just a player, but not a footballing player.

  41. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 12:28pm

    Micko,this is exactly where these discussions go wrong.
    I am saying supporters should support the club,you bring Wenger in to the equation.
    Why is it you Wenger bashers go down the same path every time…..its boring,and in this case,wrong.
    If you think blaming Wenger for everything,and using it to justify NOT supporting the club,how can you guys claim to be a supporter?
    You are either a supporter or not……its not a part time gig fluctuating as Arsenals fortunes do.
    I’ve read on various forums how ticket holders sell their seats for A game,making a nice little profit,then whinge how Stan is only interested in profits!!!!!
    All I’m asking is you Bashers get off your highhorses,realise that just because some of us choose NOT to spend every waking hour bitching about Wenger and the board,it doesn’t make us any less passionate than you!

  42. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 12:32pm

    DG,I agree with that entire post.
    I actually said in summer we should sell Theo……howled down,totally.
    I don’t think he will ever get any better.

  43. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 12:36pm

    Micko is not using it to justify not supporting the club. He is using it to show that the way things are going is not the way he would like the club to be run. It is not illegal for supporters to want their club to win. We all want to win. However Micko, like me and countless others, is not happy with some of the decisions taken and with what we are served.

    At the end of the day the buck stops with the manager. He gets paid 7 million a year to give us a competitive team who at least tries to win……not be happy to kick a ball around the pitch, collect their pay packet and go home happy whether the result is positive or negative.

  44. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 12:37pm

    Scott, you can’t move forwards while your looking backwards.

    At some point you have to stop using the past to justify the future.

    I’m not a Wenger basher, just think its maybe time for a change in the summer.

    And stop swinging your handbag at me.

  45. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 12:39pm

    DG,and I agree with that.
    But again,fans can’t simply support the side when going well.
    Say what you like,but the bashers were very,very quiet a month ago.

  46. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 12:41pm

    Micko,show me one instant where I’ve used the past to justify anything!!!!!

  47. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 12:47pm

    Just to point out something……….Theo needs a different coach or a different mentality He is not ok with the present system. He will flourish with a coach like Ancelotti or Mancini or Conte or Ferguson.

    Another thing is that not all bashers were all quiet a month ago. its not that we are bashers but we have been pointing out these grieviances and mistakes for the past 6 years. And we keep saying them because they keep happening over and over again.

    We cannot use the past to justify the present or the future. I love my wife not because she used to look like a princess (not like Camilla mind you) but because her character is intertwined with mine and both of us do not keep doing the same mistakes or taking each other for granted. And when the ravages of time take their toll on her face and body her character will remain. And the club is the same. We expect improvement……at least status quo. However we have been going backward a lot these last 5 years. Holes created are filled not with stronger material but cheap tarmac.

  48. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 12:47pm

    Scott, I’ll show you when you show me my high horse.

  49. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 12:49pm

    I still maintain one thing…Wenger is an employee,so the board are responsible to either replace him,or demand he spends some cash.
    This doesnt happen,so who do you blame?
    It’s pretty obvious to me.
    Wengers biggest mistakes tactically…..his domain…..have involved giving Arshavin and Chamakh too many chances.
    I think both players can have a decent future,but elsewhere.
    Signings,or the lack of,I lay squarely at the feet of the board.

  50. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 12:51pm

    Devil, when I noticed the crows feet around my eyes i went straight out and got them replaced with some chicken legs !

  51. devilgunner

    January 30, 2012 at 12:52pm

    Wenger has hanged himself with his own rope when he was asked what he would do if he was given 100million. He simply said….”I would give it back”.

  52. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 12:56pm

    Scott, have you had a listen to the podcast put out the other day, it was an interview with Alex Fynn, its a brilliant listen if you have an hour to spare, real eye opening stuff.

  53. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 12:58pm

    Tiffin time lads, catch you later on.

  54. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 12:58pm

    DG……he will never learn how to play,and is not a good enough goalscorer to build a team around.
    Micko,that’s a cop out.
    Imo,Wenger must change his attitude,for sure.
    Give him until halfway through summer transfer season to resign RVP,and to strengthen the squad. Its enough time to do some business,but doesn’t leave it too late for a replacement to come in and get it done.
    Will this happen……
    Why…….Wenger is doing exactly what the board want him to.

  55. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 1:00pm

    Yeah,bed time here down under….til next time,goodnight.

  56. Joaquim Moreira

    January 30, 2012 at 1:39pm

    good morning
    Any important new?

  57. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 2:06pm

    Afternoon guys and gals…

  58. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 2:37pm

    Scott says:

    ‘I am saying supporters should support the club,you bring Wenger in to the equation.
    Why is it you Wenger bashers go down the same path every time…..its boring,and in this case,wrong.
    If you think blaming Wenger for everything,and using it to justify NOT supporting the club,how can you guys claim to be a supporter?’

    Wenger is to blame, its him that won’t spend the money on players, evey season we hear the same old crap about ‘i believe in this squad & judge me in May’

    Every May we just scrape into the top four, but that isn’t good enough, not for a club like ours….

    He takes £7 Million a year, what does he give the fans who pay for his wage in return???

    4th – deep joy eh, and i’m far from happy with that…….

    A team that can compete would be a good start….

  59. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 2:46pm

    Rico, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make the unclean wash !

  60. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 3:01pm

    I know Micko, i don’t think any of us try and deny that the board also play their part but ultimately Wenger is responsible for this squad and right now we have 5 or 6 that shouldn’t be on our books let alone playing…

    And, why the heck isnt he sorting the defence mistakes out, we have been making the same old errors season after season and its costing us…

    That isn’t the boards fault…..

  61. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 3:02pm

    Arsenal Football club are bigger than Arsene Wenger, there are a few who possibly don’t agree with that statement, one in particular seems to be, Arsene Wenger…..

  62. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 3:10pm

    Lee hughes, what a nasty piece of work, hope they lock the door and throw the key away.

  63. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 3:15pm

    Just heard that on SS’s Micko, Sexual assault isn’t it?

  64. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 3:18pm

    That’s right, he was given a second chance in life to rebuild his career and that’s how he repay’s Notts County.

  65. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 3:25pm

    Nasty piece of work….. Just horrid..

  66. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 3:32pm

    No transfer stories relating to us today – why am i not surprised…

  67. Joaquim Moreira

    January 30, 2012 at 3:41pm

    Rumours from Germany press – we have agreed a deal to sign BD young midfield Thomas Einsfeld. He currently play for BD-under-19.
    Adian Mariappa(Watford) ?

  68. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 3:57pm

    Just been reading that link about Thomas Eisfeld JM – is he any good?

  69. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 4:00pm

    Isn’t it you poms who are renowned for having an aversion to soap lol?????
    Blame Wenger all you like,the board are responsible for hiring and firing the manager,are they not???
    I just dont get how you lot cant grasp that very simple fact.
    Dress it up anyway you want……that’s how it is.
    3 am here…..too bloody hot to sleep.

  70. Joaquim Moreira

    January 30, 2012 at 4:03pm

    rico, I don’t know. Never heard about him

  71. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 4:08pm

    Hi Scott, what makes you think that you are right 100%??

    It’s not fact, the facts are that Wenger believes in his squad and he alone chooses not to add to it, he says the same all the time, he says, buying players is not the always the answer…

    He is responsible for all things on the pitch, the club has money available, he chooses not to spend it….

  72. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 4:09pm

    Neither have I JM…

  73. Joaquim Moreira

    January 30, 2012 at 4:14pm

    Now, is set to join Arsenal said BD

  74. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 4:15pm

    Rico,you just aren’t understanding my point.
    The board ARE responsible for Wenger.
    If he is failing,its their job to make a change.
    Thomas Eisfeld…..not much info,but seems to be an attacking midfielder,right footer,who knows how good!!!

  75. agirlagunner

    January 30, 2012 at 4:19pm

    Boo!! How’s everyone? Good match report, rico. 😉 Some searching questions there (which we have been asking for aaages now, by the way). We need changes, and meaningful ones!!!

    Oh, and rico, 1.5 million page views!! Brilliant! :) :) :)

  76. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 4:20pm

    I know that bit Scott, of course the board are Wengers bosses and yes they should be taking him to task about his transfers…

    But, WEnger is the manager, he builds the team, squad and he’s responsible for training.

    He fails to recity the same old mistakes on the pitch

    He can’t seem to motivate them prior to ko

    He doesn’t fill the gaps we have by buying one or two much needed players

    He plays square pegs in round holes

    He doesn’t spend the money the board have made avialable….

    As a manager he is not doing what he should be becuase he is too pigheaded and stubborn but he’s happy to take £7 Million a year….

    The board are to blame for their wrong doings, Wenger is blame for getting it wrong on the pitch and with his squad….

  77. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 4:22pm

    Hi agag, thanks re the post and i din’t even notice the hits at 1.5 million – not too bad for 18 months eh 😉 :)

  78. agirlagunner

    January 30, 2012 at 4:22pm

    Hi, Scott! AW is not completely without fault. He assembled this team. And he has always given the impression that he would rather not spend, so he is in good measure responsible for the flak he gets.

    JM, that’s a first. You not having heard of a player!! Now where is KT when you need him?

  79. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 4:23pm

    Borussia Dortmund academy midfielder Thomas Eisfeld has joined Arsenal pending a successful medical examination, according to reports from Germany. Eisfeld and agent Reza Fazeli are in London and the 19-year-old is expected to join up with the Gunners academy when he signs up for the

    Eisfeld is a right-footed playmaker who has scored six goals in 12 games for Borussia’s under-19 side so far this season. However, his contract with the club expires at the end of this season and Arsenal are likely to have to pay a compensation fee to the German champions of around 500,000 euro.

  80. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 4:32pm

    Never ever have I suggested Wenger is perfect and error free.
    There are just two scenarios.
    A…he is not doing a decent job,not spending money available and the board are allowing the situation to drift on.
    B…he is doing exactly what the board want him to do.
    Either way,ultimate responsibility for the well being of the club is with the board.
    I am not as certain as most that Wenger is given the cash,but it doesn’t matter one bit.

  81. Scott from Oz

    January 30, 2012 at 4:35pm

    Back to sleep now….hopefully.
    Night all.

  82. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 4:41pm

    Sleep well Scott, no dreaming of Arsene 😉 😉

  83. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 4:43pm

    Popping of for 20 mins….

  84. Joaquim Moreira

    January 30, 2012 at 4:44pm

    Arsenal striker Rhys Murphy has signed on loan for Preston until the end of season

  85. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 4:47pm

    Scott, your not alone, wenger also has trouble sleeping but that’s down to his lumpy mattress.

  86. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 5:09pm

    I think a few more could out on loan yet JM

    Wouldn’t be anything to do with having a conscience then Micko….

  87. agirlagunner

    January 30, 2012 at 5:10pm

    It’s super fantastic!! If we had a dollar for every hit, we could buy a player! That’ll be our downpayment on Villa/Torrres.

  88. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 5:16pm

    Or even Thomas Eisfeld, agag.

  89. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 5:28pm

    :) agag….

    He hardly sets the world alight does he Micko, we wanted a german, but not that one from Dortmund 😉

  90. rockyrocastle07

    January 30, 2012 at 5:31pm

    Evening all.

    Rico….. Beginning to change my mind about big bad Merts.

    Any news on Goonster?

  91. Micko

    January 30, 2012 at 5:31pm

    rico/agag, I’m away for the day, catch you tomorrow, behave yourselves.

  92. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 5:33pm

    Dempsey, Dann and Mariappa rumours are all gathering pace on NN, what a laugh eh 😉

  93. rockyrocastle07

    January 30, 2012 at 5:34pm

    I’d take Dempsey

  94. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 5:34pm

    Nighty Micko, have a good evening….

    Evening rocky, haha re Merts….

    No news still, he hasn’t answered my email, just hope he’s ok….

  95. rockyrocastle07

    January 30, 2012 at 5:35pm

    Let’s hope so. He must be bursting with rage after not being able to vent his fury on here at regular intervals!

  96. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 5:36pm

    rocky – i know this sounds bizarre – but i was dreaming last night about the poxy transfer window and i dreamt of Clint Dempsey, would be very spooky wouldn’t it 😮

  97. Joaquim Moreira

    January 30, 2012 at 5:36pm

    Apparently Dortmund have acepted fulham’s offer for Lucas Barios (link to Arsenal ?).
    Janko (twente) Fulham target, sign for Fc Porto /why we didn’t try this one? )

  98. rockyrocastle07

    January 30, 2012 at 5:37pm

    Bit too spooky if you ask me! Dreaming of Clint Dempsey eh….?! Colin Firth will be jealous if he found out!

  99. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 5:37pm

    I know he was told to calm his blogging at work but he usually came on at the weekends – strange…..

  100. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 5:38pm

    Sssssshh, Mr Firth might be watching 😉

  101. rockyrocastle07

    January 30, 2012 at 5:39pm

    Let’s just hope he’s taken his Harem on a global tour and there’s nothing untoward happened!

  102. rockyrocastle07

    January 30, 2012 at 5:40pm

    Any one of us could be Colin Firth!

  103. rockyrocastle07

    January 30, 2012 at 5:41pm

    Anyways, off to Marylebone to get my barnet cut. Just came on to check in quickly! See you tomorrow. And no dreaming of any more dodgy footballers! (I’d still have him at Arsenal, dodgy or not!)

  104. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 5:42pm

    😆 if only eh …

    he’ll be ok, no doubt back soon with his naughty ways ….

  105. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 5:43pm

    Laters rocky, have a good one….

    So would I :)

  106. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 6:06pm

    Seems everyone has gone so I’m off for a while too…..

  107. agirlagunner

    January 30, 2012 at 6:07pm

    You behave, Micko. 😉 Hi and bye, rocky!!

  108. agirlagunner

    January 30, 2012 at 6:11pm

    Nightynight Lady of the One Point Five Million Hits. 😛 Well done, you and oliver, SSP, SAK, KT, and Devil, and all who write. 😉

    oliver, missed your vey oliverish match report! Come back soon.

  109. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 6:13pm

    Nighty agag – you rest well and thanks again 😉

  110. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 6:52pm

    Evening all,

    Another wasted transfer window, another opportunity to strengthen blown and now we rely on injured players to come back and try to make us competitive to finish fourth and maybe win a cup…..

    Huge risk………..!.

    From all the comments through the day….. Wenger or the board it seems split opinions big time… For me they both in bed with each other, the board are happy to let wenger do what he wants as he has lined their pockets and they are ready to walk away anyway as they have now made their money, wenger for his part gets to run the club as he wants as he knows the board will do or say nothing to him…! he has his agenda, has things his own way, is surrounded by yes men and earn a huge salary as well, ain’t life great…!. I think not when we the fans pay huge sums to watch an average Arsenal side.

  111. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 7:19pm

    Evening Wath, you reckon the board (stan) are looking to go?

  112. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 7:23pm

    I’ve said Stan only short term and I agree with Potter, something was agreed when Stan took over so an not to rock the boat and to keep the current lot in place for a year before Stan could do what he wants….!

  113. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 7:27pm

    Ah, got you – when does that clause come to an end, do you know??

  114. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 7:31pm

    Not saying there is a clause Rico but why would a new owner stick with all the “old clones”…? I reckon it was a 12 month thing so we’ll see come end of April maybe he’ll wait and sell up entirely in the summer…?

  115. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 7:34pm

    Fingers crossed then, sooner they all go the better, we need someone who cares about OUR club running it but then we all know that…..

  116. Joaquim Moreira

    January 30, 2012 at 7:34pm

    Fulham- Pavel Pogrebnynk (Russian)

  117. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 7:40pm

    Arsenal – Wefor Everwaiting (nowhere)

  118. rico

    January 30, 2012 at 7:56pm

    I’m done guys – catch you all tomorrow

    Nighty night….

  119. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 8:12pm

    Night Rico….

    Weeeefa Evawaiting…………. tha’ts classic lol

  120. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 8:19pm

    Hi all,

    Lol Rico last comment :-D. Night enjoy the evening.

    Catching up on the comments.

  121. Tlailaxu

    January 30, 2012 at 8:23pm

    Hello every1,I’m new here and I guess first post goes to mods so won’t write on topic

  122. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:28pm

    Evening Gooners.
    Good Post Rico, nighty night, happy soaping….

    Hiya Wath, not confident of any big Arsenal signings then?

  123. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:30pm

    Evening Dutch, any links to AFC for Vertonghen in Der Telegraph or the other Press outlets in the Nederlands???

  124. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:32pm

    @YoungGunsBlogJamie Sanderson

    Build up to deadline day madness begins. #AFC not expected to buy, but Spanish media say Séb Squillaci could go to Espanyol.

  125. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:33pm

    @YoungGunsBlogJamie Sanderson

    Preston have signed Rhys Murphy on loan from #AFC until the end of the season. Murphy had been on trial at Hibernian.

  126. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:34pm

    @YoungGunsBlogJamie Sanderson

    German paper Revier Sport say #AFC are close to signing Dortmund U19 Thomas Eisfeld. Nothing confirmed, as yet.

  127. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:35pm

    @YoungGunsBlogJamie Sanderson

    I’m told #AFC definitely in for Thomas Eisfeld. Deal not done yet, but player was at London Colney today for talks.

  128. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:36pm

    @YoungGunsBlogJamie Sanderson

    Eisfeld’s contract expires in June so #AFC paying a nominal fee. Lengthy medical first, as he has had cruciate problems before

  129. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 8:36pm

    A big name signing AK……….

    Nottagonnabyanywon Cozzawerabunchiftightwadunambitionwankerz

    Thats who we buying mate…!

  130. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 8:37pm

    Just what we need AK, another unproven kid for pennies………..


    Evening DG….

  131. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:38pm

    @YoungGunsBlogJamie Sanderson

    Bit more on Eisfeld: he trained with the first-team this morning, and was assessed by Arsène Wenger. Deal is imminent. #AFC

  132. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:39pm

    @YoungGunsBlogJamie Sanderson

    A piece I wrote earlier on Ryo Miyaichi: – #BWFC confident they can get him on loan before the deadline.

  133. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:39pm

    @YoungGunsBlogJamie Sanderson

    Good news for #AFC: Referee Mike Jones saw the van Persie clash with Cuellar, so FA can’t charge him retrospectively. Lucky.

  134. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:42pm

    Chill Wath, he might be the German Jack Wilshere….

    Then again, he might be the German Stefan Malz…?

    😀 😀 😉

  135. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 8:42pm

    The RVP decision was hardly lucky AK, the fella had his head down by RVP’s elbow… twat….. As for the jinga wank manager of theirs what are we to expect from such a piece of shit…?

  136. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 8:44pm

    IF he was the German Jack Wilshere we’d be buying Goetze…..!

  137. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:47pm

    McLeish has a problem with Wenger and Arsenal, going back to the assault on Eduardo.

    But Wath, i don’t think he’ll be manager of Villa in 18 months time….

    He’s under pressure and immensely disliked by a majority of Villa fans. So hopefully he’ll have a thoroughly miserable time at Villa Park, culminating with the sack next year….

  138. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:48pm

    Gotze is the dogs bollocks, imho a better player than Hazard…

  139. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 8:52pm

    Better attitude than Hazard as well AK, Hazard has a reputation but I think Gotze is far better and will be far better sadly think we’ve missed the boat with Gotze as with many others we should of got…!

    Mcleish would be good at bognor regis…. Can’t stand the tosser, him whingeing about his nose and yet a dirtier fucker you’d go a long way to find…..!

  140. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 8:56pm

    But for the Euro’s this summer, we might have got a couple more Germans. With Poland/Ukraine 2012 on the horizon, the Jerries want to stay close to home, to ensure that they get in the German squad….
    German FA seem reluctant to pick players for their National side, who play in Britain…
    Maybe they think our football affects their players in a negative way?

  141. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 8:58pm

    Be interesting to see if Merts actually attracts more Germans to think of playing in the prem lge…..

  142. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 9:04pm

    So Wath, are you gonna be glued to the radio, all day tomorrow, in a heightened frenzy of excitement and expectation, waiting to hear all the latest headline news about Arsenal swooping for this top player, and that top player?

  143. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 9:04pm

    If a turtle loses it’s shell the bugger is naked as well as homeless.

    The transfer from Highbury to the Ems has left many fans feeling the same. The results, the attitude, fluent style of play, the stature, the invincible manager, the ambition, the spine, the spirit, the institute, the x-factor, the ruthlessness, the defiance of gravity, the sentinel defense, the athletic poetry, the adaptable mindset, the symbiotic solidarity, etcetera, etcetera ALL HAVE NOT MOVED WITH US.

  144. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 9:06pm

    Comments on the sale of Freeman to Stevenage…


    hmm wonder what he meant by “favourites”

    27 minutes ago

    in reply to ↑

    @YoungGunsBlogJamie Sanderson

    @jarzp – As I’ve been saying for ages. There are players the coaching staff like, and even if they’re not talented as others, still play.

  145. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 9:07pm

    @YoungGunsBlogJamie Sanderson

    @jarzp – Freeman was a Brady signing, and was not wanted by Bould or Banfield who are influential with AW, so didn’t get a chance

  146. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 9:11pm

    We don’t need JS to tell us some players get more of a chance than others we’ve seen that for years…………..

    Glued to my radio…………. Afraid not AK I got far better things to do like watch paint dry than wait for any expected signings from our club…. Not happening as we’ve said all January.

    Spot on DG…! very true…!

  147. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 9:12pm

    Hiya AK WATH

    No news from Holland. Yet another opportunity window blown.

  148. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 9:14pm

    I bet wenger and the board are already working on the excuses for the summer transfer window and why they won’t need to buy anyone….! Except of course if a player of super super quality becomes available for 2 bob…!

  149. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 9:18pm

    Football’s like every other aspect in life i suppose.
    You like some players and not others.

    Not always a logical reason why?

    I don’t like Song, but admit that he’s had some really good games for Arsenal.
    Just don’t fancy him as a player.

    I like Mertesaker, despite some ordinary performances, again, just a personal preference.
    I know that many don’t rate him. But there you are!

  150. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 9:20pm

    No doubt the coaching staff are no different…

    I hope Freeman has a great career and earns a massive transfer from Stevenage to an EPL team in the future.

    No least the fact that Arsenal will get a share of any transfer fee…

  151. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 9:21pm


    They have a copy of Murphy’s law in each desk drawer.

    I expect us to buy a mule or two instead of a proven war horse.

  152. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 9:21pm

    Wath, you been on the GG mate? :P:

  153. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 9:22pm

    So Dutch, from what you read at home, does look as if Vertonghen is gonna leave in the summer, rather that tomorrow?

  154. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 9:23pm

    Absolutely spot on AK, but i think a lot of likes dislikes in life are personal in a job to pick the best 11 personal likes of a person should not come into it but they still do….!

    I think Merts will get better and better, most take a yr 2 settle, our piss poor defending don’t help nor does a makeshift back four but somethings he does are simple things you’d expect an international player to do instinctively not have to be told…? if he still shy to bollock his fellow defenders and take charge..?

    Song for me is an average midfielder does a decent job but for me i’d get in someone better cos I think we need better simple as that.

  155. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 9:24pm

    No sauce for me tonight AK, I wish……..!

  156. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 9:28pm

    DG, mules are cheap… War horses or thoroughbreds cost decent money hence we buy mules….!

  157. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 9:28pm

    Wath, there certainly isn’t a logical reason why Wenger likes some of the players he likes!!!

    As far as Song is concerned, i think it’s nailed on that he’ll be jumping ship when he’s down to one year on his contract.
    I certainly won’t miss him….

  158. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 9:29pm

    AK, how’s DG, got word on the grapevine and not had a chance to see if he ok…? I trust all well though…!

  159. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 9:30pm

    Spot on AK, It’s why I’d get M’Vila in the summer if we can and get rid of Song for as much as possible… win win situation then…!

  160. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 9:30pm


    Vertonghen is a critical factor in Ajax for the rest of their season, they seem to miss out on the title. They will need him securing a Euro spot. There’s no time to attract a suitable replacement. Summer might well be to late as AJAX will look for top dollar.

  161. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 9:34pm

    DG, top dollar for Vertonghen though isn’t gonna be high as he only has a season left on his contract does he not…???? In theory his price is now going to come down…?

  162. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 9:34pm

    Wath, even with Coq & Frim at the club, i would go for M’Vila. he’s a beast but a very good playa.

    Devil is fine mate….

    He didn’t want to make a big deal about it…

    He takes on too much. Got a very stressfull job, and what with his coaching, family and other things, i think everything just caught up with him.

    He’s a fit guy, but he’s not Superman…

    Reckon he’s eased up a bit….

  163. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 9:39pm

    Wath/Dutch, i would have imagined that the optimum time to sell Vertonghen would be now!

    The only problem for AFC is the competition for his signature next summer….

    Not sure Ajax will get more than £10 million in August…. what do you think Dutch???
    What are Ajax rumoured to be after for him, what is the word ‘on the street’ about his value in Holland???

  164. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 9:40pm


    Barca has a few golden oldies who need to be replaced. His versatility might not knock his stock price even if he has 1 year left. If there are 2 or more bidders.

  165. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 9:48pm


    Don’t hear any value dropped on him, hence my thinking he will not leave this window. I think he will leave next summer for Spain or Italy were a few teams are also looking to rejuvenate.

    Me thinks Ajax can fetch £15 + add on’s.

  166. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 9:50pm

    Glad all’s well with him AK, can understand not wanting a fuss….!

    We all have to look in the mirror sometimes mate and take a step back to slow down… when I hit 30 i’ll think about only doing a bottle of GG a night instead of 2…. 😉

    Yep I hear you DG, depends who wants him the most to also stick the dosh on the table, if we actually go for him lets hope TV has a word in his ear am sure he has already.

  167. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 9:55pm


    That’s what I thought, TV can be a proper advocate in this case, development over the lumpy mattress. 😉

  168. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 10:01pm

    We wouldn’t pay 15mil for Cahill in his last season with Bolton no chance will we pay that for Vertonghen, I reckon we’ll do the usual and offer maybe 8mil with add ons and hope he actually wants to come to us if not we will lose out as usual as we try to penny pinch.

  169. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 10:02pm

    Wath at 30….. A long time ago…. 😉

    Now i wait to see how it’s changed… 😀

    As if i’d change anything 😛

  170. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 10:04pm

    I’m off now guys….

    See ya all on here tomorrow…

    Transfer Window, the excitement……

    I can’t wait…. :P:

  171. allezkev

    January 30, 2012 at 10:06pm

    For you Wath, before i go,

    Donner und Blitzen…. 😉

  172. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 10:08pm


    Problem in Holland is Euro spots makes up a large sum of next years financial prospect. Therefore releasing a contributory player like Vertonghen could mean you lose a lot of dosh besides his transfer fee. Clubs run a tight budget here cuz KNVB (Dutch FA) dishes out fines and detract points if your financial books don’t match the annual prospectus.

  173. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 10:08pm

    Thanx AK sleep tight, don’t forget ya night nickers……….. 😛

    Am off as well, take it easy DG, chat 2moro fella…!

    Oh well least we get Messi 2moro…………….

  174. W.A.T.H

    January 30, 2012 at 10:12pm

    That’s over the marshes ain’t it AK…?????

  175. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 10:13pm

    Night SAK. Will see tomorrow if there’s anything to get buzzed about. Or all is just wet gunpowder in a few weeks, when another jury is hampering our progress again.

  176. DutchGooner10

    January 30, 2012 at 10:16pm

    Night WATH have night cap b4 bed. C y 2morrow mate.

  177. allezkev

    January 31, 2012 at 8:18am


    What they wanted Cover up front and at left-back. The squad’s reliance on Robin van Persie is well documented and neither of his deputies, Park Chu-young and Marouane Chamakh,, who is away at the Africa Cup of Nations, has so far shown himself to be capable. Due to injuries, Arsene Wenger has not named a recognised full-back in his starting line-up since 6 December.

    What they got Thierry Henry on loan from the NY Red Bulls until 16 February, with an option for him to stay until 26 February, which the Red Bulls hold. It has been emotional to see Henry back in the shirt and the first of his three substitute appearances to date saw him score the winner against Leeds in the FA Cup and the playmaker Thomas Eisfeld, 19, from Borussia Dortmund

    D-Day moves? Anyone hoping for a big-name buy, and that includes many of the players, should be braced for disappointment David Hytner

    Ins Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls, loan); Thomas Eisfeld (B Dortmund, £600,000).

    Outs Luke Freeman (Stevenage, undisc); Vito Mannone (Hull, loan); Daniel Boateng (Swindon, loan); Gavin Hoyte (AFC Wimbledon, loan); Paulo Botelho (Levante, loan); Emmanuel Frimpong (Wolves, loan); Sanchez Watt (Crawley, loan); Wellington (Alcoyano, loan); Sead Hajrovic (Barnet, loan); Rhys Murphy (Preston, loan).


  178. allezkev

    January 31, 2012 at 8:29am

    Of all the possibilities provoked by Jose Mourinho’s latest overture to the Premier League, the most intriguing by some distance would surely be a straight job swap with Arsène Wenger.

    Who would lose? Hardly Wenger, who not so long ago had the Real portfolio offered on a platter of the finest Spanish gold.

    Consider the advantages implicit in a move to the Bernabeu. He would no longer have to fret over a defence that continues to look as accident-prone as his compatriot Inspector Clouseau. He would get to work with such thoroughbreds as Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil and the recently revived Kaka. For a little while at least he would be free from Doomsday analysis every time he made a substitution.

    There would also be the approval of the iconic Alfredo Di Stefano, who began firing shots at the cynicism of the Special One almost before he stepped off the plane from Milan.

    Mourinho would inherit a new stage at the Emirates guaranteed to give him another bracing challenge or, as he might put it, another juicy role in a movie of his own creation.

    Arsenal would get a coach guaranteed to bring back a level of competitive integrity which has been dwindling steadily since their last trophy seven years ago. In that time Mourinho has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups, two Serie A titles, the Italian Cup, the Champions League and the Spanish Cup. He is also top of La Liga, seven points ahead of Barcelona, widely believed to be streets ahead of any other team on earth and possibly the best club side in the history of the game.

    These are not so much credentials as a series of open pay cheques and it is no wonder that for so long Mourinho was considered the inevitable replacement of Sir Alex Ferguson the moment he signalled his belief that it was time to go. That conviction lost a lot of ground last season when Mourinho’s behaviour slumped to new levels of boorishness. However, who begins to match his unbroken impact since he guided Porto to the Champions League in 2004?

    According to reports from Madrid, the front-runners to replace Mourinho if his relationships with club president, Florentino Perez, and some senior players continue to deteriorate are Germany’s coach, Joachim Löw, and Rafa Benitez, who was sacked by Liverpool and then Internazionale after his brief and catastrophic attempt to pick up the baton put down by the Special One.

    Löw has put in an impressive seven-year stint with Germany but running this particularly well-oiled national team, with its astounding record of consistency and grounded professionalism, is not quite the same as battling the remnants of the old galactico mentality. Mourinho, naturally, tackled it head-high and maybe some of the full repercussions are only now surfacing.

    Still, apart from the local difficulty represented by Barcelona whenever they appear at the Bernabeu, Mourinho is already more than halfway to another stunning entry in his personal record. No one doubts his ability to bring the title home for Real and it is not the biggest reach to imagine that he might also collect his third Champions League. That would make him only the third coach in history to win the biggest prize in club football at three separate clubs.

    It certainly means that when Mourinho flutters his eyes at the Premier League once again it is less a job application than an invitation to form a queue.

    No leading club can be comfortably impervious to the opportunity of sure-fire success that Mourinho offers and this certainly has to include Chelsea, where the striving but still embattled Andre Villas-Boas must be most conscious of the latest love letter to English football from his former mentor. Villas-Boas talks passionately about the future he hopes to build and we are told that Roman Abramovich listens patiently. But then was any football investor ever more anxious than Abramovich to live not in the future but today?

    This is the supreme promise of Mourinho. He doesn’t put down building blocks. He lives on the run, agitating everyone around him, but invariably creating a sense that anything can be achieved, if not today then no later than tomorrow. In recent years this has made him the antithesis of Wenger, whose heaviest critics say that while he spins a future he neglects the present.

    What no one can question is the fact that Arsenal are in desperate need of new impetus – and new certainties. On Sunday they retrieved potentially the ugliest situation since dissatisfaction first began to be expressed so bluntly in the Emirates stands. But it was hardly a performance to beguile anyone into the idea that redemption was at hand.

    The defence was again appalling as Aston Villa, who disappeared at half-time, took a two-goal lead with something close to contempt. You couldn’t help imagining the wrath that such inadequacy would have provoked in Mourinho. The challenge of his career came when he ordered Internazionale to “park the bus” against Barça two years ago. Yes, he freely admitted, he would play anti-football against the darlings of the game. He would demand to see how good they were. For some the outcome was close to sacrilege but Mourinho could not have cared less.

    An ideal fit for the Arsenal fashioned by Arsène Wenger? No, but then such a candidate simply does not exist. Mourinho wouldn’t – and almost certainly couldn’t – make a new Arsenal in the image of the old one. But he would get them back into the game, he would make them serious again. And, no doubt, he would win something.

    In an imperfect world, it would surely be a start.

  179. allezkev

    January 31, 2012 at 8:30am

    The above was by James Lawton of the Independent.

  180. allezkev

    January 31, 2012 at 8:42am

    !2 months ago, even 12 weeks ago, the thought of Jose Mourinho as the manager of Arsenal was anathema to me…..

    But the prospect of winning trophies again with maybe the Champions League among them, makes the prospect of The Special One as our manager, more paletable by the day…..

  181. rico

    January 31, 2012 at 8:50am

    Morning AK

    I’m just doing a few tweaks on todays post, will you copy your above comments and bring them on to today please??

    Give me ten mins….

  182. allezkev

    January 31, 2012 at 9:00am

    Morning Rico. Sure thing boss…. 😀

  183. rico

    January 31, 2012 at 9:11am

    😛 AK

    New Post up….

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