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RvP to follow Vermaelen? Dempsey wants in & Djourou wants out! Changing the Manager & Spending is all it takes!!

May 31, 2012

Few pre-post bit’s to give you:

Vice Captain Thomas Vermaelen has been talking about the best club in the land:

I will stay at Arsenal forever, There will be no transfer for me.

I love London. I’ve got a house there, I’m happy there and I don’t see any reason to ever leave the club.

Now let’s hear the same words from our captain, come on Robin, you know you want to…..

Clint Dempsey has made it clear that he wants to join us, how much clearer could this be:

The transfer window is open until August 31 – it’s no secret that I would like to play Champions League one day in my career.

What I do is focus on the teams that I play for and I give my heart to them, work as hard as I can to try to make the most of my time and make the most of the career that I have left.

He hasn’t mentioned Arsenal you all will say, but sure as heck the Manchester sides won’t sign him and I doubt Chelsea would either, he is not a big enough name for any of them so surely it’s a plea to Arsene?

On Djourou, well not sure if it’s just the media picking up on what the Swiss Manager has had to say recently but Johan is reported to have said this to Swiss website 20 Minuten:

My situation at Arsenal is not easy, I’ve never played so little and especially not in my own position. If an interesting offer comes, I’ll look at it carefully.

So here we are again at the time of year when all news in the football world goes crazy and most of the transfer stories are just speculative.

The transfer window is yet to open and we all know that news is very thin on the ground , unless of course you want to talk about Italian cheating and the match fixing, which we all know goes on and some of us believe its going on here as well.

However, I’m not going to talk about any of that, I am going to talk about the teams that win things, so that leaves us well out!!

The teams that won Trophies last season are:

Liverpool Carling Cup,

Chelsea FA Cup and Champions league

Manchester City the Premier League.

Now I know what your thinking, why does he want to talk about crap clubs like them?

They are not crap clubs, they are Champions of their respective cups and this is Arsenals 8th year without a trophy so it’s not an easy thing to do.

I will start with Liverpool, Hodgson’s dismissal and Dalglish’s appointment. Liverpool FC allowed Dalglish to spend £100 Million on bringing in new players and he didn’t hang around spending it. They started the season off looking pretty good, they beat us at home and they totally outplayed us at Anfield only to lose in the last few minutes thanks to Robin.

They looked good and played some very attractive football but they finished way down the league, winning the Carling Cup was their only highlight of the season and Dalglish paid for it with the sack.

What can we take out of their season is, a change of Manager and spending a £100 Million is not always the answer!

Manchester City, the club that supporters of all clubs has spoken about and that’s because their owner Sheik Mansour does not stop spending money. Most footballers would get his head turned if he heard that City were looking at him, we know that to our own expense.

Many people who once had an association with us have now joined the City elite. They too are a club which have changed Managers, Mark Hughes got the wheels in motion but it didn’t take long for him to be sacked and Mancini brought in to replace him. The spending continued and it paid off by winning the Premier League.

What have we learned from these Champions? Well similar to Liverpool really change your manager and spend money but the more you spend the bigger the prize.

Now we come to Chelsea, the double winning Champions.

This is a club that buys more Managers than players and I’m not joking!

I’m not going to list them all, but the one they started the new season with, AVB was meant to be the next best thing in football management but he couldn’t cut the mustard. It was well into the season before he got the sack and up stepped Roberto Di Matteo. Immediately he had Chelsea ticking again, and as if by magic, they become FA Cup winners.

Jubilation sets in, player power removed and everybody’s happy, apart from Abromovich who had to shell out again for the  compensation to AVB.

With Chelsea back buzzing, Di Matteo decided he would forget about the league and save all his players for the Champions League campaign, which all went very well. They knocked out favourites Barcelona over two legs and then won the final against Bayern Munich.

Di Matteo become a legend in a flash and Chelsea become Double winners.

What have we learned from them?

Well it seems that changing a manager has worked, so we have to change Wenger, we have to change our manager every year maybe twice a year if we want to become very successful and we have to spend much much more than the £15 Million we normally spend.

Three quarters of a billion would probably win us one trophy but a billion may just win us two and if we really want to show ambition a billion and a half could make it the treble.

Well this is the way the Champions of our League’s and Europe’s elite have done it!!

What do you think, do we settle for top 4 again, or change our manager and spend spend spend?

Written by Steve Palmer

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Wenger in for Spanish Striker & are you a Doomer?….

May 30, 2012

Or just a realist in todays Arsenal world?

Just like yesterday when we talked about players getting a battering when maybe it’s not really justified, many fans are put into categories.

There are AKB’s – which means, as far as I can work out, that no matter what Arsene Wenger does, he will always be right as he knows what he’s doing.

Doomers – which again, as far as I can work out will always look towards the bad side of life, you know, those who watch Walcott batter the Totts for forty-five minutes but still believe that he’ll never reach that level again. ;)

Wenger Bashers – well I don’t need to give that too much thought, and I doubt anyone else does but just in case, it no doubt means that no matter what Wenger does, he will never be right – he could go and sign Messi today but still that set of fans would want him gone because of what has gone on over the last eight seasons.

Then there are a group of Arsenal fans that sit somewhere between the extremists and we are realists.

A person who tends to view or represent things as they really are!

That’s where I sit – Live in hope that this summer is the one which will see Arsene Wenger make the changes we need to keep up, maybe even overtake the two Manchester sides but then I have thought that for the last four or five summers.

I hope we will clear out the ‘more than average’ players in our squad and free up some of the vast finances that have been and still are being wasted on very average players, but then I have hoped for the last four or five years too.

I’ve hoped that as our Wenger sells our better players for large transfer fees, he replaces them with a similar quality player, but that hasn’t happened either, not for a long time.

There are more ‘hopes’ but whats the point in going on and on about them, they didn’t materialise.

No matter how optimistic I try and remain, history suggests that things will be little different this summer to those that have gone before.

Does that make me a Doomer, no, I’m just a realist!

Titbits: The Daily Express say we are looking at Joselu, a 22 year old 6′ 3″ striker from Real Madrid, he is valued around £4 Million. Big Sam is keeping tabs on him too, so we are up against stiff competition!!

Eden Hazard has spoken about his move to the PL, during his interview he says that although he looks to players like Messi and Ronaldo for inspiration, Gervinho is the best player he has ever played with…

On that note, have a good day all…..


Don’t blame the players, blame Wenger! De Jong on his way in?

May 29, 2012

We are a club full of Marmite players aren’t we?

Just a few that spring to mind are Ramsey, Song, Walcott, Gervinho, Mertsacker, Djourou, Arshavin, Bendtner, Denilson and even Arteta to an extent.

The reason I include Arteta is because a few Arsenal fans seem to like to label him as the ‘cheap man’s Cesc’ – well, he’s not in fact the only thing the two players have in common is their country of birth.

Arteta has been incredible for us this season and for the statistics lovers out there, just go and check how many games we struggled in since he suffered injury.

I’d say, all of them!

Take the rest in that list, none of them are dreadful footballers are they?

No, they just sometimes fail to reach the standards we all believe they should be at to play for our club.

During the season, and not only the one that has just passed, Highbury House and many other Arsenal websites are visited by fans who want to vent their fury about several of the players and the barrage of abuse that certain players have to suffer is incredible.

Is there really a player who hasn’t gone onto the pitch and not tried his hardest?

That maybe a difficult question to answer but body language tells us a lot, just look at Arshavin before he returned to Zenit, he just oozed a ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude and he didn’t try to hide it either did he?

Alex Song can be another, after going forward like he’s Messi, too many times he was very relaxed and lethargic in his attempt to get back and help the defence but other days he worked harder and was much more affective.

Walcott, well he gets an awful lot of abuse but he tries and the same can be said of Ramsey. Djourou, well we talked about him yesterday.

I won’t bother with Nik and Denilson as hopefully they will be gone this summer…

My point, all of these players have good and bad games, maybe some lean towards more bad than good but maybe that is just the level they are at in their game at this moment in time.

It is not their fault that they are selected to play each week is it?

Arsene Wenger signed these players, each and every one of them and he obviously believes in them.

If anyone is to blame for them playing and sometimes playing badly, it is him, it’s Wenger that deserves the bashing, not the players, not as long as they are giving their all in every game….

One little titbit to leave you with and that is we are reported to be in the race to sign Nigel De Jong – good move or bad?

That’s it for today guys, have a good one….


Johan Djourou deserves better – should he leave Arsenal this summer?

May 28, 2012

Over the next few weeks and probably until the new season begins, the ‘day to day’ posts here on Highbury House will be shorter.

There is little news in the closed season and we don’t want to batter the contracts situation to death, what is the point?

We will hear soon enough whether or not our captain and Walcott are staying for a few more seasons.

So what about those going?

Nice Guy……

Johan Djourou has been with us so long, it feels like he should be heading towards retirement rather than anything else yet he is still just 25 years old and heading towards his prime, but he can’t get into our starting eleven.

Why?

Sadly, because he is not good enough!

The season before last, in my opinion, he played some of his best football, he was solid in defence alongside either Squillaci or Kosceinly and seldom did he do much wrong, in fact I believe we didn’t lose a game with him in defence for a long period of time, but then injury struck and since that day, he has been very average.

Being asked to play at right back earlier this season just gone didn’t help his cause, in fact I think it all but destroyed him. He had a shocker at Stamford Bridge and but for woeful finishing by Chelsea, he alone could and would have been to blame for a few goals.

Djourou is a Swiss International, yet he featured only minutes for them a couple of nights ago against Germany, some may say he’s being kept back for the main competition but surely, he needs playing time as he hasn’t had that for his club.

Johan has started just 14 Premier League games this season, surely that cannot be enough to keep him happy?

That answer has to be No, not if he wants to play the game he loves and he wants to make sure he represents his country!

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld feels the same:

For Djourou, the question arises of a transfer,if he wants to be selected, he must have some game time in the club. This is not the case at Arsenal.

He seems a really good guy, a nice guy who loves Arsenal but we aren’t playing him, so just maybe he deserves better.

So what do you all think, should he stay and just sit on the bench and pick up his wage, or is it time he moved on for the sake of his own career, a career that really could take off if he played week in week out?

That’s it for today, have a good one all…..


Bendtners off! Sagna on M’Vila, Ramsey on Robin & Howard Webb makes a point!

May 27, 2012

Yesterday it was Bacary Sagna who had a few words on Robin and like us fans, he wants to see additions to this current squad:

Every year we lose some players – that’s football.  To keep Robin would be great. Everyone loves him. I know him very well and I’m sure he’ll be here next season. He’s going to think about his long-term plans and it’s always difficult to say what will happen way ahead.

We want more players to come to the team.

Lukas Podolski has arrived already and he is a German international and a quality player.

M’Vila can make a great impact. I’m not sure about his English but it took me time to learn. But I think he would suit us as well. Arsenal is a French-speaking team and it will help him settle.

Now the way Sagna speaks, it’s almost like he knows M’Vila is set to sign for us!

Aaron Ramsey has now joined in:

It’s important we keep Robin if we want to be title contenders. He has proven this season what his value to the team is with the amount of goals he has scored.  He was our top scorer, won the Golden Boot and the Player of the Year awards so any team would want to keep him. Arsenal are no different. Hopefully he will stay with us.

Master tactician Stewart Robson has been talking about the defence:

Steve Bould was a great defender and can bring much to the role on the defensive side and could really make a difference. What is clear is that they simply have to get that defensive game right.

We have the players to improve and make an impact – but the style has to change. Until that happens they will only be a good team, not a great team.

Well, we have all been saying what Robson has so finally things could change, not only with Bould but with Banfield in the first team set-up too.

Howard Webb has been talking too, not about Robin van Persie or Arsenal of course but about the ‘cheats’ in todays game, the ones who roll around on the ground after receiving a little knock or in worst cases, where they haven’t been caught at all. We have seen a few during our matches over the years haven’t we. Ruud van Nistelrooy springs to mind, how many times did he cheat against us?

One of our obligations as a referee is to try and observe fair play and keep the game flowing when we can.

If players cry wolf too many times, then there is a possibility that maybe we will not react in the way we need to do based on what we saw there.

If we come under criticism for stopping the games too many times for doctors or physios to enter the field of play then referees might be inclined not to stop the game.

Webb gets a lot of criticism, most of which is based around his perceived bias towards Manchester United but the way in which he handled the Fabrice Muamba incident was exemplary. Another referee on another day may not have dealt with it in the same way and Fabrice could have been left unattended for too long and he wouldn’t have made the recovery he has today.

So yes, there are plenty of things in football that need to be addressed, goal line technology, video replays etc but the one thing that needs stamping out in football is cheating.

It may just cost someone their life one day..

Finally, Nicklas Bendtner claims to have had talks with a few clubs and he’ll make his decision on where he moves after the Euros.

Forgive me, but didn’t we hear all that last summer but from his Father?

That’s it for another day, have a good one….


Happy St Dippers Day! A deal that escaped the tea lady & has Robin & Theo done a Tomas Rosicky?

May 26, 2012

Happy St Dippers Day :)

Twenty three years ago today, it was up for grabs and Michael Thomas made sure we took that last gasp chance – we beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield and with it, we won the League!

In case you missed it, have a peep at the video…

Happy days eh…..

Yesterday morning I watched a football show on Sky Sports (thanks Lee).

I just caught Arsene Wenger talking about Tomas Rosicky and Robin van Persie.

Not long ago most of us truly believed that we were witnessing some of the best football played by Tomas Rosicky in a long long time. He seemed years younger, fitter and had more about him than ever before.

Sadly, with it came a few cynical comments about how he must have been playing for a new contract, a pay rise etc etc.

Soon after, Arsenal announced that our Czech old boy had indeed been offered and accepted a new contract. Some fans were pleased, others of course were far from happy.

Interestingly enough, Wenger spilled the beans yesterday:

He said that back in January, Rosicky was offered a new contract and he accepted it without hesitation. The deal was done but was kept quiet, nobody knew.

So when people were watching him play and making their sarcastic comments about his performances were only about earning a new contract, they were very wrong. What Tomas was actually doing was playing well and working hard, because he had already got a new contract.

That contract deal was announced in March, roughly two months after it was signed and not one person leaked that information.

Onto Robin van Persie, there has been so much speculation about him, newspapers have suggested talks have taken place, the same ones have reported that those talks have broken down. Some suggest that is down to his wages demands, others believe he wants the club to sign a few players to make our side stronger and to show more ambition.

Arsene Wenger was inevitably asked about our captains future and he said two things with a big smile on his face.

1) He was very very confident that Robin would be playing football in the English Premier League next season.

2) That he would be playing his football in red and white.

So many people profess to be in the know, to know the tea lady, the cleaner etc within the club but, no-one ever knew or leaked that Tomas had signed a new contract two months prior to it being announced.

It could just be that nobody other than Arsene Wenger and Robin van Persie know whether our captain has already signed a contract extension and the same could be said about Theo Walcott.

Holland have vowed to keep Robin away from the paparazzi who all want to break the story that he is leaving.

It could just be that that story will not materialise, well not this summer anyway….


Finally some news!! Banfield the man to make a difference? Walcott & Chamberlain suffer….

May 25, 2012

Another quiet day in the world of Arsenal…

Theo Walcott travels to the Euros without his family nearby as they fear of being on the end of nasty racist ‘stuff’ and support has come from Joleon Lescott:

It is shame we are talking about it, but I think we always will be. Theo is a vital member of the squad. He is likely to play a lot of games and have a big role in the team. It is a shame his family won’t be able to go and support him and it is a shame they have to make that decision for nothing to do with football.

I understand it though, if they feel it is going to be a problem when he is out there.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s family has followed suit, they too have opted not to travel to support their son for the same reasons. That must be a hard decision to make for both families and it’s a decision that shouldn’t have to be given thought should it? There is no place for racism in life, let alone football.

Must be hard for the black players in the England squad too, wondering if the guy at the back really did make those comments to Anton Ferdinand and a reason why John Terry’s court case should have been heard and finished with before this competition!

Finally afc.com had some news yesterday, not ‘breaking news’ or anything as exciting as a player signing but they filled the website with confirmation of the Bould & Banfield promotions and both had a bit to say:

Steve Bould:

All of our kids have to be technically sound and able to play and that is the basis we all work off. First and foremost is the philosophy of the football club and the manager.

There is a brand and philosophy that we have to play, that is No 1 whether it is youth players, reserve players or first-team players.

Neil Banfield:

I am absolutely delighted, it is a dream come true, to think I am now going to be first-team coach… well I pinch myself sometimes. I am really looking forward to it.

Banfield said that when he was called into the headmasters managers office he thought it was merely to explain why he had not been given the assistant managers job but:

Then he told me he wanted me to become first-team coach, and you could have knocked me over. I was a bit gobsmacked to be honest, but after the initial surprise and sense of achievement inside, I was just delighted.

Banfield says that while his role may have changed, the players know what they can expect from him.

We have had a good relationship with all of the younger players who have come through at the Club – being in and around things will hold us in good stead.

But we can’t get away from the fact we are in a results business, winning leagues and cups, and there is a different edge to it. We are now coaching to win games, and that is a different mindset.

I am demanding but patient. One of the biggest things is being honest with players. They know they will get honesty from me, they won’t get any flannel: it will be straight down the line, good and bad. They know I am trying to help them.

I like what Banfield had to say more than Bould,

We can’t get away from the fact we are in a results business, winning leagues and cups!

Yes we are Mr Banfield, now go and tell Arsene that will you!

Have a good day all….


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