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425 Comments

Thinking the Unthinkable….

No matter how much we all love and respect Arsene Wenger and believe that he is a gentleman and no matter how grateful we are to him for turning the club around when he first came, instigating the move to the Emirates and for buying some wonderful players for us to enjoy playing the best football in England, it seems quite apparent to me that something is wrong at our club.

Yes, something is broken.

Why do I believe this?

Well, it is largely the evidence of my own eyes over the past several seasons.

I can feel it already. You are coming up with all the caveats that have surrounded Wenger’s recent years. The consistent top 4 finishes, the financial draining effect of the new stadium, the rise of the sugar daddy clubs, the appalling luck with injuries. Yes, I agree 100%.

They have all had a massive effect on Arsenal Football Club and its ability to compete at the highest level. I also contend that no other manager could have kept Arsenal in the CL for so long under such restraints. He has done incredible things for us all.

The lack of trophies can be attributed to many of these, except of course the ridiculous loss to Birmingham in Carling Cup final a couple of seasons ago. Laying, buried in the atrocious experience of that rainy day, there was a burning question that is still unanswered. Why did we lose that game? How on earth did we lose against a very, very poor team lead by surely one of the least inspiring managers ever? If you think it was Koscielny’s mistake alone that cost us that game, then that’s up to you.

I believe it was very typical of Wenger’s Arsenal of the past several seasons when faced with a big game. But that is past and not worth dwelling on at this moment in time as it’s the present and the future that concern me.

Wenger has been a very great manager for Arsenal and I have said before that one of his greatest tricks is downgrading expectations by convincing so many fans that we are paupers and that Chelsea and Manchester City are the big bad wolf with no morality or sense of fair play.

In some ways he is right of course. There are no financial restraints at those clubs as we have seen.

This January, in complete defiance of Financial Fair Play, I can see both of them blowing us out of the water with massive transfer fees and wages paid to players that are in fact sorely needed at our own club. But we cannot afford them. We know this because we operate the self-sustaining financial model that gives us both the moral high ground and players like Chamakh and Gervinho plus several others who should be nowhere near Arsenal Football Club because they are not good enough. Not their fault at all. Just not good enough to help take us where we ought to be heading.

We can all debate who is and who isn’t good enough can’t we. It’s a fun after dinner chat but it doesn’t really address the big question as to whether Wenger has still got it in him to win the CL or the PL ?

Has he? What do you think?

It’s not that easy to answer in a cool detached way as one always gets this nagging feeling of disloyalty and even if you don’t feel that, there are plenty of bloggers, including a swathe of complete idiots, who will remind you of your treachery and unspoken oath of loyalty in a heartbeat, as if you had forgotten. They will be along a little later.

So it hurts to even have to think about Arsenal without Wenger because it’s human nature to resist change and we know what to expect from him. And there’s all that stuff he’s done for us.

But, what about the board?

How responsible are they for the club’s excruciating but inexorable move backwards over the past few years – and how can this be turned round? The nature of Stan’s ownership, like most other things at the club, is shrouded in a fog of mystery and disinformation, seemingly designed to confuse. That Kroenke loves the self-sustaining model is certain. The problem is that he isn’t rich enough to take the handbrake off, smell the coffee and release ample funds for new and better players when the opportunity arises and he doesn’t want to put his hand in his own pocket. That’s for sure. Arsenal are a business asset to him. We feel somewhat differently.

There is also the thorny issue as to whether Wenger would actually spend the really big money on a player.

It appears that he has entrenched egalitarian views about running a football club where no players earn vastly more than others. This, in his noble philosophy, avoids tensions and resentments building up. Thus we see a very promising, very young player like Oxlade-Chamberlain given a massive hike in wages that coincides perfectly with a loss of form and Wenger’s reluctance to play him in front of Gervinho. I haven’t really worked that one out yet.

It also results in a build-up of deadwood, unwilling to move elsewhere and take a pay cut.

While on the subject I really cannot avoid the goalkeeping situation. If ever a manager had a blind spot it must surely be Wenger and goalkeepers.

For a club like Arsenal to be in their current situation is not just unfortunate, it is an absolute disgrace. We had to put up with Almunia for years when everybody knew he wasn’t good enough. Wenger said he was, we said he wasn’t and we were proved right.

Arsene was wrong. Who can possibly say otherwise?

It cost us and now we are in this position? Why is it that Wenger won’t buy a World-class goalkeeper?

Why?

He lauds Lloris but wouldn’t buy him. He bought Shaaban, Manninger, Almunia, Fabianski and God knows who else and they were and are not good enough. But all were cheap. Spot the common denominator?

Arguably the most important position in the side and he won’t buy a decent ‘keeper. Why?

The answer is obvious. He thinks that our current goalkeepers are fine. We have the worst goalkeepers in the PL purely because he won’t buy a world class one or even a very good one who could save us several points a year. What other rational explanation is there?

Yes, our first choice might be great in a few years but, as he has proved recently, he is not great now and that’s what counts. This alone is ample reason to be very worried about where Arsene is leading this club. It just makes no sense at all and when things don’t make sense questions must surely and rightly be asked.

There are of course many, many other things that also do not make sense. But, Arsene is a safe pair of hands who turns a profit every year, so I doubt we will see any changes for a while, barring a catastrophic season or two of underachievement. Even then I imagine Kroenke will be reluctant to ask Arsene to step aside.

Everything seems blacker when you lose to a side like Norwich. People got carried away with the away win to an awful Liverpool team, the draw away to Man City and a 3-1 win at newly promoted West Ham. After his “Moment of truth” spiel this week, the players let him down. He sat and watched as they played absolute dross, the goalkeeping fiasco bit him in the arse and he couldn’t motivate them to anything in the second half either. Arsenal are confusing and irritating at the same time.

Even with Cazorla, Podolski, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Arteta et al in place, Wenger sat there and watched, ashen-faced as the team and club were humiliated.

Many people are scared of Wenger going because of the alternatives, but let me leave you with a bit of blue sky thinking that may or may not appeal.

Kroenke decides that it’s time to sell as he sees the slow decline of Arsenal reflected as a reduction in the share price – and Kroenke is all about the bottom line. Usmanov takes over and declares that he wants to turn Arsenal into one of the biggest and best clubs in the world. He lets everyone know that if a world-class player becomes available in a position where the manager thinks we are short then we have the financial clout to compete with anyone. Arsene finds this all rather vulgar, says he still believes in Chamakh and is offered Hill-Wood’s old position as chairman. He accepts. Is that bit too far fetched for you?

It is me.

Usmanov states that he wants to own an extremely ambitious club and not one that is content to tread water. He offers Guardiola a 5 year contract. Guardiola accepts and the first thing he does is to buy a decent goalkeeper. He pays off the deadwood and tells them to sod off.

Ok. There are no guarantees as to success but it would certainly be an exciting ride where defeat to Norwich would not be meekly tolerated and players would not hold the club to ransom over contracts. Players would want to become part of the revolution. The player/club dynamic would change completely. You don’t pull your weight – you are out.

A dream perhaps – and dreams seldom come true.

But one thing is certain. If the club continue to slip away, something will have to be done one way or the other.

Written by Adam

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425 comments on “Thinking the Unthinkable….

  1. Interesting read , I believe that when Wenger goes he will have to leave completely. No manager worth his salt will come with such a spectre hanging over him.

  2. Morning gooners,

    Agm was crap nothing new and complete stupidity from the board eh.

    No hope I think change is needed.

    Nice piece Adam

  3. Congratulations on another excellent post, Adam.

  4. All good/bad things must come to an end. Soon the red faced will have to call it a day. Whoever takes over from him must win trophies every year or every other year .Frankly speaking rf has been helped by the Fa and refs to perpetuate his winning run.It will be interesting to see if the next guy at OT can get about winning.
    Let’s look at the stats. In the first 10 epl years rf won 7 epl. In the next 10 yars he could win only five titles.This shows how the Blues and MC have encroached on his hitherto untouched empire.
    Now Wenger has lost the plot the last seven years and is resistant to change.That’s why he can’t compete. His one dimensional attacking style is tailor made for hit and run attacks and yet he doesn’t seem to change it.
    I tell you what. The akb brigade may shed taers when he goes. I am confident whoever takes over will get the gunners challenging.I believe he will be pragmatic and play to win.

  5. Morning Isa,

    Think its clear change is needed we are just afraid of the uncertanity but we will pull through with or without Aw…

  6. Good morning and thank you for the kind words.
    I wrote this post on Tuesday afternoon and I will say that, had I written it yesterday, after the AGM, it would have been a little more focused on the board’s culpability and role in our sad, slow move backwards.

  7. Excellent post. Its not just the lack of spending that is annoying. The way the squad has been handled is just not good enough. We might not have a team good enough to win the league but it should come out of games against the likes of Norwich and Schalke with just a couple of shots on target. For far too long the deficiencies of our squad has been ignored. Complacency of the players and their work rate,organisation are things that can be worked on without spending loads of money. For a team that hasn’t won anything for 7 years after attitude is appallingly poor at times. You just have to look Barcelona putting in effort week in week out having won around 13 trophies in the last 4 years.

  8. Morning all,

    Just off to read the post :)

  9. Morning Adam,

    To be fair what we heard from the board is nothing new, all spin and clueless comments.

    It’s clear we have a greedy board and a one trick manager.

  10. Erick. I rather think that we we did see a new side of things yesterday. Hill-Wood apparently fully lived up to his growing reputation and Stan quite plainly didn’t want to be there. Gazidis was slick and has become the mouthpiece and first line of defence of the board. It is quite clear that the rift between them and the fans will quickly grow to dangerous proportions.

  11. Morning Adam, great post….

    AFC lived long before AW came to tow and it will live long after he leaves, if he ever does…

    I am sure SK has a lot to do with how AW spends his money but the niggle for me is how many times we hear there is money and didn’t PHW suggest that was the case again yesterday?

    Now either PHW is talking out of his pipe, in which case SK or his mouthpiece IG should politely tell the old geezer to hush up OR, if there is money, then AW should be spending it.

    I think it’s really important for us all to be given the truth about the finances. If there really is no money to spend then it could be said that AW is doing a good job, if there is money, and all the reports etc etc point to that being so, then surely he is the one to blame for us always having a squad which is 2/3 players short of being successful…

  12. Adam,

    The growing revolt may be but the rest of the vibe from that lot was all the same.

    Compete, CL, FFP,Done well….blah blah

    Nothing about solving the Goalkeeping n Misfiring problem we have had not even Aw knows what is happening shows you he’s past it.

  13. Hehe, something will have to be done for sure.

    But not now, the SS, Wenger feedback loop is too strong. Wenger produces and sells talent so that the BS looks great and in return he is paid 7m per year more than any other manager in the PL.

    So, your dreams will wait for many many seasons. Maybe, by then Usmanov will be underground.

  14. Morning Rico,

    please check the HH email…..

  15. Nice post..absolutely on point

  16. Ritesh. I think that one of the things to come from the AGM is that the relationship between Wenger and the board is not that strong. Wenger is many things but stupid ain’t one of them. The mood of the fans will not have gone unnoticed by him though it will be disregarded BT Stan and and especially Hill-Wood who regards us all as cannon fodder anyway.

  17. John Gee – your comment would have been allowed on, but silly you had to add the bit about going off to support spurs, tsk tsk, we don’t do that here. If you want to debate your view, please do so in a gentlemanly or ladylike manner, otherwise, back to where you came from….

  18. Morning Erick,

    I have just seen your mail, thank you and have replied :)

  19. Morning all… good post Adam.

  20. Did you guys see the photo of AW glaring at SK ?

  21. Good morning all,

    Let’s think the unthinkable, A new manager!

    Now let’s see who is available, Paul Jewel, sacked by Ipswich. Mick McCarthy, sacked by Wolves. Harry Redknap, sacked by Spuds, Roy Keane, sacked by Ipswich. Roberto Mancini, about to be sacked by Man City. Pep Guardiola, about to take over at Man Utd.

    Who is there at Arsenal with the nous to pick a new manager?

  22. Stop congratulating Adam on a well written piece, as a akb I will admit that some of what Adam said hit home but when he makes blind comments about players holding us to ransom and it won’t happen if we sign players on 200 grand a week because man city never have that problem do they adam. And the the people commenting that think in our current situation which Adam mentioned at the top of his post we can have more than a 50% chance of beating a very good team like shalke even at home are loving on another planet.

  23. Morning Lee, JW,

    David Moyes is being lined up to take over from Fergie isn’t he?

  24. Living sorry although I am a big fan of loving

  25. JW – Why not Klopp of Borussia Dortmund. Very good and intelligent tactician

  26. Thank you bennybigs but I think most of us can make up our own minds….

  27. Rico,

    O.K. David Moyes, about to be sacked by Everton, if he doesn’t get the United job. :-)

  28. Good morning all..

    Adam you have raised some very good points in your post…

    Yes we need a change. What sort of change no one knows. I doubt even Pep can save us when you consider the machinery behind this blind system set in their ways.

    I know some like me thought the appointment of Bould was not the right one technically but was good morally. I think Bould could be good as a defensive coach but AW needed to get an assistant who would offer a different tactical input tlike Brian kidd offered to RedNose to win the treble.

    The reason why I think Bould is not going to offer much to us tactically and is not cut to be a manager is based on his tactical ineptness at the U-18 level he managed for many years. In fact his u-18 team had the worse defensive record and results in the whole Arsenal academy set-up.

    After last tuesday’s performance those who have lost faith in AW claimed Boulds hands were tired due to AW’s instructions. Really? Santos all through out the match failed to contain the 2/3 vs 1 situation due to lack of defensive support from Poldi & SC19. I believe if Bould was tactically sound he could have easily said something to Santos to rectify his performance but he failed very miserably to do that. Most importantly Bould was just sitting 2m maximum from Santos in the first half and failed to instruct Poldi or SC19 to offer defensive support to Santos.

    On the other hand Rambo who is not rated by most here did a sterling tactical job to keep Affelay who is a better player than Farfan quiet for most of the match because he offered more defensive support to CJ25.

    So how do we move forward? 99% will say lets get Pep but is he really that good? First and foremost Pep did not build this excellent Barca team. It was Frank Rijkaard who built the team and won the first trophy for Barca in 7 years. In fact Peps signings at Barcelona were all failures including Hleb, Chygrynskiy for 25m and sold a year later, swooping Eto for Ibrahimovic etc.

    The same way the current Madrid team was built by Luis Pellegrini but after last years La Liga win by Maureeniho where are they sitting in the league and champions league.

    I am no way saying AW should not be moved on if things continue as they are, but what I am saying is I am confident AW uses majority of what he is given to spend unless you chose to believe PHW over AW. I firmly believe no other manager can consistently maintain the standard of this team based on the resources.

  29. emma,

    Is he available?

  30. Not so sure that the decline is in effort. I think it relates to the coaching. Even Sunday league teams are able to change things in mid game we apparently can’t. No point in steaming down the wing if no-one is getting into the box so we try to split defences with the marquee pass and go down the defensive funnel that teams set up to trap us. Just doing a few different things occasionally puts uncertainty into defender’s minds . Swing a free kick to the far post and have forwards running scissor movements into the area, make them think , don’t just pass it a yard and continue on as though the free kick was an encumbrance . In other words mix it up a little.

  31. Gotta go, Four mile walk around Horsey Mere this morning, back later.

  32. Thanks Rico :-)

    We have alot of managers who can hack it….Pep would be Ideal thought our Messi (Diaby) is well never fit.

    Some time any change is good.

  33. Bennybigs, so it’s not a well written piece? Unlike your nine lines of drivel…feel free to write a post, either that or find a dead bear!

  34. K Rico I struggle to write a text let alone a decent blog but genuinely thought Adams post had a fewajor flaws

  35. JM – offer him 6m and he will be available

  36. Or the manager of Germany emma/JW, he’s not bad either…

    His name escapes me right now..

  37. :lol: JW, enjoy your walk….

  38. Absolutely NOTHING is going to change unless we badly drop out of the top four, period!

  39. Touchy touchy lee. Drivel was a bit harsh

  40. Klopp is the only one for me. Or even Rudi Voller or De Boer and DB as an assistant. The develop teams too on limited budget…

  41. Morning Tsgh..

    I think we have learned something very quickly since the appointment of Bould. Imho that is no matter who had taken over from Pat Rice, it would only ever be Wengers way or the high way….

    That showed on Tuesday, do any of us honestly believe that Bould would have stood by and watched Santos carry on in the way that he did?

    I am sure the changes were in stone before kick off and all Bould did was do as his told….

  42. Very interesting post, Adam ?
    I find much to agree with in the article, truly. Most pertinent to me is the possiblity of Silent Stan selling up and pissing off back to the US as the club shares finally really start to take a hit – and those doubters had better believe that the market is more fickle than even the average media reporters view of Arsenal currently ! The minute our shares hit a downward curve, Stan will want out.
    This is the impetus that will result in the change we need to see. I would also like to see Usmanov step up and become a majority share-holder, as he’ll not be afraid of pumping cash into the club to buy what we want ( afterall, Al, is one of the wealthiest guys around and he’s fortune makes Chelsea’s Guvnor bank balance look like little more than an after-meal tip ! ).
    I would see the likes of Pep being interested in taking the reines at Arsenal, as he’ll see a lot of similarities in the style of football we play here that he can work with an improve, and not just the intial worry of the Arsenal brand that the current regime are obsessed with.
    So, will this come to pass, I think that there is every chance the way things are going … but I’d like to see Gazidis shown the door asap !!

  43. The biggest problem with Aw is that he sticks with. the same line up after an awful display.

    Come half time no change at all…..no even shouting instruction from the touchline.

    Then comes his facial expression…….change it a bit.

  44. Rico :- On the subject of available money , How often within the window closed period are we told that it’s available and then as soon as it opens quotes like these appear.
    “”Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood admits club cannot compete in transfer market””
    Mixed messages designed to confuse.

  45. Once again,we are all trying to decipher the bits and pieces of info spat at us from the board,media and club “insiders”,and draw some conclusions from the said data.
    Even after an AGM,not one single person outside the inner sanctum that is the Arsenal board have a bloody clue as to exactly what is happening.
    I want one single,simple thing to happen before i can even come close to condemning Wenger.
    That is Stan the man stating in public that Wenger has (for example) 100 million to spend,and two years to win the league else he is gone.
    Force him to spend the money……..if it is even there,of course!!
    We invariably end up in heated arguments afters losses,and no doubt it is borne out of frustration,but the arguments and frustration rage on.
    We sell our best players year after year yet remain competitive…to a certain point.
    We can’t compete with the mega clubs when it comes to top players.
    One member continually tells us Wenger has money to spend,we can’t win a trophy,but nobody TELLS Wenger to spend the apparent funds.
    Things just do not add up with the relationship between the board and Wenger,and i for one think he is doing exactly the job the arseholes want,whilst remaining their scapegoat….at least,fans continually point their finger at him.
    The board can sack him,they can direct him to spend,yet they do neither…..enough said.
    I am at the stage where i would like to see Wenger up and leave.
    Where will that leave us??
    Who knows??
    Still,it would make for an interesting ride.
    Evening all.

  46. Four mile walk around Horsey Mere this morning,

    JW. Round and round the windpump and back in time for tea.?

  47. Exactly Potter – and some wonder why we all get frustrated about what is going on. Either there is or there isn’t money.

    And as for the ‘I am not scared to spend £35 Million on one player’ comments, well obviously he is because it’s never been done by our club…

  48. I cannot see why they all think that this is enough, every other club has their mind set on winning. It’s a bit like when Bendtner said he liked it when he didn’t score because then he’d want to score more… Are we not winning so we’ll all appreciate the victory more?

    One thing about being stuck in traditions; I have a physio friend who was considering applying for a job at Arsenal, until one of his colleagues advised him not to. Apparently the medical team at Arsenal are still using techniques, with regards to time spent relating and then rehab work, that recent investigation has proven to be out-dated. Here I was thinking that we’re really unlucky with the amount of not just injuries, but long term injuries, but it turns out the length of the time players are out for could be down to traditionalists, who won’t pay attention to more up-to-date research. I would have thought a big club like Arsenal would be at the fore-front of medical research, not languishing behind even smaller clubs.

    I love AW for the success he has brought in the past, but when are we going to look forward and realise that for better or worse the world has changed? It’s all good relying on FFP, but are you telling me that those clubs haven’t already found a loop-hole around it, for instance getting £100 million deal for shirt sponsorship?

  49. Oh I think he would spend on the player but the board wouldn’t sanction the wages.;

  50. Benny. Why is it that when someone suggests Usmanov people always hold Man City up as the blueprint that he must follow? Since when did the Stan/Hill-Wood/Gazidis partnership appear so attractive? In my opinion we are lucky, yes lucky to have Usmanov waiting in the wings. For me and this is merely a personal opinion, the dream team could be Wenger and Usmanov but we may never see that. What Usmanov offers might be considered in the light of our present situation. You seem to think that the whole team would be scrapped and 11 superstars on £200,000 a week would be purchased. I have never seen this suggested by anyone when looking at Usmanov’s potential. I would suggest his money would be used like a scalpel rather than a bludgeon. We need a striker. Well, I think we probably need two of them, but let’s say we need one. Usmanov offers the possibility to buy someone who will score a lot of goals, same with a goalkeeper and possibly a powerful DM. The alternative is that we identify a great striker, make a low offer that is easily outbid by other clubs who also offer more wages. That is the route to Chamakh and Gervinho.

  51. Good Morning my Esteemed Fellow Gunners

    Top post Adam. A true fan’s cry from heart. You can almost feel the emotion coming out of every sentence.

    AW as chairman instead of PHW??? Yes and no.

    If AW is to step aside, then for the good of the club he should leave and not stay in any capacity. No not even as a dustbin collector on the terraces after the games, since that would have an impact on the new manager and his ideas.

    The professor would make a fine chairman, but not in our club.

  52. The crazy thing is though Potter, £35 Million may just get us Falcao, and if we sell off Chamakh, Squilli and Arshavin.

    There is his wages ;)

  53. Hi Scott, so you have joined the ‘Wenger out’ campaign then ;)

  54. This morning I read that there is friction between AW and SB according to Robson. I hope that is not the case

    it would be a pity……….because if the team which was getting results was of SB’s own making and now we are seeing what AW wants than the latter is in the wrong.

  55. Never Rico…cheeky bugger lol.
    No,i would if he was given everything required to succeed and then failed.
    If he goes,to get a top manager in would mean the board freeing up finds….for them to suddenly do this would be hypocritical.
    If Usmanov takes over,it would be only fair for him to give Wenger a chance before hiring anyone else.
    Maybe Wenger will just go and leave us in a deep,dark hole,but hey…..it is what plenty of fans want.

  56. I am at cross roads at what I want regarding AW.

    I want him to stay and succeed.

    I want AFC to have a change of direction and start acting like a big club.

  57. Rico- that is if you believe if Bould instructed Santos to do something else to be effective will change the whole formation etc. Personally I doubt that telling Poldi to keep an eye on Uchida for 10 minutes will make AW sack Bould.that is my opinion. If we are honest Bould failed there big time…

    The big issue I have about AW is when he makes changes. i.e after 70 minutes unless there was an injury.Rednose use to do the same until last year but AW has not changed. Then again Klopp and Pep also do the say as they all come from the Cruff school of management. So those Tito” Vilanova of Barca.

    Potter very good observation.And also PHW says every March, May, October and December that AW has millions to spent on any player he chooses to if he so wished? But then always back tracks during the transfer window to say we can not afford to spent (his favourite amount) £50m on a single player!

    Its funny how in October its £35m or £50m to spend but in the summer it is £25m….

    Those who still want to believe AW would rather not spend the £70m PHW says he has will also believe USA went to the moon. ;)

    AW made a very interesting comment which he paused immediately afterwards. That comment was I have never complained about the resources or team he is given and he thinks most managers should too. Hmmm.

    Think about that for a second and try to understand what he is trying to say….

  58. Morning Gooners
    Morning Rico…

    Adam, mio amigo, congratulations, best read i’ve had for awhile, well thought-out, insightfull piece..
    .
    And now i will disagree….. haha…

    Off to catch up on comments..

    I’ll be back (In Eastern European accent)

  59. Hi Adam when you said compete I assumed you meant compete with man city and chelsea but you are now saying that is not what you meant. Yes buying falcao would be immense but if we get him for under 200 grand a week I would be very suprised and if he flops he will more than likely hold us to ransom over his contract. Again you make very good points but some parts of your post didn’t seem to me very well thought out. Thanks for not insulting me like lee did.

  60. Morning devil…

    re the crossroads, I have been at the same point for the last few years, but now I feel it’s time to take the path that will lead Arsenal back to looking more competitive and confident.

  61. Morning Lady

    Two more months and its Christmas.

    I hope we do not start to give early Christmas presents.

  62. Tsgh – I’m kind of on about bigger changes, like moving Coquelin, changing to 442, not sticking to the usual 63 minute subs etc…. Of course bould wouldn’t be sacked but we know how controlling AW is…

  63. Morning Kev…

    We already are devil, 3 points to Norwich and Schalke ;)

    Maybe two or three more tomorrow….

  64. Things stay the same.

    AU buys out SK and keeps Wenger

    AU buys out SK and starts all over again.

    I think I know which one I hope for real soon…..

  65. rico says:……………………..now I feel it’s time to take the path that will lead Arsenal back to looking more competitive and confident.

    That feeling is increasing by the minute Rico. It has been so since that mauling by manure last season.

  66. Cheers Kev. I await your admonishment with anticipation.
    There seem to be 3 powers at work at the moment and they ain’t all singing from the same hymn sheet. The board is the reality and the financial clout, or lack of and they hold the purse strings. The fans always want more. There is no surprise in that. But, in the case of today’s Arsenal and the clubs very public and very slow slip backwards, they are more than right to point this out and demand that it be halted. Then there is Wenger who is trying to balance expectation with reality. Yes, he could have done more perhaps but, for me, it’s the reality that needs to change.
    We are promised jam tomorrow in the shape of 2014 when FFP will drive the wolf from the door, our sponsorship partners will be emptying bucketloads of money into the coffers and the evil will be driven from the world of football by Gazidis on a white charger. I await that moment with interest because, if that is the “plan” then what happens if it doesn’t work out that way? What if City and Chelsea circumvent the FFP rules with dodgy sponsorship deals at City have already put in place? We know that, in the world of football, money is King.

  67. I didn’t insult you Benny. Just stated a fact.

  68. Benny. I do mean competing with those clubs. Obviously I mean that. But I mean that we don’t have to follow their blueprint. That’s all.

  69. Will we see the striker arrive in Jan that we so desperately need? I think not….

  70. Its not the pain of loss which hurts me. That can happen to anyone.

    Its the manner of loosing which hurts.

    And also its loosing to idiots like Hughes, Allardyce, Pulis etc which irritates me. Dinosaurs of football who only teach players to whack a ball and not caress it.

  71. We saw him yesterday Lee…hope we get him!

  72. Hi Scott,

    I do not know what else fans want to here? Do they expect AW to say the board gives him f… all to spend like ‘arry does or did at Spurs and say I want to keep ‘player A’ but the board said no. I might be wrong here but the saying don’t wash your dirty laundry in public comes to mind. And I respect AW for that and sticking around. I would say lets look Benitez and liverpool as an example.

    AW has said he has to make £20m each year before he can spend and then people still go on about buying £35m players. Personally those with a certain training or eye would know that where they placed AW on the table yesterday morning shows he is by himself in the board room. ” seasons ago he was sitting almost in the middle, but now 6 or 7 places away from the majority shareholder.

    Like I have said those who believe what PHW says about the amount of money AW has to spend will be anything.

    Rico – The reason why I mentioned the none communication between PHW, the other fractions of the board and AW here weeks ago was based on information someone I use to work with north of the river told me. (I hope you understand what I am saying Rico). And actually those who want AW out will get their wish in June because he is by himself in the board room. The only person he talks to is IG.

    The picture in the daily fail tells a story and that picture definitely does.

  73. G’day Tsgh,well said.
    If Wenger leaves,the club will fall in a massive hole…such is life mate.
    I don’t know how,but Arsenal need the entire board gone…start with Stan.

  74. Before then for me devil, but OT last just compacted my feelings…

  75. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

  76. K lee maybe I’m the one who’s touchy. Adam Surely that is what the club is trying to do but with some obvious flaws just like your own ideas have flaws like man citys plans have flaws and like I’m sure the almighty usmanov plans will have flaws and possibly very damaging long term ones

  77. Great post. Usmanov applying pressure on kroenke is our best hope of moving forward. Wenger is a fraud.we are the only pl club where the manager is the highest paid employee. He spouts rubbish at every press conference. The man was great for our club once. Not more.

  78. Adam, I think we can safely assume that clubs will find a way to swerve FFP…..

  79. So in essence you are saying that the board are giving AW enough rope to hang himself. Am I correct tsGH? Or I have not understood yourself correctly?

  80. You say that Rico but surely u Adam lee or anybody would prefer them not to and for us not to have to go down the route of grossly spending beyond our means

  81. Devil,Arsene doesn’t need to hang himself mate…….fans will turn it into an old fashion lynching!

  82. Ok Benny. Please tell me the flaws in my ideas but do make sure that you are quoting my ideas and not your own rather strange interpretation of them. I say this as you earlier said that you gathered from my response that I did not mean competing with Man City and Chelsea. I can’t work out how you came to this conclusion from a post where I specifically said that having huge financial clout did not mean that we had to follow the same path as City by changing the whole team. My post was meant to stimulate debate and I made a clear delineation, or so I thought, between what I considered fact and followed this with some conjecture of a possible future scenario. On HH it is ok to disagree.

  83. Haven’t PSG just swerved the ffp? Agree benny, don’t want over spending but surely we can find a medium??

  84. Rico. Re your 11.31. The cynic in me says you are right. :)

  85. The board have always been interested in lining their own pockets and suring up their own interests only.

    Abrahamovic first wanted buy Arsenal and help us build the stadium in 2002. He spoke with some parties of the board for over a year without much success. Bates then approached Abrahamovic to take over Chelsea because the club was weeks from going bankrupt.

    Obviously I was not present during any of those meetings but these information are well documented. Even Aw mentioed it again in July. I believe at that time Abrahamovic was not trustworthy because he was looking to move to the UK away from the old oligarchs who were his masters. So I can understand why they might have been hesitant. Was Ken looking after the interest of chelsea when he sold chelsea to Roman. I would say No.

    The same reason the board first failed to sell to Roman is the same reason they would not sell to Usmanov because to some of the old Etonians on the board it is a heritage. Until unfortunately 2 or 3 of them pass away nothing will change for any better imho.

  86. Clubs will always find a way to swerve any law that is put forward. Everyone does. Yes even you the reader and me writing this.

    We all do it if we can gain advantage. Can you honestly say, hand on your heart, that you will never try to dodge tax if that was possible????? It is there, you pay it, but if you have a chance tow make the minister squirm a bit by dodging it than so be it. You would surely do it. Just like me.

  87. Plenty of clubs and even sports are held back by people hanging on for years past their use by date.

  88. Interesting post !

    Just to point out – we know no more of Usmanov’s intentions than we do of Stan’s. At the moment the share price is boosted mainly by Usmonov’s interest. What would happen if Usmanov walked away or had the chance to buy, say, Tottenham ? The field would then be open for Stan to buy all the shares in the club.

    What would happen to the Arsenal then ?

  89. Devil,when you disappear for 3 to 6 months,we will know why :)

  90. Yes Dev. you are correct. I believe he has voiced his opinions on certain issues in the last 2 years. Like I said if you are good at reading body language and analysing peoples behaviour you will decipher what AW says most of the time.

    Based on what I have just said, please re-watch this video and tell me if AW enjoys selling his best players.

    I know some will say if he is not given the resource he needs why does he not do like O’Neil has done multiple times. I honestly believe AW loves Arsenal like most of us do the only exception is the £7m he gets. And he could get more somewhere else ie PSG if he wanted anyday he chooses to.

  91. TsGH. I believe you will find that Abramovich actually wanted to buy Spurs because of the religious connection but was declined. The story I heard and one that seems to have gained popular acceptance from Abramovich’s own people is that, on the way back to the Battersea Heliport, he flew over Chelsea and asked about the club. The rest is, unfortunately, history as, in many ways, that moment bought us to where we are now. We are talking about the club we love but all we really talk about is finance. That’s a bloody sad state of affairs if you ask me.

  92. ………..and where. lol

    I never do it and never have done.

    But given the chance………..yes I would do it.

    If I can evade tax and know that I will not get caught????? You can bet your hair (ooooooooopppppsssssss…..sorry Scott) on it!!!!
    :lol:

  93. So he won’t be signing a new contract then Tsgh…. Shame, i had hoped AU would be in before left….

  94. Benny, no, and we don’t need to, all we need to do is spend what we do have and back in the summer, that was reported to be £60M, not including what we got for Rvp and Song…

  95. Does anybody out there worry, that Arsenal are beginning a journey down a well trodden path….

    A path trodden by Liverpool.

    Welcome to the real World….
    The world of The Europa League

    Post Wenger, that is….

  96. Plenty up top here mate lol.
    My mate is an accountant,and he handles my taxes.
    Costs me a bomb each hear,but i have enough in my plate,so just hand over the paperwork….easy!!

  97. Finances, spend this and spend that.

    Yes they all count.

    But its what goes on the pitch that counts.

    A few comments back I reported about AW and SB. Is there some friction between them????

    What do you esteemed fellow gunners think???

  98. Look at it this way Scott. Wenger goes and the club falls int to the hole you predict two things are more than likely going to happen.

    1. The club falls out of CL and looses the revenue that generates. 30 + million a year, merchandise sales slump and gate revenues plummet because we no longer have the CL and interest in a mid table premier league drops. This would put Arsenal in a loss situation.

    2. Stan’s investment now becomes a financial drain instead of the club increasing it’s resale value year on year.

    This will leave Stan with one option, sell. Usmanov would be the only one that would be in a prime position to buy, already owning 30% or close in the club. Stan’s biggest franchises (that’s all we are to him) are in the states and he will want to concentrate on them instead of pumping money into a European venture.

    Usmanov has the wealth to make Arsenal competitive and if the FFP fails as is quite possible, he can keep the club competitive and quite possibly, after injecting cash into it, make it self sustainable. You have to speculate to accumulate and Usmanov understands that far better than Stan.

  99. Kev,i said exactly that earlier today to a mate….the comparison to Liverpool,i mean.

  100. Steve – from what AU has said, he is going nowhere, he intends for his shares to remain with his family, kids etc etc…

    Hasn’t he bought a few boxes and knocked them into one big one too and he recently bought more shares too didn’t he?

    Seriously, he’s here to stay….

    Come on down I say….

  101. Hiya Kev.

    I agree with all that.

    That is why I am at a crossroads at what I want to see happening with AW.

  102. TT. I broadly agree. For some bizarre reason it does seem that you have to go down before you can rise again.
    None of this explains the goalkeeping farce though. :)

  103. TT,that is all based on the assumption Usmanovs intentions are truly honorable though.
    As i said earlier,none of us really know what is going on,and that is the frustrating part.

  104. Ok Adam. Lets just say you are right.if you think Daniel Levi and Abrahomovic are the same Jewish types then ok. So Putin likes Spurs then?
    How many times have Boris Berezovsky and Litvinenko been seen at WHL? Both have been to Emirates several times…

    I would not say anymore as saying further would put me in…

  105. Good day all.

    Great post Adam.

  106. Wenger leaving might be the catalyst for Kroenke upping sticks and going. Whether Usmanov would bring him back however is a moot point.

  107. Kev. I hope the Liverpool thing is not a possibility. The big difference is that we have a huge infrastructure in place in the shape of the stadium. We also have Wenger. Unfortunately we have an American businessman holding the purse strings though I personally don’t blame him for wanting to earn money from his investment.

  108. I am off for now my Esteemed Fellow Gunners.

    Back later on.

    Good afternoon to you all

  109. TsGH. I don’t know what you mean by that post. What I wrote is the generally accepted version of how Abramovich cam to Chelsea. I have never heard of him wanting to buy Arsenal.
    As for Abramovich and Levi being the same Jewish “types”. What does that mean? Levy doesn’t own Spurs.

  110. Adam, in this excellent blog suggests that he feels that “things are just not right at Arsenal”. Well that is exactly how I feel at the moment. Cannot precisely put my finger on it. I won’t rattle off opinions about players, the board or Wenger, but I just instinctively feel very uneasy about the club at this moment . Very much like were at the crossroads for this modern Arsenal.

    One thing I’d like to comment on is the very good blog from tsGH re: Steve Bould. His performance V. Schalke on Wednesday was a shocker. This is followed by comments from perennial Arsenal mischief maker Stewart Robson on the relationship between Wenger and Bould. This could, of course, be complete rubbish. However if things are not working between the two, for whatever reason, then for the sake of the team, urgent action needs to be taken.

  111. Coach/Scott, i believe that Wenger will see out his contract, which runs, again i believe (i’m beginning to sound like Arsene), until the summer of 2014.

    He will then leave, with his head, quite rightly, held high.

    Arsene will then be one of, if not THE, most sought after managers in Europe, and will have his pick, that’s if he wants it, of some of the prime jobs out there…

    We Arsenal fans, will then be left with the ‘Old Fools’, ‘Dividend Takers’ and ‘Spin Merchants’ that make up the Arsenal Board…..

    Not a pretty picture is it Gooners…

  112. Exactly right Kev.
    People ought to be careful what they wish for….it might just come true.

  113. Kev. Not sure about that. If true then, as you said yesterday, we are all doomed.

  114. Hi Lewis, later devil….

  115. Adam, it all began on 18th April 2007…

    That’s when David Dein left, and this club has been stagnating ever since….

    Dein was intereseted primarily in putting a winning team on the pitch…

    The rest of The Board are concerned in property development…

  116. Ak, not if AU takes over, I am sure he will get his own people in, and he’ll want to keep AW imho…

  117. Kev. Something to discuss over a cuppa and a sarnie next week?

  118. Adam you have to understand we are on a public forum so I can’t say everything plainly…
    Adam the popular view that he wanted to buy spurs is lazy jounalism believe me. Because Spurs are considered jewish and Roman head the russian Jewish council then he must have wanted to buy spurs…

    Talking of jew, what is Danny Fiszman, do some resarch on Ivan Gazidis background and you will find Arsernal have more jewish connections than spurs believe me…

    Why do you think wegot the new LOCOG guy…

  119. Defo Adam, defo…

    We could have a chat about Pep as well, if you like… ;-)

  120. Ginge, jewish is good…

    I have many Jewish mates…

  121. Dein was instrumental in convincing some of the world’s biggest talents to join the club.

    In September 1991 he helped Arsenal sign Ian Wright from Crystal Palace for £2.5 million

    In June 1995 Dein flew to Milan “and returned with the signature of, for the first time in Arsenal’s history, a true international superstar” Arsenal bought Dutch International Dennis Bergkamp for £7.5 million from Internazionale.

    Over the following years, Dein was also responsible for recruiting players such as Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars, Thierry Henry, Davor Suker, Robert Pires, Sol Campbell, Gilberto, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure, Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie. All were to contribute heavily to the success of Arsenal.

    From Wikipedia

  122. Scott there is no way of knowing for sure, but two things stand out to me. Usmanov will gain a base in UK and that will give hi security against political unrest in Russia. Secondly his record as a business man. He is successful as such and rarely gets it wrong.

    There is no reason why he would buy the club and sell it few years later as he has a record of buying for a lot lower amount than he sells for and compared to his other interests in all due respect to Arsenal its a small venture financially.

  123. Bang on Kev. It was a different world then of course.

  124. Correct me if i am wrong, Usmanov is the richest man in Russia now ?

  125. He is SD but that’s not the most important about him but the fact that when he buy’s something it increases in value…..and sometimes multiplies in value!

  126. Adam u said that in January that both man city and chelsea will defy ffp and spend big bucks then you call me out for mentioning them. You go on ( to my interpretation ) to be very sarcastic towards the clubs selfsestaing model. You talk about kroenke smelling the coffee and releasing ” ample” funds and putting his hands in his own pockets in my simple mind the club is an institution and not a toy and not 1 owners luxary item. You go on to say about build up of deadwood which however hard I try I can’t think of any philosophy that this won’t happen which i think was my first point. Even though it is hyperthetical (or your dream) you say that usmanov will declare we can compete with anyone then condemn me for mentioning man city. You firmly say that if usmanov comes in players will no longer hold us to ransom which is in my mind a not very well thought out throw away comment, they won’t just do it when they are our players but also when we try to sign them aswell. Are u sure u can’t think of why man city and chelsea entered my head after reading your post. I am enjoying this debate but your last reply had to many big words for me.

  127. Top post Adam….. Your not bad at this writing stuff…!

  128. Absolutely Adam, the whole scene has changed mate.

    But i suspect that Dein has more foresight in that direction, whilst the others obsessed about property.

    Dein knew we needed to keep winning things, in order to buy us time.

    PHW is a luddite, he loves the status quo as it is.
    It’s suits his idea of Arsenal being his own domaine, his Gentleman’s Club…

  129. Changing managers is not the answer for me. There is no one out there who i can see as capable of doing the job. Pep seems a good coach, but he also had the best players for his style of play. I am not comfortable with becoming the true test of his capabilities. What if it really was his players that were making him look good? Then he would fail here because most of our lads wouldn’t smell the Barca bench. If pep should fail then we would become the next Liverpool. The other options are some guys who were sacked by their clubs… And they are good enough for The Arsenal? No way. Yes we are frustrated, yes we are fearful, but we should not look to solutions that seldom serve to help but often hinder. I don’t see as much doom and gloom as the next man. I think we have almost everything we need to succeed. Manager included.

  130. Rico we do have a new stadium to pay for you now that many other clubs would want but can’t make happen

  131. Before anyone asks yes i am 100% armchair and proud of it

  132. Thanks TT, that is the most important and since all players are greedy, they will all come running to Arsenal and start kissing our badge; first goal first game.

    The best player we can buy now is Usmanov and i am sure Wenger has a secret desire to get him to buy the club. So Wenger can have a final Encore before retiring .

    Dreams: 2 champions League trophies , 2 premier league trophies and 1 FA Cup trophy in 3 years. YES! YES! YES! it is possible , get Usmanov in and make Dein chairman.

  133. Wath. Thanks mate. Sorry we missed each other last week.

  134. Even sat in your armchair Benny do you spend money on supporting Arsenal through the year…? If so your money pays off the stadium debt which is more than manageable yet we fail to spend the money we do generate and then have to listen to the board tell us we cannot compete with the likes of the chavs and shitty… No one here has ever said we should try and spend like them but we can compete with them if we at least spend what we make. The fans get ripped off and the club wonder why we want a competitive team on the pitch.

  135. Ak, those were the days, days that we are unlikely to see again for a while.

    Maybe instead of Wenger out, it should be Dein in :)

  136. Next time Adam…………. Long as AK gets my travel bill I’ll be there ;-) That’s got Grandad choking on his sarnie……..! I don’t just mean the travel card either!

  137. Hi SD, yes he is..

    Hi Wath, he’s not bad is he ;)

  138. Hey Wath, good to have you back…

    I’ve missed your moaning…. :-)

  139. As I said earlier Adam makes some very good points as you just have I just iterpruted some of his comments in the post as not good points. I like Martin Samuel as a writer, I only agree with 40% of what he writes but it is always a very well thought out peice and not throw away comments like most journalists.

  140. And we are paying it off benny, just like most of us are paying our mortgage off but it doesn’t stop us from eating and doing other things…

    All we do is spend what we have available, but none of us starve ourselves just to put more money into our savings account!

  141. Grandad, me moan…………. wash your mouth out…

    I merely comment on what I see and think, if realism is moaning then so be it I moan… ;-)

  142. Nevermind about all that Grandson, just make sure you do your homework

  143. Carzola giroud and podolski is not starving ourselves and as Scott said earlier however annoying it is we don’t know if we have any more money to spend.

  144. Will. So, taking your analysis, as soon as Wenger leaves, we are finished anyway. There are several managers working in Germany who are excellent. The bloke who managed Schalke did a decent job didn’t he?
    If we are frightened of change we are finished as it endorses the status quo and that is what is sending the club backwards.

  145. Dein will never get back whilst Hill-Wood is there , they are oil and water. PHW has never forgiven him for selling his shares to Usmanov , although what difference that is to selling to Kroenke I am not sure. When Dein bought in he got his shares from PHW and the price was a lot lower , perhaps PHW feels that he was shafted in the turn of events.

  146. Benny, I think you’ll find even looking at the Clubs accounts it shows we have in excess of 50 million in cash to spend…! So not having any money isn’t an excuse anymore and the board/club can’t hide behind that one..!

  147. Carzola , Giroud and Podolski are good players but not like for like.It is the gradual decline of player year on year that is the problem.

  148. Potter, the fact that phw found out about DD going behind his back gave him all the ammo he needed to have him escorted off the premises… DD wanted to be Chairman and just went about it the wrong way, if he had done it slightly different me may not even be discussing what a arrogant buffoon phw is…!

  149. Ah the Camden kid!! Moan moan moan!! ;)

  150. Got to pop off for a while, back later….

  151. Having reserves is not a crime its surely better than not having any I’m sure you don’t spend everything you earn unless you don’t have a choice like me ofcourse. Are trophys a luxury or a must have

  152. Benny, sorry mate but I disagree, the club has money thats the fans money which they fail to spend, we are not a bank we are a football club, we have a 40million overdraft for a “reserve” why have 50million in the bank to boast about sustainable model when surely we’d all prefer that 50million running about on the pitch as assets on the pitch to help us be a better team..?

  153. I agree. Potter even with my man love for wenger I agree but I hope the cubs ideas will shine at the right time and we won’t need 1 person to throw his own cash around

  154. Yes i would love that money to be running around the pitch but if we still finished third in the league would u want the club to spend another 50 million.

  155. Who rattled your cage…..?? Yes you….! Suppose your lagging on guinness again…! :P

  156. Benny, finishing 3rd and having 50million in the bank solves what purpose..? we were 19 points behind first and only finished 3rd cos that shower down the road lost their bottle and were utter shit the last 6/8 games…! we should not be scraping by to finish 3rd we should be looking to try and finish top and we’re nowhere near that I’m afraid but lets all be happy as we have 50million in the bank… It’s not a valid point !!

  157. If we had zero money in the bank to spend no one here advocates spending what we dont have, what we want is to spend what we have yet we don’t.

  158. Adam, i am in no way saying that. I was just sharing my opinion that an unforced management change where one is not necessary may do more harm than anything. And by my estimation, a negative impact would be more likely. I saw the question asked earlier, who would be in charge of finding this manager who would replace Wenger? The same board who everyone here thinks inept and uninterested in making sound footballing decisions? Can’t be. That reasoning seems quite circular to me. For me, i would only venture to make that change when it was absolutely necessary. Right now i don’t think it is.

  159. The problem is Wath, Agents know how much we need to strengthen and ask outrageous amounts as well as ‘Sweetners’, a symptom of not getting our house in order earlier whilst our parsimonious Board sat on their hands…

  160. Totally agree Kev BUT there are still very good players out there not all of whom will cost 25/30million each and they are better than what we have and would improve our team/squad…. A decent keeper for starters and how long we all be asking for one of those..? So many question and negatives from the AGM that while those geriatrics are put in place by Stan to take the flak and do sweet FA can’t see things getting much better anytime soon.

  161. AK, “parsimonious” you can get cream for that, in case you’re worried!?!?

  162. It is a valid point carzola became available so we bought him for 16 mil and if another player of title winning quality becomes available I’m sure we will spend another 16 mil but if we haven’t got any money in reserve then we can’t without using somebody else’s money

  163. Will, that’s an interesting point, given that Dein was responsible for recruiting Graham and Wenger.

    PHW was behind the hiring of Bruce Rioch…

    Who would that Old Etonian duffer bring in after AW..?

    Hopefully Gazides would be in charge of that unsavoury task…

    Otherwise we’ll end up with Kenny Dalglish…

  164. Lee, is Guiness any good for my condition???

  165. Waith I didn’t think you only wanted better players I thought you wanted ones that would win us a title

  166. Wath, that’s true, but we all got excited by Gervinho and Giroud before they signed…

    It’s not an exact science mate…

    Would Huntelaar, or whoever, be the answer?

    These guys all look World-Class on You-Tube…

    I think it’s a motivational problem.
    I think we have a good squad already, they just a mental kick up the jacksy

  167. Think your changing your tune to back your argument Benny, having better players than what we have will make us a better team ain’t rocket science is it and 3 players of quality could indeed make us very competitive, I’m old school mate nothing is a given and spending millions and millions doesn’t mean you win things nor is it our devine right to win things but i want us to at least spend the funds we have and to try and be as competitive as possible simple as that..! You seem to be content on ignoring the fact that we do have money and we are not even talking about spending what we don’t have..!

  168. Out of adversity chaps and ladies, i sense a reversal of fortunes tomorrow…

    Don’t ask me why, just a hunch….

  169. I wish i was going tomorrow, i think the fans have to get behind the team, put our differences behind us and drive the lads on…

    Time for a bit of resolve from the pitch and the stands….

    COYG’s

  170. How are these players so fragile Kev, we been saying this for years…! I like Giroud, why buy a decent big striker and give him no service..? we need proper width and last few games we’ve played without any… As for Gervinho… I’ll let Lee tell you about him…! ;-)

  171. I can hear Lee from 70 miles away…. :-D

  172. Well in that case I make him right Kev…………….. ;-)

  173. Wath, i share your pain mate….
    I know what a big Gooner you are.

    I just feel we have a lot still to play for this season…
    Chelsea are playing on top of their game, lets hope the Mancs can trip them up, otherwise it’s gonna be a long season.

    I don’t really rate either of the Manc teams…
    They are both catchable, yes don’t laugh, i believe that…

    We have a good squad, who have suffered a dip in confidence, but one good result and we’ll be off and running again…

    there are plenty of shit-stirring wankers out there rubbing their hands…

    Well fcuk them, they all ate humble pie last May, and i predict more helpings next May…

  174. Kev will like this………………

  175. You’ll hear me on Saturday afternoon….live and direct from The Emirates!

  176. Lee is a good guy Wath, but i think he might be wrong on the Gervinho question…

    Old 50p forehead might suprise us all….

  177. I can hear you now Lee, ;-)

  178. Yes Coach, i seen that before, but it’s worth watching again, lest we forget…

  179. Samuel‏@samuelj29060

    So to confirm: Wilshere, Walcott, Frimpong, Sagna, Gnabry & Miquel all trained today at London Colney ahead of the QPR game.

  180. I’m fully with Lee on the Gervinho question Kev, He just ain’t got it for me, at best an impact sub and only to be played wide and thats if we 3 up…! You know I ain’t ever gonna knock you for being optimistic Kev but I just keep thinking that a squad that is so fragile will never show their true colours when we always discuss their confidence after they lose one game, it always seems its 2 steps forward and 3 steps backwards with our lot…! Sorry mate just how I see it.

  181. Emmanuel‏@I_Am_EA

    Mertesacker and Vermaelen r both right………..the squad is strong enough we just need to find our strength back #AFC

  182. AK, sorry but gervinho flatters to deceive!

  183. As much as that !

  184. No probs Wath, ‘It’s OK to Disagree’ as the Lady says…

    Fair points from you and Lee, i’ve just got a hunch that Gerv could be a suprise, but he needs support and encouragement, the kind that Giroud has been getting.

    Get behind him and he might just show another side to his game.

    I think that he has lots of goals in him, but his style is frustrating and leads to fans disenchantment…

    He has a lot to offer imho, but you won’t see it if you slag him off.

  185. Hindsight is often 20/20. But in 2006 and a couple years onward, i don’t think many people would have faulted aw for trying to build a winning squad through youth. Most of us probably wanted that to be a success. Not many here would disagree that the horrific injuries to Eduardo, Ramsay and Diaby went a long way to derail what had been title challenging runs at the time. Add that to our numerous other injury woes and you find too many setbacks to get over. It was an ambitious undertaking from aw, and barring those issues, could have brought unprecedented success. The only problem was his persistence for one too many seasons. In that time footballing landscape changed and that helped to get us in the position we are now in. Our rebuilding then suffered due to “player restlessness” and the “Man City Effect”. We only need a few seasons of stability which should have began with forcing RVP to honor his contract. But since that’s the past, i reckon it begins with the Walcott decision. We will be fine. I believe that.

  186. Just get behind him Lee, i know how you feel, but try mate, and you might be suprised…

  187. When our first 11 are fit we can beat anyone on the planet BUT they are seldomly fit. Too many of the squad are too injury prone… look at Gibbs for instance I really think he’s got it, but gets injured too often, then we replace him with the hapless Santos!

  188. I hear you AK… ;)

  189. I won’t ever slag him off in the ground AK, I don’t do that never have never will how ever bad a player is but for me he is a headless chicken, Giroud gets support as people can see he is a good player not getting any decent service, Pod ain’t a left winger in my book, he puts in great crosses from the left flank but only when played into space, he doesn’t beat players dribble past players and put in crosses and for that I say he wasted out wide left, Wenger says what a brilliant finisher he is so why are we not playing him through the middle up front with Giroud..? Again back to tactics and not getting the best from the players that we have

  190. I know you don’t slag off in the ground Wath, but too many do…

    We all have a moan at times, i was really disappointed with Giroud at Norwich, just my opinion..
    .
    But we still tried to encourage him, and i’d like to see Gervinho get a bit more vocal support…

    He’s never had any to my knowledge…

    Maybe a song about Big Fecking Forehead might do the trick…

    BFG/BFF…

    It’s worth a try?

  191. That’s the difference Kev, you get the proper fans and now the hangers on who think it’s ok to slag off the players in the ground, slag em off in the pub and to your mates and on here with mates BUT don’t do it in the ground what help does that do, creates a bad atmosphere and the players suffer. Most fans feed off the players, rightly or wrongly Gervinho sometimes comes across as if he not always putting in 100% and I don’t think that does him any favours…!

  192. Arsenal set for £25m adidas switch as Gunners call time on long-standing Nike partnership

    By Sportsmail Reporter

    PUBLISHED:08:28, 26 October 2012| UPDATED:11:13, 26 October 2012

    Comments (35)
    Share

    .
    .
    Arsenal are poised to end their 18-year association with Nike and sign a £25million contract with rival kit suppliers adidas.

    The Gunners have worn strips supplied by American sports giants Nike since 1994, but adidas, who sponsor rivals Chelsea, are set to swoop.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2223394/Arsenal-set-Adidas-switch-Nike-deal-expires.html#ixzz2APdWrnjp
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  193. Without wishing to sound like a stuck record I ask the question I did on 1st September which was when I got a feeling that has stayed with me ever since. Who is going to score the goals?

  194. It will leave Nike counting only the Manchester clubs among their Premier League clients when City switch to the American company in 2013. City’s current deal with British supplier Umbro ends at the end of this season.

    Southampton, who occupy the relegation spots, are the only other team sporting the Umbro emblem.

    Wigan are the final Premier League outfit with a British connection. Their kits are supplied by MiFit – a brand heavily linked to Wigan chairman Dave Whelan’s company DW Sports Fitness

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2223394/Arsenal-set-Adidas-switch-Nike-deal-expires.html#ixzz2APdpAURB
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  195. Behind only Manchester United and Barcelona, Arsenal are the biggest club in Nike’s portfolio, selling in excess of 800,000 shirts every year.

    Arsenal’s proposed deal with adidas will see them rake in almost double the £13m they receive from Nike each season.

    Dressing room: Who supplies the Premier League kits

    Arsenal – Nike (American)

    Aston Villa – Macron (Italian)

    Chelsea – Adidas (German)

    Everton – Nike (American)

    Fulham – Kappa (Italian)

    Liverpool – Warrior (American)

    Man City – Umbro (British)

    Man United – Nike (American)

    Newcastle – Puma (German)

    Norwich – Errea (Italian)

    QPR – Lotto (Italian)

    Reading – Puma (Italian)

    Southampton – Umbro (British)

    Stoke – Adidas (German)

    Sunderland – Adidas (German)

    Swansea – Adidas (German)

    Tottenham – Under Armour

    West Brom – Adidas (German)

    West Ham – Macron (Italian)

    Wigan – MiFIt (British)

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2223394/Arsenal-set-Adidas-switch-Nike-deal-expires.html#ixzz2APe1nKpY
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  196. We need to create the chances first Adam to see who is gonna get on the end of them… 60% less chances created than this time last year is a scary stat…!

  197. I know what you mean Wath, but that’s just his style…

    Gervinho will score Adam… ;-)

  198. I wonder Wath, if that 60% stat has anything to do with more emphasis being put on defending?

    I’m sure that Song’s absense isn’t the reason…

    Finishing opportunities has more to do with our last two results, well certainly the Norwich result

  199. Adam, I’d like the answer to that question too… Gervinho is a no, Giroud needs some proper service, I don’t think TW has it in him (hope I’m wrong) Play the Pod through the middle….? Squilster??
    Gotta be positive in the ground even if you think the player is a James Hunt!

  200. Did anyone notice that that 18 carat cnut Stewart Robson was saying nix before, on any ‘rift’ in the camp, and has only been roped in by Talk Rubbish because they know he’s gonna gob off a load of verbal trots as per usual…?

    Never listen to Talk Rubbish, never go their Website, never give them any of my time.

    Advertisers take note!!!

  201. I’d play SC19 on the left, TW10 and MA8 in the middle and Ox wide right rotate with Gerv and Theo and up front Pod & Giroud and rotate Pod with Theo and lets see what he can do..!

  202. Thanks martin wengrow re you comment at 12:11 pm.

    Robson is talking rubbish as usual. How come its only certain type of guys who go on about AW being a ‘dictator’? Whilst people like Parlour go on about anyone being able to walk to his office and have a chat and a drink.There is no rift between AW and SB. Its all crap being designed to destabilize the club. I see on gettyimages even today with 2 of them as well as Banfield having a laugh and see Bould in the thick of things during training.

    Every great partnership have their share of arguments and I have seen a WO1 have heated arguments with a Lt. Colonel because they both have strong opinions no no had feelings about it.

    Kev- I have no problems against jews. My Mrs has Jewish origins…

    I agree with your comment at 12:12 pm

  203. That’s the spirit Lee…. ;-)

    Offski for a spell….

    Don’t start moaning whilst i’m away… :-P

  204. Thank fk 4 that… he’s gone…………………

    Lee we both know what a complete and utter Nut Gervinho is….!!

  205. Shit……………. He’s still here
    :P

  206. Hi W.A.T.H I can’t agree more with your comments at 2:56 and the 57% less chances we are creating.

    You also have a solid point on the reason possibly being due to the emphasis on defending. I know some still think our defending is dodgy but we have conceded 12 goals less than the same time last year and if you compare like for like in terms of the goal difference and goal scored against the same opposition we have played so far this season we have conceded 2 less and scored 3 less respectively compared to last season.

    I am sure AW is aware of it based on MA08 comment below

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/1200910?cc=5739

  207. Bitter and twisted ex-Arsenal players….don’t get me started!!

  208. Robson was being paid by Arsenal for years and still slagging off AW at every opportunity on Talkshite and ESPN. Do you think McPurple face will tolerate that for more than one occassion if an employee of manure TV slagged him off? Mcpurple face would have like to punished Rio for supporting his brother on the t-shirt gibberish if he could. The only reason he back-tracked was because legally he had no legs to stand on.

  209. The way we set up at the moment it’s far to easy for teams to blunt Santi and then we seem to have no creativity what so ever, we have lacked tempo in the last two games and look clueless when in possession, I know people have a pop at Ramsey but he’s had the ball plenty last few games looks up and there are no options for a forward pass and he goes back or sideways… where has our movement gone…? where is the width why must we ALWAYS try and play through the middle when the danger more often than not comes from the wings…! Baffling..!

  210. You don’t use the wings in 5 a side and really that’s what we play on a grander scale,

  211. Spot on potter it’s why we make 50 passes within a 5 yard square area…. without going anywhere

  212. The obsession with tika-taka football has be let go….we’ve only a few that are capable of playing it! Squillaci…

  213. The thing is AW has too many players playing in their un-natural positions. On tuesday we have 5 players playing out of position.

    normally you can get away with 3 for a short while but not over long periods.

    In the past AW never played RP07 on the right because he would be crap there. ljunberg had his bad games on the LHS so we put him on the RHS.

    Santi is playing as a number 10 for the first time in probably 7 years. At villareal rRquelme played as the number 10 or Fernández did when Riquelme was out. At malaga he never played in that position he played as part of the central midfield 2 or on the wing. Additionally, Poldi should never play on the LW full time either. He should be used for tactical reasons like Germany do to nullify an opponents RB.

  214. Podolski should be cutting in and doing cross overs with Giroud, as should Walcott from the other side. If they both run opposite diagonals into the box they are much harder to pick up. All we need then is a ball for them to attack.

  215. Lee. Be careful with your comments about Squillster or I will bring him along to the next HH Curry Club evening. :)
    You’ve never see a man eat a chicken Korma from a nose bag with as much relish I tell you.

  216. Thats the problem Potter when we get the ball in midfield far to often the forward 3 are stagnant or when they make a run there is no pass…! As you say the movement needs to improve and we need Pod or Theo or Ox much closer to Giroud to pick up the flicks or the knock ons or to feed off the hold up play..! At the mo it’s not happening.

  217. Wath, i’m always watching you…… :-| ;-)

  218. hey fellas, what’s new?

  219. hey goonie goon, howz it going?

  220. Stanley…………… Are you Knonke or hillwood today..? ;-)

  221. Arsenal 5 – 0 QPR

    Who’s with me?

  222. Not sure if am with you Will but I’ll sure have what ever it is your drinking………….!

  223. hey WATH, what’s going on man? havent seen you since i shot that little duckling! are you ok big guy? i missed ya. kronke? who is he? dont know him.

  224. jay‏@GunnerJay10

    Thomas Vermaelen :”I will stay at Arsenal forever..There will be no transfer for me….finally we got a true captain

  225. A nice 5-0 drubbing that’ll do me…

  226. will i think i ll drink to that……..as a matter of fact i ll double it. arsenal 10. qpr 0. how do you like that now?

  227. 1-0 will do me….

  228. Lee. What a tool that bloke is. :)

  229. Am fine thanx Stan, how you doing fella all ok your side..?

  230. I’ll take a draw now.

  231. Ah some sweet news from TV- Kev

  232. Will has the hurricane passed for this season?

    I don’t know about 5-0 Xl but I will take a 3-1. COYGs

  233. Trying to break a Yorkie bar in his back pocket..?

  234. 10-9 would do me long as we win…..!

  235. Tony Blackburn is invited to a pool party by Noel Edmonds.He turns up with Jimmy Saville and Gary Glitter..”You deaf arsehole” Noel says, “I said a pair of speedos”…

  236. Lee………………… :D

  237. Ginge, lets hope he means it eh..?

    The news i want to hear is Sagna at left-back tomorrow…

  238. Now then, now then young Lee. :)

  239. Tsgh, we should be in the clear now until next year where storms are concerned. I think we all need a commanding win.

    Guys I honestly think we are really close to being deadly again. My one prayer is that we don’t get stuck in a mental rut. But i don’t think we will. As soon as we stop over thinking and over processing in midfield, these teams will shiver at the sight of us!

  240. Sagna at LB is another sweet news. Santi needs a rest too before the match on the old manure farm next week.

  241. Will. It’s so cold in London today that we will be shivering over the Emirates tomorrow. Still I have taken out a bank loan and will buy two portions of fish ‘n chips for about £28. A bargain I think.

  242. I think for the first time in 8 years we have players like Arteta, TR07 and the BFG who seem to have an eye to see the whole big picture. Their post match assessment of matches seem to be very educated and informed. That should help to limit mistakes as we go along.

    If we can get JW10 and frimps to have a decent imput that will bring our first team squad to about 17 very good players which should be enough to get some at least the FA cup this year.

  243. Adam, you certainly know how to give a gal a good time….

    Enjoy a good win tomorrow mate.

  244. Cheers Kev. It would be nice. :)

  245. i always thought TV will be leaving especially with Puyol injury concerns at Barca but from the comments you posted maybe not this year… :o

  246. Lol @ Adam.

    Apart from young Czech or German players, i think I’m probably the biggest TR7 fan there is amongst the arsenal support. A player in his mold is a necessity for us to thrive. As long as he is out, someone must emulate his type of play. Right now we are paying too slowly.

  247. Afternoon guys and gals…

  248. Lee – 4.26, even I got that one :lol:

  249. Internet problems again Rico?

  250. No No Tsgh, been keeping fit :)

  251. Mrs Muscles… ;-)

  252. Adam: Top post Mate with some intriguing comments.
    I have been a Gooner since 1975 and have seen much worst times, Walsall, Willie Young, Chris Whyte Cygan, etc etc.
    I agree something is amiss, it seems between the BOD and managers office.
    Ivan has sold the FFP model to Kroenke, I doubt he will exit anytime soon. His comment yesterday “My only regret was I did not get involved with Arsena sooner” made me shudder.
    I believe we have lacked mental strength since 2006 CL Paris.
    Wenger has not instilled this ingredient into our squad,
    That is why visits to Carrow Rd or Brittania rear their complacency.
    MA confirmed this to us “They expected to win” at Norwich.
    We have consistent costly blips throughout the seasons and thus we cannot put in a sustained challenge.
    Adam, I agree we need an experienced proven Keeper and proven goalscorer.
    Aside from that the squad is strong enough to challenge.
    We have more deadweights than other teams because of the Colney Creche methodoolgy. This has to stop – No more rewards for failure. Denilson,Squill,NB,AA,Fab,Chamk etc etc.
    I would remove PHW immediately, his father Denis (True Gooner) must turn over, when he hears this moron talk down to us Gooners.
    Can Dein come back then? Probably not, but we desperately miss him.
    I would allow AW to make the decision about his tenure based on his successful record, unless things went to the extreme, obviously.
    Upon departure if and when AW did leave. He should no longer be associated at BOD level because that would affect the new management team immensely.
    Emma and Rico are correct that potential replacements should be either Klopp or Low. Pep had Messi, Iniesta and Xavi the top 3 players in the world aside from CR.
    It appears that the Bundesliga is about to be more successful
    than the EPL.
    Wenger is onto something buying Merts, Poldi, Gnabry and Eisfeld.
    These players are hardworking, adaptable socially and enjoy the weather.
    Like the masses I am devastated about the two consecutive losses.
    I was nervous about Schalke and am nervous about the Hoops.
    We play well or bad in bunches.
    I still believe Top 4 is achievable but would be disgusted to see us in the Europa Lg.
    AW has to soften his MASSIVE EGO and fully delegate defensive duties to SB.
    I am happy when we win, okay if we lose but play well.
    I fume when we lose and do not try or play to our potential.
    The EPL is the most exciting, because if you do not come to play, you will be found out and lose. I love that. We need a kick up our bottom to wake up.

    COME ON YOU REDS… It hurts because we bleed RED. I KNOW.
    Cheers

  253. Cheeky Kev, toned I think is the word, well, one day hopefully :P

  254. Hi a117 – nail on the head there, no team has the divine right to win every game and Arsenal are no exception. But when we lose after playing like a Sunday league side, that hurts and takes a long time to get over…

    Like the last two games, had we been beaten after the oppositions keeper having a great game and making some really good saves it would be easier to stomach, but not the way we played and having so so few chances, let alone few shots on target is a disgrace….

  255. Maybe it’s just me, but i don’t think klopp would be tempted by Arsenal. Dortmund is everything Wenger wanted Arsenal to be.Built through youth, and well scouted talent. Klopp is building something great there and despite selling quality players, constantly have talent on hand to replace them.

  256. Depends how much he is earning now Will and whether he is a loyal man. Everyone seems to have a price in football…

  257. Very true Rico.

  258. Cracking clip emma….

  259. rico – loved it

  260. Ditto emma, and I really hope Frimps starts tomorrow….

  261. laughed when frimponged said ‘sign da thing’ after walcott scored

  262. Adam, :-)

    What a truly excellent Post.

    It was so well written and so well balanced that perversely I was searching avidly to find the elephant in the room, you know the bit that is glossed over, never mentioned, and which totally changes the nature and validity of the piece!

    But there was nothing like that!

    You have a new fan. :-)

    I dislike point scoring, or vindictive or credulous Posts, but I love intelligent, meaty and well constructed articles like this one.

    Sorry to go overboard, but altho’ there are a number of very good writers/authors in Arsenal blogland, this is the most refreshing item I have read in a long time.

    Disclaimer: For those who do not know me: I am neither an AKB nor a Doomer, both of which sobriquets I abhor. :-)

  263. He’s right though, TW does need to sign….

  264. I doubt frimps will be in tomorrows squad probably against reading on tuesday

  265. But he should be emma, he’s the only DM we have at the club, I’d love to see him alongside Arteta…

    Mannone (although I’d prefer Shea or Martinez)

    Jenks Merts TV Miquel/Coquelin

    Frimpong Arteta

    Walcott Santi Podolski

    Giroud

    Simples :)

  266. rico – interesting line-up. Kos might come in and TV moved to the left. Though I saw miguel in the training photo today. he might still be an option. Don’t think AW will gamble playing Santos as a LB again
    Coquelin if moved to the left then Frimps will be in squad tomorrow

    simples :)

  267. I sure hope we don’t see Santos at Lb ever again, winger yes, but Lb, no thanks ;)

    Big risk with doing that at the back though emma, one injury and we start looking at Jd, or even worse, Squilli ;)

  268. Just going to eat, back in 30….

  269. rico – mentioning squilli makes me quiver

  270. I liked coq in the midfield on Wednesday. I would quite like to see him tried there again. Coq-Arteta-Santi in midfield for me. Ox right, Poldi left. Verm at lb at Kos at CB.

  271. Although Tv at Lb is a temporary move and should only be seen as a quick fix. At least he can make his forward runs without causing heart attacks.

  272. Will – Ox not in the squad

  273. Rico- toning up eh? I thought exercising was left for new year resolution? :D

    Emma do you know else else is in the squad for tomorrow?

  274. I am disappointed that bould couldnt drill some defensive quality into santos.i think things can be shaken up. There is talent. If players are tired like santi, possibly injured like podolski, or underperforming like santos. Ramsey only good as a late sub for now. We have arshavin, coquelin, eisfeld,and yennaris always looks motivated. I mentioned here late yesterday that sagna has played lb for us in the past. So if he is really healthy, thats an option. But lets remember, even jenks will need a rest eventually.

  275. Rico, in-box, post haste

  276. hey good people, what’s cracking?

  277. Emma, i don’t know about quivering when Squillster’s name is mentioned, i just tend to pass out….

  278. Evening Gents & Gals,

    ADAM I feel no need to add anything to the mountain of appraisal you’ve already been receiving. Only a flag will do. Commendable writing. You’re generosity personified to serve the achievement on a bedding of open to all questions. Instead of asking to challenge statements. It raises the bar for contributors and -not unimportant- keeps trolls away in fear of a proper roasting due to refined thinkers. Furthermore appreciate the volume of content it generates on this blog.

    Saves me a lot of money on advanced English courses too. :)

    KEV some delayed credit to you as well. CNN got nothing on you. Thanx a bunch keeping your finger on the pulse of the AGM yesterday. It means the world to me you spend a free day on it while not much of the corporate speak suggested it deserved the courtesy.

  279. Evening Stan…..

    Back in 20…

  280. Your welcome Dutch, cut & paste for the guys on the phones eh…

    Back in a bit.

  281. Evening guys and gals…

    All year long sadly Tsgh ;)

  282. Evening all. Just back from dinner. Many, many thanks Dutch. I very much appreciate your kind words. I really do.
    Where is the muscular, toned Rico this evening?

  283. Adam/Kev don’t mention it, well deserved.

  284. Well said DG, well said….

  285. Rico Atlas…..

  286. Have you seen the Colorado Rapids shirt for next year ?

  287. No idea Adam, but I’m here….

  288. Evening Lee …….LMAO re Speedos joke.

  289. Oi Lee, don’t you start….

  290. Potter – looks like an Aston Villa or West ham shirt….

    Adidas…. interesting…

  291. Dutch, I found it semi-jolly too…..
    I also concur with your 7:23 mate, there’s some real talent on here. It’s a shame the media over here couldn’t take a leaf out of some of the authors on here!!!
    Adam, Rico’s been bench pressing a combine harvester….

  292. It’s amazing what a boiled egg can do for your biceps Lee…

  293. Cruelty, I must add that to the list of HH no no’s…..

    Huff!

  294. Next thing we know Rico will be caber tossing against men in skirts. ;)

  295. Who’s cruel? Moi?

  296. Can i clarify one point……i did not suggest,or didnt mean to,that Arsenal have no money to spend,i question whether it is actually there to be spent.
    Hill-Wood can SAY the money is there to spend,but is it really being made available to Wenger?
    Morning all.

  297. I can vouch for AK,Micko,WATH,Rocky,Dutch,Stan,Coach,SP and Adam all bons oeufs!

  298. Digger too…..

  299. Rico is that you competing in this video?:o

  300. Lee agree treading a fine line between tongue in cheek and being slapped a red mark. You have to drop it in the right audience cuz of the sensitive sentiment surrounding the topic.

  301. Bennybigwhatever quoted me as questioning if Arsenal actually had any money,so i needed to clear that up.

  302. Not you alone Lee, everyone :P

  303. Tsgh too… not a bad bunch of Gooners, eh?

  304. What fucks me off, is PHW’s disdain towards us the supporters……he really did himself loads of favours at the AGM! Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on that waste of internal organs……

  305. TSGH

    No Rico, only 4 tasty spareribs from a George Foreman grill.

  306. I had a look on YouTube for some women bodybuilders Ginge, but decided against it, as Stan would have gone beserk at what i found….

  307. Grrrrrr Tsgh…

  308. Its friday night I rather forget about someone who considers ‘his Arsenal’ as a fraternity you need to be initiated into before you opinion counts!

    If he ass kissed Kroenke a minute longer he will have brown stains around his lips. :D

  309. The problem with most trolls is that they jump in feet first to a topic without really knowing anything about the author or even the regulars posting on a forum….i know,because it is how i started on here!
    Quite often,an article can be posted as much to begin a debate as it is to give the authors opinion on something,but most of those trolling would simply take it as the authors actual opinion,and possibly even as an indication of the general opion amongst regulars on the particular forum.
    The difference between HH and most others is that people here generally take the time to attempt to intelligently debate with the said trolls…….generally speaking,anyway,as some psychos are not worth the effort.
    We say trolls like it is a bad word,but really,these people(me included at one stage), simply got our news and info from an Arsenal news aggregator,saw a topic name that attracted our attention and off we went.
    Trolls,do not be scared :)

  310. Confession time, both Stewart Robson and that hideous thing Marsh went to my school…..

  311. I’m actually aiming for the Victoria Beckham physique ;)

  312. To be fair Scott, he did stick around for a bit….

    I can’t stand those muppits that make one comment, maybe two, then scarpper…

  313. So Rico, do we call you Posh from now on..?

  314. I’ve seen more meat on a butcher’s pencil than on posh….not a look that floats my boat!

  315. I’ll remind you of that Scott, next time you flip out having read a few comments after a loss ;)

  316. Hi DG do us a favour and go and rescue goonie from the thai massage parlour, he is loses all his hard end case trying to compete with Avran Grant in the De Wallen … :D

  317. AK.i am not bagging Benny at all,it is a generalisation,but also showing grattitude for you long time regulars not making mince meat of him,and for Rico not just banning him….and others.
    Yes,those jumping in for one comments are the nutters i loathe.

  318. Rico,no need to tell me i speak from the heart.
    I have no defence,except to offer one thing……people do know where i stand,like it or not lol.

  319. Why Arsenal are lucky to have Santi Cazorla, Spain’s best kept secret

    Where Real Madrid twice failed, Arsenal succeeded in capturing a player who already looks like the signing of the season
    Share18

    Email

    Sid Lowe

    The Guardian,

  320. The “1st” or “wenger out” are my personal favs….

  321. No Kev ;)

    Nor me Lee, butchers are awful ……

  322. Lady Posh it is now… :)

  323. There’s something about Santi Cazorla. He has a strange effect on people. Mention him and there it is: the wide eyes, the enthusiasm, the enjoyment, the sense of discovery, the fun. From Ruud van Nistelrooy escaping the sun at Málaga’s training ground and offering a judgment of unsolicited simplicity, to Xavi Hernández citing him as the embodiment of a footballing manifesto that has conquered all, there is something about him that brings out the fan in footballers. And in football managers.

    “What a player Santi is,” said Van Nistelrooy puffing out his cheeks early last season, just weeks after becoming his team-mate for the first time. Xavi, signalling his chest, said: “Have you seen Santi Cazorla? You think I’m small? He’s up to here on me and he’s brilliant.” Neither man was asked to talk about Cazorla; both men, team-mates of his, chose to. As for Arsène Wenger, he called on every kid in the country to watch Cazorla play. And it was not just what he said that stood out as the way he said it. The look on his face.

    Every time Arsenal’s manager has mentioned Cazorla since he signed from Málaga for €15m (£12m) there has been a childlike quality to his response. A giggling guilt: how did we get him? And for that price? A price that Málaga’s coach, Manuel Pellegrini, this week called “an unthinkable gift”. Málaga’s financial crisis provides part of the answer; the passivity of other clubs, though, remains a mystery because, however much Cazorla is touted as an unknown revelation, he is nothing of the sort.

  324. You must admit as well Rico that i jave been much more accepting of these trolls of late…..sometimes it is bloody hard yakka though!!
    Ok guys…saturday morning and i am off to work.
    Catch you all later.

  325. The surprise is not that he is playing well – former team-mates say that they never had any doubts – but that, at 27, it has taken this long for him to be universally recognised. So far this season he has created more chances from open play than anyone else in England. It is not new: last season he created 82 goalscoring chances; only behind Lionel Messi, Mesut Ozil and Jesús Navas. The year before that, Opta put together a statistics-driven perfect XI of La Liga players: Cazorla and Juan Mata were the only non-Madrid or Barcelona players in it.

    “When we signed him last summer, he symbolised us crossing from a good team to a great one. He is a player who plays and makes others play, supremely gifted. An artist,” says the former Málaga sporting director Antonio Fernández, whose job it was, fleetingly, to lead the first big money project in the country.

    Fifty caps for Spain – this Spain – say much, and Cazorla played a key role in winning Euro 2008, but he missed the 2010 World Cup through injury. The inevitable question runs: if he is so good, why did Madrid or Barcelona never sign him? The short answer is: they are Real Madrid and Barcelona. And Madrid tried. Twice.

    In 2008 Cazorla was caught by TV cameras talking on the phone to Iker Casillas about his imminent move to Madrid, but Villarreal moved to block the transfer. And this week Pellegrini, his coach at first Villarreal and then Málaga, told Gazetta dello Sport that he had tried to sign him for Madrid the following season.

    “He has the talent to play for either of those two but when the situation arose, Villarreal made an effort to keep him and he wanted to show his gratitude to them after all they had done,” explains Carlos Marchena, a team-mate with Villarreal and Spain.

  326. “I could never understand why Madrid or Barcelona never signed him,” says Marcelino García Toral, his coach at Recreativo de Huelva. “It is hard to explain and it also makes me a bit sad. I think it’s a real pity for the Spanish league.”

    Those who knew Cazorla knew. “Anyone who has played with him knew that everyone in England would fall in love with him,” says Marchena. Joan Capdevila, Cazorla’s room mate at Villarreal, adds: “He does things you’ve never seen. You want to know how good Santi is? Type ‘Cazorla, Seitaridis’ into YouTube.”

    The video is almost six years old, from the time that Cazorla spent at Recreativo de Huelva aged 21 to 22, a single-season hiatus in his seven years at Villarreal. In it, he flicks the ball from one foot to the other and through the legs of the Greek defender. It happens so fast you have to watch it again to appreciate the skill. And the problem, says Capdevila, is that few even watched it the first time: “If he had done that in the Champions League it would have gone round the world.”

    The technique is natural. Watch the Spanish national team do piggy-in-the-middle drills and you can see it. The ball whizzes round so fast, so precisely, that even very good players, world champions, can be made to look average. Cazorla is emphatically not one of them. Sit close and the speed can be dizzying. Cazorla barely flinches. Pass, pass, pass, right foot, left. “I played with him for five years and I still don’t know if he is right footed or left footed, even from corners and free-kicks: it’s insane,” says Capdevila.

  327. Re Marsh and Robson – surely not at the same time Lee?

  328. Marcos López is a coach in Oviedo who remembers being struck by an eight-year-old playing five-a-side futbol sala for a team called Covadonga. A team of kids from the neighbourhood, they were in the same division as clubs with long histories like Astur, Sporting Gijon, Real Oviedo and Estadio, where Juan Mata would later play. Still they won their group. “By the end of the season they could easily have scored 300 and conceded 20,” López says. “Santi was very, very small but he was dynamic, could dribble and controlled games. He left everyone open mouthed.”

    Real Oviedo picked him up. Among his coaches was Luis Sánchez. “Santi stood out immediately, not least because he was tiny,” he says. “These days everyone plays on Astroturf but back then all the pitches were muddy and he looked so small. But although there were inevitable question marks I never feared that size was going to be a problem. He could already kick a ball wonderfully with both feet, technically he was miles better than everyone else: he was prodigious. He could go past you on either side, and he was the top scorer by miles. He was dynamic, different. His talent is innate. And besides, he got stronger: he looks little now, but he is tough.”

    From Oviedo, Cazorla joined Villarreal at 15. But it was the year at Recreativo that made him. “You could see even then that he had all the qualities to be world class,” says Javi Guerrero, who played with Cazorla there. “He was absolutely clear about where he wanted to go and we knew he would get there. He was two footed, even taking corners from both sides and both feet, swinging in or swinging out. I remember being impressed by that but what was most striking was how daring he was for a player so young.”

  329. The word Guerrero uses is desparpajo. It’s a word many employ to describe Cazorla, one that could almost be translated as cheek. And watching the video Capdevila recommends, it is easy to see why. Yet there is also something eminently sensible and calm about his game. Listo, smart, is another recurring word. He controls the pace, the fluidity. In fact, Marcos Senna sees him as a potential long-term replacement for Xavi in the Spain team.

    Recreativo’s manager Marcelino says: “I had first seen him as a kid playing in Asturias but I’d lost track of him. When Recre signed him, we very quickly realised that he was special. He was extremely clever.” “He reads the game so well,” says Antonio Fernández. “His movement with and without the ball is exceptional and his always takes the right decision. He improves those around him, playing for them not just himself.”

    “Santi is always available: he never, ever hides,” says Capdevila. “He is a real leader. Not in the sense of shouting at people: he is not aggressive, he doesn’t confront the referee, but he is a winner. He’s extremely stubborn and very determined. Even off the pitch: even when we play cards or on the PlayStation, he always wants to win.” Capdevila talks from experience: Cazorla jokes that the “one time” Capdevila beat him, he took a photo of the screen as proof to show his team-mates .

    “I have watched him closely on the pitch for a long time and one of the things I don’t think people see is that capacity to suffer, to read the game and know how to adapt: when to be practical, when to be expansive,” Marchena says. “He is also always there for you, in all games, injured or not. His commitment, for someone so talented, is extremely unusual. For weaker players, sure. But not for someone like him.”

  330. Players who think they have got it all tend to stagnate but Santi was never like that,” Marcelino says. “He was straightforward, noble, very mature, humble. You didn’t have to tell him much but when you did he listened and took it all on board. One of his greatest virtues was that he loves football. He watched every game, he was humble, he listened, and he wanted to win. He was a footballista futbolero.”

    Guerrero explains that description: “He watched every game, read everything he could. He really lived the game.” Friends recall him as a 10-year-old playing his own games before heading off to watch his brother play, a football always at his feet. “With Santi it was football, football, football,” says Luis Sánchez. “He has changed a bit though. Back then he hardly talked. I still see him occasionally and now he is a joker.”

    Cazorla’s smile is part of his charm. “He tells the worst jokes ever,” says Capdevila and Capdevila knows a thing about telling rubbish jokes. “His are worse – and he doesn’t even know how to tell them properly. I laughed every single day with him.” Marchena says: “He is a great team-mate, good in the dressing room: he never has a bad word for anyone, he is always smiling, always willing to help you out.” To put that in sporting director terms, Málaga’s Antonio Fernández says: “He creates an environment conducive to success.” The text message response from one player responding to a request to talk about Cazorla sums it up: “For Santi, anything.”

  331. When Cazorla left Villarreal, Senna said he felt like the team had cut off a finger. They had qualified for the Champions League in his last season; in their first without him, they went down. Senna explains: “When Santi left, it left a huge hole. Both on the pitch and off it. If he had been there I am sure we would not have gone down. He is a player who never loses the ball. He’s so complete: he knows when to pause, when to accelerate; he imposed a style and dynamism on the team. He interprets the game so well. And without him, we lost our identity, our way of playing.”

    Marchena agrees: “His departure was one of the main reasons that we struggled.”

    While Villarreal went down, Cazorla’s new club, Málaga qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history. And, when financial crisis hit, he left them too. Wenger was ready to take advantage. The perfect player, perfectly suited to his new environment.

    Fernández says: “The other thing to take into account is that his style is perfect for Arsenal. He suits a team that wants to have the ball; he facilitates that approach. If it had been any other club, I am sure his adaptation would have taken longer but Arsenal play his way, similar to Spanish teams, so I am not remotely surprised that he has been so successful.”

    Wenger’s definition sums it up: it is not just about creativity but about control. “He opens defences with the quality of his passing and he gives us a technical security that allows us to escape when we are under pressure. He can make us stronger and more efficient,” Wenger says. There is, says Capdevila, just one problem: the language. “I want to see his first interview in English. Now, that is going to be a video worth watching.”

  332. Yes Kev…. and his buy out clause was 45m euros…

    And the mad scientist was one of the first in european to know of Malaga’s plight.

    re “an unthinkable gift” I wonder if Manuel Pellegrini has stopped being friends with Monsieur Wenger since that day light robbery..lol

  333. You do indeed Scott, as do we all, have a good Saturday….

  334. Robson was the year above me and the other thing….well she might of been there when fat Frank was there!

  335. Tsgh, this Isco dude what’s he like???

  336. Well she has ‘toned’ up better than Frank ;)

  337. She’s like an old lady on an icy morning though…..

  338. Or is it Wenger out?

  339. She was on This Morning or Loose Women a few months backs, she looked bloomin awful. One day when she stops doing whatever it is she does, she’ll be off to Harley Street ;)

  340. Is that Jodie Marsh Lee?

  341. Have we got one Adam? Winger I mean….

  342. I find her an immensely attractive woman although behind Jordan and Carol Vorderman.

  343. £12 million Ginge, an absolute steal….

  344. All Bigbang(something) had to do is leave out the ‘Stop polishing Adam’s knob’. He actually would’ve made a valid point had he named Bogarde & Tevez in his first comment on; no receipt guarantee with higher wagers either.

  345. No wingers anywhere Rico.

  346. Carol Vorderman, Adam, now your talking….

    Brilliant at crosswords too.

  347. He was like a cross between Nani & Ronaldo in 2004-2006 last year. And just like Ronaldo not having any end product one season and then something has just clicked and he looks like he is the real deal now.

    That is the reason why most teams did not go for him last summer as he was seen as a selfish no end product player.

    His style is like how Joe Cole use to play at 18 -23 years but with more flare. This is him 2 years ago when he broke unto the scene.

  348. Dutch. I have to confess that I lost the thread of thought with that fellow.

  349. Kev. Actually I was being facetious. Rico knows of my fascination with Carol and her rear of the year.

  350. That is some of the problem Adam…

  351. What is the rest Rico?

  352. Yes Adam, Jodie Marsh….a face only a mother could love!
    Thanks tsgh.
    Adam if you and Mrs A. fancy a libation pre-match I’ll be most likely in the whitehouse on green lanes opposite clissold park.

  353. Lee. Is the the big white place on the corner?

  354. Goal keeper, defender, goal scorer and a defensive midfielder are next on my list Adam…

    After that, possibly a footballing tactician….

  355. Ginge, in some ways Isco’s style reminds me a little of our Jack.

    Great technique, strong thighs, two good feet…

    We won’t get him though.

    Malaga would never sell us two of their top talents, sadly… :-(

  356. Adam, the corner of Mountgrove/Riversdale rd i think, one of the two…

  357. Rico. It is truly uncanny how closely you and I are with our thinking where Arsenal are concerned. :)

  358. Kev. That reminds me of my first wife. :)

  359. Ha Ha Rico… is the your M&S shopping list?

  360. I would top if off with a change at the top though Adam, AU for SK and then see what happens I strongly suspect it would be an awful lot and all for the good….

  361. Time for some relaxation. So, off for the night. Have a great evening everyone. Hope for a win tomorrow.

  362. It used to be white Adam but the new Turkish owners have painted it…….pink!!! I’ll give you a ring in the morning confirming my manoeuvres etc. Do you ever think that the carrot cruncher will venture up to the Emirates or Londinium? ;)

  363. Uncanny Rico. Bang on again…off now.

  364. In a word Lee? No. :)

  365. It should be Wengers list for January and the summer Tsgh. If by the 1st Aug 2013 we have those in the squad then we could be a force again.

    But a must in Jan is a striker and Gk surely?

  366. So Adam and Rico are cosmic twins!! Good night Adam, speak tomorrow….

  367. Night Adam, have a good evening….

  368. Kev yeah in terms of his temperament on the field but I think he is more like Joe Cole in playing style

    You are right on AW not signing him as Mr Wenger will think he will kill the progress of Serge or Miyachi.

    Talking of miyachi has he been deported by the UKBA? :D

  369. Kev certainly not with our price tag gun since Cazorla the friendly ghost.

    Isco reminds me of Robby Rensenbrink one of the most gifted Holland players on par with Cruijf.

    A talented dribbler as well as a cool finisher, he only ever missed two penalties in his entire career, and often enjoyed telling the keeper beforehand where he was going to place the ball, and then still beating him there.

  370. Adam, 9.03, yes mate, i know what you mean….

    The grim face to go with it…

  371. Yes Ginge, he’s been deported to Wigan….

  372. Ah DG that is a player and a half you referred to. Did he miss his penalty against Schumacher? A bloody mad keeper he was…

  373. He has not played for Wigan since the sterling performance in the carling cup or I have missed something?

  374. I’m outta here peeps…sweet arsenal dreams to all of you!

  375. Nite Adam.

  376. Ha ha Lee, re the twins….

    Night to you, have a good evening…..

  377. Night Adam/Lee, give Gervinho a cheer for me…. ;-)

  378. Ryo should have stayed and played in the Next gen and Under 21’s….

  379. Nite Lee.

    TSGH I believe he did. To be sure I have to read his Wikipedia a bit deeper though. He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

  380. I’m going for a Red Dragon Tempranillo, aged for six months in oak casks. Smooth, mellow and fruity.

    Nite fine folks.

  381. Night Dutch, mind how ya go in them there cloggs…. ;-)

  382. Rico agree Ryo off now.

  383. Time for me to bid you all farewell for the day, have a good evening all and catch up tomorrow..

    Night Kev, Dg, Tsgh and Scott….
    :)

  384. Rico, no doubt Wigan paid Arsenal a fee for loaning Ryo for the season, but what the hell is he learning up there?

    If he was coming off of the bench and getting 15/20 minutes then ok.
    But he hardly makes the squad at all.

  385. Night Posh…. :-D

  386. Exactly Kev and now Coyle has gone, no chance…

    Gone now ;)

  387. Martinez at Wigan Rico……

    Coyle was at Bolton, now Dougie Freedman…
    Where Afobe is…..

    Night Rico… :-P

  388. Evening all,
    Very good post Adam, i’m a staunch Wenger supporter but i must admit your post has made me think about the posibility of life after Wenger. As you say we have to forget about the past and get on with the future and if it means a change at the helm then perhaps thats whats needed, but it will be a brave man to ask him to go. As you stated the goalkeeping situation is a joke we have put our hopes on young keepers that might be good in a couple of years but as you pointed out that is not now and we need a good one, without doubt many will say that we haven’t let that many in but i think deep down that they are not the answer. Thought provoking post certainly made me look at it from a different point of view.

  389. Nite guys. We all need to say a prayer for the boys for tomorrow. :D

  390. Night Ginge…

  391. Three Points Tomorrow

    COYG’s

    Night Gooners…

  392. Rico is tucked up at this stage so can we lets rock this blog ;)

  393. Micko if your out there play your music !

  394. Hello Smudge, how’s the form, left you a request on Wednesday nite after the Schalke game, check it out and do ya magic, you’ll be rewarded in heaven.

  395. Top of the pops 1980

  396. Can I just say what a great job Rico does here on HH. She doesn’t get the credit she deserves. guys and lassies who do we appreciate?……RICO!!!!!!!..

  397. This one comes from me to rico

    Just enjoy

  398. C’mon smudge, i need closure re my 12.07.

  399. Micko this one is for the real stalwart of HH

  400. It’s a rat trap Billy…….. and you’ve been caught.

    Smudge, rico is spending too much time in her shed these days on the rowing machine, it’s not healthly, she’ll end up with scurvy if she’s not careful.

  401. Micko there was one night yes one night the fuckin stalwart of hh and micko is the king IMHO

  402. IMicko lets stand back for a second. Yes Micko is the Really happening

  403. The Jam, Down in the tube station at midnight,
    I fumble for change and pull out the queen, smiling , beguiling, put in the money and pull out a plum.
    Got a little bit of money and a take-away-curry, I’m on my way home to my wife, she’ll be lining up the cutlery, you know she’s expecting me.
    You can’t beat a bit of The Jam, Tony Hadley just don’t cut the mustard smudge, I’m off to my bunk, keep it real.

  404. Guys its real icko music not you kow what iy’s a tyrone ‘non dublin. senqrio

  405. OK Micko

    This is no fair city. You know what i suck?
    sorry pull’
    Micko you have been the number uno geazzer on HH for awhile. End off!

    PS Rico whats the chance of me and you doing the business

  406. All right guys its not happening with Wenger!
    Me and Micko now thats a different story

  407. Love is like oxegen
    I’m going to spent my days in bed with rico

  408. OK so Micko wants to spent his days in bed.
    Hey guys you know what it takes ! micko come on LG sometimes cod your a stawaet of HH.

  409. tHE GIRL CALED RICO SUNDAY NIGHT AND SHE WQAS READY

    cHRIS mALONEY WHAT A CARIOLEE!

  410. rICO

    hES IN LOVE WITH YOU

  411. Oh dear of dear, I think someone had one too many tipples last night…

    Anyway, moving on,

    Morning all….

  412. New post up…

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