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Arsenal step up Benzema chase, 4 years for Merts, & was it a bug or a nervous break down?

Morning all.

There is quite a bit in the newspapers this morning.

The Daily Express report that per Mertesacker is set to be offered a new four year deal. Good if it’s true, good! Now what we need is a similar deal to be offered to Bacary Sagna.

The Daily Mirror suggest that Arsenal are stepping up the chase for Karim Benzema. The players valuation is suggested to be £27 million! The same paper suggests we are keeping a close eye on Marco Reus situation at Dortmund as it’s now been confirmed that he has a ‘get out clause’ in his contract. £30 million is that clause according to reports.

One thing for sure is that we need to strengthen up front as Giroud is tiring, even Laurent Koscielny worries about his fellow Frenchman:

It’s true that he’s not scoring but he is setting them up, like he did against Dortmund.

But he’s also playing game after game and hasn’t had a rest, so maybe he’s feeling a bit of fatigue.

He can’t go it alone, that’s clear, no player could and bringing in Yaya Sanogo has backfired for this season as he on the injured list, just like he so often was before we signed him. Hopefully the situation will change in January but as much as Karim Benzema’s name is printed in the newspapers, I really can’t see Arsene Wenger signing him.

Onto the main post:

As a ‘stats’ man I would have taken a point away at United even with our form going into Sunday’s game against our old ‘adversaries’ with or without Old ‘Fergie’. This is because under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal do not often score more than one goal away at Old Trafford. One of the few times  was on 28th August 2011 and we all know what happened then.

With van Persie and Rooney both fit to start there was no way we were going to keep both players quite even if we had managed to keep  the likes of Suarez, Sturridge, Lewandowski, Reus, and  Blaszczykowski quiet in the last 7 days prior to this match.

This frightening dose of history or ‘stats’ however we are comfortable calling it, is worrying to say the least considering Arsene has had some superb goal poachers under his tutelage.  This clearly shows that Arsene is the common denominator when it comes to our performances and gaining results at Old Trafford.

Does Arsene suffer from stage fright when he walks into the so called ‘Theatre of Dreams’?

Fans and pundits may argue that the team Arsene inherited or had during the invinsible years, would not have capitulated in such a fashion. Even if we were to assume the hypothesis that this Arsenal team has declined in quality over the last 8 or 9 years, results such as mentioned below are a serious concern in my opinion.

1997/98:Overmars 1-0 Win
1998/99: Anelka 1-1 Draw
1999/00: Ljungberg 1-1 Draw
2000/01: Henry 6-1 Loss
2001/02: Wiltord 1-0 Win
2006/07: Adebayor 1-0 Win
2007/08: Adebayor 2-1 Loss
2009/10: Arshavin 2-1 Loss

Most fans thought before the game that our team would have no better opportunity to beat the Mancs now that Moyes is in charge but as it has been over the last few years, there have always been injuries or suspensions to key players leading up to facing United which has left us coming away from Old Trafford saying to ourselves ‘if only’.

This weekend it was a mysterious ‘bug’ that deprived us from the services of two of our prominent and senior players in the squad in the form of Mertesacker and Rosicky who I strongly believe would have made a huge difference to our all round performance(s).

This comment is taking nothing away from Vermaelen’s performance at all. In fact I thought for his first start since April in the EPL he truly showed he had it in him to be a starter (if needed) as I believe like most fans and pundits, Mertesacker and Koscielny remain the best pairing we have at the club.

When it comes to the Thomas and Laurent partnership, on paper it should be as effective as Baresi and Costacurta partnership of the great  Milan team of the early 1990’s in my view but for a strange reason it has not worked out. It is no wonder that pairing have not kept a clean sheet in 10 outings but is it all down to Thomas lack of defensive nous?

My own view is that even for a right footed centre back such as Koscielny,  he is not as effective when he plays next to Sagna as compared to his performances when he starts on the left hand side of central defence.

I would say that just maybe leading up to the goal, the corner we conceded may not have happened, had we had Per playing on the right hand side of the Central-Defensive pairing instead of Laurent Koscielny.

When it comes to the attacking side of our game the team set-up makes me wonder if Arsene experiences a mental block when he faces United away from home. The team was set-up the way it should have been set-up 3 or 4 years ago when United had Scholes and a younger Giggs instead of a midfield deprived of any form of creativity. Arsene being a ‘stats’ man did not help the cause by playing Ramsey on the inside right role trying to keep Kagawa quiet.

The last time Arsenal only had 2 shots on target during a game was possibly Norwich last season when we lost 1-0…..

In my view, the biggest worry Arsene Wenger will have is that Ramsey has carried this team too many times when it required scoring the crucial goals this season.

So is it as simple as Giroud not having enough quality?

I don’t think that is the case, especially when you consider the set up of Mourinhos’s team in 2004 and the success they had. That year Drogba scored only 12 goals in the league with 2 of his other goals coming in the FA cup and Champions league.

The difference in that season to me was that the likes of Joe Cole, Kezman, Lampard and Robben chipped in with crucial goals when it was needed.  The same can be said of Reyes, Pires, Ljunberg and Wiltord chipping in with their share of goals when needed during the good old days under wenger.

So maybe it is about time our other midfielders started to contribute when needed in the big games as the midfielders in the top teams have done all across Europe.

All is not lost by the way as this two weeks break will allow the likes of Theo and Poldolski to be nursed back to fitness in time to take us into the dark and business part of the season.

It is crucial that players such as Ramsey and Mertersacker come back from the international break injury free as we face a very competent and tactically astute team in Southampton at home immediately after the break. Then we face Marseille  in the Champions league a few days later.

Written by TSGH

P.s – If anyone is interested in writing a post for HH, please email me.. International breaks are so so boring!

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88 Responses to Arsenal step up Benzema chase, 4 years for Merts, & was it a bug or a nervous break down?

  1. mattyboy86 says:

    Ahh Dont get Benzema… go out and get Diego Costa for 30Mil if were gonna be dishing that out!

  2. tsgh says:

    Morning all,

    Thank’s Rico for making the post more readable. ;)

    The Benzema news if true is encouraging in terms of numbers and an option as a striker to have. In my view, he is not quite the finished article and would have to step up big time to push us on if he is bought.
    Imho, he ‘bottles’ it too many times on the big occasions, but SYG (hope he’s well) and our regular will be happy so can’t complain if he is indeed bought and RM get the money to weaken the dippers too…

  3. tsgh says:

    regulars* even

  4. rico says:

    I don’t think we will get Benzema matty…

    Ts, I am surprised by the ‘relying on Ramsey’ comment when Giroud is just a few goals behind him.

    Out of interest, does anyone know how many goals our midfield players have scored?

    I enjoyed reading the post though, I too think the manager has a mental block when it comes to playing at OT and that might filter through the players.

    However, bearing in mind Ozil and Merts haven’t headed off to play for their country, I would suspect that on Sunday it was more to do with illness, and not having another striker on the bench.

  5. rico says:

    I tried my best Ts ;)

  6. bradster says:

    Morning all,

    Good read ts. Looks like Pod or Walcott will get chances up front to give Giroud a rest. I hope Wenger buys a striker in Jan but I won’t be holding my breath.

    I feel we may get a winger in Jan and hopefully give Gnabry more playing time.

  7. Lee says:

    Morning all…. I’d take Benzema but prefer Suarez!

  8. rico says:

    Thank goodness they should both be back after the break Brad…

    Hello stranger, how are you Lee?

    I’m leaning towards Costa.

  9. ozgunner says:

    I don’t want Benzema – head case and lazy much of the time

  10. ozgunner says:

    I see it as Walcott – Ozil – Caz with Pod up top finishing off his good understanding with Oz

  11. Wavy says:

    Just had a look at the Arse stats and found the following:

    Aaron Ramsey 6
    Olivier Giroud 5
    Mesut Özil 2
    Jack Wilshere 2
    Lukas Podolski 2
    Bacary Sagna 1
    Serge Gnabry 1
    Mikel Arteta 1
    Per Mertesacker 1
    Santiago Cazorla 1

    The MFs have contributed, but not enough, Ramsey aside! Still it’s not a bad haul.

  12. rico says:

    He could be just at the ‘wrong club’ Oz?

    Thanks Wavy, not too bad but yes, a few more from the midfield wouldn’t go a miss. Maybe if our players started to shoot it might help..

  13. BrainwashedKev says:

    Morning All.
    Morning Rico.
    Good post Ginge.

    The Gazides comments, last week, made a few ripples in the Press, but that is the second time that he has come out and a public statement about player recruitment prior to a transfer window.
    His comment seemed fairly definitive to me, which maybe points again to the Board ‘leaning’ on Wenger a tad, in order to ensure that he actually spends some dough this January…

    Previously I wasn’t at all convinced that Wenger would spend in January, but after Gazides’ comments, it seems to me that Arsenal are lining someone up?!!!

    Benzema? Costa? Jay Rodriguez? Llorente? Demba Ba?
    Take your choice…

    Sadly I cannot see it being Suarez…

  14. ozgunner says:

    Yeah I am liking these Gaz comments too

  15. BrainwashedKev says:

    Regarding the stats from Wavy, I suspect that the contributions from Cazorla, Walcott and Podolski would be a lot higher, but for injury…
    We’ve also been without Oxlade-Chamberlain for approx half of the season (or it will be when he returns)….

    That is an awful lot of goal scoring potential that we have been robbed of..,

    Which only goes to show how well we have done to have reached this stage of the season sitting 2 points clear at the top of the EPL…

  16. ozgunner says:

    you may be right Rico – they say he likes to be the star – I have seen him twice this season and he looked good both times actually

  17. bradster says:

    Agreed kev, Liverpool are performing too well and Real is his first choice destination.

  18. rico says:

    Morning Kev, any of those would be a very welcome addition.

    Times seem to be changing with a man like Gazidis telling us what to expect. Pressure on Arsene?

    Or just letting us fans know what’s happening..

  19. BrainwashedKev says:

    If Afsene can add another quality striker to the likes of those we have missing, then we could really be a ‘force’ in the second half of the season…

    Adam, I trust that you will be wearing your kilt this evening?

  20. BrainwashedKev says:

    Brad, tbh, Arsenal made a bit of a ‘dogs dinner’ in their attempt to sign Suarez this past summer…

    I really rate him and think that he would have been great for us, but I really see no way where Liverpool would sell him to us now…
    Unless we offered say £60 million…

    If the club had been more classy about it we might have got him for say £45 million + some add-ons, so much each goal he scores, so much if we won the EPL/CL, usual stuff…

    But Liverpool would never sell. In fact I cannot see us doing any business with them for a long time…

  21. BrainwashedKev says:

    Rico, I still have a hunch that it’ll be Llorente…

    The Benzema rumours could be an attempt to cover our intentions and to force Juventus to be more flexible?

  22. BrainwashedKev says:

    Costa hasn’t played for Spain yet (strange that he should have pulled out of the Spanish squad)..,
    His value will rise if and when he does play for Spain…

    I wonder if Costa wears a kilt?

  23. potter says:

    Regarding transfers it is more than likely it will be one in one ( Bendtner ) out. Whatever!
    Southampton are our next worry and for once their current form has got call ups to the England squad , couple these with the already capped players it might just be that the international break works in our favour for once as we are more used to having the squad absent during the preparations for league matches.

  24. rico says:

    Good point Kev, sitting top of the league and without so many players is pretty impressive. Get them all back and add a striker in Jan and anything is possible this season..

  25. Canadian Gooner says:

    Good Morning to the Lady of the House and all fellow Gooners in residence.

    Great to hear from AGAG and that she is well.

  26. tsgh says:

    You are right there Rico re my comment on Rambo…

    Cheers Wavy re goals tally of our scorers.

    I guess what I was trying to say was that Ramsey has mainly scored on the big occasions apart from SC19′s first goal verses the dippers and JW’s equaliser against WBA.

    My views may seem that I am ‘bashing’ one or 2 players of our perceived better players but I am consistent in my opinion rightly or wrongly that our so called bigger players go missing on the big stage when it matters imho…

  27. tsgh says:

    It will be Muriel possibly… he is not cap tied; whereas Llorente and Costa are….

  28. tsgh says:

    Luiz Muriel..

  29. rico says:

    Haven’t Juve ruled out him leaving though Kev? Also, he’s been playing more too…

  30. rico says:

    That would be a good start Potter. I doubt players like Reus, Draxler etc would move in January but a striker how wants to prove he deserves a place at the WC might if he’s not being played for his current club……

  31. Canadian Gooner says:

    Ginge – A good read, well done. Yes, we always seem to have had some of our best years when most or all of our midfielders (e.g. Ljunberg, Overmars, Pires, Parlour, Vieira, etc.) have weighred in with 10 or more goals apiece, even when our strikers (Bergkamp, Wright, Henry, etc.) have been in fine form.

    Whether buying Benzema is the answer or not, we need another striker to share the load and give Giroud a break. Benzema strikes me as a similar type of player to Giroud. Rumour has it that they don’t get along very well, maybe because they are like for like players competing for the same position in the France team. If he is the best that is available in January, without spending silly money that is, then let’s get him.

    However, Rico may well be right, that benzema may be a feint to take peoples eyes off our true target(s).

  32. Canadian Gooner says:

    Kev – I have to agree with you, brainwashed or not, that it could be a long time before we do any business with Liverpool, far less Suarez.

  33. rico says:

    Morning Cg…

    Many big players ‘go missing’ in the bigger games Ts, and not just ours. Suarez was nothing like his usual self when the dippers played us, Gerrard was very average too.

    But do players go missing, or do the opposition work on a way to nullify what the big game players bring?

    I think that often it’s the latter…

  34. rico says:

    Cg, I suspect Benzema dislikes Giroud even more these days seeing as our man is preferred for France…

    Really hope Giroud gets a break over these next couple of weeks…

  35. rico says:

    Welcome gunneral, sorry you were stuck in moderation….

  36. tsgh says:

    Hi Cg, I have also heard about their alleged ‘non-communication’ within the french team.

    Benzema is a bit more mobile and less of a target man; my concern is that he has never been a Solskjaer or a Wiltord who will come on with 25 minutes to go and change a game…

    He is effective as a starter and would want to be a starter; Can AW currently effectively manage 2 top strikers? I doubt it imo…

    I fear AW will offer Benzema too much in terms of guarantees to get him to join us thereby making AW start Karim even if he is not being effective.

    Cavani is rumoured to be unhappy at PSG; why don’t we make them an offer they can’t refuse… he is a bit more versatile…

    I will still welcome Benteke even at £20M imo…

  37. tsgh says:

    :) Rico; a world cup qualifier? I am ruling out OG12 and Kosser for Southampton to be honest; AW was concerned about that judging from his letter…

    Didier Deschamps future with Les bleus depends on it me think…

  38. tsgh says:

    Possible Rico re. ‘the opposition work on a way to nullify what the big game players bring’… but some players thrive on the big occasion when the pressure is on.

    You boy Theo is one example and obviously Wooney… Wooney scores against the big boys both at international and club level; I am sure managers work on nullifying him per se but he still delivers on most occasions.

    Suarez may not have scored against us but 8 out of 10 times even in world cup he delivers.

    Fergie said in his book that he only bought certain players based on how they performed against top teams in cup finals etc. He believed he could make a big game player become consistent if the said player has the ‘bottle’.

    He said it was nearly impossible to make a player who went missing in important games perform at his best overnight when it mattered. They either had it or they didn’t.

    Fergie also said he bought Powell because he was even better at Wembley than he was when he played in front of 15k fans at Crewe; maybe bad example :)

    I guess in the end none of us know what goes on behind the scenes but when winning mangers in the past have preferred to choose certain players ahead of others e.g Trezeguet over Henry there must be a reason.

  39. rico says:

    I thought they were all done and dusted Ts and now friendlies are being played… If a WC qualifier, yes, Giroud will no doubt be playing…

    Maybe a bit of both then, but I agree re Rooney, just why I’d love us to sign him….

  40. Olateju momsuru says:

    Any them are welcome

  41. Merlin96 says:

    Morning all.
    A good read.

    My take on the defence is like when they were at their peak, that Rio-Sol combination is similar to our Per-Kos pairing.

    Per is an organiser, a tactician who read the game superbly, organizing the defence, anticipating and cutting off passing channels which made him as if he is all over the pitch.

    Notice how those thru’ balls seem to attract to him like magnet?

    Whereas like, Sol, Kos and TV4 are superb man-marker and in zonal defence cutting off the danger within their zone.

    And why TV4-Kos can’t play together as neither of them is “Leader” or Kaiser that organise the defence and dictate the placement of players doing defensive duties.

    If we buy a CB, it must be an “organiser” a reader of the game and a commanding leader and not similar to Kos or TV4.

    Can Hayden fulfils this role as a “leader” to emulate Per?

    Per-Kos pairing is the foundation from which we can spring forward to win the 2013/14 title

  42. Canadian Gooner says:

    Ginge – I’d be very interested in getting Cavani, if he is available. Llorente would also be good. As for Costa, if we are interested, we should make an offer before he is called up to the national team.

  43. tsgh says:

    France finished 2nd to Spain, who are the first team to be affected by the new FIFA rule that requires the holders to still qualify from a qualifying route. Previously holders automatically qualified.

    Per and Ozil were dropped from Germany because they finished first and qualified… Draxler is currently playing better than Ozil and caused Chelsea a lot of problems last week when S04 faced them in the CL… I think he will be tried in the no.10 role against England.

    I was surprised Per was left out but I guess Boateng and Hummels need to be trialled as a partnership.

  44. Canadian Gooner says:

    Kev – What’s this about Adam wearing a kilt. I thought he was of Belgian extraction, not Scot?

  45. rico says:

    Popping off for a while now, catch up a bit later…

  46. tsgh says:

    Costa is in the Spain squad for the first time… but his passport had not come through so… Costa only redrew from the squad due to injury allegedly… we can all make up our minds on that ;)

    Merlin, in my view Miguel is better than Hayden; Hayden is like Thiago Silva or even TV imo… from what or how I have seen him play at reserve level at least…

    To be frank with you Haydens’ selection is a worry as promising as he is imho… he is not better than Nico Yennaris nor even Kamara who is younger. But Arsene knows best I guess…

  47. tsgh says:

    Later Rico

  48. Canadian Gooner says:

    Ginge – Their are some articles (unsubstantiated) stating that there may have been more players than teh BFG and the Little Mozart affected by the flu. Ozil being one of them. If true, that might explain his performance on Sunday and his exclusion from the Germany team.

    We’ll have to wait for confirmation. Either way it might be to our advantage that some of our players have been omitted from their nationals teams and will get a break.

  49. Merlin96 says:

    tsgh, I rated Miquel too and was surprised that he wasn’t in the senior squad.

    Guess Wenger decided to loan him out to play regular football and be in the 2014/15 squad?

    I see Miquel as one of those rare football-playing CB that can bring the ball out of defence and initiate an attack.
    Plus he has the physique and quickness on the turn to make a decent CB in our senior squad.

    Perhaps Wenger felt that Hayden still need to learn a bit more before going out on-loan next season.

    1 – Per
    2 – Kos
    3 – TV4
    4 – Sagna – emergency CB
    5 – Hayden

    Guess this is the reason why Wenger allowed Miquel to go out on-loan to play regular football.

    Come January, I doubt very much Wenger will buy another CB; unless Vermaelen indicates to Wenger he wants to leave to play regular football.

    You know, our Arsenal Captain has a pretty short-life at Arsenal after Vieira :D

    Arsenal Captaincy is a poison chalice … lol

  50. tsgh says:

    :D Merlin.

    Miquel’s issue was his physical strength in the duels as AW likes to put it…

    He is not playing as much at Leicester but when he has played he has looked super good. Unfortunately Leicester have 2 very experienced and solid CB’s so him not playing is not a bearing on his ability imho…

    true Cg, they must check the air conditioning system of the aircraft they use for CL travels. ;) We have bugs/virus whenever the team travels… lol

  51. Canadian Gooner says:

    Ginge – Are you suggesting a plot by Scum supporting airline staff, possibly revenge for The Great Lasagna Caper?

  52. Canadian Gooner says:

    Well it’s very very late and I’m off to bed, a busy day ahead. Good Afternoon/Evening to all my fellow Gooners.

  53. tsgh says:

    :D Cg… not me mate.

  54. tsgh says:

    Night Cg…

  55. Wavy says:

    I have heard/read that there is an issue over Cavani’s age. They think he is nearer 40 than 30!! If that is the case then AW won’t be signing him! Far too old!
    Maybe PSG have checked the ‘rings’ in hos legs, counted them and found the truth! And now want to pension hom off a
    Ong with his bus pass!

  56. potter says:

    Kos/TV together requires height from a tall defensive midfielder in front to protect them at set pieces and corners. We failed against United because the ball was allowed to come over flat and with pace. A taller man to get over would have changed the trajectory and made it easier for two 6.footers to defend. on the floor there is little problem with them as they are both mobile and positionally sound. We always talk about another forward but in my opinion the midfielder with height is just as important.

  57. BrainwashedKev says:

    It seems that Joel Campbell actually got a work permit last July…

    He himself Tweeted as much on 13th July…

    That kinda begs the question of why was he loaned out if we are short of forwards/strikers?

  58. HenryB says:

    A really nice Post TSG.

    Hi Rico and all.

    AW has known for a long time that we needed another CF as our long time summer pursuit of Suarez proved.

    In the end we came perilously close to getting no one until the last minute capture of Ozil (which was brilliant) so the search for another CF must be on going, but the January transfer window is notoriously difficult — so don’t hold your breath — it may be the summer before there is some movement.

    I also think ‘Pool would rather go bust than sell Suarez to us.

  59. HenryB says:


    I agree with you regarding the need for more height in the team.

    It was interesting that Rooney said they had practised corners and other set pieces precisely because Arsenal have a small team, and which was made worse with Per’s withdrawal.

  60. Good Afternoon Rico and All

    T’s good read partner (mate), as we say in the US of A.

    “So is it as simple as Giroud not having enough quality?” No pun intended, I presume???

    I was surprised last T/W AW did not buy another striker knowing very well that this is the second season for OG12 and still not there yet in the BPL. OG12 is getting better in holding the ball and wait for reinforcement but still lack pace to take a defender one on one. Henry and RvP are very good at these attributes thus make them stand out among the pack. We need a striker with speed not just on the wing but in the middle.

    If we want to end our trophies drought we surely need another striker that OG12 can compete and alternate with. Once on a while OG12 needs to come off the bench, and him not having the feeling that he is 100% starter in every big game.

    Ba, we know Mourihno is not going to sell to AW. And why he keep on going to Mourihno for on-loan player still baffle me. The man does not like AW, it that simple. In the BPL, Arsenal is the only clubs as of today that sell its best players to rivals and turn around and bite us in the behind. If we want Liverpool to sell Suarez to us, as they consider us rival, we have to pay above the odds. Bens, Costa will make a difference in our attacking force.

  61. tsgh says:

    Thanks Ng and HB…

    Kev- re Joel, that is a strange one… I guess that signing was Dickie Laws’ so AW is not keen and he may stunt the development of Ox…

    I love Aw but his squad management needs to improve asap imho…

    We actually have a very good youth system and squad that can be utilised better.

    Taking about height Aneke can go a decent box to box job in the squad in my view but was not even given a chance in preseason as he was played as a CB…

  62. rico says:

    Afternoon all..

    Night Cg.

    Kev, I read that tweet too back in the summer, and strange how AW signed a young injured risk and left Campbell overseas….

  63. BrainwashedKev says:

    Good point Rico, Sanogo, up till now, has been as useful to our season as Diaby has been over the last 5 years….

  64. Andy says:

    I notice whenever Wenger moves Ramsey from the central role we struggle, he should have gone with
    Flamini Ramsey
    Ozil Wilshere Cazorla

  65. arsenal11730 says:

    Fair point Andy on Ramsey. He is ineffective on the wing, we look unbalanced because he drifts in, therefore we lack width. He is hot so play him where he is most potent…

  66. rico says:

    Evening again…

    Andy, I have to agree re Ramsey, and for me, it’s not fair on the player…

  67. rico says:

    Just not quite so expensive Kev ;)

  68. Rick says:

    Evening All,
    Stunning football from the u21 team tonight.
    Beating Villa 4-0 at h/t Goals from Gnabry Toral (2) and Frimpong.
    Afobe and Eisfeld should have made it 6-0.
    Arsen is watching.

  69. rico says:

    Hi Rick, did you go?

  70. rico says:

    I meant, are you there? ;)

  71. Rick says:

    Hi Rico,
    Not in the best of health so not able to go to games anymore .
    My son in law is there and is keeping me up to date.

  72. rico says:

    Sorry to hear that Rick :(

  73. tsgh says:

    Evening all,

    Wish you a speedy recovery Rick.

    Kev will be pleased Toral is back… he is a sublime player; I am told Frimpong is playing further forward this evening… is that true?

  74. rico says:

    I’m off for the day now.

    Night Rick and all….

  75. tsgh says:

    Giroud 18 apps (17 starts), 8 goals, 5 assists this season

    Benzema 16 apps (15 starts), 8 goals, 8 assists

    With both scoring 11 goals last season…is there much difference? But in the CL Benzema is proven . He has scored 19 goals and assisted 12 more in the Champions League for Real Madrid, and it is stats like this which make it difficult to see why Los Blancos would offload him.

  76. tsgh says:

    Night Rico..

    Its interesting that the times today claimed Yanited will be swapping kagawa for Reus. lol

  77. Rick says:

    F/T 4-2. Good Villa fight back . Iam told Frimpong scored with a header from close range. TS over the last 2 years i have watched (online) a lot of our youngsters play but i have yet to see Toral. How ever Son in law says he could be one of he best and with luck could play in the first team this year.
    I think the u21 and Next Generation could have a great season IF Arsen keeps the team together and dosnot send them out on loan.
    By the way good post this morning, and many thanks for your wishes TS.

  78. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all,
    Sorry Ginge got to your post late in the day but a very good read all the same. Arsenal v Manchester United or the other way round always seem to end up the same, Arsenals Players shit themselves either they are injured before or get the shits the morning of the game. Wenger also seems to bottle as well. The players were nervous he stated after the game Nervous on 50 to a hundred grand a week what the hell have they got to be nervous about, If someone was mad enough to offer me that kind of money i would run through walls. No such luck.. When we play them at home stock up with bog rolls.

  79. potter says:

    Reports from the stadium say that Wenger stood and applauded Toral as he left the field having been substituted.

  80. BrainwashedKev says:

    Great result for the U21′s…

    Thanks for the info Rick…

    Hope to hear from you on a regular basis.

    Yes Ginge, I am happy to see Toral play, score and be appreciated by Wenger.

    We really do have an extremely promising clutch of midfielders coming through the system.

    Zelalem, Olsson, Toral, Jebb, Crowley, Gnabry, Hayden, Eisfeld, Willock, and many more…

  81. Scott from Oz says:

    Kev, are they shaping up as first teamers?
    Morning all.

  82. potter says:

    They are away to Norwich next Tuesday . Norwich won the youth cup last year so it should be a good game . I will go and do a report.

  83. rico says:

    Morning Scott and all..

    I wonder how many of those younger players will either, get their chance with us, or stick around long enough to get the chance….

  84. bradster says:

    Morning all,

    I see Untold is running with the youth article too.
    I think things has changed where Wenger got rid of the not quite Arsenal quality youth and the competitions are much higher playing the best youth all over Europe.

  85. tsgh says:

    Morning all,

    I look forward to your report Potter…

  86. potter says:

    . The more superstars we buy the less chance they get. A Benzema/ Benteke buy now puts Campbell and Sanogo further down the list not to mention Afobe and Akpom.

  87. rico says:

    So do I potter :)

    Hi Brad, Ts..

    New post up now..

  88. bradster says:

    Could we not cancel Campbell’s loan when we realised that we’re not getting another striker?
    What happened to the great talent Wellington Silva? Rated better than Neymar at U/17 level, guess we chose the wrong Brazilian.

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