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Diaby crocked, Alexis on his own & A Tough August…..

Morning all.

On this day back in 1998: Arsenal beat Man United 3-0 in the Charity Shield  with Overmars, Wreh  and Anelka scoring the goals…..

Don’t forget the Highbury House Fantasy Football League. To access it, just go to the Highbury House league and use the PIN: 8071009 to log in..

Martin Keown has been giving his view on new signing Alexis:

Work-Rate:

This is what makes him stand out. He dictates the pace the team plays at because he works so hard out of possession. I’ve rarely seen that level of tenacity and intensity. He gets through so much work, closing down the opposition defenders. That attitude turned an ordinary team in Chile into an excellent one at the World Cup. He is not like so many forwards, who only come alive when they have the ball. He will set a new benchmark of what’s required from a Premier League striker.

Finishing:

Only Lionel Messi scored more for Barca than Sanchez’s 21 last season. Alexis scored or assisted in 63 goals during his 88 La Liga appearances. He will score more as he grows in confidence. He was forever playing second fiddle to Messi. As the main man at Arsenal, he can really thrive.

It seems he won’t be playing second fiddle to Olivier Giroud either as many reports suggest our new man is going to start tomorrow as our lone striker. Wherever he starts, I can’t wait to see how he fairs against the current EPL Champions. But not just him, I’m really looking forward to watching all our players on the opening day of our new campaign.

One player who may not feature at all is Abou Diaby who according to L’Equipe, has suffered a hip injury! Didn’t see that news coming did we…..

As we know, Besiktas is the side we need to beat in order to progress into the Champions League proper. It’s not a competition I am overly fussed about but I know that our involvement each season is crucial. Top players want to be on the big stage and as far as football goes, this is the biggest tournament on show outside of the World Cup and Euros.

I’m a huge fan of the Premier League and I’d much rather we win that again than to throw everything into winning the CL because it’s all about luck of the draw and of course, the usually dreadful performance by the man with the whistle. And his side kicks of course.

Here’s our August fixture list:

H – Sat 16th – Crystal Palace  5.30pm

A – Tue 19th – Besiktas 7.45pm

A – Sat 23rd  – Everton 5.30pm

H Wed 27th  –  Besiktas 7.45pm

A Sun 31st  Leicester City 4.00pm

That’s a tough few weeks of fixtures. Not so much because of who we face, although if Everton are anywhere near the level they were last season, that fixture will be really difficult but, we have a very different squad this time and of course it’s not a lunchtime kick-off. The FA have slipped up there eh!

Then after the Leicester fixture, there’s a two week break which one can only assume will be for international friendlies. What the heck is the point of those? With no World Cup or Euros looming, why, when the new domestic campaign has just kicked off, do we need these pointless fixtures?

In any case, didn’t the ‘big wigs’ in football say this time last year that this wouldn’t happen so early into a new season, or did I dream that?

After that, we face Manchester City at home and no doubt we’ll all be praying that each and every one of our international players return unscathed…

Just like we always do….

Thomas Vermaelen is expected to be confirmed as a Barcelona player later today, if of course he passes a medical and considering he’s supposed to have been injured throughout our pre-season, he might not. I wish him well, I really do.

Finally, happy birthday to Lee, have a great day blue eyes…. lol

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

 

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179 comments on “Diaby crocked, Alexis on his own & A Tough August…..

  1. Oyyyyy………are you all still asleep????

    Good Morning dolls and munchkins.

    Good point about Sanchez not playing second fiddle to Giroud. But why play him as the lone striker when AW should play Sanogo as the striker and Sanchez from the right???

  2. Is Sanogo still injured ?

  3. I have this feeling that TV05 has been fit but do not want to play and get injured. Well,it’s a good for the three sides but I think we gained more,though mainly financially. I just hope Wenger signs a better player.

    Morning Rico and all HH’ers

  4. I just hope Sanogo is not injured. I have more confidence when I see him starting than Giroud. Mind you,this is not because of his match against Benfica but just the pace and movements he gives us upfront that I love a lot.

    Anyone seen the training pictures on the official site? Did Sanogo train with the first team?

  5. Rico has gone back to bed,it seems

  6. Morning Rico, Dev, Potter, all…

    Great post.

    keown re-echoed what we all know about sanchez but now it’s coming from one who should really know, maybe it’ll calm some doubters in us. Sanchez has everything to truly blossom into the player he really should.

    Playing with Messi, where at all times, team is structured to bring out messi’s best, a player like sabchez had been handcuffed or leggcuffed ..lol.

    For tomorrow, i hope Sanogo starts top while Sanchez starts from right flank. I’d put Chamberlain from left flank. let’s see how City handle that without Kompany.

  7. Xr,

    Sanogo trained with the team on Thursday and combined with Sanchez for a beautiful goal. He’s fit all right.

  8. Finally TV05 is gone,we can finally sign †̥ђƺ man city lad.Hope we crush †̥ђƺ shity tomorrow.This match will be a major test to our season confidence.If we lost 5-0,†̥ђƺ team spirit will be high(irony) unlike if we beat †̥ђƺ EPL champions.Seems we will never get a DM.

  9. Sanchez on †̥ђƺ left,OX on †̥ђƺ right,giroud or sanogo.

  10. Happy birthday Lee.
    Morning all and another top post, Rico.

  11. What up emeka?I read your post yesternight,it was great,really great.I love †̥ђƺ use of poetic or lemme say footballic term,lol.

  12. Tai, funny you say that……a mate who attended the fans say said Sanogo and Sanchez were incredible together.

  13. Happy Birthday Lee…….

  14. Imo…..up front should be Sanchez, Sanogo, Chamberlain.
    in the middle it should be Ramsey, Arteta Cazorla.

  15. Morning All…

    Morning Rico, have a great day off, you deserve it, and post was absolutely wonderful.
    Just off to read it… :-P

    And a very good morning to mio amigo Lee
    Many Happy Returns Buddy….

    The beers are on me Thursday…
    And that’s for Lee, so calm down Mick….

  16. Campbell (11) Giroud (9) sanchez (7) bet on your life giroud is getting an hatrick on sunday

  17. Wavy, Bootsie n Smudge, luv’d it… :-)

  18. Arsenal wins the community cup

  19. I don’t know – you party boys , My wedding anniversary yesterday , slinging beer sodden towels around ( only the slops ) today and a gentle evening tonight . Have a good one Lee.

  20. Thanks Sukky…we’re all waiting to lick City…

    Scot, that’s great news. I have so much faith in Sanogo. If he stays fit, Giroud we have a lot to worry about this season.

    Dev, spot on…I don’t fancy Carzola playing from the wings. Chamberlain should be doing a Hazard from the left until Theo comes back.

  21. As somebody said earlier, it might be a blessing in disguise that Diaby is injured now…

    I wrote a couple of weeks ago, that Arsenal will be going onto this season with a squad of 24, not 25, if Diaby is included….

    I suppose that Wenger is in a no-win situation, because of all the hard work Diaby had done in forever recovering from one injury after another. Therefore Arsene probably hasn’t the heart to cast him aside…
    But it means that Diaby will almost certainly spend most of 2014-15, in the same way that he has spent almost every season since Arsenal signed him…
    In the Physios room on the treatment table!

  22. But in all honesty, Wenger shouldn’t really have included Duaby in his 25…

    In fact, he probably should have given him a free-transfer this summer…
    Or just paid up his contract and released him.

  23. Retired him and claimed the insurance about 2 years ago

  24. morning, The less said about diaby the better,luv the quotes from martin keown about sanchez,wow,exciting. Happy for vermaelan,He deserves a good career,I dont think united was ever on ,when he knew barca were interested,Thankfully. Just once the lads put in good shift and performance, is all i ask for tomorrow, whatever happens,once were ready for Palace.

  25. Or donated him to medical science !

    Morning all,
    All those games look winnable to me rico.
    Happy Birthday lee, make mine an extra strong guinness kev.

  26. I hate seeing arteta/giroud in our lineup!arteta is a snail,very hart 4 him to stop fast player in the midle park especialy on counteratacks buy flamini is better bt we must buy DM or otherwise

  27. Micko, tell Rico that if Aaron plays, we don’t lose…simple :)

  28. Nahhhh Scott. Its not that way.

    We will not loose only if Rico writes a good post on the day of the game. That is more simple than if Aaron plays. ;)

  29. Ok Devil…..we know who to blame then if things sour :)

  30. Mickoooooooooooo!

    Donate Diaby to medical science? Lolllllz!

  31. In that case, Rico better not write at all tomorrow!

  32. Mick 11.42, re; Abou, ha ha ha

  33. Unless Dv, we know exactly what that good post should be…lol.

  34. Mick, when you eventually deem to attend a HHCC convention, you can be sure that an iced-cold Guiness will be waiting for you…

  35. Kev should be able to tell us mates. He is good well balanced judge of Rico’s articles seeing that he says well done after scrutinizing them around 10 times a day.

  36. Coach, my day is not complete, until I have read Rico’s post at least a dozen times… ;-)

  37. So am I right in saying that Le Boss’ posts are necessary for a good win habib???

  38. Sounds nice kev but I need to work on my initiation song !
    Scott, what do ya reckon, at least 15 goals this season.

  39. GM all, good post Rico.

    Liam Brady interview: The kid that had it all

    As the world gets smaller, the chase to find football’s next big thing has become a cut-throat, global exercise for the game’s richest clubs.

    After nearly two decades as Arsenal’s Academy director, Liam Brady has seen enough changes to know it’s time someone else was trying to chase down those spotty teenagers and their agents.

    ven after 18 years, often literally mapping Arsenal’s future, there are still puzzles that even Liam Brady — or that left foot of his you could open a tin of beans with — can’t unlock.

    Offered ability or attitude, do you sign a 12-year-old Mario Balotelli or a same-aged Roy Keane?

    “You’d want both of them to come through,” the ex-Arsenal Academy director deadpans.

    “You always want the one who has the unbelievable ability, because he can make it to the very top if he gets his head right, and the penny drops what he can achieve. But with some of them, the penny never drops.

    “A kid that has the determination but not necessarily the skill? You’ll get him a good career, they’re the ones in the majority, the ones who do get careers in the game. The players who have all the skill, but lack the mentality — they’re the ones who don’t always make it to the very highest level.”

    Balotelli v Keane? “Keane would have more or a chance, for sure. But people put up with Balotelli, don’t they, because he can do unbelievable things. You won’t give up on him, would you? I’ve spoken to Arsene about the most gifted players and I say ‘he’s good Arsene, but he’s a bit troublesome’. And he says, ‘Liam, all the best players are troublesome’.”

    In his 18 years as Arsenal’s head of youth development, and the memorable nine years as a player at Highbury, 58-year-old Liam Brady experienced personal and collective highs beyond ordinary comprehension. Telling a 14-year-old lad, eyes moist with tears, legs weak, stomach sick, that he has no future at Arsenal was not one of them.

    “It’s very difficult,” he says. “You’re there, and you know he, and his parents, are begging for the words not to come out of your mouth. You’ve got to almost steel yourself for a couple of days and know that it’s in the offing. Be strong and decisive, but also kind, compassionate and understanding and give the kid and his parents something to move on with.

    “I had to make decisions at under 12, 14, 16 and 18 whether a player was going to be offered further registration or contracts, and that’s something I won’t miss.

    “I’ve let kids go at 14 who are making a very good living in the game. In recent times, I think I could have got Raheem Sterling if I’d really gone for him, but I didn’t go through with that one. Players we don’t keep often go on and have a good career in the game. It isn’t an end. Ok, he’s leaving Arsenal, but clubs are always ringing us saying ‘well, tell us about this fella, and give me a list of the lads who are leaving’. That isn’t said to soften the blow for the lad, that’s the truth. Within weeks, these lads have moved to another academy.

    “I saw a kid recently — Lewis Grabbon — Norwich have paid around £3m (€3.76) to Bournemouth for him, I let that kid go when he was 14. Dwight Gayle, who is playing for Crystal Palace, we let him go too, he cost Palace a couple of million. Invariably when you leave Arsenal, at the very very minimum, other clubs will want to take a look at you on trial. You don’t just leave Arsenal and go back to amateur football.”

    Brady, as anyone who knows him will attest, is not a man for fools. He was clear-minded enough in the final moments of the 1979 FA Cup final to catch Manchester United cold while most of his colleagues stood paralysed at conceding two late goals in three mad minutes. And while he will retain a contract with Arsenal as an ambassador, he is not especially misty-eyed at leaving his Academy role.

    “It was no wrench in any shape or form,” he says with that tv studio blunt-edge. “You’ve had an innings and you know it’s over, and I told the club in good time that I wasn’t going to stay on. It’s a new chapter for Arsenal, I want them to get even more young talent coming through. That’s the philosophy that gave me my playing career. I got a chance at 17, I got a good grounding at Arsenal Football Club. It doesn’t get enough credit for that really.

    “Leaving a role of responsibility I’ve had for the last 18 years, yes that’s going to be strange. I usually wake up every morning with problems to deal with, decisions to make. But that’s the reason I am getting out of it.”

    He took on the role, in a happy coincidence, the year Arsene Wenger took over as manager. But the job now is nothing like the job then.

    “Player and parent power has come to the fore over the last four or five years. Because of the competition at the very top of English football and the money that’s involved — the money gets into the youth development area as well — there is huge competition. Whereas in 1996 and for ten years, it was all about persuading the parents and the boy that the club was right for him.

    “But now you can have a boy at your club from the age of eight, and then he can say ‘I’ve got a better offer from somewhere else’, so that creates a whole new set of issues to deal with. You’ve got agents who are giving the parents another side of the story — the financial bottom line — so that’s made it much more difficult.

    “Also, the system in England has become a lot more bureaucratic — they’ve created this categorisation of clubs and academies. Arsenal has got to be in Category 1 because, well, we’re Arsenal. To be a Category 1 club, you’ve got to have huge numbers of staff, huge amounts of previewing, reviewing, assessing — and it’s got to be all logged. Boxes to be ticked. That’s not the job I came into.”

    So the sepia-tinted ideal of a manager driving back through the black of night from a wet and windy Rotherham after snapping up the next big thing in five minutes in the manager’s back office?

    “No decision is made in five minutes anymore. There’s negotiations with the agent, then the agent comes back and more talks ensue. I have always used Arsene when it came to the crunch over whether we wanted to get a particular player from outside, or one of our players who was having his head turned. In that, he’d be a tremendous help.

    “The next big thing? That’s media talk, isn’t it. Wilshere was signposted by the people that count, not media people.”

    I mention some of the next great things that never were: Luke Freeman. Jermaine Pennant. Emmanuel Frimpong. Ones that appeared destined for a life less ordinary.

    “Jermaine [Pennant] did very well to get as far as he has from the background he came from, he did bloody well. But Wilshere, you heard from the people who knew that we had something special. Luke Freeman? Gillingham needed a bit of money, Arsenal came in and said we’ll have a bit of a gamble on this lad and the press went ‘Arsenal sign young superstar from Gillingham’.

    “Other lads are too headstrong. They can’t be told. Social media, unacceptable behaviour — these are all problems of modern society. Arsene won’t put up with that and I tell the young lads if their behaviour is, in any way, erratic or unreliable, either they change their ways or change their club. Unfortunately, there’s a lot don’t have the intelligence to hear what people are telling them.

    “I accept it is difficult for a kid of 15. We go into detail and explain to them. There are standards at this club: there’s nobody in that [senior] dressing room will leave Arsene Wenger waiting when the bus is leaving, or he misses a flight, or doesn’t come in for training because he says he’s not well. And that’s not just at Arsenal, that’s all the top clubs.

    “I also played at Juventus where the standards are incredibly high. You’ve got to have respect for your profession and the people who make decisions in your profession. The other thing I’ve said is don’t get on the wrong side of people — you don’t have to be an arse-licker or a brown-nose, but do as you’re told and you’ll get on.

    “I was instrumental is getting (Wojciech) Szczesny from Poland and I’ve said to him on occasions, ‘I played with two of the best keepers of all time, Pat Jennings and Dino Zoff, and they never said a word’. They never wanted to say anything in the media. All they wanted to do was keep their goal intact and their defence in shape. And they played their careers at the very highest level. Listen to what I’m saying. Wojciech could be one of the best, because in goalkeeping terms he is very young.”

    The number of players — or lack of them — that have found their way through the Academy programme at Arsenal to the first team has always been a point of heated debate among Arsenal fans.

    Was it the system or Wenger’s refusal to look right under his nose that restricted breakthrough opportunities to the likes of Ashley Cole and, more recently, Kieran Gibbs?

    If there was ever tension between Brady and Wenger on this issue, Brady offers no sign of it.

    “When Arsene came, we had no young players at all — that’s why I got the job. The board realised they had taken their eye off the ball and other teams, particularly Manchester United, had moved ahead of them.

    “It took a while before Ashley [Cole] made the first team — David Grondin was brought in from France at 17 and was playing in the reserves, while Ashley was still in the youth team even though he was a better player. But Arsene had to get proof of it before he changed his mind about who should be heir to Nigel Winterburn.

    “Sometimes going out on loan is a big part of the process. Ashley went to Palace and within months we were getting offers of a million quid for him. And the club is then thinking ‘Hang on a minute, let’s get this kid back’.

    “Arsene brought a huge improvement in recruitment and development of young players, but these days, money dictates standards. If you can afford the staff, the purchase of players… Chelsea probably have the best young players in England at the moment, but it’s all down to money. Because if you are a parent, you wouldn’t be letting your kid go to Chelsea ’cos he’s getting in the first team, would you? So you’re going for the money, but Chelsea, like others, have also made huge mistakes.

    “With the boys that I’ve seen in the last two years — when they [Chelsea] won the Youth Cup and got beaten in the final — they are throwing money at it. Now that leaves us with a decision to make: are we going to get involved in that? That’s not my decision any more, but I think we should. We’ve got to be more aggressive, let’s say. If you get one or two players now at 16, are you better off paying the money now than multiples of that in a couple of years?

    Or did the club choose not to go down that route?

    “No I don’t think we’ve been able to. The first signing of that scale was Ozil last year, that was the only one in the last ten years where you’d have said ‘wow that is a marquee signing’. I don’t think Arshavin was, nor Wiltord, nor Reyes. At Chelsea they can buy Diego Costa and Fabregas in one hit. Arsenal could have got Cesc back, but he wasn’t a priority with all the midfielders we’ve got. Yes, it sticks in the craw, but what are you going to do about it — pay £30m (€37.6m) for a player you don’t need? Maybe if you’re Manchester City, you can do that, but Arsenal are at a spending level alongside the likes of Liverpool, Inter Milan, AC Milan. There’s a money level above that featuring Chelsea, Barca, Man City, Bayern, Madrid and you’d have to include Man United in that.”

    Wenger has added another marquee signing this summer in Chile’s Alexis Sanchez and supplemented it with quality replacements for the departed Lukas Fabianski and Bacary Sagna. It will inevitably make Academy breakthrough even more difficult for Brady’s replacement, Andres Jonker. But the global trawl continues.

    “We have several players who have chances,” Brady argues, “but only time will tell.”

    Barcelona are looking to add to their collection of ex-Arsenal stock with the possible purchase of Thomas Vermaelen. It’s an interesting contradiction because business the other way has not been smooth, with the Catalans furious that Arsenal have nicked some of their nascent talent.

    “Barcelona have been very good with a sleight of hand themselves,” Brady interrupts, “whether it’s in Spain or outside the country. They’ve manoeuvred as much, if not more, than any other club. What we have there is a situation where we have a scout on the ground who knows Barcelona inside out. I didn’t get much involved in any of those deals — he would go straight to the club and say ‘this kid, we can get him out of Barcelona at 16’. We’ve done that four or five times but we’ve really only hit the jackpot so far with Fabregas. It’s bloody hard. Arsenal are operating at the very highest levels, trying to complete to win the Premier League, trying to go to the last rounds of the Champions League and you have to have some of the best players to do that. To make that breakthrough he has got to be exceptional.

    “We probably have around 20 scouts on the payroll around the world, and they’re very good. The likes of Gilles Grimandi in France would have been pushing Sagna, Koscielny, Sanogo, Giroud. You scout every corner of the globe. You have to. Because if there’s a great 16-year-old in Argentina, you can bet your life Manchester City also know about him.”

    In the end the job was less about kids in the favelas and more about staff appraisal and desk work. “The responsibility was getting too much for me. I was at a desk, not on a sideline, not coaching, scouting, advising. Youth development is the most important part, because a coach is no good if he hasn’t got good players to work with. That’s the same with the first team.

    “My week used to revolve around matches on Saturdays and Sundays, and a lot of travel away to European tournaments, because one thing Arsene did say when he came in was, let’s not confine ourselves to players from the British Isles. Hence Anelka, Henry, Fabregas, Szczesny etc. It became a really interesting and smashing job — but the last two or three years it wasn’t the same job satisfaction for me and, to be fair to the club, I said I am going to retire, you need to make plans for the future.

    “With kids now, you can’t afford to be that choosy anymore — because there aren’t enough of good players around — to say he has to have all the attributes and ingredients. You need to be able to say ‘well has he got some of the elements needed — skill, pace, football intelligence, temperament, winning mentality, grit — and you very rarely get all the elements. But if he has two or three, we will work on the others.

    “I played in Italy with Juventus, Inter, Sampdoria, Ascoli, and even back then it was another level of professionalism regarding alcohol, diet, training, recuperation. Another level. That’s what Wenger has brought — that care and attention a player has to give his body to make sure he’s in the best shape. It’s no coincidence that certain players have left Arsenal. They didn’t meet the standards.”

    Even since leaving the job though, the eye never switches off. Watching the first Brazil-Croatia game at the World Cup in the RTÉ studio, Brady’s fingers itched to text Wenger. He couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel room to get on the internet and check out Ivan Rakitic, Croatia’s holding midfielder. Another find. “I went straight onto Google, and there you are, he’s already promised to Barcelona…

    “Anyway, I’ve had 18 years of that, and I want to get away from it all. The club have been excellent to me, they’ve said they want to me to carry on, they don’t want me to just walk away. What the ambassador role entails I don’t really know — it might be them saying ‘could you go off to the Far East, we’re doing a commercial deal over there, and we want a former player as part of the delegation?’

    “Or it might be we’re interested in a young player from abroad, can you meet his parents, go to a match, stand on a sideline, have a look at him…”

  40. Besicktas is very dificult. They won Chelsea a few days ago.
    I am abroad but I am trying to follow Arsenal news
    We need two more defenders. Vermaelen was a defender who can play in the center and at left back with confidence.

  41. Good day all HHers.
    Nice sunny day here in If.
    Nice day…all.
    Waiting on Sunday…
    Btw if LVG is struggling this hard to bring players to manure, wonder how attractive Moyes wd hv bn this time round…

  42. JM, did you watch Besiktas vs Chelsea? Any idea of the line ups?

  43. If Vidal deal does not go through….LVG will consider Song.

  44. Dev, any substance in that tale? Didn’t think there was…

  45. neither do I Tai.

    but it would be hilarious if it were true.

  46. According to NN Campbell could go on loan to NUFC.

    That may mean one of two things……That AW is going to bring in another body who can play on the wings or as a forward, or else he considers that we are overcrowded in that area.

    I hope he stays…….he would give us many options with his commitment and versatility.

  47. This is a true Gunner…….we should raise our hat to him…….

    Tomas Rosicky stuck with Arsenal through their tough periods several years ago because he believed they were still a ‘massive name in the whole world’.

    Rosicky, 33, signed for Arsenal in 2006 and has suffered from injuries throughout his time at the club, including two major ones. One in particular saw him miss 18 months, including the entire 2008-09 season, but Arsene Wenger has stuck by him and handed him an important role last season when the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott were injured.

    Rosicky filled in at attacking midfield and even dropped deeper in the centre of midfield as Wenger called upon his experience to pull the Gunners through a difficult patch.

    The Czech Republic midfielder clearly loves the club, too, and spoke about his ambition and the fact that even through the difficult times, the club had belief it would turn it around, and that was worth fighting for in his book.

    “I cannot say I sense something really different,” said the Czech. “Arsenal for me is a massive name in the whole world. Even when there were rough periods the Arsenal name was up there with everyone.

    “The road was bumpy for whatever reason but you can see now the club is stabilised. It doesn’t have to look to someone from whatever country who owns them. It’s a very clean club. It can compete from its own resources with everyone else.”

    With Wenger, Financial Fair Play is a weekly preoccupation. Is it the same for his players? “I don’t think the players look at it that way,” Rosicky says. “You see what is going on behind you. I have been here since 2006. This is my ninth year. I always had everything that I wanted here. Even in the difficult times.

    “It is a big club with big ambition and for me it was always worth fighting for it. That’s why I have been here so long. Was I happy that we didn’t win for so long? Of course I wasn’t. I just wanted to stick around and fight for it. This is a club that is worth fighting for.”

    Rosicky has played 155 games in the Premier League for Arsenal, scoring 17 goals.

  48. the above is the reason why TR07 is loved by many. And imo…he should be given a DM role in front of the defence until we get a proper DM. He does have the tactical discipline needed imo. And unlike Arteta his legs have not gone yet.

    the most important thing is to put him there during certain games only. When we are liable to get steamrollered or we are against difficult sides. Otherwise alternate him with Arteta and Flamini.

    But as many here have pointed out………with him in the team certain players always give 110% more.

    His leadership and role modeling is infectious

  49. Dev, when i read the TR07 interview i didn’t know he was such a humble and honest person, i hope he stay at the club as long as ever, i see why Ts love him so much. lol

    Link to the full interview: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/tomas-rosicky-interview-i-still-owe-so-much-to-arsenal-9658051.html

  50. Barcelona running riot. lol

  51. Tommy is a proper bloke. The differences between him and Adebayor, character-wise could hardly be greater. Which one will be remembered with most fondness and respect?

  52. Dev- Chelsea starting lineup vs Besiktas (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic; Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas; Eden Hazard, Oscar, Andre Schurrle; Diego Costa.
    Besiktas: Cenk, İsmail, Sivok, Atınç, Pedro, Uğur, Serdar, Atiba, Holosko, Oğuzhan, Cenk T.

  53. highlights…
    afternoon all btw…

  54. Ts, are u watching the FCB game?

  55. Nice one Dna… La Mozart simply the best…

  56. No I am watching the FC Hollywood presentation…
    I will check the barca game in a minute… is Rakitic playing?

  57. No, Rafina bossing it.

  58. Pedro and Rafinha in attack?

  59. halftime FCB leads 4-0.

  60. just caught it the last few minutes. You expect Fc Barca to beat HJK though……

    Subotic on BVB’s defence this season: It’s going to be really difficult! This season, we’ve got four excellent centre-backs [Subotic, Mats Hummels, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Matthias Ginter] and the other three have played a lot more than me in the last year. Two won the FIFA World Cup, one got to the last 16, and I wasn’t even playing. Having said that, though, there are opportunities for everyone, and the coach [Jürgen Klopp] will definitely give us all a fair chance. We’ll have to wait and see.

  61. Ts, which defender would you recommend to replace TV?

  62. I like Schaar but we should ideally get someone from from this league.
    Its too late to get someone in from outside imo…
    I like Gareth McAuley of WBA and Curtis Davies of Hull…

  63. Rakitic is on for 2nd half

  64. what about Steven Taylor of NUFC???

    English, 6ft 1, Right age…28 and would relish playing for us

  65. we were linked with him a few years back.. I like him too…

  66. I think it will be Winston Reid from WH.

  67. or larpote? athletic Bilbao extremely composed and a very good reader of the game check him out dev…….he will soon be a starter for France IMO he should already too

  68. hi Rico nice read and hi ts dev DNA and everyone

  69. Rakitic, Busquet and Iniesta… pow…

  70. Ah… nice Snap, I shall keep an eye out for him…

  71. Ts, Rakitic would fit in our team nicely, such a good player.

  72. Hi snap, Athletic Bilbao is too hard to negotiate with.

  73. Dna, re TR07’s article/interview, he inferred to our lack of big game players…; sometimes its not about quality but you either have it or you don’t… some players like Rakitic/Cesc see the bigger picture whilst others play their lane…

  74. true gdna but we should be able to negotiate with them if we really want to……….I like the hull captain if we are shopping from the league I like fonte also

  75. True Dna… Bilbao don’t sell easily… i like their DM Ander Ituraspe (spelling)

  76. Snap- Fonte is a very good defender… I left him out because I doubt we can buy from Southampton again this window…

  77. rakitic is my boy gdna Lol……love me…..dp tactically switched on and he is such a team player as well……a more adventurous modric good player

  78. who would have thought Rakitic would be the midfielder (not Cesc)replacing Xavi? amazing..

    We missed out on him AW should get me Pjanic then I will stop question wenger. :-)

  79. hi ts you should keep an eye on him I rate him higher than mangala tbh

  80. I will do Snap- I watched Ander Iturraspe a few times in the last 2 years and saw Aimeric last season but I thought he was Spainsih not French…

  81. When Rakitic was at S04 I wanted BVB to buy him… he was that good.. he was a winger then; but like Schweinsteiger he has adapted well into a proper CM/DM

  82. it ironic really seeing lovren getting so much accolades ask any Lyon fan and they will tell you how pleased and happy they are seeing him leave most thought they rubbed Southampton even I guess different leagues but still…….

  83. he is French ts he plays like a Spaniard though…….him and varane our future is looking good

  84. he has a very good football brain reminds me of cabaye…..they are coaches dream as they almost always know what to do and they keep thevdhspe of the midfield too

  85. ts ander has really matured but I think koke is the best young Spanish midfielder ATM…….can play literally everywhere….started as a DM too

  86. lol re Lovren…

  87. koke will give Ramsey a run for his money… lol 56m Euros buy-out clause…

    Rakitic 2 assists?

  88. Ts, i understand everything you said about big game players, something that this team is lacking, but AW have to take some of the blame with his team selection. imo

  89. Ts, Tottenham Hotspur vs Schalke [Pre Season Friendly]

    Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Naughton, Dier, Kaboul, Rose; Bentaleb, Holtby, Eriksen, Lamela, Lennon; Adebayor

    Subs: Friedel, Fredericks, Fryers, Davies, Veljkovic, Sandro, Carroll, Ceballos, Townsend, Kane, Soldado

    Schalke: Fährmann – Ayhan, Matip, Santana, Kolasinac – Neustädter, Aogo – Barnetta, Boateng, Meyer -Choupo- Moting

  90. lol the kamikaze tactics?

  91. ts what do you think of bielsa and his revolution……do you think he will have an impact on OM and the league in general?

  92. true re koke he rejected barca didn’t he?

  93. gdna I like Meyer of schalke 04 shame draxler deal last season wasn’t successful really rate him

  94. Snap, agree. Meyer good player, JD would be a good signing.

  95. Afternoon all, been locked out till now…lol..Lee, where ever you are, have a good one, mate. Nice post Rico.

  96. Ts, Chelsea lost to Besiktas with that line up? That’s their first starting team!

  97. So Tai, my posts are so bad, we won’t win tomorrow then?

    Evening all… Thanks to those who did like my post. Kev, sorry they take so many times of reading to become clear.. ;)

  98. Hmmm…Rico, that’s not what I meant … we were all cracking jokes … anything that wouldn’t make us lose…my take is if it has to depend on your post, then let’s not debate whether it’s good or not tomorrow. Let’s see your posts after the match then…

    What I understand as a good post is how it is written, not the idea or the person’s view point…unfortunately, some people see a good post as the person’s view point. To avoid that debate … for instance, if your post tomorrow comes with Sanogo on the bench…I wouldn’t agree with it … and it may turn out your post isn’t good for me on the match.

    But that’s not my first comment today. Why pick on that as your first comment here? having waited for you all day…

  99. Quite in the house today, so quite i’m watching the Tiny Totts…lol

  100. Tai, did you not sense my irony?

  101. Commentators talk some, absolute rubbish.

  102. :) re having waited for me all day, I do have a life to live… lol

  103. You must be desperate Bt… lol

  104. Re Yaya, of course he should be on the bench tomorrow… :P

  105. Rico, just want to see, the tramps lose…lol Unfortunately the ‘Shower’ are winning 1-0, apparently, that means you’ve put ‘them to sword’…lol

  106. :) Bt, they’ll get back to losing ways in the league…

  107. Rico…you already started the debate….Sanogo should lead the starting attack tomorrow and I’m almost 90% certain he would.

  108. Each to their own Tai….

  109. What a great win for England, well done guys….

  110. Rico, should be down to 10, Holtby couldn’t tackle a fish supper.

  111. :) Bt, I can’t bring myself to watch that lot, hope they get stuffed!

  112. Campeones ,

    The Dog Inn Ludham , official world Dwile flonking champions.

  113. If that’s a goal.com link, they are not the most reliable…

  114. Well done Potter…. You had a good day?

  115. Big Up..The Dog Inn….Campeones, Campeones…..

  116. Class differente. and now it continues , hope to wake up in time for tomorrows match.

  117. goal.com are far more reliable than most blogs on transfers

  118. Sleep well Potter… lol

  119. It’s official now from afc.com.

    TV is a Barcelona player, good luck to him….

  120. Evening Rico. Hope you had a good day.

  121. Evening Adam, a nice, but sad day….

    Good win for England…

  122. TV, indeed good luck, get a replacement in Arsenal.

  123. I am sorry to hear that Rico.
    Superb win. India dissolved really.

  124. Thanks Adam….

    Don’t think Prior will ever return….

  125. eisfield made his debut coming on on the 46th minute,,,

  126. It’s been a long day so I’m heading off – nighty all, catch up tomorrow….

  127. Lukas-Podolski.com @Podolski10 · 42m
    Good luck captain in Nou Camp! Will remember you as a top guy and our good time together for Arsenal. AHA!! Thomas all the best for u. Poldi

  128. Think about this front three,
    Campell-alexie-Ox.

  129. Seems chambers won’t be playing as CB according to Wenger’s plan,so that means a CB is on his way.I want †̥ђƺ man city lad.

  130. Schurle played for Chelsea yesterday in Turkey. Didn’t he play in same final with Per, Ozil ? Where is Podolski that didn’t even play in that final?

  131. 2005: Juventus sign ARSENAL CAPTAIN Patrick Vieira.

    2006: Juventus MANAGER Fabio Capello RESIGNS.

    2007: Barcelona sign ARSENAL CAPTAIN Thierry Henry.

    2008: Barcelona MANAGER Frank Rijkaard SACKED.

    2011: Barcelona sign ARSENAL CAPTAIN Cesc Fabregas.

    2012: Barcelona MANAGER Pep Guardiola RESIGNS.

    2012: Man Utd sign ARSENAL CAPTAIN Van Persie.

    2013: Man Utd MANAGER Ferguson retires.

    2014: Barcelona sign TV5 Arsenal captian

    Omens not good for Luis Enrique…

    Morning All…

  132. Rico who’s the captain going to be?

  133. Good luck TV, I’m really glad he’s gone abroad! Fuck manure!!

  134. Good morning HH..the earlier these Germans join others,the beta for both parties. if missing pre-season isnt bad enough, not training with the team before the new season kicks off is..now that we have 5+ new sets of legs.

  135. Morning Lee, Tai, round and all…
    :) Lee

  136. How was your big day Lee?

  137. Morning Rico, Lee and all.
    How was the restaurant then Lee?

  138. Morning Adam..

    Is it raining hard in London?

  139. Just drizzling here Rico. I don’t know if we are going to catch this storm or not.

  140. Well I took my sons and their mate to see the planet of the apes movie followed by pizza express. Proper fast lane stuff.
    Adam,the restaurant setting was stunning but the food wasn’t so good…. Constable country is beautiful. I’ve not had a lot of luck food wise this week better luck today. Got Sunday lunch with dad at a pub in Stoke by Nayland.

  141. We’ve had stair rods now it’s drizzling….

  142. We have the rain, but no high winds yet… Thankfully..

  143. Did you pinch all the garlic bread Lee?

  144. Of course Rico.

  145. Wenger has said Yaya Sanogo was ‘weak in the challenge’ so he’s been on a special training regime…

    Let’s hope it keeps him injury free then…

  146. Good Lee. lol

    Quite like Pizza Express, better than most and at least their garlic bread tastes of garlic. Some Pizza chains food is dreadfully bland..

    Well they were back in the 90’s ;)

  147. Sorry but Arsenal will not win the league with Giroud,Sanogo and Campbell as our strike force.

  148. Yeah I think they’re ok as chains go.

  149. I have never really ‘got’ pizza. The first bite is ok and the second confirms that, but then it gets horribly predictable and boring as you realise that there are no surprises, there is still a lot to go and you are just filling up.

  150. Good Morning Chipmunks and Munchkins.

    You got water storms in England???

    We got Sun storms here in the middle of the Med. Its pouring sweat…..and believe me,…..that stinks. At least with the rain its fresh from the clouds. But some of the sweat on the people just reduces the fresh air to a stinking swamp.

    Aye;…..I prefer your weather.

    Oh…..we are frying as well.

    You had better come up with a good post today or we will loose Rico.

    Judgement will be delivered at the end of the game. ;)

  151. And Alexis Lee….

  152. Mine aren’t Adam, they have a surprise in every bite.. :)

  153. Morning Devil, what a load of bollox… ;)

    I’d rather the heat, honest I would. In fact I have just turned the central heating on at home…

  154. Really Rico. I must try one when I next visit. :)
    Surely you aren’t serious about the central heating? It is really warm here. :)

  155. central heating???? lol

    at least with the storms and low temperature you can put the central heating on and stay cosy with some clothes on.

    with the heat and high temperatures not even if you take off all your clothes you will feel fresh. And let’s be honest…..some of the people who take off all their clothes need to be given a fine for tarnishing the environment and jarring with the landscape.

  156. I see na$ri is being a dick head…..AGAIN!

  157. That’s a deal Adam, Pizza it is when you next come over, with Garlic Bread of course, not too much garlic though… lol

    Yes re the heating, it’s quite cold here….

  158. Yes, what a knob that man is. Why he always feels the need to talk I don’t know….

  159. :) Devil, I feel the cold. I was born to live in the med, I’m sure….

  160. I was supposed to have been born to live in the Alps. Unfortunately I am stuck here.

    Nasri is a dick head. He knows he cannot blame AW…..he still wishes he played for him. He knows he cannot blame the club (since he knows they could not afford to give him the wages he wanted due to stadium debt and if he says so it will feed those who say he went for the money) so the only people he can blame are the supporters to justify his move to city.

    Cesc could not say anything for he knows AW loved him, the club loved him and the supporters loved him. So he blames the DNA which ultimately turned sour.

  161. I don’t imagine Nasri is all that pleased that his French team mates asked that he not be included in the WC squad as he is such an appalling, insidious little creep.
    Another dick with a chip on his shoulder.

  162. what I do not get is how did the French team mates ask that he be not included in the WC squad…..BS was one of them…..and he told BS to join him at shitty. Either he has a tick skin or criticism bounces off his back like water on a duck.

  163. Dev. Perhaps it was some of the others. I believe I read that Valbuena despises him. I imagine it is quite easy not to want to see his pug face and listen to how much money he has day after day.

  164. He’s quit playing for France now hasn’t he?

  165. A new book was published in France this week by two famous football journalists Pierre Mennes and Daniel Riolo which suggests Nasri’s omission was not only down to Deschamps.

    The book is called – “L’Explication”,” – “The Explanation” and features many of the big talking points of the season just gone.

    Three senior players, in Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny and Bastia goalkeeper Mickael Landreau reportedly told Deschamps not to take Nasri to Brazil.

    There had been rumours in France that the three senior French players had complained to Deschamps about Nasri’s bad influence on the Les Bleus squad. The book by Mennes and Riolo confirms this.

    Lloris, the captain of France sought out Deschamps to inform him. And, Koscielny and Landreau had a similar assessment when questioned by the France boss about the City schemer.

    The journalists suggest they have heard that the three senior players from the France squad wanted Nasri out from four different sources.

  166. Sorry, the above was from google, please don’t think I just plucked the info from my memory… :)

  167. Rico. Cut and paste job again. Tut, tut. :)

  168. Oh yes Adam, you know me too well… :)

  169. It must be the icy chill blowing through the M4 corridor I think. :)

  170. I’m warmer now – the grill has been on for toasted muffins and now the hob is in full swing cooking a ratatouille. :)

  171. New post up now…

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