Houston we have a problem: Flamini and Hleb clear lockers

by & filed under Uncategorized.

So without much to talk about in the world of Arsenal, I thought I’d have a look at the worst case scenario for us this summer.

There has been talk of Ade leaving, but I think that is a load of old tosh. Ade has catapulted himself onto the wanted list of most major European clubs this summer and his agent knows this.

Chapter 1 in the ‘Beginners guide to becoming an Agent‘ is titled:

1.0. Why earn less, when you can earn more?

So lets not get our knickers in a twist over this minor problem because at the end of the day, if somone offers you 20k more a year in your current job, you’re not staying loyal to the manager who taught you how to do a pivot table in excel… right?

The problem we have at the moment is that someone is saying to Flamini, here is £20k a week more, oh, and here is another £2million to sweeten the deal. You have to say, that would be pretty hard to turn down. I have faith he will stay, but I had faith that Henry, Paddy, Overmars, Petit and Anelka would stay. I think they call it blind faith or something?

The Hleb deal is also interesting because he has the option of buying himself out of his own contract and getting a signing on fee. Again, I have faith, but lets just say both are greedy bastards and decide to make way.

So what will we be losing?

Flamini is a good player. I like to think of him as Ray Parlour on red bull. He averages 18 miles a game, and rumour has it he runs home instead of getting on the team coach. He has bundles of passion, bundles of drive and he is just about to reach his prime. Since his introduction into the midfield, Cesc has been given more freedom to roam and Arsenal’s attacks have been able to move forward quicker.

He is good, but he is not world class (Yet).

Hleb is a great dribbler of the ball, I like to think of him as Messi with no product. When Messi was running about like a headless chicken the other night I couldn’t help but think of Hleb. The things the man can do with the ball amaze me, he brings Cesc into the game, he pulls defenders out of position and I would say he is just as responsible for the team ticking as Fab4.

Like I said though, he has no end product. No shot and minimal assists. This cannot be over looked, he is there to produce, not look pretty and make the purists go, ‘Wow, he is soooo technically gifted’.

So what are the options from within if both leave?

Flamini internal promotion candidates

Diaby: Patrick Vieira’s younger brother and illegitimate love child of Will Smith. He has been played predominantly out wide this season despite preferring a central role. He is immensely skilful, but a bit tackle shy. He has an eye for the odd spectacular goal, but he also has an eye for a shockingly inaccurate 3 yard pass. Is he good enough to takeover that CM birth? Maybe… but I wouldn’t bet my house on him being a success.

Gilberto: I love him for his loyalty and commitment on the pitch. He is a model professional but some would say he is past it. I wouldn’t agree with them, I think he has a lot to offer the team and his recent form has proved that he doesn’t need to start drawing a pension just yet. There is life in those legs, the question is… is it a step backwards considering our finishing position last year?

Denilson: I don’t get Denilson. He plays some lovely passes, he is quick and does like to stick the boot in every now and then. For me, he has had a bad case of ‘secondseasonitis’. He hasn’t really offered the team that much this year… bar a cracking goal against Newcastle in the Carling Cup and RvP some company in the physio room. He is very light weight for a stocky chap so I think I would rule him out as a candidate.

Hleb internal promotion candidates

Walcott: Theo loves to play down the middle, but with competition stiff up front – a place out wide in the Hleb role could be the only way to secure a starting birth next year. He is fast, he is starting to develop some tricks and he is gaining more confidence with his shooting. I don’t know what you guys think, but I’ve noticed lately that he is trying to thread his passes through the eye of a needle… just like Hleb does. Is Theo impersonating Hleb… to become HLEB! No… because Theo had a shot the other night. A good option though.

Vela: What… the greatest player since God put on a pair of football boots? Oh yes, King of Osasuna… President of Potential… Duke of Youtube…! CARLOS VELA! He did well against Madrid didn’t he? He even has his own blog… how much do I know about him? Zero. Could he be played out on the wing next year? Probably! Would he be good? Maybe… Did I say he played well against Real Madrid? Screw it… he is going to be a sensation! Problem solved!

RvP: Contentious call… but, he does play out wide for Holland and he does a bloody marvellous job too. He could still take all the freekicks, he could score goals from midfield and he could allow us to have a little and large partnership up front (Ade + Eddie, Theo, Vela…). Could he be the perfect solution? I think so… will that happen? Doubtful… he is never fit!

Who could we bring in from outside?

I have no idea! I’ll give you 3 names for each to chew on though:

Flamini replacement:

  • Diarra (Madrid)
  • Veloso (Sporting)
  • Gattuso (Milan)

Hleb replacement:

  • Elano (Man City)
  • Arfa (Lyon)
  • Robinho (Madrid)

I know there will be a minority of people who will come on and moan about the Championship manager type suggestions, but to them I say,

‘Go and blog on Arsenal.com…’

You’ll never get an ounce of transfer speculation over there.

I like talking about potential transfer targets, as do all the Grovers.

So, I have given you 12 names to run the rule over. It’s the age old battle of internal vs external recruitment and Arsene Wenger is going to let you make the decision for him in the comments section.

I hope you have enough to talk about!

Happy blogging Grovers!

272 Responses to “Houston we have a problem: Flamini and Hleb clear lockers”

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  1. Ollie

    Dont really know Mike.. Soccer/Football wasnt really big over here, but the world cup Hyped alot of people, and there is a lot more awareness of the EPL and other leagues now.
    When I go out to some of the big shopping centers, if you see any shirts, they are usually Man Utd supporters, just jumped on the band wagon. Liverpools the second biggest. My Uncle in sydney (Lucky bugger got to go too Germany with the Socceroos Saw him Hugging Timmy Cahill when they went through to that fatefull game V Italy – Hes really big in Coca Cola, Head Of Promotions or something… dont know how he pulled it off tho..) Is a major supporter tho, hs been or 20 years, and MY Grandpa moved to sidney from living a few K’s From Highbury, so he has a fairly good background with them.. Stronger over East then here in WA i’ say…

  2. gazzap

    do you realise if chelsea win the CL they wont have beaten a single european giant. group games Schalke, Valencia and Rosenborg then Olympiakos, Fenerbache, Liverpool and Man U. Arguably man u are a giant but I count them as a domestic giant not european. they are always lucky with the draws.

  3. nr790

    evo- true
    mike-arsenal have a huge fanbase in australia so i cant see them signing somene for the shirt sales especcialy since aus only has a population of 21 million and footbal isnt the number 1 sport here (but its the fastest growing) but on the other hand hes a decent young player who can score from set peices but i would not have thought could play for arsenal however its splashed on every sports website in au. one player that i think could potentially play for arsenal and is ausrtalian is matthew spiranovic this is 193 cm tall and is an absolute fucking monster playing for nuremberg in the buendesliga http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Spiranovic

  4. Ollie

    Bud – Cahill is probably one of the form players ATM. Bresciano hasnt been doing that bad either, i think he plays for Palermo..

  5. nr790

    culina is a work horse who can play any position in the midfield would be an alright squad player

  6. Ethan_gooner

    i cant believe that no ones talked about ronaldo spending the night with 3 katoys ( thai for lady boys )

    i think thats gotta get some mileage on le grove ..
    i always thought there was something not quite .. manly about ronaldo !
    he needs to spend some time in BOYS TOWN PATTAYA !

    im sure the locals would love him !

  7. aakash gooner from india

    I have heard tht Edelman has left and our share prices have gone down i think it is a great time for tht russain billionare to buy share he might even be behind it ,he has said he would like to buy and as prices are down it would be perfect for himand ous as tht means transfer money is more,the reason he might be good is at the current board we are not getting any success and are going behind is the market to TOTTENHAM so i fell if he comes it can only get better
    what do youll think??

  8. Pedro

    I know… he said Randall, Gilbert, Lansbury and Wilshere were the next generation… at least they are all english!

    I doubt any of them will make the cut next year!

  9. Finestcuts

    Ade + Bendtner together will be a good test. How will they perform togehter against a good team?

    Still a home win for me.

  10. GMR

    Milligan has confirmed he is joining Arsenal subject to a work permit:

    Speaking on Total Football on Fox Sports last night, Milligan confirmed he was poised to sign with the Gunners and quit Sydney FC subject to obtaining a British work permit.

    An Arsenal source said that Wenger saw Milligan as a potential straight replacement for French international Matthieu Flamini, who is bound for AC Milan next season.

    So after years of waiting for Flamini to come good he has one great season & leaves. Now we have another player & probably years of mediocrity before he has a great season & leaves!!

  11. Pedro

    Well, the Aussies have some good players!

    Maybe this guy will be the first major superstar to make it at arsenal. It is a bit alarming he plays the same role as the Flamster!

    Good luck flamini… break a leg, or whatever they say in the business?

  12. GMR

    So RVP is out as a precaution!! So what that actually means is he’s injured.

    The only thing that could happen by him playing is that he gets injured & misses the Euro’s, so Wenger is giving Holland preference over us.

    Can’t wait to see the Tv Online press conference tomorrow where he discusses Flamini’s future & says “It’s not decided yet & there’s no news”

    That should sum it up, so now you won’t have to watch it!!

  13. Trinidad_Gunner

    Aparantly we’re also being linked to De Ridder, who hasn’t played for Birmingham in months. We’re being linked to everyone who is cheap and not good enough … I guess they’re expecting the same this summer.


    De Ridder was good at Ajax, but can’t be good enough for Arsenal if he doesn’t even make the 11 at Birmingham.

    Another guy who was good at Ajax and turned into a flop is Van Der Meyde. Although in his case you can say he stopped concentrating on football and training hard cause his daughter hasn’t left the hospital since birth.

  14. Pedro

    I’d prefer Johnson, I like him… like a white Paddy! haha!

    De Ridder… my god…

    Milligan is a holding midfielder isn’t he?

    I can’t wait for tomorrows press conference. Are you only allowed to ask Arsene nice questions?

  15. Bud

    Lets not get depressed and pretend that thing that Geoff hates……. “Arsene Knows” what he is doing !!!!!!

  16. Geoff

    RVP is not playing as a precaution against us beating Everton and winning the league, he will however be fit to get injured playing for Holland in the summer, ensuring of course he’s injured in time for next year.

    If Flamini knew he was going he could have told us weeks ago, if he and Hleb do go they’ll be replaced but with the promotion to the first team of the kids that means no new signings…again.

    Arsene knows all right, he knows fuck all about what the fans want, that’s what he knows.

    I still believe Flamini will stay, don’t ask me why, call it a journo’s instinct.

    If not then I probably need help.

    I just got back and am going to vote to rid London of that terrorist communist cunt Livingstone, back in ten.

  17. GMR

    Why are we signing a bloke like Milligan who Wenger needed to give a trial to first. Is that the sort of players we are after now, especially on the day that PHW called us one of the leading european teams!! He is having a laugh, we are not & are nowhere near being a top european team. We sign second rate players & hope that after several seasons they’ll become good enough to do a job!!

    Spuds are after Makoun, Karmeni (sorry if thats mispelt), Villa & Robinho. We are after an Australian who was attracting interest from the likes of Metz!!

  18. Ethan_gooner


    the problem was he knew he was going in november(flamini) ! thats when he 1st rejected an offer ! he’s said no ever since .. just pissed off we let diarra go ! Oh you can say he was a complaining little shite , but wenger obviously promised him pitch time .. and fair enough , he already got fucked over at chevski for long enough .. diarra came out and said he was promised regular games by some arsenal representative .. Wenger should of played him more .. and starved flamini on the bench .. forced him to sign !

    If this was handled correctly before christmas we wouldnt have to be shopping around.
    diarra would still be here and flamini would of signed on also as he never had the chance to show his stuff .. UNTIL HE SIGNED !!

    now we need to spend 10 – 15 mil on a replacement .. hampering the budget on signings we already needed to make .. AND NOW WONT !

  19. Bradley

    does anyone think, crock issues aside, that Walcott+RvP could be an IMMENSE strike partnership 2/3 years from now?

    Maybe it’s just me. I’ll get my coat.

  20. Geoff

    Ethan I’ve been saying this since October, even sending Diarra out on loan would have made business sense, Arsenal are clueless and poor business men in my book, it was madness to do what they did, now as you say it will cost £15mil to replace him, but he won’t, he’ll put Randall or someone in, or worse an unknown Aussie.

    No offence Aussie Grovers! I’m sure you agree.

    Bradley, if he stayed fit (RVP) it could be awesome.

  21. Geoff

    Just been watching the mighty Bayern Munich with the unbelievable Franc Ribery, and they’re losing 4-1 to the even mightier Zenit a shit Russian team.

    Boy am I glad Wenger didn’t buy Ribery, he’s shit.

  22. Trinidad_Gunner

    If Wenger had starved Flamini on the bench and played Diarra … we would say Wenger has lost it, Flamini is better why is he playing Diarra?, we lost the title cause we dropped points when Diarra was playing instead of Flamini, etc…

  23. Trinidad_Gunner

    Diarra looks the answer now, but to be honest, we were playing the better player and it was working

  24. Geoff

    That’s the whole point of good business, we should have told Flamini ‘sign or well keep Diarra’ selling one for fuck all and letting the other go on a free is appalling business.

    Especially if it costs us £15mil to replace one.

  25. Trinidad_Gunner

    Diarra was just not good enough and not strong enough to fight for a place, so he left

  26. Trinidad_Gunner

    But a criticism of Arsenal is that its run too much like a business and too little like a football club looking to win a trophy.
    Keeping Flamini is bad business, but it was better in footballing terms, to have the better player on the field, contract or no contract.

  27. Trinidad_Gunner

    Diarra is a jackass because he should be thinking … “hey, something is wrong here with Flamini holding out on a new contract, let me just stick it out and see whats going on, wait for the summer, I could be a regular for Arsenal next season instead of Portsmouth”

  28. Trinidad_Gunner

    Even though they are under contract, players can do what they want these days, if he goes to Arsene and asks for a transfer he’s going to get it.

  29. Ray Gooner

    Bring in Gattusu (Milan) as replacement for Flamini & bring in Diego Capel (Sevilla) as replacement for Hleb!
    Then we’re OK!


    Perhaps we will be shopping at aldi again this year when every fucker else goes to marks and waitrose for players , i’m fucking sick to death of this situation with flamini the people that deal with the players contarcts need to get educated in the football world , Edu who i though was excellent went for nothing now Flamini looks like he’s going for fuck all to……………..
    Arsene Knows Bollocks……………..
    With all the Names being talked about being brought into the first team squad next year from the reserves and youths ,this is leading me to believe That wenger is running scared of this webster ruling and will keep the nucleus of the first team under 26 in case he loose’s them ,when they can buy out thier contracts and walk away.
    Well us The fans incase the manager and board have forgotten are the life blood of this great club not them and we rightly demand sucess.
    they shold rememeber that no one is bigger that the club
    SO If any one is going to the Shareholders meeting in the next couple of weeks grill the bastards and remind them….
    P.S.,, There are twats masquerading as Arsenal Fans ON OTHER SITES saying That MOANRINIO SHOULD REPLACE WENGER AS MANGER,,,,
    Piss Off …. does any one Really want that shit type of long ball sterile football …
    Before George went off on one we played with ,ROCKY, MARWOOD,THOMAS, MERSON , and played some decent Stuff,

  31. Finestcuts

    Look lets drop Flamini…he’s gone, Wenger already has a solution, it is not a problem, at all. If it was Wenger would not have set a date, we’ll just have to spend some money and get some new players in, some real quality, and Arsene has already admitted he’s looking for a couple of ‘real’ quality players, and I trust him. Diarra got itchy feet and left, the club did some good business onhim but we’ll have bigger and better players, he’s only scored 1 goal so far so he’s still a young gun, not the finished product, even Harry Redknapp doesn’t always play him.

  32. Ray Gooner

    Starting 11:

    Sagna, Touré, Gallas, Clichy
    Walcott, Gattusu, Fábregas, Capel
    Adebayor, van Persie

  33. Trinidad_Gunner

    Capel is good, but Sevilla won’t sell to us right?
    Robinho is better though.

    If we can’t get Robinho, we could always help save Valencia from debt

  34. Trinidad_Gunner

    I don’t know anything about the board but can David Dein come back now that Edelman is gone?

  35. Ray Gooner

    The Squad in case of Flamini & Hleb exit:

    Goalkeepers: Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski (+ Gomes/PSV)
    Left-Backs: Gaël Clichy, Armand Traoré
    Right-Backs: Bacary Sagna, Justin Hoyte
    Central Defenders: Kolo Touré, William Gallas, Johan Djourou (+ Sergio Ramos/Real Madrid)
    Left-Wingers: Carlos Vela, (+ Diego Capel/Sevilla)
    Right-Wingers: Theo Walcott (+ Yohann Gourcuff/Milan)
    Defensive Midfielders: Gilberto Silva, Alexandre Song (+ Gennaro Gattusu/Milan)
    Attacking Midfielders: Francesc Fábregas, Tomas Rosicky
    Midfielders: Denìlson, Abou Diaby
    Forwards/Strikers: Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner Eduardo da Silva (+ David Villa/Valencia)

    Other players to sell: Jens Lehmann, Philippe Senderos, Emmanuel Eboué.

    So the new players we should buy are:
    Gomes from PSV Eindhoven
    Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid
    Gennaro Gattusu from AC Milan
    Yohann Gourcuff from AC Milan
    Diego Capel from Sevilla
    David Villa from Valencia

    What do you think about that grovers?

  36. Trinidad_Gunner

    Do you think that the 2 real quality players that we’re going to sign would turn into 4 cause 2 are leaving? Or are they hoping to promote to cover their positions?

  37. Ray Gooner

    So this is final:

    Gomes for Lehmann
    Sergio Ramos for Senderos
    Gattusu for Flamini
    David Silva for Rosicky
    Diego Capel or Robinho for Hleb
    David Villa for injured Eduardo
    + Carlos Vela instead of Eboué

    Couldn’t be better!

  38. Ray Gooner

    Let me just say, it looks great in my dreams…
    The reality will be much different (it might be even better…)

  39. Trinidad_Gunner

    The list is too long though … if I had to choose 3 from the list … Sergio Ramos, Robinho, David Villa.

    But thats just dreaming

  40. GMR

    Why would Real Madrid sell their best defender & even if they did they’d want 30+ million for him.

    Spuds have apparently offered 16 million for Villa so thats us out of any possible race.

    Capel could be a good buy, he still has lots to learn but he is a good player, trouble is Sevilla don’t like us for some reason & would demand mega money.

  41. Ray Gooner

    Thought i’d leave you all with my Championship Manager Arsenal Team for Season 2009/2010:

    Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Lukasz Fabianski
    Defenders: Kolo Touré, Micah Richards, Sergio Ramos, Johan Djourou
    Full-Backs: Gaël Clichy, Dani Alves, Bacary Sagna, Armand Traoré
    Midfielders: Cesc Fábregas, Mathieu Flamini, Abou Diaby, Michael Essien, Alexandre Song, Denìlson
    Wingers: Theo Walcott, Diego Capel, Alexander Hleb, Carlos Vela
    Strikers: Emmanuel Adebayor, Samuel Eto’o, Robin van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner

    I’ve sold out:
    Lehmann, Almunia, Eboué, Hoyte, Gilberto Silva, Rosicky, Gallas, Eduardo & Senderos

    My starting 11 usually are:
    Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Richards, Clichy
    Walcott, Essien, Fábregas, Capel
    Eto’o, Adebayor

  42. GMR


    Wenger’s argument would be that he made 1.5 to 2 million profit on Diarra, he has lost Flamini off the wage bill & signed an unknown joker on a free for very little in the way of wages.

    That would be his justification, thats why he was so concerned about Flamini agreeing a new deal before the end of April. He didn’t want to lose out on Milligan as he was free.

    Our club is becoming a joke & I’m sick of it!!

  43. GMR

    Its not that we can’t compete, its that Wenger won’t compete!! Although if we are to believe Arsene & PHW he doesn’t have much mone anyway so he isn’t going to pay over 16 million for a striker.

  44. Trinidad_Gunner

    The most we can do regarding transfers is dream about which great players we’re going to sign. Because everyone knows that Wenger is going to sign players noone has heard about, and then we’ll have to look them up on youtube, where chances are there might not be anything on then anyway.

    Hopefully his unknown players are as good as Eduardo and Sanga

  45. GMR

    I agree with you about Sagna but its few & far between that Wenger gets players in as good as him or that adapt so quickly.

    As for Eduardo his injury was horrific, but I think people are remembering his season a little differently from what it actually was. He did score some goals (12 I think but I could be wrong) & you could argue thats what he’s there to do, however his overall performances were poor & he contributed little to our actual games. He may well have improved by now but its impossible to say, its the same as everyone always says next season will be RVP’s breakout season, the fact is it never happens for one reason or another.

  46. Trinidad_Gunner

    I agree that because of Eduardo’s injury, he is kind of rated higher than how he actually was, but he was adapting and looking better though. His finishing looked alot better than where Adebayor is, and his touch is alot better

  47. Trinidad_Gunner

    Its not really that few and far between though, look at our first team now and how little we knew about them … Clichy, Toure, Sagna, Fabregas, Eduardo, Ade, Flamini, Hleb.

    Rosicky and Gallas were the only widely known players that we got recently

  48. Trinidad_Gunner

    It would be great if we got people like Robinho and Huntelaar/Villa, but for now its just hopeful dreaming

  49. GMR

    It is few & far between in terms of quality. Clichy, Toure, Fabregas, Flamini & Hleb were all at the club for 2-3 years before they became even half decent.

    I wasn’t saying he can’t find players that go on to be good but then the odds are quite high considering the amount of youngsters he brings in, he’s always going to find 1 or 2 that become fantastic players & I bet if you actually got the youngsters signed to youngsters that actually make it into our first team the ratio would be very low.

    I don’t want more unknowns that are going to take 2-4 years to settle. I want players that can come straight into the first team now.

  50. Trinidad_Gunner

    I’m just trying to be positive and think that, even though he’ll bring in youngsters, they’d be next season Sagnas

  51. GMR

    They don’t have to come from the premier league. Top quality players don’t need a season to adjust, Vieira didn’t, Sagna didn’t, Henry didn’t, Bergkamp didn’t & the list goes on. It may take 3-4 months but not 1-3 seasons. Even if you look at other teams Berbatov & Torres didn’t take long, neither did Anderson at Man Utd or what about Santa Cruz or Benni McCarthy at Blackburn.

    The fact is we sign players & they may have the qualities to become premier league players but we sign them before they are ready & it shows. They step into the first team & can’t adjust.

    I know it’ll be the same this summer, Wenger can’t or won’t pay the going rate for players. If we don’t strengthen significantly this summer I genuinely believe one of the other teams will beat us to fourth position.

  52. gazzap

    wengers scouting system is so good that he does not need to buy a hyped version of a player when he can buy a cheap player that is just as good. without that, Arsenal would not have been able to compete at the top end of the prem over the last 5 years – make no mistake about that. the problem is, is that wenger decides he does not need to improve certain positions that we fans can all see need strengthening. if wenger really wanted to get a dominant centre half for £3-£5m he could do it. he just doesn’t think he needs to – he thinks Gallas and Toure can do the job. Well, I think he thinks that anyway, but I hope he doesn’t! I want him to want a new man – because you can be sure if wenger is motivated to find his man – he will find his man.

  53. Geoff

    GMR, Henry took till Christmas and so did Bergkamp, Sagna was unusual, but any good prem player will be used to it, Torres was great from the off but look what he cost.

    Gazzap I agree but as we are now officially the world 3rd richest club we ought to at least be thinking of buying the best.

    By the end of 2009 we’ll be debt free, so the worlds richest club, then what happens?

    ManU will still owe a billion and the chavs will still be insolvent.

  54. gazzap

    not debt free exactly because we have to pay off £15m a year for 20 odd years. but I know what you mean. that is an amount we can cope with. but remember that stadium repayment is worth one top player every season that another team might be able to afford that we cannot.
    On the other hand Arsenal can make the same gate money in 10 games that other teams make in 20. But yes by 2009 things will be easier.

    man u have increased ticket prices massively just like we did and the people keep coming, fans are like that and the owners know they can take the piss and fans dont have a choice because its in our blood.

  55. alex

    i think the problem this year is not the quality of players just the amount.

    really all of our players are capable except eboue, and even he is playing at rb.

    i want to see a veteren holding mildfielder come to us to boost the confidence. cuz ur problem isnt lack of ability its lack of confidence(cept ade,who really showed his cocky side during christmas) . someone like torsten frings or just a wish id like to see viera back. frings is one of the best there is and he isnt that slow for a big german.
    flamini cant be expecting to come back after all the mess he is causing inside the club. i wonder how uncomfertable it is in the lockes rooms with the lad.

  56. slugboy


    Great website. Did a lot of reading of the blog today and I’ve got to make a few points.

    1) Sorry can’t agree with any criticism of Wenger – he is god
    2) Can’t agree that we need a few prima-donna, big buck transfers – Wenger will get the right personnel
    3) We’ve had 2 problems over the last few years a) lack of a big centre half – we definitely need someone in the summer. We seem to concede a shed load of goals from set pieces, badly defended b) effective attacking midfielders – the last 10 games or so have been embarrassing in terms of our possession, but it has not been turned into goals. In this respect, Flamini for all his defensive qualities, did not cut it for me and Milan are welcome to him – he’s a fairly ordinary DM – give me Essien any day. Hleb is a wizard, but seems incapable of shooting – a loss if he goes, but has not been that effective at all in the last half of this season. As a result, all the premiership teams just park the bus on the edge of the box, knowing that we cannot score from distance
    4) So the solution. Buy a big horse of a central defender, who is also quick and a central midfielder who can actually get behind defences – apart from Walcott in patches, we do not have this person in the squad (think Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez). The last thing we need now is a another mediocre defensive midfielder (I counted 5 central midfielders playing for us in the Slavia away game this year – Diarra, Diaby, Gilberto, Denilson, Song). Flamini was on the bench. Even with Diarra, Flamini and Gilberto gone, we have enough talent to play this position well – we only need one to partner Cesc.
    5) Finally, whilst we appear to be one of the richest clubs, we are rightly risk averse. We have a big debt (43% of our value if you agree with the rich list) and it only takes a bit of recklessness (Peter Ridsdale at leeds?) for fortunes to change quickly. For the time being, we are going to have to keep faith with the policy that has kept us near the top of the premiership and within a dodgy penalty away from a Champs league semi final. The talent coming through will see us have another great season next year, hopefully with a bit of luck going our way, culminating in a trophy.

    Keep the faith

  57. Paulinho

    I would disagree with criticism of Hleb’s assist record. Outside of the players like Fabregas and Young who take set-pieces, his assist record is up there with anybody in the league. Bentley has only got two more and he is Blackburn’s set piece taker.

    Hleb does alot of the work which allows the assist to be made by pulling players out of position and opening up the game.

    I think far too much is made of a direct assist, especially when alot of the time the assist is usually a no-brainer five pull back or simple squared ball.

    His goal record is poor though.

  58. Hughsie

    Milligan isn’t too bad, he can play all across the back four and in a holding role.

    He’s pretty tough, hard working and has good technical skills and would bring a good hard working attitude to the club, he’s probably one of the better players in the A-League which is somewhere around the same level as the J-League or MLS (maybe). I would have said he’d be a good serviceman for a championship level or mid-lower table player in England.

    Having said that he’s a player with potential and the right attitude to succeed, if placed in a successful working environment he might turn out to be worth it. It’s not like he’s going to be a big dent in the books, few grand a week on a free transfer. If it works out it works out, if it doesn’t we can drop him or trade him in a years time.

    On the plus side he’s probably less injury prone than Harry Kewell.

  59. Ethan_gooner

    you know geoff it always makes sense to arsene if someone leaves to replace him with a 20-21-22 year old replacement .. The key is to hang on to the players we have, Id personally like to get rid of at least 1/2 of them .. But knowing we arent to far away from chevski – man U you have to say what makes most sense currently is to do what wenger is trying to do … keep the team together .. Shame he didnt have that mentality with diarra
    or flamini … because we dont buy to many ready made replacements .. and to be honest if they are ready made replacements and they work (like sagna ) its more a surprise nowadays !

    Dudu had sparks of brilliance but his 1st season here was very reyes style if you ask me ..
    didnt really set my world on fire i can tell you ! I hope TH 14 or villa comes to the arsenal , because without some experience up front it will be another season of failure,
    i hope ade gets some offers and i do hope arsene is typically torn into getting rid of him
    for villa ..

    Also rumors of eboue going to barca (fuck nose why ) but id like them to re-new the rumors , even if it just was some twisted blogger !(thats my guess) swap him with TH14 ..

    swap eboue + cash for TH14
    and ade for villa …
    we would have the strike force needed with bends- theo – and the 50-50 RVP !
    as back up .. with theo and RVP on the wings , hleb and cesc more central it would be an attacking line up ..

    but as for the aussie defender i think he’s 22 .. I dont think you can expect any older than that from wenger . Stupid really because defenders dont become 1/2 decent until they are 24 + buying senderos, johan and song so young your just in for a world of pain …
    they probably will become good defenders but they need to be played ! and it wont happen here ! they just had there careers stunted .. you can see why plattini has a problem with wenger …

  60. Ethan_gooner


    im with you on your 9.28 post

    seems your saying the same thing as me ..
    so at least we have worked out that wengers replacements takes 1 or 2 years before they show promise . If he is going to recruit in this form he must try better to keep the team together … Worst part about it is the transfer season hasnt started yet .. who else will want to leave before the start of next season …

    It makes you realize that chevskis and man U ways of buying a replacement is far more effective and instant than ours ..

  61. DeeOzGooner

    ‘the building for the future’ replacement scheme just takes too long…will see its fruits in 5-8yrs, but soooo fkn frustrating now!

  62. JaGunner

    Arsene will probably not get Villa. I think is a mistake. Villa is begging for Arsene to sign him , I can understand if Arsene does not want to risk too many big signings….but when a quality player asks to be bought…get him!!!!!!!
    It means he will probably put his heart and soul into the games.
    Woudnt it be painful if our rivals get him and then scores against us.
    This is what happened to us in the Liverpool game. For Ryan Babel, Arsenal was his first choice and we didnt sign him. Look what happened he cost us a champions league semifinal spot. I mean yea bad decisions and immaturity also cost us in that game but for certain Babel was the one who killed us off in the dying stages of the game. Also look what he did against chelsea in extra time he almost brought them back again. I cant believe wenger missed the opportunity to sign him especially since he was called the new “Theirry Henry” by marco van Basten. Even though we over achieved this season the way we lost the title this season really hurts. Especially when we know our rivals will strengthen even more summer. Can you imagine when Ryan Babel becomes a consistent starter for liverpool?

  63. JaGunner

    Arsene will probably not get Villa. I think is a mistake. Villa is begging for Arsene to sign him , I can understand if Arsene does not want to risk too many big signings….but when a quality player asks to be bought…get him!!!!!!!
    It means he will probably put his heart and soul into the games.
    Woudnt it be painful if our rivals get him and then scores against us.
    This is what happened to us in the Liverpool game. For Ryan Babel, Arsenal was his first choice and we didnt sign him. Look what happened he cost us a champions league semifinal spot. I mean yea bad decisions and immaturity also cost us in that game but for certain Babel was the one who killed us off in the dying stages of the game.

  64. JaGunner

    Arsene will probably not get Villa. I think is a mistake. Villa is begging for Arsene to sign him , I can understand if Arsene does not want to risk too many big signings….but when a quality player asks to be bought…get him!!!!!!!
    It means he will probably put his heart and soul into the games.

    Woudnt it be painful if our rivals get him and then scores against us.

  65. JaGunner

    This is what happened to us in the Liverpool game. For Ryan Babel, Arsenal was his first choice and we didnt sign him. Look what happened he cost us a champions league semifinal spot. I mean yea bad decisions and immaturity also cost us in that game but for certain Babel was the one who killed us off in the dying stages of the game.

  66. JaGunner

    This is what happened to us in the Liverpool game. For Ryan Babel, Arsenal was his first choice and we didnt sign him. Look what happened he cost us a champions league semifinal spot.

  67. JaGunner

    This is what happened to us in the Liverpool game. For Ryan Babel, Arsenal was his first choice and we didnt sign him. Look what happened he cost us a champions league semifinal spot. I mean yea bad decisions and immaturity also cost us in that game but for certain Babel was the one who killed us off in the dying stages of the game. Also look what he did against chelsea in extra time he almost brought them back again.

  68. Ethan_gooner


    dead right !
    loyalty is half of the battle when you sign someone so young ..
    and then villa a seasoned world class striker puts his hands up to join
    and we are as silent as church mouses !

    it aggravates me !!!

    also edelman is leaving tried to link it before but it hasnt appeared !
    goto bbc sports page to get the link …

    yeah 5 years and in the mean time win fuckk all !
    and risk players that come to fruition to leave !

    even ade’s Mr 20% is pushing for an improved contract , or bale !
    i say fuck him let the cunt go .. get villa !
    to call ade a work in progress is an understatement he is more like a


  69. Ethan_gooner

    how many shares does edelman own ??

    i said it will be a year or 2 before we might see a take over , it seems the lock down year is almost over .. let the games begin

  70. DeeOzGooner

    i beleive edelman doesnt own any shares, i think he previously sold em to that itv company…which was eventually sold to kranky

  71. Ethan_gooner

    Edelman became a key ally in the rift that led to David Dein being forced out of the club almost exactly 12 months ago. Any Arsenal fans who hope that it might pave the way for Dein to return to the club, though, will be disappointed since rancour still lingers in the club’s wood-panelled boardroom towards their former vice-chairman.

    But some of Dein’s qualities – not least his extensive contacts – have been missed. The failure to close out a five-point lead in the Premier League might never have happened had they not missed out on key transfer targets in the past 12 months. They slipped away after the burden of coaching and recruitment fell exclusively on the manager, Arsène Wenger.

    The France international Frank Ribéry had been due to sign last summer but he headed instead for Bayern Munich. Then Wenger was angered after Alexandre Pato slipped through Arsenal’s fingers as he joined Milan from Internacional.

  72. Ethan_gooner

    i thought he still had some even thou minimal ?
    5.1 % is all that we would need ..

    but it sounds like the lock down is still contractual up until 2012 ..
    either way looks like fizman wants some players … HORRAY !!!


    also proves we were going to sign ribery !
    so the lamers on ACLF again were wrong .. AGAIN !!!
    all telling me that arsene wasnt interested in frank…
    delusional AKB brigade ..

  73. JaGunner

    For Ryan Babel, Arsenal was his first choice and we didnt sign him. Look what happened he cost us a champions league semifinal spot. I mean yea bad decisions and immaturity also cost us in that game but for certain Babel was the one who killed us off in the dying stages of the game.

  74. JaGunner

    Look how Arsenal not signing Ryan Babel cost us. We rejected him so to speak and he put us out of the champions league in return.

  75. DeeOzGooner

    yeh ribery mustv been the ‘super class’ signing wenger was talkin bout…then when henry jumped ship ribery mustv decided to go germany…damn!!

  76. DeeOzGooner

    i think u need to wait for pedro to wake up…hes gota do some background admin to let your comments thru


    thats the most i can do dude…


    Desperate for a fullback YES and YES. Just to fill you in this Australian linked to come over is ok not to much hype just does his job. He is a seaon or two behind Lukes Neill from west ham so i think he will warm the bench for awhile.

    Done some quick maths today with interesting results and stats. Over the last 3 years in the league this is how we stand.

    Manure Chavs America part 2 ( Liverpool ) Arsenal
    Goals 229 198 178 203
    Against 82 71 80 97
    Points 253 255 220 212

    Besides the goal count this is appalling from a team EVERYBODY in Europe fears to play, for us to produce these stats shows our defensive problems. BYE BYE big Phil the dill and eractic Eboue your not needed. Mexes and possibly Nesta should fill the gaps.

  78. Ethan_gooner

    the edelman news is all over the internet now anyhow ..
    he was definitely given the flick ..
    is he the reason money wasn’t forthcoming to wenger ??
    it seems pretty ironic that the 2 people edelman and fiz are the 2 who got rid of dein ,
    only now to realize that spending is now the way forward ..
    it just takes some retards years to learn what some visionaries already knew 2 years ago ..

    Sorry bring on Dein ! He is the real talisman ..

    question :-
    how many eboue shirts do you think they sell ?


  79. Ethan_gooner

    i knew he was leaving in november .. just ask pat the goon !!!
    but can you see flamini’s move will be just another casualty in the life of
    X gunners thinking there moving to greener fields is bettering their career only to be stuck in the mud.. and wished they stayed here ?!
    i spose the argument is if your getting a one off cash fee and more wages who gives a shit!

    Milan’s midfield already contains the likes of Kaka, Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini, and coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Flamini will prove a fine addition.

    Yes a fine addition who will get 30 minutes a game in all possibility ..
    and once he’s found out that he isnt quality as he is not playing arsenals passing game
    at AC then he will be another who wished he went no where !

    good luck mmmmm MOLE FACE !