3 issues potentially holding up Podolski deal | Racist arrested | Wenger explains blip

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Nasri taught him that...

Happy Monday one and all. The clocks going forward an hour was exactly what I needed after a weekend of extreme boozing. Still, there is plenty to be joyous about in the world of Arsenal at the moment. Even stronger hints about Podolski have emerged from the club over the weekend. Wenger has again gone on record talking about the German front man.

“Nothing is done. No, he has not had a medical,”

“I don’t master the timing [of any announcement] because that does not just rely on us. It could happen soon, it could happen later, I don’t know.

“It is always a concern [that someone else could come in for him]. The speed in which you do things is important, but at the end of the day it is always the player who makes the decision.

“It is about how much they want to join you.”

I’m always concerned when Arsene brings up the conversation around desire. He could mean three things here.

1) Lukas is waiting to see where we finish before he commits

2) Lukas is waiting on Chelsea to see if they’ll come in with a mega bucks deal for him

3) Lukas is waiting to see if they’ll offer him more than £25k a week

I hope it’s not number three. Arteta joined us on a lower pay deal than he had at Everton. We could have scuppered that move over a lack of ambition with salary when it comes to a top player. That said, his desire and mental belief was strong. So he came along. Smashed it. Now he’s contender for player of the year if we’re banning Robin from the award.

I think we’ll land the German. He’ll look around the league and see that if any team is in need of a versatile front man with pace and power, it’s us and QPR. If we make third, he doesn’t even have to worry about pre-qualification. Also, you have to love the fact that his team were totally spanked by Dortmund last night in a thrilling 6-1 defeat. Apparently the star man for Dortmund was Kagawa… a player we’ve previously been linked with who seems to look the business. He’s scored 12 goals and bagged 6 assists this season, he’s Japanese and he’s top quality… though there have been question marks over his ability to stay fit. I’d be surprised if Wenger hasn’t been scouting him on some level.

A grotty bit of news also popped up on the main website. A 29 year old man was arrested on suspicion of racially abusing Tiote at the Newcastle game. Honestly… really? Arsenal fans? In the multi cultural metropolis of North London? Surely not racist remarks? Mind you, I’ve experienced first hand some of the muppetry that can go on amongst some sections of the support… so maybe not that shocking. I’m guessing if he’s been flagged, it’s because someone near him has grassed him up. Good. There’s not place for that type of nonsense at Arsenal.

Mr Gibbs has been talking about the renewed belief at the club and our ability to see out games.

“We just have this belief at the minute that we are not going to lose a game. We were down against Spurs and Newcastle but we don’t give up now. We have a resilience now that we are not going to lose games. We need to keep that.

I think the resilience of first 11 has never been in doubt this season, the trouble is, we’ve rarely been able to field a stable 11. Now we’ve slipped into a bit of a groove with the back 5 we’ve started to build out results.  At the moment, with very few injuries we have a very strong team and some great options from the bench. All we need to do is sprinkle the squad with a bit of magic in the summer and bring in a few high caliber squad players and we’re away.

Wenger seems determined not to get carried away with the form we’ve been showing. I’ve been personally determined to get massively carried away for a similar reason. Wenger doesn’t want fans to be disappointed if we drop a place. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to sing when we’re winning in case we drop a place. He also took time out for the second day running to highlight another error he made in January.

‘We had a blip in January, just after Christmas… but if you look at the circumstances of the blip it was down to the fact we had no full backs’

Well, kind of… we did know that we didn’t have full backs before the transfer window opened and there were short term options available on both the right and the left but we didn’t move for them. Luckily, we hopefully won’t have to revisit that as being the turning point in a terrible season. I think we’ll certainly be able to look back at it and wonder if we’d be challenging at the top of the league had we made a bold move at that point. Fulham and Swansea should have been wins and with a stronger side, could we have taken points from United? It’s all ifs and buts…

Finally, Kenny Dalglish reckons he’d swap two cups for 4th place. Kenny, don’t talk nonsense. Here are a few post ninties realities for you.

1) Buying any English talent that moves is not going to make you a contender

2) If a player says something racist to another player, it’s not wise to mock up tee shirts celebrating that player

3) The Champions League is worth £45million a year. It’s the reason players join your club. It’s what makes you appealing to sponsors. It’s the life blood of any top side. Like it or lump it, it’s the pinnacle of football these days. The FA Cup is worth £1.8million, the Carling Cup is worth £1million.  Your overlords certainly won’t agree with you over valuation of the Cups.

Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to win some trophies but not at the expense of the clubs future. Give me an FA Cup and 4th… fine. But I’m not taking Champions League wilderness for 5 years for the sake of a cup. That really is the extent of missing out for us. It’s doubtful we’d be able to self sustain our way out of that potential mess. It’ll be interesting to see how Chelsea deal with it. When will Abramovich get bored of pumping money into a club no one cares about? When, as billionaire, do you start questioning what the hell you’re doing making muppets like John Terry rich beyond comprehension?

Soon hopefully… pull the plug Roman… I’ll buy you a beer if you do, then we’ll laugh, oh how we’ll laugh.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

The below video is how I see the conversation panning out after I meet with him.

437 Responses to “3 issues potentially holding up Podolski deal | Racist arrested | Wenger explains blip”

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  1. Radio Raheem

    If Diaby and Wilshere are fit before the start of next season then Podolski might be the only signing we make. Arshavin, Almunia, Squillaci and Benayoun will be replaced by ‘internal solutions’

  2. Mayank


    It’s nice to be patriotic and all but you’re taking it to another level. If we agree that a player should be in the team over another player because he’s English that’s a slippery slope. Soon enough you’re down the Bilbao route of only having players from a certain place.

    You seem very upset that it took Arsenal 15 years for 2 Englishmen to score. My question is, would you have traded any title that we won during that period for a few more English doubles?

    If you want to see all English players there’s the English football team, failing which there are a myriad of sports where England is well represented.

    Arsenal has commitment towards England which it repays by the thousands of pounds(a good amount of them foreign exchange) in taxes it and the foreign players pay to England. Beyond that while it’s good to develop and buy local talent it in not obliged to do so beyond what the rules ask.

    And certainly I think its more wholesome to show loyalty towards Song and Arteta who’ve given a lot more to Arsenal that Scott Parker just because he’s English.

  3. zeus


    We still need a boot sale.

    Almunia, Vela, Arshavin, Denilson, Park, Chamakh, Squillaci,Flappy and Bendtner are all still on the books, with next to no chance of a return.

  4. Rutu

    Good post!
    A lot of debate went yesterday if we got Suarez! I was referring to Matiaz Suarez not Luiz Suarez…Suarez is a very big cunt than Nasri can ever be and Wenger will never sign such a player.

  5. Radio Raheem


    Yeah I see what you’re saying there. Sometimes it does seem like a 42121/4231 with Song & Arteta doing the sitting. With Gervinho and Theo you get more width and with Ramsey less so.

    With both our wingers making inward runs, knowing that we have two sitting midfielders, Arsene has certainly tackle all the shackles of our full backs.

  6. zeus

    English this and that bla bla bla.

    Arsenal may be an English club, but we are a team on highly technical players. Lets call a spade a spade, England traisl ALL other top footballing sides in the technique department.

    Even the pundits agree on that when the NT is inevitably brushed aside by some top side. You could hear all of them saying this of that manner after being denied by Croatia a place in the Euros.

    “English passion” can only compensate for so much and no more.

  7. Radio Raheem


    Agree with you there on the boot sale and we don’t need to replace most of the players you mentioned.

  8. Gooby

    Where does that myth of parker being world class comes from? He’s a fine player, couldn’t cut it at chelsea and was shown the door. He’s suited for spurs at best.

    Wilshere, arteta, song are all better than him.

    Baines might have been good but i like santos, brings that extra brazilian touch we were lacking. He’s brilliant on the ball!

  9. Radio Raheem

    For the Parker fans out there watch the Euros and see how he fares against the more technical sides. He’ll be shown up1

  10. jnyc

    Joppa u crazy. Baines wrong for our system. Great crosses and solid def, yes, but santos n gibbs bring attacking ability. Santos especially a problem for defenders because he could be a winger. He was helping us alot before the injury and improving defensively.
    we not lookin for ” solid” english players, we looking for exceptional talent from around the world. Players that are hard for the opposition to contain. THATS WHY WE HAVE VERMAELEN. AND KOSCIELNY. They cause problems for opposing defenders and yes, they do take risks. Thats our styke. Cahill is great, merts brings solidity and amazing positioning.
    Arteta any day over cahill, we have future cahill,in ramsey, who is and will be a nice threat to score as well. So better in every way. Learn to appreciate your players

  11. Bush Gooner


    Fair shout. Wenger will be blessed with a headache on who will be his starting midfield trio. I like Diaby but he has been soo injury prone. What he needs is a good run of games in the reserves before he is selected for 1st team duties. I feel Wenger brings him back too early!!

  12. Rutu

    Anyone think that Arteta might get a nod for the Spain Euro Squad?
    Who knows he might get in!
    Would be a great achievement for him.

  13. Radio Raheem


    Did you read Diaby’s recent interview on arsenal? I think he said something to the effect that his body suffers a ‘mechanical imbalance ‘ as it continues to re-adjusts itself to one ankle being bigger than the other. He’s had 3 operations on the same ankle. He suggested that he’s over the problem though.

    With how shit the league I think an 80% Diaby will make a significant contribution to us

  14. Azed

    What are the chances of Diaby doing a “RVP” next season? Staying fit all through the season and dominating the Epl’s top midfielders??

  15. Mayank

    Arteta should be in the Spain squad. I don’t think he can make the team but surely he can be cover for Xabi.

    Probably won’t be though. He can easily make the bench for any other national team.

  16. ardentgooner

    Where’s Gambon? Anyone know where he is? Missing his comments!!!

    Agree on what he says most of the time but want to ask him if he still thinks Dalglish is a better manager than Wenger?

    Kenny is a KUNT of the highest order. Terrible manager. Granted he won the Carling Cup..but come on winning against a championship team on penalties after missing 3 penalties just shows how poor the opposition was…. Can’t believe he is not being slated in the press for the horror run.

  17. ardentgooner

    Does anyone else think Ali Al Habsi is the best goal keeper in the league ?
    I know wigan concede alot but thats more to do because of their shit defence. they would be -100 on goal difference had it not been for Habsi. Outstanding saves this season and not a single goof-up.

  18. Goon in 60 Seconds

    Did you lot not know? Gambon is busy with his new russian dial-a- bride that he has been saving up for the last 5 years. Good luck Svetlanka, you are going to a place no woman has dared to go before, just make sure you get his bank details quick, make that withdrawal and get the hell back to the motherland before you are permanently scarred!

    More interestingly , talking of absent doomers, where the hell is Ivorygoonz, now i actually do miss his comments, as opposed to hamface he used to be a good laugh as well as an irrational Wenger hater!!

  19. tippitappi

    not sure if wenger is being totally honest when he says its all down to the players if they want to come to Arsenal I’m pretty sure Arsenals dithering has had much to do with it, still his comments do seem to suggest the penny has finally dropped I hope so and he dose the business early this summer he’s got the ball back lets hope he dosn’t drop it again

  20. Rohan

    Parker better than Arteta? Now I’ve heard it all.

    Joppaa, didn’t you say you’d like Agbonlahor? Even over Podolski?

  21. Rohan

    As for Baines, he’s ridiculously overrated. Racks up assists because he takes corners for an Everton team strong in the air with Cahill and Fellaini.

    Don’t see how he’s all that defensively. He’s just a throwback to the old times because he looks like he’s straight out the 60’s.

  22. zeus

    Arteta has no chance for the Euros.

    He’s never been capped. They have far too many midfielders of outrageous quality that they don’t even truly need a DM per se.

  23. Radio Raheem

    In defence of Baines, I’ll say he’ll be brilliant in the way are set-up atm with our fullbacks bombing forwrd. Gibbs does little defending.

    So it’s a toss up between Baines and Santos…tight one that

  24. Rohan

    I don’t understand why Song isn’t rated more on here. Is it just Geoff giving everyone a cataract?

    It’s a myth that he’s poor defensively. Yes, he struggles when the midfield around him is not doing their job, but who wouldn’t? He’s been a monster in the past couple months and in general over the past 2 years, he’s been more than decent. Much better than the proposals people have put up: Remember Lorik Cana?

  25. Rohan

    I don’t agree. He is good enough. More than.

    It’s just that they would prefer taking a younger option like Javi Martinez who probably has more potential or stands to gain more from being taken to the Euros.

  26. Rohan

    I don’t think Busquets is necessarily that much better if at all, than Arteta. You have to take into account Arteta’s vast experience against a differetn sort of opposition to the sort Xavi is used to. Namely, the likes of Stoke.

  27. iffy the goon

    HA! take that you racist scum. No place for that shit in a classy club like Arsenal.

    I’d thought racism would go away after Obama became president but oh well…guess we’ll have to wait till terry o’connor becomes british pm.

    Good tuff talk from gibbs, like it but i worry about how the team will react when they lose (and they will), will they go on an 8 game beaten run? or can they pull it together and have faith in their abilities?

    Guess we’ll find out…hopefully not too soon though.

  28. Rohan

    The question really is: Will Torres be taken to the Euros. Villa is aging. They might have trouble filling that spot. Fernando Llorente will have to step up.
    I expect Cesc to play in the whole with Silva and Iniesta on either side with Xavi and Alonso behind. Solid team, but bit too much playmaking there.

    With Mario Gomez in the form he is, I reckon Germany might just edge them.

  29. Radio Raheem

    Lurch true he should save the tactical jiggery pokery for the summer. It’s good to see he’s thinking ahead though and keeping clean sheets in the process. Next season I’ll expect us to be a force in the league as long as we don’t lose RvP

  30. zeus


    They guy has NEVER been capped.

    Xavi and Iniesta talk up Busquets all the time. His speed of thought is well up there with the best. Xavi the twat even said that Busquets takes ‘1/2 a touch’ when he is passing the ball.

    Its nothing spectacular, but what he does, he does better than most. I fail to see how Arteta could make the squad now, when Spain is littered with the best group of players possibly in their history, when he couldn’t make it when they weren’t quite as good.

  31. Rohan

    If we get Podolski, a top class CAM, and a utility player and maybe someone like Matias Suarez, we’ll go places no doubt.

    Bit rich to expect to expect RvP to continue his rich vein of form though.

  32. Radio Raheem

    Llorente and, now, Soldado are ahead of Torres in the cue.

    I’ll be surprised if Spain don’t win the Euros. The biggest problem they might have is tiredness.

    I’ll put Germany as second favourites

  33. Rohan

    Spain NT are pretty snobbish towards those who don’t play in Spain imo. Apart from obvious talents like Cesc and Torres. I disagree that he wasn’t good enough back in 2006.

    Atleast he could’ve gotten a cap for a friendly or something.

  34. zeus


    I don’t think its snobbery, by and large the best Spanish players play in Spain.

    Going into the last Euros, quite a few were ahead of Arteta. Xabi and Senna for a start.

  35. Rohan

    That’s only happening if Sneijder and Robben actually decide to pass to him.

    Sneijder almost never found van Persie with a pass — just twice against Uruguay, according to official FIFA statistics — and that continued a tournament-long trend. Through six games Sneijder has passed the ball to van Persie 17 times, a remarkably low number.

  36. Rutu

    Germany for me. This season has again seen some top talent for the germans in reus , goetze Gomez has been in top form and arguably the best keeper in Neuer. Plus have a solid defence in
    lahm — hummels–badstubber—schmelzer

  37. zeus


    Spain has NOOOOO chance in Brazil. Only Brazil has ever successfully defended a WC I think. No way can Spain do it.

    Its an all South American final and surely Messi will cement his place. Finally someone is gonna get it together over there.

  38. iffy the goon

    WTF!!! Hunteelar on 40 goals this season. What is Arsene Wenger doing? He should be getting mr Robin van persie to send text messages to mr. Hunteelar. Sheesh!!!

  39. zeus

    Argies – Pastore, Messi, Tevez, Aguero (who will surely partner Messi, screw the target man crap), Higuain, Di Maria, Banega, Macherano, Gago……………..seriously an embarrassment of riches.

    The problem as always is defense, and inexplicably Sabella has not done much to rectify it. Garay has barely been used. He could be the Argentina Pique.

  40. Rutu

    Holland have two of the most prolific strikers in Europe today RVP and Klass Jan Huntellar to choose from..Kevin Strootman from PSV is a top player coming up watch out for him in the Euros

  41. Gooby

    Some were saying after the pool game that song’s pass to rvp was average and that rvp made it look good.

    How about his pass vs villa then? Is it also an average ball?

  42. Radio Raheem


    Argentina might have a chance if they are managed by Bielsa. Otherwise, I’ll seriously question their chances. They need to sort out their non-football issues. Moreover, there is a lack of quality in their defence and goalkeeping positions. Their team lacks balance.

    It’ll be Spain mate. If I were you I’ll put money on it now and rake it in 2 years. I’m hardly wrong!

  43. zeus


    They were managed by Bielsa in 2002.

    They were an abject failure. fell at the first hurdle. Good coach, but philosophy too much against the style that Argentina plays. They like old styled playmakers ala Riquelme. Riquelme barely got a game under Bielsa.

    Would take another punt on Pekerman if he learned to hold his nerve. That idiotic sub when Germany was down 1-0 in 06 of Riquelme for Cambiasso was the Argentines downfall.

  44. Radio Raheem


    I know but I think it’s those non-football related politics – like this obsession with the no 10, another is short-termism – that continues to hamper Argentina. That is what Bielsa tried sorting out.

    Bielsa was probably too avant-garde for the FA


    Are a core of English players key to Arsenal’s success?

    Now you know if I had my way the 6+5 rule would be in place around all of Europe for all clubs but let’s have a look at Arsenal’s title winning teams of the last 20 years or so:


    1. John Lukic (GK)
    2. Lee Dixon (RB)
    3. Nigel Winterburn (LB)
    4. Tony Adams (CB) Capt
    5. Steve Bould (CB)
    6. David O’Leary (Sweeper)
    7. Michael Thomas (MF)
    8. Kevin Richardson (MF)
    9. Paul Merson (MF)
    10. David Rocastle (MF)
    11. Alan Smith (CF)
    12. Perry Groves (MF)
    13. Paul Davis (MF)

    Total All Brits/IRE



    All Brits/IRE except Limpar


    1. David Seaman (England international goalkeeper)
    2. Lee Dixon (England int right back)
    3. Nigel Winterburn (England int left back)
    4. Patrick Vieira (French international midfielder)
    5. Steve Bould (England int central defender)
    6. Tony Adams (England captain, centre half, club captain)
    7. David Platt (England international midfielder)
    8. Ian Wright (England int forward, last term’s top scorer)
    9. Nicholas Anelka (French youth international forward)
    10. Dennis Bergkamp (Dutch international forward)
    11. Marc Overmars (Dutch international winger)
    12. Christopher Wreh (Liberian international striker)
    13. Alex Manninger (Austrian U21 international goalkeeper)
    14. Martin Keown (England int central defender)
    15. Ray Parlour (Eng U21 int midfielder with silly haircut)
    17. Emmanuel Petit (French international midfield/defender)

    Total 9

    2002: Brits


    Pennant & Jeffers played a few games too.

    Total: 8 key



    Bentley & Jeffers played a few.

    Total 3

    Wenger’s peak as a manager and with fewest number of English players. But what you have to ask is how much influence / development did the English core from previous seasons (along with the likes of Bergkamp of course) have on this side?

    Wenger has never matched this and never had as many English / Brits since playing and we haven’t won anything since.

    If I had my way Arsenal would have a core of English players.

    Joe Hart, Parker, Baines, Cahill – all were available at reasonable prices.

    It’s my opinion, you don’t have to agree. But think back 6 weeks, this club was in utter turmoil. Don’t be fooled into thinking much has changed.

  46. ardentgooner

    As for Spain squad, I don’t think Torres will make it. Soldado is also on form and is a good striker. I think Villa’s injury might just make them play lorente or Soldado. They might also consider playing Pedro

    I think Lorente, Soldado, Pedro and David Villa will be their front options. If David Villa doesn’t recover completely then may be Torres might have chance

  47. ardentgooner

    Players association football team of the year was voted last week…Here would be my team of the season

    Richards Kompany Koscielny/Skrtel Baines
    Silva Yaya Cabaye
    Rooney Ba

  48. jack

    would you rather have Rooney than RVP. what is this obsession with english players. without foreign players, the PL would be like the Dutch league. give it a rest ffs.

  49. iffy the goon

    Joppa you keep going on about this core thing but that’s only because Arsenal’s not winning stuff. Face it you wouldn’t care if the team was a bunch of little green men if they’d bagged the pl this season

    In modern football the only core you need is one of efficient players. If you have the best players, you will win the best trophies, simple. If the best are English then by all means bring them on, if they are not then find the best. Case in point, liverpool…look how well they are doing


    Rooney or RVP? Tough one but it has to be Rooney on age/value.

    Jack as far as I could tell this was a blog where you can give your opinion so I won’t give it a rest until Arsenal play what I see as the right quota of English/Brit players. That OK with you?

  51. jack

    I admire your patriotism, but its blinding you to the reality of modern day football. its International. so take your blinkers off. is my opinion ok with you.


    That’s where we disagree though. I believe English clubs should play English players and if that means putting more money into grass roots and getting the best foreign coaches (not managers) so that are youngsters learn the technical side then so be it. In the long run the English players become better and so will the national team because English clubs will have to address why the average English boy is not up to speed technically.

    We should fix our short comings here rather than throwing money at foreign players. Sorry if this offends some but it’s what I believe should happen.


    I agree Jack..the English boys are not as good but what I am saying is that it’s the English Premier League and the FA have a duty to put a lot of that money into English youth/acadamies and bring us up to speed. See my above comment.

  54. Pedro

    Joppa, so you’d rather watch English dross for ten years, watch our league disappear down the toilet… just for a good international team?

  55. S Asoa

    Hey mind the slittery Wanker . He now is silent about shipping out the 6 dross . It makes half gross you know . Does he need them to massage his ego or what else ?


    This myth about the league going into the wilderness. Nonsense. Are you saying the fans wouldn’t support their teams? Would the passion not be there?

    You mis-understand (on purpose). No one is saying don’t have foreign top quality players. Have I said that Pedro? I don’t think so.

    What I am saying is that the ENGLISH Premier League has more of a duty to football and coaching at grass roots level. It’s only fair surely that we develop our own? How is this a bad thing?

    The standard is dropping anyhow because a lot of the imports are average. The EPL would work just fine with a 6 + 5 in place IMO.

  57. jack

    money alone doesnt guarantee quality football Joppa, you either have the skill or you dont.. Its all about money for the Epl and Fa and as i said football in Europe is International. maybe Germany has more native players playing in the Bundesliga . would you like that model, and its not obscene wages to dross either.

  58. Mayank


    It’s funny that you think that this is offensive to anyone. It isn’t, it can’t be. Most people will disagree with you however, because unless you’re a Spanish club a 6+5 rule will kill off your chances of the CL. Inter won it with 0 Italians. And can you honestly say that you would’ve traded the 2001/2 season or the 2003/4 season for having a team with 6+5 ratio.

    Would you have forgone an Invincible season just for this quota to be filled?

    The only thing that one can find offensive about your post is that you included Irish players in it too. Does that mean Aussie’s can get in? What about South Africans.


    I’m am simply saying the English clubs should be doing more at all levels to improve English players from U6s onwards.

    I would have a 6 + 5. IMO it would be better league for it.

  60. gambon

    Whats up bitches?

    I kind of agree and disagree with Joppppaaaa

    I dont see how a 6+5 rule helps. All that happens is you are forced to play average english players just to make up the numbers. I care about the quality of player more than nationality. The last thing I wanna see is Neil Warnock at LB just cos we need to make up numbers.

    That said I do think there should be a rule that all U18s have to be english. Im not a fan of all these foreign kids being brought over. This would maximise the chances for english kids to make it.

    Overall I think an English team with an English core is always optimal, even better would be an Arsenal educated core (never at the expense of quality) but its not very practical or possible. This is an area that I think Wenger fucked up hugely with.


    Just re emphasise. I have never said don’t have foreign players. They of vital importance, but not average dross just because they have good technique. We should be teaching our players good technique from a young age. This is what my whole argument is based on.

    Wenger is a forward thinking man and I for one thought 10 years ago that we would be seeing far more English boys coming through due to the system he had put in place but this has not been the case.

    Put a system in place which is going top develop English players to the correct standard.

    What is the system in Spain? Seems to be working.

  62. Rohan

    If all U18’s were to be English, the EPL would be at a massive disadvantage compared to other European clubs. who do it all the time.

  63. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Gambon not seen or heard since he met Stevie Nicks on Friday night! 😀

    Did she promise you heaven gambon..did she..did she!

    All your life you’ve never seen a woman
    Taken by the wind
    Would you stay if she promised you Heaven?
    Will you ever win?


    But Rohan long term if English development was put first wouldn’t that be great for the ENGLISH Premier League? Yes it may time to come through but it would be worth it for ALL English clubs.

  65. Rohan

    “Wenger is a forward thinking man and I for one thought 10 years ago that we would be seeing far more English boys coming through due to the system he had put in place but this has not been the case.”

    I think we are now. The current batch of Jack, Gibbs, Frimpong, Afobe, Aneke, Lansbury, Yennaris are the ones who have only been at the Academy since Wenger’s been in charge. The current U16’s are said to be out of this world according to the rumour mill.


    Of course I am realistic that what I want will never happen. But I do coach at grass roots and some of the things you see are deeply worrying! England will not progress unless something is done to change things.

    Carry on the way we are i.e. mostly foreign in the EPL and that is a problem in itself..

  67. Mayank

    “all U18s have to be english”

    This is a better rule but only if it applies only to academy kids not kids being brought over for the first team. I don’t see how it would be beneficial for the EPL if it misses out on Ronaldo, Cesc or Brady because of such a rule.


    I hope you are right Rohan. Part of my softening towards Wenger recently is because of what he does at the lower levels and how it is set up (or seems to be). We now have Ramsey, Ox, Walcott, Wilshere, Gibbs playing regularly which gives me hope.

    Wenger IN.

  69. Mayank

    Gary Neville trending on twitter. People are really taking to him.

    About Arsenal, “Gibbs and Gervinho could easily be Cole and Pires” re the first goal.


    Funny, G Neville was one of my most hated players but since he has become a pundit I like him. Seems very pro Arsenal when I have seen him and also he seems to understand things from a fans point of view.

  71. kwik fit

    Guy’s got a feeling that were are going to be busy over the next few weeks.
    Poldi deal done , Gotze talks ongoing . Vertonghen close,Huntelaar Scouted , M’Vila done . Add that to Suarez and Holtby and yes next season looks very positive :)

  72. Mayank

    I really don’t like that I actually look forward to hearing Neville’s opinion.

    But it might be because his rise in punditry has coincided with Arsenal recent form. Or maybe becaue he still wants Arsenal and Utd to be the only two fighting for the PL.

  73. gambon


    Yeah thats exactly what i meant.

    IMO academy football should exclude foreign kids. I remember Wenger said a few years ago that the long term plan at the club was to bring one top kid from overseas per year, but thats gone out the window, theyve gone crazy.

  74. kwik fit

    Danny Murphy alway’s seem’s to save his best for the manc’s.
    I hope Fulham save themselves for their derby with the Chav’s on easter Monday.

  75. Mayank


    Wasn’t Wenger moaning about the fact that you can only get players to the academy that live in a certain radius of the club? The fact that it’s easier to get a kid from Zaire to the academy than someone form a bit far form N London.

    That rule must’ve been a cog in that plan. I didn’t see the point in getting Eisfield(?) at all though. I doubt he can make the first team in any number of years, unless he’s absolutely world class. Doubt it though.

  76. Radio Raheem

    thought that was the wrong decision but this ref’s the best in the league in my view…looks the youngest too

  77. Josip Skoblar

    I’d like to see more English players in our team but as Gambon says not for the sake of it. What angers me is why can’t we produce players with more skills and better technique? We have a problem with the way we train and educate our kids. If Spain, Portugal or France can produce skilled players, why not us?

  78. DaleDaGooner

    Some are knocking Pedro’s logic of CL rather than CC and FA titles, Let’s just look at Juventus until this season, they suffered and are just now recovering for how many years? They spent a lot to attract good players, and did a Liverpool for the last 4 years.

    I’d be miserable with a Liverpool-like squad and constantly unable to gain CL footy, but able to win CC or FA.

  79. Sadam Mahessar


    Thats too far fetched, I can never imagine so much transfer activity in one window.

    Suarez, Podolski, Holtsby and Vertonghen are my bets with Chamakh, Park (on loan), Vela, Bendtner, Squillacci, Almunia and Fabianski leaving the club for good.

  80. kwik fit


    Normally I would fell the same but I get the feeling this summer will be different.
    Plus their are 7/8 players to off load. So I suppose it will depend on us offloading.


    Yeah I kind of agree now but didn’t used regarding the Champions League. Different generations I guess in that when I was growing up the FA Cup really meant something and it wasn’t all just money based. The teams played for the prestige of winning a trophy.

    The way managers treat the FA and League Cup these days means they are not worth a wank which is sad. Possibly put this down to more foreign managers and the fact that the cups aren’t taken that seriously around Europe?

    CL is important I concede.

  82. gambon


    Not sure I agree with that.

    Sure England havent won anything for a long time, but neither have Holland for example, they have had very good players. What about Spain until a few years ago?

    Shearer, Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard, Terry, Ferdinand, Campbell, Cole have been legends of the PL era. Rooney & Hart would make almost any PL XI team right now.

  83. DaleDaGooner

    Gooby…yeah, That should make Joppaaaaa happy

    Kwik…agreed, can’t think of any other player bar Adam Johnson, and maybe Micah as a versatile defender.

    “Suarez, Podolski, Holtsby and Vertonghen are my bets with Chamakh, Park (on loan), Vela, Bendtner, Squillacci, Almunia and Fabianski leaving the club for good.”

    Doubt the Suarez, Holtby rumors will come true. If Almunia and Fabianksi leave, Can’t see Wenger letting both go, need an Experienced head in there, Almunia is done, Fabianski, if he forces his way out. Martinez is our better goalie, but he’s too young.


    Dale that is my whole argument right there. There are very few English kids good enough and that is a dangerous situation to be in. We talk about clubs being self sufficient but they should also be self sufficient in producing top English players.

  85. DaleDaGooner

    Joppaaaaa. The CL has a FAR wider audience, I mean a HUGE GLOBAL audience…this is a competition that Foreign Barca fans and foreign Arsenal fans go at each other. Money is more global and the game is more global….I would take 3rd and FA cup every season if City, Chelsea and United continually outspend us.

  86. DaleDaGooner

    Joppaaaaa, best bet for English kids to excel, they need to ship them out to Spain, South America on loan to gain some new skills that will make them exciting……English players are too complacent in their home country and they get too much to early.


    Agree some what Dale in that it would be great for top English kids to get experience abroad. I think though the whole set up needs to be changed at grass roots level starting with local coaches.

    At the moment in England players are dismissed simply on size for example. A player small in stature such as Xavi or Messi would have even been over looked at in England.

  88. Gooby

    The problem isn’t foreign kids in academies. It’s more down to giving a chance to the young kids, france and germany have done that. A global youth policy, top academies and a chance given to the kids. Clubs rellying on money like city and chelski are part of the problem, football in England has become a lot about money, it’s sad but true.

    Foreign kids gives extra competition to the locals it is essential. You won’t get better English players if you pile them up in academies.
    Let’s make things simple:

    You’ve got in a crop of players one who’ll potentially turn world class, let’s name him Wilshere and his friend who’ll turn into a quality lb for a cl team call him gibbs. Another who’ll probably be a good premier league player let’s call him lansbury. Another one who’ll make it in the lower leagues likes call him sanchez emanuel thomas jay watt.

    At the end of the day, with a bit of luck and a top academy woth top coaches will get you a couple of top talentsevery now and then. You’ll have to shop around the world for quality to add and raise the level because you won’t find a wilshere behind every corner in Islington and there’s other clubs competing for them anyway. So we buy kids like walcott, oxo, cesc, ryo, clichy. It raises the level at the club and they’ll still be arsenal trainees in Europe.

    The problem is more than just foreign kids, look at Germany and France they always seemto produce a lot of talents, why not England?

  89. Josip Skoblar

    I agree, we have great English players in the PL. I’m less sure that we have many world class players. Look at Spain and Potugal, they have lots of them. This said, you’re right these things are not permanent. When I started following football in the 70s, Spain were awful, Germany were the best and we were as we are now: just ok!

  90. Gooby


    Good point, small players often get overlooked in England because of their size.

    French academies had the same policy until they changed it recently, platini for example was shown the door on many occasions before Nancy took him if i remeber well. He turned out to be a top player.


    I think people misread what I say. Most of my football hero’s are foreign:

    Van Basten

    Where are the English hero’s? We simply don’t produce them which is crazy when you see how wealthy our league is.

    It needs re-shaping.

  92. timao

    DDG you are spot on. look at Anthony Stokes, went from not quite good enough academy player to Celtic starter and full International via a few Scottish lower league loans and a spell at Sunderland. He’s maybe never going to be a world class striker but his willingness to get on his bike has seen him on track to get the most out of his career. If a few more English youngsters had this attitude we wouldn’t be hard up for players.

  93. kwik fit

    Over the past 20/30 years almost every country in the world play’s football and it has become a global sport. Consequently has more of the world population play the sport the chances of English players entering the world’s top say 100 player’s reduces. Some countries will from time to time have a collection of players that are above the average (aka Spain). However even former power’s such as Brazil are not producing at the level they used to.
    Individual coaching etc is a factor but when a country’s population represents an ever decreasing percentage of the total then it becomes more and more difficult to reach the top as a nation.

  94. Gunner2301

    Evening Grovers. Pedro another great post.

    Joppa mate.

    Maybe what your after is the never say die mentality and what we see as steel which we associate with teams of the past and associate with English players. Are you sure your not just looking for those particular attributes rather than their nationality?

  95. andy

    I think eisfelds signature is due to his agent. No idea if he has the same like goetze but it looks like theres a bigger plan behind …
    Well i am from austria but i dont see quotas working … And why the hell do you think it works for spain? They have two teams ruling and nothing else … Every player who is capable of doing something great joins them like alves, villa … Its like scotland before rangers were insolvent .. Maybe its better for englands nationalteam but the league will be ruled by 2-3 clubs AND it wont be arsenal i think ;(

  96. gambon

    Wouldt say Arteta is in the same league as Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Busquets, Aloso & Martinez.

    Fact is they just dont need Arteta.

    Hes an ok player but nothing special. Until wenger panicked on the last day of the window he was an Everton player. He was never in wengers long term plans.


    Josip. I’ve never been a massive England fan to be honest. Growing up I looked to Brazil 82 (fav ever international side), the Dutch of 88 and club sides such as Red Star (91) Milan (early 90s) and Liverpool (mid 80s) as my bench mark for top quality.

    I’ve never really had a fav English player.

    But now I coach U10s, help out at my club and what I have seen worries me. Less and less English players seem to be coming through. Also the coaching standards I have seen leave a lot to be desired.

    With all the money in the game it shouldn’t be like this. I also believe Arsenal should represent England first and have a duty to play English players. I often use the Inter Milan example when they won the CL a few years back with not one Italian. How can that be right or a good thing? The club should reflect it’s country.

  98. DaleDaGooner

    Gambon, we are talking of Martinez, Busquets, Xabi Alonso….Xavi, Cesc and Iniesta play more as an attacking mid creator, while the formers are holding, deep laying play makers…now based on stats and experience, surely Arteta is better than Busquets…Only difference, He plays for Barca while Arteta played for Everton before now…Alonso was almost overlooked..