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

by & filed under News Review.

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. DaleDaGooner

    Joppaaaaa, if you look at La Masia today….you’d see a bunch of Brazilian kids, African kids, Argentinean, and a handful of Portuguese kids…Spain still has a huge number of Spanish kids, But Real and Barca have to relly on Foreign talent to kick on as top dogs….I know how you feel, but the English kids need to take of the diapers and learn this trade very well….it’s atrocious when Andy Carroll is rated at 35m GBP.

  2. gambon

    Dale

    Spain have the most settled team in world football. Also the best team.

    Busquets is a proven winner, and Arteta is getting on. There is absolutely no reason to call him up.

    Lets not forget that until a few months ago he had always played as a more advanced MF, its only since we signed him that he played deeper.

  3. Gunner2301

    Dale

    I think we’re being generous with Arteta because he plays for us now. If he was still at Everton (and he was probably a better player at Everton) nobody would be touting him for a Spanish cap. He’s decent but not great. There are too many great midfielders ahead of him.

  4. DaleDaGooner

    Marcos Senna, and i like him alot, is Brazilian, and at an older age, got into the Spanish team over an Emergent Arteta who was doing really well with Rnagers and Everton….he has now been overlooked …Busquets gets in cause of Xavi, Iniesta and Barca Mob.

  5. Mayank

    Joppaaa,

    The biggest problem with that train of thought is that if you force clubs to do more for English talent, you make life even easier for moderately talented kids coming through the academy. They would get an even easier route to riches that they already do.

    Where’s the reason to push yourself beyond your limits at age 14-18 when you know that your talent plus the quota is enough to take you to the next level.

    Jack and Gibbs have always known that to make it to the Arsenal first team, they have to compete not just with the rest of the kids at the academy, but also any player that might come in, form all over the world.

    Take it from a person from a country plagued by reservation/quotas at every level, it will not improve the quality at the top level.

  6. DaleDaGooner

    2301, I always talked up Arteta, even when he was at Rangers. I’m not just talking him up now that his Arsenal….let’s be real, he’s a better player than Busquets, he’s not in the Espana clique, Xabi Alonso has been very fortunate….Xabi does a whole lot different socially.

    Last friendly, I couldn’t understand why he didn’t get a shot.

  7. Keyser

    What an incredibly poor game of football, Fulham are pretty pathetic. United just bought another ref.

    Joppaa Arsenal represent themselves first, the FA should look after the National teams interests, they don’t really give a fuck because it probably doesn’t generate enough money for them, they’ve paid a massive amount to build Wembley, and I don’t think it’s done as well as they’d hoped.

    We can only pick players within a certain radius and we compete with quite a few teams nearby, you should really be looking at this with a general National perspective if you really care, not at one particular club, we’re probably one of the few that would produce good English talent if it was in our talent circle.

  8. Gunner2301

    Dale

    We should have got Arteta about 3-4 years ago. I personally wouldn’t have bought him. He has stabilised the midfield but only because we were utter shit there after Fab and Nasri left. Players of Artetas quality aren’t going to make us contenders just keep our head above water.

  9. DaleDaGooner

    This is getting fucking ridiculous, when Man U gets off constantly..it’s getting boring now! No one, anybody can’t tell me Man United are England’s best team…..their league wins are just buy-offs!

  10. Gunner2301

    Dale

    I agree he is better than Busquets but he doesn’t have the same pedigree and Spanish politics will always win out.

  11. Mayank

    United and City have both looked less that spectacular recently. Still both will end up with maybe 85+ points. The PL has been quite shitty this year.

    Can’t believe I stayed up for this match. Good to see Utd bringing through English talent from a young age. Webb’s getting on a bit anyway.

  12. kwik fit

    How long will this continue with out a public inquiry.
    I know it’s only shitty that are being cheated this time.
    But the blatant bias is more obvious when they have a shit team like this season.

  13. Gunner2301

    It’s a pity we hadn’t gone the extra mile last Summer, the league was there for the taking and has been for the last 2 seasons now. I’m sure we purposely do just about enough each year, which means we are good enough to make top 4 but not good enough to create a tipping point with the top teams.

  14. arsenal1886-2006

    How many points are the refs worth to utd over the season? They would probably be fighting for a CL place without the refs bottling decisions.
    But that always happens with the top teams in all countries I suppose, look at Barca.

  15. DaleDaGooner

    All i am saying is, there was absolutely no reason why Arteta wasn’t called up for the last Spanish game, Busquets wouldn’t have minded being on the bench for that one. Just give the guy (Arteta) one bloody game, just one! And this isn’t cause he’s an Arsenal player.

  16. andy

    I didnt see mancs game but bbc is furious about the penalty that never was … Will be funny to watch it i think 😉 fergie is the first one blaming refs but they had so much luck last year and it looks like today too

  17. Gunner2301

    Dale

    Like i said politics goes a long way he’s wasn’t better than Mascherano or Toure. He’s like the Barcelona version of Denilson, gets played 200 times but you wonder why the fuck that is.

  18. DaleDaGooner

    …and i may hate City since Adebayor, Toure, Clichy, Vieira, Nasri fucked off there, but I hate the fact that United can’t win the league without Refs help every season. It’s just plain boring and annoying. I’d rather City win now…

  19. jack

    The ref probably handed the title to Utd tonight, but then again someone will mention our luck with the Everton goal disallowed.

  20. Gunner2301

    Dale

    I don’t think we have done ourselves any favours. We save a few mill just to maintain the sustainable bullshit when we could have overhauled those teams this season. All the top teams are poor.

    I saw the replay and I’ve seen worse decisions, you could say the ref was unsighted and thought Carricks foot kicked the ball not Murphys foot especially as the ball went in the direction that Carricks foot did and away from Murphy at an angle. You could give those either way.

  21. andy

    Well didnt see today but laste year they had around 15 points won because of “questionable” refs … And they still able to lose even in case of nice decisions for them like the handball of vidic against us … Need examples? Vidic handball, vidic foul on ba last year against westham, same match penalty given after a handball (0,5yards away chipped from raffael) and after this game fergie complaining about the second penalty for westham, same match vidic already booked tactical offence, the ellbow of rooney against mccarthy (wigan), neville no red card against west brom …. Unbelievable like bayern in germany

  22. Gunner2301

    Kwik

    Chelsea and United players have always got on the refs back about every decision. It does influence the ref and it;s because our players aren’t like that anymore since the invincibles really, we just go along with most decisions, don’t appeal and don’t make a fuss. It kind of reflects on the type of manager and captain you have. These things tend to go against you over the course of a season. SAF knows every little advantabe counts so he’s not going to stop his players from doing that when the margins are so fine.

  23. Gunner2301

    I didn’t see Fulham making any major appeals, harrass the ref or crowd him like United would have done had the decision been reversed.

  24. Gunner2301

    Did Gary Neville just say “No Fannying”?

    They might ban him tomorrow. There’ll be an outcry 😆

  25. andy

    Well ok maybe its the arsenal fan speaking right now but we have 4 games with pro arsenal and 4 games against arsenal but for the mancs its 10:4 and thats a problem

  26. gambon

    In the last 11 seasons Arsenal have had 57 penalties for and 41 against.

    In the same time UTD have had 55 penalties for with 26 against.

    So we only have 1.35 more penalties per season against us on average. We also are awarded more penalties on average, but only by a tiny amount.

    When you consider UTD have been much stronger than us defensively in this time, and a little better going forward, there is nothing to suggest any bias at all.

    Sorry, but youre conspiracy nuts.

  27. Keyser

    Of course you’re stronger defensively if refs refuse to give penalties aganst you.

    Anyone remember Vidic last year punching the ball clear at the Emirates ?!

  28. kwik fit

    Gambon

    It’s not all about the comparisons with Arsenal but rather games such as tonight.
    The odd dodgy decision that results in 3 point’s and not 1 . Such decision’s have fallen for United consistently. Alot of it is because Fergie has so much control over who refs which matches. All ref’s want the United games.

    I agree that we are nuts though 😉

  29. BOOZY

    every ref has the right to earn himself a long career, and this ref just did.

    at the end of the season, sur alex numbers would read-
    13 league titles
    2 champions league

  30. andy

    Yeah i remember this handball – interesting decision but nobodys talking about it because we won it anyways. Gambon it doesnt matter how many penalties you get its interesting if its the right decision and i think we had around 5 strong appeals between villa away in november and villa fa cup and get? None … But we concede dives like dyer swansea or bale … Utd is a good team with good mentality and goodwill refs … Simple as that

  31. gambon

    Well Keyser, its pretty clear they are giving Pens against UTD isnt it, like I just said 26.

    Infact until 4 years ago when Wenger ruined our defence & didnt know how to rebuild it us & UTD were almost the same in term of penalties against.

    Its all a little bit hypocritical to do the conspiracy nut thing when you consider how we won 3 points last wednesday.

  32. gambon

    “The odd dodgy decision that results in 3 point’s and not 1 .”

    Like that awful decision when Drenthe scored last week?

  33. andy

    Whats wrong with you gambon? Of course its possible to take 1 or 2 games and say we (and any other team) is sometimes lucky but we are talking about a trend … Pro utd

  34. Keyser

    No,not really, considering you’ve gone 11 seasons with one stat then used one decision last week to balance it out, do you remember Saha’s goal from last year at the Emirates, compared to that the Drenthe decision was actually close.

    Same ref I think to.

    Also 15 more penalties against doesn’t really stack up soo well.

  35. Gunner2301

    Mayank

    I agree with what you say apart from the competition bit. We haven’t had real competition for places since we went to the Emirates.

    The quality bar was lowered to allow certain players to get a chance and players were not signed that would kill the career of said youth.

    Young players come for exactly this reason and the money of course. Many probably wouldn’t get a look in at other top teams.

  36. JOPPAAAAAAAA

    My point would be that Man U seem to get the big decisions. It’s always been that way and for most football fans to feel that can they all be wrong?

    I feel sure the FA/EPL always want Man U to win the league for reasons known by them.

    Gambon, why has Wenger got it so wrong with the U18s?

  37. Keyser

    Better, bigger, more powerful, or just downright go out looking to exploit it, which they have done and will do.

  38. gambon

    Keyser

    Ove the last 11 years UTD have been a considerable better team and much much much better defensively.

    Frankly i would be shocked if they had conceded anywhere near as many penalties, with the way wenger has fucked up our defence.

    There are numerous teams that have concede less penalties than us, and numerous that have conceded more.

    So are the refs all biased to half of the league and biased against the other half of teams?

    Wheres the cut off with this conspiracy?

    Are we one of the teams the officials are helping? Is it just UTD, or are Chelsea involved? What about Everton? They havent conceded many? Liverpool have to be involved?

    How comes we have had more penalties awarded than UTD? Must be a conspircy right? UTD have been much more successful than us and scored more goals, so surely that means we are being helped, or are you gonna ignore that stat?

  39. Paulinho

    It happens once a blue moon though. You can literally 10-15 games at a time and you never hear a whiff of a penalty incident. Contentious penalty decisions don’t happen often enough for them to be that decisive over the course of a season.

  40. Gunner2301

    I’d like us to be ruthless with teams and kill them off so we win games despite the dodgy reffing decisions. Then it wouldn’t really matter about decisions being given against us.

  41. gambon

    DaleDaSpastic

    Ive backed up everything ive said with facts, where as the sum total of your argument is:

    “GAMBON, YOU’RE LOOKING VERY PATHETIC MAKING EXCUSES FOR UNITED.”

  42. jnyc

    Arteta soooo solid and brings such composure, and little things, very subtle to the game. It has been genius the way prof uses him

  43. DaleDaGooner

    Gambon, we aren’t Manchester City fans, we are not in title winning race, MOST fans of other clubs share in this “conspiracy” We are not doing it cause we only hate United, we are doing it cause it makes the EPL boring when these lot are so poor, yet they win the league with obvious assistance. City, as much as i hate them, deserve to win the title…unless you are saying buying quality players isn’t a criteria Arsenal should be following?????

    Please do not contradict yourself. City aren’t getting help from officials

    You mentioned Drente’s goal, yes it was a goal, but did you turn a blind eye on Rosicky’s foul in the box?

  44. Keyser

    gambon – Where’s the cut off ? Just acknowledge that bigger teams get more of the benefit of the doubt than others like Paulinho said, also acknowledge that Manchester United have done enough to use that to their advantage. They’ve actively intimidated and used whatever power they wield, small or significant, to get whatever advantage they can.

    Beyond that who knows, you pulled up your stat, they concede 30 % less penalties than us that’d be something you’d be all over, and you’re trying to explain it away.

    We’ve

  45. Keyser

    Paulinho – Come on, like you said bigger clubs do get the benefit of the doubt, but you couldn’t argue that they haven’t done anything to help themselves along the way, there’s numerous instances.

  46. gambon

    Dale

    City have had less pens against them than UTD this year.

    Also City benefited more from Pens last season than any other team in the PL..

    Yet again, facts making your arguments look pretty shite.

  47. DaleDaGooner

    No doubt, the Enlish FA would rather see the top marketable teams in the top 4 or the most win the league, that doesn’t rule us out from getting favors, but every year, you see CLEAR AS DAY LIGHT, not given or non-penos given in United’s favor.

    I hate seeing that dumb buffalo, Rooney gallop towards a spot kick and celebrate as if it was a well deserved peno he scored.

  48. DaleDaGooner

    gambon, excuse my ignorance, but you typing that shit out on here doesn’t make it legit, show me a table, pie chart, data where you got this so called Fact of City and Utd….

  49. DaleDaGooner

    Gunner2301, pipe down, Arteta at Sociedad, Rangers is a holding midfielder, much like Xabi Alonso, he and Alonso play the same style of football…if you gonna bash Wenger, dress it up. Arteta is doing what he used to do. Moyes used him where he needed him, Arsenal are using him where they need him and he’s doing a fine job.

  50. BOOZY

    There are far more efficient and less dubious ways ref can influence a game than giving penalties and handing red cards – those are for block heads like phil dowd.

    a team could play man united and have more free kicks and even lesser cards but they are still being fucked over.

  51. Keyser

    It’s probably more the other waya round, Arteta’s getting on, Rosicky’s not quite the same as he was before, Song’s had to do what he can defensively and see if he can contribute going forward, don’t think Arteta has it in him to rove forward and cover defensively.

  52. DaleDaGooner

    Gunner2301, IF that article you posted is meant to be a dig at Arsenal, you failed, cause he’s comparing ENGLISH football, with Spanish…not Arsenal/ Barca…he was allowed to play a free role, cause that is what was required of him, at Barca, Messi is the man.

  53. Rohan

    Song’s always our deepest player usually. Anyway, most/all of his assists have either come either on the counter attack or usually, through a quality ball played over the top from deep.
    It’s not like his attacking contributions have come as a result of foraging forward needlessly. That’s a myth. I haven’ t seen that.

  54. DaleDaGooner

    And really, Cesc needs to fuck off, comparing, he fucked us over and he got his wish, no need to patronize us, while making comparisons as to how much he practices now…makes me sick, after he negotiated his way out for cheap…makes Nasri a little better than him….don’t know why we are even abusing Nasri, he played every game for us, even the thrashing at OT, while Capt Barcelona was watching F1 at the last game and refused to train pre-season.

  55. DaleDaGooner

    Soon as we lose Van Persie (a la CC final when he went off) loses at Barcelona (last time he was sent off) we always have a fighting spirit, he leads by showing passion and demanding everyone fight too, Fabregas just had Barcelona in his mind casually wanking off about the idea of returning and getting “injuries” when needed most. That stupid back heel and all the while holding Robin off instead of him smacking Dani Alves and co in the mouth.

  56. Keyser

    If you actually read what Cesc says, he says we train more whereas at Arsenal we’d train and then spend time in the gym, he also mentions the difference in style in how much contol I guess Barca want to exert on a match whereas it’s far more frantic in England.

    People spin too much of their bullshit to his comments.

    It’s like the video comments for the National team, of course they watch videos, they play about 7 games throughout a tournament playing teams and styles they won’t see regularly bar with the National team.

  57. DaleDaGooner

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved Cesc! But when I look at what Van Persie is doing now, even if he left next season, I won’t feel aggrieved. Cesc going to watch F1 while his team was playing says it all.

    And season before, yes he played his heart off, but he thought he was leaving after that. so he put on a show. RvP has always been this way.

  58. Gunner2301

    Dale

    How could you say we would have won something if RVP had been captain? We had the same players. Fabregas wasn’t great and I wanted him sacked as captain but not many would have entertained that one. We would have probably done what we done this season which is qualify for top 4. Since Viera we haven’t had a real captain and I don;t think RVP is great just the best of a limited choice and he only got it to keep him here just like Fab and Henry so the captaincy at Arsenal has no meaning it’s become more symbolic than anything else due to Arsene fucking around with it and not bringing in captaincy material but he’ll tell us the squad is full of captains. LMFAO!

  59. DaleDaGooner

    Gunner2301…name me the most senior Arsenal player today, who should be captain if you think Robin does not deserve it and he got it like the others did..not to leave??

    Almunia? Sagna maybe? Song? Rosicky? Theo? Who? Clichy’s gone…so who is logically a better captain now than Robin?

  60. Rohan

    Harsh to say that van Persie is not a good captain. He’s been a revelation. Best captain since Adams imo.

  61. DaleDaGooner

    Qualities of a leader that Van Persie has shown

    He is calling meetings, promoting togetherness, frank and candid talk, rallying players and fans, communicating, fighting for the cause, playing through example.

    Cesc did well as a captain one season, and that was the one before his last, and he didn’t do neither of the above, all he did was play well and rally fans.

  62. DaleDaGooner

    TV5 isn’t as vocal as RvP, TV5 is a very good vice…i like those 2 in the order they are at the moment. You can’t make TV5 captain over RvP, just can’t…RvP has been here 8 years and even when he was vice, he was fighting for his team mates, I remember when Abu had the own goal vs United, vP was there to talk to him and console him, what was Fabregas doing?

  63. JOPPAAAAAAAA

    But if I were naming the Capt and Vice Capt it would be as follows:

    Theo (ENG) Captain
    Gibbs (ENG) ViceCaptain

    Two natural leaders who would kick arse when needed,

  64. BacaryisGod

    Arsenal Squad 2012-2013 Prediction

    It’ll be an interesting off-season, as I can count only 18 players that are guaranteed to be in the first-team squad next season.

    Sczcesny, Sagna, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Santos, Song, Coquelin, Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky, Ramsey, Diaby, Gervinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain,

    So this leaves an awful lot of players with an undecided future. They fall into 4 main categories; 1) contracts expiring soon , 2) young players needing experience and 3) disgruntled, expendable and/or off-form players.

    Contracts Expiring Soon:
    RVP, Walcott. I’m of the opinion we need to keep both players and that we have a very good chance of this provided we finish 3rd place.

    Young Players:
    Mannone, Frimpong, Miyaichi, Lansbury, Campbell, Miyaichi, Bartley, Afobe, Aneke, Yennaris, Miqel, Wellington, Martinez, Galindo, Eastmond, Watt, Botelho, Murphy and McDermott), Of the young players needing experience you could make a confident argument that only one player, Miyaichi, can contribute in a meaningful way to the squad next season. Frimpong might also qualify but for his season-ending injury. Miquel also has an outside chance of breaking through as the 5th CB option. All of the others should either be back on loan, in the reserves, sold or released. The only exception is Martinez as a possible 3rd choice goalkeeper as he will still be under 21.

    Disgruntled/Expendable/Off-Form:
    Fabianski, Almunia, Squillaci, Benayoun, Park, Chamakh, Bendtner, Arshavin, Denilson, Vela

    This is my favorite category as it contains some of the fans’ least favourite players. It’s hard to see Arsene wiping out all 10 of these players, even if he wanted to. Of the above players, I can see Fabianski, Park, Chamakh and Arshavin return despite the wishes of many fans. Not sure if Benayoun will be allowed back by Chelsea and he’s not essential as it is. Vela and Bendtner could add quality but I don’t see them returning.

    So the current prediction has us with 26 players, of which I count 6 homegrown and 5 players that are Under 21. This will allow us to make 2 signings for the maximum of 17 non-homegrown players. So for the first run-through, here is my first fearless prediction

    G) Sczcesny, Fabianski, Martinez
    D) Sagna, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Santos, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Djourou
    M) Song, Coquelin, Arteta, Ramsey, Gervinho, Diaby, Walcott, Rosicky,, Ryo, Ox, Arshavin
    F) Van Persie, Podolski, Chamakh, Park

    Who is the final piece of the puzzle if we end up keeping Chamakh and Park? If we can offload either Chamakh or Park, then we might also add another striker. Possibly Park could go on loan which would open up a spot. If Arshavin goes, this might open up a slot for Hoillet or a similar younger more dynamic scoring wide man.

    No matter what, this summer is going to be a very interesting one. Ultimately, I can see Arsene looking at Man City’s Balotelli, Aguero, Tevez and Dzeko and deciding we’re a little weak upfront, even with Podolski. My gut feeling is that Chamakh will stay, Park will go on loan and Arsene will bring on an Eduardo-style striker to add some more options upfront.

  65. Rohan

    I don’t think TV5 has proven his place as a starter yet for him to be made captain. I rate Koscielny much higher and have my doubts as to whether the Verm-Kosc pairing is the future.

  66. DaleDaGooner

    Being Captain means you can command a high level of respect amongst the troop, I don’t think TV5 is there yet, I can’t see TV5 bollocking RvP or Abou at that.

  67. Leedsgunner

    Isn’t TV5 already a vice captain? Surely he’s next in line to be capt should not be available… He has a previous of this with role with Ajax anyway…

  68. JOPPAAAAAAAA

    Dale….I can just see Theo letting rip at RVP for not putting him through or letting Szchzney have it both barrels for his poor distribution.

    Speaking of Chesney, is it me or does he just look an average keeper these days? I thought he was going to be immense but not so sure now.

  69. andy

    Guys? Our next captain has to be a guy called jack wilshere. Do you know him? Fighting, love for ou club, real gooner, pushing all the time … If a guy bets on finishing in front of our rivals although its not allowed AND we were 10 points down he has to be the next captain …

  70. LAzer

    So if this whole quota, club should play its country players nonsense works so well how is it that Brazil are in steady decline considering their league is probably 99% “homegrown.”

    I can appreciate the current setup, a hybrid system whereby part of the squad doesn’t necessarily have to be English but they do need to be trained and brought up in youth systems in England.

    Lets get our priorities straight. The clubs do NOT exist to make the national team better.

  71. LAzer

    no suprise in hindsight that was a now trademark lofted Songinho ball for Eduardo.

    Will always have a soft spot for him…could have been so much more.

  72. goonerboy

    Gambon
    It is usually the case that the most deluded individuals think everyone else is deluded but them.
    Your stats are a joke-where do they come from? How do we know you haven’t made them up?
    Whether you like it or not it is a fact that United have had far fewer penalties awarded against them than anyone else in the EPL over the past 10 years.
    Your stats do not show whether we are getting the pens we should get-or whether United should be conceding more like that the the one against Fulham.

    Your hatred of Wenger simply obscures your objectivity-where you think he is the only factor in our lack of success.-and you have the gall to call out others for being deluded.

  73. follow the money

    I was about to post something asking if anyone else had noticed how now that they need it Man U have been getting pens for, pens against denied, and opposing players sent off but it appears I’m not the only one who has noticed. It happens every year. An opposing player would have to elbow a Man U player in the face and break his jaw to get a peno against Man U. It’s gotten worse since City have begun challenging them too. Remember the 6 minutes of Fergie time when Owen scored the winner? That was just absurd–it should have been 2-3 minutes tops. It almost makes me happy that we aren’t challenging for the title in recent season–almost–because imagine how infuriating it would be to be a City fan right now. I did a little tallying last year and on average during the last six seasons United get 9-15 point every season from bogus ref decisions. It’s become so normalized that when it goes the other way (like a couple of the Mun U-Chelsea games that Chelsea won in recent years) the media talk about it like it’s the end of the world. Ridiculous

  74. Tasos

    After witnessing another blatant piece of cheating at Old Trafford tonight I have to wonder what the motive was for anyone to feel the need to defend Man Utd.

    The EPL is fast becoming a laughing stock and the majority can now see it for what it really is, corrupt.

    Don’t insult people’s intelligence by attempting to prove otherwise Gambon.

  75. gnarleygeorge9

    SAF reckons the sun shines out of his arse right. Well by 2025 scientists say he will have had that many face lifts etc, they have estimated that his naught will actually be upon his forehead. Note once again the digitally enhanced photo of the illuminated chocolate starfish on SAF’s forehead.

  76. Boodah

    The new Arsenal match review is up on classlessmag.com , it’s too bad we’re all focused on Podolski. If this deal doesn’t follow through we’ll be fucked. Arsenal obviously won’t get Hazard as there has been no talk of it in the media at all. However, if we do get Podolski, I can see us locking up Hazard pretty quickly.

  77. andy

    oh utd against city owen´s 96 minute winner with stoppagetime of 4 minutes … I do remember that one 😛 playing handball in our box á la vidic is also well known … ellbowing enemy players like rooney did … fouling demba ba just outside their own box, no other manc player within a radius of 20 yards but receiving —— YELLOW … chipping the ball on upson´s hand from around 0,5 yards and receiving a pen … oh dear and thats just what I remember right now 😛