Barca say no… | Third is the new fourth for Arsenal | Wilshere plays it sensible

by & filed under News Review.


So there we have it, a Chelsea vs Bayern Munich final. Still a big ask from our classless West London neighbours… they’re missing 4 players through suspension and two through injury… but I’d fancy them against the Germans over the might of Madrid. That means that finishing third is of huge importance. We’re going to have to win all of our games now. That means the pressure is on more than ever. Can this team handle that pressure? Do we have the experience to pull ourselves through? Can we show the rest of the league that we can hack it when the heat is on?

Well, we’ll find out this weekend against Stoke. A nasty place to go and play. I think I’ve mentioned before that their club hierarchy pull every trick in the book to make the whole stay unpleasant. In winter they leave the heating off in the changing rooms. They often don’t supply the opposition with balls to practice with and Ryan Shawcross puts clingfilm over the toilet seat. They are filth from top to bottom. Then you get out on the pitch and it turns nasty. We should be able to deal with that this season. We don’t really have players who can be bullied. Well, with the exception of possibly Aaron Ramsey.

It’s a shame we don’t have Arteta in the middle of the park for this game. Song, Rosicky and Benayoun can handle themselves, but Arteta is the sort of player who would go out and let Stoke know he’s there in the first 5 minutes. Robin needs to take more of a lead in this game. He needs to fly into the challenges, stick up for his team mates and make sure no one slips into a ‘poor old me’ shell. I have no worries at the back. Well, bar Gibbs. The only reason I worry about him is that I’ve never seen him face a team that will try and batter him. Koscielny, Sagna and Vermaelen are all battle hardened. Our keeper can deal with long balls into the box as well as anyone… he’s also built to handle stray elbows and rogue shoves.

The question will be around attitude. Do we head out with a QPR / Wigan mindset. Or do we head out with the Manchester City positivity? You never know what you’ll get with this squad, but hopefully the fear of losing out on top four by finishing fourth will be enough to spark the whole club into a renewed sense of focus.

Fingers crossed.

In other news, strikers Carlos Vela and Nik B seem to have their hearts set on any club but Arsenal. I’m not too fussed about that. I think Carlos Vela is far better suited to Spain and playing under a manager who believes in him. For whatever reason, Arsene Wenger didn’t trust him at all. He was a bit of a party boy and he often looked over weight. He never adapted to the Premiership despite some amazing chipped goals and sparks of magic. It was a similar story with Dos Santos over at Spurs. The boy was magic for Barca, the next big thing… but a bad attitude stopped him ever fulfilling his potential.

Nik B is a striker I still think could be a big asset to the club. It’s just a shame he has such a high opinion of himself. That said, I’d rather a striker like Nik demanding he played over a two strikers like Chamakh and Park who say nothing despite only making a handful of appearances. That’s the trouble with a lot of the players we’ve fattened up on contracts that far exceed their talent. They don’t care about playing. Almunia doesn’t worry about not getting game time, all he cares about is accessorising his embarrassing dog. Chamakh is all about partying in London. Park Chu-Young… well, I don’t even know where to start there.

All you hope is that the club learn from this. You hope these massive mistakes entitle Gazidis to ask more questions over what the manager is doing. Geoff told me that Wellbeck has signed a new deal at United for £45k a week. That’s £780k less a year than Diaby gets… and he’s played a prominent role in what could be a title winning side this year. Arsene should never be able to get around squad investment stipulations by bumping up average players wages. Regardless of where we finish this year, we’re still totally hamstrung by this policy come the summer. We have quotas we have to abide by… but if you can’t shift on players, what can you do to free up cash and squad space?

Rumour is abound that Jack Wilshere will turn down Stuart Pearce’s overtures for an Olympic place. Good for him if that’s the case. He didn’t want to go last year when he was asked to go the U21 tournament despite being in the red zone. You can understand the predicament he’s in… if he looks at this summer logically, he knows he shouldn’t really play. If he looks at it from a national point of view… he’ll worry that if he refuses, he’ll look like David Bentley did all those years ago.

It also looks as if the info we shared about Robin and Barca last week was right… they’re not interested in him. Tony Frexia, admin legend at Barca said…

“Van Persie is a great player but [we have] no intention of signing him.”

Good. Keep it that way you melt.

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That’s it for day. See you in the comments where I’m going to edit all your thoughts to agree with me.

378 Responses to “Barca say no… | Third is the new fourth for Arsenal | Wilshere plays it sensible”

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  1. Mayank

    “Ronaldo was kept at Yoonited against his will and guess what? he still gave his all in is last season there,”

    This. This is why I actually hated him. If he’s actually played with his heart in it he’d have got us an extra 10-15m. The least he could do.

    And the little strike? He knew we aren’t the kind of club that would keep a player against his wishes or had the kind of money to give him the Tevez treatment.

    Waiting for Gambon to tell us how that unprofessional behaviour was Wenger’s fault and completely absolve Cesc.

  2. kwik fit

    sde

    I don’t think that we need to go as far as Italy to get someone to make wenger an offer he can’t refuse. There’s a few posters on here that would be glad to get the job done themselves ;)

  3. SUGA3

    SDE,

    he is a quality player, but a bit of a cunt and one of the worst kind at that, as he is a wimp and a loser, who wants everything served on a plate or he will implode and take everyone around him down with him…

    list of all time favourite players? not in a million years mate!

  4. El Tel

    RVP is a great player however I can understand some of Paulines comments showing his weaknesses.

    RVP looks like a big fairy when running, it looks unsightly and like no other player, he also never bullies a defence which in my opinion makes this Arsenals defensive weakness.

    Teams are not scared when counter attacking us as there is no outlet for us when/if we turn the ball over like we used to when DB10 and TH14

    RVP is great when we play tippy tippy build up football but He doesn’t do enough harrying and chasing for my liking. Although He is a big bloke He is not scaring anyone. He rarely runs towards the front post when we attack yet when he has done he has scored goals. I get annoyed at the fact that he expects the ball to his feet rather than running into space like at bollocks does for the Mancscum.

    RVP is also shit at taking free kicks but because He actually scored a couple in the many seasons He has been trying He is seen as an expert. We have far better free kick options either side of goal than RVP, I also don’t get our striker taking corners, if he was short then fair enough but his height would help others in the box just by taking a defender away from the danger area or actually being a threat aerially.

    For all those flaws there is the awesome goals He scores and the assists He helps with the team. He is also seen as. A good captain and when interviewed a nice bloke who loves our Club.

    We must not have a pop at the deserved Player of the Year but maybe with better support like Podolski and another we will get even more from him.

    Paulinios clothes horse comment was actually very close to the mark and IMO wasn’t taking anything away from Robin.

    To finish off. He doesn’t score when he wants. Does he?

    RVP is very good in our own area at heading clearances so why does He not stay in the area when we are attacking corners?

  5. Ice

    Worse news of the day?

    Bobble headed fuckwit excuse for a quality player Song is poised to stay at the club

    Arsene listen wake up and smell the coffee

    This is a player that looked mediocre and out of his depth at Charlton and Bastia

    He’s a loser with a flair for Tesco balls who will get you the sack if you persist in building a team around him

  6. zeus

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story/_/id/1054657/editor's-angle:-bad-week-for-barcelona,-bad-few-months-for-wolves?cc=3888

    We live in a footballing era of ever-spiralling hype. Too often, we are ready to rewrite the history books and declare a player or team as the greatest ever.

    Josep Guardiola’s Barcelona cannot now label themselves the greatest ever. Such a tag was always giddily premature. They have not matched the dominance of the Real Madrid team that won the first five European Cups, or the achievements of both Ajax and Bayern Munich in winning three in a row during the 1970s. AC Milan, in 1989 and 1990, remain the last team to win the European Cup twice in succession, and Liverpool’s four titles in seven seasons is another mark still to be aimed for.

    The modern Barcelona has perhaps had it too easy. Not quite everyone has been swung by the serenity of rather too many of their triumphs. Sometimes, metronomic passing and possession percentage did not thrill as much as the hype machine – the accepted truth – had it. There has been something of a power vacuum. Barca’s success has been achieved at a time when the Premier League’s threat has receded, and the Italian giants are rebuilding, while the Mourinho effect has taken a little longer than usual at the Bernabeu.

    *********

    Anyone buys this?

  7. El Tel

    Can’t we loan Pep Guardiola for the three CL matches that Wenger is suspended for?

    If we get in the CL of course.

  8. El Tel

    ICE,

    Song is not the best DM there is but He isn’t as bad as you point out.

    Who told you He was crap at Charlton?

    I live near Charlton and know many of their fans and they raved about Song when He was there, He was one of their favourite players.

    Unless you know from Charlton football Club that he failed and they didn’t rate him then please don’t make things up.

  9. SDE

    zeus
    Barca’s success has been achieved at a time when the Premier League’s threat has receded, and the Italian giants are rebuilding, while the Mourinho effect has taken a little longer than usual at the Bernabeu.

    Reply
    Probably an article ghost-written by wenger,in an attempt to down play Pepe’s achievements,& make the AKB’s & anyone that dares to listen -believe 4th place is the new 1st..!

  10. SUGA3

    I will actually be happy to see Song stay, it’s more about bringing in competition worth mentioning (M’Villa) rather than getting rid of him…

    continuity counts for a lot and if you look at the squad we have, he is one of the better players we have, whether you like it or not…

    and oh, all you people criticising RvP, have a word!

  11. Mayank

    There’s definitely been a power vacuum. There’s no way to tell if they wouldn’t have won it regardless.

    The position they find themselves in is just a mixture of tiredness and the fact that Xavi and Puyol can no longer go 90 minutes at the level that’s asked of them.

    A little bit of rebuilding is required.

  12. zeus

    “Guardiola, who has led Barca to 13 trophies since taking charge, will confirm his imminent departure to his players at a team meeting on Friday morning, and it is then believed that he will address the media alongside Rosell at a press conference after a scheduled training session on Friday morning.”

    *****

    If true, could that shit not have waited till after the season? So distracting.

  13. SDE

    El Tel
    “Song is not the best DM there is but He isn’t as bad as you point out.”

    Reply
    Depends what is your reference point, or benchmark?

    By the benchmark of a Yaya Toure…absolute garbage..

    By the benchmark of a Rory Delap,or a Lee Catermole..Hmm it’s a tough one to call..

    Either way,he’s garbage!!

    No footballing brain, can’t hold his position, clumsy in the tackle,not disclipined…In fact,he’s in the wrong sport..should be in wwf!!

  14. zeus

    Last month, Sao Paulo vice-president Juan Paulo de Jesus stated that Denilson did not want to return to London, but the Morumbi club failed to reach an agreement with the Gunners regarding an extension to the loan deal.

    “I will stay at Sao Paulo until June 30,” he said via a statement. “Then I will return to Arsenal.

    “This season, I had more assists, I secured a place in the starting team and I had good matches. I also had a good run of matches and I have not been sent off.

    “I would like to stay six more months, but this decision was made by Arsenal, with whom I have a contract.

    “I will not be unhappy in London, because I am returning to one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

    Denilson, who signed for Arsenal in 2006, has a contract with the Gunners until 2013.

    ************************

    I would self harm if he was with us at season’s start.

  15. Samir

    I can also imagine Real Madrid buying him for 120 Million in 5 years…And us Gooners wondering why we didn’t even put a bid in for him!

  16. SDE

    zeus
    “Guardiola, who has led Barca to 13 trophies since taking charge, will confirm his imminent departure to his players at a team meeting on Friday morning, and it is then believed that he will address the media alongside Rosell at a press conference after a scheduled training session on Friday morning.”

    *****If true, could that shit not have waited till after the season? So distracting.”

    Reply
    You are probably right..But what this guy has done over a short period,has been nothing short of remarkable..
    He’s probably raised the bar so high,that even he knows that it’s difficult to sustain this level over a long-term period..
    Let’s be honest,they’ve probably peaked & he might feel he’s taken them as far as he can.

    And let’s remember managing Barca, it’s not like managing a club.You are managing a nation..It’s tantamount to managing say an international team like England,but on a daily basis.

    So the pressure to succeed is magnified x100..& you are accountable,not only to the fans& the management, but to all intents & purposes the Catalan nation.

    Look at what happened to Rijkaard,after he left Barca..
    He went into hibernation,just to recover…The job is a horrendous one to take on..

  17. jack

    I can also imagine Arsene Wenger saying we have qualified for the last 21 years and is a measure of our success and stability.

    In a related matter, the government has expressed concern at the recent research that found that Arsenal fans are suffering more from BI-Polar than any other group.

  18. zeus

    SDE

    Then say a prayer for Mano Menezes. If you think coaching Madrid and Barca are stressful, what do you think of coaching brazil?

    If you ask the typical Brazilian (living in brazil) where they can see the best football they would tell you watch the Brazilian championship.

    And Mano is coaching, with the world cup on home soil to boot. If it doesn’t go well, he will have to emigrate for a while.

  19. El Tel

    No Song isnt as good as Ya Ya Toure and you are right to point out his defects but He is better than Scott Parker who some on here seem to love and most other players in the Prem in his position.

    Get in a proper DM and use him and Coquelin is a better idea.

    Funny how our players who foul should be WWF wrsetlers instead of footballers but dirty bastards like Scholes and Parker get called good players.

    Depends who you really support imo.

  20. zeus

    Kush

    I think the triumvirate was Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez, but yeah. Thats why I asked.

    I still contend that while Messi is the best in that side, the key is Xavi. When his legs go, its gonna get easier for opponents. He passe 100+ times a game. Noone can fill that role quite as well. Not even Cesc or Iniesta.

    Its kinda funny, its the same with Argentina, Messi is the man, but they played their best, when Riquelme was the key. The closest I’ve seen any team come to looking like Barca was the 2007 Copa America side of Argentina (maybe the 2006 WC side as well).

    They were destroyed by the counter attacking Brazil in the final of the Copa America though.

  21. SDE

    El Tel
    “Depends who you really support imo”

    Reply
    Actually it depends on your standards..
    Using Scott Parker as your benchmark,shows that you are willing to accept at best sub-standard crap..

    When we go from the calibre of players like, a vieira,petit,or a gilberto silva to now song..It’s sad..really sad..The dumbing down of quality..

    I think if vieira,gilberto & petit were still at the club,they would have laughed song out of the club,with his amateur dramatics that belong if not in wwf,then more in some northern hemisphere rugby league division..

  22. SDE

    El Tel
    “Funny how our players who foul should be WWF wrsetlers instead of footballers but dirty bastards like Scholes and Parker get called good players.”

    Reply
    Well to be fair on scholes,his one main flaw is his tackling..But overall he’s been some player..
    As for Parker,I have no opinion
    As for song,he has too many flaws to bother going into..I named a few of them above in my earlier post..

    But to think of a redeeming quality for song..
    Hmm..funny,can’t think of one,just flaws..

  23. SDE

    zeus
    Then say a prayer for Mano Menezes. If you think coaching Madrid and Barca are stressful, what do you think of coaching brazil?If you ask the typical Brazilian (living in brazil) where they can see the best football they would tell you watch the Brazilian championship.And Mano is coaching, with the world cup on home soil to boot. If it doesn’t go well, he will have to emigrate for a while.

    Reply
    True..
    I recall a certain Felippe Scolari..Was it the 2002 world cup?Where he dared to drop their golden child Romario..
    And the press,along with the public were baying for Scolari’s blood..On top of that,they just managed to qualify for the world cup,by the skin of their teeth..I felt for Scolari at the time..And then,he goes & wins the world cup..& is lauded as a hero..Big balls Scolari!!

  24. Keyser

    The Valencia game is hilarious, the things these Spanish players do, no wonder Alba wants to go back to Barcelona.

  25. kwik fit

    He’s only ever going to be just another player for Barca but had he stayed with us he could have become a legend.
    Agreed suga3 that ship has sailed.

  26. Cowleygooner

    Can’t say I blame him for leaving. To be constantly lied to over the promise of signings ever year must piss you off in the end.
    Like every person in sport you want to be a winner, hence the RVP situation.
    Plus if we get Pep that means we got rid of the French mug! Happy days.

  27. kwik fit

    Don’t put Pep on a pedestal guy’s. He’s had quality to work with and by his own admission ‘anyone (bar wenger) could have done what he has done’. Against the chav’s he was unable to change the game tactical when midway trough the 2nd half it became obvious that his team where going nowhere.

  28. SUGA3

    Cowley,

    let’s get one thing straight here: I don’t blame him for leaving, I blame him for being an unprofessional, disrespectful wanker in his last season here and washing he dirty linen in public after he left…

    Coño!!!

  29. Cowleygooner

    Suga3
    Fair enough, don’t think he’s held in high esteem by most gooners
    Just get fed up with our better players leaving because our glorious leader can’t see what everyone else on the planet can?
    Buy some finished articles NOT 16yr old prospects..

  30. kwik fit

    Kushagra

    He could have stopped continuously playing down the middle get more width and put Puyol up front. He could have also instructed his players to have a pop
    from distance. The whole of the second half was pass pass pass and pass again.
    It was worse than watching the tippi tappi Arsenal and that’s saying something.

  31. Gunner2301

    SDE

    Remember when they first brought Rijkaard in and results weren’t going their way Jaun Laporta was getting death threats and threats to kidnap his kids. You can’t mess with the Catalans.

    Now contrast this with Wenger who threatened to walk out and go to Real Madrid, whos fans are equally patriotic and people believed him? LMFAO I should have saved that for joke Friday. Wenger wouldn’t last 3 months at Barca or Madrid with his 4th is a trophy mentality.

  32. arsenal1886-2006

    Best 2 legged semi final I have ever seen. If only all football matches were played like that.
    Standing ovation to both teams…….

  33. SDE

    Gunner2301
    Remember when they first brought Rijkaard in and results weren’t going their way Jaun Laporta was getting death threats and threats to kidnap his kids. You can’t mess with the Catalans.Now contrast this with Wenger who threatened to walk out and go to Real Madrid, whos fans are equally patriotic and people believed him? LMFAO I should have saved that for joke Friday. Wenger wouldn’t last 3 months at Barca or Madrid with his 4th is a trophy mentality.

    Reply
    I know..And if we knew then,what we know now about Wenger,we should have called his bluff about Madrid wanting his services,and if us fans don’t like he can always hop it to Madrid..What a tosser..!
    How I wish,he could say that crap now..
    I’m sure most fans would drive him to spain without hesitation.Or club together to buy him a 1-way ticket to Madrid..

  34. Gunner2301

    SDE

    I knew he was talking shit at the time. He couldn’t cope in a job like that. Earlier this season he looked like a nervous geriatric and that’s with absolutely no pressure bearing down on him from the board room. Pathetic Cunt!

  35. SUGA3

    2301,

    yep, long night indeed, matchsticks in my eyes at work today ;)

    who needs a shovel? some just dig their own holes, y’know I’m saying?

  36. follow the money

    zeus I just don’t rate Barca as one of the great teams for one reason; the help they have gotten from officials, starting with the final vs us in 2006, to the Ovrebo fiasco vs Chelsea, to the sending off of RVP. Their achievements are not valid because in almost all cases they have an unfair advantage

  37. SDE

    Someone mentioned a few days ago that this season,wenger has been smashing all kinds of records(albeit for the wrong reasons)..

    Anyway I think Wenger,might be surpassing himself this season,by setting a new record,given our 8-2 drubbing by Man Utd ,..Heaviest defeat in CL..4-0..etc,etc..

    The new record could be that wenger would be the first manager in EPL history to be beaten by a manager-Alex McCleish in a cup final , who consequently will have managed to relegate 2 teams(B’ham-twice& possibly Aston Villa) over a possible three seasons out of four…..

    & if Aston Villa go down,that would be the first time since the existence of the english league that Aston Villa,would have been relegated..

  38. SDE

    Gunner2301
    “I knew he was talking shit at the time. He couldn’t cope in a job like that. Earlier this season he looked like a nervous geriatric and that’s with absolutely no pressure bearing down on him from the board room. Pathetic Cunt!”

    Reply
    It’s a pity the fans took their feet of his throat this season..Should have pressed it a little tighter..How he managed to wriggle out of it,geez knows..
    To be fair,I started feeling sorry for him at that point..Even though I still wanted him out..

    Oh well,the geriatric lives to fight another day..

    I wonder what his smokescreen will be,for not buying quality players this season.
    Euros 2012?
    Or the double-dip recession we are currently experiencing?

  39. SDE

    Kwik Fit

    Aston Villa were last relegated from the Football League Division One in the 1986/1987 season.

    Reply
    I might have got that one wrong..My fault,should have checked the stat on that myself..Quality control,bypassed their….But the other stat is true..though!!

  40. SDE

    Gunner2301
    He’s bought 50000 players so we can’t question him about who he buys or doesn’t buy.

    Reply
    LOL

  41. Ranj

    I’m so sick of Spurs fans telling me that they r gonna finish above us that I forced one to put his money where his mouth is. This guy’s jewish too. I made him agree that if Arsenal finish above Spurs this season, he must start supporting us. Please Mr Wenger don’t make the

  42. Ranj

    As I was saying, please Mr Wenger don’t make the vice versa possible. Especially in light of all the fantastic results we’ve had. Don’t throw it away now. We’ve got 3 Cup Final games left, please win them at all costs.

  43. Lordbergkamp

    Ranj – a foolish bet you’ve made. we’ve won 1/2 a game in the last 10 games of the season over the last 5 years…

    we’re in the middle of our customary end of season slump…..

  44. Geoff

    Dennis I wasn’t thinking about giving him a choice!

    Diaby sick now, it really is time to bin that sick note cunt off.

  45. gambon

    Diaby is an embarrassment to his family.

    It really, really wouldnt surpise me if Wenger has been told he cant play again but he feels sorry for the little cunt so he will carry on paying him.

    No doubt he’ll give him a payrise soon.

  46. SDE

    Geoff
    Diaby sick now, it really is time to bin that sick note cunt off.

    Reply
    Shame about Diaby..A player with talent..
    Suppose it’s time to bite the bullet& let him go with sadness..

  47. goonerboy

    Arsenal need more options in midfield-because we are carrying 2 crocks who haven’t played all year-and we are having to play a player in Ramsey who is totally out of form no other top side would be playing a guy so out of form in every game.
    If you are talking embarrassing-that is embarrassing. In the very few times he has played this season Diaby looks good- so how it can be said he lets his family down I don’t know-but he simply aint an available option. Why are Arsenal so short of players that we have to play guys who are obviously suffering the effects of long term injuries? Why the fuck did Wenger let Arshavin go on loan in January?
    Rosicky has been better this year but is still lightweight-so why the fuck pick on Song? Yeah he’s not perfect-but why as supposed Arsenal fans do you conveniently not mention his strengths like his 8 assists when you slag him off? Name me a holding mid in the EPL with 8 assists?
    Comparing YaYa Toure to Alex Song is ridiculous-they don’t play in the same position-how about Gareth Barry and Song or De Jong if you want to compare holding mids. To me he compares well with both.Yeah if I had a choice Id just about go de Jong-but Id rather have Song than Barry any day-or Scotty Parker.

    Its all very well quoting a players weaknesses -and never mentioning their strengths-How the fuck does anyone know whether Mvila would be so much better than Song as a holding mid in the EPL-the physically toughest league in world football and far more intense than anything Mvila has experienced before.
    Its obvious that we need more than one holding mid at the club-and Song might be relieved of the responsibility to cover everyone else when they lose the ball if we got another quality experienced midfield player in.