Mario Balotelli available, could Arsene tame him? | Arsenal are serious about Reading | Robin and Robson stuff

by & filed under News Review.

Morning Grovers, despite us having a game this evening, there's really not too much to talk about. Reading are going to be a tough game, because we make them a tough game and we're out of form. have rehashed the 'We're a f*cking serious team, yeah?'  story with an even more serious picture of Arsene Wenger. When you read stories about how top dictators rule their domestic media, then you watch pushing certain words over and over, it does make you wonder...

'Boys, the fans don't think the players are taking things seriously. What are we going to do about this?'

'Errr, why don't we just keep using the word serious? You know, so people come away from the site sure that we're serious?'

'Genius... throw in a story about Rambo being the control master as well. Compare his concentration to Bergkamp's'

So we know the team is serious. We know that Diaby is crocked for forever and 3 weeks away. Theo, well, the boss is  unsure about and Laruent is also on the 'unsure' pile. I like to think Arsene does know, he's just bang up for surprising us this evening.

Regardless of who is playing, we need to play like this evening is a Champions League final. Things could get nasty if we don't. A negative attitude to the club is contagious with big groups of supporters. I don't think I've ever seen the press round on Arsene in quite the way they are at the moment. I spoke to LBC at the weekend about the situation, and to my surprise, after giving my view of Wenger and his days being numbered, Patrick Barclay weighed in with some managerial replacement suggestions. When he's talking like that, you know things are bad. He suggested Martinez. I'm not so keen...  but the way he deals with budgets and his philosophy to the game... well, he certainly has credentials. I'd prefer to aim quite a bit higher though. If we were going for a young manager from the Premiership, there are a few other names I'd prefer.

Back to the game. We need to own the ball. We need to press and the front three need to move for the midfield. There seems to be a real team brain freeze that happens when we get into the final third. No one wants the ball, if they do want the ball, they're so petrified of losing it, they don't take a risk. 99% pass completion is no good if that means you don't ever take a risk. The season Andrey Arshavin landed 18+ assists his pass completion was terrible. Why? Because he was always taking risks. He's an extreme example, but for me, I'd prefer that over Arteta who rarely passes outside a 10 yard circle.

This is Reading this evening. We need to start to dominate teams that are below our quality level. If we don't, this season will continue to go down the toilet pan at the pace it currently is.

A few other points I want to take on are as followed.

The first is the idea that because Stewart Robson was sacked by Arsenal, all his points were invalid. I can tell you they weren't. They were all bang on. Some say he has an agenda, maybe he does, but that doesn't mean he was telling lies. He has an inside line at the club and he was pretty much on point with everything he said. That might hurt some to admit it, but we've shared a lot of what he said over the past two year on here. The fact no one seems to be able to pin point what was a lie says it all. What is really concerning is that some of our other explayers are so off when they talk about the club. They're just as agenda led as Robson. Keeping quiet to curry favour with the manager and the club is just as bad as going after it with relish for being sacked.

The other story I wanted to take on was the one about Robin telling the club he wanted to stay on after Cologne game. I'd heard differently. I'm not sure which game it was, or whether it was in training, but I was told Arteta pulled him up about his intentions in front of the dressing room, telling him to make up his mind one way or the other. The idea that Robin was sold against his will is fanciful. As I've been saying over the last month or so, the guy is cold and calculating. There is no way, after releasing that statement about the club, after taking on Arsene and Ivan in that infamous meeting, after nailing a £200k week contract with United... he'd turn around and say he'd be ok to stay for a year.

1) He's was an injury prone 28 year old in the form of his life. An extra year could mean a serious injury and a serious devaluation in earnings potential

2) He knew there was no way back after that press release

3) He'd made up his mind where he wanted to go in January

4) He wanted to win trophies

5) If he'd told the club he wanted to stay and they'd said no... his team would have plastered that all over the press

Robin left because he made it that way. From a business point of view, it would have made more financial sense to keep him, scoring his goals and playing for the deal of his life, than to keep Theo. Instead, we're losing a 23 years old who'd be worth £20m this summer and could go on to have 7 more years banging in 15+ goals a season. Over a player who'd have us contending this year. It wouldn't have been such bad business if we'd replaced him with Cavani... but we didn't and we are where we are.

Anyway, a striker on the move is Balottelli. I know he's a nutter, but he's a seriously talented boy. It's such a shame no one seems to be able to control him. He's always worked under strict tacticians. I wonder if the more liberal Arsene could work with him?

Anyway, enjoy the game this evening!

This part of the post is sponsored, so suck it up people and get purchasing from the good people of JD.

I was asked to write a little piece around trainers for the JD Heroes Campaign. I'm no fashion blogger so I wasn't really sure how to tackle this, but this is a trainer hero campaign. I picked a Nike Air Max. Because I love the trainer? In part. But the reason I picked the Nike trainer is for me, Nike are synonymous with Arsenal coming out of the doldrums and into the light. Nike were a sparkling brand way beyond the reach of a young Arsenal fan way back in the day.

When they dropped their first kit, I was hooked. They, along with Arsene and his stylish brand of football kicked us onto the next level. I don't mean to go all poncy here, but even though it's not something we openly talk about because we're mostly focused on the football, Arsenal and style go hand in hand, there's a real creative following and the difference in how we look is pretty apparent when you wander around the bars in North London. I'm not saying we're a cut above, all I'm saying is if a Spurs fan was asked to pick a trainer brand that epitomised their club, I have a feeling it'd be a Reebok classic covered in dogs mess.

Is that inflammatory? Who cares. It came from the heart.

Anyway, the below trainers are collectibles put out for the 125th anniversary of the club. They're going for a £1000 on eBay. Some serious collectibility there.

Hey Nike, what the frick happened to my pair?

Anyway... do me a favour, click the video below and buy all of your trainer gifts through this link. If you don't, I'll find out who your friends are and tell them about those Reebok Classics you have at home.

420 Responses to “Mario Balotelli available, could Arsene tame him? | Arsenal are serious about Reading | Robin and Robson stuff”

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  1. SUGA3

    good point: even though it was only Reading, the play was enjoyable to watch

    bad point: we are still fragile as fuck, we'd be in trouble if it was not only Reading

  2. Jeff

    While a game is on, one can only support the club. Our fortunes will turn, more than likely under a different manager and at some time in the future but while this passage of history continues; the least we can do is invest some emotional support for the club if nothing else and with nothing else.

  3. Gunner2301


    I think it's the talk of new contracts for those who have barely contributed whilst his contract runs down. He'll be sold in Jan or Summer. That's the plan.

  4. marxdrive

    For club and country It would be great to keep the English boys together. They have so much playing time ahead of them.

    Cazorla, the player Arshavin pretended to be..............

  5. charlesbronson

    Good result, but fucks sake, why let in two soft goals (was the second offside?) like that?

    It should have been 6-7 nil, not 5-2.

    I hope we build on this and whip Wigan too, but i don't see it with arsene at the helm to be honest.

  6. ikon

    Reading - Ultra poor.
    The game was a gift. But one noticeable thing was the speed of passing in our play, something that has clearly been worked on. No idea if they will come out with the same tempo against Wigan. But master class performance from Cazorla. In the 1st half had too much space to do anything he wanted, 2nd half got closed down a lot more, and so got a chance to show his close control skills. Top class performances from Cazorla, Wilshere, Gibbs (apart from that defensive goof up), Chamberlain & Arteta. Lots of forward passes, hope we play with the same fearless attitude in the next game.

  7. Lee Pace

    RE: Verm and Sagna

    Sagna was pissed at the challenge on him just before the ref blew the final whistle, Verm was just trying to diffuse and calm Sagna down.

    According to someone on twitter who was at the game.

  8. Gunner4Life

    Jeff you are right. We can all see the problems Wegner is causing, but I find it hard to understand the co called supporters who delight in results such as the Bradford one. It is difficult when you are emotionally attached to the Arsenal.

    Even with the mediocre performances we've shown we are actually 5th now and with a healthy goal difference.

    We can kick on from here, but with Wegner in charge who knows what will happen next.

  9. kwik fit

    Brian Mc Dermott always had a soft spot for Arsenal. He let them play for 60 mins. When he tightened things up we went back to our usually stuttering nervousness. The lads give 100% for the first 60 and last 10mins. Lets hope we can start making it 90mins in future. Eh Arsene!

  10. Gunner2301


    To be fair it's been a long time since I've seen a team allow us space all over the pitch it was like 11 v 8 Reading had no plan and allowed us that space all game.

    Walcott, Ox, Podoski break quicker than
    Podolski, Gervinho, Walcott
    Podolski, Giroud, Gervinho

    They are the quickest front 3 and if we alter that line up watch us revert back to crab football and slow breaks that allow the opposition to get organised.

  11. Gunner2301

    "they've got to do better than they have over the last month or two"?

    Gary - I was beginning to rate you as a pundit but you don't know the details of any Club beyond Man U so shut the fuck up. It's been about 4 - 5 years this has been going on.

  12. Keyser

    You can hear Vermaelen say let it go, first game in a while I've Sky+'ed after the event.

    We were better but not clinical in the final third and the disconnect in midfield is still evdident and the confidence of the team, you could blame it all on a poor ball by Gibbs and that we were soo far ahead we'd just got a bit carried away in doing the basics.

    We keep a decent highligh but because we still don't have the players to be completely comfortable against any team we crack under pressure.

    Walcott up front, still poor, the chance when he was clean through in the first half summed it up, he can finish chances like he did for his goal all day, but when he has to use a bit of ingenuity, a deft chip, or being skillful enough with the ball to take it around the keeper, he's still got a lot to learn, Le Fondre did it with ease.

  13. kwik fit


    I was thinking the exact same thing. Only an Arsenal supporter understands the frustrations and pain that Wenger has put us through
    over the past EIGHT years!

  14. Gunner2301


    I thought I'd be generous. In reality it's been going downhill since we left Highbury.


    I'm not sure what article your talking about, but I think if Gary Neville had watched Man U decline for 8 years under some cunt after Ferguson left he'd have something to say about that. He can only speak about Arsenal superficially. Can you imagine him having to comment on a Man U team that weren't playing for the shirt? That's the difference in perspective that we have over Neville.

  15. SDE

    KeyserDecember 17, 2012 22:21:30
    Gunner2301 – What was wrong with what he said ?! His Daily Mail article was excellant.


    This is what I mean..A pair of apologists...!!

  16. SDE

    Gunner2301December 17, 2012 22:15:47
    “they’ve got to do better than they have over the last month or two”?

    Gary – I was beginning to rate you as a pundit but you don’t know the details of any Club beyond Man U so shut the fuck up. It’s been about 4 – 5 years this has been going on.


    My sentiments exactly Gunner2301..

    Could not believe the utter crap G.Neville came out with in the Daily Mail article..

    Just when I was rating him as a top,top pundit..He comes out with the b/s of an article..

    All these critics are either just a bunch of disingenuous fornicators,or live in some parallel universe detached from reality..Or both..

    Heil Keyser can vouch for them..

  17. Gunner2301


    He's probably the best pundit and tends to know his shit and talk sense, but tonight he's talking as if what's going on at Arsenal is a storm in a teacup when we know differently - What about what fans get charged at the Emirates compared to Old Trafford Gary?

  18. Jeff


    I don't know that I would call it delight. I think that what happens to people who are so utterly fed up of the roller coaster of emotions we are put through every season, that to them a result like Bradford gives rise to the possibility that Wenger might walk. It is the thought of that which causes the delight.

    However, in the cold light of day, we all know that he won't go so it becomes a pointless and futile exercise to hope we lose. In the end Wenger will leave. This regime and set up will pass but Arsenal will still be here and so will its fans. So I don't hold anything against those who are less than upset when we lose because I know exactly where they're coming from.

    Each to the devil his own way of course but I take the view that any emotional support I express is for AFC and not the manager otherwise we become the mirror image of an AKB who love Arsene while disregarding Arsenal and the converse of that is hating Arsene while disregarding AFC. I myself wouldn’t wish to follow either of those routes and when it comes to supporting the club emotionally or financially, I prefer to leave the manager out of it completely.

    In all honesty, I think Wenger is beyond redemption now but we are locked in and we have no choice but to endure it till the bitter end.

  19. SDE


    Go fuck yourself..

    By the way,how are your parents doing..?

    Will they be visiting you this xmas,at the mental asylum..?

    Or will they be giving you the wide berth,for the 4Oth year in a row..?

  20. northern gooner

    we won. it's nearly Xmas
    be happy and stop moaning.
    it could be worse this blog could be called le-anfield and we could be Liverpool fans.
    Wenger will be gone in 6 months and then we can let the good times roll

  21. R.S..P.C.Arsenal

    True , when unt went up 15000 seats to make 75000 not many complained that the seats were all squashed and should only be room for 10000 ! United have good pr fergie has made some expensive dreadful mistakes. But who remembers? I just want the truth as to what's happening at my club?

  22. Royal Bludger

    Someone else earlier today put their finger on it ... Fergie's had a word to Neville - write that Wenger should be supported and defended ... i.e, all the clubs above us want him to stay ...

    We're easybeats these days.

  23. SDE


    Here are some extracts from Gary Neville's article..

    "Arsenal are on the right track. They run the club in a sensible way. When I go there, I watch good players, good football and you sense the history of the place. There is a drop in quality, especially in forward positions. They were the best attacking team I played against and, at the moment, they don’t have that ruthlessness and devastation."

    "But we should be applauding the fact a club have had a manager for 16 years in a world in which divorce rates get ever higher, in which loyalty isn’t valued and in which everyone demands everything instantly.
    Sensible football people should be defending Arsene Wenger and fighting for him to build another great Arsenal team."

  24. bazza

    Promising performance tonight. The good news is that playing Theo up front stops the opposition playing a high line and creates space for Jack and Santi to be more creative. I hope Wenger understands. Our shape still looks too narrow but at least we moved the ball with real pace.
    I find it sad that so many so called fans on this site get more excited when we lose than when we win and as for the "fans" that want Arsenal to lose you really need to get lives.

  25. Royal Bludger

    Gary Neville's article ... in intelligence circles, it's called a psy-ops - (MU making us keep Wenger - because they benefit from it ... and thanks for RVP by the way).

  26. Kempster

    "I thought Neville was an excellent analyst until he said something I disagree with, ergo he must be a fuckwit instead, can't think of any other explanation."

  27. Gunner2301


    I think Neville got out at the right time. Obviously he's lost his competitive streak, but I say again if what has happened at Arsenal happened at Man U he'd be spitting feathers.


    So Fergie bought a few expensive players that didn't work out, no big deal, at least he has ambition and still has it. I'm sure the 80mill for Ronaldo evens it out a bit. Apart from that I can't remember another player Ferguson was bullied into selling. I think I'd prefer that than know that Wenger has a list as long as my arm which he likes to hide away (although not expensive, they probably add up to more than Fergusons) and willingly sells his best players because he sees competing not on the pitch anymore but in who has the healthiest accounts.

  28. Royal Bludger

    SDE - you mean sincere abuse?

    Don't try and imitate Gayboy - that twat is reviled on here.

    Talk about the football, hey?

  29. SDE

    Royal Bludger

    Mind your own fucking business...You have an unhealthy obsession with Gambon..

    Why don't you focus on your inner self,before trying to be all righteous with others..

    A good start,would be to take yourself into a darkly lit room & commit seppuku..

  30. Gunner2301


    The article demonstrates that Neville is an inward looking observer who has no idea what's going on at the Club, who hasn't pieced together the damning evidence that we used to be a contender but now we are a selling Club happy to be a production line for so called bigger Clubs. I would say again if Man U were turning into Ajax under Ferguson would Neville be publishing such an article of support?

    We have had to watch many things happening under this manager since 2005 which if they happened under Ferguson Neville may well back him like some of our ex players back Wenger but it wouldn't be based on unbiased logic. Does Neville discuss the wastage in our wage bill or how players like Ramsey can be paid more than most of the Man U players? Does he talk about only Fabregas being produced by Wenger over 16 years? No he'll say Wenger is a great developer of youth like the rest of the sheep. Just like he says Arsenal play great football..... Really? These things that he seems to conveniently miss never enter into the equation and they should do if he wants to make a rounded comment.

  31. Keyser

    Gunner2301 -

    "Does Neville discuss the wastage in our wage bill or how players like Ramsey can be paid more than most of the Man U players? Does he talk about only Fabregas being produced by Wenger over 16 years? No he’ll say Wenger is a great developer of youth like the rest of the sheep."

    Neither of those things are true, he'd destroy your arguments.

  32. Gunner2301


    I suspect you're on a phone? And you mean Dwight Yorke?

    These situations are different
    Van Nistelrooy

    All big players who Ferguson got rid off because none of them were bigger than the Club or their private lives spilled over into football. To me that's brave management.

    Contrast that with

    Fabregas (how long did it take our captain to commit publicly after the World Cup?)
    Campbell (walking out on us)
    Nasri (and he wanted to keep him)

    Various levels of disrespect in there and what happens? Nothing - Weak management from Wenger.

    Like I said apart from Ronaldo I can't remember any player Ferguson wanted to keep and a club came in fucked with the players head created shit and got the player in the end (and in our case at a bargain basement price - on numerous occasions where Barca is concerned).

  33. R.S..P.C.Arsenal

    Keyser let's not forget jack, Ashley , David Bentley, Rhys murphy, jet, paullinho, Ryan Garry , John hall, Henri Lansbury, Anthony stokes, Gael cliche, remi garde, all the youth team that won trophies,,,, also 2008 the step of the emirates the next batch of youths who are gonna be great and British!

  34. Royal Bludger

    SDE - you're the one with the unhealthy obsession with Gayboy ...

    You try and imitate him - I ridicule him.


  35. R.S..P.C.Arsenal

    Your tight fella, fergie is like a good drinker he knows when he has had the limit with a player! Hey tho in defence of wenger who would have thought we would get 4o m for Rvp and song two years ago ?

  36. Gunner2301


    Name me another youth player apart from Fabregas that wasn't already here when Wenger arrived that went on to Greatness. You gonna count RVP? Wilshire? Song? Djourou? Gibbs?

    Out of the Man U squad how many players will be on 50 or 60k as Ramsey might be shortly? The minority or the majority? How much were fringe players like Brown, O'Shea earning even Silvestre after years of service? How much are those outside the Elite core earning?

  37. Gunner2301


    I don't think Wenger knew it either but he's an opportunist and would never let that kind of money pass him by. Any player that increases in value at Arsenal is likely to be sold.

  38. SDE


    Well articulated & well addressed..I agree with you on all points..

    To be honest,after his analysis of the Arsenal situation..I'm going to find it incredibly hard to listen to him in future..

    Mark Lawrence is another one,with his article on Wenger the other day..

    Though he made some points..The emphasis was on giving Wenger time & Wenger being more ruthless..According to Lawro it's the player's fault...!!

    Well "Einstein"-Lawro,who signed those players then?

    & OGL has had almost 8 years to deal with being ruthless & having more time than any top level manager would be given..& he still contrives to butcher every aspect of top level football management& coaching under his remit/guidance..

    I despair..I really do with all these so called critics/pundits..Pontificating to the fans,like AFC fans know nothing & they know it all..

    When these pundits,cannot even get the basics right when doing their due diligence on the club..Or doing a basic analysis of the club in question & asking/raising some pertinent questions..

    I'd say it's lazy journalism at best..& ignorance & stupidity by the said individuals at worst..

  39. Radio Raheem

    Talking about seppuku has any one seen the Japanese movie, Harakiri (not the 1962 one). In it a 'Samurai' was made to commit Seppuku with a wooden sword...harrowing stuff!

  40. Gunner2301


    We're not ex-players or pundits but to me people like Lawrenson are there to look at the tactics - or lack thereof and ask questions. Are they not seeing the same things we are seeing i.e. take of an attacking player and put on a midfielder when you're down? No video analysis of the opposition? Gary got that one wrong tonight. It's simple stuff that these guys should be questioning but they have a template that they go over and over without any depth to what they are saying. Same old mantra.

  41. Gunner2301

    Lukic on Soccer AM

    Christmas tree analogy - Wenger inherited the tree and added the baubles now he just has baubles without a tree. PMSL :lol:

    He said Arsene should stay though. Would you have guessed that?

  42. Gunner2301


    How do you know it's not all planned all these shootings? A way of keeping gun control on the agenda in order to disarm Americans, because I don't see them doing it voluntarily.

  43. SDE

    Gunner2301December 18, 2012 00:04:28
    SDEWe’re not ex-players or pundits but to me people like Lawrenson are there to look at the tactics – or lack thereof and ask questions. Are they not seeing the same things we are seeing i.e. take of an attacking player and put on a midfielder when you’re down? No video analysis of the opposition? Gary got that one wrong tonight. It’s simple stuff that these guys should be questioning but they have a template that they go over and over without any depth to what they are saying. Same old mantra.

    Maybe it's the mafia code,all these ex-players & ex-managers adhere to....

    You don't call for a manager to be sacked publicly..

    Kinda of like,"We are one big family,we do not betray ,what goes on & what is really said within the inner sanctum"..mantra..

    Having said all that..If pundits such as Gary Neville,are being lazy with their analysis & running to a template..

    Then, is this not the Gary Neville,who is part of the England coaching set-up..

    Begs the question,what chance have we as a future England team,managed by a so-called young buck in G.Neville..Or even old school stalwarts?

    Who can't even be bothered to get the basics right with their analysis on AFC..?

    Or miscontrue true events,for ulterior motives?

  44. Gunner2301


    I don't think it will make a difference who England have coaching them. They're in a similar position to Arsenal these days. It needs totally dismantling and starting again.

  45. Radio Raheem

    What with a wooden sword…Must have been a really,slow,excruciatingly painful death..!!

    Exactly what it was...stabs himself with, not much happening, does it again, a little puncture...keeps at it...he's crying and screaming but he is bound by his oath as a Samurai to show bravity/courage...whilst crouching downwards on his sword, sword breaks...he's in agony but continues his slow painful disembowelment...he's a Samurai he must continue...eventually the watching enforcer Samurai helps him out.

    How they got here is actually quite tearful

  46. Keyser

    Gunner2301 - "Name me another youth player apart from Fabregas that wasn’t already here when Wenger arrived that went on to Greatness. You gonna count RVP? Wilshire? Song? Djourou? Gibbs?"

    Wilshere came when he was 9, Gibbs came over when Wimbldon disbanded at 13, that's two already.

    Wilshere's more of a youth product then Fabregas is, see how seriously is someone like Neville going to take you when that's what you're saying.

    Ashley Cole was already here when Wenger arrived, so what.

    "Out of the Man U squad how many players will be on 50 or 60k as Ramsey might be shortly? The minority or the majority? How much were fringe players like Brown, O’Shea earning even Silvestre after years of service? How much are those outside the Elite core earning?"

    He will be shortly ? Mate when Darren Gibson left United he was demanding 40k a week from other clubs, we've been through this with Welbbeck, you said Fergie would never give him what he wanted, and guess what he did.

  47. Keyser

    Gunner2301 - "Or did you mean there is no wastage in the wage bill as well?"

    There's problems at the club and the wagebill needs to be rectified, but mate, what's the point in going overboard to silly proportions, you keep saying Fergie and Man United like there's no differences between the clubs and everything wrong with us started with Wenger.

    At least be rational, I mean the two paragraphs I picked out just don't make much sense.

  48. Keyser

    Sorry should have added about the 'greatness' bit, another extreme really, Van Persie for example hit 37 goals in a season, Fabregas hasn't produced something as explosive individually, but then he's been key in some very good teams, just subjective.

  49. dennisdamenace

    Did we win last night?

    Funny that, playing players in their proper positions, and not accommodating mis-fites and sub-standard players at the expense of decent players....

    Square pegs in square holes, well done Arsene.

  50. SDE


    I can't be arsed to go into semantics..

    It's like using an inflatable plastic hammer to crack a nut with you at the best of times..

    In the grand scheme of things,or the bigger picture is..
    With our wage bill,it's quite simply the re-distribution of wages..
    A smaller squad with the players of the ilk Man City,or Bayern have on their wage bill,would easily be within our remit..

    The strategy that OGL pursued is simply down to him & no-one else..
    He butchered it,pure & simple..

    I'm actually quite tired..& don't want to be a hamster in a wheel,forever going around in circles & going nowhere with this argument..