Arsenal can activate the Santa Clause | Theo Walcott worrying Vermaelen | Huntelaar in talks for £100k p/w

by & filed under News Review.

It never gets old...

So first up, Boxing Day. Will they won’t they cancel the West Ham game. Who knows. Arsenal need to make a decision sharpish because there are fans from all over Europe making their way over to the ground for the match. Apparently this dispute has been going on since 1992. It’s about pay, as it always is. Train drivers eh? They don’t live in the real world do they? Pardon the pun, but I’m looking forward to that gravy train coming to a shuddering halt.

Automated trains… they be the future.

Has anyone ever wondered what a gravy train is?

The bonus of the game is, that if cancelled, our next isn’t until the 29th. Refreshed fit players for Newcastle.

Onto football news. Demba Ba stated his lust for Arsenal over the weekend. He has a buy out clause which should be called the Santa Clause. Why? Because he’s a very, very good player and £7.5m is a snip. There have been questions over his knee, apparently Stoke turned him down because of it. However, his appearance record looks sharp. He’s played 54 games over the past 1.5 seasons and he’s banged in an impressive 27 goals. That’s an exceptional goal tally for someone who would cost us £2.5m more than we paid for Aaron Ramsey.

He’s a risk, but a well calculated one. He’s like the Robin signing for United. Pretty much the same sort of appearance figures as well, same sort of risk, same sort of reward if it goes well. We need a settled striker who can hit the ground running. This guy should be our number one choice in January. No haggling over fee, just activate the clause.

In other news, the players are worried about Theo leaving as we all are. Thomas Vermaelen in particular…

“Of course we want him to stay, but that is something that is going on between the player and the club. I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes – we don’t talk about it, because that is going on in football all the time,”

Players don’t gossip and talk about what’s going on? Sad thing is Theo’s finally coming good and he’s the best we have up front. My gut feeling is he might not leave. He just wants to play centrally. If he can prove he’s the man for that role, why would he go? I’m not sure there are many other clubs out there who’d play him through the middle. My gripe with Wenger is that he took so long to put him centrally. The fact he played Gervinho there before him tells you all you need to know about Arsene and being told what to do. Sometimes he will cut his nose off to spite his points total.

I was told months ago Theo doesn’t want to leave, however, the closer we get to May, the more likely he’s going to be persuaded by mega dollar moves elsewhere. When he said the other night it takes a long time to seal a deal, all I was thinking was, ‘yeah, until the summer’ and ‘story of my love life’. If he gets through January without signing the deal, he’ll be off. It all looks very Matty Flamini at the moment.

The Times are reporting that we’ve opened talks to sign Huntelaar for £100k a week over three years. He’s an ok player, but he has no pace and he’s never played in the Premier League. Breaching our defence is hardly something to write home about. He has a good goal scoring record, I’m just not convinced he’d be better than Demba Ba…

Final piece of today’s post is about the possibility that Arsenal might be signing Stoppila Sunzu. He sounds like a Manga character, but he’s actually an untested centre back from Zambia. Right up our street then! If you want to read more about him, here is the link.

Right, that’s it… have a great day!

P.S. I saw that Gunnerblog were dealt a cease and desist letter for using the clubs old logo. Seriously. Who signed off that at the club? Bloggers, love them or hate them, are part of the Arsenal digital experience. The club are pretty good with us normally so it’s a surprise to read such a story.


288 Responses to “Arsenal can activate the Santa Clause | Theo Walcott worrying Vermaelen | Huntelaar in talks for £100k p/w”

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  1. Cesc Appeal

    The new ‘Brit’ Contracts are on sliding scales apparently – I think the new ‘fail to secure UCL wage drop’ clauses will be in these…no way you can justify Ox on £60 000 or even Wilshere on £80 000 at this moment in time

  2. TOLI83

    As I said earlier I’m pretty sure it’s the new signings with our current players.

    Cesc I think your right about BA however I don’t think Diame would be an improvement on what we have, Huntelaar is to similar to Giroud if we were to buy a striker .

    Loads of paper talk about Flamini returning to a prem club too .

  3. Harry Redknapp

    think flamini will be lucky to get a move to any division, whose seen him play? jacks played more games in the last 14 months

  4. i47

    The 3pm announcement is:

    Stan Kronkunt has purchased another massive Ranch in America and was heard saying Arsenal who? as he brushed his wig.

  5. gambon

    “The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players, in order to get them to develop their talent at the Club”

    Oh dear, worst fears are confirmed by Wenger himself.

  6. gambon

    Sign these 5 to new contracts…

    Fail to get Robin, the best CF in the world, to sign one.

    Who the fuck is making these decisions?

  7. Cesc Appeal

    Arsenal are worse than Nazi Germany sometimes for Propaganda. Wheel out Gibbs, Ramsey, Ox, Wilshere and Jenks…sit down at this table! Sign this contract! Smile At camera! BIGGER SMILE! (Funnier if you imagine it in a German accent)

  8. El Tel

    Clever Wenger got them all so pissed at the Party the other night then got their signatures on new contracts.

    They thought it said £80 grande per week but it actually said £80 per week. Tight bastards got the bargains they were after.

  9. HP

    God this project youth bullshit again, we are going nowhere as a club.

    Ramsey-awful footballer, he should have been sold last year
    Chamberlain-too raw and inexperienced to warrant a new contract again after 1 fucking year of playing
    Jack/jenkinson/gibbs are ok though.

    Our focus should be on getting theo and sagna to sign on, not some kids who have time on their contract. Great management from wenger again…

  10. gambon

    I love the way they are trying to generate excitement as if weve just signed 5 world class players.

    They are all reserves at best. Or they would be in a proper team.

  11. Thomas

    What a waste of money to give the´m improved contracts. Money that should be used to get some proper player in. What a joke this club has become. Why even focus on renewing their deals? They were already staying here for some years to come.

  12. gambon

    Ramsey is a championship player
    Jenkinson is a championship player
    Chamberlain would struggle to start for Everton
    Gibbs is a bottom of premiership player
    Wilshere wouldnt start at any other “big” team, although he’ll be a top player.

  13. S Asoa

    Gravy train is AFC as seen through Kronke’s, Gazidas and Wenger’s eyes .
    It needs suckers bleating ” Conman knows all bests” as flavoring agents .

  14. Thomas

    Wenger just can’t get anything right can he? I’m starting to believe what gambon said about Wenger getting orders to deliberately fuck this club up. There so other way he’s doing poor decisions after poor decisions. Time after time he’s giving examples how to NOT run a football club. More and more I understand Cesc, Nasri and RvP. RvP is a hero who spoke out and exposed Wenger for the cunt he is and poor this club is run.

  15. iffy da goon

    When you failed to keep the best left back England has seen in a while, and are about to lose a mediocre over-hyped British winger to one of your rivals, statements about keeping British players together become pointless

  16. gambon

    Wenger: “I dont look at passports, I look at quality”

    Wenger: “I want to build a core of English kids”

    Hmmmmmm

    Wenger: “We cannot be considered a big club if we sell Nasri & Cesc”

    Wenger: “I never said that”

    Hmmmmmmm

    Told ya…mental illness.

  17. Thomas

    Giving Ramsey and extension just shows how low the ambition has dropped. We are talking about one of the worst players in the squad and it wasn’t like his contracts was going to end soon. He had at least 2 years left on his current deal. So now Ramsey will just become another dross player taking up the wage bill. Someone should send Wanker to the mental institution ASAP.

  18. Paulinho

    I don’t know why Arsenal always pretend there is ‘some doubt’ as to whether a game will go ahead or not when everyone knows it will be called off, just like every other single game in the past that has been ‘in doubt’.

    The article on Arsenal revealing the 5 new contract signings is a bit cringey. “Five young internationals”, why do people still think being an international is some sort of indication of quality? Wenger’s face is just ripe for smacking in that picture as well.

  19. bergkamp63

    San Marino have a squad full of “Internationals”, it doesn’t make them worldbeaters does it ?

    Ramsey getting new contract how hilarious,

    Still, at least we know where that new £30m extra commercial money is going !!

  20. Johnty79

    Apart from wilshere they all had long contracts. What was the point. Ramsay was on 50 k what the hell is the new contract worth?? Wilshere 75 k to much to soon.

    I understand they have spent all the money that we would have freed up on players that r being released in the summer.. What this means is we won’t be signing any stars in the summer.

    What a car crash of a management team. Our wage bill for this season 12-13 stands at 156 m. That is despite losing Rvp, and song. In 2004 I think our wage bill was 91 m and yet we had 3 players on 100k aweek.joke.

    Interesting to hear Daniel comoli praising wenger on talksport on his job last season. I think he is fishing for a job. But at least he was a decent scout compared to Steve Rowley who has been a disaster in the last 8 years.

  21. Arsenal 1886-2006

    “Manager Arsène Wenger said: “We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts. The plan is to build a team for Manchester City and Manchester United around a strong basis of young players”.

  22. Arsene's Nurse

    The worst part of this is Wenger thinking long term – the likelihood is he’ll look to sign a new contract so he can nurture his new babies. We could be in for a very long wait till we next win anything,

  23. Johnty79

    Arsenal may be the worse run club in England.

    Highest paid manager, CEO and chief scout.in the league. Disaster. Winning at reading was a disaster. You just know that will sneak fourt again and this dictatorship will continue. I am not a season ticket holder but all those who are , are responsible for this disaster. the most worthless club to support in the world.

  24. Thomas

    None of those players will be big for Arsenal. The only player that will be good is Wilshere but by that time he will play for Man Utd or Man City.

    Wenger Out

  25. Johnty79

    Wenger will leave in two years…as I said previously he wants no legacy, he wants his successor to fail, to make his achievements look more impressive than what they were. Why not offer wenger a contract of 3 m basic plus 10 m for every trophy he wins? He might change his ways.. But realistically he is 65 years old and finished.

  26. Guns of Hackney

    Another few million pissed away on shit footballers. This man is an unqualified lunatic.

    Arsenal FC can fucking rot.

  27. Jeff

    Out of the 5 new contracts I would have said only Wishere and Chamberlain make the grade. I don’t know what their wages are going to be but for Ramsey, Jenkinson and Gibbs it is almost certain to be far more than they are worth. This is Arsene’s vision of the future. In other words, it is safe to say we will be serve more of the same thing in the next couple of years with no prospect of an influx of top talent which is what is required.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20788025

  28. jay

    Just been on the arsenal website and read about the ‘Five young internationals’ signing but i wanna ask who are those mad 1,136 people that liked the article? that isn’t good news..signing average players on huge contracts when they are 25 they’ll be asking for stupid wages that arsenal can’t afford! Wenger out now!!!

  29. Guns of Hackney

    Gambon, shouldn’t you be bending over holding your ankles waiting for your cellmate to give you a right royal rogering?

    Cretin.

    I’m here so get fucking used to it. I’m taking over. Punk.

  30. bergkamp63

    I would give Gibbs the benefit of the doubt as I have always rated him but his injury record is a major concern, if he had a lengthy spell of injury free playing, he would be a lot better than he is now.

  31. azed

    Denilson => Ramsey
    Theo => Ox
    Diaby/Sicknote => Gibbs
    Djourou => Jenkinson
    Cesc => Wilshere

    Project youth 2.0 is active and running.

  32. gambon

    Bergkamp

    I said a lot of times over the years that Gibbs could be an outstanding player, but he just doesnt even try.

    He was moved to LB about 4 years ago, and his positioning isnt even 1% better in 4 years. He has absolutely zero aggression both when defending and going forward.

    With his ability he should score 5 goals per season, yet he rarely if ever gets into the opposition box. He always had a great shot at youth level yet he barely bothers to shoot.

    He will just go down as wasted talent. He ambles through games and thats not good enough.

  33. bergkamp63

    Gambon,

    I can’t help thinking he would be sight better under AF though ? or most other top managers come to think of it !!

  34. bergkamp63

    He has a good engine and good technical ability but as you say it’s just his lack of aggression and desire that’s missing, those things can be fixed though ?

  35. gambon

    Bergkamp

    I dont know if they can though. Hes nearly 24, if you dont have them traits by then do you ever?

    I remember Evra, probably the best example of aggression & desire/fight in a full back and he was like that when he first broke through at Monaco.

    Gibbs reminds me of a stoner. Runs around like hes dazed. Dont forget as a youth he was a “cultured midfielder” in the Carrick mould.

  36. bergkamp63

    Gibbs & Walcott are very similar, they both need a touch of the Ashley Cole’s if they are going to be top players and Wenger doesn’t seem to know how to get that out of them.

  37. Cesc Appeal

    b63

    There’s a good player in Gibbs and he doesn’t look so think and frail this year…but why are we here again? Hoping players are going to turn into something.

    Out of all of them you’ve got Wilshere who is going to be utter class. Ox who has the potential to be. Gibbs, so so, Jenks so so – Ramsey, shite.

    If we get any bollocks come Jan 1st of ‘you say we haven’t made any signings but I think we made 5 in December? As well as this we have Diaby coming back from injury and Rosicky so that if 7 signings we have made…’ I will kill someone

  38. bergkamp63

    CA,

    If I am brutally honest, I don’t really want Wenger spending a penny, I would much rather he went in the summer and left all the cash to someone else.

    I know it doesn’t help us now but that’s just how I feel.

  39. Thorough

    It really irks me to hear the proverbial ‘Huntelaar is a small upgrade of Girous’. FFS Giroud is a forward who finishes well occasionally while Huntelaar is one of the world’s most renowned finishers. Yes, he hasnt played in the EPL? Dzeko, Demba Ba, Demba Cisse, Aguero, Michu, Jelavic, Berbatov, et al came into the EPL and set it alight straight away. Graduated from one of the best footballing schools in the world (Ajax) and part of the basics of football schooling is adaptability. And pls let’s stop this talk about picking between Huntelaar and Ba, for God’s sake we can buy them both. At a stage we had Eiltord, Kanu, Henry and a young Van Persie. Would it be the end of the world if we have Huntelaar, Ba and Giroud as attacking options. And both combined btw is at least 10million cheaper than the ‘One we chased away’.

  40. TOLI83

    Gibbs is good but has the calamity moment in him. His mis placed pass that led to the goal conceded at Reading for example.

    If we want trophies and to challenge for top honers he should be a 2nd reserve instead of first choice LB.

  41. Nasri's Mouth

    Pleased that these 5 have signed extensions.

    In a couple of years, (when their existing contracts run out or are close to running out, I’d guess) the 4 English players will be 1st or 2nd choice for their national side.

    My only concern would be if we’ve given much of a pay increase to Ramsey, but it’s quite possible, it’s simply an extension on his existing deal

  42. bergkamp63

    Toli83,

    People including myself said the same about Clichy but he looks a different prospect under a different manager ?

  43. Samir

    OFFICIAL: Nene has confirmed that he will be LEAVING Paris Saint-Germain in the January transfer window

    Go on Arsene! I’d take him as a Walnutt replacement!

  44. Jeff

    According to http://www.arsenalinsider.com/4494/revealed-arsenal-stars-staggering-paypackets/#axzz2FWLFvdbZ here are the wages for the five players under their previous contracts:

    1. Wilshere – 55k pw
    2. Chamberlain – 20k pw
    3. Ramsey – 55k pw
    4. Jenkinson – 20k pw
    5. Gibbs – 40k pw

    These are very high wages for the quality of football we get from Ramsey, Gibbs and Jenkinson. I am not saying there is no room for improvement in their performance but certainly in the case of Ramsey and Gibbs I believe we have seen all we’re going to see. So a pay rise can translate to nothing but a waste of money of which we are already wasting as follows:

    • Gervinho – 70k,
    • Squillaci – 60k,
    • Bendner – 52k
    • Diaby – 50k
    • Chamakh – 50k
    • Santos – 50k
    • Denilson – 50k
    • Djourou – 50k
    • Park – 40k
    • Frimpong – 20k
    • Miyachi – 20k

    And you can probably add some of your own to the waste list.

  45. Jeff

    Boozy,

    I know but that would be too easy wouldn’t it? Buy 3 world class established players who will do the business while you’re nurturing one or two promising toddlers. That’s how other top clubs do it. Not at Arsenal.

    When we win one or two matches and come anywhere near fourth position, oh Wenger is a genius but when things go wrong oh it’s the stadium, no it’s the debt, no it’s the owner, no it’s Gazidis; perhaps it might even the boot cleaners and the ball boys.

  46. kwik fit

    • Gervinho – 70k,
    • Squillaci – 60k,
    • Chamakh – 50k
    • Santos – 50k
    Had shown form in other leagues. So were punts that went wrong

    • Bendner – 52k
    • Diaby – 50k
    • Denilson – 50k
    • Djourou – 50k

    When did these guys ever so form in an Arsenal jersey to justify these contracts?

  47. Jeff

    Kwik,

    I’m not saying they are completely worthless. I am saying none of them are Arsenal quality. The only implication is that we are diminishing our standards by acquiring ALL medium or substandard players and NO world class ones. If we truly wanted to win one of the majors we must have at least 4 top tier players in key positions in any game at any time. We don’t have that and none of those players (either in the EPL or any other league) can be classed as world class talents.

    This is the underlying problem that we have. On top of that of course, we keep snookering ourselves by awarding big wage contracts to worthless players whom we find impossible later to move on and therefore very difficult to bring in worthy players to change things around. That has been Wenger’s intractable policy for nearly a decade now and it’s the head in of anyone who can see it. Those who can’t are blessed with ignorance and while Wenger continues to bathe in self-induced ignominy.

  48. kwik fit

    Agreed Jeff

    Wenger has gambled consistently with awarding contracts to individuals in the hope that they come good. To an extent today’s announcements could be more of the same.

    He’s also gambled in buying players with low transfer fees again hoping they come good. Michu is an example of a cheap yet quality punt. Wenger has tried to achieve a ‘Michu’ type but failed in recent times.

    He’s lost the Midas touch it seems.

  49. Cesc Appeal

    b63

    I agree.

    I cannot believe Ramsey now has a £50-60 000 four-five year contract with us, who is going to touch him now?

    Clearly there is no bar for earning a contract at Arsenal.

    The only way you don’t get one is if you are an integral player with an opinion who the fans love and listen to more than Wenger

  50. arsenesabemejor

    its amazing how many people on this forum have access to the players contracts, the only figures I have ever seen have come from newspaper speculation and individual players salaries are never quoted in the accounts, so really its all just pure speculation

  51. Nasri's Mouth

    Dunno how accurate those wage figures are given they’ve got Kroenke’s wrong which are in the official financial report.

  52. TOLI83

    Bergkamp63,

    Clichy is still shit just a Citeh he is rolled in glitter. He makes the same mistakes Man U’s last goal came from him messing about as always. Just at city is doesn’t get highlighted as much as he has better players around him and as you said better management.

    Gibbs just isn’t a natural defender he gets caught in no mans land a lot and his natural instinct is always to bomb forward. Plus his passing is very very sloppy.

    Jenkinson isn’t there yet by any means but I think he will go on to be a far better full back than Gibbs .

  53. pharo9ja

    kwik if Diaby wasnt such a hopeless crock,he’d be on 125% more on the wages he’s on if we were any of the top 4 sides,Bayern or PSG.
    The guy is a solid box to box midfielder and there are few like him around.

  54. gambon

    “In a couple of years, (when their existing contracts run out or are close to running out, I’d guess) the 4 English players will be 1st or 2nd choice for their national side. ”

    What utter bullshit

    Jack will be the centre of the England team.

    Chamberlain…..who knows, he does nothing right now. Jenkinson will get 5 caps at most. Gibbs ditto.

  55. pharo9ja

    if he’s so shit,how come we fall apart as a team when he’s not there.
    If you say he’s got a shit character,I’d buy into that but to say he’s a shit player,c’mon man.
    Sure I’d get rid of him just because he’s a crock,but not cos he’s shit.

  56. Arsenal 1886-2006

    So Youth Project I (National Lampoons European Kindergarten), turned into a bit of a box office disaster. But undaunted the Director, Arseend Weener, has turned his hand to Youth Project II (This Time It Is Serious).
    This time the cast is mainly made up of British bit part players with one genuine quality player. When asked, the director Weener was surprised his last project failed as quickly as it did, he said in broken English, “I was as surprised as anyone, I took these youngsters into my hand and tinkered with them until I believed they were ready for coming into men, maybe I was wrong to fiddle with them at such an early age but I believed they would stay with me forever, unfortunately they left me for other men”.

    Maybe with the players he has signed to new contracts, Jack “Cheeky Chappie” Wilshere, Kieran “What’s defence ?” Gibbs, Alex “Don’t turn me into Walcott” Chamberlain, Carl “Local Hero” Jenkinson and Aaron “ where’s the ball” Ramsey, he can finally fulfil his lifetime dream of playing with young boys until his retirement.

    Heres to you Arseend, and the best of British luck.

  57. gambon

    So Man Utd pay their players £200k per year, or £4000 per week more than we do on average.

    Man Utds highest earners: Rooney £250k, RVP £250k
    Arsenal: £90k

    Like I keep on saying, theres something very very wrong at Arsenal. And anyone that thinks Wenger earns £7.5m pa is fucking mental.

  58. Jeff

    Does the 5:2 win over Reading mean Real Madrid are no longer interested in Arsene? What if we gave them AW and the entire AFC team as a swap deal for Mourinho?

  59. Charlie Nick

    Re Gunnerblog and the old crest; I thought the club didn’t own the rights which is why they ditched our magnificent badge and replaced it with the average “logo” we have now. Can anyone enlighten me?
    Cheers,

  60. Jeff

    We have to face one of the following teams in tomorrow’s CL draw.

    PSG,
    Malaga,
    Borussia Dortmund,
    Juventus,
    Bayern Munich
    Barcelona.

  61. GUNNER786

    Wenger – I’m really looking forward to the Champions League draw

    As Arsenal fans get ready to see if they get Barcelona or not in tomorrow’s Champions League draw, Arsene Wenger has been speaking in his Eurosport column about how he is looking forward to the draw.

    He said

    We at Arsenal do not have easy qualifying behind us, although it was to be expected. It was important that we started in Montpellier with a win – even if it was a lucky shot that led to success. Certainly we also drew in Schalke in the group games. A small shock was the defeat at the Emirates Stadium against Schalke. Overall, however, we have done our job.

    I’m really looking forward to the draw!
    The draw takes place at 10.30 GMT, well, that’s the time it’s supposed to take place, but with all the build up that UEFA like to include, a more realistic estimate would be ‘some time on Friday.’

    Arsenal can draw one of the following teams:

    PSG, Malaga, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern Munich or Barcelona.

    In today’s test run, Arsenal were drawn against Bayern Munich.

    —————————————————–

    I hope we draw Barca and they finish the tie off by destroying us in the first half of the first leg. Then someone drags that wind up merchant Wenger’s scrawny arse away from the Emirates for good.

  62. gambon

    Will be interesting to see which team is gonna knock us out at the round of 16 this year.

    I love the way Wenger the Wonga Wanker has now completely given up on ever winning the CL

    He just loves telling the world how great he is for qualifying every year.

  63. GUNNER786

    Group winners: Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA), FC Schalke 04 (GER), Málaga CF (ESP), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Juventus (ITA), FC Bayern München (GER), FC Barcelona (ESP), Manchester United FC (ENG)

    Group runners-up: FC Porto (POR), Arsenal FC (ENG), AC Milan (ITA), Real Madrid CF (ESP), FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Valencia CF (ESP), Celtic FC (SCO), Galatasaray AŞ (TUR)

    Group winners
    A: Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA)
    Can play: Arsenal, Milan, Madrid, Shakhtar, Valencia, Celtic, Galatasaray
    Qualified as: runners-up, France
    Last season: UEFA Europa League, group stage
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 4
    Previous European Cup best: semi-finals

    B: FC Schalke 04 (GER)
    Can play: Porto, Milan, Madrid, Shakhtar, Valencia, Celtic, Galatasaray
    Qualified as: third place, Germany
    Last season: UEFA Europa League, quarter-finals
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 4
    Previous European Cup best: semi-finals

    C: Málaga CF (ESP)
    Can play: Porto, Arsenal, Shakhtar, Celtic, Galatasaray
    Last season: N/A
    Qualified as: fourth place, Spain
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: none
    Previous European Cup best: N/A

    D: Borussia Dortmund (GER)
    Can play: Porto, Arsenal, Milan, Shakhtar, Valencia, Celtic, Galatasaray
    Qualified as: champions, Germany
    Last season: group stage
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 7
    Previous European Cup best: winners x 1

    E: Juventus (ITA)
    Can play: Porto, Arsenal, Madrid, Valencia, Celtic, Galatasaray
    Qualified as: champions, Italy
    Last season: N/A
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 12
    Previous European Cup best: winners x 2

    F: FC Bayern München (GER)
    Can play: Porto, Arsenal, Milan, Madrid, Shakhtar, Celtic, Galatasaray
    Qualified as: runners-up, Germany
    Last season: runners-up
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 15
    Previous European Cup best: winners x 4

    G: FC Barcelona (ESP)
    Can play: Porto, Arsenal, Milan, Shakhtar, Galatasaray
    Qualified as: runners-up, Spain
    Last season: semi-finals
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 16
    Previous European Cup best: winners x 4

    H: Manchester United FC (ENG)
    Can play: Porto, Milan, Madrid, Shakhtar, Valencia, Celtic
    Qualified as: runners-up, England
    Last season: group stage/UEFA Europa League, round of 16
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 17
    Previous European Cup best: winners x 3

    Runners-up
    A: FC Porto (POR)
    Can play: Schalke, Málaga, Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern, Barcelona, Manchester United
    Qualified as: champions, Portugal
    Last season: group stage/UEFA Europa League, round of 32
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 16
    Previous European Cup best: winners x 2

    B: Arsenal FC (ENG)
    Can play: PSG, Málaga, Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern, Barcelona
    Qualified as: third place, England
    Last season: round of 16
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 14
    Previous European Cup best: runners-up

    C: AC Milan (ITA)
    Can play: PSG, Schalke, Dortmund, Bayern, Barcelona, Manchester United
    Qualified as: runners-up, Italy
    Last season: quarter-finals
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 15
    Previous European Cup best: winners x 7

    D: Real Madrid CF (ESP)
    Can play: PSG, Schalke, Juventus, Bayern, Manchester United
    Qualified as: champions, Spain
    Last season: semi-finals
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 16
    Previous European Cup best: winners x 9

    E: FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
    Can play: PSG, Schalke, Málaga, Dortmund, Bayern, Barcelona, Manchester United
    Qualified as: champions, Ukraine
    Last season: group stage
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 7
    Previous European Cup best: quarter-finals

    F: Valencia CF (ESP)
    Can play: PSG, Schalke, Dortmund, Juventus, Manchester United
    Qualified as: third place, Spain
    Last season: group stage/UEFA Europa League, semi-finals
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 8
    Previous European Cup best: runners-up

    G: Celtic FC (SCO)
    Can play: PSG, Schalke, Málaga, Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern, Manchester United
    Qualified as: champions, Scotland
    Last season: UEFA Europa League group stage
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 6
    Previous European Cup best: winners x 1

    H: Galatasaray AŞ (TUR)
    Can play: PSG, Schalke, Málaga, Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern, Barcelona
    Qualified as: champions, Turkey
    Last season: N/A
    Previous seasons in UEFA Champions League: 10
    Previous European Cup best: semi-finals

  64. Nasri's Mouth

    Gambon:

    What utter bullshit

    Jack will be the centre of the England team.Chamberlain…..who knows, he does nothing right now. Jenkinson will get 5 caps at most. Gibbs ditto.

    Jack will be first choice, he probably is already. Gibbs will be behind Baines, at present, he’s behind Cole too, but he’ll be retiring from international football within a year or 2. Jenkinson will be fighting it out with Johnson for the RB slot, and Chamberlain could play in a couple of different positions.

  65. pharo9ja

    ok,let me repeat what has been said for only the 1,678,212th time on here and in various other blogs,sport sites,by pundits et al…
    “WE WILL NEVER WIN ANYTHING WITH WENGER IN THIS CLUB”.
    I can go further to say its not about the Bas,falcaos or even Messi,its about the tactically inept cunt of a pretender of a manager.
    RVB,Moyes,Laudrup,Rodgers are all closer to wining a trophy,even the proverbial 4th place trophy before this deluded bastard.

  66. Leedsgunner

    Listening to Chelsea being on on the backfoot – I tell you it’s so much easier on the nerves being a neutral… Oh the Chavs just scored….

  67. Johnty79

    It can only be that Ramsay has taken a pay cut. Was once potentially the new gerrard but is now finished. Must have signed on for at least 65 k aweek. What a joke. When we drew with spurs in 2008 4:4 Jamie o’hara was on 9 k aweek. Song was on 45 k aweek. That says it all about the most distructive wage policy of any business in England.

    Apparently cazola is on 70 k. When he looks round must think he deserves 200 k aweek playing with that crap.

  68. gambon

    Johnty

    Its a well known fact that teams with the biggest wage bill have the most success,

    However Wenger just doesnt understand this at all. He thinks its the paying of good money that makes them good, when it works the other way round….clubs sign good players who in turn ask for good money.

  69. Dan Ahern

    Even if Wenger’s right and we end up with four 1st-or-2nd choice England players, is that really impressive? If a player is good enough for the national selection, chances are he plays for a top English side, which is what we’re supposed to be. Supplying a sixth of the England squad would be par for the course, right?

  70. gambon

    LeGrove is dwindling like Arsenal FC is dwindling.

    Is it just me or are there less and less posts these days, new posts going up much later than they used to.

    Arsenal FC is dead.

  71. Cesc Appeal

    Usmanov once again bang on the money…no pun.

    I love that he talks about Football, it’s always about what is healthy for the club in terms of football, not business models.

    He never attacks Wenger either which is smart. Many AKB would rather believe it’s all the BoD’s fault the current state we’re in.

    Better to get into control quietly give Wenger the boot install a Pep/Jose type and buy the winter have all Gooners saying ‘Arsene who?’ rather than risk a war whilst you’re still on 29%.

  72. Cesc Appeal

    What would you do if you were owner of the club?

    ‘First of all I have to be asleep because this is my dream.’

    Why is this guy not our owner! When you listen to him he speaks like a fan, has a great knowledge of players that you wouldn’t always expect from such a busy international oligarch, but talks about Hazrad, Van Persie, commercials gone wrong, transfers gone bad etc

    What a calm, cool guy as well, no bitterness, no resentment, to me he smacks of a guy who knows he’s going to win in the end – and i gotta agree.

    Kroenke is wildly unpopular with fans and may eventually feel it’s more expedient to sell to Alisher and then buy 6-7 Broken-O-Ranch’s

  73. gambon

    I dont think Usmanov would instantly kick wenger out.

    He would come in, finance the club (Bear in mind even just paying the debt off would give the club £20m pa more for transfers), and:

    - If Wenger refused to spend he would sack him
    - If Wenger spent on Gervinho types he would sack him
    - If Wenger gets over his aversion to buying class players and wins things he would keep him

    Wenger is a cunt, pure and simple. He wouldnt last 2 months under Usmanov as hes terrified of going toe to toe with Fergie.

    Anyone who says the following:

    “‘I’ve always said the same, which is that we want to produce the money from our own resources.”

    At the same time saying this about PSG:

    “What needs to be done is to get a group of investors around the table to provide the club (PSG) with some financial muscle.”

    Is a complete & utter scumbag. Basically saying PSG need to aim for the top, while Arsenal need to stay uncompetitive.

  74. gambon

    Cesc Appeal

    Sorry but i dont think Stans going anywhere.

    Everyone now knows he doesnt give a fuck about success, or have any inclination to invest.

    But for the money he put in he just doesnt need to sell. CL money goes up by £5m this season, TV money up by £40m next season, Emirates & new kit deal add £40m pa to the club.

    At the very least he will be here until 2016.

    The best we can hope is Usmanov manages to get 33% of the club, then he becomes a big obstacle to Stan, he already is to be fair. While Usmanovs on the board Stan wont pay dividends…..if Stan was to get Usmanovs share he would take every penny out of the club and leave it fucked.

    Its a shame, but the incompetent running of this club will continue.

    In 3 years Man Citys commercial revenue went from £30m to £100m, in the same time ours from £48m to £52m.

  75. gambon

    Would be hilarious if we got Barca…..Wenger would break down on the training pitch.

    Late announcement from UEFA…..Bradford have been entered into the CL draw as group winners.

    Wenger: “Zut Alors, zis team has ze mental strengz……I will not be embarrassed when we lose”

  76. dennisdamenace

    gambonDecember 20, 2012 08:32:54
    LeGrove is dwindling like Arsenal FC is dwindling.
    Is it just me or are there less and less posts these days, new posts going up much later than they used to.
    Arsenal FC is dead.

    Gambon – Most of us who are long-termers are just physically and mentally drained by this fucking car crash of a club, and as such we are slowly losing our passion as we’re having the enjoyment of being a Gooner sucked out of us by fucking money men.

  77. Pedro

    Gambon you melt, there’s been a post every day for the past 5 years.

    They go up a bit later… it’s an effort getting into work at 730 everyday to write them. Especially over Christmas.

    New post BTW…

    Enjoy