Civil War in the stands | How to free up £80million | Arsenal Injury updates

by & filed under Uncategorized.

So I had a ring around some of the people I know who work with or closely round the club just to pick up the vibe around the club.

First is the good news that JD’s tweet about him being back for the Liverpool game is still well on track, there might also be good news on the Chezzer front, I’ve heard that he could be around in 2-3 weeks time so we won’t have to suffer the incompetence of Almunia much longer.

It was interesting that people who work with the club are all thinking the same things we are. Why was Andrey taken of yesterday was as perplexing to the backroom staff and the players as it was to the rest of us. One poor back heel by the Russian and he was removed. He’s one of the biggest threats on the pitch and he was playing pretty well. Why take off a direct player who will have a shot? Why not be bold and take Alex Song off who was absolutely dire again. Has he got the right attitude to be playing at Arsenal? He was heard moaning about his knee after the game, could this be the last we see of him this year? It wouldn’t surprise me.

Is he good enough for Arsenal? Is he really that technically superior? Do we really think he compares to other players we’ve had in his position, or do we convince ourselves that becuase he wears an Arsenal shirt he’s the best technical thing since french toast? In my opinion his sloppy passing, ill-diciplined positioning and his lack of mobility really weigh against him. Look at United, they have players like Fletcher who isn’t that talented, but he wears his heart on his sleeve and does a good job. Wouldn’t we be better off just flogging the Cameroonian for £20million and investing in a player who cares?

Here’s a little snippet for you, according to what I’ve heard a certain Brazillian turned up late to preseason after an extended stay in his homeland, shortly after returning to training he picked up an injury. Abou Diaby returned to preseason and also picked up an ‘injury’. Alex Song played a couple of game and also picked up an ‘injury’.

Now, is it a surprise that three players who have disappointed this season on many levels all picked up injuries during preseason. It’s not for me. Their hearts aren’t in it and there lies your problem.

Something I was actually corrected on yesterday was my observation about paying young kids loads of money. That’s not the problem, a player like Miquel earns around £5k a week, not quite as high as I thought. The problem is that we pay average players more than their market worth. When Arsene Wenger started out, he got the best out of the old guard, brought in super talent and rescued top talent that had a point to prove. Now he’s just fattening up average players pay packets to ensure loyalty and dressing room balance.

Why are these players earning such huge sums of money when we could be paying top players who want to impress the same and getting more out of them?

Here is some staggering maths for you.

Salary Value
Diaby £ 3,120,000.00 £ 11,000,000.00
Denilson £ 2,080,000.00 £ 8,000,000.00
Bendtner £ 2,600,000.00 £ 15,000,000.00
Rosicky £ 3,120,000.00 £ 4,000,000.00
Eboue £ 2,080,000.00 £ 8,000,000.00
Song £ 3,120,000.00 £ 20,000,000.00
Total £ 16,120,000.00 £ 66,000,000.00
Transfer Budget £ 82,120,000.00

Factor in that Arsene Wenger already has a reported £40million at his disposal and we could potentially have an April Fools war chest at our disposal. We could go out and sign Cahill, Muntari and a Benzema type striker without batting an eye lid. We could seriously consider signing an Eden Hazard or perhaps look at Ashley Young who won’t go for £20million as he’s entering the final year of his contract. There are a number of options we could exploit just by shifting out the players who clearly don’t have Arsenal in their hearts.

Interesting that John Jensen was in the cab with @dangerous_tlc on Saturday night. He’s working with Blackburn Rovers and he confirmed that Arsenal did bid for Jones during the January window (Jensen believes he is top top talent). He also believes Hoilett is the real deal and he wouldn’t be surprised if Arsenal come sniffing in the summer. Apparently a very genuine guy, just with less hair!

Finally, before I go, Vermaelen’s career is not under threat, 100% guaranteed or the transfer fee back.

All the above was written by Pedro, that may surprise you, this next bit is on me so enjoy!

Arsene has finally done what no amount of provocation from opposing fans, shite referees and nasty bastardos like Wayne Rooney ever could, he has Arsenal fans fighting themselves, no I don’t mean disagreeing, I mean fighting and drawing blood, Arsene, I hope you are proud of yourself, another first to put in your fresh air trophy cabinet, you and your mentally ill policies have finally turned fare paying Arsenal customers against each other.

I warned you last season and the season before that your nutty project youth policy would destroy your legacy, so change, or go, well this season you added shocking tactics and dreadful in-action in the transfer market to that and it’s got your own fans taking lumps out of each other, and in all my years of supporting Arsenal, that’s a first.

You could have got a top keeper, a decent centre back, a proper DM and someone who could score goals, what did you do? You got Chamakh on a free, kept faith in Bendtner, Rosicky, Diaby, Denilson, Song and Almunia, got the worst centre back since Stepanovs for £5mil and rewarded all the crap players with extended contracts, you bought another bunch of 16 year olds and you loaned out 18 players.

How can any team in the world justify loaning out 18 players? It’s madness, especially when maybe only 2 will probably ever see first team football. You have really messed up this time.

We drew with Sunderland and City spanked them 5nil, we drew with 10 man Blackburn and showed all the fire and mental strength I would expect from your team of overpaid chokers, which was none. Now it appears it’s the fixture list’s fault!

You have surrounded yourself with yes men, you have the stadium adorned with pictures and words about yourself, you won’t allow your backroom staff to let rip at the players inept performances, you have your voice on the phone answering systems, you think this is your club, it’s not Arsene, it’s ours.

I’ll have money that all those brave men at Arsenal that suck up to you all talk behind your back and laugh at you, beware the ides of March, or in this case, April!

We will end the season with jack shite again, which makes 7 years without a title and 8 years before we have the chance to win one again, and that would be Ok if you weren’t earning £7mil a year, the players wage bill wasn’t the 4th highest in the EPL and we weren’t paying more than any other fans in world football, and to top it all we have a civil war going on in our shiny new ground.

David Dein, if you’re reading, come back, get Usmanov to buy up Nina’s shares and save us from the mess you created, your football club needs you.

Follow us on twitter @LeGrove

Follow us on Facebook

Subscribe to our daily e-mail

Tags: ,

Time for a change at Arsenal…

by & filed under Uncategorized.

Well, there we have it. Another season, another predictable disappointment.

You know what made it sadder? This was the first game since the ten-year anniversary of David Rocastle’s death and the players couldn’t motivate themselves to do the great man proud.

It’s hard writing these match reports because I’ve said everything so many times already. Since our Carling Cup loss in late February we’ve beaten Orient in a replay, lost in the FA Cup to United and drawn 3 games on the bounce. That’s three games against teams currently sitting 11th, 12th and 14th in the league table.

Sure we can make excuses. That’s the easiest thing in the world to do. We can talk about goalkeepers always doing well against us… for me, that’s like jailed burglars complaining that the police are too good for them. The simple and hard to stomach fact of the matter is that Arsenal are simply not good enough to win the league. Wenger has assembled a team of chokers who don’t know how to win. Looking at the performance yesterday, I wondered if they even wanted to win?

Almunia shouldn’t be on the pitch. He looks like he’s been told he must play or shameful pictures of his yorkshire terrier will be leaked to the Daily Mail. Sure we didn’t lose yesterday, but I think it’s worth pointing out that Arsene Wenger knew a player wasn’t fit to the wear the Jersey in August, yet somehow, he’s our number one for the crunch run in.

That tells me we have a coach who has lost his touch. He puts his personal affections for players over winning and for me, that’s half the problem with his management style these days. If he’s not buying in the cream of the crap from the bargain bins of Europe, he’s fattening up average players with huge contracts for extended loyalty. Wenger is the over lord at Arsenal and the group of players he’s been fostering for 5 years have totally let him down again.

I’ve said on numerous occasions that achieving in life is all about the fight. If everything is handed to you on plate, why would you work for it? There’s got to be some sort of incentive as a player. That’s the problem with Arsenal football club these days. We’re paying 16 year olds 35 times what they’d get at Barcelona as youth players. We’re giving them everything they want before they’ve even had the chance to show their value and then we’re scratching our heads as to why they don’t show the needed desire on the pitch.

I mean seriously, look at our youth policy. If we’ve been stealing the best teenagers from around Europe for the past 8 years, why aren’t we getting a far superior hit rate to other clubs bringing through players? I think it’s two-fold. Number 1, these kids know they’ll get a chance regardless and I think it’s because money corrupts. I mean look at United. They keep a player out on loan until they’re ready to play in the first team. If they’re not good enough, they’re pulled and replaced. Danny Wellbeck looks a top player, he’s an England international and he’s still out on loan at Sunderland. If he was at Arsenal, he’d have been in the first team struggling away for the past 3 years…

That is the difference…

We had plenty of chances out there yesterday to win the game but we didn’t take them. We were kept out of the game by a goalkeeper who did his job properly, our strikers were kept quiet by a defender many in the blogosphere stated was average. If he’s so average, how come a team as good as Arsenal couldn’t work out a way around him? How could a Blackburn defender who everyone stated wasn’t good enough to play football also give us problems going forward?!

Why are our options up front so blunt? Did Wenger really think bringing on the Ego and Chamakh was going to change things for the better? How many times do those two prove that we blundered by not signing top class back up. Why did he take Andrey Arshavin off when he’s one of the few who can produce something out of nothing? Why take Theo off who is the only example of proper pace we have in the team?

How flat were we out on the pitch again? Where was out leader in such an important game? Who was out there driving the team forward? Who was out there saying, ‘Boys, stop cutting the ball back and have a f*cking rip!’, who was out there saying, ‘boys, this is the f*cking Premiership we’re playing for, show some urgency!’

No one as far as I could see. We opened well, and we finished well… did very little in between. A familiar pattern this year.

It’s sad. I’ve watched our manager put out team after team over the past few years that can’t defend, can’t pick themselves up when the chips are down and can’t get over a set back. In the last three years, I’ve watched the manager ignore huge transfer budgets, fail to address glaring deficiencies in the squad and worst of all… fail to motivate players.

We’ve been saying for a while the dead wood needs clearing out, I guess the question hot on everyone’s lips will be whether the manager comes under that category. His poor squad planning, his inept tactics and weak substitutions combined with his lack of achievement lately all leave me wondering if he’s as dynamic as he used to be?

He’s 6 years into a project that has failed all the major tests. He’s worked hard to create a culture of utopic friendliness that doesn’t equate to results on the pitch. His idea of getting players to love the club by indoctrinating them young has bombed and he’s shown time and time again he’s incapable of changing his ways, so I wonder where we go from here? He won’t leave, he won’t be pushed… so what does the future hold?

I’m not one for booing… but that chorus from the fans at the end told you everything you need to know how the fans are feeling at the moment. Some people who don’t pay to attend will speak out, claiming it’s outrageous, but the simple fact is, you’re not facing a 6.5% price increase to watch crap like that… if you do speak to someone who has a pop about it stating they’d do anything to get a season ticket and that the home fans are a disgrace, call their bluff, ask them to drop me an e-mail, send me £5k and they can have mine and Geoff’s… we’ll be downgrading to normal seats next year and we’d be happy to sell them ours.

You know what though? None of the online big shots will take them… they’re full of more excuses than Wenger.

I’ll leave you on this… David Rocastle once said,

‘Remember who you are, what you are and who you represent’

Who thinks the current crop are paying attention?

I don’t…

See you in the comments.

Follow us on twitter @LeGrove

Follow us on Facebook

Subscribe to our daily e-mail


Blackburn – Cup final #2 (retake) | Play like you mean it…

by & filed under Uncategorized.

Right, the first of our 10 Cup Finals didn’t go so well.


New cast…

Tomorrow we’ll be pulling Denilson off set and replacing him with A-lister Cesc. Trouble with the Spaniard is that he’s been listening to the hype, he forgets that dreams of mega money blockbusters over the pond can’t happen until he can prove he can cut it in low budget dramas. He has to pull his finger out tonight, he has to lead and he has to show the world he has the minerals to be known as a great of world football.

Right now, whichever way he cuts it, he’s playing 2nd fiddle to winners in the Spanish squad (Iniesta & Xavi if you’ve been living in a shoe box). How can he rectify that problem and stake a real claim? Pull his finger out…that’s how. Make this the greatest Premier League win of Wenger’s career. Score some goals, make some assists, win some trophies on the biggest stage in the eyes of the Arsenal faithful!

So, throw into the mix the news that Diaby (Hip) is back, Song (Hip) is fit and Robin (Hooray!) hasn’t been usurped by Aliadiere and we really should smash a pretty pale imitation of a Blackburn side.

Almunia received the nod from Wenger yesterday, it would be nice if the crowd could get a little song together for him tomorrow. If you’re in attendance, no sarcastic clapping or cheering. His confidence is more fragile Kerry Katona’s septum…so let’s support him all the way.

Squillaci slips into defence with Kozzer. Personally, I didn’t think he was terrible against WBA, I reckon we’ll see a different side of him today, but again, no loud sighs or abuse if he’s visibly nervous. There is a title on the line, leave your grievances at the door and get behind the boys 100%!

It’s a 1730 kick off on ESPN. I don’t know why, but I always associate that channel with us losing games or bad things happening… if ESPN were a person, I reckon it would have interfered with me at boarding school. That said, I don’t think we’ll lose today. I’m hoping this is the beginning of a proper run for the title.

A word for the team… play like you mean it. The crowd are sucking up a 6.5% price hike on their season tickets for your salaries, you owe them an end of season that merits your luxurious lifestyles. At the end of the day, people who buy tickets to see the game only ask one thing… hard work. If the result doesn’t come but the team battle, we’ll forgive. Sure we’ll dissect what went wrong… but if the conclusion is a lack of effort, there is something seriously wrong.

Don’t let us down lads… this is important. Tonight should be the first Cup Final win of nine. It probably has a term like nineruple or nineriplet. I’m not sure though… regardless, make it happen!

Enjoy the game if you’re going and make sure you tune into my match report tomorrow!

Happy Saturday!

P.S. To the countless muppets who aggressively let it be known they were stupid enough to fall for an April fools trick… shame on you. When I bought a broken telly from a gypsy at a petrol station, I didn’t tell anyone… some people eh?

Follow us on twitter @LeGrove

Follow us on Facebook

Subscribe to our daily e-mail

Tags: ,