Park Chu Young is our new number 9

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Arsenal’s new signing Park Chu Young will take on the vacant number 9 shirt vacated by Eduardo.

Pam also revealed the club are pushing hard very on a new midfielder and a centre back (you know the one)… more news if we get it.

I’ll give you the striker reaction tomorrow.

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United Keeper key to win tomorrow | #Muppet | Madrid Midfielder anyone?

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Gartside laughing at his retweet

You bubble along as a commentator on football, thinking that everyone in the game is as professional as they would be in the real world. Then bang, the Chairman of a top Premier League football club retweets the word #Bellend in retaliation to a low bid from Arsenal.

Firstly, what a ridiculously immature thing to do for someone in a position of power, I know that Bolton Wanderers fans aren’t exactly the most articulate bunch, but surely amongst the 15 or so Bolton fans on Twitter, there was something more intelligent to retweet than that? Secondly, it’s just a bid. My first bid on eBay is often a low one. If I can get my girlfriend second-hand lingerie for under a fiver, I’m laughing…

Positives I’m taking from this are that we’re in for Cahill, eventually, in the end… I’m also quite pleased that we appear to be the only club in for him. I know everybody jumped to Wenger’s defence yesterday when he said the bid wasn’t £6million, but believing a man who denied a quote he was on record as saying is a tough ask.  What we need to be careful of is alerting the world to the fact that we’re trying to land a top defender for under £10million. If someone else comes in and bids, we could find ourselves locked out.

Sol Campbell…

If you only read one thing today, make sure it’s Le Grove, if you’re going to read one other article, I beg of you to read the Guardian interview with Sol Campbell. He gives a super account of what’s missing at the club and he also lifts the lid on how the Invincibles used to work together.

‘Arsenal definitely need a few players to come in and shake things up; guys who are really passionate about winning and won’t accept failure. The fans want that too, they can see that Arsenal are close to being the best club in the world, they’ve got everything there, it just needs people to ruffle some feathers.’

Absolutely bang on the money. The culture in the club has definitely shifted since the old days.Because most of the players have only known one type of management, there aren’t the different approaches or opinions on what makes a good dressing room. Throughout the successful times with Wenger, you had elements of George Graham teams in there, you had players who’d had careers elsewhere. You had people who’d tear it up after the game to get to the bottom of a defeat.

From what I understand, the players at Arsenal don’t share the same urgency or disappointment after disappointment. You don’t get the team meetings where the players rip it out of each other. Win or lose, it’s the same attitude in the dressing room. That has to change. I’m hoping that Robin can bring a bit more passion to the captaincy. I’m hoping players like Frimpong and Jack have the personalities that dont’ tolerate weak performances or lack lustre effort on the pitch.

We have a very good squad core right now… what it lacks is the depth around it. Wenger is talking about signing up 3 players. he wants a striker, a midfielder and a defender. If those players are top quality, then it’ll certainly make a difference. It still ignores the fact that the squad was short last year and by the time the window closes, we will have sold 9 players who were important to team in some way last season. I think we need a left back, Traore doesn’t have the mental strength to cut it at the top-level and Gibbs is inadequate from a fitness point of view.

I’m excited about the prospect of a top striker coming in. Joel Campbell still doesn’t have a work permit from what I understand and even if he did, banking on a player who didn’t make more than 7 appearances for a crap Costa Rican team would be pretty dim, even if he does have shades of Anelka about him.

If anyone knows of a Tevez type striker out there… do let me know.

Other news…

Interesting to see that Spurs signed Adebayor. Just when you thought the Togan couldn’t stoop any lower eh? Disgust aside, he’s a good player. If you can get his head straight, he’s the perfect battering ram. I think that’s a good signing for them. A player I think we should be looking at if he’s available is Lassana Diarra. He was shipped out because he wanted games a few years ago. We know he’s talented, we know he’s experienced in the league and we know he’s available. I’ve seen videos of him being bullied by the Chelsea boys, it’s clear he’s not a trouble maker… why not snap him up as additional cover in the middle of the park?

Injury news!

We can end on a positive note. Though suspension has severely hampered our chances on Sunday, at least our defensive mashup can have another crack at playing together. Tommy V should be back, JD is ok and our new left back Sagna is also fit. It’s going to be a massive ask for our defence to deal with some serious wide talent at the weekend, but at least Vermaelen will be fit.

I know United look great, honestly, they really do. Sometimes though, when a team is so over hyped at the start of a season, they drop a clanger and make everyone look stupid. Can they drop that clanger tomorrow? You never know. At least we’ve got a keeper who can win us points this year. That makes me a hell of a lot less nervous going into the game. United also have a very dodgy keeper in tomorrow which is why I’d have opted to play Bendtner. We need to fire lots of high balls at him and we need to pressure him all game. He’ll make errors, his confidence is in tatters. He could be the key to any result tomorrow, a nervous keeper means a nervous defence.

If we aren’t hustling De Gea tomorrow… that will tell you a lot about how little we pay attention to opposition weaknesses. Something I’ve been complaining we ignore for years. Something that reaps rewards when executed well. It’s a game of slim margins, we need all the help we can get.

How do you think the team will line up? I have no idea… the best squad line up gets repackaged as my own tomorrow morning!

Right… see you in the comments!

P.S. Swansea tickets on General sale? Oh my…

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Arsenal bid low, as usual, for Cahill | Kaka, Zarate or Hazard?

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Good morning Grove fans! So the Champions League eh? What a laugh! We were one of the top seeds and Platini and friends conspired against us by pitting us against Marseille, Borussia Dortmund and Olympiacos (<– Spelling change? I thought it had a K”)

Well, if you’re going to win the competition, you’ve got to play the best. Both Dortmund and Marseille have exciting young managers and they have some top talent I’m sure a lot of clubs have been interested in. No trips to Russia or the Ukraine to worry about though and to be honest, three games I’m excited to see.

In transfer news, apparently after months of threatening to buy Cahill, we’ve lodged a £6million bid for him. Amazing eh? Even in the last year of his contract, that bid is laughable. I don’t know why we do it. Why couldn’t we have got this nonsense out the way early in the window?

We’ve also been sniffing around Raul Albiol of Madrid. He’s rumoured to be available for £8million. He’s a smart looking player, though I am dubious about signing a Madrid cast off defender. We need steel, is he that guy?

As the deadline gets closer, more and more you get the feeling there won’t be a flurry of inbound talent. If that’s the way the manager feels, fine, but he’ll feel the full wrath of the fans if it goes tits up this year.

My concern isn’t just on the quality side. It’s the fact Wenger is totally comfortable admitting that Jack Wilshere played in the red zone for two months last year and that may have played a part in his injury, yet can’t correlate that to having an inadequate squad size. Precocious talent should be nurtured not exploited like an Egyptian Donkey (world class Donkey exploiters so I hear).

United on Sunday with a woefully depleted squad is hot on most people’s minds. I’m worried it could be a spanking. They know how to play us and they really did look impressive against Spurs. Their benchmark is Barcelona, ours is winning more 3rd place trophies.

I’m struggling to pick out a first team 11 that could do the job. Still, we’ve taken out big teams against the odds before, like the Galacticos with Flamini at left back. Anything is possible, I’m just fearing the odds.


Frimpong is at the centre of a tug of war between Ghana and England. The midfield terrier is on record as saying he’d like to represent Ghana, in my opinion, that would be a massive loss to England. He looks the type of player we need going forward. I also fear by signing up for Ghana, his value will plummet. At the moment, Kenny Dalglish has told me he’s easily a £27million player, if he chooses Ghana, he’ll be worth less than £4.5million.


The papers are having a field day… the three front-runners for the creative spot are…

Kaka: A dream player in his prime, a bit of a crock nowadays. His talent would certainly lift spirits, but could a player of 29 do the business in the Premiership in the back 9 of his career? My fear… maybe not… He could either be a Davids like inspiration, or a Shevchencko like disaster.

Zarate: This player is a bundle of lunacy and talent all rolled into one. He’s incredibly skilled and pacey out wide or through the middle. Could Wenger handle his crazy side? Who knows… he’d be a curve ball, that’s for sure.

Hazard: This guy is basically the new N’Zogbia. He’s been linked with us every summer for 3 years, yet still, we haven’t dropped a bid in for him. Do we need a classy winger to compliment the 16 others we have in the side? Maybe not… however, this boy is mustard… and he’s for the now.

Finally, before we go, I wanted to pay tribute to a Gooner pal of ours called Terry. Sadly, cancer got the better of him last night. I actually took his season over this year as he couldn’t get up to the games. He was a top class Gooner, a long-term patron of Blackstock Road take aways and still was still rocking a replica kit in his sixties, our thoughts are with his family today.

Happy Friday Grovers!

P.S. We’re looking to redevelop the site, hopefully through a web design firm who are Gooners and have kind rate cards. If you’ve got a good track record of great design work and can manage the relatively easy job of skinning and moving a blog, we’d love to hear from you!

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