Gervinho, the new Ian Wright? Same problems at the back but please leave Jagielka alone.

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Great to win in Cologne yesterday as those boys are no mugs, fantastic debut for new boy Gervinho, he looked sharp as a pin and shot on sight, I bet he got a bollocking for that!

He reminded me of Ian Wright, I know it was only 25 minutes, but he did score 2 goals and he did hit it first time, very, very Wrighty!

Jenkinson scored an outrageous own goal but at least he was defending, I don’t blame him for that and I’m sure Lee Dixon did something similar on his debut, didn’t Silvinhio do the same on his? That will build his character.

The first half was as good as the second half was bad, apart from Alex Song giving away his usual sloppy, dopey foul on the edge of our area inside the first five minutes we had the game under control, the second half went back to tippy tappy boring football again, so no change there but we really do have defensive issues, we need a centreback and a DM, if we do that the team will get confident and we will be a force next season.

Unfortunately for us, Ramsey and Wilshere looked a great pairing, so good that I’m worried we’ll lose Nasri and Cesc and won’t replace them, which is great until we get injuries. I’m not sure what role he has in mind for Conor Henderson, but he does seem to play him a lot, bringing Afobe on at the end suggests to me we won’t be going after another striker, so Gervinho looks like a direct replacement for Bendtner, if of course he eventually goes.

I was looking at Wilshere and thinking this kid really is world class, and miles better than Cesc was at his age, we really are lucky we have him, and with Ramsey alongside we have the makings of a long term partnership there, so I think we should forget Cesc, get in a replacement and move on.

There are rumours that we are ready to accept Thiago and £25mil for him, now I know a lot of you are worried that this is a shite deal as he’ll want to go home, he won’t, Barca don’t value him as much as Cesc so he won’t want to return.

I think Thiago will be better long term and his value will go up, if that deal is on offer we should seize it with both hands, but cash up front, no more credit, get it done soon though before they change their minds, mark my words Cesc will be more injury prone than Robin Van Persie.

I remember watching Joe Hart at the under 21’s a few years back, I said on this blog we should buy him as he’ll be England’s new number one, I watched Thiago at this years under 21’s, he impresses me massively, him and Mata, so I would be very surprised if this deal is on the table, delighted, but surprised.

I was trying to put a team together from what I saw yesterday, what do you think?

Mannone or Chezzer

Sagna Koscielny(no choice) Vermaelen Gibbs(no choice)

Wilshere Song(no choice) Ramsey

Theo Robin Gervinho

If we bought Cahill over Jagielka and a top, top DM then I think we have the makings of a top team, I would also get a decent left back because Gibbs will get injured, and another midfielder like a Mata or a Schweinsteiger. I would get a big lump in like a Tiote or Sissoko, a nutter like De Jong who has stalled on signing a new contract or don’t laugh but a Joey Barton type.

The forward movement of this team was wonderful to watch in the first half, with Arshavin, Rio and Robin in the mix we have options, Nasri I would keep but only if he signs a new contract, doing our transfer budget on pay rises is not only a bad idea it would set the tone for the remaining players.

In Theo, Ramsey and Jack we have players that can pick the locks of defences and once Jack finds the net they’ll be no stopping him, yesterday really cheered me up but it also showed how desperately we need those two players we don’t yet have, it would be great to sign them in time for next week, Jagielka is 3 years older than Cahill and not as good, he also has a bad injury record. I hope we aren’t going after him over Cahill, I’d have him for sure, but I would prefer Cahill.

I would also have Hummels, Samba, Sakho, Shawcross or even Scott Dann, but one thing is for sure, we do need someone in there. A lump would be good, but a lump with skill even better.

Squillaci and Chamakh really are woeful, it’s unbelievable that Arsene can’t see that, I think he can though, but just won’t admit he was wrong, like he couldn’t with Senderos, Almunia, Bendtner, Eboue and Denilson, he thinks we didn’t (or won’t) notice them slipping out the back gate like Rupert Murdoch at number 10. Errrr, we did boss!

Finally a word for the tragic events that unfolded in Norway, our heartfelt sympathies go out to all our Norwegian Grovers, how does this world give birth to so many bad people, as I write this I read another nutter has gone on the rampage in Texas, so a cyber 2 minute silence for all those poor people, it puts signing overpaid players into perspective.

Have a great day Grovers, the post was on time and our new boy did good, plenty to smile about!


Jagielka, Cahill or Samba will sign and that’s it says Wenger. I won’t name names but…

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So reading between the lines, Arsenal.com says one of Jagielka, Cahill or Samba will sign, Wenger doesn’t want to destabilise clubs by naming names, so he’ll use Arsenal.com to do that, I had to laugh, listening to our manager was like listening to Rupert Murdoch last week, smart once, but past his sell by date for one liners. It’s hypocrisy on an absolute staggering scale. Thing is Bolton keep telling Wenger if they want Cahill it’s £17mil come and get him, we could have done that in June, strange the way we do our transfer business isn’t it?

So that means no Mata, no Hazard and no Benzema. So we get Gervinho, and maybe hang onto to want-a-ways and do our entire budget on pay rises for two that may well be gone next term, smart.

So much for substantial investment in the market, we will soon have to add Ivan to that list of liars and in all probability do another season when more players leave than we sign, unless you include 16 year olds. In which case we can add another trophy-less season and Theo, Robin, Jack, Andre and Ramsey will want out next season. Can’t wait.

Onto today and our eagerly awaited match against German giants Cologne, I’m not sure what to expect other than another game of two halves, Our full squad minus our club captain will be there and we may see Bartley on show as he is now injury free, Diaby our perma-crock is recovering from his 14th operation but don’t worry, news is he is being handsomely paid whilst recuperating somewhere exotic.

Thank goodness we at least pay the people that are no good to us so well, it’s a sustainable model and a great way to use the transfer budget and keep the rest of the squad happy. Ask to leave, get the captaincy and regular, out of proportion pay rises. Great example to set the other players, lob your toys out of the pram and get a big bag of sweets as a reward.

I am looking for something positive to say but I’m struggling, but don’t blame our manager, that’s my fault. Hopefully we’ll se Gervinho today, it will be interesting to see where he plays, then we can watch the Grand prix qualifying, maybe there will be an African in it as Wenger has mentioned it. No offence to Africans, but our manager did draw the parallel, why? I have no idea, I would have Eto’o in a heartbeat though, but he won”t make that sort of purchase will he!

There are some great African’s out there, hopefully the one we just signed is too, we’ll see today maybe.

So in theory we will lose Eboue, Bendtner, Almunia and Denilson. I mention those as they have not featured in pre-season, well Denilson did but has now gone. Possibly Nasri and Cesc as well. But we signed Gervinho and possibly a centreback.

I’m happy with the leavers but I would be happier if he added Rosicky and Squillaci to that list, I used to love Rosicky but I think the magic has gone from him now, Squillaci is just rubbish, but he ho! Maybe Kyle Bartley will show us all what a proper centreback is today, I hope so because we sure need one.

I hope we can keep Nasri, but if he has turned down the latest offer then we must sell him and replace him, it’s madness not to, same with Cesc, using the entire transfer budget to keep them in gravy for one more season is even madder, act now Arsene, the new season starts soon and by then it will be too late.

Let’s hope for a revelation in defence today and a good strong performance from the boys, we all need cheering up! Have a great day Grovers, football’s back again!


Gervinho, Arsenal legend! Arsene, live by the sword… And Dare we sign Dann?

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First of all new boy Gervinho said this about our want-aways – ‘If the club does not manage to keep these players, they will be able to replace them’ not a bad start to his Arsenal career and one I whole heartedly agree with.

I said yesterday that Nasri should be kept, I still think he should, but only if he signs a new 5 year contract, if he won’t, then sell him and spend that money on Eden Hazard.

Sell Fabregas to Madrid because he is finished at Arsenal and buy Bastian Schweinsteiger, or swap him for Ozil and Benzema.

Or do something like that but make sure Cahill is signed for whatever he costs. I really don’t know much about Scott Dann or Jan Vertonghen but please not Jagielka, he’s too old, not tall enough and gets a lot of injuries, however if they want Bendtner, then play hardball, Jagielka although not perfect, is better than we currently have.

A contradiction I know, but Squillaci, Djourou and Koscielny are just not working.

Get Mata and a world class left back, all that will be possible with the money we get from sales and the transfer budget, but please, please don’t spunk it up the wall on a bumper pay rise for someone who doesn’t want to be at our club anymore.

The fact that Cesc is all but missing pre-season training the writing is on the wall for all but the dumbest, and for our captain that is unforgivable.

What is funny though and I hope Fabregas was watching, that they signed Sanchez for £37mil in total and they only offered £27mil for him, they won the lot last year and still go out and spend large, is there a lesson in there somewhere? You don’t see them signing 3 – 18 year olds do you???

As for the boss getting heated up with Mancini and Xavi well I’m afraid he really can’t say too much as he himself tapped up Wiltord (who threatened to go on strike) Chamakh who we got for nothing, Benzema who is a Madrid player and Eden Hazard who is a player that interests him.

Tapping up happens in football, it’s part and parcel of the game, the trick is to do some of your own, but do it before they do it to us.

Keeping someone that clearly wants out by doubling their wages isn’t clever management, it’s bribery, its not something we should be associated with and trying to keep personel to save ones ego is not good management, anyone can throw money at a problem, look at Man City and Chelsea, time to move on Arsene.

Wenger has had a few great squads in his time, sold a lot of top players and has bounced back, we lost Anelka to bully boys Madrid but got Henry, who was infinitely better, he should take heart from that and go and buy another few great players, but you can’t value Cesc at £45mil and say Cahill isn’t worth £17mil. That isn’t very smart.

You can’t sell Kolo for £15mil and say Samba isn’t worth £12mil 2 years on, I think the boss needs to look deep and stop trying to get cheap players in one end and sell them at top dollar the other. People have sussed that old Chestnut out.

He proved last year that holding out for a £2mil keeper and losing, cost us a lot more than buying him for £4mil. We pissed off the existing keepers and that showed, time to bite the bullet and re-build a new team around people that want to play for us.

If Gervinho had taught me something today, it’s that no one is bigger than the Arsenal, that includes Nasri, Cesc and Arsene Wenger.

I still believe he can win us more trophies, but for me he has to change, get the tools to do the job boss, the team will then pick itself.

Even Vieira is now saying we need to buy bigger more intimidating players, perhaps that’s why he didn’t join us, he would have given Wenger it straight, and we all know that can’t happen at ‘My way or the highway FC’ don’t we!

Sorry for the really early post, I am on my way to the airport so if anyone is caught in moderation they will have to wait until at least 2pm to get released, be patient people, I will be in the air, again I apologise!

Have a great day Grovers, next up it’s Cologne or Koln as the Germans call it! Why on earth are we playing them? Anyone?