Arsenal cynical ploy or masterstroke in transfer market as New Ronaldo signs.

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Arsenal have confirmed that Ryo Miyaichi, an 18 year-old Japanese striker is joining in January, good move if he gets an exceptional talent visa like Song got but if he gets the Wellington Silva treatment we may have to wait 5 years to see him.

So is it a masterstroke signing or a cynical ploy to make more money, but this time out of the Japanese market, hmmm all these long termers are great, if they all work.

I remember Jermaine Pennant was the next big thing, him and David Bentley, Fabrice Muamba (England under 17’s) Senderos, Bendtner, Vela, Nordtveit, Larsson etc, etc, then what happened?

It’s great if it works out like Cesc, but it’s not so great if you wait and wait and get some of the above.

However there are some young’uns out there that are good right now, so if we sign Eden Hazard who himself is just 19, then we could have 2 wingers.

Lech Poznan striker Artjoms Rudnevs who at 22 years old has also said his dream is to play for the Arsenal, so one definite and two that are desperate to join, now I don’t know what Rudnevs is like, but I know Bendtner and Vela won’t make it so why not?

Swap Clichy with Benzema and stick Vermaelen in at left back and we are starting to look like we can take barca on.

What about Connor Wickham at Ipswich? I remember the chasing of Luke Freeman but I haven’t heard anything about him really, Afobe and Aneka yes, but not Luke Freeman and I’m sure they were all the same age group.

We seem to spend a lot of energy on young kids that rarely make it but not so much time on those slightly older that could benefit from playing in our team right now, they may become world class and not major disappointments like Senderos, Pennant or Bentley, though right now, I’d take Senderos over the two clowns he signed in the summer from France, wouldn’t you?

Eden Hazard is 19 years old, Serdar Tasci is 23, Per Mertesacker 26 and all of them want a move, so why not us, we could sell the players that other clubs want and finance these players with them.

Imagine having Germany’s centre backs in there, a couple of wingers and maybe Karim Benzema up front, or some of the others I mentioned, Connor Wickham says he wants to play for us, if we miss out on him, he’ll go to Spurs and you know he’ll be the nuts.

We could use Tomas Vermaelen as a left back or a DM so we would be spoilt for choice, right now though it’s not working, some from this lot may give us a real go, what do you think?

Look at who we would lose Eboue, Bendtner, Song, Denilson, Almunia, Fabianski, Randall, Rosicky, Koscielny and Squillaci, would you miss them? I wouldn’t.

I really like Vela, we waited 5 years to see him in an Arsenal shirt, he makes his debut and looks great, then we don’t see him again, and on the rare occasion we do, he’s hurried and I feel for him, but you know thats it, he’ll soon be gone, so 5 years of anticipation then nothing, and that happens a lot with our kids.

I was told the Wenger didn’t like what he was doing with his personal life, well enough said with that little kettle and pot!

Have a great Day grovers and let’s hope the big freeze thaws quickly, no football is boring, at least in the summer we could play golf!

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Barcelona are not unbeatable. If they were invincible, they would win the Champions League every year. Says Arsenal’s skipper!

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Now that’s coming from Cesc Fabregas and regardless of whether or not you believe it, he does, and more importantly it’s the first time all season I’ve heard him talking about Barca like they’re the enemy and not his spiritual home, at last! Way to go Cesc!

As far as I’m concerned we haven’t improved as a team since last season, although Nasri has upped his game others have gone the other way and we are weak as lambs at the back, no amount of bedding in will solve that, the only thing in my opinion that will help us overcome Barca, is the transfer window, if Wenger chooses to open his eyes and use it, great, if he doesn’t, we’ll have time to work on our domestic position, simple as that.

Admit you screwed up in the transfer market and move on Arsene, don’t let vanity bring you down.

Moving on to Stoke, I have no doubt we’ll tear them a new arsehole today, our player problems will stop us winning big trophies but they won’t stop us beating teams like Stoke, unless we have a howler, we will steamroller this team.

I would like to see us try Theo up front for once, with Robin tucked in behind, see what happens, it may be the secret weapon we need for the chavs, show something different and tactically surprise them for a change.

Theo is not a winger Arsene, he wasn’t when you bought him and he’s not now 5 years on, give him a try, he may be the explosive goalscorer we need and we all thought we bought all those years ago.

This would be my shout today, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain, namely top spot and something different.

Chezzer all day long!

Sagna Koscielny/Squillaci Djourou Gibbs (if fit)

Nasri Cesc Wilshere

Robin  Chamakh/Vela

Theo

Song and Denilson have been woeful of late and although Wilshere hasn’t been great, he’ll play better in that midfield and with the height we have at the back he can sit in front of them like a Mascerano type but with skill.

We don’t need planks in there anymore, we need footballers, the way we gave away possession to the mancs made us look like a pub team, well today we are playing a pub team that has a one trick pony, keep the ball and show them what a skilful team can do and use it as a practice match for the Christmas fixtures.

To get back to playing football, we need to get back to playing with footballers, in this team of late we have been playing with non footballers that have non footballing brains.

Come the window we can offload the rubbish and bring in some talent, let Almunia go and bring back Mannone, give Chezzer a run and make Fabianski number two.

We need a left back, bring back Cruise and stick Gibbs in, if he can avoid injuries he’s more than capable, Clichy has lost it, if Real want him, let him go, it may be what we both need, I love Clichy but this last two years he has cost us.

Eboue is nothing we need anymore and if Roma want him, great, sell him, same with Bendtner and if Wolfsburg really want Denilson, let him go. Now with that little lot we can bring in some super talent and it would cost us nothing, maybe then we would have a real chance against Europe’s show ponies.

Start with Hazard and get Ramsey back as the DM we need so desperately.

Have a great day grovers, today we go back to the top of the league!


Fabianski dropped / Benchmarking against the best / Justice time!

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I’m definitley not one for a conspiracy theories… Global warming is fact, there was no nonsense with those twin towers, the Americans definitely landed on the moon first and Fabianski certainly has a groin injury that may keep him out of the game with Stoke tomorrow…

Or does he?

Now, despite all the things Wenger has been doing wrong lately, I still like to think we see eye to eye on a few things. I’ve been telling the world for weeks that Fabianski is not a good goalkeeper and despite all the marvelous shot stopping he’s been doing, from a technical point of view, he’s been failing.

A goalkeepers job is at the maximum, only 20% shot stopping (Guide to Goalkeeping 2010). Most keepers can shot stop, unless you purchase them from a crap Spanish second division. You don’t generally get spotted unless you can make spectacular saves… but that’s not what pushes you onto a higher level.

Things that make a top class goalkeeper for me and Arsene are great distribution, the ability to claim crosses from set pieces and open play, communication and command of the area.

If the keeper isn’t confident and strong. The defence will wobble.

Now, I know people who don’t see goalkeeping in the same way me and Wenger do will naively tell you Fabianski has been amazing. Fact is, he hasn’t been. His kicking has been atrocious, you rarely see him shouting at his defence and it’s not unusual to see him bound out of his area and totally miss a cross. That puts everyone on edge and when you’ve got a defence like ours (more skitty than Amy Winhouse on day 3 of cold turkey), the last thing you need Flappy the seagull collecting balls in the box.

Wenger took him out of the first team line up, yet didn’t take him out of the squad against United. Very odd considering the severity of a groin injury. This weekend, it has been suggested Chesney will again take his place between the sticks. Is it a coincidence that a keeper who just showed a master class in penalty area dominance is going to get another chance to have a go against long ball specialists Stoke?

I think not…

Chesney shouts at his defence, he oozes the arrogance and self-confidence of Jens, he closes down players like Peter Schmeichel and he doesn’t facilitate spectacular goals like the other two. For me, he has it all… bar experience.

So please, if he has a great game tomorrow, don’t shed a tear for Fabianski, he’ll still get paid. This is the era of Chesney and hopefully it’s going to be a long and fruitful one.

In other news, Wenger said that Barcelona are the bench mark. Something Geoff and I said last season to great derision. If that’s the case, maybe Wenger will note that they have a great defence and a team that all work for each other. Samir Nasri flagged the same point in PHW’s paper

“We need to put our suits of lights away in the cupboard at times. We have to get down to working hard for the good of the team.

Damn straight Sammy. Flashy tricks and flicks are only acceptable if you’re spanking teams. Sometimes we need to think about other aspects of our game, you know, the boring bits. We need to become less shallow and dig in. Football is about winning, it’s not just about the spectacle and press plaudits.

Barca didn’t get where they are today by accident. Guardiola made Messi the best player in the world by teaching him how to be great off the ball. If we want to get to that level, Wenger needs to up his game in the transfer market and the players need to up their game in the mental department. If that happens, Madrid in the Champions League might not be such a daunting prospect.

It’s a massive game against Stoke this weekend. If we smash them, we’ll go back top and hopefully Chelsea will do the business against United and last weeks result won’t look so bad.

We know what to expect from Stoke, loads of long throws into the box, long balls all day and strong arm (and foot) tactics. The way you deal with tough guys in Sunday league is to give as good as you get. I don’t have any worries about the physical side tomorrow. The team just needs to make sure they all stand up for each other. We need to trust in our game,  be more direct and open them up with the same relish most of us attack a Terry’s christmas orange.

Tomorrow Grovers, we enact poetic justice for Rambo… again.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments… come join, it’s Christmas (Denilson to Werder) and it’s joke Friday!

TAXI! First joke... done.

P.S. Don’t focus too much energy on turd of the year Ryan Shawcross tomorrow? Yeah right… tear him a new one!

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