Sack the club: LIKE | Samir social problems | Defender on the way?

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Good morning Grovers! Geoff is in Slough today, so you’ve got me again. A big fat ‘gutted’ to Geoff, Slough is about as pleasant as a DIY root canal.

Anyway, plenty to crack on with this morning I tells ya!

Firstly, the very exciting news that Alisher Usmanov has taken his stake to ‘over 27%’… yep, Usmanov and Kroenke are part of the slowest race since Eric the Eel jumped back in the pool with a hangover to compete with a floating brick.

I’ve said before on Le Grove many times, ideally I’d love to see the club kept independent of a sugar daddy. Obviously I’d like to see more investment in the first team squad, but quite frankly, from what I understand, that’s all down to the coach which is a separate matter no Sugar Daddy will change.

If you were to put the two moguls together in a business fight, Usmanov would hammer Kroenke. He’s far more visionary in his investments, he has enough money to manoeuvre if things went wrong and he’ll be keen to upstage Abramovich. I’m not sure I’d want an American with similar wealth levels to the departed Liverpool duo guiding the club for the next ten years. If we want to compete at the highest level, we’re probably going to need some help. The current board are coming to the end of their careers so some new and fresh ideas on how to market, brand and expand the club would be welcome.

Regardless of his murky past, Usmanov has the team that could take us to the next level.

If you were wondering how Stan and Usmanov would square off in a real fight, here’s how I see it panning out.

The rip-roaring news that JD could be back in 4 weeks filtered down to us mere mortals. Now, I’m not sure how this works because Arsenal haven’t got a standardised injury press release. Does 4 weeks mean back and playing… or does that mean 4 weeks + 2 weeks to regain fitness + 1 week for a minor set back? If it’s the former, brilliant, he’ll be here for our last 5 games, if it’s the latter… well, there’s not much point is there?

In other news, apparently Samir Nasri wants his ‘friend’ Mehdi Benatia at the club next season. Now, this could be because he’s a good centre back of French/Moroccan descent, or it could be because Samir Nasri has no friends at Arsenal. You know, first of all it was Thierry, then it was Gallas… now it’s probably Cesc.

Surely there comes a point when you have to hold you hands up Samir and admit you’re a bit annoying? Recruiting your friends isn’t going to stem the issue here… just hold your hands up, buy a Tony Robbins self-help tape and get cracking on your social skills.

Finally, I wanted to touch on the topic of social media. Lately, I’ve been receiving e-mails and tweets asking me to give my opinion on Facebook groups, petitions and fan movements. Well, my opinion is that everyone is entitled to do as they please in the world of online (providing it doesn’t involve two girls and one cup or a horny donkey). If I don’t like something, I simply don’t read it or partake in whatever they’re up to.

That said, I really am against this Facebook generation of online revolution. For me, clicking a like button is one of the laziest forms of action you can take. What exactly does a ‘like’ entail? What does it mean? What effort or thought has gone into setting up a 60 second page and asking a few of your mates to click a ‘like’ button?

I totally understand that people are upset about how our season has panned out. Arsene Wenger should have purchased the players we needed at the start of the season, he should have made better decisions in the Champions League and perhaps the fitness of certain players should have been managed better. However, we’re second in the league, we’re a shoo-in for Champions league qualification and if we win all our games from now until the end of the season, we’ll win the league.

Like Geoff said yesterday, there will still be major questions asked of the manager even if he does win the league at the end of the year, however, setting up destabilising groups/sites when we’re still competing really rankles with me. Things like this only count if there is credibility behind them. Setting up a webpage takes hardly anytime at all, creating 6 negative posts in a year does not constitute effort and merchandising off the back of whatever you’re doing reeks of profiteering.

We’re known as a dissenting voice in the online world but we’ve always had fan interest at heart. If we didn’t, the simple fact is most of you probably wouldn’t be reading today. We’ve put in the hours though, we’ve written 1350 back to back post over the past 4 years, we’ve shared in the joy and in the pain and we’ve never taken a penny for our efforts. Hopefully that gives the our readers some sort of comfort that whatever we’re writing is for the right reasons and that sentiment goes for a number of other top sites in the Arsenal blogosphere.

Le Grove will always defend the right of anyone to have an opinion, however, I can’t condone this new wave of thoughtless action group that pop up at the merest hint of a bad run. For me, there are some really awful things going on all around the world that are far more worthy of protest, petition and social media attention. Look no further than the 38 Degrees group for stuff like that. Personally, I think trying to bring the club down via your laptop is a little rich considering the plight of other clubs.

However, that’s just my opinion, if you have a different take on the matter, set up a Facebook group and let me know how many people liked what you had to say!

See you in the comments… be sure to click the like button, we get a pound everytime you do that.

P.S. Wenger finally got his hands on 15 year old Siemann. You know, the 15 year old defender from Hertha Berlin? Mucky buggers…

Also, off the back of some heavy Le Grove campaigning, it seems the Government is prepared to listen to the case about standing areas in football. Read more here… For me, blaming standing areas for previous disasters is a bit like blaming planes for 9-11.

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Arsenal, it’s not over yet but time for a clear out, this is how I’d roll!

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Ok so apart from the Wilshere peeing bit the rest rings true, Jack is young but immense and the real Arsenal improvement this season. Last week Mr Wenger was asked if he would be here next season, this is what he said…

‘You ask about my commitment? When I sign a contract I respect it. (If) you look at what we did this season, it deserves a lot of credit. Would anybody have predicted that we are where we are, in front of Chelsea and Man City and fighting for the championship? Nobody’

So he’s turned the attention off him getting sacked by coming out with all this I respect a contract rubbish (notice how quickly he signed the last one?), nice swerve Arsene, but this time there are many who don’t want you to respect your contract, try respecting the club and the fans, admit you’re wrong and put it right, either that or leave.

Let’s tackle what you said about ‘who would have predicted that we are in front of Chelsea and Man City’ bit.

What a daft statement that is, of course no one would have predicted that, because you failed to strengthen areas of the team that have needed strengthening for years, they still need strengthining and that’s why we are out of the cups we are out of.

We are in front of Chelsea because they are an aging team, look at my posts in August, I said that, as for Man City, they have so many stars, they are falling over each other, watch them next season, oh and we haven’t finished above them yet, and playing a team like you did against WBA, we may not even finish in the top 4. Despite you telling the world it’s a 2 horse race. Chelsea are on the way back, and when Torres starts firing, they will challenge for the title.

So go onto the away game and those stoic fans that follow our hapless team around singing there’s only one Arsene Wenger.

Well the loudest cheer I heard from them at The Hawthorns was when Denilson didn’t re-appear for the second half, and we haven’t seen that since Eboue got booed.

I would like to think that Wenger would take that on board as we all think he is a completely useless and irritating footballer, but I doubt it as we have seen that for a couple of years now but Wenger plays him like he’s a top player.

Even early in the season when Lansbury scored at Shite Hart Lane Wenger could see he was a better bet, but loaned out the wrong player, so injuries can’t be blamed, poor management can though, or maybe bad judgment that comes with age, I mean how many 61 year olds would get a job in the real world if they were out of a job? Few, I can tell you.

So what should we do in the summer? Have a clear out and save some money.

Get rid of









Players that need competition



Players in the last chance saloon


Players that will only be there for a third of a season




Kids to keep and bring into the squad







Vela (possibly)

Kids to let go






And finally players that will be allowed to leave.

Cesc (he’s becoming a crock and he is fed up with project youth)

So I make 13 players can go and wouldn’t be missed in the slightest, but would save massively on salaries and bring in some cash. That’s 13 people! 14 if you include Cesc, think of the money saved and what we could do we that, it would mean someone was wrong though and I can’t see that happening.

I would buy a world class keeper like a Reina or Stekelenburg, Given is becoming a crock now so I would leave him. Chezzer will be a future number one, but if we don’t buy, then keep him as our number one.

I would buy at least one world class centreback and bring Bartley and Ignasi in to the mix, so in effect we would have 6 centrebacks, and don’t forget this season 5 weren’t enough.

I would buy a world class DM and use Coquelin, Frimpong and Song as back up, that’s fine as we have 4 comps and plenty of injuries.

I would buy a goal scorer, a worldclass one, maybe even rescue Benzema.

In hindsight had I said during the world cup we should sign Suarez as he was a goalscorer, I may have been right, guess what people, I did! Some shouted me down and said he was a cheating bastard who bit people.

If anyone wants to wonder what difference a world class centreback would have made to our team look no further than Luiz, he’s turned the chavs around, what did we do, we signed Koscielny and Squillaci in the summer and no one in the window, think what we may have won had we had him and not what we got.

The Carling cup for one!

As an Arsenal fan I still think we can win the league this time, we should have all our crocks back after the international break and would have played one game less, it’s still in our hands, but even if we do win it and we all start crowing, it doesn’t take away the problem players we have and the world class ones we don’t.

A few people have said ‘won’t I have egg on my face’ if we win the league, don’t be silly, I love Arsenal and would be delighted if we can pull it off, but had we signed those players we need we may have won the lot, and that’s what is so wrong, we fail to spot the obvious, it’s not just me, many blogs say the same, all the journos do as well as does every football pundit, Arsene doesn’t know better than all of them does he!

We need to keep Nasri, let Cesc go, he wants to, he’s becoming a crock and we could spend that money re-investing, you know, a bit like Ferguson does, it works for him doesn’t it. Stam, Keane, Beckham, RVN and Ronaldo to name but a few.

Finally for all those experts that say we shouldn’t buy because we don’t want to do a Leeds, don’t be daft, read the above, paying out these massive salaries will be doing a Leeds, get shot of them and buy quality, it doesn’t need to be on £50mil players, Van Der Vaart was only £8mil and don’t forget we have 18 players out on loan, 18! how crazy is that!

I read somewhere that all but 2 of Wenger’s trophies were with David Seaman between the sticks, the other two were with Lehmann, that should tell you something, build from the back, but with decent players, and get an Henry, because with all the build up play in the world, it matters not a jot unless you have a finisher.

Have a great day grovers, and ponder my thoughts

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Kit leak: I’m feeling ripped off | Dirty Jack W | Some transfer thoughts

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Quick post today because I absolutely hammered your reading eyes with 1800 words yesterday!

So, the main news yesterday was two-fold. Firstly, Chelsea beat Manchester City. David Luiz put on a masterful performance and showed Arsene Wenger the way in the, ‘this is what spending money gets you’ stakes. A clean sheet from Chelsea and a goal from a player who looks like a bit of a unit at the back and a threat going forward. Was his availability a mystery to all in world football? No… We’d spoken about him on here before. Was his price prohibitively out of our range? Nope, we had £40million available. Was there any desire to buy him?

No… as always.

The other news was that Liverpool beat Sunderland 2-0. Liverpool are starting to look like a threat again and Kenny Dalglish, against the odds has started to restore a bit of confidence to their shaky squad. My old boss who is a Liverpool season ticket holder said that Kenny Dalglish would show the players what it meant to play for Liverpool. Well, he’s certainly done that and the signing of Luis Suarez appears to be a masterstroke. I had my doubts, being good in Holland means nothing generally. The main ingredient he has over the likes of Alves, Kezman and other top scoring Eredivisie flops is that nasty streak. He has that same spark Robin and Bergkamp have/had…

Again though, if there’s a chance of picking up a player on a free after 18months… we’ll take that option everyday of the week. Chamakh is a good back up striker, but for me, he’s far too similar to Nik B. You can’t have a 1st team striker and two 3rd choice strikers.

When the summer comes, we need to make moves for a top striker to compete with Robin. He needs to be fit, creative and hugely aggressive. I’m gonna put it out there… we need a player like Adebayor… you know, the player who was fighting for recognition and a contract. Not fat on praise Ade…

We need a top notch back up defender. Ideally, I’d love someone like Gary Cahill. He’s English, he’s good on the floor, good in the air and hungry to prove he can make it at the highest level. He’s a great option because he’ll cherish being at a club as big as Arsenal and it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever harbour ambitions to play for Milan or Madrid!

Also, if I was allowed to complete my fantasy summer, I’m going for a hard tackling, dynamic, pacey central midfielder. We need someone with experience of winning, around 26 years of age and a leader. Sorry to say it people, but I’m struggling to see past Bastian Schweinsteiger. We heard that we were interested in him last summer and we made a tentative enquiry, so we know the coach rates him. A year on after signing a new deal, Bayern have had a shocking year by their standards, the coach is leaving at the end of the year and we know they’re very interested in a Bendtner. The classy German won’t have too many chances to move, he’s already admitted he like Arsenal… could there be an opportunity to sign him if we raise £30million through sales and offer the greatest player since Pele in exchange?

Who knows… what I am convinced of is that the feeling of the fans won’t have gone unnoticed by the board members at Arsenal. I’d imagine anyone reconsidering renewing a box will be asking Arsenal what their plans are with players in the summer… there’s nothing harder than filling a fifteen seater box, believe me, Geoff had problems during the good times, people baulk even at a free ticket. Corporate buyers won’t want to lay out money for wasted seats… hopefully they’ll communicate their concerns to Arsenal.

Hopefully Gazidis and Tom Fox will have a quiet word with Wenger about his squad plans this year…

In other news…

The Olympics haven’t contacted us about PR for their football, obviously a London based football blog wouldn’t have thousands of people interested in information about tickets to the biggest show of 2012, so I thought I’d take some initiative and tell you about the opportunities as my brother left a letter addressed to him lying around the house!

The application for tickets to the football has already started and runs until the 26th April. Prices start at £20 a go up to £50. Kids under 16 get a pay your age tickets, so if they’re 8, they pay £8!  I think that sounds like a bargain and I think if you live near the venues in Manchester, Newcastle, Coventry, London, Cardiff or Glasgow… you should support it and take your kids if you haven’t. Find the tickets here

Jack Wilshere escaped punishment after attempting to spit at a cabbie wearing a Spurs hat. Now, whilst I understand the urge, we’re supposed to be civilised and actions like spitting really are deplorable even from a player I love as much as Jack. Be careful son, you don’t want to get a reputation like Andy Carroll or Diouf.

Anyone hoping Jens could save our season had their hopes dashed yesterday.Wenger had this to say of mad Jens…

‘He looks like a guy who’s not been involved for a long time but has kept his body fit. He has the basic physical fitness but he lacks a little bit of decision-making and practice in goal’

Ha, ha he just described Almunia didn’t he!

Interesting to hear Bob Wilson being so vocal about Arsenal being a nearly team? I thought anyone who questioned Wenger was a traitorous swine? Maybe Arsenal have told him they’re dropping his Charity…?

Cesc and Theo should be back after the international break and hopefully,Alex song will return to the fold. Blackburn should be a walkover, mind you, I thought that about West Brom! Anyway, International week… about as welcome as a cup of warm goats milk after a 5k run. News stories are going to be at a premium… anything content ideas for the week, please let me know in the comments!

Finally, I’ll end on a wallet busting note… but it looks like our new strip has been leaked. They’ve gone to town on the design and basically changed nothing. I’m hoping if they’re replicating the blue lightning strip for the away kit, they’ll add some hooped socks for the home shirt. If they don’t, I’d really feel a bit miffed if I was a parent looking down the barrel of another £60 replica shirt…

The joys of being an Arsenal fan eh?

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