Has Arsene taken biggest gamble of career to date?

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So yesterday saw a defining point in Arsenals season.

Arsene Wenger chose not to sign Jonathan Woodgate, instead deciding to place his faith in Big Phil.

Is this the biggest gamble of his career?

Well, can you think of a more important decision over the last ten years? Has the pressure ever been higher? Has the Title race ever been this close? Have the fans ever been so unanimous in thinking we need cover at centre back!

As fans we are craving Silverware like Ashley Cole craves blonde single Mums… Arsene knows this.

Arsene also knows he ‘could’ have snapped up a player who is not cup tied, experienced in the Champions League, English and talented and all for under £10 million. Instead, he has joined our rivals up the road leaving Big Phil to Marshall the back four for the rest of the month.

Don’t be fooled though guys, remember this is a player with huge injury problems (an average of 13 games a season), a penchant bashing people of alternate race and a player who failed to make the grade at Real Madrid.

Am I bovered? Of course not! This is the second big decision Arsene has had to make this transfer window. The first being whether or not to re-sign Anelka. Wenger decided not to, and so far the decision has been vindicated… Ade has been beating the shit of some poor cows backside with a banjo all season now!

We have allowed Arsene to guide our season so far and lets be honest, he is doing a grand job, so the only decent thing to do would be to let him proceed with ‘Project Kid ‘, and to back the team! Big Phil needs your support if he is going to get through this!

Next up in the cup be the Dirty Reds from Salford, just our luck! Should be a cracker though and it could have an impact on the title race (Eboue could damage Ronaldo, that would be unfortunate?). In injury news, King Kolo is not long term, Rosicky will be back soon and RvP starts training this morning! So all is rosy in the world of Arse!

So today, let the comments section be a forum of positivity and remember, to receive all your Arsenal silverware dreams this season, please e-mail the link to this blog to 5 people… and er, donate some cash!

Happy Tuesday, here’s to a 4-0 drubbing of the Toon!

122 Responses to “Has Arsene taken biggest gamble of career to date?”

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  1. eduard...0

    well said boss! woody would have been a mistake and swiss tony has actually been ok (and thats maybe a bit harsh) in the last couple of games….aslong as he doesnt see/meet/mark or look at drog-pig he will be fine! 3-1 to the good guys

  2. Mark

    I think the problem we have is the lack of experience in the reserves.

    The first team squad is short in numbers and quality, what would we do if a couple more players got injured?

    bringing in a CB now would be a mistake because after the ACN we would have got two more back.

    Song started for Cameron, and not having a crystal ball I reckon Djrouou will be seen as cover for DM next season.

  3. Ole Gunner

    It’s a bigger gamble to sign Woodgate. What’s to say he’d fit into Arsenal? Isn’t there the risk that the team could stutter trying to adjust to him? And then what happens when Kolo comes back and we have 7 centre backs?

  4. eduard...0

    mark- i reckon, as this is purely speculation but johan COULD POSSIBLT MAYBE do a job in DM as he progresses no? he has the right build,mobile,heightetc

  5. Ole Gunner

    We have 6 centre backs;

    1) Toure, 2) Gallas, 3) Senderos, 4) Djourou 5) Song, 6) Nordveit and 3 players who can play in that position; 1) Gilberto, 2) Hoyte, 3) Sagna.

  6. lennie g

    I’m really pleased we didn’t go for Woodgate for all the reasons that you’ve underlined, but I’m convinced that we need a top central defender if we want to go all the way, Michah Richards springs to mind if we could prize him away from Man City and pay the earth if necessary, still feel that Gallas is not the answer. But we’ll leave it to Mr. Wenger he’ll do the right thing.

  7. Steve

    I’ve forgotton me cunting hat and it’ll be about minus 10 over there tonight. My ears will be fucking freezing.

    Anyway a nice win will warm us up.

  8. Gunnersaurus

    Morning grovers,

    I am back from business and raring to go on the blogging front, I missed my cyber buddies.

    I think woodgate would have been a huge mistake! Mark my words, once a crock, always a crock. Have you ever wondered why Middlesborough are so keen to get rid? He’s just not an Arsenal fit is he? what’s the point in signing him, when we have the best CB pairing in the prem normally.

    If we’re going to sign anyone, make it a micah for me. Geoff, you’ll agree, he is the only one worth bothering with? Anelka would have been cool, but its irrelevant now. He’s played 2 games and hasn’t scored, fucking useless!

    Anyone read KK talking about Ameobi? He can be as good as Ade because he looks like him! I am serious! Read it! I look a little like Steve jobs? I have this great idea about a portable music player, hmmmm?!

  9. eduard...0

    ole we cant include Hardvard YET…i agree he looked good against the brummies in the reserves but certainly no where near first team yet mate

  10. John

    I think it would have been a watse of money. Woodgate is a decent defender, but no better and 8 years older than Big Phil. I would have moved for Vincent Kompany.

  11. Ole Gunner

    Arsene paid £2M for him and made him reserves captain. Obviously he intends for him to be in the squad next season.

    In any case taking out Nordveit does not reduce the fact that we do have a number of centre backs. And we’re not Chelsea. We’re Arsenal.

    How many Centre backs do Man U have? How many Liverpool?

    I don’t think you need 10 centre backs to win the league.

  12. eduard...0

    yeah your right ole and yes perhaps when you look at it like taht, but if and when KK or willy gets crocked our next on teh pecking order is swiss tone or johan, neitehr are top prem class yet and i think you need another. how do you fancy either of the abover against kaka,gattuso,pato et al?no me neither!and dont say fucking gilberto at CB!!!!!! he will give me bloody heart failure

  13. andy c

    has micah richards signed a new contract yet? How long is left on his current one? Would we pay him as much as city are offering? I heard his contract offer was for 50k a week take it or leave it, i honestly dont think we would offer him that amount me cash

  14. Ole Gunner

    I guess I don’t agree that Senderos and Djourou are not good enough. They played most of last season. Senderos played in that glorious Champs League run. He’s in the team now and playing well. What’s the crisis?

  15. Ole Gunner

    If Senderos and Djourou are not good enough they should be sold, and good replacements bought. We however don’t need to bloat the squad.

  16. Geoff

    Well where do I start! Anelka actually scored a cracker at the weekend gunnersaurus, Woodgate may be a crock but he’s a great centerback, Robin’s a crock, Rosicky’s a crock as is Hleb and Gallas, so adding Woodgate for me would have been a good option, Hoyte, Song and Djourou may all have potential, but they’re not great centerbacks.

    If we want to win stuff, we need to have world class back up and we don’t.

    I find it hard to be positive when we spend nothing, it’s just disappointing. Sagna was a cracking buy, Richards would be a cracking buy, we have £80 mil now, but it just sits there, we sign all these kids, but how many make it?

    I’m so fed up.

    The Mancs sign Vidic and look at them at the back. Yes we play fantastic football but we need to add strength at the back and we had an opportunity to do that and we still do but we won’t.

  17. John

    Hoyte is not a centre back, Gilberto will be gone in the summer, Jourou will not make it, which leaves 3 plus the young Haarvard.
    Youth is good, but nothing beats experience. Woodgate is not an Arsenal type player, so AW was right NOT to sign him.

  18. Pedro

    Senderos was good enough to get us past Madrid, Juventus and Villareal last time round! He has the quality hidden away somewhere?! JD is being unfairly persecuted here! He is a good player, I think he will be a man mountain for us in the future!

    I’ll say this as well, Micah will make mistakes if we sign him. It is ok looking good in an average team, but when you take the step up and you concede 6 against Chelsea, the daggers are out for you.

    There is no way we’d pay Micah £70k a week! Freddie used to get £45k, Sol campbell 100k (On a free), Cashley offered £55k, I think Fab earns £45k?

    Regardless, he’d get paid well. We have the 2nd highest wage bill in the prem i think? So it can’t be all bad!

    What did I say about a forum of positivity today guys!

    Happy comments please!

    I wanted it to be like Disney land in here today! (Make no reference to Senderos being a Micky Mouse player)

    Did I read that Kolo came back to England for Treatment, then flew back out?

  19. eduard...0

    yeah thats my point geoff and ole, im NOT saying i ont liek johan OR swiss Tone…i do and yes he was mustard during tyeh great cup run of 06 but its 08 now and he aint done much since! in fact he s just coming back to boil now….whens stamford bridge??!
    vincent kompany would be cool and he must only be late twenties now? anyone for sergio ramos?!

  20. Segujja(uganda)

    guys we will be ok. Am african so am following the games here. Song has been a revelation in this competition. he was brought on in the 1st game and he changed it for caneroon though they lost it, Played and had an assist for cameroon against Benin. I believe this competition is what he needed. we have a good player in our ranks. Diarra who? we are winning newcastle and i hope diaby doesnt start on the left

  21. Steve

    Kolo isn’t serious. Arsenal doctors met him in Paris and gave him the all clear to fly back. Should be fine in 8-10 days.

  22. Steve

    When you say he “changed it for Cameroon, though they lost”, does that mean they were winning comfortably when he came on?

  23. Geoff

    Of course I’m being negative, was I the only one that watched the spurs game? did that not tell us we have an inadequate defence?

    Only Wenger could say we out passed, out shot and out possessed them…we lost 5–1 for fucks sake, what was he looking at?

    Get a center fucking back before you blow the season.

  24. Ole Gunner

    How many “world-class” centre backs do Man U have? How many “world class” centre backs do Barcelona have?

    How can I respectfully say; “you’re talking tosh”? We don’t need 5 excellent centre backs. You can only play 2 at a time, and the other 3 won’t remain excellent if they don’t play. We need 2 excellent centre backs and 2 or 3 other good centre backs. I don’t know of any big team apart from Chelsea who have more than that.

    And please stop crapping on Johann and Philippe. They’ve really had few bad games for Arsenal. They were excellent last season against Chelsea.

  25. Mike (the neighbour )

    Geoff this is what Pedro said in his opening today
    “So today, let the comments section be a forum of positivity ”

    Where was your contribution to that positivity eh ? Think about those supporting a sad bastard team like the spuds -Ive just got into their website to read about woodgate -theyve still got the 5/1 score as a header -how sad is that -clutching at straws .
    and as far as woodgate is concerned at 28 “experienced ” and yet as one article said “Ever since, however, a combination of bad luck – club turmoil and changes in management – off-field misbehaviour and, above all, injury has prevented him achieving the success so many had predicted for him. ”
    At newcastle he only appeared 37 out of 128 possibles and was only partially fit when signed for ACM
    Quite often Bad luck made or otherwise follows people around -sounds like a blessing in disguise to me

  26. Gunnersaurus

    Oh really Geoff? I apologise? Maybe I saw that he had scored, but blocked it out? A form of Arsenal repression.

    The Mancs signed Vidic, but we signed Gallas? They have Wes Brown as back up, hardly world class. You don’t sign world class back up, because world class has to play.

    Plenty of the kids make it, but not all of them can, otherwise we’d have a 90 player squad.

    Players that have made it:

    Clichy, Kolo, Hoyte, Eboue, Cesc, Flamini, RvP, Denilson, Diaby, Senderos, Djourrou, Bendtner, Song


    Vela, Merida, Gibbs, Randall, Traore, Simpson

    That is a better production line than anyone else in the world at the moment.

    Then if you take it further, you can see how many make it elsewhere

    Premiership teams with ex-Arsenal players in their squads: Portsmouth 5, West Ham 4, Chelsea 3, Birmingham 2, Sunderland 2, Blackburn 1, Middlesbrough 1, Fulham 1, Liverpool 1, Aston Villa 1, Reading 1, Tottenham 1.

    In fact you could make an English ex-Arsenal eleven, and at a stretch a foreign ex-Arsenal eleven.

    English ex-Arsenal XI 4-4-2: Wright, Ashley Cole, Upson, Campbell, O’Hara: Midfield: Bentley, Sidwell, Muamba, Harper; Forwards: Pennant and Andy Cole

    Foreigner ex-Arsenal XI 4-3-3: Taylor (grandparents etc;) Lauren, Hughes, Diarra, Volz; Midfield: Ljungberg, Larsson, Boa Morte: Forwards: Stokes, Anelka, Aliadiere or Kanu

    (Stolen from ANR)

    What is depressing about being 2nd in the Prem, in the Champions league and in the FA Cup? The Mancs haven’t strengthened.

    Think of last year, then tell me you are still depressed.

  27. Segujja(uganda)

    People Senderos is just low on confidence but he will come good. u all tend to forget he is a young buck still. And u guys lay off Djourou he is a player i see playing like gallas. speedy, strong and determined. he will get his chance and he will take it. he was good at Birmingham

  28. eduard...0

    ole , mate, im not crapping on them and were not fucking chelski or barca, fuck them. we need THREE cb’s not two and potentially 2 more great ones…experience is arguably better than youth at CB…come on ole, come over to the right side, its beautiful here!

  29. Geoff

    Mike I don’t feel like being positive, I feel the season is sliding down the pan, we went out to spurs, chances are Milan will knock us out the Champions league the week after the Mancs do us in the cup, all because our manager won’t spend.

    As far as the super stats on Woodgate go, what are the stats on Robin Van Persie? played 4 injured for 74 or something.

    Rosicky, played 5 injured for 35, it’s Ok to support your team, as we all do but Wenger is being stubborn to the point of ridicule and we’ll go another season as a work in progress, then Cesc will fuck off.

  30. Pedro

    Tottenham was 8 changes from the first team and the Spuds scored nearly every chance they had. It was the worthless cup and the form hasn’t transferred into any of the other competitions.

    Lets be happy to be where we are. The mancs didn’t even make it past the first round of the Worthless cup, so if they need squad players, they will have to go out and buy them because there youth team is shite. Ours beat Blackburn and Newcastle, a mighty achievement.

    Don’t forget that the Spuds are a good team of individuals who have finished 5th 2 years running. To go out to them is gut wrenching but no shame.

    I agree with Ole, we don’t want another Diarra situation occurring. I know people will say injuries happen, but they didn’t in centre midfield this year, so its not guaranteed.

  31. Pedro

    Difference between RvP and Woodgate it that we know Woodgate is crock, we didn’t buy RvP as a crock.

    Buying a player with brittle bones for cover is a West Ham speciality. Our season is hardly going down the pan.

  32. eduard...0

    yeah i hear you geoff, a little doom and gloom but its a point. a good one at that. i actually think we can do AC, but with those mancs 4 days before, end of feb WILL define our season. two massive massive games but this is what its all about!

  33. eduard...0

    well injuries to midfield have happened though, to both cesc and flammers no?at various times, cesc v sevilla?

  34. Mike (the neighbour )

    I agree with you about experience -I was just commenting on Woodgate and your RVP comparison is well taken emphasising my point about woodgate .The boss doesnt seem to think about bringing in experience and I dont understand why . I cant see that anyone has an enlightened view from this or other blogs as to why when you have the dosh and the transfer opportunities are limited in timescale you dont sieze them .
    Off to Spain this pm and providing Monarch are on time should make it to Si bar tonight to watch Keegan and Wise (good name for a comedy act ) get a thrashing .

  35. Ole Gunner

    Geoff you’re entitled to your negativity. The Carling Cup was obviously not a priority and does not count.

    The most ridiculous argument I have ever heard in my life is that just by buying a Jon Woodgate, Arsenal will suddenly win the league.

    Nonsense. You were one of those at the beginning who said we couldn’t compete this season because we did not spend £100 Million like Mancs and Liverpool. You were wrong then, you’re wrong now.

  36. eduard...0

    ole, no one is saying that and im under no ilusions that you would shoot them down soon as look at them if they did!
    woody is not the be all and end all and it winds me up when we are connected to wankers like lescott…people seem to have very high opinons of (in my opinon,) average players. ARSENE go get me a battling, hard bastard from eastern europe who has grown up on gruel and log carrying a la vidic.

  37. eduard...0

    pedro, seeing as we are apparently watching a striker in wolsburg the scouts almost there…might as well have a quick look around for a combative CB, dare i say “scout” around…just lightening the mood with that!

  38. Pedro

    Ole, though I agree with your basic point, I do think Woodgate (Staying fit) could have been a pivotal signing because he is a good player.

    Taking a rational view of the situation though, you’d probably say now it was a good idea not to sign him.

    If we’d signed a fit Kieron Dyer to sort out our wing issues, we’d all be excited because he is a good player. That excitement would soon disappear when he got injured, then we’d all be asking how dumb was Wenger for signing a crock!

    Remember, unless he signed a genuine world class centre back, there would be no guarantee’s he would make a difference!

    Lets focus on the game a head and get excited about dishing out another drubbing!


  39. Mike (the neighbour )

    Message for steve who forgot his “cunting hat ” for tonights match -“a cunt cap is a surplus military cap dyed earth tone purples and pastel pink. and worn by women ” I hope thats not what you were taking cos youd really stand out in the crowd wearing that -if you dont already that is !

  40. Evo in Oz

    Im glad everyone is finally on the Senderos bandwagon, it only took all of my blogging strength to remind everyone of his abililties (particularily the CL in 2006) and some of his good games recently.

    Touch wood he does the job for the run in, but im pretty confident, as we all are! Id be just as worried about Gallas ballsing it up as Big Phill to be honest!

    3-1 tonight (tomorrow morning for me) with Eduardo to bang in a couple of rippers!

  41. Evo in Oz

    Far out, Andy Cole and Arsenal player, struth, thats pushing it a bit far – 1 league appearance as a substitute…nice try, although pretty funny!

  42. Gunnersaurus

    So Diaby to be offered a new deal? I wonder what the long term plan is for him? Does Wenger see him a a Centre midfielder or a wide player?

    Evo, its a gamble saying Senderos can be a big player for us, but you have to support the players if they are your only option. Newcastle will be a different kettle of fish tonight, but if he can keep his concentration against a team who have attacking players in abundance, maybe he can kick on from there and be a big player for us.

    I read that KK team talk for the last Arsenal game went like this,

    ‘They are good passers, pass better.’

    Fucking inspirational.

  43. The Prophet

    Geoff welcome to my world of depression and despair, However chatting to a mate who lives in and is a mad Middlesbrough supporter the general oppinion is Woodgate regularly gets drunk in the town and most believe they wanted rid of him ASAP. He is an accident waiting to happen

  44. Evo in Oz

    Yeah Big Phill is a slight gamble, but i think everyone goes through a form slump sometimes. He is back in town now after shaking off his shoulder injury and all the other niggling ones he’s picked up along the way.

    Did anyone mention we will be back to Top O’ the League outright after this game???

  45. lc

    Yehaa! Woodgate, a good defender, but too injury prone.
    Djourou and Senderos are good players; but AW mad a mistake pairing them at CB the previous time when their confidence was so low. They fear so much the fans who don’t seem to give them any chance. It would work, playing Sagna and Senderos at CB and either Djourou or Hoyte at RB. Then the balance will be achieved using Clichy instead of Traore. These are things AW often get wrong when it comes to CC, because he seems to neglect the team mental balance which is as important as the physical one.
    Alexandre Song is really doing well at ACN at the moment. He looks even better player than Diarra for me (when he feels loved).

    For tonight game, no need to start with Walcott, as the Jordies who have already lost to us would put the boot in in order to force at least a draw. Walcott can come in the last 15 minutes to keep learning step by step from the bench.

    My team tonight:


    Sagna- Senderos- Gallas- Clichy.

    Denilson(if fit, but it will be Hleb)- Flamini- Fabregas-Hleb(but it will be Diaby).

    Adebayor- Eduardo.

    Arsenal 3-1 Jordies.

  46. Richey Back

    Did I just read that Senderos was apparently excellent against Chelsea last season!?!? …

    … someone obviously didn’t watch the Carling Cup Final!!

  47. Evo in Oz

    well im off to bed (10.49pm) here, so i can get up in 8 hours to watch the game! I’ll take 3-1 anyday, but another clean sheet would be gold!

  48. Phobia

    Arsenal 4 – Newcastle 0

  49. Val

    Some think it’s not good for us to play ManU at this stage in the F.A. Cup. Others raised their eyebrows when we drew AC Milan in the next round of the Champions League , but am I bovvered? Nooo!!!

    If we are going to win the Premiership, F.A. Cup and the Champions League, we must have to meet and beat the likes of ManU and AC Milan. Any other way the boubters would say we did it by default.

    So yeah bring em on!!!

  50. Bud

    Geoff……. Cheer Up………. Remember, we are going to have one of your very favourite evenings tonight. Hours of persecution and mind bending on young Timothy and attempting to throw enough doubt into his head that he is throwing his entire life away by getting married in 10 days (its not too late !!!!)………. you know how happy that makes you !!!!!!

  51. Baggio

    please please please le boss…DON’T RUSH RVP BACK THIS TIME!!!

    we are quite capable enough up front with ade and eddy with nikki b and theo as back up for the next 3 or 4 weeks.

    we will need a FULLY fit RVP for the title run in badly, will be essential come march april may.

  52. Dick Burns

    Woodgate is a great defender but don’t forget he is injury prone too. Do we need another casualty on our books ? i doubt it thats why he never went for him

  53. Eastender

    Agree Woodgate would have been a mistake. Injury prone and socially flawed. However we are short a really good 3rd CB given that Phil and Johanne look vulnerable at times. Kolo is a natural defensive MF so there would be 40 games a season at least for the three of them (WG, KT and AN other) given injuries/suspensions to the Flamster. We need to resign Flamini and sign another quality CB. Richards. Also the word is RvP is seriously out. A striker would be nice.

  54. Richey Back

    Red Devil … go and fuck yourself you Manc Muggy Cunt!!

    Really struggled last season away at Old Trafford didn’t we (remember that one?)

  55. Nate

    I have been saying all season that we can win the premier league if we focus completely on it.

    I had no doubts in our ability, even though many of my Arsenal friends thought I was mad.

    One thing I was sure about (and still am) is that our squad isn’t good enough to fight on all fronts.
    Nothing has changed my opinion, I would like Wenger to pull out on of his discoveries this month just to freshen things up a little, however, I don’t think we need to sign anyone desperately.

    My problem is that losing to rivals is not good for your season even if it happens in other competitions.

    Even though the spuds are our league rivals they are local rivals, that defeat would have had a greater impact if Keegan was starting new at Newcastle or the fixtures had put us against a Man City or Everton.

    I don’t want us to beat Milan (I know how stupid this sounds) even though I feel we will win. Purely because it will add more games to a thin squad.

    I knew we would get Utd, if win in the CL we’d probably get Chelsea.
    That 2 Q-Final legs would be smack in the middle of games against Liverpool and Utd.
    Imagine a bad result in any of those games and the problems it could cause as the team is still inexperienced.

    A little joke thought of mine was the Wenger didn’t care enough about the CL either, he could’ve easily played a full strength team against Slavia, we’d won and topped the group we could be facing Fenerbahce now as Sevilla are.

    The biggest gamble for Arsene is not to focus on one competition and fight for that, it would be stupid to get rid of all the hard work that he and his staff have done in getting some of the best young talent avaliable, so just to buy for the sake of it (Woodgate) is no the idea.

    We can’t go on all fronts and I, all Arsenal fan, players staff and the great professor don’t want to end the season empty handed.

  56. Bud

    RedDevil – You are clearly worried, otherwise why would you come on an Arsenal Blog Site and make such an embarrassing prick of yourself !

    Whats up little man, you got no friends you can spew your shit on……… is it any wonder???

    Now trot along, fuck off and stop embarrassing yourself weasel boy…….. I bet you have an acne problem as well don’t you and have trouble with talking to women as you have no self confidence (and with reason!) in the way that you look. You also have a reputation for leering at women in pubs and bars and girls do not feel safe or comfortable in your presence……….. but do not fear little man, there is a solution – kill yourself, do the world a favour, after all, no-one loves you and no-one will miss you and you will save the state a fortune in benefit payouts.

    “Rest in Peace Little Man !”

  57. casicky

    Senderos has one good game and all of a sudden he is great again,like in the great champs league run oohh please wat utter rubbish he aint good enough he jus aint good enuff!!!!

    i agree with Geoff um disapppointed in Wenger ‘s policy at the moment,we are on a high and have money and thats enough to attract big player’s which is what every team wants to do and we can do it but we dont and we keep passing up signings and yet our squad failed to get thru a two-legged semi-final and we aint won anything in a while.

    we have been to finals and not won surely that shows we jus need that bit extra and Wenger probably feels time will give us that extra edge but i feel its more experience brought in not our errors we will have turned into a feeder club.

    Gallas,Hleb,Cesc all need to be in terms winning every season,they play their part its time for Wenger to play his and build a squad that will deliver.

    We Gunner Gunn Em…

  58. brian the gooner

    Not too sure about Woodgate but what I am sure about is that beyond Toure and Gallas we do not have centre backs who are going to be secure against the top teams.
    My only reservation about Wenger is that,although he is great at spotting young talented attacking players,I am not at all sure that his record on defenders is up to the same level(Cygan,Stepanos etc).

  59. gooner til I DIE!

    Come on you Gooners where is your trust in all our young guns?

    As far as the Senderos issue is concerned I think he saved our skins enough times he deservers some respect form his fans. He was very shaky upon returning from injury but seems to be defending very well now. In my opinion he needs playing time like every single player in our team. This is no matter what absolutely vital for physical
    and phsycological balance, give him time, more regular football and he’ll be just fine.

    I don’t know if you have noticed but RVP is out and didn’t really do anything for us this season, it’s a shame cos he’s world class and I do sincerly hope he will shake off all his deamons before the season ends otherwise this could have a very big mental blow on him. I think oce back to full fitness he needs play a sub role to get back on track.

    Hoyte and here is my opinion…Hoyte is not up to EPL standard yet, he needs to work harder and show how well he can dominate at the back…same goes for Wallcott on the other end and as much as I love to see him play and run he still has a lot more work to do and it’s not just confidence he’s lacking, he must be able to keep the ball for few seconds even when under presurre his body language fails him when this happens, perhaps he should speak to Ade on how this is done. A few pointers would not go down the drain and could help him build and improve on both menta and phisical confidence.

    Diaby needs to step up as well rather then trying to go and run at the defence he should stretch the game and defenders so our midfileders can expose them, th elikes of Fab and Flam afre good at doing this, out flanks are looking good with Clichy and Hleb also Sagna is very good at running on the flanks.

    I’m not worried about tonight like I was not worried on Saturday, we have what they dont have and that is the Arsenal way! Sheer and class!!!

    We love you arsenal we DO!

  60. Geoff

    Just got rid of the unemployed benefit taking manc, sorry everyone, but he obviously has nothing better to do that irritate other blog sites, he has no fucking guts as he’s not even using his real email, but I now have his IP so hopefully he’ll fuck off back to Scotland.

  61. Nate

    Incase anyone hasn’t heard, Woodgate is injured, so I think it wasn’t much of a decision, in the fact that he is injured already!

  62. casicky

    its great that Senderos saved our skins when he did but u living on history now-liverpoolesque-we need consistency at the high level you cant afford to carry players not for such a long time which i feel we have done with Senderos.

    vidic terry GALLAS carragher
    ferdinand carvalho KOLO agger
    brown alex SENDEROS hyypia

    our third choice aint good enough compared to manUre and the chavs,ok liverpool have to work on theirs too but who cares bout them.

    losing to spurs was terrible but i wont lie to anyone i wanted to be in that final again,i feel if we got into the final either way the advantage for us wud have been greater,it would go either of two ways…

    if we won then finally we had a cup,after a long time and the team would have that extra edge coz they now know how to win and that would only br good for us for the rest of the season.

    if we lost then we would have what that extra bit we needed and still have the whole season to work on it that would be better experience and still wud have our unbeaten record against spurs

    but at this rate we could end up losing in all comps!!!i dont know if its jus me but i feel we havent played that well since the first half away to Villa i have been on edge eversince????any thoughts????

  63. gooner til I DIE!

    To be honest with you I would be gutted not to win anything this season, however what did you expect from our boys at the begining of the season? Trophies all the way?

    Tell me the truth? Everyone dished us and said middle of the table not in even fourth…

    Even if we dont win jack shit this season (sounds harch and I dont believe it) we still did great and are still doing a fantastic job. Wenger has definitely made a mistake of playing reserve team for the semi final of the CC but hey these boys need exposure to become good themselves, and it the Spuds 9 years to do so….so there.

  64. gooner til I DIE!

    To be honest with you I would be gutted not to win anything this season, however what did you expect from our boys at the begining of the season? Trophies all the way?

    Tell me the truth? Everyone dished us and said middle of the table not in even fourth…

    Even if we dont win jack shit this season (sounds harch and I dont believe it) we still did great and are still doing a fantastic job. Wenger has definitely made a mistake of playing reserve team for the semi final of the CC but hey these boys need exposure to become good themselves, and it took Spuds 9 years to do so….so there.

  65. TH14's Sense of Arrogance

    Is it fair to say that Senderos is a pile of pish? I cannot believe there are so many people defending the boy on. Much more defending that he has ever done!

    Phil is a thick-looking mistake merchant. He is average in the air and atrocious everywhere else. His positioning is woeful, his marking from set pieces is a joke, he has no understanding of the offside rule and he is surprisingly weak. As for his pace, well that’s not even worth discussing as it clearly does not exist. He is quite good a blocks. There. A compliment. I agree he is young and I am sure he could become a good centre back in the future, but why not buy a great centre back to cover Gallas and Toure for the next couple of seasons at least??

    Glad Woodgate wasn’t bought though as he is a pure sicknote. Which incidentally we are fast becoming a team of. We are slowly becoming the new Newcastle – Rosicky, RVP, Hleb, Fabregas, Flamini, Toure, Gallas, Walcott, Diaby, Denilson, Djourou have all had quite serious injuries this season. It’s ridiculous. What is Wenger doing to them in training???

  66. Big Johan

    highlight of saturday’s match was the ironic chant “there’s only one kevin keegan” ringing out around the emirates. Could we all unite tonight please with “there’s only one Dennis Wise”

  67. Pedro

    Don’t worry Big Phil, Pedro is here to defend your honour!

    Wes Brown is older and shite. Ask any Manc… he is shite.

    Chelsea… Ben Haim? I think we all saw what he did for the Chelsea defence when they came to the Emirates.

    Hyppia is old and prone to an own goal, has he ever been classed as world class? Are Liverpool struggling to hold onto fourth? I believe so!

    So in summation, no one has world class back up!

    Lay of Big Phil, he has started to play well. One game doesn’t make you a great player, but 3 good games on the trot means you are hitting form!

    The reason I defend him is because I have no choice. We’re not getting Micah, and Kolo is not badly injured enough for Wenger to purchase.

    So Woodgate is injured already?

    Fitting really.

  68. gooner til I DIE!

    Big Phil dont you worry son we are with 110% with you!

    Keep on defending well and I’m sure some of us almighty gooners will start backing you up and Pedro just for sake defending him is like kicking him in the balls so dont do it it’s sad matey!

  69. Pedro

    I’m defending him because I like him, I don’t believe you turn into a shite player over night.

    If he is reading the blogs, he needs to know that some of us think he can work through this dodgy patch!

    You don’t knock a player for playing well. If we lived on past performances, we might as well start slagging flamini off for giving the ball away and running round like a headless chicken, or start slating Hleb for offering the team nothing.

    I have faith and I would never kick him in the balls.

  70. jimmyfingers

    I was about a third of the way in to the blog and just knew it was Pedro posting it, it was so happy clappy. Good read nonetheless. I heard about the Woodgate tosh while waiting for my gooner sandwich made by my gooner sandwich maker (gooner coronation chicken if you’re interested). Another customer was chatting about it and he put them right straight away ‘no we ain’t’. Having spend my morning in the cellar counting wine it had gone from rumour to story to bullshit before I’d had chance to even begin to contemplate it.

    And thank fuck for that. I don’t want that cunt at the club. He’s just about alright when he isn’t injured, and Phil’s doing ok so far (fingers crossed)

    Moving house at the mo. I have internet at the old one, but not at the new. D’oh

  71. kohtao

    Can I think aof a bigger decision he has had to make in the last ten years? yes – what he had for breakfast today. what socks to wear. anything.

  72. Craig

    Kotao, that was the lamest attempt at humour I have ever seen. Hardly a career move, putting your socks on? I think you need to go the the good housekeeping blog if thats what you deem more important.

    Big Phil ain’t great, but nor is Woodgate. I think the Mancs would have had him if he was all that. Liverpool too.

    I’d like a decent back up defender, but we support the tightest club in world football, so what can ya do!

    Be watchful of own tonight, he is deadly.

  73. Jamie

    As to all the people on this site saying Senderos has good game against Chelsea last season, CHELSEA & DROGBA r big phils nemisis, the last three games against them he has been runied, Big Phil should be sold and qulaity replacement in the summer. Anyway come on the boys tonight, my team

    sagna Sendhimoff Gallas Clichy

    Wimpcott Cesc Flanimal Hleb

    Ade(Baby) Eddie

    also: Glad we did not sign that ethinic bashing, lager swiging, northern monkey!!!

    Prediction : 3 -1 to the Arse

  74. kohtao

    Craig, it was more mockery than humour. come on, to sugest that whether or not to buy woodgate was wengers biggest decision of the decade is sensationalist title-hyping of the worst sort. Henry? Vieira? buying theo? moving the ashburton grove? signing a new contract after dein had left? even buying sol. now those are big decisions. not buying an admittedly decent defender is just a judgement call of the type that wenger makes every day. whether right or wrong, its not anywhere near his top ten, no matter how much you extrapolate the argument to say all our future silverwear might rely on it.

    a load of overblown tosh.

  75. casicky

    Pedro thats jus it we are not judging him on the psat YOU ARE!u keep going on bout how he played well and showed some promise but lately he hasnt been and we cant start saying he is coming into form now because he hasnt been consistently good to be judged that way….and if he is reading this then he should realise that we know what he can do he has to start producing or also face the fact that this level aint for him.

    wes brown is more consistent than Senderos yes he is older but do you actually think that with age Senderos will all of a sudden be faster,he might read the game more but how long has it taken him to at least head a ball properly,to use his physical advantage to show some confidence even to FAKE IT….i dont bout Senderos whereas with Johann i think he shows more potential.

    the chavz have Alex before Ben Haim so thats even more than we have.its great tha we are where we are but it really souns like most of u people feel that since we have over-achieved its ok for us to go down hill now,coz we have proven the critics wrong by being up ther with manUre.

  76. casicky

    its dissapointing that we are not aspiring to jus push further now we are here,we all think we have all these youngsters that are going to come good fro us,but the thing is our manger cant build a squad of pure professionals i dont think he can handle man management of that side so when these kids grow what makes you all so sure we will be able to hold on to them ??????

  77. Pedro

    I don’t think we have over achieved? We are still winning and still in the top two at the end of January. Its more a case of Arsenal under achieving in the last few years. We’ve all said how good the team can potentially be, now it is fulfilling its potential, people are saying we are over achieving? What a load of negative bollocks.

    Kohtao, how was moving to Ashburton Wengers decision – maybe his idea, but not his decision. How was buying Theo a big decision? Henry, Viera… they were not big decisions because he knew their qualities.

    Signing a contract was a big decision, personally.

    Not signing Woodgate is a test of faith and if Senderos fails miserably and we drop 9 points in the next few weeks, that could be the decision that costs us the league because arguably Woodgate is more capable.

    3 years is a long time to go trophyless, so I stand by my statement.

    Casicky, I am judging him on the present. He is playing well, and it can’t be argued otherwise. Its part of the argument. People are calling for Woodgate, I am saying we dont need him because Phil is playing well! To say you can’t judge a players form because they have been bad doesn’t make sense? If he is playing better… that is an improvement in form.

  78. Manfred Szaman

    I don’t what the fans will make of it if Arsenal fizzle out and don’t win the title or any other trophy.This is the best since the spring of 2004.if Arsenal do limp out remember the Jan opening window as the definining moment.
    Of course we still have three days left and AW could or maybe not bring in any body.
    But wait a minute if hewere to win the title he could be vindicatd.

  79. Bud

    All this negativity is a bit cracky today !!!!

    Casicky – The saying goes you are only as good as your last game – Can he do better than a clean sheet, in fact 2 clean sheets in his last 2 games….

    I’m not his greatest fan, but Confidence is a fragile thing and the fact that we got tonked by the Spuds and it wasn’t his fault and that he was needed to come back into the team to tighten things up again, and did that very well against Newcastle, will help no end psychologically.

    As quick as Drogba broke his confidence, something like the Tottenham debacle could actually transpire to be exactly what he needed to stop beating himself up and grow his bollocks back !

    Also, feel I gotta add, criticising Pedro for regaling in Big Phil’s past glories, than criticising Big Phil because of his past deficiencies is a little Pot Kettle and Black don’t you think?

  80. Pedro

    Well said bud, I don’t understand how you can say Arsene can’t manage players either?

    When does Arsene ever let players go that he really wants to keep?

    Check out the ex gooner list to see who we really miss!

    ‘but the thing is our manger cant build a squad of pure professionals’

    How about the time we went unbeaten for a season? The year of the invincibles.

    To say Arsene can’t build a squad is beyond comprehension… he’s on his third!

    Why do we need to push on? You can’t drop the players who worked so hard to put you where you are! They have 15-16 games to go, if we win them all, we win the league.

    Its that simple!

    Think joyous happy thoughts…!

  81. Bud

    Fuck me guys – This is what a Title Battle is……… you go for it neck and neck with your rivals……… obviously if you are good enough, you will be top of the league or there abouts………….. hold on, we are………… soi what the fuck are you lot bleating about ????

    A lot of you are acting like a spoilt buch of brats / c*nts (you decide).

    Yes, we’d like new players (its like food or woman, something differnt is always a tasy temptation), but we ain’t getting any, so lets get on with being Gooners, not Moaners !!!

  82. terry

    senderos remindes me of a young tony adams all the slaging off he got in his first couple of seasons. i just hope he turns out the same as adams

  83. Craig

    Sorry Kohtao, I still don’t agree with you. It is a big decision, and your other comparable decisions are simply not comparable.

    I’m not sure what some people want from this team! There are other teams in this league, and other great players in this league. To be so close to the top of the league at this point is great news.

    What would it take for you to be happy Casicky, you seem like the sort of guy who would still be complaining if we had won the league.

    Lets just pray that we win by at least six tonight otherwise I fear there could be a bout of suicides in north london!

    Cheer up gooners.

    I’m off to the match now! 3-0 Arsenal, and I facny the Hlebster to get on the scoresheet tonight.

  84. casicky

    i guess um still bitter bout being smacked 5-1 by them idiots and it was a semi-final.Diarra’s departure didnt go quite well for me as i feel we lost an opportunity yes yes you right he has an awful attitude but i want our squad to challenge,right now i cringe on any game incase we get injuries,i jus feel we so close.

    Senderos is only as good as his last game,as everyone else um jus tired of pple going on bout what he did for us back then when it really doesnt help us now,judge him on what he is doing now,he has to dhow some signs of consistency and you really cant have that afetr one game!!!!

    i want the team to win something we have lost two finals and we cant pass up semi-finals which i feel we did we havent won anything for a while and feel Wenger has a certain stubborness that could be our downfall.

    one nil the Arsenal i hope for more but any win i’ll take

  85. jimmyfingers

    Good to read Pedro and Bud keeping a stiff upper lip, what. The cup is definatelyhalf-full for Arsenal. Yes we’velost a big of the swagger and impetous of early season, but it is still a team that has talent in bucketloads all over the pitch. Not sure whether we’re allowed to use footballing cliches on this blog but form is temporary, class is permanent (JF ducks……..phew) and to be honest our form hasn’t been bad: apart from last year we’ve pretty much always gone out in the semis or earlier in the MM cup playing the kids. This time the expectation was raised and we bought into the hype

    Good, its a footballing lesson learned for us all, and the kids: don’t believe the hype

    And no-one speak of Diarra again. I don’t how good he is or might be or whether by day he’s a mild mannered janitor and by night a kung fu kicking crimefighter. What I do know is he’s a cunt. Grade A, 100% thoroughbred cunt and he never deserved to wear the red and white of Arsenal and he can fuck off back to mid-table

  86. Pedro

    Well said Jimmy… his name is a swear word on this site… one that is worse than the word cunt (from a woman’s perspective!).

    Nice to hear Diaby commiting. I know I was critical of him on Saturday, but he played ok… always wanting the ball, almost trying to force something! I like him, and hope he fulfils his promise!

    I am thinking about the changing Le Chump and Le Champ of the week… any suggestions would be welcome!

    15 mins till kick off, I’m heading down to the pub for a drink with Jeff and the gang!

  87. Denilsonsdad

    Sorry guys, i really have to agree with geoff, we see it year in year out, le boss is just too stuborn to splash the cash, more players end up departing than arriving whether it is in the january window or in the summer, does he not realise that one or two new arrivals could actualy end up having a positive effect on the team and also be a great boost and big relief to the supporters.
    The winter transfer window is a chance to strengthen for the final assault on the title or please god the holy grail, and we never seem to take it. Now bless all you gooners, im sure you love the team as much as i do, but please take those rose tinted f**** glasses off before we end up with jack just like last season

  88. Evo in Oz

    Im back from my 8 hour sleep.

    C’mon the gunners! 4-0 would be great, but ill take 1-0 if thats what it takes!

    Diaby’s progression would surely have been better had that cunt not chopped his legs and broken it in a 1000 places. Ive liked the goals hes scored this season and ive preferred him in the middle to out wide, but at least he’s committed and is having a crack!

  89. Pedro

    Which one player is going to make the difference?

    What makes you think that your Cash tinted glasses are correct? There is no correlation between spending in January and winning the league.

    Bar Chelsea, not even a correlation between spunking shed loads of cash and winning things! Ask Liverpool, Spurs, Newcastle, Villa, Man City, Madrid (Years gone by), Barca this summer…

    You can’t compare this season to last season… last season we were out of it long before the end of January. Chucking money at something wont make it work. Wenger didn’t do it to get where he is now, so why should he start now?

    What happens when we beat ManU to the Prem this year? All that cash Liverpool, Chelsea and ManU spent and they will have won fuck all… will you still be demanding Wenger does what everyone else does?

  90. Pedro

    Anyway chaps, I’ve been ranting all day! I’m heading off to the pub now!

    Evo, you have pure dedication to the Arsenal cause!

    3-0 i reckon, Blogger Geoff is there and writing the match report… lets hope its a hammering!

    Happy blogging!

  91. Evo in Oz

    Thanks Pedro, i think we all have an addiction to the Arsenal, its hard not to! 6.45am kick off is the least of my worries….i think i nearly put the moz on Diaby there, i thought he’d broken his leg again?

    Sanga and Eduardo look good today!

  92. Evo in Oz

    Rumble in the jungle no.2 is about to begin, Bendtner on, look out Kanu Jnr!

    Flamini has played a cracker, we need his contract in the dressing room after the game, what a goal!

  93. jimmyfingers

    Taking a place from moving, been at it all day. Treating myself to a cider. Goes beautifully with hoovering

    3-0. Wallop

    Back on top. Double wallop

    Mind you the game hasn’t finished yet and Butt just hit the bar

  94. Evo in Oz

    Have a couple of drinks Jimmy – you sound like you deserve it!

    Great game i thought, good play by the midfield and a great return to form by Cesc!

  95. Pedro

    Get in the Flamster! What a goal!

    I hope any of the doubter reading are eating a small segment of pre title winning humble pie!

  96. DeeOzGooner

    great win tonight…the team is getting back to what it was pre cesc/hleb injury

    flamini is the muts nutz!!

    big phil lookin better with every game, was a bit off with his passing, but our other players have the technical skills to cover for that!

    dont think we shud sign a cb, phil will do…as long as the flamsta stays fit, we can win the title…

    the 5-1 to the spuds wasnt due to lack of cb’s, was due to gilberto…look at the diff the flamsta makes!!…another clean sheet & a crakin goal to boot!!

  97. QUARTZ

    GALLAS and TOURE are proven good enough.

    I suspect SONG will be a decent centre back.

    DJOUROU – now that DIARRA has gone, and GILBERTO likely to leave in summer, I would be happy to try him in defensive/ball winner midfield role that he has played for Switzerland and Birmingham (if FLAMINI is not in team fro some reason).

    SENDEROS – I like his attitude, but honestly think he loses ball too much and needs to be moved on in summer.

    NORDVEIT – he is only 18.

    HOYTE and SAGNA are better used as right backs.

    So a summer Centre Back signing is welcomed from me.

  98. DeeOzGooner

    quartz, see what your sayin…but dont forget senderos’s service durilng our CL finals run…helped keep a record equaling clean sheet run…and then arsene brought sol back into the fray and we not only conceeded but lost too!! and those clean sheets included juve & r.madrid

    he has the ability, but hasnt had a good run of game…basically i rekon he’s rusty…and anyone would be when u get only the odd run out…denilson, gilberto, big phil, djourou, hoyte and even diaby all rusty due to not being played…but look at diaby & phil now…theyre improving!!

    dont think we need to buy as nordveit is the way to go…wenger paid 2 mil for him and gave him capt’y of the reserves, so should def bring him in nx season

    city away then b’burn at home…both tricky ties, but think we can do it…if we can secure the 6 pts then we’re lookin good as we’ll have 3 players back from acn…most importantly king kolo!!

  99. Evo in Oz

    We’ve always had the wood over City and Blackburn, so i see no troubles there…touch wood!

    Great game tonight, bring on the photos Geoff!

  100. tommypaine

    Gunner fan from USA, just got to watch the Newcastle game last night– Flamini’s goal was phenomenal! Definitely the best strike I’ve had the priviledge of watching this season.

    Senderos isn’t bad either, he may be a little slow and can’t handle the ball that well, but he’s an imposing cb and he’s got the attitude and passion needed for the job.