The irony of resting players… why we can afford Arshavin now!

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The irony of drawing against Cardiff is that the team put out to play that game was only so weak because we were resting players… now we have added another tricky fixture to our schedule. Some people are ok with the draw… but I happen to think we’ve missed a good opportunity to keep a winning streak going… plus risked possible injuries in an unnecessary game.

Sagna Djourou Toure Gibbs
Eboue Ramsey Song Nasri
Bendtner RVP

I can’t understand the persistence with Eboue… The stability argument doesn’t rub anymore… there is nothing stable about a player who gives the ball away 60% of the time… he doesn’t even know which position he is playing in. So why does he keep getting the nod? I was a bit wary about playing Song and Ramsey in the middle… Ramsey becuase of his inexperience and the pressure… Song for obvious reasons. I would preferred to have seen Denilson and Nasri in the middle… Rambo out wide right… Vela left (Or Wilshere due to the injury).

Still, we had what we had…

The first half was a poor showing from Arsenal. We struggled to get any sort of passing rhythm going, we were second to most balls and the midfield, bar Song… didn’t really offer anything. Even when Song is playing ok, he still doesn’t offer us the pace or drive the current set up need from a centre midfielder.

Ramsey was terribly off the pace today and showed why he isn’t yet ready to stake a claim on a starting berth. Eboue was pretty dire for the first half. He was once again deployed in the ‘free role’ and he rarely offered us width. He was harshly booked after going down easily in the Cardiff box… but like I said earlier in the season, when you get yourself a name for being a cheat, that type of stuff happens.

As chances went, Cardiff had the better. McCormick caused us problems all afternoon. He went close early on with a glancing header… he also blazed a shot just wide shortly after. The fact of the matter was Cardiff didn’t hit the target, so Arsenal were let off.

Arsenal had a few half chances, with Nasri going closest. He was played in sublimely by RvP… but instead of letting rip early, he took his time, made a couple of phone calls, put the kettle on… then weakly shot right of the keeper who saved with ease. Nik B went close twice as did Kieren Gibbs. The story of the first half was all about how well Cardiff played against a top 4 team… and how Arsenal had failed to be at the races against a weaker team.

The second half began and I was hoping for a more urgent Arsenal. We kind of got that, but we still had the same issue we’ve had most of the year… no penetration. The whole midfield lacks that winning mentality you look for in a world class team. You get the impression some of the players expect to win without having to work hard for it… which I guess is why we saw a casual approach to nicking a winner.

Things started to look promising when Ade came on for the disappointing Eboue (Why was he shaking his head?). Ade ruffled Cardiff’s feathers straight away when he played in RvP from a long ball… who struggled but did manage to get a shot off, only to be saved by Enkleman. Not long after that, RvP chipped a cross to the unmarked Togan… who shinned the ball into the ground in ridiculous fashion. I know Ade isn’t getting the service he was last yaer… but for £80k a week, you do expect a little more from him. I’m not saying he should have scored it… but he could have at least worked the target.

For all the possession Arsenal held… we didn’t really test the keeper. Cardiff went close late on with a ripper of a freekick that hit the bar. The game fizzled out… and a replay for 9000 Cardiff City fans was ensured.

Player Ratings:

Fabianski: Someone must have slipped a Ritalin pill in his lucozade before the game because I thought he showed an unusual amount of composure and calmness today. He made a couple of smart saves and commanded his area well. 7

Sagna: Not his best game in a yellow and blue shirt. I thought he was a little erratic and last ditch at times. His crossing was nothing short of woeful. 6

Toure: I didn’t really think too much of the defense today. Kolo made a bad error early on, but my issue was more with the defence as a unit… I didn’t feel it was very cohesive… Kolo should really have addressed that. 6

JD: Again, not a great defensive performance… but a clean sheet. 6.5

Gibbs: Considering his age and lack of playing time, I thought he did well against an organised Cardiff team. He also went close in the first half for a goal. A solid back up for Clichy. 7

Nasri: Anonymous in the first half, bar the earlier described miss. I wish he’d show more desire for the ball when he isn’t playing well. He has the ability to change games, but he’ll never do that without the ball at his feet… Wilshere at his tender age is a great example of a player who always wants the ball…. Nasri was better in the second half, and offered us a lot more creatively… but I still think a player with his talent should be doing more. 7.5

Song: I know there were a lot of people slating Song before the game, but I thought he did pretty well today. His passing in the main was pretty sharp and he made a few solid tackles and quietly got on with his job…. he even won a race with Joe Ledley! He faded as the game went on, but considering how much extra work he had to do next to Rambo… I thought he did himself proud. I don’t think he is the future there because he lacks the right qualities, but hopefully he can begin an upward curve of improvement. 7.5

Rambo: I was pretty shocked that the 18 year old was given a start considering the importance of winning the FA Cup this year. He was roundly booed all game by the Cardiff faithful and it rattled him. His passing wasn’t sharp and he wasn’t as direct as he has been in previous games. When things weren’t going his way, he started to force things and that made matter worse. Great talent, bad game… 5

Eboue: Not really sure where he was playing today… but I don’t suppose it mattered. He was poor again and didn’t really offer us anything anywhere… I will be surprised if he signs a new contract with us because he really is disliked by a majority of Gooners… and a majority of pundits. He’s just not Arsenal class, and I don’t know how many years Arsene is going to give him before he lets him go. 4

NiK B: I thought he played ok today… lady luck wasn’t on his side, but I thought he worked hard… RvP seems reluctant to pass to him sometimes. I suppose the first half of the season is still fresh in the memory for the Dutchman… hopefully the trust will come back soon. 7

RvP: I love watching Robin play… he holds the ball up as well as Kanu used to and he creates chances. I would like to see him score a few more, but I think the goals will come in time… probably when we sign someone with a bit of creativity. 8


Adebayor: Shook things up when he came on but guilty of a poor miss. 5

Jack: Brought on with 3 minutes to go… should have come on earlier. 6

Diaby: Came on, made some poor passes… lost the ball a few times and added nothing to the team. He has bundles of talent, but if he never uses it… he is a bit pointless. 5

I am pretty sure Arsenal were one of the only teams in the Prem who fielded a weakened team yesterday, and that is disappointing. Are our players that precious they can’t get it together for an FA Cup game? Others may not agree, but I find it deeply frustrating to know that we purposely fielded a weakened team in the Carling Cup… then in the FA Cup. We should show the competition some respect…

… but on a positive note (stolen from the comments):

  1. No one was injured
  2. We’re now 9 games unbeaten
  3. An extra game will mean an extra £3.1 million in the bank… so we can now sign Arshavin!

Have a great Monday Grovers!

944 Responses to “The irony of resting players… why we can afford Arshavin now!”

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  1. Stu

    Henry did get 100k but not til the end. He earned it through consistent performances.

    Anyone else we have at the club should have to do likewise.

  2. Iqwoo

    Arshavin WILL sign for Arsenal.

    Wouldn’t it be silly for Arsenal to pursue this knowing that they will have to pay AA 100k a week ?

    Fact of the matter is, Zenit has caved and their frozen minds have finally defrosted in Dubai.

    Fat hands will pay for AA’s wages. Haha.

  3. Pat

    Anyone know any decent/good universitires in London? Preferably as close to the Emirates as possible. I’m going off to college next year and I would love to tour England and watch some Arsenal matches live!!

  4. ArsenalKenya

    Gunners Agree Arshavin Fee
    Mon 26 Jan, 11:09 PM

    Arsenal have agreed a fee with Zenit St Petersburg to sign Andrei Arshavin, according to the Russian club, although a deal is still some way from being concluded.

    The Gunners have been locked in talks with Zenit for some time over the services of the Russia international, who shone at Euro 2008.

    Zenit have not revealed the figure Arsenal have bid for the 27-year-old, although they claim the fee is the ‘real market value of the player’.

    Arshavin, who interested Barcelona last summer, is now discussing personal terms with Arsene Wenger’s side, but Zenit say his lofty demands are currently outside the Premier League outfit’s budget.

    “The fundamental understanding over the transfer of the player has been achieved between the clubs,” read a statement on Zenit’s official website.

    “At the moment the basic obstacle in realising the transaction is Andrei Arshavin’s personal requirements.”

  5. ethangunner


    if ade can get paid 80 k for what he brings every week to the table i have no problems in arshavin being made the number 1 signing earning 100 k a week ..

    he cost us fuck all compared to his stature , he is the 6th best player in the world .. he isnt going to work for peanuts ..

    i just hope we get value for money from him ….

  6. London

    Iqwoo, you make a really good point there: Wouldn’t it silly of Arsenal to pursue this deal knowing that they will have to pay AA 100k per week. The answer, of course, is that Arsenal are certainly not that silly; they protect their wage structure as fiercely as the Israelis protect their borders. AA’s wages are such an obvious stumbling block I find it impossible to believe that Arsenal did not establish the boundary with the player before allowing this deal to get as far as it has.
    This apparent bickering in the press strikes me as simply a mechanism of maintaining AA’s name in the news; the reason for which is the Zenit are still hopeful that someone else will jump in at the last minute and offer the asking price of 20mil.
    I can’t see that happening. AA has been up for sale since the summer and absolutely no one, except Arsenal, has shown the slightest interest. I still expect him to arrive but it won’t be until the last day of the transfer window.

  7. ethangunner

    if cesc does leave and he flogs ade and keeps nik B as the tall option wenger could have 70 + mill to spend next window .. thats conservative but close to 70 mil i would say cesc 50 – ade 20 ..

    and arshavin replaces ade as a REAL 2nd striker ..
    and for 70 mil we need a new CM – (jack 🙂 )

    i wouldnt be to concerned about cesc leaving , he has hardly been playing well since hleb and co left ..
    i would rather wenger gets 4 – 5 players in the sagna mold than have cesc and ade ..
    i think cesc will want to leave and ade will be told take a pay cut or move on !

  8. ikon

    It leaves no doubt in my mind that Zenit have struck a deal with…not just Arsenal but AA too about covering the extra2-3 million from his wages at Arsenal. Cunts.

    Few days ago AA was so up for playing at reduced wages and it came in the news that he had agreed personal terms with Arsenal too. I seriously think it is as far as we should go with this deal, and spare useless cunts of having to part with their beloved player.

    Fuck Zenit, Fuck Arshavin..

    I am done with this shit.

  9. benno

    morning evo, counting the days till i can have a ‘fine’ day.

    All this arshavin business is just getting confusing…

  10. kelsey

    Good Morning,

    All theese various reports are conflicting about Arshavin.the facts are he is nearly 28, never played in the PL, his current wage i believe is 90K a week, he is CL cup tied and therefore arsenal put what they feel is an appropriate value on him, and I don’t think they will be prepared to keep increasing their offer.

    Why is Frier conducting the negotiations on our behalf, or is he.IMO the priorities should have been in defence,but what do I know.

    Sorry about yesterday,I have moved on.

  11. ArsenalKenya

    Gunners draw ever closer to AA deal
    Tue 27 Jan, 07:30 AM

    Arsenal appear to be on the brink of signing Zenit St Petersburg’s Andrei Arshavin after the Russian admitted “a final decision” was close.The announcement from Arshavin’s club, posted on their official website, suggests a fee has been agreed for the midfielder who caught the eye for his country during the European Championships last summer.

    “The fundamental understanding over the transfer of the player is achieved between the clubs,” read the statement. “At the moment the basic obstacle in realisation of the transaction is Andrei Arshavin’s personal requirements.”

    Arshavin is waiting for the “final decision” over his move.

    “I’m waiting for a final decision,” Arshavin told Russian newspaper Sport Express.

    “The talks don’t depend on me. I haven’t been in touch with the club management, so I haven’t heard a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ yet.”

  12. Evo in Oz

    morning Benno – latest news from arseshavings website translated from an online translator:

    “Today – the Great holiday. For me it not mere words. I am proud of that was born in Leningrad, in city, where a word “blockade” – sacred. It seems to me, that we should remember always those people who could выстоять, have not broken, could protect our Native land. Sadly to realize, that these people every year becomes ever less and less. I wish to wish you health, the pleasure, dear ours! Sincerely, Andrey Arshavin”

  13. Evo in Oz

    not much to speak of there. i went on zenits website also and couldnt see any reference to the agreement on terms?

  14. Paul88


    I’ve read that last night. At 8.15 am Arsenal denied that a fee had been agreed on SSN. I’m getting sick of this now, and i think i’m past carng.

  15. kelsey

    Oh I hope we aren’t signing yet another mercenary, money/wages is the stumbling block with the baby faced assasin.

  16. London

    If I had been Adebayor’s agent at the end of last season and my client had just scored 30 goals in the EPL I would have wanted to make the most of the situation. I would have tried to create interest from the other big clubs in Europe in order to get the best deal possible. The negotiators at Arsenal have got years of experience at these things and would have seen it for what it was – a negotiation. I would have suggested that the going rate for a player that can score 30 goals per season is 125k per week. The club probably would have said yes that is fine so long as your client can prove that he can do it over at least 3 year period. So we will suggest this: we will pay your client 80k per week, if he scores 30 goals we will increase it to 100k and if he can do it for a third season we will increase it to 125k per week. If this was indeed the case I for one would have complimented the club on doing a shrewd piece of business because no matter what you may personally have against Adebayor finding a player capable of scoring 30 gaols a year in the EPL is no easy task.

  17. Evo in Oz

    not a single word mate. LOL. just cut and paste his comments from his site into an online translator and thats what it came out with…