Daily Mirror, I salute you! For once you’re right (oh and I’m being ironic).

by & filed under Uncategorized.

This was a piece I found in the Daily Mirror that talked about my latest bug bear, players signing new and improved contracts, how the fans greet it, and what the truth behind those extensions really means.

I said last week that extending all these contracts did nothing except make a number of kids even richer and if they wanted to leave,Wenger would let them, he always does, and paying all that extra money out to these youngsters only deprives us of our transfer budget, so the manager saying he has nothing to spend is misleading, he just spends it on his youth project.

All the recent contracts he extended were players that aren’t even regulars, save Robin and possibly Theo. I mean Gibbs, Ramsey, Fabianski and Wilshere are a long way off.

This is what the Daily Mirror said about extending contracts.

When the news broke that Robin van Persie had signed a new contract, an Arsenal fan sent an email which ended with ‘the title’s coming back home’

Of course big players agreeing to stay with your club is good news.

But analyse the fans euphoria a little deeper and you’ll realise we’ve become dribbling inmates in the world’s biggest loony bin.

All those players were already tied to lucrative contracts with years left to run.

So all that has happened is the club has got down on both knees and said to them we don’t need to do this, and by doing so we’ve got less money to spend on new players, but will you take a lot more of our money please, and agree to take it for even longer than you legally signed for?

So you’ve just taken out a crippling loan to buy the season ticket which actually pays for those improved wages.

Now that was all I was saying last week, that to me is the reason we aren’t buying players, because we are spending the budget on keeping the young players we have.

Gazidas tells the world about our huge loan and maybe restructuring the debt etc because of the property slump, and at the end of it they said we still owe £350 million, what??? That’s the debt we started with 4 years ago, no wonder they say we are skint, what happened to the money?

So as I have said many times before Mr Board, please tell us all the truth, how much are we in debt, how long will we be in debt for and how many more years do we stick with project youth?

I don’t think it’s too much to ask do you? You know, honesty, it’s what you teach your kids.

Onto football and this time next week we would have trounced the mighty Barnet at our annual hammer fest at Underhill. Unfortunately a great many of our players will be still enjoying their holidays so we won’t get to see anything of what we’ll expect to see regularly next season, however we will see the likes of Ramsey, Wilshere, Nasri, Eduardo and Arshavin, however, we will be seeing the Arsenal again, which is great. I missed you boys!

The boss still has until September to fine tune his squad, so hopefully we’ll see if Diaby or Denilson can make the step up, I’m looking forward to seeing Vermaelen make his debut and really hope he is the one we’ve been waiting for.

I’m guessing if we sign anyone else it’s next week or not at all so let’s keep them crossed.

There is nothing we can do if he doesn’t, so we’ll have to hope the team are ready and up for it, I know we’ll all get behind them from the off and I for one can’t wait, first game of the season is always fun. Meeting old friends and drinking new beers.

I hope he tries a combination of Bendtner, Arshavin and Eduardo up front especially given the other forwards will still be away, just to see if they can work together, Rosicky and Arshavin are coming into their peak years so they won’t want to waste them and Eduardo will want to make up for 18 months of personal hell, so expect to see him come flying out of the blocks.

I know some of you are still thinking we haven’t enough, but we’ll know soon enough and he still has 7 weeks to add to the squad should he need to, I believe we have one more to come.

Would I have Flamini back? In a heartbeat, it hasn’t worked out for him in Milan and his replacements haven’t worked at Arsenal, we should all bury our pride and bring him home, it will be for the good of the team and Cesc would love it. And don’t forget Arsene, you bought him in the first place.

Have a nice Sunday Grovers, it’s the last one of the non footballing season left, next week the show gets back on the road and we get to watch the Arsenal again! At last!

596 Responses to “Daily Mirror, I salute you! For once you’re right (oh and I’m being ironic).”

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  1. Loki

    Good post Geoff but a quick glance at the first few comments suggests that a joke is a hard thing to pull off in a title even if it is dripping with irony 🙂

    I’d like you to hear me out on something relating salaries we have paid are you aware that we have released on a free (as their contracts all have run out) Abu Agogo, Amaury Bischoff , Rui Fonte ,Paul Rodgers and Rene Stoor. Now aren’t these players we have been paying a little bit extra to choose our youth system over others for the last couple of years (with the exception of Bischoff)?

    So why are we just letting them go? surely we could make a little bit of money back on them I mean their not worthless! we could easily sell a lot of them to lower grade teams (which they will be most likely signing contracts for now anyway) you know get back a little bit of the money we JUST SPENT TRAINING THEM.

    Tell me if I’m wrong on this one Geoff

  2. A

    There isn’t any gooner – I’m really hoping he signs tomorrow, but with Senderos rumours I wonder if it’s a case of having to wait until we’ve sold him before we can complete the Matuidi signing.

  3. Loki

    Just reposting as i wrote my e-mail wrong

    Good post Geoff but a quick glance at the first few comments suggests that a joke is a hard thing to pull off in a title even if it is dripping with irony 🙂

    I’d like you to hear me out on something relating salaries we have paid are you aware that we have released on a free (as their contracts all have run out) Abu Agogo, Amaury Bischoff , Rui Fonte ,Paul Rodgers and Rene Stoor. Now aren’t these players we have been paying a little bit extra to choose our youth system over others for the last couple of years (with the exception of Bischoff)?

    So why are we just letting them go? surely we could make a little bit of money back on them I mean their not worthless! we could easily sell a lot of them to lower grade teams (which they will be most likely signing contracts for now anyway) you know get back a little bit of the money we JUST SPENT TRAINING THEM.

    Tell me if I’m wrong on this one Geoff

  4. Pedro

    Loki, Rui Fonte was on loan, Bisch didn’t play enough games to merit a transfer, Paul Rodgers was on sale all last year and couldn’t muster up any interest… and I’d imagine if Arsenal believed they could get a fee for Agogo and Steer, they’d have done so… but getting a fee for essentially worthless players could hinder their careers and I’d imagine the fees would be pretty worthless in the grand scheme of things… especially if you signed someone to a 5 year deal… and had to pay them while you waited for someone to buy them… it would be counter productive…

  5. A

    True Pedro – though I’m very dubious about the reports that said that’s the price. Last summer 10 mil was the price quoted, and he had a good season, on the verge of a French call up, and has alot of interest from the top teams in France and other prem teams, I don’t understand how his price could have dropped so much??

    Yeah re the kids certainly Rodgers, Steer and Agogo have been available all year if anyone wanted to make an offer, and noone did despite them going in various trials.

    Fonte was on loan and we would have had to pay around one and half million to sign him, and we just chose not to.

    Bischoff we could maybe have gotten a fee for if he was on a longer contract, but he would never have signed an extension just so that we could get a fee for him when he departed, and we wouldn’t try and get him to either.

  6. Pedro

    I wondered about that as well A… I’m assuming he doesn’t have long left on his deal?

    £2.5 million seems low regardless!

  7. A

    Yeah it does seem very low doesn’t it – It could well just be a price picked out of the air because the tabloid hacks in their ignorance have never heard of him and couldn’t be bothered doing any research so guessed he wouldn’t cost much?!

    He only signed in 2007, on a 4 year contract, so he’s got another 2 years left on his contract…. I’d imagine that’s just ignorance on the part of the tabloids rather than a realistic price

  8. Stu

    Apparently its as low as 2.5m because he has had injury problems over the last few months.

    Plus they already signed his replacement so its not like they have to sell to buy. Also imo its so low because St.Ettien almost got relegated. I would be a little disgusted if we spent 10m on someone from a relegation battling team.

  9. A

    Why would a team having been in fear of being relegated but staying up have anything to do with a player’s price – I’ve never seen that be the case before, if it was then santa cruz would have left for a hell of a lot less than he did! I don’t care where a team comes in the league, it’s how good a player is that matters to me, anything else is completely irrelevant!

    What are the injury problems he’s had though, that would worry me a bit?

  10. Stu

    It does matter where the club finished. A player for a small club will cost less tan a player of the same ablity for a bigger club. Thats a given imo.

    RSC cost so much because City had so much money and Blackburn knew they could get over the odds.

  11. A

    Oh of course, but good players aren’t worse if they’re at a smaller club. Darren Bent cost 16.5 mil when Charlton actually got relegated, reo-coker cost loads when he nearly got relegated, baines cost everton a fair bit when wigan nearly got relegated, being close to relegation doesn’t reduce a price…. I agree about small clubs though st ettienne havn’t become a much smaller club since last summer, ten mil down to 2.5 is a massive reduction, when the player should have gone up in value, unless there are actually injury worries.

    What were his injury problems last season?

  12. Stu

    I dont know what the injuries were, just read that he had some.

    I dont know why there is such a big drop in price. They finished fifth the season before so could have commanded 10m easily, but imo finishing lwer would also lower the amount they could ask for. Im cant imagine what made the price fall so much tho.

  13. Stu

    Evening Zorr0, hows the preperation for the footie comp?

    Maciek, i dont think we have ever been actually linked with Cana. More of a fans dream and then the media just eventually picked up on it.

    He would be my first choice but i doubt we were ever seriously linked with him.

  14. Stu

    Everyone says that height isnt a necessary characteristic for a successful defensive midfielder but i dont think that applies with us.

    Everyone uses the Makelele example to justify not needing height but he usually played the DM role in an already tall midfield. Lampard, Ballack, Essien etc were all capable of holding their own in a battle.

    But since our midfield is already pretty short, AA, Fabregas, Nasri, Denilson, Rosicky….none of those players give the illusion that they could win a proper battle…well maybe apart from Nasri 😉

    We dont need a Makelele as such, we need a defensive midfielder who will protect the smallies in the middle. And for thos reasons i think Cana would be perfect and why i am not convinced with Matuidi.

    And for those of you who say Flamini was small too then fck off. Im not listening to ye because it goes against this entire comment. And anyway he certainly put himself about so shut up for that aswell. 😡

  15. A

    Never seen him play Maciek but from what I’ve heard he’s exactly what we need, tenacious, athletic, and great technique. Being left footed would also give us good balance. He’s very highly rated in France and on the verge of the French squad so I’d hope that he’s better than those three, and he’s been a regular starter in the top league in France for the last three years so he’s got enough experience for me.

  16. Stu

    IMO the only difference between Denilsong and Matuidi is Mat being left footed, more experienced and energetic? Roughly same age, he is smaller than both of them but he is french which Wenger loves.

  17. A

    Stu I’d rather compare Matuidi to Essien in terms of height not being necessary…. I do agree though in certain situations we do need more height, and Matuidi won’t give us that, but in those situations I’d expect someone like Song to play, and that’s only against the Stokes and Boltons of this world.

    Matuidi is thought of as a hardman apparently, so I’d certainly expect him to put himself about as much if not more than Flamini, and in most situations that’s what we need, someone very athletic, so has recovery pace and will cover enough ground, but also be very tenacious and win the ball high up the pitch, press etc, as Flamini used to

  18. Stu

    All good traits A. But in the last 3 seasons his teams have been relegated, almost relegated and finished fifth. I dont know what to make of that.

  19. A

    Yeah the frenchness is another good point, which means he won’t be off to south america all the time, or playing in the african nations, which is a bit plus.

    The differences are the experience, much more tenacious, and athletic, and imo those are the attributes we’re really lacking. The aerial thing will be partly fixed by Vermaelen, but against teams who are really physical then Song can play.

  20. Maciek

    Yes A.I respect Your opinion, but I would rather have Cana. About year ago we have been interested in some guy from Boca Juniors who have played for Villareal a couple of years ago. Well I don’t remember his name, but he is a very good cdm.
    Still think that we do need another cd, a cdm and a winger, because I think that Arshavin is wasted on the wing.Just my 2 cents.

  21. A

    Well he was their best player when St Etienne finished 5th, and then when he got injured towards the end of last season they got dragged into the relegation fight.

    A team can be good driven on by a good team, but no player is shit because his team does badly. I think it’s a very good reflection on him that he was touted for a French call up, despite being in a team that was struggling.

    I’ve never seen Cana nor Matuidi enough to base judgements properly, but from what I’ve been told most people in France seem to rate Matuidi higher than Cana, despite his being a fair bit younger, and the top clubs in France are after Matuidi, but I’ve heard no rumours of Lyon or Bordeaux wanting Cana….

    Cana is taller though which would certainly be better for us if he had the athleticism as well as his height and tenaciousness

  22. zorr0

    Stu, it’s not too bad, other than we still need to finalise the squads and we can’t arrange any friendlies because the players are all over England, let alone thw world! But I reckon we can give it a go. A couple of years ago we were on Sky Sports News and me and one of the other players got interviewed, lol!

    Agree A, if Matuidi could be like Essien I would take that in a NY Minute!

  23. Maciek

    A- I have got big respect for You, but Thomas and Matuidi won’t solve our aerial problems. We need someone big, strong, tall. Cana and Zapata/Juhasz, Bruno Alves fit the bill.

  24. A

    Not to mention Marseille actually seem to want rid of Cana, and despite that there aren’t any rumours of top clubs wanting him, that worries me a bit, and I’ve not heard anyone who watches him regularly say that he’s anything special, but some have said he isn’t good enough for Arsenal.

    I don’t know about either him or Matuidi though so just going on reports

  25. Stu

    Obviously not getting another african player in is a bonus but i would prefer avoiding french players…or at least avoid increasing the amount of them we have.

    If the Arshavin story is to be believed, the one where he said french is the dominant language, then i dont like that. We are an english club, not a french one. We should have everyone speaking english regardless of where they are from.

    Im all for buying quality players but too many from one country annoys me. Its as if Wenger is buying french players for the sake of it.

  26. A

    I know Matuidi won’t Maciek, but I’m just hoping Vermaelen will! I can’t see us signing another centre back, and I don’t know if Wenger will sign a DM based on helping defend set pieces….

    There havn’t actually been any real Cana rumours, which is why I can’t see that happening, unless it’s all been a big ploy, and he’s actually awesome, with the lack of rumours of top clubs’ interest in him being because they all know we’ve signed him but just havn’t announced it yet!

  27. zorr0

    Most disappointing thing is that physically we already have the player at the club. Abu Dhabi!

    If only he could develop the desire and learn to correct his obvious flaws which are more based on decision making. Oh yeah, and stop getting injured you big fucking jessie!

  28. A

    I dunno Stu – I don’t have a problem with French being the dominant language. Even if someone has learnt a foreign language as well as is possible, he’ll always be able to explain his ideas better in his mother tongue, so if wenger can communicate better with his french speaking players in french and they communicate better with each other in french then I see no logic in forcing them to speak english. However in social situations and such like I think they should be forced to speak English, when not talking about football, and in group situations.

    I wouldn’t say it’s signing French people for the sake of it, but French players are more likely to share the philosophies and values that are current prevalent in the club, and in the way wenger wants the club and team to work.

  29. A

    ha true zorro, though i’m sure he’s got the desire to learn – he’s just too goddamn stupid to ever manage it! Gotta say I don’t really understand the spending the summer working on his body strength, unless it’s to do with endurance and not getting injured strength has been one thing that has never been a weakness of his!

  30. Stu

    I dunno about that A. Just because they are french too doesnt mean that they would share the same philosophy as Wenger with football.

    I also think he is buying french players now because it worked in the past. You know with who. But imo that was a special generation of players, they just arent of the same quality now.

    The france euro and WC winning team were special, i doubt any french team will be that good again but Wenger seems to think so. I, however, dont.

  31. A

    “Very good signing if true.Solid and technical with one very powerful shot
    Playmaking skills from deep midfield”

    “I agree with Kouroux, i quite like this player. Agressive and good technical skills.Still young but good commanding presence, he has established himself as a leader there. He’ll have to make some progress and adapt to the PL of course, but the potential is huge. Yet, i’m not sure that Arsenal need another youngster as they lack experience.”

    Those are two comments from a couple of French Utd fans in the redcafe forum about Matuidi, sounds promising, and being Utd fans they wouldn’t have reason to be unduly complimentary about a prospective arsenal signing!!

    “Because he covers plenty of ground, is a very good tackler, uses the ball very well and drives the team forward from the middle. He’s that player they’re missing, one with similarities to Flamini, but he’s much more useful on the ball. And he’s got leadership qualities.

    And he won’t be that cheap.”

    another one, makes me want to sign him more!!


  32. Stu

    I think Diabys summer training thing was to fill out. He isnt weak but is pretty lanky. And probably bulking up to stop getting niggling injuries and such.

  33. A

    I dunno about that stu, have to wait and see. Nasri is ahead of where Pires was at his age, and even in his first season with us, I could see him becoming a great.

    Other than that we don’t have any young french players I expect to become amazing, other than Coquelin, but in terms of the current generation of young French players, Benzema is absolute class, I really think Gourcuff will go on to be one of the best in the world, and Matuidi will be better than Makalele 🙂

  34. redbearer

    You get a generation / a batch of players coming through for nations sometimes Stu and at the moment the Belgium team is looking pretty talented for future potential stars… if not in next years World Cup then they will make an impact in the next European Championships imo!

  35. A

    It depends Stu, if it’s someone who does all the defensive work but is much better on the ball than most DMs and playmakes as well then I’m very happy stu!

  36. Zorr0

    A, it is what you say about footballing intelligence. He needs to learn when to run with the ball but also when to release it before he gets tackled, which is the frustrating thing about him.

    For a big tall guy, he does not impose himself in the air and his marking skills are atrocious, he thinks he is a guard in the NBA!

  37. Stu

    Well i just dont see another french team emulating the 98/00 team.

    Matuidi isnt Makelele, what about the others? Zidane, arguably the best player ever, Henry, best forward in the world at one point. Veiria, Petit, Thiram etc etc.

  38. A

    Really hope it is guaranteed, French Utd fans getting worried about the prospect of us signing him is very promising!

  39. Stu

    Matuidis signing seems even stranger when you think tat we have Denilsong, Coquelin and Frimpong plus many others coming through. Why not just buy someone older until they step up?

  40. A

    Yeah I agree zorro, and that’s why I don’t believe he’ll ever make it, because it isn’t just a case of being raw or undeveloped, for me it’s because he’s just too stupid to ever learn those things. It is incredibly frustrating, he had so so much early promise, ah well!

    Have to see Stu, Matuidi or Diarra could develop into Makalele, who only left France to go to Madrid at the age of 27, he wasn’t that highly rated in his early 20s, Matuidi or Diarra could arguably be better! I agree about Henry, there’s no player currently I could see emulating him, however good Benzema becomes he won’t be the player that Thierry was, though could score as many goals. Zidane is one of my favourite all time players, and it would be hard for anyone to become that good, you never know though, Gourcuff is one hell of a talent, and could get to a level not too far away, that goal of his is still my favourite non Arsenal goal of this year!

  41. A

    It depends just how good Wenger thinks Matuidi is Stu, if he’s gonna turn into one of the best DMs around, and also the fact that his attributes, athletic, tenacious are exactly what we’re lacking from our current DMs, I think it’s a very logical signing. Coquelin could be an amazing player, with Frimpong I dunno if he’ll make it but he could, and both of those players also have the athleticism and tenacity, but they’re the only two, and they’re miles away from being ready, so we definitely need someone who embodies those qualities

  42. A

    Gourcuff is one of the few players who seems to be just such a natural footballer, since Zidane the only other player I can think of is Ronaldinho, and Brazilian Ronaldo, or was he before Zidane, or at the same time? Maybe Kaka too

  43. A

    I’ve just decided it Stu – therefore it’ll happen!

    Zorro Milan were idiots, they wrote in the clause that Bordeaux only had to pay 12 mil to sign him permanently, and they mistreated him when he was in Italy so he was happy to go! He’s too good for the French league, he’ll only be there for one season, or maybe two if he has his heart set on coming to the Emirates and we need to wait another season until Rosicky or Arshavin are getting to a point where they’re over the hill so will be offloaded to make space for Gourcuff!

  44. A

    Ha yeah it is ridiculous stu, Kaka going and the one perfect replacement going in the same summer, maybe that’s why Ancelotti was offloaded, for being stupid enough to put the clause in the loan contract!!

  45. Stu

    I cant see us buying Gourcuff. I would love to have him. But with Nasri, AA, Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, RVP already here there just isnt the space.

  46. A

    No zorro – 2 years, so after the 10/11 season!!

    Yeah I know stu, but if Rosicky failed to recover from his injuries completely, or with both Rosicky and Arshavin being 30 in 2 summers times we offload one of them, then Gourcuff would be a wonderful player to sign. It’s just whether he leaves next summer with Rosicky and Arshavin battling for pfa player of the year then there wouldn’t be room for him, or if the price tag is bumped up to 40 odd million.

  47. A

    With gourcuff, I was actually really convinced that Senderos’ loan to Milan was in exchange for first option on Gourcuff but evidently I was wrong! Though it was just a feeling. I also wonder why Gourcuff would agree to go to Bordeaux when he could have his pick of top European clubs, so hoping it’s because he wants to come to the Emirates, so is happy to rip apart the French league for a year or two until we’re ready for him! 🙂

  48. Stu

    I would be all for keeping anyone over 30. We get shot of them too soon imo. And especially as tey are both quality footballers they dont rely on pace so wouldnt be affected by ageing legs. Hence why i would rather have someone who is brilliant on the ball but cant spring as apposed to Theo…blistering pace but cant use it.

    Keep the both of them and get Gourcuff in. Sell Diaby and whoever else is in their way.

  49. Stu

    I seriously doubt that A. Why would he do that? Why not just sign for us now and go back on loan if he was that bothered about playing for arsenal?

  50. A

    Yeah I’m sure it isn’t actually the case stu – though he’s talked about loving the way we play and his respect for wenger in the past. I’m sure he just signed for Bordeaux because he had a great season there, but I’d hope we’ll be in the running next summer or the summer after should he be available.

    I do fear though that Arshavin, Rosicky, Nasri, Wilshere, Gourcuff would be excessive in terms of attacking midfielders!

  51. Stu

    Just thinking about it. Wenger has been quietly, for the most part, making quality additions to the team. Vermaelen, Arshavin, Nasri, Eduardo, Sagna and im sure there is someone im forgetting. Anywho, my point is….they are all very good players.

    Unfortunately there is also Silvestre, Bischoff(pointless so shut up A 😉 ) Diaby etc. Cant be all good.

  52. Ja_Gunner

    Hey A I would really like Gourcuff…..but if he continues to play like he is now his price will shoot up to atleast 35 mil euros ..the same as Benzema…and we all know Arsenal will not spend that much.

    He really is the new Zidane in terms of ability, physicality etc.

    We have Nasri who is the new Iniesta.

    So yeah I would love to have Gourcuff but we will only get him if his form dips or something thus causing his price to go down.

    Also he would ideally fit into a 4-4-1-1 playing as the support striker or he could play 4-2-3-1…in the Gerrard/Kaka role right behind the striker.

    I dont think he would fit into a Barca style 4-3-3 though.

  53. Stu

    I agree Ja_, Gourcuff seems like the type of player who thrives when he is the centre of play. In a 4-3-3 there isnt really a go to player. Especially with all the playmakers we have.

  54. Ja_Gunner

    I think we can get Gourcuff if Fabregas decides to leave and we use the money from the Cesc sale to get him.

    I would not mind that because he is better all round than Fabregas….he is bigger and stronger as well.

  55. Honest Bill

    I’m pretty sure any player with his technical quality will thrive in any system providing he is given creative license

  56. Stu

    Yeah probably so Bill.But Gourcuff has been at his best with Bordeaux where he was the go to guy. Everyone else knew he was capable of magic so e got more of the ball. In a team almost full of playmakers he would get less of the ball and obviously then he would have less opportunities to strut his stuff.

    But if he is good enough he should fit in anywhere.

  57. A

    Nah it’s leeds not palace stu – and he really isn’t that good, it’s a weird one, they somehow managed to get him really hyped, and despite not playing particularly well, or being that good, somehow the hype stayed. If they get more than a couple of mil for him they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank!

    Not talking about bischoff stu – but diaby when he was signed looked like an amazing signing! I really do hope we snap up Matuidi tomorrow, and if that happens i’ll be delighted with the squad and depth and just looking ahead to the start of the season, anyone we signed after that would just be a bonus!

    Ja why don’t you think gourcuff would fit into the barca system? He’d play the iniesta role, ahead of yaya and xavi

  58. A

    I agree though he wouldn’t be as good where the team isn’t built around him, but I think any team in the world would build around him, he’s THAT good

  59. Stu

    Well you cant build a team around everyone. Wilshere, Gourcuff, Ramsey, Nasri all promise to be world class players if things go well. Having all them, and all the other young players we have coming through, as well and the ones we will surely buy…it doesnt look like we can focus on 1 particular player.

    Gourcuff is better than Nasri imo. So why not sell Diaby and Nasri and replace them with Gourcuff sesing as he is better

  60. Ja_Gunner

    A …Barca plays like this….






    Xavi and INiesta start out level….Yaya stays behind.

    INiesta may end up higher up the pitch than Xavi because he is more of a dribbler and Xavi is more of a passer….but they start off level.

    4-2-3-1 is different using the Liverpool example






    Gourcuff could play in the Barca style 4-3-3 …but he would better in the Gerrard role than in the INiesta role..thats all I am saying..because he would be more central

  61. A

    Nah Ja – Xavi starts deeper, alongside yaya, the liverpool formation is actually the same as barca, it’s just the fact that barca have a much more fluid system, but they have the same starting positions. Xavi starts as a deeper playmaker, and collects the ball off the defence, or off yaya, and from that position gets up to support iniesta a fair bit, but certainly starts off a lot deeper. Iniesta and Xavi rotate as well though, one is always deeper and one more advanced to start with.

    Xavi starts out alongside yaya, but gets further forward, they certainly don’t start alongside each other, it’s either the liverpool system, or you could almost call it


  62. Stu

    Speaking of Barca….who do ye think their new CB partner for Pique will be?

    IMO Puyol is past his best and they need defenders in their prime.

  63. A

    Though actually it varies, when Barca are attacking xavi gets up to support iniesta, and yaya is the only one to stay back but when they’re defending, xavi drops back alongside yaya, or sometimes iniesta does, depending on who’s in the better position to do so. When the defence or keeper has the ball though xavi is alongside yaya because he’s the one who starts off and sets up the attack, as cesc does for us

  64. Ja_Gunner

    Maybe my depiction is not 100% accurate…but Barca certainly do not play the Liverpool system…..because if they did they would attack like this..

    ……………Back 5…………….




    This is certainly false..when Barca attack Henry is 90% of the time wider than Iniesta.

    I agree when they defend they get behind the ball..but when they attack they are closer to this..




    So I made a comprimise..maybe Iniesta stays higher most of the time but it is certainly is not the Liverpool system…..

  65. Ja_Gunner

    IN any case next season I feel Wenger should go with my last graphic as our formation against park the bus opponents…. so it would be




    and 4-2-3-1 against bigger opponents

    …………….Back 5………………




    And A before you say Ade cant play there….Wenger seems as if he is keeping him..therefore he will play there atleast some of the time.

  66. A

    Yeah I agree ja – though as you say i believe ade can’t play there, and if we’re keeping him, then he won’t start most games in that system, he’ll be a plan b, or in in a 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 depending on the opposition, he won’t start or feature much in our regular system

  67. Stu

    Yeah A, i was thinking about writing that one but it seems very long and complicated.

    Or at a stretch: 2-2-1-1-1-2-1.

    The fullbacks arent really defenders.

  68. ethangunner

    ManGoonian Says:
    July 12, 2009 at 14:34

    Erm, the defence went about 10 home games without conceeding and was pretty solid, until Gallas got injured… And then only sorted itself out when Song was in the back 4.

    ERMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, i dont fucking think so it went since ACN cup (the last one ) pointing no fingers but toure has been poor and sagna has not had a good season either , clichy was injured …. thats why we got the ajax captain.
    i do agree with you that galas held it together , the lad is a genius ! and he’s black 🙂

    man gooner you stat man …..
    dont you think it also had something to do with the teams we played … 10 games against who ?

    the second we came up against any top 4 teams we wilted ..

  69. AA23

    I’m sure its been covered on here loads today but David Bentley getting chinned in a restaurant while he’s out with his missus is despicable.
    I “Hate” Bentley for the obvious toungue in cheek football reasons but some fucking idiot assaulting him is just not on, shame on the cunt that did it, the most pathetic prick I’ve read about in months i hope he gets caught and charged for being the snide coward cunt that he clearly is.

  70. AA23

    For once i’m not joking.
    theres no horrible punchline coming
    It really deeply pissed me off.
    Dislike him because he doesnt play for the team you like or he kissed the badge of “your arch rivals” or whatever else we say.
    but physically attacking the bloke?
    Fuck that.

  71. AA23

    i dont care if it was a graze or “not a proper dig!”
    Its bulshit and we shouldnt even jokingly condone it. i found that to be a properly horrible bit of news.
    for all we know Bentley might have shagged the geysers misus or there may be some other beef that we dont know about but one thing i wont laught about using football rivalry is any kind of assault on anyone.
    Good ko btw stu, Bisping was undefeated at that point, I picked Henderson to win that. Google Mark Coleman and Brad Kohler for a couple of special old school ufc ko’s. I can list them all. Loved ufc since 93. Used to buy brazilian vale tude videos before ufc was widely available.

  72. ethangunner


    what a fucking load of toss !
    you stick up for Ade , and he can head nut nik on the pitch and thats ok ! …..

    you dont have a problem with that !?

  73. AA23

    *vale tudo
    remember Mark Kerr smashing his way to victory in the world Vale tudo finals when there were no “rules” and no time limit.
    Pedro Rizzo did the same the next year, also saw Marco “king of the streets” Ruas win one of those. Used to buy that shit on import.
    one of the only reasons I’m gutted that setanta is no more…UFC.

  74. ethangunner

    # Rafael Benitez claims three Premier League clubs have made £60million bids for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.

    1.man U
    2.Man shitty
    3. chev’s ????

  75. ethangunner

    only a rumor i know but …

    Arsenal are tracking Valencia’s Ever Banega.

    hmmmmm i thought you said my picks were not good enough A !!!!!!!

  76. AA23

    Ethan I have a major problem with Ade Nutting Nik, but I didnt see it live and Ive not seen much conclusive video evidence that he actually “nutted” him.
    If he did then he’s a fucking cunt.

  77. AA23

    even Ade’s “Headbutt” is different from an unprovoked attack when someone is out in civilian life.
    I hope you cant see any way that an assault is acceptable, you are a bit of a muppet on here but even you wouldnt condone that surely?

  78. Keyser

    A. If you’re still around, didn’t reply the other night when you were talking about the pessimists, it’s just football, pushes peoples buttons in different ways, I try to stay reasoned and explain my point of view, but I still get frustrated and lash out sometimes.

    So as long as people realise that it’s just a football blog, it’s ok, it’s difficult getting your point across in the way you intended when simply writing out your thoughts, especially with the diverse bunch we have on here, not the same as sitting in the pub with your mates having a chat after the game.

  79. Keyser

    The video’s of him and Hong Man Choi, he must be the biggest fighter I’ve seen and he just executes his gameplan to perfection, get him on the floor and look for the subsmission hold.

  80. Honest Bill

    Fucking hell i hope we sign this Matuidi lad.. We have a golden opportunity this season, if we can keep everyone fit, Man Utd could be in disarray early on, and we need to capitalise on that by starting as strongly as possible.

  81. AA23

    Keyser, Arlovski was a maniac for a while , looking like he would dominate the heavyweights, but it turned out his chin wasnt all that. He disappeared after a couple of defeats.
    Lesnar Fedor is the dream match up.
    Fedor would win. Fedor could fight king kong and win.

  82. AA23

    been on some other sites and people saying Bentley should have been shot and is a cunt that deserves a good dig.
    I thought Arsenal fans had a bit of class.

  83. ethangunner

    A Says:
    July 13, 2009 at 02:33

    what ethan – you said the banega thing after the rumour came out….

    well ‘A’ if i did i didnt know we were after him ..
    ive given up on all this banter this season ..
    i only believe signings …
    i read my daily rumor page but banega definitely wasn’t on it …

    and thats the truth ..

  84. ethangunner

    well AA23

    you can only flap your mouth so long before karma catches up with you and thats a fact.

    are you quick to forget him telling theo to quit Arsenal , or the countless others …

    then he goes and joins the fucking spuds ..
    hes an accident waiting to happen and if you cant
    understand the reasoning behind WHY this event occured …

    you must be 1 can short of a 6 pack …

  85. ethangunner

    AA23 Says:
    July 13, 2009 at 02:36

    even Ade’s “Headbutt” is different from an unprovoked attack when someone is out in civilian life.

    yes its different alright , you can get away with it on the streets .. in the middle of a ground with 55k fans looking at it , its a bit harder to get away with …

    and nik b didnt do anything wrong other than not score a goal so ade got sub’d in .

    do you even know it is an arsenal fan ?
    it could be a blackburn fan .. i mean after all he did quit them last !!!!!!!!!

  86. gnarleygeorge9

    Bloody hell talk about much ado about nothing. The last known case of getting overly moist about salvaging a draw from the clutches of being totally outplayed was Spuds 4-4 draw @ The Emirates. & we all know how embarrassing that was for such a success starved lot. I spose the DVD will be out soon too.

  87. Evo in Oz

    gday all, not bloody much to talk about hey, no new signings, no new rumors of signings. thank fuck the first game, albeit Barnet is this week!

  88. Evo in Oz

    you know what will be good this season, when Eduardo and Arshavin are on the pitch together!

    I went back and checked and there was only 1 game they played together in the FA cup against Burnley and 2 other games were Arshavin started and Eduardo stayed on the bench!

    So that should be exciting to see them link up!

  89. gnarleygeorge9


    & no new exits either. So @ least the hemorrhaging, or threat of, has been halted compared to the same time last year.

  90. gnarleygeorge9

    Ok got it now. I wish him the best of luck in his fight. I remember his goal in the Cup Winners Cup Final, just when it seemed we were gone. Ofcourse that ex spuds shit scored the winner from half way.

  91. Jay

    I can’t wait for the season to start anymore to be honest. an Exec Manager just came by to tell me how he will be in england watching a Hammers (at least there an ok team to follow) play livo…and rubbed it in..then says whose arsenal playing that week (5week into prem) so he can go watch them too!

  92. Pedro

    Bollock and brain cancer…

    Jay, it sucks even more considering he’s been an athlete for most of his life.

  93. Gbenga

    @Jimbo, Roma may be shit, but Mikel of Chelsea had shit game against them home and away……Can some of you get of Denilson back and support the team.

    List of DM in other teams: Mascherano and Lucas
    Essien and Mikel
    Carrick, Fletcher
    and Anderson
    Palacios etc

    Common,lots of those are not better.