Disrespecting domestic tradition and real sporting values. Arsene deserved today.

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The game opened in thunderous fashion. Drogba almost found himself one on one within the first minute!

It didn’t take long for a goal to come, sadly it went to Chelsea.

Theo did well to clear the first ball into the box. It went out for a corner. A near post cross was nodded wide by JT, Drogba was on hand to knock it in at the far post. The catalogue of errors was impressive. Vermaelen lost Terry’s run, Song managed to lose Drogba and Clichy managed to lose his post! Inexcusable defending, yet all too familiar.

The game flattened out. Arshavin was played in with a unbelievable 40 yard Cesc pass, but his volley was saved.

Arshavin was single handedly trying to craft a goal, he lost the ball on the edge of the Chelsea box, Lampard began the counter attack, passed to Drogba out wide, he jinked inside Clichy and powered it past Almunia.

The keeping looked typically questionable as did our complete lack of respect for footballing tactics. Ancellotti said he’d play us on the counter attack, he wasn’t lying.

2 down in 23 minutes. The only way back? If Kanu was on the bench! He did it for us 11 years ago. Then again, we had quality oozing through the squad.

Chelsea took a back seat for the rest of the half, knowing it would only be so long before we exposed ourselves again.

Ashley Cole nearly nipped in but for the quick feet of Walcott. That really would have capped a dreadful half.

Arsenal looked flat, out of ideas and very inexperienced compared to the professional group of athletes Chelsea had on show. We had a lot of possession, but Chelsea were allowing that. They knew we didn’t have a recognised striker and Arshavin was going to struggle to create.

Once again, we were tactically naïve and due to the world class transfer policies of Arsene Wenger, we didn’t really have many options from the bench. I mean really, in your heart of hearts, did you feel Bendtner could come on and turn the game for us? I didn’t. Still, I was interested to see what the coach was going to do. He had that rabbit caught in headlights look sitting on the bench, Pat Rice had that, ‘what’s for dinner’ look on his.

First attack of the second half, Vermaelen was the only player in the central striking position. Crazy!

Nasri was played in by Cesc, through on goal, only the keeper to beat, but he didn’t pull the trigger! What was he thinking!

Cesc had the next chance in the shape of the freekick. He powered it low under the wall, Cech saved superbly, Gallas was unlucky not to turn it in. Cech really did prove the value of a having a proper keeper between the sticks. Brave, agile and concentrating when called upon.

Song clipped Frank Lampard and gave away a needless freekick. Drogba stepped up to the ball and I said to my brother, ‘Why is Almunia giving him so much of the goal?’. Drogba smashed his kick over the wall and against the bar, Almunia actually gave up. Couldn’t even muster a dive. Shortly after, Anelka blazed over from 8 yards. For all our huff, it didn’t take long for Chelsea to show that they had another gear.

The game fizzled out without any more drama, Arsenal slumped to their second defeat in a week and raised the white flag of surrender on the third trophy of the season.

How disappointing.

Yes, there was some fight and the boys put a lot of effort in but when push came to shove, we just lacked the quality Chelsea had in abundance. Did it need to be this way? No, and that’s why the result hurt so much. People can talk about the overall lack of activity in the transfer market this winter,  the fallacy there are no players to buy or point the the fact we were very close … but when all is said and done, we had a transfer kitty bigger than most teams in Europe and instead of being proactive, we sat on our hands until the last day and came up with nothing.

We’ve flunked all 4 big game tests so far this season. That tells a story. We’re the third best team in the league. Well, we hope we are. Can Wenger change that? Well, if he carries on with this project, no.

I don’t want to hear that expectations were low, so this shouldn’t be a problem. It’s a major problem. If the fans can see the weaknesses and the management can’t, there is a huge problem.

A question for the board.

Do we want Arsenal PLC to be a vehicle to deliver trophies or are we happy to just generate a nice profit every summer?

For those who are waiting for the day we pay off the debt in the naïve hope everything will be ok then… think again… paying the debt off only increases the share value, helping to line the pockets of the few. Then someone buys the club and the fans are back to square one… looking down the barrel of another 20 years of paying off debt.

I don’t really know what else to say that hasn’t been said a thousand times before? We lack two or three quality players. We lack a plan B and a management team who believe in tactics. We have too many players who aren’t good enough and outside of the first 11 we’re really short of ‘now’ quality. We’ve got a goalkeeper who looks like he’s just been told a Chinese firing squad are waiting for him in the dressing room, we’ve got a player on £60k a week who looks like he’s never played football, a left back whose ability is actually regressing before our eyes and we don’t have a proper striker outside of the most injured player in history.

Our coach only cares about two trophies he can’t equip his squad to compete for. At any other top club in Europe, his nonchalant attitude to domestic traditions and winning in general wouldn’t be tolerated. This is sport. If you’re not in it to win it, take a job upstairs. I don’t care about his agenda or what he deems to the be the right way.

His stance is a bit like that of Don Corleone’s in the God Father. The Don didn’t want to move into the drugs trade as he deemed it a ‘dirty business’. Wenger sees spending money in the same way,  yet misses the flaw in his argument. Luring other clubs teenagers to Arsenal with the offer of huge wages before they sign a pro contract with the club that schooled them is equally immoral. Preaching values in a valueless industry that you’re a part of is futile. It’s growing tiresome.

He wont change, he doesn’t have it in him anymore. He’s lost that adaptable edge that brought him so much early success. After disrespecting the FA Cup, telling us the Carling Cup doesn’t count as a trophy and failing to sign any players because of his vision, I can’t help but think Wenger deserved today. It should be a reality check. It won’t be though. It’ll just make him more resolute.

See, the trouble is, I can wait for him to leave… will Cesc, Arshavin and Robin Van Persie? I hope for the next managers sake they do.

Have great day. I’m in West London. Yippee. Just what I need.


1,318 Responses to “Disrespecting domestic tradition and real sporting values. Arsene deserved today.”

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  1. B.B.K.

    I would be happy for wenger to stay as long as he changes his methods(highly unlikely i know) but,the way we are going simply is not working and a change is a must in order for us to catch up with united and chavs again.

  2. ethangunner

    Right… off out, play nice everyone, it’s valentines week.
    not technically it isnt !
    sunday is the 1st day of the new week !

    hey does that mean we can still be assholes until saturday night 🙂 ?

  3. A

    Pedro i think most are of the opinion we needed to add to the squad. Noone knows whether it’s Arsene’s fault that we didn’t though, and noone can know!

    Though even then that’s just on paper, no additions would’ve made any difference in our losing the big games imo!

  4. raif

    BBK.. thats the problem right there mate,, he WONT change,

    thats why im starting to feel like it might be time for him to go,,

    Winners want to win everything.. not just just pick and mix what they like.. the man is becoming a joke and is starting to piss on everything he has done for us when he was able to win us football Trophies

  5. A

    I don’t agree with that raif.

    Wenger said if things dont work this season then policies will change, and if we end up a fair bit adrift and out of the champs league then hopefully Wenger will make big changes, or otherwise I reckon he’ll be out the door!

  6. raif

    A… what you say could be well true ofcourse.. maybe the board are holding his hands and he sits there making excusses as he believes keeping your problems inhouse is absalute..

    im secretly hoping maybe wenger is waiting for the current board to be bought off and then he can buy the players he wants. but i know in my heart thats just a wishfull thinking

  7. ethangunner

    B.B.K. Says:
    February 8, 2010 at 22:54

    I would be happy for wenger to stay as long as he changes his methods(highly unlikely i know)


    no , went thru the scenarios end of last post ..
    if either the board of wenger leave’s it will change fuck all … the board would replace him with a wenger clone , and the board if they sold on, would sell it to stan who would obviously keep the same infrastructure .

    only way to jolt this club back to life is to finish outside the top 4 ..

    start messing with their own private agenda’s then we might see a heart beat …
    some action ..

    all boxes ticked this season .
    no need to try harder we have C.L football next season .. or its our’s to lose, so wenger thinks fuck it .. job done this season ..

    3rd place is as good as a cup remember 😉

  8. ethangunner

    A Says:
    February 8, 2010 at 23:08

    Pedro i think most are of the opinion we needed to add to the squad. Noone knows whether it’s Arsene’s fault that we didn’t though, and noone can know!
    A….. i agree !


    but i think the reason we didnt get anyone was down to wengers methods of the last day wing flap ..

    it didnt pay off to leave it that late , like stoke would of gone without sorensen , he had a blinder last month and thats the reason i suggested him mid jan as our replacement goal keeper .. But why would stoke agree to sell him and only have a few hours to replace him ..

    its not logical from wenger , if he was serious about a goal keeper he should of acted far sooner !

    did he need to see almunia get screwed over by man U before he woke up ?

  9. A

    ethan I think the sorenson thing was because stoke were trying to bring in a keeper to replace him, firstly james, then begovic

  10. raif

    A.. that was a long time ago, and wenger never does what he says..

    remember we was after a striker when just before the window opend.. soon as it does open he said we didnt need one. his a liar and a spin doctor.

    i think gordon brown should sign him up ASAP

  11. A

    raif wenger didn’t say anything different the entire transfer window regarding a striker…. He said from december that we didn’t need one, but he wanted one.

  12. David

    Done believe that A,

    I believe Arsene was saying that he would change the team when he asked us to “Judge him in May”

    And yet he did nothing.

  13. A

    I do believe it David.

    He never said he’d change it in the summer, he did this year, and I’m certain he will if things don’t go our way in the second half of the season

  14. raif

    So we should be.. but i got a feeling maybe somthing happend behind close doors like That bloke he was after from Bourdux.

    maybe we have signd a pree contract with him or somthing who knows…

    but wenger best be ready for the worst case if Gallas decides to go and no sign a new deal. as we would be left with only Vermalan and a Injuerd JD

  15. A

    I dunno raif.

    I’m still thinking that we were in for Saha, or Cole, and it fell through on the last day.

    Would make sense if we’d lined up Saha, but it was hanging on Everton getting Huntelaar, which was dependant on Milan getting Keirrison. When Keirrison rejected Milan for Fiorentina the domino effect fucked everything up.

    Then as it didn’t happen Saha signed a contract couple days after to stay at Everton.

    All totally speculation though!

    There was one paper that claimed it wouldn’t say who we were after, but we had two loan moves more or less completed, one with a view to a permanent move, one just a loan, but both fell through at the last second. Bit weird that report!

  16. zeus

    Is anybody on right now? Its been ages since I’ve been on le-grove. Computer problems.

    Been w/out a pc for about a month, and I went as far as to get a sports package so that I could see the important games ARsenal had coming up.

    Had I known that we would be this pathetic I need not have bothered. I so badly wanted to vent with fellow grovers but my Pc problem prevented me.

    Yesterday was pathetic as well IMO though markedly better than the United performance.

    After all this I am firmly in the Wenger out brigade. He is far too arrogant now and comfortable in his job.


  17. A

    I agree about centre backs too. I do think Gallas will stay, but even then I think we’ll bring in a centre back. The wheels are already in motion getting that spot filled asap, as shown by Smalling, then Savic. If Gallas does decide to go though someone more established has to come in, no idea who.

    Watched Dortmund yesterday, or maybe it was Saturday, Subotic was absolutely terrible! Only time i’ve seen him play though, might’ve had an off day!

  18. Stu

    If we did fail with last second bids for players then it served us right. We had a month to sign players and waiting so long was always going to backfire.

    No club would sell starters with only hours left to find a replacement for the low money we would most likely have offered.

    I too heard about those 2 loan deals collapsing. I desperately want to know who they were but also dont because then i might be disappointed that we were so close yet so far away.

  19. raif

    A.. i have no idea who would be worth buying in terms of CB.. as im assuming we are looking to fill that spot already like you said, even if gallas stays aswell.. if he does go then we are going to need 2 new CB’s and that worries me alot as wengers track record of buying them is really poor.

    ofcourse im not including the fact even if Sol and Fish head get given another deal..

  20. A

    I dunno about that raif, when Wenger has spent money he’s done very well at signing centre backs, I think it’s more that with limited funds he hasn’t considered the defence important enough to spend money on in the past, which has left us with pretty woeful defenders at times!! When he’s spent properly though, Sol, Gallas, Vermaelen, Sagna, we’ve ended up with pretty good defenders.

    I don’t see either of them getting a new deal, or if they do being included as playing staff really, though I didn’t expect Silvestre to be this season!

    If Gallas does go though we’re in trouble imo, two new centre backs, and one quality one, with teams knowing we’re desperate, will be tough to sort

  21. A

    Gotta say I thought we’d know about Gallas and Merida’s contracts by now. Hopefully get Cesc to sign that extension too soonish!

  22. Stu

    A, you’re forgetting that both Gallas and Sol were essentially free. He paid for neither of them.

    Vermaelen is the first defender he has paid serious money for that has been a good signing. Sagna is debateable imo because (although i hadnt heard of him) he was the best rightback in France at the time so was almost quarenteed to be a quality signing.

    Hopefully you’re right tho and now that he has the money supposedly available he wont go looking for bargains to fix our defence and will spend proper money on a quality defender…and a keeper too 😉

  23. Stu

    Doesnt Cesc have 4 years left on his current deal? No rush there, he is probably waiting to see what Wenger does in the summer anyway to make his mind up about whether to sign or not.

    Going into next season Vermaelen is basically our only quarenteed defender to be there. JD has been out for the season and we have 4 CBs all out of contract. Its not looking good in that position.

  24. A

    Yeah, technically they were free Stu, but in reality they really weren’t – Sol cost a massive signing on fee and wages, and Gallas cost the best left back in the world!

    I agree that Sagna was quality in France, although not particularly well known, and far from guaranteed to be a quality signing! Cygan was in the team of the year in that league at centre back the season we signed him!!

    Yeah keeper I agree too, I do fear he’s lost faith in Fabianski, which really surprises and disappoints me, really had high hopes for him! If he isn’t in the team before the end of the season I reckon that’s it for him though, which is a pity. Though Szczesny could just be thrown in from pre season!

    Cesc has 3 years I think I read somewhere, but I’d imagine if the reports are true that Utaka is being paid more than him, it’s more to tie him down long term, and reward him for his rise to club captain and superstar, rather than just wonderkid.

    I agree about CBs next season, I still think Gallas will sign, and JD should be back, though I’d never thought that much of him. It’s good that we’re looking for the right man now, but a real pity we missed out on Smalling, would’ve been one less thing to worry about. Glad that we’re making sure we get the right man now, trials for Savic etc, that signing is gonna be pretty important.

  25. A

    Oh yeah forgot about Senderos. Maybe he’ll prove himself at Everton, sort out his mental problems, and we’ll renew his contract in the summer!

    Alot of maybes there, and incredibly unlikely ones at that!

  26. raif

    A… i dont agree,,,

    Wenger was lucky with sol.. he even said it himself as he wouldnt have paid the kind of money Spurs would have been asking for him if he wasnt on a free..

    Gallas was a part cash / swap deal, and that was due to collateral damage with the cole tapping up affair

    vermalan is the ONLY CB wenger has spent money on and actually been good..

    if you look at all the other CB wenger has brought. they have all been SHIT. Bar Kolo who was a Midfield Convert

    Oleg Luhzney
    Igor Stephanovs
    Pascal Cygan
    Philippe Senderos
    Johan Djourou
    Mikaël Silvestre

    im sure theres more. but these are the guys Wenger has Spent money ON and been rubbish to say the least and young or old

  27. Stu

    Of course nobody is ever absolutely free because anyone joining without a transfer fee will have a signing on bonus, higher wages etc.

    But when you consider that we would have gotten neither Gallas nor Sol had Wenger had to pay a proper transfer fee to their clubs then imo thats what makes then “free”.

    Thus imo proving that Wenger has never ‘paid for’ a top quality defender.

  28. A

    raif kolo wasn’t a midfield convert, he was always a centre back, just played out of position when he arrived because he wasn’t ready to play centre back straight away.

    Wenger hasn’t spent any money on those players you’ve listed though, and none of them were first choice.

    We’ve never really had bad first choice centre backs, but Wenger has just had cheap, second rate sub centre backs as squad members.

    Granted Vermaelen is the only time he’s spent big in transfer fee terms, but when he’s signed someone to be a first team member, he’s generally done very well.

  29. Stu

    Whether Gallas signs an extension or not i still am of the opinion that we should pay up for a top quality, well established defender.

    ALthough i wouldnt condone spending as much as others i would love for us to get someone like when Chelsea got Carvalho, or Alex…United with Ferdinand or Vidic (not sure how much he cost).

    Once again, i dont want us to spend 25 or 30m on 1 defender but a big name signing like that would make everyone feel much better about our defence.

  30. Jaguar

    SharkeySure Says:
    February 8, 2010 at 21:14

    I’ve got you two hospitality tickets Jag. On me.

    The other ones for Mr B alright:



    You fucking retard,its you and your fucking horde of mates,who blindly follow Arsene who should be having that tickets.I’d never involved in direct name calling against you.AKBs like you are a disgrace to my club,you fucking blind bastards,go to hell.

    I do apologise to all others for having involved in such a tirade against a mug.But he triggered the crap,without any provocation from mine.

  31. Stu

    A, surely though anyone the club/Wenger buys should have ambitions themselves to play as a first teamer. And surely Wenger knows this and wouldnt intentionally buy someone he didnt think was worthy of being a first teamer.

    No player joins any club to be a back up…unless they are being payed a fuck load..but we dont do that.

  32. A

    I wouldn’t Stu.

    I just want a right sided Vermaelen to come in, someone that sort of age, happy to sit on the bench and settle in for a year, then take over from Gallas at the end of the season, or when he gets injured. Although that’s what Alex was to Chelsea when he arrived, I’d be very happy if we managed to get a signing like that.

    The only place I see a need for a top established player is keeper, if Fabianski isn’t in there by the summer, and Szczesny isn’t considered ready

  33. Jaguar

    The only place I see a need for a top established player is keeper, if Fabianski isn’t in there by the summer, and Szczesny isn’t considered ready

    A,delighted to be in a Denilson wonderland,mate?

  34. Stu

    Denilson isnt a quarenteed starter though Jaguar. When possible Song Diaby and Cesc are out midfield trio.

    I wouldnt be upset if Denilson was offloaded in the summer though and someone better brought in.

  35. A

    Don’t agree there Stu, loads of players are bought to be back ups, or squad players. Luzhny, Cygan, Stepanovs, Silvestre were never going to be first choice, and were never bought with Wenger intending for them to be first choice, and unless they were AMAZINGLY deluded they couldn’t have expected to be first choice!

    Of course players join big clubs as back ups, even if they think they might eventually become first choice.

    My point is when we’ve absolutely looked to bring in someone who is going to be a starter, Wenger hasn’t gotten it wrong, it’s only with the squad players or youngsters that he has.

    With the need to bring in a first teamer, who will be a regular starter from next season at the latest, I see us spending what it takes, once we’ve identified the right man.

  36. A

    lol Jaguar, you do realise calling people AKBs is calling people names?! Double the irony there!

    Denilson isn’t bad as a backup Jaguar, not fussed about him being in the squad.

  37. Jaguar

    Who is the cover for Song,Stu?Diaby,enough said about his defensive abilities.Wenger considers Song as a CB.So effectively no CDM.

  38. Stu

    Thats just it though A. We get so many injuries every damn season that at one point or another our back ups become first teamers, whether that was intended or not.

    So regardless of why they were brought in our backs ups are at some point first teamers. Wenger knows we get injures season on season, without fail, he should be buying better back ups. And surely there are no better backs ups than ones who could realistically push for and hold onto a starting spot.

    Im probably not making any sense…gotta get something to eat.

  39. Stu

    Denilson is cover for Song obviously Jaguar.

    Song was considered a CB at the start of the season but after his improvement this season i dont think thats the case anymore unless we buy a starting DM in the summer…which i seriously doubt.

    I dont rate either Denilson or Diaby as DMs so dont assume otherwise. I wouldnt hesitate to sell Denilson to bring in a DM.

  40. E4 Paul

    It’s been a bad day for giving up smoking and listening to multitude of excuses isn’t helping much either. The apologists aren’t making my cravings any easier either. For five years Wenger’s been unopposed, allowed to do as he pleases and has embarked on a personal crusade that is leading us nowhere. The plan isn’t working, the balance of the team is wrong and qualities of certain individuals within it are not up to the standard required to make the team successfull. In short, we’re not good enough!

    Playing the prettiest football isn’t everything. Sticking to your principals doesn’t always make you honourable. When you lose and you seek to find an excuse so that you can protect a group of overpaid pampered under-achievers isn’t going to get you the trophies you think you deserve either. It’s time for a reality check. I repeat we’re not good enough.

    I partially understand Wenger’s reasons what I don’t understand is why he’s sticking to them. He or the club can’t blame finances because despite our so called debt we still have the resources and the ability to put things right if the ambition was there. When a youth player who has appeared for the first team just once and is driving around in £100,000 car then I’m convinced there is money at the club or things are dreadfully wrong.

    It’s time to put the ambitions of the club above his own agenda.

  41. A

    Wasn’t getting involved Jaguar, just made me laugh! Was like someone saying “I’m not gonna call you names, you dick”!

    Diaby isn’t cover for Song, he’s never played in that position. Denilson is the sub DM, though he doesn’t have the physicality to do what Song does, and the midfield is unbalanced physically when he plays with no Diaby imo. He’d be ok with Diaby there, though I’d rather someone more physical and athletic.

    I know what you mean Stu – it’s only defensive back ups that Wenger has shown such a lack of interest, and it has cost us in the past.

    Talking about top quality established signings, on top of a keeper, depending on Fabianski/Szczesny, I’d say a striker of that nature could come in, if Eduardo doesn’t find his shooting boots by the summer, Bendtner doesn’t do it in this period once he’s fit to start, and/or Vela doesn’t develop if/when he gets fit and gets an opportunity.

    Vela I wouldn’t mind sending down to the Championship for a month once Eduardo and Bendtner are fit, he’d be ridiculous at that level, just tear teams to shreds, would get him alot of confidence.

  42. gnarleygeorge9

    Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack has hit out at Arsene Wenger’s criticism of the Premier League leaders, after the Arsenal boss accused the Blues of tactically fouling his players.

    …….after the match he(Le Gaffer) claimed “we didn’t get a demonstration of football” from the home side – a comment that left Ballack unhappy.

    “Wenger always says things like this when he loses to find an excuse,” Ballack said. “We knew the way Arsenal play. It is always the same style.”

    “Football is not possession of the ball and playing a nice pass – football is about winning games. That is what Manchester United showed when they played them and what we did. We derived the win because we were very effective, and that was our strategy.”

    If the style that a team plays is what counts with Le Gaffer, I can’t see The Arsenal winning much, if anything if he doesn’t give a XXXX about the Carling & FA Cups 🙁

  43. A

    E4 Paul I don’t see how you can claim that JET’s wages are anything to do with something being wrong at the club. Just go round the car parks of the majority of teams in the prem and you’ll see players of a similar age, driving the same cars. It’s been that way with English youngsters for a good few years now, and a large part of why so many go off the rails imo!

    I don’t give a shit about the car he was driving, that’s just part of football now, however ridiculous it is, but I want to know what on earth he was thinking, he doesn’t even have a driving licence! AND why did they have to break the back window. What is it with so many young English youngsters being complete bellends?!

  44. Jaguar

    Bendtner had tore apart the Championship defences a few years back,A.He was much more physical.Vela for me is finished,the blame squarely lies with Mr.Wenger . Never really gave him chances.

  45. luke

    Jaguar Says:
    February 9, 2010 at 00:50
    Vela for me is finished

    Are you serious? At 20? Wow dude…

  46. Stu

    I dont know about Vela being ‘finished’ Jaguar. He needs games badly to get any kind of consistency. He clearly isnt going to get that here anytime soon so going on loan could do him a world of good.

    Get his confidence back and maybe then he would be ready for the first team.

  47. A

    Not sure how you work that out Jaguar, Vela has had his development stunted by never being fit, and never being available when he is, always fucking off to Mexico. Nowt to do with Wenger. He’s certainly not finished either, I expect him to go on to be a top top player for us. He’d absolutely rape the Championship, I’d be very happy to let him drop down there just for a month, as when Eduardo is back, and even now if he was fit he’d be hard pushed to even make the bench.

    De Rossi is amazing, but we’d never be able to get him. I wouldn’t want Toulalan not that great, and to play where?!

    Cesc, Song, Diaby is a superb midfield trio, we just need backup imo.

  48. Stu

    He is right footed luke but capable with his left too. He could partner anyone in defence but shouldnt be moved away from midfield now after finaly finding some form.

  49. Jaguar

    Finished at Arsenal,I meant.He could have already made his impact,if he had the same chances as the likes of Denilshite,Song and Diaby.

  50. A

    right footed luke.

    I really don’t think so – Song is developing into one of the best DMs around imo, and one of our players of the season too, I can’t see him becoming a DM anytime soon, though I guess you never know. Very few people even knew Kolo was a centre back when he arrived, and even less expected him to end up as a centre back for us!

    Yeah I agree Stu, could get him developing nicely, and we could cope without him for a month. Looking at the bench yesterday, even if Eduardo was fit, I’m not sure where he would’ve fitted on, who would’ve been left out. When Vela is back fit he’s gonna be a fair way down the pecking order.

  51. Stu

    We do need more midfielders, more physical ones for sure. Without Diaby in there we struggle, and god forbid Song would be missing too we could have a midfield of Cesc, Ramsey and Denilson and thats just nowhere near good enough.

    Denilson out, some fucker over 6ft to replace him….or someone stocky who IS a proper defensive midfielder.

    Anyone know why Tymoschuk isnt playing for Bayern lately? Christian Poulsen maybe? Or Van Bommell on a free in the summer?

    There are cheap quality players out there. They dont need to be the best on the ball to play for us imo…just winners…or something..

  52. Jaguar

    Vela was mysteriously missing from our bench,despite not figuring in the injury list.Speaks highly about Mr.Wenger’s trust!Another talent ruined by Mr.Wenger.

  53. A

    Yeah I agree with that Stu, with Diaby out we’ve got noone who can do that role with any physicality, and with Song out too we’re incredibly weak physically.

    Not sure about any of those players though, I’d rather someone more attacking, like Diaby, not a DM. Maybe JET can really develop into that role over the second half of the season?! I doubt it though!

    We were thinking about it yesterday, trying to think of that exact player, who would be willing to come and sit on the bench, and we just really couldn’t think of anyone realistic. There are so few players with both that physicality, and ability on the ball, and when there are they’re bought by big teams and regulars pretty quickly!

    Or were you naming those as sub DMs? I wouldn’t mind that, but we also need a sub for Diaby imo, and that’s tough to find.

    I wouldn’t mind Matuidi as sub DM, thought that Lyon bloke would come in on a free, but seems he’s signed a new contract now.

  54. E4 Paul

    A, I don’t give a stuff about his wages or his money either, except that there are probably more than a dozen like him in the youths who are probably earning the same as him along with a dozen or so others in the first team earning even more. The point is that having so many players earning so much, albeit much less than Fabregas or Van Persie, is using money that could be spent or better first team players. How many times have we heard the club or Wenger say we can’t afford this player or that player because of their wages. Perhaps if he trimmed his oversized squad and reduced the investment in the youth we might afford the players he promised before the Emirates was built!

  55. A

    When Jaguar?

    Vela is injured, and hasn’t been available for the last few weeks, ankle injury.

    If he’s not on the injured list it’s because the Arsenal.com web team have been lax in updating it.

  56. A

    E4 EVERY club has a youth team though, you can’t just not have a youth team for the sake of spending on the first team…. The academy pays for itself, the money we get when we flog the players that don’t make it more than cover the wages they’re all on etc….

    JET just signed his first proper first team contract, will have just gotten a hefty signing on bonus, and chose to spend that bonus on a car. It’s the players’ behaviour I have issues with, rather than the money. Their being paid 5k a week is ridiculous, but no more ridiculous than the money in football in general imo!

  57. A

    Also there aren’t a dozen in the youths getting that money – he’s not in the youths now, he’s in the first team squad, and that was his first proper contract. There’ll be him, lansbury, mannone, wilshere, bartley, traore, eastmond as younguns on that sort of money, because they’re all first team squad member sort of level now, not just nobodys.

    Gilbert is on 2-3k a week and has been at the club for years

  58. Stu

    Jaguar, Wenger did say during the chelsea press conference that Vela and Eduardo were definately out…

    A, either or. I dont think its necessarily a smart idea to have exact/like for like replacments in midfield.

    Should we buy one of the midfielders i suggested (or someone like them) then i think they should be able to play as Dm or Cm. Also i was suggesting them as experienced heads to be ready too fill in should they be needed.

    Id both DMs are unavailable the 1 of the (lets call them Diabys) would have to play in defensive midfield and it wouldnt work.

    Buying a Poulsen would mean he could play defensive midfield if Song is out or play centre midfield and provide the running if Diaby is out.

    Im probably confusing you here…i should really go to bed.

  59. A

    Though how Mannone, Randall, Gilbert are still at the club I’ll never know. Simpson too, though we’ll probably get a couple of mil for him when we flog him in the summer.

  60. A

    Not confusing me Stu, I know what you mean, but imo it’s more important in the majority of cases, to have someone with Diaby’s ability on the ball and drive, than his physicality in that position.

    As in if we had to choose for the CM position, between a Ramsey or Nasri, where we’d have the ability on the ball, but lack the physicality, or a Poulson, where we’d have the physicality, but lack the ability on the ball, I’d always choose the former.

    Though I wouldn’t mind another DM at the club so in the big games we’d play with two DMs rather than one, or Diaby deeper.

  61. A

    Sorry, knee not ankle, and it is on Arsenal.com! Or are they reading this and just added it?!

    Carlos Vela
    February 8
    Carlos Vela has a knee injury and missed the trip to Chelsea

  62. Stu

    I just think we have far too many of the former and not enough of the latter there A.

    We have a team of Nasri’s where they are all very capable on the ball but dont have the physciallity.
    Its more about options. If we had someone in the ranks that we could chose to play instead of a small nimble player when necessary.

    Obviously having a team of physcial players wouldnt work for the football we try to play ever match but having a few here and there would make such a difference.

    Also, just because a player is more physical that skillful (touch, movement etc) doesnt make then a complete retard at playing football. Im sure there are hoards of players out there who can battle and still play some top football.. You dont need the touch of Bergkamp to play arsenals football, just the ability to find a teammate with your pass. I

  63. Stu

    Failing that cant we just but a footballer and lock them in the gym for a few months..if we cant make them taller we can at least make them wider.

  64. ethangunner


    raif kolo wasn’t a midfield convert, he was always a centre back

    WHAT ??? he was a CDM !
    originally A !


  65. ethangunner


    he would of never got a game if wenger didnt convert him to RB-CD ..

    toure played RB for a while after lauren left also ..

    before eboue got appointed .

  66. A

    ethan you’ve got yourself confused.

    He was a centre back for his club, and the Ivory Coast, that was ALWAYS his position. When he arrived at Highbury he was too raw to play there, and a good all round player, so he was moved all over the place, but in the summer of 2003 he sat down with Wenger, and he said that he didn’t want to play out of position anymore, and Wenger agreed that he was ready to move into central defence.

  67. A

    Toure filled in at right back when needed, but in 03/04, for the invincibles, he was first choice centre back, and Lauren was first choice right back. Kolo never played there as Lauren’s replacement, Kolo was first choice centre back for 3 years before Lauren left the club….

  68. A

    Toure still regards it as the greatest game of his life. He played in central defence, which was always his position before he joined Arsenal. His sheer athleticism (Toure was second only to Henry in Arsenal’s annual sprint tests last summer) and willingness led Wenger to try him in a range of roles initially. Last close season he went to see the manager. “I said to the boss, ‘I want to play in my position’. I like to play everywhere , but I can’t make a career like that. If you play left back, right back, midfield, you can’t learn properly and you’ll only end up on the bench. The boss will say, ‘I can put him there because if there are injuries, I can put him on in any position’. I didn’t want to be like that. One of the nice things about Mr Wenger is he listens.”

    Wenger had thought about using Toure in central defence in the FA Cup final, when Sol Campbell was injured, but fielded Oleg Luzhny alongside Keown instead. One reservation might have been Toure’s physique. At 6ft and 12st, he is light for a centre-back. “I’m not as big as Sol or Tony Adams, but it’s not a problem. I’ve got my jumping. God gave me some physical power, you know. Roberto Ayala’s not tall, but he’s a great player. It’s the same with Fabio Cannavaro.”

    That’s regarding Kolo being a centre back. He was scouted at a youth tournament playing as a centre back, at an academy where he was a centre back, and was signed after a trial with us, where he played centre back, he was ALWAYS a centre back!

    Kolo became first choice centre back in 03/04, and was until he left the club.

    Lauren was first choice right back until Jan 06, when he got that serious long term injury, and Eboue and Hoyte filled in, then was first choice the next season with Justin Hoyte as his back up, and Lauren left in Jan of that season.

  69. ethangunner

    your dreaming ..

    every time lauren was injured , which was a lot in the end , toure was the fill in ..

    toure almost played half a season at RB ..
    the year lauren left .

    also when he entered the club was down as a CDM !

    thats why wenger claimed praise for converting him into a CD .. A , you say some intelligent stuff and then go stupid …

    ask any fan old enough to remember he will tell you the same, kolo came in as a CDM ! and wenger converted him … he played the same position as his brother prior …
    and theres no way he could dislodged bert back then ..

  70. A

    ethan did you just not read that article?! That’s kolo saying that he was a centre back. Wenger never took ANY credit for converting him, quite the opposite, Wenger ALWAYS said that he was a centre back.

    You’ve got confused again, regarding being a CDM, Wenger has been asked about Kolo playing there a few times, because fans wanted him there when we didn’t have one, and every time he was asked he always said that Kolo didn’t have the sort of fitness that would let him play there.

    Ethan just do a tiny bit of research rather than state things that are factually wrong!

  71. A

    “ask any fan old enough to remember he will tell you the same, kolo came in as a CDM ! and wenger converted him … he played the same position as his brother prior”

    You’ve gotten yourself confused ethan, it’s because alot of fans didn’t know that Kolo was always a centre back, because he played all over the place when he arrived, and thought he suited being a CDM. He never actually played there for us, nor anyone else though.

    Because Kolo was an unknown, and didn’t immediately play centre back, people were surprised when he started there in the first game of 03/04, and pre season prior to that, because they never expected it. Interviews, coverage of press conferences, blogs etc weren’t what they were know, and being a nobody there wasn’t much info about Kolo. In any interviews though, both Kolo and Wenger said that he had been signed as a centre back, and was always going to be a centre back.

    Kolo Toure was scouted at a youth tournament, where he was playing centre back, and sent off in the final. He played centre back for his club, and the Ivory Coast, and had a trial with us before he signed, where he played centre back.

  72. A

    Regarding him playing RB – in the league

    In 03/04 he started 36 games, 30 of them were centre back, 6 of them were at right back. Lauren started 30 games at right back, Keown started 2.

    04/05 he started 35 games, 34 of them were at centre back, one was at right back. Lauren started 32 games at right back, Hoyte 4, Senderos 1.

    05/06 he started 33 games, all at centre back. Lauren started 22 games at right back, Eboue 11, JD 3, Gilbert 2.

  73. A

    Regarding Kolo as a CDM

    speculation that the Ivorian may go forward to add strength in the middle of the park. However speaking at his press conference on Thursday, Arsène Wenger suggested Toure would be staying put.

    “Kolo is not a player with special stamina,” said the manager. “He’s more a guy with big explosive power but he’s not a long distance runner. Physiologically he’s not a central midfielder.”

  74. A

    It’s just a common misconception that Kolo was ever anything but a centre back before he arrived at the club.

    Purely because he was an unknown, and the internet bloggers and such like didn’t exist then, ATVO didn’t exist, people didn’t have as extensive a knowledge or interest in players who weren’t in the prem, or well known.

    Therefore when Kolo arrived and didn’t play centre back they just didn’t know that wasn’t his position

  75. A

    Perhaps we should not be too surprised at his versatility, the adaptable Toure played everywhere across the midfield and defence last season and has regularly played centre back for the Ivory Coast.

    “I think he has the quality, the presence and the power to play there for us,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “He was originally a central defender and he did very well against Celtic.

    “We want to improve our defensive record because we conceded too many goals last season.

    “The Celtic game was a moment where I could give him experience and I’ll try it again. We have kept clean sheets in recent games with him there.”

    Wenger saying that Kolo was originally a centre back before we signed him.

    He played in central defence, which was always his position before he joined Arsenal. His sheer athleticism (Toure was second only to Henry in Arsenal’s annual sprint tests last summer) and willingness led Wenger to try him in a range of roles initially. Last close season he went to see the manager. “I said to the boss, ‘I want to play in my position’.

    Kolo saying he was a centre back.

    It’s just a fact, pure and simple!

  76. ikon

    Arsene does not sound good accusing other sides of not playing football.
    He says we had the best part of possession in the chelsea game, but it was only because we were allowed to have the ball, since everyone in the pl knows they just have to choke out the D area to get the ball back, and get hit on the counter, where our defenses and mids look like they are chasing mummies or something.

    Wenger has got it horribly wrong by not adding to the squad in january, and more so by giving the excuse that there is no one out there who is better than this squad!!!!
    absolute rubbish.

  77. Big Raddy

    Ethan. Surely A gave you a convincing argument. Just accept it !!

    To refer to something as flimsy as imscouting is desperation. You might as well use Championship Manager game. A quoted direct from Kolo…. what more needs to be said?

    Still the discussion was illuminating and made me start the day with a smile….

  78. ethangunner

    Club career
    After a short trial, Touré joined Arsenal in February 2002 from ASEC Mimosas for £150,000. Kolo Touré status as a full international meant Touré was able to secure an English work permit. Kolo Touré was initially played as an attacking midfielder.

    2002–03 season
    Touré did not make Kolo Touré debut for the first team until the next season, against Liverpool F.C. in the FA Community Shield in August 2002. Initially regarded as a utility player, Kolo Touré started Kolo Touré Arsenal career as a midfielder as well as in right back. Kolo Touré scored Kolo Touré first Arsenal goal at Stamford Bridge (stadium) in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea F.C.. Arsenal failed to retain the Premiership crown that season, but Touré made a big step in Kolo Touré career nonetheless, winning the FA Cup.

  79. Moray

    tomorrow, half this team should be playing for their very future at Arsenal.

    Those who don’t cut it end up at Birmingham, Bolton or – worse – Newcastle.

  80. ethangunner

    i would rather believe my own memory BR and several LARGE WEBSITES that say otherwise !


    Kolo Touré started Kolo Touré Arsenal career as a midfielder as well as in right back.

  81. ethangunner


    do i believe A’s rants or believe several global news sources ..


    IM scouting not reputable BR ? get off the grass !
    its a damn more reputable than our resident waffler ….

  82. Moray

    ethan – it’s bad news: I checked wiki and this is what they have to say:

    Kolo Habib Touré (born 19 March 1981) is a football player who currently plays, and captains English Premier League club Manchester City and plays for the Ivorian national team. Touré is a central defender renowned for his pace, strength and athleticism. He is the older brother of Barcelona midfielder Yaya Touré and Al-Ittihad’s Ibrahim Touré.

  83. Moray

    having said that, if you wiki “Sabeel”, this is what they reveal:

    According to its official website, Sabeel “strives to develop a spirituality based on love, justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities.” In particular, the group aims to “promote a more accurate international awareness regarding the identity, presence and witness of Palestinian Christians as well as their contemporary concerns.”[2]
    Sabeel, which advocates “morally responsible investment,”[3] has been described by its critics as promoting an anti-Israel agenda, including divestment from Israel. It has also been accused of using antisemitic rhetoric.[4] The Rev. Canon Dr. Richard K. Toll, the Chair of Friends of Sabeel—North America [1], denies those allegations, writing that “the state of Israel is not above criticism and needs to be challenged when its policies are wrong. And its policy of occupation is wrong.” Toll also says that Sabeel “consistently condemns anti-Semitism in all its ugly forms.”[5]

    Sounds dodgy to me – no mention of fixing the comments section on wordpress. None whatsoever. Very fishy…

  84. ethangunner

    Touré is a central defender renowned for his pace, strength and athleticism.


    his 1st game for us he was in the midfield covering for bert .

  85. ethangunner

    how can he be known as ONLY A CD when he starts 1st top flight career game in the midfield ?

    surely that makes him ONLY KNOWN as a DM !?

    either that or logic alludes me !

  86. ethangunner

    Moray Says:
    February 9, 2010 at 08:32

    ha ha just winding you up, mate! I do remember him coming to as as a DM. As Gilberto cover.
    finally someone with a brain 🙂

    it gets lonely on the morning shift sometimes 🙂