Are we linked to Romelu Lukaku, the new, new in world football?

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The one they are all talking about, Romelu Lukaku, the one that they all seem to want including the chavs and Maureen, is finding Arsenal the club he most wants to join.

So at 6’3″ he seems to have the presence, he has scored 6 goals already this season and 18 last, he’s African and he’s 17 years old, so he ticks all the boxes and I must say he excites me, but do we need another 17 year old or are we inviting more injury prone players?

Okay, yesterday I got accused by one Grover of being boring, that my posts are becoming repetitive, others said it was my best yet, you can please some of the people some of the time, you can please some of the people all of the time, but you know what, you can’t please all of the people, all of the time, who said that? That’s right, Odeon Cinemas 1969.

I can only write stories if something happens, and apart from transfers and results a lot hasn’t happened.

Our manager says the same things after each press conference so I hope the same people that criticise me for being repetitive go onto and criticise him, need some reminding…

I believe in this team

This team has great mental strength

We have learned a lot from this defeat

We will try and win this game

I value intelligence over any other quality

He has an ankle problem we don’t know how long he’ll be out, maybe 2 weeks

I can’t compete with Chelsea

If I buy him, it will kill him

So moving swiftly on let me ask you all about project youth, money and injuries.

I believe that we get so many injuries because we play these youngsters against men far too early, in the George Graham days, very few made their debuts until they had turned 20, when they were that age they were men, then they got their chance and if they were good enough, they played and then their salaries reflected that.

So we not only play them too early, they get their bodies banged up and never really recover, look at our list, Cesc (16) Theo (17) Gibbs (17) Frimpong (18) Bendtner (17) RVP (19) Ramsey (17) but we pay them far too much too early, see where this is going?

When we won the league in 1971 we used 16 players, played 64 games on shocking pitches against the likes of Webb and Charlton and rarely had injuries, I think Charlie George was our youngest player and he went home on the train.

We spend no money on proven talent because we buy young talent but don’t be fooled by that, we pay top dollar for those kids, Denilson cost us £3.4mil when he was 17, then add their wages, so how much do we really spend?

JET got arrested for driving around in a Mercedes Maclaren when he was in the youth team, so what was he earning? Add up the 50 plus under 21’s we have registered and you can only imagine what we really spend.

Anyway, this post was for you to debate, do we have too many young players and that’s why our injuries are so high, and is that why it’s nonsense to peddle the ‘we have no money to spend rhetoric’

Add it up. We have spent bundles! And still are.

Have a great day Grovers and see you tomorrow!

316 Responses to “Are we linked to Romelu Lukaku, the new, new in world football?”

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  1. Surferosa

    Having Toulalan in behind Cesc / JW / ano would make a huge improvement to our defensive organistaion. Song was getting their- but has gone backwards this year.

    One of AW’s big flaws is he see’s attacking potential from every player. Song said at the start of the season (after his goal against Bolton) was to be involed in more of the attacking play and score a few more goals.

    Comments like that only come fom the boss. He doesnt see a DMC role with 2 more attacking MC’s. He sees a fluid 3 MC shape where they all rotate in order to drag the opposition out of position. Unfortunately, all it seems to be achieving at the moment is dragging our defensive positioning out- leaving us open to the counter.

    Will AW change it? Of course he won’t- he’ll be adamenet that he needs to get them to understand their roles in the system better- rather than the system being flawed for the players we have. Sometimes, he makes life harder for himself than it needs to be…

  2. Arsenal Tom

    surfer… exactly… too much emphasis on individual development rather than what works best to win a game

  3. Surferosa

    Likewise Kush 🙂

    The interesting thing on player development is its not just a football things- its society generally.

    Nutritional, training and sports science knowledge has advanced so much over the past 20 years that peoples physical development is much earlier than it used to be. You only have to look at the growth in average height of the population over the past 30 years to understand that.

    So young players of 16 are now physically ready to play at a level that just wouldnt of been at 30 years before. All before their bodies have not finished fully developing. So yes- this is likely to increase the risk of injury. But it could happen at any level of the game they play at- training, reserves, U21, first-team, etc, etc.

    My point being that the issue isnt one of playing young players at an early age- its the players physical development at an early age. And you’re not going to be able to stop that easily.

  4. Surferosa

    Indeed Tom. Rather than choosing a system then buying players to fit- he’s concentrated on trying to train players for roles that the dont seem to have.

    So why buy AA then convince him he is a wide AML; a role that demands that you track back and help out defensively? The guy is an auxilary striker; a Trequartista as the Italians coined it (I think).

    Why spend 5 years developing Diaby into a jack or all trades. I member when he first started, I was surprised when AW started coming out and saying ‘hes not vieira, he has a different syste of play, etc, etc’.

    I’d of been saying the exact opposite. Concentrate on the defensive side. Be as good as Vieira defensively. Use you stamina and strength to dominate a midfield. Instead, we have another player you plays like he can be the AMC.

    His method of developing players is one of trust, faith and encouragment. But just as AF wont get the best out of all his players using the ‘stick’ approach- sometimes AW needs to let the players have it both-barrels. Im not convined he ever does (at least from what I read from past players). So he can turn Henry from a confidence-lacking winger into one of the greatest strikers the world has ever seen. But can he turn a gifted, yet over-confident slightly lazy player into a determined all-round midfielder? Im not so sure.

  5. Kushagra India

    the gist of the problem is that he tries to make artists but what is required are artisans like ray parlour edu
    giberto silva who can be disciplined and do a job for us

  6. goonerT1m

    can anyone explain wtf has happened to AA23, that penalty he took was shocking, where has is his confidence / aura gone?

  7. Surferosa


    Yep- and personally Im really thankful for that. Id rather get on board with an investor that wants to make money than go down that route. The guy is (allegedly) a crook- and on that, I trust him as far as I could throw him.

    I dont think Kroenke is the benolvent type either. However, he has an excellent track record of developing sports franchises in the US. Even though the guy is still ultimately interested in profit- I have some degree of comfort that he would seek to do it in such a way where it would be mutually beneficial to both club and him pesrsonally.

    Put another way, he’d make some money off the back of Arsenal for sure- but, equally I think Arsenal would also benefit from his experience of developing the profitability of sports ‘brands’ (horrible term I know, but unfortunately you cant avoid it in this day and age).

    Right now, you have to say the best solution is the one we have right now (in terms of plurality of ownserhip). Unforutnuately, I dont see it lasting much longer now the stadium is built, operating debt paid off and Fizman’s ongoing health condition. If something hasnt changed on that front in the next 2 years, Ill be amazed.

  8. A

    Gooneroo we didn’t bid for Schwarzer because of being skint, it was because he had prem experience, and AFTER we’d bidded big money for Reina

    Usmanov doesn’t put money into the club, he’s already got more power than he ever should’ve been allowed to get.

  9. Surferosa


    Absolutely agree mate. Lansbury’s performance in the CCC and the subsequent comments by me (he’s just like Parlour) which AW shamelessly copied :p gave me hope that AW saw that too.

    Id love to have seen him being given a run at Chelski from the start. Having that player who would have run and run and run (box to box as well- remember the goal!) would help us hugely.

    Alas, it was a return to predictability.

  10. wattsy65

    My theory on why we get so may injuries is this, we play the ball too quickly, which results in more of our team getting hammered by late tackles, the ball is long gone, so the legs take the tackle…….simple. Yes we do play our youngsters at too early an age,plus we have far too many of them.

    On the subject of savage tackles, the FA will not take any action on the Ben Arfa incident because it was seen by the referee. So the question now is what part of that tackle did the ref consider legal? I see baby Rednapp has been gobbing of again on how we must not take aggression out of the game, I agree but what is happening now are not tackles, they are attempts to reach a ball which are not there to be won, the culprits know this but still do it anyway. They will continue until refs stop them, which does not appear to be any time soon.

  11. Mayank

    Wattsy, therein lies the rub. All those who lament about the good old day, where men were men and tackles were tackles fail to see this obvious change in the game.

    Every time a hard challenge is given as a foul the commentators and expert remind us about how these challenges were good in their time. Yet they fail to understand how much faster football is now. A dangerous challenge at the current pace of the game will be more likely to cause harm.

  12. herbert

    Arsene must listen to himself when staffing defensive midfield.

    At 17, Vieira already showed what would come.

    Some of our current players would NEVER have brought up expectations like Vieira at the same age.

    By NOT “killing”/interrupting one career, you REALLY kill 10 promising other carreers – young lads who are prepared to GIVE EVERYTHING AND HAVE PRIDE


  13. Surferosa

    Tis the English mentality though wattsy. We are tougher than the rest of the world; the league is better because its more physical; foreign leagues are worse becuase they arent so physical.

    All bullshit of course; the rest of the world on moved on from that thinking in the 70’s. You can be physical without diving into challenges recklessly.

    What relics like Redknapp, Alladyce and others consitently miss is how far behind the world we are in thinking. Just look at our international record as evidence. When it comes to the big teams- England have neither the skill, guile or tactical know-how to do well.

    Largely becuase, to do well in England you dont need those things. Or rather, you can get by on kicking lumps out of the oppoistion and hoofing the ball 30 yards for a big lump to knock other big lumps out of the way. And the English media lap it up, cos we invented the game and that makes us the best.

    Things are changing of course, but so slowly I dont think Ill see anything different in my lifetime. The relics will ensure that we play stone age football for the forseeable…

  14. Arse&Nose©

    Redknapp is an idiot. Stats showed that after Arsenal the spuds were the 2nd biggest victims of fouls last season.

  15. dantheman

    Either Wenger is staying on and not spending any money to clear our stadium debt. So when he eventually leaves everyone will say he built that stadium and that will be his lasting legacy. Just like Herbet Chapmans.


    Wenger and the board don’t need to win anything as they millions anyway regardless if we trophy.
    We still turn up every week and if we stopped the stadium would still be full, because everyone thinks we play the best football.

    I was recently in Far East and even people who don’t support us still watch us because “you play pretty football” crap.

    They’ve duped us, and the world… and they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

  16. gambon


    I agree. The reason we are seeing lots of broken legs is the pace of the game, allied to the increasing physical strength of the players, is making contact situations more dangerous. Its not like every player is a worse tackler than they were 30 years ago, they are committing the same challenges with far more power in a much quicker game.

    I also think Arsenal fans are overly sensitive to these challenges. I don’t remember anyone crying when Cisse, Larsson, Bouma injured themselves. Its a clichéd old saying, but it is a mans game.

  17. Gooneroo

    If Usmanov can have as much of impact on Arsenal as Abrahamovic had on Chelski, i wont be complaining.

    And u misunderstood my point. We are acting skint because we offered peanuts for somebody of high “prem experience” yet Usmanov is worth more than Abrahamovic, hence could afford more money to spend.

  18. Surferosa

    All of which is conveniently ignoring the fact that Abramovich has been cutting his back expenditure over the past 3 years.

    Where will a benefactor get you when you have to break even exactly? (And thats assuming his intentions are entirely honourable- something I think you are naive for believing).

    Abramovich is one of the biggest advocates of Financial Fair Play after AW. Why is that? Its not like he can;t afford it? Answer is, he is already sat at the top table (CL)- and it means he can protect his investment without other people doing precisely what he did (and Citeh are trying to do before the rules come into play).

    Usmanov isnt the way forward. Its the way of the past. You need more foresight on where the game is heading (which is closer to the American model).

  19. gambon

    A desire to succeed that we dont currently have, ruthlessness to throw out twats like Wenger if they dont share his vision.

    And most importantly the potential return of Dein.

  20. gambon

    Put it this way. With Usmanov in charge spending £4m this summer wouldnt have been an option.

    And if Wenger had not bothered to sign a keeper he wouldve ended up at the bottom of the Thames.

  21. Surferosa

    A desire to succeed??? What you hoping for, he’s going to play DMC?

    As for Dein- we had that debate yesterday. Dein’s biggest legacy was bringing AW to the club who revolutionised the playing side (certainly in the eyes of the world- if not in yours); and bringing in Fizman who believed in the stadium project and fincnial self-sustainability. Something he didn’t- and prmptly went and whored his shares off to the highest bidder.

    Usmanov brings nothing except a big fat cheque-book mate. Which Id happily accept were it not that I find the guy fairly morally repugnant. You may not care about that- but I have a certain pride in the club; its histories and traditions. Him being involved tarnishes that (imo).

    Plus, as Ive said- the strong likelihood is that having a rich benefactor will be of next to no use in modern football. Abramovich, Berlusconi and others want as much. The biggest clubs, Man U, Barca, Madrid want as much. It protects the status-quo.

    We need someone who can turn AFC from what it is now (one of the 3 biggest clubs in England- top 10 in the world) into a global ‘brand’ (again, horrible but true). Usmanov doesnt have the track record for doing that; out of the people involved only Kroenke does.

    So I’ll say again, why would you want him involved? If you simply want AW out and Dein in- you surely wouldn’t do that at the expense of Usmanov’s involvement?

  22. chippy

    The problems run alot deeper than having an ever ready bunny in midfield the whole balance is wrong as is the discipline – hed need to be in 5 places at once to cover the glaring holes we leave until they learn to defend as a whole rather than individuals we are fooked on winning the big prizes !

    Im pretty certain we dont need a big investor we just need to spend some of what we make from time to time 🙂

    Afternoon All,

  23. paul mc daid

    Somebody needs to tell wenger that he does not own Arsenal,if it takes a russian then so be it,what wenger has done to the product on the pitch is criminal.

  24. Surferosa

    Lol- had to chuckle at this. Tell us something we dont know!

    Werder Bremen sporting director Klaus Allofs has slammed their recently acquired centre-half Mikael Silvestre, suggesting the former Arsenal defender is error prone and too slow.

    The veteran Frenchman left the Emirates on a free transfer in the summer after an underwhelming two year spell at Arsenal, to join the aforementioned Bundesliga side, but it appears his employers have been far from impressed with a player than won four Premier League titles with Manchester United between 1999 and 2008.

    Speaking about the 33-year-old former Old Trafford stalwart, Allofs told Bild: “The Frenchman has been a disappointment at left back,

    “His playing style is remarkably slow and he makes many mistakes.”

  25. Woolwichstilhere

    Lukaku. Fuck dat, get someone experienced and lets win d league. Haha not suprise u remember d wenger press comments so wel

  26. terry

    we will never sell diaby so dont expect any midfiled additions…

    sunderland have one of the best midfield in the league… and i think lee cattermole is what we are lacking… apart from his red cards.


    i read that about silvestre and couldnt stop laughing myself
    disgrace that he even wore our shirt let alone captained us

  28. Surferosa

    Worst signing AW ever made. Still baffles me to this day. Guess he was cheap and experienced. Still wouldn’t of overlooked the fact he was shyte.

  29. DaleDaGooner

    My 2 cents:

    Romelu Lukaku is Belgian of Congolese decent. What’s this obsession with not wanting Africans because of ACN? Drogba ad a host of others were out for chavs and they still won the league. Besides RvP and co miss more games compared to Drogba during ANC. Lukaku is exactly what Arsenal needs, a strong imposing, powerful striker, unfortunately Arsene will not get him even if they offered him, He also wants Chelsea, but we all know if Arsene were to go to Belgium and sit with his folks and him and present a good case, he’d come, Afterall Drogba was there for the taking, he was offered to Arsene and he waived him, that is why Drogba loves to break Arsene’s heart 13 games in a row. Snap up Lukaku, even if his heart is set on joining Chelsea…lets match them, like you said Wenger!

    On the injury front, C’mon guys we are now blaming youth on injuries? Young kids play older and that is why they get injured? Shawcross is not that older than our players, it has eff all to do with us starting the kids too early, in all sports, the younger players are started early off anyway, that’s how you become experienced and in a life where the career life span is short, what do you expect? We talk about these kids as if we start them right away, i remember Wilshere has been good for a while but he only started getting in this season, The problem is Arsene is not targeting experienced, strong players, he wants the finesse and technique that he forgets he needs players that can play more than half a season. Essien is really good, but wouldn’t he be considered a crock too? But the tactics of Maureen and Ancelotti mask his absence, Wenger needed to build the team on a spine and not on one player, he built the team around Fabregas, instead of getting a dependable world class goalie, world class defender, world class holding midfielder and a worls class consistent top striker.

  30. yawn

    diaby dreams of winning the Ballon d’or. just as delusional as wenger that one. time for the players to do the talking with their feet rather than their mouths.

  31. sixx pac

    The Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas thinks that if the Stokes or Boltons of the English Premier League played in Spain, they would get booed by their own fans, and that La Liga teams always aspire to play good football above the tough-tackling and hoofing of English football.

    He seems to believe that playing quality football is valued higher than winning a trophy.

    “The way we in Spain play is the most important. It’s about how you do it,” he said. “You will never play the ball longer or do some things you are not used to. We want to win playing football. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen but we want to be the best this way.”

    “Here in England it is passion and the fans love it when there are hard tackles and you play long balls and counter-attack. If you do that in Spain t

  32. Baafuor from Ghana

    Fans must protest against Wenger and the board.Other than that, all this moaning out here will come to nothing!

  33. Geoff

    Nothing much, makes a stupid comment about our grovers and then wonders why I don’t post his opinion, another prick wants his 15 minutes of internet fame, I won’t give them the oxygen Surfer.

    He’ll then go on another site and say I don’t allow people on that have different opinions, they don’t seem to understand that insulting me or mine is not freedom of speech, it’s just being a prick.

  34. Surferosa

    Yep. In fairness to you, Ive disagreed with you fairly strongly over the past couple of days- and youve never once suggested I wouldnt be allowed on the site.

    Insults are the last refuge of a failed argument.

    The guy is obviously a twunt.

  35. David

    Surferosa says:
    October 6, 2010 at 13:02

    We need someone who can turn AFC from what it is now (one of the 3 biggest clubs in England- top 10 in the world) into a global ‘brand’ (again, horrible but true). Usmanov doesnt have the track record for doing that; out of the people involved only Kroenke does.


    Kreonke knows how to work the American system. He has zero international experience.


    Expanding the Arsenal Brand name is exactly what the likes of Gazidis was hired for and this has absolutely nothing to do with the Owner.

    Chelsea’s brand name has sky rocketed and ultimately a champions name sells itself.

    You make some good points but you are too skewed into your belief in morality.

    There is absolutely no morality in football. You pay for what you get. Simples.

    There is just as much morality in taking 14 year old kids from their parents as taking money from Quesitonable but rich Billionares.

    Credit where credit is due. I applaud Wenger, nobody else has come this close in turning a group of kids to compete at such a high level.

    But they will never be good enough.

  36. Wiseman

    Geoff – I don’t understand Le Grove’s tagline… It says that “A blog where you can have your own opinion, not get one” – I agree with the first part, but are you suggesting that we don’t “get” an opinion every day. I would say that Le Grove is very opinionated.

    Maybe this would be more accurate: Le Grove: “When you can have an opinion, and get one.”

    I’m not saying being opinionated is a bad thing, although your current tagline suggests that it is.

  37. David

    Surferosa says:
    October 6, 2010 at 13:02

    Plus, as Ive said- the strong likelihood is that having a rich benefactor will be of next to no use in modern football.

    Abramovich, Berlusconi and others want as much. The biggest clubs, Man U, Barca, Madrid want as much. It protects the status-quo.


    Do you think the shieks at Mancity are of no use then?

    What status quo are they protecting?

  38. Marko

    Lukaku is the absolute next big striker in world football. 17 plays regularly and scores regularly for Anderlecht and is already Belgiums no.1 striker at 17. He’s gonna be huge. Fuck all this he’s 17 he’s another kid and he’s got african blood shite this guy is gonna be world class.

  39. Geoff

    Thanks Surfer, well said. That tag line was written 4 years ago, I was thinking of changing it to, Le-Grove, where I’m always right!

    Of course I’m talking mostly about our keepers, Song and Denilson, not to mention project youth.

    I’m sure you’ll agree, what do you think?

  40. Surferosa

    David. Regarding Kroenke, its a good point you make about the American system. However, Im not solely talking football here; Im talking global branding. His Mrs- owner the the Wall-Mart chain- (owner of ASDA and countless other national retailers); and he has been part of the transformation of the LA Rams into St Louis Rams (a going nowhere team into one of the leading sports franchises in the world).

    So he has related experience and contacts- even its not directly involved with football. Sport is a global business now; his network of contacts will be a huge asset in that process (be it with commercial deals, exposure, new markets, etc, etc).

    As for your view on it being nothing to do with the owner (its Gazardis)- well, Gazardis was quite obviously a rubber-stamped deal by Kroenke (given the relationship at the MLS). I heard that it was on Kroenke’s personal recommendation?

    So saying the owner has nothing to do with isnt really true. Ive currently got a client that does bugger all to run his business. The board do that for him. But the value he brings is in his network of contacts and ability to make big deals go through. That is simply priceless (the fact that the executive then carry out everything else should not dimish his role in the success- if it wasnt for him, many wouldnt happen!) Kroneke will be the same type of owner. You wont see him making statements to the press, but you can bet your arse he’ll be wining and dining with Nike, Emirates, etc, etc.

    As for morality- I strongly disagree with you there. It is entirely different taking a 14 year old, providing them with the best possible education in their chosen profession (in this case football)- so much so that if sucessful they’ll end up with more wealth then you’ll get in a lifetime.

    Compare that to a man who has a very shady past (to say the least). Maybe Im from a different generation- or just too pompus- but so much of what I love about the Arsenal is about trying to do things the right way (something you cannot say about Usmanov). I hope we never lose that.

    As for AW- well, sadly you may well be right. As I said yesterday- now the operating debt is paid off and we find ourselves in a position to generate surplus cash- he has two years of goodwill from me to turn it around. However, I fear he is too set in his ways to change path (either tactically or financially in player recruitment).

  41. Jaguar reloaded

    Lassana Diarra is already one of the most hated persons among the gooners,after he revealed that he prevented Boo Dudaby from signing for Chelsea.Dudaby dreaming of winning Ballon D’or is the joke of the century.

  42. Big Dave

    It don’t matter who the fuck is in charge be it the Russian or USA. If you have a manager who does not like to spend big money on players and do it his way only then what’s the point !

  43. David


    You make very good points all of them.

    Kreonke will make us a valuable brand name in America. Of that I have no doubt.

    The Rams have always been shite and they still are. The Denver nuggets are a team to boast about as Kreonke is concerned and they are also a nearly team that hardly invests in star players. The one player they got was through the luck of the draft. Their no1 pick in Carmelo.

    American Sports are all about milking the fans…even the LA lakers refused to invest into their team when Shaq left and Mr. Bryant had a Sol Campbell like meltdown before they invest.

    The reason I side with Usmanov because he doesnt hesitate to invest into what matters on the pitch.

    I do not see Kreonke investing directly into what goes on in the performance on the pitch in whatever sport franchise he owns.

    As far as his wife and the Walmart brand. I have my doubts as to how directly involved she is in the decision making. Especially since she is just a part owner in a family business. And it seems to me even more so that she is just an heiress, no better than a Paris Hilton. But i could be wrong.

    There is the commercial side of things and the global connectivity part that I cannot but agree with you hands down.

    And there is what happens on the pitch.

    For me, what happens on the pitch is more important because once you become champions.

    The sponsors will come calling.

    And this ironically, The American way.

  44. Surferosa


    Citeh are in a race against time. Effectively they have 4 years to;

    1) get & stay in CL
    2) increase their revenue streams to support their huge wage spending
    3) reduce costs to the point that they can come in under an average opertating loss of £40m over 3 years by 2014 (call it 13m per year). Just to put that into perspect, their loss for last year was £124m (so at that rate, £375m over 3 years).

    But either way, the point is that if someone tried doing what they are doing now in 5 years time- they’d be stuffed.

    With regard the status-quo, once your in CL and have the revenue its easier to say in it. You can attract the best players, pay higher salaries and it makes it difficult for another club to break the cartel.

    Thats why Abramovich wants it. He’s no longer the only rich kid on the block. Its not so much fun spending so much cash when someone comes along and out spends you. Thats why him and the other owners want out.

    My prediction- it’ll come in the PL too. They have long wanted to control the closed shop of the PL better. Clubs like West Ham, Wigan, Blackburn would love it if the teams that were coming up were prevented from outspending them from benefactor resources.

    Do I think any of this is good for football? No. cant stand it. Cant stand the closed shop that is CL football either. Straight knockout was more fun, exciting and unpredictible. But not where they money is. And which ever way you look at it- the rules as they are outlined reward our current Financial position better than any other club.

  45. Surferosa

    But what evidence do you have for what Usmanov would do? What he has said? As I said- he doesnt stike me as the most trustworthy individual!

    Like it or lump it- football is heading towards the American model. Clubs will be expected to make a return to their investors when owned by the likes of Kroenke / NESV. Where there are benefactors involved- they will be prohibited from financially doping their clubs.

    Its classic protectionism. Stop other competitors from joining the market to safeguard your own interests. CL is already closed from a sporting perspective by having a group phases that protects incomes and reduces the possibility of bug team elimination shocks. Now the financial protectionism is coming in.

  46. David

    As far as the morality issue its a case of agree to disagree.

    Personally i dont see any merit in refusing Usmanov a chance solely based on a dodgy past except to use them as brownie points in a pub conversation.

    We are the Arsenal. And we like to do things the right way.

    Its too bad that we have a new CF that would rather dive than shoot into an open goal.

    But thats another story

  47. zeus

    Arsenal’s gangly midfielder Abou Diaby has revealed he turned down Chelsea and Jose Mourinho to sign for the Gunners five years ago.

    The 24-year-old, who became one of the hottest properties in Europe after breaking through the ranks as a teenager at French side Auxerre, has admitted that the Blues were very keen to sign him in 2005, with their Portuguese manager even coming to talk to him about his plans for the future.

    But it was the opportunity to become the heir to Patrick Vieira at Highbury, along with a cautionary tale from countryman Lassana Diarra, that eventually made up his mind to work with Arsene Wenger.

    “Did Chelsea try to sign me in 2005? Yes, but it was very complex,” Diaby told L’Equipe.

    “I visited the facilities but when I was there I had a chat with Lassana Diarra and he told me: ‘Abou, I have not played for three months’. That made me hesitate.

    “I even had a chat with Jose Mourinho. He was very frank and told me: ‘I have a big team, with big players and I can’t guarantee you anything, but we do want you’.

    “Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger told me that he was looking for a midfielder to replace Vieira, that I had the same profile and that I would play.

    “Also, at that time, Arsenal had the French connection. Robert Pires and Thierry Henry were there, and that makes you dream.

    “There were choices to make and Arsenal wanted me. They seemed exciting to me.”

    Diaby has had a mixed time at the north London club since his move, occasionally showing glimpses of world-class ability, but more frequently infuriating fans with his inability to progress to the highest level. But the Frenchman believes he still has time to reach the very highest echelons of the game.

    “People told me: ‘You will make a complete mess if you go abroad so young’. But I have my own objectives and I have tried to match them,” he said.

    “I want to play for a big club, be in the French team and be a great player.

    “I dream of winning the Ballon d’Or. I hope to win it one day. There is no shame in saying that.”


    Well thx Abou……….pffffffft.

  48. zeus

    Wales caretaker manager Brian Flynn insists that midfielder Aaron Ramsey is well on the road to recovery.

    The 19-year-old sustained a double fracture in his lower right leg in a game against Stoke City in February, owing to a tackle from Potters dedender Ryan Shawcross.

    It had been initially thought that the youngster could spend about a year on the sidelines, but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger revealed in August that the Welshman would return to action in November.

    And now Flynn is happy with the progress that the starlet has made in terms of recovery.

    “I’ve spoken with Aarron and he’s making great progress,” said the Wales boss, according to The Mirror.

    “He told me he will be back in full training in three weeks.

    “He’s a great talent and we all want him back playing again. It’s great news for Arsenal, Wales and of course for Aaron himself.”


    January at the earliest b4 he can complete 90mins. Unfortunately we have dug oursleves in such a hole so early in the campaign and with the traditional injury month of November we can’t put someone out just to give them time.

    We need to stick as close as possible to the Chavs. A better prospect that Wilshere IMO and I’m happy to have him back…….

  49. Arsenal Tom

    if diaby had the same playign time under mourinho he’s had under wenger he’d be an incredible player right now

  50. Jaguar reloaded

    The main reason my favourite club is not winning anything,Rohan.Strolling around the pitch like he is Messi,and contributing fuckall to the team,except slowing down our own play,and losing possession.Wenger is a cunt for comparing that retard to the legend Vieira.

  51. Arsenal Tom

    jag… exactly my point mate… all the lazyness, loosing possesion and loosing concentration would have been beaten out of him… leaving a fast, strong, technically good 6’4 player!

  52. sixx pac

    If Wenger is a cunt for comparing the two then so are millions around the world. U cannot honestly say that when Abou joined u did not think he was the next Patrick. Irrespective of playing abilities,just his look said Paddy 😆

  53. Jaguar reloaded

    Sixx Pac,what has looks got to do with playing abilities.So Wenger bought Shitvestre,so that he can have a LB who looks like Clichy 🙂

  54. iamgooner

    we need

    2 defenders
    denfensive midfielder
    out and out goal scorer

    5 top players and we are complete..

    so far wengers to defensive signings have leaked in goals every match.. if he had gone out and bought world class centre backs perhaps it would have been differant…

    and dont tell me to give them time to adapt they are proffesional footballers, not tropical fish being put in to a normal fish tank

  55. JJ

    (French) players who have not made yet would have to choose Arsenal over any other PL team. They will earn top dollar and get endless opportunities to prove themselves.

    Conversely, players who have made it would not choose Arsenal over our main rivals. Recent history has shown that they will be playing with average players and the club does not look likely to win anything in the near future.

  56. zeus

    Palermo star Javier Pastore refuses to rule out future move to Barcelona.

    I swear, barca is gonna make me hate all players.

  57. zeus

    Sir Alex Ferguson says there is no “killer instinct” about the current Manchester United team.


    Sir Alex Ferguson is concerned by the lack of a winning mentality within his current squad

    United are currently third in the Premier League, five points behind Chelsea, after drawing all four of their away games in the competition so far this season.

    United held leads going into the final moments of the games at Fulham and Everton before conceding late equalisers and, while Ferguson is convinced Manchester United remain strong enough to win the league, he admits there is a problem in the side at present.

    “This present team doesn’t kill off sides as well as they should,” he told Inside United. “At Goodison, we had three or four chances at 3-1 to really put the game out of sight, but we were wasteful and ultimately paid the price. We threw away two goals in injury-time.

    “That’s unthinkable. That killer instinct just isn’t there at the moment and it’s something we need to develop.

    “We haven’t had a problem scoring goals. We got three against Liverpool, Everton and West Ham, two away at Fulham, three in the Community Shield – that suggests we don’t have difficulty finding the net.

    “What we’re not doing, though, is killing teams off. I have no doubt the players have taken these setbacks on board. They suffer just as much – if not more – than the rest of us.

    “They’re the ones throwing the points away and they’re the ones who know fine well that they’re good enough to win this league.”

    He added: “We’re playing well, and perhaps those four points we have dropped away from home at Fulham and Everton have given off something of a false impression.

    “Nevertheless, we didn’t like letting those points slip away and it’s crucial that we don’t make too many more similar mistakes this season.”

    Chelsea have won six of their opening seven fixtures so far this season but, with a number of those games coming against teams expected to struggle this year, Ferguson remains unconcerned by their strong start.

    “Every team is going to drop points – that’s inevitable,” he said. “If you look at Chelsea’s start to the season, you’d have expected them to have won all those games, so the position they’re in doesn’t surprise me.

    “Meanwhile, we’ve had tricky trips to Fulham and Everton then played Liverpool at home. Those are difficult matches.

    “Liverpool, Arsenal and ourselves have all played top sides early on. Chelsea’s sterner tests are still to come.”

    Nice to hear a manager speak frankly about his team without the regualr platitudes and regurgitate the same thing all the time.

  58. Honest Bill


    Haha In defense of our defence.

    the trouble is, you could put any old fish at the back in our setup and it would still leak goals.. Even if they were proven, world class fish.

    It’s simply the way our team plays. We are unbalanced in so far as we rely on our attacking strengths to win games.

    This works like a dream when you have Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp, Freddie Ljundberg, Marc Overmars… etc etc, all fit for the majority of games. All professional and experienced players who had every confidence in their talents and were relentless in their quest to determine to score goals and win games.

    However; When all your best players are frequently injured, and you are left with your second string (arguably you could call it our first string..) who although good and talented players, are stricken with confidence issues and who are under immense pressure, it doesn’t quite work.

    As a consequence, our defence is frequently caught high up the pitch and are stretched every time the opponent attacks. You can easily see that they are quality defenders.

    in Koscielny’s case he is a little bit too inexperienced i feel. However i think he will make it. He’s quick, committed, has naturally good marking, is a very good tackler. and has a remarkable leap. If you put him into Chelsea’s team, he would look accomplished i think.

    In Squillaci’s case, I believe that He is a very accomplished defender. knows how to anticipate possible gaps and is very calm at the back. The only downside is that he has been a little sloppy a couple of times and looks ever so slightly laid back. I think this may be a harsh criticism though because I believe he feels it is his duty to bring a calming influence to the defence, and to essentially look after them. This is a monumental task for a guy who has only just joined and is probably yet to earn everybody’s full respect. Again. Stick him into Chelsea’s team where he is expected to worry about his own game and to sit deep and soak up pressure, he would look world class.

    By contrast. Imagine John Terry trying to play a high line and possession football. He wouldn’t be able to do it and everyone would say he isn’t good enough because his team ships goals.

    I think it’s a little unfair to expect them to come in and make us solid and impenetrable when we just don’t play that way.

  59. leon

    for i dont by into this thoey at all if you good enough ypu will make it all top players do rooney rinaldo messi ect most of arsenal injuries are very short term my real concern is rvp he has never played a full season the club without being out for extremly long periods and this team needs a strong forward who can withstand strong tackles and clearly thats not rvp far to fragile and weak for me

  60. geoff

    Iam all for Usmanov taking over,absolutely tired of all this penny pinching,the dutchman Wegner chased for years Spurs snapped up now watch them go,all the yank is interested in is profit part of the economic collapse.Please bring mr Usmanov in and we will be the best club in the world everybody would want to sign for us not the yids.

  61. luke

    Im only confident in Vermaelen out of our CB’s, and even he needs a more disciplined CB playing with him as he bombs forward so much.

  62. Pedro

    Afternoon everyone! Top posting Geoff!

    So Liverpool getting bought out eh? They’ll only be £60mil in debt when it’s all done… that’ll be interesting!

    What do people think of the space invader avatars… I didn’t check back last night?

  63. TOM TOM

    I wonder is part of our injury problems to do with the amount of competition for places and young players in our squad. If you need to play your best in training every week and play against young players eager to impress then you wont get a chance to rest and take it easy during training as your place is at risk. I know if I had competition for my place on my team I’d certainly train alot harder and that could cause injurys

  64. Gooby


    etienne capoue is a proper player, awesome talent i watched him quite a few time, likes to get forward too and does it well

  65. TOM TOM

    Looks like the Arsenal board want to get the debt down as low as possible then hope for a takeover and make lots of money. Debt free club with a big stadium and a decent team means they could sell for maybe 600 million so that means huge money for the current shareholders

  66. zeus

    Pedro or Anyone

    No expert on the financial thing and haven’t read a great deal on the Liverpool front, but how could their debt come down to such a level.

    And if Man Utd was debt free, why would anyone allow the club to be bought on a leveraged buy-out and make a debt free club debt burdened?

  67. Pedro

    Zeus, Boston are sticking £300million into it… clearing all the major debt and that’ll sort it and the yanks will get fuck all!

  68. Pedro

    Who Gooby?

    Zeus, I think they can afford to do it because they’ll just sort the debt then the club is theirs… Hicks and Gillett wanted an additional £140million as a parting gift.

  69. zeus

    Why would the bastards want to sell the club after. We will be generating MASSIVE profits when the debt is cleared at the end of the next financial year. (I think it will happen that soon, 135m is nothing really)

    And then they have a cash cow that the can drink from for the rest of their lives.

  70. TOM TOM

    Thats true Zeus but it looks like thats why they are not investing in the team so the financial results look better so the club would be more attractive if they want to sell. I’m only guessing what they might be thinking but they would make alot of money if the did sell

  71. Gooby


    Yann M’villa 20 years of age, he plays for rennes i watched him live he is a monster, going to be better than essein by next year.

    he’ll play for France this saturday you should take a look, he is unbelievable, nothing gets past him

  72. Pedro

    Zeus, they bought the club for £280mill I think, then they leveraged it against the club, then they ploughed £140mill of their own in…

    They wont get that £140mill back now… the Red Sox will pay the debt off so they’ll only be £60mill in debt.

    RBS gave the Americans the loan… I think they own the whole club. RBS could put Liverpool in administration now if they wanted to… but instead, they’ll sell it from under Hicks and Gillette.

  73. TOM TOM

    The man that bought Liverpool was worth 680 million dollars in 2006 so I doubt he is worth that now with all thats going on. He then spends 300 million pounds on Liverpool and they want a new stadium and new players so I cant see how he can afford all this. My Liverpool friends think its great and say they will challenge City on spending on players but I seriously doubt it. I hope the cunts get relegated

  74. Gooby

    pires is 37, he’s a legend but seems a bit old, maybe he can come off the bench sometimes.

    anyway he hasn’t signed yet

  75. BillikenGooner

    The first thing I thought of when I heard he was training at Arsenal wasn’t that he’d pull a Sol and play for us, but:
    Pires isn’t afraid to fly, maybe he over Bergkamp for the role of successor to Wenger in 3 years?

  76. TOM TOM

    Maybe if Van Der Vaart has a good season then we should sign him,surely he wont want to stay with a little club spurs

  77. gambon

    Ive said this a few times, there wont be any bulk clearing of the debt from here on in.

    Its not about them clearing debt, theyre just accumulating cash for some reason.