Theo upping the class levels | Wenger’s key learnings this year | Arsenal last 16 options

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Another solid weekend of Arsenal football and another dismal result from Chelsea. Listening to AVB talk about the future is almost reminiscent of our last 5 years! It won’t rub over there though… the young Portuguese will be out on his ear by Christmas if he doesn’t shape up fast. I personally think he took on the wrong job. If you want to play attacking free flowing football, you don’t take on a slow, ageing defensive side. Still, it is always great to see the Blue side of West London having a John Terry induced bad time.

That said, as we well know, as quick as you’re down and written off, you’re back contending again. I’m pretty sure Chelsea had a similarly torrid time this time last season.

Arsenal have certainly turned a corner. We’re playing with a new confidence and style and we’re playing with a new found maturity we lacked last year.

Theo Walcott has certainly been a major force in our transformation. He took a bit of an early season pasting from many but he’s knuckled down and he’s turned around his and our season with some top performances.

I think the key to his resurgence has been his improved passing and the timing of his runs. He’s getting in behind defenders and he’s learnt to go it alone through the middle. The predictability of seasons past has disappeared. Sure he still frustrates, but we do forget he’s only a 22. That footballing brain he’s lacked for so long seems to be developing. It’s just a shame he’s playing the, ‘I just want to play football and not think about my contract’ card. We all know what that means. Chelsea were sniffing in the summer, I’ve no doubt Kenny Dalglish will be in for the ex-Liverpool fan and even United might attempt a move.

This sort of problem is why I think the coach is considering his future. He can’t effectively build a team anymore. Players are of the ‘now generation’ just as much as the fans. They don’t want to spend 50% of their career buliding for a glorious future that might never happen. If Wenger does have to contemplate losing Theo, Robin and Song this summer, could he deal with the rebuild process? Does he have the energy, or is that a good exit point?

The trouble with all the contract situations is that they have been the build up of 3 years of not signing players of adequate quality. That said, it seems like Wenger has taken some serious learning from this summer.

1) Signings tall defenders when you’re attrocious from set plays helps the keeper and the team. It might not solve all our ills, but it’s gone a long way to killing the basic strategy crap teams take when playing us.

2) Signing mature players with know how and fight is just as beneficial as signing young players with potential by the bucket load. You need a balance in a team. Arteta isn’t an absolute world beater, but he’s intelligent, he knows how to play the game and he upholds standards in our midfield. The younger players thrive off that maturity and ultimately, the squad is benefiting.

Mertesacker is now the focus of many peoples angst. I think he’s been prematurely slagged much in the same way Koscielny was last season. I think he’ll turn around his fortunes and prove to be an immense buy as the season draws on. He’ll adapt to the pace and he’ll be fine. He’s making basic mistakes, but he wasn’t when he was taking Germany to world cup semi finals and he wasn’t when he was winning German Bundasliga. Being a top player doesn’t disappear over night.

1 Man City 12 31 34
2 Man Utd 12 17 29
3 Newcastle 12 7 25
4 Chelsea 12 8 22

5 Tottenham 10 6 22

6 Liverpool 12 5 22
7 Arsenal 12 3 22
8 Aston Villa 11 1 15

The league is starting to shape up rather nicely. We’re level pegging with Chelsea and Liverpool for games and points. Spurs could go 6 points ahead of us, but their slump hasn’t happened yet. I’m sure it will do. Newcastle aren’t top 4 quality, so I’d imagine they’ll slip down the table over the Christmas period. City are still the team to catch, again, they haven’t had a dip in form yet, but I’m sure it will happen at some point. If 4th was the target this season, being level with Chelsea and Liverpool in late November isn’t the worst eh?

Arsenal players are in the festive mood of giving already. They’re all donating a days wages next weekend which is very kind. If everyone on the payroll did that, they’d be donating £340,821 to the cause which is very generous. I remember a nursing charity did something like this a few  years ago and they only managed to recoup £200,000 of the initial £1million worth of pledges. Premiership footballers, so classy…

Wenger has taken us out of the running for long term target Gary Cahill. Bolton were too greedy in the summer, so he won’t be arriving… which is a shame, because he’s certainly a very good player. I’d imagine Bolton will struggle to recoup much of his value now, a very poor business move in retrospect (in fact, we said it was a poor move at the time).

We play host to a resurgent Dortmund. They’ll arrive at the Emirates full of beans having beaten table toppers Bayern Munich by one goal at the weekend. Don’t go into this game thinking they’ll be a pushover, they have excellent players and a win would be a superb achievement.

1 Arsenal 4 2 2 0 4 2 2 8
2 Marseille 4 2 1 1 4 1 3 7
3 Borussia Dortmund 4 1 1 2 3 7 -4 4
4 Olympiakos 4 1 0 3 4 5 -1 3

If we do beat them, we’ll qualify. Which would be absolutely marvelous. If we lose, things will be wide open again. As it stands, winning would put us up against…

  • Zenit
  • Milan
  • Leverkusen
  • Ajax
  • Benfica
  • CSKA Moscow
I’ll have more on the game tomorrow, until then, have a great day!

If you have 3 Dortmund spares going, let me know, I have a buyer.

304 Responses to “Theo upping the class levels | Wenger’s key learnings this year | Arsenal last 16 options”

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  1. Richard

    Disco Stu. If you speak with Wenger, he will tell you there is nothing wrong with coming second. In fact, he might share his top four trophy with you!

  2. finestcuts

    Thanks to an RVP fuelled resurgence we’re competing for a Champions League spot again. Van Persie is soooo Arsenal, what a winner, what a striker. Not forgetting the team of course, battling it out and putting the hard graft in.
    We have to do everything possible to keep Van Persie, he’s comparable to Messi, and he’s ours……whatever pay he gets no pl.ayers can complain……do they wanna be on a team with him or without him. Come on board…..do what it takes and make sure RVP stays.
    Looking forward to the Dormund game, we can beat anyone at the Emirates, ask Barca.
    Dortmund are a top quality team to be taken with the utmost seriousness, we’ll have to play exceptionally well to keep that at bay, any mistakes and we’ll get punished.

  3. IvoryGoonz

    Just an idea, we might be holding on on Cahill.
    He’s out of contract in the summer, and if Wenger planned a raid, he wouldn’t mark the target with red painting yet…

  4. Richard

    Outside of the top, top teams… the likes of City, Uts, Barca, Real etc, I am just not worried about anyone we face at the moment.

    Should we class Dortmund in their current form as a top team?

  5. Goon from BD

    It has been reported that Andre Villas-Boas called Arsene Wenger in search of advice.

    Avb:I want my team to play like Arsenal. Good attacking football…..so what do I do?

    Arsene:I beleeeeeve you must go through our struggle to completely understand……..ZE PHILOSOPHY.Through this struggle you’ll build…..ZE MENTAL STRENGZZZ. You are a good man. A young, passionate and determined manager. A rather handsome one too. So I am willing to let you have…….ZE HANDBRAKE. You’ve already done a good job by getting a Spanish young midfielder from Barcelona and another left footed gifted Spanish attacker. Roman is having some trouble in the court and it might cost him good money. There could be a lack of investment and your squad is an ageing one.

    So there you go…….. Ageing team, Lack of investment, Spanish La Masia kid, Spanish lefty attacker and I gift you ZE HANDBRAKE ;). And I hope you don’t get sacked in the morning :D.

  6. Trickygooner

    Has anyone noticed Terry’s falling over positions of late?
    Doggie style against us and missionary yesterday, both in a female fuck position and against qpr managing to fuck himself completly. Shame Van der Fart and co can’t fuck themselves up once in a while.

  7. AFC53

    Fair Play to AW after being a stubborn narcisist who couldnt admit he was wrong I have to hold my hands up and say fair play.

    We have to give RVP the world if he wants it ask him what would make him stay he has to be our spear head as he has been a revelation as captain.

    With a couple of Jan additions we could really push for a trophy this year

  8. Josip Skoblar

    AVB is a decent bloke, and certainly one of the brightest coaches in England at the moment. He is also a nice bloke (contrary to Maureen, a smug and a very unpleasant character). AVB just made the wrong choice: wrong team, wrong players, wrong club owner. I don’t see him stay there for much longer. It’s a shame if he leaves the EPL.

  9. Jonas

    City looking pretty god at the moment and agree they will have a dip in form but they may be too far away by then. Spurs will suffer when they have a couple of injuries to main players.

    Plus point for us is that we have already played Man U, Chelsea, Spuds and Newcastle away from home.

  10. Teddybare

    It’s really difficult for AVB trying to make the likes of terry, lampard, drogba and co play football on the ground the way it’s supposed to be played.

  11. goonerboy

    Very good post- and for my money tops anything that Attwood has ever written- that site is full of people living in fairyland.
    Its too early to be writing teams in or out of contention. Arsenal are not nearly as predictable as last year- and there is no easy formula to stop us playing-unlike last year- and that is a huge advance on last year- good as Cesc and Nasri are- our playing pattern was too slow and predictable. Also this team has been stung by criticism after bad results and is showing some guts. This does suggest that the club can get some things right. But take RVP out of the team- and who scores the goals? Park? Chamakh? Walcott good as the latter iis- Don’t make me laugh. Wenger we know is a risk taker with a history of over-optimism about the fitness of key players year after year. Do we do what we have done for the last 3 years and get carried away after a few good results at this time of the year? Has his assertion that we don’t need to buy in January slipped under the radar? It would be insane not to get further striker options and preferably a top defensive midfielder.
    Man City have 2 good teams- but what I saw against Newcastle is that they are beatable- and beatable by our first team with a few backups- and before the AKB go into meltdown about the prospect of buying anyone- yes we do need a centre back- and that does not mean we get rid of Mert. Vertonghen would be an excellent fit.
    Don’t forget we have a really tough game on Wednesday and we need to really deliver to get anything.

  12. Goon from BD

    I wouldn’t mind if AvB gets the sack now and then if Wenger quits takes over Arsenal. Young coach with a young squad wanting to play good football. He has said before he likes how Arsenal work.

  13. Walking Wounded

    Mertesacker cocked up, but previously this season, one mistake and the team would dissolve, now we seem to be able put things like this behind us.

    The team seems confident and in Vermaelen (please stay fit) he is an unbelieveable player and he has recently signed a new contract, I believe.

    So now we have an equal record to Chelsea with the only real difference being the Man Utd drubbing.

    I’m enjoying football again

  14. AFC53

    With a couple of Jan additions I feel a trophy is ours this year FA cup would be a fantastic start for the younger players.

    We could really kick on next year but we have to tie these contacts up sooner rather than later.

  15. Josip Skoblar

    Goon from BD
    I wouldn’t mind AVB to take over at Arsenal. He very much looks like an AFC manager. No English, Italian or Spanish mediocrity, please! AVB and Hiddink would be serious contenders, possibly a German coach as well.

  16. Grassy Knoll

    In January, with Chamakh at the ACN (thankfully), RVP will get injured and we’ll be left with a single striker who hasn’t played 1 minute of EPL football.

    Remind me again what a genius Wenger is?

  17. potter

    Wenger has been quoted as saying that all of his press comments are aimed at his players. So his comments on Cahill have to be looked at in that light. The back line against Norwich worked reasonably well apart from one incident. It will not give them confidence to think that the manager is making changes before they have got their act together. Per Mert has given both Kos and T.V. the confidence to do what they do best ,despite his mistake he is a calming influence. That line up is as good as we are going to get at the moment , so Wenger is right not to rock that particular boat at this time.

  18. abnet

    This for the people who has been doubting theos quality, except Geoff who always believed in him
    ——————————————-
    Myles Palmer
    1997

    “But the squad is far too small. With Bould and Hughes gone, Arsenal need another centreback and another midfielder as well as two strikers.

    And remember, Thierry Henry is not a striker. He is not a goalscorer.

    He scored only 20 goals in 103 games for Monaco. And he did nothing at Juventus.

    Henry is a right-footed left winger who is quick and skilful. He can also play wide on the right.

    Even Arsene Wenger cannot make Henry into a striker.

    So lets get that straight in our minds before we read any more ignorant tosh in the papers. Got it? Thierry Henry is a winger.”
    http://archive.arsenalnewsreview.co.uk/anr.features17.html

  19. abnet

    This for the people who has been doubting theos quality, except Geoff who always believed in him
    ——————————————-
    Myles Palmer
    1998

    “But the squad is far too small. With Bould and Hughes gone, Arsenal need another centreback and another midfielder as well as two strikers.

    And remember, Thierry Henry is not a striker. He is not a goalscorer.

    He scored only 20 goals in 103 games for Monaco. And he did nothing at Juventus.

    Henry is a right-footed left winger who is quick and skilful. He can also play wide on the right.

    Even Arsene Wenger cannot make Henry into a striker.

    So lets get that straight in our minds before we read any more ignorant tosh in the papers. Got it? Thierry Henry is a winger.”
    http://archive.arsenalnewsreview.co.uk/anr.features17.html

  20. GunnerPete

    Goonerboy and other knifers. As an AKB man, I have never been against AFC buying anyone.In fact I have always demanded the club uses up all the money received from sales,but our board had other ideas.
    So your point is as stupid as the knifing of AW and our club you constantly do. What we AKB mob have always said to you knifers is….wait until we get a nearly full side back from long, long, term injuries, and if we are still poor, then have a go at the manager. The very fact that as soon as we got 2/3 back we had lift off, it proved my/our point. You knifers never learn though do you….When we get Jack back , we suddenly have a great squad with depth in every area except one…a goal scorer of the RVP quality…Arsene Im sure will adress that in January.

    Love to see Manure/City without Rooney/silver for 12 weeks or more.

  21. Josip Skoblar

    What’s the difference between Spanish/Italian and Portuguese coaches managing abroad?: the former tend not to adjust well because they can’t learn/speak the language well, so they can’t communicate well with their players and the media. The latter tend to be excellent polyglots (AVB, Maureen and so many others). It’s an important aspect to be successful when managing abroad.

  22. Josip Skoblar

    choy
    Too early to write him off. He’s inherited an ageing squad and, for sure, he needs to adjust to the EPL. The trouble is that Abramovitch will not give him any time to settle. Remember back in 1996: “Arsene who?”, “Inspector Clouzeau”, etc. The rest is history…

  23. Matt

    Now I have another reason to hate ashley cole. If the fucker hadn’t let Johnson waltz past him and Chelsea clung on to the draw, I would have been £540 better off. Cunt!!

  24. arsenal tom

    i doubt AVB will be sacked this year, he made a good point when he said “the owner didn’t spend 15m to get me here just to spend another fortune getting rid of me”

    they’ve brought in younger players to… mata, romeu and lukaku so they’re obviously thinking longer term than before

  25. Radio Raheem

    I agree Mertesacker will come good. He has shown enough already to warrant my belief in him. Until then Koscielny-TV should be our first choice CB pairing.
    In saying that I am quite pleased with the back 4 that started against Norwich. It might just be me but I like seeing mobile CB like Koscielny playing at fullback. I was quite impressed with the way Martin O’Neil’s Villa defended playing 4 CBs. They might not attack that much but they always seem to be very resolute when defending, very disciplined.
    Did anyone else notice the two great cross-field balls Koscielny played for RvP? That back 4 will improve Sagna might even find it difficult getting back in…okay that’s pushing it a lil bit

    By the way good post Pedro

  26. BozinT

    I’ve been following Dortmund for a while now, and I can say that their run this season has been pretty much the same as ours has. They had a bad start, but have gone on a very good run, and that win at Bayern has proved that they must be taken very seriously. Gotze is amazing, but they have very good players as well. Kagawa is also very good, Lewandovski is good in the air but on the ground as well. Good thing I guess, from Arsenal perspective at least, is that Subotic is injured, him and Hummels make a great pairing at the back.

    I love Arsenal, but I have a thing for Dortmund as well. I hope they can both qualify for the next stage.

  27. ola Abdul

    Let AVB dat Arsenal were born wit dia pattern,if he want 2 b playin lik dat in d EPL, he beta com & join Wenger as an assistant 2 get secret.

  28. ola Abdul

    Tel AVB dat Arsenal were born wit dia pattern,if he want 2 b playin lik dat in d EPL, he beta com & join Wenger as an assistant 2 get d secret. No b smal thin o.

  29. NiXKiX

    Anyone else notice how Theo just seems more confident ON the ball now. Now he seems to be comfortable running with the ball. Before, one got the feeling he was only too happy to pass it to Sagna/Cesc/Nasri and run behind the defender…

  30. azed

    abnet says:
    November 21, 2011 at 11:11

    Bayern Munich post €1.3 million profit for 2010/11
    ————————-
    we will give them Squid for that
    …………………………………………
    you are greedy abnet!!!

  31. WengersSweeties

    Good post.

    Mertesacker did make another mistake but to be fair his head didn’t drop and he recovered well.

    I hope this is just a learning curve for him though. Your not always going to make a comeback from mistakes like that one.

    I’ve always rated him but so far this season his concentration levels have been poor at times.

  32. disgruntled gunner(formerlly kunle for fabregas)

    “I personally think he took on the wrong job. If you want to play attacking free flowing football, you don’t take on a slow, ageing defensive side. Still, it is always great to see the Blue side of West London having a John Terry induced bad time.”….. and you don’t take a job at boring, boring Cheslke

  33. sir henry norris

    Grassy Knoll,

    Vermaelin £10m; £Kos 8m; Sanga £7m = £25m

    David Luis £25m….

    Ramsey 5m; Song £1m; Theo £10m = £16m

    Rameries 18m/Valencia £18m/Henderson £20m

  34. ExiledGooner

    Sure I read that Cahill is off to Chelsea – anyway, why would Wenger go and sign someone like that when you have already got 3 good CBs fighting for 2 spots? He wouldnt want the headache of trying to keep 4 of them happy

  35. Tinyspuds

    Mertesacker will come good. He’s played less than 10 PL games for us so far. He’s going to take some time to adapt to the pace of the league. Might take him the rest of the season to get to his best, but to say we need to sign another CB in January to replace him is wrong IMO.

    We could have been out of sight against Norwich by half time, just some poor finishing and some good goal line blocks made the scoreline close. I thought we’d actually struggle more than we did.

    If we can keep this up, we’re going to right amongst the top few teams when we face ManC in the league

  36. WengersSweeties

    I hear Song is refusing to negotiate any further with Arsenal over his contract for the time being.

    What is Song on in terms of pay at Arsenal anyway?

  37. Ezenta Kaycee Peter

    9jaguna,tedy thnk a lot,as pedro said dnt write avb off,is too early coz we actualy wrote of many of our best player of 2 early such as vp,henry,viera,koscienly,walnut,
    avb wil cum gud bt not with an owner who wants miracle in d name of ambition
    maybe he sud give us mata nd continue wit d chavs classless style of playing,gambon,mikel is realy beta dan song

  38. pharo9ja

    I like the feel of the site, well done. I’m filled with morbid fear of loosing RVP,its like u’re in a dream and u knw u’d just have to wake up at some point and face reality.

  39. observer

    ” …4th was the target….”??? who said 4th is our target? After six seasons without even a flake of silver in our kitty, we settle for fourth??? This is what happens when we keep an under-performing coaching team for too long. This is what happens when we have an owner who is only happy with a kick out of just owning a top club. They have collectively killed your ambition, Pedro. And now you are playing Goebbels. Stop it, and lets shout for a new manager who infuses vigour and aggression in the team.

  40. Arsene Nose Best

    Wenger is considering his future?

    Don’t make me laugh.

    Arsenal has given him huge status, global fame, and made him a multi-millionaire.

    And Wenger has transformed the club and won seven trophies, six in thrilling style.

    Yes, I had heard, months ago, from an impeccable source, that this will be his last season.

    Here and there he’s been hinting at leaving.

    For me, all dictatorships become dysfunctional.

    Having hired Gazidis, Wenger now barely speaks to him, or so I’ve often been told.

    No wonder the club hasn’t won anything for six years.

    Myself, I still think Wenger wants to stay at Arsenal for as long as he can because he has made it his French club, made it a vehicle for his ideas, made it a place where he can toughen up youngish French players for the national team.

    He’d love to be around to interview the next CEO, having already interviewed Ivan Gazidis to work under him.

    Clearly, Wenger is past his best but I don’t believe he’ll ever walk.

    He built his place of work and he loves it there. He’s a master media-manipulator who’s now talking to the board and the owner through L’Equipe. He knows he’s more vulnerable than ever before, he knows the board is divided on keeping him, but, in truth, he’s as defiant as always.

    He’s saying to them: See if you can do without me.

    Why does he do this interview now? Because he knows Kroenke will keep him. He says that interview was done three weeks ago and, in that context, the timing makes sense because that was just after he got a ringing endorsement from the American owner, who insists that AW is his man.

    He’s had a good run of wins against Sunderland, Marseille, West Brom, Stoke, Bolton and Norwich, and a big win against Chelsea side that’s in meltdown, and he thinks he’s Mr Indispensable.

    Please forgive me for not believing that the greatest spin-doctor in the history of organised sport has bared his soul to a French sports paper.

    He’s been saying that he’s come back from hell this season. If it was hell, he made his own hell with no help from anybody else. If he got smashed 8-2 by Manchester United, and beaten 4-3 by relegation candidates Blackburn, it was because of his hang-ups and his denial.

    He refused to believe that both Fabregas and Nasri would leave, dithered in the transfer market, and ended up grabbing an odd handful of experienced players in the last three days of the window.

    Arsenal’s summer was a shambles and that was down to Wenger, who at some point was always going to say : I’m happy with the players I bought.

    His dictatorship has made Arsenal so stale that thousands of fans don’t use their season tickets.

    His Youth Project failed, his current style of football is one-dimensional because the team lacks power, so the club badly needs a change, a different culture, some British ayers that fans can identify with, not mercenaries who leave when more money is on offer elsewhere.

    Just wish some of my readers could have been at Alex Fynn’s talk last Thursday night.

    A few were, actually, and introduced themselves.

    One theme was : the Board should challenge Wenger more. It was clear from that seminar that the most discerning Gooners all think their team shouldn’t have the same first team coach and the same assistant manager for 16 years.

    Even Wenger loyalists who follow the messiah’s every utterance now admit he constantly contradicts himself. I don’t follow his utterances. But some are relayed to me by phone, and others emailed by friends and readers.

    On Sunday afternoon, a phone call : “Your mate Philippe Auclair was on talkSport from Stamford Bridge and said there’s a widening gap between Wenger and the board.”

    My friend also mentioned that Wenger had said Bolton were greedy. Other friends were taken aback by that too. Why say Bolton were greedy on the Gary Cahill fee? Greedy? Every smaller club is greedy when richer clubs come in for their best players. How can he make insulting bids for players and not sign them and then, three months later, call Bolton greedy?

    Was Oxlade-Chamberlain worth £12m now and £3m more later? Nobody can tell how teenage footballers will develop, as characters or as players.

    I like AOC a lot, as we all do. But AOC is a big gamble. The future for AOC is an uncertain one. All we know is that he is, like thousands of other teenagers, a very promising footballer who might, if he’s lucky, go all the way.

    Bottom line, AW wants to be known as a talent-spotter, wants the glory of developing them into stars, so that other kids will want to join him, so he can go on selling the future to gullible media and blindly loyal punters.

    His crucial misconception lies in thinking the best of his young players will love him as much as he loves them and stay long enough to become champions, as happened with Vieira and Henry. Fabregas and Nasri left him in 2011. Is Wenger going to cry about that for the rest of his life? Will he always moan that his grand project was wrecked by the departure of Fabregas and Nasri?

    I’ve read and digested all Wenger’s quotes but I’m not gonna discuss them one by one. There’s no point in analysing the spiel of a spin-doctor.

    My considered view is that great managers have to be pragmatic, not theoretical and strategic. Deal with now, win now, the future will take care of itself. Football is about the next match, the next trophy. Liverpool think like that, Manchester United do too.

  41. Ezenta Kaycee Peter

    We nid 4 gud defender,but cahil will kill bartley nd miguel,lykwise podolski killing chamak who is trying hard to find form,fuck wenger,plr dnt waste our winter transfer

  42. ExiledGooner

    @Pedro – I understand the need to have 4 CBs, the point i was trying to make is whether Cahill would want to come from a club where he is guarenteed a game every week to a club where he is fighting it out with 3 other CBs that are either on a par in terms of quality, or perhaps even slightly better – and would Wenger who is notorious for wanting a happy camp, want to deal with 4 CBs grumbling about getting a game each week? Surely its best to have 3 that you can rotate and a 4th up and coming CB that can learn and develop coming in and covering for the odd cup game etc?

  43. Ezenta Kaycee Peter

    Arsene nose best
    repeating al d grumble here wil nt help,just supot wenger n his boys nd let enjoy our positive run wit d scum losing 2day

  44. Radio Raheem

    Arsene Nose Best says:
    November 21, 2011 at 12:17
    ——————————————-

    That post is flawed in so many ways but it may yet have been vaguely relevant if it had been posted in August or September.

  45. Arsene Nose Best

    My friend also mentioned that Wenger had said Bolton were greedy. Other friends were taken aback by that too. Why say Bolton were greedy on the Gary Cahill fee? Greedy? Every smaller club is greedy when richer clubs come in for their best players. How can he make insulting bids for players and not sign them and then, three months later, call Bolton greedy?

    L O O O O O O O O L

  46. sir henry norris

    Agree with the notion that any top team needs 4 qaulity CB, however we already have them club. Furthermore Wenger has stated that we will not be bidding for Gary Cahillin the Jan transfer window, that ship has sailed when our bid was knocked back.

  47. abnet

    Wenger: Yes, I said that and I still think it. I know that my recruitment has been criticised, but personally I think I have succeeded beyond my own hopes. I’m happy with Gervinho, Mertesacker, Santos, Park, Benayoun and Arteta. I’ve never signed so many players (so quickly) before, although I didn’t really have a choice.

  48. Goon in 60 Seconds

    myles palmer has no credibility, if you read what he wrote after the Barca win, he can not criticise Wenger anymore and still retain respect. He is a fair weather fan, a C&nt

  49. IvoryGoonz

    Exiled gooner: if we are running for all trophies, it makes sense having 4 top CBs you rotate by pair, like Vermaelen+Mertesacker/Koscielny+Vertonghen and a 5th CBs with cover for other position – I proposed Yanga Mbiwa who fits the bill.
    If you only plan for 3 top CBs, then as soon as one of them is injured, you’re one injury away from catastrophe.
    To run all trophies, you do need 2 top players per position, and a third one for cover.
    So if we play with 2CBs, we need 5.

  50. Goon in 60 Seconds

    not everyone who is well known and talked about has “credibility”. My point was about what he wrote after the Barca win, that Wenger’s way is the right way, he wrote it, he has to deal with a lack of repect due to inconsistency

  51. abnet

    myles palmer is c****t and has no class just only hate towards arsenal, he acts like an arsenal fan but he is not just look what he had to say in early TH14 days

  52. abnet

    Wenger: It’s true, a new cycle is starting. When we left Highbury, I set my sights on a long-term project with a young team. It didn’t produce the results I’d hoped for. Yes, we have to rebuild.

  53. Keyser

    Pedro – Heh, did you manage any insight into his minds inner workings sitting next to him ?!

    Is he a cantankerous old fool, or he is a younger man playing a character to generate a certain image for his ramblings.

    I guess being a fellow bloggite you’d appreciate the way he winds fans up knowing as Arsenal fans he’ll have a constant viewing public regardless, though at the same time as a fan surely you’d see the constant contradictions in his posts to know he shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

  54. abnet

    Josip Skoblar says:
    November 21, 2011 at 12:47
    abnet
    Arsene is now clearly admitting his past errors. Give credit where credit is due.
    ————————–
    i’m one of the first to give him credit he deserve mate,

  55. Pedro

    Keyser, he’s old school, late sixties I reckon… He just doesn’t like Wenger. I think he has plenty of valid points, they just might not resonate right now because we’re winning.

    Give me an opinion over half the durge that is in the blogosphere any day of the week.

  56. abnet

    LOVE THIS
    ———————
    L’Equipe: Why are you smiling?

    Wenger: I was thinking about a 10 year old kid who might have come to watch Arsenal for the first time with his dad in 1996. I was thinking that he’d now be 25, and he will have known only one chap on the bench. That makes me think I’m the manager of an entire generation.

  57. chris

    Myles Palmer isn’t an arsenal fan at all

    He writes from a personal viewpoint on football generally and he hates it when Arsenal aren’t ambitious/exciting because he’s got less to write about

    He doesn’t like Wenger primarioly because he used to have “speecial” access when he was writing his book and now he doesn’t.

    Bottom line: he’s a bit of an up-his-own-arse egotist –
    But he still says some interesting things and he’s got some excellent insights.

    PS I agree Theo will never be as good as Henry

  58. sir henry norris

    Ivory: Really?? 5 (five) CB, Per Mert, Vermaelin, Kos, JD, Squid, Cahil, one more for luck Vertonghen.

    Gosh! it seems with every goal conceded we need to buy another???

    You can not run a club based on weather or not we will pick up a glut of injuries in any one particular position. In the end top notch players want to play all the time.

  59. Josip Skoblar

    I’ve just read the translation of the Wenger interview first published in L’Equipe. I think it’s a great interview. For once, lots of sensible and useful questions from the journo, and AW gives direct and fair answers. He is self-critical, sensible and shows passion and loyalty for the club. Why, oh why, did things unravel so badly last summer?…
    I like this Q&A type of interview. The questions and answers are clear cut. I don’t like the practice in English newspapers which consists of merely giving a broad account of what the interviewee said, with few or no quotes. You end up with fairly inaccurate and uninteresting interviews.

  60. IvoryGoonz

    SHN: well, you name Squillaci and Djourou in there. Even Wenger is proving me right. He’s got currently 5CBs + Miquel. Miquel won’t be ready next season and should be sent on loan for 2 years.
    Replace Squillaci and InDjoury by Vertonghen + Mbiwa, and you also got cover for DRLC and DM, and get rid of 2 injury prone players.

  61. Tinyspuds

    @Josip

    Unfortunately headlines sell newspapers, so you get an interesting interview like that (albeit maybe a little soft) and all the headlines are about Wenger leaving in the summer. The reality is of course different, but who’s going to buy a paper / click on their website when they read “Wenger to stay on till end of contract” on newsnow

  62. Radio Raheem

    True, top notch player will want too play all the time. Certain players are guaranteed their positions even in so called ‘top’ clubs.

    If Terry wasn’t a shoe in starter he’d have been relegated to the bench ages ago. His performances have been pretty poor for a while now.

    TV & RvP are guaranteed starting places at ours.

    Rooney, Silva, Kompany, Evra etc. are all guaranteed starters if fit and I’m sure would demand as much for any club they joined.

    If we signed Cahill, with all the hype surrounding him, he’ll probably demand a starting place in the team something I don’t think he deserves. In my opinion Koscielny is a better CB and I mean last season’s version too!

  63. Josip Skoblar

    Agreed Tinyspuds.
    After reading the translation, you wonder why we got in the English press all those headlines about Wenger leaving in the Summer. He doesn’t say that anywhere in the interview. As you, “headlines sell newspapers”…

  64. Keyser

    Pedro – They might not resonate because I’m obviously biased, but it’s easy to pick apart his thought process regardless of whether we’re winning or not.

    So it begs the question does he realise this, like many bloggers, or does he simply not care.

    “Give me an opinion over half the durge that is in the blogosphere any day of the week.”

    That’s it really goes back to when we were discussing how long a journalist or how far credability can be stretched.

    If the rest of the blogosphere is soo dire, then it doesn’t really matter. He’s not an Arsenal fan, he has adverts on his site, and his particular style of opinionated observation obviously sells.

  65. visionary

    glad per is being cut some slack, after-all he is no silvester, cygan or stepanos and his height is a much needed necessity to our defence which is something we should of addressed years ago.

  66. Pedro

    Keyser, I’m pretty sure when you get to his age, you just say what you think… It might be negative, but that doesn’t make him any less of a fan.

    As for adverts… not sure what relevance that has. I don’t think there are many out there regardless of quality that don’t have adverts. Signing up to a network has nothing to do with being sellable.

  67. Radio Raheem

    If given the chance I’m sure many “Arsenal fans” would do the same to Song, maybe worse, and then donate their life earnings to poor Joey Barton.

  68. sir henry norris

    Ivory:

    Vertonghen/Mbwia current market is circa 15m, granted Squillaci may well be out of the club come end of Jan but is Vertonghen 15m better than Djourou??

    Moot points, as we will not buying a CB in January.

    Think we need to move on from this mindeset of losing games and replacing the team with players that are not available or imho needed.

  69. Keyser

    Pedro – He’s said he’s not a fan, it’s not about being negative, it’s about talking bollocks and being at a point where he doesn’t really give a shit either way.

    “My considered view is that great managers have to be pragmatic, not theoretical and strategic. Deal with now, win now, the future will take care of itself. Football is about the next match, the next trophy. Liverpool think like that, Manchester United do too.”

    That’s a fine statement to make, but then his examples are silly, Liverpool had won 18 league titles by the 90’s, they haven’t won a single Premier League one.

    United have been as dominant as they have by constantly trying to keep ahead of the curve.

    “As for adverts… not sure what relevance that has. I don’t think there are many out there regardless of quality that don’t have adverts. Signing up to a network has nothing to do with being sellable.”

    It has obvious relevance because they’re there for a reason, though that reason can differ. My point is/was does he realise how flawed his arguments are or is he simply stretching whatever credibility he has to satisfy advertisers.

    Like you say there’s a durge of Arsenal blogs, and it seems that this has created a comfort zone where you can write pretty much what you want.

  70. RayGooner

    You put up Milan as a possible opponent if we win our group, but if Milan beat Barcelona at San Siro then i bet you we will get Barcelona again…

  71. Pedro

    Keyser, he’ll have a pretty stable readership regardless of what he writes. You don’t satisfy advertisers in the world of online. They just pay you for what you give them in terms of traffic.

    Liverpool haven’t won a League, but they’ve won a Champions League and plenty of cups. I understand what he’s saying there. That winning is top priority there… more so with United, Chelsea and City.

    Not many clubs would have allowed a manager to go on such a losing streak at the end of last season then take his buying to the last day. That’s a bad mentality.

    I don’t know what you mean about being ahead of the curve… you mean, being better than everyone else because they invest a huge amount of their resource into their squad and strive to be the best?

    That should be what we’re doing. £53million in the bank and the state of our squad isn’t good business.

  72. Keyser

    Pedro – Regardless of what he writes ? It should be because of what he writes, or do you mean he’s created that for himself already.

    Which is what my point was, he’s at a point where he’s either become very sloppy, or just doesn’t care. Is this because the durge is soo bad he can afford to or because he earns as it is.

    “I don’t know what you mean about being ahead of the curve… you mean, being better than everyone else because they invest a huge amount of their resource into their squad and strive to be the best?”

    When Liverpool were absolutely rampant and top of the English football sphere, United didn’t think about the present they thought constantly about the future, fergie didn’t win anything for 5 years and instead built for the future, when Blackburn came in with their money he again responded with youth.

    It’s always to stay ahead of the curve, they built up their stadium at regular intervals and in 2003 when they were being questioned again it allowed them to spend heavily again to readdress the balance.

    Liverpool and United contradict each other in that respect. The mentalities were different, to claim them as the same is simply wrong.

  73. Tinyspuds

    @Pedro

    I do wonder whether Myles Palmer is occasionally contrary to get that extra traffic though. Some nice inflammatory comments, and people start talking about his site, and suddenly more people are clicking on to it. After all arseblog, eastlower, ACLF et al. all posted a relatively rosy (and IMO correct) review of the Norwich game, and we’re not discussing them.

    I also get the feeling that he somehow feels betrayed by Wenger, and he now wants him to fuck up. Thogh maybe I’m just reading too much into it.

    Personally I like reading his site because it quite often makes me laugh

  74. Keyser

    Nkoulou was ridiculously quick against us in both legs, he kept pace with almost anyone he faced, thought on the other side, he did look pretty slight.

  75. Radio Raheem

    Yeah Keyser, he is quite slight but that shouldn’t be a problem I think. One would think Koscielny is twice the size of Mertesacker the way Mertesacker kept getting knocked over on Saturday.

  76. Pedro

    Keyser, I don’t think United strategised that they’d win it with youth. They had an amazing stroke of luck that a crop of incredible talent came through at the right time. They haven’t replicated that since. It has to also be noted that those kids had plenty of experience around them as well.

    Myles can afford to keep writing what he does because people like you click the link and talk about him.

    Tinyspuds, I read his site, I don’t always agree, but it makes you think and he raises some good points…

  77. Keyser

    TinySpuds – Why betrayed ? Heh, I’ve thought along the same lines, maybe his book doesn’t sell as well now.

    “I do wonder whether Myles Palmer is occasionally contrary to get that extra traffic though. Some nice inflammatory comments, and people start talking about his site, and suddenly more people are clicking on to it.”

    I don’t think he’d be able to deny that, but at times it stretches to pitiful lengths, I was just wondering if he realised it and it’s a conscious effort to be contrary and infammatory.

    Whether the slightly old school xenophobic nature of his comments is a character trait he taps into knowing full well the effects or is he just that dated.

  78. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – Both Koscielny and Vermaelen rely quite heavily on being pre-emptive when dealing with physical threats, they rush in tight and harry the player before he has time to react, though Vermaelen seems to have muscled up a bit since we first saw him.

    Just think Mertesackers a bit slower like a target man defender, maybe he got more time in Germany too.

  79. IvoryGoonz

    SHN: then why are you even discussing Cahill?
    You’re the moot here.
    We’re talking what we could be doing.
    Do you really think I think Wenger’s gonna buy anyway?
    Won’t prevent me from suggesting options.
    As soon as I made my point on the 5 and bring the Wenger card you stop talking about it and change subject…
    Analyse that.

  80. Radio Raheem

    You might need to do an interview with Miles, Keyser. You seem far too interested in a guy that writes a load of crap online.
    I can say I have read Miles once, okay twice if I include what BBK posted earlier. Maybe it’s just me but I am yet to see what the fuss is about this chap. He is just far too wrong to be engaging…it’s like reading an extremist’s manifesto – madness (i.e. that belief or a wholehearted belief that there is a value of truth in what is an imagination…).

  81. Keyser

    Pedro – It goes against the notion that they were constantly pragmatic and not concerned with the future, Fergie actively went out to re-cruit many of those youth players so he must have been thinking further ahead than simply that season whether it worked or not doesn’t really matter.

    Of course it keeps people clicking, just wondering if he knows there’s a durge and he cam manipulate his position through what he writes.

  82. Richard

    To be perfectly frank, there is absolutely no point discussing Myles Palmer and his views, at least their is no more point discussing him than discussing Tony Attwood. Both are so determined their views of all things Arsenal are correct, they will never be able to see from another point of view.
    Over the years I have read both of their blogs. Sometimes both of them make valid argumemnts, but frankly, sifting through the meaningle bollocksy drivel that they write gives me a headache.

    There are far better things to talk about on here. First up…. do you reckon the players shag their partners the night before a game, or go like boxers and abstain in the build-up???

  83. Josip Skoblar

    “Myself, I still think Wenger wants to stay at Arsenal for as long as he can because he has made it his French club, made it a vehicle for his ideas, made it a place where he can toughen up youngish French players for the national team.” (Myles Palmer).

    I agree with you, Keyser, about the “slightly old school xenophobic nature of his comments”. This is no punditry or serious commentary. The last sentence of the paragraph shows that he’s no insider and has no clue.

  84. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – It’s more to do with how you can manipulate your readership by pushing buttons rather than you’re genuine honest opinion.

    Like us on here, what purpose does it serve us discussing things on here it won’t get me out of my mum’s basement but we keep coming back.

    Or like The Sun and other tabloids reporting the same News from around the World, except one’s got a pair of tits on Page 3.

  85. Keyser

    Josip Skoblar – Heh, I’ve gone on too long, was just wondering if he’s well a bit of a racist, or he knows that talk of foreigners will push certain buttons in his readership minds.