Thierry Henry, is this the right move? | Gourcuff deal | Arsenal kid set to stay

by & filed under News Review.

Merry Christmas eve, one and all, even the poor folk of religions that don’t celebrate Christmas. Not that I’m religious. My religion is consumerism, and tomorrow is my day, and what a day it’ll be. Starting this evening, with a bucket load of beer and a pub so packed it’d make an Indian train feel spacier than a New York penthouse flat.

In today’s festive news, Arsene Wenger is talking about bringing king Thierry back for a few months. He’s the ideal solution says the coach, but he’ll need Christmas day to think about it as the question hasn’t been raised by either party so far.

Yeah right.

I feel sorry for Arsene’s family this Christmas. Not only do they have to put up with gifts from last years January sales, gifts Wenger thought had potential (like MySpace store credit), they’ll now have to deal with him sitting in his thinking room all day mulling an obvious decision.

Now, I can appreciate that for most Arsenal fans, this is a totally emotional decision. We’re not thinking straight about this, all we’re thinking about is him coming in, showing the form he used to, then taking off in 2 months time. Now, that might happen, but we have to be realistic. He’s a fantastic player, he’s still far more capable that Park and Chamakh, but for me, if we can, we should still be looking around Europe to see if there are any other players available that are younger and ready for the move. Patching up a creeking squad with players who were once great isn’t moving us forward.

Still, we’ll know in 7 days either way…

“The 1st of January is the vital date for us. I will make a decision in the next seven days on players. I promise.”

People keep saying players aren’t available in January. Again, I’m not sure why people think this is true. Sure, top players in England aren’t available this time of year, but around the rest of Europe where plenty of clubs can’t afford to pay salaries, there are sure to be players available. The only time players aren’t about is if you’re not interested. Now, the simple facts are that we need a striker, which may be taken care off, we need someone else to shoulder the creative burden, which could be Gotze. Or, more likely, it could be Gourcuff.

The Frenchman seems like a cheaper alternative to Gotze, but every week that passes seems another week he’s closer to one of the power houses making an offer. Gourcuff seems much more our cup of tea. A player who comes with a reputation as a bit of a bad boy. A player perhaps lacking the motivation to fulfill his potential and a player who has huge talent ready to burst in the right environment.

I remember watching him a few seasons ago when he was on fire at Bordeaux. He was incredible. He has superb technique, he is built like Kaka and he glides across the pitch in the same way. He really did look that package back then and I see no reason why at 25 he couldn’t look the business once more. Arsenal rescued Marc Overmars, we did the same for Paddy and we did the same Thierry. Even Adebayor, Robert Pires and Hleb came to us on the back of bad news.

I’m still holding out for Podolski… that would be nice eh?

In other news, I’ll be kick starting a Le Grove podcast next week with Alex Fynn. He wrote the book, Arsenal – The making of a modern super club. He has close ties with everyone at Arsenal, even Gunnersaurus, so he’ll be able to give you some fascinating insight into how the club is running, what David Dein is up to, why Peter Hill-wood talks to the Daily Star and pretty much anything you want to know about the clubs finances and inner workings.

If you have any questions you’d like to put forward, let me know and I’ll drop them down on my state of the art iPad and take them along with me.

On the injury news, there’s finally been some good news in the media. That’s the news that Bacary Sagna is back in training. He played a practice match in front of the Junior Gunners yesterday. As you’ll remember, I told you he was back in training last week. No, seriously, don’t thank me, it’s just part of my job.

If he’s back at the end of January, like I also told you, that’ll be bloody amazing news. Not so amazing news is that Gibbs has to have surgery again, putting him out of action for another 4 weeks with an option for a another 4 followed by a 2 week set back.

Finally, Francis Coquelin has been offered a pay rise and maybe the chance to go out on loan this January. Good news for the versatile midfielder, he’s looked very solid for most of his outings this season and I’ve no doubt we have a bit of a player on our hands!

Right, that’s your lot. Enjoy your evening and have a great time whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re doing it!

See you on Christmas day for a prerecorded broadcast to the nation!

Oh, and topic for the day, if Arsene was your secret Santa, what would you buy him for Christmas?

P.S. If you want something social mediarish, here’s how Christmas would look if Twitter planned it

292 Responses to “Thierry Henry, is this the right move? | Gourcuff deal | Arsenal kid set to stay”

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  1. Fanboy


    “Where’s my foreskin” isnt the most comfortable conversation I could have with my mother, so I came up with a few theories the worst of which are:

    1. It was fed to an animal somewhere (eew!)

    2. Its marinating in preserving fluid and locked in a safe somewhere (double eew! although with the kinds of crap she keeps that’s probably the case)

  2. Bade

    I think Song’s daya as an Arsenal player are numbered

    It’s the best timing to sell him, he’s having an Ade/Flamini season, so we’ll get the most out of him

    He’s a good player, but geed enough when you’r aspirations are as high as 4th

    If we look further than that, Song just isn’t enough …..

  3. Bade


    Looking closely and deeply at option one, in some twisted circle of life, you might have had your foreskin back, recycled as ham or bacon…… ๐Ÿ˜†

  4. AJ

    I think wenger will get in only temporary signings, Henry and someone at left back. Do you guys remenber a AC Milan guy training with us. Taiwo, I think, he will sign.
    cahill to chelsea done?

  5. jack

    merry xmas everyone.

    I dont give a damn who the deluded clown signs to be honest. im just after watching premiership years 01/02 on sky sports. compare and contrast anyone. its so sad to see the ambition of The Arsenal become a money making organisation and a bonus if we get top 4. ivan, arsene and the board can delude all you fans with all this transfer bollocks you are coming out with. no wonder Geoff is pissed off posting on legrove as delusions have taken over from some AKBs.
    My wish for new year is that its wengers last one.

  6. Fanboy

    ’tis the season to get wasted falalalalalalalala
    So open up another one of those cases falalalalalalala

    Hope I got enough la’s

  7. goonermart

    Bade says:
    December 24, 2011 at 11:56


    I thought the re-signing of Campbell was a great move back then


    I agree Bade that he was probably our best defender when he came back, but I think we should be a bit more forward thinking rather than bringing players back that are past their glorious best.

    Also it speaks volumes for our squad that the former players are still better than players in our squad.

  8. flinky

    Taiwo is bad solution.. trust me..
    I wish : Podolski (LW,ST) and Vertonghen (CB,LB)

    Arsenal last years–> treading water ๐Ÿ™

  9. Josip Skoblar

    PSG just signed Beckham, why wouldn’t we sign Thierry for a few months? Ha! Ha!
    Just back from a holiday in Lisbon. I saw Benfica play at home and win 5-1. Nice game.

  10. Fanboy

    Looking at our defence at full strenght, the right side defends better than the left while the left attacks better, a good blend?

    Left (Santos, TV5). Right (Kozzer, Bak)

  11. Josip Skoblar

    While I was abroad I was disappointed to hear that Kenny agreed with his players’ silly show of support for their striker. Kenny, you LFC glory, you should know better ( I saw him play several times ar Highbury in the 1970s and the lad was a great striker).

  12. Drmaadh

    Why not Jnr Hoillet. He ran rings around Sagna when we played them. Could be a star. How difficult is it gonna be to get him since Gotze/hazarad are beyond our means.

  13. Richard

    When I was a kid, my brother told me the foreskin’s were fed to hamsters.
    Or wait, did he say gerbils?

    Either way, they end up back in a warm and furry home.

  14. Richard

    When I was a kid, my brother told me the foreskins were fed to hamsters.
    Or wait, did he say gerbils?

    Either way, they end up back in a warm and furry home.

  15. Bade

    Goonermart, IG

    Agree that TH14 isn’t enough alone

    I posted earlier he’s an asset more off pitch than on pitch, though he’s probably still way better than Chamakh and Park

    I think him being on the squad will make Theo a gigantic striker. Mark my words. Such an experienced player will be the best way we can refine the diamond Theo might be

  16. Bade


    Re Taiwo, he’s an amazing player. I’d take him on a permanent deal to be honest.

    I never understood his move to Milan

    Almost as stupid as Flamini’s …..

  17. Drmaadh

    They are beyond us because the clubs have no reason to sell, and the players don’t particularly want to come to us.

    Don’t forget we will not pay over the odds, to force the hand of any club.

    I read that Hoilett has contract till summer 2012. Is he not good enough for us.

  18. ivorygoonz

    Bade: Im not sure why he left OM tbh. not like AC Milan is bigger than OM these days, but financially, probably made more sense for his career, but being black in Italy is not as easy as he might have thought…
    I’d have snapped him up if I had been Wenger.
    would have been a better option than Gibbs anyway, and fitter than Santos, and he would have come free.
    (and would have been a great signings for all our Nigerian fans ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  19. Bade


    I think Vertonghen, De Rossi are realist targets.

    Cavani will come only if we splash. Schweinsteiger the same, but both worth every penny

    Also, if we ship out enough dross and kids that will never make it, that will free enough money to sign 5 world class player

  20. ivorygoonz

    Bade: question is how long will it take for Wenger to realise all the dross he’s got, and how long it will take for him to actually free up the room, even if it’s to give it to charity.

  21. ivorygoonz

    Bade: Vertonghen, De Rossi, Cavani, Schweinsteiger.
    whoever signed Mertesacker can do it. so, yes, it’s still realistic.
    but it took an 8-2 and a lot of losses to force some hands… what is it gonna take to get those 4?

  22. Pierre

    I am a Lyon/Arsenal supporter and I thought I’d give some feedback re; Gourcuff

    There is a lot of whining about Gourcuff but that’s who Arsenal are going to get. Wenger has wanted him since he was 17!

    Don’t believe me? Read Wenger’s own blog on Eurosport only 3 or so months ago !

    Wenger regularly drools over Gourcuff in the French press, he’s compared him to Platini and Zidane often.

    You also forget that he’s a close friend of his father and the same footballing philosophy is shared among the three.

    Gourcuff’s failure at Lyon is due to several reasons, firstly, Lyon do not play a short passing game conducive to Gourcuff’s ability, the side is too dependent upon individuals and the collective play is almost zero. Secondly, Lyon wanted to capitalise on Gourcuff financially through merchandise and marketing, even creating a brand called “YG29” – hence when he joined Lyon he had a special presentation with 20,000 supporters – this put enormous pressure on him – the boy doesn’t have a bad attitude, he’s introverted, quiet, shy and also a mega nerd. Thirdly, under Claude Puel, Gourcuff was often used as a defensive midfielder because Lisandro Lopez wanted to play with Gomis. The same has happened under Remi Garde.

    Gourcuff also has suffered enormous abuse from the French press much like Robert Pires at Marseille (hence Pires is a huge supporter of Gourcuff joining Arsenal). Wenger took Pires from Marseille and rekindled his career. The French press abuse him because he’s different and an interesting target – he’s highly educated, an intellectual of sorts, doesn’t believe in ‘bling bling’, night clubs, etc – he’s often voted the most ‘liked’ footballer in France because he sets a good example for youngsters! (regarded as the ‘perfect son’).

    Wenger is going to get an absolute bargain here – you can forget about Goetze. No player in France received as much comparisons as Gourcuff to Zidane or even Platini – put under proper conditions at Arsenal, he will once again reach these heights.

    Also don’t forget, Zidane had never achieved as much as Gourcuff at this age, Zidane won the world cup at 25! His career blossomed from there, prior to that he was nothing and Aime Jacquet was even lambasted for selecting him in the 98 French side! Gourcuff will achieve great things with Arsenal under Wenger!

  23. Lurch LeRouge

    thanks for the Intel Pierre, thats the most concise insight we’ve had so far I think…

    what was your honest opinion of Chamakh as a signing, for a little context? ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Lurch LeRouge

    translation of the link in Pierres post…

    Gourcuff has too much talent to disappear
    I think Yoann Gourcuff will return. It is not too young to do so. It has often been very great talent to have a small hole between 22 and 24. Either because they changed their club, either because they sometimes lose a little concentration. It may also come from medical concerns, but they always come back.

    I think we did not see Yoann Gourcuff last year. But he showed too much before that … I know him since he was 17 years old and has too much talent for disappearing like that and too much personal ambition as well.

    The environment is less disruptive Lyon today. The season has started, the team runs pretty well. He returned in a more easy. Last year when he arrived, the bells and whistles expected of him. It was a big transfer. It was not the most psychologically. The graft may have been a little lost. But I think in a context where Lyon is under pressure this year, it will be easier for him to return to the team.

    Rรฉmi Garde made โ€‹โ€‹a good start. He knows the game very well and the players. It has a clear vision of what he wants to do. I think it will help Yoann. This is an interesting challenge for a coach to help players have an exceptional talent but who find themselves in a period where it does not work too much in their careers.

    I am interested in Yoann Gourcuff because at one time it was available. Unfortunately, we were in a hurry. We had players faster performance. It was at that point in the process of surgery. The timing was not good for us. But I had learned about his medical condition. Unfortunately, we were in doubt because it was the case Nasri and Fabregas on the back. It was not clear if they would leave or not.

  25. goonermart

    Nice one Pierre, thanks for taking the time to write your post, after reading your piece Gourcuff sounds a very interesting prospective signing.

  26. Lurch LeRouge

    ุฌูˆุฑูƒูˆู ูˆุงู„ูƒุซูŠุฑ ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ูˆุงู‡ุจ ู„ุชุฎุชููŠ
    ุฃุนุชู‚ุฏ ูŠูˆุงู† ุฌูˆุฑูƒูˆู ุณูŠุนูˆุฏ. ู„ูŠุณ ุตุบูŠุฑุง ุฌุฏุง ู„ู„ู‚ูŠุงู… ุจุฐู„ูƒ. ูู‚ุฏ ูƒุงู† ููŠ ูƒุซูŠุฑ ู…ู† ุงู„ุฃุญูŠุงู† ู…ูˆู‡ุจุฉ ูƒุจูŠุฑุฉ ุฌุฏุง ู„ุฏูŠู‡ุง ุซู‚ุจ ุตุบูŠุฑ ุจูŠู† 22 ูˆ 24. ุฅู…ุง ู„ุฃู†ู‡ุง ุชุบูŠุฑ ู†ุงุฏูŠู‡ู…ุŒ ุฅู…ุง ู„ุฃู†ู‡ู… ููŠ ุจุนุถ ุงู„ุฃุญูŠุงู† ูŠูู‚ุฏ ุงู„ุชุฑูƒูŠุฒ ู‚ู„ูŠู„ุง. ู‚ุฏ ูŠุฃุชูŠ ุฃูŠุถุง ู…ู† ุงู„ุงู‡ุชู…ุงู…ุงุช ุงู„ุทุจูŠุฉุŒ ูˆู„ูƒู†ู‡ุง ุชุฃุชูŠ ุฏุงุฆู…ุง ุงู„ู‰ ุงู„ูˆุฑุงุก.

    ุฃุนุชู‚ุฏ ุฃู†ู†ุง ู„ู… ู†ูƒู† ู†ุฑู‰ ูŠูˆุงู† ุฌูˆุฑูƒูˆู ู…ู† ุงู„ุนุงู… ุงู„ู…ุงุถูŠ. ู„ูƒู†ู‡ ุฃูˆุถุญ ุฃู† ุงู„ูƒุซูŠุฑ ู…ู† ู‚ุจู„… ุฃู†ุง ุฃุนุฑูู‡ ู…ู†ุฐ ุฃู† ูƒุงู† ุนู…ุฑู‡ 17 ุนุงู…ุง ูˆู„ุฏูŠู‡ ุงู„ูƒุซูŠุฑ ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ูˆุงู‡ุจ ู„ุชุฎุชููŠ ู…ุซู„ ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุทู…ูˆุญ ุงู„ุดุฎุตูŠ ูˆุงู„ูƒุซูŠุฑ ุฃูŠุถุง.

    ุงู„ุจูŠุฆุฉ ู‡ูˆ ุฃู‚ู„ ุถุฑุฑุง ู„ูŠูˆู† ุงู„ูŠูˆู…. ู…ูˆุณู… ุจุฏุฃุชุŒ ูˆูุฑูŠู‚ ูŠุนู…ู„ ุจุดูƒู„ ุฌูŠุฏ ุฌุฏุง. ุนุงุฏ ููŠ ุณู‡ู„ ุงุฎุฑู‰. ููŠ ุงู„ุนุงู… ุงู„ู…ุงุถูŠ ุนู†ุฏู…ุง ูˆุตู„ุŒ ูˆุฃุฌุฑุงุณ ูˆุตูุงุฑุงุช ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ุชูˆู‚ุน ู„ู‡. ูƒุงู†ุช ุตูู‚ุฉ ุงู†ุชู‚ุงู„ ูƒุจูŠุฑุฉ. ู„ู… ูŠูƒู† ุฃูƒุซุฑ ู…ู† ุงู„ู†ุงุญูŠุฉ ุงู„ู†ูุณูŠุฉ. ู‚ุฏ ูŠูƒูˆู† ุทุนู… ู‚ู„ูŠู„ุง ุงู„ู…ูู‚ูˆุฏุฉ. ู„ูƒู†ู†ูŠ ุฃุนุชู‚ุฏ ููŠ ุณูŠุงู‚ ุขุฎุฑ ุŒ ุญูŠุซ ู„ูŠูˆู† ูŠุชุนุฑุถ ู„ุถุบูˆุท ู…ู† ู‡ุฐุง ุงู„ุนุงู…ุŒ ูุฅู†ู‡ ุณูŠูƒูˆู† ู…ู† ุงู„ุฃุณู‡ู„ ุจุงู„ู†ุณุจุฉ ู„ู‡ ู„ู„ุนูˆุฏุฉ ุงู„ู‰ ุงู„ูุฑูŠู‚.

    ุฃุฏู„ู‰ ุฑูŠู…ูŠ ุบุงุฑุฏ ุจุฏุงูŠุฉ ุฌูŠุฏุฉ. ู„ุฃู†ู‡ ูŠุนู„ู… ุฌูŠุฏุง ุงู„ู„ุนุจุฉ ูˆุงู„ู„ุงุนุจูŠู†. ูƒุงู†ุช ู„ุฏูŠู‡ ุฑุคูŠุฉ ูˆุงุถุญุฉ ุนู…ุง ูŠุฑูŠุฏ ุงู„ู‚ูŠุงู… ุจู‡. ูˆุฃุนุชู‚ุฏ ุฃู†ู‡ุง ุณูˆู ุชุณุงุนุฏ ูŠูˆุงู†. ู‡ุฐุง ู‡ูˆ ุงู„ุชุญุฏูŠ ู…ุซูŠุฑุฉ ู„ู„ุงู‡ุชู…ุงู… ุนู† ู…ุฏุฑุจ ู„ู…ุณุงุนุฏุฉ ุงู„ู„ุงุนุจูŠู† ู„ุฏูŠู‡ู… ู…ูˆู‡ุจุฉ ุงุณุชุซู†ุงุฆูŠุฉ ูˆู„ูƒู† ุงู„ุฐูŠู† ูŠุฌุฏูˆู† ุฃู†ูุณู‡ู… ููŠ ูุชุฑุฉ ุญูŠุซ ุฃู†ู‡ุง ู„ุง ุชุนู…ู„ ูƒุซูŠุฑุง ููŠ ุญูŠุงุชู‡ู… ุงู„ู…ู‡ู†ูŠุฉ.

    ุฃู†ุง ู…ู‡ุชู… ูŠูˆุงู† ุฌูˆุฑูƒูˆู ู„ุฃู†ู‡ ููŠ ูˆู‚ุช ูˆุงุญุฏ ูƒุงู† ู…ุชูˆูุฑุง. ู„ู„ุฃุณูุŒ ูƒู†ุง ููŠ ุนุฌู„ุฉ ู…ู† ุงู…ุฑู†ุง. ูƒุงู† ู„ุฏูŠู†ุง ู„ุงุนุจูŠู† ุฃุฏุงุก ุฃุณุฑุน. ูƒุงู† ููŠ ุชู„ูƒ ุงู„ู…ุฑุญู„ุฉ ููŠ ุนู…ู„ูŠุฉ ุฌุฑุงุญูŠุฉ. ูƒุงู† ุงู„ุชูˆู‚ูŠุช ู„ูŠุณ ุฌูŠุฏุง ุจุงู„ู†ุณุจุฉ ู„ู†ุง. ูˆู„ูƒู† ูƒู†ุช ู‚ุฏ ุนู„ู…ุช ุญูˆู„ ุญุงู„ุชู‡ ุงู„ุตุญูŠุฉ. ู„ู„ุฃุณูุŒ ูƒู†ุง ููŠ ุดูƒ ู„ุฃู†ู‡ ูƒุงู† ุนู„ูŠู‡ ุงู„ุญุงู„ ู†ุตุฑูŠ ูˆูุงุจุฑูŠุฌุงุณ ุนู„ู‰ ุธู‡ุฑู‡. ู„ู… ูŠูƒู† ูˆุงุถุญุง ุงุฐุง ูƒุงู†ุช ุณุชุบุงุฏุฑ ุฃู… ู„ุง.

  27. Josip Skoblar

    Great and thoughtful comments, Pierre. We need more of this on LG. I’d buy Gourcuff anytime. He’s class and class doesn’t vanish for no reason. He just needs the right environment to go back to the top. In his favour: he’s a nice clever bloke with a down to earth attitude. He for instance objected to the French team ‘strike’ at the last WC. He was hated by a group of thugs led by Ribery who rhought he was a bit of an intellectual!!! He could prove a kind of Pires type of signing. I’m all for it.

  28. Bade

    Cheers pierre,

    Problem is, Arsenal’s new-look doesn’t suit Gourcuff, I reckon. And I doubt his ability to survive the EPL, physical wise. Other than that, he’s a talent. But you have so many wasted ones …..

    Pedro, I’m in the booze for few hours now…. but still on second gear though, to be able to make the night ๐Ÿ˜†

  29. goonermart

    Fanboy, haha, not sure really. Always a bit of a christmas day tradition, plus it’s about the only drink that does not make me feel like a drunk when drinking at 9am.

  30. Bade

    How innocent your parents are, when they’re so amazed how good you roll those Sarma’s (stuffed grape leaves)!


  31. Goon from BD

    I think Henry is being considered because our actual target isn’t available in Jan. If thats the case… complains.

    Gotze in Jan is impossible.

    Gourcuff……..I don’t know. He seems to struggle in a higher calibre club. Only has one good season with Bordeaux.

    Taiwo…….whenever I’ve seen him looks as if he is a bit clueless at positioning.

    OM being equal to Milan is bullshit.

    Good night.

  32. Fanboy

    Checked wiki and I think there’s a way to get my foreskin back

    (Although why the f*ck I’d want to do that I don’t know)

  33. Gunner4Real

    Its Christmas, results have been good and what do you guys do? Get yourselves worked up on speculations.

    I’ll advice you take leaf from Pedro’s plans, get some peroni (or some proper red wine), good roast and have yourselves a merry christmas.

    Then start thinking about Wolverhampton instead of transfer market.

  34. Bade

    Have to tell you dear Grovers, what a great blessing to have a large family when it’s Christmas!

    Rolling those Sarmas when my 84 years old gramma whining on me not getting married, with us boozing, is some Christmas miracle I tell you!

  35. Bade


    The curtains raised

    Christmas eve to kick off

    See in the morning, or late noon or so!

    Booze it up ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Merry Christmas!

    That’s your friend Ryo’s Christmas song, enjoy!

  36. zeus

    Merry Christmas eve everyone.

    On the Henry question, no. He has already said the game is just too fast for him now in other interviews. We do t need a stop gap, we need someone to step in when Rvp gets injured.

    As for Gourcuff, that’s a major risky deal. I wouldn’t.

    Who is this hoilett person Lurch is talking about?

  37. Dream10

    Gourcuff is a major talent but I think we need to play a 4-3-1-2 to accomodate him. A Midfield of Wilshere Song and Arteta to protect Gourcuff and TWO forwards playing centrally.

    Against Man City we should have played four MF instead of three to compete with a better team.

  38. Gooby


    spot on. I can’t see how he is pictured as a bad boy with a shit attitude when he’s exactly the opposite. Again, he’ll be a great addition in january and will bring a creative touch.

  39. Fanboy

    I hope it lasted no longer than last night, grab a bottle of something (I don’t care what it is)

    I’m probably a terrible influence

  40. Pierre

    @Josip Skoblar
    He for instance objected to the French team โ€˜strikeโ€™ at the last WC. He was hated by a group of thugs led by Ribery who rhought he was a bit of an intellectual!!!

    100% correct. Gourcuff, Sagna and Hugo Lloris objected to the strike and wanted to leave the bus – they nearly came to blows over it.

    Gourcuff became an outcast with certain thugs from the suburbs in the France team after he refused to go with Ribery and co to a gentleman’s club in Paris. It’s a long story and was covered heavily in the French media but he had a very unsettling world cup because he was regularly bullied by these elements, even to the point of boycotting him on the field.

    He’s not someone you’d expect to go to be involved in any sort of clubbing, he’s a nerd, he spends most of his time outside football reading and even contributing to his own series of children books (that teach important moral lessons)

    You can see his series of books here – (which he uses to support cancer research, he is heavily involved in numerous forms of philanthropy)

    He’s far from your typical footballer. He was voted this year as the footballer who best represents the values of France in the national team –

    The public in France adore him but journalists don’t, that’s because he doesn’t like giving interviews after what happened in South Africa (they try and stir problems), so because of this, they regularly attack him (much like they did to Pires but for different reasons)

    I can assure you he’s no bad apple ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Goon from BD says:

    That’s actually incorrect. He had 2 great seasons at Rennes, which earned his move to Milan. How can anyone forget his achievements with the U19 French side? He was the key reason they won the UEFA U19 tournament in 2005.

    At Bordeaux, he had two good seasons and not one. The second season cannot be discounted because he was the reason Bordeaux reached the quarter finals of the Champions league and were unbeaten in their group stage, doing the double over eventual finalists Bayern Munich. Yes, Bordeaux collapsed after the half way point of the season but that was because Laurent Blanc announced to the players that he would be leaving the club and taking over the France team – this had a disastrous effect. The team was clearly on top of the table half-way but the second half of the season, after this news was revealed, the psychological effect was disastrous and they finished 6th – but to claim it wasn’t a good season for him is unfair when we considered his efforts in the Champions league. (Neither was he to blame for Bordeaux’s collapse in the second half of the season – the entire team dropped it)


    Yes it hasn’t worked out at Lyon but this is not due to his lack of talent. It’s due to the situation at the club.

    Firstly, Aulas the Lyon president did not sign him because he was suited to Lyon’s football philosophy, that’s why Bernard Lacombe the sporting director has always hinted publicly that he disagreed with the signing.

    Aulas signed him because he wanted to project Lyon’s power in France, he made the signing right before the end of the window after Marseille had signed Gignac. This wasn’t the only reason, at the time, the general director of Lyon was Philippe Sauze, formerly of EA Sports. It was his idea with Aulas to create a brand off the back of Gourcuff’s image and popularity in France. They wanted computer games, cars, perfume, and a whole assortment of merchandise branded after him.

    Now Gourcuff wasn’t keen on this at all but he wanted to leave Bordeaux after Blanc and Chamakh left and at Lyon were two of his friends, Lloris and Toulalan.

    For him, being introverted, he became overburdened with these off field responsibilties and of course with the coaching philosophy of Claude Puel, which was very defensive and provided him with no freedom whatsoever (often being played further down the field in a more defensive role).

    Lyon’s football style is world’s apart from Arsenal. Lyon’s success has always come on the back of great individual talents, mostly from South America. Most notably Juninho, Sonny Anderson, etc. It’s a team that under Aulas has always had a South American identity to it. Most recently there are Bastos, Ederson, Lopez etc.

    Thus Lyon’s style is very dependable upon skillful individuals creating goal scoring situations and not through fast and intuitative short passing like Arsenal and Gourcuff’s old club Bordeaux under Blanc. You rarely see passing combinations of more than three at Lyon, it’s often the likes of Bastos running with the ball and utilising 1v1 situations. Gourcuff doesn’t excel in this environment, he likes lots of passing intervals at a high pace which he uses to create openings. It’s the same way Lorient and Arsenal play. Theres not much he can do either when he’s played as a DM at times. I often see claims he doesn’t like ‘tracking back’ or ‘defending’, those are ridiculous because game after game, he covers the most kms in the team and he’s supposed to be the playmaker ๐Ÿ™‚

    The main reason I seek to explain a bit more about him is that I am 100% confident that Wenger will sign him, either in January or the summer. There is just too much noise from reliable sources and Grimandi has never hidden the fact that Arsenal have always wanted to sign him, nor do I think Robert Pires ‘tapping up’ the player on numerous TV shows in France is coincidental.

    Lyon are desperate now because of their financial situation, they have taken out line of credits, they have the new stadium to finance…. Wenger has Aulas where he wants him.

    Just a note on Goetze too, I am confident Wenger doesn’t harbour genuine interest in him because Wenger often touts his transfer record in the French media and also the financial fair play legislation being implemented by Platini.

    Wenger likes to point out examples of him signing players in their trough and taking them to their peak, he also recently made the claim that he wouldn’t spend more than 15m on an single player (after the failures Reyes, Arshavin, etc). Wenger is an economist and 35m on Goetze is far from Wenger’s transfer ideology – when you consider the impact of the FFP and the player’s future sale value being inhibited by this (the player also being at his peak).

    Simply put, Wenger talks about being successful without spending exorbitantly, he wants to portray that genuine coaching ability is the reason for his success and not millions. He equates the success of managers like Mourinho down to spending millions but when it comes to understanding of the game, implementing coaching sessions, developing players, etc. Why do you think he’s so slow to get rid of what we might consider flops at Arsenal? Because that would be considered a failure for him.. he believes his coaching ability can turn these players fortunes around, he doesn’t wan to be seen like Mourinho – simply replacing out of form players with a few million here and there.

    I don’t think the whole Wenger ethos will change now, it’s too late, it’s why you won’t see a Goetze. But Gourcuff provides Wenger with the opportunity to prove himself once again… Like with so many other Arsenal players (Henry, Pires, etc) He can’t resist it, he’s admitted it himself.

  41. Lurch LeRouge

    surprised he’s not registered on your radar before Zeus.

    still a little raw, but @ 21yrs I recon he’s a bright prospect.

  42. zeus

    Good incite Pierre.

    Totally agree on the Gotze price factor making that rumor a non starter.

    But I do hope that the the failures of Reyes and Arshavin hasn’t made Wenger even more averse to spending a bit of money.

    Its a shame that neither of those big signings worked out.

  43. SUGA3

    all well and good, it’s just that Goetze is not at his peak at this age, he might fetch 60M in a few years ๐Ÿ˜‰

    good read tho and very believable…

  44. SUGA3

    but I still don’t rate Gourcuff and I don’t think he is what we need, don’t like the whole concept of Wenger willing to prove himself and prove everybody wrong in the process…

  45. Ricky

    Wenger’s such a cheapskate!

    Why bring a player like thierry back for only 2 months? does’nt make any sense. The man was never of much use coming off the bench, he needs games to get the best out of him.

  46. Radio Raheem

    Good post Pierre but for one bit I object to,

    “…Thus Lyonโ€™s style is very dependable upon skillful individuals creating goal scoring situations and not through fast and intuitative short passing like Arsenal and Gourcuffโ€™s old club Bordeaux under Blanc…”

    I watched Bordeaux when Gourcuff played there and they were anything but entertaining. Bordeaux under Blanc was a well organised defensively tight side that relied on the creative talent of Gourcuff in creating chances and the hard-working and aerially efficient Chamakh to win most matches! Chamakh was, in fact, their first line of defence!

  47. Radio Raheem

    The fear in signing Gourcuff is the risk that he may not settle. Based on what you described there is a legitimate concern as to whether he has the right mentality to adapt. For instance, I’ll bet my house that Sagna will play well at any club he signs for but I certainly can’t say the same for Gourcuff.

    With our tight transfer budget I don’t think we are at liberty to risk signing Gourcuff. A loan deal would make more sense though.

  48. eastofthelea

    Merry xmas all, agree with the general concenus that thiery is fine
    if as well as other signings and not instead. Pierre’s first post very
    insightful, liked lurchs 15.12 response; give that man paxmans job.

    anyway of to put my soul in jeopardy.

  49. Herkules

    Henry wouldn’t be successful in the Championship at this point – let alone the EPL….

    Park should be playing every other week – he needs some games to prove to the doubters that he’s a suitable sub (he should have Arshavin’s job now) …

  50. Grassy Knoll

    Are tickets for the Wolves game onsale on or not – everytime I click to buy – the option disappears!

    Fuck the online booking system is awful!

  51. Thomas, It's up for grabs now

    mERrY cHRisTMAa Grooovers!

    Good good post Pierre.. Interesting and backed up with good logic.

    I dunno, I just have a feeling Wenger will smash the club record and sign a big name.. Can’t back that up really with a solid logical argument!

    He’s been whinging in recent months that FFP looks like it won’t be the success once predicted. He has said he would buy Neymar if he had the money!! He also… and Pierre touches on this… likes to prove people wrong. By buying big he would do this also.. a kind of; see, I told you I would spend if the right player was available.. so you were all wrong! The club has never been is such a precarious position regarding it’s top 4 status. He has in a way admitted he has failed with some players by trying to move so many on this summer, (that includes loans; which means, your time here is up son, ala Bendtner). He has said recently, it is now a short term project.. (success)… so all this makes Thomas think (hope really) that we will see that 160m reduced substantially!

    I don’t know who that name will be, I would guess it won’t be Gotze, Hazard et al.. but a big name we are not linked too.. (He likes to do that too, to kind of surprise us!). My money is on Gomez!

    Well that’s what I wrote to Santa.. What Nurse? Gotta go chaps. Nurse said it’s time to put the straight jacket back on and take my meds..

    Happy Xmas!

  52. TonyS

    BREAKING NEWS:In a sensational turn of events, Prince Harry has been refused entry to visit Prince Philip as the Papworth Hospital enforces a strict “family members only” visitor policy.

  53. frenchie

    i try to spend one day from commenting and then pierre gives us that treat. thanks, fella.

    oh, and happy christmas and all that.

  54. Maciek


    Thank you for your read, indeed. A great piece of work. Maybe even an art.

    I have got a question for you. Do you think that Wenger wants to loan him or buy him? What is the chance that Wenger will conclude this transfer this January?

    Thanks in advance, mate. Merry Christmas!

  55. Grassy Knoll

    Thierry Henry is the worst idea I’ve ever heard of – 1) He’ll fail; 2) He’ll tarnish his majestic legacy – “oh yeah, but remember when he came back and embarrassed himself?”; 3) It’s Wenger trying to show how smart he is by doing everything on the cheap – Chamakh cost nothing, right? And he’s worth nothing.

    But that’s why Wenger keeps playing him – despite the incredulity and disbelief of the supporters (who know nothing) – because he cannot be wrong. He is always right – Chamakh and Arsharvin are our substitutes in the biggest game of the year so far. Both were total failures. Unbelievable.

    He’s paid nothing for 6 years and won nothing for 6 years. Our club record transfer is 15 million – for Arsharvin.

    No doubt in Wegner’s mad solipsistic univers, he reasons ‘well, I’m never going to pay that again!’

    And after all, Arsenal is “HIS” team – he says it all the time – and every time he does, I hate him for his stupid arrogance.

  56. Grassy Knoll

    Also – it’s for 8 fucking weeks FFS! What does that solve – it’s a typical band-aid instead of real progress.

    So TH14 will run out on the pitch for a few minutes in a couple of games for 8 weeks … then what?

    Sign Podolski you dumb arrogant cunt!

    We should never be talking about the players or the team – only the megalomaniac – and Arsenal is ‘his’ team – not ours.

  57. Maciek

    Spot on Grassy Knoll,

    Hope Wenger will be gone soon.

    We all know he won’t be sacked, but maybe this years when we fail once again( and we will) he will say bye, bye.

  58. dennisdamenace

    OK Grovers, i will wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year before Sailor Jerry takes over my ability to talk let alone write a cohesive sentence…….

    Chamon Everyone.

  59. Robert

    Pierre, most sensible thing I’ve read in ages.

    I’d be happy to give it a go, he would cost less than ten mill and would give us much needed depth in midfield.

    Too many people expect JW to have an impact this season. I’d say there is little chance of that. God forbid, but may not play at all this season.

    Gourcouff is worth the punt.

    Also, in other news: Merson is a cunt re: mertesacker.

    This season arsenal have conceded least goals from headers in the league. Anyone think that has something to do with having a dude that is 6’6?

    After our horrible start (15goals in 3 games) our defence is on track to finish no worse than last few seasons. This stands to reason, that after initially going to shit while gelling, we have a far superior defence brewing. This is with arguably our second best defender missing all season, and 5 out of our defensive rotation of 9, out injured.

    This, for mine, is significant improvement.

    The defensive excellence of arteta should not be undersold either.

    Give me gourcouff, podolski and loan a LB and I’m stoked. Everton is broke, baines for 5 mill is good business.

  60. Stlouisgooner

    I still remember seeing gourcouff play for Bordeaux when he was still on loan from Milan against Chelsea. He had a back heel to himself into a shot… Barely missed… But you could see his quality

  61. Rohan

    Loved the posts Pierre.

    I’ve been singing Gourcuff’s praises on here for ages now.
    Either way, I’d love it if we get him in Jan and he proceeds to dick Nasri out of the main play maker role at the Euros.

  62. gavin

    what number will he wear walcott has 14 not a good move th37 not the same,get podolski and vertonghen then let chamakh and arshavin go and squillaci

  63. scott

    Haha Pierre ” wenger has wanted him since he was 17 years old”
    no wonder fans sing songs about him.
    hungover going back to bed ouch

  64. Lurch LeRouge

    “Can you get some bleach and some washing powder whilst you’re out?” my wife asked.

    “Can you not wait until you’ve opened your presents tomorrow?” I replied.