Thierry short-term solution | Park long-term problem? | Frimgone | QPR preview

by & filed under Match Preview, News Review.

Happy New Year!

Happy new years eve to everyone! What’s your new years resolutions for next year? Lay off the booze? Cut down on the cigarettes? Swap kebabs for low carb healthy alternatives? Indulge in more Arsenal goodness? I hope so… after all, fit and healthy readers of the site is what we crave most!

So, this is the last post of the year, unless something mad happens, like an impending Armageddon. Then we’d do a final post of all time whatever time of the day it is, so make sure you tune in if that’s the case. It’s been a good year for the site, we added 34% to the readership this year, which is exciting during times of austerity. Hopefully that means we’re still on the right track when it comes to writing about stuff you like. We’ve also had 270k worth of comments this year, which hopefully means you all still get along in the comments section like a group of nerds at a Star Trek convention (Shhh, I was there too ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Anyway, just a final thanks for making internet life living worth living… certainly hasn’t…

In the footballing world of news, there were plenty of things to chew over as of yesterday. Firstly, Thierry is back on a short-term loan, has finally caught up so we can now all officially talk about it. I know there are many out there who won’t talk about anything unless it’s on… crap performances must be difficult.

Wenger reckons the man is over his fitness problems and he still has much to offer. We’re not to expect the Thierry of ten years ago, but then again, who is deluded enough to think he’ll be the same player? He’ll play across the front three and I think from memory he’ll be available for the Leeds game, 8 Premiers League outings and maybe the Champions League game against Milan. That’s a tough schedule, but he has that little bit of excellence we need to break teams down. It’s also worth noting what a pain in the backside Di Natale was against us, a player who also shares the same age at Thierry.

Wenger keeps saying the reason he took on Thierry was for short term cover, ignoring the obvious white elephant in the room that isย Park. If he were firing like he should be, I wonder whether we’d have Thierry in here now? Park can play out wide, Park can play centrally. Shouldn’t he be the cover? If he can’t be, shouldn’t we really be looking for something more longer term? It’s great having Thierry until March for the short term, but what happens if Robin isn’t fit for March? Where do we go from there? Park won’t have played any games and Chamakh will probably have malaria.

I’m still amazed that in the whole amount of time Wenger has been at the club, we’ve never produced a top class striker?

In other sections of the news, it’s worth noting that Frimpong is off to Wolves for loan spell. Wolves is the only place on my travels I’ve ever feared being attacked whilst refuelling my car. It’s also one of the few areas of the country where Visa is a mythical beast not accepted as a valid payment method. I’m guessing the thought process behind the move is that it will work like bootcamp for an ill disciplined youth team player. He has undoubted talent, but it needs to be honed away from the first team. I’m sure he’ll come back a better man for it and I’m sure the Wolves fans are going to absolutely love him.

Abouย Diaby is so crocked the manager won’t give him a return date. Probably a good idea. He should just throw him onto the team sheet one day, a surprise player inclusion that no one is that excited about. That would be fun. I really don’t know what the future can hold for a player who constantly suffers niggly muscle injuries. If it’s not one problem, how can you fix it? How can you plan for him to be in the team? How can you justify his massive salary?

Ahead of the game this afternoon against QPR, there are no fresh injuries to report. We’ll be lining up with a strong team. I expect this to be Robin Van Persie’s last game for the next two. He’ll be looking to break a calendar year record, hopefully he couldn’t have picked better opposition to do it against. QPR are either fantastically hard to break down, or they’re utter cack. Hopefully they’ll be the latter today!

They have some top players to be aware of. We all know what a pain in the backside Joey Barton is. He’ll be in our faces from the off, he’ll be agitating for bookings and sendings off and he’ll be popping up with pinpoint passes if he’s given the space to breathe. Up front they have ex-Arsenal strop Jay Bothroyd (if he’s fit), who has good movement and a finish. I think Helguson is the potential danger man this year, he’s been their goalscoring king pin but at 34, and a lack of previous quality, we really should be able to handle him. We’ll also have to be careful of SWP, he’s capable of a long range dig and he’s a tricky customer outwide, which could be a problem for JD.

I think we’ll win today but we have to take our chances this week. We created 25 against Wolves, hit 17 on target and we only came away with one goal. We need to improve on that today and break them with an early two goal lead. Dropping points is not an option against QPR. Talking about them being a tough team afterwards is also not something we should be doing. We want to be classed amongst the top tier, we have to play like we are.

I’m excited. Hopefully the rest of the team will and we can end 2011 on high! Enjoy the game wherever you are and have a safe, but fantastic new years celebration later on!

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

Happy New Year, from Pedro and Geoff!

P.S. I’ll compile the New Years polls for the 2nd!

785 Responses to “Thierry short-term solution | Park long-term problem? | Frimgone | QPR preview”

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  1. AJ

    We will have Gervinho out. So it will be Park or Henry on the wings. I think we are going to struggle a lot in Januray at least.

  2. Ricky

    I think robin should be rested today with a much tougher fixture away at fulham in a couple days.

    Happy new year pedro & Geoff!!! Best wishes go out to you & your families.

  3. SUGA3

    Happy New Year to all y’all, Geoff, Pedders, and all the Grovers!

    TH on loan is a good move, quite frankly, I don’t get why it did not happen last year?

    Park was just bought to sell shirts, no more, no less, he will struggle to get into double figures in appearances this season watch this space…

    and oh, Diaby is still a freeloading cunt!

  4. DeiseGooner

    Whatever the manager has been doing in relation to Park has escaped me, i can see no sense at all in how little game time hes gotten, jasus even bench time for the lad has been practically non existent – settling in period le Boss says…hmmmmm

    Anyway with Chamakh and Gerv on international duty we will get some kind of an answer – either he grabs his chance and shows himself to be a reliable squad player or he fluffs his lines and is a lame duck or we dont see him at all and we know hes not up to scratch.

    Henry short term is maybe insurance if a january target deal falls through – or am i being too optimistic ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. SUGA3

    can someone put Diaby in the boot of his car and take him to the woods for a little bit of an educational session on how it is not nice to steal?

  6. comeonthegunners

    I am concerned about Park. We only have the guy for two years before he starts his national service, how long can we give him to get ready??

    Henry is a good signing, however, I fear the influence this will have on any long term purchases.

    I would sell a few, Arshavin has got to go. Ox should be ahead of him now.

    Lots of issues right now.


  7. DeiseGooner

    And there wont be Big Dave until Diaby is cut loose. I feel for the man, his career has been mangled by that fuckin ‘tackle’ and i think we may not see Diaby in an Arsenal shirt again. But as long as hes here and theres a chance he will recover Wenger will most likely give him time – but i get a feeling if he cant make it before the end of the season hes in the shop window. The thing is it may be the Steptoe and Son shop window……

  8. gazzap

    Diaby should not even be considered as a player for us. If he gets fit, then we can sell him to a crap french club for ยฃ200,000. No way should he be blocking further moves for midfielders in the window.

    Henry might be a good move. but I read somewhere that he doesn’t feel 100% fit so its a risk. chamakh should be moved on soon as too. Park to me looks like a hard worker if nothing else, and he looks like a finisher. Thats enough for me (to be in front of Chamakh).

  9. DeiseGooner

    What are you talking about 5th for Leon, we are currently in 6th and a win (with other results in our favour) will take us to 4th…….5th – pah ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Audu nurudeen

    Great post again…hmmm le grove what a joy ride it has been all through 2011,and what a mix year for our beloved Arsenal both off and on the pitch…but look @ where we are now still Strong and moving on…lets hope for an even more better 2012 for Arsenal fc,a year where we will beat barca and nt draw a match from 4goals up,a year where we will buy topclass players and sell crabs,a year where an open bus ride wit our trophies will take place and nt d usuall match around the fans stand empty handed…here is to greater post frm le-grove and better still a greater year for Arsenal fc. p.s cant wait to see my beloved arsenal in Nigeria come 2012

  11. Big Dave


    Let him go, him and Gibbs are made of glass, you can’t rely on these players it is for them to prove they are fit to us, no one else would put up with this type of shit from players

  12. Martin

    Happy new year from Yorkshire…no not a glory supporter, emigrated from London 20 years ago & keep the arsenal colours flying in my local; full of Leeds fans, on a positive note we share the same feelings towards the teams from the NW…have a great new year everyone. wecome home Henry ; )

  13. North Bank Lew

    Happy New Year to all Grovers out there and thanks to Pedro and Geoff for another year of quality postings.

    I shall be watching the match while out here in Malaysia on my hols. So with kick off time locally at 11.00pm I shall forego my halftime Bovril (or Peroni…) for celebration champers to toast the New Year and a halftime lead !! Then second half in 2012 here in Penang.

    Any other Gooners out here, see you down the Farquars Bar at the E&O Hotel, Georgetown, where if everybody doesn’t know your name, at least the peanuts are free.

  14. Cygan's Left Foot

    I think the manager thought Park would be physically strong enough for the EPL. When he found out he wasn’t, he tried to build him up physically for the EPL (like red nose did with that little piss at Manure), as the boy has a football talent, but three months did not do the trick and we all know our manager will not offer him plus cash to any other french team for another striker like any sane person will do.

    As for Henry, glad we got him back as we all know if we have not got Henry we will get no one, and the manager can still “see” something in Chamakh and he would not sell him (he is the only who can see something in Chamakh just as he did with Almunia for three years).

    This man should leave, he is beyond help, ALL he is concerned about now is NOT winning trophies but to prove the whole football world wrong and change the face of football, using our club as an experiment. He sighted an early success with us and supporting a greedy American owner to take over our club, to which he knows as long as he makes him money he will not be sacked, to start his crazy experiment with our club.

    If we don’t get Arsene out of our club this summer, not only we would be losers for 8 years running, but also we would lose in bringing in the German manager Joachim Low, that is standing down from the German national team after the European Championships, now that is a manger can match even Maureen with a better football style and not scared using young players.

  15. Big Dave


    Hate saying it but Aary or Fergie would not put up with it so why do we. Blinkered manager .

    Money spent on Diaby wages over the yrs could had been spent on a player

  16. SUGA3

    Wenger is an idiot for allowing the Diaby situation to continue for so many years and making him a sure starter when fit…

    Eduardo was only allowed two years and he is twice the player Diaby will ever be!

  17. Josip Skoblar

    I’m going to the game this afternoon. A nice way to end 2011. Lets hope it’s a god one and that we get the the points.

  18. Goonzer

    When people say that Arsenal must balance their books. Does it mean the club can’t end the year with profits so we must invest it in players? If that’s correct, what is the deadline to spend that money?


  19. gnarleygeorge9

    Sorry to get all Arsenal onya but I prefer Carlsberg than Peroni tbh.

    I like to give my green bottle a 10-15 minutes in the freezer before whipping the top off. And in this weather, its belisimo ๐Ÿ˜›

  20. bobby

    Please, please, please let us finish off this year with a win against QPR and the fucking scumbag joey barton !! Thiery is a great signing even if he prevents us from buying someone else. Lets face it, we aint winning the league this year with or without buying any another players. Unfortunately red nose was right in saying we are out of it as we have to get past 3 teams …. no way !!

  21. alan b'stard M P

    Cygan’s Left Foot says:
    December 31, 2011 at 10:51

    ” but also we would lose in bringing in the German manager Joachim Low, that is standing down from the German national team after the European Championships, now that is a manger can match even Maureen with a better football style and not scared using young players. ”

    But it’s the board that sets policy. Unless the board goes, we’re fucked!

    Wenger is a functionary

  22. boozy

    qpr are no push-over, they’ve have a tight compact team, but are lacking a proper striker.

    the player to watch today is joey ‘the swine’barton, take out his usual antiques which would be on show today, he really is a good player and hardworker. all there play goes through him, and there is adel tarabt.

    i hope song doesnt get outsmarted by barton, because he’d definitely be looking to get someone sent off.

  23. Moray

    Happy New Year all!

    It will be great to see Henry back in an Arsenal shirt, but I just know Wenger has bought him to paper over the cracks and soften the blow of NO SIGNINGS in January.

    Anyone have a list of the players coming to the end of their contract with us? Clownmunia must surely end this year, or have we offered to extend his contract again?

  24. Bade

    Happy new year eve Grovers!

    Henry is a great signing in my book

    But he shouldn’t be the only one

    I’d add a CB/LB and at least one more body

  25. Bade

    It’s match day, and a new year eve, so a double reason to be positive and optimistic

    Add the Henry addition to the squad, and it’s a triple fest!

  26. Josip Skoblar


    Le Grove is a great name: it sounds mildly sarcastic when Arsene is doing OK, and it is emphatically threatening when he gets it wrong. It works both ways!

  27. Bade

    Arsene, if Theo’s still ill, then launch OX or AA23 there, not Yossi or Rosa, they both are not wingers. Take my word on that

  28. Wenger out NOW

    Happy new year Geoff, pedro and grovers.

    Im off to the game hoping to see Thierry being introduced before the game. Now thats what I call a happy new year….Just love the man.

  29. kwik fit

    Have a good one bade

    juan manuel vargas left sided Florentina wing back. We have ,according to unconfirmed reports in wildest Peru, offered 12m

  30. boozy

    wayne rooney on the bench, that’s 2 straight games he is rested, while in the name of record breaking we’re trying to run to the ground.

  31. Lurch LeRouge

    Smudgers written an interesting piece in todays Telegraph sport section…

    He’s talking about Henry and the risk to his legacy and frames the piece with the rigours of the EPL and a recent conversation he had with TH to the effect that TH probably wasn’t capable of meeting the physical demands of the game here for long periods.

    He then paints the picture of an RVP injury and the pressure AW will be under to field TH for every game in that event.

    All this is working up towards his theory, that AW must have another signing in the wings – because its unlikely TH would have exposed himself to anything more than the opportunity to be used sparingly with the odd cameo.

    Its the first piece I’ve read that uses the TH loan deal to signpost another forward signing.

  32. kwik fit

    Lurch another signing will only happen if room can be made in the squad. Making room in the squad is the real problem facing Mr Wenger this transfer window.

  33. kwik fit

    Don’t think so lurch the young players don’t count. It’s the older one’s 22+ that we must off load. The limit on the older players will be reached with the Henry signing me think’s.

  34. kwik fit

    Clubs register a squad of up to 25 players, which must include at least eight ‘home-grown’ players, at the end of each transfer window.
    We already have 16 non home grown players.We are allowed one more only guy’s . So off loading the non home grown dross is key to a successful window.

  35. Bade

    Let’s count those

    Per, Sagna, Santos, JD, Almunia, Kozzer, Tommy, Yossi, Arteta, Song, Diaby, (hahahaa, it’s just unbelievable), Squillaci, Rosa, Park (heheh, rosa parks…), Chamakh, Gervinho, Robin, AA23

    That’s 18 players, when we allowed only 17 that aren’t homgrown

    so Song maybe a “homegrown”, JD maybe too. So we need to offload to add…..

  36. azed

    i can see in your teams your are doing everything possible to leave out JD…sad thing is our manager doesn’t like suprises!!!

  37. SUGA3


    no, it’s the ‘homegrown over 21’ bollocks…

    can’t quite remember, but you need a certain number (17?) of these in the 25 man squad, so we would have to offload or at least de-register the same number we bring in…

  38. Bade


    I thought the homegrown is under 21’s, no?

    Ah, I reckon it’s completing 3 years at least under the age of 21 in a British team, but you need also at least 8 under 21 players in the squad…..

  39. kwik fit

    There is plentry of dross in that list bade. That’s why Wenger can not rotate in matches cos the back are not even championship standard.

  40. Lurch LeRouge


    at a glance at our squad there’s 30 names.

    this lot a re 21 or under

    Le Coq

    23, enter TH, 24

    room for 1. before sales required no?

    jettisoning Squilaci is the obvious choice with Miquel in the wings.

  41. Bade

    So from my list @12:30, if we take out Song, Diaby and JD, that’s 15 players, so we can add only 2 players in the time being

  42. Lurch LeRouge

    from those 30, 12 are HG


    of those 12 1 is going on loan – EF – leaving 11 homegrowner’s no?

  43. SUGA3

    my point was that Eduardo is/was more suited to the EPL, he did not exactly have lightning pace, but he was able to make space for himself using his body strength, something Park does not have…

  44. kwik fit

    Park has 1.5 year’s left has professional footballer. Does it really make sense for him to languishing in the reserve’s? Do the lad a favour and either play him or loan him out.

  45. tippitappi

    wonder whats behind the arsenal door of (who we playing today ?) hope we win but bearing in mind the opposition ; a win ? mmmm no more than 50/50 today

  46. tippitappi

    Dean ? but he,s one of old ren noses inside men no you must be joking ,no brown envelope today MUST make up for that blunder

  47. IvoryGoonz

    Morning Grovers.
    So good to be right from time to time…
    Obviously Wenger thought about it first. No doubt. Let’s move on anyway.
    Now what about another couple players?

  48. Bade

    Awkward set up for the mancs

    Probably red nose had too many booze during his b’day celebration…

    When Park supposed to be the defensive midfielder, they’re in a very risky set up

  49. alan b'stard M P

    Maure stats are interesting. 7 attempts on target and 0 success so far


    Man Utd 51%
    Blackburn 49%

    Attempts on target

    Man Utd 7
    Blackburn 1

    Attempts off target

    Man Utd 5
    Blackburn 2


    Man Utd 7
    Blackburn 1


    Man Utd 6
    Blackburn 7

    Show all live text

    Half Time

  50. kapslock

    Happy new year guys.

    Here’s to 3 points today. I’d rather rest RVP today then against Fulham.

    Good to see United losing.

  51. IvoryGoonz

    Bade: na, couldn’t sleep at all the night before, my sleeping patern’s fucked up, went to work 28-29-30 as well so when i came back yesterday from work stayed awake as long as I could to get my sleeping back on track… (also I got confirmation from client they were happy about that part of the project, so I could go home and be hopeful hey won’t make any fuss paying milestones’ money ๐Ÿ™‚ a well earned rest if you ask me (-)
    Aldso I have tendencies to sleep a lot on weekends to make up for lost hours.
    Still, haven’t had my breakfast yet, and still in bed ๐Ÿ˜‰

  52. kapslock

    Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Song, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott, Van Persie, Arshavin

    Lol@this cunt continuing with Arshavin. He’ll never learn

  53. Juju

    This is how you fight when you want to win. Fuck me man. They have a shite average team but know how to fight. We have plenty of talent and sooooo ignorant to stand up when it counts. Add Manu-Cunts’s usual LUCK and they will still win it.

    We need Henry NOW, cant wait for his first match. At least he knows how to fucking hurry when it needs to be.