Arsenal vs Sunderland preview | The training ground vibe | Shipping out those that don’t care

by & filed under Match Preview, News Review.

Good morning friends of the Grove! I trust you are well, how could you not be? Today is the day it all kicks off again! Today our lives become normalised.

FOOTBALL IS BACK!

So let’s get down to business, we’ll have an informed chat about what’s going on at the club and what you can expect today.

First up. Alex Song is off to Barcelona. That signing will be rubber stamped over this weekend and he’ll be playing for Barcelona from next week, or whenever their next game is. Can you believe it? Honestly… can you f*cking believe it! Alex Song, a player who divides Arsenal fans right down the middle, has just landed a move to Barcelona. Incredible. He’s lucked out more than Adebayor. He wasn’t good enough to get a chance with us in the first place, but Wenger persisted. After much effort, he became an ok player… then he made a stand and he’s been granted a move!

That’s gratitude for you.

He’s left because it was the best move for the club (how long have I been bleating on about this being best for everyone?). He’s left because the money they’ve offered us is the best we’ll ever get for him. I’d be absolutely shocked if he turns out to be anything other than a flop for them. He doesn’t have the discipline, pace or ability to be a star man for them. I might be totally wrong though. It’s a judgement call, but I thought similar things about Alex Hleb. Some people are a cogs in the Arsenal machine (Flamini, Hleb, Adebayor), others are the engine (Thierry, Cesc, Robin). Song was a cog for me. Sure he made plenty of assists last season, but he also made plenty of dopey tackles in dangerous areas and lost the ball through dithering and making too many unnecessary Hollywood passes. He was also responsible for lots of the issues we had. There was never any accountability from him anywhere on the park. There was also little accountability after a game. Some players care about having a bad game… some don’t. I know which bucket Song was in.

What are we doing around new players? Well, we’re looking. Arsene has already stated he’s in for Nuri Sahin and he’s not lying. We might also be in for a full back as we’re short of quality there. If they can find someone who is versatile enough to play right across the back, they might make a move. The reason Arsenal see Sahin as the answer isn’t because he’s an out an out defensive midfielder. That’s not what we’re looking for. What we’re after is a midfielder who will be accountable. The idea this year, as with last, is that we have 3 midfielders who can interchange dependent on what’s going on. Sahin can do that. Alex Song couldn’t really. Well, not unless he was beaten into doing so.

On the club and the players. I can tell you that place is absolutely buzzing. It’s the best preseason they’ve had for years. The feeling is that Arsenal are slowly but surely shifting out the names who don’t give a rats arse-nal about the club. Alex Song is gone, Nik Bendtner will be leaving, the only players they are still having trouble with is Chamakh and Park. Apparently they’re working super hard to move them on but it’s proving challenging. Can you blame the club if they can’t find a buyer for Chamakh? I couldn’t… he’s awful and pricey.

The real buzz around the team is that the new boys who’ve come in are winners. Top players with pedigree. Absolute different mindset to what we’ve had in the past. Giroud is supposed to be quite the specimen and Podolski is a very strong character who is gelling with the team. Cazorla though, is the man who has everyone salivating. He’s clicked straight away and he’s inspired confidence in everyone. It’ also worth mentioning Diaby has had a fantastic preseason as well, which is warming. He’s normally crippled by now. Everyone would like to see him string 20 games together. The potential is in there somewhere to become a great player. This season really is make or break for him. Could he go on to do what Robin did last year and possibly secure his dream move to Everton next year?  Who knows… who knows!

It’s also worth noting that although Robin has gone, unlike Cesc and Nasri, he was well behaved until the end. He wasn’t disruptive and he didn’t sulk. I suppose we can be thankful there. What does bother people at the club, and outside, is that we went out and we built a proper team this summer. We organised the defence, we signed some attackers and we brought in people who could assist. With Robin here, we’d undoubtebly be challenging in a major way this year. Without him, I still believe we could be up there. We just have to hope the defence gels.

The team today is going to be very alien. We’re obviously missing Sagna, so that means Jenkinson will start. Then it’ll be Mertesacker, Vermaelen and Gibbs. Midfield is going to be interesting. No Alex Song I’m assuming because he’ll be booking Easy Jet tickets, so you’d have to assume the midfield will be Arteta, Diaby and Cazorla. We might opt for Rambo in there, but he’ll probably stll be exhausted from his Olympic exploits. Then up top, it’ll be between Giroud and Podolski. I’d have to say that the German would likely be favourite. Gervinho should play out on the left and on the right, providing he is fit, you’d say maybe Theo. If he’s not, maybe Andrey Arshavin?

I’m expecting a big game out there today. The only way to deal with the week that was is to smash whoever is put in front of you. Sunderland are a pain in the ass away from home, but at the Emirates, in the blistering sunshine, I have no doubt we’ll put on a show. The big question is going to be around how the boys gel and how they cope without two very important players from last year. I think they’ll be fine. The core of the team are hard workers. They’re experienced and now they’ve been injected with some serious talent. Whatever people tell you, ultimately, we’re in a far better position this year than we were last season. I honestly believe that this could still be a really good season, we just need to make sure we don’t feel sorry for ourselves.

We’ve brought in near enough £50million, we’ve only spent about £35million. If you factor in the £20million we started with, we can still go out and make a statement if we have to. I hope Wenger does bolster and give the side the best possible chance and I think there’s a real possibility he will do.

Anyway, the focus is on today! Let’s have a massive one out there in the bars before, let’s rip the roof of the stadium when we’re in it and let’s keep them crossed for the lads putting in a massive, massive performance! Have a great day everyone!

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562 Responses to “Arsenal vs Sunderland preview | The training ground vibe | Shipping out those that don’t care”

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  1. El Tel

    Remember Dennis having a poor start then Southampton at home bang bang. Two rocket shots that got him going.

    Henry came in and was used out wide and at the beginning he looked more like Theo than the bloke who went on to be our record goalscorer.

    Give the new guys until the cold weather comes to bed in and then lets start to analys them.

  2. Keyser

    Thanks fine citizens.

    It’s the first game, I wonder how many players started last year or the year before.

    That’s why Van Persie was worth way more then we’d ever get for him, it only took 7 years to develop it though.

  3. incesc

    in the old days we could muddle through till xmas and then put a run together for the league

    now city will win 9 out of 10 and its impossible

  4. zeus

    Funny depressed. Tayo said whoever finishes above will win the title and Alan laughed him to scorn.

    Lot’s of ‘he who should not be named’ and seeing ‘him’ up the north west with Ole red nose and wanting to vomit, eat it up, and vomit again.

  5. Inter YourGran

    RCLS is now inter yourgran 🙂 like Rooney, but they pay me…

    The site had a wobble earlier, but it has spared us from the impending doom i predicted earlier..

    Good star to the prem today, lots of goals, lots of teams trying to gel..

    My Observations from our game today;

    Jenkinson gives 100% but he isnt Arsenal class, but he’s commited and I want players who’ll die for the cause.

    Podolski isnt a prem centre forward imo. He was pretty anonymous for large chunks. The runs in behind were in straight lines and the dropping deep was when we were attacking from the wings. It’ll come maybe, but he’s better used out wide where he comes inside to effect the game in and around the penalty box. early days though, but Giroud (sitter aside) just looked a better option up top.

    Cazorla was top, top class. Touch, movement and technique were a joy to see.

    Diaby is a constant disappointment for me. Brains moves to slow to be an arsenal player and we don’t see the marauding runs anymore. Dead weight for me…

    Wenger touched on it but we cant be playing two wide men in Gino & Theo who cant come inside and play little one-twos, play 1 touch and play slide rule passes. Gino played well but his end product is still woeful and he slows play down by holding onto the ball to long. He’s incredibly frustrating, but very direct and it’s an option we’ll need. He does need to get in amongst the goals and assists this season though, otherwise…..

    As for Theo, well, the rumours are talks have broken down and he’ll be sold before the end of the window and I wouldn’t be too upset about that. He was again useless in situations where teams sit deep and he is allowed the ball at his feet and looked like he was just going through the motions. Injury might be an excuse but I have my doubts.

    Defence looked shaky on a couple of counter attacks, but Vermaelen’s instincts have been curbed somewhat and the team shape (without a true DM) and concentration looked a lot better.

    Some will be pissed off we didn’t get a romping 3-0 win, but it’s the 1st game and it’s been a tough week with departures and internationals. Hopefully, we’ll be a little more settled and rested for what is a bit of a debry vs. Stoke at the Britannia. Incomings are a must though for us to have any chance of finishing top 4 though….

    It could be a slog this season, but let’s not get too down in the dumps. The yids lost 🙂

  6. Keyser

    In the old days I used to tear up David Lloyds indoor five a side pitches, and I was well known for having the hardest shot on the Dairy Meadow Astro Turf pitch.

    I mean there was like one person who had a harder shot and he was on steroids, thus my right calf muscle was probably twice the size of my left one and I wore out my right Adidas Campus shoes a lot quicker.

    Zeus – Not sure if I can listen to read, or watch stuff about Van Persie. it’s fucking ridiculous there’s no subtle build up, no suspense really, Robin’s literally gone Eli Roth ‘Hostel’ style through every Arsenal fan.

    No, ‘oh it was a shame, it was a slap in the face, you knew it was coming, at least he didn’t go to Tottenham, or ah well at least he still cares’

    It’s one quick swish of something sharp, and ‘Argh where the fucks my arm gone’.

  7. gnarleygeorge9

    “Shipping out those that don’t care”?

    Thats me. I didn’t even watch the match. Thanx for the past 5 or so years Pedro/Geoff but I have a boat to catch.

  8. Kjay

    We are a sorry excuse of a club. Wenger and the board are all cunts. I told mates of mine not to rush to conclusions after the cologne game cuz i still wasn’t convinced yet. Did you see Poldi today? I hate to admit but he made me miss Van ……….. (can’t even say his name. And Giroud? Purrr…….

    God our team is a joke! And mark my words, its gonna be another tropy-less season except we win the Capital one cup!
    God, supporting arsenal = pain and heartbreak. I’m fed up. grovers are fed up and a lot of arseenal fans i know are fed up. So why don’t we rally togetther and protest? Do we really have to settle for this bullshit? God!!!… selling Van…….. to Man U??? F**king unbelievable!!!! what a joke!!!!!

  9. zeus

    Today just confirmed to me that its gonna be a long LONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG season for Arsenal fans.

    Sour grapes but, may Man City win the league forever until we get a sugar daddy so we can compete.

  10. mjgooner

    Sunderland planning to buy Adam Johnson off Mancity for 10m, cant believe Wenger is not looking to snap him up. He is definitely an improvement on Theo. Selling Theo and buying Johnson is definitely WIN WIN. The fans get a player better than what we already have and “Wenger & the board” get to make a profit. WIN WIN

  11. sam

    typical wenger,

    it was good game but players are still in pre-season mode.
    every year is the same thing, we start games with players not ready.
    i believe it will now take up to 3 games for the team to develop some kind of understanding.
    where did arshavin and ramsey come from?
    just when we badly need a goal to win the game, wenger’s plan B:
    send in 2 lame ducks, i already knew we wouldn’t win this game.
    i hope we are signing 2 players that will shove these 2 clowns out of first team.

  12. sam

    mjgooner,

    how about replacing theo with neymar?
    why take man city rejects if you wanna challenge them.
    adam johnson is not good for man city why is he good for arsenal?

  13. bermy boy

    podolski= deer in headlights.Im glad Wenger was pissed i hope when we fuck-up the stoke game he has a heart attack and dieeeeeeeeeessss.I will dance around his corpse and then pee on it.

  14. Dan Ahern

    I think Wenger’s comment about us moving the ball too slowly were completely on point. To me it sounded like a vote of no confidence in Diaby and Ramsey. They’re clearly not up to standard for how he wants to play. I feel pretty certain we’ll see a Sahin loan announcement come Monday.

    I also want to see better wing play. I know Giroud was fatigued and hence the sub role, putting Podolski front and center, but going forward neither Gervinho nor Theo are good enough to start. Podolski must always start LW when able to. There are two options for the right: Ox RW and Cazorla AM, or vice versa. I prefer the former as Cazorla is the heartbeat of the team. That said, he’s better able to play anywhere, and we know Wenger ultimately wants Ox as a midfielder.

  15. peanuts&monkeys

    @El-Tel…08:41

    There’s no credit I am going to give Wenger for Cazorla. WTF shd i thank him for getting him at a lower price? is that my money? Its Stan’s money. Stan shd give him credit.

    So, if you are saying Cazorla is worth much much more, say 25 Million, it only proves that as long as you throw peanuts you get only monkeys. Agree?

  16. mjgooner

    Also just to make it clear this early in the season, we are not challenging for anything but our prestigious “4th place trophy”.

  17. sam

    an english striker/winger for 10 millions is average/ rubbish
    adam johnson can go to sunderland
    van persie is not a reject, he’s sold because he refused to extend his contract, adam johnson is being sold because he’s not good enough for man city. not the same thing

  18. peanuts&monkeys

    Diaby IS shit. He WAS always that. A log of shit. He wasnt even going for a charge to get the ball from Sunderland players feet. He was scared he might either commit another useless foul OR may be hurt himself in the process.

    PITIFUL state of Arsenal. Shame on us for not protesting. Shame shame shame!

  19. on-the-edge

    Positive: This Arsenal team yesterday was not playing typical tippy-tappy Wengerball. Approach was more direct than just hold possession. There were far far less square -passes. Way to go!

  20. mjgooner

    Is Walcott good enough for Arsenal then? Is he better than Johnson? Johnson can at least beat his man unlike our Walnutt who just runs into blind alleys.

    Also what does that tell us if Mancity are willing to sell a player they consider not good enough, yet this player is way better than ours. Guess we will be challenging indeed.

  21. goonerboy

    We only had 6 shots, 2 shots on target today- at home against Sunderland.
    It says it all about Wenger’s style of play- 56% possession results in 2 shots on target. Its a pathetic return.
    Wenger has perfected ineffective football- pointless possession of the ball played across the park in front of the defending team at a strolling pace.
    Its no use moaning about Walcott and Gervinho when they receive the ball they are static and have 3 players within 2 yards of them. If the team does not use their assets they are going to struggle. Arsenal would need a team of Cazorlas to carve out chances playing like this.
    Its not the players – its the coach that needs replacing and I dont mean Steve Bould.

  22. Moray

    I remember last year, we started with a lack of urgency, partly because wenger let our best players all leave at the last minute. This year he gave our replacement players one pre-season game and of course they will take time to gel.

    Cazorla was excellent. Apparently we were in for him two years ago, but our history of fucking up transfers over dithering or tightness probably saw to that happening then. Things could have been very different if we had him in then.

    If we drop points in the next couple of games then potentially the top two places will be beyond us, such is the quality at the top. So there is very little room for error or for the players getting to know each other.

    All in all, I think our purchases will turn out ok. Cazorla needs to remain injury free. We will, however, continue to be let down by our suicide defence and weak second level players (why the fuck bring Ramsay and Arsha on when you’re chasing a game? Has Wenger learnt nothing). Get ridd…replace with quality. Those players incubated in the Wengerball atmosphere don’t give a fuck about the club or playing for the club. This is no arcane fact now. It is pretty clear.

  23. Bade

    Morning

    I wasn’t able to post comments due to technical failures

    Anyway, I’d never cheer a home-draw. BUT given the circumstances, I think this one is tolerable

    We’ve just lost our captain & another important player of last season
    We’ve had 3 new players that still need time to bed in

    As for the game, I only managed the 2nd half due to family matters. My sister is going to get married. Oh my, people never learn eh?

    Anyway, my summed thoughts about what I saw:

    Cazorla

    Ola ola Cazorla. What a player we have landed Grovers. Wow. He’s already bossing the creative bit of the team. Some of his balls were amazing, his view of the game is a whole is of the finest virtues.

    I’d say we landed ourselves a super ACE. As for his impact on the team, I feel he will be the “creative Arteta” influence wise.

    Giroud

    Hmmmmm, we all rue that miss. But he got the ball on his weaker leg, you could see he was very nervous & excited. So it’s understandable at this stage & at this stage only Olivier …..

    BUT, that positives are in two ways: His movement on the pitch is a joy to watch. He’s so mobile comparing to what we’re used to. I thought he was like a leopard on the prowl, waiting for the right moment to cut & jump on that ball. His movement for that miss was superb & all screamed intelligence.

    The 2nd virtue I spotted was his power. He’s so powerful, he can go on duels & win them. He has a lot of presence & isn’t afraid to get in the face of defenders & hustle them. I also think we’ve landed a superb talent here

    Podolski

    I didn’t see the 1st half so couldn’t see too much of him

    Rambo

    Please Arsene, loan the boy & save his career. I’m really concerned for him. He’s a great talent but playing for Arsenal he always looks as if he’s carrying some weigh on his shoulders. It’s like he’s having some kind of psychological barrier that the only way to help get over, is to let that burden down by building his confidence back somewhere else, even if it’s for half a season.

    I hope I’m wrong there & Rambo has a blinder season, but I felt how heavy it was for him to play hence my reckoning. But let’s hope for the good anyway

  24. Evan

    ZEUS’S Comment killed LE Grove at 16:19:21 ————————————
    There was some weird tech issues yesterday I could load the page. More interestingly same for Arseblog HOWEVER i could get on untold Arsenal, at that point i desired I’d rather die.7

    Maybe Arsenal spent all summer trying to sabotage the anti Arsene brigade

  25. OPG

    It’s been a vicious cycle unfortunately 2nd year in a row the squad needs to rebuild with senior players leaving. While there’s been plenty of financial stability it’s come at a cost of little stability and investment in the footballing side over the years that the expectation and mentality is to do enough to stay in the top4 which is tough enough to achieve to be fair.

    This season is all about putting together a squad, hope they gel, stay fit and adapt fairly quickly, but it’s a competitive and tough league you need consistency which is far from ideal for a club that wants to challenge the big clubs
    Then you may say there’s the flaws with the tactics and whether some players are good enough, not all doom and gloom though they’ll finish in the top4 after that more work needed but the past 4 years could of been much less frustrating and more glorious.

  26. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Some of the telephone conversations overheard by the nightshift at GCHQ Cheltenham:

    “Ola Madri, I would have an assist but for that German.”

    “Gutten abend Mutter, please send me meine shooting boots on de FEDEX. They are unter mien bed.”

    “Allo, Allo Sonia, can u ‘ear me? Merde! Another proxy ome

  27. Moray

    So if the rumours are true (sic), it looks like Theo and Song are out and M’Villa and Sahin are in.

    If we add to that a striker like Llorente and a right back, I will be very happy. An experienced keeper then ecstatic.

    If we can get rid of Bendtner, Arsha and send Ramsay on loan, then I think we will be fighting in the top three this year.

    Watching Cazorla, aka Keith Harris, was a pleasure and I think he will lift the team. I can’t believe there isn’t more commenting on Wenger’s complete volte-face over project youth. It is well and truly dead and buried.

  28. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Overall disappointed with this result. There was a time when we would smash these fuckers at home…

    Impressive debut for Santi.. Unspectacular for the other two.. But I’ll give them time to settle.. Just a few games now mind! At least Pretty boy put himself in the position to score and Carzola picked him out nicely with a lovely little pass. I think Arteta and Carzola will develop a nice understanding…

  29. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Moray..
    I don’t see a new keeper arriving?

    It’s been well mentioned here about the ‘project youth’. After Cesc/Nasri last summer Wenger said it was a short term project now. He’s demonstrated that with the purchases since then.

    All waiting now with baited breath to see will this almost new team gel. And to see who will be shipped out by Aug 31!

    Silence on Walcott means no deal. Translated = “they are not offering me what I think I am worth”

  30. Jeff

    The English Premier League has a very distinct divide sown into it. On the one side we have clubs whose sole aspiration is to “survive” and on the other side we have the ones that know they are going to be in the top half and strive to be the highest they can. There are only two or three clubs that actually believe they can win it and we’re not one of them.

    Every club has its targets and is realistic about where they expect to finish but most importantly there isn’t too much difference in the expectation between their fans and the club controllers. So it’s a happy relationship for the most part. Take Sunderland as an example. The club does not expect to win the EPL and nor do the fans and that is fine. They do however, unanimously, expect not to be relegated. The same goes for most clubs within the EPL.

    There are a few clubs that like Liverpool and Chelsea who have enjoyed success in the recent past which means the fans have high expectations. Man City and Man U expect to win everything or come excusably close. The controllers and the fans at all these clubs are not far from each other in their views about where they should finish. At Liverpool, you can tell that their Board of Directors are willing to sack managers, try new things, bring in new players, spend large amounts to bring the club back to its glory days and they’ve had mixed results.

    Knowing all of that, we have to ask ourselves two very important questions.

    1. What is our acceptable target?
    2. What is the percentage of the fans that agree with it?

    In trying to answer those questions we are left with a very odd (probably unique) situation at Arsenal. We have in fact a two way split and everyone uses different arguments (valid or not) to justify their stance. The opinion of the board and manager, without question, is that finishing in the top four is the maximum any Arsenal team is liable to achieve. They wouldn’t mind being higher but know it cannot happen. It is almost tantamount to trying to beat a top of the range Mercedes with a Peugeot 206 at the traffic lights. There is just no way it can happen.

    A large portion of arsenal supporters agree with the way the club is run (we sometimes refer to them as AKBs) and they point us in the direction of our healthy bank balance and we point them in the direction of our trophy cabinet. This ferocious split brings out a lot of acrimony and anger because we have to ask: what is football without the glory of silverware? If we don’t have that expectation, we become like the Sunderlands and the Evertons of this world; we join the ranks of the makeweights.

    The idea that glory on the pitch is no longer a target or a necessity has been dangling in front of us for 8 years and many have simply accepted it while others think that we are still due a miracle or two. The fan-base is definitely split and that is why we have become one of the quietest crowds in the league. Even with 60,000 fans in the stadium, when things aren’t happening, the split is all too obvious and it goes down to a stadium of only 25,000.

    We simply will not be able to attract sufficient number of world class players to win anything. We can no longer make them nor pay them. We will not buy a Ferrari to beat the Mercedes at the lights. I think Le Grove is one of the few blogs that makes it acceptable to air views against the establishment because its members are mostly people who want the club returned to its glory days but can see why for the last 8 or so years, the probability of that happening has been dwindling ever so slightly with the passing of each season.

    Yesterday we saw Arsenal put in a performance that whilst it wasn’t dazzling, it was acceptable. We came away with a 0:0 draw against a team whose style is predictable and we simply couldn’t break them down. Parking the bus is survival mode for most teams who play against Arsenal because they know we attack in numbers; so they defend in numbers. The excuses for not winning quickly started to flow. It’s a new team, they haven’t gelled yet, it’s only the first game, and they need time to bed in; and so on.

    We kid ourselves a lot at Arsenal don’t we; even on Le Grove? I’m not immune from it either. I find myself doing it too sometimes because it is human nature to deny painful truths and cling to lame, invalid arguments. One good player does not a team make. Against teams like Sunderland, we need guile, speed, precision, darting runs, killer through balls in order to catch out the two permanent lines of four in front of us. We simply do not have the players to do that. Ramsey, Walcott, Diaby, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Djourou, Squillaci, Bendner, Park and others that I’ve missed cannot and will not ever become the players we need. That is the reality. It’s not their fault and it’s not our fault either. We can debate how we went from the invincible team to this but it would be boring because we know already.

    The bottom line is this. If you want to be a happy Arsenal supporter, you have to lower your expectations and accept that finishing in the top four is actually a brilliant achievement given the team we have. If you do that, joy will flow through your life. However, you also have to accept that if fourth is a win of some sort, fifth, sixth and seventh aren’t that far behind. From that you have to infer that anything between third and seventh are acceptable and it means we’ve done well.

    After all, 16 other teams would give their right arm to swap places with us wouldn’t they?

  31. paul mc daid

    Not one player in our squad would of got into our team 8,10,12,14,16 years ago, Arsene Wenger and this board have destroyed our team,given time they will destroy our club

  32. HP

    I told you guys we would not win and we would have a similar start to last season, now we will lose to stoke and get city to put at least 5 past us. RIP Arsenal.

  33. Confidentgoner

    Couldn’t get on yesterday. Perhaps a problem with the site?

    This team is a 5th to 4th place team. Wenger again wants to hoodwink the gooners. This team stands no chance against ManU, City or even Pool. He needs a right footed striker, he needs a RB, LB and a DM.

    Sunderland had better chances than us at home. Says it all really. The defense, Mr. Bould is still shit. One thing I read though is that Bould is no Arse licker, but I still see the same defensive mistakes that allowed unnecessary openings to Sunderland. A better team and we have lost yesterday.

    Is it too difficult to press players with the ball like Barca, till you dispossess them? That should be our defensive philosophy and that should start from the front right through to the defense.

    One word for Wenger. Is there any coaching manual that says you cannot make changes at half time or even in the first half? Face it, you have no cojones, and you are not good at reading games. If you were, you should have brought in OX tospark the team, not Ramsey, and why Jenkison at RB? We have Yenarris and Coqelin. Coquelin would have done better than Daiaby in the Midfield at least. Your time sir has past. Football has overtaken you.

  34. Goona P

    @JeffAugust 19, 2012 08:21:53

    Great post…

    Was at game yesterday, Giroud should have won it for us…

    Felt sorry for Cazorla needed some help from rest of team…

    Completely agree with you views on Ramsey, Walcott, Diaby, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Djourou, Squillaci, Bendner, Park

    add Gervinho who was shocking yesterday, I assume he & Theo were wingers in formation but I cannot remember either of them getting behind fullbacks once??

    Theo did not look interested, he & rest of the above are simply not good enough.

    The fact 6 of them played a part yesterday is very concerning! Wenger needs to continue his clear out & bring in some quality players to keep this lot away from an Arsenal shirt…… Victoria Concordia Cresit

  35. Bade

    Confidentgooner

    I agree with the way things are standing right now we have ZERO chance of winning the league

    However there’s still time to act & make this team count

    Selling Robin got me to a new low with club, regarding our ambitions, but selling Song is a massive message in my book

    For me, Song was almost the representative of all things wrong with this club. and he’s off

  36. Gregg

    The reality is this, our failure to sell Bendtner, Chamack & Arshaving has resulted in the Board accepting the barca £15m for Song.

    Quite clearly, abundantly clear now that any new signings have to be self funded. This board will not release a penny until Stan has stadium paid and can flog it on for a kings ransom.

    £39 million spent on 3 players, £39 recouped by selling 2 players.

    We need to stop believeing money is available. It clearly isn’t. Sell to buy is the way it is

  37. Goona P

    Yennaris & Le Coq are better than Jenk & Diaby…

    Where is Lansbury aswell? much prefer to see him play over Ramsey

  38. Confidentgoner

    Jeff,

    Agree completely with you. but there is also one side that feels that with the money available we should do better in the transfer market and with better coaching we should be challenging. Dortmund are not rich, but were able to get the league in Germany . It’s not all about the marque players, but mainly about players who can put in a shift and about the squad.

    I have questions on Jenk, Daiaby, even Gibbs.

    We could have bought Baines for LB, a DM, and a RB. Guys like Jenks belong to a lower league, not EPL level. Diaby and Gibbs should be playing Carling cup. And two left footed strikers? Why? Why not sell the dross or give them an incentive to go.

  39. Doublegooner

    This is my 46th consecutive year having a season ticket & many seasons going to away games.

    I’m bored of Wenger & his tactics

    Bored of corporate stale & stagnant Arsenal.

    I sat there yesterday thinking, I’m not enjoying this.

    WTF am going to Stoke & Liverpool for ?

    Bored of

  40. Bade

    Jeff

    Although I agree with most of your points, and they very much reflect my opinion on our management, I’m happy with the way Song was dealt. For me it’s a massive shift

    Providing this kicking out followed by 2-3 more signings, I think our chances of winning the league will grow. As they stand now at Zero level.

    Time will tell, there are only 12 days to sort this out, but it’s doable. If those 12 days don’t present us with more players, then I think that means Arsene lost his belief in the team & he’s off come end of season. Which might be as well a great news for us.

  41. Radio Raheem

    Giroud (13) + Cazorla (12.5) + Podolski (11) = 36.5

    Song (15) + RvP (22.5) + Vela (3) + Bartley (1) = 41.5

    How about Wenger stops playing Theo until he signs a new contract?

  42. Leedsgunner

    The only thing that Jenkinson has going for him is that he is a Gooner and he wants to play for the club. Sadly he is a kid out of his depth to be a starter a Champions League team. From all accounts, Swanseas new Spanish signing Michu had a blinder yesterday… 16 La Liga goals and picked up by Swansea for 2m! What is our scouting staff doing? Why aren’t they targeting these buys?

    I see the usual excuses are abounding from Wenger this morning… so basically if we play poorly for the next 5 games it will put to the team “settling in.” However, the team can go longer be afforded that luxury as the other teams will hit the ground running.

    Oh well at least we are not Liverpool… they look a shambles!

  43. Bade

    Double,

    This time around the club needs us

    Those 12 coming days present for me the Arsene last chance saloon.

    He might be as in recent years, cueing only for CL spot, making money on transfers & so. But all the signs indicates there’s some change & I’m willing to give it a go as I’m looking ahead & it’s almost a win-win situation for us

    Whether Arsene add enough to assemble a complete winning side, or not, in a space of a season we’re going to profit from it

    If he adds, then it’s great & we’re all behind the team & I’m certain we’ll have a much better season

    If he won’t, that means he gave away & he’s off certainly at the end of the season, which isn’t bad for me

    No one can accuse me of being an Arsene-fan, I’m still miffed & insulted due to selling Robin in the 1st place, & selling our captain & player of the year for the dirty Mancs just to add insult to injury.

    But again, I think Arsene showing signs of finding his lost pair, he won’t be sacked this season obviously, so all we have left is HOPE really.

    He must be dying from the inside watching his poster boys Robin, Song, Cesc, Nasri all leaving him, he must act. Arsene always cared about his personal Ego, hence why I’m almost certain he’s going to splash some more money.

    As he sees it, it’s not only the interest of the club on the balance now, it’s also his personal Ego. So we might gain after all from it….

  44. Evan

    Team selection below is shocking

    Fabianski
    Jenks, Squid, Djourou, Yennaris
    Theo, Ramsay, Eastmond, Arshavin,
    Chamakh, Park

    Subs: Mannone, Bendtner, Frimpong, Lansbury

  45. Bade

    Well

    Arsene comments in the interview yesterday made it clear for me he’s already ours

    Sahin is a top top talent, proven. I hope we’ll have some buy-option clause in that deal, he’s worth the money. Real got him back then for 10-11m which is a steal for such a massive talent

  46. Jeff

    The great shift that has occurred right under our noses is that we have gone from asking “What can we do to win” to “What can we do to make a profit”. That shift was made when Kroenke took over and I think Wenger himself believed for a long time that he could do both. He is only now beginning to realise that it is extremely difficult if not impossible.

    The first plan was to launch “Project Youth”. That, as we all saw, failed miserably because he didn’t make provision for human nature. Even if you take a player from nothing to being a world class superstar, you have to also have a contingency plan to keep him thereafter. He fully expected loyalty to be placed above the need for prestige and glory. We are damned if the player makes it and we are damned if he doesn’t.

    It’s all very well buying someone for £500,000, carrying him for five years to make a world class superstar out of him worth £30m if you are not prepared to pay him what other £30m players are getting in teams who are winning things.

    I think he has finally realised that it’s not possible to continue in that vain because we are seeing signings of age 25+ for the most part. But there is still a problem. Nobody is a fool these days and if your budget is 15m, they are not going to give you a player who’s worth 25m. So, unless some miracle happens in the transfer market, we are left with no option but to stick to the players we’ve got (who aren’t good enough) and sell any that do not want to stay.

    There are examples, of course, of other teams doing well on a budget but the rules of engagement in the EPL are very different. We have at least 3 clubs who are prepared to spend much more than we are willing to do. So, given the choice, what would you do if you are a player? Go to a club on smaller wages in the hope that you might win something or play for someone who has a chance of winning something but will pay you a great deal more whether you win not. It’s a no-brainer.

    So what am I suggesting? That we go and spend 500m on new players? No. This summer was the perfect opportunity to sell the players we no longer had any use for. We managed to sell one or two but still we have more than we can cope with. We have to be prepared to make a small loss in the first couple of years if we are to turn this around. Buy 5 or 6 established above average players, pay them the going rate and in the meantime try like the devil to get rid of the remaining wage-eaters to free up funds. In the short term, we will make a small loss but it will give us a chance of a trophy or two. It means also changing our wage structure so that we no longer pay extortionate amounts to non-established players thus making it easier to sell them if they don’t make the cut.

    But all of that is just hot air really because we all know it has absolutely no chance of happening which means we carry on business as usual. All the new signings and efforts are simply to keep us from dropping out of the top four and forfeiting CL money.

  47. Evan

    Sahin deal, me personally would prefer a perm deal. If he comes in and performs like a legend and we end up not signing or Real decide they want him back, it does us no good.

    Yossi in my opinion was a loss

  48. Radio Raheem

    19.08.2012

    Andrey Arshavin has arrived in St. Petersburg on a working visit.
    ———————–

    would’ve have been useful as a squad player if on lower wages. are there any Russian translators out there? I’m not sure a literal translation quite conveys what he is trying to say (although we can all guess)

  49. HP

    Bade, our defence is shambles. We are going to a place where we have won once. We have to play city,pool and chelsea soon as well. I am telling you it will be similar to 7 points from 7 games

  50. Radio Raheem

    I’m sure we all prefer a permanent deal for Sahin but even a temporary one will be very useful – he is that good.

  51. Dream10

    Radio Raheem

    Good news about Sahin.

    When Jack Wilshere comes back, we may have SIX left footed players in the starting XI. That’s too much for me.

  52. jack

    Are you one of the “happy supporters ” Jeff. It appears you have resigned yourself to accepting mediocrity. IF the sheep want to pay the dearest tickets in the world to finish 4th,5th or 6th, then the fanbase are a bunch of losers, like Arsene and the board.

  53. Confidentgoner

    bade,

    I think the guy has no stomach for a fight. He will try to sign one in and scramble for a 4th place spot. footy has left Wenger behind. it happens in all sports, if you stay too long. Boxing is the same.

  54. salparadiseNYC

    Radio.
    I’m not sure how reliable Castles is, he seems certain Sahin is in which would be great news, ideally not on a loan though.
    RVP needs replacing and after reading AW post match analysis I get the feeling he will go in for somebody pretty solid. It’s all poker with him, saying United purchased Van Persie as the options on the market are so limited… meaning we are on the hunt? Lets hope cause we certainly need another option up front. Cazorla looks the real deal, exciting player and miles ahead of our strike force yesterday whom looked a different quality to him.

  55. Jeff

    Jack,

    These days I would not describe myself as a “happy Arsenal supporter”. I am more stoic than anything else.

  56. Oli Bone

    Regarding Giroud’s miss yesterday, as disappointing as it was, let’s not ignore the fact that RvP was perhaps our most ‘one-footed’ striker in years. And while Giroud’s shot was poor, he did take it on his weak foot and how often did we cry out when RvP would fluff a chance just because he didn’t have the balls to shoot with his right. Giroud will come good, just give him a little time

  57. Radio Raheem

    Dream10

    You make a good point there. But who are the other left footers? (I’m too lazy to think)
    ——-

    Sal,

    That’s the fun or torturous part of a Wenger interview – it is open to so many interpretations – you are not quite sure what he means. To me it seems quite unlikely we’ll be buying another striker but I’d like to be proved wrong. After we have done all our selling we might be in the black even after signing Sahin on loan so signing another striker might not be impossible, albeit quite unlikely.

  58. Evan

    If Wenger holds Song is such high regard, then it imperative that he replaces him. Sahin ain’t no Song replacement, if Wenger thought Songs best position is defense then how can Sahin be that cat? (he’s a gap filler for Jackie boy)

    I’m expecting Mvila and Sahin by close of window.

    Need a RB and GK as well, but then that would far too sensible

  59. Radio Raheem

    I was always sure of Cazorla. The reason some think he might be below Mata is simply because they have not seen enough of him. By the end of the season we’ll all be calling him world class I know.

  60. Dream10

    Radio Raheem

    Vermaelen,Gibbs/Santos,Wilshere,Sahin,Podolski, Giroud

    Dont like TV5 at centreback to be honest, because he is left-footed and Koscielny is better on the left side.

  61. gambon

    Haha, so let me get this right:

    “Van Persie is shit”

    “We wont miss him”

    “Podolski is just as good”

    “Giroud is just as good”

    “We will win the league”

    Hha, we are an absolute joke of a club. For once it looked like we were gonna spend some money on the team, and what did i say all along…..just wait for the big sell off. Well here it is.

  62. Radio Raheem

    What is sahin’s best position?
    ———

    Arteta’s or Diaby’s. I think he is quite adaptable and if we are stretched could even cover for Cazorla

  63. Bergkamp63

    The trouble with Wenger is he does not do tactics,

    There is no plan B when teams like Sunderland park the bus and we can’t break them down plus we are not mobile enough to play the system he tries to.

    Having 70% of possession is only any use if there is an end product. Sometimes in such games it’s better to let teams come on to us and hit them on the break or have a threat from taller strikers on can score with their head as a plan B ?

  64. gambon

    Fucking hell Wenger is pathetic

    On why he sold song……

    “Because we have Wilshere coming back in 6 weeks”

    What the fuck? We are selling our only DM in August because Wilshere is back in October?

    We have now spent less than virtually every team in the PL. In the last 5 years we have spent less than all 19 other teams.

  65. Radio Raheem

    Dream10,

    With everyone fit I’d start

    Sagna Koscielny TV Gibbs

    Sahin Wilshere Diaby

    Cazorla Giroud Podolski/Gervinho

    That’ll be 5 left footers that gives us a good balance

  66. HP

    We need to sell wilshere before he is sold to city in 2013/14 , its better to cut our losses now as he is another diaby, who can fuck off with him too

  67. Bade

    Gambon

    Does it really matter?

    Seeing Song out of the club is a joy, no matter what is the reason behind that & how flawed it is

    Song was summing up everything that is wrong with the club. And he’s off

    We should be cheering it

  68. angry water bottle

    Maybe the fool sold song because he knows sahin and m’villa are coming,who knows what goes on in that head of his.

  69. Radio Raheem

    I know I predicted we could optimistically finish second yesterday. The flip side is that this could very well end up being a transition season as evident from yesterday’s match. Replacing our two most productive attacking players in RvP and Song won’t be as easy as some think…hope my optimistic side is right.

  70. Jeff

    If Song and Walcott go, we may be left a little short (they represent the subset of players who are a littel better among a set of really bad ones) but I guess if credible replacements arrive, it’s no skin off anybody’s nose.

  71. bayo

    I have lowered my expectation, If its 6th or 7th position, it is meant for a football club….as you lay your bed so u will sleep on it……We have made close to 50 million pounds sales and the only replacement that might come in is if we get sahin on loan….I believe its been agreed by the board long time ago that they will rub the club by balancing the books……even wenger said i have already spent the money (fee for van persie)

    The question..is it worth it to have emotional trauma every week because of a Club that do not even want to win…the worst thing in life is to be comfortable with mediocrity thats why we are stuck with ramsey, diaby, walcot, djourou….

    THIS SEASON…ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS IS ALL GOOD.

  72. gambon

    Bade

    No its not a joy.

    How can it ever be a good thing to sell a first teamer? How ever flawed he is he is better than Diaby, ROsicky or anyone else as a DM.

    Its like saying “My car is really annoying so im glad i sold it”

    “Have you bought a new car?”

    “Nope, im walking 7 miles to work now, but im really glad i sold the car”

    We’ve basically sold half of our first team from 18 months ago. Weve always been a selling club, but its getting absolutely ridiculous.

  73. Moray

    If we don;t have a buy clause then I would rather not have Sahin, I’m afraid.

    Otherwise it reeks of penny pinching and book balancing and is just further embarrassment for the club.

  74. bnsb

    If we don;t have a buy clause then I would rather not have Sahin, I’m afraid.

    We have a BYE clause in players contract 🙂

  75. gambon

    Moray

    Agree, we cant give a player 12 months experience on behalf of Madrid

    Would rather MVila

    Dont bet on it though, this club stinks from top to bottom, they will do whatever it takes to spend the minimum.

  76. Radio Raheem

    Dream10,

    I like Coquelin but from what I have seen in pre-season he hasn’t convinced me he is ready for first team action.

    Whilst I agree Diaby could move the ball faster I think he offers us a physical presence and calmness on the ball in an important part of the pitch. I don’t think he lost an aerial duel yesterday but since his own goal in the match against manure people have simply concluded he is not good ‘in the air’.

    However, if we signed M’Vila and he is as good as le Grove makes him out to be then I wouldn’t mind leaving Diaby on the bench. As it stands we are better off with him in there than not, playing 3 midgets in midfield will leave us at a disadvantage IMO.

  77. Arsene's Nurse

    When teams park the bus it’s very difficult to get in behind them. Pace on the wings is nullified. A well drilled defensive unit, like Stoke, will also prevent any tippy-tappy crap round the box from penetrating in front of goal unless there is exceptional passing and movement from the attacking team. Walking the ball into the net needs really high quality players.

    We don’t currently have them. So how do you win?

    1. Counter attack – when the opposition have committed themselves a little bit say for a corner or free-kick near our box then there is the opportunity to score.

    We used to be explosive on the counter, moving the ball quickly and accurately whilst at pace. Teams feared that and it was a joy for us fans to watch. We no longer have the players to do that and are far too slow with our passing.

    2. Crosses – Pick the ball up, get it to the flanks and cross to players in the box. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well it is, but we don’t do it with any quality. Why can’t our wingers cross the ball? It’s a basic skill FFS.

    We get time on the ball so it’s easy to open up a bit of space for a cross. We may have to cross from a slightly deeper position but if we had someone, and I hate to say this, like Beckham, who could whip a ball in from the wing then we’d score more. You are always going to get a bit of luck too with own goals and knock downs and other defensive cock ups.

    Our wide players can’t cross for toffee. Gervinho and Walnut are squad players at best.

    Shooting outside the box – Buy players who can shoot. Why is Ramsey allowed to shoot outside the box? He is shite at it and wastes good opportunities. It’s rare to see an Arsenal player shoot with power and precision or use guile to score outside the box. Do we even practice it?

    Set the ball up for a player to shoot from deep. It’s not hard and we have a couple of players that can shoot. If you don’t shoot how can you expect to score? This was seen against Stoke. In 90 minutes we had so few shots on target.