Arsenal drop Mertesacker for mobility and pace | Theo Walcott’s confidence or Chambo’s possession? Or neither?

by & filed under Match Preview.

I found this, if it's yours, I'm deeply sorry

I’m up early and ready to roll today, I hope you are too. Today, Arsenal host Chelsea in the biggest grossing Premiership game in history. Hopefully, the boys will make it worth every penny by taking 3 points from the leagues early leaders. We’ll be facing up to a new look Chelsea side this year with some familiar faces disgracing our eyes.

Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Mikel, Ramires (or Lampard), Hazard, Mata, Torres, Oscar

The above line up is how one of the Chelsea bloggers sees it happening today. Obviously there are some key players we need to keep an eye on there. Juan Mata is Chelsea’s supremely gifted attacking midfielder, he glides around the pitch and has an eye for a quick pass. There’s obviously Hazard to watch out for as well. The young Belgian has had a mixed bag when it comes to performances so far this year, people writing him off already are wishful thinkers more than anything, he has the capability to kill us today, so our full backs needs to be super vigilant and at their best.

Rumours are suggesting there will be a centre back pairing of Vermalen and Koscielny today. That makes sense on a number of levels. The two ingredients those two give us are pace and mobility. Mertesacker has been excellent this season, but some games are clearly more suited to others and I think Chelea’s more continental feel this year is better placed with the other two. The benefits of having good centre back stock eh?

In midfield, pending any disasters, I’m hoping to see Diaby, Arteta anchoring with Cazorla sitting in the hole. Arsene Wenger has taken a sly dig a Song by sharing the reasons he didn’t buy an outright defensive midfielder.

“We try to find the defensive balance collectively. We have fewer players who are purely defenders but some are physically strong in defending like Diaby, some are tactically strong like Arteta.

“At the moment we have the balance because everybody participates, but we have fewer specialists, purely defenders. We are more versatile going forward because everyone has the potential to go forward.”

The above was kind of what I was talking about most of the summer. Looking around the league and in fact Europe in general, the traditional defensive midfielder is a dying breed. I think there is definitely a need to have more defensive minded midfielders, but what you actually want is disciplined well rounded footballers. The Makelele type player is a dying bread. Why do I think that is? Well, teams like Barcelona have shown that you are stronger as a unit if everyone can pass to the same standard. I remember Liverpool beating Chelsea in the Champions League by forcing them to give possession to Makelele. He couldn’t pass so the scouser broke their midfield flow.

Arteta is our deepest lying midfielder most of the game, but note how many times Diaby is level pegging with him. Watch how Cazorla bombs back if he loses the ball. There’s virtually no individualism in this side which makes for a more powerful collective. Today is going to be about confidence and taking our chances. We need to be ruthlessly clinical. We need to be efficient. We need to take the same spirit of Manchester City into this affair.

Whenever John Terry plays off the back of a scandal, he always has a blinder and it seems he always scores a goal. He’ll be one we need to play close attention to today. However, he could the weak link we need to take advantage of. He’s not the player he used to be, he doesn’t have the legs and he’s not playing with defenders that are as good as those in years gone by. If ever there was a player who deserved to be on the end of a humiliation… it’s this guy.

Up top will be interesting today. We either opt for physical presence and the hope there’s been a change in confidence by going for Giroud, or we look to pace in Gervinho. For me, Theo can at best hope for a chance out wide. I still can’t believe people are pushing for a player so constrained by inability to play through the middle. Anyway, the other option is to go for Podolski, I think that might be a waste though.

I’d probably go for…

Podolski Giroud Theo

To be honest though, it’s so damn hard to predict these days, it’s almost not worth it. If possession is important you’d go for Chambo over Theo. If pace and confidence are important, then you might opt for Theo. Whatever the line up is today, I’m confident we have a good chance of taking three points. Again, let’s not pretend we’ll be happy with anything else. We’ve got most of our key players fit and in form, we’re at home and the team has started to gel. A win would be a great way to kick off the weekend. I hope the crowd are all up for it, the atmosphere where I sit has had an injection of singing of late… I hope that continues on today. We need to make the Emirates a fortress and there is no reason it shouldn’t be…

Right, I think that’s your lot for today. Have yourself an exceptional day and enjoy your night in equal amounts!

1,133 Responses to “Arsenal drop Mertesacker for mobility and pace | Theo Walcott’s confidence or Chambo’s possession? Or neither?”

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  1. post rocky dave

    Totally agreed, Amjalice – Podolski wasn’t involved much but look threatening; Gervinho finds himself in space more often and sees and squanders plenty of the ball.

  2. Jeff

    Is it just me or is there mileage in the idea that second-rate players will only stop playing if they get injured? If so even the gods are now trying to help us but Wenger is proving too much for them as well.

  3. Alex James

    Thomas One thing is for sure, it will have been nothing to do with Bould. It is still Wenger that plays the tune. Somehow or other the club has allowed him to get into a position to try out his barmy ideas, which started years ago in France and foundered there. Let him go to one of the big continental clubs. He would last five minutes. It is time for people to be honest and recognise thst this is going to be another miserable season. Wenger will not go for the domestic cups; and the CL and Premiership dreams are purely that. 58000 fans went home happy after Coventry, and nowvthis

  4. gambon


    Koscielny is our hero, yes lets drop Merte!

    Giroud is an awesome striker, look at his movement


    Gambon is the prophet, you AKBs are fucking idiots.

  5. Wenger out NOW

    What pisses me off is that Wenger continuously takes off Podolski and moves Gervinho onto the Left and it doesnt work…we lose are balance with Podolski gone and the cover he offers Gibbs…

    One Arsene wenger. In Wenger we trust!! ;-(

  6. unhappy gooner.

    I’m an old fashioned kind of guy and really don’t understand this rotating the team bollocks. Yes I understand if a player’s injured you need to bring in a replacement…but why change something thats working? Your best 11 should play every week, and it also adds as Alan incentive to the subs that they need to raise their game if they want to break into first 11.

  7. SDE


    That said, why not try Chambo in that position,if not Podolski,instead of Theo!!

    Theo,just does not cut it for me..& Chambo& Poldoski offer far more than Walcott..

    I’m saying this,as a result of Wenger’s love of playing square pegs in round holes,or is it round pegs in square holes!!Well you get the gist!!

  8. kwik fit

    We need to play Le Coq in midfield with Arteta. No more Ramsey or Walcott . Ramsey for the bench maybe but Walcott doesn’t even deserve a place on the bench. Le Coq and Arshavin didn’t even make the bench today and Walcott and JD did.

  9. Harry Redknapp

    we gave chelsea the penalty area ,verm and merte turned to jelly when they saw curly and jt in the box. we would have done better by sticking with kozzer and merte, we would even have done better by starting djourou.

  10. Cesc Appeal

    It is hard not to be negative after today but we still are a far more solid team.

    However as long as the BoD persists with this total lack of investment in our squad and constant turning of a huge profit we won’t be up there with the Chelsea’s and City’s of the world.

    If we’d had a big time player up top today it would have been a different story, it almost seems like Giroud is trying to outdo himself every game with ‘what chance can i fuck up today’

  11. SUGA3

    Mannone – 6 (could not do anything with either of two goals, nothing else to do)
    Jenkinson – 9 (played with passion and heart, probably our best player on the pitch)
    Koscielny – 3 (just shut the fuck up, watch and learn)
    Vermaelen – 4 (wandered up the field way too much)
    Gibbs – 8 (another bright point of our team today)
    Arteta – 7 (solid game)
    Cazorla – 8 (tried hard, possibly too hard)
    Diaby – 0 (just fuck off you freeloading leech)
    Gervinho – 7 (did well enough and scored a goal)
    Podolski – 7 (tried hard, unlucky not to score)
    Ramsey – 3 (just fuck off)

    AOC – 6 (tried hard enough)
    Giroud – 5 (get your shit together, son)
    Theo – 3 (just fuck off)

  12. Paulinho

    “I don’t see the fuss with Oxlade Chamberlain either, he’s pony”

    Agreed. He should do conversion kicks in Rugby, that’s about it.

    He’s so fucking average it’s unreal bar the odd good delivery.

  13. SDE

    Cesc Appeal/Suga3

    I thought Gibbs had a mixed game..His sloppy passes once again,let him down..Started well…But boy,does he have a long way to go..To be a top class defender..Discipline son!!

  14. Pollux

    Comeon guys… We were just unlucky. We will do better in the next few matches. It’s still early season and you don’t win in Sept. But than, who can we depend on? Everyone looks piss poor!

  15. zeus

    How many times do we need to see the fuck up that is the vermaelen-Kozzer partnership before we stop using it?

    Per didn’t even play mid week. He should’ve played today.

    If he is capable of playing v aguero and silva (nippy mobile players that are) surely he was good enough to play against Torres and co.

    We were comprehensively beaten. No arguments here.

    Already too dependant on Santi already. Can’t wait for jack.

  16. amjalice

    people bitch a lot about Giroud on here. I know he missed some good chances, but he does a lot of things well. Million times better than gerv. Like if he were considered a midfielder, then I don’t think he’d be getting as much criticism. If he starts, he’ll have more chances and will eventually score. Giroud > Gerv

  17. S Asoa

    Arsenal lose 2-1 .
    Let down by Kozensky and also Vermaleon who have both been poor .
    4 chances gone astray asking for a proper striker . Looking at financial state this is a negligence . And letting RVP go was a idiocity . Debatable will be who pushed .
    Reality , it is a pain for another year . Two more and it will be a decade.

  18. kwik fit

    Can’t bear the thought of the pedestrian Ramsey in the heart of our midfield while Diaby and Jack are still out.
    The guy is so slow and average its unreal. In the second half he gave the ball away three times in the space of one minute. Arsenal’s game is all about moving the ball about quickly . I can’t understand why Wenger still thinks he capable to playing quick one touch football.

  19. fanboy

    Diaby goes off after 15mins, no suprise there

    We conceded from two set pieces, where was Metersacker? Oh we dropped him? who’s brilliant idea was that?

    For those that said Hazard is overated, well? Do you see now?

    Jenks and Gibbs are developing nicely but Ox is starting to worry me

    Why do we still have Ramsey? And why does he start?

    We have NO striker, period.

    Podolski and Cazorla looked a bit overwhelmed, probably wondering if they have to do everything themselvess

    Bendtner is a 6foot plus striker, wenger plays him on the wing
    Walcott was signed as a striker has proven to be a shit winger, who can’t even cross properly but hell wenger still plays him onthe wings
    Ramsey is a shit CM but…you see where this is going

  20. SDE


    I’m just about to give your sister my second coming


    Since you claim to speak 7 languages,or 5 whatever it is.. & be educated @La Sorbonne & @ Oxford..(though I doubt it,with your gutter language)..

    I’m sure you can understand at least half of the languages-I speak& I’m about to spew your way..
    If not,then you are what I truly thought you were from all along ..

    Either way, I’ll leave you to understand/decipher from below what my true sentiments of youreally come down to.

    So on that note, I will graciously say to you:-

    1) Diu lei low mow goh tsau fa hai

    2) Wo cao ni ma bi

    3) Yena’an kusha ommak

    4)Lar re concha de tu madre

    5) Du blode stinkfotze

    6) Su cunnu ‘e mama rua bagassa

    & my favourite especially for you..

    7) At skit och do din javla fitta!

    8) Me cago en el cono de tu madre

    9) Gamw to mouni pou se petage

    Happy deciphering& say hi to your mother!!

  21. Jeff

    It is fair to say that we hadn’t yet been tested properly this season. We got a C against Man City and a U against Chelsea. Last season we got tested in a big way and the answer came very quickly. So it does look like we’re peddling hard but not gaining any ground in the hunt for a major trophy. We were third last week but now, as it stands, we are seventh. No doubt we will manage to climb again but it just seems too much like the same old depressing pattern that says to us “so far but no farther”. It’s a horrible thing to admit but it has been going on for 7 years and looks like nothing has changed.

  22. Cesc Appeal

    Cannot wait for JW to be back, poor lad though, so much hope piled on his shoulders, CB pairing should be Verm and Per from now on, even when Sagna is back I don’t want to see Jenks dropped, he’s been brilliant, perhaps Sagna can adapt to LB….wishful thinking maybe

  23. amjalice

    @Alex: Giroud holds the ball well, big physical presence in the box, pressures the ball well, finds his team mates with decent passes unlike gerv. You just expect him to be lights out in the 20 mins a game he plays? You’d be as senile as wenger. More game time, higher chance of scoring shit and having a bigger impact

  24. Harry Redknapp

    Cesc appeal how about we just play jenks on the right of the attack, he runs at people and beats players more than theo, delivvers good crosses, our own gareth bale situation. its not like theo or ox are exactly flying either

  25. zeus

    Have to say, Alan Davies talks up chamberlain as some second coming of Iniesta type, but I don’t see it. He’s gonna be a good player, but X factor…..? *shrugs*

    Comprehensively out passed by Chelsea. Wonder if the stats show that. But even then, we gifted them the game with 2 of the softest goals you’re ever likely to see.

    All because wenger dropped a working partnership.

    I also suspect that TV5 hasn’t really improved, it’s now more to do with the German who breathes confidence into that back line an to his keeper.

  26. Harry Redknapp

    wenger had to tamper with the defence because he wants to be the best player at the club himself, the media talk us up so arsene gets shirty and changes it, dear oh dear

  27. amjalice

    Hate to say it, but we’d be raping teams had RVP stayed. What’s pissing me off is that we would of been a better team than united had he stayed.. he just went for the money

  28. salparadiseNYC

    reggie 57September 29, 2012 16:34:27

    Yes we will learn again what a stubborn cunt Wenger can be.
    As mismanaged a game as I can remember.
    Ox had no idea where to play once Theo and Giroud came on.
    All the while Mert watching TV5 play like a muppet with Kostitny diving about.

  29. amjalice

    and I see why a lot of my friends and people on reddit think arseblog is better than le grove.. too depressing to be on here

  30. S Asoa

    Reggie57 we have been learning from defeats since several years . Moot point is that Wenger Idiotique does not even after 7 years . Someone pl poke the dressing room and find out which idiot Bould or Wenger responsible for the defense pairing and let it continue to the end . Time the secrecy of the dressing room should be breached in the higher interests of the Club . The Idiotique should pay .

  31. Gunner2301

    So who was it said the defence was sorted? How long and how much training does it take for someone to learn the basics and lets be clear we’re seeing basic schoolboy type stuff out there.

    How many times does TV want to give away free kicks on the edge of the box if its not a free kick its a penalty. He’s out captain and a ducking liability. We need better but do you really think Wengerwill drop him now he’s captain? Will he fuck.

    We will win nothing again we will scrape to a nail biting 4th maybe this time. If Wenger doesn’t bring in a lethal finisher in January then were finished. No disrespect to Giroud because he will probably turn out ok but we shouldn’t be in a position where were depending on him to start firing and he’s the type of player I’d be looking at as a backup to a Falcao or Cavani type finisher.

    Again this is Wenger trying o do things on the cheap and I don’t believe it will work this season.

  32. Ritesh

    Guys, they did not win it. we gifted it to them.

    We chased the game early from the second half while we had started well. After we levelled it in the first half we looked good, playing fast.

    This team just lacks steel. I thought we had it after the Liverpool showing but clearly we wer found wanting against a proper team.

  33. zeus

    Stop clutching at straws. We don’t need a strong DM. We didn’t concede from open play.

    While they held the ball for long periods, they didn’t overly work mannone.

    It comes back to what it always does, the fooking defense.

  34. SDE


    If Wenger doesn’t bring in a lethal finisher in January then were finished.

    Can’t see where that top-level finisher will come from..
    Most of them,are tied into long-term contracts,or cup-tied for CL games..

    Will Wenger pay big money for a top striker if available come January?
    If so,why did Wenger,not push the boat out this summer?

    More of the same,like the last 7 years!!Just do the bare minimum to finish 4th..

    The signing of Carzola,was a masterstroke for Wenger,in appeasing the fans..It allowed him,to cover the deficiencies still prevalent in the team for the early part of this season..
    We do the waltz with Wenger,in everything…from transfers,tactical play,substitutions..

    2 steps forwards,3 steps to the left,3 steps to the right & 10 steps backwards!!

    Madness I tell you,it’s madness!!

  35. Ritesh

    This Arsenal team does not deserve to win the PL. There is no winning mentality here.

    They are a great technical team on their day, but no warriors who can go out theire and stamp their authority on the PL crown. We do not deserve it, simple as that.

  36. Harry Redknapp

    today we simply shot ourself in the foot as usual, and ontop of that chelsea did not deserve to lose, thats how piss poor we were, if you made a youtube clip of our good play for the second half it would stretch for about 30 seconds tops. we were shit and chelsea did not even really work hard.

  37. Doublegooner

    The whole team & subs were ranks today.

    Special mention for Arteta who lost the ball on too many ocassions including the free kick that was the 2nd goal.

    At least Wenger can say we were in the title hunt this season until the end of september.

    Lets look on the bright side, theres £150+ m sitting in the bank and we’ve still got Jack to sell in 18 months,

    I find it amazing when Gooners like John Cross spout on that we are stroneger than last year.

  38. Samir

    I think we’d have won had Mert kept his place…And had Diaby not got injured…We missed his good tackling and fast attacks which give other players space!

    On the bright side…We still have Chesney, Sagna and Wilshere all to come back!

  39. Harry Redknapp

    chesney sagna and wilshere dont fill me with a great amount of joy, chesney is a flapper , jenkinson has been pretty good considering how many thought he would be shit he has coped well, and wilshere is good but we have simular players its height and power we lack because we have got some cripple instead of an athlete

  40. Jeff

    The philosophy at Chelsea is the complete antithesis of that at Arsenal. The owner has a candle beneath the rope holding the guillotine just above the manager’s neck. Abramovich considers winning everything as the default because of the amount of money he has sunk into it. There is of course something vulgar and grotesque about the whole business of pissing billions up the wall and using a football club as nothing more than a pile of chips on a roulette table but that is the game both the owners of City and Chelsea are playing and to a lesser extent Man U trying to match them.

    Instead of using that money in their respective countries to bring a little more prosperity to the millions living in want and need, the owners of Chelsea and City just want to see whose number the little white ball is going to favour when the wheel is spun next. We all know it is immoral but money talks. Unless and until these people get bored and walk away (unlikely) I really don’t believe anything is going to change; FFP or no FFP.

    Kroenke cannot sit at the same poker table as these people and frankly he has neither the desire nor the inclination to do so. I think we can all be pretty sure of that. So where does all that leave us? I’m afraid it leaves us exactly where the other struggling clubs find themselves. Unable to challenge for anything, we all simply hang on to dear life and hope that the season will be kind to us.

    Our only chance is perhaps to play the same dirty game and hope that the collection of men with white pubic hair allow our very own billionaire, who actually wants to help us, come in and make some radical changes. But they are too set in their ways and far more preoccupied with their principles, savoury fingers and bigoted opinions to allow this to happen. So what is the only possible conclusion to all of this?

    Unfortunately, no amount of protesting, blaming, booing, blogging, hissing, screaming or swearing is going to change anything. We are in it for the long run and we could be in this situation for years or even decades to come. I don’t even believe any more that changing the manager is necessarily going help either. There has been a revolution; the landscape has changed but we still think we’re all on a level playing field. We are not and it is delusional to assume otherwise.

  41. SDE

    Gunner2301/Samir/CA/Kwik Fit/Suga3/Jeff

    I ask myself this question,if we had bought Hazard,Mata,along with Carzola(or maybe not)..Sold RVP& kept with the same GK’s would we have won this match today?

    As opposed to the above 3,plus keeping RVP& a top GK,would the outcome have been any different,as well as over the course of the season?

    Would Wenger ,have had a selection problem& still persisted with Ramsey & Gervinho upfront?

    I just think,whoever we bought,Wenger would have thrown up some weird permutation,that may have still cost us the game!!

    The man is truly gone,lost his balls & his marbles!!

  42. Cesc Appeal

    I watched Hazard thinking, good God if he was on our RW next to RVP and Pod on the other side, Cazorla, Arteta and JW in the middle behind them……what a sensational team that would be

  43. cesc rule

    Harry Redknapp September 29, 2012 17:10:34

    well ox did not play 90 minutes, he was sub

    I forgot..well poldy should have stayed on the pitch…

  44. kwik fit

    The real disappointment about the defeat was our defending for the two goals. All the pre match hype about how Arsenal had ‘sorted out their defence’ went in that 90 mins. All the bad old habits were present . In future teams will know that Arsenal still have a weak underbelly.

  45. unhappy gooner.

    @SDE..agree with you wholeheartedly. Wenger has lost his marbles and has done for some years now. Tactically inept, no balls for the big decisions, constantly plays people out of position and to loyal to shite players.

  46. zeus

    And while I love legrove, no blog beats arseblog. Fact.

    Rubbish comments section though. The comments section here is second to none, though we tend to overreact and a few are so negative, it turns people off.

    The talents of Arseblogger and his ability to infuse humour into his posts are a class apart.

    Goonerholic is another of considerable talent, though as an old geezer who has seen it all, he has a bit more patience and perspective than most could ever muster after 7 years of shite.

  47. PragmatistGooner

    Our next three Premier League games are West Ham (A), Norwich (A) and QPR (H). Very possible 9 points if we do it properly but we’ll take 5 out of 9 because that’s how Arsenal treads now a days..We’re an expert in dropping points..Have to agree with Gambon on many points.



  49. Ritesh

    During the ManShitty game, I said that our defensive problems are far from sorted because Giroud was doing a solid job on set pieces against us. Diaby was also good at defending these.

    TV is always a disaster waiting to happen. And Kozzer had a shocker considering his form of last year. We really need the German to stabilise things.

  50. Jeff


    I know what you are saying and yes there is plenty of scope for assuming if x and y were different the result might also be different in this particular game but really my argument transcends that.

    We are all greedy egotistical human beings who have no qualms about abandoning our closest, dearest affiliations and defecting to another who is willing to pay more – much more. Changing the manager will not change human nature. Of course, quite separate from that, Wenger has made and continues to make many mistakes which can lose us a game and take the fans down that familiar avenue of depression and despondency.

    But we also have to recognise that even if we happened to have the best manager in the world and the other club had the worst manager but the best players, what is more likely? That the winner will be the team with the best manager or the best players?

    In order to acquire the best possible players these ruthless people have billions at their disposal and they will use it to their full advantage. They are, to a certain extent, egomaniacs who just want to win the bet – I suppose it’s an addiction of some sort. Instead of giving the money to the casino owner they give it to the players and the manager. The more money you have the better players you can get and the more trophies you will win. It isn’t even about the manager any more. All the other clubs in the premiership and around Europe do everything in their power (within their small budgets) to challenge the clubs who are financed by brash billionaires. To them a million pounds is like a fiver to us.

    More and more clubs both here and in Europe are going down that same route now and soon you will have a dozen or so teams that will be so without the reach of the others that the whole idea of competitive football will implode and become meaningless. But we have a long time before that happens and this FFP thing is simply an attempt to stem the tide with a couple of jam jars.

  51. PragmatistGooner

    Giroud needs probably a year to learn how to hit the sweet spot..Till then why don’t we play Podolski as our striker?? Wenger ruining Podoski by playing him on the flanks..Gervinho needs to be on the flanks.

  52. valerie gooner

    unhappy gooner. September 29, 2012 17:25:28

    @SDE..agree with you wholeheartedly. Wenger has lost his marbles and has done for some years now. Tactically inept, no balls for the big decisions, constantly plays people out of position and to loyal to shite players.

    And the fact of the matter is – whilst he has loyalty to the absolute dross that he buys – who earn millions for kicking a ball around a field, in a very sub standard manner…he has fuck all loyalty to the fans.

    He’ll go into the boardroom tonight, carried in on a diamond encrusted platter where all the board of directors will lick freshly sprayed cream from his torso that spells out “SIX MILLION”

    Think about that- they just made SIX MILLION from that disgusting performance.

    There should be a fucking riot.

    Once again I renounce my fanship of Arsenal till Wenger is gone – I cannot and will not support a corrupt regime that rapes its fan base.


  53. zeus


    He offers to much protection to Gibbs to move central. Not to mention he looked rubbish v Sunderland in the position. That was a first game though.

  54. Alex James

    Big money equals great striker. The cloggy, Aguerro and Saurez are three. Bentner, Giroud, Park and Chamatch (spell) are our bargain basement offerings. See Vertongen is proving his worth, whilst we labour on with Kos, JD and TV5, who is not a class CB. When will people acknowledge that things will not get better until Wenger goes? He no longer has a clue, and I am a chap who has lived through George Swindon and Billy Wright. What a farce!

  55. PragmatistGooner

    Motherfucker Kroenke,Peter Hill Twat and Ivan Disaster OUT…YES I mean OUT of the CONTINENT…Bring back David Dein as soon as possible…He’s best in the business..

  56. SDE


    “Chelsea and City just want to see whose number the little white ball is going to favour when the wheel is spun next.

    Kroenke cannot sit at the same poker table as these people and frankly he has neither the desire nor the inclination to do so. ”


    Roman & the Sheikhs are more akin to high-city rollers..

    The higher the stakes,the more they are willing to take risks…
    Besides,they can afford to bankroll such a high-risk strategy,given the enormous wealth behind them..

    Kroenke,on the other hand,is more of low-risk strategy guy..
    Preffering to play when the odds are more in his favour..
    Blackjack would be more of his game…

    Anyway analogies aside…

    What one has to take into account,is the mentality of the respective owners..

    I mentioned this about 6 months ago,or so…

    The Sheikhs,see investment in Man City as a platform to promote their other interests..That being,the Gulf Arab Region & the growing industries& other commercial interests…

    So a footballing EPL market that spans almost at a guess over 300+ million worldwide audience,is a perfect vehicle/platform to advertise your region,in terms of aviation,tourism,banking,etc,etc…

    The amount they pump into Man City,is chicken feed,taking into account the returns they will get back in the long run,through other business interests..For them that amount of money they have pumped into Man City & their growing complex,is tantamount to advertising money for their respective industries& the region…

    It’s more of a global long term strategy..& they have the resources to sustain that..

    Roman,on the other hand,initially came & splashed his money willy nilly,not only to court favour,with the British Govt-(recall cheques he was writing for fun,when he acquired Joe Cole,Glen Johnson& Lampard for how much at the time),but to also ensure that his wealth,would not go the same way as his compatriot Khordorkovsy-confiscated!!..

    Whilst Putin remains at large..Roman will keep investing& be at the beck & call of Putin,especially when his godfather requires a the subsidising of the Euros2012,or other matters..

    Up until a point,where the political landscape in Russia changes..i.e.Putin eventually steps down to put it politely..

    So his strategy is entirely different..

    The Americans strategy,tends to be built on debt,or a risk-free strategy..

    Invest none of your money& hope the club,becomes self-sustainable& if it wins it is a bonus..Or mortgage the club to the hilt& extract as much as you can,in the process..
    Titles are anathema to them,it’s about the bottom line!!

    Read…Glaziers,Hicks,Gillet,Lerner,&the Liverpool Dudes..
    Only the Glaziers,have won anything of note,due to one reason..Fergie..

    Here you see,3 different mindsets,from 3 different owners across 3 different countries…

    The key,to our success,resides in which kind of owner do you want,spearheading our club…!!

    All that said,I agree with your post!!

  57. follow the money

    Mertesacker is a calming presence on the defence. We saw that even last year. Why he was dropped needs to be explained. At any rate, it’s better to get whatever problems the team has sorted out now rather than in March. Teams that challenge for the title almost always play their best after Christmas. Again, how we respond will tell us a lot. In previous years, we’ve had a bad game and then had six more. All teams lose now and again. The good ones get over it immediately and start another good run

  58. Pierrot

    Despite Kozzer’s mistakes, I must say Mannone was equally very disappointing today… he was simply rooted to the ground for both goals and didn’t cover his angles well. He has a passive approach towards incoming shots and not confident to come out and deal with them, reminds me of Almunia in his decline. That’s why he can’t react fast enough to sudden swerves of the ball. Just look at Cech… his alertness and reflexes prevented at least 2 near goals in the second half.

    Jenkinson was our only shining light today in all honesty. He was consistent throughout the whole match, which his more famous team mates should all learn from.

  59. PragmatistGooner

    @Zeus—That’s not an excuse..Come on mate you know Pod’s finishing ability and the goals he used to score for Koln playing as a striker..Gervinho must learn defensive duties if not attackng.

  60. Harry Redknapp

    nah fuck dave dein him and his son, we just need a board willing to spend not someone to sell the club to players, time has changed, dein got all these players signed to his son as agaent as part of their afc deal and its his revenge on the board whats been happening with players out for years, fuck him, bring in alister and someone else

  61. Maciek

    Mr Alex James,

    Vermy is an ok defender. Nothing more, nothing less.
    I agree that we could do with another central defender, though.
    Koscielny and Mertesacker should play together from now on. Kos is very good, he had an off game, but even Cazorla had one. They are just humans.
    We need a world class striker for sure, but it will be tough to get one in January. I don’t rate Llorente at all.

    We definitely need a world class cdm, since Diaby is made from glass and another playmaker, because if Cazorla is injured we are finished. Aside from that we need quality winger who can score goals.

    Please Sir, give them some time. It’s the firt Arsenal side in 6 years which I want to watch and I’m confident they will win a cup this year. Even if it’s only a League Cup.


  62. PragmatistGooner

    Darren Dein is a cunt though being a sports agent but David Dein is a great personality..Just for him we got Wenger,Bergkamp,Wright,Vieira etc etc…And Mr. Ivan Disaster??

  63. Harry Redknapp

    when david dein was signing up all these young players he was makin them use his son as agent, he is a dodgy cunt who has a lot to answer for.

  64. Cesc Appeal

    Even when Spuds were faltering I said they’d be a side, got too much quality in that starting eleven.

    Dembele is a real miss for us, great talent, what i wouldn’t give for a player like Bale, pace, skill, crossing ability and the ability to finish, what Theo was always supposed to be but never will

  65. zeus

    Have to say, I was calling for kagawa, and I was wrong.

    Looks nothing like the Dortmund playmaker that carried them in gotze’s absence. Toothless.

  66. PragmatistGooner

    Christian Bale. Man Utd 0-2 Arsenal will lose the match on 3rd November with a weaker ManUtd squad…Mark my words!!!

  67. Cesc Appeal

    Did anyone else see Usmanov sat with the UEFA directors before the Montpelier game in France?

    FFP is never coming in, but I’m all for our future owner (please Lord) being chummy with Platini and that lot, look how far it gets Barca

  68. Cesc Appeal



    I never called for Kagawa always wanted Hazard but I agree he looks a shadow of the Bundesliga terror he had been

  69. kwik fit

    United have been piss poor all season. How they have managed 4 wins is beyond me. A midfield who rely’s on two players (scoles/giggs) who have simmer frames on the side of the pitch have no chance. Unless they get a few dodgy pens that is.

  70. Ja_Gunner

    Why the fuck did we not sign Demba Ba long ago…Geez its not that hard. And he would have been cheaper than Giroud..we should have signed him from West Ham.

    Maybe for the next games we need to try Theo up front…

    Manure have atleast 3 quality strikers..we dont even have one…

    Forgoing that 24mil from RVP would not have even dented a club like us..

    The people who run the club are sickening..
    He if cant cut it..sell him in January and get Demba Ba!!!!!!

  71. Jeff


    I suppose we can speculate on the motives the various billionaires have when it comes to pouring billions into football clubs – which at the end of the day are nothing more than ballet companies who kick a ball instead of pirouetting around in tights; the point being that they could choose to sink their money in any number of other types of entertainment within the leisure industry if they want to increase publicity for whatever cause they think it serves.

    That is actually not important to a football fan who wants to see his team challenge and compete but do it on an even keel. If certain clubs are collecting the best players while the others are left without even a chance, it means something somewhere is very wrong.

    But on a completely separate and unconnected observation, we could have afforded to be a little more adventurous in the transfer market and we could have forced Van Persie to stay. That would have spelt ambition of the highest order. There I agree with you and everyone else that it is there that we have been consistently falling short. In other words, the odds are against us anyway with all the big spending by other clubs and we don’t do ourselves any favours by squandering many millions on wages for second rate players and playing them when it is clear to everyone they are simply not good enough. On top of that we look for the cheapest talent and are quite happy to let relinquish what talent does exist with no real attempt motivate its retention. I understand and share that frustration but we are talking about two separate things.

  72. Thorough

    Watching Man U n the Tots and guess what? There’s no player being carried. From keeper to attack are capable distinguished professionals. And Vertongen is MOTM so far, absolutely amazing player. Scored a goal and bosses his territory. Another one that got away….or as Wanker says, we dont need him.

  73. follow the money

    re: Usmanov and UEFA. If Arsenal become a big enough brand (we may be there already–see expansion into African and Asian markets) there will be pressure on UEFA (maybe from Usmanov) to see Arsenal win a trophy in order to maintain the clubs popularity and sell kit and other crap. I doubt it would happen this year, after Chelsea won the CL last year. This year the CL will go to Real or Barca, maybe Bayern. That’s my guess. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Arsenal win the CL in 2014, and see some helpful ref decisions along the way. I think we can forget about the PL. Wenger doesn’t build the kind of team you need to win the PL these days–see Kozzer–he’s much better against teams that play on the ground like Barca

  74. Hitman

    Agree with the earlier post. American ownership is a curse.
    Just ask fans of Pool and Utd.

    The Arabs want to put money in. The Yanks just want to take it out without risking a penny of their own money.
    Thieving, indebted, usurous leeches.

  75. PragmatistGooner

    Usamnov as our owner would surely end the tenure of Wenger as our manager…BUt would love that Usmanov would actually sign super super super quality players and not keep us in denial like the current board is doing.