Arteta says the boys are doing extra training? Exhausted players doing extra training? Really?

by & filed under News Review.

Good morning football fans of all colour, creeds and persuasions.

Today I have nothing to talk about. I can’t remember what went on yesterday and I’m stuck on the Underground pondering why my Times newspaper app doesn’t auto download the sport section. I don’t care about the real world. I won’t let anything put football in perspective. Don’t you hate it when people say that?

‘Yah, yah, it’s things like 280 people dying on a plane that put football in perspective’

What a pointless statement. Do people say that outside football?

‘Dave, I know you’re upset that you f*cked up that spreadsheet, but a sheep farmer just went under the wheel of a tractor in Devon. Chin up son.’

Anyway, I had a read the tweets and blogs yesterday. I find it amazing how many people go out of their way to trivialise the angst of football fans. Like they can dictate the mood. If the state of the club on the pitch doesn’t deeply disturb you, fine. Don’t make out that the people who are bothered by it are overreacting. The same people pushing lines like that are the same people who were telling us 5 years ago the Wenger master plan would give us global dominance for forever and a day.

‘Chillax man, look at the way that Carling Cup side tore Sheffield United a new one. We’re building for a better future’

Well, now the future is here, it’s looking pretty average. What’s worse is the names being shunted around to make things better are pretty average. Maybe that’s the best we can hope for these days?

Now Huntelaar may have ripped us a new one, but so has Grant Holt two seasons running. I remember being quite excited about the young Dutchman when the stadium opened to a Bergkamp testimonial. He was banging them in for Ajax and boasted a compilation video of bicycle kick goals.

Basically, as far as I was concerned, this guy was the next Ian Wright and I’d pretty much discovered him myself. Then the game started. He scored, but he was quite lazy and very slow, now that was 6 years ago. Since then he’s bombed in Milan and Madrid. He’s scoring in Germany, but I still have my doubts around the strength of their league. I think he’d score for us, but really, is a 29 year old who never really set the scene alight a progressive move or another one of Wenger’s stop gap knee jerk signings?

Then there’s Zaha. I like the look of him. There’s talent there. Is he better than Gnabry or the Ox? It’s up for debate. Is he better than Theo? No way. So what’s the point? Bar being a massive Gooner, I’m not sure whether we need another potential punt on the books.

Other names we’re talking about are Frank Lampard. He has bundles of experience and he can still score goals, but is another player who has been ousted because he can’t pass fast enough the answer? Do we need another slow midfielder without a box to box edge stinking out our first 11. Could you stomach Frank Lampard in our first team? I’m not sure I could. It’d be like signing Ledley King.

We need to move for big players. If you have big money you can do big things. Pick on the teams who are out the Champions League. What do Montpellier have knocking around in their ranks? How about MBiwa or Belhanda? Are there any gems at Ajax, Benfica  or Lille we can pick off? If European clubs are in as much sh*t as their countries are, these players should be easy pickings. Santi Cazorla came out and said the other day that Spanish players are all desperate to move here because of the security English clubs offer. He turned down Madrid because our offer was just too good. Same reason Almunia turned down Watford originally.

So there are plenty of things we could do this window and I’m sure we’ll make some moves. I just worry they won’t be quite as progressive as they should be.

In other news, Arteta has been speaking to The Mirror about the state of the team.

‘You look at the players’ faces, the disappointment, the hurt. They want to put it right. You’ve got players here demanding and wanting to do extra training. It’s in themselves to work harder to put it right.’

‘We have been watching videos over and over again of games, looking at what we’ve done wrong. That comes from everyone, absolutely everyone.’

This is good to hear. It does sound a touch like he’s feeding the fans what they want to hear… because actually, the last thing we need is players like Arteta partaking in extra training. He’s knackered, he’s 32 and he’s played in all of our games. If anyone is due a breakdown it’s him. Arsene should be resting certain players at the moment, more training is counter productive. I like the fact the players are watching the videos of what they’re doing wrong, as far as I know, that’s not mandatory. What we should be doing though is watching videos of what’s coming. That’s what will give us the edge we’re lacking. If you know who you’re about to face and you’re instructed how to play them, you give yourself that tactical edge when when the quality might not be there due to form. Barcelona might be one of the best teams in the world on the ball, but the work and effort that goes into ensuring they’re tactically the most astute goes unnoticed. If understanding the opposition is good enough for Barcelona, it should be good enough for us. If anything has become patently evident over the last 2-3 months it’s that we’re still not giving the opposition the respect they deserve and it’s costing us points.

The weekend sees West Brom come to town. Players are rested, we’ve had a chance to regroup, so I’m hoping we have a major reaction. We have a very easy run in December. My guess is we’ll finish the month somewhere around 3rd… if we react properly. If we can take maximum points over the next few weeks, that tees us up nicely for a big game against City. I think the player who could spark some form in the side is going to be Thomas Rosicky, he was one of our standout performers last year and he looked very sharp for the most part the other night. His quick pass and move style is exactly what we’ve missed at times. His movement off the ball is so important to the team,  it sometimes acts as a catalyst. The bad news injury wise is Theo and Lukas are out the game. Well, I’m not so fussed about the German who has been a massive disappointment so far this season. It’s a chance for the Ox to shine though… and he is going to have to start doing that sharpish.

Anyway, more of a preview tomorrow, for today, tell me who you’d like to see come in this January?

179 Responses to “Arteta says the boys are doing extra training? Exhausted players doing extra training? Really?”

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  1. Radio Raheem

    It is bullshit no way we paid 30 mil for Reyes. You can throw that website into the waste bin. Wenger is on record saying he has never paid more than 15 million euros for a player and that interview was aired after Arshavin was signed.

  2. salparadisenyc


    That figure is most definitely not correct.

    Otherwise I’d agree, we’ll be lucky with Henry and Zaha which is doing a dis-service to Arsenal and the players our Midfield will crack without reinforcements. For me this window is Wengers chance at redemption (again), knowing his track record I’m sure he will fail it miserably. Bare minimum we need 4 in to cover the cracks.. and that will not happen. AW negligence during previous shop windows has caught up with him and will eventually be his demise.
    As Pedro said looking in the bargain bin is ludicrous, why cant we put the money in for Cavani?
    We certainly have it unless its gone to purchase a Montana ranch.

  3. Dan Ahern

    Just wanted to say great post yesterday. I couldn’t even bring myself to comment because nothing makes me quite so angry as Tom Fox quotes. He’s only capable of typical marketing cunt jargon, and this is not the time for it.

    You’d think as a marketing man he’d have some sense of the zeitgeist, but no. He just bangs on with his pathetic spin . Infected by Gazidis surely.

    Oh well, at least his bullshit apparently works on other marketing cunts. Thanks for the Emirates deal.

    (Fuck, I’m getting started…. gonna stop now.)

  4. Jeff

    Are we really going to buy yet another £12m player in Zaha? Why do we always do this? Are the only criteria that the player is cheap and available? For goodness sake Arsene snap out of this madness and in the twilight years of your tenure do something extraordinary. For the love of all that is good make this one count. Goodness me.

  5. SUGA3


    Wenger will leave at the end of this season leaving the new man with a mountain to climb squad rebuilding wise…

    seriously, he should not be allowed to go anywhere near these ‘starlets’, new man will need the money to spend and is Zaha really all that?

  6. Johnty79

    Radio raheem, notice that wenger is quick to brag when he has a bargain. But the reason all our transfers are undisclosed is because he doesn’t want to look a fool like when he paid 10 m for jeffers…

    When we signed Reyes the chairman came out and said the transfer fee was bigger than what real Madrid paid for beckam and that figure was 25m. Arsenal only deny transfer figures when it makes them look bad haven’t you noticed that?

  7. Jeff


    The way I understand it is that a very unusual set of circumstances have to exist before a player can be sold to another club for a price that is much lower than the going rate if indeed that player is considered to be much better than the asking price suggests. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that a concatenation of extraordinary events may lead to such a player becoming available.

    However, this is neither the time nor the place for it. We are hanging by a thread while those on top of us are putting the boot in and we have one chance to acquire some real firepower that may give us a fighting chance to claw back the lost ground. So what should we do? Desperate situations require desperate measures. What we do not do is waste time rummaging round for a bargain.

    Are we really that miserly? Haven’t we all been in a similar situation? Say you’ve broken down in the middle of no where and you were too stingy to get AA. It’s dark, it’s cold and the car has the entire family in it.

    Do you call for a taxi and pay whatever it takes to get everyone home or do you try to flag down passers by hoping for a lift? It is madness I tell you; stir bloody crazy. It is decisions like that which infuriates everyone. I mean what is it going to take? Where does he draw the line? Is there even a line or is it till death to us part?

  8. Relieable sauce

    Wongas teamtalk sorted for this weekend then, “right boys, remember we’re not all about winning. I just wanna see a good performance again, just like against Olypiacos”

    Stans thinking about changing the nickname to “The Brand”.
    Its what we are now & it also fits in with stans rancher image. Yeee fucking haa!

    C’mon The Brand!

  9. IL Capo

    What the hell has happened to this blog? Looks like the sussing of avatar Gambon/Pedro has kicked in big time and driven punters away huh?

    BTW Arsene has agreed to go at the end of the season with one season’s pay off……the wank yank ain’t got a clue what to do next! Club”s fucked until the yanks piss right off!

  10. Radio Raheem


    You believe the chairman?

    t’was on the beeb Wenger came out with that figure and he wasn’t asked…

    £30 million sounds less believable than 15 million euros…but hey who knows

  11. Cesc Appeal

    Wenger dashes anyone’s hopes that he’ll spend big then in his latest press conference.

    Saying splashing cash isn’t the answer and his usual rhetoric…I’m just bored of this guy now, gone past loathing, hatred. I’m just bored of him, bored of his lame excuses, bored of his flat performances, bored of the crap players he praises and professes to be the next big thing, bored of his inaction in EVERY transfer window – aside of course from the selling side.

    The club is dull as shit now – hardly a good way to attract the next wave of fans.

  12. Cesc Appeal

    So the bidding will start for Llorente at £5 Million…bargain stuff

    £5 Million Llorente
    £6 Million Huntelaar
    £14 Million Lopez

    The targets are out there, Wenger could take any one of those and drastically improve us.

    Personally I’d look at spending £20 Million on the strikers and aim to get on of the tall boys, Huntelaar or Llorente and then Lopez as the more nimble player.

    Oh shit forgot we already got Henry for 6 weeks…forget I said anything

  13. IvoryGoonz

    Ref Reyes it was a deal with bonuses.
    If my memory is right, we paid something like 12m and it could have raised up to 17 or 21 can’t remember (euros /pounds …) , but he never reached the questioned bonuses.
    It actually looks a lot like Ox’s deal, I think for him it was a 12m cash + addons too…
    So anyway, effectively, Arshavin became the biggest transfer fee as a 15m straight. And that was a rush purchase.
    In the end he’s still on the books, and cost us much more than Reyes.
    But if Reyes had stayed and performed, figure would have grown much more than what we ended paying.

    Fact is that he was already a good player, didn’t work out with us cause he was “inconsistent”.
    And I have to say it is a constant in Wenger’s management.
    The other thing is that when Wenger finally stop being stubborn and buys big, he always does it on a quick rush, without actually thinking.

    Buying Arteta, Mertesacker, and the likes, only pumped up the wagebill, and they are not very young.
    Rather than investing in top top quality, around 20m per player, Wenger prefers to hire 12-15m players now, that he can hope to raise to 20m threshold to make a benefit on selling.

    That’s the problem of Wenger.
    Also, rather than looking at strengthening each position from the top, he always does it from the bottom to not “unsettle” the first 11.

    Imagine if Mertesacker’s money had gone to purchase Hummels.
    We would have the younger version of Mertesacker, and would only spend once 20m+ for a player that could have been playing for 10 years for us.

    Is it better to buy 1x20m player every 10 years, or 2x10m player every 5 years?
    Personally, I know where I sit…

  14. IvoryGoonz

    Can send it to Arsene if you please 😉

    My January ideal signings in that order of priority.

    Baines 20?
    M’Vila 20?
    Gomis 20?
    Yarmolenko (Dinamo Kiev) 20?
    Nsue (Mallorca) 8+?
    Honda (CSKA) 30?
    Abate 15?
    Ademilson (Sao Paulo) 5?
    Willian Jose (Sao Paulo) 5?
    Toloi (Sao Paulo) 10+?
    Griezmann 20?
    Maher (AZ) 12+?
    Jadson (Botafogo) 10+?
    Santon 15+?
    Digne (Lille) 8+?
    Borja Gomez (Granada) 3?
    San Jose (Athletic) 5?
    Mandanda 15?

    18 players
    241m if I counted right.

    no particular order.
    Book a freight carrier.

    Mannone 3?
    Santos 4?
    Gibbs 3?
    Jenkinson 3?
    Squillaci 1?
    Djourou 6?
    Mertesacker 12?
    Coquelin 4?
    Arteta 10?
    Arshavin 5?
    Diaby 5?
    Rosicky 2?
    Park 5?
    Bendtner 5?
    Chamakh 7?
    Walcott 25-30?
    Podolski 15?
    Cazorla 18?
    Gervinho 12-15?
    Fabianski 2?

    20 players

    The difference just happens to be what should be available on the cash account for Wenger. 100m.
    Quality upped, and the wage bill would actually get lower.

    But fact is that we are 100m/20 players away from having a winning squad.
    That’s 5 per player, and that’s probably the difference between Gervinho and Hazard. That’s also a good chunk of a year of Wenger as manager.
    And probably our final position.
    Fuck Wenger.

  15. IvoryGoonz

    Alex: yep.
    That’s the English prime on the quickest player in england.

    Cazorla is totally inconsistent, and is not worth more at his age.
    And switches off too often.

    Dan: it’s funny, if I was doing the same, I’d go . “friendly? English? What? The same people that tried to invade France 34567 times?

    You do sound like a prick, sorry for judging.

    But again boys. Arguing about one small detail but ignoring the big picture.

    Long live our shit scouts, and coaching staff.