Arsenal looked balanced | What a difference a Diaby makes | £30m Arsenal bid scepticism

by & filed under Match report.

Make no mistake about it, last night was probably the coldest night I’ve experienced at the Emirates in a while. A proper FA Cup tie under some pretty intense weather conditions. Well, I’d imagine they were less harsh if you were out on the pitch!

It was worth it though, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and I especially enjoyed the balance of the side. Wenger changed things up from the weekend, opting to bring the out of favour Coquelin in from the cold to go… eerrr… out in the cold. He played him alongside Diaby with Jack Wilshere playing in the hole. Wenger shifted Cazorla out onto the left, banged contract rebel Theo out on the right and sat Giroud in the middle. I’m not sure what he was thinking, going experimental in an important game.

Wow, what a difference it made. The team looked fairly compact, it had a purpose and after the first half, it really felt its way into the game and started creating chances like we haven’t seen since the Newcastle game. Players moved for each other, the switched positions, they pressed and they defended with surprising discipline.

Coquelin must be a smart boy. He sees what we’re lacking. That’s a holding midfielder with the intelligence to sit back, pick up the ball and distribute with a bit of ambition. He did exactly that, once  he was past the half way line, he tended to check and sit deep. He was more than just a five yard pass which gave the middle of the park a more dynamic feel. What he has is the energy to tear around the pitch. Swansea are very good off the ball and they can be quite calorie sapping when they’re on the ball. The fact we kept them quiet most of the game is partly down to the work he put in. He has a lot to prove… was Wenger right to ignore the capped M’Vila?

Having Diaby back in the side is what really gives us a different flavour. His height and rangey legs make him a difficult customer to deal with. You can’t mark Diaby in the middle of the park in the same way you can Cazorla. He holds the ball up really well and he matches that with the ability to turn with ease when he has his back to goal. He just makes things difficult for the opposition. Whether that’s in the air or just getting in the way because of his size. He gives us more steal and he mixes up the attributes we boast through the centre. Trouble is, you can’t rely on him… so it’s wasted excitement.

Jack Wilshere was the hub of the team last night. His discipline has improved dramatically over the last few weeks. He knows when to fight, he knows when to calm down, he knows when to niggle at the opposition. He’s our bit of cultured nasty… because for all the bluster, he’s actually an incredibly talented footballer Generally, it takes two or three seasons for the goals and assists to really kick in. Jack is finding his way around the pitch at the moment, working out how to dominate games on his own… but the signs are already there that the goals will come. As time rolled on last night, many of us sensed the footballing gods were going to punish us with extra time… possibly late revenge for booing Eboue… then up stepped Santi who cut some space in the middle of the park, found Jack who controlled the ball, cut inside his defender and blasted his shot past the impressive Vorm.

The crowd went wild, Jack went wild, we all went home happy, even if two or three toes were lost to frost bite.

The only questionable performance of the evening came from Theo Walcott. He really did have a nightmare. One of those evenings where nothing dropped for him. One of those evenings you could usually describe as standard match for him. The timings of his runs were woefully off, his control recieving the ball and when running at full pace was lacking… I watched him run the ball out of play twice which was embarrassing for someone who is about to sign a three and half year deal which would indicate those nights were past him. He did come into the game a bit more as the second half wore on, I remember being very excited when  he hit the target at one point. Sometimes things don’t go for you… but as expected, that contract and his behaviour in holding the club to ransom has already manifested in ill favour for him. He’s earning big boy wages now, talk of being young won’t rub. He has to be on it every game or he’ll be getting grief from the stands. Not helpful, but as we’ve seen before, a greedy player never goes down well at The Grove.

I thought Giroud had another good game. He was just as bad in front of  goal as Theo (more on target from harder chances)… but he was more productive elsewhere. He’s a very  hardworker. The timings of his runs and his ability to get on the end of a fairly high percentage of balls in the box make him a very different striker to the type we’re used to. If he had the pace of Adebayor, he’d be a bit of a monster. Once he truly beds in, I think we’ll have a 20 goal a season striker on our hands. His freekick was the best I’ve seen any Arsenal player take in about 2 months. He lacks the class of a Robin or a Thierry, but for me, we have added variety to the front line. If we brought in someone with true class to compliment Theo and Giroud, we’d be in a very solid place depth wise up top.

Another two players I want to give credit to are Gibbs and Vermaelen. The Belgian had his best game in an Arsenal shirt of the season. He made some superb last ditch tackles and demonstrated some real fire last night. Gibbs, who has failed to really impress me this year put in a decent shift as well. His speed of thought and ability to read the game really stand out when you watch how many interceptions he makes during a game. He was mostly first to everything. His problem comes with positional sense when he’s not directly involved in play. He tends to switch off, which results in him losing the runs of people who should be watching. Last night though, I couldn’t fault him. He looked great.

I guess one aspect we can’t forget is that both teams knew a draw was going to be a problem. The second half lookced as though both managers had insisted the players take aim at winning within the ninety minutes. The game really opened up which played into our hands. The big question is whether we can take our second half form into the Chelsea game on Saturday and deliver it with a clinical edge. Chelsea are fragile at the moment, they dropped two points last night… they’re their for the taking. The clash of the two most inconsistent teams in the league… it could be a spectacular.

£30million man…

Big rumours on Twitter yesterday about a £30m bid for a player being lodged. The source is a well respected one, but the Tweet was removed later on… after it had gone viral obviously. Now, I don’t want to p*ss on anyone’s chips, but regardless of how good a source is, it can be agendarised. I can’t for the life of me think who we’d be looking to blow £30m on, but we can certainly afford to do it. I guess my main issue here, is it is way out of character and I’m struggling to think who Wenger would put that sort of cash on. Leaked information about us batting in the big leagues somewhat relieves the pressure on the manager even if nothing happens. He has a history of it… last season Wenger was talking about making Hazard’s dreams come true… the summer before he was telling us we could compete with Chelsea. If nothing comes of this rumour, half the fans will take it to mean we’ll be buying big this coming summer… obviously, the club would never plant ‘big spending’ seeds to shift season tickets would they?

Anyway, I’ll watch on and see what we’re planning on doing with this. It’s unlikely to be Cavani if City had a £55m bid rejected, it can’t be Fellaini as he has a £22m clause, Falcao won’t go for anything less than £50m… could it be someone like Neymar? Maybe Gotze? How about Schweinsteiger? Hulk? Higauin? Who knows… it’s an exciting thought, even if wrapped in a cover of scepticism.

Right… enjoy your day!

559 Responses to “Arsenal looked balanced | What a difference a Diaby makes | £30m Arsenal bid scepticism”

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  1. DaleDaGooner

    gambon, no doubt, bargain basement is the term we should use for ARsenal, but are you saying Podolski came in on a free?

  2. Dannyboy

    A&N, Sneijder is an interesting one as I doubt he will still be demanding 200k a week when hanging out with Galatasaray murderers is his only option. Could potentially be a Cazorla like deal in there somewhere, where we only get him because of extraneous circumstances, but don’t think Wenger fancies him by the sounds of it.

  3. DaleDaGooner

    and gambon, wasn’t there money in the bank already from previous sales?? The Nasri money, the Cesc money, you know that 100m you told us we had and didn’t touch?

  4. DUIFG

    Improved performance in lot of areas, can’t look past the fact though that swans had a weakened team out andreally didnt mind going throuh given theirgreat shot at winning the league cup. A better team would have put a us away in the first half, team looks really lethargic sloppy in defence at points during games, with us being hot and cold going forwards we are never goingto put a decent run together. Weng is cooked.

  5. Dannyboy

    I thought it was 12 million euro’s each for Giroud and Podolski and 15.8 million euro’s for Cazorla which is just shy of 40 million euros, so about £32 million at the time?

  6. DaleDaGooner

    To be honest, Santi is worth exactly what we paid for him, 16m Euros, even Mata isn’t worth the 26m nor is Hazard worth the 32m…all inflated prices…now 35m or there abouts or more for Falcao, or 30m for Cavani, now i wouldn’t blink, these guys give you so much more than the midgets going for same price. Hazard or Mata wouldn’t change much if we had them in our current set up.

  7. salparadisenyc

    Arse&Nose©January 17, 2013 15:58:11

    Apparently his fee to the Turks is set around 8 million euro, wages cut quite a bit.
    I’m all for it, some on here say he’s past it, I disagree.

    Midfield du Midgets with the might Diaby enforcing for two matches, then what? Better sign Fellaini while were at it with Cavani running wild up front, hair and Jesus cross tangled in mess of goals.
    Arsenal 2013

  8. Dannyboy

    here’s an interesting thought while we are all discussing transfers that we will never make…

    Cavani and Fellaini
    Falcao and Sneijder.

  9. gambon


    yes, absolutely theres money, lots available, and lots coming in that we could spend now, as its all guaranteed.

    We made £11m in the summer, we already had significant funds, we made £26m from QR property, and more property money as well, TV money goes up £30m-£40m, Emirates money etc

    Outside of a few players we can sign anyone

    The wage bill is a problem though. The club wont want that rising too much so we have to get players out if we want to buy.

  10. SDE

    Dannyboy/gambonJanuary 17, 2013 15:43:37

    Even if he bought Cavani,would not do it for me..

    Too little to late..

    All it would smack of,is a reactionist move,designed to placate the fans & consolidate his position,his interests..

    Not the interests of the club,but the interests of Arsene FC..

    He’s had 7 years,almost approaching 8 years to turn things around..

    In fact,last season,where he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat,i.e. by snatching 3rd place,by a single point..

    Hence the madman celebrating that as some kind of historic achievement like we had delivered the holy grail,i.e.CL Trophy..

    That season should have seen him scarpering to to his bunkroom,along with his loyal lieutenants & plotting how he was going to strengthen the team & launch a 3 pronged attack on the EPL as a starting point& a Cup of some sorts..

    1)Keeping of RVP at all costs..
    2)Signing of Quality Player at all costs..
    3)Delegation of duties
    4)Video Analysis of the Opposition
    5)Attending Man-Management Courses for the Clinically Insane..

    Then focusing his efforts on the following season of trying to win a CL..
    Having a 3 year blueprint to win trophies..
    Not too amass as much money as possible for myself..

    Instead he marched into the 2012/13 season full of arrogance..

    Smiled & smirked his way through interviews,trying to justify selling our best striker,to our rivals & then adding through the course of the season,he knew by selling him to Manure,he would be the decisive factor in them winning the EPL..

    Furthermore,he decides during the course of the season,to earmark a new project..”British Youth Mark II” & reward fat contracts to players by & large who have yet to prove themselves..
    At worst on average are shite..!@ best mediocre..

    I could go on,but safe to say the signing of Cavani is not the blueprint for Wenga Wonga..

    It’s the blueprint to consolidate his position& make more money for doing less..
    Almost approaching £60 million in wages over 8 years for the senile one..not having attempted to win at least a COC..


  11. DaleDaGooner

    If Wenger really wanted to climb back up, a number of things would have to happen, play players in the right position and play with balance of personnel, like he did yesterday, Adding depth, Cavani as ST, Fellaini as a CM, and M’Biwa as CB/Fullback option

  12. gambon

    Of course we’re not getting cavani

    Cavani wont be playing for Napoli in 2013/14, and wherever he goes he will be earning very good money, certainly minimum £120k,

    Now theres no way we will go for that. We have a badly managed wage bill that makes it hard for us to do that at the moment, and I dont think Wenger wants anyone earning similar money to what he earns.

  13. DaleDaGooner

    The investment is gone on Walcott’s wage, can’t see them bending to his wage request and get in Cavani….

  14. Dannyboy

    Gambon, if he was willing to pay Podolski 107k a week and use him as a squad player, I don’t think 120k for one of the top 3 strikers in world football would be too much of a stretch, even for him. It’s still a million quid a year less than what he pays himself after all!

  15. gambon

    “even Mata isn’t worth the 26m nor is Hazard worth the 32m”

    Think they are worth a combined £55m

    They will score 30 and set up 40 goals for the next 6 years if they stay.

    We shouldve signed these 2, or one + Cazorla when Cesc & Nasri left.

    We shouldve signed Cavani the very day RVP left

    That said if we had showed the right ambition over recent years RVP & Nasri never wouldve left.

  16. salparadisenyc

    Cavani would get the supposed Van Persie package w/signing on bonus to compensate for less wage. Putting him in at £130k, plus the £5million bonus or whatever it was. Canaries tax status.

  17. DaleDaGooner

    Ideally a strike force of Cavani, Giroud, Walcott, Podolski should be nice, puts us back near if RvP had stayed. wing option of Zaha/Gervinho/Oxlade-Chamberlain/Walcott/Cazorla with CM options of Wilshere/Fellaini/Diaby/Arteta/Coquelin/Ramsey/Cazorla/Ox

    This would start to make us look decent on paper along with a shift away from stubborn naive tactical approaches.

  18. Dannyboy

    Thing is Gambon, you say they are worth a combined £55 million. But you probably only say that because we always get fucking ripped off when we sell our players. The fact that a tiny little selling club in France got more for Hazard than we got from Barcelona, one of the richest clubs in the world, for Fabregas is just plain stupid. Should have been min £50 million for Cesc and we barely got half of that.

  19. gambon

    Think Cavani should go on the banned word list

    Its just gonna cause pain when we sign Aliadiere for £3m on deadline day.

  20. Dan Ahern

    Check out this quote from Jürgen Klopp:

    “…Personally, when we played against Arsenal in London, I saw the best forward ever: Robin van Persie. I didn’t know a player could play three positions during 90 minutes. …”

    It’s from an article about how Dortmund press less aggressively now (so as not to tire) and counter more:

  21. DaleDaGooner

    gambon, well, through, but looking at what they are doing in a Chelsea team, they’d be doing slightly worse for us, for all they add, they don’t do defense very well, we’d need them to emulate Wilshere to consider them a huge success for us.

  22. Dannyboy

    Dale that strike force would be lightyears ahead of, never mind would ‘put us back near’ what we had last season as no-one who has any sort of brain function could think RvP would contribute more than Cavani,Podolski and Giroud combined, in our setup. However it’s a moot point because we won’t sign Cavani.

  23. SDE


    Even if he bought Fellaini..
    I’d still want him gone..

    We all know,Wenger loves to put square pegs in round holes..

    Name one fornicating player that Wenger in recent years has utilised to the player’s ability..

    He either grinds them down to a halt & they get injured..

    Or they lose motivation..

    If Fellaini,was his last signing..
    Good for the long-term benefit of the club..

    But I still want OGL gone..

  24. Johnty79

    To even think Felaini or cavani would join us is madness….I think they would rather join qpr…

    Missing out on remy and mvilla is another wenger mistake…

  25. Dannyboy

    someone should start up a #CUT4CAVANI thing on twitter to guilt trip him into joining us… It worked for Justin Biebers followers didn’t it?

  26. DaleDaGooner

    Dannyboy, Hazard had choices of Real, Arsenal, Utd, City and Chelsea….Cesc had ONLY BARCELONA, that tells the story of worth

  27. gambon

    Erm, with respect, Mata is on a different planet to Wilshere.

    Mata, along with RVP, Yaya, Hart, Baines is one of the elite players in the PL.

  28. DaleDaGooner

    I don’t rate Remy, and by the looks of M’Vila going to QPR and not City or Chelsea or United (these team could use M’Vila right now) something isn’t adding up re M’vila

  29. Dannyboy

    HAHA Gambon, speaking of cutting, if Aliadiere signed for any amount of money, I think that would cause a widespread number of deaths. Would be people in Africa hanging themselves like that crazy guy after United beat us in the Champions League…

  30. TOLI83

    It’s worked again…

    Every blog, every site is talking about signings. One word from Le Liar with a few internal people within the club causing a stir and everyone is filled with excitment.

    So many windows I thought this would happen. Linked with so many. We won’t be buying anyone. Can’t see Zaha going to anyone but United and we will never pay top wack for Cavani. I really can’t see us getting anyone, any kind of result against Chelsea will put the chequebook back firmly in his zip up coat.

    If anything we will get Luke Shaw, maybe…

  31. salparadisenyc


    “I didn’t know a player could play three positions during 90 minutes”

    ‘Footballing reasons’
    Thats going to be a tough one to live down when he’s scored over 35 and holding a trophy or two at seasons end.

  32. TOLI83

    I wouldnt put Joe Hart in that category just yet… Made quite a few errors this year and doesn’t strike me as a world beater just yet.

  33. Dannyboy

    Don’t mistake what was said to reality Dale. If Madrid had improved Barca’s offer then he would have gone to them. I don’t buy all this ‘he wanted to go home’ bullshit. And if that actually was the case, we should have turned round and said ‘well if you won’t go to Madrid then you are here for the next 5 years.. bet you’re regretting that 8 year contract now son..’ rather than bending over for Barca.

    Gambon agree with that list apart from Hart, he really has been fucking poor this season!

  34. DaleDaGooner

    Klopp is right, when we signed Giroud only as THE striker, i felt no matter who we bring in in elite form striker wise, we’ve lost a huge germ in Van Persie…i hate that he chose Utd to go, but to replace him, we’d need more than a goal poacher …I think the nearest player we could get (might not give us same goal ratio) Jovetic….a striker that makes his own play by dropping deep to collect the ball and knows how to get in scoring positions…even Mirallas i thought would be a decent signing….as it stands, all our strikers don’t have that quality, Walcott is trying to emulate that, and he sucks at it, lost the ball so many times trying to collect from deep, he can’t beat a man or play the right pass to free himself, Giroud is a box striker and has no pace to do it from deep, Podolski is a box striker too…but i suspect he might be able to do it to a degree

  35. Nasri's Mouth


    Wilshere is up there in the elite, it’s simply that he hasn’t been back from injury long enough to have a big enough err… ‘portfolio of evidence’ as proof. Give him till the end of the season, and he’ll be up there.

    And Baines is very good, but is he better than Ashley Cole ? I know Cole is pretty much near the end of his career, but he’s still bloody good.

  36. Dannyboy

    Dale, that’s why Cavani is unique for me. He has the physical presence of a Drogba, but also has plenty of pace and can finish, whilst he is also an absolute workhorse like a Luis Suarez.

    Pretty much the perfect player for me and at only 25 will probably get even better.

  37. Dannyboy

    haha this is taken from his wiki page – ‘Edinson is known for his keen love of darts’

    This guy will fit in even better than I originally thought!

  38. DaleDaGooner

    Danny, correct, but not sure Cavani can play as a “false 9” like RvP did. but as it stands, Wenger would be doing himself a huge service signing Cavani….BUT LET’S NOT EVEN TALK about what won’t happen.

  39. g0tch34ted

    This means we spent £32m

    So the reported figures, Cazorla £16m, Giroud £12m, Podolski £10m (£38m) cant be right.

    That’s right. First off, I remember seeing we actually got Cazorla for less than branded about, making him cheaper than Arshavin/Reyes.

  40. SDE

    OGL has made his own bed..

    Mata 2 seasons ago,would have offered far more than what Gerpooh& Oxo-Chambo are currently offering..

    £17.5 million + £ 90k in wages

    Oxo-Chambo_£12-£16 million with add-ons+£50k in wages
    Gerpooh..£11million +£60k in wages

    You do the maths…Almost £27 million in transfer fees & £110k in wages combined..

    3 GK’s of Shite Quality..
    & Schizoprehnic….£50k

    Replace the above with..

    Caesar..Free transfer..£60k wages
    Lloris…£10 million…£60k+ wages
    Schwarzer..£5 million transfer fee..£60 k wages..

    2 GK’s probably costing b/w £0-£15 million in transfer fees & £120 k in wages,versus the shower of shite 3 GK’s hoovering @ least £130k in wages b/w them & neither of them saving us points in the season,or winning any cups..

    Just look to CC Final 2011,as a starting reference point..

    I could go on…

    The club,does not dictate the playing staff,one man does..!!

  41. Dannyboy

    Dale, Perhaps not, but if we do sign Cavani, and Wenger still insists on this stupid 4-3-3, then I really wouldn’t mind having Cavani up front, and having Giroud play slightly behind him. as he has a great eye for a pass as we have seen a few times this season with some superb assists.

  42. Dan Ahern

    Dale — Yeah, it sucks for Giroud because I think he’s a pretty good striker on the whole. But he’s limited. He’s obviously nowhere near van Persie’s range of abilities. To just plug him in instead is never going to get the (same) job done. Which I reckon AW perhaps recognised when he started toying with Gervinho up front. But he made it worse by sacrificing, you know, his only player that had the up-front-striker half of the skill set.

    This whole season has been a tactical mess. I’m upset I couldn’t watch yesterday’s game because it sounds like we fielded a balanced team for once.

  43. Dannyboy

    Dale, again I’d have to disagree with you there, I don’t think Falcao or Cavani are anything like RvP, I’d say the closest you’d get to replacing him tactically would be Lewandowski, but I’d much rather have the former 2 as a RvP improvement, rather than a direct replacement!

  44. SDE

    TOLI83January 17, 2013 16:33:18

    Hart might be having a poor season..All GK’s do..
    That’s part & parcel of the game..

    But I will say this..Hart is one of the best GK’s to come out of england..

    He’s more consistent,than any of the one-hit woeful pretenders before him..
    Let’s take a trip down memory lane..

    Nicky Weaver
    Richard Wright
    Stuart Taylor
    Paul Robinson
    Chris Kirkland
    David James
    Ben Forster
    Rob Green
    Scott Carson

    In light of the above..How does Joe Hart rate..?

    Personally in the grand scheme of things,very highly..

  45. gambon

    Nasris Mouth

    I love Jack, but at the moment he is a talent, not a proven top class player.

    As for LB, i dont know 100% for sure, but im pretty sure that by any metric Baines is the number 1 LB in the PL, comfortably.

    Cole will be remembered as the better player, but Baines is the best by a mile.

  46. SDE

    Wenger would be doing himself a huge service signing Cavani….BUT LET’S NOT EVEN TALK about what won’t happen

    Now my friends,this is what you call
    “Living in the moment”..

  47. salparadisenyc

    Dan AhernJanuary 17, 2013 16:46:01

    Will be even harder to live down when Arsene’s Assassins are firmly looking down the barrel of a the Europa league playoff spots next season and Van Persie is holding down player of year for the current champions.

    Wonga is equatable to Lance at this point, too committed to past follie to pull out and become culpable. At least he’s not cheating, although performance enhancers may do Wonga and Arsenal a world of good.

  48. gambon

    Prefer Cavani to Falcao

    Bigger, tougher, quicker, great on the break, works the wings, free kick taker.

    Falcao is a better finisher, but Cavani is a workhorse with serious ability.

  49. SDE


    If OGL wants to go outside of the EPL..
    He can get Alaba from Bayern..

    Who can do both the jobs of Gibbs&Santos in equal measure & well..At the same rate,if not slightly lower in wages..

  50. DUIFG

    This Cavani chat is beyond pointless, at best all we can hope for is some form of busted flush from another league, Gorcuff on the mega cheap is the only sort of business that woud tempt Weng in.

  51. Dannyboy

    SDE, out of that whole list, apart from David James the rest of them are all absolutely shite so it’s hardly a massive achievement. If someone gave you that list and said Arsenal’s number 1 will be a bit better than all those would you be happy?

    Been saying for a couple of years that Hart is the best of a bad bunch, and he’s been getting by off his Media friendliness and good looks for more than long enough now. I believe he is 24 now and is getting to the point where he needs to be consistently saving points for City to be considered ‘World Class’

    Saying all that though, I’d have him over any of our keepers anyday! 😀

  52. gambon

    No way, literally no way will Bayern let Alaba go.

    In Neuer, Alaba, Badstuber, Dante, Martinez, Kroos, Muller they have the axis of a world class squad that i dont see leaving at any time.

  53. DaleDaGooner

    AH, Danny, correct, Lewandoski…good one. And i agree with that either would be the answer at the moment.

    But alas, 3 resons why the Cavani story is dead one

    1) Napoli are 5 pts away from Juve

    2) He just signed new contract and release clause is closer to 50m

    3) Chelsea and City want a piece of that pie (Torres is rubbish and Balloteli is rubbish) Arsenal would be out of any early negotiations at best

  54. Dannyboy

    agree with Gambon 100% there. Cavani looks the complete footballer to me. Wouldn’t turn down Falcao though, but he has gone off the boil a little bit after destroying Chelsea and then scoring in 10 La Liga games in a row. Where as Cavani has been pretty much scoring in every game (like van Persie does for United) and proving the difference in tight matches.

    Cavani for me.

  55. Dan Ahern

    Sal — Interesting comparison. Wenger is in too deep. It’s dangerous because he could convince himself that he’s (as always) doing things “the right way” rather than honestly assessing the situation.

  56. DUIFG

    Would like to see some of the decent italian trechnicians aded to the squad, Montelivo, nocerino of AC woul be solid additions to the squad, actual quality to rotate in the mid who can play across a lot of positions.

  57. Dannyboy

    Dale, interesting you bring up the contract, as he did a similar thing at Palermo, signed a new contract in the April. then joined Napoli in the same summer. Think it’s more of a goodwill gesture on his part, to leave the club in the best financial standpoint possible, as long as they agree to let him go when a bigger club comes in, so don’t see too much of an issue regarding the new contract.

    Also don’t think City or Chelsea would be in for him, with FFP coming in, £30 million is A LOT of money to fork out on a player you don’t completely require. We have the free cash stored up though, so just need to take it from Wengers secret bank vault at his house, and transfer it to Naples!

  58. SDE

    Wenger is a busted flush..
    From 2006 onwards…

    Demba Ba ticked all the boxes..

    For £7.5 million & what £90 k wages..
    Scoring goals for fun consistently in the EPL for how many years now..?

    Yet Wenger dismisses the opportunity,with a smirk & a nonchalance that I know best & Giroud who he hardly play’s through the season is the answer..

    Gerpooh,a RW,who he plays as a false 9..

    & we are led to believe that we have suddenly raised the bar & are looking @ a £30 million striker..?


    I swear the sale of RVP,will be his defining legacy..
    The final nail,in this obtuse fornicator’s money laden garlic case..

  59. DaleDaGooner

    Danny, but he did say his banker lives next to him…so maybe he doesn’t need to go to his vault, cheque book is handy

  60. Dannyboy

    Dan Ahern, cheers for that. as soon as you said ‘in to deep’ I’ve got that fucking Sum 41 stuck in my head now. HA!

    DUIFG, the one Italian player we should really be chasing down right now is Ignazio Abate. Milan are apparently trying to ship him off to Zenit for £9 million. An absolute steal!

  61. SDE

    salparadisenycJanuary 17, 2013 17:07:51
    “Wouldn’t turn down Falcao though”hahahahahaha

    Would not turn down Lopez either..

    I mean Jennifer Lopez..

    But is she attainable..?

    Only in my dreams….Sigh!!

  62. Dannyboy

    Dale, Juve will win Serie A so as far as Napoli and Cavani are concerned, 2nd is as good as 3rd. He is on record saying he wants to play in England, and of the clubs that need that kind of impact, we are certainly the most attractive!

    Haha I saw that comment, very strange from the master cryptician Monseiur Wenger!

  63. Dannyboy

    13/8 from 2/1 now on Skybet

    FFS Gambon, stop spending all your savings on this one, it’s not gonna happen! 😉

  64. SDE


    DUIFG, the one Italian player we should really be chasing down right now is Ignazio Abate. Milan are apparently trying to ship him off to Zenit for £9 million. An absolute steal!

    I swear,I’ve heard that name & seen him play..

    My mind is playing tricks on me..!!

  65. Jeff

    A major barrier to signing new people (point frequently made by Gambon and others) is the wage bill. It is already much higher than it should be and with Walcott’s increased wage demands it will get even higher.

    That precludes us from signing any world class player on top of which we won’t pay anybody above say 90-100k anyway. From that you can easily conclude there is no one of note coming in. All this name dropping is just a smoke and mirrors illusion to make gullible people think we are capable and are actively looking for top class players. We are so not.

  66. Jeff

    Basically, Wenger has become the Del Boy of the football manager’s world. Ducking and diving, exaggerating the truth, things never quite being what they seem and so on. How many times have you seen the annoying “Wenger hints at a new signing”. Why hint if you already know? It’s complete and utter hogwash.

    The other point is that he doesn’t even have to make the lies that good. They can be anything because his position is safe. Nothing other than total calamity awaits us until this manager is gone. Only then of course, can the hard work can begin to restore the club back to its full glory.

  67. Dannyboy

    Ha Bubble when I said that I meant it in comparison with Cavani, not in comparison with all the strikers in Europe. Basically 1. Cavani, 2. Falcao. 3. any of the other names you see chucked about!

  68. SDE


    On top of that…i.e. no wiggle room on the wage bill..

    By & large striker’s of note command such huger transfer fees.. the grand scheme of things,where does this £30 million striker fit into our First XI..Certainly not on the bench..

    So our current striking options are..

    Gerpooh on ACN Duty,doing his fellow Ivorians proud, & AFC fans a disservice..

    Giroud..Hardly get’s proper game time,but was much preferred to Ba & mostly sit’s on the bench,for aesthetic purposes..

    Podolski..Who’s actually a CF,played on the Left & quite peed off..Quite rightly too.

    Walcott..Speed merchant,bending the club over the barrel & want’s CF slot & £100k p.w..too boot.
    With other caveat’s ranging from:-
    -Duties such as taking shit corner’s,
    -Shit free-kicks,
    -No defensive duties
    -Wandering aimlessly like a headless chicken on the pitch..
    -& if there is a junior team player in the team,not passing to him..
    I’ll do an Henry impersonation & berate the life out of him..See 8-2 Man Utd 2011..Jenks for that scenario

    So we have 4 attacking options,yet hardly any of them are played in their rightful positions..

    All bought,relatively cheap & we are supposed to think a £30 million striker is coming on board to dislodge,OGL’s handy work,for the above players..

    He is suddenly going to dismantle his mantlepiece,he’s been piecing together for the best part of 7 years at easy budget prices, for a record-bursting £30 million..


  69. TitsMcgee

    The Cavani story is a smokescreen. We see it every transfer window. What Wenger doesn’t realize is that he’d be better to just say we aren’t signing anyone and be upfront rather than plant stories he knows aren’t true. This way he at least doesn’t come off as a liar.

    The actions of a man in his own world.

  70. mystic

    Dannyboy January 17, 2013 17:19:47
    13/8 from 2/1 now on Skybet

    Cavani is obviously as good as done, now Arsene is concentrating on landing Nani and as Arsenal are 5:1 favourites he is obviously coming as well.

    Excellent January window for Arsenal with these high profile purchases. only one tiny problem, I’ll let you all work it out!!

  71. Jeff

    Ten prime candidates draining the wage bill that we could free up over half a million per week if we could let them go. Half a million per week gets us 3 or 4 world class players. But of course, I’m whistling in the wind because these people were all handpicked by Wenger and they are all grade C or lower. There are others of course.

    Gervinho £60,000
    Marouane Chamakh £60,000
    Andre Santos £60,000
    Johan Djourou £50,000
    Nicklas Bendtner £50,000
    Sebastien Squillaci £50,000
    Aaron Ramsey £50,000
    Ju Young Park £50,000
    Frimpong £30,000
    Fabianski £50,000

  72. SDE


    I used to be really angry at you in the past..

    Your staunch defense of AFC…

    Even though you’ve shifted sentiment over the months,though have us belief,you’ve always campaigned for OGL to leave..

    The past few days have given me food for thought..

    You are truly a fan,a loyal one at that..

    So loyal,that the club will always invite you back,for more of the same…

    They will romance you,schmooze you,wine & dine you..

    All for that Pedro$
    Love is blind,as they say…

  73. Marko

    Even if we were to spend 30 million on one of Cavani, Lewandowski, Higuain or Jovetic it’d be well spent on something we desperately need. Add Capoue to the mix and I wont kidnap someone from the board

  74. Dannyboy

    now now Mystic no need for the sarcastic bitching mate, as you can clearly read I’ve said numerous times we won’t sign Cavani, I was just merely keeping people updated on what the bookies are saying…

  75. Dannyboy

    haha SDE, I see Pedro rejected your earlier begging for him to ban you again, so now you are trying to force his hand… They have helplines for those sorts of addiction you know..

  76. Nasri's Mouth

    Gambon: I love Jack, but at the moment he is a talent, not a proven top class player

    not proven I agree, but I think in 6 months time we’ll be looking at him as one, the last 2-3 games were simply the start of it

    Mata’s just had longer to show his ability

  77. Jeff


    I’ve grown very cynical over the years about the reasons Wenger gives for not buying. I don’t believe him when he says “I’m not buying x because it would kill y”. The plain fact is that beneath it all he’s still in search of that nugget, that gem which is going to catapult him towards greatness and cost nothing. This idea, I believe, has gone so much to his head that he’s forgotten there is actually a game of football to be played and won. All football concerns have become a distraction for him and so they are not really that important.

    These days he simply “goes through the motions” and nothing else. He turns up, agonises and then on with the next game until it is time to search for the next Messi. Wenger has no interest in trophies. The CL place keeps him in a job which he cannot leave – an addict and a prisoner of his own making he has become.

  78. Dannyboy

    Marcus, no-one really, @GeoffArsenal said we had bid 30 million for an unnamed player, everyone assumed it’s Cavani.

  79. Nasri's Mouth


    Dunno where the Cavani rumours came from, but they are separate from the £30m bid. That came from a guy on twitter who generally talks reasonable stuff. Whether he knows much more than the rest of us I don’t know, but he could well have been the first to ‘out’ cazorla as a new signing. He’s not said it’s Cavani though.

  80. SDE

    Nasri’s MouthJanuary 17, 2013 18:00:56
    Gambon: I love Jack, but at the moment he is a talent, not a proven top class playernot proven I agree, but I think in 6 months time we’ll be looking at him as one, the last 2-3 games were simply the start of it

    Disagree totally..

    We will never see the best of Jack..
    Simply because,he will either be chronically injured(due to overplay),disillusioned,de-motivated & ,or subsequently sold off ,if he show’s any so- called top class progression..

    I mean FFS, Song was hardly WC& look where he ended at..Barca!!!

    AFC is a supposedly a money making machine..

    For even Evra,to come out a few years ago & say we are a training academy,should tell you something..

  81. Gunner2301


    Good on you mate.



  82. SDE

    Wenger should have done the honourable thing & resigned at the end of the 2011/12 season..

    He went too far with the sale of RVP..

    It was bad enough the season before,with the sale of Cesc & Nasri,Clichy& his pre-fornicating statements about being a big club..

    But this season with the sale of RVP,was a bridge too far..

    So much so,that he is now reaping all that he has sown over the last 5 years..& the tide is slowly turning..

    He brought this upon himself..

    & I’m sure IG is sitting on the sidelines,thinking what all most rational AFC fans are thinking..

    IG..”I hope you fall on your sword,so that I can do my job properly,without your meddling,schizo statement’s,utter wastage of resources & super arrogance..
    Good riddance to a despotic,senile stasi..”

  83. Dannyboy

    Heh, SDE, you mean the ‘we can not call ourselves a big club anymore if we sell our best players’ statement that he is adamant he never said, despite it being published on

  84. SDE

    Now with Stasi Wenga gone,the spotlight will fall on IG & the BoD as to their next move,or appointment…

    If they screw up the next managerial appointment,then clearly they & Wenga Wonga were equally culpable in the machinations of the club,over the last 7 years…

    No 10 year fornicating plan..
    The next manager has a perfect base to build from..

    CL Qualification
    WC Training facilities
    Good Commercials
    Decent History
    Money in the Bank
    & a decent team to work with..

    The onus is really on the CEO & the BoD to bash their heads together & come up with a viable manager,that will move the club forward..

    Failing that…Well no excuses really…

  85. midlandgunner

    all this talk of cavani is laughable ,wenger knows fans want a signing so he says he likes cavani to keep the fans off his back for a fortnight then when window shuts he will say we tried our hardest to make quality signings but none were available,this man is an arrogant stubborn tosser who thinks fans are stupid,he will make no signings…..wenger out

  86. SDE

    JeffJanuary 17, 2013 18:01:50

    It’s all about the bottom line..

    Think about it..

    Wenger has consistently blown his mundane horn,about qualifying for CL consistently over the past 16 seasons..

    What the club,are paying him for now,is that utilisation of knowledge & expertise,to qualify for CL..Nothing more,nothing less..

    As in,what other manager can do that,with little spending..

    You look around the EPL & think of the BoD’s reaction to certain manager’s names that might crop up in meetings..

    Moyes-“Can he make that step up,& have us qualifying for CL for the next 10 years within budget..?
    Hmm..A bit risky..One season & that’s all.
    & Scot’s are known to drive a hard bargain..GG was a case in point…”

    Martinez…”Has he really stepped up to a big club..Too busy swimming with the tadpoles..We need shark-fighter’s..”

    Benitez..”Well he was ousted..& caused a bit of a stink with the owner’s Hicks & Gillet@L’pool..
    Doesn’t seem like a team player..
    Likes money too much & very opinionated..
    Too much of the latin spirit in him..”

    “He’s too classless,though a winner..He will ask for too much money,cause a stink & then fornicate off…
    Nah..Not our type…”

    “Hmm..Too passionate & want’s WC players.The wage bill will go through the London Skyline…”

    Pep..”Young.ambitious,energetic..Well driven..
    Will raise standards/expectations..
    Will come with a lot of demands..
    The club’s identity will change.
    Nah too fast,too quick..
    He will be too nimble for our walking frames..”


    He will screw us before we screw him..
    A non-starter..

    You see,where I am coming from..
    OGL ticks the boxes..He play’s the game,delivers CL consistently & performs the b/s before the press & fans..

    They pay the maestro his salary for delivering on message…

  87. kwik fit

    At Last! Arsene is going to spend big. Just what we needed , a world class striker and a few others to boot. I had a feeling that Arsene would come good in the end. Guy’s we now need to get behind Arsene and stop ridiculing him. With all these signing’s Arsene truly is the best man for the job. It looks like he’s got his mojo back 😉

  88. kwik fit


    Better not go the the Bridge dress as a hooker cos they’ll think we are one of them.
    Anyway I thought you enjoyed the run in with the city fans. 😉

  89. Cesc Appeal


    I agree we won’t sign Cavani.


    City’s budget isn’t limitless anymore, like Chelsea they are trying to boost commercials and make a profit.

    Most papers agree their budget is £30 Million for January, still massive but…they may have other areas than just spunking it on Cavani.

    Whereas most papers agree ours is £70-100 Million.

    The way is there…but not the will

  90. Toli83

    Swings and roundabouts mate. First bit of action iv had in a while but rather they paid.

    In hindsight after spending £62 on a ticket I can see where they are coming from. Literally…

  91. Cesc Appeal

    My £70 Million would go something like this.

    Cavani £30 Million.

    Fellaini £22 Million

    Sakho £8 Million

    Zaha £8 Million

    £68 Million expenditure, leaves £38 Million for Summer before sales with the new Emirates deal.

    That would give us

    Sagna Sakho Verm Gibbs

    Fellaini Diaby/Arteta Wilshere

    Zaha Cavani Cazorla

    Really good side.

    If Wenger could pull his finger out and get Cavani and Fellaini we’d instantly look insanely better.

  92. Bubble

    Oh do you know the joy i have in hearing Wenger talk about Cavani? ….. Shows he’s not been mad afterall…. He’s just been purposely trying to destroy arsenal by signing Gervinho. #HappyDays

  93. SDE

    Trying to think from Theo’s rationale as of the Jan Window..

    “I’ve performed in most games,against shit teams,demanded that I play CF & have become a bit of a contract rebel…”

    “For the little talent that I have,what team will pay me,my wage demands & play me upfront..?”

    “Well L’pool
    Just signed Sturridge& have Suarez,Borini & Sterling on the wing..
    Can me & Sturridge play in the same team..Nah don’t think so…”

    “Have just signed Ba & have Moses &Torres..

    Maybe some room for me on the bench there in the Jan window,if RA waves a big fat Chequebook in the face of Wenga Wonga..”

    Man City
    “Have Dzeko,Balotelli,Aguero &Tevez..

    Hmm..No chance there…”

    Man Utd…

    “Nani,maybe a replacement for him..


    Hmm…Nani for me…Intriguing..!
    But what does it say about my CF role..It was all b/s..
    Hey £80k p.w to do an Owen on the bench & win trophies for fuck all..Bring it on….”

    Real Madrid…
    Di Maria

    No chance under Jose…He wants fighters,not bottler’s”

    “Well forget that..But you never know Song was signed…

    Hmm..Villa exchange for Walcott maybe..?
    I know laughable..But you never know..”


    “Wenga Wonga caves in,gives me £90k & all is well & good,until Barca,Man City,Man Utd come calling in the summer,offering £30 million for my services..”

    “Either way,it’s a win,win for me & the club..
    Happy Days…”

    Courtesy of the baby faced assassin..

  94. sam

    moaners make me laugh they are so blind they still haven’t noticed that coquelin is better than m’villa.
    there shouldn’t be anymore debate about signing m’villa, he just signed for harry rednapp and wouldn’t mind playing in the championship next season. he’s overrated and 7 millions is the right price for him

  95. paul mc daid

    Sal,will never forget the day we signed Dennis,it was huge,Dein was brillant on signings like this,Dennis took us to another planet.

  96. Tomtom

    A lot of reports in the Irish media this evening saying that we will sign Cavani in the final week of the transfer window.

  97. Nasri's Mouth

    Cesc Appeal: Coq who Wenger is sending out on loan? That one?

    Is there any fact behind this at all ? or is it actually less likely than Cavani ?

  98. Cesc Appeal


    Remember this is the Arsene Wenger who sold Bartley (who looks quite impressive and young still) and kept Squillaci and Djourou…both of whom he wants to now get rid of.

    Leave logic at the door when thinking about Arsene.

    To be honest if we’re buying no one I’d want to see Le Coq get more and more starts ahead of Arteta – certainly to be first substitute used for the middle ahead of shitty Ramsey.

    As Pedro said, he was clever, saw what we lacked, what the Arsenal fans wanted and gave it to us last night.

  99. TJ

    I was really enjoying this article before I read “Gibbs, who has failed to really impress me this year”. Really? I happen to think he has been one of our top performers this season and he could be the best attacking full back in the country at least in 3 years time.

  100. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    Ahh, so what you’re saying is there is nothing substantial behind it whatsoever.

    Still, let’s keep believing bullshit

    As for Bartley/Squillaci/Djourou, the obvious issue is wages. Bartley wasn’t on a big fat contract, so it was easier to move him on, nothing to do with who is the better player.
    If you’re going to make a point about those players, you could focus on the fact that the latter 2 were wrongly paid more than Bartley in the first place, but we’ve all done that one already, and no-one really disagrees

  101. Cesc Appeal


    Cracking player, but £30 Million is a bit strong!!

    Seriously we need to get over this.

    I remember a story in the summer that Arsenal had changed £35 Million worth of Sterling into Euros…was total bollocks.

    Everyone thought we were getting Gotze or some other top talent….was rubbish.