Arsenal linked with super teens | Barca forward on the cheap? Maybe… | Arsenal need a new keeper

by & filed under News Review.

Good morning friends of the footballing universe. Today there’s not really much going on. The transfer machine of speculation has sparked into life which means there are plenty of nothing stories doing the rounds… so I guess we could start on those, then maybe see where we go? Sound like a deal? Ok cool…

Arsenal are interested in Isaiah Brown of West Brom, he’s 16 years old and has tremendous hair. He’s been an unused sub this year, but apparently, according to those who have watched him, he’s a bit special. Now, I don’t want to get preachy here, but I find it a bit grotesque when kids do this to their clubs. If you’re actually talented, you don’t need to move at 16… unless there’s a blockage. So what I’m saying here is Cesc Fabregas made the right decision, he was never going to get in at Barcelona (he still can’t)… whereas someone like Kakuta probably should have just stayed where they were. Now, I have no idea what this guy is like up top (in the head), but I think he’d get a pretty good education at West Brom, they’d protect him, they’d relieve the pressure and they could grow him into a decent player.

When you just up and leave for the bright lights, it’s generally for the money and the glamour… and it doesn’t often work out. How many ‘best in class’ talents have Arsenal brought in over the years at 16…  then tell me how many have worked out at the highest levels? Very few. Our biggest successes have come when we’ve signed players in their early twenties.

Great 16 years olds don’t have the god given right to be great adult players.

That said, we’re also interested in non-league scoring sensation Daniel Carr… he’s 18 years old and he plays for Dulwich. He’s bagged 23 goals in 23 games this season and boasts a CV that states ‘Reading Reject’. I’ll take this story with a pinch of ‘yeah right’… but if it were true and he did go on to become one of our greatest purchases, it’d be a story and a half. Read more about him here.

Things start getting a little more interesting now…

Alexis Sanchez, who hasn’t exactly had the best Barca career to date is being linked. Why? Well, the Udinese President said this…

Sanchez needs to play the ball on the ground, just like Arsenal. That would be his ideal game,”

Interesting that… because I was pretty sure Barca play it on the ground as well. So, from those quotes, everyone has now suggested we’re in talks with Barca. Fanciful at best. Though you have to say, if there was ever a good transfer strategy, it’s to pick out supremely talented players who haven’t worked out at major clubs… for a discount… then seeing what you can do to shake them into life. Alexis Sanchez as part of our front three would certainly offer us superior movement and versatility. If you could get him firing on all cylinders and you could pick him up for £15m, you’d have a player on your hands.

I’m just not sure that’s Arsene’s style these days.

On the Arsenal front, player wise, Per Mertesacker has come out to defend speculation linking him with a move back to the Motherland. It’s interesting, he’s quite a Marmite player amongst the fan base. I’ve got a lot of time for him. I know he’s slow, but he’s an absolute professional and I think if the management coached the defence how they should do, he’d be more of a valued asset. I think he plays better with Koscielny… in fact, scrap that… he plays better when he’s paired with a form defender. This is a guy who has landed 70 caps for Germany, he’s pretty young as well… he’s not a bad player, he’s just not featuring in a side that values defending.

‘I’m very happy at Arsenal and want to stay to build on the reputation and respect I’ve earned so far.’

‘I don’t consider a return to Germany. I am under contract with Arsenal and I am planning to stay on at Arsenal for more years from now.’

I’m cool with that. I don’t want him to leave. I think we have to come to the conclusion that a lot of the defensive issues aren’t down to personnel. We’ve got one of the best right backs in Europe playing like a muppet, we’ve seen Vermaelen regress into a total mess, Koscielny has been in and out all year… they can’t all be the problem… and we’ve seen other defenders leave us and go onto great things.

One person I do think is a problem is out keeper. He’s hanging on for dear life now… because he knows the next gig he gets if he does leave won’t be half as prestigious.

“I have a debt to pay here for the club, I owe them. I just do not want to go anywhere else”

I wouldn’t be shocked if Arsene kept him on this summer without bringing in competition. He should definitely be eyeing a new stopper. If there’s one player on the pitch who shouldn’t be suffering brain drain, it’s the keeper. We need experience, tried and tested. Begovic has looked a solid performer for a long time now. We should compete for him even if United enter the bidding race. You get the right keeper now, even if you pay over the odds, you’ve got a guy who can be your rock for 10 years plus. It’s about time we got that role right. Then we can build out from there.

Have a great day everyone.

See you in the comments.

252 Responses to “Arsenal linked with super teens | Barca forward on the cheap? Maybe… | Arsenal need a new keeper”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. gambon

    Of course Santos as well, i tried to block that absolute waste of space out of my head.

    We could likely sell him to Turkey/Spain/Brazil for £2m

  2. Johnty79

    Can any one sum up why wenger decided o give up after 2006 and seemed happy to asset strip our team…did the terms of his contract change then? Why was he so happy to see Ashley cole to leave if he sets all wages to players?? Anelka sold but he made the squad stronger with suker, Henry,Kano….petit and overmars sold but pires,wiltord Lauren, bought… Why in 2008 when he let flamini and diarra leave didn’t he replace them…same for nasri and cesc…..if wenger came out and gave honest answers and said we don’t have the cash it would be fair enough but there is such a veil of secrecy around the club it makes supporting arsenal frustrating one…

    Also has any one noticed that the large cash reserve we have why isn’t it earning interest?? I earned 78% on three years of stocks and shares isa’s. I’m no stock broker but hy isn’t the money we have being invested if not in players then in investments????

  3. gambon

    Id also get rid of the likes of Rees, Jeffrey, Roberts.

    So thats 31 players out, 6 players in.

    A reduction of 25 in the number of paid players.

    Note that none of the 31 players I would want out are in any way helping us get results…..yet the 6 I would bring in would form the spine of the team and be absolutely intrinsic to our success.

    Wenger truly has lost it.

  4. gambon

    Johnty

    The club dont speculate, and they shouldnt really.

    The cash is kept in either short term deposits and in a current account, so interest is virtually non existent, maybe £1-2m pa.

  5. Johnty79

    With Ffp kicking in we have actually left it to late…we should have spent that 123 m when we had the chance…

    Assuming we miss champs league we will lose 30 m a season if we offset this against the increase of 50 m a season from tv,new kit, and emirates that leaves us 20 m a year profit. Over three seasons that’s 60m profit. With Ffp u can lose 35 m over 3 seasons. So the maximum we can spend is around 100 m but this includes wages so fuck all basically…someone on talk sport said man city should have spent more in the last two transfer windows as nothing spent now will count towards Ffp….

    R man city silly? I think not I think they know Ffp is a crock of shit that wont stand up in court….I hope afc send a written apology to every supporter when Ffp is torn up by uefa as they have used it as a stick to beat us with.

  6. gambon

    Johnty

    I think Wenger just went crazy, simple as that. One day we will all look back and realise how obvious it was……wearing a mental patients coat, kicking water bottles, babbling incoherent bollocks on a daily basis, lying constantly.

    Hes got Alzheimers, simple.

    Look at his teams……used to be big, strong, quick athletes. Double defensive midfield to protect the back 4, fast break football.

    Now its midgets everywhere, aimless possession football, no strength, no defensive midfield at all.

  7. Leedsgunner

    Gambon

    If we are going to have a clear out, I would not allow Wenger to be anywhere near the money — some say he made the mess he needs to clear it up… sorry that might work for dog mess on the street but not with our club. As far as I can see he remains unchanged, unrepentant. He’ll just repeat his mistakes… as he has been for the past 8 years.

    “Insanity is making the same mistake over and over again and expecting a different result.” (Attributed to Einstein)

  8. Leedsgunner

    The day Financial Fair play is implemented in full is the day when politicians keep their promises. UEFA are run by politicians who like playing and watching and profiting football… but politicians nevertheless. Never will it fully implemented… don’t have the power or the will. The club is being extremely naive in thinking that FFP will bail them out of chronic underinvesting into the club.

  9. gambon

    Johnty

    Not quite right there.

    Stadium payments (£20m pa) dont count towards FFP……or any infrastructure costs (academy, doing up the Emirates club level).

    If we buy £100m of players we dont just lose that £100m, it goes into amortisation, so if we sign:

    – 1 x £30m player on 5 year deal
    – 2x £20m players on 4 year deals
    – 3 x £10m players on 4 year deals

    The amortisation costs would be £23.5m pa, so £100m of players and UEFA are counting it as £23.5m pa

    Bearing in mind clubs try to get transfer payments as close to Amortisation as possible, a club can buy £100m of players with much much less than £100m available…..as long as they know they will have the money in the future.

    When you consider our cash in the bank, our property money, our TV money increase and Sponsorship money…….you can see it really wouldnt cause us any problems to spend £100m the second the transfer window opens.

    Also any selling of players reduces amortisation.

    So if we sold Gervinho & Santos we would take £4m off of that figure or £23.5m alone.

  10. AC Gooner

    Gambon,

    my point exactly. In a few years when wenger is locked up in s straight jacket holding fictitious press conferences in some funny farm in the french countryside, we are all going to say to ourselves:

    “it was so obvious, why didnt we all see this then”

  11. gambon

    Leeds

    I totally agree. Ive said this many many times before, but I think Wenger is someone that should be forced to work under a director of football.

    I think its a horrible way of running a team, but I think Wenger is maybe the one manager in world football that should not be allowed to make the decisions on who comes in, cos he cant be trusted with money.

  12. LeMassiveCoq

    @Leedsgunner

    It’s funny, I put that Einstein quote on here at the end of the 2010/11 season in reference to Wenger’s mentality…just goes to show how true it is i s’pose..

    I guarantee we’ll all be having the same conversation this time next year. It’s funny, a couple of wins against a Bayern team who had in Le Seniles own words “slammed the handbrake on” because they were as good as through, and Swansea who also have taken their foot off the gas as they have pretty much achieved what they wanted for the season and everybody seems to have calmed down again, spouting about which players they would sign for their fantasy Arsenal 11. If Wenger and the yank are here this time next year, it will be fucking Groundhog day you mark my words.

  13. Cloggs

    LeMassiveCoq 14:37:30

    If Wenger and the yank are here this time next year, it will be fucking Groundhog day you mark my words.
    Ground hog day?, the gunner bowl is selling out big time out while we speak..

    I have been monitoring the exchange for some days now and tickets are sucked up quicker than a midget by a vacuum cleaner.

  14. jani

    “This is a guy who has landed 70 caps for Germany, he’s pretty young as well… he’s not a bad player, he’s just not featuring in a side that values defending.”

    The oft-used Germany caps argument to support Mert. Take a look at the defensive records of his teams during his club days in Germany and some years are quite shocking the amount of goals the defenses that he has spearheaded have let it. I’ve watched a bit of German club ball over the years and Mert often struggled in the Budesliga defensively, and guess what that league has in common with England…. pace and power.

    He’s a decent defender but he is what you see, a player who struggles with pace and power played against him, prone to the odd gaffe, and one who is alarmingly weak physically and in the air for his size.

    His record with Germany give a false impression, why? Generally because Germany is better than 99% of the opponents they face internationally (however recently they do tend to come up short when/as soon as they face top opponents). Moreover, the international game is slower, more tactical and patient than the club version and that suits Mertersacker (so does playing in Europe/CL when the games tend to be slower and more tactical). His struggles in the PL should come as no suprise to anyone who has watched this player over the years. So it’s really not about being paired with a form defender or whatever, he’s simply the wrong type of defender for this league and this team.

  15. Leedsgunner

    Massive

    1. Great minds think alike.
    2. It’s utterly depressing, the short term mentality of the club. So concerned are they at making 4th place now, it seems like they lost the ability to be strategically analytical. Why are the people at the club so reactive — rather than proactive, anticipating injuries, bad results and slumps in form.

    A classic example of this reactive nature is our transfer negotiations especially over coveted talents like Hazard and Mata. We scout, scout, scout, dither dither dither and then when Chelsea/Man City/Man United show up we whimper away… what a waste of time and resources… *facepalm*

  16. Nasri's Mouth

    Gambon: I think its a horrible way of running a team, but I think Wenger is maybe the one manager in world football that should not be allowed to make the decisions on who comes in, cos he cant be trusted with money.

    LOL. The ONE manager in world football? There are many many managers who spend ridiculously.

  17. gambon

    Nasris

    yes the one manager.

    Wenger is an embarrassment, the game over here has moved on massively.

    Wengers was spending £10/£11/£13m 13 years ago, and thats still his pathetic self imposed limit

    In that time the PL record has gone from £15m to £50m

    Our wage bill has gone from £50m to £150m

    yet Wenger wants to buy players for the same price.

  18. BERMY BOY

    I see,because we have strung a few wins together it’s back to modus operandi ,buy more teens in the hope we have another Cesc.I see another summer of slow singing and flower bringing for our beloved transfer saga.Well at least Luke got Laura,and Victor remarried Nicky because that’s as close as we are going to get to a happy ending.

  19. Nasri's Mouth

    Wrong Gambon, I only need to go a few miles to our closest rivals to find a club that had a manager that couldn’t be trusted with money.

  20. gambon

    What the club that he guided from bottom of the table to the PL without letting the wage bill go over £90m.

  21. Skinnywill

    Gambon, I am enjoying your positivity today and agree with most of what you have said. The management of our resources is key and the continual wastage is bordering on criminal.

    I am one of those who do not want a big sugar daddy come in and splash the cash as quite clearly from your analysis today that is not necessary. My biggest issue with Kronke is why he does not seem to be pushing the board and Wenger to do just what you say and manage the considerable resources at their disposal in a much better way.

  22. jani

    “think we have to come to the conclusion that a lot of the defensive issues aren’t down to personnel. We’ve got one of the best right backs in Europe playing like a muppet, we’ve seen Vermaelen regress into a total mess, Koscielny has been in and out all year… they can’t all be the problem… and we’ve seen other defenders leave us and go onto great things.”

    I beg to differ, why I’m in no-way giving Wenger and his staff a pass on their seeming lack of defensive training/drilling and prepartion. Half of the problem IF NOT MORE, is absolutely down to personnel. The difference is when we had defenders who could defend (including top physical deep MFs like Vieira, Petit and Gilberto, and top keepers like Seaman and Jens), were experienced and mentally strong, the lack of defensive tactical preparation (as confirmed by several ex-players including Adams who said they basically organized themselves with their experience) was not an issue like it was now.

    Re: “One of the best RBs in Europe playing like a muppet”, a closer look shows he’s been regressing for over two seasons now including readily being skinned by some pretty average wingers. Age, discontent with the state of the club and serious injury hasn’t helped, but simply put Sagna’s regression is not about coaching really, he’s just lost a lot of his game (for the above reasons).

    Re: “Vermaelen regressing into a total mess.” He has NEVER defensively strong, I used to try to bring up that point (along with WS) here when you were blaming all our defensive ills on Song’s supposed lack of discipline (nevermind he was doing what he was tasked to do). A big part of the Ajax fan-base were indifferent about him leaving, and when he was transferred there were noises coming out of Ajax that he was very suspect in defensive positioning. Even from his first season here he was a mess defensively, especially with positioning. However, he scored a lot of eye catching goals, now think about it, ANY CB in their FIRST season in the PL almost getting the league record for goals scored by a CB will undoubtedly get a lot of praise, and unsurprisingly like Verm did, get into the team of the season. It surely wasn’t for his defending, as evidenced by his mistakes and our pretty poor defensive record as a team that season, of which he played the most of any CB, even more than Gallas who iirc got injured in the latter half of that season. So everyone railed about the “Verminator” because of his great attacking play, and some last ditch Hollywood tackles (against bad teams usually), which were really a result of his poor positioning in the first place (unsurprisingly against better players/teams he was ruthlessly punished).

    Re: Koscielny. Regardless of his raw talent He’s mistake prone (it’ll take much more that 2 games to prove that dead). A big reason I think is because he was grossly inexperienced and not well physically prepared for the league. Think about it, at 24 or so (that’s not very young) when he signed he had never kicked a ball in international play at ANY LEVEL, not even junior level. Moreover, he had played at that age, only ONE SEASON in top level football in France for a mid-table team. Therefore it’s unsurprising that while talented yes, he still had/has so many mistakes to iron out of his game (including for the NT where he’s cocked up quite a few times in his limited selection since AFC) as he went from basically no experience at a pretty late stage in his development, straight into elite level football in the PL. That is a personnel issue more than anything, and the kicker is, despite his lack of experience, and as far as I can tell no other big clubs chasing the signature of a then 24 y.o. with zero international caps and one season in League 1 for a midtable team, somehow he cost a reported 10M or so.

    Re: Mertersacker/Szczesny I detailed above.

    And then thinking of jokers like Djourou, and inexperienced and/or injury prone cases like Jenkinson/Gibbs is absolutely as much if not more a personnel issue than coaching issue.

    Would these players be better with better coaching/training/prep? Arguably they would be, But to what degree I’m not sure, as they as personnel are so inherently flawed in the first place for a team with supposed title ambitions, be it from as a result of defensive shiteness (Vermaelen/Djourou, Santos WS), slow/weak for the league (Mert, Santos), inexperience (Kos, Jenks, WS, Gibbs), injuries (Gibbs/Fabianski) These are big personnel issues. If we recruited more quality and/or more experienced players in our defensive and keeping ranks like before they would do better regardless of the shite Wenger throws up in terms of defensive coaching and preparation (again just to be clear that needs to change to).

    Lastly, and sorry for the length of all this. A HUGE Part of why this is more a personnel issue to me, is that we need to stop recruiting defenders based on their “ball playing ability” and technical skills over their actual defensive competence and natural nous. I could care less how elegant Verm or Kos or Gibbs are on the ball if they are poor with positioning, make stupid mistakes and rash decisions, or won’t track back.

    Players like Adams, Keown, Dixon , Lauren, Sol etc may have been less technically blessed than a Verm, but they were far more experienced, physically prepared/suited, and more naturally defensively aware, and enjoyed the ugly/gritty side of defending than these fairy jokers that we have now, and as a result they could handle and equip themselves much better regardless of Wenger’s deficiencies with coaching defense.

    P.S. what defenders have we seen post-invincibles or being originally from that era or the preceding one, that have left us and gone onto great things? I’m struggling to think of many/any which easily highlights how big the personnel problem is as a contributor to our defensive woes since those great teams.

  23. gambon

    Skinnywill

    Most people associate my demands for change with negativity.

    To me there can be nothing more positive and progressive than overhauling the wage structure, squad structure and quality.

  24. progman07

    Cesc CAN get into Barca, anyone can take a look at the number of his games played this season, especially in the league.

  25. jani

    A little bit more on Mertesacker’s club career in Germany.

    His 5 full seasons with Bremen in terms of Goals Against and Per’s Appearances in the Bundesliga are as follows (keep in mind they only play 34 league games versus 38 in England):

    06-07 – 40 GA, 25 Appearances
    07-08 – 47 GA, 32 Appearances

    08-09 – 50 GA, 23 Appearances
    09-10 – 40 GA, 33 Appearances
    10-11 – 61 GA, 29 Appearances

    Now obviously this is over-simplified, and doesn’t account for any variety of factors, there are lots of goals scored in the Bundesliga etc. But despite all of that to me it’s pretty telling (also not just numbers but general performances as I watch a bit of German club football), Mertesacker has as the main CB in Bremen spearheaded some pretty leaky defenses, and from then there were many signs that he struggled against pace and power, and the Bundesliga is quite similar to the Prem in that regard. And it’s not like he was missing a lot, he made 142 out of 170 league appearances in that time (overwhelmingly as a starter) or some 83%! There defensive record in Europe actually wasn’t that much better either, but one is quicker to forgive that as they often came up against more quality.

    To me it’s very possible and likely that all those selections he earned for Germany was because the managers recognized his attributes are well suited to the slower, more tactical pace of international football (and again during that time often or as soon as Germany came up against top opponents after sweeping aside many minnows, they were out! and handedly beaten in some cases), that’s why when a lot of Gooners struggle to reconcile that this guy has struggled somewhat in the prem despite his pedigree in the international version of the game, it’s not that surprising to me.

    He’s a decent player, a handy player to have in the squad, especially for the slower more tactical games of the Champions League (perhaps soon to be Europa League) but week in week out as a starter invariably you’re going to get a lot of what we have seen with Mertesacker, struggling to cope with the pace and power of the game generally with intermittent games where his class (especially cerebrally) shine, but not much more than that. For someone 6’7″ he’s embarrassingly weak, and embarrassingly poor in the air, he’s not very aggressive either (which is not good for the PL) and for AFC in particular he’s not very good with the ball (though that means less to me personally)..All in all, he’s a decent signing as cover, but not a good signing as a number 1 CB if we truly have ambitions of winning the league and other big titles.

    Thus the relative struggles of Mertesacker imo, indicate far more a personnel issue than a management issue, as a player of his experience and pedigree should not look as INDIVIDUALLY clueless and struggling as he far too often has, regardless of the obvious real and present problems with the defensive setup from a management perspective, as other defenders of similar experience levels have thrived (in an individual sense, obviously the teams were stronger) despite the same management defensive deficiencies that existed back then as confirmed by several of our ex-players including defensive stalwarts like Adams.

  26. jani

    Last bit on Mertesacker.

    Think about this…

    Why was a 6’6″ player of his vast international pedigree for a top country like Germany, and vast club experience, yet still only 26/27 at the time, and knowingly open about coming to England for some years before (even iirc then fluent in English as a bonus), and available for only 8-10M, not be a target for the other big clubs in the league?

    Because the other top clubs probably saw that he wouldn’t be a good fit for the league with it’s pace, power, agression and his comparative lack of those specific attributes. In fairness, maybe Wenger didn’t think he would be a good fit either, but after the 8-2 mauling at the hands of United panicked and had to react defensively and Mert was there for the taking.

    Poor and pooly suited defensive personnel is currently a bigger issue for our woes than poor defensive management. That being said BOTH need to be urgently addressed.

  27. Johnty79

    Gambon, sorry been away but thanks for that financial pep talk on arsenal…absolutely spot on with wenger. If he worked under Daniel levy I think we would win the league…I remember when we played spurs in the 4:4 draw in 2009. Song vs Ohara both not absolute first team players both in and out…difference. Song on 45k aweek and Ohara on 9k aweek. I think when you look at redknapp no one can say he wasted any money at spurs and if that England thing hadn’t cropped up they would have finished 3rd.

    I think no won could get more out of this arsenal squad. What wenger doesn’t understand is that most of them aren’t very good or average..what wenger must understand is that even Morineho doesn’t sign the players at Madrid, ferguson at man u listens to his brother most on signing of players, guardiola has a terrible record of signing players before he left. If they kept Yaya I think they would have won the European cup 4 years on the trot. When arsenal r winning it does take the pain away but the mistakes cannot be forgotten….in 2004 we should have won the quadruple we were in a great position in all four trophies but wenger didn’t rotate. He used to play Henry at home to Charlton and vieria and we would struggle to win 2.1. That season is my biggest disappointment as an arsenal fan. Man utd were atrocious that season but played us three times and out played us in all three.

    As I said previously something changed in wenger in 2006 and we don’t know why. Our net profit from 2006 onwards was better the previous 6 seasons…at highborn even in 2002 after the double we lost 2m. Wenger didn’t care then about balancing the books…

    The sad thing is we look like spurs are going to bottle it again.. We sneak fourth, wengers says we can’t sign players untill we qualify thru the champs league play off. All the top players are picked up and were left with the scraps again…another season of disappointment. Although it may be painful to let spurs finish above us in the long run it would be the best thing possible. This would result in the board forcing wenger to spend or be sacked if we don’t get back in the champs league. Why did you change wenger, why was it when you started falling for French rappers?

  28. Just Curious

    You guys should take a chill pill…you’re barking at the moon.

    Want changes? Make a pile of cash, acquire the club, spend all of your money on your beloved, simple.

    I am not a Wenger fan, he’s going to leave, when it is depends on one person THE OWNER.

    P.S. Everybody saying we won’t win anything again under Wenger, give yourselves room to manoeuvre…stranger things have happened.

    Cheers.

  29. Cesc Appeal

    If you could spend £40 Million and get Jovetic and Alexis instead of a Cavani I think most people would take that.

    But again it matters not with Wenger in charge.

    You can see masses of potential in Alexis, he needs a manager who is going to encourage him to express himself and play with extreme flair…ask Oxlade Chamberlain how that works out at Arsenal!

    You stick a new keeper between the sticks, Mignolet or the like.

    Stick Ashley Williams in CB for £8 Million.

    Grab Etienne Capoue and Cabaye for a total of around £25 Million.

    Then the two forward boys for £40 Million, you’re probably going to be looking at just over £80 Million of expenditure, but cut into that with any sales we might make.

    But again, these signings, with a guy like Laudrup at the helm, or Kloop, you’re talking a very interesting Arsenal prospect.

    Under Wenger they’d probably start off on fire, get to February and then remember that they play for a perennial loser and collapse.

  30. Thomas

    The most fundamental thing is to get rid of the mentally ill cunt. That must happen first. We could fucking sign Messi and Ronaldo and we still would win fuck all since Wenger is absolutely oblivious on how to run a football team.

  31. kwik fit

    Guys were falling into the old trap that we fall into this time every year. No point getting excited about who we could sign and the availability of so called big name’s. We should know better that under this current regime the status Quo will be maintained.

  32. teddyblue

    I am an Arsenal fan from the United States, and seeing as I grew up over here, I became a football fan rather late in my life.

    I forget what it was that first drew me to Arsenal, or if there even was one specific thing. Having watched only clunky MLS matches and the occasional World Cup, I just remember being mesmerized when I first saw the old Arsenal team play, with such fluidity and grace that I never knew was possible on a football pitch. Even knowing next to nothing about football, I could tell immediately that Arsenal played the type of style that would allow someone like me to become a fan.

    So I fell in love with Arsenal, and it has been like that ever since.

    All that being said, it’s come to the point where I am lamenting my decision to follow this club. Having come so many years, it is impossible for me to switch allegiance to another club, but no hint of anything that first drew me to Arsenal can be identified in this current squad.

    I understand sport is sport, but the way our club is run sincerely makes me sad. It’s confounding. I’m sure the people around here have been Arsenal supporters for much longer than I, even through other bad times in the past, so let me ask you: am I being a brat? I feel fans should stick with their club through thick and thin, and I will, but is it unreasonable to expect better of Arsenal?

    I dunno, I feel like a dick sometimes for spiting my team. But…smh. This shit is ridiculous right now.

  33. teddyblue

    Toli83

    I’m not sure if that is correct. I am Korean by descent, and it was a pretty big deal when the S. Korean football team won bronze in the London Olympics. As far as I know, all members of that squad (actually, all S. Korean athletes that medaled in London) were made exempt from mandatory military service. Park was definitely a member of that squad, he scored a goal against Japan in the bronze medal game.

    By the way, I’ve watched Park play since he was like 17, and I told everyone who would listen he does not belong in top tier football. I couldn’t believe Arsenal brought him in, our scouts must be idiots if they couldn’t see what a complete novice like me could see.

  34. Toli83

    Haha,

    Very honest assessment Teddy. He just seemed to lack in every department. I saw am article on another site saying he is going to national service so watch this space I suppose. Either way its proven to be a complete waste of time and dare I say it a PR disaster .

  35. tom

    Park had a good World Cup 2010 .
    Brought as a marketing strategy as much as anything, I suspect.
    Still, he hardly got the opportunity to show anything.
    It was strange really.

  36. gambon

    teddy

    You are a true fan…..great post.

    Arsenal decided not to be a football club in 2006 and until the personnel in charge change, especially the alzheimers riddled manager, the decline will continue.

  37. gambon

    Also, Park was bought as a favour to monaco from the senile one.

    Make no mistake, Wenger is 100% anti Arsenal. He despises the club and fans.

  38. teddyblue

    If bringing Park in was strictly a PR ploy, I understand why they did it. When Ji-Sung Park signed with United, shit was bananas in the homeland. I think he was the first to sign for a big EPL team, so that was a big deal, AND it was shortly after hosting the World Cup in 2002 (4th place, best finish ever) and the glow of the team’s success was still lingering.

    Not many people cared when Park Chu signed.

    Second point is, United have the club and staff to take full advantage of limited players like Ji-Sung Park, and they have the PR ability to take advantage of his popularity in Asia.

    When Arsenal signed their Park, it is impossible to know what the motives were. It can’t be strictly for PR. I think they honestly thought he would come good, since other non-Asian players brought in around the same time were similarly trash.

  39. Toli83

    Favour to Monaco or not it really doesn’t make any sense to me . He never even had the chance to play in an Arsenal shirt, doomed from the off set.

    Glory won’t return until Wenger has gone, or maybe until we see more ambitious owner at the club as well . But it starts with Wenger leaving.. It needs freshening up to change and raise the expectations.

    Tom, the statement made by Teddy represents the majority across the globe mate.

  40. teddyblue

    tom

    I think i’ll side with the dude that didn’t call me a brat 😀

    I understand what youre saying though. Like I said, I feel like a dick sometimes. But Arsenal are like that black sheep relative, who I will love regardless, but its SO frustrating to see them waste all their talent and potential.

  41. gambon

    teddy

    I met a guy in Milan last feb who knew his stuff inside out, goes around the world watching AFC

    He knew 100% that we bought Park as a favour to Monaco and his French agent friends.

    Why you think he always buys dross from Ligue 1?

  42. tom

    Teddy,

    … but its SO frustrating to see them waste all their talent and potential.

    Id like to hear what you mean by this.

  43. teddyblue

    Tom

    Ji-Sung Park was a good player for United, because he played for United. He played as a striker for the S. Korean national team, then later as the 10. Either way, he was pretty much the focal point of that team. As far as talent goes, though, I do not rate him.

    The players at United are drilled to play their position the way the club expect, otherwise they are benched. Park has discipline, but he’s no world beater. What’s become of him since he left United? He was named QPRs captain earlier this season, but I can’t remember one significant thing he has done at all.

  44. tom

    Ji-Sung Park was an effective tool for United.
    Squad player. Not a huge talent but hard working.

    Harassed Arsenals midfield very well at OT a couple of years ago, I remember.

  45. tom

    He met him in the steam room, Toli83

    Surely you are not taken in by his nonsense.

    He knew 100% that we bought Park as a favour to Monaco and his French agent friends.

    Utter bollocks.

  46. teddyblue

    gambon

    I believe it. Although it sounds far-fetched and I am a big on Occam’s Razor, the actions of Wenger and the club at this point go beyond comprehensible logic. I can’t prove it, but if it’s true, what a cunt, seriously.

    tom

    What I mean is, many fans would kill for their team to have the clout, resources, brand, etc. that the Arsenal name carries. It’s not rocket science. No matter how you may look at it, you can’t possibly look at the club right now and say they are fulfilling their potential on the pitch, in commercial deals, in managing wages, in scouting players. The list goes on and on.

  47. tom

    What I mean is, many fans would kill for their team to have the clout, resources, brand, etc. that the Arsenal name carries. It’s not rocket science. No matter how you may look at it, you can’t possibly look at the club right now and say they are fulfilling their potential on the pitch, in commercial deals, in managing wages, in scouting players. The list goes on and on.

    Teddy,
    Two points:
    Arsenal position of 
    ….clout, resources, brand, etc. that the Arsenal name carries….
    Is largely down to Wenger in the PL era.

    and

    you can’t possibly look at the club right now and say they are fulfilling their potential on the pitch, in commercial deals, in managing wages, in scouting players.

    Well I can. 
    I say to have remained competitive in spite of the major disruptions of a new stadium, new rivals of unlimited resource and the loss, against our will, of vital players is commendable.
    Arsenal are not a bad side by any means and have the potential to be great. A chance for new players to bed in and some major housekeping this summer will leave us in fine shape.

  48. tom

    I think you are infected by the general hysteria that Gambon and his ilk enjoy.

    All gooners want success.  We are a great club who should be winning things regularly but the recent past has been some of the most turbulent in footballs history. Im glad we have had a strategy and a manager strong enough to implement it. 
    FFP will make a difference, The Grove will make a difference and the culture our club enjoys will make a difference.

    Keep the faith.

  49. gambon

    Toli

    Was just off of Duomo and got talking to a load of gooners, hardcore away club fans, went to a bar right next to the san siro and this fat belgian rolls up, he knew a lot about the club.

  50. teddyblue

    tom

    im not saying gambon was wrong or right about the Park deal, but you can’t dismiss it completely. There is tons of cronyism in football, isn’t there? I just acknowledged the fact that it’s possible.

    Last thing for today: I very much dislike the vitriol spewed between Arsenal fans in support of or against Wenger. It’s too divisive. Aren’t we all supporting the same club?

    The easiest way to end the feud between the two groups would be for Arsene to step down. He can’t be ignorant of the fact that there is a schism within the fan base, a split caused by him frankly. If he really loved Arsenal and respected the fans, he would leave the picture and allow the club and fans to move on, hopefully in unity.

  51. tom

    A fat belgian belly to belly with a fat englishman, sweating in the italian heat. In a little alley round back of the Duomo.

    Quite a picture you paint there, gambon.

  52. tom

    I expect Arsene to retire when his contract expires.
    He will have left a great legacy and a healthy Arsenal.

    Then the future is wide open but I would hope the new regime would allow some continuity and stick to our football principles.

  53. kwik fit

    The Duomo in Milan is about 5 miles from the san siro.

    Having said that ,the rest of the story I believe. I mean, what other fuckin reason would Arsene FC buy a relegated Ligue 1 striker, who is currently struggling at the bottom of La liga and due to go on National service in 2014.

  54. tom

    Teddy dont be too taken in by what you read online.
    Football blogs and media in general live by stoking conflict and contoversy. Arsenal bashing has always been a popular sport for British press. 
    The internet provides a forum for the loudest voices and an extremism of all kinds is rampant.

    Fact is Arsene Wenger still has the support of a sizable majority of ticket buying Arsenal supporters. And the hard line haters represented by Le Grove,  Arsenal Truth and the odious and stupid Myles Palmer reflect the views of a small minority.

  55. teddyblue

    “Arsenal position of
    ….clout, resources, brand, etc. that the Arsenal name carries….
    Is largely down to Wenger in the PL era.”

    I give Wenger an extreme amount of credit for his success in the past, he was indeed a great manager. I know the extremists will bring up his inheritace of Graham’s back four and all kinds of caveats, but no matter the circumstance, he did succeed, in spades.

    Still, this is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ world. I won the district spelling bee in the 5th grade, which won me a free meal at the local McDonald’s. Imagine if I were to go back and demand another free meal because of my past success, I’d be laughed away.

    “. A chance for new players to bed in and some major housekeping this summer will leave us in fine shape.”

    I hope this is true, but recent history shows it’s a murky proposition.

    I do agree, though, that we all want what’s best for the club. I am trying to keep the faith as well.

  56. gambon

    Yeah Toli i was right in the middle of the sq when the riot police came surging in, singing at the crowd of bemused Milanese.

    As everyone scattered i bumped into an old mate that i havent seen for 5 years….hilarious!

  57. tom

    Still, this is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ world.

    And thats a pity. 
    Arsenal seem reluctant to buy into that mentality and that makes me love my club more.

  58. kwik fit

    gambon

    The tram is much quicker(more direct) than the tube. The closest tube station is about a mile from the ground. Make’s you thankful that we have the Emirates.

  59. tom

    Emirates had to be as close to Highbury as possible.
    Club did brilliant securing Ashburton Grove, in that respect.

  60. Toli83

    Stadiums like San Siro, Westfalen (Dortmund) , and most recently Munich’s stadium embody everything a ground should have .

    We got shoved into buses and took up San siro . That bit was bit suspect…

  61. teddyblue

    tom

    it is nice to discuss these kinds of things with you, even though parts of our opinion differ. there is a sincerity i can appreciate in you.

    I really am not that affected by blogs and the media. I understand criticism of the Arsene Out brigade (some of those dudes are clowns, detrimental to their own cause), but just because some of us are dissatisfied with the current manager doesn’t mean we have lost faith.

    I live in Los Angeles and have been a Laker fan my whole life, but I want the current Laker manager fired as soon as possible. When I say something like that around here, no one accuses me of not being a fan or hating the team.

    The difference with Arsenal is, Wenger IS Arsenal, and any kind of slagging of the manager is taken by some as slagging the club. This is not a good thing.

    I would say that the majority of fans are not on either side of the Arsene issue, and the average fan just goes about supporting Arsenal with no real interest in the inner machinations of the club. Most people are sheep, Arsenal fans included. I suppose this is why people like Gambon go to the extremes they do, hoping they are able to make a lasting impression on those that have no real opinion of their own.

  62. tom

    I enjoy messing with gambon. He is a idiot who provokes me.

    He likes to bully any one with a different opinion and is thoroughly obnoxious.
    When he comes here spouting bollocks I will let him know everytime.

  63. 6th-is-a-new-trophy

    Teddy – great perspective. There’s a lot of people who feel the same, the problem comes when you get diametrically opposed opinions clashing.

    You get a lot like Tom who think that all is well and a lot who don’t. It’s going to cause friction.

  64. tom

    Teddy,

    I have no problem with your position regarding Wenger.
    If you come to your conclusions from the witness of your own eyes and intellect then you must hold to it.
    I got the impression from your laundry list of grievences that you might be simply spouting the conventional line.
    I have counter arguments to most of the complaints but I expect you have considered  them for yourself.
    I am happy with different opinions as it makes a debate.
    My problem is with the extremism.  I think its hateful and wrong and it has fueled a lot of the negativity that has enveloped the club to its detriment.

  65. tom

    6th,

    I never start trouble with anyone that isnt either abusive or trolling.
    Gambon is a troll. Fact.

  66. tom

    You may be surprised to learn that I would prefer, at this point, that Wenger not have his contract extended beyond the current one.
    I think it is time for a new era, not because I believe AW has lost the plot but simply as change is healthy.
    I do, however, hope there will be continuity between his system and what replaces it and I do hope the main concept (young, British and indoctrinated complimented by select experience) is allowed to develop further.
    The club is in good shape so I feel positive about the future.

  67. tom

    Maybe Laudrup….maybe Ancellotti….Maybe Moyes

    I dont have a strong opinion as I havent given it a lot of thought.
    I dont want Mourinho though. I really dislike him as a man and find his football pretty turgid. Also he seems to not be interested in long term projects. 

  68. Keyser

    teddyblue – Be nice to hear your perspective of the NBA as it is now, or how you think it equates to football in this country. I don’t have any real association to any team and I’ve only started watching regularly in recent years but I think it’s a bit of a joke right now. Is this a cycle it goes through or something more endemic ?.

    There’s parrallels to the NBA in that teams have pooled talent in a few teams and it’s led to skewed conferences and Miami simply overwhelming teams that can’t compete.

    Not sure why you’d blame D’Antoni of the Lakers ? Howard’s been a bit of a flop and it looks like they’ve gone pretty short term in buying several players who are too old to build any real consistency. Similar to Arsenal maybe in biding their time last year.

    “Still, this is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ world.”

    Thing is football in this country never used to hold those values, clubs aren’t franchises, there’s supposed to be something deeper than that, if you looked at it all coldly and with a clinical eye, I’m not sure you could really fault the club, in a profit orientated world.

  69. tom

    Clubs have a hard task balancing financial responsibilty with
    fan expectation.
    The days when you could grow a team seem to have given way to an environment that demands instant solutions.

  70. teddyblue

    Keyser,

    I’m surprised you say the NBA is a joke, because it’s pretty popular right now. General consensus is that there has never been this much talent in the league before. The dominance of a team like Miami can make the league seem less competitive, but casual fans don’t care about that, and dominance matters much, much less in a league where championships are decided by a playoff system. If anything, superteams like Miami increase popularity of the sport. History has shown, people are front runners — they like teams that win, and win convincingly.

    Leagues don’t care about dedicated fans, because they will support their team regardless of the state of the league. The money is in drawing the casual fans.

    Fiscally speaking, the value of NBA teams have skyrocketed since the last labor agreement, mostly because more limits were placed on player salary and contract length. The revenue split between owners and players was also moved toward the owners’ favor.

    As for D’antoni, he is a decent coach, but the Lakers’ personnel does not fit his style very much. It took him several months to work out a decent rotation, and that’s only because Pau Gasol got injured. I don’t know what kind of team the Lakers could have, because he refuses to play a system that takes advantage of the two bigs. Nothing malicious, he just isn’t the right fit for this current Laker squad.

    The difference between football in Europe and pro sport over here is too complicated to address. That would require a much longer discussion. The concept of “buying” players for example, was such a shock to me. You can’t buy a 16 year old and stash him. You can’t pay off another team to sign a player. Almost all leagues have a salary cap and spending limits, in some form or another. All the champions are decided by playoffs (a tournament, basically).

    I can talk about this for hours, but I reckon the lot of you are asleep by now. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it fascinating. Especially the cultural part, and the difference of attitude in the fans.

  71. VIX AFFAIR

    KeyserMarch 20, 2013 23:46:21

    I don’t think,you can suddenly use a snapshot of the NBA,over the last few year’s & draw an equivalent with the EPL..

    I sense you smell fresh meat from teddyblue & are on the hunt,like the prick that you are…

    Why don’t you go back,almost 20 years,to Phil Jackson’s reign at the Chicago Bull’s..B/w 1989-1998..

    6 NBA Championships,missing out on 3 NBA’s..

    Player’s under his remit..Scottie Pippen,Dennis Rodman(the best rebound specialist),Horace Grant,Toni Kuric(great forward) & the great man himself Michael Jordan..

    That team was up against teams,like Utah Jazz,LA Laker’s,Portland Trail Blazer’s& the Houston Rocket’s..

    It wasn’t about money,but about talent,man-management & coaching..

    Something,that Wenger lack’s(well not the money anyway)..

    Now,you talk about football being money oriented…

    Hellooooo..What AFC are not?

    Arsene Wonga on £7.5m,delivering 4th place trophy?

    Charging the highest season ticket prices in the world,for the AFC experience..?

    Are you nut’s..?

    Maybe you should imply,that Arsenal,have become a franchise,under the guidance of Arsene,with SS as a custodian of the franchise..??

  72. VIX AFFAIR

    teddyblue

    How long have you been watching the NBA?

    I’m rather intrigued..!!

    How has the NBA changed from the Michael Jordan era to the LeBron James Era?

    PS
    Be warned Keyser,is a wind-up merchant& will trap you into some long-winded arguments..

    If in doubt,go back over the last month’s posts..
    He sees you as fresh meat-to attack..
    Just a polite warning..

  73. VIX AFFAIR

    teddyblue

    Keyser’s”The NBA is a joke”…

    Was his predictable fish hook,to reel you in, & spark a long-winded debate..

    He has no opinion,he’ll just argue with you to kingdom come..Hence,he’s linking NBA to EPL..!!

    PS
    I’m just trying to spare you the pain…!!
    He goes in soft & then hit’s hard..

  74. VIX AFFAIR

    teddyblue

    How does the NBA,compare with the NFL,Baseball & the NHL?

    Are the the successful teams in the respective sport’s mentioned skewed,just as much,as in the NBA?

    In term’s of popularity,which sport has the
    biggest following?

    Quite intrigued to hear an LA American voice/opinion on this..?

  75. SUGA3

    I see Szczesny’s old man’s interview with Polish ‘Przeglad Sportowy’ is a big press story today, just to put things into perspective, this is what he literally said:

    ‘…he managed to convince everyone that he could be a fantastic keeper. Granted, his form is by far worse than last year’s, but there is good explanation: two major injuries. One he had to play with through April and May last year, having been convinced by an experienced manager, which I am holding against the latter. That way he risked young man’s health and Wojtek got convinced to go ahead with that stupidity’

    kudos to some journos for being able to stretch it into a full scale article 😆