Steve Bould: Arsenal’s most important signing as defence takes us to top four | Cheerio Spurs…

by & filed under News Review.

Well here we are people, on the cusp of a new start for the manager, the board and of course, us, the fans. Yesterday was important on so many levels. By finishing fourth, the manager has removed any relic of an excuse that could be pushed our way come August 31st. New commercial deals are so close you can taste the cash, the bank balance is publicly brimming and we have the core of a very strong squad already with us.

The Newcastle game boasted none of the drama we’d expected / dreaded in a final day of the season show down. However, that didn’t stop the whole occasion becoming a 2 hour nightmare. I watched the two games dual screen in a pub which boasted a larger Spurs population.

We knew what the script looked like for Spurs, they’d have trouble breaking down a dogged Sunderland, then magic man Gareth Bale would muster up some ‘at the death’ magic. Which he played out line for line.

Our game was a little more tense. Newcastle didn’t really put up much of a fight. However, we struggled to make an impact for large parts of the game. Podolski spurned a very simple chance when through on goal when he fired his shot into the retiring Steve Harper. There was a fair bit of possession but no bite from us. Theo couldn’t handle the double team action that was going on his side of the wing and Lukas didn’t give is an outlet.

Our chance dropped in the second half, from a corner, Podolski I think got a touch, it looped over Koscielny’s shoulder, he followed it eagle eyed and turned it into the net. A great goal.

There was no last surge from Newcatle. Theo made it through on goal but toe poked the ball past the keeper but found himself denied by a stubborn post. The team played out the last ten minutes with a maturity I’ve not seen in years. They were calm, they slowed play down and they made the whole ordeal a little calmer.

The spirit of the side was summed up by Laurent Koscielny who had an absolutely superb game. He lost his way earlier in the year, but there’s no doubt now that he is our lead centre back (arguably he was at the end of the last summer). He dominated at the back, he came up with the vital goal and he led by example.

I said last summer that the best signing was Steve Bould. A year on, we’ve seen the reverse of last season. It was the defence that proved pivotal. We’ve not taken fourth. Because of one man and his goals, we’ve taken it because the manager allowed more focus on the back four (in the end) and Bould delivered a defence that conceded 37 goals. That made us the second best defence inside one season. That’s an impact people. With the right movements this summer, we’ll have the best defence in the league. We’ve made serious inroads without a proper keeper. Wenger also has to take some serious credit. He dropped his captain and never let him back in. He also dropped his keeper and only let him get a chance through injury. Both moves proved decisive in turning around our season.

Another change in the team no one has mentioned all season that has played a huge role in us becoming more solid as a unit has been the departure of Alex Song. He’s moved on and we’ve now fitted out the midfield with two players who are prepared to track back and take responsibility. How many cheap freekicks do we give away these days? How often is that gap in front of the back four left empty? Not often. We’re defending as a collective these days. I’ve said for years, you don’t need to have 4 world class defenders to have  a world class unit. Now, I’m not saying we’re a world class unit by a long shot, but we’ve made serious inroads this season and proof of concept is the 24% reduction in goals conceded. Players have been made accountable.

Up front, the goals were shared out and we matched what we achieved last season, however, it’s apparent we need to build in that area. We’re not clinical enough and we lack a player with the dominance to lead against world class teams. That position will be filled this summer and I think there’s a very high chance it’ll be filled with an important name. That’s unlikely to be Lewandowski as he’s rumoured to be close to Bayern and I’ve not heard anyone mention Jovetic… but they’re looking at someone outside Sanogo. Will it be Wayne Rooney? The club are interested, but you have to ask yourself a few serious questions here. Firstly, his attitude has been appalling at United this season, some seriously shameful rumours floating around about his behaviour. If Ferguson can’t control him, what hope does Wenger have? His physicality has pulled him through his mid-twenties… but what happens going forward? Does his lifestyle catch up with him now? Is that a £30m risk we can afford to take?

I think the club are going to go all out now to make an impact in the transfer market. Expect to see a keeper, a centre back, a midfielder with bite, maybe a creative player and definitely a world class striker. The perfect storm has arrived. We have lots of cash in the bank, we have new commercials on the horizon, a manager wanting a new deal and all the clubs around us are going through managerial changes. This is our summer to shine and everything I’m getting from the club says that we’re going for it.

The major difficulty we’re going to have is that we’re not selling players a success machine. We’re selling them a project. A new type of project, but it’s not the finished article. If we want to land Cesc, we’ll have to convince him of our ambition by making an ambitious signing. It might be really tough, players might not fancy us… but I can guarantee you we’re already out there trying for players who are on a different planet to the types of players we’ve looked at in the past.

… but what about Spurs?

Well yesterday’s result was a baseball bat to the back of the legs if ever I’ve seen one. For me, it’s almost curtains for Spurs in regards to moving up a level in the eyes of world football. That was their one opportunity, which to be honest, if they’d have taken, would have killed them next year anyway.

Here’s why Spurs are unlikely to trouble us next season. Firstly, Arsenal won’t have a summer like they had last year. We won’t lose two key players this year. The only people moving will be the players who haven’t really done it this year (Vermaelen, Gervinho, Chamakh the deadwood if we can find them a home). We’ll have a settled squad in that sense. The base has been set.

There is no chance Arsenal won’t invest this summer either. We’ll never make that mistake moving forward. So we’ll not only have a settled squad by August 31st, we should have one that is buzzing with excitement for the first time in 10 or so years. That’s a major step change forward.

Thirdly, I’m guessing… and this is a guess. We’re unlikely to have a start as pathetic as tepid as last years.

Finally, it’s unlikely Bale will stay at Spurs and even if he does, will he have the season he’s had this year? Everything he’s touched has turned to gold this year. If you take his form out the equation, Spurs have quite an average squad. Think of how lucky their run in has been. They’ve been dominated by poor teams and been Baled out everytime. Not just that, the deflected goals, the inexplicable collapses… they’ve had a very lucky run in and they didn’t deserve top four in the end.

Then look at the revenue gap. We’ll be a full £100m better off than them by the end of next season. That’s an unbelievable power grip we’ll have on them. They’re trying to pull together this new stadium, but I haven’t read anything about a loan being secured? We picked up ours for what, 3%? They’ll have to pick theirs up for at least double. How will they fund it with the inflated wages of modern football and without consistent Champions League revenue? They won’t be able to… it’d be too much of a risk

*Not to mention the new Premier League wage rule will scupper any rapid growth plans they might have (only being able to add £4m to your wage bill each summer. Getting from £90m to £150m will take a while).

Arsenal’s long term planning has started to bear fruit after nearly a decade. How will Spurs manage a transition like that? It feels like an impossibility.

Now, credit where credit is due. Making top four from where we were has been a massive achievement. 12 wins out of 16 is absolutely massive. Wenger has pulled it out of the bag at the death again. However, those who think 4th place with our resource is worth crowing about are really missing the point of being a big club. Wenger has had cash to invest over the last four years and he’s failed to do so. He’s been treading water and survived. This season has to be the last time he does that. This was the closest in a while. What made this seasons escape all the more impressive is that we didn’t do it with the stars he’s done it with of seasons past. The clubs management won’t want to go through that again and I’m pretty sure Arsene won’t want to go through that again. It’s time to face up to facts. Big clubs sign big players. You can still do things the right way… but a simple look around Europe shows you that even clubs like Dortmund spend big if they need to.

The club won’t put us through that again. They know there’s a huge opportunity this summer. The United team you saw draw 5-5 with WBA is a sign of things to come under them. City, Bayern and Chelsea can’t buy all the players in Europe. Spain don’t have the money they used to… and you’d have to be brave as a foreigner to set up home in a country that’s on the verge of bankruptcy… we all saw what the EU sanctioned against the people of Cyprus… footballers and their wealth will be easy pickings for the Spanish Government should things get desperate.

Arsenal is about to get exciting people. I truly believe that. If they don’t, well, that’ll be because the manager doesn’t have a project he can sell to elite players, and that’s a story in itself. This has the foundations to be the best summer we’ve ever had, so lets be thankful to the players for busting a gut to make top four happen.

Before I leave this post, I just wanted to take time out to thank everyone who visits the site, posts a comment on the Facebook page and chats to me on Twitter. Writing for you all this season has been, in the main, an absolute pleasure. To have a comments section with such a rich variety of opinions that are made by so many people is quite a marvel when you consider most blogs barely register a single mention. I wouldn’t write everyday if it weren’t for the people that e-mail me at 11:00 to find out if I’m dead if I haven’t posted. I’m never dead people… just nursing a Peroni induced morning of hell.

Anyway, a massive, massive thanks for continuing to make Le Grove relevant amongst Arsenal fans… and, now, with the club. Long may it continue.

Here’s to a great summer of daily posts!

See you in the comments.

843 Responses to “Steve Bould: Arsenal’s most important signing as defence takes us to top four | Cheerio Spurs…”

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  1. N5

    Gregg what is that Axel Witsel like, I assume good but is he a player like Fellani or is it just the barnet? has he played against us before? I don’t recall ever seeing him play.

  2. Mayank

    Udinese had other assets at least as valuable as Sanchez.

    Stoke literally have one player that could even be considered near world class. They’ll be trying to get the highest value for him. And Liverpool will be in the market if Reina goes.

  3. Al

    Thought the OX came on and looked really good. Gave us some speed in the middle of the park that helped with the counter and closing players down.

    Since that Tottenham game i have been proud of the team who kept battling and turned it around. Shows that there is some fight and spirit in there that just needs to be supplemented with abit of real quality.

    Got a feeling Ramsey is going to be a big player for us….He may be quiet but his attitude and determination is similar to KOS, he gets on with the game and just drives the team forward. Kids got alot of heart and now he just needs to fine tune his quality

  4. Guns of Hackney

    Sorry, Goalkeepers?

    So is this the new buzz on Le Grove?

    Chesney will be our No.1 next season so cool your jets.

    We need but wont get: GK, at least 2 CB, 2x MF, 1x winger and two WC CF.

    Shit team guys and girls…don’t forget that. we only started playing when the pressure was off and all we had was the fourth place. Our PL challenge ended in August and we were bashed in Europe again.

    Remember the season is 8 months long, not one game.

  5. N5

    Since our GKs dad spoke out about (to coin a GoH phrase) the amphibian, what do people think will happen with him this year, we know AW hates to be questioned even indirectly via a father, his ego can’t take it.

    I think we do need stiff competition for him though, he would play better and not be as complacent if he knew he would lose his position, we can no longer be satisfied with mediocrity and that goes for every position.

  6. Matt

    Anyone going to Wentworth Pro Am on Wednesday?

    Walcott and Ramsey are in a group with Justin Rose and John Arne Risse. SHould be interesting to watch!

  7. nuudles

    Romford, Adler would be brilliant, but just the other day he dismissed the reports of him leaving. I agree with Radio Raheem that Chezzer & Fabianski have probably done enough to save their places for next season. Regarding Cesar’s flaps: I think it is virtually impossible to not have some sketchy moments if you are the GK for one of the worst defences in the league…

    If you look at Chezzer’s stats over the full season he has not been bad, and that is taking into account the very dodgy period he went through: in comparing against Begovic, Cech, Cesar, De Gea, Foster, Hart, Jussi, Lloris, Mignolet, Reina, Schwarzer & Vorm he has the third highest Save/Goal ratio (2.96 vs 3.5 for Cech and 3.42 for De Gea, much better than Lloris’ letting in a goal for every 2 saves he makes) and the third lowest Goals/Game ratio (0.96 vs 0.93 for De Gea and 0.89 for Hart). We all know he can work on his distribution and at saving shots from long shots. Based on that I dont see us spending proper money on a GK, therefore I can see us getting Cesar as a decent older player who can help spread the load.

    I would much rather have Chezzer, Fabianski & Cesar than Chezzer, Fabianski & Mannone…

    Stekelenburg is another GK who I would not mind having. He has fallen out of favour at Roma, he is a beast, showed his class in the World Cup, is more mature and can certainly dominate his area. He will also not cost the world.

  8. N5

    Danny I think the whole Gambon banning was dealt with wrongly in the eyes of Guns and he hasn’t been the same since. He was such a funny poster and its a real shame he is angry now. He was always angry but not so hateful to the other posters, I still have hope the old guns will return though, although I do think he will return when AW has fucked off.

  9. Guns of Hackney

    dannyboy

    Glad you like my stuff.

    I tell the truth and have been consistent with my displeasure of Arsene and Arsenal for years. Arsenal FC will NEVER, and I mean NEVER progress while Wenger leads the club.

    I can’t wait to see you lot on here come August when we take to he new season with the same personnel.

    Short sighted bastards.

  10. Arsene's Nurse

    Arsene Wenger will leave Arsenal this summer because he has been offered £30m to become a film star and appear in a Hollywood blockbuster: Groundhog Day 2.

    The film is going to be 5 years long. It will consist of Wenger waking up at 7.00am and doing exactly the same thing every day for 5 years. He learns absolutely nothing from his experience and instead of learning to play the piano, become a master ice carver and win the girl, he becomes ever increasingly mental. The last year of the film is simply set in a padded cell with Wenger rocking back and forth, mumbling something about a hand-brake, naming professional football players he nearly signed and dribbling on about “qualidee and ze mental strength”.

    Reviews:

    ACLF: The best film in the history of mankind. Far too short, should have been 8 years.

    AKB Magazine: This is a wonderful film that shows the true greatness of a man who continues to do the same thing for eternity in the face of all common sense. A masterpiece – must see.

  11. Al

    Romford Pele,

    You have to question songs level of intelligence (how dumb is he?) or his arrogance and self importance to believe that Puyol was coming to him (a player who contributed Zero) rather then Abidal with the trophy first

  12. Alex James

    Thanks for the advice on potential CL opponents. Nerves are still tingling though. Some of the names mentioned so far could be tricky. The main concern is that Wenger will use the round to dither or targets will play the what if card. Oh well, best to enjoy the moment I suppose. Spurs scoring at the death but still failing was a magic moment.

  13. Guns of Hackney

    N5

    I was on Hiatus. Gambon got another ban??? Pray tell…more racist abuse?

    Funny has nothing to do with it – Arsene is here to stay and that will impact the club in the long term far worse than if that sock puppet, duvet wearing cheese eater got sacked.

    You’ll see…oh, you’ll see.

  14. Gus Caesar - he would be first choice today

    Does anyone think we should go for Lukaku?

    Looked pretty good all season and scored plenty of goals – I would prefer him to Benteke.

  15. vicky

    GOH

    most of the posters here know deep in their hearts that it will be the same old shit again. We will not strengthen the team enough to have any chance of winning the PL and the CL in near future.

    That is why you see most of them are rather hoping than expecting that things will improve.

    Sometimes being blissfully ignorant helps than being a complete realist.

  16. HENRY'S CULTURED RIGHT FOOT

    Good end of the season post Pedro..the future looks bright too..we need to wrap up our transfer dealings quickly before the start of the transfer window so we can have a good start to next season. COYG!!

  17. Al

    Gus Caesar – he would be first choice today May 20, 2013 12:11:11

    Does anyone think we should go for Lukaku?

    Looked pretty good all season and scored plenty of goals – I would prefer him to Benteke.
    ———————–
    Yep but they won’t sell and especially to us

  18. Ben

    I read this blog daily but never have the time to involve myself in the comments. I would just like to thank you on what I believe is the best regular arsenal blog, I might not agree with you on every issue but I admire the way you construct you arguments with a mixture of humour and seriousness

  19. TONY

    I’m a massive fan of arseblog at the the start of the season i used to read your blog too as it was the other end of views, But then your blog incl comments I felt it just turned into a bitch fest about anything Arsenal and some of it was ridiculous and just non supportive of the team so I stop reading.

    But got to say the past two months I’ve read your blog without fail, its a lot more balanced with you still sticking to your views and is probably just behind Arseblog as the best Arsenal Blog out there

    So this is a well done to you and hope we get the summer we all need/what

  20. David White

    Sorry, but Arsenal are not going to spend big over the summer, just not going to happen. Stan is here to put as much money in his pocket as possible. The best way to do that is to qualify for the CL at the lowest possible cost i.e. finish fourth. The bank balance might well be brimming, but it’s Stan’s cash and it ain’t gonna get spent on players. As long as we qualify for the CL, nothing will change. I don’t like it any more than you, but that is the unfortunate reality.

  21. Gus Caesar - he would be first choice today

    and Guns you are probably right – 8 years of history supports your view. Probably until the mess that is Kronke & the Ukranian is sorted we can expect a similar summer to those of the past.

    Just hope we sort out the nonsense that is our wage structure – and that people understand we can compete with wages if we stop overpaying average players.

    I remember the fuss abotu Winston Bogarde taking £40K a week at Chelsea and not playing. Haven’t seen similar fuss about Squiallici for example.

  22. goonerbone

    Thanks for this season, Pedro! I can tell you that finding your blog was one of the few highlights it had to me…

    I trust you will be having tea with Ivan during the summer- make sure to push him to push you-know-who. And let us in on the qualified rumours!

  23. Guns of Hackney

    Vicky

    Thanks for the continuing support in fighting the evil that is WENGERISM.

    The strange thing is, most people on here are fairly bright…but when it comes to football and Arsenal in particular, they lose their minds. Wenger is demented and has been since 2006. We always get fourth or third so I fail to see why this year, it has become an even bigger achievement.

    I wish I could be bothered noting the posters on here so after a close season of bullshit, I can refer them back to the “Wengers gonna change” bullshit.

    N5 – I’ll try and get funnier again. How’s this for starters *clears throat*…Wenger!

    That’s it for now.

  24. mystic

    ‘We want additions but we want to keep the structure and spirit and quality of the team. But let’s not forget there are many clubs with big money and maybe not enough talent to strengthen all the teams. But we will go out in a proactive way.’

    I fear in other words,
    ‘we tried, but the available quality players were just not out there, we cannot financially compete with some other clubs. I have no doubts about the attitude of this squad and despite not adding any star names I believe we will be even stronger’

    I hope I am wrong, but………….

  25. gambon

    We aint signing Lukaku, thats for sure.

    If I was Mourinho i’d flog Torres and Ba, sign Cavani/Lewandowski/Falcao and have Lukaku as back up CF.

    Embarassment of riches over there right now.

    Courtois, De Buyne, Lukaku all excellent.

  26. Aussie Aaron

    Cheers to you Pedro!

    how funny were the spuds fans at whl that got the rumour that newcastle had scored an equaliser and that they were 4th haha.. if that happened to me id probs cry.. haha

    yewww, up the gunners

  27. Gus Caesar - he would be first choice today

    They might not sell a lukaku to us but he is surely what we need. He could be 4th choice behind a new signing Torres & BA, player power could force that move. He would be first choice for us unless we were stunned by a new signing that doesn’t playing Ligue 1 or 2 football.

    Whcih seems unlikely

  28. gambon

    “Sorry, but Arsenal are not going to spend big over the summer, just not going to happen. Stan is here to put as much money in his pocket as possible”

    This is Stan that hasnt taken a single penny out of the club since he has been involved?

    The problem isnt Stan, its a manager thats terrified of competing.

  29. Alex James

    Guns. Nice to hear from you. Like you, I still have serious doubts that Wenger is the man. Whilst the lack of investment when money has been available may be true or not, there is still the question of his judgement. Outdated tactics, refusal to have a plan B and putting rubbish players on huge wages are criticisms that don’t go away.

  30. gambon

    Gus Caeser

    Lukaku has already said he would like another loan next season. I could see Swansea, Everton type teams taking him.

  31. Guns of Hackney

    Gus

    I have referred to the Bogarde clusterfuck many times on here. It should have been the wake up call to clubs all over the world but surprisingly enough, good old Arsene has been copying the Borgarde template really successfully for years now.

    And this from a professor? Has anyone checked Wenger’s credentials?

    I would need to check my numbers but for Squid, Arshavin, Chumpack, Diaby and Rosciky – he has pretty much chewed up the best part of £90,000,000 in wages over the past few years. And that, I averaged so it could be closer to £100,000,000.

  32. Dublin Gunner!!!

    i taught that was funny when the spuds taught the toon army scored on us, hope all you guys seen it, i taught the two cholesterolly challenged carpet licking spuds celebrating was well funny!!

  33. Bade

    Good read Pedro

    You are doing it again mate, both ways

    One way, is that you got it right with Bould’s impact

    Second way, is that you’re going on about being positive the club’s direction had changed & we will spend & bring in top players

    Now here I can’t believe it. Not because I suspect you’re motives. Just because Arsene wouldn’t change & even yesterday in the post-match interview he started to spread the usual BS we hear from him:

    “We have a good unit that we should keep together”
    “We will try to add to this group”
    “This group has matured”
    “Many big spenders will be out there, so it’s going to be hard”

    All this don’t indicate we’re going to be that active

    We all agree (almost) on what this side needs in order to be a genuine contenders for the league & the CL, but will we get it? Can’t see it happening but of course I’m happy to be proven wrong

  34. Radio Raheem

    Blimey Jozy Altidore scored 23 in the Dutch league. He is a player I have always
    liked but never saw him as a 20+ goals a season striker. So what does that say about Bony’s 31 goals?

  35. Dev_Gooner

    Wenger celebrated yesterday at the final whistle as if he won a trophy, Oh wait he did! What a looney LOL!

    seriously though, I agree with Pedro’s blog. we have improved as a unit this year but still way way off the pace. the 25 odd point difference proves it. And no its not because of van persie moving to united. Last year was the same. Need to go all guns blazing now with CL in the bag. Wrap up the transfers before end of june. Who do we sign?

    I’d like us to make an attempt to sign Rooney. Its not gonna happen and we will also high other top priority targets so its worth a go. Should we be successful, we get a premier league experienced 20+ goal a season striker. However, Can we go for Lukaku? With Chelsea looking at cavani/falcao surely he is not in their long term plan. He was a beast yesterday and this is the guy who was labelled “the next drogba”. He would offer us height upfront and a target to aim those aimless crosses we’ve had all season long. What are your thoughts? I reckon offer chelsea £10-15m and we could have him. We need to get a keeper too. Ceasar/Begovic would do, but I’d like us to try and get Adler or Steklenberg if we could. Ceasar/begovic not likely to settle for a bench role and neither would Chezzer. Adler/steklenberg offer the opportunity to rotate the keepers as needed.

    and ofcourse the dross needs to be get rid off!

    should be exciting few months upto the new season!

  36. Pedro

    Bade, Wenger is right… there are loads of big spenders out there. We’ll be one of them… but clubs like Chelsea, United and City can still blow us out the water with a more mature project… or even higher salaries.

    They can’t get all the players though. We’re looking to break wage structure and transfer records.

    Fingers crossed.

  37. Guns of Hackney

    Alex James

    I have been away – this site was killing me. I have come back for a gripe and then I’ll be off for a bit – back in August to see what Arsene has done to my club.

    As you said, Arsene is outdated and out of time. It’s a sad day when we see millionaires running about half naked, celebrating getting into a playoff for CL football. Dark days, my friend.

  38. gambon

    Altidore is a terrible, terrible player.

    Bony & Altidore are nowhere near what we should be targetting.

    A 19 year old John Guidetti tore up the Eredivisie last season, and he cant even get on the city bench.

  39. Romford Pele

    Radio,

    It’s hard to judge unless you take a punt. Suarez and Robben were awesome. Then you had the likes of Kezman. Me personally, I tend not to focus on stats as the be-all and end-all. Bony has very good hold-up play and links up well with midfielders. Still, a bit too similar to Giroud for me. I’d prefer someone a bit more nimble.

  40. Thorough

    Hope my humble pie will be served with Peroni cos I always tot that you, Pedders, were nuts, insisting we’ll make top 4 as Tots will blow it. And tks for waking up early and late to service our pangs. If only Gambon will come down his high horse and acknowledge Kos is the bomb!

  41. Romford Pele

    Gambon,

    To be fair, you can’t do much when you’re playing behind three WC strikers at City. And they aren’t exactly the sort of club to give youth a chance. I know what you’re saying but it’s not the best example in this instance. Also, disagree on Bony.

  42. Guns of Hackney

    Kos is the bomb?

    Someone yesterday said something like “that was the best defensive performance I have seen in 20 years of the PL” – regarding Kos.

    Ummm…

    Kos is garbage. Next.

  43. Truth

    Afternoon all – Top posting Pedro.

    Credit where its due, getting a top four spot with our current team is a massive achievement, Let’s pray all the noises about forthcoming summer are true. Next season will be even more competitive, and we’ll in a good position to progress. Even though we have yet to qualify proper for the CL, we must do our buying early as opposed to waiting until that time. I’m waiting with baited breath!

  44. Kiyoshi Ito

    Romford PeleMay 20, 2013 12:01:24
    Al, Spot on about Ramsey.Look at Song here lol! : http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/watch-alex-song-suffer-epic-1900399?Guess he got a bit excited with this being his first trophy and all!
    —————————-
    AlMay 20, 2013 12:07:14
    Romford Pele,You have to question songs level of intelligence (how dumb is he?) or his arrogance and self importance to believe that Puyol was coming to him (a player who contributed Zero) rather then Abidal with the trophy first
    ————————–

    Why are you guys hating on Alex Song..

    He might not have the best social skills..

    But guess what,he’s gone to one of the best clubs in the world,surrounded by the best player’s & won a trophy..

    He is living his dream..

    What dream are you living,apart from castigating him,spouting shit,along the lines of:-
    “He is dumb”
    “He lacks intelligence”
    “Lol”

    Think about it,in your wildest dreams,you would want to be in his position..

    Top Club,top players,winning trophies& as a bonus,earning a shedload of money..

    Envy springs to mind…

    Why don’t you guy’s take a step back& reflect,on your own lives…

    Are you so perfect?!!

    Nah,did not think so…!!

  45. The Legend That Is Dennis Bergkamp

    The only blog i read. Thx for your thoughts and views this season Pedro it is appreciated. Maximum piss take today for every spud you see or speak to. You know they would be doing the same !

  46. Dublin Gunner!!!

    hey pedro i think you know something but your not telling us. is there something coming up we should know?

  47. Radio Raheem

    gambon

    Lol I wasn’t suggesting we go for Altidore just pointing out how weak the Dutch league is. I think others have suggested Bony on here.

    Still, I like Altidore as a player not that I want him playing for Arsenal. Physically he is immense.

    Seeing how weak the Dutch league is do you have any reservations about Strootman?

  48. a

    Great article , spot on with most, you should send this into some of the tabloids and to jamie redknapp who doesnt know how we are ran as a club.

    I think wenger has to be given credit , for sticking with us for the last 10 years, he could have easily left us when told about restrictions and selling of best players.
    No other manager would have stuck round, his economic expertise has benefited us greatly. If he had left we would be in a situation where we would be mid table with out good commercial deals and probably a few managers.

    Alot of people have said wenger hasnt let bould interfere too much, well having the second best defence means he has, too much crap is written when they dont know the truth.

    Attracting players isnt the problem, as wenger is the reason why players came to us. Its the board that dont share the ambition.

    as for summer buys

    goal keeper
    defender ( also play rb would be great – micah richards ?)

    holding mid

    striker

    ramsey has been excellent in the last two months, wenger deserves credit for this, people questioned him why playing him on the right and left but that is due to wenger believing in the total football, every player being comfortable all over the pitch, he did it with kolo and robert pires ( pires didnt play on the left in france) and others. Ramsey wasnt comfortable at all, now his confidence is high.

    Also next season giroud will be better, even if he isnt first choice wenger has got this right, he adapted to the league and next year if we purchase a better striker he will be a good backup.

    I was excited when we got podolski, but he is one of those players that wants the ball at all times look at him at kolne – if he didnt perform the rest of the team didnt. wenger got this right.

    walcott looks good also.

    A holding mid with ramsey or arteta – hopefully next year arteta can be an attacking mid. I really hope coquelin doesnt leave, hope he goes on loan. Midfield looks good but if we can get arteta playing as an attacker may be let rosciky go and bring in someone else ? we cant rely on some one to play a third of the season, im a massive fan of rosicky ever since he was a dortmund, but ….

    Hopefully aneke comes back also.

    Thoughts anyone?

  49. Pedro

    Thorough… it was closer than I thought it was going to be… but i was always sure their squad would let them down.

    We also put in a great run.

    Guns, what are you doing back here? I thought you were done? Kos… garbage? Jeez… still talking nonsense.

  50. Exiledai

    That’s more like it. Upbeat and on the money.
    Arseblog topped you for a cracking headline (Goal, Fourth and Multi-Buy – lol)!!
    Thanks for your efforts. Even the pessimism is worth coming back to.
    Agree that this summer could be interesting but AW already preparing the way for a lack of big names coming in with his comments after the Newcastle game.

  51. Romford Pele

    Kiyoshi,

    What are you on about? I said nothing about his footballing ability. I’m laughing at the fact that he thought he was going to be holding the trophy when it was obvious Puyol was walking to Abidal. Someone woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning.

  52. nuudles

    I cannot see Chelsea buying a CF unless they sell Torres. For one they dont have space and I cannot see them complying with FFP if they keep Torres & spend another £30-40m on a CF (remember, they also need at least a CB and are likely to buy other players). Lukaku can be massive for them, Ba is a very useful player to have on their books as he can play as second striker and brings unpredictability to the table. If whoever manages them next season can get Torres in form I dont think they need to add in the striking department.

  53. John

    Why is it that when Arsenal couldn’t defend a set piece it was all Wenger’s fault, he’s coaching the defence & won’t let Bould train the defence, but as soon as they keep a clean sheet…it’s because Bould is coaching the defence??

    Anyone who saw how Steve Bould’s Arsenal Reserve side defended when he managed them would know that they couldn’t defend. Maybe Wenger also coached the reserve defence as well!!

  54. Kiyoshi Ito

    Romford PeleMay 20, 2013 12:38:43

    Someone woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning.
    ———-
    Yeah,maybe…

  55. Thorough

    And sorry to go against the grain but I wont mind Ceasar and Silva at all. As Wenger doesnt want to kill his kids Ceasar can give us ample time to decide whether to dump Schez and/or Fabianski in 2 to 3years time. And Silva? Against Bayern, both 1st leg when he came from the bench and 2nd leg when he started he was my best player on the pitch (Barca side). And considering that Wenger is buying all the potential young strikers in the world right now he may give us chance to make a more rounded decision on Afobe, Akpom, Yaya Sanogo and Campbell in due time. Barren Silva and any top class striker I’ll go for diego Costa, I’ll think he’ll be better than Falcao, sheer strength and skill. But of course I think we also need a DM (Capoue everytime for me as he will also eliminate our need for another central defender), a left winger (Cabella or Mertens who was the most productive player in Europe sometimes back) and a RW/AM (Isco or Belhanda).

  56. Samir

    Get rid of:
    Santos
    Chamakh
    Bendtner
    Denilson
    Squid
    Djourou
    Diaby
    Arshavin
    Vermy
    Coq

    Buy in:
    Schneiderlin
    Hummels
    Jovetic or Higuain
    Isco

    Team for next year:
    …………Chesney……….
    Sagna–Hummels–Koss–Monreal
    ………Schneiderlin–Wilshere……..
    …….Walcott–Cazorla–Isco
    ————Higuain……….

    Bench of:
    Fabianski
    Gibbs
    Jenks
    Mert
    Arteta
    Rosicky
    Ramsey
    Ox
    Podolski
    Gervinho
    Giroud

  57. mystic

    Pedro, good blog.

    ‘We’re looking to break wage structure and transfer records.’

    We know the money exists, unfortunately I fear that the above will be the basis to be another excuse from Wenger………..

    I hope I’m wrong, but nothing really fills me with much confidence that this summer will be any different to the fodder we have been fed over the past ones.

  58. Gus Caesar - he would be first choice today

    Short memories from others I fear. Forget the pay structure and lack of signings (if I hear another fan on the radio say we can’t compete on wages I swear I will go insane) and focus on the tactics/ substitutions/ planning for big matches/ playing Bendtner(excuse spelling) & Ramsey right wing. ffs get a grip – we have the fourth highest wages and we finished fourth. I thinks thats an average performance from a manager that really lost the plot a good couple of years ago.

    I smiled, laughed at Spurs and then when I saw Wenger celebrating I was annoyed.

  59. Kiyoshi Ito

    Every year,it’s like repeat,rinse,cycle..

    Now,we have to navigate CL Qualifier’s…

    When,does the vicious cycle stop..??!!

  60. Romford Pele

    I would’ve thought Wenger would of gone with Monreal over Gibbs but the latter does seem to be having the edge at the moment – will be interesting to see how this pans out next season. Still, a good conundrum to have.

  61. Guns of Hackney

    Pedro

    Word. I came back for a rant…I’ll be back in August to rub salt into the wounds of the Wenger supporters.

    Kos is shit. Diving about making last ditch challenges might look like good defending and all very blood and guts, but actually all it highlights is poor positioning and defensive failings. Last ditch tackling is NOT a good thing. Did Moore ever dive about…Beckenbauer…Adams…Maldini? Nope – positioning was always first rate.

    Kos is shite.

  62. mahessar

    Ramsey is going to be our Ray Parlour, I didn’t like him at all but he has proven himself to be the workhorse our team had been crying out loud for, he tracks back, he covers Arteta, he covers his RB and he makes forward runs in counter attacks

    love him

  63. Radio Raheem

    Romford

    I’ll be honest I haven’t watched Bony much which was why I posed the question. I agree having Giroud kind of reduces the chances of getting any other physically imposing striker.

    Personally, I don’t think it should. Having Gomes didn’t stop Bayern getting Mandzukic who is simply a better version of Gomes. I wouldn’ mind getting getting a better version of Giroud and the versatile nimble forward you described. In my opinion we need at least 3 players capable of playing that CF role in a season. This could be 2 versatile forwards + 1 specialist, 2 specialists + 1 versatile…

    I’m not sold on Theo and Podolski playing that position. They shouldn’t even be considered.

  64. Pedro

    I don’t know why people think the board will be happy with the comfort of 4th… there was nothing comfortable about getting 4th. They’d be more comfortable competing for the league. That’s where the money is… that’s where the growth is.

    Lukaku looked fucking good yesterday… a mini drogba in the making.

  65. Bade

    As for this season, let’s make no mistake, we regressed

    Yes, this season has been a regression comparing to last season, where we finished 3rd.

    We can’t forget that.

    I’m happy for our defensive record, who is the best we had since 2008/09 season, where we conceded actually the same amount of goals, scored 4 goals less (68 to current 72) & one point less, & finished in the same ranking (4th)

    But if we check our record against the top 6, we’ve won only once & lost 5 & drew 4 more games. This tells you all you need about the deep lack of quality we suffer.

    Supposedly Vermaelen will be looking for playing time outside Arsenal this summer & he’s a player of a great value that we can get full price for. Not to mention he has to follow the captains curse & leave us as did all the captains before him since Vieira

    If he goes then we need another CB. But if he stays, I’d rather we strengthen in other areas where the lack of quality is more evident. Midfield, GK & CF positions are the prime ones to sort out this summer. Those are 1st priority asking.

    Another CB, RB, AM/Winger are all 2nd priority for me & subject to getting the needed players 1st priority bracket & to others leaving

    I don’t mind if we lose Vermaelen, Gerv & Sag & we recruit in those positions. Though out of those 3 players, the most I’d want to keep Sagna. Not that I hate Vermaelen or don’t rate him. but it’s more of keeping the solidity & stability or the back 4 going. Of course I’ll be happy to lose Gerv.

    This summer could be massive, but it’s not massive more than the last 2 summers (or even 4) could have been had Arsene agreed to splash the funds he had under his disposal. We’ve came to each summer with hope & financial ability to change our fortunes & we were left wanting & paid for it in trophies lost & players leaving.

    I hope at least this time round Pedro got it right, as he got it wrong for the last 2 seasons he banged on “Arsene change”.

    After all, all we care about isn’t whether Arsene stays or goes, it’s whether the Arsenal gets back to winning tracks or not

  66. Gus Caesar - he would be first choice today

    Guns, Kos may not be the best but name one we have that is better

    oh sorry – I guess thats the point

  67. gambon

    Radio

    Yes, doubts about anyone from that league.

    That said, Strrotmans main qualities, tackling high up and passing are less affected by which league you play in than goalscoring in my opinion, although i cant qualify that.

  68. Raz

    I am worried about the potential lack of spending thing summer. Wenger’s comments have NOT made many people happy today.

  69. Kiyoshi Ito

    RazMay 20, 2013 12:46:41
    Trying….so….hard…..not to react….to….Guns….
    —————————
    What are you going to do?

    Spook us?

    Or bombard us with a fornicating thesis,on your opinions about GOH’s opinions?!!

  70. Guns of Hackney

    Gus

    Exactly – if that clown is our best, then no wonder were fucked.

    BTW – I have never seen a less mobile player than Mertersacker…tree like.

  71. Pedro

    Guns, you talk nonsense. He’s a top defender and he’s part of the second best defence in the league. Argument kind of null and void there.

    Bayern aren’t sniffing around because he’s shit I’m afraid.

  72. Romford Pele

    Radio,

    Bony’s good, I like him, but as others have said, you can’t really judge Eredvisie players until they come to the EPL. His physical qualities are a real highlight though and look like they’re transferable here.

    If you’re playing one upfront, I don’t think you need more than 3 strikers. Two established and a younsgter. Madrid have that with Benzema, Higuain and Morata. I’d have someone like Higuian and Giroud as the established two with a youngster behind them. Then you have the likes of Poldi, Theo who can play there if you’re desperate.

  73. nuudles

    Guns, that statement is surely intended to provoke? Koz is a brilliant CB, his strengths are perfectly complemented by those of Per. I would rather have that CB partnership than any other in the PL…

    Our squad has many faults, but our starting CBs are not among those. Ever since we defended as a team and gave the back 4 proper protection (yes, even Arteta and Ramsey can provide proper protection, it is not about the players’ abilities or their perceived strengths, it is about the application and discipline, heck even Oxo provided great cover yesterday, I even recall seeing Theo helping out at left back) we have looked very solid defensively.

    Many people on here have said that the problem lies not with our players but with the way we play & are coached. Ever since we started closing the opposition down, working for each other and not panicking when we are under pressure we have looked much better.

  74. Kiyoshi Ito

    mahessarMay 20, 2013 12:46:17
    Ramsey is going to be our Ray Parlour, I didn’t like him at all but he has proven himself to be the workhorse our team had been crying out loud for, he tracks back, he covers Arteta, he covers his RB and he makes forward runs in counter attacks love him
    —————–
    Where was he against BM in the 2nd Leg..
    Top opposition?

    What about the Spuds game?

    Man Utd?

  75. Guns of Hackney

    Raz

    Why? Because you’ll realise that GOH belongs to the side of well thought out reasoning? Don’t be shy. Join.

    Gambonista’s are an unhappy bunch as Gambon make you do things to join him…I’m all about the facts.

  76. gambon

    “Bayern aren’t sniffing around because he’s shit I’m afraid.”

    You were right with the first 4 words Pedro!

  77. Raz

    Pedro – why do you think the owner cares that much about the success of this club? He doesn’t care about the success of his other sports teams, and he’s sold off all their best players too. The decision to sell Nasri was Kroenke’s, as was the decision to not hold RVP to his contract. He still would have banged in 30 for us, but a financial decision was made over a footballing one. Plus, the club was busy working on a £150m Emirtaes deal and a kit deal shortly after. So how they can say they needed that £24m is a total joke.

    So I am not sure why you’re so confident SK and AW will spend anywhere near the money needed to bring us to the top, or win a trophy, with recent evidence, plus Wenger’s comments, that would suggest the opposite.

    Also, you say you haven’t heard anyone mention Jovetic? I thought that was a done deal?

    Apparently Higuain is done…don’t believe that.

    Sagna has to go, he’s been poor this season and he’s flirting with other clubs.

    Kos is rumoured to be going to PSG…hope to god that isn’t true!

    I guess we can expect this kind of nonsense for the next few months.

  78. Alex James

    One possible reason for Wenger’s comments about recruitment is a wish not to appear churlish with them over getting fourth. Then again, knowing his record, we could be in for another underwhelming summer.. As a supporter of over 60 years standing, he is going to have to prove to me convincingly that better days are coming. This past ten years have put him with George Swindon and Billy Wright in the category where one wishes to shake their shoulders hard.

  79. Guns of Hackney

    Nuudles

    Not at all. A fit Rio and Vidic are still head and shoulders above the rest…even Terry on his day is better than KOS.

    Do not fall into the trap of thinking a few good games makes for a WC player.

  80. Bade

    Indeed Pedro & Dortmund showed us this season that you can out master better & richer squads by doing your preparation, tactics & motivation right.

    If we get the needed players there’s no reason why we can’t get back to being genuine contenders for the EPL & CL

    Most of Gooners & Grovers mainly moan about lack of effort & try rather than lack of trophies, as no one really expects any side to keep banging on big trophies year in year out

  81. SurferX

    The day after the night before…

    Was a great feeling getting one over the spuds again, thats for sure. Like it or not, if you are from that part of the world- grew up with the rivalry and get the barrage of abuse when its gone wrong, its great when you can give it all back, especially just 10 games later.

    BUT… that is the worst season under Wenger. This year was the product of all his mistakes of the past 8 years coming home to roost. Key player left because of lack of investment. Lack of squad depth because of lack of investment. Over-reliance on youth and unproven talent. Unhappy fan base making it harder for the players. etc etc

    The next 3 months are critical. I hope that the club deliver on what you obviously believe to be their intent within the transfer marker. I completely agree with you regarding the base- though shipping out the deadwood remains as important as bringing in the “super-super” quality. but his policies changed with the departure of Cesc 2 years ago: you just have to look at the signings in/out to see that. But the die was cast- the mistakes meant the U-turn wouldn’t happen in 1 or 2 seasons: it may not happen in 3.

    Either way, far too early to even thinking about wanting AW to get an extension. The way I feel right now, I’d be happy for him to do a Fergie- spend the money, get a trophy then be gone: I dont think he is the man to take us forward whatever happens next year.

    And, if he fails- well, I don’t want to think about it.

  82. Pedro

    Raz, I’m not exactly sure how American sport works… but a Franchise model is a bit fairer… I’m guessing TV deals are a bit different and there’s a wage cap etc…

    Over here, you drop out of the top four… sponsors won’t pay you the big dollars and you could end up with an investments that starts costing your some serious money.

    it makes no sense to tread water if you don’t need to.

  83. Kiyoshi Ito

    RazMay 20, 2013 12:55:39

    Sagna has to go, he’s been poor this season and he’s flirting with other clubs.
    ———————–
    Sagna’s probably been poor this season,because the club want to hawk him off,to the highest bidder?!!

  84. Radio Raheem

    I think someone said Giroud is a beast in the air…errr no he isn’t. Sure opposing defenders would prefer facing Theo and Podolski in those aerial duels I’m sure but doesn’t mean Giroud wins those balls in the air.

    When compared to Benteke Giroud is very ordinary ‘in the air’. I can’t remember what match it was but Benteke didn’t lose a single thumped ball in the air.

  85. Guns of Hackney

    Bade

    Umm…banging in big trophies.

    Man U have made a pretty good go of it for 20 years. Liverpool before that.

    Arsenal could be that good, but not with Wenger near the club.

  86. Pedro

    Bade, exactly… that’s what I said to Ivan… people are bored of the project… they want to see the club match their commitment in purchasing a ticket… with putting some effort in on the transfer front.

    We need some excitement.

  87. Oh Theo Theo!

    Here’s the most telling part of Wenger’s interview:

    “We need stability and strength in our group, because there are many clubs out there with a lot of money,” said the Frenchman. “The competition is very hard and there is not as much talent as there is money today in football.”

    If he really believes this BS then, Houston, we have a real problem. He seems to genuinely believe that having money to spend is a bad thing and that he can’t get “value”.

    He’s missed the point that if you want to be a top team, you need to compete with top teams. It’s no good sitting back, failing to win a trophy every year and then blaming the bigger boys in the playground for bullying you every year with their bigger budgets. That’s excuse-mongering.

    Man up you senile old fool, spend the money on big names and stand up to the bullies!

  88. Hitman49

    Well done pedro.

    Great season 1st for me champion.

    Keep it going .

    Seeing is believing when it comes to new arrivals.

    The one I’d like to see is WENGER OUT !

    Then we can kick on !

  89. Kiyoshi Ito

    If you have a team of losers,with no WC players that have won trophies& have the know how,in key moments,how do you expect to make that leap,to challenge for silverware..??

    You pack your squad,in your own image of potential & top 4..?

    What else do you expect?

    Mr Wenger,does not tread water,nor does he pick out rabbits out of hat,other than if it’s for a top 4 trophy!!

  90. gambon

    I would just sell Giroud and replace with Benteke.

    Benteke can do Girouds job so so much better. We could get £10m for Giorud, and buy Benteke for £20m or so.

    Wenger will show his normal stupid loyalty through the desire to tell everyone they were wrong.

  91. Raz

    In fairness Guns, despite the rage of your posts/general angry vibe, I do echo many of your sentiments.

    I can’t wait for Wenger to leave.

    I can’t wait til we have a manager, board and owner who feel that finishing 4th is a MASSIVE failure, rather than something to celebrate.

    That said, in terms of this particular top 4 finish, I don’t blame the team for celebrating. They went on an incredible run to get the job done, and despite bottling/failing to turn up for half the season, respect is due for the way they dug deep, ground out results and ended up doing what nobody thought would be possible. So I’m not raging that they celebrated. I just hope that they come back down to earth today and realise this season has been awful.

    I also highly doubt we’ll sign anywhere near the quality we will need to challenge for the title.

    Also heard B52 broke his wrist in his last cameo for Juve – so he’ll be sticking around til at least August then.

    Feel like hibernating for the summer!

  92. mystic

    Pedro why do you think the owners won’t be happy with 4th next season?

    Last season they were 3rd and that was obviously an altitude too high for them. Imagine 4th is quite comfortable.

  93. Bade

    Guns

    Red Nose took them Mancs to the next level, from being big club to being an absolutely monster of a club. They owe him their next 30 years or so of fandom

    Before they got him, we were a bigger club domestically ….

  94. mahessar

    Sell Sagna to PSG or Anzhi
    Get the Dortmund RB

    Monreal and Gibbs is a good competition to have for the next season, through the summer though it’s imperative Arsene decides where exactly he sees Wilshere in the lineup, at this rate both Rosicky and Ramsey are ahead of him in the pecking order, Cazorla and Arteta are miles ahead.

  95. Pedro

    Guns, you’re getting boring already… if you’re going to continue to insult the club and people who have something interesting to say, you can fuck back off to wherever you’ve been.

    Mystic, because 4th is treading water… what’s the point? It’s a risky strategy… and one day. it’ll fail. There’s no point to it. Winning is what makes the club more valuable… not finishing 4th.

  96. Guns of Hackney

    Raz

    ha, ha…welcome to the dark side. They’ll hate you for it but you’ll feel better about yourself.

    Personally, I would have thanked the fans, kept my shirt on and saved the fizz for a trophy. The problem is, now the players feel they have done their job and will relax – we still have a qualifier to play!!!!

    Wenger will bring this club down – mark my words.

  97. goona

    When does the trasnfer window/merry- go-round open?….Wenger only turns up at the end to pick up the leftover bargains anyway!

  98. KJafc

    Pedro,

    A great inspiring post, one of the best in my opinion. Great to see some positivity and perspective. Excellent. We should never forget how lucky we are to support this great club.

  99. Bade

    We should be selling Giroud

    We have far worse players to deal with & he’s a good squad player & would love to keep

    As I stated before, we should look 1st at our starters & add the needed ones, then the rest

    New GK
    Sagna/new Rb, Per, Kozzer, Gibbs/Monreal
    New CM, new CDM, Santi
    Theo, new CF, Podolski

  100. gambon

    Guns

    We would certainly get £10m for Giroud and/or Gervinho.

    They arent the answer for us but they arent useless.

  101. Radio Raheem

    Pedro

    Impressive stats but those 2 sides have shipped in a few this season. I’ve got time for Giroud he is hardworking and all but he can be quite frustrating. He can do better with his physique.

  102. Pedro

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Giroud leave… especially if he knows he won’t be the main man.

  103. Raz

    “Sagna’s probably been poor this season,because the club want to hawk him off,to the highest bidder?!!”

    Nonsense. He wasn’t great last season, he was even worse this season. He gets paid a fucking fortune. Plus, the general rule is that you play FOR a contract, not the other way round. The reason Sagna hasn’t been dealt with sooner is because he mouthed off about Song being sold. So quiet rightly the club have chosen to see where his commitment lies. And to be honest they got their answer, through his poor games.

    We’d be much better off signing another RB who shares with Jenko, who should get a lot more game time from now on, and shift Sagna on.

    There are more pressing positions that need addressing though,

  104. Pedro

    Gervinho will be the one to go if we get an offer… maybe even Lukas who has been a bit of a let down for me

  105. Raz

    Pedro. do you think Giroud might go?

    Surely not?

    Also didn’t he come here knowing he would be second fiddle to RVP? He said as much in an interview didn’t he?

  106. Pedro

    … and you’re not the opposite of me.

    You’re posting abuse to anyone who will bite, sniping at the fans who actually go… and being pretty anti-Arsenal.

    Very boring.

  107. Romford Pele

    I was gonna say Poldi has been a bit poor but he’s a bit of a fan favourite so I kept quiet. Stats wise, he is a decent player. But he doesn’t contribute enough for me.

  108. gambon

    For me we should definitely keep Podolski, hes good rotation for Theo, as for balance we need 2 strikers in the team.

    Something like:

    First Choice:

    Theo – New CF – New AM

    Second choice:

    New AM – New CF – Podolski

    With Cazorla playing in behind.

  109. Raz

    For the record – I may echo some sentiments guns, but I am not about coming on here the day after a top 4 finish and going on about how shit all our players are and how crap the club is….

    I don’t side with anyone except myself, people!

  110. Arsenal 1886-2006

    England U20 squad for World Cup in Turkey –

    Jamal Blackman (Chelsea),
    Sam Johnstone (Manchester United),
    George Long (Sheffield United),
    Connor Ripley (Middlesbrough)
    Jake Bidwell (Everton),
    Sam Byram (Leeds United),
    Donervorn Daniels (West Bromwich Albion),
    Eric Dier (Sporting Lisbon),
    Jon Flanagan (Liverpool),
    Luke Garbutt (Everton),
    Michael Keane (Manchester United),
    Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest),
    Liam Moore (Leicester City),
    Daniel Potts (West Ham United),
    Adam Reach (Middlesbrough),
    Jack Robinson (Liverpool),
    John Stones (Everton),
    Tom Thorpe (Manchester United)
    Ross Barkley (Everton),
    Gael Bigirimana (Newcastle United),
    Jake Caskey (Brighton & Hove Albion),
    Conor Coady (Liverpool),
    Larnell Cole (Manchester United),
    John Lundstram (Everton),
    Alex Pritchard (Tottenham Hotspur),
    James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
    Patrick Bamford (Chelsea),
    Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion),
    Adam Campbell (Newcastle United),
    Max Clayton (Crewe Alexandra),
    Rob Hall (West Ham United),
    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur),
    Chris Long (Everton),
    Nathan Redmond (Birmingham City),
    Luke Williams (Middlesbrough)

    So our Academy cannot produce one England youth player.
    This summer needs a full clean out from top to bottom, and not just the reserves and youth.

  111. mystic

    ‘Mystic, because 4th is treading water… what’s the point? It’s a risky strategy… and one day. it’ll fail. There’s no point to it. Winning is what makes the club more valuable… not finishing 4th.’

    Treading the same water that Arsenal have for years. The commercial deals have emerged not because Arsenal are winning anything. Unfortunately I fear Kroenke will be quite satisfied to let Arsenal continue to be as mediocre as his other sports teams.

  112. G787

    No to Rooney, still a v good player but a bad attitude lately. A guy who spits in the face of the two men that made him Moyes and Fergie is just trouble imo. I guess Jovetic is the most likely signing nut am not overly excited if that’s tha case, don’t know much abt him.

  113. DUIFG

    Glad to see Kos and mert get the plaudits they rightly deserve, getting stick mid season with people forgetting our clean sheets t the start of the seson was with them in the team. only when verm came back did it turn to shit.

    Saying that defence does need tweaking, I haave been bitterly disappinted with Sagna, he looks a shadow of his former self. want to see him shipped on and jenks given a chance wih some decent cover.

    Verm has to go im fraid, he has been poor for 2 seasons running , now, bring somebody hungry in i.e ashley williams. some decent bckup at GK aand thsts the START of a good summer for me.

  114. Romford Pele

    “For the record – I may echo some sentiments guns, but I am not about coming on here the day after a top 4 finish and going on about how shit all our players are and how crap the club is….”

    This.
    Some people will just moan about Arsenal because it’s the in-thing. While the club is far from perfect and there are numerous flaws, moaning on here everyday achieves nothing.

  115. Arsenal 1886-2006

    England Under-21s Squad

    GOALKEEPERS
    Jack Butland (Stoke City),
    Declan Rudd (Norwich City),
    Jason Steele (Middlesbrough)

    DEFENDERS
    Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur),
    Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton),
    Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion),
    Tom Lees (Leeds United),
    Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur),
    Luke Shaw (Southampton),
    Adam Smith (Tottenham Hotspur),
    Andre Wisdom (Liverpool)

    MIDFIELDERS
    Nat Chalobah (Chelsea),
    Jordan Henderson (Liverpool),
    Tom Ince (Blackpool),
    Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest),
    Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers),
    Josh McEachran (Chelsea),
    Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool),
    Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur)

    FORWARDS
    Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa),
    Marvin Sordell (Bolton Wanderers),
    Connor Wickham (Sunderland),
    Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

    No Arsenal players again.
    Project youth is such a success that our players are too good for England.

  116. Kiyoshi Ito

    Personally,I think we should sell Theo..

    Definitely not worth £100k..Too one dimensional..

    At best,a super sub!!But not for £100k,that’s taking the proverbial piss..

    Suarez is probably on £80k..?

    How do you square that?

  117. N5

    Ito it’s not that mate, it’s the abuse that comes with it, reasoned debate is fine, hate is just boring.

    And to be honest, it is his blog so it should be his rules, what’s your point?