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. Dan Ahern

    Keyser — Ah, yeah, good point re: taking a lap.

    I don’t disagree with anything you’re saying about the players and I definitely don’t begrudge them for celebrating. Nonetheless it felt off to me. You got players squirting water bottles and Theo screaming, guys jumping up and down. And we finished 4th. And that’s not a new achievement.

    I think AW handled it best honestly. He looked satisfied but was still demure and made sure the players addressed the fans.

  2. KJafc

    tom
    True Arsenal fans will know when to reign it in, the impersonators on here just want to stir it up. Great post from Pedro and that seems to have got things going. Some didn’t know how to handle it a bit left field. Pedro knows how to write a good blog though, puts the others I have been on to shame. I just wish people got blocked for calling other posters the ‘c’ word.

    I am looking forward to the new season. The boys did well in the end noiw to get the keeper and striker we need and another CM/CB

  3. KJafc

    Evening Dan
    Don’t be too hard on the players celebrating. Just think about the stress and pressure they must have been under. The relief must have been incredible, they deserve to celebrate as much as they like. They knew the club was going to be dragged through the mud again, not just the media and press but their own fans. And the Gooners that traveled all that way up North must have loved it and the Spurs fans watching it gutted. I agree, Wenger was very classy too. I am still celebrating, just knowing some fans are still finding something to moan about and the Spuds are crying adds to the enjoyment.

  4. tom

    KJafc,
    It’s much more fun to love the team than hate it.

    Pedro does do a great job turning out this blog daily. He writes well and keeps it lively.
    Of coarse his pieces are loaded with contradiction and he likes to dangle out an inflammatory remark but, when all is said and done, he does a good job.
    Can’t agree it’s the best AFC blog out there, or even top four. But thats just opinion.

  5. Dannyboy

    Don’t see the issue with the players celebrations, if they’d just walked off the pitch in a disinterested manner, people would have said ‘he doesn’t look happy, maybe he wants to leave!’

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s a ‘happy we scraped 4th after the terrible start we made, don’t make the same mistake this summer’ sort of reaction.

  6. Zacharse

    Great Post P

    Le Grove has been essential during the last years ofturbulence. Wish AFC could hire u to blog on their website!
    Also glad weve all come around to Koz, ive been calling him the best cb in the EPL since he shut down messi not so long ago. He shows more spirit and bravery more consistently than any city or utd defender. Phil jones a close 2nd but koz doesnt getinjured halfas much. Oh yeah and we beat bayern away w a clean sheet.

    Suggestions: ‘where are they now’ segments for keyser and the other shut-ins who’ve been booted from lg.
    You know its gonna be slow for a while…

  7. roaaary

    @tom you can’t moan about contradiction in a post. Your views do change. For example I think Wenger is incapable but the end of season form in my eyes warrants another year for him at the club.

  8. roaaary

    By the way some of the faces at spurs yesterday were amazing. Whoever started the 1-1 rumour deserves a knighthood. They went mental then all sat down again

  9. salparadisenyc

    Whomever put up the image of the 04 Invincible’s side up and said can you see these guys celebrating 4th? Sums it up pretty succinctly, with little need for explanation.

  10. tom

    Sal,
    Get over it. Yesterday’s result was vital and capped our best run in s decade.
    Celebrations mandatory for all gooners, team included.

  11. Dan Ahern

    KJafc — I’m not having a go at the players. Like I said, I don’t begrudge them for being happy. I’m just giving my take on the situation.

  12. kwik fit

    Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has undergone an operation on the fractured wrist he suffered playing for loan side Juventus on Saturday. He is said to be devastated as it was his ham shanking arm and will now be ‘out of action’ for at least one month.

  13. LeMassiveCoq

    Just opened up the paper and saw the team celebrating the 4th place trophy. Needless to say my Chelsea mates thought it was hilarious. Just shows how Wanker has changed the ambition levels of the players since the days of Viera, Henry etc..

    Shameful.

    And Pedro, your getting excited about the fact that Spurs won’t be challenging us for 4th next season? Firstly I don’t think thats true. AVB is a good young manager and will no doubt spend the money from Bale’s transfer (if it happens) wisely. Secondly, is that what we aspire to now…beating Spurs?

    Sad times. Can’t wait till Wenger goes.

    Also, your point about Bould’s precence shoring up the defence? Why has it taken so long to replace Pat Rice? This should of happened years ago.

  14. Cesc Appeal

    Keyser

    We need to start behaving like a big club, two massive commercials, stadium almost paid off, massive revenues now.

    McLintock said on TalkSport today and I agree Arsenal need to buy the ‘occasional’ £30 Million + player like United do.

    A £20 Million shouldn’t be something we all sit back at and go ‘WOW!’.

    We should not be rubbing shoulders with Spurs and Everton. They’d kill to have our revenue, our cash levels and our stadium…and my guess would be they’d use it.

  15. arsenal-flavour

    hey question here what did you guys think about COQUELIN?

    i know his probably off now! but i actually though he was quality or at least he had potential… strong in the tackle… good on the ball and was good at driving forward… his only 22 and was only given a few chances and he never fucked up once really! just thought when ramsey was playing like utter shite at the start of the season he should of been given the nod….

  16. tom

    I like Coquellin. Useful squad player who good be very good if he gets a decent run.
    However he is rightly down in the pecking order and will likely slip further after summer aquisitions.
    It might be hard to keep him.

  17. Hitman

    Very positive post Pedders. Do you work in advertising or sommit?

    Not sure I agree. Old habits die hard. I still see Wenger and Gaz shopping in the flea markets.

    Need to see a statement of intent as proof there has been a sea change.

  18. arsenal-flavour

    kwik fit

    maybe im mad but i actually think his quite good!

    dont understand what his role is or what it should be.. his a good tackler and was played as DM but his also a left back and with his dribbling skills and pace could be a winger… his abit of a mystery

  19. kwik fit

    arsenal flavour

    He really impressed against the spud last season. Seem to be the ‘ideal ‘ mobile DM we all craved. For some reason hovever, Wenger hasn’t give him a run in the team. Without game’s we will never really know it he can be the player we hope. The old hamstrings haven’t helped. If it were me I’d loan him out to another Pl club until Christmas.

  20. tom

    Arsenal should shop Harrods and Brick Lane.

    I hope we always have the imagination to find the Koscielnys and Jenkinsons that are out there hiding in plain sight.

  21. leon

    this team has done very well against the lesser teams teams who are 12th place down further down the table but the losses this has had against top 6 oposition proves this team lacks the top quality to last with the better teams.i dont question the team spirit determination and hard work of this team but you also need top quality players and this does not have that in striker or midfield position.

  22. Mayank

    AST saying we have £70 for fees alone not wages.

    Even if it a guesstimate, which it may well be given that even Usmanov doesn’t have access to our accounts, it should put pressure on us to spend.

    I just hope the money is spent on 3 world class players and not 6 squad players.

  23. Dan Ahern

    lol, poor Sagna, can’t go anywhere without being recognized.
    How do they know he’s with his agent though? And keep in mind Malaga is a Mediterranean city and would be a normal vacay spot.

  24. tom

    Mourinho is such s tricky bloke.
    He seemd to rub people up the wrong way everywhere he goes.
    He may be successful but he destablizes clubs like nobody else.

  25. Mayank

    JohnCross “Mata was a done deal,but Arsene Wenger dithered and bang Chelsea moved and he signed for Chelsea”

    I’ve always said this has been Arsene’s biggest fuck up in the transfer market to date. Don’t know why people invent stories to bash Wenger when this is available to them.

    This and selling Pires were two things that will stay in my mind as his biggest mistakes.

  26. tom

    sixx pac,
    Youth set heavily culled. Not sure what the plan is.
    Next season the whole set up looks to be more focussed. But they will have to draught in some younger boys into u18 and u21 just to make up the numbers.

  27. zeus

    Best blog?

    No offence to this fine site, but Arseblog is easily the best. Criticisms that Arseblogger is an AKB are wide of the mark.

    His talent for writing is out of the top drawer. Informative, full of incite, reasonalbe with a sprinkling of humor.

    He was the first (i may be wrong) to really have a daily blog writing about the Arsenal, and was a trailblazer in terms of showing how such an undertaking could be done.

    And the Arsecast is excellent. Second only to the Tuesday Club in entertainment value, second to none in a quality discussion.

  28. arsenal-flavour

    yh eisfield is great just worried about his dodgy knees!

    i wonder when we will purchase players… it sounds like it will be after the play off?

    when is the play off and when do we find out who we face?????

  29. Big_Redman

    Todays blog is made all the sweeter with yesterday victory to securing CL football. Let’s hope Wenger buys the top quality players this squad needs.

  30. Raz

    Flavour I think they’re in august. Which is why unless we’re buying talent from a non-CL club, I wouldn’t expect too many significant signings until then…

  31. zeus

    tom

    Hopefully Ivan has made the case that having 30 youth team and loan players is madness when hardly any of them make it through.

    Only about 2-3 can legitimately make it. every couple of years.

    People like to throw Barca as an example. But those players have come through across different generations. some years apart. They just happen to be in the same team.

    Man Utd is the only team I can think of with the fledglings that had so many come through in the same years group.

  32. salparadisenyc

    TOM
    May 20, 2013 18:42:43

    Never said the win was not vital.

    My point is quite simple, so simple that a simple minded child such as yourself should have no problem in finding its meaning.

    We were once feared, attacked with pace and skill yet had the steel to back it up. Players wanted to partake in this experience, so much so they’d take a cut in wages to do so. Not sure well see the like of Cavani, Lewandowski, Reus etc want to join a club whom’s raison d’être is the 4th spot in the Premiere league.

  33. Mayank

    Arsenal flavour

    The play-off is just a week before the window shuts. If we wait that long it’ll be hard to get the top, top players.

  34. leon

    think its fear to say there will more out going than players comming in delinson dj bretna chamkh park santos fringpong aa schulachi .i think these players certain to go plus there are pretty big question marks over the future of sagna,couqulin verm,fabianksi diaby

  35. mahessar

    Mayank

    I don’t think we are waiting for CL playoff, if we have the quality we should be able to face anyone from Pot B and beating them over 2 legs. Lots of talk of Arsenal looking for four players and a new spine, CB, DM and a Striker like Jovetic/Rooney or Higauin would be brilliant

    Also think we desperately need a winger, Theo has been impressive this season but we lack width too often thanks to Cazorla and Podolski moving inwards.

  36. zeus

    For crying out loud. Always something with us.

    We can’t buy until we make the CL.

    We can’t buy until we win the qualifier.

    How about make our purchases early, beat whoever we get comfortably, and go about our business.?

  37. arsenal-flavour

    zeus i agree with you… just show them the money, show the ambition, lie to their face if we must saying there is no way in a million years we wont get into the CL against crappy scrappy teams…

    we need to convince them, and then offer them the money…

    i dont like this wait and see attitude is a recipe for disaster

  38. tom

    Zeus,
    We have had a bloated youth set up, so trimming it down a bit is good. One thing people often overlook is the need for players to simply make up the numbers. To field 3 seperate teams ( Academy, U18, U21) requires a fair amount of bodies. Not all make it, not all are intended to.
    Gavin Hoyte is an example of s good young pro, not good enough for 1st Team but good enough to be part of the U21, and a good example for his team mates. Eastman the same.

  39. Raz

    I am a firm believer that simply being in the premier league should be enough to tempt top talent into coming to us. Tevez and Suarez are two off the top of my head who joined non-CL teams and for them at the time, simply getting to play against teams like Man U and AFC was a reason to sign up.

    Now, it’s almost always about money, and ambition. And to most, money equates to ambition. If we offer decent money to the right players they will come – but trying to sign a star on the same wages as players like Rambo and Gibbs is not going to encourage anyone to come. If the club shows it is willing to pay big money, that alone will represent the sort of ambition players look for as it shows we’re serious.

  40. samsenal

    Arseblog is fantastic. The AKB label is tired and inaccurate, as it is wherever it is used these days; Arseblog have been highly critical of the manager and the club generally this season.

    This site is unmissable because this is where the war is waged between Goons, Dooms and Loons. It’s a shame that so many many abusive comments are tolerated and the trolls who who come to pick a fight are so numerous. However, as others have said today Pedro does a good job and when he isn’t playing to the Doom crowd (like he wasn’t today) the blogs are really excellent.

  41. arsenal-flavour

    important information

    The 20 teams will be divided into two groups of ten, one for Champions and one for non-Champions. Each group will be seeded, so the five teams with the highest coefficients will avoid one another.

    BASICALLY means we deffo wont face AC MILAN

    Milan and Schalke will certainly be seeded along with Arsenal, meaning the Gunners’ biggest threats are likely to be Zenit, Fenerbahce, PSV and whoever finished third in the French league. Assuming Arsenal strengthen well before the matches, they should have little difficulty in booking themselves a place in the group stages once again.

  42. Mayank

    Mahessar

    If we get the quality we need in early it’ll be easier to win the qualifier. If Wenger dithers again it’ll be to the detriment of our long term future.

    This summer is big.

  43. samsenal

    I agree with Zeus, get the business done early. Go on tour with the new signings, show them off, whore ourselves, whatever, get everyone training together and then go and kick the shit out out of the poor bastards who drew us in the Champions League qualifier.

  44. mahessar

    Some positive stats for next season

    We scored most home goals – 47, despite not putting our chances away
    We conceded least away goals – 14. This has to be the biggest positive
    Ramsey attempted most number of tackles successfully in PL this season

  45. tom

    If we are going to attract any of the biggest names we must be able to sell them the vision.
    They could certainly get more money elsewhere so we need players for whom money isn’t THE priority. A player that wants to part of the project for sporting reasons.
    Such a creature may be rare but I’m convinced they do exist.

  46. Mayank

    “Ramsey attempted most number of tackles successfully in PL this season”

    I wonder if he was in another club how many here would be asking Wenger to sign him up. I’d bet quite a few. Even more if he was in a different league.

  47. tom

    Signing as early as possible please.
    To have new boys on summer tour would be excellent.
    This summer no major International Tournament. Good chance to prepare properly.
    In some ways Asia Tour is disruptive but I suppose it makes sense commercially.

  48. John Temple

    I love all the optimism here but until we sign a couple of real quality heavyweight players I’ll reserve my judgement.
    I suspect that what will really happen this summer is that we’ll sign an average striker (like Reme), a decent goalie (like that bloke at Stoke), and a couple of young ‘prospects’.
    Just about enough to finish fourth again next season.

  49. sam

    Mental strength,

    do you think aubameyang would be a bad signing?
    personally I believe it would be a gamble and I was hoping wenger would avoid signing from the french league we need to start picking points from the start.
    Aubameyang will certainly boost our attack, well IF he settles.

  50. arsenal-flavour

    i swear all the shitty trashy newspapers are owned by yid its fascinating to see the level of resentment from spurs supporter and the ammount of excuses! 2 of our players were injured.. otherwize we would of killed

    your whole squad could be injured as long as Bale is fit.. and we had diaby or main man at the start of the season ruled out.. we had new players yet to adapt… we had no RVP no song… we had out of form players… its a miracle we managed it

  51. Dannyboy

    Think AC Milan will be a real force next season, Balotelli has hit the ground running excellently, and if they keep El Sharaawy aswell, they have got a very good front pairing. Glad we won’t be facing them!!!

  52. luke

    Atleast we let go 15 young kids who probably will never make it AND bi bi to arshavin and squilachi. That and the puma deal, and we have some money to spend. What no one seems to mention on here when talking transfers is Arsene’s recent transfer record. He has been buying experienced, international players at the right age and he is willing to shell out some money too. Santi broke our transfer record last summer, podolski, giroud, arteta, mertesacker, monreal. These are all great players to have in the squad. I agree that we need a big name/superstar or two (or three) to get back to united’s stature, but by freeing up some wages we are on the right path.

  53. Nasri's Mouth

    sixx pac: With so many of the academy prospects being released, I wonder what its gonna the youth team is gonna look like come August.

    Expect some new kids coming in this summer.

  54. tom

    I sense a shift in attitude.
    So let’s have an informal poll.

    A) Fire Wenger today.
    B) Let him see out his contract.
    C) Offer him another 4 years.

  55. Nasri's Mouth

    Raz: Tevez and Suarez are two off the top of my head who joined non-CL teams and for them at the time

    Tevez went to West Ham because of 3rd party ownership. He was being put in the shop window. Suarez wasn’t a big star when he went to Liverpool.

    …he’s also an idiot.

  56. arsenal-flavour

    I think we should sign a petition!!! not some crazy one asking for wengers head on a plate!

    but sign petiton or create a group or a movement to sign players!

    we really need some quality players and I feel over the summer wenger will delude him self into thinking well I made 4th do I really need to improve??

    we will then sign one average french player to placate the fans and another unknown player who wont cost anything… i really see this happening!

    wenger wont think wow it was to close he will think wow this squad is good they will be even better next season as there now jelled in! what he doesnt get is over teams are going to dramatically improve their squad so we not only behind now but were going to have to play catch up

    1 or 2 players is not enough in less their phenomenal talents…. otherwize at least 3 quality players

  57. mahessar

    Tom

    I would give 70-80m to spend in the summer, see what he does with it, if we are top in February, renew his contract, if we are not, move on,

  58. luke

    After this summer the dross will be: Denilson, Andre Santos, Chamakh, Bendtner, Park, (frimpong). Hopefully some will go this summer.

  59. arsenal-flavour

    wenger thinks giroud is good enough… for striker so i see no new strikers
    wenger thinks the teams mental spirit will win us matches…
    wenger will make one odd purchase probably a CB or a RB.. he wont do what needs to be done… unless his forced pressured to do so

  60. luke

    I’d expect a CB as we only have three assuming Djourou leaves, and we dont have a player like song who could fill in. I would hope we get a fellaini-esque cm to replace Ramsey’s spot, and remember arteta is getting older as is rosicky. With Arsh gone, hopefully we nab a LW and a CF as Giroud is a good 60th minute sub for me.

  61. Dannyboy

    Tom, if he has no intent to change, then A) If he shows ambition and signs some players and we still don’t win anything, then B), If he makes the signings we need and we win the double next season, then C) 🙂

  62. arsenal-flavour

    i feel wenger is to comfortable to get the best out of the man… he needs to fear for his job!

    i think his still got the ability to manage the team with boulds help they can make a good parternship

    but as for matters over finance wages and transfers he should be stripped of those powers and handed to someone with a real idea of modern talent and desire to win trophies… (wenger has stated he is control of transfers after dein left he was given free reign, thats why its been so hit and miss, wenger needs to place someone in the job whose specialized in the business of transfers and aqiring top talent, that we wenger can focus on the teams performance on the pitch)

  63. tom

    People will think I’m crazy, but I’d keep Gervinho, at least for another season. I believe he can add something with his surreal style.

  64. arsenal-flavour

    wengers got to win a trophy next season… if that is fa cup fine… if that is carling cup… maybe that will do if we have a strong run in the league as well!

    if he can’t achieve anything be a decade without silverware…

    i feel he has the ability to win us trophies but his attitude is wrong…

  65. Dannyboy

    Tom, I wouldn’t be completely against Gervinho staying, i don’t hate the guy, far from it! But the bottom line is, if we could sell him for £10-15 million and put that towards Jovetic then I’m all for it!

  66. mahessar

    Gervinho is too much of a hit and miss, we need a consistent left winger who can at least either score or assist over 90 minutes and Podolski drifts into the central role way too much to provide us with any width and then we end up knocking around the box

    What happens to FK takers when they come to Arsenal though? Arteta, Santos, Cazorla all used to be pretty good, can recall Arteta scoring a couple but apart from that nothing else.

  67. tom

    Wenger has never succumbed to pressure from the press before.
    Arsenal seldom, if ever, make unequivical statements of intent. If they are now it’s significant. I think it is more for our benefit than to press Wenger.

  68. SUGA3

    would prefer A, but I guess I will go for B for winning the 4th place trophy…

    and oh, don’t get too cocky, as I am pretty certain you won’t be here to preach your delusions at the end of August when we are through with another groundhog transfer window…

  69. samsenal

    Tom, it has to be B at the moment. Let’s see who we recruit and how they play before a new contract.

  70. tom

    Does Sagna even have a song?

    I remember hearing one about his hair years ago but not sure it caught on.
    Just thinking he doesn’t get enough love.

  71. kwik fit

    So Podolski has opened the door to a Juve move this summer. That’s Gerv and Pod along with Arsh and Chamakh. This really does leave the door open for at least two foward signings (excluding Yaya of course) Perhaps even a wide player as well.

    The Wenger poll is pretty futile as its a cast iron certainty that his got at least one more year whether we like it or not. A further deal will quite rightly depend on who we do next season.

  72. Nasri's Mouth

    I’d vote B.

    I don’t really want him for 4 more years, but I do want a succession plan in place. If we umm and arrr over it then I’d be worried we’d end up next summer with no replacement

  73. arsenal-flavour

    you have to give it to wenger most other managers in his shoes earlier in the season during march for instance would of crumbled!

    look at harry redknap he talked a big game but ultimately coudlnt cope with the pressure..

    everyone was on wengers back the press pundits and fans yet he managed 4th with our weakest squad!

    thats why i think he should still be our manager but this summer and next season should be his lost shot to prove himself!

    its strange because he seems to make it as hard as possible on himself to prove a point… if we had rvp we would of won the league we need that game changer

  74. SUGA3

    tom,

    he can’t, he is done as an elite manager and he just can’t stand the heat of competing at the top, hence the also ran performance, just my opinion…

  75. samsenal

    NM and Tom…here’s hoping Klopp doesn’t leave Dortmund this summer…we might might tempt him if we look like we’re going places in a year’s time.

  76. mahessar

    JohnCross “Sahin again was done, medical and photos done, and when it came time to complete Arsene changed his mind”

    Hahahahahahahahaha Sahin must hate us and Arsene.

  77. kwik fit

    NM

    I wouldn’t have thought so either but he’s been speaking to the german press saying how he’s flattered by interest from the italian club. Not what we need to hear.

  78. kwik fit

    If this had been Pod’s second season then I’d want rid. He deserves one more season . Having said that I said the same about Gerv last year and look what happened there.