Hi, I’m Gareth Barry, this years Mikaël Silvestre ‘surprise signing’

by & filed under News Review.


Sometimes you wake up, look at the news and punch yourself in the face. Really hard. Just to numb the pain of seeing your favourite club being linked to Gareth Barry.

Why so much self inflicted aggression? Because that’s exactly the sort of move Arsene makes after pissing around all summer, knickers in a twist over the horrible big fees he’s willing to accept but not pay, seeing a cheap option of super quality. You know what that story reminds me of? The ‘surprise’ signing of Silvestre all those years ago. I have no inside track on this being real, but if it is, you’d have to scratch your head. Then  punch yourself in the groin.

We pulled out of the Sahin deal last season at the 11th hour because Wenger believed the then 23 year old lacked pace. So for Arsene to go out and snap up a player who had no pace 10 years ago really would be an odd move. I’m all for experience and a British core of players, but not for the sake of it.

Hopefully it’s a newspaper plant to spike interest from Liverpool (Someone needs to tell Gareth’s agent Kenny D left a while ago).

There’s not a lot else in the news this morning. Which is starting to get a little worrying. I know the window has been open all but a couple of days, but Ivan spoke of getting things done early and once again, all we’ve got to show for our summer is a bunch of kids. We did a better job last season. I hope it’s because signing more expensive players requires deeper negotiations. Our summer needs to end with a decent sized squad. We can’t pin next year on Sanogo and Higuain.

Still, I’m keeping the hope. After the Argentine pens his deal, snapping up Fellani is simpler than purchasing a loaf of bread because of that release clause (how quickly did Bayern sign Gotze?). Signing Cesar will be easy as well, £1.5m with a lot of desire to move. Then you’ve just got to land a defender and sort out Cesc Fabregas.

Geoff and I watched the second half of the France Turkey U20 game last night. We watched highly rated Thauvin blast a terribly struck penalty over the bar… then we caught Sanogo latching onto a bouncing through ball that he did well to angle round the keeper. A cool finish. He’s a powerful looking boy and early signs indicate he’s the pacey upgrade on Nik B and Chamakh. We’ll see though… looking good for the kids isn’t tough. Remember Franny J back in the day?

Our nasty neighbours Spurs have rattled in their marquee signing of the summer, landing Brazilian attacking midfielder Paulinho. A very sound signing and a statement of intent from a team who don’t boast top 4 revenues. Spurs and Arsenal were missing a striker last season. It’ll be interesting to see where they go with that move. If they bolster out their squad this summer, they’ll be more competitive next year, it just depends how smart AVB can be with his money.

Some more good news, last night I brokered a deal for Geoff to return to the blog writing fold. He’ll be popping in this week with some forthright opinions to blow your mind at 9am sharp. A shame this deal wasn’t brokered before I went on holiday but whatever… the yin and yang of Le Grove blog writing partner up again. Which I am very excited about!

Arsenal are ramping up their backroom team with more fitness staff from rugby. Why? Because they’re different level specialists to football. It’s a massive positive for the club. Manchester United have an unbelievable fitness team and Arsenal are fully aware they have a way to go to catch up. It’s a move in the right direction from Arsene Wenger who has maybe realised we’re behind other clubs on fitness where we used to be trailblazers. Here’s more info on the moves here.

One final thought, that is a touch off the beaten track. I’ve complained about the general standard of football punditry for a while. I take no joy in watching most professionals talk about the game. Hold your hand out… how many players on TV can talk about Arsenal with any sort of authority or insight? Hardly any. Which leads me onto a snippet that appeared on Sky about Abramovich. Cascarino, Jim Kelly, Kirstie G and Mathew Syed all sat on the panel. Cascarino weighed in with a load of inarticulate nonsense about the Chelsea owner being good for the game before Syed destroyed that notion calmly, with accurate insightful information. Watching the ensuing ‘ummm, errrrr’ type responses come back was nothing short of embarrassing… topped off with Kirstie G stating Abramovich ‘put British football on the map’…

Now my point here is that I loved that clip. Give me intelligent structured debate over tired lazy cliches all day. That’s what punditry should be about. Just like management is no longer a preserve of explayers, nor should the art of talking about the game. Someone made a great point yesterday… British punditry is like the clogger football our national team plays. For me, kids hearing MoTD saying ‘Arsenal don’t like it up them’ is a huge negative. Shouldn’t we, as an audience, be educated by our on screen ex-heroes? If not, shouldn’t we bring in expert journalists, tactical bloggers or coaches who can tell us what’s really going on?

I speak to people around football who would blow your mind with their knowledge. So intelligent and scientific about the game. I just think it’s a travesty the closest people have to that is Gary Neville. He’s a great pundit because he’s a student of the game. We need to have that as a surpassable benchmark. Not marvel like it’s some sort of incredible achievement that Sky have managed to find a player who can talk football to a half decent level.

… and just as you think Sky have learnt their lesson, they bring Jamie Carragher to the party. Someone who allegedly according to a Sky source needs accent calming lessons to be suitable for TV.

Punch me in the face… again.

Here is the video for all it’s cringeworthy joy. Have a great day.

492 Responses to “Hi, I’m Gareth Barry, this years Mikaël Silvestre ‘surprise signing’”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Alex James

    Gooner Dave Good points. To be true, it is difficult to know where to apportion blame or praise, without having an inside track to what has been going on. As a fan who spent most of my formative years in the shadow of the success of Spurs, it is highly disturbing to see them snapping at our heels these last few years and thiscdoes tend todistort my views on where we are headed. You are right, in that there are no excuses now. With apologies to Nelson, Arsenal expects that Wenger does his duty.

  2. Hitman

    We’ve got
    -a better stadium
    -better fans
    -better history
    -mo’ money

    What’s holding us back?:
    -Unambitious American Franchise Collector who couldn’t care less
    -Piss poor CEO out of his depth
    -Nutty senile frightened passed his prime manager who takes comfort in accumulating duff players
    -Duff overpaid players who are taking ages to shift
    -Reputational & financial damage caused by all of the above over last 9 years

  3. azed

    Its says Juve agreed a deal with Higuain but could not meet Madrid’s asking price. We are basically the Higs fall back option

  4. Hitman

    Fall back option.

    Hig should thank he lucky stars that fate conspired that he ended up at Arsenal.

    He’ll love the race for 4th.

  5. Josip Skoblar

    Agreed Azed.
    It looks like a Juve deal was on the cards 2-3 weeks ago but it didn’t materialise. Then they went for Tevez. I’m still happy to have him now.

  6. GoonerDave

    Why have a gripe with IG etc,? They have brokered massive sponsorship deals. The commercial team has delivered, and in some style.
    Credit where its due. I doubt Ivan would ever have the balls to really go against AW, but he and the commercial team have certainly improved our income by a significant amount.

  7. gnarleygeorge9


    Its just been reported on Fox Sports here in Oz that Geoff is returning to Le Grove. Bout Bloody Time 🙂

  8. Cesc Appeal

    I do feel that Rooney could very easily be persuaded to move here…I think it could be us or Chelsea.

    Just remains to be seen whether the board have the balls or not.

    Rooney-Hig-Podolski up top would be immense.

    Especially with Cazorla tucked in behind the front line and Jack and one of Bender/Fellaini/Capoue in the middle.

    Would still jack in Sagna for Richards as well.

    My line up would be

    Richards – Mert – Kozz – Gibbs
    —-Wilshere—New DM—–
    Rooney —- Hig —- Podolski

  9. MarsBar

    Some people make me laugh. “We have a new stadium, blah blah blah” fucking hell is pathetic. Wenger has had money for years. Has always gone out and spent it. Chamberlain, arshaving, santos players here and there.

    He is scared of failure. He aims for mediocrity the 4th trophy he’s deemed working wonders, he buys big and we finish second then he gets found wanting again.

    We had anyone else in charge from 2004 we would of been more successful at least a Champions league under our belt. No what does Wenger do, starts dismantling the team by 06.

    Gt him out. Too comftable at Arsenal. Aot of you need to be reminded you support Arsenal not fucking Arsene FC pathetic always striking up for him.

  10. azed

    HitmanJuly 3, 2013 22:51:40

    “He’ll love the race for 4th.”

    And the occasional weekend when he is allowed to play with the hand brake on

  11. Goner Joe

    Mars bar
    Have you ever bought a house if so you’d know the early years very hard to make ends meet but hay you probley have so much money you can write shit you have and believe it.

  12. Rohan

    Looks like Higuain to be confirmed on Friday. Medical tomorrow/Friday.

    Gathering an awful lot of noise to get us across the line.

    Well done, Arsene. Higuain IS a massive statement of intent from the Arsenal whatever people on here like to say. (we are his fallback? So fucking what? You mugs will moan about anything)

    Imagine getting Higuain on board will also help convince our other targets that we are serious. Great thing about Higuain is that he’s still young and only now coming into his peak.

    This cannot be it though. We need to really push the boat out. I’m looking at you Cesc.

  13. Rohan

    Also if he’s really on board for 100k, that’s an absolute steal. Stunning deal if true.
    Dick Law must have some tricks up his sleeve for that. Highly doubt it. Probably closer to 130k

  14. Dannyboy

    gnarley my Oz based pal! Don’t suppose you know of any good foxtel/broadband bundles available?? It’s killing me relying on shit dial-up and aussie freeview!

  15. zeus

    This cannot be it though. We need to really push the boat out. I’m looking at you Cesc.


    Oh my gush.

    And is this ‘gathering of noise’ from twitter? *slaps forehead*

  16. gnarleygeorge9


    There is Foxtelgo for Ipads but u have to be singed up to Foxtel. My nephew knows a really good site, which has slipped my mind, he’s in Broadbeach so I’ll phone him.

  17. Dannyboy

    fantastic mate cheers, I’m Brisbane based so not got a clue at the moment, having to rely on one of those wi-fi things that eat money!!! 5 gb is $30 and lasts 2 days…

  18. MarsBar

    What’s me got to do with buying a house to comment on Wenger being a tight ass? It’s been 8 years mate!! You still buy this stadium rubbish. Maybe after a year or two but not to now, it’s taken this long to finally say we have money.

    You sell players you buy players with the money you get. Not use it to pay off stadium debt!!

    Seriously, taking the comment personally how sad is that. That is my point with some people.

    Why did we move? What was the statement the club made mate? To better ourselves. Have we done that?

  19. Bade

    I find it so funny that so many still include Jack in their starting line up

    People, get real. Jack is crocked & he mustn’t be considered as 1st choice for at least 2 seasons

    We should ease him into the side, not rush him. Because if not we’ll have another Diaby out there.

    He’s still so young that even if we didn’t build on him in the nest 2 season he will still have 10 years to give us after that

  20. sam


    I understand that you are dying to see new signings but that was a rubbish statement.
    at least talk about rotation system but asking for a player not to be considered for 2 seasons?
    players always get injured unfortunatelt at arsenal everything is mismanaged including injuries.
    maybe arsene’s money saving stint that causes not to buy new players and rush injured one back to action. like arteta should’nt have started the last game.
    wenger wanted to play him with injury and it didn’t work.
    would you call player that left us injury prone? cesc, nasri, song and van persie……… nope!

  21. goonerbone

    Great clip,. Pedro. Shows the difference between people who can mentally handle complexity well and those who can’t. Top football today is a fantastic blend of the actual game, business, psychology, politics, economics, sociology and you name it, which calls for pundits who can reason far beyond concrete, sometimes half finished thoughts. We need people like Sayd who can reason on abstract and contextual levels. But, at the same time doesn’t remove themselves emotionally from the game. It’s a fave palm experience to listen to half wits with fire in their bellies – it’s boring to listen to learned men and women without passion

  22. Gregg

    According to the Sun; William Hill have stopped taking bets on us signing Luis Suarez. I take it they are referring to the highly esteemed bookmaker William Hill & not the freckly 13 year old William Hill from Bradford taking bets of his schoolmates

  23. Gregg

    I love the fact that the press continually refer to our ‘interest’ in Fellaini, whereas there’s no evidence to suggest we have or have ever had one. Anyway for the last time (well know i’ll keep going on about it) Witsel is the CM player we should be after, the boy has it all.

  24. Oh Theo Theo!

    Well at least if the Suarez thing was even remotely true, then at least it would be a bit more entertaining at the emirates next season..

    We could run sweepstakes on which body part he is going to bite next, which minute he is going to get red carded, which form of ‘ism’ he is going to embrace next…

    Never a dull moment!

  25. gnarleygeorge9


    “First Row Sports” is the site. Its not HD but apparently its good if you have fast broadband,

  26. sam

    wengersweeties said: Fellani’s £24million buyout clause expires in 4 weeks.

    so it’s cavani

    and Le fox can wait. not sure about the latter but he’s definately waiting on fellaini