Sanogo leaks Berba deal? | Huge talent linked | Morata Arsenal link still hot…

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Soooooooo much news to hit you with today!

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So Yaya Sanogo, famous for declaring he was going to become a postman before Wenger gambled on him dropped a Berbatov shaped social media gaff yesterday via Facebook. He has a management company looking after his profile, the same company that look after Dimitar, they added a video with Arsenal specific creative… so it had been briefed from somewhere.

Needless to say, it was quickly yanked from sight… but as you know, a mistake is never lost on Social Media. Keen screen grabbers captured the ITK moment and shared it round the web. Could this be the impact Sanogo was looking for? Like Tom Daley coming out… has Yaya PRd his return with a salacious rumour?

Who knows. The fact Yaya has rejoined the camp after signing a deal and fucking off the France for 4 months is nice (great buy eh?). Cut from the same moth eaten cloth as Diaby. He says he can contribute, so does Arsene. I seriously hope he’s joking. If we don’t land anyone, Bendtner should be getting a chance, not some untested 18 yr old with delivery ambitions.

Nik B is lambasted by the press and often us, the fans, because of the comments he’s made in the past. But look at it rationally. He has a touch equal to Giroud, he’s faster and he can score when he’s given a run. Why not give him a go? Didn’t he bag 10 in 12 a few seasons back? It really has made little sense that we’ve blitzed Giroud when we have a perfectly capable striker sitting on the bench. He’s a Danish international starter and he’s totally written off as even a cameo appearance maker. All because we don’t like his comments in the press! Wenger gave him a carrot…

‘I told him already today that he is back to the level I want him to be at, and if he continues to develop like that he will come back into the team.’

Nik B’s best chance of getting a move to a great club is to stay with us. If he turns it around, he could be a good player for us. If it’s finally clicked for him what he has to do, why not give him a chance?

Wenger said Ozil came through a fitness test yesterday, so you never know for Saturday. Other players suffering knocks might make miraculous recoveries. My bet is that they all want to be a part of the game at the weekend. I know Adebayor will want to be ready. The odious sh*t.

The good news is Spurs are suffering mad issues as well. 7 players are out, the squad has played out of it’s skin for the new manager… so we’ll both be on an equal footing. Whilst we have had a favourable fixture list, the way games have fallen hasn’t suited us for large parts. The amount of times we have a nightmare game at the end of a pocket of games is ridiculous. We’ve had United, City and now Spurs after long runs. What are the chances of drawing the only team you simply have to go all guns blazing for?

Well, that’s what the plan is likely to be. There’s some exciting news emanating from the Telegraph. They reckon Gedion Zelalem will be drafted into the squad. Whether he gets the nod will depend on the health of Ozil and Santi I’d guess. What we’re going to do up front is a mystery. If Giroud is a doubt, he should be rested totally in my opinion. I doubt we’d see Theo or Akpom playing that central role, so the likelihood is that pending a John Terry like recovery, we’ll see Lukas there. However, nothing is set in stone. So we’ll see!

Back to the Berbatov rumour. Now, I’ve no inside line on anything we’re up to. What I will say is that paying £2m for a player who can leave for a free in 6 months would be very unArsenal. He’s a top talent though and Arsene has shown a more ruthless streak of late. Like a more high profile Bendtner, he gets a lot of grief for actually being a very good player. Sure, he loves a fag and he looks lazy… but he scores goals. Lots of them. he managed 15 for a crap Fulham side last year. He’s tall, he can hold the ball up, he can score from inside or outside the box. He’s clinical and he’s a proven winner. It’d also be amusing for the fans up the road. Is he a signing of intent? No. But if there aren’t any options of intent out there, then he’d be a good start. As someone pointed out yesterday, anything we buy from outside the league is a risk.

Apparently, the rumours around Morata are still pretty hot. The young Spaniard has caused a lot of transfer rumour smoke for months. He’d make sense. Technical, fast and mobile. He has a lot of the ingredients we don’t have up top at the moment. But he’s very inexperienced and he’d be a gamble.

Lots of the papers are running with Diego Costa to Arsenal for £32m. Now, A.Mardrid are a team who just sold their previous free scoring striker for £55m. This is a team joint top of La Liga and in the  last 32 of the Champions League. Why would they sell? That £390m debt isn’t going anywhere. They could argue to the banks (if they’re even knocking on the door) that they’d get more in the summer. So for me, this one is a no go. If we’re bidding, it’s PR to show we had a go. Which is fair enough. It also shows that whoever we bring in is the stop gap for the major summer move.

I haven’t read too much into it, but according to my Uncle, who lives in Spain (how Eastend does that sound?), Madrid are under investigation for tax evasion on a massive scale. It’s being led by the European Commission, so there’s a chance they could be in big trouble. Quite incredible, that in a country so broke. that a football club could be given privilges. Anyway, read more here.

*Costa has a release clause. Again, I’d be surprised if a player moved mid-season during a world cup year.

451 Responses to “Sanogo leaks Berba deal? | Huge talent linked | Morata Arsenal link still hot…”

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  1. The Poldi Prince

    I actually think that if bendy was as fit as he is now, and played all of girouds minutes, we would all be hailing a new messiah.

    Recently, he has looked great on the ball,very good passing, actually looks to get up in the air to meet crosses, and has taken his very few good chances.

    Giroud has a place in our squad no doubt. I think he would be far less polarizing if he only played 60% of matches scheduled. When he is up for it and rested, he was dominating.

    Ideally we get berba so we have a proven third option that wenger will use. I think then we will see the best of bendy and giz.

  2. samsensible

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate BEndtner’s recent efforts and I am pleased to see him scoring goals but there seems to be a lot of revisionism going on.

    Now people are criticising the manager for not playing him more when in the summer everyone agreed that having Bentnder as back-up was unacceptable and a shameful position to be in.

    Let’s not forget NBs behaviour over the last few years.

    That said, he’s here this season and if he continues to put a shift in then it’s a great credit to all concerned…but we would have all been screaming if NB had been getting games in September.

  3. Romford Pele

    Morning all, good post Pedders. Costa won’t leave until the summer at the earliest, wish people could see that.

  4. Dave Highbury

    I remember that YOU PEDRO has yet again knocked DIABY. When he returns, which he WILL, you will be reminded by me Dave Highbury, defender of all that is good about Arsenal.
    I repeat DIABY IS A GREAT PLAYER! and will shine like a jewel in our present set-up – guaranteed
    can’t wait to see Zelalem.
    Berba? NO
    Martinez or Coasta? YEAH

  5. Mo

    It’s a shame that Bendy is knackered. I always liked the mad fucker and he did really well for us that time and then lost his place to RvP.

  6. shad

    Sigh..finally the comment gods have smiled on me. Happy New Year all!

    As Pedro has pointed out, I don’t think we’ll see Costa coming in. Too much for him to risk and he is already playing well at Atletico who are joint top of la liga and in a good spot for the UCL last 16. Highly doubt he’d move in Jan given the obvious adjustment he’d need and it’s prior to a WC.

    Pity about Bedntner. He’d started looking good and hungry then his leg gave way.

    I’ll be totally chaffed if we fail to sign a striker in the next 10 days. We are short, Lukas is clearly not a CF and Theo while clinical, cannot lead the line. Berba would be a good short term option but I’m not sure if we get him whether Wenger will spend in the summer. But I’d not mind him one bit. Plus he can give us a lift in the UCL.

    We should also be looking at a more offensively dynamic RB since it looks like Sagna isn’t extending his contract. I’d say Montoya from Barca looks good or Debuchy from Newcastle. Oh what I’d give to get Alaba from Bayern but sigh..

    ION, we can’t afford to lose to the scum at home tomorrow. Whether we deploy Zelalem, Mr. Bean or Vermalen as the CF, I don’t care. We need to keep the run going as we give the fringe players game time. Our lack of rotation might undo us though. A few rusty legs in a high tempo game..

  7. samsensible

    Costa Not happening in January
    Mata – Not happening in January. Highly unlikely to ever happen.

    Let’s stop obsessing over things that will never happen

  8. Dark Hei

    Nicky B does NOT have a touch equal to Giroud, nor does he run faster. He is also not entirely fit and looks ponderous on the pitch.

    But I think he is a more instinctive than Giroud when it comes to poaching goals.

  9. samsensible

    It would be a shame to hand Spurs successive away wins at big grounds (OT and Emirates) but it would also be a shame to have a monster 4th round tie in the middle of our horrendous league and Champion’s league games.

    Ideally we beat Spurs and draw a little team in the next round but this year the FA Cup means less than usual IMO.

  10. luke

    So Niklas scores from 2 yards out and suddenly he is a legend. He did fantastic in the carling cup final and away to Barca.

  11. Romford Pele

    Can’t be playing Zelalem against Spurs, it’s utter stupidity. Dembele and Capoue will eat him alive.

  12. LeMassiveCoq

    Played footie last night. My team-mates are a mixture of Gooners, Scouse, ManU, and Chelsea fans (and one dirty Leeds)…every single one of them said they thought Berbatov would be a good fit at Arsenal, with the caveat that he can be a lazy cunt.

  13. sylvain

    Back to the spuds game.
    I know a lot of fans think that we do not have enough depth in our squad to play three competitions at 100%, and they are right.

    But c’mon, it’s fucking tottenshit!!
    And right after this we have 8 days of rest!!

  14. Romford Pele

    Totti on Gervinho in Il Messaggero: I saw him play 2 or 3 times at Arsenal, but from up close he’s a beast.

    “If he were to score goals too he would be Cristiano Ronaldo and Roma would never have signed him.” :O

  15. samsensible

    sylvain, i’m positioning myself – psychologically – to be in a place where it doesn’t hurt if we lose.

    I think we’re vulnerable without Giroud up front in this tie. Spurs will be hugely motivated and the cup is more important to them than us this season. The Spurs players will feel they have a point to prove as they have been roundly laughed at by everyone until recently. Not least by us.

    Podolski up front is half a striker, the ball will keep coming back.

    Alternatively we will play like demons and humiliate them…I just don’t want more big games in February/March.

  16. Guns of brixton

    RP
    yeah, Harzard said 5head was the best player hes ever played with. dnt get me wrong, gervhino has made technical ability and dribbles like messi (a very poor comparison) but hes obsessed with playing striker. and he cant shoot for shit.

  17. Romford Pele

    Providing we don’t get any more injuries, everyone should be back bar the mythical Diaby for the beast run starting in February. Should be ample room for rotation. I’m excited about it personally. Big chance for the team to prove themselves. Wenger needs to use the squad wisely.

  18. Romford Pele

    Guns, Samsenal – For me there has to be something to it because Totti isn’t the first player/manager to shower Gervais with loads of praise. You have to try and understand where they are coming from. Forehead is a good dribbler and works himself into great positions quite a few times every game. He just lacks the shooting technique and conviction to drive himself up a level, and at his age it’s unlikely to improve.

  19. Chris Cooke

    I personally don’t think that either Bendtner or Giroud have the necessary quality to be Arsenal’s main Striker. Just imagnie if we had in our team the sort of player with similar qualities to Aguero/Suarez/Higuain … i.e. a true goal poacher, we’d be miles away in the league simply by the amount of chances we create being finally converted!! Diego Costa looks like the right option, and a beast infront of Goal… we need a striker with quality to be able to last the distance in the PL otherwise we will end up finishing 2nd or below.

  20. SpanishDave

    Wenger needs to do something next week not at the end of Jan its stupid to wait as very little money is saved, but he does dither.
    We do need a couple of players if he is serious about winning something this year.
    We must get a wc striker minimum to make better use of the chances our midfield make, by scoring earlier in games players can be subbed and rested.In Wengers early years we used to score early and it helps players to relax and it reduces pressure.
    Wenger has failed in producing a home made striker of late and did not buy quality after the rvp debarkle.

  21. nepGunner

    I had almost forgotten this Sanogo lad…great of him to remind us all! People slacking Nick B are lost. I bet you lot enjoy slating Baletolli as well. Not that I like him anymore than the next reasonable gooner, if you just look at his talent pragmatically, you’ll prefer him much more than Yaya SoNoGo. Why he was deployed on the flanks earlier in his career is still a huge mystery to me, esp with his height and poaching instincts. I only really lost my cool on him for missing that open goal chance against Barca. Other than that, he’s like any other modern day striker. Poacher, selfish, self centered. I care less if he’s all that (or more) but does a job for us…and that too as a second / third striking option…If we could persist with the Diabys & Theos for so long, I don’t think persisting with him would have made matter any worse. Oh wait, he’s not a sweet looking obedient boy who writes fairy tales for kids. Start writing books Nick!

  22. Ash79

    Happy new year one and all..

    Costa has chosen Spain over his native Brazil for international footy. In a WC year, no way is he leaving la Liga especially when he needs to be in that Spain squad. Atletico ar epushing Barca hard for La Liga and going well in the ECL – no reason to leave.

  23. Guns of brixton

    Why not try Higuian again? chelc are chasing him, and think we can get him. only problem, is napoli want 50m or round that mark for him.

  24. samsensible

    Ash79 – neatly summed up. People will ignore you and still talk about it and still bash Wenger for not buying him this window.

  25. Romford Pele

    Lol Higuain signed a five year deal. He’s not going anywhere, not to chelsea either. Pointless debate.

  26. Doctore

    Nice Post Pedro,except for some of your comments about Yaya. I can’t understand why some AFC fans slate the poor kid so much,he didn’t ask Arsene to sign him as the second choice striker for the season,and he certainly didn’t ask to be injured for this long,give the kid a break,and besides it would be nice if of us actually watched some of his games,you would be surprised how good the kid is. Watched him play against his Peers at the Under-20 championship,he was easily one of the best players at the tournament.

  27. duvee

    Alot of pointless debates on here. We have as much chance of signing Costa as we do Higuain. Wenger won’t sign someone cup tied like Costa. I reckon we’ll get some make shift striker.

  28. Savage

    Those Wenger comments should be taken positively.

    I expected him to come out with the “I’ve got all the strikers I need” line, but it appears he is up for a spend.

  29. samsensible

    The whole Cup-tied for Champion’s League thing shouldn’t prevent us from signing a WC striker if one is miraculously available; we’ve drawn Bayern Munich so we are likely to be out in 2 games time anyway. The League campaign is by far the bigger consideration.

  30. sylvain

    @Savage : I expect him to think the same shit than usual, except this time he keep it secret, as he don’t want to be “too” criticised by the fans!!
    lol

  31. Ash79

    Really is Arsene’s fault…he should have sewn up a top quality Cf in the summer but – and i repeat – he was happy to go through this season with the same squad plus two freebies in Sanogo and Flamini. The Villa defeat and the fans backlash really forced Ivan’s hand in signing Ozil…if AW can get Berbatov, he will and fans will moan cos they mistakenly believed that Arsene is a new man and changed his modus operandi – he didnt.

    The higuain stuff is weird cos he has recently claimed it never went far with Arsenal as the papers made out. I’m still not convinced AW was serious about Suarez, more of a PR stunt…

    anyways this is old news….AW is relying on his midfield and wide men to chip with goals. He has always said that Santi Pods and Giroud replaced RVP goals total and he favours the notion that goals are shared out, makes sense to me but no reason we cant have a top quaility CF in the mix too.

  32. Ben

    Should play our strongest team on Sat and go for the win. Losing to that lot is unberable whatever the competition and a draw and a replay is a terrible result.

    Tottenham is Tottenham and only beathing that shower of sh1t so I can lord it over my work mates again is acceptable. To be fair to Wenger he usually realises this. As Pedro says you can bet Adebayor will play whatver condition he is in – imagine his face if they get a result on Sat. Doesn’t bear thinking about. Watched his celebration on Premiership Years over Xmas when he scored against us playing for City. What a c@Nt

  33. Radio Raheem

    Nik B is lambasted by the press and often us, the fans, because of the comments he’s made in the past. But look at it rationally.
    ———-

    Nothing to do with irrationality mate. Bendtner has never been that good. At a young age he had potential but never fulfilled this. In the last few years he has been taking professional wages without leading a professional life. How can you be an overweight footballer at Arsenal? Add to that the disrespect he has shown the club, badmouthing the club while picking up over 50k/wk.

    It almost seems irrational to back him despite all this. There is also the simple fact that he isn’t that good. Bar finishing/shooting, and I think this is the most marginal of marginals, he isn’t as good as Giroud in anything else.

    Wenger does make mistakes still I’m not sure why he’d resort to self-sabotage in not playing a presumably ‘better’ Bendtner to Giroud. Makes no sense.

  34. Hitchy

    No qualms with Berbatov, if Bendtner can get himself motivated to play in our team, you’d think someone with Berbatov’s ability can be rejuvenated by the prospect of playing with our Midfield.

    £2M on a 6month contact isn’t so bad – Depends what his wages are. We certainly need somebody…

  35. Charlie Boy

    I know some on here aren’t fans of Stats – but given the striker debate, the following makes interesting reading:

    First Team EPL Goal Stats 2013/14

    Bacary Sagna 1
    Per Mertesacker 2
    Mikel Arteta 1
    Lukas Podolski 3
    Jack Wilshere 2
    Mesut Ozil 4
    Olivier Giroud 8
    Theo Walcott 5
    Aaron Ramsey 8
    Santi Cazorla 1
    Mathieu Flamini 1
    Nicklas Bendtner 2
    Serge Gnabry 1

    Total = 39 (after 20 games)

    It’s fair to say that the above is a real team effort, and whilst one could argue that we would always miss RVP’s goals, the fact that we’re top of the league means we don’t necessarily need an out and out striker.

    That said, of course I’d love a Suarez-type goal machine at the Arsenal 😀

  36. Emiratesstroller

    I suggested two days ago that I thought the Berbatov story was not true. Why on earth would Wenger spend almost £4 million [incl wages] on this player for 6 months. You may recall that Fulham tried to sell us a player two to three years ago at an inflated price and Wenger walked away from that deal. We should not be paying transfer fees on a 33 year old [he is that in two weeks].

    My view is that Wenger will not buy a striker in this transfer window unless it
    is a ‘long term acquisition’ or he has a ‘long term’ injury crisis’. Obviously if he
    could bring in someone like Morata on loan that would be a different proposition, For a start his wages alone would be significantly less than Berbatov.

    The story about the Spanish Clubs alleged tax evasion does not surprise me. I
    think that everyone in European Football [apart from perhaps Fifa/Blatter] has questioned how Real Madrid have been allowed to operate for so long in the fashion they do. If it is widespread in Spain then I suspect that there will
    be an outflow of players.

    What is becoming increasingly clear is that countries such as France and Italy are not prepared to accept the excesses of football at a time when they are in a financial mess.

    It is also a salutary lesson for EPL Clubs, which have in recent years spent far
    more on transfers than they earn. Very few seem to make a profit. When you
    see that Chelsea have made a loss in every year bar one since arrival of Abramovich you have to ask the question is this the right way to run a football
    club simply to massage a rich man’s ego?

  37. Mo

    @Shad lol!! Suarez is going nowhere until the summer..when he goes to Madrid probably.

    I don’t know but we’re considering the likes of Berbatov because I think he’s actually available. January is a mare, which is why I think it’s fair to say Arsenal fucked up the summer. What happened to Benteke? Didn’t he sign a long term deal a short while ago..so he’d be expensive..who else is there?

  38. Marko

    The likes of Pato and Damiao from Brazil could be got. Luis Muriel from Udinese. Ayew from Marseilles. Shakthar could maybe sell a Douglas Costa or Luiz Adriano after being knocked out of the champions league. Same with Basle and Salah and Schar. Jackson Martinez is shopping himself about in this window. Also someone who could be worth a punt is Adrian Ramos at Hertha Berlin who’s apparently top scorer in Germany. There’s players available is the point

  39. Radio Raheem

    Re: Berbatov and any other striker we’ve been linked with

    At this stage almost any striker will do. I think those not completely swept away by our signing Ozil recognised we were going in into the season undermanned. To be fair Wenger admitted as much when he said he, ideally, would have signed another striker before the season started. If we aren’t desperate now we’ll never be.

    As an aside, folks you need to stop taking Wenger’s or anyone else from the club’s comments on transfers too seriously. Like most public communication it is agenda driven. We’ll all know when we make a signing.

  40. shad

    @Mo,

    Benteke has lost color at Villa, while the Berba rumours have been quashed by Wenger. As a stop gap he would be ideal because he wouldn’t slow down the pace of our attack and has a knack for a few spectacular goals. And is UCL available too. The other options such as Martinez, Muriel, Draxler, Costa all look to be summer purchases. Don’t think they’d move mid-season prior to a WC where they would need time to adapt to a new squad and language etc plus they wouldn’t boost us in UCL (though realistically we can’t win it bar a spectacular Bayern collapse – and our targets are more domestically oriented).

    Can we pinch Bony from Swansea? He has a stormer against City.

  41. shad

    @marko,

    Pato NO. He seems to be resigned to acting in those soap operas or something. His footballing mind is gone and he has underwhelmed thus far. Plus he is a strong wind away from joining Diaby.

  42. Romford Pele

    Bony only signed for Swansea in the summer and with Michu injured, he’s all they have. Unless you’re planning to pay a bomb for him, forget about it.

  43. gambon

    Lol, i do love the way LeGrove, or certain people, have turned Draxler into a CF, even though he is far from one!

    If you keep saying it, it doesnt make it real.

  44. shad

    @emiratesstroller,

    Even if Berba was to cost to the tune of 4m including wages, bear iin mind that all January purchases are hyper-inflated esp given that it is a WC year. That and not to mention Arsenal have been grossly negligent this past summer’s transfer window. We declared money, Wenger dithered and brought in a ligue 2 injury prone postman and went into the season hoping for 4th. Now he, as everyone else is surprised that we have a genuine chance of winning the title or something and is still talking bollocks. On one hand he has to because even a reject striker will be over-priced given our blatant desperation and no one likes parting company mid-season, but this would have been avoided had he bought a striker in pre-season in the 1st place.

    So Berba for 2m and change, better than nothing.

  45. shad

    @gambon,

    At the moment he may not be a CF but he definitely has a cooler head and finesse to play there (re: Draxler)

    Given our options, would you mind him playing there if he became available at this point?

  46. Emiratesstroller

    Gambon

    Draxler is not a striker, but he is clearly on Arsenal’s radar. He will cost serious money. I would have thought that he would only be brought in the Summer if at all because he will cost a serious transfer fee and he is Champions League Cup tied.

    If he comes then I think it likely that either Podolski or Cazorla will leave since he plays similar positions to them.

  47. Marko

    I know Draxler isn’t a CF but I advocate his signing cause I think we need 2 signings up top a Striker for sure and someone who can play on the left

  48. Leedsgunner

    So let me get this straight — it is often repeated that Costa has a 32m to £35m release Clause — in his contract. Has anyone actually read the player’s contract? What is the source of these rumours? It wouldn’t be another misinformed agent would it? Hasn’t the club learnt anything from the Suarez debacle?

    I would love Costa here but I suspect Costa will be another “I tried to get him target…” Sanogo has let the cat out of the bag I reckon. If it came to a choice between nada or Berba I guess it would be Berba…

    I know the club would probably sell it as we are keeping our powder dry for the summer (v. convenient for selling season tickets) but can we be sure? It’s a very inconvenient truth that the club puts profits first and trophies second of late. One Ozil shaped signing isn’t enough for me to convince things has changed.

    Funny enough if we did sign Costa, Rooney, or Balotelli etc.would convince me though…

  49. Harry Redknapp

    top players are never available unless their contract length is into the last year, 18 months. but its up to a buyer to make them available with the £££

  50. Dan T

    “Why on earth would Wenger spend almost £4 million [incl wages] on this player for 6 months.”

    If that acquisition turned out to win us the league by being able to rotate forwards, then it’s well worth the money.

    I would rather pay 4 million for Berba at 32/33 for the short term than somebody of his same standard who is 28, would cost 10 million more and be on a 4 year contract.

  51. Kjafc

    Happy new year to everyone. Hope you had a great break with your families.

    Great to start a New Year on top, just need to beat the Spuds tomorrow and end their season, which I am confident we will.

    Emiratesstroller, that was a great post. I have received all sorts of abuse when I predicted problems for Madrid with everyone obsessing about turnover and revenue streams. Doesn’t matter who you are, you start fiddling the tax man and you are heading for trouble. With the Spansih economy on its knees, bingo. They have been at it for years and had some pretty handy friends at the local government. Considering the obscene sums of money they have spent and the players they have acquired since Perez tenure, not a single CL to show for it. This proves it isn’t just about the players you collect, it’s about creating a team.

  52. gambon

    Draxler wants to play as a #10

    As a result I cant see us signing him, we already have a £42m #10

    He is supposed to have a €40m euro clause……i would rather use it to buy Mata, proven prem class and the same kind of player.

  53. Radio Raheem

    I finally got to watch the Cardiff match. You can see Cazorla desperately trying to recapture some form. You sense he knows he can play better and he is trying all he can to get his mojo back. The man’s got a great mentality.

    I have been impressed with Wilshere playing centrally the last two matches. He has shown discipline in that position, even more than Ramsey. But he can improve on his decision making when going forward. Saying that his assist for Theo’s goal was as good as any this season.

    I’ve always said playing that holding role is his best position. And no he isn’t too young to play it (See Busquets, Benders, Khedira etc etc). These days what I feel matters more is your ability to wriggle out of close marking, technique and ball distribution than the physical side.

    Note: doesn’t mean I see being big, strong and fast as unimportant.

  54. Gunnershabz

    Let’s face it guys wenger keeps the faith in his squad they haven’t rewarded him yet but this season it looks different

    Wenger loves his stats and we all say Walcott is not that great along with giroud but the stats show something else

    We under estimate our players like giroud etc

    We have a good spirit in the squad am sure wenger doesn’t want to ruin that by buying some twat

    But I do think Mirko vucinic is a good buy at £8m from juventus he can do a job he can play centre and wide

  55. Emiratesstroller

    Dan T

    Berbatov has scored 4 goals this season and by all accounts his performance level has not been exactly exceptional.

    I could understand bringing him in on a freebie and at wages reflecting his current status, but not for £4 million.

    Giroud may miss a couple of games and Bendtner 2-3 weeks. When you look at our fixture schedule in January does it make sense to bring in Berbatov for
    perhaps a couple of games. Wenger will not change his formation if he adds
    a player like Berbatov to payroll.

    One thing is for sure and that is Giroud is first choice and if Bendtner stays he
    would be second choice for season. At best Berbatov would be a bench warmer.

  56. Romford Pele

    Vucinic is 30, no thanks. Also signing him in this window will mean we don’t go after anyone in the summer. If we can do a loan, yes. If not, I’d pass.

  57. Harry Redknapp

    berbatovs has been playin for a strugglin clubm you cant expect him to turn them into something their not, if they supplied him with sitters like we do to giroud he would score plenty

  58. Gunnershabz

    Romford

    I think he is a good player neat finisher and well he has 2/3 seasons in him because we got sanogo and wenger sees something in him

  59. Romford Pele

    Radio, Wilshere only played the holding role when Flamini came off. He was playing in the 10 position before that.

    That said, I do agree with you that he’s very intelligently positionally, probably more so than Ramsey. It’s still a tough one though because both are B2B IMO and would thrive alongside a more combative type of midfielder (Flamini but better). Hope he is regaining form because it’d be great to have him in there against the big teams later on in the season. Showed some promising signs in the last two games.

  60. Keyser

    If Draxler’s that good to begin with he can play anywhere along that line, people are as consumed by fixing positions or formations as they are about trying to continually highlight the next 40m pound player.

  61. Gunnershabz

    Wenger will make a decision regarding a striker when we find out how far sanogo and bendtner will be back to match fitness

    I can’t believe we going into second half of the season with these two, I hope they prove us wrong

    So maybe they won’t be any signings

  62. Romford Pele

    Shabz,

    I’m not disputing that Vucinic is not a good player, I think he is. But there’s no point stock piling the team with forwards who don’t take us up another level.

  63. chocc

    i wonder why people keep talking about draxler in january.. It’s world cup year, he will not come until at least summer and thats if wenger is willing to spend £40million+ on a nineteen year old unproven youngster with ‘potential’ a cooler head and finesse. I think not

  64. Gunnershabz

    Romford

    You could be right but for some reason, I don’t think he will sign anyone depends on bendtner and sanogo fitness levels

    He only buy in January if we got injuries like he did with Monreal because Gibbs got injured last year

    He only wants to buy special players but are they going to be available this window just hope Juan mata agent speaks to arsene lol

  65. andy1886

    Doc (10.08) U21 is no guide to how anyone will do in the PL, nor is ligue 2 in France. We have seen a bit of Sanogo, but to me it looked like the guy had never played football before, he was awful. As you say it’s not his fault AW signed him as a viable option this season, but I think we can discount him for the foreseeable future as a realistic option for the first team.

  66. Paulinho

    I wouldn’t want Mata over Draxler. We need more power in the team, someone that can go on the outside and inside and provide a compliment to the other slow coaches in the team.

    Everyone seems to be overlooking why Mourinho is not playing Mata in the first place; he’s not as good as people think and is a liability on the wings, just like Cazorla.

  67. Radio Raheem

    Romford

    Radio, Wilshere only played the holding role when Flamini came off. He was playing in the 10 position before that.
    ——–

    Yah. Perhaps, I should’ve been clearer. B2B is another position he can play just as well, perhaps, slightly better. I’m no fan of him playing that number 10 position. Hopefully, in the next two or so years he’ll settle in one position. My preference will in the holding position but B2B will be good too. Though Ramsey is better than him in that position.

  68. Kjay

    @ samsensible, not evry1 is so blinded by dislike that they can’t see what’s infront of them and i’m a bit disappointed that pedro’s only just realised this now. Told some of my mates back then in october that bendtner was a better striker than giroud and should be given more game time. By the end of november, i was almost screaming my head off at arsene for marginalising bendtner and stubbornly persistimg with giroud.

    Say what you like but fact is bendtner has better ball control, quicker movements/reactions, is a better finisher, shooter, dribbler, and passer of the ball than giroud. He is a better fit for the team’s stlye of play and the only thing giroud has over him is his body strength and ability to tussle with defenders. Would really have loved to see him get a run in the team had he not gotten injured.

    Would be okay with berbatov. He would blend well into the team and offer us what giroud can’t. plus it doesnt have to be for just 6 months. He’s still got atleast another good year of football in him after this season. He could be a good back up option as 2nd or 3rd choice striker alongside giroud next season when bendtner leaves allowing us to sign some1 like diego costa to lead the line. A strike trio of Costa, Giroud and Berbatov is a good mix of pace, power, skill and finishing.

  69. Dissenter

    Good morning y’all.
    There are some here who want continue to slate Bendtner inspite of his contributions when given a chance. Yet they want Wenger of fork out two million bucks for a lazy striker who’s past his prime.
    If Berbatov still has it in him, why would a relegation threatened club like Fulham be getting rid of him.

  70. Keyser

    Of course Mata’s over-rated, all players are, but the fact he’s not playing has more to do with Mourinho than anyone else.

  71. Emiratesstroller

    One final point about Berbatov story.

    Arsenal have paid transfer fees in recent times on two 30 year olds. They were
    Silvestre and Squillaci.

    Both were established internationals, but amongst the poorest acquisitions that the club made.

  72. Rhys Jaggar

    Here are the reasons people don’t like Nik Bendtner.

    1. The twat and Adebayor let a personal loathing get in between Arsenal and 3-1 at Birmingham in 2008. The rumblings were going on at White Hart Lane and twats who behave like that shouldn’t get paid for a month. Arsenal appeased them both, so the fans hated him for treating the fans and club with contempt.
    2. The little shit was out screwing tarts when his girlfriend was pregnant. If you expect your woman to carry an increasingly objectionable load in front of her midriff for the benefit of your masculine rutting ego, then the least you can do is treat her well during the process. That’s a true character flaw, thinking that all your partner is is a battery hen. It’s nothing to do with being young, it’s to do with not being brought up properly.
    3. If you want to wear 52 to tell the the world you’re on £52k a week, then you perform week-in, week-out, as a professional . That’s what £52k a week means. It doesn’t mean behave like an asshole, have feuds in the club, miss chances at the Nou Camp when it really matters, and wimp out of attacking Sagna’s cross because cry baby might get bumped by David de Gea. Be a man, do your job and take the acclaim that will come your way.

    There may be more for all I know, the dropping his trousers and crashing his car were just being a boy, don’t hurt anyone but himself. But I wouldn’t pay someone £52k a week if they could write their career off being irresponsible at the wheel of a car…..

    Now all those things are forgivable if the behaviour patterns and attitudes are in the past.

    But they aren’t forgivable if Bendtner thinks for one second that he can ever behave like that again and be a fans’ favourite.

    He can be respected as a goalscorer whilst behaving like a shit, so long as he scores at least 25 goals in 30 games. At least then, the fans are getting their money’s worth.

    Now if he wanted to be a rutting stag with Adebayor on Saturday, at least that’s the right time and place. He won’t be taking part due to injury, but the North London derby is the place to call Adebayor whatever he called him 5 years ago.

    It’s a privilege and an honour to be paid £2.5m a year to play for Arsenal.

    If he realises that, puts his heart and soul into it and delivers, then he’ll discover how forgiving the Arsenal fans are.

    But they won’t forgive anyone on £2.5m a year unconditionally.

    If he wants that kind of forgiveness, he rips up his current contract, signs terms equivalent to a 16 yr old YTS and plays just as hard as he would on £52k a week.

    I don’t see him doing that, so he should earn his forgiveness, shouldn’t he??

  73. Willie

    Somewhere between mid-Feb to mid-April, we play every top team in the universe. I have little faith we can go through that unscathed or alive. We really need to collect maximum points between now and then, lest things turn from contending for the league to barely scrambling for 4th place.

  74. Radio Raheem

    Vucinic from what I’ve seen of him is good on the ball so will do the link up bit well but he isn’t a clinical finisher. Again, we are more beggars than choosers at this point so…

  75. Gunnershabz

    To be honest guys, Juan mata we don’t have space for him it be a luxury signing though

    Mata wants to play in the ozil role a free role no defending and coming back, mourinho likes all his players to defend

    I be shocked to see mata at arsenal it be a good luxury if he did come

  76. Dissenter

    Wenger must appreciate the way every club is trying to dip their hand into that fat Arsenal piggy bank. They are all trying to sell us their geriatrics; Vucinic and Berbatov.
    Don’t bite, Wenger, remember the Park purchase?

  77. jasongms

    “We are just analysing our own situation and, of course, being very cautious until we are well informed about Bendtner and Sanogo, who is back in training now. We will make a decision after that.” Wenger

    youre pinning the clubs hopes on winning the title on a fit Sanogo …. what the fuck is he on ! Pathetic

    and he’s had half a season to analyse the situation . seriously sick to death of his bull shit …….. Rant done !

  78. Paulinho

    Yeah of course it’s do with Mourinho, and why he tends to be more successful than anyone else and is coveted by anyone. He’s an objective free thinker, doesn’t play guys on reputation or consensus thinking. Look at how he’s dropped Ashley Cole so ruthlessly; no other manager in world football would do that, they wouldn’t have the bollocks.

    Mourinho knows how important physical profile is to winning matches in this league. You need athletes that can run powerfully in straight lines, which is why he likes Schurrle, because he’s more likely to win physical battles on the wing and do the pragmatic stuff that wins you matches. Mata is a powder-puff sidewinder that is scared to actually face the play alot of the time. You never see him stand square on like Hazard and draw a foul from someone, he’s always side-on and passes laterally in awful lot of the time.

    He’s better than Cazorla in the final third, can see a pass, good shot, but is limited and can completely understand why Mourinho doesn’t fancy him. He was Chelsea’s ‘best player’ in seasons they finished miles behind the leaders. Look beyond the superficial lads.

  79. Marko

    To be honest Gambon much like if he wants to play for the German national team if Draxler wants to play at the top sometimes he’s gonna have to play in a different position. If you’re suggesting he wouldn’t join us cause we’d play him on the left to accomodate Ozil or Cazorla in the middle I doubt that’d be the case.

  80. gambon

    “Of course Mata’s over-rated, all players are”

    Lol, how can you even debate with people who talk such nonsense.

  81. shad

    The one thing about the Berba rumours is, while Wenger refuted them saying we hadn’t moved in for him, he didn’t deny categorically that we won’t move for him at all. Wenger is the master of double speak.

  82. Dissenter

    @Rhys Jaggar,
    Do you really believe all that tripe you wrote about Bendtner? Screwing whores while his celebrity GF is pregnant, blah blah blah.
    No one stands a chance based on the high standards you’ve set for yourself.
    What would you have done if you earned tens of thousands of £s weekly in your late teens. Would you have taken a monks oath to celibacy?

    I think forgiveness should be added to your lofty moral standards.

  83. gambon

    Cant agree with anyone that says Mata isnt a top class player.

    One of the very elite players in the PL.

    35 assists last season in all comps. Its likey even Ozil wont get anywhere near that for us.

    Hes also more of a goal threat than virtually all AMs.

    Jose has different ideas, and wants every player to be very tactically disciplined, which is why Matas not a starter.

    Outstanding player.

  84. Keyser

    Lol how have you slipped ‘free-thinker’ in there and then ascribed the only ideal Mourinho can work towards to be successful ? Anyone who doesn’t fit, like Mata, is slung to the wayside because he simply can’t make it work, he’s not free-thinking enough to do so.

    He achieves this what he does because he generally has the option to do so, not because Mourinho’s worked out his limitations.

    In the end all his teams converge to his ideal if not physically or technically than cynically.

  85. TitsMcgee

    Costa won’t be sold I reckon.

    The are in contention for league and are still in the hunt for UCL. Selling Costa would scupper those aspirations wouldn’t it.

    Berba would be a good signing IMO. Who else is there and under the circumstances he’d at the very least allow us to rotate better/more. He’s clinical and can put away the half chances our attack creates than Giroud can’t finish.

  86. Keyser

    “35 assists last season in all comps. Its likey even Ozil wont get anywhere near that for us.”

    Don’t think you’ve understood his point, as good as Mata is in a team that falls short, he has limitations.

    Though he’s probably still wrong considering the players Chelsea have bought and how long they’ve had together, maybe highlighted by their cup run.

  87. GoonPharm

    So the bullshit begins again. NikkiB is the messiah as he’s smashed a worldy in from all of 2 feet.

    The hypocritical nature of fans opinions just have to be laughed at.

    On one hand we have a egotistical prick who believes he’s Pele and has been picking up 50k a week for the last 3-4 years and has hardly kicked a ball for the team. He insults the club and is happy to sit on a fat contract rather than walk away (I’m sure Pedro alluded to this on many occasions in the past). He’s wasted some of his best years and put money before his career.

    On the other hand we have players like Sanogo and Diaby who genuinely want to play for the club and actually value their careers. I’m sure they would rather play than sit on the treatment table. Yet these guys get hammered.

    Rosicky, RvP were perpetually injured yet I don’t recall half as much disdain towards either player as Sanogo and Diaby get.

    Likewise Adebayor did more or less the same thing NikkiB has done yet we are all.adamant he’s a cunt.

    Is it one rule for one lot of players and another for other players? Or perhaps if Diaby or Sanogo were white they’d have more sympathy?

    Pathetic.

  88. Paulinho

    In English football that tends to be the ideal that wins trophies, and slinging Mata out of the way, despite all the hoopla over how wonderful he is, shows that he doesn’t give a toss about reputations. If he was at Liverpool Gerrard would already be on the scrap heap.

  89. Dan T

    @Emirates

    My last points on Berba as I don’t actually think it will happen anyway and I’m not really too fussed either way…

    I think if we can get a better long-term option then great, but if we are going to buy around Berbas current quality then I would want it to be somebody we’re not going to get stuck with for the next 4 or 5 years. He’s at an age where he would probably accept a very short-term contract.

    I know he hasn’t exactly been prolific for Fulham this year, but as a team they have been fairly woeful most of the season. At Arsenal he will get a lot more opportunities and so likely score more goals. The best part of his game now is his finishing. With the quality of the players he would have around him at Arsenal I would expect him to get a lot of chances and be more clinical than Giroud.

    My last point would be that yes, he may end up being a bench warmer in a few weeks IF both Giroud and Bentner return as scheduled and IF they don’t get injured for the rest of the season. However, ankle injuries are often not straightforward to recover from. I think it’s more likely he would have quite a few chances to play.

    I just think it would be worth having somebody extra to cover. If we can’t manage to get better quality than what we have now, then I would be happy to take on short-term cover from somebody who will sign a short-term contract, like Berbatov.

  90. Emiratesstroller

    Gambon

    I might have agreed with you if we had not bought Ozil.

    However, we are not short of technical players in our squad and with Ozil and
    Cazorla on the books we need to be buying in my assessment physically stronger and more direct players.

    Wenger has acknowledged in last 2 weeks that Giroud is currently the only player in team who adds physical presence.

  91. Mo

    Mata is a great player. Clearly, Jose isn’t a fan, but that happens sometimes with players and managers. It doesn’t make Mata a worse player, he just needs a different club now. Even if we are currently well stocked for attacking midfield players, I’d take him given his quality and the fact that Rosicky (who has been excellent) can’t last much longer with his injury record. Mata will also contribute goals, no doubt about that.

  92. Keyser

    Pedro – someone you can only hope to aspire to.

    All it shows is how limited his approach is, he’s Pulis with a World Class talent pool and the option to discard such talent.

    If he was at Liverpool firstly Gerrard would fit his ideal, and secondly he would’ve have the option anyway, yet he’d spend his hours telling people like yourself about how he doesn’t have such an option, whereupon you’d pander to his whims and tell everyone how hard done by he was.

  93. chopper4001

    So, who’s going to play up front tomorrow then? Giroud and Bendy both out, Podolski looking short of fitness (ability) to play as a lone striker, Theo looking to lightweight…

    We might see a switch to 442, with Pod and Theo up front. Something like:

    Chez
    Sagna – BFG – Kos – Nacho
    Rosicky/Gnabry – Arteta/Flamini – Jack – Santi
    Theo – Pod

    Podolski would need to play deeper than Theo you’d think, and it would require big games from Santi and Jack, to provide the creativity we’d miss from a true #10.

    Could work though.

  94. TitsMcgee

    For us to not sign a player in a position of need all summer last year and then turn around and quibble about potentially signing Berba when we have a gaping hole in that position because “2m is too much for him” is EXACTLY why we haven’t won anything in damn near a decade.

  95. gambon

    Stroller

    I agree, i was saying yesterday that I would like a CM and CF that will add power and pace…..Costa and Pogba for example.

    I was merely saying i would rather Mata than Draxler.

    For that you can read “i’d rather an experienced PL player than a foreign kid” if we are bringing a creative player in to dovetail with Ozil.

    Make no mistake we arent bringing Draxler in unless we are selling someone big.

    I dont think we’ll even look at Draxler, as much as I rate him.

    We have 2 priorities this summer IMO

    1- A centre forward
    2- The defence

    We only have one CF, as Bendtner is off as soon as he gets the chance. Sanogo is a joke, as is Park. Wenger clearly isnt a huge Giorud fan despite what he says, and i cant see him ever accepting such a limited CF after grooming Henry and RVP.

    So in terms of strengthening, you cant look further than a CF.

    Then we have the problems that Vermaelen and Sagna could give us.

    Assuming we need to buy a GK, CB, RB just as replacements, and we are after a top CF, we wont be doing any more business.

  96. Keyser

    Paulinho – Present day Gerrard ? Or general Gerrard ? he’s still big enough and influential enough to have the impact, like Lampard, you’re forgetting the other options Mourinho would have to turn to if he left Gerrard out.

    At Chelsea he has Essien, Remieres and Mikel, at Liverpool, Henderson ? Leiva ?

  97. gambon

    “How would Gerrard fit his ideal when he has the defensive abilities of a bollard?”

    He has always found room for Oscar, Ozil, Sneijder, Lampard, Deco.

    Gerrard is a match for these players at the front of a MF diamond.

    Infact didnt Mourinho try to sign Gerrard in summer 04?

  98. useroz

    Paying the reported 2m +wages for berba cannot be any wasteful than keeping diaby (and sanogo). Berba may be ‘llazy’ but fergie didn’t loan henrik L to help their defence. I recall he scored against us as a super-sub. Berba is way ahead of sanogo and a better shooter than giroud (and nendtner).

    Unless ivan forces a ‘special’ purchase out of wenger, I wouldn’t expect a new striker coming in Jan.

    Treat the 2m or so as insurance premium; the ‘fallout’ of bagging the league would far outweigh the fees. And it can’t be more wasteful than keeping diaby can it?

    Of course, I hope we sign a hot striker like some being linled to us but it is un-wenger (not un-arsenal) to do so. Yet to be convinced wenger has turned a corner…hope am wrong though.

    Btw, no to remy. 2nd rate ligue 1 striker. Wenger had several failed experiments recently and we don’t need another.

  99. Paulinho

    Keyser – Allen as well, oh and present day Gerrard. He didn’t play as deep in his prime.

    Liverpool would not have beaten Spurs 5-0 at White Hart Lane if Gerrard was playing. They simply would not have been able adopt the press that they utilised so effectively to overwhelm Spurs because he wouldn’t have been able to keep up.

    Have a look at the Arsenal-Liverpool match at the Emirates. Quite a few occasions Suarez tries to press high up only for Arsenal defenders to play it into midfield unmarked. Suarez throws his hands up at the jogging Gerrard in despair. His legs have gone, and he was always tactically dumb anyway.

  100. Paulinho

    Gambon – Gerrard is done, he’s been done for a while. He wouldn’t be playing in any sort of advanced role these days, and he’s never been any good in a deeper role.

    Back in 08/09 Liverpool had Alonso and Mascherano dictating from deep and Gerrard often played on the right.

    In his day he was absolutely phenomenal, but that’s because he had the pace and power to make up for his shortfalls by taking the game to the opposition.

    Look at him last year for England, he gets hypnotised by players like Pirlo. Slow the pace of the game down and he switches off.

  101. Bamford13

    Pedro

    Glad to see you give your support to Bendtner. I believe he’s changed his ways, and he is a better striker than Giroud, so he could be important to us going forward. I recognize that many supporters still dislike (or are skeptical of) Bendtner, but a few more game winners should dispel all of that.

    Rhys

    Great post. Good to have the case against Nickas laid out. To me that all sounds like the bad behavior of an arrogant, self-absorbed young man. Nothing to respect there. But young men can change, can grow up, especially if life knocks them around a little, if they reach a low point, if they see their situation objectively. That’s what I think has happened to Nicklas, and I think this has been evident in his play.

    As for those who continue to dislike him, Wenger has explicitly asked all to give Bendtner their support, so every AKB is required by his religion to give over his support. As for the others, Nicklas will have to win them over with goals.

    For me a Nicklas renaissance which helped lead us to a title would be one of the most inspiring things that happened this year.

    Come on, Nicklas. Make it happen.