Wenger, Per and Sagna sign da ting: Reaction | Arsenal hold on to take important 3 points

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What to say about the Villa game eh? You know when your team has turned into a winning machine when you don’t have anything to complain about. I mean, jeez, I’m really struggling to have a bitch today…

Wenger rotated in our star men, he kept some of the fringe on and we played out a; in the main, comfortable game.

Olivier Giroud missed himself two relatively easy chances in the opening 7 minutes. He glanced a free header wide on 4 minutes, and then he failed to connect with a low cross on 7 minutes.

Arsenal controlled possession against a timid Villa side clearly very nervous about taking a hammering. Our opener came after a Monreal give and go, the Spaniard cut Jack in on the edge of the area, he shifted his weight and poked an inch perfect cross goal shot into the back of the net. As he peeled off the celebrate, he made an ‘A’ with his fingers…

… Jack, mate, Adebayor left ages ago. Really didn’t get that?

Before I’d even had time to note down the goal, Wilshere found Giroud with a floated pass after winning it off Delph, the Frenchman brought it down majestically, kneed it clumsily for his second touch, and then buried home like a boss with his third. A great goal that really sums Olivier up.

The rest of the half was Arsenal in rest mode. It was like watching a really boring warm down. I had the feeling we were a little too casual. That fear was realised in the second half when Santi lost the ball out wide, a cross was nipped in to the back post where Benteke, a player suffering some severe second-season-itis, was on hand to score a diving header.

My flat mate and I agreed at this point that not enough diving headers were scored these days. A classic goal. Though not as rare as the scissor kick.

That goal put the frighteners on the team. All of a sudden, our slick passing disappeared. Villa grew with confidence and Villa Park started to heat up with some real noise. You sensed we could concede a goal. I wasn’t sure whether old fears died hard, or we really were losing control. Rosicky slowed down the game when he took a forearm to the face and broke his nose (well, it looked like he had). The ref didn’t stop play despite seeing the player was gushing blood. In fairness to Villa, we didn’t stop play when we had the advantage.

Anyway, when play did resume, Benteke missed an absolute sitter from 6 yards. Heading into the keepers arms. Really poor play, you have to say.

6 minutes of injury time played out, we took the three points, Wenger called Lambert a ‘vieux chatte’ for maximum fulltime LOLz… we all went home happy. Well, maybe not Monreal because there were rumours of a broken metatarsal.

Concluding Points

Rotation has paid dividends…

Arsene has loosened up on the fear factor. The team we put out was pretty well rested and our bench looked as strong as it has all season. He’s now far more comfortable rotating than he was. It’s not perfect. He’ll need to sharpen it up if he really wants the league, but it’s getting better.

For me, this is where trophies are won and lost… if he gets it right, I think we’ll win the Premiership.

Podolski is not favoured…

This shouldn’t come as news to people. Even when he was flavour of the month, he was pulled off every game (substituted you foul people). Wenger doesn’t seem to hold him in that high esteem. I noted in the summer that the feeling at the club was that he’d be off if there was a decent offer. Yesterday, he wasn’t given a run out again. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave this summer.


He doesn’t look particularly graceful going forward, but he ain’t half effective and he’s very measured in his approach to bombing on. He had a lovely assist for the first goal, he defended well and his quality has allowed us to give Kieran Gibbs some breathing space.


He is what he is I’m afraid. He’s a hard working English centre forward who makes the most of his ability. He’s capable of moments of magic, but he’s also capable of moments of ‘what the f*ck did you do there’… that’s fine. He came up with a decent goal yesterday. He’s not super elite, but hey, nor was Alan Smith and we all loved him, right? It’d be great to get some striker support for him regardless.

The big news…

The manager is rumoured to have signed a new deal along with Sagna and Mertesacker. That’s banging news as far as I’m concerned. Firstly, Per and Sagna have been essential to the team this year. Both are capable of being the captain of our great club. They’re ambassadors on and off the pitch. They embody everything you’d want in a foreign player. Totally bought into the heritage and the culture of the club.

On Arsene Wenger, I said in September when this deal was first mooted that I didn’t agree with handing out £7.5m a year for someone who hadn’t proved anything. Well, we’re in mid-January, we’re in the FA Cup, the Champions’ League group stages after navigating the group of death and we’re topping the league. That’s off the back of some transformative changes to his management game and his approach to player values. Not to mention the fact that we cleared £500k worth of dead wood and we topped the calendar league table. So this isn’t a fluke… it’s where we are as a club.

So basically, despite still having reservations about him in certain areas, I can’t complain. As far as I’m concerned, 75% of the issues Le Grove has campaigned against for years have been addressed over the past two years.

Also, I think we’re in a fantastic position stability wise. I think big players will look at the Alex Ferguson departure at United and worry. We’re an even more attractive proposition this season because of the saga in Salford. Now we’re talking about signing superstar talent like Draxler and Diego Costa. That’s where we need to be as a club. We’re at the top table and Wenger has been integral in making that happen.

At the start of last summer I said it was the perfect storm for big changes as so it has proved. Arsene wanted a new deal and he pulled out all the stops to get one. I’m glad he didn’t get a rise as well… apparently he’s performance bonused quite heavily. Another masterstroke from Ivan… target him on winning, not breaking even.

So bravo. If a manager can change his approach, I can change my opinion of the situation.

Onwards and upwards…



705 Responses to “Wenger, Per and Sagna sign da ting: Reaction | Arsenal hold on to take important 3 points”

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  1. tunnygriffboy


    That line up is possible. We have the money and we should get something like it done.

    Walcotts injury has buggered things up. Wenger I’m sure would have looked to buy in the summer but we are now very light. If there’s any chance of getting Draxler now we should be right on the case. Also means less outlay next summer.

  2. Leedsgunner

    Happy Birthday Wenger Eagle

    Hope you had a great day. May you always stand all and your kalous stay intact. Have a pint or two for me!

  3. Sam

    Oh Simon!

    We’ve been here before.
    Please let’s wait till they say Julian Draxler agreed term with arsenal.

    In other words: old man steptoe opened his wallet again

  4. TitsMcgee

    Raphael Honigstein ‏@honigstein 51s
    the story that Draxler was ready to go to Arsenal in the summer emanated in Germany. now Schalke are saying they might have to sell…

  5. Nasri's Mouth

    Sounds more like Schalke trying to drum up some interest in their player

    Don’t think they’re skint though, so it’s a bit weird

  6. Leedsgunner

    Jelavic to Hull in a £6.5m deal from Everton. Apparently Steve Bruce is looking for another striker. Hopefully we can get our act together and offload Bendtner after picking up Jackson Martinez 😉

  7. TitsMcgee

    Raphael Honigstein ‏@honigstein 5m
    I’m just not sure AW will go for him again, at this slightly crazy prize. he pushed hard, once, for a lot less money – before Özil.

  8. TitsMcgee

    If you want “quality” players you have to pay “quality” player money.

    If not, fine but then don’t scorn the plan B players because “they are Arsenal quality”.

  9. Cesc Appeal

    I’d think about playing a 4-1-3-2 against Fulham perhaps.

    Try out Flamini as the one, Wilshere/Gnabry, Ozil and Rosicky with Podolski and Giroud up front.

    Opportune time to try it, see how both do with a strike partner.

  10. salparadisenyc

    Honingstein reliable, does not seem to stray far from the target.

    Personally I don’t see Wenger spending another £40m outlay on the heals of Ozil, unless its a marquee striker. Sea Change is one thing that is cataclysmic. The need is for a center forward, with all do respect does one put that kind of money into player that has made a name for himself cutting in from the left as an attacking midfielder or winger, with thoughts on converting? Either your very confident that will work or, as said above were selling one of Podolski or Cazorla in the next week and upgrading to Draxler. If thats the case, its a massive statement and Wenger has become much more ruthless.

    Take some brass for sure.

  11. Nasri's Mouth

    Draxler isn’t really a player we need to be honest. We NEED a striker.

    Just depends how mad we want to go.

    There seems to be a lot of stories from just a couple of quotes

  12. Carts

    uche – Does anyone think Moyes will make it to the next winter transfer window? Like really?

    It’s simply one of two things, imo.

    1) everyone who’s important and carries weight at Utd know full well that the current crop aren’t pulling their weight. Thus, rendering their shambolic performances not all Moyes’ fault. I say this because it was always going to be touch and go regarding Moyes and Rooney past relationship; RVP signing for Utd under the premise Fergie would be there to cuddle him. And so on.

    Therefore, I feel Moyes is kind of being excused, to a degree; although finishing outside the top 4 could potentially spell something different. Most importantly…attracting top players. I honestly don’t know whether Manchester Utd alone can do that. Playing Europa League while your European rivals bask in Champions League is a hard selling point. Not to mention other teams playing in the CL could well offer good money and that level of football.

    2) Come what May, Utd finish outside the top 4 and the Glazier have a knee jerk and get rid. People talk about their revenue stream, this that and the other, but I’m sure a lot of that has to do with CL involvement. And I’, also sure a lot of sponsorships etc have CL clause inserted. SO in short: they sack Moyes as a result of Utd finishing outside top 4 and they bring in Kloop.

    My thoughts, of course.

  13. Simon

    Klopp must never go to united. We are going to want to talk to that boy!

    Re Draxler – I guess I thought we didn’t need another creative no 10 too and we are top of the league. It’s a strategy of doing what you do better. Draxler would make us better.

    We do need a better striker than Giroud but not seeing one in January. Do if take Morata on loan if we can and nail Costa or someone in the summer. Who knows what will be hot or available then. Sagna staying makes the window easier.

  14. kwik fit

    Ben Fairthorne ‏@BFairthorne 34m
    Not heard anything about Draxler signing for Arsenal this window.

    There could be something to these Draxler rumours after all 😉

  15. Tomtom

    Draxler is a luxury we could do without at the moment.
    We desperately need a top quality striker as Giroud is not good enough to win us the title. He needs help upfront and Wenger needs to act soon

  16. Nasri's Mouth


    I had this discussion a while back. Draxler is an excellent player and potentially one of the best in the world, but where will he end up ? On the wing or in Ozil’s position? With Walcott and Ozil, he’s an upgrade, but an expensive one when there are areas of the squad that could be improved more for the same outlay.

    If we had an unlimited budget then I’d say go for it, but come the summer we’re going to need to spend £40m on a striker, plus a few more on a back up CB and a keeper, and that assumes we hang fire on a replacement for Arteta/Flamini for another £20m

  17. Cesc Appeal


    If we get in there I suppose we could get Schar for £8-11 Million and Matuidi for free.

    But striker is certainly the burning need.

  18. Nasri's Mouth

    Kwik fit: Ben Fairthorne ‏@BFairthorne 34m
    Not heard anything about Draxler signing for Arsenal this window

    Draxler is ON!!!! 😉

  19. Cesc Appeal


    I forgot about Oxlade actually…if Rosicky can’t start I’d like to see him in there…as I say it’d be tempting against Fulham to go 4-1-3-2…though they are winning 2-0 currently tonight.

  20. Simon


    I would. Yes he plays ahead of poldi and cazorla on left. I think we get the defender this window personally. Yes we need to spend big on striker in summer. I think we have the pickets for it and the need to catch-up. Agree it would be pushing it. Some payback from sales of poldi:cazorla, Bentner, park

  21. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    And Wenger has a history of buying players in different positions to those that all the ‘experts’ are shouting for

    What I don’t understand is why Schalke are going public on this. If the player has a release clause and a long contract, there is no bidding war. Why talk about it, unless actually they’re just talking about the summer not January and it’s being misunderstood by the media to sell papers

  22. salparadisenyc

    Ones things for certain, if were all somewhat reticent of Wenger spending that kind cash on Draxler we’ve come a long way.

    As our good friend Ben Fairthorne just tweeted, the Draxler outlay would not impede summer striker, new era at AFC.
    Lets hope he got that one right.

  23. kwik fit


    I don’t think that Ox will start as he’s not totally match fit. I think well see Gnarby again. Lets hope Arteta is ready. The one thing that was plainly obviously from last nights game was our lack of pace with out Theo. Its crucial that Wenger buys pace in the window.

  24. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah, they don’t really stand to gain anything, a release clause is a release clause.

    No one is going to offer them more, just the player the clubs will barter with over wages to entice him.

    I’ve read that the release clause stands now and in the summer…if that’s true then Schalke essentially attracting attention that their star is getting itchy feet is rather stupid.

  25. Tomtom

    Morata seems the obvious choice but it looks like Madrid won’t loan him out. How about a bid of 50 million for Costa?
    This is our best chance in years of winning the league and with Chelsea and City set to strengthen in the summer we might not have this chance next season. Giroud is doing well but he is not clinical enough.

  26. Mike adamski

    Scared we will buy no one …

    There must be someone the club is talking to .

    Whoever mentioned a 4-1-3-2 formation earlier …. I reckon that would be a great idea !
    I think podolski could only play up top with a partner .
    May aswell use him as he is a clinical finisher . Giroud could get some tips . Ha

  27. Sam

    Draxler is not what we need but it’s ambitious to grab a good player when he’s available before our rival get him.
    Sign him as addition not exchange with any of our player. Schalke can have bendtner if they want not podolski
    They can actually get him for free if they agree to sell us Julian

  28. kwik fit

    Jackson Martinez says ‘In my next porto training session , I will wear an Arsenal top and leopard skin G string, cos I know Arsene has sent boy scouts to watch me perform’

  29. MarbleHall

    Yesterdays game should have been a formality instead it turned out to be one of those unnecessary ‘resilient’ games of which more often than not have occurred far to frequent this season.

  30. Sam

    It must have been the most watched game of the week

    Chelsea, man city n spuds were all Glued to their screens cheering villa


  31. Kempster

    Got to agree with Marbles on that one lads. We made it unnecessarily squeaky by forgetting to play football in the second half.

  32. Gunnershabz

    Seen clips of draxler

    He can become a striker he has brilliant finishing

    U know wenger likes converting players

  33. Norfolk

    Nice video of the Draxler bloke although there were quite a lot of repeats from different camera angles.
    Loved the step-over backheel sideways thing near the end.

  34. Marko

    Classic Kwik. On Draxler he’d be an amazing buy but for 40 million and with us needing a top class striker and Griezmann being cheaper I wouldn’t go for 40 million. Get them down to 25-30 with add on’s and throw in Diaby and bob’s your uncle.

  35. Marko

    In fairness us signing Draxler is akin to Chelsea signing Willian after Schurrle and DeBruyne. Not necessarily needed but he could make us a whole lot better

  36. Nasri's Mouth

    @dale rios

    Of course not, but if it stops us from getting the players in other areas that we do actually need, then we shouldn’t spend all that money.

    We shouldn’t be hamstringing ourselves just to potentially damage one opponent

  37. tunnygriffboy

    If we have the money left over from summer buy Draxler. Players like that don’t come around often. We missed out on Hazard by dithering. Why let this one go. Then in the summer go big on a striker. If we did this it really shows intent and we mean business. Even Maureen would drop one in his own pants.

    Do it Arsene.

  38. TheBayingMob

    I can’t be doing with all this man love for Ji-Rude; I don’t mind him as a player but let’s lay off the c0ck sucking … a few years ago if anyone had suggested signing Kevin Davies from Bolton on the basis that he works hard, puts it around, tracks back and bangs in a few the AKBs would have gone fucking mental about it, but as OG is a Wenger chosen one then it’s now alright to have a fucking french version of the cunt Chesterfield reject. He’s average. End of.

  39. Norfolk

    Dale RiosJanuary 14, 2014 22:27:27
    Draxler is a luxury?Would you prefer him go to United and develop into one of the world’s finest players akin Hazard at Chelsea?

    I agree he’s a luxury but I think he would be an improvement so I wouldn’t say no, unless of course there was only one player coming.

  40. TheBayingMob

    Wenger isn’t going to sign anyone else for 40m+ IMHO. He did that, got in Ozil, made a statement, got his new contract on 80m, guarenteed the cushiest job in football now it’ll be back to the one man crusade to prove the world how Wengerball works. We’ll buckle under the strain in Feb and March, go out of everything around the Bayern game and it’ll be same old same old. If he pulled the stops out now and signed Drazler and a WC striker we’d be in with a shout, every man and his fucking dog knows he isn’t going to though. We’ll rely on Bendtner to get through; still another year gone, Nikki B must be wondering how the Ballon D’or slipped through his fingers again. The cunt.

  41. Carts

    “Draxler’s long range shooting ability will be gone if he joins Arsenal a bit like Santi and his freekicks”

    fucking LOL

  42. Cesc Appeal

    Cazorla has done alright for £12 Million.

    But he seems to be seriously losing it, whether that’s from being played out of position who knows, or his nose is out of joint (sorry Rosicky) from the Ozil signing.

    If you were the creative hub of the team, and you knew the only strikers you had were Giroud and Bendtner, you’d be pretty confident that the big money guy would be to replace Giroud.

    Suddenly it’s you being replaced and it’s almost a statement to you that you needed replacing more than the average Giroud.

    I’m just spit balling…but Cazorla has really disappointed me this season. As soon as Oxlade is fit he should get that slot – or if Rosicky is fit for the weekend. Cazorla was actually a hindrance against Villa.

  43. Bamford13

    People seem so optimistic about this window. Am I alone in thinking that we aren’t going to sign anyone? In previous windows I’ve been full of excitement and anticipation, have followed the rumors, have waited for an announcement, etc.

    This window, not at all. I just don’t see it. I see Wenger saying that he has a complete side, that there was no one “special” available, etc.

    He’ll sign no one and we’ll be forced to watch f.ing Giroud for another four months. Cringe.

    And we’ll likely finish second or third. And the apologists will tell us that second or third is actually very good for a team that competes against “oil money” and that has recently built a stadium.

  44. Cesc Appeal


    You’re not alone.

    I’m desperately trying to will it on, but I doubt it.

    We’ve been in worse positions, with more obvious glaring needs and Wenger ignored it in January – or worse spent £300 000 on Thomas Eisfeld.

    Suddenly Podolski who he doesn’t like and Bendtner who he was desperate to sell are reasons not to buy anyone. That’s classic Wenger for ‘I’m not going to do anything.’

    Shame, if we bought a good striker we’d be in with a shout.

    But we won’t, I think we’ll finish 3rd as a result.

  45. Jake

    I also don’t think we’ll sign anyone. Maybe an academy player but no first team players.
    I, of course, hope we do and Draxler has been a favourite of mine since early 2012 so I’m praying it’s him but I also just can’t see it happening.

  46. Bamford13

    No one can deny that the current squad finds a way to get results (except against the best teams) and that they very well may take the league.

    But how much love does this squad inspire in you? How many moments of magic or joy have they provided? How beautifully do they play? How many players do you feel genuine love for?

    My problem is that I don’t find this side terribly inspiring. Maybe I’m just unlucky in this regard. There have been games here or there where I’ve taken some joy or delight in their play — Hull City, for example — but not very many. Because the fact is that they don’t often play very well. Nearly everyone would acknowledge this. The most common talk on here after wins is how we won despite not playing well.

    Well I say in order to inspire — and in order to inspire love — a team needs to actually play well, needs to play beautifully — or heroically — if possible. For me this is still lacking.

  47. Jake


    Well then maybe you need to find something else to occupy your time because you’re clearing doing this wrong.

  48. Bamford13


    I couldn’t watch last night. How was Cazorla a hindrance? I take you at your word, frankly, because he hasn’t really been right this season.

  49. Bamford13


    Are you saying this is an inspiring side? A side that plays elegant, beautiful football? That has provided us with huge, heroic moments and victories?

    Sorry. They haven’t. A class goal here or there. That’s it.

    Perhaps I just have higher standards.

  50. Cesc Appeal


    Maybe I was being overly critical of him because I’ve been really disappointed in him all season, but he just seemed to misplace a lot of passes, of course he gave away the ball that led to the goal with a ridiculous pass, literally played it straight to the Villa player.

    Hopefully Oxlade comes back with a bit of fire, we could use a cross between a CAM with good ball retention and passing ability and a bit of a winger with some pace and the ability to take on a man. Some long range shooting wouldn’t go a miss either.

  51. Simon

    Couldn’t sleep… Look so many of you are projecting crazy stuff on Wenger. He wants to win wants to spend (money we have, and frankly since 2008 who thinks that is bollocks) . Stop demonising the guy. Stop digging. We are top of the league on far less resources, with his faith and judgement, that any of you you thought. And now he’s spending. Back off.

    Definitely sleeping now.

  52. Cesc Appeal


    Is he?

    Guess we’ll have to wait and see. I watched him go 90 days doing nothing but Flamini and Sanogo with around £120 Million in the bank.

    Thank goodness Ozil became available.

    This is the Wenger who blew our 2010-11 season with a January window in which he did nothing.

    We’ll have to wait and see I guess. 8 years of the same thing over and over has made me rather cynical. I don’t think anyone could judge me for that.

  53. tunnygriffboy


    Agreed we’re not playing scintillating football but I can take pride in what this side has been doing. Sagna and Ramsey fighting break from career threatening injuries, lWilshere slowly starting to find form after 18 months out, Per and kos developing an outstanding partnership having been scoffed at and laughed at 18 months ago, the energy that Rosicky brings every game, our youngsters starting to improve game by game andcthe sheer bloody mindedness to fight to get scrappy wins. Its not pretty I know but I haven’t seen an Arsenal side as together as this for a long time.

    This is a good base for a side. If they can keep this spirit and add a few twinkly bits we may once again see the beautiful football we all want to see.

  54. Nabby

    Some of our fans can spend years criticising the team for not having fight, guts, determination and spirit and being too focussed on the art of playing beautiful football that is to be admired, then use this as one of the main reasons for our trophy drought.

    Yet now our fans are criticising the team for not having the aesthetic appeal of teams gone by even though we’re playing well as a unit, we are winning games ugly and showing loads of fight, guts, determination and spirit and we are top of the league.

    We have the most schizo fans in the league, I’m almost certain of it.

  55. sam

    How would Draxler solve our CF problem and he’s not a CF?

    Oh Wenger will turn him into a CF, when? How?
    Wenger doesn’t coach anyone its a myth.
    Draxler will be good addition, yes
    would he solve our problem? no !
    a team with Cazorla and Ozil should be able to sweep teams aside, not fall apart when you are leading 2-nil. with wilshere confusing them in the field.

    arsenal need better coaching first

  56. sam

    Better selection as well,

    Giroud should be challenged for starting place
    Wilshere shouldn’t be fiddled on the field when he’s not needed

    Rotation rotation rotation

    Btw, what do you think of Papiss Demba Cisse?

  57. The Poldi Prince

    I’m not convinced ozil and caz should ever play together. We rarely look the goods with both of them out there.

    Both players would benefit immensely from a quick winger. Wish the pedro rumour was more than just that.

    They should rotate.

  58. MadeToLoveMagic

    What are people chatting about us not playing good football ATM? It’s bollocks, we have in fits and starts this season seen some of the best football since 2008 , we have our passing combinations , but this time they are quick and more incisive…. Yes we are winning games ugly too, wha da problem people, for the first time , we seem to have the right balance. The home game against Napoli being a great example.

  59. Alan

    For once wenger should do what is needed now to take us first past finishing line and a chance in champions league
    Trade podolski in for draxler, buy Jackson Martinez up front and Carvalho as a holding midfielder. If sagna does not commit, replace him with Coleman . Then down to wenger to gel them early, but he would have 3 relatively easy league games and two fa cup rounds to help with that .
    Personally I don’t think wenger has the winning mentality to do what it takes, and I m ok saying that when we re top of the league. We cannot compete with man city on strength of depth up front or physical power in midfield, though we have depth of cover there, but many of our players too lightweight, compared to toure not enough big game winners.
    Ps I agree with Stewart Robson s criticism of ozil., who I think will be rested , subbed and left out more than some people expect.

  60. Musketeer

    I hear Maureen has got himself a shiny new DM, the swine. You can see what he is planning can’t you. He knows he cannot match the fire power of City’s so he plans a shut out against them by shoring things up, 4 pts aginst them is a good return.

    There is no top striker available in Jan so a DM to fight the fire is not a bad option for them. I’m not sure how good Matic is but 20 odd million must mean he is an upgrade on what they have defensive midfield wise.