Hey Joel, scoring against United is easy | HELP US Premier League

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The hilarious mess that is going on at United continued last night as they took their easy draw in Olympiacos and ballsed it up with a horrendous 2-0 away losss from home. I mean, honestly, there’s expecting United to mess up, then there’s David Moyes surprising and delighting with the most unexpected horror show of a result.

The best bit about the game yesterday? Joel Campbell, or JC as he’ll be known if he becomes a player, scored one of the goals with a peachy strike. Apparently he wants to come back to Arsenal at some point. Hey, who doesn’t…? Not sure that’s going to be a reality if the rumours of us trying to flog in in January are true. He looked like he had all the ingredients to a be a good player… he just didn’t act on them. When he first broke onto the global scene for Costa Rica, he looked like Anelka with his style. That clearly means nothing though as he’s floundered in Europe.

… I’m mean scoring against United isn’t exactly a winning attribute. Well, not these days.

The wider issue is that England have so far, totally ballsed up the second phase of the Champions League. Losing openers to Bayern, Barca and Olympiacos. It doesn’t bode well for our coefficients. Does this tell you we have a poor league? No. Like I’ve said many times, our league hasn’t become worse, it’s improved beyond recognition. The better teams have caught up. Smarter management, better tech, improved knowledge, more European style tactics… and most importantly, money being spent with the longer term in mind (infrastructure projects like Southampton).

Pound for pound we have the strongest league in the world. What we don’t have at the moment is a super club in the sense that Spain, France and Germany do. To have that in Europe, you have to sacrifice something at home. I wouldn’t want that. I mean, in Germany, Bayern’s strategy for leading the league is to buy ALL the German talent. Even worse, their casual disassembling of Dortmund through financial might.

In Spain, two super clubs… with a league in absolute tatters both ability wise or in most cases, financially. Their two best teams are winning because all the others are failing terribly.

Over in the Premiership… it’s a 4 horse race. This is a fairly new thing, but it’s exciting all the same. We should embrace it. Also, the league should start embracing its elite clubs. What the hell is going on with the outrageous fixture list. Stick in the winter break, organise the fixtures so the league gives the best teams an easy patch of games around the times we’re in Europe. Move the cup games to Fridays or at the very worst, a Saturday so we’re on an equal footing with Europe.

It really is bad planning and perplexing that the league ignore all these factors despite clearly pushing hard to have the best league in the world.

Anyway, that’s my two pennies. So what’s new with Arsenal?

Well, Julian Draxler has now decided that Arsenal aren’t the only club he’ll consider this summer. He’ll consider, guess who? BAYERN. Honestly, another piece of strategic failure by Arsenal if that move goes down the toilet. He looks the part, the club clearly think he is the real deal, but we melted out when his price tag was non-negotiable. I hope this isn’t a sign for the summer. I’d heard on the grape vine that Arsenal are on the trail of players for next year… now. So players are being hawked around and Arsenal are making their plans now. Trouble is, this happened last summer… we blitzed Europe looking for deals and couldn’t pull them off.

Will we learn? Well, from what I understand, the club has, it’s just a case of the manager pulling the trigger with less trepidation. We don’t need a David Dein, we need a strong management team who’ll just say… Arsene, tell us what you want and we’ll make it happen. Don’t worry about the details, we’ll take care of them, you just sit down in that chair, the latest copy of 4-4-2 just dropped, so have some fun…

Interesting that Wenger is yet to sign a new deal. This is apparently the latest he’s ever waited. I’m wondering if he’s waiting to bow out at the top, or to leave if the plan goes down the toilet? I hope that whatever the plan is, Ivan Gazidis and the team around him are working on a succession plan. Personally, I think that might involve Steve Bould, which I’d be pretty pleased with. I don’t mind what happens, as long as there is a plan for the whole club in place. Once Wenger is gone, it’s time for the club to put in place ground work plans like they did for the sponsorship and marketing. It’ll be an interesting summer whatever happens…

Plenty of cud to chew on. Now, I’m not sure what cud is, or if I’ve spelt that properly. If it’s something disgusting, can someone text me so I can change it.

HAVE A MASSIVE GOOD DAY YOU HEAR ME?

x

P.S. Take a read of this article I wrote about Stoke… it has my face on a Stoke Forum. Proper nawty internet geezers didn’t like the tone.

 

 

331 Responses to “Hey Joel, scoring against United is easy | HELP US Premier League”

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  1. Bergkamplegend

    My guess is that yoonited will trash olympiakos at old toilet.

    But it could be really funny to see them against Madrid, Barcelona or… Munich in the next round, don’t you think ???

  2. Hitman49

    Great post again pedro..

    I think your spot on about our league arrangements truly shocking,
    That they can’t be arranged better to help CL teams and as a result makes us look weaker in Europe .

  3. Musketeer

    If you have a 300,000k wage earner in your team it means you should have a world beater at your disposal that can bail you out out almost any situation.

    300k a week is Ronaldo and Messi bracket, he couldn’t even do a job against Olympiakos, the return leg will be interesting as united did not pick up an away goal.

  4. TheBayingMob

    Pedro, you must start to modify your use of the term ‘jeez’ … it completely ruins the start of that Metro article that you’ve, jeez, like, jeez, written it 12 times … jeez! Get my drift … plus it sounds like you’re trying to pander to the yanks which is fine, but … I don’t really see that you need to use it so much

    PS I’m not saying you are pandering to anyone, you might just get a bit hard when you use that word, but that’s how it comes across …

    PPS Wenger wants to worry about English sides being so shit in Europe, we lose that 4th spot for the CL and all hell will break out in his office …

  5. Wallace

    Campbell’s got a lovely style, and a peach of a left foot, but not sure he’s as good as what we’ve already got.

  6. Dan T

    I wouldn’t say JC has floundered in Europe. From what I’ve heard he is fairly well respected as an emerging talent on the continent.

    He is only 21 and playing out of position. He is steadily adding to his end product which is pretty much what you would expect from a 21 year old.

    I thought he had a decent game last night with a decent finish. Looking forward to seeing more of him at the World Cup.

  7. Romford Pele

    Campbell is naturally a striker right? I’ve only ever seen him play up top Costa Rica though. Most of the time he plays from the right wing at the clubs he’s been thus far.

  8. Emiratesstroller

    I agree entirely with what Pedro has written that the overall standard of EPL and its entertainment value is more important than a couple of super clubs whose sole aims is worldwide domination.

    Having said that I do like the Bayern club model and philosophy. It is a ‘members’ club with three major sponsors all German businesses investing in them and offered collectively a third of equity.

    In contrast to Arsenal they were not saddled with huge cost of their new stadium and are able to pick up quality players at ‘realistic’ prices.

    However, I don’t believe that Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City are as far behind
    the top teams in Europe as the results last week suggest. Arsenal were competitive until Gibbs got injured and the two sendings off impacted on the subsequent performance and result. Also I believe that EPL and TV Channels do
    our clubs absolutely no favours with their fixture scheduling.

    Manchester United are frankly a mess. I do think that they were already in decline last season, and would not have won the Title but for Fergie factor and of
    course arrival of VP. Having said that I do not believe that Van Persie has much left to offer and I do hope that the rumours of a possible return prove untrue. Our club needs to look forward and not backwards.

    The Draxler story moves on. I don’t know enough about this player to make a
    judgment of his worth. He is not a prolific goalscorer, which I would have thought is our priority at moment. When it comes to talented or skilful players we are not that short in our squad with likes of Ozil,Cazorla, Ramsey and
    Oxlade-Chamberlain not to mention Gnabry coming through.

    What Wenger does need to invest in is a box to box player such as Bender. Arteta is near the end of his career and Flamini for all his gusto is not a world
    class player.

    Frankly we are not going to spend £20-40 million on two or three players. If we are lucky we will buy one such player in next transfer window with perhaps another couple of players more moderately priced in £8-12 million bracket.

    Wenger may have satisfied some with his extravagant investment in Ozil, but
    his overall spending did not change. The only difference was that he bought
    one ‘show stopper’ instead of spreading it around.

    My main concern at moment as I said before is that Arsenal need to finish season in top three [not fourth place] so that we can do our shopping early and
    not leave it until last moment as we have done too often in past.

  9. Savage

    Agree with Pedro regarding working fixtures in favour of the UCL.

    Hazard said he joined Chelsea because they won the UCL. If you want top players to come to the league, we need to improve that chance with strong European performances.

  10. Dan T

    I think so. Was he not always a striker before coming to Europe? I’m not certain – as Romford says he plays there for Costa Rica.

    His stats are decent anyway for his age. 7 goals and 9 assists in 24 games. I know they are totally dominant in the league and don’t really have any competition – But he showed enough for me last night to think he still has potential.

  11. Bergkamplegend

    The Furious : “ANR reporting that Morata to us is a done deal.”

    it’s only march and people already go crazy about the next transfert window lol

  12. Savage

    JC’s second half of the season will be a lot more interesting after they sold Mitroglu to Fulham. He’ll have a goal scoring job now I would think, and with their domination of the league, you’d imagine he’d be getting goals on a platter.

    I’m not sure he’d get much game time at Arsenal – even Gnabry’s appearances are brief, and that’s with Theo injured. Sanogo looks far more like a CF based on physical attributes.

  13. Bergkamplegend

    Savage : “Hazard said he joined Chelsea because they won the UCL”

    Not totally true…
    Hazard awaited the outcome of the 2012 final to be sure he could play the CL if he joined them, that’s not exactly the same thing.

  14. Dissenter

    This Draxler lovefest is beginning to get to me.
    He’s not the prolific goal scorer we need. He’s just an exciting young talent, nothing more.
    Even if we had signed him, he’ll stay for his formative years and leave for a super rich club like Bayern at his peak in 5 years.
    We need an elite CF and DM ahead of Draxler.

    JC should have been kept here instead of Miyachi, he’ll have improved more along side better players. You’ll hear more from him in the summer.

  15. Nasri's Mouth

    Dissenter: JC should have been kept here instead of Miyachi, he’ll have improved more along side better players. You’ll hear more from him in the summer.

    Dunno how much playing time he’d have got here though. He wasn’t ready when we first signed him, and if I’m not really sure he’s anything more than a backup now.

  16. KJafc

    Musketeer
    If you have a 300,000k wage earner in your team it means you should have a world beater at your disposal that can bail you out out almost any situation. 300k a week is Ronaldo and Messi bracket, he couldn’t even do a job against Olympiakos
    _____________
    Good morning all,
    So very true mate. But this is Wayne Rooney, English media darling. When you consider he and RVP are costing MUFC over half a million quid per week in wages, surely it is about time the media and the commentators raised their expectation levels and judged these players accordingly. Instead of taking cheap shots at players like Ozil.

  17. Nasri's Mouth

    Draxler’s an excellent player, and potentially a superstar, but realistically a CF and a DM are above him in that list.

    Would love to have him, but if we spent months persuading him to sign for us rather than go to another club and missed out on other players because of that I’d be a little narked

  18. Dissenter

    What’s all nonsense speculation about Moratta.
    Whatever happened to buying elite CF at their peak.
    Hopefully it’s just a bar conversation with no foundation.

  19. Keyser

    Was quite interesting reading the comments yesterday, kind of sums up the nature of criticism recently, Campbell was struggling, don’t judge him on one game, Campbell scores a decent goal, why haven’t we brought him back, has he got a work permit..

    Last year playing for Betis, Campbell looked consistent if not anything special, he had a good work ethic and was technially proficient going forward, he didn’t seem to have that extra bit of pace or inventiveness that Ox or Gnabry have going forward, what he does have is a very good left foot if he gets in the right areas, but it also means he’s pretty predictable cutting in from the right to get on to it.

    How do you judge him at Olympiakos ? Or yesterday’s Manchester United performance ? He struggled to get past Evra was easily crowded out but took his one half-chance exceptionally well, it really came from nowhere. Even Miyachi looked impressive in Holland, probably more so.

    He’s generally played wide right, and we’re packed with midfielders wanting a run, we could maybe do with another, not sure he’s what we need though, especially as we’re already carrying players who are ageing or younger players who need game-time.

  20. Savage

    “Not totally true…
    Hazard awaited the outcome of the 2012 final to be sure he could play the CL if he joined them, that’s not exactly the same thing.”

    Just checked the quotes and you’re right in the sense that UCL qualification was the issue. I’m still annoyed that their cheap UCL win was the trigger for signing a major player. This is also one of the reasons why United missing out on UCL is an important blow for their ability to sign major talent. Liverpool could take that advantage, but they don’t have the spending power we do.

  21. Dissenter

    KJAFC,
    No one in the media is taking ” cheap shots” at Ozil.
    Media scrutiny is a clause in the package of any WC player who was signed for a club record transfer fee.
    Big games are supposed to be the platform for “world class” players. It’s not hard to make a plausible argument that Ozil hasn’t performed well enough in most of our big games this season. He’s still an exceptional player though.

  22. Nasri's Mouth

    Dissenter: No one in the media is taking ” cheap shots” at Ozil.

    Jan Molby: “Mesut Ozil is childish, lacks confidence, leadership and mental strength…he has failed miserably”

    That’s not a cheap shot?

  23. Keyser

    Can’t really get going with the Man United bashing, gambon did say he was away yesterday, obviously in Greece.

    I can only think that they’re going to give Moyes all the time he needs, Fergie had been running a talented, albeit disjointed squad on fumes, they’ve spent hefty sums on young promising players but have never really bought in who they needed, relying on the continuity they’d built up in years previous rather than genuinely building for the future.

    Moyes seems to have simply continued with this, Fellaini, Mata, 65 million on two midfielders yet neither seems to fit especially well, the same with Rooney, and I think they gave Nani a new contract recently aswell.

    How do you make sense of it ? Unless they are going to stick with what they’ve been doing and accumulate enough talent until they can jostle and jiggle into a position that works.

  24. Charlie Boy

    TV and Money has ruined the Premier League in one respect, but has made it what it is in another – so I guess we are where we are.

    Something has to give at some point however, and ultimately it’s down to the Clubs to collectively change the system.

    I for one am in favour of a winter break and would give big consideration to dropping the Capital One Cup. Let The FA Cup become the prestigious and aspirational event it deserves to be.

  25. Savage

    “Jan Molby: “Mesut Ozil is childish, lacks confidence, leadership and mental strength…he has failed miserably””

    That’s shocking. That doesn’t even qualify as journalism or punditry.

  26. Nasri's Mouth

    @Savage

    Headline from the Daily Star…

    “Michael Owen: Man Utd should have signed Everton’s Barkley… and Ozil is an Arsenal flop”

    From the Sun…

    “Wenger wake up call for £42m flop”

    I’d say they’re cheap shots

  27. Emiratesstroller

    What has always been Arsenal’s failing under Wenger is his obsession with recruiting a collection of technically gifted but relatively lightweight players, but failing to address weaknesses in the squad.

    If we look at current squad we are short in centre back, defensive midfield and striker positions. Assuming both second and third string goalkeepers leave plus Sagna and Vermaelen we will be short in my assessment of up to six players.

    On this basis Wenger should be prioritising his search for replacements in these positions and not in creative midfield or wide players where we are frankly not short at moment.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain can play wide on left to complement Walcott on right
    and you have options of Podolski, Cazorla and Gnabry who can also play in these positions. Morevover I like what I saw with Campbell. He is certainly a
    more EFFECTIVE player than Miyaichi.

  28. Keyser

    “And as for Transfer Stories – I’ve stopped reading them! Won’t believe anything until I see the player on the field wearing an Arsenal shirt.”

    Don’t people learn that pretty early on, I remember we were going to sign George Weah, ended up with Christopher Wreh, or at the end of every teletext match report we’d be linked with ‘Dutch Superstar’, all you had to do was a call a premium rate number, to be fair Van Basten never came, but we did end up with Overmars and Bergkamp.

    I’m not sure you can call Sports reporters genuine journalists, they seem to make up a hefty amount of what they write and are usually fed just as much by ‘sources’ with their own agenda.

    The Mourinho thing is interesting, I can just as readily imagine Mourinho wanting to leak it to the press so he has another excuse to the ones he’s been going on about all year.

  29. Southernpeople

    pedro

    top post today. Yes, we don’t need two or one super clubs we need a super competition; a perfect competition where everyone has their chance to aim high.

    Bundesliga was always boring, Spain has become much more boring and France is heading that way unless someone interferes.

    Our league is enjoyable, competition for trophies is the hardest and the mix styles of play is unique. We no longer rely on long balls and bad tackles, we have an all action passing and possession style that is pleasing to eye.

  30. TheBayingMob

    It would help if PL teams did something to help themselves. If you think of all the money that has gone through the league for the last ten years and then think that most of the top clubs are still not producing anything like decent players from their accademies then it’s scandalous that our teams are still getting our arses technically handed back to us on a regular basis. What a waste of money, all we’ve done is passed that TV and fan money (on the whole) straight onto foreign players ; while some have been worth it (Henry, Bergkamp, etc.) we’ve completely missed the chance to develop our game while learning from these exceptional players; Rooney looked second rate last night, certainly for 300k a week, a biazarre decision from the club; so much waste and to look at the national team is a national fucking embarassment on an international level …

  31. Rhys Jaggar

    Cud is what cows have regurgitated from their ginormous set of stomachs and chew on, before turning it finally into cowshit. They’re not very fussy cows and they fancy getting food out of fairly indigestible things like grass, which we humans decided was a bit of an evolutionary cul-de-sac at about the same time that we stood up and learned to run Olympian style.

    AS a result, it’s not something most humans enjoy doing, which is why the propulsive force of reversing the oesophageal contractile machinery to defy gravity usually causes expulsion out of the mandibular orifice or, in the worst cases of shit-faced alcoholic over-indulgence, through the nasal cavity as well.

    Is that clear enough Pedro?!

  32. AC Gooner

    And,

    I say yes to the winter break. Two weeks before boxing day fixtures off.

    Players can go home eat turkey, ham, fish, whatever the fuck they want, have a fag or two, with a beer or a port.

    Then we all roll around together on boxing day. The missus will like it as you were home more before the holidays and you can enjoy getting shit faced pissed on boxing day with a clear conscience.

    And an English team can win the CL again.

  33. LordLew

    Really worried now – if Wenger stays – that RVP will be back in the summer, spewing his ego-poison all round the dressing room again…

  34. Nasri's Mouth

    @Keyser

    George Weah was pretty desperate to join us wasn’t he?

    IMO there’s some truth in the Morata story though, and there’s nothing wrong with sorting out the player side of it early.

    Only thing I can see worrying people is whether he’s a first choice signing, or a back up if we can’t get our first choice.

    I haven’t seen enough of him really to judge whether he’s good enough

  35. TheBayingMob

    Nasri’s Mouth
    “I haven’t seen enough of him really to judge whether he’s good enough”

    Don’t worry Arsene won’t have bothered to looked either, as judged by his signing of Giroud, Park, Kallstrom, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. 😉

  36. TheBayingMob

    RP “RVP made his bed and criticised Arsenal in the open. There’s no way back for him.”

    Absolutely, I don’t get where these RVP coming back rumours come from, it’s utterly bizarre …

  37. Nasri's Mouth

    I agree with RP, Wenger talks about the importance of a good team spirit. He’s not going to bring back a player who’s been openly critical of his team mates.

  38. Nasri's Mouth

    @Thebayingmob

    Giroud was good value for money. We might all want a better player as our striker, but for £10m he’s been excellent.

    Kallstrom, well, doubt he’s going to cost us much at all

    Park, I’ll give you, that’s the weirdest one for me. Someone clearly gave Wenger some duff info there

  39. Paulinho

    Man United were playing far better with Welbeck up front instead of RVP. More fluid in the final third.

    Not buying RVP’s bull about them taking up his areas. He’s just a boring cripple that’s getting found out as overrated on the creative side.

  40. Emiratesstroller

    Van Persie is injury prone and in my view past his best. Let Man Utd hold onto him. It will mean less money for them to spend in transfer market particularly
    if you factor in what is being spent on Rooney as well.

    I would prefer to see an ‘unhappy’ Van Persie with them than at our club. He showed his true colours when he left us.

  41. Southernpeople

    van Persie complains and says that life is very difficult at United as his team mates are “occupying the spaces” he should be in!!

    He’s definitely alluding to Rooney getting paid the money van Persie should be getting.

  42. Romford Pele

    “Man United were playing far better with Welbeck up front instead of RVP. More fluid in the final third.”

    This is so true. Creating so many more chances around the Xmas period. Rooney and RVP looks good on paper but it’s incredibly static in reality.

  43. TheBayingMob

    I also don’t understand why the whole world has lost it’s fucking mind with this United result. City and Arsenal lost to the probably the two best club sides in Europe and paid for not topping their group, United lost away to a side who regularly get absolutely fucking canned stupid once their outside the safety zone of their some stadium and fucking mental fans. I don’t think it’s a big deal for United, they are far more likely to progress than not, IMHO …

  44. Keyser

    NM – Or Buillague wants some of what Tancredi got, just in a smarter way, Morata was linked in the summer or January or whenever it was, say we’ve agreed terms, not hard considering he’s a kid who wants regular game-time and he’s not going to ask for too much. If we agree a fee with Madrid of course which is by far the harder task.

    If we sorted our midfield, added maybe another goal threat out wide, he’d be fine, he’s like Sanogo, in that he’s big, and quick, exchange athleticism for technique though, think both are pretty raw.

    Actually wouldn’t really make sense, unless we thought he could occupy other roles.

  45. Dissenter

    Nasri’s Mouth
    “Jan Molby: “Mesut Ozil is childish, lacks confidence, leadership and mental strength…he has failed miserably”

    -Childishness; stomping off the field after the City trouncing, debatable I know.
    -Lacks confidence; against Liverpool and against Bayern (after he missed the penalty)
    -lacks Mental strength; his head dropped after he missed the penalty
    -lack of leadership; so far he’s not leading on the field. This might yet change.
    -has failed miserably? No, he hasn’t failed miserably. That’s a stretch too far for me. He should do better though. Wenger hasn’t made his job any easier too.

    I don’t know who Jan Molby is but his criticism was not entirely wrong. He just went too far in the “failed miserably” conclusion. The rest is spot on.
    Would you like to give St Ozil a pillow and a handkerchief.?
    Jan Mosby’s piece is child’s play compared to the arrows Marca would have shot him with.

  46. KJafc

    Morning Dissenter
    There has been a load of cheap shots aimed at Ozil. Almost daily. I found Sunday Supplement a perfect example of the type of lazy journalism we now have. Everyone is lumping into him, some is fair criticism absolutely but a lot is way off beam.

    I am not defending Ozil for the sake of it but when you compare the performances of players like Rooney, on £300,000 per week and see how immune they are from the same level of ‘attacks’ from journalists and pundits like Owen, you do wonder.

  47. Paulinho

    “This is so true. Creating so many more chances around the Xmas period. Rooney and RVP looks good on paper but it’s incredibly static in reality.”

    At this point Suarez and Sturridge are considerably better individually and collectively.

    RVP’s doing his Holland routine, loping around doing jack all, probably waiting for the Klaas Jan Hunterlaar equivalent to take his place.

  48. Keyser

    It’s not really Van Persie’s fault or Rooney’s, United’s problem has been their midfield for about the past 4 years, Carrick is either over-rated or being asked to do far too much.

    Welbeck’s work ethic and athleticism makes up for the lack of fluidity and creativity they haven’t got in midfield, but then he’s nowhere near as good up front as the other two.

    If you watched them yesterday they struggled to play through the midfield at all, there’s this gaping chasm between the back-four and Carrick, and Van Persie occupying the Olympiakos defence up front, Rooney’s left trying to make the connect and while he’s a good player, he’s never been ‘that’ player.

    Van Persie’s not getting any younger, as good as he was in his last year with us, he also benefitted heavily from our style and the way we set-up.

  49. Keyser

    The comparison to Liverpool is a good one, they’ve had almost non-existant pressure on their squad all year and have built up decent cohesion as a result, United have no Coutinho, not really a Henderson either, let alone Allen, and Gerrard’s still better creatively than Carrick, individually they don’t stack up, collectively they’ve worked well as a team.

  50. Romford Pele

    The CM area is nothing new regarding United. What they’ve lacked in creativity over the years, they’ve always made up in when it comes to work rate. They’re so slow and pedestrian currently.

    Liverpool press very effectively which kind of hides their deficiencies in CM. They still need to strengthen there, especially if they plan to compete on multiple fronts next season.

  51. TheBayingMob

    Keyser
    “Van Persie’s not getting any younger”
    He also looked like a judas fucking cunt badger before he got in on the grecian 2000 act …

  52. Keyser

    It’s not just creativity or work-rate, like they could add more of one of the other, it’s dysfunctional, they’ve just had enough individual talent to make it work.

    Individually, Gerrard struggles to get up and down the field like he used, but Henderson can do that, while Allen doesn’t score regularly he keeps things ticking over long enough for Gerrard to get forward, aswell as a very mobile and dangerous attack.

    If you tried to do something similar with us, you could probably piece together several midfield combinations, at United, what have they got really ? Nothing really fits in midfield, Carrick’s good, but he’s not a DM, Cleverley has talent, but he’s not a creative hub, and then there’s Fellaini ? Fletcher and Carrick don’t work.

  53. Nasri's Mouth

    Dissenter: Would you like to give St Ozil a pillow and a handkerchief.?

    Nope, but that’s irrelevant, we were talking about the media’s (over) reaction.

    Anyway, if you honestly think those headlines and the stories that went with them (and there are more, I took about a minute to find those) weren’t ‘cheap shots’ then I’m going to laugh at you.

    Haha!

    See? 😀

  54. Nasri's Mouth

    Keyser: Cleverley has talent

    Possibly, but not on a football pitch.

    Carrick is nearly 33, Fletcher doesn’t look like he’s going to be 100% after his illness, and he’s 30 now. Mata isn’t really a tackler.

    Who is going to win the ball back for them?

  55. Keyser

    Carrick’s 33 ? Woah, I’ve genuinely never bothered to check his age, he’s always been this player who had promise, who has split people’s opinion even when they’re winning.

    To be fair I think that makes it easier, you’re not trying to accomodate these players now, you’re simply looking to phase them out.

    If you added a Fernandinho/ Remieries alongside Fellaini that’s a pretty decent base, maybe a 3 man midfield.

  56. reality check

    Nasri’s Mouth

    February 26, 2014    11:56:23

    Keyser: Cleverley has talent

    NM: Possibly, but not on a football pitch.

    ——–

    I don’t always agree with much of what you say, but this is spot on.

  57. gazzap

    You can blame the England UEFA coefficient going the wrong way on Wenger never finishing on top of the CL group. He usually throws the final game and comes second which means a much harder draw in the round of 16, which we inevitably lose.
    Arsenal are probably in the top 8 teams in Europe but rarely make it to the quarters because of careless qualifying, though I do agree that the premier League fixtures are a handicap when other countries are helping their teams out.

    I don’t want a winter break. We don’t need one as long as managers are sensible about giving players the odd week off. Ferguson was always very good at rotating but Wenger only does it when forced.

  58. TitsMcgee

    “Honestly, another piece of strategic failure by Arsenal if that move goes down the toilet. He looks the part, the club clearly think he is the real deal, but we melted out when his price tag was non-negotiable. I hope this isn’t a sign for the summer. ”

    Which is why I don’t understand when the people who want to excuse Wenger’s losses to the big clubs by saying “oh well we’re miles off X club and Y club”.

    If you dither over players and try to “get deals” for everyone rather than paying what you need to pay you end up missing out on those players and more often than not they end up going to a big club(a club we’ll face either domestically or in Europe).

    Then when we play X or Y club in a tournament and get beat soundly the excuse makers say “we’re miles off of them so it was a job well done under the circumstances”.

    Well we wouldn’t be “miles off of them” if we didn’t try to screw the selling club over on the transfer fee and try to get something for nothing.

    So in short. Wenger refuses to pay market value for top players. Top players go to rival clubs instead. We lose to the rival clubs in tournaments. Wenger and AKBs get up and say “we’re miles off these guys so pat me Wenger on the back for a job well done anyway”.

    He’s cornered the market and leaving himself an out.

  59. peanuts&monkeys

    @joel, the whole of Wenger’s miserly arranged collection could not beat United in last 4 years. You gave me the taste of a Gunner beating United.

    You know what, Joel, Wenger’s Arsenal shifted the bull’s eye from United to teams like Spurs and Everton as the ‘team to beat’. Wenger has made the Arsenal fans forget that it was Utd which used to Arsenal’s Opposition # 1. You gave me this beating sensation. Thanks again Joel. God Bless.

  60. @markybetts

    The wider issue is that England have so far, totally ballsed up the second phase of the Champions League. Losing openers to Bayern, Barca and Olympiacos.

    In fairness to us and City we don’t know what would have happened without the red cards, both holding their own comfortably against European heavyweights until then.

    Man U and Spurs results were a disgrace to the Premier League though.

  61. bigper

    dont agree the league should give the top teams easy fixtures before europe. there should be no bias in the fixtures for any team, it needs to stay random to be fair to all teams.

    winter break would be good though and no sunday games before cl

  62. john jensen

    Thebayingmob

    “Judas fucking cunt badger”

    Brilliant!!!

    I have to comment about the current hysteria surrounding Sanogo. Its as if we have just unearthed the new Pele!!! He’s a young lad who’s done OK when he has come in but crucially not scored or even looked like scoring albeit a chance against BM. I hope this doesn’t disguise the fact that we need a 20 goal plus in the league goal scorer not some one who does an OK job at winning a few balls in the air and runs a bit.

  63. Nasri's Mouth

    Ok, off topic, but for all the twitterers out there, this tops it all…

    Jerry Adams is doing a twitter Q & A

    #askadams

  64. Romford Pele

    The gap isn’t as big to the European elite as is being made out. There were mitigating circumstances in the two games last week. Swansea more than held their own against Napoli. Spurs, while I don’t like to defend them, played on a pitch which isn’t sunday League worthy. United have been the only disgrace.

  65. Nasri's Mouth

    @john jensen

    People thought he was going to absolute pants / a waste of time / pointless, so when he turned out to be half way decent, it was all very exciting.

    But yeah, he’s not good enough to replace Giroud yet, and may never be

  66. Gregg

    Somehow I think the Ozil monster signing will not be repeated this summer. Wenger will revert to his old ways and land Morata, once Real recruit a new striker. We’ll add an unknown keeper, an unspectacular right back and that’ll be it.

  67. Musketeer

    @ Dissenter,

    I am only 35, you clearly must be younger than I am LOL. Jan Molby was a fat Danish central defender (well podgy) that last played for Liverpool last in the mid 90s I think.

    He scored a ridiculous amount of Penalties from a ridiculous amount of penalties won at the Kop end of L’pools ground.

  68. kjafc

    RP
    The gap isn’t as big to the European elite as is being made out. There were mitigating circumstances in the two games last week.
    ________________
    Spot on. Up until the red cards bothe games were in the balance. It is harder for EPL teams to win the CL, the game is far more competitive here and our fixtures are more intensive. Look at Man Utd, for years they had a massive financial advantage over everyone else yet their record of CL success is pretty poor,the Bayern win was a fluke. You don’t have to be the best team to win the CL and imo it is harder for an English team to win it.This doesn’t mean we have fallen behind the other leagues.

  69. tcom

    comment of the day @arseblog

    After seeing what we did for Dennis, United have gone one better by actually playing a statue of Rio Ferdinand.

  70. MarbleHall

    People have short memories Arsenal losing in last seasons final group match against Olympiacos denying us top spot was more of a disgrace than yesterday’s Man Utd debacle.

  71. Crusaderrabbit

    Am telling you now we’re in for a hell of a transfer window coming up and Wenger will screw us whether he stays or goes.

    If he signs on soon we’ll have the usually crap about how difficult it is to sign players in a WC year, how we came so close last season so we only need to add super qualideeee players (at rock bottom prices no doubt) and all the usual penny pinching and September supermarket sweeping that makes us want to chew off our own faces.

    Or the other alternative is he’ll hold off signing a new contract which will create uncertainty and no player wants to sign for a club not knowing who their manager might be, which means we’ll no doubt be facing another fiasco of a transfer window.

    The only possible positive scenario I can think of is he’s not offered a new contract and we get another manager in who’s prepared to sign the kind of players and make the changes the squad and club so desperately need. Not going to happen though is it

  72. MidwestGun

    Not sure about mitigating circumstances but I know our strike force gap vs European strike forces is embarrasing. We started Sanogo vs Bayern, it still boggles the mind. And I like Sanago.

  73. MarbleHall

    Man Utd’s 2 Champions league victorious have come by via a smash and grab after being totally outplayed by Bayern and the other as a result of a donkey slipping and misssing a penalty.

    Chelsea’s sole victory in the Champios league was the mother of all jokes and put the tournament in to disrepute.

    AC Milan throwing a 3 goal lead away is an embarrassment.

    Conclusion English clubs have been the worst teams to win the Champions league.

  74. TheBayingMob

    Gregg
    “good player Molby”

    I remember standing on the North Bank playing Liverpool (circa 91) when we chanted ‘Jan Molby is a Homos#xual’ solidly for about 20mins. Or my rose tinted retro specs tell me it was 20mins, was probably more like 18 … in any case, dems were the days … lol 😉

  75. Gregg

    TBM
    They were the days indeed. I remember giving Simon Stainrod loads of abuse in a League Cup semi-final against Villa back in late eighties. Good times in the north bank

  76. TheBayingMob

    kjafc
    “Look at Man Utd, for years they had a
    massive financial advantage over everyone
    else yet their record of CL success is pretty poor,
    the Bayern win was a fluke”

    LOL! Come on mate, did you it any point actually believe any of that when you wrote it?

    United’s CL record …

    Won 98/99, 07/08
    Runners Up 08/09, 10/11
    Semi Finalists 01/02, 06/07

    Wenger would blow Jose and swallow it all for that record!!

  77. DanC

    reality check

    ‘And round and round we go…

    W.O Since 2005’

    So let me get this straight….you wanted Wenger out a year after the invincibles and the same year we won the fa cup?

  78. jwl

    I am amazed at how bad ManU are this year after they were champions last year, what a difference fergie made. ManU have lost many games, goals against scored at last minute, they are awful, how many points was fergie worth as manager?

    If I was owner of Arsenal, I would make Wenger identify a few players he wants to buy and then have other people do the bargaining because Wenger is a skinflint managing at one of the biggest, cash rich clubs in the world. Nice to hear that Arsenal are planning ahead this year but it may all come to naught in the summer when Arsene decides it is too much money and he doesn’t want to wreck the career of nice boy diaby.

  79. zeus

    “In Spain, two super clubs… with a league in absolute tatters both ability wise or in most cases, financially. Their two best teams are winning because all the others are failing terribly.”

    Actually, its a 3 horse race in La Liga this term. Atletico are only 3 points off top and ted with Barca.

  80. Malayan Gooner

    Watching Utd horror show feels like winning a trophy. Felt sooooo good. And hoping they win at OT so that they can go on and be completely trashed again by Bayern or something.

  81. jwl

    Also, I reckon Wenger has either agreed terms for his new contract or else he’s on his way out and keeping it secret like Fergie did last year. I think Arsenal are waiting to announce terms of deal, not all Arsenal fans will be delighted with Arsene’s new contract so club were waiting for us to smash Liverpool or Bayern and then announce but that’s not how it happened and club need new strategy.

  82. kjafc

    Baying
    Yes mate, facts speak louder than words. Man Utds CL record is atrocious. This is the so called biggest club in Europe, the one which for years had a monopoly on signing the best players. All things considered, their champions league record is poor. I suspect much of that has to do with the intensity of the PL. Lets not forget they really did fluke the Bayern win, I nearly cried at the end of that game where they were outplayed for 89 minutes until the Bayern players started waving to their fans.

  83. Nasri's Mouth

    Zeus: Actually, its a 3 horse race in La Liga this term. Atletico are only 3 points off top and ted with Barca

    They’re doing really well at the moment, but they’re swimming against a really strong tide. They have huuuge debts compared to their revenue

  84. MarbleHall

    Man Utd have often been touted the richest club in the world so with all that financial clout behind them they have massively underachieved in the Champions league.

  85. kjafc

    Zeus,
    Spain is a temporary blip. RM and Barca have it all sewn up, remember they get 50% of the TV money and the rest have to fight over the remainder. AM will be selling their best players (assets) in Summer, its a shame but that’s the way it is there. Be great to see them win La Liga though.

  86. kjafc

    Marble / Dial
    How is it possible we are agreeing on something? Either I have become an idiot or you have found a brain 🙂 Either way, its kind of worrying!

  87. MarbleHall

    Intensity of the Premier league has nothing to do with not winning the Champions league when was the last time Arsenal gave Man Utd a good game.

    You are barking up the wrong tree, it’s not intensity but the lack of quality that’s behind English clubs failures in Europe.

  88. Emiratesstroller

    The main problem at Arsenal is not so much the transfer fees or wages we pay, but rather the indecisiveness by our management team.

    It is rare for clubs like Bayern,Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea or Man City to
    not secure players that they are interested in.

    Bayern manage to bring in players without overspending. Lewandowski is arriving on a Bosman. Goetze arrived previously for less than what Draxler will
    cost.

    Similarly whilst Man City may spend a lot of money in transfer market they are now spending less on individual transfers than a lot of other clubs.

    Arsenal’s real weakness is that they test the water but seldom follow through
    when they don’t like price or perhaps more worryingly when there is competition.

    Last summer we lost Higuain, because we let him go when we thought that Suarez was a better deal. The problem was that we were unwilling to blow Liverpool out of the water. A bid of £50 million + at the start of negotiations might
    have been successful.

  89. TheBayingMob

    kjafc
    “Man Utds CL record is atrocious. ”

    Are you serious? They’ve won it three times in the last 15 years, runners up twice and semi finalists twice? So in near enough 50% of the years since 1998 they’ve either been in a semi final or participated in the final itself. You have a strange view of ‘atrocious’, if Wenger had managed that you’d be all over him like a drunk stripper …

    “the one which for years had a monopoly on signing the best players”

    What? This is getting bizarre mate, it’s beyond propaganda … it doesn’t matter if they fluked the Bayern win, they did it. Bayern took their foot off and United punished them. They fluked it as much as we fluked the 1994 CWC or that 2005 FAC Final. the record books are all that matter; I suppose we fluked the 1989 title as well? It doesn’t matter, they’ve a European Cup pedigree Wenger would wh0re himself around Kings X for, simples.

  90. Nasri's Mouth

    @Emiratesstroller

    Lewandowski might not have a transfer fee, but he wont be free, massive wages, massive signing on fee, bonuses etc.

    Goetze was signed for his release fee, something that Dortmund agreed, not Bayern

    Bayern have spent somewhere between £150-200m on transfers in the last 5 years

    ManC spent over £90m in the summer, on basically 4 players.

    The reason these clubs get their targets is because they spend very large sums of cash. To pretend otherwise is rubbish.

    We could and should have spent more than we have over the last 2-3 years, but we couldn’t have kept up with the clubs you mention.

  91. kjafc

    Bayimng mpob
    Man Utd won it twice mate, not three times! Once when Bayern handed them the game and the other when John Terry fell over and missed the winning penalty. Neither time were they convincing performances. Look, you have to be relative. They were the major players financially and dominated English football, yet despite this huge advantage they had over every other team they won the CL twice. That’s not a good return. You cannot compare other teams with them unless you are going to do so like for like.

    My point is this. Despite the huge financial advantage Man Utd had they only managed two CL wins. The question is why? Is it because Fergie was not up to it? I happen to believe it is due to the intenstity of the PL and that is what makes it harder for English teams to win the CL.

    You really cannot say Man Utd have a great record in the CL. You can’t.

  92. Emiratesstroller

    Nasri’s Mouth

    We may not be able to compete with the volume of sales some of the other clubs manage to achieve, but rather like Barcelona we could have bought annually at least one top class player.

    Our bank balance is the largest by far in world football and has sat dormant over many years. The £42 million we spent on Ozil [-£11 million on sales] has not dented that balance, which is larger than those of Bayern,Real,Barcelona,
    Chelsea,Man City and Man Utd. Indeed Liverpool’s balance last year was something like £5 million so that a ‘serious’ offer rather than the ‘opportunistic’ offer we made might have secured that player. Highly unlikely they would
    have reacted the way they did if it was not so blatant.

  93. reality check

    DanC

    February 26, 2014    14:16:02

    reality check

    ‘And round and round we go…W.O Since 2005′So let me get this straight….you wanted Wenger out a year after the invincibles and the same year we won the fa cup?

    Ahh yes sir you would be correct.

  94. zeus

    MarbleHallFebruary 26, 2014 14:20:47
    I wanted Wenger out in 2000 after the Uefa Cup Final.

    *******************

    LOL. And how did you feel about the title winning side of 2002 and the invincible s 2004 side.

    Honestly, you should be ashamed to make that statement even if it was meant as a joke.

  95. SpanishDave

    Whats going to happen with Campbell this summer can he sign for uz to play in the Epl.?Or will the fa say no.
    How come in Europethey can just turn up and play?
    He can play as back up to our wc Walcott !!
    Wenger get a hold please

  96. reality check

    Heres why dan c. I truly believe this. Le Senile actually thought he could win trophies with his project youth bollocks!! Ha!

    He basically got rid of a legend (Vieira) for a potentially great (CESC)

    How that turn out. Where’s his little boy wonder now. Ha!

    Im happy for cesc, wasn’t his fault. Just got caught up in the crossfire.

    Le Senile disrespected PV. He disrespected Pires and he disrespected the legend that is bergkamp by leaving him on the bench CL final.

    Wenger out… since 2005

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/-lack-of-trophies-not-linked-to-vieira-sale-