Solid suggestion for wideman replacement?

by .

Where I sit...

Where I sit…

Arsene Wenger hit back at critics regarding the two day break he gave players in the week. I’m not sure why, probably because the insinuation has been there that he burns players out and he has been doing so most of his career, albeit with more success in the early years.

‘It’s not necessarily fatigue, I don’t see why that’s suddenly a problem. We’ve player without a break since December, we don’t have to justify that, it’s unbelievable. We are in a society where everybody wants to control everything. It is unusual? We are entitled to do unusual things.”

He went on to say that sometimes it’s a mental break. Which, of course is absolutely correct. He’s also right in saying that a 2 day break isn’t really for fatigue, you won’t find too many players recovering all their energy in that time period. I’m not quite sure what the society comment us all about, but I find i amusing that someone with such a lust for control is hitting out at people wanting to do that. Back to the subject, I think journalists have every right to question him on players like Ozil and their lack lustre efforts because there’s plenty of public data available that prove the recent Ozil / Giroud dips in form have more to do with minutes played than anything else.

… but again, a little snippet into the mind of Arsene and how he works. He’d rather focus on the intangible over the actual hard truth. He is and will always be a manager who relies more on gut. His experience trumps the what a computer tells him, in fact, what anything tells him. Substitutes, transfer, wages… whatever, he is the best man to make that call. On this subject, that’s fine as tech is merely an enabler, but there has to be a balance struck.

Anyway, it’s good that he did it. I thought it was amusing to see how quickly the players ferreted away. Mesut went back to Germany, Podolski went to see his old club, Santi was sharing pictures of a beautiful sunset in Spain and Giroud was buying up all the ‘babes, I’m sorry’ flowers he could. Looked like they all had a great time.

Good news for them on the fatigue front is that Spurs sorted themselves out with a two legged semi against Benfica. I’m pretty sure the second leg; the game before they play us, is away from home. Hopefully they’ll be chasing that trophy. Getting your legs back three days later to play Arsenal is always going to be a recipe for defeat. So that’s great news. What will Arsene do against Bayern now? Does he bring in fringe players and shoot for Spurs… or does he shoot for the legendary headline moment and go for bust?

It’s a really tough question… I’d be shooting for Spurs, but as we know, Arsene is the guy 252 yards, over water, on a windy day who takes out the three wood and goes for the pub story. The league is more important. He doesn’t have to field a weak team against Bayern, he can blood Rambo, but he can also play a squad like the one we went with at the weekend a go. We’ll see though… I’m interested to see how he takes on the final games of the year… because once we nail this next pack of hard league games, we go into a very nice run of 5 easy games… against teams who could well be on their holidays mentally. 11 points from the next 5 and the title could be ours if we continue to dominate the weak teams.

All down to the manager and how intelligently he uses his squad. We’re also lucky that Chelsea vs Gala was a draw. That could go to either way and maybe even extra time. The fixture list had been kind to us. We need to take advantage.

In other news, rumours are hot that Arsenal are working in a deal to bring Robin back to Arsenal. I’m not quite sure what to think here. He was always going to be a massive risk for United. Temperamental and a permanent injury hazard. I’ve no idea why Arsene would ever consider bringing someone back who the fans now dislike so much. I mean, he really threw Arsenal under the bus when he left…. Arsene willingly supported that act by not replacing properly. However, the Robin replacement shouldn’t be an older, less fit version of the same player. Hopefully that’s just paper talk.

I forgot to mention Konoplyanka who played for Dnipro last night. What a talented player. Power, pace with an outrageous amount of aggression and drive. He can play wide left or through the middle. He’s such a talent. If we’re looking to shift on Podolski this summer, we could do worse than look at this chap. What an absolute beast of a player.

On the subject of players, it’s sad to see the Hig doing so well. He’s landed 21 goals with 10 assists in 31 games. I wonder if Wenger has any regrets around the plug pulling on that deal? I mean, on the one had, he had the temptation of the Suarez deal which threw him… which is probably the clubs issue around the lack of due diligence… but he’d have made a difference this season.

Right, enjoy the day, the cold weather is back… hooray for February… and PAY DAY!

SPEND YOUR CASH LIKE ARSENE WASN’T LOOKING!

 

 

340 Responses to “Solid suggestion for wideman replacement?”

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  1. WengerEagle

    Gregg

    I’d be down with that summer barring the RVP part, as Romford has already said he’s in his 30’s, is injury-prone and on over £200 k a week. Wouldn’t be good for morale either.

    Witsel is a very interesting player, I remember when we were linked to him years ago just before he signed for Benfica and he was a very good player then. Since that summer he has come on leaps and bounds and has developed into a top class CM. Only thing is he’s a B2B midfeilder and we already have Ramsey, Jack and Ox who according to Wenger have futures in that very position so where would he play?

  2. Gregg

    Also Romford

    I watched a programme on Belgium’s mini revival and in a nutshell, like Germany have done, the league all agreed to follow a framework designed to encourage attacking football etc about 10/15 years ago. Looks like it paid dividends for them

  3. Aaron Lemon

    If Dortmund sell Reus this summer their would be anarchy.

    Unless they fail to reach CL football – something that is actually looming over them at the moment (I think?).

  4. Aaron Lemon

    Yeah, so Dortmund are 3 points (1 game) away from finishing 5th, as their league stands at the moment.

    If they get CL/CL quals (finishing 4th or higher) then Reus will stay. Only if finishing 5th could I imagine them selling.

  5. Romford Pele

    “I watched a programme on Belgium’s mini revival and in a nutshell, like Germany have done, the league all agreed to follow a framework designed to encourage attacking football etc about 10/15 years ago. Looks like it paid dividends for them”

    Need to be trying to replicate something like that in this country – can’t see it though!

  6. Bergkamplegend

    “I honestly don’t think Dortmund are going to entertain selling him this summer.”

    And they already lost Lewandowski…

  7. Gregg

    Wenger eagle.

    I’ve kept tabs on Witsel for years, what a player. The guy could play anywhere mate. Interestingly he’s now sitting deeper for Belgium. He’s a Vieira, a Yaya, this kid can take a game by the scruff of the neck and drive you forward like they did/do.

  8. Romford Pele

    Always been a fan of Witsel – he’s another self-confessed Gooner. But yeah i’d prefer someone a bit more defensively-inclined than him. I remember him saying a few years ago that he thought he was easily good enough to get into the Arsenal first team. Wenger obviously knew about him; chose not to follow it up.

  9. Aaron Lemon

    @Wenger Eagle

    That’s not true in the slightest. The clause you are referring to is either Termination Clause or a Buy-Out clause and that is the only clause that a club cannot refuse.

    A simple ‘Release Clause’ is just where a club essentially puts a rough value of their own on a player in an attempt to deter hostile bids. That’s it. Release clauses mean nothing.

    Don’t get confused by the real meaning of Release Clause and the way the MEDIA uses the term ‘release clause’. Two very different things.

  10. Nasri's Mouth

    @WengerEagle

    Clause is only applicable in 2015, so they could name their price this summer, if they wanted to sell him, but after losing Gotze and then Lewandowski, I can’t see them wanting to sell any of the 1st team this summer.
    Crazy

  11. jwl

    I don’t believe the rvp stories, surely he has burnt his bridges at Arsenal, at least with the fans. Wenger does not sign players over 30 and give them deluxe contracts, I would be really surprised if rvp comes back, but Wenger is contrarian so who knows.

    I had forgotten what it is like to be challenging for the title. I am starting to feel anxiety for this weekend’s match already, have not felt like this in years. Arsenal aiming for fourth for so long, forgot what its like to aim for first.

  12. Gregg

    Romford / Wenger eagle

    If he said that years ago then he was right. However as much as I like him, as Wenger Eagle has pointed out, there is an abundance of midfield players and whilst they’re not naturally defensive minded, Wenger will not be able to resist in trying to re-invent one of them into playing a deeper position.

  13. WengerEagle

    In South America the Colombia National Team are having a similar talent explosion to Belgium. They boast the likes of Falcao, James Rodriguez, Jackson Martinez, Cuadrado,Guarin, Muriel, Ibarbo, Quintero, Adrian Ramos and Zuniga.

    I expect them to do very well in the World Cup this summer especially as it’s on South American soil, they are my dark horses for a run to the semi-finals

  14. DanC

    Eagle

    Be well up for the Vertonghan for Verm replacement. Verm want minutes and it’l be elsewhere whereas Vertonghan want CL which the deluded thick fuck could of been playing with us.

    He’d be ideal good cover at LB, CB and DM. The new Petit just like Arsene predicted…

  15. Romford Pele

    “After the way Vertonghen went down last night I’m not sure I want him in our side.”

    Let’s not try take the moral high ground mate. Our players aren’t angels. The dude is a serious baller and as has been mentioned, is versatile. I’d love him.

    That said, it’s a non-starter. Spurs would riot if Levy sold him to us.

  16. Romford Pele

    “Wenger will not be able to resist in trying to re-invent one of them into playing a deeper position.”

    My gut instinct is Wilshere here, may be wrong though.

  17. Aaron Lemon

    @Wenger Eagle

    To elaborate, the ‘Release Clause’ in Hulk’s contract is £70m. realistically clubs could probably sign him for closer to £30m but it’s just Zenit’s way of saying ‘don’t even bother bidding for our player’.

    Diego Costa has a Buy-Out of £32m (or whatever). This means if HE goes to Athletico Madrid and buys HIMSELF out of his contract, he can leave and they can’t do shit. The issue here is ‘where’ these players get the money from. If AFC wanted him, we’d have to put up the cash. But the Spanish FA sees it as income so we would also have to cover taxes. So to give Costa enough money for him to buy himself out, we’d likely have to pay him/his company more like £38m to cover taxes. THEN his club has the right to argue tapping up – because how did we get information on his contract? So behind the scenes a legal case would probably rage for 2-3 years if we signed him. Process: Money from buying club> player> parent club> player moves.

    I think Fernado Torres’ contract had a £50m termination clause. This can be activated by another club – ie. another buyer can offer this sum of money and it cannot be rejected. It’s different to the player having to buy himself out. Money from buying club> parent club > player moves.

  18. N5

    Romford Pele But didn’t he willingly choose the Spuds over us? so baller or not, he’s a diving shitbag! when our guys do it they were fouled!!!

  19. tunnygriffboy

    RP

    Where does Michy play?

    DanC

    Vertonhen would be great for us. Very versatile. Would they sell ?

    jwl

    Agree with nerves tomorrow. Could put pressure on City if we win. I’ll be a wreck tomorrow morning ! ! !

  20. Romford Pele

    N5,

    Lol N5, he did choose Spurs, that worked out well didn’t it! But in all seriousness, he chose them because Wenger wanted to use him as a DM whereas he saw himself as a CB and thought he’d get more chances there due to us already having TV5, Kos and Mert.

  21. WengerEagle

    Aaron Lemon

    Even without any clauses surely Reus is looking around the crumbling castle that is Dortmund atm and thinking to himself a move would be his best career option. Bayern will win the next 5 Bundesliga titles with the foundations they have spent the last few years perfecting. Dortmund also won’t win the UCL in Reus’ career IMO, if they were going to win it they would have won it last year when they were in their best shape. So his only realistic chance of a trophy in the next few years will be the German Cup.

    I’d say he would be extremely tempted if we came knocking and Dortmund would be reluctant to turn down an offer over £30 million if they finish outside the top 4

  22. Romford Pele

    “Where does Michy play?”

    He’s a striker mate. Like his style. Doubt we’ll end up with him though. By Wenger choosing Sanogo, he’s already shown his hand IMO. He won’t buy someone of similar age. It’s probably why Akpom’s Arsenal career is over before it’s even started.

  23. Aaron Lemon

    Not sure what the problem is with taking the moral high ground in the slightest.

    I don;t want dirty players at our club, end of story.

    I hate cheating players. It tarnishes the game and Arsenal is a proud instition that prides itself on winning games by playing better football not buy any means fucking necessary like Barcelona.

    I have to wonder what it is about the club you support if you aren’t prepared to consider the moral high ground with regards to play-acting like Luiz, Nani, and last night, Vertonghen.

    It’s disgusting. And I would be fucking ashamed and embarrassed if we ever won a game due solely to a disgusting act of cheating such as Vertonghen’s last night.

    Moral high ground all the way. When it comes to the winning matches I’m a purist. I like us to win 11 v 11, not 11 v 10, and I like us to win because we were the better team or dug deeper, not because we fucking cheated.

  24. Nasri's Mouth

    @RP

    I’m not saying our players are angels. But I was thinking last night about it, and trying to put an Arsenal shirt on him. And for while till the memory faded I’d struggle to have any respect or liking for him, and I just don’t want that in my team. It makes me cringe and would spoil my enjoyment of watching the game.

    I want to be able to look at each Arsenal player and think “yep, I’d be happy to go for a drink with that bloke” and I don’t with him, whatever shirt he’s wearing

    And its not the first time for him either.

  25. Romford Pele

    Fair enough NM, but I couldn’t really care less as long as you put your all in for the shirt. Have had my fingers burnt by our own to worry too much about players’ personalities now.

  26. Aaron Lemon

    @Wenger Eagle

    I can’t speak for Reus mate but from where I’m sitting nothing’s crumbling. They’re rebuilding. They lost their two best midfielders and now Lewa has been an utter fuck and not even allowed them to sell by signing an extension. They signed some superb players this season but one thing most people aren’t taking into account is they have been absolutely ravaged by injury on top of all those changes.

    They’ve had to throw in youth players or fringe players for massive games and constantly jig their formation or line up. They’ve had what we had last season and the season before. I don’t think they’ve played one game with their full strength defence this season.

    So they are sitting top 4 having weathered all of the above and they should be absolutely proud of that. They still have the world at their feet and IMO if Dortmund finish in CL spots, any player is an absolute fool to leave unless quite simply Barca, PSG, Real Madrid, Juve, City, Chelsea or Arsenal comes in for them.

  27. WengerEagle

    Gregg

    Agree, Witsel is a midfield monster, literally a steam train like Yaya. He could be as good as Yaya is now in a couple of years time, his all round game is improving all the time. His height would be fantastic for our midfield as well, would go a long way to balancing us out. I’d personally sell Wilshere to get him in but I’m sure 90% of Arsenal fans would burn me at the stake for saying such a thing

  28. Nasri's Mouth

    WengerEagle: I’d say he would be extremely tempted if we came knocking and Dortmund would be reluctant to turn down an offer over £30 million if they finish outside the top 4

    Why though? They never sold Lewandowski (even gave him a much bigger salary) in his final year so they lost him for nothing. They can keep Reus next season then sell him for his release clause then if they want to, but they don’t need the money, and getting rid of your best players when you need to get back into the top 4 isn’t sensible is it?

    Unless the player really kicks off, and I’m sure I’ve read that he’s pretty loyal, they have zero reason to sell.

  29. Aaron Lemon

    Ps.

    @RP I agree with your sentiments about players putting in their all. That’s why I would sign Suarez! Because he more than makes up for his lapses. But I don’t see him as a massive cheat. There is a big difference between making an absolutely split-second decision to stick your hand out, and standing there thinking ‘hmmm, what can I do to change this game right now? I know, I’m going to run into a player, push him out the way, go down holding my face and hope he gets sent off.’ I mean, that player deserved to play the whole game. A deliberate handball is bad, but it’s not as bad as intentionally and unfairly trying to get someone sent off. That poor guy last night deserved to rep his club until the end of the game. It’s not just the result that’s affected, Vertonghen ruined that man’s Europa League experience.

  30. Evan

    “I’d personally sell Wilshere to get him in but I’m sure 90% of Arsenal fans would burn me at the stake for saying such a thing”

    I wouldn’t burn you lol, I think that Jack is under performing and doesn’t deserve his starting place. I wouldn’t sell though, cos he may do a Rambo and come good, fingers crossed!!

    Yes to Witsel

  31. Nasri's Mouth

    @Bergkamplegend

    Given that I’ve had some road rage with someone who took my space in a car park this morning, I don’t think I’m quite far along my recovery path to attempt that quite yet

  32. WengerEagle

    Aaron Lemon

    Disagree mate, their squad is paper thin and while they have signed two quality players in Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan,they have lost Gotze and will lose Lewandowski, two undoubtedly world class players.

    They won’t be able to replace Lewandowski simply because their are very few if any world class strikers they could afford to buy. Gundogan looks to be on his way out as well and he’s their best midfielder. He’ll go to United, Madrid or PSG IMO.

    I can see Barca going in for Hummels in the summer too.

    These are players Dortmund simply can’t afford to replace with their budget.

    Haven’t they signed a pre-summer contact with some rubbish striker for £3 million too?

  33. MidwestGun

    For me, what Vertonghen did isn’t so much a matter of bad morals or personality, its disrespecting the game, the way he makes a living. Why bother to play a game you clearly dont respect by blatantly cheating?

    Sorry,but I dont want to support a team either full of players who care little about sportsmanship and the rules. I guess im not a win at all costs person. There is something to be said for self respect.
    End sermon.

  34. WengerEagle

    Nasri’s Mouth

    Reus strikes me as the ambitious type who won’t be happy to play his prime years in a team that is aiming for top 4 finishes. Bayern are simply too strong to compete with, Klopp’s said as much himself.

    He hasn’t kicked up a fuss yet, but he will grow impatient having been so close to winning the UCL last season.

    Just my two cents.

  35. Bacaryisgod

    Rosicky

    You’re using Ozil’s stats in a misleading way. First, you have to look at total games played, not just Premier League games. Also, you would need to add his minutes for RM before he joined. Gerrard has no European minutes.

  36. Nasri's Mouth

    @WengerEagle

    Firstly, I think you’re projecting onto him something that you have no real evidence of. He says he wants to stay with Dortmund and wants to stay

    Secondly, Dortmund are probably the 2nd best team in their league, and we’re the 3rd in our league. Now I’d argue that the gap between us in 3rd and winning is smaller than the gap between 2nd in the Bundesliga and 1st, but trying to sell him a move to us isn’t going to be easy.

    Thirdly Dortmund can effectively say no unless he does a RvP.

  37. Cesc Appeal

    The set up and starting eleven is the most important thing for Stoke – Wenger has to get that right!

    Hopefully we’ll have Gibbs and Koscielny available, otherwise I really don’t like the look of it, having to shift around the defence against that lot. You know they’ll do everything in their power to unsettle and already unsettled back line.

  38. Bergkamplegend

    Jeff : “Mark Lawrenson reckons we’re going to draw 1:1 and Tim Key things we’ll lose 1:0. ”
    The fact is that we don’t deserve the title if we don’t win out there.

  39. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc

    Koscielny trained so he’s definitely fit.

    Gibbs didn’t so it’ll be a late fitness test I guess.

    I still think without a midweek game we’ll have too much for them

  40. Aaron Lemon

    @Wenger Eagle

    Well a few things there. Firstly as always Dortmund will bring some players through and Hoffman is an example of that. He basically kickstarted their season off the bench. Secondly, Miki replaced Goetze and he is an outstanding player. Should have scored on both games against us. He has responded to the pressure of his big money move and next season he will likely improve. Just as we all said wait til this season to judge Giroud etc, they will do the same for Miki as Goetze’s replacement.

    As for the striker situation yes they signed Don Wong Ji or whatever his name is but he isn’t their main ST. They will be looking for a replacement for Lewa and will have the funds to go out and buy someone substantial.

    As for Gundogan sure they’ll move him on but he’s been absent all season anyway. Sahin came in again and has done extremely well and will likely replace him in a deal that brings him back to the club in exchange for Gundogan and cash, should Madrid decide they do need Gundogan.

    They have one or two other promising players on loan, and if they keep Reus, keep Piszczek fit and sign a striker they pretty well good to go. The players they do need, I have no doubts Klopp will source them and sign them very effectively. Reus really has nothing to leave for save for a pay rise and maybe depending on Dortmund’s CL position. He has it good at Dortmund.

  41. Aaron Lemon

    Another point about Dortmund is they knew they’d lose Lewa so they did what we did in a way and that’s bring in goals across the front 3.

    We lost RVP and already had goals in Theo but we brought in Santi, Giroud and Poldi after losing Song, Nasri and RVP.

    Dortmund lost Goetze, Shinji and will lose Lewa. They’ve brought in Mkhitaryan (10 goals and 8 assists in 34 from midfield), Aubameyang (joint 2nd top scorer in Bundesliga!) so their only big signing needed in the summer is a ST.

  42. Cesc Appeal

    NM

    Hmm, maybe.

    Do you not worry though with a makeshift defence, you know they’ll target set pieces and counters then, hit us hard, use dirty tricks.

    We’re their cup final every year, they love it.

    I’d even be tempted to leave Cazorla on the bench from the start, Wilshere and Flamini in the middle, Podolski, Rosicky and Oxlade behind Giroud.

  43. Romford Pele

    “Wilshere and Flamini in the middle, Podolski, Rosicky and Oxlade behind Giroud.”

    I hope we go with this. Expect Ozil and Santi to start though.

  44. Thomas

    salparadisenyc February 28, 2014 10:03:16

    I don’t see Van Persie coming back, not even for a visit. Non starter imo.

    ______
    Not starting over Giroud and Sanogo? lol joker.

  45. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    Yeah I agree, I think he’ll start both Ozil and Cazorla – or at the very least one of them.

    But this is where a manager should assess the opposition and utilize is playing staff.

    Flamini, Wilshere, Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade and Giroud ALL enjoy the physical side of the league, even Rosicky doesn’t mind getting stuck in and is a veteran of the Premier League.

    Cazorla and Ozil are neither veterans of the league nor do they enjoy the rough and tumble side of the game – Stoke’s Uruk-hai will target the pair with rough challenges, Ozil especially won’t be a fan of having a ‘mark’ left on him.

  46. Bacaryisgod

    RVP would be a starter, Thomas, but Sal is pointing out that there’s zero chance he’ll return. His age, the transfer fee, his wages, the burnt bridges with fans, players and management…..

    I would rather we focus our transfer efforts elsewhere. A little poem to express my feelings

    RVP by BacaryisGod

    RVP
    Is dead to me

    The End

  47. Romford Pele

    Yeah Cesc it wouldn’t surprise me. Even physicality apart, why not change it up? Keep them guessing? Rosicky for me is great, five years younger, without the injury problems and he’d start every game for me. Ozil and Wilshere were both talking about how they think he’s one of the best midfielders in the league, despite his age.

    It’s actually not even funny how much better we play when Rosicky is in the side – our energy levels rise like 20%. Love his pressing and it’s infectious around the rest of the team on the day. Does the tippy-tappy stuff but also knows how to change the pace of the game, either through running with it or a quick incisive pass round the corner. I remember Reus saying that Rosicky is his idol too and had he not had those injuries, he would’ve been one of the best in the world.

  48. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    Well Fabregas said after he moved to Barcelona that Rosicky is the best technical player he’s ever seen.

    I think you’d be hard pressed to find an Arsenal fan who dislikes Tomas.

    But that be my team, stronger, more physical.

    And when the Uruk’s have slowed down a bit you can bring on Cazorla/Ozil to control the match and pick them apart.

  49. Romford Pele

    RVP is just a p**** to me,
    Wouldn’t want him back even if it was for free,
    So don’t talk to me about this garden pea,
    ‘Cos he ain’t coming back, that’s a guarantee!

    Lyrical genius – buy my CD, out on iTunes, March 10th!

  50. Rohan

    People need to calm down over Higuain.

    Higuain, 24 Lge Apps, 13 goals, 7 assists
    Giroud 25 Lge Apps, 12 goals, 7 assists.

    I sincerely doubt we’d be much better off if we had Higuain instead of Giroud. To take us to the next level, we need someone of a higher calibre imo.

  51. Invincibles

    We’ve only beaten them once in last 6 games at their ground. Be bloody tough that’s for sure. Can see us coming unstuck here. I’d prefer sanogo to giroud as he seems tougher than fairy boy giroud.

  52. Romford Pele

    Loooool Bacary, Midwest – sorry for the appalling rhymes. This is what happens when your best friends are infatuated and surround you with constant rap music! Don’t think i’ll be a Drake or Kendrick Lamar anytime soon mind you.

  53. Bacaryisgod

    As for Vertonghen, the reason he didn’t come to us is that he wanted to play CB and didn’t want to sit behind Mert and Koz. He said Arsene tried to talk him into joining as a DM. Thankfully he turned us down which probably opened the door for Flam’s return. For me, Vertonghen would be the ideal signing as he is a multi-positional player. Spurs will never sell to us though.

    It’s a real shame we didn’t take a chance with Bacary in his broken leg season and renew his deal then. We have the joint second best back four in the league and he’s a big part of it. I understand the club’s actions and his needs for his last major contract but it’s a shame if he leaves us. Let’s hope he goes abroad.

  54. Bacaryisgod

    Divers…to be fair, every team has a couple of divers or drama queens but there’s a difference between diving and deliberately pretending to have been head butted to get an opponent sent off. That’s even lower than diving.

  55. AbdulDT

    “It’s a real shame we didn’t take a chance with Bacary in his broken leg season and renew his deal then. We have the joint second best back four in the league and he’s a big part of it. I understand the club’s actions and his needs for his last major contract but it’s a shame if he leaves us. Let’s hope he goes abroad”

    Are you for real? Extend his contract when he had a broken leg?

  56. MidwestGun

    B.i.g. –
    Agree, someone brought up Joel Campbell did similar against U.S. in qualifier. He didn’t jump into a player with the clear intention of getting the guy thrown out, tho.
    That said, I would feel the same way about any Arsenal player if they would have done the same. You dont have to be a saint but that was pathetic.

  57. AbdulDT

    I think sagna’s best years are behind him. That said, he can still give us another season of his typical energetic performances. CJ can then take over.. I actually think given a run of games he is capable of improving his technique which is his problem. Athletically he is magnificent

  58. Dan Ahern

    Van Persie makes so little sense. It’s tantamount to a double-fuckup. One, you sold him at his peak to a direct rival and handed them the league. Two, you take him back after his form dipped again and he’ll be 31 when the season starts.

    And that’s leaving aside all the bad blood and negative fan response.

    This one smells like a 1000% paper rumour, created purely because it’s divisive.

  59. JJ

    Wenger is like the crazy gambler that always bets on the long shot but never takes the obvious option.

    Going for broke in CL every year when we don’t have a hope. Betting on Diaby to be fit. Relying on a tiny squad. Giroud. Kallstrom. Park. Silvestre. Denilson.

    Obvious options he ignored – 10m more for Suarez. Draxler. Playing AA in his best position. Rotating the squad. Not selling RvP to Utd. Hazard.

    Both lists are never ending. I could be here for hours…

  60. Carts

    Morata, Sanogo & Giroud as our forward option, and Pedro actually thought this made sense instead of ‘spunking’ £40m on likes of Costa etc???

    Fuck me, we are a fickle are lot aren’t we?! £120m in the bank and counting yet some are still entertaining fact of buying just Morata. Honestly, I’m writing all the names down of who favours this bollocks. This time next year, if I read any moaning about having an inadequate front line to challenge in the EPL and CL, I’ll be calling certain people out.

  61. Carts

    The likes of Costa et al are not simply top marksmen, they strike fear into defenders. They let them know that they’re here for a scuff.

    Morata should be accompanying a Costa-like figure into Arsenal. Just seems as though Wenger’s infatuation with youngsters, at times, is mind boggling.

  62. Cesc Appeal

    The only way buying a striker like Morata will work is if we then spend on a real threat from the wide slot, like Reus.

  63. Dan Ahern

    CA — I’d endorse that route. Think about Oezil’s options if he has Rues, Morata, and Theo running about. That’s enough technique and pace to frighten any team.

  64. N5

    Midwest regarding holding people accountable, I wish someone did do that, the amount of people slagging off Higuain in the summer saying he isn’t good enough for Arsenal are some of the same people saying they can’t believe we didn’t sign him now! it’s laughable at times. I would love to go over the list of people that said Benzima is a slightly better Giroud as is Dzeko, or people who said Draxler is garbage or Vela is AS good as any forward Arsenal have ever had. The list of silly comments would be well worth revisiting each summer for a giggle.

  65. MidwestGun

    I want us to win the title, reinforce in the summer with Costa/ Ballotelli or Reus and Morata. Then the other teams in the league will be like damn they won the title with Giroud/ Sanogo. Now what.

    No I haven’t started drinking yet.

  66. luke

    We have been blessed with scheduling this month:

    -On Sunday 3/16 we play Spuds away having played Tue 3/11 at Bayern. Spurs play Benefica Thursday 3/13 giving them two days rest before playing us, whilst we have 4 days rest.

    -On Saturday 3/22 we go to Stamford Bridge having 5 days rest after playing Spurs. CFC will have gone to Villa on 3/15 and then take on Gala at home on Tue 3/15 before welcoming us giving them only 3 days rest before playing us.

    -We play Man Shitty Sat 3/29 having had a whole week off since playing chelsea. Manchester City though, will have had to go to Old Trafford on tue 3/25 giving them only 3 days rest. Not to mention that they will have played 6 games in March before meeting us, while we will have only played 5.

    COYG

  67. Nasri's Mouth

    The difference between people’s opinion of Moyes as a manager and Roberto Martinez as a manager seems to be huge.

    But look at the quality of these 2 sides.

    Howard
    Coleman Jagielka Distin Baines
    McCarthy Barry Barkley
    Mirallas Lukalu Pienaar

    or
    De Gea
    Smalling Ferdinand Vidic Evra
    Cleverley Carrick
    Valencia Rooney Young
    RvP

    Not too much in it really, and yet they both have the same number of points in the league, and ManU have had to contend with CL football too.

    Is Martinez all that? Or is the criticism of Moyes OTT?

  68. MidwestGun

    N5 –

    Ya, I hear you, but slippery slope. There are a remarkable ammount of self proclaimed clairvoyants here.
    If you throw enough at the wall maybe something will stick, I guess.

  69. Nasri's Mouth

    @N5

    I was one guilty of not rating Benzema that highly. But in my defence, he’s a different player to last season

  70. Dan Ahern

    Midwest

    1. Man, Balo + Morata would be some great striker business. Add a LW and we’re in business in a major way. Have you watched Konoplyanka (sp?)? I only saw him a bit vs. Spurs but he looks a player.

    2. Assuming you’re in the Midwest, I don’t see why you haven’t started drinking yet. It’s almost noon for chrissakes.

  71. MidwestGun

    Dan A.

    Noon in 5 mins. Lol.
    Ya I saw Konoplyanka yesterday. Can’t pronounce his name. But damn he can dribble. Was going around 2, 3 players at a time. Took a mean free kick., too. Actually, reminded me a little of Jack before the injury. But first time ive seen him and it was Spuds.

  72. Cesc Appeal

    NM

    I think both men are Everton level they occasionally threaten to do somehting special or look on the cusp of being great, but fade away.

    I actually feel a little sorry for Moyes, he’s totally out of his depth, drowning.

  73. Nasri's Mouth

    @N5

    I hadn’t really thought about it at all, until someone on the radio mentioned that ManU were ahead of Everton in the league.

    I haven’t checked, but what would be scary is the relevant cost of each squad, and of course the wage difference

  74. Jeff

    Bergkamplegend,

    We certainly don’t deserve it if we can’t beat Stoke at this late stage but I know that most people (at least privately) do not give us any chance at all and there is a very good reason for that. We have been letting ourselves down consistently and assuredly for the last 8/9 years. We have a reputation for losing crunch matches.

    The thing that our manager most talks about (mental strength) seems to me to be the thing that we have the least.

  75. J goon

    Konoplyanka could be our new rosicky but sadly looks like a great signing for liverpool. Him, suarez, coutinho, sturridge, sterling – pace, one on one dribbling, finishing and skill the variation needed for forwards in our 4-3-3, instead of relying on d hold up play of one striker.

  76. TitsMcgee

    On the subject of players, it’s sad to see the Hig doing so well. He’s landed 21 goals with 10 assists in 31 games. ”

    …but he can’t score in Champions League……..oh wait.

    On the subject of players, it’s sad to see the Hig doing so well. He’s landed 21 goals with 10 assists in 31 games. I wonder if Wenger has any regrets around the plug pulling on that deal?

    “I wonder if Wenger has any regrets around the plug pulling on that deal?”

    Secretly yes, publicly no but knowing him you know he probably thinks it was just because Higuain was “overpriced” in his mind. He probably thinks we appreciate him for not spending the clubs money.

  77. TitsMcgee

    People need to calm down over Higuain.Higuain, 24 Lge Apps, 13 goals, 7 assists
    Giroud 25 Lge Apps, 12 goals, 7 assists.”

    Giroud isn’t even in the same class as Higuain.

    Wenger missed on Higuain. End of.

  78. Cesc Appeal

    Tits

    I really agree with that.

    I doubt in his mind he ever thinks on a situation like Higuain, Suarez, Hazard, Mata etc as a mistake.

  79. TitsMcgee

    Argentina: 35 apps 21 goals
    Madrid: 190 apps 107 goals
    Napoli : 35 apps 20 goals 10 assists (League: 24 apps, 13 goals, 7 assists).

    Not to mention he’s a better finisher and believe it or not pacier. Scores from half-chances and has much better control than Handsome Olivier.

    He trumps him in just about any/every category except that he’s not French(oh wait he actually was born in France) lol

  80. tunnygriffboy

    Carts

    I will gladly take Morata as he has loads of potential, is big and quick IF

    We buy a top class DM

    We buy a quick skillful left sided player eg. Draxler, Di Maria, Griezeman, Reus Konoplyanka, Pedro etc so we have pace either side of him with Walcott.

    Problem is Wenger will stick with Santi, Poldi and Gnabry.

  81. Norfolk

    MarbleHallFebruary 28, 2014 18:57:06
    £65m for Suarez would have been a better deal for Arsenal than the £42m paid for Ozil.”

    I agree.
    We are desperate for a C striker.
    Forget the last window this should have been addressed last summer.

  82. Cesc Appeal

    Norfolk

    Precisely, everyone holds up the ‘name a WC striker available in January card as a defence.’

    Wenger has had 17 months to find better than Giroud, Bendtner and Sanogo – he hasn’t.

  83. Jake

    Priorities this summer in order should be:
    A centreback
    A striker
    A second centreback if Vermaelen leaves
    Two backup goalkeepers
    A right back
    A defensive midfielder
    Another striker
    A winger if Podolski leaves
    A left back if Monreal leaves

  84. Carts

    Tunnygriffboy

    “I will gladly take Morata as he has loads of POTENTIAL, is big and quick IF”

    Potential alone isn’t good enough, IMO. We’ve been messed around for way too long now to scoop up JUST a Morata. We should be buying a top name ALONGSIDE Morata.

    He still only like 21 ffs. Why the pressure? Frankly Giroud doesn’t even have anything in his locker that he can pass onto Morata. If we’d kept hold of RVP, then you’d have more of a balance. Top class experience > talented prospect.

    Lost complete faith in Wenger & Co ability to attract right players to Arsenal

  85. MidwestGun

    Kwik –
    Have you heard anything else bout our LB injury situation? Somebody said Gibbs is a game time. Before I decide on what our starting lineup should be, I need to know. Because you know Wenger reads Le Grove. Lol.

  86. tunnygriffboy

    Carts

    Agree that Morata could do with WC centre forward to work with. However we will not bring in another striker as we have Giroud and Sanogo. Also Morata probably desperate to play after having splinters in his arse all season. As I said I will take Morata if we get a quality pacy leftsided player and a world class DM.

  87. kwik fit

    Midwest

    Sorry popped out there for a bit of how’s your father.
    Apparently, Gibbs and Monreal didn’t train today despite rumours that at least one would be fit. So Verminator is a shoe in at left back tomorrow.

  88. Hitman

    Morata, Konoplyanka, Vertongen, Pogba, Coleman. And Theo’s like a new signing.

    That’s how to win a title.

    AW unlikely go all out for superstar striker, so OG, Morata, Sanogo, Theo, Pod upfront next season.

  89. kwik fit

    northern gooner

    The reason why Stoke feels so cool is because they have the four corners of their ground open. Hence the wind makes it feels like brass monkeys.
    Don’t suppose you have a couple of spares for the NLD two weeks hence. I’d pay top dollar 😉

  90. zeus

    kwik fitFebruary 28, 2014 21:12:47
    Arsenal haven’t beat Stoke since that fateful match back in 2010. Come on guys we need to be really up for this .

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

    Which all the more puts Pedro silly assertion that we go there with a somewhat weakened team in a post a couple days ago all the more foolish.

    These guys hate us. They will play this like a world cup final.

  91. kwik fit

    Too right zeus. The Stoke game sets the tone for a very difficult March. We must play our best team and be really up for it from first whistle to last. Hear that Wenger? None of your usual sloppy team talks.

  92. MidwestGun

    Ok here is what I got, keeping in mind it looks like AW is going to start Ozil and I probably wouldnt.
    Sczezny
    Sagna. Mert. Kos. Verm
    Arteta. Wilshere
    Ox Ozil. Santi.
    Giroud
    Flamini on bench to start in case of back line injury.

  93. MidwestGun

    kwik –
    Ya that would be my preference to start Rosicky for Ozil. Dont think we need him, but he will have something to prove.
    Also, worried if we start Flamini he will get a yellow or get injured early, would be nice to have insurance for back line.
    Plus, I think we can be more attacking against Stoke, not so much worried about Cdm. Like Artetas passing abilities over Flamini.

  94. kwik fit

    Verm wouldn’t provide any width, so we may need Pod on the left . Just think we need a bit of bite in the middle. Controlled aggression is what we need from Flamini.
    Arteta works better at home.

  95. MidwestGun

    Also, if there was any game to have a speedy left winger this would be it. Pretty familar with Geoff Cameron since he plays for U.S.A. He is more of a CB playing RB . Plays CB For USAor Cdm. Decent defender but slow to track back and can be beat with quickness. Prone to fouling. Imagine that, playing for Stoke. This game would be perfect for Gibbs, or Monreal. Just our luck.

  96. kwik fit

    Yeah Midwest , as long as he doesn’t do any crazy two footed tackles. We expect those from the Skoke boys. Lets hope the ref is strong and nips aggressive tackling early.

  97. northern gooner

    Kwik

    Sorry for the late response had to put my phone down for the blacklist.
    I wish I did have a ticket for the NLD for myself.
    Since having a baba and living up north i only get to the games up ere.