My FA Cup Hell

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Today’s blog post has been penned by Jonathan Blaustein, a Grover from overseas! Pretty serious story about tech. Enjoy!

It’s Monday morning, May 19th, and I still don’t know who won the FA Cup. Come again? That doesn’t make any sense. Not after I bragged to much of the known world that I’m the new American Arsenal superfan.

What happened?

I guess the appropriate question here is, have you ever heard of a jinx? Or is that a mostly-American term? It means a hex or curse, and that’s what I gave myself in my very first Le Grove blog post. Yes sir.

I had to blab about how I’d seen every televised Arsenal game in 3 years. Oh look at me. I own a DVR. I get to snatch pixels of polished football prowess out of the ether, ensnare them on a hard drive, and access them when and how I like. (It’s so 21st Century I’m afraid a big LOLCat will fall out of the sky and crush me where I sit.)

For me, it’s little more than Reality Television. My, is that Aaron Ramsey handsome. I wonder if he’s going to fight with Jack next year, when they battle for first choice box-to-box? Or maybe young Alex will surprise them both and steal the job when they’re not looking?

According to Pedro, it’s all about the match day experience. Drinking beer with your buddies. Singing along at the top of your lungs. Waiting years for something great to happen. Earning your joy through long years of suffering.

That’s where the jinx came in. I hadn’t earned my stripes. Sure, I used to go to Brooklyn Nets games as a kid, back when they played in the swamps of (New) Jersey. We had season tickets, and I’d go all the time, despite the fact that the team was only marginally better than a random collection of 7th Graders.

And then there was the time my Dad, brother and I flew all the way to California to see the New York Giants, who play the other kind of football, in the Superbowl XXI. That my old man forgot the tickets back home, and we had to talk our way into the world’s biggest sporting event, made the story that much sweeter. The Giants victory that much greater.

Typically, fandom is about picking your local team when you’re a kid and sticking with them. Sports breed loyalty like locker-room showers breed athlete’s foot. It’s just the way things are. Only now, in our GlobalizedInternetFaceChat times, could someone like me, living in the middle of nowhere, attach himself to Arsenal and not let go.

In other words, I didn’t pay my dues. You guys have been waiting for a trophy for 9 long years. I’m assuming you got it, but, as I said, I’m not sure yet. Think about that. In 2014, Drake sings that funny song about trophies, and the last time Arsene raised one, Drake was probably still wearing braces and having his Mommy drive him around Toronto.

I tried to skip the line. Three years of watching games, and I thought I could feel your pain.

Apparently, the Football Gods didn’t agree. Because, when I got home from my son’s soccer game on Saturday, popped half a marijuana bonbon and got ready to watch the FA Cup Final, a funny thing happened.

It wasn’t there.

Sure, the DVR said FA Cup, when I pressed play. But what I saw were some large MMA fighters wrestling around on the ground like a couple of ravens battling over a raccoon carcass. There was no little white ball in sight. No swaying Wembley crowds.

No sir. The technology I’d been extolling just last week let me down. And there was nothing I could do about it. The game was over, and I missed it. Entirely. I was so mad I almost flung a glass against the wall, like they do on television. I almost called my wife a slew of ugly names, though she had nothing to do with it. (That was on DISH network, or Fox Sports 2, or whoever programs the software. Some nameless asshole I’ll never meet.)

Instead of screaming, I put on my sneakers and ran up and down a very steep hill. Then I took a nice, hot bath and put the whole thing out of my mind entirely. It seemed the only sane option in a mad world.

That was Saturday afternoon. Since then, I haven’t even gone on the Internet, such was my desire not to obsess about missing the biggest game in 9 years. There would be no blood stream coursing with adrenaline. No psychotic gripping the couch-arm during a string of penalties. (If it came to that.)

The victory, or the loss, would belong to you guys. Not me. I’m going to have to wait until the next battle for silverware. And when it comes, it will be that much sweeter because of this faux-tragedy. Are there grand life lessons to be learned here? Of course there are. Instead of watching football for 2 hours, and then reading about the result for the rest of the weekend, I shut off the computer entirely. I exercised. Cooked meals. Played with my children. Swung in a hammock in the sunshine.

Basically, I acted like the guy I was almost 3 years ago, before I ever heard of Arsenal. I pretended to be “that” me, before I picked up this powerful addiction to the red and white from North London. I even asked myself if I should let the whole thing go entirely? It’s not like I don’t have American teams to root for. (Or, this summer, the American team.)

I gave it some thought, and decided I want to keep my new hobby. Just like coaching my son’s youth games, watching Arsenal connects me to my own childhood, when I played DM like a less-coordinated Matthieu Flamini. Watching the games has become a new-fangled form of time-travel,

bringing the joy back from the 20th Century, but without the attendant muscle aches and calcium deposits.

Watching people like Ramsey figure out life, in front of our eyes, is inspirational. It makes us want to improve at our own jobs. Or become a better parent. Watching horrible tactics, like Arsene’s shit show at Chelsea, makes me re-think the way I conduct my own business. It’s a learning experience, as much as a horror for the eyes. (Or so I tell myself. I turned that game off the second I saw the Ox reach up with his hand.)

So there you have it. The Universe has kicked me in the groin for my hubris. For announcing to a bunch of global megafans that I was qualified to entertain or enlighten you, when I had not suffered properly. (Which, of course, is the only qualification that matters to Arsenal fans, post-Invincibles.)

Now, I have. So if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to fire up the Ipad to see how we did on Saturday. Clearly, if Arsenal choked, I’ll have to revise my first article which entrusted the near future to Arsene. But I doubt that happened. In my mind, just now, Arsenal beat Hull City, and the celebrations were glorious.

Jonathan Blaustein

887 Responses to “My FA Cup Hell”

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  1. MidwestGun

    Kev –
    I agree with needing the midfield to help with scoring. I said we need our CF to score more goals, not all our goals. But mostly just be more threatening, occupying more than 1 Cb and more clinical in finishing. 1 in 8 is a bad rate.

  2. gambon

    “We have plenty of creativity in the team but no real natural finishers and that’s the problem. ”

    Im not so sure we do.

    Our creativity has been falling year on year.

    Whether thats other teams working us out, or our players / coaching not being good enough im not sure.

    This year we created way less chances than our rivals.

  3. Minion


    Would be happy if we could do this. Would improve us and wouldn’t even cost all that.

  4. MidwestGun

    Also, we need a Cf that can step up and pull our butt out of the fire and not miss a clear cut chance under pressure in a big game, top4, CL, etc… Waiting
    for Giroud to do that, could be a biblical, wait.

  5. Keyser

    Bamford13 – Unless you can point out how he’s been running circles around me, not to mention it’d take him a few minutes at least, I don’t think I’m going to take much notice of that. Especially considering TeeeTeee declined to comment, unless I’ve missed it.

    Firstly bit of hindsight in there from you, all you have to do is go back to last season, or the summer and read people’s comments on any of those players you listed to realise what Ozil represents.

    Secondly stop putting up conjecture as something factual, like posting a team that included Ox and Walcott when both have missed massive chunks of the season.

    Thirdly probably most importantly, Wenger deserves ‘No credit’, I should really have just quoted that and let you fester.

  6. gambon


    Would cost a lot, and like Minion said, we could do it.


    Like that as well.

  7. Keyser

    gambon – How are you referencing that, I think I asked before, Sorry, but are there specific stats you’re looking at for our creativity dropping.

  8. Minion

    I could actually see us not buy a DM and ST because Wenger has this weird obssesion with playing Ramsey and Wilshere together. I could see him not buy a ST because he doen’t want to kill Sanago lol. Maybe he might even promote Bellerin and make Jenkinson first RB. Wouldn’t put anything past him

  9. Bacaryisgod

    Have to say how refreshing it has been to see a thoughtful, respectful discussion on here around FFP’s finer details. Gambon asking quality questions and Surfer X providing excellent analysis and with a very interesting take on Chelsea’s strategy. Nice double act, gentlemen.

  10. gambon


    Theres an article on StatsBomb about our chances created stats falling last season, and again this season,.

    It seems the more stable we look defensively the more it exposes how our attackers were never quite as good as we thought.

    back in the good old days of Cesc , Nasri & Arshavin we were creating a bit of an illusion of super attacking play, when really it was also a bit of defensive abandon that contributed to our chances created.

  11. tunnygriffboy


    Ozil signed for us because of Wenger. He said as much. Wenger has enough faults to be beaten with but in this case this isn’t one of them. I know you hate him and as a result are relentlessly negative about the club but Ozil for me was a huge positive be it a late signing or not.

  12. Bamford13


    Cavani is probably my top choice striker as well, but he cost PSG 64 million euro, so to me he’s going to be simply too expensive.

    Do you think Wenger is going to spend 65 million euro on a single player?

    If he did, I guarantee his only other signings would be Sanogo- and Flamini-quality players, meaning Jenkinson would likely be our starting RB and Arteta our starting DM.

  13. Revving Kevin

    partly true but creativity dried up due to the missing players. We had no runners with theo and Ramsey out. This is one of the reasons Ozil struggled. Giroud was isolated, we had no pace, so It’s difficult to create if the team is so static. Movement and pace was missing from the side and that affects creativity. Look at the difference just having Rambo back.

    We have creativity, plenty if those types of player. What we need is pace and runners.

  14. Bamford13


    I love Ozil, so I’m not saying his signing was a bad thing per se. But I don’t think it was a stroke of genius either, especially given that we didn’t fill our real needs.

    I know that Ozil said Wenger was a factor, but this is what respectful players say about managers they sign for. Not to mention I think he would’ve said the same of any one of ten other managers had he signed with their clubs.

  15. MidwestGun

    Slow build up play, letting other teams have the chance to get back, and sit back, as well as clogging the middle, has lead to less chances, in my opinion.

  16. Revving Kevin

    I think you are wasting your time mate on the Ozil thing. Same with the Suarez deal. You can produce links, actual direct comments, even by club owners and yet some on here will just ignore. If it’s an inconvenient fact , they will choose the convenient lie. Frustrating but that’s how it is I’ m afraid.

  17. Bacaryisgod

    If Arsene was being ruthless, he would sell Monreal and Podolski. Those two give me more stress than anyone else. Monreal is nearly certain to make one major mistake a game, usually by jumping in too aggressively and getting rolled by the striker. Podolski is simply too pedestrian on the left and can’t play the target role. He could possibly work in a 4-4-2 alongside a target man but it shows how little faith Arsene has when he yanks him after 60 minutes in the cup final in order to put Sanogo up with Giroud instead.

  18. Keyser

    gambon – I haven’t looked at it, but that fits in with my comments, you’d have to look at how we’ve achieved defensive stability, we were far more fluid with Fabregas in the team, along with Nasri, Arshavin and Van Persie.

    We didn’t adapt our play, we’ve simply dropped deeper, 3 years we actually pressed higher up the pitch and that left us exposed against the better teams, but nowhere near the extent we have been this year, along with dropping deeper we’ve stopped even atempting to press high until we’ve got back into shape and numbers.

    Just like people used to say Song was too slow to cover the ground he needed to in transition, the midfield’s only got weaker in that aspect, and in terms of creativity.

  19. Revving Kevin

    “Slow build up play”

    Exactly. Don’t forget a lot of teams we play park the bus too and the lack if runners and pace has really hampered us. We need more athleticism in the team, definitely in DM and up top. We always had good movement and third man runs but as I said losing theo and Ramsey exposed us.

  20. Revving Kevin

    us to being a bit one paced. Teams can push up because we don’t have the pace to frighten them so we need to be better through the transitions. It’s all easy to fix we are a good side just need a couple of top class additions.

  21. Minion

    Yaya sums up what City is all about. Bunch of mercenaries with no relationships. Atleast we aren’t like that.

  22. Revving Kevin

    Pod was poor on Saturday. Putting Sanogo on gave us more pace and energy and helped stretch the game. Far more dangerous You are right, Pod can’t play the lone role and he goes missing on the left. His finishing is his main attribute of course but we need more. I am also not a huge Monreal fan tbh. Gets caught wrong side too often for me.

  23. MidwestGun

    we’ve stopped even atempting to press high until we’ve got back into shape and numbers.
    It’s hard to press high up the pitch when your CF, is so freakin slow. Which is why when Sanogo started against Bayern we actually did. Not that I was for Sanogo.

  24. andy1886

    Kev, rather than be selective let’s compare Citeh’s strikers with ours. Below are Citeh’s strikers as designated on their web site for 13/14.

    StrikersEdin Dzeko (BIH) Sergio Aguero (ARG) Stevan Jovetic (MNE) Alvaro Negredo (SPA) John Guidetti* (SWE)

    Compare in all competitions and we have:

    Aguero 28
    Dzeko 26
    Negredo 23
    Jovetic 6

    That’s a total of 83 goals in 13/14 from their 4 strikers.

    Now let’s look at AFC:

    OG 22
    Poldi 16
    Theo 6
    AOC 3
    NB52 2
    Gnabri 1

    That’s a total of 50 from our 6 strikers (and I’m being generous listing AOC, Gnabri and Theo as strikers).

    So to say we don’t need more goals from our strikers is quite frankly daft. Take Toure and Ramsey out of the mix (to level the playing field a bit) and you’ll still find that we’re short of goals from the midfield and up front. We’re never going to improve enough in MF to make up the difference.

  25. tunnygriffboy

    Basically everyone wants more pace and athleticism whether we are pro or anti Wenger. It may be his fault but some don’t think he’ll be able to add it in the summer, others think he will. However it is absolutely essential that it is added in the summer to build on the real feel good factor we are experiencing after the cup win. If he gets it right the Emirates will be rockin come August.

  26. Bacaryisgod

    Liverpool are in for a nice little wake-up call next season. They’ll be in Pot 3 in the group stages, which will likely mean two very tough opponents.

    Arsenal in Pot 1 again if they win their playoff game. We already have a nice group of players who will have rested over the summer:

    Sczcesny, Jenks, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Flamini, Diaby, Gnabry

  27. goona

    We definitely need more pace in our team and far better touch upfront, we are far to slow on the break, and please, can we start shooting from thr edge of the box!…..its not compulsory to walk the ball into the net!

  28. tunnygriffboy


    It’s not just Giroud’s too slow to press but Arteta and Flamini are as well. It has to be done as a team, if one is out of synch it leaves a gap. Rambo and Rosicky do it and you can often see them waving their arms in frustration when others don”t close down quick enough. It also needs a lot of practice.

  29. MidwestGun

    Absolutely correct, yes, but it starts at the top. As soon as Giroud goes thats the signal to press for the rest of the team. But by the time Giroud gets close to his man, often times the chance to press deep is lost or useless as he gets caught in between defenders. Essentially, pressuring grass, or air, if you prefer.

  30. tunnygriffboy

    I know we need more goals from our forward players. Hopefully with Theo fit and two new forwards this will be the case. Ox will score more if he fit all season as well

    Does anybody think Rambo could score 15 / 20 goals next season like fat Frank used to do ? I think he could but I’m a bias fellow countryman loooooool

  31. MidwestGun

    I believe the saying is, Saw it coming from a mile away, in slow motion. Giroyd did trick a keeper into thinking he was slower than he is and scored a goal, once. So there is that. Lol.

  32. NYCgooner

    I’m pretty sure wenger wants a strker. He tried for Suarez and Benzema in the past so i’m sure he recognizes the need. The thing that has always held him back is his insistence on getting value for money and with the lack of strikers available i don’t blame him this time around. As stated earlier, if you plan to spend silly money on a striker, it better be at the Suarez/Cavani/ Aguero level.

    Anybody other than those three and i think your money will be better spent bolstering other areas and getting a a striker at a level just below those.

  33. salparadisenyc

    Happy Birthday Yaya.
    Kroeke’s stashed the Bugatti in your garage… its RED.



    _______ Ramsay___Toure______



    Ps your wage has been cut in half.

  34. MidwestGun

    Would this make anyone excited tho? Giroud, Remy, Sanogo. If we aren’t gonna upgrade Giroud than we need 2 strikers to replace Bendtner and Sanogo.

  35. andy1886

    Tunny, if Rambo was playing for Citeh I expect he score as many as Toure does. If you swap that around I think Toure would struggle to get 15 in our team. I guess what I’m saying is that Ramsey could top 20 goals but only if he has better players around him.

  36. tunnygriffboy

    On a different tangent read a story on the victory parade about an 87 year old lady who stood and watched it. As a 3 year old on her dad’s shoulders in 1930 she watched the parade of the very first time we won the cup. She has seen everyone since.

    Don’t you just love football and the Arsenal.

  37. TitsMcgee

    Source: Man Utd believe they’ve made significant advances in the pursuit of Toni Kroos »

  38. andy1886

    NYC, trouble is no-one ever won the league (or CL) when their top transfer priority was getting ‘value for money’.

  39. tunnygriffboy

    Andy 1886

    Rambo may have scored 20 this season had he not missed a third of it. With better ( and fitter ) players he may be near again. 12 to 15 would do me if forwardsscore more. He is capable as he has scored a huge variety of different types of goals this season.

  40. tunnygriffboy

    Man u going to spend ridiculous money and wages this summer. I hope it comesback to bite them on their arse. Why are they saying they’re making significant advances in signing Kroos, they did it with Fabregas last summer. Red nose would never let that out.

  41. TitsMcgee

    NYC, trouble is no-one ever won the league (or CL) when their top transfer priority was getting ‘value for money’.”


    It’s absolute lunacy to pass up on a good-very good player because you refuse to spend an extra few million.

    Wenger literally scuppered this season due to stubbornness and we came up a handful of games short because of it.

    Where does that power come from?

    The support of the blind sheep that never question him.

  42. london gunner

    If the Yaya rumours are true what a bitch move and what a greedy scamp he is.

    I understand players asking for more money aka Sagna but Sagna has down it with dignity his kept it private despite the media trying to dig its dirty nose in, Yaya though is being a little bitch and throwing a hissy fit.

    Its also bollocks that they didn’t celebrate his birthday, there is footage of him receiving a birthday cake with the team on a plane.

    As for the Sheik for fuck sakes do you think most CEO’S say happy Birthday to there players? They have far more important things running various Multi nationals with revenues the size of small states/nations then to wish happy birthday to every premadonna in a team they own.

  43. Bacaryisgod

    Agreed on the need for speed but I think it’s also something else. We have a need for nasty. Right now, our squad is capable of dismantling 15 teams in the league but has emotional scars against 4 of them (I’m writing off Everton for next season).

    Knowing you can nearly always handle 15 of your 19 opponents is a tremendous platform but where I agree with Gambon is that we’ll never advance to the title without a couple of players (centre midfield and centre forward) who thrive against the top teams and have the character and talent to compete evenly with players like Toure and Suarez. We had that in RVP but that’s the past.

    This is why it really should be a question of quality over quantity this summer. Even with Gambon’s lengthy striker list only a couple them (Costa, Balotelli, perhaps Higuain) would strike true fear with the four teams we need to improve against. As for central midfield, Schneiderlin is fine but we need a player to go heads up with players like Toure and Matic. Three years ago, a player like Inler might have been a nice fit but he’s turning 30 now.

    Assuming we won’t get the truly world-class striker we all want and that we’ll end up with someone like Remy, then our big move this summer has to be for a perfect long-term midfield partner for Ramsey. I would throw whatever is needed to secure either Vidal or Martinez.

  44. andy1886

    Bac, Wenger used to be okay with nasty, then we had all that stuff in the press about our red card count and Wenger was publically told to sort it out. Since then he’s avoided that type of player and gone with technical tippy tappy midgets. Personally I prefered the earlier Wenger approach before he went all Barca-lite on us.

  45. Sam

    N5 May 20, 2014 12:34:17

    Sam, Muslims celebrate birthdays you ignorant twat.
    If you knew how to use google you wouldn’t call me ignorant
    maybe some muslims celebrate birthday but its forbidden
    Toure said he’s devout muslim then He shouldn’t get depressed n hold the clud to ransom.

  46. N5

    Sam, the very first one of the very first link says they do, just not in the way you do.

    I have numerous Muslim friends and all of them celebrate birthdays. Don’t just quote a section and assume its all.

  47. Sam

    When a footballer wants to leave he comes up with lame excuses
    I think the little boy inside yaya toure is asking for payrise or fuck off to PSG or Barca

  48. BacaryisGod

    Andy-I agree. For me, we have plenty of toughness at the back. Flam and Arteta are streetwise and can be nasty if needed, but Flam lacks guile and Arteta has lost whatever pace he had. The midfield enforcer is the key role to fill provided we can decently upgrade at CF too. A young Xabi Alonso would be nice!

  49. SurferX

    Interesting discussion on creativity. I would say there is one big problem: Pace. We have none of it. Having Santi, Ozil, etc in the team is fine: but if there is noone that can stretch a defence in the channel; that gets behind a team and stops defenders pushing right up; then our creativity is hugely stifled. We loosed a different side once Sanogo came on (who, by the way, played really well imo).

    With Santi & Podolski out wide and Giroud through the middle it is simply to easy for defenders to close down the available space in our midfield.- Pod plays off the front man, Santi drifts into the middle and Giroud wouldn’t win a sprint race against Steve Bruce (and Im talking now, not while he was a player).

    Contrast that with when we have Walcott in the side and all of a sudden defenders have a problem if they push too far up. Thats why our season disintergrated (imo) losing Ramsey and Walcott meant we had no runners in midfield that get beyond our oil-tanker of a SC. The biggest attribute AW needs to buy EVERYWHERE is pace; Arteta, Giroud, Pod, etc.. all too for where they play. We have the players to open up space- we have no-one quick enough running into it; and no-one quick enough to get back on the counter.

    Just my two-pence.

  50. N5

    “Thats Red n white Yaya”

    You know some sections of Islam still stone women for switching faith to Christianity, so I assume Toure does that too then Sam?

    There is a million miles between Western Muslim and Middle Eastern Muslim and I don’t mean literally before you post a link of Gogglemaps.

    Anyway let’s get off Religion now as it’s always dodgy ground for offending someone.

  51. MidwestGun

    200k a week wages for Kroos. What you reckon ? 300k for Rooney. How long before RVP wants a bit of it ?
    Sorry, tunny missed that. Ya, Man U opened up a big can of worms, could see some crazy deals.

  52. SurferX

    “Anyway let’s get off Religion now as it’s always dodgy ground for offending someone.”

    Yep- thats why I was banned at Untold- pointing out all the religious allegory for the ‘faith’ they call ‘Arsene Knows Best’. ‘Blessed and the believers’, ‘Pity the naysayers’, ‘and it was thus’… wackos the lot of em.

    You don’t want to religious nutters; give em a couple of jets and they’d be flying them into TalkSport Towers, I tells ya!!!

  53. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Any players at Monaco worth putting in a cheeky bid for? one of there owner’s has to give half of his money to his wife in a divorce settlement and he might be looking for a few quid.

  54. Bacaryisgod


    Forgot to mention this but Sagna is almost certainly at City next season. Your argument makes sense until you remove Lescott and quite possibly Richards and Kolarov) from the equation. City will then have a real need for a quality veteran to play across the back 4 (Sagna has even covered at LB on occasion too).

    DEFINITES: Zabaleta, Kompany, Sagna, Clichy, Demichelis
    POSSIBLE: Natastic, Kolarov, Richards
    UNLIKELY: Lescott

    The most likely outcome is that they’ll keep at least two of the three ‘Possible’ players and add one world-class centre back.

  55. MidwestGun

    Surfer X-
    Huh….. I seriously thought you were banned for too long of posts. 😛

    haha……. just kidding. Thats why I’m trying to get Rev Kev to tone down the preaching, Cuz it starts to sound a little crazy. And I like him, or I wouldn’t bother.

  56. babatunde

    Rev kev maths is so way off. Mathematically, We won’t have scored an extra 35 goals with theo and rambo fit for the simple reason that we don’t play 13 players on the pitch. Hope u get what am trying to say. And by the way, anyone who believes this present arsenal squad could have scored 100 goals is just an optimist.

  57. salparadisenyc

    kwik fitMay 20, 2014 17:54:57
    Good evening gents and gals what are you all up to this fine evening?

    Always thought Midwest was tad bit younger, not matter what a legend.

  58. SurferX

    It wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up there- I certainly think its more likely than him being at Arsenal- but Citeh dont need him and he gives them an added complication with foreign players.

    You could end up being right mate- Im just pointing out that by signing him they have to lose 4 of their foreign players before they sign anyone else. Maybe CL football doesnt bother Sagna and he just wants the payday; maybe he’ll be in the squad and they’ll drop someone else (as I highlighted; losing a fully amortised Zabaletta would make good financial sense in FFP terms). But they cant ignore it; 17 into 13 doesn’t go.

  59. TitsMcgee

    Arsenal urged to act smart

    “Don’t be dumb” is the message from Carlos Vela to Arsenal, as the Real Sociedad forward eyes a return to his former club during the summer transfer window. The Daily Star reports that Vela has a buy-back clause in his contract that allows him to return to the Emirates Stadium for just 3.5 million pounds, and it seems the Mexico international is keen for the move to happen.

    “It makes sense they will activate the clause now,” Vela, who scored 16 goals in La Liga this season, is quoted as telling the newspaper. “A club that sees that a player is performing well for three years and has the chance of having him back for just an extra million. If Arsenal wouldn’t pay that amount, they wouldn’t be very intelligent.”

    Over to you, Arsene Wenger.

    Both Manchester United and Arsenal are credited with an interest in Fabregas, who would command a fee of 45 million pounds, and that would apparently help Barca push through a move for Chelsea’s David Luiz. Meanwhile, Liverpool have been linked with a nine million pound bid to bring Mascherano back to Anfield to replace Lucas Leiva, who in turn could be on his way to Inter Milan. Confused? Don’t worry, the dizziness will pass as the transfer merry-go-round gets into full swing.

    United eye Clasie touch

    While Barcelona are planning an exodus, Manchester United are focused firmly on an influx after confirming Louis van Gaal’s arrival on a three-year contract. There are various stories claiming the Dutch coach is already working on his wish list, which features Jordy Clasie as one of the leading targets, according to the Daily Star. Speculation has been fuelled by Robin van Persie praising the Feyenoord youngster after his superb pass assisted the striker’s equaliser in the Netherlands’ 1-1 draw with Ecuador.

    “That pass made the goal possible. That was a world-class ball,” Van Persie said. “That pass gave me the opportunity to do my thing. I think that pass was more beautiful than my goal. The only thing I had to do was control the ball and score.”

    You did it very well, though, Robin.

    And it could be double Dutch

    Another Netherlands international apparently on Van Gaal’s shortlist is Kevin Strootman, who will sadly miss the World Cup with a knee injury. TalkSPORT claims the Roma star is a “clear favourite” of Van Gaal, and his preferred choice to strengthen United’s midfield ahead of Clasie. It also reports that Mats Hummels could be set for a move to Old Trafford as United seek replacements for long-serving duo Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

    Absolutely crazy that Barca fans want to see the back of Fab.

    I’d take Tello and Pedro without hesitation.

  60. SurferX

    “I seriously thought you were banned for too long of posts. :razz:”

    Jesus.. give a man a complex I tell ya- thats twice you’ve told me my posts are too long. If I was the sensitive sort I would take it to heart and not post again.

    But as Im a grizzly old bastard- you just go fuck yourself. OK?

    😛 😀

  61. Andaprayer

    Just because the players you think might have improved us were bought for a few million more than we were prepared to pay don’t think we could have got them for that few million more. If you’re bidding against the man city’s of this world they can always go a few million more than you can.

    You have to seek value for money or you can’t compete financially over anything more than the immediate. People seem to forget that Wenger and the management team are working over a time horizon beyond the next year. It would be interesting to know what timeframe Arsenal’s strategy is based.

    On a Man utd theme, are their debts not going to contain cashflow covenants thus limiting their ability to spend masses?

  62. MidwestGun

    Sal –
    Haha older than TY&GN but not as perverse. ?…. I think. Besides that guy had grey hair. I look like a baby still. My gf still thinks im 35, who am I to ruin her dream. Lol.

  63. Bacaryisgod

    Surfer X

    Pace is key which is why I would gladly exchange Podolski for Remy. Still think a running mate for Ramsey will make a huge difference. As someone mentioned earlier, Theo’s recovery timeline is probably the most overlooked factor in our summer transfer decisions.

  64. SurferX

    I’d have Vela back in a shot. He has improved loads, he is cheap, he is very quick and if it doesnt work out after a year- we can sell him in for a lot more than he cost.

    Sorry to be a bore- but its a no-brainer financially; I fail to see a downside. Its not like we are blessed with quick players that are happy to play up front, or wide left.

  65. Bacaryisgod

    I may be biased but I think City need Sagna even more because of the restriction on them. A player who can cover three positions is ideal at least for the next 1-2 years. I’m sure he’ll be in their Champions League squad at the expense of others.

  66. MidwestGun

    You just go fuck yourself. OK
    Hahaha finally, that’s the Le Grove spirit, atta boy!

    Actually, I don’t mind the long post but could you stop using big words like amalgamations or whatever the hell you were saying. 😉

  67. SurferX

    “Hahaha finally, that’s the Le Grove spirit, atta boy!”

    Like minds mate- you don’t last 5 minutes at Le Grove unless you have very thick skin 🙂

    You’d of loved my earlier comment: I actually used the phrase ‘reamortisation of the remaining amortisation’; and I actually thought to myself ‘you sound like a right cunt’.

    Hahaha 😀

  68. NYCgooner


    I get you. i guess my point is since its unlikely that we will get a top top level striker, lets go big at the other positions where we need to strengthen. Lets go martinez/gustavo big at DM. Lets go Reus/DiMaria big at LW. Those players add significant firepower to hold us over until the level of striker that we need becomes available.

  69. MidwestGun

    I actually prefer Joel Campbell to Vela if we are going that route, don’t like bringing back players as it rarely works out. Well besides Flamini. Lol.

  70. Arsenal 1886-2006

    All the talk is about players we want to come in the summer but I fear we may lose one or two of our best players. I can see Rambo being a target for a few clubs and we all know that if the price is right we will sell.
    I have a feeling that City are going to try and entice him away.

  71. Dissenter

    Yaya Yaya
    YaYa YaYa
    Bugga Bugga
    Bugga Bugga

    220k weekly and he still wants the Sheik to shake him happy birthday with a Buggatti.
    That’s what City have become, really sad.

    The Arsenal players will be smart to check their wrist after a hand-shake with Kroenke. He might have switched your gold Rolex with a cheap Walmart Timex.

  72. Savage

    This year we created way less chances than our rivals.

    lol is that based on your research and statistics or is it coming straight out your arse as usual ?

    reminding you that walcott didnt play much this season ….

  73. MadeToLoveMagic

    Whether thats other teams working us out, or our players / coaching not being good enough im not sure.This year we created way less chances than our rivals…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Its a wierd one i agree, because if you compare us to the nasrigas era we are definately less “purist” in the way we play…. we retain the ball far far worse and our interplay is generally worse too, BUT i believe the style of the team is changing in a positive way despite lacking a certain creativity at times (fabregas basically)

    We are more insisive it seems when we do attck, we used to seriously struggle to break down teams in the past ie stoke etc, but now i think we are more direct, WAY WAY more defensivly stable, way way more team spirited and interestingly , when we do play the creative “barca” style we do it in a faster more incisive and almost more technical way, look at goals against Norwich and Sunderland for examples. those goals i have never seen an arsenal team of old doing……

    Now we just need to do it against the good teams,, and if it aint working do what we did in the final and put two upfront,,

    you have to wonder if wenger felt real pressure like any other manager which he clearly did oin saturday, whether he would make bolder decisions like that more often,

    Was very un arsene like that change, and lets face it, Sanogo won us that game

  74. Savage

    Sanogo won us that game

    but according to the scouters of le grove ( haha) sanogo is the worst striker ever in the history of Arsenal…..

    dont know about you but gambon here knows much more about football than wenger and is more qualified to talk about strikers…tell him gambon!!

  75. MidwestGun

    Savage –
    It’s from an article on statsbomb if you can read which I doubt. Try coming on here and not being a condescending prick. Sick of your eyemsick, hunter13 bull crap too. ?……… with…… your …….. dots. ? And multiple lame comments.

  76. tunnygriffboy

    Eurosport report Lpool made a bid for Alexis Sanchez. Mmmmmmmmm. Barca having clear out. Players told they have to leave including Tello and Cuenca. For others they will listen to offers including Cesc, Mascherano, Alexis and Pedro. Come on Dick Law, get out there.

  77. SurferX

    Surf’s Transfer Business:

    TV, Podolski, Sagna & Flappy (assuming they all want to leave- if not, Id keep all bar Flappy). I wouldnt let Sagna & TV both go- if Sagna goes, TV is staying put- happy or not.

    GK- experienced 28-32 age, professional: someone for Szcz to aspire to
    RB- the ivory coast french dude that Ive not seen play sounds great on paper. Fuck it, he’ll do.
    CB- Hummels- if we could get him, we should be in for him. Simples
    MC(D)- the most important position (imo). Go Grimandi it on youtube and do your own scouting- I dont get paid for this shit.
    SC. Must be able to outpace an oil-tanker.

    +Vela & Cesc (if hes on the market. Not that he solves any problems- in fact signing Cesc will create them. But screw it- cant see him playing for ManUre).

    Job done.

  78. MadeToLoveMagic

    Apart from John Lennon, Gambon is the most important important person since Jesus

    I really am shocked that Sanogo didnt get more credit for his performance, he turned the game on its head, was strong, held up the ball, ran gave options, and quite assured

    plus every single player on our team started playing better when he came on,

    He is clearly rawer than a sushi salesman’s bollock ,but i am starting to love him for heart,

  79. MadeToLoveMagic

    Haha Midwest , its nothing to do with goals imo, he inspired the team to play better , whether it was just the tactical change or not remains to be seen, but for me he was our man of the match for over all contribution to the game, we were going nowhere until he came on

  80. SurferX

    Sanogo was excellent in the FA Cup- I think people here have done a Ramsey and called him wrongly; I think he’ll be an excellent player.

    The issue with Sanogo isnt Sanogo. Its that he is our 2nd choice striker- he should be competing for 3rd choice and certainly shouldnt be getting a look in Cup finals & matches against Munich. And that problem is entirely of Wengers making.

  81. MadeToLoveMagic

    exactly surfer, he suffers the same fate as giroud, basically because we dont have other options he gets all the stick, whereas if you look at a player like Dzeko who is very similar to giroud, he gets all the plaudits because no one sees his limitations because if they need a different option they use a quick nippy technical striker like Aguero. And yeah its entirely Wengers makng, his decision to not get a striker in jan was the strangest and most costly of his whole tenure imo

  82. MidwestGun

    Sanogo won us that game
    Sorry, that no goals was a response, to eyemsick. Yes, Sanogo’s energy made an impact. But he didn’t win the game. Rosicky and Jack made just as much impact. Fresh legs at the right time.

  83. SurferX

    “his decision to not get a striker in jan”

    Well, to be honest- I think that boat sailed in the summer. He should of got Higuain. Then, he should of tried to get Suarez as well. Instead, he decided he wanted the latter and got left with no-one. Thats always the problem; he dithers and dallies until the moment has passed- and gets left with fek all.

    Who would he of signed in January? Thats not rhetorical- I genuinely don’t know the answer: there are probably some players you can name- but I cant think of many that wouldnt fall into the stop-gap bracket.

  84. Savage

    and ………i am…….. fed…………. up……… with……… tossers………. belittling ………arsenal ………….all the ………time…….here ……….are some ……….more ………dots………….for…………………….. you 🙂

  85. N5

    “hey midwest does statsbomb take into account that theo was missing ?”

    I would assume it deals with facts, so yes. Does it take into account that Aguero has been missing?

  86. Savage

    Thats always the problem; he dithers and dallies until the moment has passed- and gets left with fek all.

    lol…the offer was made and the release clause triggered…. dont let that stop you from accusing him …even though iavn is the one who should had studied luis contract and call henry’s bluff…

  87. N5

    “and ………i am…….. fed…………. up……… with……… tossers………. belittling ………arsenal ………….all the ………time…….here ……….are some ……….more ………dots………….for…………………….. you :)”

    The Malcolm X of Arsenal! You stand up tall against anyone Savage who you deem to be unfair, it’s a little fascist but I’m behind you brother pumping my fist and nodding my head like we’re Black Panthers!

  88. Savage

    wow you comparing city;s strike force with arsenal;s now N5? i think there is a difference in budgets you aint taking into account …..

  89. SurferX

    Jesus Savage- you really are a prick.

    Tell me, when your not on here making really clever comments that make everyone realise how smart you are, how much meth do you get through in an average day?

  90. MidwestGun

    Savage –
    The stats take into account who played. It’s a statistical fact we have slowly been creating less chances over the last 3 years. Im sure Theo being out didn’t help. But if all our hopes of creating more chances are riding on Theo next year coming off a horrid injury. That might not be the best strategy. So as mentioned, we may need an upgrade In pace on the wings and CF to stop our ponderous slow build up approach which isnt creating as many chances.

  91. N5

    “wow you comparing city;s strike force with arsenal;s now N5? i think there is a difference in budgets you aint taking into account …..”

    There’s always something, huh Savage?

  92. Savage

    fascist? lol come off it…none more fascists than some in here who want their opinions to over-rule club’s decissions or else everyone must get sacked

    or how about your mates here calling anyone who supports the team and manager deluded….

    now thats fascism…

  93. Savage

    fair enough midwest…i accept the stats findings even though i havent checked them myself …what id ont accept though is the conclusion coming out of the comments in here for the person making that comment has taken the stat and ignored the contribution of missing walcott who in the last two seasons id say contributes to the team with 30+ goals ( if you add goals scored and assists made) get to that number i reckon the chances are triple or four times…

  94. Savage

    adult conversation ??? lol… you need to be open minded for that mate and not locked in negativity …..

  95. SurferX

    the offer was made and the release clause triggered…. dont let that stop you from accusing him …even though iavn is the one who should had studied luis contract and call henry’s bluff…

    The offer was made to late. If they were relying on the release clause, then why wait until after Higin had gone? Why didnt AW do it on day 1 of the window?

    Why do you try so hard to apportion all of the credit and none of the blame to Wenger? Wheres your balance? So its AWs credit when things go right- but IG’s fault when they dont.

    You need to get back over to Untold with the wackos.

  96. N5

    Savage, I’m not kidding man, I’ve got your back. No one who ever says anything negative can possibly know anything about the club, so I’ll fight the fight with you son, you point at who you want punched and I’ll KO some Wenger hating bitches.

  97. Bobpatdentel

    Speculation on who we are going to sign is a waste of time. Wenger has got his three year contract to carry on as he likes. There will be no big signings. Nothing will change

  98. Savage

    too late? what do you mean? the offer was made a month and a half almost before the season started……

    relax with higuain….if you have the chance to land suarez you forget about higuain..

    why do you try to put the blame solely on one person? is it cause it suits your narrative and hatred towards wenger?

  99. kwik fit

    Sanogo was distinctly average on Saturday. His first touch let him down all the time. He needs a loan next season . I don’t deny that he’s got potential but he certainly didn’t change the game. So FFS get a grip!

  100. tunnygriffboy

    Surfer x

    Love your transfer business. It’s more coherent than anything Wenger, Law and Gazidis could make up. It made me smile loooooooool

    Out : Sagna, Myachi, Bendtner, Fabianski

    In : Steklenberg from Fulham, Martinez back as 3rd choice

    Aurier RB ( can cover CB and LB

    Bender, Schniederlin, Mascherano, Gonolans. One of those in order.

    Alexis Sanchez, Vela

    Benzema, Bony, Remy, Mandzukic in order of preference

    All be within our budget and realistic.

  101. N5

    Don’t worry Savage, I’ve got Bobpatdental, I’ll take him out for being negative about Wenger. Bob please step outside with me, me and my fist want to have a quick word with your head.

    I’ve got this Savage, you keep Mudwest and inSurferableX busy!!

  102. N5

    “if you have the chance to land suarez you forget about higuain..”

    One of the best goal scorers in World Football, but if you say so Savage…I’ve got ya! Higuain you ain’t shit son!! fuck right off. We’ve got Giroud ya mug!!

  103. Savage

    haha do i look like i need your backing N5…thanks dude…but you are free to do as you want

    i just laugh when people complain about their opinions being scrutinised

    they remind me of them pussy footballers who kick us all match but when our players give some back they moan to the ref asking for yellow cards and calling us dirty…. haha

  104. SurferX

    Cheers pal. I started writing it, and I thought- fuk me, Ive heard it all before for about 5 years. Everyone in the bloody world can see what we are lacking. I honestly cba writing anything serious about it.

    Thats why I only put down Vela, Cesc & Hummels. They are the only three I feel strongly about. If there is a sniff of a chance that Cavani is on the market, Id be all over it like a cheap suit too.

  105. N5

    “haha do i look like i need your backing N5…thanks dude…but you are free to do as you want ”

    You didn’t need to master, I saw your shining light as you entered the hellhole some call the Grove and I knew you were the one to change an institutionalised cesspit of a website and I want to be on the side of the righteous.

    I hate people that question or want change, give me a big stadium , an expensive season ticket and status quo and I’ll keep handing over my money! heck I’ll even buy some stale £5 donuts at half time.

  106. Savage

    so stop moaning then midwest or calling people names for laughing at your opinion 🙂


  107. N5

    “One of the best goal scorers in World Football,”

    Nope, stats say. Did you see his shots to goals ratio at Madrid? the guy is a beast.

  108. Savage

    noone forced you to buy anything N5 you can keep your money……..

    but yes the stadium was necessary…. cant call yourself a big club playing in a 38k stadium and having never won the big one in europe and only winnning domestic cups and titles at an average rate of one per decade……

    you just got spoilt with wenger’s early years who turned us from average to world class and you thought “hmmm right this is how its going to be form now on”…. lol…

  109. N5

    I know Savage, I hate that I got spoilt, I don’t deserve an opinion. I’ve been going to Arsenal for 32 years and a season ticket holder for 18, I have no right to ask questions or listen to others opinion.

    If you buy a product and you are unhappy with it, you lump it…right? that’s how the world works…right? Tell me Savage, you seem to have all the answers….help me!