Joel Campbell one of the best emerging World Cup talents?

by .

Oh dear, two day hangover has set in. But fear not their is SO MUCH news to smash though.

There’s not.

It’s really dead out there.

Arsenal have sold Carlos Vela for the second time. The party man from Mexico is going to stay on in Sociedad, we’ve sold his buyout clause for £8.8m, which means we pulled about £11m for him in total. I’m a bit gutted, I would have liked him back at Arsenal. Maybe we’ll now buy Griezsman instead?

Who knows. At least we’re now in a financial positive for the summer. Money, money, money.

The later we leave it, the more unlikely it is we’ll get the amount of squad we need. I’m always staggered at how slow we are when picking up names. I can give Wenger the World Cup, because not many sides have snapped up players, however, didn’t matter to Chelsea did it?

Sometimes, it’d be nice to go against traditional excuses rather than embrace them.

On the World Cup, we’ll get to see Arsenal superstar loanee Joel Campbell in action against England tomorrow night. There’s not doubt that he’s been one of the best emerging performers of the tournament so far. I’m pretty excited about him. I mean, that excitement has to be tempered by the World Cup not exactly being the best barometer of a players ability.

However, the performances he’s had for Costa Rica, meshed in with how he played against United in the Champions League… well, you’d have to say the chances of him being better than Sanogo are pretty damn high. I’m also hoping that tomorrow, England play with a bold team. There’s no point in sticking Gerrard on, he’ll hopefully retire after this tournament. I’d like to see players like Barkley, Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere given a run out. See what they can do. See if they can play with some belief and tactical nous.

I mean, I doubt they can… but why not give them a crack. You can’t do any worse than two dismal losses.

Lots of good football on this evening, but the star game will be Netherlands vs Chile. Some seriously exciting football about to be had! Have a great day, hopefully, we’ll have more to talk about tomorrow!

885 Responses to “Joel Campbell one of the best emerging World Cup talents?”

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  1. WengerEagle


    I’d steer well clear of Jackson Martinez tbh mate. Very overrated and overhyped forward who has only ever consisently scored in the very weak Portuguese League. His record and performances for Colombia have been very, very average indeed to the point that Teofilo Gutierrez is the undisputed first chopice despite playing his club football in Argentina.

    £30 million is a complete rip-off. He’s 28 this year and is certainly not the second coming of Falcao.

  2. Radio Raheem

    Agree on Cabaye. He’d be an improvement on Arteta. In the absence of an all powerful and technical holding player he’d have done a better job.

  3. Radio Raheem


    Hello mate. Yeah they have been. Before the tournament it was ‘If France get their heads…’ and it seems they have. I just hope they haven’t peaked too soon.

  4. WengerEagle

    Radio Raheem

    Yeah he’s very like a younger Pirlo actually, that’s a good comparison. In 10 years time I could see Pjanic still playing at the highest level if he adapts his game like Pirlo has done.

    His range of passing and dribbling are both outstanding coupled with the fact that they are both brilliant free-kick takers. Pjanic currently has a broader skillset though as he can make those driving runs from midfield and has the acceleration to beat a player as the lads on here have alluded to.

  5. GoonerInNY


    Portugal needs a miracle to go through because if its goal differential. Even if Portugal beat Ghana and Germany beat the USA, Portugal only goes through if the scores of the games erase the USA’s current goal differential lead (USA +1, Portugal -4). Not likely.


    – If the USA beats Germany, the USA wins the group and Germany is likely second

    – If the USA and Germany draw, Germany wins the group and the USA is second

    – If Germany wins and Ghana-Portugal draw, Germany wins the group and the USA is second

    – If Germany wins and Portugal wins, Germany wins the group and the USA is likely second

    – If Germany wins and Ghana wins, Germany wins the group and Ghana us second (even though the USA beat Ghana, which is weird to me because in USA sports, head-to-head is always the first tie-breaker).

  6. WengerEagle

    The winner of the USA/Germany’s group will likely play Algeria in the last 16 with the runner up playing Belgium.

    So that’s a massive incentive for the USA to beat Germany surely?

  7. Josip Skoblar

    Cheers mate. Yes, let’s see if they haven’t peaked too soon. It seems they were almost euphoric against Switzerland.
    Funny WC. Any of these teams could win it: Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Holland, France and I wouldn’t discard Italy either. It’s a very open competition. South American teams are impressive.

  8. GoonerInNY


    The incentive is surely there for the USA. The ability and experience is what worries me. I can’t see the USA getting a result, but I am hoping I am wrong.

  9. Romford Pele

    Following on from Wenger’s words RE Giroud, i’d almost guarantee we aren’t replacing him. It’s gonna be a wide/half forward as Pedro alluded to. Sanchez is the only player I can think of.

  10. gunnergetyou

    “Serge Aurier. What’s mental wenger doing about him? But again, was he ever a target? Did Mental egoist wenger ever talk about him? Or, was it teh press’ imagination that we latched on to?”

    It could be all speculation but we have apparentley agreed personal terms with him.

  11. Dream10

    Josip Skoblar

    I rate Lacazette more than Remy. Deschamps thinks otherwise. Was Pogba dropped because of injury or poor play? Against better teams, I would like to see France go to a
    Cabaye, Schneiderlin, Matuidi midfield. A more defensive presence in the centre to stop #10’s from creating.

  12. Josip Skoblar

    Gooner inNY
    Nice info. It shows that Portugal is already virtually out despite drawing yesterday. They absolutely needed a win to have a chance to qualify. You could see that Portuguese players were not particularly happy after scoring in the dying seconds of extra-time. They knew this draw won’t be enough.

  13. Radio Raheem

    Against a stronger side I’d drop Giroud from the France side in favour of Pogba. Sissoko must start. I’ve been banging that Sissoko drum for a while and only have more reasons to bang it louder. He is good on the ball, runs all day, strong…He is like a bigger Matuidi but can play more positions.

  14. Bamford13


    “As an American, I see things a bit differently. I don’t see the USA taking the next step. Our kids don’t get the quality/quantity of training top kids get in England, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France, etc … So I fear the USA’s ceiling is what we’ve seen this tournament.”

    With all due respect, I have to disagree. And I disagree as an American who grew up playing in our system and who now coaches in our system. The US system youth development system has come a million miles in the past twenty years, and soccer in America today cannot really even be compared to what it was twenty years ago.

    Do you coach club soccer? I’m just curious, because a lot of American fans comment on American soccer without first-hand knowledge of what’s going on in US youth soccer.

    Bottom line is this: Claudio Reyna and US soccer retooled the club system a few years back in order to create what is called the academy system, which is based more on the European model. The academy system takes the best clubs in each state and sets certain requirements for them — emphasis on training, de-emphasis of game-play, games only against the best competition. The effects of this change are only just beginning to be seen. Much, much more is to come. Academy players will be training as often as their European counterparts, with ever-improving coaches who are overseen by US soccer itself.

    As for MLS, the level of play improves every year, as does attendance. Every MLS club now was a youth side which is financed by the club itself, which is crucial.

    Yes, it will remain the case that our best players should probably still go to Europe when they are 14-18, but as someone who looks at US soccer every day from the ground level, I must say that we have in no way reached our ceiling. Not even close.

    Oh yes, and America’s college soccer programs have recently changed their schedules so as to better resemble the European professional model.

    No, our set-up will never be the same as Germany or the Netherlands, but we will continue to improve.

    Bradley, Dempsey and Howard are all products of US soccer. Now we need to produce 18 players at their level or better. It can be done — and we’re headed in the right direction.

  15. Romford Pele

    “Against a stronger side I’d drop Giroud from the France side in favour of Pogba. Sissoko must start.”

    Cabaye, Matuidi, Sissoko, Pogba… How do you fit them all in?

  16. Radio Raheem

    Pogba is that add on that transforms a mid range car to a top of the line one. He has got to start.

  17. Martin

    My summer wishlist

    GK- Marshall/Ruddy (8-10M)
    RB – Aurier (8-10M)
    CM- Caulker (10-15M)
    DM – William Carvalho (20-24M)
    WF-Reus/Sanchez (40-45M)

    I believe this list is realistic and the only question is whether the likes of Reus and Sanchez are truly available. I think we can get away without buying a striker IF we get one of those wing forwards. The only striker out there that I want is Cavani. Balotelli is too much of a gamble.

  18. Josip Skoblar

    I think Pogba sat on the bench for most of the game against Switzerland because he had a yellow card. His disciplinary record is poor. That’s probably why Honduras players were targeting him in the first game. He’s also young so he can’t play all games.
    I’ve been a Cabaye fan since his Lille days and I’m truly impressed by Matuidi who is fast becoming my favourite French player.

  19. Bamford13

    “Against a stronger side I’d drop Giroud from the France side in favour of Pogba.”

    This is precisely what Deschamps will do. He only played Giroud, I think,to keep Pogba away from a second yellow, and to be in best shape for the decisive Ecuador match.

  20. Radio Raheem

    Sissoko plays wide like he does for Newcastle and did for France in the 20 or so mins. He scored from that position against Switzerland.

  21. Leedsgunner

    Isn’t it interesting that although many commentators would say the English Premiership was a stronger league than the French one — the French as a national side are managing to outshine their English counterparts?

    I personally think this is a legacy of France 1998 — it gave French football a massive injection of national focus and purpose (as well as funds) instead of people just sitting around complaining about it. Why didn’t it have a similar effect to the English national side when England hosted 1996? What did the French do differently that we didn’t do?

    In any case you have to congratulate the French for getting their act together after looking like a side in disarray under Santini and Domenech.

  22. Dream10

    Something like this


    Matuidi Sissoko

    Giroud gave Benzema more space to work with. I think without an outlet on the left, this side would lack balance.

  23. Josip Skoblar

    Impressive crowds in the US to watch the national team (notably in Chicago). Is this permanent or just a Summer thing? Who follows football in the US? It used to be Latinos a few years ago. I see now a younger and more mixed population in the stands.

  24. Carts


    HAHA- I know what you mean. Porto definitely on banter. They done well in the past with getting top dollar for players, but Martinez’s price is a joke – especially at his age- as you mentioned.

    Porto would do well to get £20m for him.

  25. arsenal tom


    “I have to do better in the big games and I’m working on it. I still think about those misses against Chelsea.
    “I often look back at my mistakes with Arsene Wenger. He says I have to improve my finishing and my movement. He wants me to make smarter runs.
    “One day Wenger told me I’m too honest in my running, too predictable. I need to be more sly, tricky. I’m getting there.

  26. N5

    “Isn’t it interesting that although many commentators would say the English Premiership was a stronger league than the French one — the French as a national side are managing to outshine their English counterparts? ”

    Don’t the majority of their team play in other leagues though Leeds?

  27. Arsene's Nurse

    MadeToLoveMagic June 23, 2014 10:59:15

    arsenes nurse

    the fact that you think sanogo is the worst player ever just confirms to me what i suspected about you

    you’re a genius
    You need to learn to read mate. What I said was:

    He’s one of the worst players I’ve ever seen.

    Not the worst. If you think he should be anywhere near the Arsenal team then you have problems. There are dozens of players that are infinitely better than Sanogo without getting into the realms of mega-bucks.

    The only reason he is at Arsenal is because Wenger loves a player to be:

    1. Cheap.
    2. Prone to injuries.
    3. French African.
    4. Young.
    5. A project.

    Ask yourself why he wasn’t snapped up by any other club.

  28. Dream10


    Did not come out right. It would be very congested with four CMs in Matuidi,Cabaye,Pogba,Sissoko. King Benz would be isolated with Valbuena the only creative outlet.

  29. Josip Skoblar

    In truth, the French national team was one of the best in the world in the 1950s, was terrible throughout the 60s and early 70s, strong again in the late 70s (Platini) and one of the best in the world in the 80s. So with ups and downs, they’ve been a decent national side for the past 40 years. The trouble with France is that they’re not consistent. They can be superb and the next tournament, they’ll be utter garbage. At least, England are consistently average! 🙂

  30. GoonerInNY


    Great info. Thanks. I know nothing about youth soccer beyond what I read, so I am happy to hear you say things are improving.

    As for MLS, I don’t share your optimism. Ithink the league has reached a sustainable level, which is great and not to be diminished. That was not a certainty after rhe first five years. But attendance and interest will not get much bigger for a ton of reasons . MLS will not be a Top-10 league anytime soon.

    Finally, 10 Bradley-level players won’t get us very far in a WC. He has his merits but as we saw yesterday, he is not up to WC level. That is why I said this is our ceiling. We need a higher level player (Dempsey and up) in all 10 spots to get beyond where we are now. Hopefully that will happen in the future based on your report on youth soccer. But we are not close now.

  31. Scott

    Right Aurier he is perfect for us and wants to join us. Why hasn’t he been signed up? The complete lack of transfer activity is frustrating me . Don’t you win the PL Wenger? All our rivals have strengthened. He has given Chelsea the league like he did with Man U. Fuck off you greedy fraud.

  32. Romford Pele

    “Pogba stunning player but a red card waiting to happen.”

    Like a midfield version of Super Mario

  33. N5

    “10 Bradley-level players won’t get us very far in a WC. He has his merits but as we saw yesterday, he is not up to WC level. ”

    I thought he had a solid game, IMO he made two erroneous passes and that can happen to the best of them over 90 minutes, the shame was, one of them was costly.

  34. bergkamplegend

    Disgusted by the late equalizer from portugal last night.

    The USA clearly deserved to win this game.
    I really hope that CR7 and his teamates will go home.

    This Team Usa play a really good football, hope they will go far!!

  35. The Poldi Prince

    Dont know if I’m still gullible or what, but I think aurier and mad muzza will get done.

    if you add even schneiderlin to that, we are a much better squad. Title winning? Probably not. Enough to shake things up though.

    Add sanchez too, and its looking great.

  36. N5

    Scott, if you believe the papers he has agreed terms and now it us and Toulouse negotiating a price. If I was Toulouse I would do the very same thing and hold on until after the world cup to try and get a few more million for him. They know he’s going, so why not get the best price.

  37. GoonerInNY


    MLS has reached out to Latinos, but I don’t think it has been esoecially successful. MLS us not the best soccer, especially with virtually every EPL game on TV, as well as a ton of games from Mexico, Italy, etc.

    The World Cup gets interest from a lot of Americans who literally won’t watch another soccer game for four years.

  38. Romford Pele

    “They know he’s going, so why not get the best price.”

    Makes sense tbh. And if rumours are to be believed, Liverpool and Barca are interested.

  39. Ash79

    I dont know what to talk about..

    rumours on weekend that Aurier was pretty much done.

    rumours that we announce anyone until we have the new kit in posession.

  40. goonpharm

    USA have nowhere near reached their ceiling yet. They really have come on over the last 2 world cups. I dare say that they are actually tactically and technically more astute than their English counterparts.

    I can only see them getting better and better. Traditionally USA have excellent fitness in near enough every sport they play in. The talent pool will catch up if they carry on this way.

    Watch how they were running drills just as the Portuguese players took the field for the second half.

    They are almost like a hybrid of European efficiency and African athleticism. When the talent pool catches up they will be a force. I give them another 10 years and they will be challenging world cups.

  41. Arsene's Nurse

    Scott June 23, 2014 11:22:12

    Right Aurier he is perfect for us and wants to join us. Why hasn’t he been signed up?
    It will be down to penny pinching. Toulouse will want 7m and we’ll offer 6m. That will then piss them off so they’ll then say, right, you have loads of cash and you are fannying around. If you want the player it’s now 7m upfront, pay up or fuck off.

    Wenger will then dither and dither then Aurier will go somewhere else for the asking price.

  42. WengerEagle

    ‘Like a midfield version of Super Mario’

    Excellent comparison and they both seem to be able to be kept in check by the older, more experienced heads for Juventus/Italy with Pirlo being instrumental to both.

  43. N5

    “Makes sense tbh. And if rumours are to be believed, Liverpool and Barca are interested.”

    If true, then it makes even more sense to wait and provoke a bidding war! Wenger will get cold feet if history is to be a gauge of our behavior, but Barca and Liverpool could push each other to silly money from him.

  44. Romford Pele

    “They are almost like a hybrid of European efficiency and African athleticism.”

    I actually agree with this. If they can start producing flair players, it’ll be really interesting to see how they develop. Their performances are all the more impressive considering they play joke teams in the qualifying phase.

  45. Leedsgunner


    In looking at the present squad 7 players play in Ligue 1 whereas the majority of our players (England) are from the EPL. How the cruch question for me is how many of them are automatic starters at their clubs? Maybe eight? The truth is the better, an technically better foreign players are squeezing out the English talent.

    The answer to me is to make to improve and adopt the best coaching methods so we nurture a group of English youngsters who can compete with the best rather than trying to shut the foreigners out, pre se. When you do that all you do is lower standard and make people think they are better than they truly are (as it is now).

    Whatever we do, there is not an easy fix solution for the national squad. It’s a long term project. We’re not going to win a major trophy in our life time if ever.

    Structurally we’re unsound… and we like to elevate/demonise individual players too much — forgetting that this is a team game. AS it has already been mentioned, at this WC the teams with the strongest team and work ethic have done well. When we have one outstanding player, I think the team often gets complacent or lazy hoping the one star will get them a win/out of trouble over and over again.

  46. Klauspoppe

    Juventus with what they achieved under Conte in Italy are so static to be of any threat in CL. Vidal and Pogba are being compromised to get the most out of Pirlo who is a legend but now ineffective in CL fixtures.

  47. Romford Pele

    I don’t think it’s down to penny pinching (though I may be wrong). I think the Toulouse chairman has banked on Aurier storming this WC (which he is) in order to drive up price. You’re probably looking at double figures for Aurier after this tournament. But with him and Jenkinson, you won’t need to look at another RB for for 10 years.

  48. GoonerInNY


    Amongst the USA supporters I watched with, he infuriated us the whole game. Gave the ball away cheaply again and again. Missed an open goal. Poor passing. When Dempsey scored off the Zusi pass, it came after Bradley botched the cross. We spent the bulk of the post-match discussion lamenting that Klinsmann has built the entire attack around him, so there was no way to sit him v. Germany even though he didn’t deserve to play.

    Maybe we were a bit unfair, but Bradley did not play well yesterday.

  49. Scott

    Rumors Barca want Suarez his price is set at 65 million euros and Barcelona are still trying to get Sanchez involved in the deal.

    Surely Wenger won’t let Sanchez go to Liverpool but this is the cunt who sold RVP to Man U and let Chelsea have Cesc.

  50. southernpeople

    “the World Cup not exactly being the best barometer of a players ability.”

    What a strange statement that is?

    Isn’t wc supposed to be the biggest stage that differentiate between very good players and exceptional players.

    if wc cannot measure players footballing abilities then why do we rate wc and scout players in it?

  51. WengerEagle


    Agree mate, they also lack quality out wide and up front. Llorente is fairly average tbh, similar to Giroud in his style and wastefulness and Tevez despite being quality is not getting any younger at 30. For some reason Tevez has always been gash in the Champions League as well.

    You can see why they would have a hard on for Sanchez but I doubt they could afford him.

    Unless they dramatically improve their front 3 they will continue to fall short in the Champions League which is a great shame as their defence and CM is as good as anyone’s.

  52. Nasri's Mouth

    Barca interested in Aurier ? Really ?

    The thing with him is that he’s been so vocal in his love for all things Arsenal that I can’t imagine any other PL club wanting to touch him.

  53. Klauspoppe

    I hope if Aurier joins, Wenger goes back to what he tried to achieve with Eboue but failed miserably. The overlapping runs by the RB without increasing the chance of being caught on the break. Eboue made some nice runs shame thats all that was nice of him.

  54. Nasri's Mouth

    southernpeople: if wc cannot measure players footballing abilities then why do we rate wc and scout players in it?

    we, the fans might, but do clubs actually buy players based on their world cup exploits, or is that just media induced hype and bs ?

  55. Romford Pele

    “The thing with him is that he’s been so vocal in his love for all things Arsenal that I can’t imagine any other PL club wanting to touch him.”

    I don’t know how much of a difference this really makes. Aurier loves Arsenal but money talks.

  56. goonpharm

    England need to swallow the bitter pill that there are nowhere near enough quality coaches at grassroots to make a difference.

    France did. They addressed their deficiencies and won back to back cups.

    Spain did. Back to back cups.

    Germany did. Won u21 world cup and now look a solid bet for Brazil.

    Simple blue print –
    1 – Employ coaches from around the world to coach from grass roots.
    2 – Nuture our own pool of coaches and send them abroad to learn and gain experience from their foreign counterparts.
    3 – set up an imdependent advisory board that doesn’t include any of Greg Dykes old chums. That will monitor progress.
    4 – Set up a compulsory loan system where young players will go and spend a season at a twinned club in Germany, Spain, France etc to gain experience.
    (How many of the top countries have or have had players with PL experience.

    Rules like limiting Johnny foreigner etc mean shit. Your essentially making it easier.

    Set out a 10-15 year target. Get the foundations right before thinking about the fixtures and fittings.

  57. Josip Skoblar

    We were the kings of the world in the late 60s-early 70s. The question is: why did we never build on our success?

  58. Romford Pele

    Aurier is a much more focused player than Eboue. You kind of got the feeling Eoue played in his own bubble at times; he was a nutcase too.

  59. GoonerInNY


    CONCACAF has a lot of bad sides, yes, but as we have seen Mexico and Costa Rica are tough competition. Plus, playing at the Central American countries in qualifiers is quite difficult. Very unhospitable conditions.

    But yes, it is not like being in a European qualifying group.

  60. gunnergetyou

    I think it would help if the MLS was structured differently to make it more in-line with the european leagues. Its crazy that their season is about to start bang in the middle of a world cup.

  61. Dream10


    One thing that helps the Americans is they have a few German born players. Remember the commentator saying there are five. I know Fabian Johnson (RB), Jermaine Jones (CM), Jon Brooks (CB) are all German born. Also, Julian Green. Like you said, it is beneficial for them to move abroad early to receive a top footballing education.

    Still think they miss Donovan. He would have created a few more opportunities and they would have beaten Portugal quite easily.

  62. Leedsgunner

    I doubt Barca are interested Aurier. They’ve recently worked really hard to get Montoya signed up who by all accounts is ready to take on the RB mantle full time (good luck?!?). Plus the racism in Spanish football is horrible, especially to African players. (Remember how Eto got treated?)

  63. Klauspoppe

    I agree with southernpeople on how WC differentiates with good player to world class ones.

    Always felt WC is a stage that can only be taken advantage by players with exceptional technical ability and understanding of space. With every team packing it in defence a player that can concentrate for the full game and take advantage of being given a metre of space to make difference prevails. Not expecting any perfect team football but that moment of brilliance and this not only includes attacking players but defenders also.

    Hazard, Messi playing so poorly the majority of the game when given a pocket of space they made the difference. These are WC players.

    Kompany and thiago Silva were excellent in nullifying in nearly every attack opponents thrown at them. Breath-taking stuff from them his world cup.

  64. N5

    GoonerinNY, fair enough my friend. I must admit it didn’t feel like that to me, but I’m not always the most observant, I only noticed two bad decisions on his passes but I’ll accept your assessment as you know the guy much better than me.

    Either way, it was a gutting result last night, most of us really wanted to see CR7 cry again 😀

  65. Josip Skoblar

    “The World Cup gets interest from a lot of Americans who literally won’t watch another soccer game for four years.”
    What a shame. I was watching those ecstatic crowds in Chicago and guys supporting the US team in Brazil. It’s hard to believe that most are not really there for the football.

  66. N5

    “Remember how Eto got treated?”

    Despicable wasn’t it, I can’t understand any African player that would chose to play in Spain.

  67. Bamford13


    The attendance at summer exhibition games — USMNT or otherwise — reflects both growth in popularity of the sport here and fact that these are special events.

    However, popularity of the sport and knowledge of the sport have grown in leaps and bounds in the US.

    While there are a number of ways of looking at the growth/development of US soccer in the past twenty years, I will paint you a little picture, which I think is revealing.

    When I was growing up, your average talented US soccer player began haphazardly kicking a ball at 5, had his first quality coach at 14, had a dad who never played the game, and watched his first international or club match at 14. Today your average quality player begins kicking around at 3-4, has his first quality coach at 7, has a dad who played at a high level, and watches EPL/CL every single weekend.

    It’s a different world here now in terms of football/soccer, but we still haven’t seen the results at the highest level. We’ll get there, though. We’ll play in aWC semi, I think, in the next thirty years. One must take the long view. 😉

    I’d say there are four groups of people who watch soccer/football these days in the states, though one has

  68. southernpeople


    “We” refers to clubs in general and not fans. I meant Arsene and our Arsenal scouting network people are there to analyse players’ performances.

    I know that wc is a big stage and players who show high performance and live to expectations in terms of skills, leadership and discipline.

    To say wc is not a measure of players’ abilities is just fallacious. player like Campbell played against big football stars; established pl and serie players and he still outperformed them. So to say that is not a measure of his ability is just not right.

  69. Nasri's Mouth


    Of course money talks, but why would a club like Liverpool offer that money in the first place for someone with such a hard on for another club in the league?

  70. GoonerInNY


    I feel your pain. We all felt the same way. Nobody likes CR7 (the diving doesn’t help). Just be glad it is very unlikely Portugal will advance.

    MLS started a couple of months ago, but I understand your point. The problems are 1) There is less competition in the summer (only baseball) and 2) Americans won’t sit outside in the cold for soccer. I hate that MLS plays spring to fall, but if I am honest, a move to August-May would be a disaster.

  71. Alfie

    GoonerinNY is a troll.

    He said the other day that Henry was a poor mans Andy Cole… WTF???

    All you do is look for ways to wind people up.

  72. Scott

    Looking how average all these Liverpool players are its obvious Suarez makes them look far better. Rodgers and Liverpool will be exposed next year with Wenger getting his 4th place instead of them.

  73. Nasri's Mouth


    Certainly it’s a measure of a players abilities, but it’s not THE measure.

    There are plenty of other variables that can come into play, such as the differing styles of play between club and country, the conditions, maybe the pressure of playing for your country, the quality of the manager, levels of tiredness or niggling injuries from long seasons. It’s also a relatively small window to view players.

    For example Campbell has looked very good this world cup, but he’s played less than 180 mins so far. It would be wrong to rate his ability on how he’s performed in Brazil without also looking at how he performed in Greece over a season

  74. WengerEagle

    ‘But yes, it is not like being in a European qualifying group.’

    In European Qualifying the quality really isn’t that high in each group barring 2-3 teams. You have sides like San Marino, Andorra, Latvia, Iceland, The Faroe Islands, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Estonia, etc diluting the quality in each group.

    I’d argue that the South American Qualifiers are by far the most difficult because you have to play Argentina, Brazil (this World Cup an exception), Chile, Colombia and Uruguay home and away. Uruguay only qualified for this World Cup by the skin of their teeth depite Brazil not featuring in the group.

    Even away matches against the smaller teams like Bolivia prove to be exceptionally difficult due to the altitude that the matches are played at. Bolivia beat Argentina 6-1 in La Paz in 2009 when the likes of Messi and Tevez were playing.

  75. Bamford13

    Sorry, GoonerinNY, but I think you have a jaded and inaccurate understanding of support for the game in the US at the moment. Most of the people who went to those US games watch the USMNT throughout the year, and many if not most of those watch MLS as well.

    Within what I would call the ‘soccer community’ in the US — a community that is large and growing — these being people who play, coach or watch the game constantly, there is an enormous commitment to the game.

    The days of football/soccer as largely a “soccer mom” phenomenon are long, long gone. Thank God.

  76. GoonerInNY


    The treveling USA supporters are legit. Great fans. Very dedicated.

    Those in the park in Chicago care, but many only care because it is a World Cup. You wouldn’t get a crowd like that in Chicago for any other competition (or even a WC qualifier).

    And there definitely is a backlash of “soccer still sucks” by many in response to the WC intetest.

    But Bamford is right. Things are different. When I started suppporting Arsenal in 1998 after the WC, I couldn’t watch games and knew no other soccer fans. Now, I can watch every EPL game and have a bunch of friends who follow soccer (mostly EPL, not MLS).

  77. N5

    Klaus, a bit of both and you can throw Russia into that one as well! In fact it feels like a lot of Europe is intolerant of race!! Sad really.

  78. Scott

    “Cmon guys. Adding Aurier, Balotelli, Schneiderlin and Sanchez wont have us challenging for the the title? Then I dunno what will.”

    Ask yourself would they start for City and Chelsea?

  79. bergkamplegend

    Leeds : Alves reaction was great.
    But it’s your responsability to call him “top gentleman/player”… lol

  80. Romford Pele

    “The treveling USA supporters are legit. Great fans. Very dedicated.”


    Loved the way the players celebrated their goals last night. Very united, not just here to make up numbers

  81. salparadisenyc

    Epic game last night… Can this World Cup get any better? USA let it slip and could quite possibly crash out, would be harsh after that performance. Looking forward to the business end of this tournament.. Going to be a very good week.

  82. GoonerInNY


    I think that we just reflect the different circles we move in. You are involved in youth soccer, so you are seeing a lot of positive things on the development side. You are also probably surrounded by people who follow MLS and the US national team throughout the year.

    I am a very big soccer fan, but at the same time, while I do have friends who I can talk about soccer with, in my larger circle, outside of youth soccer, most of the people I know do not follow soccer at all. And the limited coverage of the USMNT until the WC reflects soccer’s status here.

    Belueve me, I want you to be right.

  83. N5

    Leeds, I haven’t read that link you posted yet, but I hope it says about Alves saying, “thank you for throwing on that banana, as it gave me the energy to make the pass that we scored from” or something to that effect.


  84. Dream10


    I don’t see Russia hosting in 2018 even though they ‘won’ the rights to host.. I can see England, Germany or the U.S. getting it.

  85. Amey

    Long time reader of the blog, posting for the first time. A massive arsenal fan from India 🙂 . I would love to have Aurier, Balotelli, Schneiderlin and Sanchez and a central defender. Surely Arsenal will compete for PL after that, Would love to have a player like Schweni. Complete midfielder..

  86. N5

    Dream10, I hope you are right mate. Russia have acted disgustingly towards certain races and sexual preferences, oh and the Ukraine! They should not be allowed to host any thing like the WC, but I guess money talks.

  87. Niki B's Soldier

    @Scott. Ask yourself are we City and Chelsea? Hell. So many players don’t start for City and Chelsea but would make a huge difference in our team. Don’t be narrow minded.

  88. Romford Pele

    “Is there actually any link between Aurier and Barca?”

    Yeah Spanish newspaper AS reported it though said any deal would be hard cos the player prefers Arsenal above every other side.

  89. Leedsgunner


    … “thank you for throwing on that banana, as it gave me the energy to make the pass that we scored from” or something to that effect…

    made me chuckle out loud… thanks mate. 😉

  90. Name (required)

    Niki B

    We are richer than Chelsea and City so don’t bring out we can’t compete with them line

  91. Thomas

    – If Germany wins and Ghana wins, Germany wins the group and Ghana us second (even though the USA beat Ghana, which is weird to me because in USA sports, head-to-head is always the first tie-breaker).


    Not necessarily. Say Germany beat USA 1-0 and Ghana beat Portugal 1-0 then both USA and Ghana have 4-4 in GD and USA go through by beating Ghana.


  92. N5

    Jesus Dream10, 50 Billion!!! That’s silly money isn’t it!!

    Leeds, I can’t remember exactly what he said but that was the jist of it, he turned an ugly thing into something quite different. My hat is off to Alves.

    Right lads, I’m on annual leave today, so the wife has got me doing jobs around the house, I’m off to the hardware store to get some bits!! bloody women hear the word leave and thing that we don’t want to relax!! Bitches!!


  93. Romford Pele

    “I would love the WC 2018 — it would be mental… just imagine it!”

    I enjoyed the London Olympics so much – the World Cup in England would be on another scale!

  94. Bamford13

    Nik B

    You are right to call the skeptics out on the possibility of competing for a title next year by adding the four you mention. However, I don’t think Balotelli is the right man for the job. Though a great striker of the ball and fantastic when in the mood, he gives you little movement off the ball, little combination play and a good deal of inconsistency. I think he would end up being a disappointment.

    Believe it or not, I’m also not big on Sanchez. Though a great dribbler and scorer, he likes playing from the right side — not the left — and is a bit individualistic. It took him a year just to figure out how to play at Barca (though perhaps you could argue he’s thus grown in leaps and bounds). Still, I’d actually only consider him as a CF.

    I’ll say this: if we added the four players below, we not only would compete for the title, we’d take the title.


    Which would give us:


    Or, I could see us COMPETING for the title — though probably falling a bit short — if we went less expensive and lower profile and signed:


    Giving us:


  95. Scott


    Would they start for Chelsea and City? If not then forget about the league

  96. Bamford13


    You’re right: different circles, different perspectives. I promise you that we’re coming along, but it may take awhile to see results at the highest level.

  97. bergkamplegend

    I try to imagine Wenger’s meeting with Super Mario : “you know Mario, I really want you at Arsenal – even if you’re far too expensive – , but you must know that L’Oreal would remain my main striker. Do you already saw L’Oreal play ??”

    And then I picture Ballotelli’s reaction in my head === >>> LOL again and again…

  98. Romford Pele

    “Would they start for Chelsea and City? If not then forget about the league”

    Doesn’t quite work like that. While I don’t necessarily agree with the personnel, we shouldn’t ignore players just because they wouldn’t start for other clubs. It’s all about our requirements.

  99. Bamford13


    “Would they start for Chelsea and City? If not then forget about the league.”

    Is that a rhetorical question? If so, do you watch football? Are you unfamiliar with these players?

    Coleman, Gaitan, and Muller could easily start for either City or Chelsea. Schneiderlin doesn’t have the rep of his counterparts at those clubs, but I actually think I prefer him to their options.

  100. Nasri's Mouth

    Scott: Wait a minute why are Milan selling Balotelli?

    Because if they can get £30m for him it’ll be very good business for them

  101. Bamford13

    *By start for City and Chelsea, btw, I don’t mean they would start OVER the existing player, but that they are at least equivalent to that player in class, talent, athleticism, etc. That is, the player is just as good as his counterparts at City and Chelsea.

  102. Ash79

    Scott June 23, 2014 11:38:08 – Surely Wenger won’t let Sanchez go to Liverpool but this is the cunt who sold RVP to Man U and let Chelsea have Cesc.
    you’ve just answered your own point. No reason at all Wenger will not let Sanchez join anyone else.

    Nasri’s Mouth June 23, 2014 11:40:08 Barca interested in Aurier ? Really ?
    The thing with him is that he’s been so vocal in his love for all things Arsenal that I can’t imagine any other PL club wanting to touch him.
    Means nothing. You know this. Every player seemingly loves arsenal, just so happens they fuck off or play for someone else.

  103. Niki B's Soldier

    Cool. Bamford. Love the way you disect shit. lol. Although I would rather purchase Sanchez as competition for Wally rather than for the left. As for Balo, I think he’ll be better than Mandzu and Muller for us. They don’t seem to suit our play. Although they are both good players. Muller seems more like a Bergkamp than a Henry and the reason why I say Balo is cos he’s got pace and power and that’s what we need upfront. Please ignore Scott, he’s a cunt who doesn’t watch football only Chelsea and City Highlights.

  104. Bamford13

    If there were any piece of advice one could give to the English regarding how to improve the youth system and national team, I’d say: look to the Germans.

    They re-tooled their system a few years back and are producing fantastic players and teams. Technical, savvy, polished, pacy, powerful.

    No reason the English can’t produce similar players.

    I’d send ten of the best young English soccer brains over to Germany for a year to study what they’ve done. Then re-tool from the bottom up based on their findings.

    No point in studying the Spanish or Italians. Keep it simple.

    Or study the Dutch model maybe. But I like the Germans.

  105. Leedsgunner

    Come on Suarez make a move to Spain… don’t you have a little boy inside saying, “Get me out to Spain, I can’t understand anybody… the rain is neverending, and the women, don’t get me started about the women…” I know you’re Uruguyan but there must be some Barca DNA. They would be a perfect player for a c*** like you. In fact, if a club and a player ever deserved each other….

    As for £100m that Liverpool would receive, I’m sure the business savvy folks at THFC will show you how to make the most of it… let’s see how Brendan Rodgers does without Suarez for a season before everybody butters his toast… 😉