… and they’re off!

by .

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… and we’re off.

Arsenal spanked a hapless Boreham Wood by a whopping two goals to nil in a thriller these shores have not seen the likes of in decades.

…kind of.

It was typically pre-season. Arsenal were a bit lethargic, a bit green and a bit rusty. It was a fun game. I only caught part of the first half, but I saw some of the chances that were missed by Sanogo. It was good to see Rambo back in contention whilst rocking a bad ass hair cut. We had Zelalem in the starting line up, perhaps considering a break through season this year.

The second half was a bit more interesting because I watched it through the intermittent spats of buffering. Olsson looks quite a handy player, he was getting in the mix in the same way Rosicky usually does. He was responsible for the opener, and actually, his older doppelganger Rosicky played him through the middle with a clever pass, the Swede (assuming here) turned it past the keeper.

The second goal came from a penalty that Benik Afobe won and scored. A nice way to cap off a casual afternoon.

I don’t really have too many highlights to sift through, I personally think Chuba Akpom is a far better prospect than Sanogo. I can’t for the life of me understand why he doesn’t get more bench time than the Frenchman. I mean, neither are ready, but Akpom looks faster, more mobile and more mature on the ball than Yaya.

Another highlight was seeing Diaby back in an Arsenal shirt. I don’t quite think he’s the player everyone seems to remember when we lose him for 18 months, but he’s available, he’s apparently trained his arse off to get back into shape and now it’s up to the injury gods to see if he can have an impact on our season.

Don’t hold your breath though… he certainly shouldn’t, he’d probably puncture a lung.

Wenger was fairly bullish after the game, he wasn’t too fussed about Jack smoking a fag, he said there’s a long way to go with transfers (he normally says something purposely effusive) and he said he’d buy a keeper.

Good times I’d say.

Transfer stories are juddering to a halt, Sammy K no longer seems like an option with Chelsea circling and Arsenal dropping out the race because of mad requirements for big cash. I get that. I just hope there are other options. We should just go hard for Bender… make it happen. Younger, cheaper and still German.

Ok, so not much to play with today. I’m in Paris tomorrow, I’ll be grabbing a meeting with the PSG execs, apparently they’re embarrassingly behind with FFP. I’m there to broker some deals.

Also, a lot of people asking about Shad Forsythe, he’s still coming, but he’s been away with Germany. He’ll be with the club soon, hopefully not dealing with a Tony Colbert induced mess!

Have a great day!

673 Responses to “… and they’re off!”

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  1. neil

    Don’t forget we had 150 million cash last summer, 42.5 on Ozil still gave us 100 million before any of the things you say

  2. neil

    I don’t seek radical change, I seek a manager who will spend the money available to him, this current one is unable to do that, thereby limiting what this club could be, it’s not as though we don’t have the money, I don’t seek to put the club into debt, the stadium debt is manageable, there is ample funds to spend on transfers, this guy is just too timid, 65 years old, set in his ways, this club needs new visions, and it can’t get them from this manager, fans are not asking to jepardise the clubs standing with big signings, they want the money they invest to be reinvested in the squad, not a big ask

  3. Ashwin Gunner

    Morning all

    Looks like Wenger is not going to bring in any more strikers… so does that mean Giroud will be the lone striker again. or does Wenger think our postman can deliver some goals upfront…

    Or Sanchez as a striker.

    I dont understand Wenger;s love with Giroud. he is not ready to accept that Giroud is a 10 mil striker. He is what he is… and nothing can be done about it…

    All he can do is bring in another striker to partner with Giroud… who has different abilities to Giroud.

    I am shocked. Wenger went all out in signing a striker last season… Like last season we only have Giroud. what is his explanation for not going for another striker…

  4. gnarleygeorge9

    Cor blimey this Newsnow about Khedira is doing my head in. Yes ! No! Maybe! Are any of these ‘journos’ of any substance

  5. Nasri's Mouth

    Ashwin Gunner: Like last season we only have Giroud. what is his explanation for not going for another striker…

    You already answered your question

    Ashwin Gunner: Or Sanchez as a striker.

  6. Ashwin Gunner

    gnarleygeorge

    Newsnow is like Entertainment today.. you will get all the gossip and nonsense here. its just a good time pass. no credibility…

    Thumb rule is, If it is not in Arsenal.com, its not true..

  7. Ashwin Gunner

    NM

    I sincerely hope he does taht.. Sanchez has it in him to lead line..

    on another front. .What if Sanchez gets injured… then we become Arsenal of 2013… without any potent attack..

  8. Emiratesstroller

    Newco Arsenal PLC

    I agree with almost all of what you wrote on this thread.

    What counts today in football whether you agree or not is the business and financial brand.

    Arsenal are currently one of the top 10 brands globally based on any
    calculation.

    It has built its infrastructure to meet 21st century requirements. The club was backward in sponsorship, but that has been improved significantly in last 2 years. Perhaps most importantly the club attracts consumers in London with ‘spending’ power reflected by high ticket prices.

    The club is not internationally within the so-called European Elite on
    the football pitch, but it most certainly is in England. However, that
    label is meaningless in 21st century if you do not have financial resources.

    The reality is that Liverpool are not today a major football power. Its
    reputation is built on history and sentimentality. Its owners are not in
    the same league as those of Man City or Chelsea. They are also a long
    way short in infrastructure development and spending power of Arsenal.

    You cannot live in the past. Liverpool have not won a League Title for
    almost 25 years and their participation at top table of European Football is spasmodic.

    Last season they outperformed their potential. You can attribute that
    in part to Suarez, but also to the number of games they played compared with the other major football clubs. Personally I don’t see that
    being repeated this season, although they may still finish in fourth place.

    That will depend on the impact of new manager at Man Utd and what
    investments they make between now and the end of transfer window.

    Long term Liverpool just like Spurs will struggle to make the top table
    unless there is a change of financial structure.

  9. Nasri's Mouth

    @Ashwin Gunner

    We looked pretty good up front until we lost players like Walcott and Ramsey.

    I think with Ozil being in his 2nd season, Walcott and AOC available we’d do ok without Sanchez for a while

  10. peanuts&monkeys

    It appears a goalie will be the only signing now and till 31st August. But who all is Wenger selling this season? Cazorla? Podolski? TV5? Any other players in the line?

  11. peanuts&monkeys

    @Ashwin: “I dont understand Wenger;s love with Giroud. he is not ready to accept that Giroud is a 10 mil striker.”

    Giroud is a striker at best of Carling Cup level. Nothing above that. Sanogo? He is complete misfit. Which leaves us with no strikers for playing the league.

    Even if it is a low-budget striker, let him be from a Top-8 PL team. Anyone from Benteke, Lukaku, Defoe, Torres, Drogba, Agbonlahor, Bent. Even Berbatov will be Ok to be a fighting Arsenal forward line.

  12. Dark Hei

    @peanuts

    While I will agree that RVP, Cavani and Ibrahimovic are better than Giroud, I have serious doubts with those guys on your list as an upgrade.

    I would welcome Lukaku as I think he can give serious competition to Giroud. But the rest, meh. But if we do sign Lukaku, we will have to move Podolski,

  13. Northbanker

    note Galliani’s words on no Arsenal bid for Balotelli ‘…at the moment’

    I think this will happen

    let’s get the Ospina deal wrapped up so we can focus on this and the DM role

  14. Revving Kevin

    Dear emirates stroller
    Very good post.
    This love in with Liverpool is getting boring. They are a big club yes but that is Becos of past successes and their achievements in the 1980’s. Of course Their fan base is far larger than clubs like spurs and the recently doped Chelsea. But they have spent multiple millions in recent years and despite that struggle to get top 4 most seasons. Then they have one decent season and the sympathetic media, their ex players and rival fans go on a love in.

    They have no league title in 25 years, that is damning. It seems the media are fine to go on about our 9 years, disingenuous of course Becos we built the stadium, but are reluctant to talk about ’25 years’ or ’54 years’ (Spuds). So a quarter of a century and half a century is not deemed worthy of ridicule, yet 9 years was repeated endlessly. Sums up our media.

  15. Nasri's Mouth

    Revving Kevin: yet 9 years was repeated endlessly. Sums up our media.

    There’s a difference though. We were massively successful under Wenger initially. Neither Liverpool or Spurs had that success in that time period. I think the whole 9 years thing had some validity, it was just done to death far too much

  16. Savage

    I enjoy watching Coquelin’s energy – I’m pretty sure though that if he didn’t make it at Nurnburg, he’s not going to cut it here.

  17. Revving Kevin

    P&M
    Lol.
    You lot are obsessed. Defoe and Berbatov?? You forgot Jimmy Greaves, Martin Peters and Jurgen Klinsmann!!

    you are just recycling names now for attention.

  18. Dark Hei

    @Savage

    Coquelin looks the part of the competent tackler. He looks great during the friendly, winning balls back and as far as I can remembered, this is his strongest suit. But there might be questions asked of his long pass. He played for Freiburg but out on the right, which might mean why he was so crappy.

  19. Emiratesstroller

    People forget that Liverpool were bankrupt under previous owners,
    and the current American owners operate in precisely the same fashion as Kroenke.

    The key differences between Arsenal and Liverpool TODAY are that we have been in Champions League every season since Wenger arrived. We have built our stadium AND the club are apart from Bayern Munich are the most financially stable in world football.

    When you read statistics including those published by Deloittes and
    the annual Swiss Rambler Review you see key differences between
    Arsenal and most of the other English Clubs.

    Our cash reserves are more than double those of Man Utd and significantly greater than those of Man City and Chelsea who are dependent on owners pumping in money to cover their transfer investments. This may be camouflaged as in case of Man City by large sponsorship deals.

    When you look at last years figures Liverpool’s cash reserves were amongst the lowest in EPL. Most of their transfer expenditure was covered either by sales or tv money.

    I acknowledge that they have an able manager in Rogers who has clearly improved their team, and this year they have significant monies to spend following sale of Suarez and one or two other players.

    However, the players they have bought are average and my instinct
    have been brought in to ‘bulk up’ their squad. Until now I see no evidence that they can attract or finance a ‘showstopper’ of the calibre
    of Suarez.

  20. Nasri's Mouth

    @Revving Kevin

    I’d go with the ‘ignorance’, but I’m not sure it was deliberate. Remember Gary Neville’s famous positive Arsenal speech about how the debt was almost paid off? He was guilty of being just as ignorant as the knockers were. I’m sure I can dig up quotes from Winterburn, Keown etc. who talked about our financial situation inaccurately even though they have extra interest in Arsenal over other clubs

    I don’t think you can expect commentators and pundits to have an in depth knowledge of our financial situation, when they have another 19+ teams to know about.

    Still, it was almost contractually agreed that the number of years Arsenal had gone without winning a trophy had to mentioned within the first 10 mins of the game. Lazy journalism in the extreme

  21. Moray

    I fucking hate Liverpool FC. All these oily cuntish ex-players they roll out as pundits with a chip on their shoulder, the arrogant attitude they have about the league and Europe like it’s a birthright, the maudlin songs, this bollox about how they have the best supporters in the world – great if you want your players’ houses to be robbed, a child to be killed or a riot to kick off.

    Really worse than Chelski, who are just an unsustainable oil rich joke , Man Utd who are a collection of glory hunting fools from around the world who at least have Ronaldinho a standing ovation when he played rings round them, Man City who probably deserve their time in the sun, and Spuds who are inconsequential.

  22. Bergkamplegend

    So khedira is now linked with Monaco…
    Well, if he prefers money – ooopppssss sorry I mean Monaco lol – over Arsenal, that’s his problem.

  23. Jim Lahey

    A Liverpool fan in work was kind enough to remind me that that in 9 years we’ve only won an FA Cup… So I thought it would be best to remind him that in 8 years they’ve only won a league cup 😉

  24. Bergkamplegend

    Moray : “worst than chelsea” ?? That means “worst” than our dear friend the special cunt ??

    Didn’t know there was a team worst than chelsea on earth…

  25. Nasri's Mouth

    @Emiratesstroller

    We don’t have more than twice the cash reserves of ManU, theirs were up near the £100m mark.

    Liverpool’s owner is similar to Kroenke in that he’s not putting his own money into the club, but he certainly seems keen to spend what ever money the club does have. It’s lovely having £100m available to spend, but ONLY if you are actually going to spend it. Otherwise it’s just increasing the value of the owners shares.

  26. Moray

    haha Defoe couldn’t even get a game for Spuds or England. No way he was ever good enough for the Arsenal. Bring back Christopher Wreh before we consider someone at Defoe’s level. At least Giroud looks good…

  27. Revving Kevin

    NM
    “Still, it was almost contractually agreed that the number of years Arsenal had gone without winning a trophy had to mentioned within the first 10 mins of the game. Lazy journalism in the extreme”

    Agreed. Mind you, they were sitting in the magnificent Emirates stadium , so not sure how they couldn’t recognise that achievement. They just chose to ignore it and continue the 6, 7, 8 or 9 year drivel.

    Journalists are not only lazy they are deliberate liars. It’s sensationalism over fact.

  28. Moray

    Bergkamplegend, Mourinho is just a temporary cunt, who soils wherever he stays. But he doesn’t stay for long. i am considering the hearts of the clubs and Liverpool’s is rotten. Give Chelski a few years and they will be back where they were before Abramovich fled Russia and ended up in West London. ie bankrupt.

  29. Nasri's Mouth

    @Bergkamplegend

    I’m not sure he wants to go, more that RM want to use him as a make weight.

    RM are keen to sell him because he’ll go for free next summer, but he wont join a club he doesn’t want to.

  30. Emiratesstroller

    Nasri’s Mouth

    The key point about Arsenal’s debt situation is that it was linked entirely to the construction of new stadium and surrounding infrastructure.

    People forget also that the Highbury redevelopment which was anticipated to make significant profits came on stream at start of recession.

    Bayern Munich who are probably the best run club in world football
    were also fortunate that they did not have to spend a bean on their stadium. The cost was covered by municipality and major sponsors.

    It remains to be seen how well Spurs and Liverpool will cope when they build their new stadiums.

  31. Nasri's Mouth

    Revving kevin: Journalists are not only lazy they are deliberate liars. It’s sensationalism over fact.

    More laziness than anything else. They didn’t bother with talking about the increasing amount of cash we had sitting unspent in the bank.

  32. Gregg

    Moray

    Agree with you. As a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I had to endure the whole Liverpool love in at it’s prime. Their record since 1990 is a shambles. The myth about the rousing you’ll never walk alone is bollox; They’re more than happy for them to walk alone unless the team is winning with a minute to go. I didn’t hear it at Palace last year when they let a 3 goal lead slip.

    Chelsea are also assholes although Abramovic doesn’t look to be going anywhere soon. He’s been here 10 years already and I thought he’d have bailed by now. Unfortunately he’s here for a while. At least they seem to be trying to comply with the FFP rules.

  33. Nasri's Mouth

    @Emiratesstroller

    Yeah, I understand that. IMO the board made (fairly reasonable at the time, poor with hindsight) decisions about sponsorship deals and property values. Both turned out to be wrong, so we ended up being hampered by poor commercial income and higher debt levels.

    But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the value of the major commercial deals would have been known for some time, and that we could have spent a decent amount of money at least a year earlier than we did.

    I’m very pleased with the direction we’re moving in now.

    Deadwood gone, Youth set up being revamped, targeting better players etc. etc. but we should (and could) have done it before

  34. Savage

    Just finished watching the first half again. Sanogo actually had a decent game, good touch, generally hitting shots on target with good power. What was really lacking was pace down the flanks, which is exactly what we’ll address with Sanchez, Theo and Ox (and Campbell?).

    Willock reminded me a bit of Raheem Sterling in stature and style. Apparently he’s highly rated. Time will tell…

  35. Moray

    Gregg, I think any supporter who went through that dark time grew up hating Liverpool. Even before they got English teams banned from international competitions. A nasty team with nasty supporters.

  36. Gregg

    @Nasri’s Mouth

    Agree with your last comment mate.

    The direction we seem to be moving in now is one that you’d expect from a team that wants to amongst the elite. Agreed we should have done it before but at least we’re doing it now.

    Gazidas said this a couple of summers ago and it appears to be coming to fruition. However we need to be realistic, certainly in Europe. We are never going to be able to attract the players that Madrid and Barcelona do, premiership has to be the focus.

  37. Bergkamplegend

    So glad to see Drogba finish his career at chelscunt.
    Wonder how many goals he will score against us this season…

  38. Bergkamplegend

    “However we need to be realistic, certainly in Europe. We are never going to be able to attract the players that Madrid and Barcelona do, premiership has to be the focus.”
    Totally agree. But we see some good progress this summer so far, hope this will continue…

  39. Emiratesstroller

    Nasri’s Mouth

    I would not suggest that they made bad decisions. Fiszman was an extremely astute businessman.

    The only criticism was perhaps that he could have sold sites including
    Highbury rather than redevelop them. However, we did make eventually a profit out of Highbury.

    Fiszman was also exceedingly astute with the way Emirates was financed. We got very favourable borrowing terms.

    Arsenal were in contrast to most clubs who redevelop their stadium at considerable disadvantage. First we had to find a new site and in
    Central London that was a massive cost considering we had to buy
    out a lot of businesses.

    Manchester United by contrast were able to utilise existing site and Spurs will have benefit from using mainly the White Hart Lane site.
    Also Spurs will be beneficiaries of financial assistance of Local Authority and Mayor of London by virtue of the Tottenham riots. We did not
    get financial help.

  40. Nasri's Mouth

    Emiratesstroller: I would not suggest that they made bad decisions. Fiszman was an extremely astute businessman.

    I suspect we’re coming at this from different angles.

    At the time the decisions seemed good.

    With hindsight, (such a wonderful thing) they had a big negative effect. Very few people predicted the housing market collapse, nor the big increase in sponsorship deals, so it’s no surprise that Fiszman et al didn’t either.

  41. qna

    Wenger: “Up front we don’t need any more, maybe I will still bring in one centre-back. I will bring in a goalkeeper for sure and we are still out there to strengthen our squad.”

    Very disappointed. He is either delusional or lacks true ambition.

    Three more years without a major trophy.

  42. Gregg

    So it looks like Rodriguez signs for Madrid today. That’s a crazy front line, Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Rodriguez.

    Surely it spells the end for a couple of players given Kroos has signed. I would say two from Di-Maria, Modric, Khedira, Isco will be moved on.

  43. Emiratesstroller

    On the transfer front Arsenal are not going to make wholesale acquisitions as some posters seem to hope or think.

    Most successful clubs do not operate in that way and if you want proof
    as to why that is unsuccessful take a look at Spurs last season.

    Wenger brings in usually between 3-5 new players maximum. I don’t
    expect that to change.

    The key difference is what he is now prepared to spend serious money on top players he buys and also that he is recruiting mature and proven players and not the speculative dross and youngsters that we brought in in past.

  44. Paulinho

    “Very disappointed. He is either delusional or lacks true ambition.Three more years without a major trophy.”

    He was delusional and clueless last season and seasons before, so a few months of summer isn’t going to change that.

    It only gets worse when he goes back to pre-season training as well. That’s when the delusion truly sets in, and starts rubbing one out over Diaby in his office after training.

  45. Nasri's Mouth

    @qna

    So because we’re not signing a striker this summer, we’re not going to win anything for 3 years?

    Riiiiighhhhhht…

  46. Gregg

    Certainly up front there’s no-one else coming in. Sanogo is going to get a lot of game time in all the upcoming friendlies. Be interesting to see how, if, he’s come on any from last year.

  47. Ashwin Gunner

    NM

    Agree. we might be in a better position even without Sanchez but its not something we would love to watch.

    As for Khedira L’Equipe confirms that Khedira is going to join Arsenal..

    Other papers are still on Khedira to Monaco.. It will be an interesting 3-4 days i guess..

    I wonder if Arsene has a plan B., till last week we had 3 DMF in our sights.. Khedira, Schneiderlin and Bender.. And it looks as if we are running out options fast. Khedira is too pricey, Schneiderlin wants to join spurs… so we are left with Bender.

    Shouldn’t Arsene open talks with Bender which will put more pressure on Khedira… I mean we should be keeping the players on ransom and it should not be the other way round.

  48. Nasri's Mouth

    @Ashwin Gunner

    Our struggles were down to us having very little pace, Giroud looking knackered and Wenger being somewhat less than sensible in his tactics.

    Sanchez, Walcott and AOC should negate a lot of that.

    Still we’ll see.

    Not sure what truth there was in Khedira. He’s certainly not a DM though.

    So I’m hoping we’re going for one of Bender, Schneiderlin and Carvalho.

    Who knows what we’re doing behind the scenes.

  49. Emiratesstroller

    The delusion is that Arsenal will spend money on every player that moves in the transfer market. Where do posters suppose that we are going to accommodate all these players?

    Wenger has replaced so far Sagna with Debuchy and recruited a class ‘goalscoring’ forward. He will replace Fabianski with Ospina who is at least as good if not better.

    Everybody agrees we need a new holding midfielder and I am fairly certain that will happen.

    If Vermaelen leaves he will be replaced by an equivalent if not better player.

    Giroud is not going to be offloaded. He may not be the world’s greatest striker,
    but he can and does score 20+ goals a season and we have three other forwards on our books who can potentially do same if on form and injury free.

  50. Bergkamplegend

    “As for Khedira L’Equipe confirms that Khedira is going to join Arsenal.. ”
    == >> ?????????

  51. Bergkamplegend

    @Nasri : “So because we’re not signing a striker this summer, we’re not going to win anything for 3 years?”

    I was thinking the same thing…

  52. Rhys Jaggar

    PSG aren’t ’embarrassingly behind’ on FFP, they’ve decided to flaunt the rules after bunging Platini something or other to be a very lenient judge in court. If your boss sponsored deals like they’ve got, he’d have the shareholders slit his throat within the hour.

    I find it hard to believe you don’t know why Akpom doesn’t get more opportunities than Sanogo. Perhaps you know that your opportunities to meet Ivan Gazidis are inversely proportional to how succinctly you express you views on that one…….

    It goes something like this: ‘Me black, you black. Me French, you English. Le boss white French, le nouveau boss ne viendra pas avant de 2017…….’

  53. qna

    @Nasri and @Berkamplegend

    Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. It was no surprise that we didnt win anything the last 5 or 6 seasons. Dont give me the FA cup as proof that your right because we won that on the back of avoiding the big teams and playing only the teams at our level (Spuds, Everton and Liverpool) at home.

    So your Riiigghhht… I would say to you when you tell me that we are going to win something.

    Our competitors have been miles ahead of us and we have not come close to catching up.

    Sanchez doesnt close the gap and I extend that to three years because clearly lessons arent being learnt and stubborn arrogance is still in place.

  54. Gregg

    Lets not get to downhearted about not buying countless more players. I think, hope and am confident that there’s going to be a couple of existing players that are ready for a big impact next year, ala Ramsey last year. I’m keen to see the Ox really push on and think he could have a great season and also Wilshere. Oh and did I mention Diaby ? It’s not always about continually signing players. Liverpool and Spurs can continue to just add numbers, replace players after just one season, we’re looking to add quality over quantity.

  55. Emiratesstroller

    Noone knows the true story with Khedira it is all conjecture including his alleged wage demands.

    What we do know is that he is in final year of his contract at Real Madrid and rather like Tony Kroos and many others before them in driving seat with negotiations.

    He has options:

    1. Stay at Real for one more year without signing new contract i.e. follow example of Lewandowski and Sagna and sign lucrative deal.

    2. Sign new contract with Real Madrid if he wants to stay with them.

    3.Sign new contract with Monaco if part of James Rodriguez deal. Only
    attraction there is tax free money. Playing in small stadium in French
    League not exactly the best option.

    4.Move to club in Bundesliga or EPL where he will maintain his status
    as a top footballer.

    One thing is for sure and that is if he wants to join Arsenal and the club wants him I don’t see us walking away from the deal for the sake of
    £20k per week.

    Obviously any deal will be complicated and need sorting out. It may
    take longer than anticipated.

    Real cannot force the player to go to Monaco. That lesson was learned
    by Barcelona with Sanchez so that we have a realistic chance of buying
    him.